The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Western Standard responds to new human rights complaint
Today Syed Soharwardy, the Saudi trained Imam, announced his intention to take the Western Standard, once again, to the human rights commission. Last time it was because Soharwardy didn't like that the Western Standard published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. This time it's because Soharwardy thinks some of the public comments on the Western Standard's website are in poor taste.
That's the nature of free speech: there are going to be occasional offensive comments. The proper Canadian response is to engage in debate, which is exactly what happened on the Western Standard website. On December 2nd, when commenter "obc" wrote something offensive about Muslims, commenter "holographic" quickly refuted him, calling "obc" an extremist and denouncing his comments.
That's how things work in a free country like Canada. Every time our feelings are hurt, we don't call the police and we don't go running to government censors.
When we purchased the Western Standard name and websites last month, we inherited a very lively and un-moderated discussion forum that we intend to improve. We have hired a full-time online editor, and expect a relaunch of our site by January 15, 2008.
These improvements will include restricting gratuitously rude and insensitive comments, including profanity, and restricting anonymous postings -- a higher standard of editing than is used on comment threads at the Globe and Mail and the National Post. These changes will not limit the range of topics discussed on the blog, nor will they limit the points of view that can be expressed on those topics. The changes will simply bring in a new standard of netiquette -- not a standard of political correctness.
Our editorial commitment is to the classical liberal values of personal freedom, economic cooperation and peace. What we choose to publish will be decided by us -- not by special interest groups or human rights commissions.
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Glad to hear your progress report.
I recently had one of my comments deleted from the new-interim Shotgun Blog. It was described by Neil Flagg as "spam" and that was represented as the reason my comment was removed.
Also, I post my comments using a nick name and anonymously regarding email address.
Under the new Shotgun Blog will the comment I posted, which Mr. Flagg deleted, be allowed and will I be able to post with the degree of anonymity that I presently enjoy?
I wish you every success in your endeavor, whether my past type of participation will be acceptable or not.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-12-19 3:06:36 PM
OBC has gone beyond several times, but he is not the only racist. The worst have been Patel and Winston.
It's one thing to be a bar pig and another to be a regular correspondent. Hang OBC, but find the real villians and stake them out in the badlands.
Posted by: trudeau's ghost | 2007-12-19 3:10:23 PM
These clowns are abusing our system to take advantage of our good natures. They are fortunate we don't just chop off their hands for writing such drivel as they would do to us in good old Saudi land.
Mr. Cowardly Syed would do more to further the cause of his 'religion' if he denounced the daily killings and brutality done in the name of Allah by Muslims throughout the world, rather than wasting our time with such obvious b.s.
Posted by: Markalta | 2007-12-19 3:13:51 PM
Salim Mansur has stated it very succinctly when talking about these spurrious claims by the various muslim groups making Human Rights complaints:
Posted by: Markalta | 2007-12-19 3:21:33 PM
>" The worst have been Patel and Winston."
trudeau's ghost | 19-Dec-07 3:10:23 PM
Not that I want to see anybody summoned before the Troika Kangaroo Court know as the HRC, but Winston was born and raised in Iran and it would be as interesting to see Syed Soharwardy accuse him before the HRC as it would be to see a Jamaican Rapper hauled before the HRC for calling other Blacks ni@@ers*.
*(which I understand is pretty common in Rap music)
Posted by: Speller | 2007-12-19 3:21:35 PM
These trolls claim to be the open-minded, tolerant, & peace loving Canadians.
Trudeau would be so proud of them. :)
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-19 3:27:20 PM
This is sad news.
"On December 2nd, when commenter "obc" wrote something offensive about Muslims, commenter "holographic" quickly refuted him, calling "obc" an extremist and denouncing his comments."
Even if I personnally find obc to be much worst than that, I personally think that Canada is still a free country and Internet, more free; and should not be regulated on free speech. I'm ok he'S expressing himself as long as you let others the right to answer him...
Dear Mr Western Standard,
There's a complaint of my own that I would like to share with you. It's the unfairness of this blog regarding common sense and freedom of speech. When you make fun of "holographic" for his attitude towards obc, try to remember how obc is reacting when being offended and how you let this to happen. We don't hear much from you now, eh ?
Having a regulator on fairness would help.
Not because it fits better the government rules, on internet ? ? (who are these people anyway ? Like if they follow rules and represent political fairness...); but because of values this Web site promotes (or fake to). If you are adepts of free speech, allow others who don't fit your line of thinking to post as well. Right now what you have is "main posters" who refuse to let some expressing themselves because they don't fit THEIR PERSONAL line of thinking.
This is even worst than what's offending you right now.
"Our editorial commitment is to the classical liberal values of personal freedom, economic cooperation and peace. What we choose to publish will be decided by us -- not by special interest groups or human rights commissions."
Please, dont do too much.
Posted by: Marc | 2007-12-19 3:32:52 PM
"Our editorial commitment is to the classical liberal values of personal freedom, economic cooperation and peace. What we choose to publish will be decided by us -- not by special interest groups or human rights commissions."
Please, dont do too much.
Posted by: Marc | 2007-12-19 3:33:59 PM
Winston wants to kill Iranians; idiots want to vent online without consequence. OBC is a racist and always has been.
I have no problem with OBC in the system and actually appreciating his crimes. All I really want is the real criminals brought to justice.
Posted by: trudeau's ghost | 2007-12-19 3:38:35 PM
What we choose to publish will be decided by us -- not by special interest groups or human rights commissions.
Good luck with that. It looks like you have already succumbed to pressure as witnessed by
Conrad-USA's post.I have been vilified by racists on this site because one of my family members is Asian.I didn't run to the HRC and complain and I don't expect any other reader would do it either.
You are on a slippery slope with this and the only
direction of travel is downhill.
Oh, and God Bless OBC!
Posted by: atric | 2007-12-19 3:42:10 PM
>"Winston wants to kill Iranians;..."
trudeau's ghost | 19-Dec-07 3:38:35 PM
Winston has always advocated for a counter-revolution in Iran.
Winston doesn't want to see the current government of Iran get nukes, use them on Israel, and the have Iran nuked in return.
Winston wants to see Iran spared a lot of grief while the rulers of Iran want to foment Chaos and destruction which, as Shiites, they believe will precipitate the return of the 13th Imam.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-12-19 3:48:42 PM
To my knowledge, our editor did not remove posts by Conrad-USA.
We do not intend to censor the nature of the discussions on this blog, only the tone - and only in extreme cases.
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2007-12-19 3:50:14 PM
There was a problem with the filter, not your comments or mine. I wrote in and got this reply.
You're not the only one having this problem right now. This situation
appears to have been tripped by a spam attack. I'm releasing comments as
they get picked off by the filter, and I've just gone back to the old IP
filter (bans set up months ago) and released a whole raft of IPs. My
apologies. I'm doing what I can at the moment.
Posted by: John West | 2007-12-19 3:56:37 PM
Marc: "Right now what you have is "main posters" who refuse to let some expressing themselves because they don't fit THEIR PERSONAL line of thinking."
If I understand you correctly, you're referring to one (or more) poster(s) who mock or argue another poster's position. If I am correct, this is a bad thing why?
Free speech works both ways - you have the right to express yourself and others have the right to agree, disagree, ignore, challenge or laugh.
However, if you're referring to a moderator allowing or disallowing your post, well, that's up to the moderators. If you don't like it, start your own blog and run it any way you see fit.
Posted by: Kathryn | 2007-12-19 3:59:51 PM
Ditto John West.
I started getting blocked by the spam filter last night.
It wouldn't even allow me to post a "test", one single word.
Aren't 'puters grand?
Posted by: Speller | 2007-12-19 4:01:20 PM
My comment was just rejected for some unknown reason. If this one gets through, my failed post was apologizing for misunderstanding Conrad's post.
Posted by: atric | 2007-12-19 4:07:44 PM
Even though I agree with some of what he says, I agree he goes over once in awhile, but so what. We are all big people here. We are tolerant of others.
When our middle east folks are offended by some of what they read here and other places, they have to realize that they are no longer in the middle east. They are here where we say what we want and we serve as our own filters.
The ME folks might pride themselves on their stoic nature and ability to endure physical hardship and lord know they come from rough places, but they appear to have the emotions of a 14 year old girl.
I say to them, grow up and be happy you are now in a place where you can actually be free. AND STOP USING THAT HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO MEND YOUR HURT FEELINGS.
You do not endear yourself to your host Canadians when you do that sort of thing. The consequences of those action will only move this great country down the sewer of repression, much like the place you found desirable TO LEAVE!!
Our schools have worked hard to condition the last couple of generations to be socially and politically stupid, but there are still a lot of use here who know better. We won't take this shit without a fight.
We must end the CHRC now. Write your MP and tell him or her that you don't want this repression in Canada and to get rid of that ugly quasi court.
Posted by: John West | 2007-12-19 4:18:18 PM
"STOP USING THAT HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO MEND YOUR HURT FEELINGS."
That is not why they are doing it. Their desire is to rid this country of any verbal opposition in their goal to implant their ideology among us.
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-19 4:23:29 PM
"If I understand you correctly, you're referring to one (or more) poster(s) who mock or argue another poster's position. If I am correct, this is a bad thing why?"
"Free speech works both ways - you have the right to express yourself and others have the right to agree, disagree, ignore, challenge or laugh."
"However, if you're referring to a moderator allowing or disallowing your post, well, that's up to the moderators."
Oh, I see.
So stop making fun of people being offended because your moderators have no balls when it's their turn to answer their points of vues they've just post.
I hope you disagree a bit with the attitude I'm trying to show u because otherwise your site only becomes a vicious circle of neo-cons who masturbate in group but in front of everybody.
Why don't you just form a private group and site so you will all be able to agree with each others and this without interference and without having to come with the insanity u have the guts to call "Two sides free speech".
Afterall, if posters are so wrong in the vues of your moderators, letting their post to appear would only prove the reasons your moderator did wish to hold them from the start...nah?
Bah, you do what you want it's your site and your one way logic. I was only pointing at the funny twist you have in here and then giving others lessons about free speech in Canada. If a guy like the one you're tarnishing up there would be able to answer freely to main posters and other bloggers on treads, maybe you wouldnt have juridical repercutions or passing for a bunch of sisies. That's all.
But please, don't give too much attention and continue this one man show of yours.
Tx for taking the time anyway, Kathryn.
Posted by: Marc | 2007-12-19 4:35:10 PM
The trolls continue to demonstrate how tolerant and peace-loving they are. :)
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-19 4:43:59 PM
Look at the plus side, obc.
This troll used to oppose capital punishment.
Your comments, obc, have generated social progress in at least one Leftist.
(no doubt Trudeau's corpse is in the family crypt spinning like a Dremel.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-12-19 4:54:45 PM
"Their desire is to rid this country of any verbal opposition in their goal to implant their ideology among us."
See Kathryn, even obc is able to understand what I'm telling you about many of your so-called moderators.
Posted by: Marc | 2007-12-19 4:59:09 PM
TIME Magazine has chosen Vlady Putin its Man of the Year. Al Gore came in second:
"Gore Files Lawsuits Against Time"
by Pat Sajak
Lawyers for former Vice President Al Gore have filed numerous lawsuits against Time magazine, alleging a series of voting irregularities they maintain deprived Gore of Time’s “Person of the Year” Award. It has been announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin received the 2007 award, with Gore finishing second.
Details of the suits are sketchy, but one of them accuses certain unnamed Time employees of denying others the right to vote when it was determined they were leaning toward Gore. Rumors have surfaced that one employee, known only as “Chad”, has confirmed those rumors. Another separate suit claims the voting process to be far too complicated to be understood by, to quote the lawsuit, “a bunch of journalists.” Gore’s lawyers are calling for a recount of the ballots in question.
NOW THIS IS FUNNY!
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-19 5:00:12 PM
As far as I can tell, your point is that no one should disagree with you. I can understand why you might think that's a reasonable position; I can't understand why anyone should agree with that.
Blogging is not for the faint of heart and if you can't defend your positions, don't make them.
Lastly, it's not my site and they're not my moderators. I just happen to understand that, as the owners, they can and will make any rule they deem reasonable. Abide by the rules or leave. Simple, non?
Posted by: Kathryn | 2007-12-19 5:08:39 PM
I heard about this controversy on the radio today. What scares me is the comment that the editorial comment of readers is going to be censored. That is the only word that fits the use words like "restricting" in editorial policy.
I guess the new ownership is more concerned about advertising dollars than "free and open" speech.
As for the HRC complaint. I have read enough about the intolerance of Islam in the new recently, including the threat to blow up schools for girls that do not wear the burqa. Including killing the students that do not follow islamic law. This doesn't wound like free speech to me, will Syed Soharwardy fight to put a stop to speech like this? How about speechs from Canadian Islamic sites calling for the death of all those that posted the Muslim cartoons? I really doubt it.
Posted by: Robin | 2007-12-19 5:22:07 PM
"As far as I can tell, your point is that no one should disagree with you."
Well, do an extra mile.
I love the fact that people disgree with me and I feel priviledged to live inna world where they are able to answer me and explain why.
"The point that no one should disagree with you" is a philosophie YOU'RE promoting, not me.
"Blogging is not for the faint of heart and if you can't defend your positions, don't make them."
I agree - but I'm pointing at moderators who hold people who can to do so.
"I just happen to understand that, as the owners, they can and will make any rule they deem reasonable."
Defending freedom of speech for obc and holding others to answer is not "reasonable", it'S pure contradiction and makes my day.
"Lastly, it's not my site and they're not my moderators."
Thank you - I was about to say their's no point in continuing this discussion with you but en plus, you're a nobody one the matter; just like the B'nai Brith regarding language policies.
I should have asked u first - my mistake.
Posted by: Marc | 2007-12-19 5:24:11 PM
I laughed when I read "The proper Canadian response is to engage in debate, which is exactly what happened on the Western Standard website." In fact, nothing of the sort happens on this website. What actually happens is vicious personal attachs against people who post "leftist" opinions, praise for even the most offensive pseudo racist dribble followed by a banning of "leftist" coments that hit the mark squarely. No wounder the Western Standard could not make a profit.
Posted by: Pat_Pending | 2007-12-19 5:25:11 PM
And still you return to post here. lol!
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-19 5:29:44 PM
Hey, Syed posted these same comments on his website - someone should file a complaint against him:
Posted by: Rob | 2007-12-19 6:02:53 PM
Seems to be that freedom of speech is not for north americans anymore.Everyday on the news or cnn i have to listen at how and why all the "infidels"in the west have to die...just because we don't practice their religion...since the day of 9-11 when I witnessed on TV the elation and streets parties ,the day OUR historical RCMP uniform Had to be change because of human rights, the day OUR legions allowed head cover because of human rights, the day I was told by MY government and City that wishing MERRY CHRISTMAS was not proper anymore because of human rights...that's the day I became racist too. Seems like that every wrong word ,wrong look becomes a human rights issue ....what ever happen to my rights????MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
Posted by: omero | 2007-12-19 6:31:05 PM
Over the course of centuries brilliant thinkers crafted the arguments for Freedom of Speech at the risk of their lives, and it worked and came into our lives-nations for the past couple centuries.
Now that is at risk for the objective of normalizing homosexuality via creation of a huge voting block of Feminism with tender feelings.
Totalitarianism of every flavor fans the flames of this attack on freedom, using the weakened basis of our freedom in order to enslave us all.
"Girls" can't do math, and evidently they can't read history either, so all of Western Civilization is at risk before Human Rights Commissionns, etc.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-12-19 6:39:37 PM
Few if any of us have escaped personal and at times vicious attacks on this blog, and my response is so what.
Rob makes a good point about going after Syed and all the others who freely spout off vile hatred against the "infidels". Yet these attacks on free speech will continue as long as we provide them with the tools to do so. HRC's must be dismantled and the HR act repealed.
Posted by: Alain | 2007-12-19 6:44:56 PM
The comments on Syed's site I was referring to are the very same comments that appeared here. So if the Western Standard is guilty of something simply by the appearance of these comments, then why isn't Syed guilty? Two websites - both displaying the same comments.
Posted by: Rob | 2007-12-19 6:53:35 PM
You're not holding your breath while waiting, are you? :)
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-19 8:15:38 PM
Warning: The world is full of people with varying views. You do not have the "right" to not be offended. You do not have the "right" to tell anyone how to think. You do not have the "right" to come to my country and tell me how to live.
If any of these opinions offend you...TOUGH!
Posted by: JC | 2007-12-19 9:04:23 PM
Yes Rob, I stand corrected concerning that particular link. However there is no shortage of the hatred to which I referred being expressed here by the Islamists, so one does not need to do a big search to find example upon example.
Posted by: Alain | 2007-12-19 11:26:14 PM
I may take a stand on how much enforced social engineering I will tolerate from the government or any one else...but that is not the same thing as advocating hatred.I enjoy the fact that world is made of many cultures as individual and unique as the planet itself. And I like the way JFK put it....
"The wave of the future is not the conquest
of the world by a single dogmatic creed
but the liberation of the diverse energies
of free nations and free men."
-- John F. Kennedy
(1917-1963) 35th US President
Posted by: JC | 2007-12-20 3:39:23 PM
Testing. I have been blocked by the spam filter more than once. Maybe this message will go through...Here's hoping...
Posted by: batb | 2007-12-21 8:57:34 AM
Chicken shit sell outs!
Posted by: Bill | 2007-12-21 9:01:49 AM
The Shotgun was one of my two blog destinations when I first went online. But eventually Ezra's experiment of a completely unmoderated forum took its toll on the site, to the point where it became pointless to waste a comment.
A "room" where people are free to go and discuss, without censorship, any ideas at all, sounds good. But if too many people come into that room and start screaming, and barfing, you're going to lose the people for whom the room was originally intended. I saw that happen over time at the Shotgun -- reasonable and intelligent commenters left for other sites that had bouncers (to use Vitruvius' analogy).
Free speech is not well-served when bellowing, one-note ad hominem artists hold the floor. I welcome the changes at the Shotgun, and look forward to rejoining the forum.
Posted by: EBD | 2007-12-21 12:23:12 PM
Free speech is not pretty EBD.
I don't think you get it at all.
And threatening us by sniffing "you do not deserve my pretentious presence" argument is haughty if not hilarious.
Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-12-21 12:27:12 PM
You'd be willing to rejoin the old boy's club, once they tighten up the membership? Any idea how elitist that sounds?
Posted by: dp | 2007-12-21 12:30:46 PM
I agree with you. I don't mind "associating" with "rabble" in a discussion forum, if it is merely a matter of opinions which I don't like.
Often I will endeavor to convert, educate, mollify such rough edged types, and see if their argument is valid or whether I can persuade them of my alternative view (if in fact I disagree with them).
I like aggressive people, it is the mute "civil" mob which removes your right to freedom of speech via politically correct thought police type and "hate crime" activities.
There was a time when I really thought that I was very smart and special (with lots of credentials to "prove" it), and then I set about to fix things for some poor "stupid" people. My plan was to sell slum houses to black people (who were renting the same places and living in what I considered squalor). "I could finance anybody and anything." Big deal. VERY quickly I learned that the only stupid person in the transaction was me. I learned how careful and shrewd EVERYBODY is when they are dealing in important (to them and to their families) matters.
If you ever want to take a big humility pill, try to sell something to somebody and see how smart the get.
Plenty of my friends have their kids take sales jobs while they are in college (e.g. selling pots and pans or encyclopedias door to door, etc.), because they figure it is possibly the most important "education" the kid will receive while they are in college. Any kind of job is a big education, but selling is particularly good for the "smart" guys.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-12-21 12:54:31 PM
"Mr. Cowardly Syed would do more to further the cause of his 'religion' if he denounced the daily killings and brutality done in the name of Allah by Muslims throughout the world"
I see your editorial staff is *really* changing. Clearly, you take the matter seriously. If I were to reverse this statement and talk about abortion clinic bombers et cetera, would people be as laissez-faire?
"You do not have the "right" to tell anyone how to think. You do not have the "right" to come to my country and tell me how to live."
While perhaps true to a degree, the reverse is also true. Nor do you have the right to slander and threaten those who disagree with you, much to your discomfiture, no doubt.
If you guys want to be a fringe blog, good for you. I am sure Ann Coulter-istas will be all over the place, it will be like a crappy version of Little Green Footballs.
Posted by: Machinator | 2007-12-21 6:36:07 PM
machinator: Thanks for quoting me. Now, do you have a point, or are you just agreeing with me?
Posted by: Markalta | 2007-12-21 6:55:48 PM
One would hope that you could figure that out for yourself.
Perhaps I expect too much.
Posted by: Machinator | 2007-12-21 6:56:47 PM
"Perhaps I expect too much."
Sounds rather elitist to me. Why don't you just answer the man's question?
Posted by: obc | 2007-12-21 7:02:02 PM
I never feel the need to elaborate a point that is well stated. If the audience is incapable of comprehension, well..
Posted by: Machinator | 2007-12-21 7:09:03 PM
From above: "If you ever want to take a big humility pill, try to sell something to somebody and see how smart the get."
I wonder if Machinator ever sold anything in a free market transaction, or if he works for the government providing "necessary services" to taxpayers (who go to jail when they forget to file form 802.568a(5))?
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-12-22 5:04:49 AM
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