Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Bottom Falls Out

...of the Speechy Dream:

In Taylor,2 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that s. 13 of the CHRA is constitutionally sound. The constitutionality of this provision is not altered by its application to the Internet. Even before the statutory amendment, the Tribunal and the Courts recognized that this provision has always applied to the Internet. 3 The enactment of s. 13(2) of the CHRA in 2001 served only to codify existing common law.

Ezra is having a good cry. All he's got out of the Tories on this issue was a free lunch of meeting sandwiches and rubber chicken! Apparently, his lawyer has been doing some research re Ezra's libel case and, I imagine, he too will be crying soon.

Offsite again today. Won't be around much to baby-sit. Be nice.

52 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

The comment section is veritably lugubrious. All the wailing, the moaning, the despair and the resolutions never to vote Conservative again (Stop the presses! Mike Brock has embraced political nomadism!). And yet, brave old sad old Ezra soldiers on, exhorting the masses to remain vigilant:

"I'd like to invite readers -- and fellow bloggers -- to go through the memo in detail. Give it a good fisking. Don't be intimidated by all the legalese; focus on the arguments, the logic, the history, the psychobabble, the plain old unintelligible political correctness of it."

Yessiree...parse the hell out of that thing to a degree of granularity so fine that you speechies can come to the conclusion, yet again, that words have no meaning. That is of course, what freedom of speech is all about.

I actually managed to get through Ezzie's post without retching too much. Although it was a dicey prospect, given that the first paragraph featured this: "Finally, Rob Nicholson, the Conservative government's Justice Minister, has weighed in on section 13, the thought crimes provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act."

This, again, is what I've been complaining about. You have no credibility or authority to lead a discussion on freedom of expression when you deliberately confuse concepts such as belief (or thought) versus expression, censorship versus mediation and crime versus tort . Some others might have been better suited to move this discussion forward; Ezra should have realised that and sought their advice, rather than use it as a campaign for self-promotion and self-agrandisement.

Jerome Bastien said...

BCL: I actually read the Taylor case, and s. 13 was ruled constitutional by the supreme court on the basis that the HRT would construe its powers under s. 13 very narrowly, applying only to the most egregious and clearest of cases. It did not close the door on future challenges if the HRT proved himself unable to do that, and there is mountains of evidence to show that the HRT were not constrained by the teachings of the SC in Taylor.

Anyways, you've read one legal brief, and you're jumping the gun. If you actually read Taylor in its entirety you'll see the case is not as clear cut at all, in fact given the many excesses of the HRT, made in defiance of clear warnings by the SC in Taylor, I dont think the chances of s. 13 are that good.

I dont know if you're familiar with the Oakes test, but basically the HRT was required to construe s. 13 in conformity with the Oakes test - in particular the part which requires any violation of a charter right to be minimal. That and other judgments by the SC (Butler and Keegstra) which suggest that political expression is deserving of the highest level of protection, and considering that the HRT has been violating every rule of due process and convicting 100% of its defendants, including people expressing political opinions, I would be very surprised indeed to see s. 13 survive a second challenge.

Oh and yeah Beverley MacLachlin, now chief justice, dissented in Taylor.

buckets said...

Jermo. "considering that the HRT has been violating every rule of due process and convicting 100% of its defendants, including people expressing political opinions".

In the conservative blogosphere, a 100% conviction rate is denounced as Stalinist. The courts, however, are not likely to interpret this that way. Rather, it will be taken as a sign that the tribunal only hears the most certain of cases. (If you want an example of how a judge approaches things like this, look at the ruling of Warman v. Fromm.) As to whether many of the opinions expressed will be judged "political", I think you want to actually read through the Beaumont and Bahr decisions, where you'll see an awful lot of hate and not much politics.

And even if Lemire manages to show that the CHRC has overstepped the SC ruling and infringed on political speech in his case, this will probably result in a decision that affects his case only.

Jerome Bastien said...

If you want an example of how a judge approaches things like this, look at the ruling of Warman v. Fromm.

Hey Buckets.

Yeah I've read that case too. I think the legal reasoning there was completely faulty - basically suggesting Warman could not be a censor because he was working within the law and that the law is not a censor. Circular reasoning at its best, and would not have withstood appeal, in my humble opinion.

I also take your point that some of the cases heard by the HRT deal with real hate. However, it is the inability of the HRT to distinguish between those cases and those which dont deal with hate that will be its downfall.

I could also see why the SC would not be so keen to declare s. 13 void and of no effect. If anything, if the SC provides clear directions and stern guidelines as to how to approach such cases, it will at least provide an easy avenue of appeal once the HRTs resume with their excesses.

However, I maintain that BCL's title of his post, basically declaring victory over an AG legal brief to be completely over the top. I personally look forward to the legal challenge to s. 13 and I can only hope that the SC will not tolerate blatant violations of the Charter's s. 2 and s. 7.

Ti-Guy said...

and there is mountains of evidence to show that the HRT were not constrained by the teachings of the SC in Taylor.

Really? There is? Objectively? Mountains?

What I've seen in the last while is that making use of the provisions that operationalise section s. 13 (the commissions and tribunals) is in itself illegitimate (which is decidedly not what the Taylor decision means) and that this framing of the disccusion has led many to believe that all complaints are illegitimate in relation to their content before they've even been dealt with.

If cases are thrown out, then the HRT's are interpreting their powers very narrowly, it would seem.

In any case, I haven't seen the free speech warriors arguing among themselves the particular nuances of these issues (while, of course, ignoring the outright and outrageous distortions the warriors have been generating in their propaganda; I take the concepts of thought, crime and censorship as if they mean something, but apparently, the warriors think it's funny or polemical or robust to pretend these things have no meaning at all).

What we've seen is what you're doing; constantly challenging and arguing with people who are not going to be changing their minds anytime soon.

I maintain that BCL's title of his post, basically declaring victory over an AG legal brief to be completely over the top.

Have been over to Ezra's arguing that "thought crime" is over the top? That calling people Czarinas and Stalinists is over the top? That all the hate generated in his comments section is over the top?

If not, why not?

Jerome Bastien said...

Thanks Ti-guy for pulling out the "But Ezra is doing it too" defense, that was funny.

But Im just discussing the particular point addressed by BCL's post - that s. 13 is necessarily going to be upheld because of that Taylor case. Not so, says I.

And Im not hoping that you will change your mind Ti-Guy - you are way too sophisticated for realizing that you were wrong and that a change of position is sometimes warranted.

Ti-Guy said...

I see you don't answer questions. I'm not surprised.

Thanks Ti-guy for pulling out the "But Ezra is doing it too" defense, that was funny.

Typical mischaracterisation of what I said. I sometimes wonder if the speechies ever passed through a normal language-acquisition stage and even process language the way the rest of us do.

First of all, there's an issue of scale here; a distortion as grievous as "thought crime" is nowhere near as "over the top" as the title of BCL's post. And as for "Ezra does it too;" it's not just Ezra...outrageous hyperbole, disingenousness, dishonesty, duplicity, vilification, defamation and outright lies are the characteristics that have been plaguing "conservative" discourse for years now and you speech warriors remain completely indifferent to it.

Why is that?

you are way too sophisticated for realizing that you were wrong and that a change of position is sometimes warranted.

What does this even mean? Seriously, why don't you speech warriors spend more time mastering the skills of expression instead of spending so much time being belligerent and trying to prove that people who don't agree with you are objectively wrong.

You don't see me arguing all that much with rightwingers (or others) about free speech absolutism, because, as a principle, it is logically coherent and has value, at least as an ideal. But as a pragmatic issue, it's unworkable. We all know that, otherwise there'd never ever be any restrictions on speech or expression at all.

How old are you, by the way? I would really not like to waste any more time of my time (or yours) on this with teenagers or people whose experience in life is far more limited than mine.

Ti-Guy said...

First of all, there's an issue of scale here; a distortion as grievous as "thought crime" is nowhere near as "over the top" as the title of BCL's post.

Ewps. The should be reversed: "The title of BCL's post is nowhere near as "over the top" as a distortion as grievous as "thought crime."

Jerome Bastien said...

sorry ti-guy im not interested in discussing with you the various perceived errors of conservatives. looks like you got that all figured out from your usual "all conservative are liars and stupid" position.

if you want to address the legal issues involved in the challenge to s. 13, i'd be most pleased to debate you, but I suspect its too much to ask - as a regular reader of this site, i've yet to see you raise the bar above "all conservatives are liars and stupid", which as an intellectual position, is let's say "lacking".

Ti-Guy said...

So, "teenager" in other words.

Go ahead and say whatever the hell you want. But you're being entirely dishonest if you think I've invented the notion that "conservative" discourse is plagued by dishonesty. It's about the only thing that can be asserted with any degree of confidence about "conservatives"...that and that a lot of them, who probably know better, are completely indifferent to it.

If you think I'm just being picky, I'm not. "Conservative" dishonesty is the dynamic that has motivated the great errors of "conservatism" in the last few years; from disastrous invasions, to global warming inaction, to pseudo-science of all types, to financial market meltdowns to electoral fraud to egregious civil rights violations to the loss of the West's moral authority itself.

I'll continue to call you on your unsubstantiated assertions and marvel at the fact that you don't respond to requests to substantiate them.

KC said...

Jermo came on here and gave a reasoned argument as to why the Taylor decision is vulnerable and your only mode of response is to ask his age and summarily disregard his arguments because you assume he is a "teenager"?

Come off it Ti-Guy. Not everyone who is concerned by the trend in HRC complaints is a radical, gun-loving, "flush government down the drain", "invade them, and convert the to Christianity", white supremacist fascist. A good chunk of the people who oppose this trend aren't free speech absolutists either--they merely think there is something off about the balance that has been struck between expression and other social values. My big government advocating, culturally relativist, conservative-o-phobic of a father even sees how the institutions are too easily abused and their language to broad. Even the Rabble is split over what to make of the situation.

You're entitled to your views, and on many subjects I find myself agreeing with you and frustrated at the limited cognitive abilities of so many on the right. But this childish form of argument isnt really productive. You can run your own life but if you ask me Jermo is entitled to more respect than you have afforded him/her.

Reality Bites said...

"I also take your point that some of the cases heard by the HRT deal with real hate. However, it is the inability of the HRT to distinguish between those cases and those which dont deal with hate that will be its downfall."

And those cases would be which, exactly? Where are the ones found in violation of section 13 that don't deal with hate?

No, Steyn DOESN'T count. No findings there yet, and no credible observer who expects the case to result in a finding that Sec. 13 was violated.

So where exactly are these injustices? Please point them out to me.

Gayle said...

"...s. 13 was ruled constitutional by the supreme court on the basis that the HRC would construe its powers under s. 13 very narrowly, applying only to the most egregious and clearest of cases. It did not close the door on future challenges if the HRT proved himself unable to do that..."

Can you tell me where it says this in the decision? I have read it too and I cannot understand what you are saying here. Can you quote the relevant passage?

It would be odd for the court to say "this is what the law means and if you do not follow that then we will reinterpret the law and declare it unconstitutional".

In fact, if the HRC's are not applying the narrow definition given to section 13 by the SCC in Taylor, the remedy is a judicial review of the tribunal decision, not a rehearing of the constitutionality of s. 13.

Have you ever heard of legislation being deemed unconstitutional after the SCC already held it to be constitutional? I would be interested in reading that case if it exists. I am always willing to learn.

Finally, the SCC is not politicized. The Court respects stare decisis. McLauchlin is not going to rehear a challenge to s. 13 and declare it unconstitutional just because she now "has the numbers" (which may not be the case in any event).

The decision has been made, the provision survived Charter scrutiny, and the chance of the SCC overturning their previous decision is so remote that BCL's title is not out of line.

Ti-Guy said...

Jermo came on here and gave a reasoned argument as to why the Taylor decision is vulnerable and your only mode of response is to ask his age and summarily disregard his arguments because you assume he is a "teenager"?

Actually, my problem started here:

...and there is mountains of evidence to show that the HRT were not constrained by the teachings of the SC in Taylor.

I could have simply said "what mountains of evidence?" and waited for the clarification, but I'd have ended up waiting forever. Just like I've been waiting here for you to substantiate an assertion you made.

You can run your own life but if you ask me Jermo is entitled to more respect than you have afforded him/her.

Hey, I haven't used potty-mouth, have I? That's me being positively magnanimous, avuncular, indulgent, demure and, dare I say...obsequious.. As well, if I knew Jermo was young, I'd more easily dismiss the insulting mockery he expressed with this:

"Thanks Ti-guy for pulling out the "But Ezra is doing it too" defense, that was funny."

Seriously, I have great respect for youth. But young people don't know, I hate to say it, much of anything, and it's an abdication of adult responsibility to pretend otherwise; I had to learn that, and so does everyone else.

Jerome Bastien said...

Gayle:

Can you tell me where it says this in the decision?

from Taylor (no paragraph numbers on lexum sorry) this is from the section titled "(ii) Minimal Impairment":

Moreover, as long as the Human Rights Tribunal continues to be well aware of the purpose of s. 13(1) and pays heed to the ardent and extreme nature of feeling described in the phrase "hatred or contempt", there is little danger that subjective opinion as to offensiveness will supplant the proper meaning of the section.

(emphasis mine)

And Reality Bites:
And those cases would be which, exactly? Where are the ones found in violation of section 13 that don't deal with hate?

Well off the top of my head, and excluding Steyn, I can think of a pastor in Alberta and a teacher in BC who were both found guilty for writing letters to the editor against same-sex marriage. These cases might or might not be provincial, but otherwise fit the bill. I wouldnt be surprised to find more if I spent my time reading case law from the HRT, but then if I did that, all happiness and joy would be sucked from my body.

KC:
ou can run your own life but if you ask me Jermo is entitled to more respect than you have afforded him/her.
For the record, Im a "him", and Im certainly entitled to respect from TiGuy, but Im not sure I want it.

Jerome Bastien said...

As well, if I knew Jermo was young, I'd more easily dismiss the insulting mockery he expressed with this:

"Thanks Ti-guy for pulling out the "But Ezra is doing it too" defense, that was funny."


Ah, poor Ti-Guy, did I hurt your feelings?

If you must know, Im 31. And that is relevant to this discussion because??????

Also, if you dont want to be the target of potshots, because of your sensitive and delicate nature, try easing on outright insults and gross generalizations of everything conservative. Im telling you right now, go ahead and call me a Bush/Cheney stooge, climate-criminal, racist-islamophobic bigot, I couldnt care less, but dont expect to be treated with kid gloves after, especially if you give me a hanging curveball like that Ezra comment.

Ti-Guy said...

If you must know, Im 31. And that is relevant to this discussion because??????

For reasons I've already stated.

Ah, poor Ti-Guy, did I hurt your feelings?

Of course, I forgot that 31 is the new 14. That's a really childish remark, you know.

Carry on without me. You've got enough plates spinning in the air as it is.

Jerome Bastien said...

Of course, I forgot that 31 is the new 14. That's a really childish remark, you know.

and in a new guiness-record breaking level of hypocrisy, I've been called childish by Ti-"All conservatives are big stupid meanies"-Guy.

seriously dude, how old are you? if you're anything above 14, you gotta do that whole growing up thing. if you're going to dish it out left and right, you gotta expect its coming your way too. I probably learned that lesson when I was 7 or 8. But hey, we each learn at our own pace, and Im not judging you.

Gayle said...

jermo - that passage does not mean they will keep the door open for further challenges. It means what I said above - if the tribunals do not accurately apply the restricted definitions of "hatred and contempt", their decision will be subject to judicial review.

Gayle said...

I guess I should clarify - the HRC decisions are subject to judicial review. Section 13 is not.

Ti-Guy said...

seriously dude, how old are you?

Old enough to remember that I stopped calling people "dude" at age 20 or so (if ever).

I'm 46, I've got three children, I've got a Masters degree, I've lived in four different countries and I speak five languages.

KC said...

Gayle - Actually I think it does leave it open. When the SCC found that extraditions to face the death penalty "shocked the conscience" in Burns and Rafay (overturning its decision in Kindler and Ng) it was based on changed circumstances (ie a broader international consensus, evidence of the extent of wrongful convictions, etc.) When Taylor was decided it was decided based on the assumption that HRT's would appreciate the extreme nature of hatred and contempt that should attract their sanction. Evidence to show a failure to do so on their part (ie if Steyn or Levant are actually "convicted") could bring down the house of cards.

I also think you give too much weight to stare decisis. This court has changed its mind on more than a few occasions (for example extraditing to face the death penalty as I already mentioned, and the existence of a charter right to collective bargaining to name another).

Gayle said...

kc - there has to be a change in circumstances. The problem is that the solution you seek can be found in judicial review of the decisions.

That solution was not available in death penalty cases.

KC said...

Gayle - Yes there has to be a change in circumstances--and there would be such a change in circumstances if the HRT's showed they couldnt exercise their powers responsibly by "convicting" MacLeans and/or Levant.

As for judicial review: there can be judicial review of an exercise of Ministerial discretion (I cant remember if it was Suresh, or Singh in which that was decided) so it was available in the death penalty cases.

Gayle said...

"...and there would be such a change in circumstances if the HRT's showed they couldnt exercise their powers responsibly by "convicting" MacLeans and/or Levant."

which could be corrected through judicial review. I would think it rather surprising the court overturns its earlier decision based on two convictions.

As for the issue of judicial review, you miss my point.

In order to convince the SCC to overturn its own decision, you would have to convince them that decision is wrong. You are not arguing that however; you are arguing that the HRC's are misapplying the decision in Taylor.

The misapplication of an SCC decision is subject to being overruled by the courts.

In death penalty cases, the Minister would be correctly applying the SCC decision in Ng - hence the need to overturn their decision.

Reality Bites said...

Um, Jermo, neither one of those cases involved the CHRC or section 13. Chris Kempling didn't involve ANY Human Rights Commission at all. He was cited for professional conduct by the BC College of Teachers because he, by his letters denouncing gays and advocating "reparation therapy" created a climate where no gay student could feel safe coming to him for guidance, anymore than could a student feel safe around a teacher advocating in the newspapers for pedophilia.

Moreover, he has lost all appeals, and the SCC has declined to hear his appeal.

Try again, you misinformed idiot.

Jerome Bastien said...

The problem is that the solution you seek can be found in judicial review of the decisions.

I think Gayle you are correct that if a remedy is available in judicial review the courts will prefer this. But I dont think its impossible for a court to review the constitutionality of s. 13 if the HRTs dont learn their lesson, so to speak.


I'm 46, I've got three children, I've got a Masters degree, I've lived in four different countries and I speak five languages.

Thats awesome ti-guy, and i dont even mean that sarcastically. Now act like it.

Try again, you misinformed idiot.
Great, RB has taken over from ti-guy as the angry and belligerent lefty. Whatever, every HRC in the country is now very much in the public eye and the public dont like what they see. I'll concede to gayle's argument that judicial review will be the preferred remedy in the foreseeable future, but I wouldnt rule out an eventual declaration of invalidity.

Ti-Guy said...

Thats awesome ti-guy, and i dont even mean that sarcastically. Now act like it.

*Meh* *meh* *meh* "Now act like it!"

Drop dead, scold.

Ti-Guy said...

But before you drop dead...

and the public dont like what they see.

On what evidence do you base this assertion?

Reality Bites said...

Jermo, when you come into a place spouting off as if you're an informed expert and it turns out you're nothing but a troll speaking out of his ass, lacking the most basic knowledge of the subject you're discussing, expect to be treated like the lying little turd you are. Don't like it? Don't pretend to knowledge you don't have, or do your own research.

Better yet, stop being a bigoted asshole.

Dante said...

I'm 46, I've got three children, I've got a Masters degree, I've lived in four different countries and I speak five languages.

Bet my 3 kids can kick your 3 kids collective asses :)

Jerome Bastien said...


Drop dead, scold.



Better yet, stop being a bigoted asshole.


That is precious, and fucking hilarious to boot. This is the level of discussion you can expect from pea-brained liberals when you disagree with them.

im not sure where RB gets his anger from, most likely from his inability to answer an argument with an argument. ti-guy however its pretty obvious, he's obviously a stupid loner/loser with nothing better to do than hang out at BCL, every day, 365 days a year. doesnt sound to me like you have 3 kids, or if you do, it's likely your wife left you and has a restraining order against you or something.

Ti-Guy said...

Notice how it doesn't take long for the vicious hate to come frothing to the surface. You tell one of these tedious wingnuts to drop dead and you get accused of being a monster who terrorises his own family.

Where does that come from?

This is the level of discussion you can expect from pea-brained liberals when you disagree with them.

Why do you bother, then? Nothing good on the teevee? Or are you just filled to the brim with toxic rage and have to find hapless liberals on whom to take it out?

Jerome Bastien said...

Notice how it doesn't take long for the vicious hate to come frothing to the surface.

that's hilarious. yes I will try and raise my discourse to the level of yours and RB's.

Here we go:

You guys are mean stupid meanies and you lie. Go suck a lemon asshole.

Wow, Im exhausted, that took all my brain power to come up with.

Ti-Guy said...

You guys are mean stupid meanies and you lie. Go suck a lemon asshole.

Well, that is a step up from accusing people of terrorising their own families and being losers.

I'd say you're making progress.

You just don't get it, do you? I recognise the moral corruption in you speechies the minute you open your mouths, and no force on Earth is going to compel me to take your side.

The other issue is of course, that it's hilarious for such staunch defenders of freedom of expression to treat expression as if it were garbage; of no real use except to hurl insults, defame, vilify and harrasss. You could of course, use it to mount compelling arguments but as I've said many times, most people your age (and mine as well, although no people I interact with) don't know the difference between an argument and an assertion and don't feel obligated to support the assertions they make. You're expected to simply believe what the person is asserting (or do a lot of work yourself to determine if the assertion is supported by evidence); otherwise, the little dear will get most upset at the merest accusation of bullshitting.

I doubt the soldiers who fought against fascism in the last world war were fighting for the right of righwingers to be ignorant, belligerent pricks.

Reality Bites said...

Funny how even in the United States, home of free speech, bigoted assholes like Chris Kempling and Jermo Sapiens lose their jobs for doing exactly the same kind of crap he did.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/05/14/qt

The University of Toledo has fired Crystal Dixon as associate vice president of human resources following an uproar over a column she wrote asserting that gay people can change their sexual orientation and could never be considered “civil rights victims.” In the column, she compared herself as a black woman to a gay person. She wrote: “I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’ Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle....” An assistant to Dixon’s lawyer said that she was considering suing the university, either on First Amendment or other grounds. A statement from the university defended the dismissal saying that Dixon’s views were “in direct contradiction to university policies and procedures, as well as the institutional core values as defined in our strategic plan, and called into question her continued ability to lead a critical function within the administration as personnel actions or decisions taken in her capacity as
associate vice president for human resources could be challenged or placed at risk.”

Reality Bites said...

BTW, Jermo, I did answer an argument with FACTS. Facts you were completely unable to respond to, as they conclusively proved that your argument was completely fallacious.

You see it's not just that you're a bigoted piece of shit - which you are - but that you're so mind-bogglingly STUPID.

Unknown said...

= The other issue is of course, that it's hilarious for such staunch defenders of freedom of expression to treat expression as if it were garbage . . . =

You still misunderstand the whole issue ti-guy.

The objection is to censoring arbitrarily and without cause. And in fact, it is HRCs, which treat freedom of expression as a "garbage" concept; something they can toss into the trash at their sole discretion.

= I doubt the soldiers who fought against fascism in the last world war were fighting for the right of righwingers to be ignorant, belligerent pricks. =

I have heard the most outrageous, slanderous and hateful speech from lefties for years, far worse in my opinion then that from the current kerfluffle. I've never wanted HRCs to suppress it however. A good question though, is why you only support censorship of odious right wing opinion?

Ti-Guy said...

The objection is to censoring arbitrarily and without cause.

Where's the censoring? Where's the arbitrariness? Where's the lack of cause?

it is HRCs, which treat freedom of expression as a "garbage" concept; something they can toss into the trash at their sole discretion.

How so?

I have heard the most outrageous, slanderous and hateful speech from lefties for years, far worse in my opinion then that from the current kerfluffle.

Can you provide examples of this?

A good question though, is why you only support censorship of odious right wing opinion?

When have I expressed support for censorship?

In your answers, please be specific. Provide sources.

Jerome Bastien said...


Can you provide examples of this?


Here we go, the source ti-guy, is you, on this very page too, so you wont risk getting too confused using google.

I sometimes wonder if the speechies ever passed through a normal language-acquisition stage and even process language the way the rest of us do.

rageous hyperbole, disingenousness, dishonesty, duplicity, vilification, defamation and outright lies are the characteristics that have been plaguing "conservative" discourse for years now

t's about the only thing that can be asserted with any degree of confidence about "conservatives"...that and that a lot of them, who probably know better, are completely indifferent to it.

Drop dead, scold.

and you have the gall to suggest people are not being civil with you.

or here are some otherwise great examples of another poor soul afflicted with ti-guyism, or angry leftard synrome.

Try again, you misinformed idiot.
how eloquent and convincing.

You see it's not just that you're a bigoted piece of shit - which you are - but that you're so mind-bogglingly STUPID.

this one has a good flow to it. great use of imagery and logic, and concludes powerfully, with a very astute use of capital letters.

buckets said...

paul s: `"A good question though, is why you only support censorship of odious right wing opinion?"

You seem to assume that the kinds of thing that are being dealt with by the CHRC is "right wing". I think if you look at the statements in the Beaumont or Tremaine or Bahr cases, you`ll find some pretty hateful things that are not *really* all that easy to place within the political spectrum.

Ti-Guy said...

Unless of course, Paul S. believes hate is rightwing. Something about which I'm not sure I disagree. But hate isn't Conservative or conservative. It's "conservative."

I still don't have a good handle on what's motivating all this "conservative" hatred and hostility; it has something to do with their humourlessness, I know that. Is it poor socialisation from growing up in the suburbs? Is it really the irrational and ahistorical belief that liberalism caused 9/11? Environmental toxins? The rage-inducing ennui of a lifestyle of meaningless and soul-less consumption? A fractured mass culture that's devolved into crassness and coarsenes that promotes nihilism, delusion and solipsism? An absence of real education?

Ti-Guy said...

By the way, Jermo; I'm not a leftist. You're watching too much American television.

Jerome Bastien said...

By the way, Jermo; I'm not a leftist.

what??? are you one of those evil conservatives you rail on about every day?

whatever, labels are just labels anyways, and besides, contrary to your characterization of conservatives, I dont think leftists, or liberals, are all a bunch of assholes, so when I use the term I dont mean it as a slur.

Ti-Guy said...

whatever, labels are just labels anyways,

Ah, there's that reverence for language characteristic of the free speech warrior.

By the way, you'll note that I've taken to writing "conservative" (in quotes) because, too often, whatever calls itself conservative these days is not conservative at all (it's quite radical, in fact) but still defies a proper definition. When we get good answers to the questions I asked in my previous comment, we'll be closer to figuring out what it is. As is promoted by the neoconservatives (many of whom are former Trotskyists), "conservatism" has roots in a wide selection of irrational ideologies.

Jerome Bastien said...

because, too often, whatever calls itself conservative these days is not conservative at all (it's quite radical, in fact)

do you care to elaborate on what is radical with today's conservatism?

I consider conservatism to be associated with:
-free market economics
-low taxes
-a state focusing on its core responsibilities and not trying to be everything to every interest group
-respect for traditional western institutions and principles (e.g., freedom of speech)
-traditional family values (although this is a point of contention between fiscal cons, libertarians, and socons, obviously)

is that what you consider to be radical? otherwise, what is different between the above and your "conservatism"?

Ti-Guy said...

is that what you consider to be radical?

No, I consider all that incoherent (and I don't mean inarticulate; I mean more of a mish-mash of mutually exclusive propositions).

First of all, you cannot have a conservative society with neo-liberal economics (and the fact that social conservativism and right libertarianism are teaming up just reveals the fundamental moral corruption of these two varieties of hypocrisy).

Second, "conservatives" don't understand what Western values, traditions or traditional institutions are (they don't read great Western authors, do not celebrate Western high culture, etc.); they simply pick and choose which ones they like and call them "conservative" and view all others as non-traditional. "Conservatives" do not know history, and especially do not understand the role of liberals and progressives in the establishment of Western values and traditions dating back to the beginning of the Enlightenment and before.

Thirdly, "traditional family values" is a code word for an ideal of the family that never existed. All types of families have existed throughout the ages; we've just come around to recongising that and subjecting them to the rights and responsibilites of the rule of law (which is, itself, a conservative notion).

What is radical about "conservatives" is the irrational belief that they can impose "conservatism" on a liberal democracy, I suspect because they recognise how unappealing their ideas are for the majority of people.

I don't have a problem with "small state," "low taxes" but I do know a lot of these people are the first to complain when the state is too small and too impoverished to provide what we all need to live together. And until one of you comes up with the socialised costs of "special interest groups" (code words for homos and feminazis, right?) and compare those to say, corporate welfare, I continue to treat that as simply the whining of the perenially aggrieved.

Conservatism for me implies a world-view characterised by honesty, directness, temperance, caution, low risk, and an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude to change. It also has to include a familiarity with traditions (including Tory commmunitarianism) and history if it claims to prize these things.

Being reactionary (and certainly, being a racist and/or a bigot) isn't conservative at all.

Holly Stick said...

I've always liked what one of R.A. Lafferty's characters said, something like this:

The opposite of radical is superficial
The opposite of liberal is stingy
The opposite of conservative is destructive

So I will be a radical liberal conservative.

Jerome Bastien said...

Conservatism for me implies a world-view characterised by honesty, directness, temperance, caution, low risk, and an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude to change. It also has to include a familiarity with traditions (including Tory commmunitarianism) and history if it claims to prize these things.

Being reactionary (and certainly, being a racist and/or a bigot) isn't conservative at all.


I agree with the above.

However, the rest of your post is less than convincing. Perhaps its a topic which is better suited for a longer discussion than an internet post allows. However, you dont actually suggest reasons why "conservatives" are different other than by impugning their character - its back to the old "they're just a bunch of assholes" type of argument.

And this:
"Conservatives" do not know history, and especially do not understand the role of liberals and progressives in the establishment of Western values and traditions dating back to the beginning of the Enlightenment and before.
is patently false. Regardless of whether "conservatives" know their history or not, progressives, (since you appreciate the value of language and expression so much) date back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The term today has morphed into some kind of catch-all for all that is good. However, historically, progressives, and chief amongst them are Woodrow Wilson and FDR, were those who believed that society could be remodeled and improved by an active government basing itself on the social sciences. They saw society as an ongoing project whereby the masses are manipulated by the state under the guise of "experts", and this would create some sort of utopia. Needless to say this kind of thinking has been discredited to the extreme and is anything but "progress". Anyways, if you want to use progressive to mean the historical meaning of the term, let me know, if you want to use it for its new-fangled meaning of "approved by Jack Layton", let me know too.

Since we're on the topic, you might be interested to know that these "progressives" were instrumental in establishing anti-hate-speech laws in the Weimar Republic of Germany, under which no less a douchebag than Hitler was "convicted", a fact he manipulated with great success to have his message heard. When he came the power, he only needed to tweak the laws just a tiny bit, an incremental change, to suppress any criticism of the nazi regime.

Liberals on the other hand are a different story and had a huge part to play in the Enlightenment, and the liberals of the enlightenment were very much in favor of freedom of speech.

Ti-Guy said...

However, you dont actually suggest reasons why "conservatives" are different other than by impugning their character - its back to the old "they're just a bunch of assholes" type of argument.

You seem to think that observation is invalid, probably because you don't like it. Well, too bad. Check non-conservative (and true conservative) critics of "conservativism" these days. It's about the only thing that can be asserted with any degree of confidence. In any case, I'm asserting that "conservatives" are none of the things I listed above. You are either not paying attention to "conservative" discourse, or you've developed some kind of blind spot.

Your references to political history are oddly very American. I don't really know what to do with that, except to suggest that you don't know your own history.

Since we're on the topic, you might be interested to know that these "progressives" were instrumental in establishing anti-hate-speech laws in the Weimar Republic of Germany, under which no less a douchebag than Hitler was "convicted", a fact he manipulated with great success to have his message heard. When he came the power, he only needed to tweak the laws just a tiny bit, an incremental change, to suppress any criticism of the nazi regime.

Yeah, I've seen that on a few "conservative" blogs lately.

You should read Margaret MacMillan's Uses and Abuses of History. You can get a taste of it from Trinity College's Larkin-Stuart lecture that she delivered this year. They're available as podcasts from TVO's Big Ideas.

Jerome Bastien said...


Yeah, I've seen that on a few "conservative" blogs lately.


whatever its a historical fact.

You seem to think that observation is invalid,
i dont care if you think all "conservatives" are assholes. if that's the basis of your political philosophy, its about as deep and profound as "all jews are assholes". The grown-up world is not a school yard. Lets see how many people consider your opinion is worth when you tell them you base your views on the premise that all conservatives are assholes. if you're 40-something with 3 kids, a masters degree and speak five languages, and your thinking is at the level of a 6th grader with a learning disability "he's an asshole", whatever, being you is your own punihsment.

Ti-Guy said...

whatever its a historical fact.

It's also a historical fact that Hilter never came to power on the basis of overwhelming popular consent, was appointed chancellor by Hindenberg and that the curtailment of civil liberties in Germany would have proceeded regardless of the laws the nazis were subjected to during the Weimar period. I'm rather sure that would have been the case and no degree of rationalisation from that murderous psychotic would have made any difference.

In any event, I've been looking for more information on the Weimar Republic's laws against freedom of expression and how these laws were enforced, but all I'm finding are rightwingers reproducing the same statements you have. Do you have more information on that period, those laws and how they were prosecuted?

If you've only recently become acquainted with that history to conveniently argue against the human rights acts, then you should be upfront about it and admit that you may not have enough the story to assert anything about what that part of history can teach us in terms of the current discussion.

That's why I recommended you listen to the MacMillan podcasts. We've been awash in ignorant historical re-interpretations and cherry-picking from rightwing ignoramuses who assert that every situation we're faced with now is exactly like WW2.

if you're 40-something with 3 kids, a masters degree and speak five languages, and your thinking is at the level of a 6th grader with a learning disability "he's an asshole", whatever, being you is your own punihsment.

Really? I thought terrorising my family and being subject to abject poverty and restraining orders was punishment enough.

You are an asshole. I could come up with hundreds of different ways of telling you that, but in the end, it would amount to the same thing.

What do *you* do for a living, by the way? Call centre? C'mon...tell me, so I can launch personal attacks as effectively as you can.

...amazing how these little "conservative" thugs and cocksuckers think it's their place to lecture and harrass complete strangers. Very brownshirty, I must say.