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Q. Why does Stormfront hate human rights?

A. Because Stormfront hates everything and everyone except their fellow neo-Nazi whackjobs, duh.

What's really funny is that they're now holding up two people they would otherwise look upon as sworn enemies as champions of their, uh, "right to free speech".

A Liberal MP is being hailed as a poster boy for free speech on a white supremacist website.

Victoria MP Keith Martin was praised Friday on stormfront.org, a website that proudly displays the logo "White pride world wide" and links to radio addresses by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Martin earned the dubious distinction after giving notice that he plans to introduce a private member's motion calling on the government to repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

[...]

The extreme right adherents at Stormfront were clearly thrilled to find a member of the Liberal party, which introduced the act and prides itself as the party of the Charter of Rights, joining their crusade.

"The sordid Soviet-style reign of terror by the Canadian Human Rights Commission is now out in the open," declares Paul Fromm in a posting on the website.

"The CHRC reign of thought control looks like a drying pool of vomit on the dirty floor of some dingy dive. Yes, it stinks and good men are beginning to speak up."

Fromm, a controversial anti-immigration and free speech activist who has been linked to neo-Nazi groups in the past, predicts it "may be easier" for Conservative MPs to back the motion because it's being introduced by a Liberal of "white and Indian (India) parentage."

The website urges readers to join a campaign to pressure their MPs to support Martin's motion.

For Martin, receiving praise from a white-supremacist group was both unwelcome and ironic.

"I'm a brown guy," he quipped in an interview.

Wait a second, you say--that's just one of them. Who's the other?

I'm so glad you asked.

A private members' motion from a BC Liberal MP has brought up Ezra Levant's name in conversations around Ottawa and Calgary water coolers uncomfortably often for Stephen Harper.

Levant, 35, became prominent as a writer, publisher and outspoken conservative activist known for provocative actions and comments, and for extreme views. He co-organized the Winds of Change conference in Calgary in 1996 in an unsuccessful attempt to merge the Reform Party of Canada and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In 2002, after the Canadian Alliance was formed, he won the party's nomination for Calgary Southwest, but faced intense pressure to step aside so Stephen Harper, who had just been elected party leader, could run there in a by-election.

He insisted very publicly that he would not step aside but later did under heavy pressure from within the party. Observers say Harper has disliked Levant ever since. "He certainly wouldn't be welcome as a visitor or adviser in Harper circles," one national reporter told HarperIndex.ca.

Another said "I don't think anyone could, with a straight face, say he's close to Harper." In addition to the personal conflict Harper had with Levant over the nomination, Levant was a major supporter of Stockwell Day - he called himself a "Stock-aholic" - and represented, like Day, a more extreme strategy of neo-conservative politics that Harper doesn't believe can win.

Levant is back in the news because rules against the publication of material deemed to incite religious hatred, under which Levant's now-defunct news magazine Western Standard was charged, are being challenged by Liberal Keith Martin. In 2006 the magazine published controversial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed despite orders from the Canadian Human Rights Commission not to publish it.

Levant made a public case of the issue and even republished the cartoons on his website last month on the same day he appeared before a hearing of the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission investigating a complaint over them.

Okay, folks, sit back and savor the irony for a moment...the white supremacist neo-Nazi hate-mongers are all agog over the free-speechifyin' virtues of...a brown guy and a Jew. One would think they'd be chewing their toenails over the fact that they don't have any champions who are fellow WASPs. Well, so much for the alleged superior intellect of the would-be Master Race!

Of course, the less delicious irony here is that if the Stormfronters got their way and ever ended up with real political power, what do you suppose is the first thing they'd take away from brown people and Jews? Yep, you guessed it...freedom of speech. Along with all the other hard-fought-for human rights which happen to be enshrined in our Charter. Which I doubt any of them have ever read, because right up close to the top, it lists the following four items as Fundamental Freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;

b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

d) freedom of association.

Kind of puts the lie to that Paul Fromm character when he claims the Canadian Human Rights Commission is waging a "sordid Soviet-style reign of terror", eh?

But wait, it gets better. Skip on down to the section labelled Legal Rights:

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;

b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and

c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

11. Any person charged with an offence has the right

a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;

b) to be tried within a reasonable time;

c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;

d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;

e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;

f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;

g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;

h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and

i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

13. A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

It even guarantees deaf or non-English/French-speaking defendants the right to an interpreter! Gee, that sure sounds like a Soviet-style reign of terror to me (she said, dripping heavy sarcasm.)

But wait...I guess this next bit, Equality Rights, is what's really got the wingnuts' collective dander up, and their group mind buzzing with muzzy commie conspiracy theories:

5. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Oh noooo. The spectre of Affirmative Action just reared its hydra heads. Some black, some brown, some yellow, some white; some male, some female, some transgendered, and some queer. Some that don't yet speak either of our two official languages. And some that bow toward Mecca in five-times-daily prayers, and some that loll over the headrest of an electric wheelchair...

The Nazi stormtroopers, of course, don't want any amelioration of conditions. They want the disadvantaged to stay there, presumably so they can feel superior to someone. And they would like nothing better, I imagine, than to see this section and subsection stricken from the Charter, so that there is nothing to stop them, if they should ever manage to seize power, from writing laws that explicitly put anyone in the designated out-groups at an institutional disadvantage.

But what really nails the coffin for the Stormtroopers and their conspiracy theories is this clause, in the General section:

31. Nothing in this Charter extends the legislative powers of any body or authority.

Gee, I feel so oppressed. Don't you, just reading that? Just imagine--no special legislative powers for anyone, not even the Human Rights Commission!

BTW, Glenn Greenwald has sure got egg on his face over all this. Sorry, Glenn, but as well-considered as your opinions may be nine times out of ten, this is that tenth time when you're all wet. Maybe you'd better bone up on our Charter too, before you spout off at the keyboard about it again. Ignorance of the law is no defence, and the Canadian Constitution, along with the Charter, is the supreme law of my home and native land. Our Charter is easily among the most progressive in the world (witness the fact that same-sex marriage rights came into being recognized here as a result of it.) It does not (and cannot) prevent anyone from thinking or speaking as they please, although it does recognize that the right to free speech ends where hate crimes begin. In other words: you can hate blacks and Jews, and even say nigger or kike, but you can't say something like "I don't rent apartments to niggers", or "Hmmm...you said your name is Greenwald? Sounds Jewish. In that case, your rent is $500 higher. Hey, don't get mad, now--it's my right! You Jews are all too rich anyway!" Or, worst of all, "I declare war on...(insert out-group name here)!"

It takes a lot to get called on the carpet by the Human Rights Tribunal--in fact, the offences that occasion such things are few, and so egregious that they invariably make the news and get the whole country talking and debating and arguing and punching each other's lights out in sleazy gin joints (kidding about that last one--I think!). In a real totalitarian dictatorship, that wouldn't be the case. And you'd never hear about it either, because there would be no freedom of the press.

See, here in Canada, the slippery slope is a fine place to go tobogganing, but it's nothing on which you can base a considered legal opinion. Much less an accusation that this free, beautiful country is some kind of Soviet gulag--or ever in danger of becoming one just because it guarantees human rights to minorities.

And as for free-speech absolutism, I will only say this: Absolute shit stinks absolutely. And I will not defend to the death the free speech of anyone who would only use their speech to promote the death and oppression of others. I have bigger freedom-fish to fry. And so should you, Glenn.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to my Pravda. The Commissar will send me to Siberia if I can't recite the entire latest edition from memory.

Comments

I can hardly believe Greenwald actually linked to a National Review article and it is as misleading as one would expect. Sunera Thobani was never charged with a hate crime; there was only a "complaint" filed. There was no investigation as her speech only detailed facts of U.S. foreign policy and the case was dropped on those grounds. Greenwald should be ashamed of himself for conflating "'offensive' or 'insulting' or 'wrong' political ideas" with hate speech as National Review did.

Text of her speech can be found here: http://print.indymedia.org/news/2001/10/923.php

I found it very prophetic.

Greenwald should understand that free speech isn't absolute even in the U.S. You cannot incite a riot or cry fire in a theater. It's not that far a stretch to say hate speech incites others to harm target groups. Tolerating those that have no tolerance can lead to an acceptance of intolerance. Then the tolerant society dies just as it did in 1930's Germany. That is something, I could argue, currently occurring in the U.S. In an open, tolerant society, the intolerant should not be allowed to complain that they are not tolerated.

I would say it's already occurred--just look at all the tyranny BushCo is wreaking, virtually unchallenged. Waterboarding, wiretapping (retroactively legalized!), spying on innocent people, imprisonment without trial or even charges being laid. Even when the prisoner was just 15 at the time, there is no mercy and no habeas corpus. And what's being done to stop them? The courts are stacked with neo- and theo-con nutcases, so good luck with that class-action suit! And if you criticize these things, you become an Enemy of the State too. Free speech means nothing if you speak out against power abuses and are ignored or persecuted for it--or if, like Sibel Edmonds, you're not allowed to testify in court. I'd say this is a far bigger freedom-fish than the "rights" of Stormfronters or Ezra Levant to babble their bullshit and stoke hatred of Muslims. In fact, these people would not be so bold if the climate were not already one of racism and xenophobia and religious bigotry. The ground is already stacked overwhelmingly in their favor, and shame on Greenwald for glossing over that.