It was one of the darkest times in American History. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his evil band of Hyenas (including famous lawyer Roy Cohn ) were trying to turn the US into a police state. In the end, this horrible bully McCarthy was brought down by one decent man standing up to him on national TV. In a now famous interchange, McCarthy responded to aggressive questioning from the US Army’s attorney, Joseph Welch. Welch challenged Roy Cohn to give the US Attorney General McCarthy’s list of 130 communists or subversives working in defense plants that he claimed to have “before the sun goes down.” McCarthy responded by saying that if Welch was so concerned about persons aiding the Communist Party, he should check on a man in his Boston law office named Fred Fisher, who had once belonged to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group which U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr. had called “the legal mouthpiece of the Communist Party.” At the time Brownell was seeking to designate the NLG as a Communist front organization. This was a violation of a pre-hearing agreement not to raise the issue because the designation was being litigated. Welch responded: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or recklessness….” When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch cut him short, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator…. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” With that exchange the US began to realize that Mc Carthy was nothing but an empty drunk.
Fifty years later Canada has a McCarthy going after freedom of speech, it is Alberta’s “human rights” commission. The Human Rights commission. It operates without due process and works hard to enforce Islamic Law and restrictions on Canada’s Press.Last week, the commission faced its own Joseph Welch, his name is Ezra Levant. Ezra was facing the anti-free speech Storm Troopers because as publisher of the Western Standard, a Canadian newsweekly he republished those Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that had fueled protests — some of them violent — throughout the world. Ezra stood up to the commission in a brilliant speech. (see Political Correctness Gone Mad in Canada) Mark Steyn (who is facing a similar hearing at another Canadian Human Rights Tribunal later in the year) wrote about the hearing and its Grand Inquisitor Shirlene McGovern:
…..Last week, sitting across the table from Shirlene McGovern, Ezra Levant launched into an impassioned denunciation of his interrogation. He took the quaint view that his “freedom of expression” was not the generous if qualified gift of Trudeaupian bureaucrats but his inalienable right and one bolstered in this country by 800 years of English Common Law as well as more modish innovations such as the 1946 UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Canada likes that last one so much it sticks it on the back of the $50 bill, even though we are in sustained and systemic breach of its provisions on free expression. Yes, yes, I know: so are Sudan and North Korea, but come on, is that really the league you want to play in? In the course of his interrogation, Mr. Levant also pointed out that the time and money Canada’s “human rights” pseudo-courts cost publishers has a broader “chilling effect” — on all the stories that will never see the light of day because at the back of some editor’s mind is the calculation of the cost of fending off Shirlene McGovern. And, at the end of this exchange, Agent McGovern, licensed to chill, looked blandly across the table and shrugged: “You’re entitled to your opinions, that’s for sure…..”
Actually as Steyn points out…no thats no longer an entitlement:
No, sorry. That cliché is no longer operative in Canada. Today you’re only entitled to your opinions if Agent McGovern says you are — “for sure.” Ezra Levant was of the opinion that he should publish the Danish cartoons. That opinion is now on trial. Ken Whyte, the executive honcho at Maclean’s, was of the opinion he should publish an excerpt from my book. That opinion comes up for trial at the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal in June, and at the Canadian “Human Rights” Tribunal shortly thereafter, and most likely at the Ontario “Human Rights” Tribunal a little way down the road…..take our poll - story continues below
….In the three decades of the Canadian “Human Rights” Tribunal’s existence, not a single “defendant” has been “acquitted.” Would you bet on Maclean’s bucking this spectacular 100 per cent conviction rate? “Sentence first, verdict afterwards,” declares the queen in Alice In Wonderland. Canada’s not quite there yet, but at the Human Rights Commission, it’s “Verdict first, trial afterwards.” So I’m guilty and Ken Whyte’s guilty and Maclean’s is guilty because that’s the only verdict there is.
writePageNumber(3);Here Comes the fun part:
In its entire history, over half of all cases have been brought by a sole “complainant,” one Richard Warman. Indeed, Mr. Warman has been a plaintiff on every single Section XIII case before the federal “human rights” star chamber since 2002 — and he’s won every one. That would suggest that no man in any free society anywhere on the planet has been so comprehensively deprived of his human rights. Well, no. Mr. Warman doesn’t have to demonstrate that he’s been deprived of his human rights, only that it’s “likely” (i.e. “highly un-“) that someone somewhere will be deprived of some right sometime. Who is Richard Warman? What’s his story? Well, he’s a former employee of the Canadian Human Rights Commission: an investigator like Shirlene McGovern…..
On last week’s letters page, Lauren Demaree of Windsor seemed closest to “mainstream” “moderate” Canadian opinion: “Placing limits on free speech is a slippery slope, but that is not the only issue in play here. There is often a fine line that is crossed between opinion and hate propaganda and our laws need to reflect this more effectively. Where do we draw the line? When a group of people is harassed or when someone is beaten? How about killed? When your writer Andrew Coyne sits on a high horse spouting the ideals of free speech, he doesn’t stop and think about the consequences of his words.” Who has been “killed” or “beaten” or “harassed” by Coyne-Steyn “hate propaganda”? The killings and bombings, as Ezra Levant pointed out, occur in countries without freedom of expression — because when you criminalize words the only expression left is action. How sad to see Canada pursuing, as the federal “human rights” commission puts it, “A Watch On Hate.” Not “hate crimes” or even “hate speech,” but just “hate” — thoughts, feelings. Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress is a world-class hater who thinks all Israeli civilians over 18 are legitimate targets for murder. Bully for him. Yet, in his pursuit of Maclean’s, Lauren Demaree sees the hater as the pin-up crusader who’ll abolish hate. No free society can do that. But it can certainly abolish, incrementally, freedom of expression and the presumption of innocence in relentless pursuit of such a banal happy-face chimera. The arbitrary absurdity of Alice-in-Wonderland’s queen yoked to the Cheshire Cat smile. This is your fight, too, Lauren, even if you don’t yet know it. Read Mark Steyn’s entire article here: It’s all very odd, ‘that’s for sure’