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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hezboliberal.com is now www.westernstandard.ca/liberal

Update: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Feel free to look around!

I saw the satirical website www.HezboLiberal.com and laughed pretty hard (my favourite line: "MP searches Middle-East for terrorism, finds Israel). But they weren't laughing over at Liberal headquarters. The party's in a bit of a snit right now over the issue of Israel and terrorism and they've lost their sense of humour.

The grown-up answer to a satirical website like that is to laugh it off. But the Liberal party is hurting right now, so it lashed out against the pranksters -- pressuring their internet service provider (ISP) to censor the site. Here's the Liberals' demand letter:

To whom it may concern,

Please be advised that the use of the Liberal Party of Canada's logo and the link to the Liberal Party's website, through the website http://www.hezboliberal.com/ hosted by your company, is a breach of Canadian Copyright and Trademarks laws. The references on that website are also slanderous and libelous.

Please ask your client to remove any reference to the Liberal Party of Canada using any sign, logo or other identification owned by the Liberal Party of Canada.

I trust you will govern yourself accordingly.

Guy Régimbald
Director of Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel
Directeur des affaires juridiques et avocat-conseil
Liberal Party of Canada/Parti Libéral du Canada
Tel: 613-783-8405
Cell: 613-294-3372
Fax: 613-235-7208
Email/Courriel: gregimbald@liberal.ca
www.liberal.ca

I'm a defamation lawyer, and there's nothing defamatory about that website that isn't protected by the defence of fair comment (let alone truth, which is an absolute defence). I don't think Mr. Régimbald is a defamation lawyer, because his taxonomy -- calling the website slanderous, which is typically a term of art reserved for spoken defamation -- shows an unfamiliarity with the law. But this is all treating the letter too seriously. It is not a legitimate legal complaint: there is no defamation here. And the claims of copyright and trademark violations are ridiculous, too -- this website is clearly a parody, not an attempt to actually pass itself off as the real Liberal Party.

So enough with the unnecessary legal analysis. This is not a legal action by the Liberals. This is called bullying -- where the once-mighty "natural governing party", now flailing around in impotence, rage and debt, tries to lash out at some little guys and, worse, their ISP.

I happen to agree with the sentiments of the HezboLiberal pranksters -- I think the Liberal party deserves a shellacking over their pro-terrorist temporizing. But that's not what really makes me mad here, and it's not what makes our magazine come to the aid of the website. What makes me mad is that the Liberals are bullying critics on the internet, and getting away with it.

This is exactly the sort of precedent that all media should join forces to oppose -- whether they are pro- or anti-Liberal. If the Liberals have a real complaint, they should take it to court, not bully an ISP into censorship against a political dissident.

I'm not exactly holding my breath for the rest of Canada's media to take a stand here; these are the same folks who enforced the fatwa against publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in February. And earlier this spring, the Liberals used similar threats to shut down the Youth for Volpe satirical site.

So, we're going to do at the Western Standard what we've become accustomed to doing: having a little bit more guts than our competitors. We're going to host that Hezboliberal.com website. Not because we agree with it but because the Liberals think they can bully their opponents into submission.

Well, try bullying us. We weren't afraid of defying rioting mobs, and we sure as hell won't be afraid of taking on some Liberal lawyers. (Mr. Régimbald, our address for service of any writs can be found here.)

You can see the revived Hezboliberal.com website here, hosted on our server. Whether you agree with the content or not isn't the point. This is about stopping a bully. And about having some fun with some thin-skinned pols who can dish it out pretty good, but can't take it.

Posted by Ezra Levant on August 29, 2006 | Permalink

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hezboliberal.com is now www.westernstandard.ca/liberal:

» Laugh And The World Laughs With You from small dead animals
Whine, and the world laughs at you ... First, the Liberal Party killed Youth for Volpe. Last week, 'Liberals for Hezbollah' mysteriously went offline. Now, this site's ISP has received a letter from the Liberal Party of Canada, full of... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-29 4:12:12 PM

» Well, "www.LTTE-Grits.com" is Still Available from Daimnation!
Warren Kinsella salivates today over the cease-and-desist tactics that removed www.hezboliberal.com from the Internet, highlighting again his belief that the ideal Canadian voter is too stupid to disinguish between policy-makers and the rank-and-file b... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-29 5:12:06 PM

» HezboLiberal.com Rises From the Ashes from ThePolitic.com
HezboLiberal.com, a satirical website that was critical of the Liberal Partys (or a few of its members) position on Israeli Lebanon war was yanked down by its owner after the Liberal party threatened legal action. Warren Kinsella agrees with the... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-29 8:07:41 PM

» Western Standard to Canadas Liberal Party - Dear Sirs: DIAF from LeatherPenguin
This is not a legal action by the Liberals. This is called bullying where the once-mighty natural governing party, now flailing around in impotence, rage and debt, tries to lash out at some little guys and, worse, their ISP. read ... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-30 8:59:38 AM

» Liberal Censorship Strikes Again from The Daily Bayonet
A parody website called HezboLiberal has been taken down by its owner after legal threats from the party that cannot stand dissent. From the legal threat letter that the Liberals sent to the hosting ISP: Please be advised that the use of the Liberal Pa... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-30 11:05:00 AM

» HUMOURLESS LEFT from Word Around the Net
Granted, a sense of humor and being jolly is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when one describes politicians. But it seems that some are even more humorless than usual. In Canada, there is a satire website called Hezboliberal that had som... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-30 11:18:21 AM

» Why internet censorship doesn't work in the free world. from HiWired Blog
Why is it internet censorship doesn't work in the free world? Here is why: Exhibit A. Unlike states like Iran, China and Syria the offended can only put pressure on those who offend to wit in Canada: Now, this site's... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-30 2:44:43 PM

» Why internet censorship doesn't work in the free world. from HiWired Blog
Why is it internet censorship just doesn't work in the free world? Here is why: Exhibit A: Unlike states like Iran, China and Syria the offended can only put pressure on those who offend to wit in Canada: Now, this... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-30 3:38:50 PM

» Liberals just love liberty, don't they? from Code Monkey Ramblings
Why "liberals" are the very fascists that they wring their hands over: The grown-up answer to a satirical website like that is to laugh it off. But the Liberal party is hurting right now, so it lashed out against the... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-08-30 9:14:53 PM

Comments

Good deal

Posted by: Darcey | 2006-08-29 3:51:03 PM


Since when has the Left ever had a sense of humour? Their reaction is also very representative; use whatever means to shut down dissenting discourse.

Are they not the same people who invented every possible lie to scare voters away from "Scary Harper" with all the help of MSM? Maybe they should change the name from liberal to libility party.

Posted by: Alain | 2006-08-29 3:56:33 PM


Good stuff, Ezra. Once again, the Western Standard walks the walk.

Posted by: dean rune | 2006-08-29 4:09:04 PM


These Liberals are the people who brought in the election gag law, called voters a 'third party' and limited our freedom of speech to $3000/riding in an attempt to muzzle free speech during an election phase.

They deserve to be mocked until they cry and then have pictures of their tearful red eyed mugs made into a new Libranos T-Shirt.

Cry me a river and we'll give you the Hizb'allah salute while making the worlds tinest violins with our fingers at the end.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-29 4:10:30 PM


That's great, Ezra. Thanks for continuing to walk the walk, and for standing up again right when it matters the most. As with the Danish cartoons, your leadership in this case shows that actions speak louder than words. It's great to see.

Time for me to send out a couple more gift subscriptions to the Western Standard.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-08-29 4:14:38 PM


This made my day. Good to see!

Posted by: Jeff | 2006-08-29 4:51:26 PM


Bravo, Ezra!

In this country, the liberals in all kinds of institutions--nearly all institutions ARE liberal these days!--talk and talk about reducing the bullying: I'm a teacher, so I should know. And, you know what? The more the lefties talk, the more the bullies bully.

The kids are told, in hushed tones, that not supporting the bullied and not standing up to the bully makes one an enabler.

Then see what the Liberals do when someone decides not to enable. But, of course, the Liberal Party IS the bully, so what else would one expect? As always, adult toddlers!

Thanks, WS, for what you're doing here: supporting the bullied and taking on the bully. A+!

Posted by: lookout | 2006-08-29 5:02:07 PM


The "Youth for Volpe" site was hilarious. The HezboLiberal folks don't quite measure up, but they have potential. I agree, Ez, that the "lawyer" who wrote that letter ain't to bright. I don't have a law degree (just a good command of the English language) and that "slanderous and libelous" comment struck me as a sure sign of someone who does not know what he is talking about.

But it would be interesting to see what they might argue in court. I mean, do they really want to be in the position of trying to explain why they think it reasonable that the Canadian public might take the site seriously? Probably not. Maybe we will find out what they have to say. Or maybe they just drop it. If they have any common sense (or one working legal mind in the party), they'll drop it.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-08-29 5:07:58 PM


If you follow the link to the duplicate of the site, and click on the upper block which links to Warren Kinsella's site, you will see his opinion (about time, good, sue their pants off, any party would do the same.)

I suspect that the link originally went to WK's condemnation of Hubert.

Funny, I seem to remember many "parody" sites attacking the CPC during the last election, but no cease-and-desist letters.

Posted by: foobius | 2006-08-29 5:15:51 PM


Something tells me they WILL be dropping it...

Posted by: EBD | 2006-08-29 5:16:43 PM


... and become the butt of even more jokes.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-29 5:35:16 PM


Walk that Talk Ezra!
Thank you!

Question:
How can you tell a liberal lawyer is lying ?

Answer:
His lips are moving.

Posted by: richfisher | 2006-08-29 5:36:40 PM


Perfect

Posted by: Rodger Beals | 2006-08-29 5:46:57 PM


This could be fun.

Q:
Why did the gay activists want to promote their lifestyles in B.C. school textbooks?

A:
So their natural-born children wouldn't be teased in school.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-29 5:52:03 PM


Thanks, Ezra, for that information. I previously wasn't sure whether or not the use of a registered trademark was legitimate grounds for concern, under the law, but now I understand better the degree to which this is a matter of intimidation, not a matter of brand protection.

You know, when I signed up for charter membership for the Western standard about 2.5 years ago, I did so because based on the roster of columnists, I thought it would be a useful read. But I never thought the place of the Western Standard would be so important in the defense of liberty.

Once again, my heartiest thanks to Mr. Levant and the staff and writers at the Western Standard.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-08-29 5:55:04 PM


That's off topic, Set You Free.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-08-29 6:02:05 PM


Vit:

I didn't know you were American ... defense is the American spelling, defence the Canadian. Just kidding!

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments about WS being a bastion for liberty.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-29 6:02:41 PM


The Liberals have always been bullies. Not to mention liars and cheats.

But then there ya go.

Posted by: Fred Z | 2006-08-29 6:14:14 PM


I thought we were told it was the conservatives who were stifling speech and taking away our rights. Maybe they need to look in a mirror. Very good column. I sent the site to my friends, they wanted to see it to believe that we were not alone in our fight in the US.

Posted by: Sal | 2006-08-29 6:15:45 PM


Hats off to WS. This could be fun for those of us who enjoy sites like the new one you are hosting. Smoke comes out of my ears (when I am or am not enjoying a cigarette) every time I think of the abhorrent way the Liberanos have treated Canadian citizens. WS has raised the bar again for the old saying "practise what you preach". Thank-you WS.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-08-29 6:17:42 PM


Good for you! I admire your stance and I agree with you 100% that everybody in this country has to stand up for what's right. It's an obligation.

Kudos.

Posted by: Caveat | 2006-08-29 6:50:03 PM


This is pretty tame for political satire - it's frightening to think the liberals want a country where this is not tolerated. Or, worse yet, that kinsella thinks it's wise to try to bully it out of existence.

Posted by: dean rune | 2006-08-29 6:53:46 PM


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Posted by: maz2 | 2006-08-29 7:27:56 PM


That's off topic, Maz2.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-08-29 7:29:59 PM


Spreading the Liberal message, the Liberal ledgend and the Liberal reputation is a very generous measure.

The LPC should send financial backing for the greater promotion of LPC noteriety.

The LPC is probably gaining a solid loyal following of anrchists.

A small Canadian minority to be sure, located mainly in the GTA. = TG

Posted by: TG | 2006-08-29 8:00:47 PM


Spreading the Liberal message, the Liberal ledgend and the Liberal reputation is a very generous measure.

The LPC should send financial backing for the greater promotion of LPC noteriety.

The LPC is probably gaining a solid loyal following of anrchists.

A small Canadian minority to be sure, located mainly in the GTA. = TG

Posted by: TG | 2006-08-29 8:08:08 PM


The Liberal Party of Toronto has no sense of humour OR principles - they're turning into NDP'ers!

Posted by: philanthropist | 2006-08-29 8:27:24 PM



The Libs may have no sense of humour, but they sure provide opportunity for a lot of it.

Have a laught here with some more lib satire.

Hez Bowling ... bowling for rockets. at Dukes

http://tinyurl.com/k6swl

Imagine the old tune It's my party in the back ground with the lyrics ...

"It's my party and I'll LIE if I want to
You would LIE too if shit happened to you"

Posted by: Duke | 2006-08-29 9:12:15 PM


WHO do these Librano$ think they are? Rulers–by Divine Right? If their threats and lawyers weren’t so pathetic they would almost be funny. Ha, ha.

The “tolerant,” “open,” “diverse” lefties show their hand again, which is tyrannical, harbours no dissent, and comes down hard on anyone or any group that crosses them.

In any other situation, this would be called violence. But I guess it’s OK to be abusive towards people and groups the Libs disagree with. That’s called self-defence. If you have absolutely no sense of humour, no integrity, and no scruples about being A-one a**holes, this is just business as usual: Squash any dissension, usually using tax dollars. I guess it’s just beinning to dawn on them that they no longer have access to the bottomless tax-dollar coffers. Too bad guys. Boo hoo. Oh: THAT’s why you’re threatening to sue…you need the money.

Ezra, you've got their number, BIG-TIME!!! LOL
Thanks for standing in the gap again. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. WAY TO KICK ASS, EZRA AND WESTERN STANDARD!!!

Posted by: 'been around the block | 2006-08-29 9:21:25 PM


The thought that you are annoying Warren "attack chinchilla" Kinsella causes me no end of joy.

Posted by: Michael Caine | 2006-08-29 9:29:09 PM


hahahahahahhaha, this will piss them off, but good.

They really don't have a complaint, they do support the Hezzassholes. I do hope the liberals make a big ta-do over it.

Posted by: Honey Pot | 2006-08-30 6:04:31 AM


Congratulations on standing up to the arrogant Liberals. Time and again, they continue to show why voters whould not let this arrogant, entitled bunch anywhere near 24 Sussex anytime soon.

When you flush the toilet, it takes a long time for the bowl to empty and clean itself. With this latest Liberal show of intolerance and bullying, Liberal statements on the middle east, the Volpe example, and the three-ring circus that is the Liberal "leadership" (??) race, it is clear the bowl needs to swirl for a lot longer before they can be allowed to even think of taking power again.

Posted by: SLGAM | 2006-08-30 6:19:49 AM


A couple of years ago I blew a month's worth of grocery money on a 5 year subscription to the WS.

It was definitely well worth it!

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Ralph Rattfuc | 2006-08-30 6:38:54 AM


Warren Kinsella is in favour of a lawsuit? What a surprise.

Posted by: MustControlFistOfDeath | 2006-08-30 6:40:28 AM


Kudos to Mr. Levant! I always admire someone standing up to bullies, especially political bullies with teams of amoral lawyers to assist them in their attack on free speech.

Posted by: Dave | 2006-08-30 6:49:36 AM


Well done Ezra, I'm sure Kinsella et al, will rant some more. My renewal is in the mail!

Posted by: D'Arcy McGee | 2006-08-30 6:57:13 AM


Here's an e-mail I sent to Warren Kinsella last night. No response as of yet:

Dear Mr. Kinsella,

I hope that you've read Ezra Levant's post over at the Shotgun Blog, about the Liberals' threat to sue the creator of the HezboLiberal Web site. It's an empty threat but a nasty one. It is bullying of the first order and has no place in a democracy where, the last time I looked, freedom of expression was still a constitutional right. But, maybe that's only for Liberals...?

Too bad the Liberals have no sense of humour--and no money, which I suspect is at the bottom of this travesty. I like what one of the bloggers at the shotgun said:
The “tolerant,” “open,” “diverse” lefties show their hand again, which is tyrannical, harbours no dissent, and comes down hard on anyone or any group that crosses them. In any other situation, this would be called violence. But I guess it’s OK to be abusive towards people and groups the Libs disagree with. That’s called self-defence. If you have absolutely no sense of humour, no integrity, and no scruples about being A-one a______s, this is just business as usual: Squash any dissension, usually using tax dollars. I guess it’s just beginning to dawn on them that they no longer have access to the bottomless tax-dollar coffers. Too bad guys. Boo hoo. Oh: THAT’s why you’re threatening to sue…you need the money.

The strong-arm Liberal response to this satirical Web site really stinks, Mr. Kinsella. Do the Liberals not believe in freedom of expression or freedom of the press/media/blogs? Do the Liberals feel that it is legitimate to threaten those who express ideas counter to their own? It's as though the Liberals are saying to the creator of the satirical HezboLiberal Web site, "Because we don't like what you're saying about us, we're going to crush you." That's a very open and tolerant attitude on the part of a Party that lauds diversity as a "Canadian value" (sic).

But I guess what's good and works for the Liberals doesn't necessarily extend to others, especially to others on the opposite side of the political spectrum. I disagree strenuously with your "Good" assessment of the lawsuit that's being threatened on the part of your Party. And I'm sorry you've come to that conclusion. You seemed, lately, to have been making sense.

Sincerely,

Posted by: Mad at Kinsella | 2006-08-30 7:19:13 AM


Good work Ezra.

I wonder if WK thinks it's okay to listen to The Dead Kennedy's or is their name too slanderous.

Posted by: Gord Tulk | 2006-08-30 7:28:24 AM


Don't hold your breath is right. Here we have to read story after story about every left-wing reporter who has been kidnapped or harmed by terrorists, but when the two Fox reporters were kidnapped, you had to go digging for news on them.

In that case, it's their very lives, not merely censoring their writing, which is on the line. I think the media elites are perfectly happy to let them die if they are on the wrong side of the political fence.

Posted by: PlutosDad | 2006-08-30 8:08:40 AM



Well, I guess it all just demonstrates that the "great minds" of the Conservative party such as tiny Ezra are just as silly, childish and vapid as the Warren Kinsella's of this world and the old rat pack.

Gosh, what an impressively high level of debate from the chorus of like-minders who have never had an original thought of their own.

I would be surprised if it weren't the lowest of the current motley crew of nobodies and political hacks, Pierre Poilievre or Mrs. Poilievre (some call "him" John Baird) who was behind the childish and unfunny stunt. But is was sure to get Ezra's attention, as after all, that's about the only thing he was ever known for on the hill - staging silly stunts to pander to a lazy media.

As for Conservatives being able to take it as well as dish it out? Are you kidding? I can only imagine the bombast and fury that would follow any similar effort to depict current little PM Stevie "infallible" Harper.

You guys are hilarious, but not for the reasons you think.

Posted by: torywatcher | 2006-08-30 8:20:45 AM


The Liberals highly developed sense of decorum has always kept them from ridiculing others. Imagine their shock and dismay when the same respect is not extended to them. Humour, if used at all, should be tasteful. Like comparing Olivia Chow to a chow dog...wait, bad example. That was during an election, heat of battle and all that. As for WK, thats too bad, some of the things he'd written recently made me think he was coming around. Spots, leopard. Leopard, spots.

Posted by: rickinlondon | 2006-08-30 9:07:57 AM


torywatcher,

sour grapes my man?

rembember the hitler moustaches on Harper by your CBC and the guns in the street ..

It's the Liberals who are scary, not the conservatives.

Let me complete our argument so you don't have to.

R2
R not
R2
R not

There, I guess that covers it.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-08-30 9:11:17 AM


Ezra,I don't know why they Bitch so much,It's the Truth

Posted by: Paul | 2006-08-30 9:15:41 AM


heh. if you ever need a mirror, i can host it at http://polyrealism.com

Posted by: poul | 2006-08-30 9:26:49 AM


Well said Ezra and well done.

Good for you and the WS, and thank you for standing up for the truth.

Posted by: NS | 2006-08-30 9:55:53 AM


This is offensize to Warren "BARNEY THE DINOSAUR" Kinsella!?! Cause making fun of someone's religion is fine, but highlighting the political statements of public figures is simply improper!?! Riiiiight.

Good job Ezra!

Posted by: Hey | 2006-08-30 10:25:49 AM


Ezra,

Living in suburban Windsor (aka the Detroit area), watching Hockey Night In Canada on CBET, and drinking Molson's Golden, I feel a kinship to my southern neighbors (look at the map) - at least the ones who aren't complete lefty moonbats. One year we took some friends who had just immigrated to the US from the USSR to the big Int'l Freedom Festival fireworks show on the Detroit River. Normally, we would have gone to Windsor because Dieppe Park (would that most Canadians knew that little bit of history) is less crowded than downtown Detroit and you get a better view of the pyrotechnics. However, our friends hadn't yet gotten their Green Cards so they couldn't cross the border. When I told him about our normal viewing site, he said he didn't like Canada. "Too much so-shi-a-lism in Canada."

Anyway, in response to the Liberal's thin skin I sent the following email to Mr. Régimbald (who I noticed did not send a bilingual letter):

Dear Monsieur Régimbald,

Please be advised that the parodied use of the Liberal Party of Canada's logo is perfectly legal *north of the border here in the United States no matter what Canadian Copyright and Trademarks laws say.

Please ask your party to advocate removing any jihadis or other Muslim extremists from Canada using any appropriate methods.

I trust you will govern yourself accordingly, eh?

Ronnie Schreiber

www.autothreads.com/liberallah.jpg

Posted by: Ronnie Schreiber | 2006-08-30 10:41:09 AM


Speaking of suppression, whatever happened to the footage of Chretien speaking at that conference where Nasrallah was sitting in the audience? And whatever happened to the photo of him at Khadr pere's bedside?

Posted by: Joan Tintor | 2006-08-30 11:39:57 AM


Wow, and I thought my Canadian friends were just being whiney when they complained about the Liberal Party. Kinda reminds me of the tactics of a certain insane anti-videogame crusader here in the States...but apparently institutionalized.

Posted by: Ranba Ral | 2006-08-30 12:18:17 PM


Great stuff Ezra! Now you just need to get the guys who own hezboliberal.com to change the code on their home page to load the site from http://www.westernstandard.ca/liberal/liberal.html.

Hezboliberal.com is even better if the content can be accessed by using (and mentioning forevermore) the original site url.

Posted by: AlbertaNeo | 2006-08-30 12:32:18 PM



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