Darrell Hougen

The Alberta Human Rights Commission is at it again

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The Alberta Human Rights Commission is charging Ezra Levant with a crime for calling it "crazy".

Canada's free speech protections are not as robust as those of the United States but perhaps they should be. Canada has previously criminalized "hate speech" though the law was mostly defanged a few years ago due to a case involving Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn. Now, the commisars have found another reason to harass Mr. Levant.

You can read the full story here. You can sign a petition calling the AHRC all kinds of names here. I signed and I noticed that Ed Cline had signed. I'm not sure who else of note might have signed.

Edit: I should add that although they're only looking for a thousand signatures, I think it would be great if tens of thousands of people signed. There is strength in numbers. If more people sign, it is harder to anti-free speech types to single out individuals for harassment.

Darrell

Edited by Darrell Hougen

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The Alberta Human Rights Commission is charging Ezra Levant with a crime for calling it "crazy".

Nope. Some numpty by the name of Arman Chak "filed a complaint with the Law Society of Alberta," as noted in the story you linked to.

Mark Steyn is an awesome writer, one of the finest polemicists alive. But a witless complaint to the Law Society is far from being charged with a crime.

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The Alberta Human Rights Commission is charging Ezra Levant with a crime for calling it "crazy".

Nope. Some numpty by the name of Arman Chak "filed a complaint with the Law Society of Alberta," as noted in the story you linked to.

Mark Steyn is an awesome writer, one of the finest polemicists alive. But a witless complaint to the Law Society is far from being charged with a crime.

Hmmm. According to Ezra Levant himself, he is being prosecuted. I believe he's asking for help to offset the expense of his defense.

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The Alberta Human Rights Commission is charging Ezra Levant with a crime for calling it "crazy".

Nope. Some numpty by the name of Arman Chak "filed a complaint with the Law Society of Alberta," as noted in the story you linked to.

Mark Steyn is an awesome writer, one of the finest polemicists alive. But a witless complaint to the Law Society is far from being charged with a crime.

Hmmm. According to Ezra Levant himself, he is being prosecuted. I believe he's asking for help to offset the expense of his defense.

To my mind, prosecution means the Crown lays charges against a person or persons (the Crown is shorthand Canadianese for the Crown prosecutor -- a body that is like the US State Attorney). The person is summoned before a court to defend against the charges, via our version of arraignment. Each province has a slightly different means of prosecutor naming, but it amounts to the same thing -- except in Quebec which has a civil code tradition of stupendous complexity.

In this case the 'complaint' is to be heard by the Law Society of Alberta. This is the professional body that regulates and disciplines lawyers who fuck up, cheat, lie, or otherwise bring the practice of law into disrepute or run counter to statutes governing the profession. The complaint has nothing to do with criminal law or the Crown.

On the page you link to, Ezra Levant says ...

This time the [Alberta Human Rights] commission didn’t come for me. But one of their prosecutors did. Arman Chak filed a complaint to the Law Society of Alberta about my column. Even though I haven’t practiced law in years, I’m still a lawyer. That was his angle.

It is a bit of a stretch to call Chak a prosecutor. His position as former legal counsel to the AHRC had nothing at all to do with the Crown or any matter of criminal law. He may have represented the AHRC in its civil lawsuits and challenges and bullshit heard in its tribunal and actions before the Queens Bench in Alberta, but he was a hired staffer, not a leader; I don't know why Levant was so sloppy with language, and I have only a notion of what money it will cost him to appear if they every get around to scheduling a hearing -- and if he is ordered to pay costs (I suspect it will be Chak who pays). But to defray any extra expenses, Levant certainly deserves some support.

So, from what I have read, this is a private complaint. A stupid and pointless complaint, but a long jump from the normal meaning of 'prosecution.' Bear in mind that Chak was dismissed from the AHRC earlier this year (and yes, he is attempting to sue them for wrongful dismissal and defamation). SMH.

Anyway, the complaint is public -- at the Law Society's website. There is no hearing scheduled as of today. Here is an example of what a hearing can result in, a report. From the conclusion:

9. Taking into account the factors described above, the evidence and the joint submissions from Counsel for the LSA and the Member, the Hearing Committee finds that a reprimand is an appropriate sanction. The Chair administered the Reprimand to Mr. Schwartz at the conclusion of the Hearing. Camron Schwartz – Hearing Committee Report – April 3, 2015 HE20140033 Prepared for Public Distribution – July 24, 2015 Page 6 of 14

10. With respect to costs, the Hearing Committee accepted the Estimated Statement of Costs and ordered the Member to pay the costs of the Hearing of $1,875.00 within 10 days.

I shall inform my internal bureaucracy to check back from time to time on the status of the stupid, pointless Chak whoopee.

Edited by william.scherk

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Never heard of a "US State Attorney." There are federal prosecutors, state prosecutors, county prosecutors and city prosecutors. The federal are the most powerful and, I think, the county the busiest re the number of serious cases. I guess the city boys work traffic cases most, not so much out and out crimes. This may be quite different in a major city. I don't know that much about it. I'm sure Adam does.

--Brant

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A persecution then. Inappropriate for a free people. Shooting at someone's feet to make them dance doesn't kill them but they have a right to complain nevertheless. Blame the stupid pointless whoopee on Chak and Canadian political correctness, not Mark Steyn.

What if Levant simply ignored the whole thing? What happens then?

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Ezra Levant has a big and cute-with-truth mouth, and it gets him into trouble sometimes. He has had to apologize and retract a number of stupid and inaccurate comments and publications -- in a number of libel suits. He has even brought his own libel suit, and won five grand. He knows the game well.

If this procedural matter before the Law Society is persecution, then I am Marie of Roumania. Your mileage may differ. I expect it to be dismissed.

I like Mark Steyn's style of take-no-prisoners rhetoric. One of my favourite terms of approbation was when I was told I write like Steyn. But that was in the days when my rhetoric ran white-hot with rationality, and I took on the Recovered Memories nutters. I was even threatened with a defamation suit, faced with an internal investigation at the journal I worked at as a volunteer. I stood down the wicked censorious feminist nutters who threatened my employment, and in effect forced them from power over the journal. And to the suit: I said Bring it On. I will be happy to face you in court (this was the wack "Lauren Stratford" ... whom I have mentioned earlier in a comment about Rachel Dolezal).

Bear in mind Steyn is facing a suit of his own (brought by Michael Mann), which is dragging on now for a third year. Fans of Steyn like me can read his amicus brief at Watts Up With That: Steyn’s scorching new legal brief on the Michael Mann ‘defamation’ case.

Canadian political correctness is what it is, and has ferocious opponents who have scraped back the bullshit ... Much of it comes from the age-old tensions between English and French and subsequent multicultural demographics. Keeping the contests in the realm of words is a lot better than taking up arms or terror. Inciting hatred is easy.

Anyway, I probably agree with you in many ways on the associated subjects, Mike, but I just wanted to correct a misapprehension. Levant can sometimes blow a lot of hot air. If you want to complain about Canada, I will join you. I am not a by-Jingo patriot.

Edited by william.scherk

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I admire a big mouth as long as the person is not a liar. A big mouth in politics, in a democracy, is a requirement I think. They should not be kept silent by the threat of long drawn out and expensive legal actions. If Levant is a liar, that's a different story, and he should be held accountable.

I have always admired your facility with words and debating skills, your sense of humor and intelligence. I learned some time ago you recognize an error when you make one and apologize for it. You have all of the characteristics I admire in a person. Intelligence, superior reasoning ability, integrity, sense of humor, empathy for your fellow man and for the human condition, awareness of the future and progress of humanity. What I don't understand is your socialism. It is a grievous error. People are individuals, individualists whether they recognize it or not. Von Mises has it exactly right in Human Action. His Praxeology is as true as the laws of physics in my opinion. The laws governing human action, the motivating factors, are as understandable as the laws of motion. Command societies cannot work. Someone is always being exploited for the enrichment and power games of someone else. The fact that the exponents of command structures propagandize the opposite, that free societies exploit people, is strong evidence that they don't. The people who lust for power always blame others for their own tactics preemptively.

The problem with our discussions is instead of spiraling in to a point of agreement, they blow up into a fireworks display. Entertaining, but almost useless most of the time.

I admire Mark Steyn, thanks for the link.

I'm glad we're mostly in agreement. Probably more than you think. I don't want or expect anyone to agree with me, I mostly want to be left alone. I would be happy to ignore the world, read my books, work out with my kettlebells, play my guitar, go for hikes with Karen, work in the garden and keep our cats fat and happy. But the forces at play in the world are worrisome and require engagement.

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Nathaniel Branden in the 1960s, I think, took serious exception, speaking for Objectivism, with Praxeology, but did not explain the position that I remember. He could easily have done that in a Q n A session if anyone had asked him for he was ever only once in his life at a loss for words. I myself have never gotten my head around the concept. It seems all descriptive off no core (except human action?).

See the Human Action review in The Objectivist Newsletter. Maybe Branden declaimed it there.

I think von Mises is over-rated qua economics just as economics as such is over-rated (by economists) just as philosophy is over-rated (by philosophers) relative to all else--and Austrian economics and its emphasis on the business cycle is contra government, but book after massive book is not necessary for that except Keynesian economics is pro-government so those in government like Greenspan suck it in ("We're all Keynesians now"--Nixon) so the bulk serves a purpose implying powerful counters, which is true, but it's countering the over-rated. Just pry government off the economy and the economy will take care of itself, but careful as you go. I've not seen one effective use of Austrian economics to counter statism or even much of a libertarian try. Even though Rand championed von Mises it had no effect on her close associate and/or friend Alan Greenspan whose whole career is defined, except maybe at the very beginning, as a government suck up--i.e., he was a political animal peddling and using influence in high places even when he ran a private business, which went out of business when he took over the Fed because it was not sustainable or viable without him.

--Brant

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I discovered Von Mises from Ayn Rand. Economics is everything. Capitalism is freedom and property rights and self determination. People have to have the will and desire to create, the right to property gives people motivation to improve their lives, to thrive. Free markets, trading and the right to own property and make win-win profits creates the motivation, all other political systems crush self motivation and individual initiative except for the desire for power over others. Free markets and capitalism and people trading freely while respecting the rights of others is humanity in a state of nature. Man's natural state.

From an interview by Anthony Wile - December 13, 2009, The Daily Bell:

"Nathaniel Branden: Rand disagreed with Mises, as best I remember, not about economics but about ethics and epistemology."

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You can make a case that "economics is everything," but not as a discipline per se. You can do the same for sociology, anthropology and philosophy--even science and particular sciences such as chemistry and physics. There is also reality is everything and God is everything and you are everything. From the context I was referencing, von Mises went way beyond economics just as Rand went way beyond philosophy. That's all. I did not say they therefore weren't worth reading, which would be silly on the face of it. Au contraire!

Thanks for the links.

--Brant

"The world was made when I was born

And the world is mine to win."

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I meant if you get the economics right everything else follows. Not diminishing the importance of other human endeavors, philosophical or otherwise, but you need freedom first, freedom from others, freedom from always worrying about your next meal. Then create great works. Freedom means self ownership, and ownership of your works and property, as an extension of your body. Through freely trading and cooperation we can leverage our individuals efforts to the stars.

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Von Mises writing Human Action is like a medical specialist doing medicine on a more general, basic level. A lot of things look like nails to his hammer. Since he was a genius full of knowledge and honest sincerity, his work is greatly applaudible and valuable. All we need do is know his perspective or the lens he used--the lens of a professional economist. Compare it to Rand's philosophical perspective and note what does and doesn't overlap. Etc.

--Brant

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Von Mises writing Human Action is like a medical specialist doing medicine on a more general, basic level. A lot of things look like nails to his hammer. Since he was a genius full of knowledge and honest sincerity, his work is greatly applaudible and valuable. All we need do is know his perspective or the lens he used--the lens of a professional economist. Compare it to Rand's philosophical perspective and note what does and doesn't overlap. Etc.

--Brant

His economics follows praxeology, does not precede it. You have a deterministic view "All we need to know..." etc. It's possible you personally cannot evaluate a Ludwig Von Mises. BTW, my links contain a great deal of information about praxeology, its history and adherents, than just Von Mises. Ayn Rand finding Von Mises was all about checking premises about human nature. You cannot have a valid opinion about human morality without understanding human nature.

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Von Mises writing Human Action is like a medical specialist doing medicine on a more general, basic level. A lot of things look like nails to his hammer. Since he was a genius full of knowledge and honest sincerity, his work is greatly applaudible and valuable. All we need do is know his perspective or the lens he used--the lens of a professional economist. Compare it to Rand's philosophical perspective and note what does and doesn't overlap. Etc.

--Brant

His economics follows praxeology, does not precede it. You have a deterministic view "All we need to know..." etc. It's possible you personally cannot evaluate a Ludwig Von Mises. BTW, my links contain a great deal of information about praxeology, its history and adherents, than just Von Mises. Ayn Rand finding Von Mises was all about checking premises about human nature. You cannot have a valid opinion about human morality without understanding human nature.

Yes, but note a delimitation. For instance, the use of force and morality. That encompasses human nature but not its entirety, but to that extent you can have a valid opinion.

--Brant

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You're are inviting me to overstep my cognitive abilities. I will tell you what I think of NIOF after nearly fifty years of thinking about it. I favor action rather than inaction and principles rather than rules. NIOF is a rule, not a principle. Inaction against immorality is immoral. The highest principle is reason.

[here's where you say "you already have". True...maybe]

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Someone standing on your front porch screaming death to all homeowners and refusing to leave is not someone I care to involve in the discussion of NIOF...

Geez we so need a better sounding acronym...TANSTAAFL is so nice and kinky catchy...

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Something like in 'Trump Humor'?: FOGOASO!

[thanks to Dennis]

Excellent - yes...Fuck Off Get Out And Stay Out

And it has a touch of the Sicilian families "fo get about it!"

italian-restaurant-smiley-emoticon.gif

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Brant wrote: You can make a case that "economics is everything," but not as a discipline per se. You can do the same for sociology, anthropology and philosophy--even science and particular sciences such as chemistry and physics.
end quote

I can’t find the exact quote, but I remember Rand arguing that without property rights no other rights are possible because you must first have a right to your own body.

Ayn Rand, "What is Capitalism" Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, p. 19
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man's rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man's right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.
end quote

There she goes again, saying all property should be privately owned. Is that nonsensical and utopian? I think there is a place for common areas in a just society. And the right to a common area can extend to a right to clean air, no overbearing sounds coming from your neighbor’s property, and the right to water from a stream or river DOWNRIVER that flows through your property. Could rivers that extend through several plots of privately owned land be privately owned? I don’t think so. However, I do know there are privately owned lakes and they are not all those gigantic Texas ranches.
Peter

From: George H. Smith To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: Idiot savants & Re: More on "capitalism" Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 04:08:33 -0600
However, the fact remains that though the economic policy of the UK in the mid 1800s was less restrictive than in the mercantilist mid 1700s or the welfare-statist mid 1900s, it still was not a pure market economy, as it did have taxes and subsidies, and its treatment of the Irish was far from libertarian. The enclosures had been going on for a long time, pushing out villagers who had previously had customary rights to their village commons lands. In Scotland, conditions were getting worse, with poverty increasing.

end quote

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On 7/29/2015 at 3:42 PM, william.scherk said:

Ezra Levant has a big and cute-with-truth mouth, and it gets him into trouble sometimes. He has had to apologize and retract a number of stupid and inaccurate comments and publications [link added] -- in a number of libel suits. He has even brought his own libel suit, and won five grand. He knows the game well.

You win some, you lose some:  

Ezra Levant loses libel case, must pay $80,000 to man he defamed as ‘illiberal Islamic fascist.’

On 7/29/2015 at 3:42 PM, william.scherk said:

If this procedural matter before the Law Society is persecution, then I am Marie of Roumania. Your mileage may differ. I expect it to be dismissed.

It was not dismissed, exactly. It was finessed. Ezra Levant chose to withdraw from the Law Society of Alberta before the disciplinary hearing could proceed: 

Ezra Levant wins right to quit Law Society of Alberta and have complaints annulled

Spoiler

“Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
a medley of extemporanea,
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
and I am Marie of Romania.”

 

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