Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Piece on Ezra Levant in the Toledo Blade

As promised, here is the link to my piece in the Toledo Blade. They titled it "Free Speech Is Not Merely an American Idea." Pretty good, no?

The HRC inquisitor who said "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value" is named Dean Steacy. When he's not dismissing basic human rights, Mr. Steacy can be found on Stormfront, one of the most popular "white nationalist" online communities.

Is Mr. Steacy a white nationalist himself -- a mole working to bring down all the good work of the HRC? No. Mr. Steacy is a high ranking inquisitor with the HRC, and trolling on white nationalist message boards is apparently part of his self-defined job description.

This admission came up in another HRC investigation, this one against a popular right-wing Canadian message board called "Free Dominion" (think Free Republic, but Canadian.) Free Dominion got in trouble because of some hateful, anti-Islamic comments a few users had posted. A woman complained (not a Muslim, as I recall) and Dean Steacy jumped into action.

For your viewing pleasure, I reproduce the part of the legal document containing Mr. Steacy's interesting answers to a number of questions Free Dominion's lawyer asked.

So Jadewarr is Dean Steacy in disguise, logging on to Stormfront to chase down insolent hate mongers. To say that "Jadewarr is not a person" is disingenuous at best. It would be like me saying "'Fusionist Libertarian' is not a person. It's just an account I use while blogging."

Mr. Steacy's attempt to catch hate mongers in their acts of hate mongering reminds me of the way the police pretend to be 13 year old girls in order to catch pedophiles. The only different is that the police are looking for people who hurt children; Dean Steacy is looking for people who say and think naughty things.

Sure, we can talk about police entrapment and the like. But at least the police are subject to the kind of legal scrutiny able to reveal whether or not entrapment has actually taken place. That's all part of due process. The police are obliged to follow it, but is one of the HRCs top inquisitors?

Well, take a look at this next snippet and decide for yourself.

You can practically hear Mr. Steacy's exasperated sigh: "I told you, I'm the investigator! That means I get to decide how to investigate!"

The only question I have is whether Mr. Steacy birthed Jadewarr on his home computer, and if he was mostly unclothed at the time. Did this method of "investigation" receive any scrutiny at all, from anyone? Are there rules or at least guidelines for pursuing suspected hate mongers across cyberspace, or does he just make those up as he goes along? He is the investigator, after all. Better not try to tell him how he should investigate.

I get the feeling Dean Steacy thinks suppressing hate speech is a Very Important Job. Too important for something like Due Process to get in the way. The legal nebula the Canadian HRCs occupy makes it easy for their inquisitors to lose sight of important legal principles, and, in any event, few Canadians are really interested in holding them to those principles in the first place.

Better to just go along, and let people like Dean Steacy pursue the nasty hate mongers than to mildly protest and end up looking like one of the hate mongers yourself. Perhaps someday Canadians will change and become more willing to stand up for their rights -- become more like Americans, I mean.

Yeah, I know: that's never going to happen. Time to get back to work, but I sure hope Jadewarr doesn't read this blog post.

Via Mark Steyn. Steyn was the source of yet another human rights complaint (three, actually) in Canada after an excerpt from his book was published in a national news magazine. I haven't posted on the case yet, but it's just as significant as Ezra Levant's.

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