Amusing (Sort of) Developments In the Right Not To Be Offended In Canada
We've blogged about Ezra Levant many times before. He's the Canadian lawyer and writer who has been a target of both the Human Rights Commissions in Canada (based on his publication of the Muhammad cartoons) and of the HRC's roving Inquisitor Richard Warman (based largely on his relentless campaign to expose Warman as a censorious, totalitarian git).
A couple of new developments:
1. That (relatively small, I suspect) segment of Canadian Muslim society that seeks to censor and punish offensive speech is trying a new tactic on Levant to prevent publication of Mohammad cartoons: they are claiming a trademark on the image of Muhammad. Any image of Mohammed (pbuh), so far as I can determine. You've got to give them points for creativity. (By the way, a similar argument has been used unsuccessfully by the United States government in support of flag burning laws; the government argued that the United States owned the flag and therefore could forbid its desecration).
2. The second development? Well, you might remember the strange story of Giacomo Vigna, who threatened to sue Levant after Levant made fun of Vigna for a risible incident in which Vigna told an Human Rights Tribunal proceeding that he was unable to go forward with that day's star-chamberish exercise in censorship because he was not emotionally able:
don’t feel very well. I feel dizzy, I feel anxiety, and I am not in a serene state of mind to proceed with this file today.
I have a lot of things worrying me right now and I don’t want to elaborate, but my colleague said, Mr. Fine, there are some certain incidents that have occurred which I don’t feel at liberty to elaborate right now, which have had an impact on my ability to proceed in a professional way on this file, at least for today, because I wouldn’t be rendering the Commission a just service by proceeding in this condition.
I would give my left nut to have seen Vigna say this in court in front of four or five of the federal judges I've appeared before. The response would have warmed my heart until the stars went out.
Anyway, looks as if Vigna is going to carry through with suing Levant for crassly publishing transcripts suggesting that Vigna, in addition to being a censorious thug, is a whiny girl's blouse. Except rather than just arranging to have Levant served through his attorney, or by some other rational and professional method typically used by lawyers, Vigna has sent an antenna-wearing process server to harass Levant's parents, with whom Levant has not lived since 1990. Classy!
I really hope that this critique doesn't impede Vigna's serenity. Mr. Vigna, perhaps some herbal tea, and some soothing music? I hear that works wonders.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Follow-Up: U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks Gets Free Speech Right This Time - September 12th, 2014
- The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained, But It May Have A Litmus Test - September 11th, 2014
- [Rerun from 2011] Ten Things I Want My Kids To Learn From 9/11 - September 11th, 2014
- Yale Might Want To Look Into Some Sort of Basic Civic Literacy Course - September 10th, 2014
- U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks Gets Free Speech Very Wrong - September 6th, 2014