In which Canada gets a little love.

At least one of its citizens. One of my bad habits is to obsessively read several science/political blogs each morning to a cup of coffee. Despite being a huge distraction, I stick with it. Anyway, a couple of my regular reads linked to this guy, a publisher up there who reprinted those Danish cartoons and got taken before an inquiry for it. One of the recent posts has some choice video of his interview by a government official. I recommend watching them.

His speech to the committee was reprinted in the National Post. A brilliant speech, by a man who is totally unafraid to tell things the way they are.

What a kangaroo court.

Why is he being a douche to the woman who’s just there doing her job? She asked for a simple restatement of why the cartoon was published and he goes all “defy the man” on her, asking her rhetorical questions and putting words in her mouth. This is more the act of a bully than someone who wants to change the flaws of the system.

He should stick to his blogging.

How exactly is he supposed to change the flaws in the system other than by pointing them out to the people who are part of the system? He’s being accused of hate crimes by a panel which consists of people that have little to nothing to do with the judiciary. Who exactly should he be talking to?

“Pointing out”? This is the exact same thing as being an asshole to the cashier at McDonald’s because your order had a bug in it. His argument just as perfectly valid without him further dramatizing his part as the victim and personifying all the evils of the government and the HRC onto the woman who happened to be performing the interview.

Speaking of dramatizing, he avidly agreed with a statement that the HRC is an arbitration body that helps self-victimizing litigators entangle their enemies with accusations of violations of human rights, since the case would not stand in a real court. How appropriate and ironic, but not a bit less hypocritical, then, for him to attack the HRC with its own weapon for the very same reasons.

She has a responsibility as being part of the process he rightly objects to. She shouldn’t be spared scorn just because she’s not the actual judge.

As for your second point, I was not aware that this guy was issuing a complaint with the HRC along the same lines as the one he was hit with. Otherwise I hardly see how relishing the prospect of using a trial based on a ridiculous charge as a show would be hypocritical.

I don’t see why there is any need for scorn in the first place. I don’t see the justification in harassing a McDonald’s cashier because the quality of the food happened to be low. Who was interrogating whom?

And any man who is smug with posting his verbal abuse of an employee whose job is to collect data is at least a little bit hypocritical in my eyes when his entire point was to defend the citizenry from the machinations of a greater power. Half the time he was making some very good points, and the other half he spent name-calling and reading his list of polysyllabic adjectives. Did calling her a thug improve his message so much?

You don’t see any need for scorn. We diverge early. Of all the horrors of the modern world, bureaucracy ranks near the top for its subtle dehumanization of all its parts. Regardless of the duties of her position, if her task involves something like restricting another’s speech, she should not be excused.

In a world run by reason alone rhetoric would be unnecessary. In this one, indignation has a long history of efficacy in the art of persuasion. So was his attitude necessary to the coherence of his objection? No. Did it aid in the transmission? Judging by chain reaction blog linkage and attention payed to his comments, yes.

The coherence of his objecting is perfectly clear, but as I said, I find his means of transmission rather disgusting. Putting up straw (wo)men representatives of a horror of the modern world and then attacking them with glee is not-so-subtly dehumanizing, but I suppose the ends justify the means. Burn the witch!

It is not a straw man. She’s actively participating in a government limitation of an individual’s speech. There’s nothing sneaky about including her in the response.

The great mistake would be to blame everything on the gubbamint and focus on one person involved in the process, creating a scapegoat and leaving intact the often vast network of individuals involved in the matter.

Then there’s nothing wrong with blaming Americans as a whole for the atrocities in Iraq for actively voting in Bush?

P.S. Witty repartee

You’re ignoring the individual element again. “Americans as a whole” don’t exist. A majority voted for Bush, a minority didn’t. Let each of them share blame for the consequences as their actions demand. One might object that to passively accept the result itself condemns them to an equal share, but this is a fine balance with the consequences of rejecting the method of election and laws that govern it.

Each individual bears responsibility according to his or her own actions. I did not vote for Bush. However, I haven’t exactly aggressively pursued proper handling of apparent voter fraud and other things I’d expect of myself. I pay taxes that help fund the war (well technically I’ve always gotten refunds, but still…). I haven’t exactly been fighting “the man.” So I suppose I share some blame. Not as much as the folks who did vote for him.

Edit: (something about someone’s mother)

So let’s pick out any ol’ Republican, and flame him in an interview, bringing out all the mistakes that the president made. Let’s call this Republican a warmonger, a part of the problem, an empire-builder, all that, while also addressing the real issues, of course, but with a healthy dose of flaming on the individual as well. Nothing spreads better than addressing a national problem while linking it with social embarrassment of an individual on camera. Sound good?

P.S. Comment regarding one’s sexuality

P.P.S. Actually this sounds a lot like some of our threads

P.P.P.S. And a lot of popular political commentary shows

P.P.P.P.S. This point is defeating itself isn’t it :frowning:

P.P.P.P.P.S. That still doesn’t stop this Ezra guy from being a douchebag though :frowning:

It utterly depends on the circumstances surrounding a given affair. Ridiculing a number of Republican congressmen on camera for their hilariously hypocritical homosexual hanky-panky might not be appropriate or effective when discussing, oh, say, whether the EPA should put the bald eagle on the endangered species list. It would be very appropriate to do so when those same Republicans are trying to round up support for new or cash in on credit for old “family values” legislation.

As for your specific example, for someone who voted for Bush in the 2004 election, yeah, you could call them all those things as far as their responsibility goes. How fucking blind or stupid would you have to have been back then not to know about the war? If you were trying to convince these same people of something though, it would not be effective rhetoric to whip out the insults (the chance of shaming them into agreement pales in the face of the likely outcome of simply annoying them).

Levant succeeds in both areas - blame and rhetoric - due to the different circumstances of his interrogation. The people he heaps scorn on are both involved involved in the the process of it and relatively few in number. In front of one interviewer, perhaps he can change her mind through a display of righteous indignation, but the larger matter is transmitting the situation to a larger audience more likely to sympathize with him.

Commentary: I hear you can buy chocolate penises in the Netherlands. Please ask your mom if one of those would sufficient instead of the norm since I am tired of being scalded.

Ps. all over the place: No u.

So the ends <i>do</i> justify the means. Who cares about the shameful way he treats this particular individual if only his message gets across? If the picking are few, one might as well bully the first one seen, because you never know when you might get the chance again! You may call his blaming and rhetoric-shouting successes, but here’s one reader that he’s alienated with his bravado and attempts at playing the martyr.

P.S. One such chocolate penis would certainly last longer than you, etc.

I will strap down the point to a hospital bed if that’ll help you not miss it. Again I will simply repeat that he treated her in no way undeserved. She is an active part of dragging him into a legal situation because he oversaw the printing of some cartoons. You might have a point if he accosted some meter maid over this, but no.

Follow-up: Probably. Whoo! That woman can do things you’ve never heard of.

Note: I’ve tried to use “rhetoric” and its related forms strictly in the sense of the art of persuasion, and not in its other meanings (including hyperbole or inane grandstanding).

And I reiterate that he treated her in a way nobody deserves, <i>especially</i> if he wants to make a case that addresses a body of individuals, and not any single one. If he needs to resort to shouting at the cashier who plays <i>an active part</i> in making him pay for his sub-par meal, he wouldn’t be just an outraged customer who’s not getting what he’s paid for; he’d also be an asshole.

I like his closing statement a lot more than his fluff in the middle. He could have just said that, and I’d be content and probably applaud him for speaking frankly. As it is, his eagerness to attack someone, <i>anyone</i> so he can put up his fucking youtube video to get some views and +FAVs!!! soured the entire pot.

P.S. Not as skillful as your sister, etc.

The Nazi soldiers at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen were just doing their job too. Its a hyperbolic cliche, but its true.

Sil, Cid and RPT are right.

The cashier at McD’s doesn’t give a shit about your order, just transmitting the order. The cashier is paid minimum wage and plays a passive role in the ordering process. The woman is not in the same position at the cashier at McD’s just transmitting the order because the actions in question don’t compare.

If the guy wants a burger, he goes to McD’s and chooses to interact with someone. What’s happening here is different because here we have a McD’s worker sent from McD’s to follow a guy and then trying to feed someone a shit sandwhich. He doesn’t want the shit sandwhich. In fact, he never went to McD’s to begin with to eat his shit sandwhich but he’s having it put in his face.

You’re also assuming that the shit sandwhich in question is an independent event, which is incorrect. It just so turns out that McD’s serving him an entire shit buffet and this most likely isn’t his first pass at the bar, therefore he is already aggravated at what he is being subjected to.

So are the current soldiers in Guantanimo and all the CIA run detention camps scattered about the world.

Is that a good thing or is it not? You decide.