Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What I'm reading now

Ezra Levant's "Shakedown"

What is a Right? What is a Freedom? Is there a difference?

"Shakedown" is the revealing story of Canada's federal and provincial so-called 'human rights commissions'. The bigger issue was uncovered as a result of Levant's refusal to back down after being accused of 'hate speech' when he published the famous Danish cartoons of Mohamed on February 13, 2006. Page after page reveals the abuses of due process and the spirit of the original Magna Carta committed on a daily basis by the quasi-judical commission.

Levant's naivete of the commissions wide powers of warrant-less search and seizure when first notified of the hand-written complaint from a local imam is touching. Ezra's long history in politics and the law make his a sympathetic figure when confronted with a 'kangaroo court' that can ignore all regular rules of evidence and testimony found in a real court of Canadian law. His story of how his initial 'faith in the system' is almost destroyed, and it's resurrection on the internet as a result of his intial videotaped interrogation (100,000 views in 2 days on is entertaining and enlightening.

There is no mistaking that Ezra Levant is angry. The detailing in "Shakedown' of the farcical decisions made by federal and provincial hrc's will make any fair-minded reader angry as well. The initial "Shakedown" occurred when Ezra was offered a settlement by the hrc that demanded he pay a cash bounty to the imam and hijacking a rebuttal in Ezra's 'Western Standard' magazine. Many of Ezra's feelings about the hrc's have been echoed by politicians on both sides of the House of Commons, and a groundswell of public opinion along with 4 separate criminal investigations of the hrc's conduct has make it a very uncomfortable year for the members of this $200 million/year grievance machine.

Ezra's committed to 'denormalizing' these 'hijacked rights commissions', and his well reasoned argument that freedom of speech and public debate include the right to be left alone by politicized government bureaucracies are enough to convince any reasonable adult. Ezra's story reads like a Grimm's fable, with Ezra the initially unwilling hero facing legions of dark knights and an evil sorceress in a romote castle. With only his 'sword of truth' to defend himself and the villagers, it's still not clear who the real victor will be. "Shakedown" demonstrates that it is frightenly real, that the stakes are very high, and that losing this fight will damage democracy in Canada for years to come.

The book marries very well with the daily blog,, where the same all out, "off with their heads!" attack on those who would curtail one of our basic freedoms continues.

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