Coultergeist Be Gone!

grrrrrr....

OK.
So, I won’t go anywhere near my personal opinions of the skanky-assed shock-jock supremacist that is called Ann Coulter… oh wait.
I just did.
I despise everything that she represents and says.  And I will probably get my Canadian Libertarian ass chewed off for saying the above… be told about how stupid I am or how wrong I am for thinking she is a waste of space and energy on this planet.
Whatever: bring it on.  If you agree with her then your racist views will speak for yourself.
Don’t expect me to engage you in debate over her asinine relevance (or is that sagging irrelevance) on the political scene while you attempt to convince me of how she is the voice of the average right-winged conservative American (because if you are… then I DO NOT want to even acknowledge your presence in my life).

Now, this posting isn’t about her political views.  Nope. Not at all.

Rather this is about the recent waste of time the media has given her (thanks to the genius of her PR machine in creating a media orgy) over a so-called incident that occurred at the University of Ottawa and her accusations of Canadians/Canada.

She is now apparently a victim of a ‘hate-crime’ in Canada, according to Ms. Coulter.  She blames the University, who sent her a letter explaining the laws of the land and the freedoms and limitations of Free Speech, especially when they borderline no, ARE blatantly inciting and condoning hatred and in some cases, possibly violence… which in Canada is a criminal offence.  She was warned to weigh her words with “respect and civility in mind” especially while on University grounds … which has now been translated into: We Canadians are fascist. Oh wait.  We Canadians also ought to consider ourselves as ‘lucky’ the US allows us to exist on the same continent and just hope to her Christian god that the US doesn’t roll over one night and ‘crush’ Canada in its sleep.

Let me make something clear:  Under section 319 of the Canadian charter for Freedom of Expression (Constitutional Law of Canada), it is illegal to publicly incite hatred against people based on their colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, and sexual orientation, except where the statements made are true or are made in good faith. Gee – it would appear as though this law was written especially for her since her views, politics and propaganda are nothing BUT based on hatred for anything that isn’t her.  They are based on fear, hatred and racism.  You simply cannot espouse hatred and then hide behind the guise of “freedom of speech.”

Ms. Coulter’s politics and propaganda also violates the “Hate Speech” laws of our country which includes any communication which disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race or sexual orientation. In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or other characteristic.  It is an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Now I already can hear all or a large majority of the Conservative blogger body yelling: FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS NOT HATE SPEECH YOU FASCIST CANADIAN!!!

Let me explain why I believe she got more than she deserved with a warning from François Houle, the vice-president academic and provost of the University of Ottawa, of the Laws of the land in which she finds herself.  Just proves to me her arrogance and ignorance that North America DOES NOT EQUAL United States.

Actually… I think this article from Ozlem Sensoy,  assistant professor in the faculty of education at Simon Fraser University, says exactly what I feel about this situation.  For those of you who might not have the time or are too lazy or arrogant to try to see the other side of this issue, let me paraphrase the article in chunks that might make it digestable:

“What people who launch the charge of “free speech” (and other charges such as “anti-democratic”, “censorship” and “lighten up, it’s just entertainment”) fail to acknowledge and understand is the social concept of power.

Sexism, racism, ableism, heterosexism, classism and anti-semitism are not about individual acts of discrimination (what some conservative commentator might have specifically said to offend someone or some group). These terms do not primarily refer to acts of discrimination (expressions of prejudices like Coulter’s). They refer to systems of privilege that “normalize” a particular way of talking about and thinking about particular groups of people in society.

That is why Coulter’s speech is not just “free” (i. e. bias-free, objectively sent out into the atmosphere). The effects of her speech when launched into public space are not simply situational. They are another series of burps in the historical and existing framework that has normalized a particular way of thinking about Muslims, gays and lesbians, and other marginalized groups.

That is why scholars of race relations and critical feminists would argue that so-called reverse-racism or reverse-sexism do not exist. Because of this difference, individual speech acts have different consequences in the social world.

(…)

The “isms” words (racism, sexism, anti-semitism) refer to power relationships that are historic and embedded, and these relationships do not flip back and forth. The same groups that have historically held power in the U.S. and Canada continue to do so.

From this framework, we can see how free speech is a slippery problem. Ironically, it seems to surface when there is a need to stifle speech that challenges social power (which is what the U of Ottawa students were doing, challenging the inequitable social power relations that Coulter’s “speech” upheld).

In a parallel way, while “left wing” voices might not receive the kind of caution that Coulter did from Francois Houle, the vice-president academic and provost of the University of Ottawa, to be aware of Canada’s hate speech laws, it doesn’t matter: The effect of Coulter’s speech is not the same as the effect of marginalized speech.

(…)

There is also a type of context-appropriate speech. For example, the morning baby-talk I know many of you use when chatting with your kitty-witty or puppy-wuppy would probably be inappropriate at a job interview or with friends at the pub.

The point is, we live with these types of speech limitations every day, limitations governed by social norms. When the “free speech” card is played (by those whose speech aligns with power structures, like Coulter), it is a defensive response to their perspectives and power being challenged. The “free speech” discourse protects power and privilege by acting as a shield against such challenges. If you dare challenge free speech as a normal social value, you dare challenge the founding ideals of Western-style democracy.

Perhaps we should have a discussion about the degree to which we experience and foster “free speech” in the West.

Whether it’s humorous “jokes” about Muslims taking flying carpets instead of airplanes, or “real” remarks calling for the deaths of abortion doctors and condemning gays and lesbians, all speech is not free, neutral and deserving of utterance. You can’t just say whatever the hell you want.

University of Ottawa students embody the spirit of student activism. Thank you, students.

There are limitations.
In everything.
Including democracy.
That’s life.
Simply because a VERY large majority of Canadians disagree with Ms. Coulter and are exercising their right to protest (and personally, in this case, this was a very smart and intelligent protest)… does not make Canadians fascist. And receiving fair warning to educate yourself on the laws of the land… does not equate to human rights violations – especially comparing Canada to those of Iran, Nazi Germany and Cuba.

Now if she did actually take the time to truly educate herself properly, she would have clearly understood that the Provost had no authority to “criminally prosecute” her, or that the letter had been intended to advise her, for her own sake, of what the Charter actually said and where she might be vulnerable given her penchant for gay-baiting and Muslim-baiting. (Coulter told newsmax.com that: “The Provost of the u. of Ottawa is threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech there on Monday–before I’ve even set foot in the country!”)

Her accusations are that of a spoiled rich ignorant bitch who didn’t get the adoration she wanted on Canadian soil, and needed to figure out a way to make money while in Canada.  I resent the fact that the very fabric of which she promotes, she also accuses and demean those who use it against her.  Oh and one more thing:  The UofO students simply said to Ms. Coulter: No thanks. Take it back where you came from. It’s not welcome here. It isn’t that the students, or the university, were “afraid” of her right to free speech. They just weren’t that into her.

Read here for more of her insults and archiac politics in London, ON where she insulted a Muslim 17 yrs old political science teen to take a camel to school…
BITCH!

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About ~KC~
Strong but open minded, opinionated, sensitive, vivacious, outgoing, caring, compassionate, spiritual, habitual, mutable, at times controversial, sometimes superficial, perceived as egotistical and knowledgeable but mostly loveable... all things Sagittarius.

44 Responses to Coultergeist Be Gone!

  1. Okay, so noted; Coulter shouldn’t be allowed to speak because she’s a bitch. Who else?

    Maybe it’s the straight white right-handed six-foot-tall male still in possession of all 21 digits in me talking…but I have a litmus test for laws like this. Let’s call them “Only As Much Free Speech As We Want You To Have” laws — for that is what they are. They are not liberal or progressive, they are quite the opposite…authoritarian.

    My litmus test is, I want to see someone from the “wrong” demographic prosecuted according to these laws. I want to see feminists thrown in jail for publishing books that say all men are potential rapists. I want to see black people prosecuted for beating up on white kids just because they’re white. I want to see liberal radio networks forced to put in 30 and 60 minute blocks of conservative programming for “equal time.”

    And if I do not see such reverse polarity, I view these laws as what they all, in likelihood, really are: One-sided attempts by specialized advocacy grievance groups, to seize power, and maintain it. Maybe you resent my litmus test but at least concede that it’s fair (it is…for such a law to be brandished as a one-bladed sword, is disingenuous and autocratic)…or maybe you aren’t even willing to concede that it’s fair.

    But either way, isn’t it quite out of harmony with a “university”‘s purpose to blockade a scheduled speaker, before she’s said anything? To effectively plug its fingers in its ears and go “la la la I can’t hear you”? At this point I’m much closer in age to parent-of-college-kid than college-kid…and this kind of thing makes me want to cinch up the purse strings REAL tight. This is higher learning? Listening to the other side receives such low priority, and protesting receives such high priority?

    What a wonderful experience it would have been, for the university to select ten or twenty of their brightest from the debate team — have those finalists pepper Ms. Coulter with their questions — and then, in the aftermath, hold an open forum about whether they did a good job, what better questions they could have selected, what points should have been made, and horror of horrors, what utterances may have been indulged by Ms. Coulter that made one or two people think about some things not previously thought-about.

    Seriously. If that’s so unthinkable, just disband the university and send everyone home. Because, then, frankly I don’t see the point. Everyone’s got their minds made up, why bother to get dressed and go to class every morning.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Mark… I am ALL for freedom of speech. What I am NOT for is her blatantly racist and continuous attacks where they are not warranted based on gender, race and religion. I take great issue on that as do many in Canada. Perhaps it is acceptable for many a conservative Americans but it isn’t here. Had she come to Canada with something other than her supremacist views… by all means, even if they differ. Hell – Bush came and he was protested against EVERYWHERE…. and not once was his life ever in danger. Her accusations are groundless and ridiculous.

      Freedom of speech – yes.
      Propaganda of hatred – NO.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Well… let me throw this at you then since you are all about your litmus test and freedom of speech that apparently Canadian law shuns: where on your blog do you give equal time for anything that is politically affiliated with non-republican or conservative views? What conservative blog or radio or tv programming gives equal timing or airing on other political view points? Tell me so that I can go there and then say: hey, you know what Mark – you might have a valid point on that one.

      You want to see reverse polarity and accuse it of being authoritarian until otherwise seen… but I don’t see that at all coming from your site or your expressed views. Truly again, using your words… a one-sided attempt by a specialized advocacy group to seize power, and maintain it.

      How is what you and many a conservative does… any different? You have chosen to concentrate your views in one direction and one direction only. I dunno… call me a dumb Facist Canadian… but hell, seems like you are doing the same thing that you are accusing us of doing…

      • When people come by to comment, I — shout at them until they go away? I anticipate what they’re going to say, and make sure they cannot say it?

        The facts don’t bear out what you’re saying here…and neither does your own argument, I’m afraid. Much of what you’ve written up top has to do with the Canadian system being different. And better. To pummel these voices into silence with the iron fist of criminal law, is the right way ta go. Well, you cannot go from that, to the tried-and-true “pot kettle black” argument.

        What I and others are trying to say here, amounts to a pretty simple thing: There really cannot be degrees of freedom of speech. In fact, it’s really a tipsy and dangerous sort of thing just to embark on Justice Holmes’ “fire in a crowded theater” test of intent. And it’s gotten us into trouble.

        But why don’t you address my point about the real purpose of an institution of higher learning, and how easily this could have been turned into something that would have fulfilled that purpose. My concern over this is quite real, since I grew up in a college town. A bunch of mouthy college kids drive off a speaker they (justifiably or not) did not want, and now they’re strutting around feeling like they protected something, upheld some principle. This is not a precious thing, and it cannot be precious, for it is not rare. Some genuine learning taking place — that would have been precious. And if it was learning that didn’t quite tickle their collective funny bone, that would have been more precious still. Evidently, it’s unthinkable. One cannot help but wonder what they’re accustomed to. They only learn the things they like?

        They slandered themselves a whole lot worse than Coulter ever would have, or worse than they could’ve slandered her.

      • ~KC~ says:

        Where did I say our Canadian system was better therefore go away and where am I shouting? I said if you are coming to a country, learn the laws of the land. Be them right or wrong, is a matter of opinion that the conservative readership has voiced. I know where you stand on the issue. And I have made my issue but you don’t agree with it,therefore, I am wrong and being disrespectful to anyone that comes by here and comments. Again, I disagree with you. I am having a discussion, perhaps a passionate one that you are misinterpreting as shouting, yelling and disrespectful.

        The posting isn’t about the purpose of higher learning or the/it’s institution. And I don’t disagree with you on that point. Ms. Coulter did not come to the UofO to DEBATE or EDUCATE and issue. (any my use of capital letter is not yelling, its to emphasis) She came here to INCITE and PROMOTE. There is a difference and I don’t believe there is a place for hatred in education. A University ought to be biased in content. Clearly it is not… nor is she. She doesn’t go around promoting Conservatism and its way of life. No so goes around promoting bigotry, racism, supremacy under disguise of free speech and the Conservative party. She makes Sarah Palin look like a cheerleader in a schoolgirls uniform. But the difference between the two is that when Sarah was here, yes, there were protesters (and there will ALWAYS will be because it is a democracy) and she came over and discussed her policies. Debated her issues. Didn’t insult entire nations, including the HOST nation, with racial and spiritual epitaph. She came to debate, educate and share her views, her book, her politics. And she was very successful at it too. I gained a new respect for her and made me listen to what she had to say. I still don’t agree with everything but she made me pay attention… because it WAS intelligent in its delivery. And interesting. Not bigoted, racist, slanderous… and then ran off to say WOE IS ME – THEY SHUT ME DOWN AND I FEARED FOR MY LIFE! Please. Why doesn’t she (Coulter) go to Afghanistan and Iraq to promote her book and then truly FEAR FOR HER LIFE. That would be 100% justified.

        Like it or not (and clearly, you don’t – I get that) – that is against the law in Canada, to incite hate. And I agree with that law. Education is not based on hate and fear. Education is based on knowledge. Education is to bring up, bring out and bring forth what is within (that is the true meaning behind the word ‘education’)… and I find it appalling that some want hatred to be what is brought forth. And I don’t blame the University for protecting its interest, including the students. What has been twisted and turned about is that the University did NOT shut it down. They simply warned her of the laws of the land. They gave her an opportunity to educate herself, which she clearly didn’t do. Her camp and PR machine shut her down. And again, its these halve truths that piss me off to no end.

      • Where did I say our Canadian system was better therefore go away and where am I shouting?

        Here.

        Simply because a VERY large majority of Canadians disagree with Ms. Coulter and are exercising their right to protest (and personally, in this case, this was a very smart and intelligent protest)… does not make Canadians fascist.

        By the way, you say repeatedly that Coulter was there to incite and promote, and not to inform. You also say she didn’t take the time to educate herself on Canadian laws with regard to hate speech. These don’t seem to be side-comments; they appear to be underlying fortifications for your entire argument.

        I find it wildly implausible that Coulter was in any way ignorant of the Canadian hate speech laws and the victims of it…before receiving the snotty letter as well as afterward. And it’s a matter of speculation, unfortunately, as to what Coulter was going to be discussing had she been availed of the opportunity.

        This is, by the way, precisely why it looks so ignorant when people engage in what you call a “smart and intelligent” protest. Because ignorance is what it is. They don’t know what she’s going to say, now they’ll never know, nobody else will either…so your argument really takes place in a vacuum.

        And I really hope you’re mistake in your implication that education isn’t supposed to have something to do with learning from externals. That’s a new one on me, but if you’re interested in first impressions, that looks a lot like a thin rationalization for something. Oh well. To think of oneself as being “educated” without putting in the time or effort to actually take in information, is an ancient human dream. I’ll not stand in the way as you celebrate it, but I’ll politely sit out that parade.

      • ~KC~ says:

        … and therefore, my statement is saying Canada’s system is better because I personally agree that protesting Ms. Coulter is intelligent and smart?

        No Mark. You’ve taken that and ran a Chicago marathon with that belief.
        You say that we are ignorant because we don’t know what she is going to say? Wow. I guess she has changed her story and approach day to day and there has been no media coverage of her whatsoever and that we have no clue what she says, how she says it, who she says it to and about… to make the determination that … many of us don’t want her kind of … what you call… education! You saying that is like saying we shouldn’t have gone to war against someone like Hitler who started off his propoganda of hatred and supremacy until he was in power to take it further and murdered anyone and everyone that didn’t fit into his ideal little world. No. Rather. We should have just waited to see just in case he may have changed his story overnight… because we don’t know what he was going to say!

        Sorry Mark. That point doesn’t fly with me. None whatsoever. We’ve heard more than plenty enough about her and her beliefs to know what she is going to say and what she is promoting.

    • ~KC~ says:

      … and as I state on your lovely blog posting about how I lost my mind for having a differing view than yours and how you simply don’t relate to my thought process while I don’t relate to yours… in response to a point you made above Mark:

      What a wonderful experience it would have been, for the university to select ten or twenty of their brightest from the debate team — have those finalists pepper Ms. Coulter with their questions — and then, in the aftermath, hold an open forum about whether they did a good job, what better questions they could have selected, what points should have been made, and horror of horrors, what utterances may have been indulged by Ms. Coulter that made one or two people think about some things not previously thought-about.

      Shame on the Universities for not doing so – across NA, not just Canada. I agree. But during a Q&A portion that did pretty much the same thing to a lower degree, challenging Ms. Coulter’s words and beliefs…. she attacks with racial epitaph rather the issue as you suggested, in a proper debate. Yes. I learned everything I wanted to learn from her. I’ll stick to hearing out Sarah Palin from here on out when I need to understand the Conservative mind-set.

  2. Cdn_Relic says:

    mission accomplished for her! Until yesterday, I never even heard of her, as was apparent with a whole lot of other Canadians. So, by blowing this Ottawa gig way out of proportion with the media, she got the media attention she was after here in Canada and ergo: her attendance at her next speaking engagements are, to full houses. Exaggerated media coverage gave her the spotlight she was after. Now, her 15 minutes of fame, lol

  3. Buck says:

    Ah, KC. Speech is either free or it isn’t; there’s no middle ground. I have an active dislike for your hate speech laws as do many other conservative-libertarians, both US and Canadian (see: Mark Steyn, just off the top of my head). A quick google search turned up this article, by one Ed Morgan, professor of law at at the University of Toronto. A brief quote:

    As all of our university officials know, the willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group is a crime. The problem is that the offence – or, rather, the specter of the offence – is used more as a threat to silence speakers than as a basis for actual prosecutions. The threat is easy to invoke and is often effective in chilling the very debate that campus life is supposed to foster. Our universities encourage diversity in their student and faculty bodies, but as the Coulter case demonstrates, they often bridle at too much diversity of opinion.

    Hate speech prosecutions, on the other hand, are with good reason difficult for the Crown to mount. They have also been remarkably ineffective in their results. Indeed, high profile acquittals such as the recent exoneration of the late David Ahenekew by the Saskatchewan courts have done more to bring vile speech into mainstream discourse than anything the speakers themselves could have managed.

    I’m not defending Coulter here, I’m just sayin’ your hate speech laws have taken you a good ways down a terribly slippery slope. The good professor’s views, as expressed above, mirror mine. As for Coulter… I do not believe she is a racist, she just hates liberals. My views on Coulter are easily discerned simply by typing “Coulter” in the search box at the top of EIP. You may be surprised.

    • ~KC~ says:

      You may feel that way about our ‘hate speech’ laws Buck but they serve a greater purpose and I don’t disagree with them. Its all in delivery and approach. She isn’t in Canada to ‘educate’ or debate an issue. No. She’s here PROMOTING her supremacist and racist views against anything and anyone that doesn’t share her views. There is a DIFFERENCE – exactly as Ed Morgan, professor of law at the UofT states. In fact, while PROMOTING her views, she is blatantly verbally attacking Canadians and insulting anyone who DARES question her remarks. She doesn’t engage in an intellectual debate. She resorts to childish, immature, racist attacks. She’s pathetic and her excuse that we are limiting her freedom of speech and we are violating her human rights if bullshit.

      I know this is a hot point for you Buck. She is a hot point for me. I despise that woman and everything that she represents… her methods and her beliefs.

  4. Buck says:

    Further… Ezra Levant was the other Canadian whose name escaped me for the moment (it’s an age thing, yanno?). Here’s a piece from your hometown paper I found interesting, as well… and again, a brief quote:

    Those who advocate laws outlawing offensive speech demonstrate dangerous short-sightedness. They support the construction of a state apparatus devoted to ferreting out and eliminating forms of expression deemed offensive. But the underlying assumption is that the state machinery will always remain in the hands of the good guys. They never learn from history that things can change, suddenly and in unexpected directions. If the bad guys ever get into power, the last thing anyone should want them to have is a ready-made state censorship machine.

    Fortunately, Canadians’ complacency towards censorship seems to have been routed recently, thanks to the untiring efforts of a few individuals such as former magazine publisher Ezra Levant and writer Mark Steyn.

    Sorry for taking up so much of your space, but this is a hot-button with me. 🙂

    • ~KC~ says:

      While one might look at Ezra as the know all and end all… again – this is the point that I attempted to make and will continue to stand by:

      The Hate Speech is not eliminating forms of expression deemed offensive.
      It’s eliminating forms of expression that promote and incite HATRED and VIOLENCE. That is EXACTLY what Ann Coulter is doing.
      And again… there is a difference.
      As I said in my blog: You simply cannot espouse hatred and then hide behind the guise of “freedom of speech.” That is unacceptable.

      Hell… if I was for eliminating expressions deemed offensive – Old Iron & I wouldn’t be friends! Point in case, see his comment below. The fact that he admires that woman is offensive to me (as are some of his other views for that matter)… doesn’t mean I don’t want him to exercise his right (or yours for that matter) to express it. What I take great objection over is if he or yourself started promoting those exact SAME views that incite hatred and violence.

  5. Old Iron says:

    I like Ann Coulter. I honestly think that her books are highly insightful and EXTREMELY well-researched, and due to her background in law she knows the exact razor’s edge that she can walk without doing anything illegal. End of the day this chick voices her aggressive opinions, pushes all of the buttons that she can, and sits back to watch the book revenue roll into her coffers.

    -Cheers to you Ann; you have one hell of a marketing strategy. Works for Rush, works for Michael Moore, so why not you as well?

    • Just for the record, I do not find it a virtue to indulge in a consistent habit of irritating the “wrong” people, and some of what Ann Coulter says makes me think “you know, that really wasn’t necessary.” It could be her opponents are right; she’s doing it just to make publicity for herself. If that is true, you know that isn’t a vice, either. They need to wake up and realize that. They further need to acknowledge their culpability. Without some craven “kind of a rule, kind of not” protocol of political correctness, there would be nothing for Ann Coulter to flout.

      But I find it hard to like her the way I like, say, Sarah Palin; Coulter is taking more of a role in instigating these conflicts. My vision of her is more like Laura Schlessinger. She’s needlessly abrasive. She’s making some points by being abrasive, and I understand what these points are, I agree with them, but I can’t help but think there should be another way to make them. That’s different from, say, Palin, who’s managed to wear the bulls-eye on her but ALSO expose her tormentors as being classless rubes for firing at it.

      All three women are pointing out things that need to be pointed out; there are powerful people who don’t want these things pointed out. And that’s what this is all really about. College kids keeping their precious campus “pristine”? Pfffft. Not fooling me for a minute. More like college kids sticking their puny heads in the sand. We need to start calling them “anti-colleges.”

  6. alison says:

    I don’t really like Ms Coulter. But I don’t believe in hate speech legislation either. I want that repealed here as soon as possible. Legislating speech turns the country into a Police State and is constantly abused by officious jobswoths out for a fast buck and to make other people’s lives a misery for not supporting political correctness. Not that you need legislation to not be able to express yourself honestly as any attempt at a discussion in the US will show you – and as I learned in Austin Texas last week with some co worker. She represents everything that has gone wrong with modern day political discourse but she is also a product of our times. It never used to be that politics was full of hateful, divisive, shallow discussion. Politics is important enough that it should be conducted with civility – but with honesty too. I’ve seen too many attempts at loose criticism of Islam for example result in a complete shutting down of debate under the cries of “racism” to be able to take hate speech legislation seriously or see it as anything other than wholly divisive.

    • ~KC~ says:

      It never used to be that politics was full of hateful, divisive, shallow discussion. Politics is important enough that it should be conducted with civility – but with honesty too.

      You said it beautifully Alison.
      Thank you for sharing that.

      I am not attempting to stifle honesty. Good god no! Repression isn’t what I perceive the Hate Speech Act to be about. Honesty is key… because that is what educates people and does promote change. Modern politics doesn’t. And its sickening that we’ve accepted it as normal practice.

      And I don’t disagree with your point about criticism (you mention specifically Islam but I think it could be applied to everything) – criticize yes, incite hatred and violence, no. Criticism holds up a mirror, challenges our beliefs and allows us to determine, modify or fortify our core values. Hatred breeds contempt and eventual violence and doesn’t promote growth – it simply breeds fear. Is it a fine line? No doubt at times yes.

      If Ms. Coulter had chosen to come here with her views to educate without the premise of hate, division, shallow discussion – I wouldn’t care. Allow her to come! We have plenty of speakers who share a very diverse view point speaking at Universities across the country. They are not banned or shut down and many are protested. Most are warned to know the laws of the land, much like Ms. Coulter was.

  7. alison says:

    The only exception I would make on hate speech is incitement to murder. For decades we left hate preachers inciting murder on the streets of London and it resulted in a lot of people dead and a whopping great issue with Islamists as a result. Incitement to murder is and should remain a crime.

  8. KC, we got all kinds of compliments for you back at my place, and may I say they’re all well-deserved. All in all, you’re pretty well outnumbered, but I have to hand it to you that you don’t seem to very much care; you’re standing up for what you think is right, and hell with consensus. Not because you’re trying to be a rebel, but because you really do think it’s right. That’s a good quality. Wish more people had it.

    I also wish you showed a little more respect for that quality in others. If it has to trickle through the purifying filters of some busybody authoritarian’s “Unless”es…that pretty much defeats everything that is good about it.

    • Old Iron says:

      Girl’s got sass, that’s for sure.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Thank you Mark. I appreciate those compliments. But I don’t believe that I am being disrespectful. Much like you, I am defending what I think is right. I am passionate about it, perhaps it is done in a manner that you don’t care for and feel disrespected. I question what someone says to me until I am satisfied. Sadly, I am not satisfied with a lot of the points made, and apparently you aren’t satisfied with my points. Doesn’t mean I am being disrespectful. You may have chosen to read my responses in a manner that isn’t… or not. I dunno. I want a conversation and you’ve interpreted my response as disrespectful. You will know with not uncertainty when I am being disrespectful. I am simply being passionate about it right now. (And yes, I am disrespecting Ms. Coulter because she has done nothing but be a bigoted disrespectful wench since being on Canadian soil. I have my limits. She’s crossed them. And I’m pissed. )

      People come over with one view point and one only: FREE SPEECH ought to be 100% free, be damn in content or presentation. To hell with the consequences and the ramifications of it. I strongly disagree with that. Nothing IS free. There are consequences to everything in life. Western society appears to say WE ARE BETTER … we want everything our way, uncensored, no limitations, no rules, no nothing. Wow… Rome did not fall in one day… but it did fall eventually… much because of the arrogance that it had – they were superior and better than everyone else, conquering the world and attempting to enslave it to its way of life. That mentality is very much prominent in Western societies and that is clearly showing to be our slow demise. I don’t want to see that demise. I am responsible for my thoughts and what I put out there. I have an accountability. I want to see change that does not include bigotry, racism, supremacy. People like Ms. Coulter defeats the purpose of change. She enslaves an archiac thought process. It is not progressive.

      Free Speech promotes change.
      Hate speech doesn’t.

      • Free Speech promotes change.
        Hate speech doesn’t.

        Well then, for your sake I hope the powerful people who are in charge of deciding what’s free & what’s hate, always agree with all of your values. Forever. And that you never have to learn how much power really was invested in them.

        Of course, the first time they disagree with you, you will learn. So here’s hoping it doesn’t happen.

      • ~KC~ says:

        Mark… that is actually funny because I have been nothing but prosecuted for exercising a point of view that is different and having a core value that is different that the powers that be, all my life. No one ever agrees fully with you or your values. And not all laws in the universe are equal and just. And because they might work for you and in favour of your values, doesn’t mean they are for me and vice versa. This is a case where clearly that is the point.

        And you continue to exercise your constitutional right to free speech on your blog… and no doubt, in your personal life as well. I don’t agree with hate speech, including the same hate speech that goes on here in Canada (and yes, that includes the same feminist women who promote the idea that ALL MEN ARE RAPISTS because that is promoting hatred or any one else that promotes hatred towards any one). There are ways of educating people about diversity without hatred and bigotry being the main course. Diversity is the key to success. She doesn’t promote it.

        Hate speech doesn’t ban diversity. It makes illegal to incite hatred.
        I’m struggling with how you don’t see that… or is it that you simply don’t want the limitations?

  9. I’m struggling with how you don’t see that… or is it that you simply don’t want the limitations?

    I don’t want anyone to have that kind of power.

    What you don’t seem to be getting, is this all-important separation between what is measurable, versus what is not. A perfect example exists down here in the wake of Barack Obama’s new health care law. In a wrinkle of history that will be impossible to explain to those not living in it, those who of just seized control over so much, are acting as if the control has been wrested from them; the Sheriff of Nottingham is putting on a Robin Hood act. Rumors and innuendo are being spread around that “tea party people” are shooting at Obama supporters, firebombing their offices, vandalizing their cars; the clear intent is to instill in the population an association between a) violence and b) disagreeing with Obama.

    It really doesn’t take too much of that kind of thing, before people start jumping to conclusions before they see evidence. This is what you’ve repeatedly accused Ann Coulter of doing. Well down here, the tactic is really being put to use. “They don’t really have any logical objections to ObamaCare; they’re just hateful people!”

    So you see, with the inflammatory environment we have here at the present time, we really wouldn’t be able to afford your hate speech laws. It is quite probable, in fact it would just be a matter of time, that those in power would want to see such codes enforced before the evidence came in. Obama and Hillary Clinton, in fact, both have long histories of using precisely this kind of tactic in debate. “Oh, everybody really loves my plan don’t you know, except for those bitter hateful people over there.” What would they do with hate speech laws? I shudder to even imagine it.

    • ~KC~ says:

      OK. I respect that and your argument… more specifically that you don’t want anyone to have that kind of power and you shudder at the thought of it.

      But then wouldn’t it be a free for all and an unruly state? I would simply say then dismantle all government, political parties, laws, rules and let it be a free for all! I do get the all important separation between what is measurable and what isn’t. More than you can ever imagine. But I also get and understand the ramifications of not having laws in place. Bureaucracy is a pain in the ass and VERY frustrating at times – but rules are in place for a reason.

      Clearly, there are ALWAYS those who abuse power. And day in and day out… there are those who manipulate power to suit their agenda. Capitalist. We all do it one shape or another, to varying degrees. But because there are many differing thoughts on politics (and I am not saying we shouldn’t have them, on the contrary) – laws in place will always cause a dividing line. Many will like them… others won’t – because they either feed into a politic or a core value/agenda or not.

      Because I understand and appreciate the core reason being Hate Speech doesn’t make me ignorant or wanting to muzzle diversity of thought or belief. I don’t disagree that abuse of Hate Speech (see Alison’s comment about her experiences while protesting her right to free speech) Act is very problematic and can be stifling. But it also serves a higher purpose to protect those that need to be protected or who cannot protect themselves from hate crimes. That is why – we have law makers and lawyers who challenge them, on both sides of the issue… and a supreme court that, for the most part, have made many right decisions that set precedence for a country.

  10. alison says:

    Couple of examples of the difficulties we have had here since Hate Speech legislation was bunged on us by the ghastly Labour Party is illustrated here.

    Some crackpot two bit schlock jock who’s name I don’t recall came over from America attempting to indulge his favourite screaming hobby and was turned away by the Home Secretary for connections with racism or convictions of some kind back home. Frankly I could not give a monkeys that we didn’t let him in. I’d like my politics more Gladstone and Disraeli over the House of Commons dispatch box than Iron Chef America “let the battle begin!”.

    On the other hand when the legislation did come in I was there protesting with libertarians (I’m not a lib by the way) about free speech. This was about 5 years ago and you can find my pic on the BBC! I was asked to put away my placard about criticising Islam because it offended a muslim and he had complained to the police -who were taking photos that I was inciting hate speech. That could have cost me my job.

    I spent the entire protest wearing a hood up half way around my face with the BBC and other reporters begging me to take the thing off so they could get a picture of a girl holding a banner at this ‘provocative’ protest regards the infamous Mo cartoons. I couldn’t do it for fear of racism allegations. My banner said

    We have the right to criticise Islam

    No one there had any racist or offensive banners or even the cartoons. Turns out the man was sent along to be offended by an extremist Islamic organisation who told him to pick out anyone he could. He actually got someone arrested in the end. An Iranian man protesting about women being hung in Iran! Eventually the CPS dropped the case as it was clearly not a case. But the very fact that this twerp came along to be offended is why this legislation is dangerous in the wrong hands.

    It’s all a tricky balance and frankly I have no clue where we go from here.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Firstly… I admire the fact that you fought for what you believe in. Kudos to you for standing up for it as well, publicly, not just with words on a blog. Very admirable.

      The problem with protest is… much like at the Olympics. There are those that were there genuinely fighting for their beliefs and others were hired by some corporation or advocacy group or organization to cause disturbance, incite violence and of course, gain media coverage for whatever side of the cause they are on. They aren’t there because they believe in an issue, they are there because they are hired to be there, for the main purpose to cause trouble… defeating the genuine purpose of the protest.

      What I appreciated about the Olympic protesters is that … they denounced those what were hired to cause the trouble. They ‘blacklisted’ them and went on with their protest. They got the media coverage they wanted, set up an area that definitely made their point without the use of instigators. They didn’t fear for their jobs or basic human rights to not be called defamatory names.

      Sadly, just like in your case, that is rarely the case (and it didn’t start out that way either at the Olympics). Because it is a tricky balance. I guess for me, the Hate Speech Act provides that balance and when abused, we have that ability to fight it and there are lawyers (in Canada) like Ezra, like him or not.

      • Buck says:

        …the Hate Speech Act provides that balance and when abused, we have that ability to fight it and there are lawyers (in Canada) like Ezra, like him or not.

        To answer Alison: The way forward is to repeal the Hate Speech law(s). Period, full stop. Alison’s points about being silenced out of fear for her livelihood is well taken. Levant’s odyssey through the tribunals was hideously expensive… litigation always IS, be it in criminal court or a kangaroo court tribunal. And Levant had significant resources to back him up in his fight with a trumped-up charge by Islamic fundamentalists, same as Mark Steyn. Yet both individuals wound up begging for money on the internet to support their defense. That’s part of the strategy when someone lodges a false or trumped up charge under a hate-speech law. Reasonable people see what happens and they shut their mouths.

        The ordinary citizen also has recourse and the right to a hearing (heh) in front of a tribunal under the law but not NEARLY the same resources to pay for his or her fight. And this is a Good Thing? I think NOT. As noted in the Vancouver Sun editorial I linked above, the premise is “good” people will always be the ones to enforce this law. BAD people have already begun to abuse it and good people are suffering the consequences. Slippery slope, indeed.

      • ~KC~ says:

        Slippery slope indeed, especially if one choose to have an opposing view.
        Its those opposing views that, while time consuming and perhaps even costly, makes our Countries what they are. This isn’t me saying one is better than the other or attacking the US.

  11. Cdn_Relic says:

    Ann Coulter came here to Calgary last night to speak. Until her media ploy in Ottawa, she was a little known person out here. But, now, she came, she conquered. Her “show” last night was a sellout, She came in with a standing ovation to a full house, nearly a thousand paying people in attendance, all cheering for her. There were a mere twenty or so protesters outside doing their thing. Did her media ploy work? Yes, it did, it gave her the exposure here in Canada she didn’t have. Now, the rest of her speaking engagements here in Canada will be to full houses and the money will continue to roll in, A very savy media coup indeed. Mission accomplished on her part! She has been the topic in every newspaper here, the topic on every talk radio program. She couldn’t have asked for better exposure, be she right or wrong. She followed the Hollywood philosophy on media coverage, any coverage, good or bad, is good exposure. Again, mission accomplished on her part.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Oh I know! I am not attacking her PR people for creating a media frenzy that got her all this attention. In fact, kudos to them! Like I said in my blog… genius. The standing ovation part… well, you Calgarians are all a bunch of unruly cowboys ;0)

      I am simply attacking her attack on Canada/Canadians where she claims her human rights were violated because a letter was sent encouraging her to learn the laws of the land and act accordingly because there could be ramifications.

  12. Cdn_Relic says:

    Well, KC, the older I get, the more cynical I get, especially about politics. My position here isn’t about freedom of speech or lack of freedom of speech, ( but I do think Canada has gone way too far, even almost to the point of going overboard with their political correctness), but my cynicism lies more with the person you’re attacking, Ann Coulter. I am not saying that I agree with her, as I have not read any of her stuff yet, but being the cynic that I am, I put her up there with Michael Moore, A true capitalist that has found his/her niche to make it rich at the expense of other’s emotions. Both have found a market for their schpeel, Moore, with the ultra bleeding heart socialist Liberals, and Coulter with the true red-necked conservatives. Once you find your market, you exploit it to the max to milk it for what’s it’s worth. Ms Coulter is no dummy, I doubt, with her intelligence that she even believes everything that spews forth from her mouth, but it makes money for her, lots of it, so she goes for it. Very smart business woman, I’d say. So, if being a “Bitch” is what she makes money at, then she is succeeding very well indeed. For me, this isn’t the issue of Civil Liberties, it’s all about the money, Yes, I am a cynic.

    • ~KC~ says:

      You have a very valid point. I should look at it from this point… once the fury inside about her ignorant tactics and views blow over. Thanks dad!

  13. ~KC~ says:

    this article

    This is just another article that explains my dislike for many of Ann Coulter’s beliefs and supporters.
    Many will bash Liberals and Libertarians and any other parties other than their own… but even within the Conservative movement, there are plenty who make nothing but excuses. Same same but different.

  14. Slightly different point to make on this: Here, and at my spot as well, I’ve made passing references to the straw-man movement that’s taken place down here to cast aspersions upon anyone who’s not enamored of Obama’s health care bill. The pitch that’s been sold is that we’re ALL violent; we need to be shut up, the same way KC doesn’t want Ann Coulter to speak anywhere, so that society can be more peaceful or something.

    My observation is this: The people who want to restrict speech only to those who are enlightened, or peaceful, or cool, or whatever…time after time, I see once their detractors are appropriately shut-up, what they then want to do is pass “landmark” legislation that will provide something “to everyone,” and have an effect they say is positive “on everyone.” I’ve always found that dichotomy a tad curious: They want to put polices in place that will affect many, and then during the ensuing debate they want to make sure it is only discussed amongst a few. You could sum up their position as “come here, let us put together a plan that will improve the lives of everyone living and who will ever live — be sure & lock the door behind you.”

    I have a fantastic compromise in mind: If only a select few elites are allowed to speak, make sure what is being discussed only affects those who are part of the discussion.

  15. alison says:

    Basically Buck the discussion currently sits around incitement in the UK and the legislation is tempered around this with moves by the Conservatives to stop all the nonsense I laid out above by clarifying this issue for the police and the CPS and the public.

    The hate speech discussion here is most currently around homosexuality since that is by far and away the biggest section of identity politics in the UK today (whereas for you I believe it is still feminists calling the shots). With that issue in mind in my view the Law should protect gay men from being the victims of physical abuse or violence resulting directly from incitement. It should not protect gay men from any and every view that they simply do not like or find insulting.

  16. james wilson says:

    Preventing Coulter from speaking is not nearly the offense that it is to prevent Canadians from listening. Controversy is only dreaded in weakness.

    When words become the test of virtue they also become the masks of vice. That is why sanctimony and ruthless self-interest are such powerful allies.

  17. HoundOfDoom says:

    “But then wouldn’t it be a free for all and an unruly state? I would simply say then dismantle all government, political parties, laws, rules and let it be a free for all! I do get the all important separation between what is measurable and what isn’t. More than you can ever imagine. But I also get and understand the ramifications of not having laws in place. Bureaucracy is a pain in the ass and VERY frustrating at times – but rules are in place for a reason.”

    This is the exact point where you cross over into facisim. It’s like saying that since I can’t keep my room picked up, the house should be bulldozed. So, to preserve the house, you’ll proscribe what comes into my room. It’s for the good of us all!

    What Canada did with their actions have given her more publicity than if she simply came in, gave her talk, and left. Canada also bought itself legal actions along the lines of the Levant and Steyn/Macleans fiascoes.

    The thing is, despite having free speech, and a hell of a lot of people walking the streets with firearms, we somehow fail to have riots and shootings after Ann gives one of her talks. Is this because we are more civilized than Canadians, or because you do not believe that Canadians are evolved enough to deal with someone ranting on a stage without killing each other? You seem to have a lower opinion of your fellow citizens than I do. Or are there a bunch of altercations in the Great White North that don’t get reported?

    I’m not a big fan of Ann, and Mark Steyn can be a bit pedantic, but their ideas will live or die based on their validity, not on what you or some speech comission thinks. If they suck, she’ll be talking to an empty hall, or on a streetcorner in downtown Fargo. But Canada’s actions have ensured that that won’t happen for a long, long time, even though you think it should.

    When you prohibit something, you pique interest. You can change the station, but You Can’t Stop The Signal. Let Canadians make up their own minds.

  18. Cdn_Relic says:

    Hound of Doom makes a valid point. Because of all of the fracas being taken by Ottawa, personally, I had never heard of Ann Coulter prior to this, but now with this noise being made, as Hound of Doom has said “my interest is now piqued” to the point I want to go get her book to see what she is all about.

  19. Of course, we don’t really know if you’ve crossed that point into fascism. Ann Coulter was muzzled, not because of your speech laws that would so go against the grain of the American spirit, but because a bunch of college kids chose to show their dedication to something call “education” by sticking their fingers in their ears and going “la la la.” We don’t really know what she was going to say.

    That’s probably why you’re so vastly outnumbered here, KC. Ann Coulter says something and you go “Okay, that really crosses the line”…a lot of folks might be inclined to say “Yeah, what KC said.” The discussion we’re having here, is Coulter is about to give a speech and it ends up getting shut down. Your position as I understand it is “Good! She was just here to spew stuff, not to educate!” And that is an entirely different situation. This is the part you’re missing. Your position comes off as one of “Certain people…you really don’t need to wait for them to talk, you know what vile stuff is going to come out, might as well gag ’em right away.” I hope you’re always in the minority on that one.

    There’s one little bullet here I’ve been dodging that I’d like to address head on. You keep getting back to the subject of “Mark (not actually my name) and Ann Coulter agree on everything.” I would find this merely obsessive, if it had a question mark at the end; when you continue to return to it as a statement of fact, it gets creepy. What is that? Some subconscious tic? It’s off topic. We can’t really discuss any particular thing Ann Coulter actually said (perhaps, if she was allowed to speak, we could).

    You know how I read it? I think, throughout mankind’s existence, we have spent thousands of years being lured back into collectivist living units; evolution has not succeeded in showing us what a failed experiment it is. Food gets scarce, the village needs to make a decision about who is to be ostracized. And so an instinct develops, and is refined to a competent art among those lucky enough to survive the famine. The instinct of “In scarcity, ostracize that guy, over there…not me.” I think this is why leftists in general are never quite finished proving how wonderful they are; why their diatribes keep coming back to that point. Why their wonderfulness is always relative to somebody else. Why every time they tackle a problem, their first step is always to identify a villain that made it happen, even if there isn’t one.

    And I think this is why you believe it’s relevant that Freeberg and Coulter agree on this, or that, or something, or everything — and nobody else does. You’re saying “shut Freeberg out of the gates, and not me. He won’t join my crusade to shut up Coulter, so he must agree with her…and if you don’t help me shut up Coulter, we’ll shut you out too.” Classic guilt by association stuff. To an American, the irony is rich. In my country, fifty years ago liberalism was supposed to be the answer to something called “McCarthyism.” I don’t think you’re so indecent to practice the guilt-by-association thing on purpose; you are known to me to argue your points honestly, when they are on the winning side. But it’s an interesting and remarkable lesson to take away from this exchange — liberalism is not a solution to McCarthyism. As I pointed out at my place (actually, echoing a point someone else was making) liberalism is rapidly becoming a synonym for classic authoritarianism.

  20. Gordon says:

    I’m late to the party, but I would like to add a couple of points:

    1. Coulter didn’t start this. The provost of the Ottawa college did when he sent her an email warning her of possible prosecution. He didn’t send such an email to other controversial speakers. Coulter simply made the email public.

    2. Coulter never said all Muslims should be on an no-fly list. Her actual quote:

    Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.

    A questioner at a later speech asked how Muslims should travel if they don’t fly. Her answer was, “I don’t know…a magic carpet?”

    3. That poor little 17-year old girl turns out to belong to a group which calls Israelis “Zionazis” and “Kikeroaches.” Go here, follow the links.

    And to add my own to what was said above: Canadian hate-speech prosecutors have unlimited funds to investigate and prosecute, while those they attack have to fund their own defense. What’s more, they have done so by trolling websites and trying to incite others to hate speech, by pretending to be Nazis. They even tapped into an innocent citizen’s wireless network to cover their tracks.

    And as one prosecutor said, under oath, “I don’t believe in free speech. That’s an American concept.” Nice bunch of civil servants you have there.

  21. WWWebb says:

    I’ve stated many times in many places that Ann Coulter and David Horowitz give the Left conniption fits because they turn some of the cherished tactics of the Left back at them:

    With Horowitz, it’s political theater. With Coulter, it’s over-the-top rhetoric.

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