Feb 072008

An article by Lee Harris in The Weekly Standard got me to checking for the latest news on the Ezra Levant case in Canada.

Ezra Levant has a blog which he tells us is getting a lot of hits:

in the past month, I’ve had 152,000 “unique visitors” of whom 49,000 are “returning visitors”. According to Haloscan.com, I’ve had more than
1,500 comments. And then there’s the YouTube videos, 471,000 views amongst them.”

(That happens to be more hits than this blog gets.)

And a liberal MP (Keith Martin) has submitted a motion to remove the section of the Human Rights Code that allows the sort of inquisitions undergone by Levant and Mark Steyn. But it sounds as though his party has been pressuring him to withdraw it, though there are the usual denials, etc. News item about it here.

If you google for information about Ezra Levant, you will see that while this topic is getting a lot of attention in Canada, the U.S. news media are paying no attention to it. These would be the same news media types who attack Bush for his unilateralism and for ignoring world opinion. These would also be the same news media types who want us to look to Canada for lessons on how to handle health care.

I say it would be worth asking our presidential candidates about it. There are people clamoring for hate crime laws in the U.S. There are concerns about McCain’s attitude towards free speech. There are those who complained about Bush’s unilateralism, and those who threatened to move to Canada if Bush was re-elected in 2004. It would seem to be about as relevant an issue for discussion as you could find (and probably one a lot less boring than the usual gas about “change.”)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction: The U.S. media will continue to ignore it and will NOT ask our presidential candidates about it.

Jan 202008

When I say that the next president will be Hillary Clinton, even though s/he won’t necessarily be named Hillary and may even be a Republican, I’m trying to make a point somewhat like John Andrews made in this article, “Who’s President Isn’t the Main Thing.”

He makes many good points, but I’ll quote this one because it’s especially relevant to the issue of Ezra Levant vs the Alberta Human Rights Commission:

Freedom won’t work unless enough of us practice four essentials of citizenship, writes Thomas Krannawitter of the Claremont Institute. We need self-assertion to defend our liberties, self-restraint to behave responsibly, self-reliance to avert dependency, and civic knowledge to participate constructively.

What’s more important than who the next president is is who we are. Are we going to be people like Ezra Levant, or people like his persecutors on the Human Rights Commission. It could go either way. And whichever type predominates will determine what a president can and will do. As Andrews said, “Whoever wins will govern largely between the 40-yard lines.” People like Levant can help determine where those yardline markers are located.

Although this blog is very political, you won’t see a lot about electoral politics here. You especially won’t find a lot about vote counts and predictions of who might win what state. Electoral politics are mostly boring to me. What I like are real politics of the kind John Andrews is discussing.

Jan 202008

If we stop short of the totalitarian abyss, it will be thanks to the courage and eloquence of people like Ezra Levant. I got the following YouTube links from In The Agora . It’s the entry titled “Nothing Short of Incredible” by Joshua Clayborn. Levant takes on the speech police in the misnamed Alberta Human Rights Commission. (I’ve only watched the first two so far.)

Part I: Opening Statement
Part II: What was your intent?
Part III: The real violence in Edmonton
Part IV: I don’t answer to the state
Part V: “You’re entitled to your opinions”
Part VI: Attributes of free speech
Part VII: How does the commission make decisions?
Part VIII: Closing argument
Bonus: Details of the complaint