An internet success story: Shakedown by Ezra Levant

Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights
by Ezra Levant


Recommendation: Buy if you want to slip Levant a Loonie, or go to his web site.

Evil exists—evil people, I mean. Take Barbara Hall. She’s “Chief Commissioner” of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (HRC). That’s a place where someone can go and tattle on his fellow Canadians when he feels his “human rights” have been violated. The beautiful thing is, he gets to decide what those rights are and how they have been violated.

No complaint is too frivolous! And there cannot be too many of them. In fact, Hall doesn’t think enough Canadians are ratting each other out because she wants the number of complaints to “spike”: she desires to boldly seek out “known and unknown causes of discrimination”! The fact that this spike would boost her budget and secure her position are incidental considerations, of course.

My favorite is the case of Beena Datt who cried rights! after she insisted on her fundamental human need to not wash her hands. Datt, who worked at McDonald’s sliding out hamburger patties, claimed a skin condition barred her from being clean. McDonald’s took sympathy and gave her two month’s sick leave—with pay. When she returned, she still refused to wash. So McDonald’s—that corporate unfeeling rights abuser—gave her more sick leave with pay. About two and a half years worth of leave, that is. But since every job, even the manager’s, requires hand washing, and nobody wanted to buy burgers from a woman with a skin condition who refused to wash, they eventually fired her. She ran to her HRC.

Which ruled in her favor saying that McDonald’s “violated her human rights” and didn’t “do enough to accommodate her.” The company had to pay $50 grand, plus three years legal fees, plus they were told they had to “cease the discriminatory conduct or any similar conduct and refrain from committing the same or similar contravention.”

No appeals are possible to the HRC: you have to go to a regular court for that. Lots of people and companies like McDonald’s did, where their judgments, Levant informs us, were routinely tossed. But most people can’t afford to go to court, so they get stuck paying their fines. What’s really slick is that anybody can bring a complaint to an HRC and they do not have to pay anything if their case bombs, nor can they be counter-sued, nor can the HRCs themselves be sued. And up until Mark Steyn, the HRC’s never lost a case! Part of this success must come from the wide powers these commissions enjoy. Like warrantless search and seizure of everything you own or have touched.

There are a slew of cases presented far more appalling than Datt’s hand-washing refusal. Maybe too many, because they are exhausting to read. And we get it. HRCs are the bureaucracies what Kafka had in mind. But we never hear of what good, if any, the commissions have done. How many complaints trivial? How many ignorant and idiotic? How many justified? A lot of real hate amongst the races, is there? Too much cabin fever on those long, nearly endless, Great White North winter nights, so that people end boredom by calling each other too many hurtful names?

Then again, the worst is too bad. Levant was editor of a magazine and published some cartoons of a certain Muslim figure of worship. A local man was incensed and claimed this violated his rights. How? Never mind—it’s the seriousness of the charges that counts! The HRC took his case and drug Levant to its cells for an interrogation, which, mirabile dictu, the HRC allowed Levant to tape, which tapes he posted on YouTube (link). This was his salvation.

Because so many people got a glimpse of the “banality of evil” via the internet, Levant won his first case; however, his worries aren’t over (check his site for up-to-date information). The HRCs are still in business and every now and then somebody thinks it would be great fun to sic a lawyer on him. So one of the reasons he wrote this book is to reduce the rate of these needless and troublesome suits by exposing the worst part of the bureaucracy. I wish him luck.

Epilogue: Ted “Chappaquiddick-Booze-’em-up-Chase-them-skirts-but-Solid-on-abortion” Kennedy, the “lion” of the senate, sat one day and contemplated his Legacy. He looked to the frozen north and felt envy. How could he join his Canadian brothers in the noble fight against isms? He knew creating HRCs in the USA would be impossible. But he could, surreptitiously—how devious! how bold!—place a “hate crime” amendment that would mimic an HRC’s goals into a defense appropriations bill. They’ll never look for it there! And this he did. Yesterday.


  1. Wendy Weinbaum

    As a Jewess in the US, I ask: WHAT is Hussein Obama HIDING? Doesn’t matter! TOO LATE NOW! There are now some constitutional/legislative “theologians” who say that even IF the DemocRAT votes COULD be found to impeach him, that Obama is legally UNIMPEACHABLE, if in fact he is not a natural-born American. They say that, because then he would never have been eligible to hold the office in the first place, and so is NOT the President, and thus CANNOT be impeached! The Articles simply would NOT APPLY to him, any more than they would to you or me. Meanwhile, he occupies the White House, sitting around smoking cigars, drinking Crown Royal, and flitting about on Air Force One. If true, HOW would he be removed from the White House? Perhaps via an ordinary EVICTION process? Don’t let the media bury this story! -Wendy Weinbaum

  2. Briggs

    One gathers, Wendy, that you feel strongly about this. But to quote from a bad movie, “There are decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.”

    Though your non-standard capitalization got me thinking: rePUBLICAN. Is that why so many conservations have a smile on their face?

  3. Raven

    Here is the latest absurdity from Ms. Hall:

    Down the street, he spotted an unfamiliar letter-carrier delivering the mail. He asked him for ID, ran his name through the computer, thanked him for his trouble and verified with a regular postie that the new guy was a fill-in. The letter-carrier was not insulted, detained or charged with any crime.

    Innocuous? Not to Ronald Phipps, the fill-in letter-carrier. He is black. The cop is white. Mr. Phipps decided he’d been a victim of racial profiling, and took his case to the Human Rights Tribunal. In a ruling last month, the adjudicator agreed.

    The decision makes for scary reading, because it says someone can be found guilty just for making someone else feel bad. “There is no need to establish an intention or motivation to discriminate,” it says. “[T]he focus of the enquiry is on the effect of the respondent’s action on the complainant.”

  4. Careful, Briggs, you’re getting very close to trampling on my rights by calling that a bad movie.

  5. Briggs

    Shall we call it a guilty-pleasure movie, Matt?

    Raven, reading that snippet made me feel bad. Next time I’m in Toronto, look out!

  6. I can live with guilty-pleasure. Rights restored.

    At least Raven’s example could conceivably be racial profiling. I think partial credit should be given to the mailman for that, given recent, public instances of people who should be smart enough to know better torturing that particular phrase.

  7. Scumop

    I have often felt that those HRCs devalue and disgrace Canada and Canadians. As a Canadian, I am ashamed of their existence.

    Perhaps I could file a complaint to the HRCs. Something like “HRCs discriminate against free inquiry and fair comment, inspire terror in the public and the media, and push open and vitriolic hatred against any and all citizens who might voice an opinion or post an observation. This verges on cultural genocide. The only recourse is to disband yourselves and pay us large sums of money.”


  8. Is it a hate crime to accuse someone of a hate crime? And then, is it a hate crime to accuse someone of a hate crime for accusing someone of a hate crime? I mean, it’s sort of like a chain letter, right? Unless the chain eventually gets back to the first offender, in which case it would be a vicious circle.

    We should all join in. J’accuse. Then we can all be accusers and accusees and get a free lunch from the Hate Tribunal. They serve lunch, right? If not, I think that’s a hate crime.

  9. JH

    Re: racial profiling

    Well, it sure is a privilege (measured in term of one’s psychological state) that if a police officer pulls me over, I can be sure I haven’t been, consciously or not, singled out because of my race.

  10. 49erDweet

    The ironic deliciousness of CA’s HRC situation is that as a people they – sorry, Scumop, for the generality – are culturally so polite they couldn’t comment aloud even if you broke wind in their presence whilst in queue. But if something thought by anyone to be “offensive” exudes from the other end of your body then watch out! They gotcha. That type of thinking simply has to be a mental disorder.

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