Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CON MP Norlock asks MacKay to Blabber About New Censorship Laws

And we're right back in the shit again. With some harpercon-stolen-majority MP Rick Norlock getting his turn to question anti-democratic thug/"justice minister" Peter Mackay. He'll be asking for the harpercon rationalizations for the new powers C-51 gives the government to fight ideas that the government chooses to equate with "terrorism" (well on its way to becoming the most nebulous word in the English language).*
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and through you, to the witnesses, thank you for appearing today.
     My first question will be for Minister MacKay.

    Could you explain the gap in the legislation you're trying to fill? I'm referring mainly to the promotion and takedown thresholds with regard to Internet sites. We've heard some folks say that this portion of the legislation is an attack on our freedom of speech. I don't believe it is. I do not believe that promoting the commission of terrorist acts is acceptable.
What a stupid fucking weasel! Self-evident idiocy. As if people with concerns about the extent of the powers of this bill are actually calling for the right to promote genuine terrorism. (Or will right-wing anti-Arab racists cheering on the slaughter of Palestinians also have their websites expunged or removed from the internet?)

    Could you explain the legislation and how it is different from the current hate speech laws that are focused on certain groups

    Thank you very much for the question, Mr. Norlock.

    As you'll be aware, there are current sections of the Criminal Code, and you've alluded to them, where certain types of material, certain statements, and certain speech are deemed to run up against other charter rights. What we're attempting to do here, through the criminal law, is to balance out those freedom of speech and privacy provisions versus material, words, that can be in fact very harmful. The examples of hate propaganda advocating genocide and of course the area of child pornography, pornography, are well understood.
Is it just me, or is MacKay babbling? Did Norlock "allude" to anything in that softball question? Do certain kinds of speech run up against the right to privacy? Because that's what he said. But then eventually he goes on to say he's trying to balance freedom of speech with public safety. It seems more and more that MacKay is a career bullshitter of the merely semi-talented kind.

    With respect to the advocating for or the promotion of terrorism, we believe that the current Criminal Code as drafted is insufficient in allowing us to protect the public from the very real and I would say corrosive effects of terrorism and the promotion of same. What we are doing through this legislation is enabling our criminal justice system to respond appropriately to ensure that that material, when deemed to fall into that category, is subject to removal. To meet that test, we know that there is a requirement to make application before a judge to weigh that material appropriately against other rights, and then make a determination. The wording is drafted in a way that any offences that would be laid, any charges that would be laid, take into consideration things such as recklessness, which is another legal standard to be applied, and the proposed offence is not focused, as I said in my remarks, on what has been somewhat controversial in other countries, and that is the subject of glorification. 
OMFG. The jist of that word soup is that C-51 will allow the government to be able to have the power to take down internet sites that "glorify" terrorism. It would seem apropos then, if MacKay would tell us what "terrorism" and "glorification of terrorism" mean. (Perhaps he will. I'm posting my commentary as I read.)

    The standard to be applied here is the promotion or the advocacy, the encouraging, the efforts to actually draw a person into committing acts of terrorism. These terms of “advocate” or “promote”, some have said are quite vague. There was case law in this area already. There was existing jurisprudence that is instructive in that regard. There are a number of Canadian cases that I could cite for you. Keegstra in 1990 is a well-known Supreme Court case that goes into the area of promotion and speaks of active support or instigation. A 2001 Supreme Court case of the Queen and Sharpe, involving possession of child pornography talks about advocating. This bill, Bill C-51, reflects the Supreme Court's definition that already exists when it comes to terms such as “advocacy” and “promotion” for offences. It's the idea of counselling or inciting and that material then to be viewed leads to that type of encouraging or incitement of terrorism.

I think I'm starting to understand why MacKay decided that neo-Nazi white kids plotting to shoot-up a mall food court wasn't "terrorism." Calling Nazis "terrorists" would bring down the wrath of the state against all the fascist harpercon fan-boys, at home and abroad, which would be so inconvenient for them. Remember people, these harpercon scum voted AGAINST a UN measure to suppress the "glorification of Nazism" on "free speech" grounds. Keep that thought in mind as you read through MacKay's slithering that he pretends was a heart-felt attempt to balance freedom of speech with public safety.

It's funny that MacKay mentions Keegstra. He was the Holocaust denier who taught anti-Semitic hatred as an Alberta high school teacher who was successfully prosecuted for "promoting" hatred by the Supreme Court. Recently, the harpercons voted for the (eventually successful) C-304 An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (Protecting Freedom), which:

The new law doesn’t make hate speech legal on the web or by phone -- hate speech remains illegal under the Criminal Code. But by removing it from the Canadian Human Rights Act, it takes away the authority of the country’s human rights commissions to investigate online hate speech and request that violating websites be taken down.
So, in the crazy land of Kanadian Konservatism, Israel is one of Canada's dearest friends, it's wanton slaughter of the Palestinians is beyond reproach, but right-wing anti-Semitism is still protected speech and neo-Nazis planning to shoot-up their fellow Canadians isn't "terrorism." I don't even want to try to reconcile such fevered delusions.

Queen v Sharpe and "advocacy" refers to the Supreme Court decision that said that works that advocate sexual acts with minors are illegal. The words "sex acts with minors" aren't confusing though. We know what that means. The tricky word is "advocates." The problem for Canada is that parents taking pictures of their kids playing in the tub have gotten into trouble. Sane, intelligent people aren't as quick as Peter MacKay and his moronic supporters to say: "I know what 'x' is when I see it! Lock 'em up! Ban 'em!" With the word "terrorism" it's even worse. Unlike "sex with minors" the concept "terrorism" is deliberately left vague, which gives the state even more leeway to decide who is advocating it or not. 

I suspect MacKay knows this. He isn't particularly smart, and he's deluded, but he's also possessed of a low cunning and has been empowered by his corporate masters to pursue their very definite agenda.

     Thank you very much.

WTF??? Norlock considers that convoluted non-answer to be an answer? What a farce!

    My next question will be for Minister Blaney.

    Mr. Blaney wished to comment on that, I believe.

     Mr. Norlock, I want to salute the measures that Minister MacKay just explained, because as you know, our government has tabled a counterterrorism strategy that has four pillars: prevent, detect, deny, and respond. 

I'm sure this will be VERY illuminating and VERY important! 

    The fact is that as a government, as a society, we will be able to shut down those websites that are promoting hatred and violence. 

Unless, of course, they're the forms of hatred and violence that you're cool with.

It's a tool helping us with the first pillar dealing with the prevention of radicalization, because as we know, and we've heard it, the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chamber; it began with words, so we have to be careful. That's why I feel this measure is so important. 

Oh! This was the issue that caused such a big stink before. Stated here, in the context of a party that voted AGAINST the state having the power to take down websites that post hateful views against minorities, and voted AGAINST a UN resolution to combat the glorification of Nazism on free-speech grounds, it's really more appallingly cynical than before.

    I am also committed as the Minister of Public Safety to work with my partners such as Minister Bernard Cazeneuve of France, and our European and American partners, so that websites that could be hosted in another country could also be shut down if they are promoting hatred, extremist ideology, and violence.

    I believe this measure in Bill C-51 is helping the four pillars of our counterterrorism strategy.

It's already been established that the primary cause of radicalization is our policy of interventions in Muslim-majority countries. Second is the deliberate stirring-up of Islamophobia and the subsequent harassment of all brown people. But an insane scum-bag like Blaney isn't going to do anything about those things except to double-down on them. 

* From the Greenwald/Salon link: "All of this underscores, yet again, that Terrorism is simultaneously the single most meaningless and most manipulated word in the American political lexicon.  The term now has virtually nothing to do with the act itself and everything to do with the identity of the actor, especially his or her religious identity.  It has really come to mean:  'a Muslim who fights against or even expresses hostility towards the United States, Israel and their allies.'  That’s why all of this confusion and doubt arose yesterday over whether a person who perpetrated a classic act of Terrorism should, in fact, be called a Terrorist:  he’s not a Muslim and isn’t acting on behalf of standard Muslim grievances against the U.S. or Israel, and thus does not fit the 'definition.'”


Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated:
"Trudeau says he won’t second-guess cops over conduct at G20 summit"
Today's Star
And this is the guy who is the "progressive" candidate the liberoCONS are semi-deifying?

thwap said...

That's pretty much our choices; one party that is openly contemptuous of human rights. Another party that is not-quite-so-contemptuous of them. And the NDP who appear to be afraid of standing up for them in the crunch. And a Green Party that has nothing to lose by speaking its mind.

We need to change our culture.

Any thoughts at all on the actual post?