Maybe they Wannabe Cool Too

The administrator of this site informed us today that, based on posting patterns, content, and [lack of] use of validated accounts, he has reason to believe that someone is impersonating this site. He has theories as to what end, but to us that really is immaterial.

Earlier this week this site was hacked. Certain plug-ins were uninstalled (spam filters), comment features changed, and passwords altered. We reappropriated the site from the domain server and reset everything.

Perhaps this was done in perceived retaliation for problems on other sites supporting Steyn. It does demonstrate the strong-arm tactics that Steyn supporters, incidently self-proclaimed champions of “free speech,” use against dissenters. This incident follows a similar one on the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) site last December. (Cited only to demonstrate that this trend is a general problem in society, not a series of interconnected events).

But this issue seems to have also sunk to new depths. For example, this commentator states,

$500 says “LawIsCool” …are in fact a couple of homosexuals in Toronto

They say that as if it would be a bad thing.

Other adjectives used include “nellies” and fairies, among other things, because apparantly standing up for marginalized communities to which one does not belong to is considered feminine (the women are especially offended).

All of this has resulted in us reviewing the situation and deciding that we will no longer be carrying content related to the Maclean’s case or Mark Steyn. Any legal information that appears similar to the case after this point is pure coincidental. Anyone posting under this name on other sites can assumed to be fraudulent.

The complainants in the case, of which only one is represented here in part, should be setting up their own site soon. Please hop over and take your feeding frenzy over there, and let us resume our academic discourse in peace. At least there you can hear first-hand from all of the complainants their issues, rather than neutral legal commentary that occurs here.


Of course Steyn responds to our withdrawal, taunting us all the way. He fails to appreciate that the very illegal activities of hacking into a site, combined with the blatant harassment afforded to anyone who dares challenge him (including some very foul language), only reinforce the need for legal intervention. Terry Downey

He similarly mocks Terry Downey Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Labour (she’s a woman, even though Steyn assumes as before she is a man) whose organization has supported the complaint, when she received harassing e-mails.

It would appear his social responsibility would be to dissuade such activities, not encourage them, but we’re sure there will be some bench in the future weighing in on that issue eventually.

To clarify, our position remains exactly the same as it was before. But the “defenders of free speech” have shown that anyone who dares to speak against them will be brutally crushed under their heels, using some very questionable tactics that include trying to shut down this site..

We have never suggested that Mr. Steyn himself was personally involved in any of the incidents (and challenge Steyn to produce evidence to the contrary). Only that his supporters obviously consist of some very unsavory characters.

Refusing to engage crude, racist, misogynist, racist bullying and brute force not concede defeat, but rather a victory towards civility and intellectual discourse.

You may wannabe us (or impersonate us), but we would never wannabe you.

About the Author

Law is Cool
This site is intended to provide a resource for those interested in law. Current law students, graduates preparing for their bar exam, and members of the general public, can all benefit from a deeper understanding of the legal framework that helps shape our society.

20 Comments on "Maybe they Wannabe Cool Too"

  1. People who believe in real Freedom will always be willing to die for it. Playing the game to win no matter what, is to be expected. We are talking about FREEDOM. Keep your helmet on.

    If you are not sure what actually means, take your candy ass to a country that isn’t free and try pulling your human rights bullshit there.

    All you colored folks, immigrant folks, native folks, gay and lesbian folks and mostly you muslim folks all think the rest of us owe you something. You are all lucky to be here so shut up and get on with your life and let everyone else do the same. Buy your own god damned lunch. Mostly just grow up and shut up.

  2. Oh, please! This is what you Downey call a harassing email: Dear Mr. Downey:
    I am deeply disturbed and disappointed that you would use the front of the OFL to support the CIC in their complaint against “Macleans” magazine. The CIC complaint appears baseless and in my opinion, deserves a counter-suit of both discrimination against MacLeans and a friviolous suit. In my opinion, the CIC complaint is nothing more than a submission to a perceived bleeding heart weak organization to suppress the truth and any criticism (freedom of speech)about the real or perceived dangers and concerns of spreading Islam across the western world.
    Shame on you and the CIC!

    Grow a pair.

  3. I regard this approach to the HRC as an appalling attempt to destroy the most basic right we have. The right of free speech is the one right at the basis of our open and free society. It is beyond me how lawyers could be involved in this act. As for Terry Downey, what appalls me there is that the OFL is involved in an attempt to circumscribe the most basic right in Canadian society. It is a sign of how distorted our society has become, that organizations touted as protecting Canadians and their rights, are the very organizations trying to destroy them. Shame on you all!

  4. Graham Giles | January 13, 2008 at 8:51 pm |

    Mark Steyn for PM!

  5. Some day in the future I hope that all members of your little “legal gang” realize how pathetically hypocritical you all are. In the same piece that you criticize Mark Steyn (and anyone else who supports his right to free speech) you also have the gall to smugly say, “… we’re sure there will be some bench in the future weighing in on that issue eventually.”

    One has to wonder what you mean by this statement. In a strict legal sense, you are, of course, just stating that you await the outcome from the powers at be. But don’t disrespect the intelligence of Canadians. Any reasonable person would add some variation of the following phrase to the end of it: “”… we’re sure there will be some bench in the future weighing in on that issue eventually [… and convicting Mark Steyn. Then we’ll see who has the last laugh!”]

    In Vancouver a court case has just been lost by two plaintiffs trying to win control of the Canucks hockey team. The defendants now plan to sue the plaintiffs for all their legal costs, which are reportedly $25 Million. If you’re so convinced that Maclean’s and Mark Steyn are guilty, why don’t you sue them in a REAL court? We know the real reason, don’t we?!

    LawIsCool: Yes, we know why as much as an objective legal commentary not involved in the case can know about it, and have addressed it on this site:
    “Tribunals are usually a first resort. They are cheaper for both the plaintiff (in legal fees) and the defendant (in damages). The CIC in this case are not even asking for monetary compensation from Maclean’s.”

    Your statement here is erroneous; we are not the students that filed the complaint, but there are many students and lawyers that support it moving forward on a legal basis. Opposition to the case in the manner in which it has been expressed only reaffirms that there are issues of hatred towards this community that should be a primary concern for all Canadians.

  6. John Costello | January 13, 2008 at 11:35 pm |

    You Lawiscool people make me glad my grandparents moved to the Boston States.

  7. It’s actually a shame, because there is so little dissenting material out there. Most of it is overwhelmingly supportive of Steyn’s position, but none of them actually address substantive issues of law the way you guys do. All they have is name-calling; it’s pretty pathetic, really. But I completely understand your motivations when faced with people that will actually hack your site.

    Here’s something for those FoS nuts:

    “On Nov. 23 news broke that the FBI is actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators, supposedly to “blunt potential violence by extremist elements,” according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official.

    Given the FBI’s expansive definition of “potential violence” in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor. ”

    If they are so concerned about freedom of speech they should start at home, beginning with their own executive.

  8. Harry Palmer | January 14, 2008 at 7:06 am |

    Stupid argument Patty Y,

    The FBI is evil therefore people shouldn’t defend Mark Steyns right to free speech. That makes no sense any where, it seems a simple attempt to obscure the issue by appealing to anti american prejudice (rather ironically in the circumstances!) And anyway, has it occured to you that it’s not just Americans who are worried about free speech? Or do you just assume that it’s only them damn Yankees who dislike the idea of having to justify thir opinions to a state tribunal?

    If you really think this is just a matter of venting your anti american prejudice then you’re the nut job.

    LawIsCool: We didn’t observe the word “evil” anywhere in that post. We have noted before that the vast majority of traffic that comes here from Steyn’s site is from the U.S., as was the comment you refer to (you appear to be from Amsterdam). While we welcome international perspectives, our laws concerning freedom of speech are markedly different. Furthermore, we would propose that given the level of state surveillance in the U.S., our situation in Canada is actually better than it is there.

  9. Harry Palmer | January 14, 2008 at 9:05 am |

    ‘LawIsCool: We didn’t observe the word “evil” anywhere in that post.’ I was clearly paraphrasing, the clear, open and obvious meaning of her post was that the FBI is bad/evil/very naughty, therefore the Mark Steyn shouldn’t be defended. Which is clearly an illogical argument relying on an appeal to prejudice rather than to reason.

    And yes, i’m aware that the law in Canada is different to the law in other countries, i fail to see your reason in pointing that out, the principles of free speech are sufficently universal to be debated on their merits, it hardly matters what country any of us are from.

    And again, you think the ‘situation’ in Canada is better than in the USA. Well, maybe it is, that has no bearing at all on whether or not the Canada authorities should censor people with provocative opinions. It seems to be just another appeal to anti american prejudice, a way of telling anyone unfortunate enough to be an american to butt out and stop expressing their opinions, after all, if someone is an american, then ispo facto, their opinions must be discounted. Right?

    LawIsCool: Please see linked posts. We have elaborated on the differences in law between jurisdictions. We have also elaborated on why there are limits on freedom of speech, and how this case possibly transgresses these limits.

  10. “…the vast majority of traffic that comes here from Steyn’s site is from the U.S….”

    Yeah, we were going to send the 10th Mountain Division across the border to restore freedom to Canada, but you oppressors are turning out to be so wimpy that we can just handle this through the internet.

    “…you appear to be from Amsterdam…”

    How dare you judge people by their IP address? That’s prejudiced! Why, it’s probably even a hate crime! Quick, get me the HRC phone number!

    LawIsCool: Prejudice? Or simply stating different jurisdictions.
    Thank you for threatening our national sovereignty once again.

  11. Ever listen to children on the playground? Talk is cheap–except when lawyers are involved. Restrictions on speech are a cool new way for lawyers to get money. For the most part, I believe speech correction is the jurisdiction of other forms of government: parents, perhaps employers, certainly churches, the particular audience also. Their means of enforcement might be more limited than the state’s, but it is ultimately better–and cheaper (no lawyers).

    LawIsCool: We agree it is cool as you state, which is why it featured so prominently on our site recently. But it’s not new, tribunals have been around for decades. Bullying should end in childhood (and shouldn’t even occur then), and although we agree that much of the behaviour around this case has been immature, adult bullying is subject to legal sanctions. (Comment originally stated that HRC are the new cool way for lawyers to make money).

    Historically Human Rights Tribunals have been used primarily against neo-Nazism in Canada, as they should have been. But when messages with materially similar content but different target communities are held accountable in the same manner, there is suddenly objection by those claiming to be stifled. The law should apply equally to all, and that is a principle we endeavor to uphold.

    Maclean’s can and will probably elect to file a review by the Federal Court of Canada. We actually do hope this occurs so that the case can go under judicial review, which will effectively address many of the criticisms Steyn supporters have raised thus far. However, if he truly claims that the Tribunals themselves have no legitimacy, Steyn should oppose every attempt for review, as doing so legitimizes Tribunals as a valid method of proceedings.

  12. As Steyn says, the process is already punishment.

    LawIsCool: One which others from another areas of the political spectrum have patiently endured.
    But nobody called for disbanding of Human Rights Tribunals then, or claimed free speech was being stifled.
    If the complaint against Maclean’s is without grounds (which seems unlikely at this point) then he has nothing to worry about. Any “punishment” afforded to him in the process is largely self-endured and minimal (relative to criminal law cases), as nobody would have even heard of the case had he not protested so loudly.

  13. King Albert | January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |

    “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992).

    Once you strip away all the BS about “incitement” (as if there is a danger that one will read Maclean’s and then charge out into the street with a gun) the case is obviously about the state censoring an opinion it doesn’t like. Pure and simple. You *like* the power of censorship and so you’ll accept any justification to use it as long as you control it. You like the politics of the HRC so you approve what it’s doing without caring about the process or precedent. You’re eagerly grasping for the whip to keep trouble makers in line.

    What happens when somebody decides abortion is genocide? Or the Koran is banned for containing thought-crimes (there’s some nasty stuff about women/christians/jews in there)? The same arguments you’re using now to defend the case against Maclean’s could be used against things you care about in the future.

    LawIsCool: We agree entirely with the Chomsky quote, and liken opponents to the Maclean’s case more to Goebbels than anyone else. We have previously established limits to free speech that apply to other communities and ideologies (views on abortion abound, and the case is established by the SCC; the other example you cite is largely due to misunderstandings out of context promoted by people like Steyn).

    Other cases are similarly outlined elsewhere on this site, on numerous occasions.

    Take some time, look around, and you will see how many different opinions we have here. We’re consistent in that there is freedom of speech, but limits that apply to everyone within those freedoms.

  14. King Albert | January 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |

    “Take some time, look around, and you will see how many different opinions we have here. We’re consistent in that there is freedom of speech, but limits that apply to everyone within those freedoms.”

    From looking at the links you provided (,,,,

    LawIsCool: Good job. Keep looking, there are more.

    I can see that you are pretty darn consistent…in supporting censorship. All of those links are arguing in favor a censorship because the target is a bigot, a jerk, or a hypocrite. All of which are irrelevant to whether you believe in freedom of speech. In fact, those links show quite clearly the danger of censorship in that the dislike of the person being censored is used as a primary argument in defense of the censorship. The one leftist mentioned, Sunera Thobani, is being offered as a bizarre fig leaf to defend the censorship. As if the charges made against her somehow justified the law (although I’ll note they were quickly dropped). In my opinion, it’s simply another example of why the HRC is wrong. Ms. Thobani never should have even been charged.

    If censorship in your definition means limits on freedom of speech in preventing promotion of hatred, then yes. This is completely consistent with Canadian law. We do believe in the rule of law, and the manner in which it defines free speech.
    We’re assuming you don’t believe in child pornography? (If you do, we have some people in red uniforms and funny hats that we’re on good terms with that would love to visit you). The point is that there are limits, and in this case you fail to see the limits because you are probably the one being limited.
    Ms. Thobani’s supporters did not call for disbanding of the CHRC, especially not before it had even gone before review.
    If you truly have faith in the system, then believe Maclean’s will be vindicated.

    The other argument you seem to be making is that there is a lot of precedent in Canada to the HRC actions. That may be true, but it’s still not a real defense of the HRC nor is it proof that you believe in freedom of speech, it’s simply an indication that this is a tragedy with a long history behind it. That’s not something to celebrate, it’s something to lament.

    Perhaps, for you.

    But the question still remains: Why are you all worked up about it right now?
    Where was your opposition to it a year ago, or more, when it was other perspectives that were targeted?

    Again, we claim that the Chomsky quote is most applicable to people like yourselves, who are only rallied up currently out of personal offense, and not any principled belief in free speech.

  15. King Albert | January 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm |

    “Perhaps, for you. But the question still remains: why are you all worked up about it right now? Where was your opposition to it a year ago, or more, when it was other perspectives that were targetted? Again, we claim that the Chomsky quote is most applicable to people like yourselves, who are only rallied up currently out of personal offense, and not any principled belief in free speech.”

    My concern about the way the Canadian legal system treats freedom of speech goes back to the 1980’s when gay/lesbian/feminist bookstores had books seized for being obscene or demeaning. The details of the HRC are relatively new, and disturbing, to me. The rest of your statements are predicated upon the idea that I support Mr. Steyn’s and Mr. Levant’s comments, which I don’t. I also don’t support Sunera Thobani’s comments, but I wouldn’t want her censored either. Is there litmus test for freedom of speech that I wasn’t aware of?

    Why are they new to you now? Do you actually have a Tribunal case of gay literature from the 80’s? Cases we have found seem to protect homosexual rights.
    We predicate our idea on the basis that you heard of HRC through Steyn supporters, and therefore read their material, in some way at least linking you to them.
    Yes, there are “litmus tests” of sorts. See the many case excerpts we have posted on the site. Go further back.

    With regards to Mr. Chomsky’s quote, you should really consider the whole quote rather than just a subset, “If you’re in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”

    You assume we despise Steyn’s speech (despise is a strong word.). But we feel equally the same for neo-Nazis, or other groups that create contempt for minorities in Canada, or child porn for that matter. You never did respond to that limit of freedom of speech and say you are in favour of it.

    You despise Steyn/Levant’s views, so you want them censored. Ergo, you’re not in favor of free speech. It appears that the complaints against them are all about politics, and the your own blog tends to support that, and so do your backhanded accusations against me. The thing that I find so depressing about the whole process is the way in which people who should be fighting censorship, to defend everyone, seem enticed by it’s power.

    Actually, no, we’ve never said that anywhere here. Again, please distinguish this site from the complainants in the case.
    We’ve simply been supportive of the issue, and feel that there is enough substantive content to justify a tribunal review. The opposition we’ve found towards this sentiment has only reinforced that conclusion, as it has with many of our peers – an entire generation of lawyers.

  16. King Albert | January 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm |

    …”We predicate our idea on the basis that you heard of HRC through Steyn supporter, and therefore read their material, in some way at least linking you to them.”

    I heard about it from BigCityLiberal…

    “We’ve simply been supportive of the issue, and feel that there is enough substantive content to justify a tribunal review.”

    I’m afraid I’m unhappy with the whole way the tribunal process works.

    I appreciate your responses, and I’ll try to avoid taking up anymore of your time. Thanks.

    If it’s the process you object to, there are avenues to address that within the system.
    We actually enjoyed the discussion with you; it’s probably the first we’ve had on the subject that was actually intelligent and civilized. Thank you for hopefully demonstrating to others the way it should be done. Then again, you did come here from BigCityLiberal

  17. Your principle defense here of your indefensible position – that you support free speech excepting that speech which you find offensive – appears to be that no one was complaining about the HRC before the Steyn case. Who cares? Perhaps we were all in a blind slumber. But lo and behold, we’ve awakened.

    The most egregious accusation against Steyn is that he had the temerity to quote a European Muslim whose remark that had the unintended consequence of dehumanizing his co-religionists. How could this possibly be a crime.

    If you have your way, there will come a time very soon in Canada that scholarly expositions of Islamic theological intolerance – i.e., a critical reading of certain passages in the Quran and the Hadith – will be criminalized as hate speech. It’s time for YOU to awaken!

    LawIsCool: That would be considered retaliation for a human rights complaint, and we’re glad we have such intent openly expressed. It is not being considered a crime, i.e. in a criminal court, yet. But who knows how the complainants might proceed? (Better to ask them).

  18. Supporting censorship of political views is easy — until the government changes, and it’s *your* point of view that is criminalized.

    Think that will never happen? Karma’s a bitch.

    LawIsCool: Actually, we think that’s exactly what happened, which is what all the fuss is about.
    Our views here are not homogeneous in any respect, so that line of reasoning is futile.

  19. “We’re consistent in that there is freedom of speech, but limits that apply to everyone within those freedoms.”

    The word “freedom” generally means that there are no limits, lawiscool. The best argument against your foolishness (and the foolishness of the HRC) is the fact that certain individuals/committees within these HRC-like outfits (or the govt) get to decide what is “hateful” and thus “against the law”. Very slippery slope, buddy. How in the heck can anyone define that when it is technically possible for every single human being on this planet to have a different opinion on such things?

    No wonder we took many of your hockey clubs away from you, and left you with curling and the occasional Steve Nash charity hoops game……Canada deserved it for establishing ridiculous institutions like the HRC.


    Yes, you are correct – this is a uniquely Canadian institution.

    We don’t mind your disdain, just understand that our definition of freedom is different that yours.

    And we proudly proclaim that we have a longer history of protecting minorities from unbridled freedom of speech than the U.S., although we could do more for other minorities such as Native Americans. Their experience of American freedoms hasn’t been so positive, nor have that of African-Americans, or Hispanics.

  20. Law is not “cool”. Law is a self-referential game with modifiable rules.

    Zero sum.

    LawIsCool: Correct us if we’re wrong, but you’re reading our site from a California Department of Justice computer in Sacramento. We have a name, address, your real e-mail address (as opposed to the one provided), direct telephone number, and how long you appear to have worked there as well, but we would never disclose such information publicly.

    Can we assume you are a lawyer too, or at least work in a legal-related capacity?

    If so, then your statement would be self-referential.

    Let’s modify your rules slightly and suggest that law is not always zero sum. Some examples we can think of immediately include Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), arbitration, mediation, negotiation, and policy work.

    We like this game, and that’s why we find it pretty cool.

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