Like alcohol and fireworks, youth, “idealistic” values and a law degree make for a very deadly concoction. Unlike the fireworks and booze, however, the young lawyers are capable of causing some real damage.
Perusing the Mark Steyn Canadian Human Rights Commission kerfluffle, you find the blog where one of the anti “hate speech” activists posts.
The blog goes on to educate its American visitors that Steyn’s speech is equal to incitement:
Martin J.A. explained how the reasonable person could foresee the consequences of their actions,
Since people are usually able to foresee the consequences of their acts, if a person does an act likely to produce certain consequences it is, in general, reasonable to assume that the accused also foresaw the problable conseqences of his act and if he, never theless, acted so as to produce those consequences, that he intended them. The Greater the likelihood of th relevant consequences ensuing from the accused’s act, the easier it is to draw the inference that he intended those consequences. The purpose of this process, however, is to determine what the particular accused intended, not to fix him with the intention that a reasonable person might be assumed to have in the circumstances, where doubt exists as to the actual intention of the accused.
Steyn himself acknowledges the adverse outcomes of his hypotheses,
My book isn’t about what I want to happen but what I think will happen. Given Fascism, Communism and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, it’s not hard to foresee that the neo-nationalist resurgence already under way in parts of Europe will at some point take a violent form…
I think any descent into neo-Fascism will be ineffectual and therefore merely a temporary blip in the remorseless transformation of the Continent.
Even if discounting its utility, his position does normalizing [sic] genocide. It is worthy to note that his disclaimer occurs distinct from his book.
You see? Right there! Steyn, the bastard, knows that Europeans are given to outbreaks of genocide and still, he goes on fanning the flames!
Continuing (with just a pinch of Imperialism thrown in for that delicious essence of Class Struggle):
The post-9/11 backlash is well documented in both Canada and the U.S.
Given two global wars of invading Western armies into predominantly Muslim countries, one of which Canada is directly involved in, and the accompanying propaganda that typically accompanies such military endeavours, the likelihood of breaches of the peace appear obvious.
The reasonable person could assume that such statements could plausibly lead to violence.
Violence? Yep. We’re discussing violent acts on the part of White Canadians. Because, you see, Canada participated in one of the “global” wars that invaded primarily Muslim countries. That kind of rage just flows down to the streets of Winnipeg and Montreal.
Say, could this “violence” you fear, possibly – just possibly, mind you – come from the Muslim community? You know, like 9/11, Madrid, London, Denmark and Sudan? Naw. Sorry I brought it up. It’s just the Islamophobe in me.
At the bottom of this juvenile activism, comes the arrogance that only a child-lawyer could love. From another post:
Iason proceeds to directly challenge the Zoological Society of San Diego by selling T-Shirts with a panda photo on it that he openly declares he obtained from the zoo.
Law students the world over it seems are a litigous bunch. And why not, as long as it is not frivolous? It’s what we do best, and doesn’t cost us a dime.
If the Society did challenge him, the exposure the trial would give him (even if critical) would skyrocket his Intellectual Property law career.
Good luck with your case Iason, and it’s good to remember that regardless of the outcome,
The lawyers always win
The silver lining that I see is that public opinion is turning against these extra-judicial bodies. Kids will be kids and douchebags will be lawyers (sorry annika, I don’t mean you), but Steyn is seeking to de-legitimize the entire sham that Human Rights Commissions have become.
Here’s my bottom line: I don’t accept that free-born Canadian citizens need the permission of the Canadian state to read my columns
. What’s offensive is not the accusations of Dr Elmasry and his pals, but the willingness of Canada’s pseudo-courts to take them seriously
. So I couldn’t care less about the verdict – except insofar as an acquittal would be more likely to bolster the cause of those who think it’s entirely reasonable for the state to serve as editor-in-chief of privately owned magazines. As David Warren put it, the punishment is not the verdict but the process. To spend gazillions of dollars to get a win on points would do nothing for the cause of freedom of speech: It would signal to newspaper editors and book publishers and store owners that it’s more trouble than it’s worth publishing and printing and distributing and displaying anything on this subject, and so it would contribute to the shriveling of freedom in Canada.
This is a political prosecution and it should be fought politically. The “plaintiffs” certainly understand that, ever since the day they went in to see Ken Whyte and demanded money from Maclean’s. I want the constitutionality of this process overturned, so that Canadians are free to reach the same judgments about my writing as Americans and Britons and Australians and it stands or falls in the marketplace of ideas. The notion that a Norwegian imam can make a statement in Norway but if a Canadian magazine quotes that statement in Canada it’s a “hate crime” should be deeply shaming to all Canadians.
Let’s hope there is enough energy to see this through.
It is not just in Canada. Here in Philadephia, the owner of the world famous Geno’s Steaks is under fire by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, who have expanded the scope from the important work of preventing housing and employment discrimination to preventing injured feelings caused by being asked to speak English.
Both sides stipulated that no patrons had been denied service on the basis of their inability to speak English. The legal question is whether the sign creates an atmosphere in which “any specific group” is made to feel discriminated against.
University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Camille Charles testified that the population of foreign-born residents living near Geno’s has tripled in the last two decades. She said the “speak English” signs are reminiscent of “Whites only” signs from the Jim Crow era in the South.
[Yep, you heard that right. A University sociology expert testified that the sign is like the "Whites Only" signs. Next up, your mechanic testifies under oath that the rattling sound under your hood is reminiscient of an expensive transmission failure.]
Vento’s attorneys strenuously denied that and asked for the case to be thrown out because they were not given sufficient time to prepare for the cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses.
Outside, one man held a “Hail Geno” sign bearing an American flag. A group wore black T-shirts with a message that Pennsylvania loves immigrants.
[Mr. Vento loves immigrants too, chuckleheads.]
Leading Vento’s legal team was Shannon Goessling of the Southeastern Legal Foundation.
While some people might be offended by Vento’s signs, she contended, they aren’t illegal. “Do you want the freedom from being offended?” she asked the three-member panel hearing the case. “Or the freedom of speech? You can’t have both.”
And, of course, that is important part which is so often missed.