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If you want to see what rightwing ranting and foaming at the mouth looks like..

…check out Andrew Coyne’s liveblogging of the BC Human Rights Tribunal looking into whether Macleans exposed Muslims to hatred by publishing excerpts from Mark Steyn’s book.

Part 1 is here (comments are closed, but you’ll get the idea – even Marc Lemire makes an appearance, accusing Macleans of getting what they deserve), and Part 2 is here (ranting and raving in comments currently in progress).

I’m not picking on Andrew at all – but the comments thread looks like what Small Dead Animals or any number of extreme-right-wing blogs message threads looks like (and many of the lunatics are in there).

23 comments to If you want to see what rightwing ranting and foaming at the mouth looks like..

  • KC

    Always obfuscating Ti-Guy. You have plenty of opinions on what speech should and should not be allowed.

    YOU are dishonest.

  • Ti-Guy

    This from the fellow who thinks he has the expertise to determine if speech should or should not be allowed.

    This is a lie. I don’t make those decisions and can’t influence anyone beyond using my right to freedom of expression to argue for the support of the mediation process.

    You are dishonest.

  • KC

    Steyn is not his supporters and it is not his supporters who are before the tribunal. Its totally irrelevant that many of Steyn’s followers are far right wackos.

    I don’t support the idea of a quasi-judicial tribunal without normal rules of evidence employing a low standard of proof and a highly subjective test making decisions about a right as important as expression. The Criminal Code Hate speech provisions more than suffice for controlling the worst excesses of expression. What the government has done by giving HRT’s this power is take what is a criminal law matter and assign it to an administrative tribunals without the same safeguards as courts. I believe the 4-3 Taylor decision was wrongly decided and is one of the most vulnerable majorities in Charter jurisprudence. These are the things that “lawyers” think about.

    I would expect someone like you who is so concerned by the farce that is going on with Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay (ie replacing judges with pathetic explanations for starters) to be more sympathetic to that viewpoint. Im not saying they are equally sympathetic cases; but both cases involve serious rights being adjudged by low procedural standards of fairness.

  • Many of the right wing lunatic fringe – some commenting in those threads – do worse then what Steyn does. I think it has a bit to do with what is going on – since they seek to remove HRC’s permanently so they have one less thing to worry about when they spew their hate. Not everyone can afford to take them to court for libel as Mr Warman has.

  • KC

    You’re trying to equate being critical of a war against someone who promotes hate speech against an ethnic group or religion, Kyle?

    I reject your basic premise–that what Steyn has done is ‘promoting hatred’. He has engaged in robust criticism of a religion. That is NOT promoting hatred.

    That’s quite the comparison, and I utterly reject it as being valid in this argument.

    I never said they were the same. My point is that there are tons of people out there who THINK there are good reasons to suppress speech you think. Some right wingers are perfectly convinced that it affects the war effort and shouldnt be allowed. You set a precedent when you say its “ok” to suppress speech. The best solution is to let it all come out as long as its not actually promoting violence against people.

    You’re supposed to be a lawyer, Kyle.. you’re going to need to come up with better arguments then that one.

    This coming from the guy whose post implies that the character of some of the people who oppose the farce thats going on in Vancouver this week has anything to do with the legitimacy of what is going on. Quite the logical fallacy. You must be taking lessons from Warren the spindoctor.

  • KC

    How so? Argue compellingly that this is the case;

    Its not that complicated. All Steyn has done is criticized a particular religion and you support his censure for doing so.

    I’ve already asked you what you’ve tried to do to challenge the imposition of irrational and illiberal beliefs on a secular society and you didn’t answer.

    For starters Ive opposed the Ezra Levant complaint. Reminds me a lot of the teacher who sent me to the office in high school for taking the lords name in vein. But being a consistent vocal supporter of gay rights is one thing act I can point to.

    you’re not as smart as you think you are.

    This from the fellow who thinks he has the expertise to determine if speech should or should not be allowed.

  • You’re trying to equate being critical of a war against someone who promotes hate speech against an ethnic group or religion, Kyle? Really? That’s quite the comparison, and I utterly reject it as being valid in this argument.

    You’re supposed to be a lawyer, Kyle.. you’re going to need to come up with better arguments then that one.

  • Ti-Guy

    By supporting these complaints against Steyn that is exactly what you are doing. I know you cant seem to see that but that is the case.

    How so? Argue compellingly that this is the case; show your work. I’ve already asked you what you’ve tried to do to challenge the imposition of irrational and illiberal beliefs on a secular society and you didn’t answer.

    Who are you to say that Steyn has no hope in convincing people?

    As far as I know, he’s not convinced anyone he disagrees with/hates to come around to his point of view. The Canadians who loathe Steyn still do, after years and years and years of being exposed to his illiterate ranting (paid for by the Wingnut Welfare Machine, you should know).

    As an atheist I AM a target. I’ve had to live under stupid religious-based laws and institutions all my life.

    Can you give an indication of how these have been imposed on you? I realise Christmas has become a problem, but a lot of those impositions are considerably less onerous than when I was your age. Be grateful.

    In any case, you’ll find no greater ally than myself, and as a religious person, I can argue persuasively with those people who think atheists are second-class citizens. Which, I find odd, because in Canada, being an atheist isn’t as big a sin as it in the US. If you’re hostile to religious people, you’re probably getting the reaction you’re inviting.

    With all due respect I find a lot of your opinions uninformed, and poorly reasoned. Whatsmore I find your apparent belief that you have the capacity to be the arbiter of what constitutes a “good argument” pretty extreme. I dont know whats left of “free expression” after the standards you apply to it are employed.

    Oh, well. There you have it.

    Grow up, little boy; you’re not as smart as you think you are. Anyway, I’ve got a whole thwack of Point of Inquiry podcasts to listen to; that would be a better use of my time than talking to you.

  • KC

    The “extremes” I’ve seen Scott is the complete lack of regard for opinions they dont like by so called “progressives”. Dont like a viewpoint? Criminalize it. Or impose mandatory fees on students and then refuse to fund their cause while funding their opponent. Its stupid.

    Progressives need to learn to argue again rather than running around banning expression. Remember there are plenty of people on the other side of the aisle who would love to crack down on speech you enjoy Scott–criticizing a war while their are troops on the ground for instance.

  • KC

    Oh come on Kyle.. Steyn doesn’t take it to extremes?

    Not particularly. No more than other notable anti-theists like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris. Religious people dont like their religions criticized. I learned that in Grade 1. For some reason criticism of religion always seems to come off to the religious as extreme.

    I’m not willing to see our ability to critise religion go “bye bye.”

    By supporting these complaints against Steyn that is exactly what you are doing. I know you cant seem to see that but that is the case.

    I’m for supporting arguments and dialogue that have a hope in hell of persuading people

    Who are you to say that Steyn has no hope in convincing people?

    If you support that kind of thing, just wait until *you* become its target.

    As an atheist I AM a target. I’ve had to live under stupid religious-based laws and institutions all my life. People telling you you cant be a good person without religion. Its freaking obnoxious but life goes on. Unless someone is preaching violence against me who gives a damn?

    Why should I, as a citizen, have to tolerate the uninformed and bad reason of a dogmatic extremist

    With all due respect I find a lot of your opinions uninformed, and poorly reasoned. Whatsmore I find your apparent belief that you have the capacity to be the arbiter of what constitutes a “good argument” pretty extreme. I dont know whats left of “free expression” after the standards you apply to it are employed.

  • Ti-Guy

    You didn’t answer my question; instead, you put an argument in my mouth I never made.

    That’s reprehensible.

    I’m not willing to see our ability to critise religion go “bye bye.” I’m for supporting arguments and dialogue that have a hope in hell of persuading people rather than making them angry and hostile towards others.

    A lot of religious people do understand they live in a country with laws that apply to everyone equally. They’re the majority of religious people. Why should I, as a citizen, have to tolerate the uninformed and bad reason of a dogmatic extremist (who has a long history targeting others he hates in exactly the same way; Steyn hates liberals and Canadians generally, remember) and who is a documented racist and a bigot?

    Sorry, I don’t have to. If you support that kind of thing, just wait until *you* become its target.

  • Oh come on Kyle.. Steyn doesn’t take it to extremes?

    Thats the silliest thing I’ve heard you say in awhile. I expect that from the conservatives in the blogworld and elsewhere.. not someone who is a Liberal.

  • KC

    The value of one unschooled man’s views,

    So now only people with formal education are entitled to an opinion? Stephen Harper has a Masters and he can still be a moron depending on the day.

    And what have you done in that effort? I’ve taken my own church on in that respect.

    Well that would explain why you are so willing to see our ability to criticize religion go bye bye.

  • KC

    I dont see how Steyn takes it to extremes at all. Its blatantly self evident that the religiosity and the religious make up of a particular political jurisdiction have profound implications for the political culture of that place. Just look at the difference between Iran, or the American South on one hand; and British Columbia or Northern Europe on the other. The former have a high number of intensely religious folk, who are either highly politicized in the case of the US or hold power through dictatorship in the case of Iran.

    Who pays for it? Gays, women, atheists, “hedonists”, people who simply value their freeom, and (yes) even religious minorities. Demographic shifts–be it Muslim immigration to Europe as Steyn suggests, or Canadians becoming less religious, or an American evangelical revival–have effects on political cultures. I know there is a desire among some progressives to stick their heads in the sand and in the name of multiculturalism pretend thats not a reality but it is.

    Religiosity, particularly conservative religiosity is a threat to my freedom and I reserve the right to call it out.

    As for YOUR religiosity Scott. I have many people in my life who I think are great people who happen to be religious. What makes them good people is their acceptance of a secular order of things. My only beef with these people is that by believing what they believe they lend legitimacy to the extremists (“well you believe in the bible and the bible says this here so…”).
    Sam Harris explores this theory in greater detail in The End of Faith so I’ll leave it at that.

    But FAR too many religious people do not, and they are a serious threat to my way of life and that of my friends and family. I’m not going to mince words and pretend those people dont exist and that their religiosity doesnt play a significant role in their nasty political agenda. It does.

  • Ti-Guy

    The value is knowing one man’s view regarding what religions are teaching, how devout the people are within that faith, the prevalence of extreme views amongst the religious in general or specific groups, what political ambitions religious groups have, and what demographic shifts could influence societies.

    The value of one unschooled man’s views, you mean? I see no value in that. But, in any case, I can read his book if I want. I can also read Tariq Ali or Edward Sayeed; you know…people who actually know what they’re talking about.

    It needs to be challenged and confronted.

    And what have you done in that effort? I’ve taken my own church on in that respect.

  • Nothing wrong with questioning religion, Kyle. It’s going to the extreme that Steyn and other folks do that is the problem.

    Slightly offtopic, but I also take issue with you on your statement that all “religion” attempts to impose anything on anyone. That’s a big wide brush you’re smearing us people of faith with.

  • KC

    what good is freedom of expression if its only value is to promote hatred and intolerance?

    Thats NOT the only value of the expression in the case of Steyn. The value is knowing one man’s view regarding what religions are teaching, how devout the people are within that faith, the prevalence of extreme views amongst the religious in general or specific groups, what political ambitions religious groups have, and what demographic shifts could influence societies. ALL of these should be considered. “valid and reasonnable within the context of a constitutional order”.

    Is he wrong in this case? Maybe. But I shudder at the chill of having to be perfectly correct everytime we opine on the subjects listed above.

    You’re damn rights I have a “problem” with religion. It is the primary source of attempts to impose irrational puritanical morality on unwilling secular segments of society. It needs to be challenged and confronted.

  • Ti-Guy

    When no one has admitted to a lie we can’t say objectively that something is a “lie” unless it can be objectively proven or disproven.

    I was mentionning the instance when we’d probably *all* agree that something is a lie, which you asserted never happens.

    Lying is a disposition of someone’s conscience and we can never really know for sure. But we can use evidence, or lack thereof to suggest that someone is lying.

    The rest of your commentary is really about religion, which you seem to have a problem with. I’m sure you can work out what kind of criticism against a religion could be valid and reasonnable within the context of a constitutional order *all* Canadians are expected to live under and support; and that includes the Muslims.

    I keep coming back to this point: what good is freedom of expression if its only value is to promote hatred and intolerance? And more to the point, why do free speech warriors argue their cases so badly all the time? Less speech, more listening and reading, I say.

  • KC

    Obfuscation. When no one has admitted to a lie we can’t say objectively that something is a “lie” unless it can be objectively proven or disproven.

    If people dont want their religion questioned–dont have one. I’m not prepared to surrender my right to question asinine archaic non-sensical religious dogma or those who seek to impose it on society through the state–whether that religion is Christianity, Islam or whatever. Just because that questioning might reinforce some ignorant bigots irrational hatred doesnt derrogate from the necessity of having that right.

  • Ti-Guy

    Thats the whole point of free speech because we will always disagree about what is a “lie”.

    No we don’t. When someone admits to a lie, we don’t continue arguing about it, do we?

    But we’re straying into the content of this case, whereas I’m in support of the process that seeks remediation before someone gets is subject to discrimination, bashed or killed. If you don’t think that’s important, too bad for you.

  • KC

    Any statement can be characterized as a “lie” Ti-Guy. Thats the whole point of free speech because we will always disagree about what is a “lie”.

    No doubt there are people with their “petty hatreds”, but Im not willing, for one instant, to cede an inch of ground to those who would put debate about religious teachings, the actions of religious adherents, and prevalent political views in religious communities off limits. Steyns comments about Islam and Muslims are no different than statements that are made about Christianity and Christians on a daily basis. They are fair comment whether they are correct or not and well within the realm of free expression.

    I for one am sick and tired of religion–be it majority or minority religion–pushing people around and demanding respect.

  • Ti-Guy

    So you’re fine with disingenous hacks commanding a large bully pulpit to lie about whole groups of people, are you KC?

    People don’t read anything that challenges their prejudices, so more speech isn’t going to counteract the propaganda they’ve been fed that reinforces their petty hatreds.

    I’m surprised it took so long for haters to finally get done, quite frankly.

  • KC

    … yet the wackos are on the right side of an issue for a chance (albeit possibly for the wrong reasons).

    I say let the people speak. Whether its against abortion and quote “Israeli Apartheid” on campuses; against Islam and Christianity by culturalists, secularists, and anti-theists alike; against Harper for his role in “Cadman-gate”; or against same-sex marriage by miscellaneous theocrats. “I believe in free speech but…” has become far to common a refrain in our political discourse. This country has strayed way to far from its Charter commitment to free expression and its time to bring it back in line–regardless of what your politics are. I think we need a Free Expression Rehabilitation Act or something like that.

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