Thanks to the folks from Law is Cool for keeping my challenge to Mark Steyn alive. He responds here, and the following is a short excerpt from his response:
What's the point here? That a Zionist neocon Bush shill like me is somehow silent when an anti-Zionist anti-neocon anti-Bush nut in BC gets picked on by the thought police? If that's the issue, let me put it this way:
Do I like anti-Semites and white supremacists?
Do I like Bnai Brith or anybody else unleashing the Canadian thought police on anti-Semites and white supremacists?
So what's the bigger danger to Canada? A white supremacist who sits in his basement posting to a website six people read? Or systemically biased government bodies increasingly comfortable with regulating public (and semi-private) discourse in Canada? No contest, it's the latter. Who are the real "supremacists" here? The loser boy ranting about Zionists? Or a guy like Richard Warman using the CHRC as his own private inquisition?
A couple of brief points. I should say that I do not entirely disagree with Mr. Steyn's sentiments here. The B'nai Brith case against Topham, and gay activist Rob Wells' case against small circ. magazine Catholic Insight, for example, seem to be examples of over-kill, of activists needing to stay active, of B'nai Brith's representatives deciding that they need to remain capital-J Jewish 24/7. However, the people Warman has been pursuing are, arguably, dangerous (some have been picked up on weapons charges), and his case against Free D involves the purported violation of Canadian libel laws, so that is a different kettle of fish entirely. Nor do the writers at Macleans qualify as posters to websites that nobody reads and, as I have said elsewhere, I have no problem with groups like the Canadian Islamic Congress turning their legal guns on the big fish.
And, oh yeah, Mr. Steyn doesn't offer an opinion on the propensity of his old boss Conrad Black, and avid supporter Ezra Levant, to sue everyone within a thousand yards when they're pissed off. The CHRC isn't the only legal tool available to silence debate, especially if you're filthy rich or a lawyer .