Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quitting the Canadian Inquisition

No one expects to leave the Canadian Inquisition!

Ezra Levant, as you may recall, is the publisher of the now-defunct Canadian magazine Western Standard. Mr. Levant was summoned to appear before the Alberta Human Rights Commission to answer for his publication the Danish Mohammed cartoons, after several Muslims made complaints. Fortunately for blog readers, Mr. Levant had the foresight to videotape his encounter with Soviet Canadian “justice” and post it on YouTube, leading to an enormous backlash that induced one of the complainants to drop his complaint.

Turns out the blowback had other effects as well. The latest casualty is Mr. Levant’s interrogator on the HRC, who has resigned her position from the case [corrected by Vince]:

…Shirlene McGovern, the “human rights officer” who interrogated me, has resigned from my case. The human rights commission advised my lawyer that McGovern quit because of the public backlash against the commission — and against her in particular. In other words, she didn’t like being called a censor in the blogosphere.

I’m not sympathetic. I believe that any government bureaucrat who makes a living interrogating citizens about their political beliefs ought to be held in public contempt. McGovern truly doesn’t get it — she thinks what she does for a living is perfectly bland, just like her.

As I wrote in the Globe last month, at my interrogation, McGovern wanted to make small talk and shake my hand. I upset her by not being complicit in my own prosecution.

In the future, I suggest that, if asked at cocktail parties, McGovern tell people she has a less disreputable job — say, tax collector, or parking ticket issuer.

This is what denormalization means. Human rights commissions are bullies, even if their officer of the day is a spacey, middle-aged drone. Surely McGovern can find a less destructive career elsewhere in government or — heaven forbid, in the private sector.

UPDATE: Here’s the kind of coverage that drove Shirlene to quit.

The decisive coverage referred to by Mr. Levant is an editorial in MichNews by Lee Duigon. An excerpt:
- - - - - - - - -
We may marvel at Levant’s eloquence as he denies the Kourt’s right to put him through this inquisition, which has so far cost him some $100,000. We may marvel at his courage, his pluck, and the unassailable logic of his arguments.

But what is more marvelous still is the bovine indifference of the hearing officer. Levant would have done little worse, talking to a bottle of carpet cleaner.

What we see here is a petty bureaucratic tyrant who knows that the accusation alone is enough to find the defendant guilty, and that the whole procedure, as she understands it, is a waste of breath. She knows she’s not obligated to listen to a word the defendant says. It’s all she can do to restrain herself from cutting out paper dolls while Levant speaks.

She also knows that she and her Kourt are accountable to no one; that they, and they alone, decide what is permissible speech in the Province of Alberta; and finally, she knows that the Kourts have a 100% conviction rate. It’s Stalin’s show trials all over again, without the firing squads.

Yep, that about sums it up. I guess Ms. McGovern didn’t want to look at herself in this particular mirror any more.

But where do you hunt for a new job after finishing a gig like this one? Where does it help you to have “Grand Inquisitor” listed next to “previous position” on your résumé?

Sweden, maybe?

Hat tip: Zenster.


Frank said...

Thanks on behalf of Canadians for helping to keep this thing mushrooming.

It's imperitive for freedom of speech in the west to leap on every single manifestation of this jihadic tactic. Denmark is doing it; God willing Canada's present Conservative government will lean that way too. I have not seen a more coherent spokesman for the counterjihad than Ezra...now if only he can resist the urge that always seems to lay him flat...the urge to go a step too far, to flap his gums a bit too much...

VinceP1974 said...

What I understand from an interview Levan did with SNN is that she resigned from his case, not from her job.

Anonymous said...

You can be sure that there's another Inqisitor wannabe ready to fill the vaccumm.

Homophobic Horse said...

Hannibal Lecter says: Tell me about your mother Ms McGovern? Did you think she was a stupid fool and a slut who brought all her suffering on herself? Did you have to be a mother to your own mother? And did you hate her intensely and secretly for this?

Anyway. Article 19 of the Soviet Criminal code regarding "intention", "We draw no distinction between intent and the crime itself." This is wholly in keeping with Lenins ideas regarding freedom of speech that "Speech - read dialectically - is for action, so to say something is the same as having committed the action."

From the Gulag Archipelago: Two Chekists tried to arrest a woman on Serpukhov square during the day. She grabbed hold of a streetlamp and began to scream, refusing to submit. A crowd gathered. The quick young Chekists immediately became flustered. They can't work in the public eye. They got into their car and fled.

Devilfish said...

I'm watching the video's right now, and I have to say: this guy is great!

"Because it's my bloody right to do so!"

Zenster said...

Credit given where credit is due, I ran across this article at Wretchard's ever-splendid Belmont Club but neglected to mention it in my email to the Baron.

VinceP1974: What I understand from an interview Levan did with SNN is that she resigned from his case, not from her job.

Yes, this is the implication of all I've read, too.

Oh well, baby steps, baby steps.

Most of all, applause to Ezra Levant for making a spectacle of this kangaroo court's thought crime trial. I hope any other bastards that try to pull this crap encounter defendants who use Levant's attitude and video strategy as a template.

Orwell must be grinning like a skunk eating sh!t.

laine said...

In a recent interview with the campus radio station of Bowling Green University in Ohio available on his site (www.ezralevant.com), Levant credits Americans with making it possible to keep up the struggle through both moral and financial support.

Incidentally, the presumably students conducting the interview were very well versed in the issues and supportive of free speech and sounded altogether alien from the usual programmed far left robots that universities seem to churn out these days. Was this a fluke, or is there some reason for it? Is there actually an American university that produces thinking well-informed students?

Gaeidhil said...

Ezra, I raise a toast to you.

You are a patriot of the first order.