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August 7, 2008 4:25 AM   Subscribe

While Greyhound pulled their own ad campaign, PETA has created a new ad comparing the Greyhound bus attack last week, outside of Winnipeg, to slaughtering animals.
posted by gman (189 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Stay classy, PETA!
posted by armage at 4:27 AM on August 7, 2008


Dude, it's redundant to use both the "PETA" and "assholes" tags.
posted by jbickers at 4:44 AM on August 7, 2008 [13 favorites]


No. Oh no.


I'm beginning to think PETA are secret double agents who want to make people who care about animals look as awful as possible because in that case they're doing a bang-up job here.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:44 AM on August 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


At least they waited almost 60 years to launch their "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign back in 2003.
posted by gman at 4:47 AM on August 7, 2008


If ever there were call for a batshitinsane tag, the random murder, decapitation, and cannibalistic noshing (or should it be having a nosh, cannibalistically) of a sleeping bus passenger would be on my list.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:48 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. Wow. It almost makes you wonder if the people running PETA are actually, just, really - stupid.
posted by billysumday at 4:51 AM on August 7, 2008


If you make the same assumptions as PETA about the value of animal life being equivalent to human life, then their ad campaigns make total sense. The problem is that they seem to come up with them in an echo chamber of their own devising and completely fail to use focus groups. Shock tactics polarize rather than convince, but I'm sure they make PETA contributors feel like they are accomplishing something.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:53 AM on August 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


* Sucks some barbecue sauce off a pork spare rib in honour of PETA *
posted by Jimbob at 4:55 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


If only they could show the sensitivity towards people that they feel for animals. What it boils down to is that they HATE YOU for eating meat and they can't stop showing it.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:58 AM on August 7, 2008 [13 favorites]


PETA: People eating tender animals.
posted by bwg at 5:03 AM on August 7, 2008


Given the choice of sitting next to a) Vincent Li or b) a PETA activist on the bus, I think I would now tend to Vincent Li.
posted by sour cream at 5:08 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of course, let's also not forget that PETA has a long-standing tradition of placing the moral value of animals over human women. Of course showering naked in high heels is a message about vegetarianism! Duh!

This is why I hate PETA- not just because of their ineffective holier-than-thou rhetoric but because they are so spectacularly full of shit it's infuriating. PETA is notoriously hateful to fat people, as a heavy percentage of their rhetoric circles around shaming people for their appearance and claiming it's because they eat meat. Because veganism is what makes Pamela Anderson look the way she is and not multiple cosmetic surgeries, you understand. They don't equate the lives of animals with humans, because they treat humans like total shit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:09 AM on August 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


They also don't believe in killing insects or rats. I don't know why they can't get it through their heads that it's impossible for the human species to live on this planet without having to kill other creatures, just as it is for any other species.
posted by orange swan at 5:16 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


They should have known better - they didn't realize that this inflammatory ad would garner them this much free publicity and expose millions of people to their organization?
posted by davey_darling at 5:20 AM on August 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


It almost makes you wonder if the people running PETA are actually, just, really - stupid.

no, they're good, they took a cause that's vastly unpopular -- the insanity of animal rights, not the animal welfare that most reasonable people would be more than happy to support -- and still they manage to be part of the mainstream -- they're about shock tactics, and their tactics work. you don't even know the name of some half-assed animal rights group that's about as extreme as PETA, but everyone knows PETA, because they're good at doing ads.

of course they don't give a shit about people -- no animal testing ever for drugs, remember, so enjoy your stroke, your heart attack, your cancer, because any kind of animal testing is ALWAYS wrong, animal testing for perfume and animal testing for heart meds is exactly the same, morally, as we all know -- they give a shit of publicity. they don't give a shit about pets, either -- they kill shitloads of them.

But say what you want about them, they're good at what they do -- they make people talk about them, good publicity, bad publicity, etc
posted by matteo at 5:23 AM on August 7, 2008


Their tactics are never going to help achieve their aims, and I don't know why they can't figure this out.

The first step is to encourage people to eat less meat. This concept has certainly caught my mind. Meat is expensive. You're probably healthier if you eat less of it. That's a good place to start, and people can move on from there, and less animals will be killed.

Alas, they want no animals to be killed, so they're incapable of working with the idea that maybe people should start changing their lifestyles slowly and in simple ways.

A quick look at their website shows they seem to have no interest in habitat loss, focusing instead, it seems, on impacts on individual animals rather than whole species that are being wiped out. Some colleagues of mine raised the ire of an animal rights organization with some ecological studies they were doing that involved tagging seals, in order to obtain vital demographic and reproductive data that may help save the species. As far as this organization was concerned (can't remember if it was PETA or some similar group), the species could go extinct, as long as a few seals weren't hurt by having tags attached to them in the meantime. Lame.
posted by Jimbob at 5:24 AM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know, I don't really subscribe to PETA, but I also don't get the hatred towards them. It rivals, if not surpasses, the hatred of people who really are screwing up our country, such as pro-lifers (who are almost indistinguishable in ideology and tactics).
posted by DU at 5:26 AM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


But say what you want about them, they're good at what they do -- they make people talk about them, good publicity, bad publicity, etc

Nobody made anyone make this post. Have we not all agreed on PETA by now? Is the new plan to feed trolls with entire fpp's?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:30 AM on August 7, 2008


And in keeping with the theme, "There is no bottom to the depth to which the true fuckwits of the world will descend", from today's Winnipeg Sun:

"A fundamentalist church group from the U.S. has announced it plans to picket the funeral of Tim McLean Jr. in Winnipeg, declaring, 'God is punishing Canada.' 'People are absolutely outraged about it,' said Doug Mitchell, a friend of McLean's for about seven years. Led by pastor Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas issued a release saying they would picket McLean's funeral this weekend. Phelps' daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said about seven church members are expected to come to Winnipeg. 'What we're doing is trying to connect dots,' Phelps-Roper told the Winnipeg Sun last night. 'We're trying to get you to see that your rebellion against the standards of God, your disobedience to the commandments -- your idols, your false gods, your filthy ways have brought wrath upon your head.'"
posted by Mike D at 5:34 AM on August 7, 2008


If ever there were call for a batshitinsane tag.....

Added. Just unsure of who it applies to more - the batshitinsane man or the batshitinsane organization.
posted by gman at 5:35 AM on August 7, 2008


Brian Eno's creative strategy would make sense for PETA - "Go to an extreme, then retreat to a more usable position."
posted by davebush at 5:43 AM on August 7, 2008


How dense is PETA for not seeing that the dude who keeps pushing these ideas in their ad campaign strategy meetings is obviously a double agent working for Smithfield Pork?
posted by The Straightener at 5:44 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now I want a pastrami stuffed pita.
posted by Debaser626 at 5:46 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought about this one a bit more. PETA targeting a group of people allows for some amount of anonymity. PETA using a tragedy which was perpetrated against one individual is a little harder to absorb for his family, his friends and the population in general. What the fuck were thing thinking?
posted by gman at 6:08 AM on August 7, 2008


Poor family of Tim McLean jr (and Tim himself, of course). By all accounts, a nice young man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And as a result, his memory is used and abused by fucking morons.

RIP: Tim. Fuck the fuck off: PETA.
posted by barnacles at 6:09 AM on August 7, 2008


I have as much disrespect for my fellow human as the next guy, but this may be going a little too far.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:10 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I finally understand why people hate PETA so much. This is way way over the line.
posted by bshort at 6:12 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


If people are on the same level as animals (as PETA suggests), then why not eat animals? Other animals do it? But if we're above them, then why not eat animals?

That has always been a retarded piece of arguing they've done. If you simply don't want to eat meat, DON'T. And fuck off if you try to take mine away.
posted by grubi at 6:19 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't really subscribe to PETA, but I also don't get the hatred towards them.

My problem with PETA is not that they are a crazy extremist group (there are plenty of those) but that they are for some reason treated as a legitimate non-crazy charity. For example, if some crazy pro-life group put out an offensive ad, it probably wouldn't be posted as a FPP. Basically, I wouldn't hate PETA so much if I wasn't forced to see their crazy BS all the time.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:28 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


But say what you want about them, they're good at what they do -- they make people talk about them, good publicity, bad publicity, etc

And see, here I thought that "what they do" is try to get people to not eat animals, which I would argue is a mission in which they fail miserably. What you are saying is that they are only and solely interested in publicity, like a one-note Andy Dick, and yes, in that context, they are successful. But convincing people not to eat meat? No, I'd say they go about that rather stupidly.
posted by billysumday at 6:33 AM on August 7, 2008


matteo writes "no, they're good, they took a cause that's vastly unpopular -- the insanity of animal rights, not the animal welfare that most reasonable people would be more than happy to support -- and still they manage to be part of the mainstream -- they're about shock tactics, and their tactics work."

Have you ever in your life met a person who changed their actions because of something PETA did? I haven't. If they were good, wouldn't they actually be influencing...someone?

The most useful they could do would be to liquidate all their assets and donate the proceeds to the SPCA, which is actually a worthwhile organization and gets shit done. However, this would undermine PETA's real mission: attention whoring.
posted by mullingitover at 6:33 AM on August 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


I came to this thread to bash Greyhound, not PETA.

rage indeed, how about despair or disgust?
posted by geos at 6:35 AM on August 7, 2008


* Sucks some barbecue sauce off a pork spare rib in honour of PETA *

PETA: People eating tender animals.


My main problem with PETA at this point is that they encourage people to trot out dumb clichés like these as if we've never heard them before.
posted by Adam_S at 6:36 AM on August 7, 2008 [13 favorites]


.......if some crazy pro-life group put out an offensive ad, it probably wouldn't be posted as a FPP.

If I came across a pro-life ad campaign which hit me this hard, I'd post that shit.
posted by gman at 6:36 AM on August 7, 2008


Never heard of bus rage? I've been pissed the fuck off just about every time I've had to ride a Greyhound.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:38 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ, this REALLY fucks me off. You don't have to be a people-hater to be an animal lover.
posted by gman at 6:38 AM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just mentioned PETA recently in that Critical Mass thread.
posted by zardoz at 6:43 AM on August 7, 2008


The more you love animals the less you like people. PETA is proof of this.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:48 AM on August 7, 2008


Wow, I'm amazed that the Westboro Baptist Church has already turned up in this thread. I was going to say that PETA has now officially become the Westboro of the animal rights movement, but Fred Phelps actually managed to make that association before me. But seriously, what can PETA possibly hope to accomplish by doing things like this? I may not agree with groups like the ALF, but at least they, you know, liberate animals. How the hell is this consistent with any sort of rational goal?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:50 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


My main problem with PETA at this point is that they encourage people to trot out dumb clichés like these as if we've never heard them before.

Actually, I've never heard of the "cliché" I wrote; I just thought it up on the spur of the moment.

Sure, it's likely many others have said it, but what's truly dumb is you both:

I. assuming that everyone's heard it, and;

II. playing the "I'm so jaded" card.

Did it ever occur to you that sometimes people just want to have a little fun?

Do you have anything worthwhile to besides the snark?
posted by bwg at 7:14 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


to add
posted by bwg at 7:15 AM on August 7, 2008


Do animals act unethically when they kill other animals?
posted by tranquileye at 7:18 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


From my understanding, the victim didn't really struggle all that much, since he died pretty quickly? Y'know, from the multiple stab wounds, many to the neck, several inflicted while he was asleep.

As far as innocent, he was guilty the day he was born. Or so some religious argument goes, if I recall correctly.

But yes, the ad hardly inspires me to support animal rights. I'll admit I'm a speciesist--human rights before animals.
posted by qcubed at 7:21 AM on August 7, 2008


The sad thing is that at a time when vegetarianism has a real chance to become a mainstream lifestyle, PETA's irrational (and plain stupid) shock tactics subvert the cause of helping animals by making conscientious mainstream people who actually could be convinced to give up meat conclude that "vegetarians = crazy fringe fanatics."
posted by applemeat at 7:26 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's sad about this ad is that the only way it doesn't cheapen the man's death if you affirm peta's position to begin with. In the ears of those who don't, it sounds as if they are degrading his life by comparing it to an animal's, rather than lifting the animal up to his level. Who is going to respond well to that?

So either it preaches to the choir, or it cheapens his death.

These guys need some marketing help.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:27 AM on August 7, 2008


Please tell me that being an absolute fucktard in public near a funeral is an arrestable offense in Canada.

They apparently don't do enough to be touched in the US, but maybe in Canada, they can have a little meditation time in a jail cell.
posted by mephron at 7:30 AM on August 7, 2008


Have you ever in your life met a person who changed their actions because of something PETA did? I haven't. If they were good, wouldn't they actually be influencing...someone?

Well, technically speaking, I haven't met anybody on these lists, but they do seem to indicate PETA does a fairly good job of getting people to change their actions. If one doesn't want to click on the entire yearly lists, one could look here or here for a couple of examples.
posted by Karmadillo at 7:33 AM on August 7, 2008


PETA is offensive in numerous ways, but a new one that strikes me here is showering in the street as protest isn't just run-of-the-mill sex-sells strategy, but an offensive waste of water in the midst of record drought that affects humans and animals alike. Stupid.
posted by notashroom at 7:34 AM on August 7, 2008


Do animals act unethically when they kill other animals?

Damn skippy. Now define ethics.
posted by grubi at 7:42 AM on August 7, 2008


Please tell me that being an absolute fucktard in public near a funeral is an arrestable offense in Canada.

I think they could be arrested and charged with being a public nuisance.
posted by chugg at 7:50 AM on August 7, 2008


Quoth Ingrid Newkirk, the president and co-founder of PETA: "We are complete press sluts. It is our obligation. We would be worthless if we were just polite and didn't make any waves."

So yeah, don't expect any shame or remorse from PETA about this.
posted by thewittyname at 7:53 AM on August 7, 2008


A lot of animal abuse comes from pet ownership. If PETA wants to really shock me they should start pushing for legislation to ban pet ownership and refuse donations from pet owners. Instead they focus on meat eating and ignore the billions of animals mistreated by their owners. I wonder how many PETA members keep their dogs locked up all day?

I hate their smugness. They cant have pet ownership and animal rights. The two are mutually exclusive. Sure, they might be 'officially' against some types of ownership, but they will never act on it because they will lose 99% of their donations if they do.

/friend's mom was PETA member. Kept giant dog locked up all day without A/C
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:57 AM on August 7, 2008


If PETA wants to really shock me they should start pushing for legislation to ban pet ownership and refuse donations from pet owners.

http://www.peta.org/campaigns/ar-petaonpets.asp
posted by gman at 8:00 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well that's helpful. Like just about everything PETA does.
posted by Artw at 8:07 AM on August 7, 2008


Have you ever in your life met a person who changed their actions because of something PETA did? I haven't.

you don't understand. as I pointed out, their actual agenda is so extreme that the real support for it -- for animal rights -- is obviously very low. still, they have been around for almost 30 years, have 2 million members (most of whom probably are less extreme than the organization itself and think of PETA as the no-fur, cute-puppy people anyway), and a yearly budget of more than 30 million dollars -- you're welcome to open your own animal rights group and make that kind of money (those ads don't pay for themselves, you know? you purchase ad space)


If they were good, wouldn't they actually be influencing...someone?

see the numbers above, they're good -- they successfully seel something way out of the mainstream. it's the equivalent of a death metal group selling as much as Celine Dion
posted by matteo at 8:08 AM on August 7, 2008


These guys need some marketing help.

Well, but they wouldn't be interested: PETA are extremist ideologues, not marketers or politicians, or even activists in the sense that members of the average social welfare not-for-profit group is.

I have a lot of sympathy for animal rights issues and advocating vegetarianism, and I don't think much of PETA or know many people who do. They do a lot of harm to the reasonable efforts others make to educate people about the cruelty of the meat industry and the (relative and subjective) ethics of meat-eating versus vegetarianism.

I guess I tend to look on members of groups like PETA (and some particularly radical environmentalist groups I've encountered over the years) as being composed of people who had a raging desire to protest and oppose mainstream culture first, then attached that ambient rage (coupled with misanthropy) onto a cause (like PETA or EarthFirst) that came along at an opportune moment in their lives. It's sad, tragically ironic, that so little compassion -- for animals that suffer, for people who unknowningly or knowning participate in the suffering of other sentient beings -- is involved in the efforts of such groups. Just rage and hatred.
posted by aught at 8:19 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love the comments at the end of the second link. Same world, different planets.

At first, I thought the comments were well written and subtle satire along the lines of Swift's "A Modest Proposal." Then I realized they were serious.

I write Peta a letter once, got a response.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:20 AM on August 7, 2008


Please tell me that being an absolute fucktard in public near a funeral is an arrestable offense in Canada.

I think they could be arrested and charged with being a public nuisance.


Assuming they get across the border in the first place.
posted by aclevername at 8:21 AM on August 7, 2008


If you make the same assumptions as PETA about the value of animal life being equivalent to human life, then their ad campaigns make total sense.
BrotherCaine
And then of course there's "What Jeff killed." Once PETA starts calling for the death penalty for this obviously serial killing cat, then I will give them credit for consistent beliefs
posted by cjorgensen at 8:24 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Every time PETA puts out another ad, Metafilter has another thread full of people acting like offended church ladies. PETA pulls the strings and you dance.
posted by pracowity at 8:25 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nobody's shot Fred Phelps yet? Come on, there has to be one desperate bastard who will.
posted by kldickson at 8:27 AM on August 7, 2008


Aw. Jeff is sweet.
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on August 7, 2008


I'm so going to wear my Endangered Animals Taste Better t-shirt tomorrow. Thanx Peta!
posted by nomisxid at 8:32 AM on August 7, 2008


I'm with louche mustachio; PETA has to be a front group for the factory farming industry. It's the only thing that makes any sense.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:35 AM on August 7, 2008


And then of course there's "What Jeff killed." Once PETA starts calling for the death penalty for this obviously serial killing cat, then I will give them credit for consistent beliefs

Hence my view: what's ethical about this cat indiscriminately killing for his own amusement? Nothing. So if one asks (as one did) if other animals kill in an unethical manner, I gotta say again:

Damn skippy.
posted by grubi at 8:43 AM on August 7, 2008


I'm always amazed that someone who loves animals as much as I do can find so much wrong with an organization who's goal is to see that animals are treated ethically.

They fail and offend at every turn.
posted by quin at 8:46 AM on August 7, 2008


And in keeping with the theme, "There is no bottom to the depth to which the true fuckwits of the world will descend", from today's Winnipeg Sun:

"A fundamentalist church group from the U.S. has announced it plans to picket the funeral of Tim McLean Jr. in Winnipeg, declaring, 'God is punishing Canada.' 'People are absolutely outraged about it,' said Doug Mitchell, a friend of McLean's for about seven years. Led by pastor Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas issued a release saying they would picket McLean's funeral this weekend. Phelps' daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said about seven church members are expected to come to Winnipeg. 'What we're doing is trying to connect dots,' Phelps-Roper told the Winnipeg Sun last night. 'We're trying to get you to see that your rebellion against the standards of God, your disobedience to the commandments -- your idols, your false gods, your filthy ways have brought wrath upon your head.'"
posted by Mike D at 8:34 AM on August 7 [+] [!]


Mike D, i hate to be the one to break it to you, but there really is no "Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas". "Westboro Baptist Church" consists of "Pastor" Fred Phelps, a well-known lunatic, and various family members of his. and that's it. Phelps first gained widespread internet notoriety with his website godhatesfags.com and in recent years has gotten tons of press by traveling around with his small band of close relatives to picket the military funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, claiming their deaths are God's punishment on them for defending a nation that "supports" homosexuality.

the "seven church members" coming to Winnipeg represent approximately 1/3 of the entire membership, most of which are Phelp's minor grandchildren. five minutes of research would reveal these facts to any moron with access to google, which leads me to ask - what the fuck is wrong with the idiots at the Winnipeg Sun???? you should be asking them too.
posted by quonsar at 8:58 AM on August 7, 2008


"Mike D, i hate to be the one to break it to you, but there really is no "Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas". "Westboro Baptist Church" consists of "Pastor" Fred Phelps, a well-known lunatic, and various family members of his. and that's it."

I'm thinking you and my point are travelling different paths.

I take your meaning to be that there is no physical edifice with that shingle on it. But your subsequent sentences make it clear that there is indeed a WBC organization. Thinly populated, granted; almost entirely nepotistic, obviously. But without even checking I'll bet they've got tax status in the US. And they somehow manage to be capable of garnering the volume (admittedly not the kind) of coverage that a lot of cathedrals would envy.

I just wish they would garner it somewhere the hell else than the funeral of the victim of this tragic killing. And, for that matter, any tragic killing.

I'm also hoping that someone in the Canada Border Services Agency jumps on this as a possible effort to enter the country by a group that spreads hatred. That is a violation of our laws and, even if it were somehow be argued up and down the line that the "hate" in their message is debatable and allowable under our rather liberal free speech laws ("God Hates Fags!" No hate there, right? Right?), they could surely be held up at the border for a sufficient time to allow the funeral to go off without their vile presence coming within a hundred miles of it.

That'd be a good thing.
posted by Mike D at 9:22 AM on August 7, 2008


a yearly budget of more than 30 million dollars

If only that money went to groups that are legitimately and realistically invested in the humane treatment of animals instead of a group that is only interested in whorishly perpetuating their own hysterical outrage.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:23 AM on August 7, 2008


For several years I volunteered for an animal welfare org/wildlife rescue that happens to have a four-letter acronym that starts with "P" for its name. People confusing us with PETA was a constant problem. "You work at PAWS?" people would ask me at parties as they slowly backed away. "The people who created a Your Mommy Kills Animals comic book which they handed out to children who were waiting in line to watch The Nutcracker? On Christmas freakin' Eve?"

"No! Different guys! We rescue orphaned ducklings! Wait! Come back! "

Anyone who missed YMKA the first time around should take a gander at it. It reads, in part: "Lots of wonderful foxes, raccoons, and other animals are kept by mean farmers who squish them into cages so small that they can hardly move. They never get to play or swim or have fun. All they can do is cry--just so your greedy mommy can have that fur coat to show off in when she walks the streets." Good old PETA, where rats are sacred and mothers are streetwalkers. Join up! They have naked supermodels, too! Not that there's anything wrong with that!
posted by cirocco at 9:48 AM on August 7, 2008


The first step is to encourage people to eat less meat.

The price of oil has affected how much meat people eat in this country than PETA ever will.
posted by oaf at 10:07 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I take your meaning to be that there is no physical edifice with that shingle on it. But your subsequent sentences make it clear that there is indeed a WBC organization. Thinly populated, granted; almost entirely nepotistic, obviously. But without even checking I'll bet they've got tax status in the US. And they somehow manage to be capable of garnering the volume (admittedly not the kind) of coverage that a lot of cathedrals would envy.

pfft. anyone can get "tax status" in the US. you know, NAMBLA is a legit organization too. then there's the KKK, and the Round Earth-ers, and the Timecube guy. would the Sun describe him as a "U.S.-based professor of temporal physics"? Nutbags are nutbags. they aren't deserving of garnering any volume of coverage whatsoever. and yet, there's the Winnipeg Sun. and most of their readership, like you, don't even appear to ask why. that was my point. now, who are the true fuckwits of the world: the nutbags, or those who inflate their importance?
posted by quonsar at 10:19 AM on August 7, 2008


Round Earth-ers?
posted by Snyder at 10:20 AM on August 7, 2008


Nobody's shot Fred Phelps yet? Come on, there has to be one desperate bastard who will.
kldickson
What, and make him a martyr? That would be absolutely stu—...

Nah, I'm cool with making him into a martyr.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:32 AM on August 7, 2008


quonsar, most (if not all) papers in Canada called the Sun are aimed at the same demographic as the New York Post.
posted by oaf at 10:34 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


they aren't deserving of garnering any volume of coverage whatsoever. and yet, there's the Winnipeg Sun. and most of their readership, like you, don't even appear to ask why. that was my point. now, who are the true fuckwits of the world: the nutbags, or those who inflate their importance?

I wouldn't be surprised if publishing this particular item had a good effect, such as alerting the Canadian authorities so they can take steps to prevent Phelps and Co. from picketing Tim McLean's funeral.
posted by orange swan at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2008


I want to start off by saying that I'm vegan and I pretty much despise PETA. I feel the way many other people do and have explained, specifically about their objectification of women and inability to comprehend how the average person will respond to their ads and press releases.

On the other hand, I was immediately struck by the way the man did kill and apparently gut the boy on the bus in a very similar way to how many hunters would. I'm from a rural area where hunting is very popular, so I may have made that connection easier than most.

I also feel like most of the idiotic posts like, "I'm gunna eata steak now, ughhh I'm really funny, right?" are pretty pointless and don't add anything to this debate. We all know you like steak, but we don't really give a shit.

Being vegan and someone who uses the Internet and talks to people a lot about eating meat, I hear this kind of moronic refrain from people, that animal rights are bad because meat is good, and it would be nice if the people who think something as stupid and inarticulate as the aforementioned types of statements (people for the eating of tasting animals, etc) would just be quiet and leave the debate to people able to actually form a coherent thought on the issues.
posted by coolguy#1 at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personal statement here:
I've been trying to cut down on the amount of meat that I eat for health reasons. Mark Bittman's TED talk really made me think. But then I run into ignorant, uniformed shit like this. And I realize I haven't cut meat out of my diet as much as I was trying to. And I really don't care. This ad makes me angry enough to disregard my own health just to frustrate this group. More than anything else they've done.

I can't imagine I'm the only one.
posted by Hactar at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2008


Upon posting and forgetting to preview: coolguy, I'm not trying to be funny. I'm outraged enough that I want to work to sabotage their efforts, increase the amount of meat bought in America, etc.

I was reading about how they had a spot in fashion week in return for agreeing to behave, back in 2003. I wish it was 2008 or 2009. I'd go down there with red paint just to get them in trouble now. I'd buy steaks just to leave them rotting in their booth. Etc.

I'm amazed at how angry I am about this. I think it's that it's a personal tragedy being exploited in the same way that Westboro Baptist does, except this time by somebody with a large budget. I can laugh at Fred Phelps because he has now power. But peta has millions, which means that they have the ability to really hurt people.
posted by Hactar at 10:57 AM on August 7, 2008


I also feel like most of the idiotic posts like, "I'm gunna eata steak now, ughhh I'm really funny, right?" are pretty pointless and don't add anything to this debate.

Who's doing that?
posted by grubi at 11:05 AM on August 7, 2008


Who's doing that?

I see two or three something like that:
1. * Sucks some barbecue sauce off a pork spare rib in honour of PETA *
2. PETA: People eating tender animals.
3. Now I want a pastrami stuffed pita.
posted by pracowity at 11:24 AM on August 7, 2008


So "most of the idiotic posts" is actually three comments? Sheesh.
posted by grubi at 11:26 AM on August 7, 2008


"there's the Winnipeg Sun. and most of their readership, like you, don't even appear to ask why. that was my point. now, who are the true fuckwits of the world: the nutbags, or those who inflate their importance?"

At which point my "Your words have no meaning and I no longer hear them" switch is thrown.

But in brief defence of the Canadian Sun Media chain. For a start, some of this country's sharpest columnists -- local and national -- are located within their pages. Don't confuse them with the same-named rag in the UK. The daily presence of a "Sunshine Girl" is not emblematic of the Canadian papers' journalism (Lord knows they've warmed more than a few of my minus-30 February days.)

But my suspicion is that you likely have never read the Winnipeg (or the Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, or Ottawa) Sun. (And before you ask -- I have, and I do. It's part of my job.)

Which loops me back to "At which point..." (above).

So do have a nice life -- but preferably, please, somewhere else.
posted by Mike D at 11:29 AM on August 7, 2008


I say this respectfully:

I can't wait for Ingrid Newkirk to die so I can attach an issue to it not of her choosing.
posted by mazola at 11:45 AM on August 7, 2008


And by "can't wait" I mean I really can't wait. If her death doesn't happen in the next 5 minutes I'll forget all about her.
posted by mazola at 11:47 AM on August 7, 2008


PETA vice president Mary Beth Sweetland has diabetes and injects herself daily with insulin that was tested on animals.

How does she sleep at night, I wonder?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:55 AM on August 7, 2008


Look at me, I'm outraged! On the Internet!
posted by palidor at 12:07 PM on August 7, 2008


So "most of the idiotic posts" is actually three comments? Sheesh.

Three trolls is plenty in a thread this size and on subjects about which people on all sides are touchy.
posted by pracowity at 12:14 PM on August 7, 2008


Whoa, three throw-away jokes in an 88 comment thread! Someone start a metatalk thread ASAP!
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:16 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do animals act unethically when they kill other animals?

Unethically? How do you determine what the ethics are for a pride of lions?

I will tell you that predator animals will absolutely delight in abject cruelty and will kill for sport. Will they predate on their own species? Sometimes. FI there are cannibal Chimpanzees that will kill and eat infant chimps. It's pretty common for some predators to hunt down and kill competitors. But its much more rare with-in species and family groups so I suppose that could amount to a loose code of behavioral ethics.

Who hasn't seen cats deliberately torturing a mouse? They act like it's great fun. My dog is a rodent serial killer for no other reason than he thinks it's fun (though to be fair he was abandoned when he was a pup and had to live off of mice and rats in a farmers field for a couple of months).

Amongst most social animals random killing with-in the pack is rare. Excepting for infanticide which alphas will regularly do to young not their own. And then being the "waste-not-want-not" type creatures they are they will often eat the corpse of the infant.

Social animals will not long tolerate irrational wanton aggression or violence with-in the pack and will kill or drive out members that act so... even alphas can be killed for being too violent or unpredictable.

Humans are animals and we have evolved a more sophisticated golden rule for use with-in our packs. It's fair to extend that outside our packs as we seek to broaden our societies. And it's fair and wise to extend elements of that rule outside our own species, if not just for our own long term self interest. But we have never really worked well at granting full rights equality to other human packs let alone other species.

The idea that all animals are completely "equal" and be granted full rights doesn't make much sense since the rights in question can only be ascertained by those species sentient enough to comprehend them. And that is just us, so far.

It does make sense to safe guard animal welfare and govern human treatment of animals.
posted by tkchrist at 12:17 PM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


How does she sleep at night, I wonder?

I'm sure she enjoys the deep, restful sleep of hypocrites everywhere; people who know that despite the fact that what they are doing is the complete anathema of the message they preach, it's not wrong that they are doing it, because it keeps them going and able to fight against the evils of the world.
posted by quin at 12:24 PM on August 7, 2008


(That's funny Cirroco, my wife works for PAWS right now..)

I wonder how PETA would react to the recent news that some viruses can be infected by other viruses and are therefore probably alive by any reasonable definition.

Maybe they should start a campaign decrying all those horrible anti-retrovirals that are savaging the hiv population.....
posted by lumpenprole at 12:26 PM on August 7, 2008


Say what you want about the tenets of PETA, Dude, at least it's an ethos.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:27 PM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I must be of the vast minority, but I honestly don't find the ad to be tasteless or offensive. Was it tasteless or offensive for a newspaper to report on the act in the first place? PETA, in the ad is merely observing the events as they unfolded, and recontextualizing it for the purpose of promoting animal rights.

I would certainly object if it was for the purpose of commercializing something, moving products, or even to promote the ego of some entity, but look at that ad. The ad is a message, it's a way of stirring in your mind the thought of something terrible and then saying look, this happens all the time but nobody ever pays attention because it's happening to "animals", and they are somehow less than human.

As for all of the pseudo-conspiracy theories about PETA being an organization that merely makes money to buy itself more coverage, pay its administrative overhead, and etc etc... Give me a break. You do realize their money actually goes to all their projects, that they hire people to go undercover into slaughterhouses to verify their claims aren't bogus - and they aren't, that they go to great lengths to protect animals from being used in inhumane tests like superfluous cosmetics that can cause them diseases or worse, that they have an influence on policymakers and all kinds of legal decisions.

Give it a rest, they're not merely selling us the illusion of protecting animals. Face it: they care, and they go to great lengths to show it. There's a reason for shocking ads like these.
posted by tybeet at 3:15 PM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Aw jeez, not this shit again.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:35 PM on August 7, 2008


PETA...please stop hurting America the animal liberation movement. Please.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:43 PM on August 7, 2008


Three trolls is plenty in a thread this size ...

A silly joke does not a troll make. Lighten up, jackass.
posted by bwg at 3:54 PM on August 7, 2008


PetaFilter: Aw jeez, not this shit again
posted by bwg at 3:54 PM on August 7, 2008


Oh, I think it's great that the Phelpses are coming up here. We have hate speech legislation. Huzzah!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:56 PM on August 7, 2008


Face it: they care, and they go to great lengths to show it.

They "care" in the same sense that some supporters of Hillary Clinton who "care" will be voting for John McCain or not voting at all in the fall.
posted by oaf at 3:58 PM on August 7, 2008


I think it's great that the Phelpses are coming up here.

They may already be in Canada.
They declined to discuss specifics of their travel plans, such as where they plan to cross the border, because they were held for hours and had their picket signs confiscated by Canadian customs agents the last time they tried to enter the country in 1999.
The show opens in less than an hour. Presumably they've already gotten in or been turned away, or they are planning to drive really fast.
posted by oaf at 4:05 PM on August 7, 2008


PETA would be better served stopping horrifying crap like this*. And no, I'm not going to debate the cultural differences between cats and beef.

*Warning: graphic photos
posted by bwg at 4:06 PM on August 7, 2008


Absolutely rediculous to think it's ok to exploit those horrific tragedies in any way.
posted by getitinwriting at 4:16 PM on August 7, 2008


Absolutely rediculous to think it's ok to exploit those horrific tragedies in any way.
It's not an exploit anymore than a piece of literature that makes reference to a historical event is exploiting history, or a journalist who makes reference to a thing of contemporary culture is exploiting culture.
It's an analogy; a metaphor.
posted by tybeet at 5:39 PM on August 7, 2008


It's strange because PETA's never ever shown poor judgement before in their advertising (...we'll just leave it at 'advertising')!
posted by Mael Oui at 8:42 PM on August 7, 2008


Never heard of bus rage? I've been pissed the fuck off just about every time I've had to ride a Greyhound.

It's more like bus malaise. Sticks with you for a while after, too.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:43 PM on August 7, 2008


I'd just like to take this opportunity to state "Fuck You, PETA." Your ghoulish attention-whoring revolts me and does nothing to persuade me that your ideas have any value. Fuck you all, PETA, and the horse you rode in on.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 PM on August 7, 2008


Fuck you...and the horse you rode in on.

You just gave them an idea for another shock campaign. Nice work.

"When this happens to innocent children we are outraged. But who speaks up for the horse? PETA does.

PETA - Whenever Animals Are Fucked, We'll Be There"
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:13 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey PETA, that's your son being stabbed and decapitated. Put it in an ad campaign and suck it.
posted by wv kay in ga at 10:04 PM on August 7, 2008


All those people who claim that PETA is hurting the animal-rights campaign are full of shit, for what it's worth. If anything, they make the rest of the movement look like the great compromisers.

And all those people who think the group's "offensive" tactics will backfire are nuts. There's nowhere to go but up. You think vegans are start going to eat meat now b/c PETA offended them? I don't see it.

If PETA wants to really shock me they should start pushing for legislation to ban pet ownership and refuse donations from pet owners.

http://www.peta.org/campaigns/ar-petaonpets.asp


d'oh.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:58 PM on August 7, 2008


You think vegans are start going to eat meat now b/c PETA offended them? I don't see it.

So you're saying PETA's advertising is intended to preach to the choir? That it's to keep vegans vegan, and not directed at us omnivores? That would make PETA more stupid than I'd thought.

PETA's recent campaigns have been so vile as of late that they've entirely eliminated any chance of support from myself. Indeed, with this latest jackassery, I'll be certain to rant against their cause given half a chance. I know, I know: I'm not going to be influencing a whole lot of people.

On the other hand, they don't seem to have accomplished bugger-all in reducing milk and meat consumption, and slaughterhouses are still horrorshow, and commercial meat is ill-treated. I can't see as PETA is successful at anything but pissing people off. Oh, yay, bully for them.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:53 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell, PETA have one sole beneficial (at least to animals) purpose: moving the Overton Window. If PETA's adverts and shock tactics happen, this creates a situtation where animal welfare is talked about and whatever more sensible Animal Welfare groups do can be considered normal, sensible, and non-transgressive because PETA have already gone way beyond that limit. They are therefore probably the Animal Rights equivalent of Ann Coulter or possibly Fox News.
posted by Francis at 2:03 AM on August 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's an analogy; a metaphor.

It's actually a real person who was horribly murdered a few days ago, where his friends and family are still mourning, and not a symbol that should be taken by people who didn't know him or care about him in any way. No different than the Phelps family saying, essentially, that this is what happens when you allow fags to exist.
posted by Snyder at 2:47 AM on August 8, 2008


Except that the Phelps family is saying the victims brought it upon themselves through alignment with immoral forces, whereas PETA is acknowledging the horror of what happened, and comparing it to what they see as an ongoing holocaust. They are drawing a parallel between what they see and describe as innocent victims in both cases. You and I may question their assumptions, but to me they appear sincere in their horror at least.

Note that I'm not condoning their ad, but if I encountered one of the funeral protesters I'd be inclined to beat the crap out of them, but with PETA I just want to shake my head and look upon them with sad disdain.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:31 AM on August 8, 2008


It's actually a real person who was horribly murdered a few days ago, where his friends and family are still mourning, and not a symbol that should be taken by people who didn't know him or care about him in any way. No different than the Phelps family saying, essentially, that this is what happens when you allow fags to exist.

Except that when you say "god hates fags" you're saying the death was a good thing.

There's nothing about this ad that is supporting the murder. Even the judgment that is cast on it is in all ways sympathetic, if you just look at the words they've used.

"innocent young victim"
"his struggles and cries are ignored"

What's offensive about that? It's quite empathetic, even illustrative of his suffering.

Really, the only thing that everyone here is offended by is the timing of the ad. If it had happened 5 years from now, nobody would raise any red flags because the family would have grieved and the murderer would be in prison.
posted by tybeet at 7:13 AM on August 8, 2008


Except that when you say "god hates fags" you're saying the death was a good thing.

No.

Westboro Baptist Church finds the death convenient because it allows them to point out that God hates Canada (a bald-faced lie).
PETA finds the death convenient because it allows them to point out that eating meat is morally equivalent to beheading and eating your seatmate on the bus (a bald-faced lie).
posted by oaf at 7:49 AM on August 8, 2008


You think vegans are start going to eat meat now b/c PETA offended them? I don't see it.

So you're saying PETA's advertising is intended to preach to the choir? That it's to keep vegans vegan, and not directed at us omnivores? That would make PETA more stupid than I'd thought.


No, I'm saying that PETA's actions won't have much effect on vegans and vegetarians. As Francis, says, it's about moving the Overton Window, but not for you and me and all of us in this thread who have already examined the issues of animal food production and decided for ourselves what is moral and correct for our lives.

PETA is trying to move the Overton Window (never heard that term before, so I'll use it twice) for those people who have never ever even considered the moral implications of treating animals cruelly and killing them unnecessarily for our pleasure.

And they do a pretty good job of it. The problem with comparing PETA to Ann Coulter and FOX News is that Coulter and FOX News have a major financial incentive to spew rhetoric they may not even believe. I would bet that Coulter makes much more money than anyone in the PETA organization (just a guess, though.)

A more proper analogy would be an anti-abortion group with offensive ads. And there's *tons* of them, but you know what ... they never seem to end up on the front page of MeFi. I guess PETA pushes people's buttons much better.

Also, I had only briefly heard about the bus decapitation and had immediately forgotten about it (weird world news). My first impression on reading the ad was "what the hell happened in Manitoba?"

Admittedly, it's not their best effort. It looks like it was created by an anti-design student on a bender.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:00 AM on August 8, 2008


Controversial U.S. church group stopped at border

Border guards to turn away church group aiming to picket bus victim's funeral
posted by oaf at 8:05 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


PETA finds the death convenient because it allows them to point out that eating meat is morally equivalent to beheading and eating your seatmate on the bus (a bald-faced lie).

Sorry to be pedantic, but lying would mean that PETA believes that equivalence to be false, which is not the case. It's remotely possible that PETA is a bunch of ParisParamus types engaged it some kind of elaborate in joke, but I doubt it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:20 AM on August 8, 2008


lying would mean that PETA believes that equivalence to be false, which is not the case

They believe it about as much as Westboro believes what they spew—both organizations are professional real-world trolls. So yes, they are lying.
posted by oaf at 8:25 AM on August 8, 2008


the "seven church members" coming to Winnipeg represent approximately 1/3 of the entire membership, most of which are Phelp's minor grandchildren. five minutes of research would reveal these facts to any moron with access to google, which leads me to ask - what the fuck is wrong with the idiots at the Winnipeg Sun?

Despite my regular mocking of the Sun, they acknowledge all that in this piece. There is certainly nothing Christian about Phelps & Friends that I can see, but if having only a handful of relatives disqualifies an organization from being a church, I guess Jesus' original ministry wouldn't make the cut either. And no, I'm not saying the original Christians - or most present-day Christians, for that matter - and the WBC are peas in a pod.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 AM on August 8, 2008


They believe it about as much as Westboro believes what they spew—both organizations are professional real-world trolls. So yes, they are lying.

Even though I read them as more crazy than disingenuous, it isn't worth debating the point when the way this ad and its ripples will negatively affect the family of the victim are the same either way.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:28 AM on August 8, 2008


PETA is trying to move the Overton Window (never heard that term before, so I'll use it twice) for those people who have never ever even considered the moral implications of treating animals cruelly and killing them unnecessarily for our pleasure.

Yes, that's what they're trying to do, but I'd argue that they're not doing such a good job. I think most people who have never considered said moral implications are, when presented with PETA's shock value tactics, are unlikely to suddently show an interest in carefully considering animal rights. I think they're much more likely to have a knee-jerk reaction along the lines of, "How horribly insensitive! All those 'animal rights' people are completely crazy!"

In other words, I don't think PETA's tactics make other animal rights groups look reasonable by comparison. I think that being the most visible organization, they just invite the target audience to paint all animal rights and animal welfare groups with the same brush. And as someone who is very much concerned with animal welfare, I think that's a shame.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:20 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, that's what they're trying to do, but I'd argue that they're not doing such a good job.

I don't know how you'd show PETA's effect one way or the other, but that window is moving. Vegetarianism is becoming more widely accepted and practiced, hunting and fishing are becoming less popular, and it is now normal to consider the conditions under which animals are raised (free-range, etc.) and slaughtered.

I would bet that PETA is helping to move that window. People hate animal suffering. PETA tries very hard to get people to look at and think about the animal suffering caused through simple decisions about food and clothing, and people definitely look, as the never-ending PETA threads here might suggest. PETA ads might not make vegetarians out of people who weren't already on the way, but that doesn't mean the ads have failed, because it isn't a binary veggie-or-nothing contest. If, for example, despite seeing disgusting pictures of factory chicken farming in PETA ads, people decided that they weren't going to stop eating chicken, but they became a little more aware of the different conditions in which chickens are raised, PETA would have succeeded, because such people would be more likely to look for and buy chicken that isn't the product of factory farming. Another organization trying to tell you the same things might fail here because you'd just turn the page or change the channel, whereas you'd look at a PETA ad.
posted by pracowity at 3:02 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


PETA are the Scientologsts of the animal rights movement.
posted by bwg at 4:23 PM on August 8, 2008


Dammit, I swear the "i" was there before I hit post.

Scientologists.
posted by bwg at 4:24 PM on August 8, 2008


Here's the response you get when you contact PETA and complain about that ad:

Thank you for contacting PETA about our ad promoting a vegetarian diet that we attempted to run in Canadian newspapers. We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

Like you, we were horrified by the recent murder in Manitoba. Please be assured that we do not take this appalling crime lightly—our hearts go out to the victim’s family and everyone who has been affected by this violent act. Our ad is certainly not meant to upset anyone; we apologize for any distress it might have caused you. For more thoughts on this subject, please visit http://blog.PETA.org/archives/2008/08/cannibalistic_a.php and http://blog.PETA.org/archives/2008/08/we_got_your_hat.php (this link provides a more in-depth explanation of the reasoning behind the ad).

Our ad juxtaposes the shocking details of the murder with the fate of animals whose bodies are casually hacked apart to end up on dinner plates. People are rightfully horrified by this inexplicable murder, but we hope that some good might come from pointing out that—regardless of who the victim is—all murder is wrong. Like humans, animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone. They experience fear in the face of death, and when animals die, their families grieve. And like humans, animals fight for their lives and struggle to avoid pain—they don’t want to die a violent, bloody death at the slaughterhouse. Chickens and turkeys often have their throats cut while they are still conscious; pigs have their teeth, tails, and testicles cut off without any painkillers; cows are often skinned alive; and fish suffocate or are cut open while they are still conscious. In light of this suffering, we urge people to embrace a truly nonviolent diet by going vegetarian. To learn more about vegetarian living, please visit http://www.GoVeg.com.

Thank you again for allowing us to explain our thoughts on this important matter. We appreciate everything that you do to end the suffering of all beings.

Sincerely,
Paul J. Smith

Correspondence Assistant
The PETA Foundation

posted by zarah at 8:30 PM on August 8, 2008


If, for example, despite seeing disgusting pictures of factory chicken farming in PETA ads, people decided that they weren't going to stop eating chicken, but they became a little more aware of the different conditions in which chickens are raised, PETA would have succeeded

Yah, you know, I'm not finding advertising facts about factory chicken to be the least bit objectionable versus the vulgar use of a horrific act of grotesque murder as an attention-seeking ploy.

The truth about factory farming is quite enough to do the job of reducing animal suffering. It is wholly unnecessary and as rude and abusive as hell to opportunize this murder, and all the more so what with the family still grieving the loss.

I repeat, Fuck PETA. They are jerks and jackasses, and should be shunned.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 PM on August 8, 2008


Agreed.
posted by zarah at 3:09 AM on August 9, 2008


Church members enter Canada, aiming to picket bus victim's funeral
posted by oaf at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2008


Don't we have hate speech laws that would result in Phelps being incarcerated? It's about bloody time someone did something about that asshole.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:40 AM on August 9, 2008


I thnk they actually have to advocate the commission of a crime for hate speech laws to kick in. I like having a first amendment, but if some vigilantes want to tune up the whole family that's okay by me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:59 AM on August 9, 2008


I am absolutely certain that the likes of Keegstra and that asshat we sent back to Germany weren't advocating crimes.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2008


Don't we have hate speech laws that would result in Phelps being incarcerated?

Canadian law doesn't really apply in the U.S.
posted by oaf at 10:52 AM on August 9, 2008


I also doubt somehow that they'd let anyone named Fred Phelps who shares his birthday into Canada without a lot of scrutiny. I believe some of the other Westboro members have last names that aren't Phelps.
posted by oaf at 10:57 AM on August 9, 2008


I do believe the Phelps gang could end up being arrested:

Manitoba privacy act:

I) Section 176 (2) and (3) of the Criminal Code:

(2) Every one who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

(3) Every one who, at or near a meeting referred to in subsection (2), wilfully does anything that disturbs the order or solemnity of the meeting is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

posted by five fresh fish at 11:03 AM on August 9, 2008


Sorry, 5fresh, I was being US centric. Thanks for the Manitoba privacy act cite.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:05 AM on August 9, 2008


Depending on what courts hold the meaning of "disturb" and "interrupt" to be, Canada may not have freedom of speech.
posted by oaf at 11:08 AM on August 9, 2008


Canada does not have freedom of speech. There are rational limits as to what you can say: in particular, hate speech and incitement to violence are prohibited.

This is the same as a dozen or so other modern countries. Despite the slippery slope hysteria with which our US brethren typically approach the subject, it seems Germany, Norway, Brazil, Canada, and the rest of these speech-limiting nations haven't collapsed into a totalitarian regime.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:32 AM on August 9, 2008


it seems Germany, Norway, Brazil, Canada, and the rest of these speech-limiting nations haven't collapsed into a totalitarian regime

YET!!!

Yesterday in an interview with the local CBC a WBC rep said that they wouldn't be within sight or sound of the service, possible even half or a mile away. Still, it seems like a lot of folks will be going out this afternoon to make sure they don't.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:54 AM on August 9, 2008


Last I checked, speech is a form of expression.
posted by oaf at 11:55 AM on August 9, 2008


Canadian law doesn't really apply in the U.S.

Good thing we're talking about actions in Canada, then, where despite what you lot think, our law is actually sovereign.

Last I checked, speech is a form of expression.

And your point is... what?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:48 PM on August 9, 2008


And your point is... what?

I often find that oaf isn't following along very well. I haven't the foggiest idea what point he thinks he's addressing, nor even what point he thinks he's making. It is frequently best to just consider his short blats of irrelevancy as glitchy noise.

If WBC is a half-mile away, my guess is that they're hoping distance prevents them from being arrested under the privacy laws.

It's ashame the service isn't being held in Churchill. I hear the polar bears are particularly hungry this year.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:18 PM on August 9, 2008


And your point is... what?

Speech is a form of expression. Freedom of expression is a right guaranteed by Canadian law.

It is frequently best to just consider his short blats of irrelevancy as glitchy noise.

Would you argue that freedom of expression is not a right guaranteed by Canadian law?
posted by oaf at 3:06 PM on August 9, 2008


(And the RCMP's threat to arrest them if they even show up to picket the Red Deer Laramie Project, then, either is an empty threat or is a threat that the Mounties will break the law.)
posted by oaf at 3:08 PM on August 9, 2008


Are you retarded? Surely to god you are fully aware that there are limits to your freedom of expression in this country. You must know that Keegstra lost his case and that Zundel had his sorry ass kicked out of the country.

Maybe you should go learn what the law is before you continue down this path. Go ahead and use Wikipedia as a launching point. It's not that difficult to save yourself further embarrassment.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:33 PM on August 9, 2008


Good Christ.
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Every single clause of the Charter is subject to this.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:39 PM on August 9, 2008


You might also want to read the full text of the Charter, here.

For your edification, these are the relevant parts:

1) The guarantee clause I already posted.
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.
(which is subject to Clause 1)

and
33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.
(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.
(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.
(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).
(5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).
With those sections borne in mind, broadly speaking the government may enact legislation which reasonably limits freedom of expression. These would include such things as swearing on TV, obscenity in public, state secrets--all things which are equally restricted in the USA, of course, your First Amendment notwithstanding.

And now of course we move onto the subject of hate speech. The legal basis for forbidding hate speech is, broadly, that such speech amounts to discrimination and/or a form of assault. Per Wikipedia:
In Canada, advocating genocide or inciting hatred against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada with maximum terms of two to fourteen years. An 'identifiable group' is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' It makes exceptions for cases of statements of truth, and subjects of public debate and religious doctrine. The landmark judicial decision on the constitutionality of this law was R. v. Keegstra (1990).
In Keegstra, "The Court found that the violation of freedom of expression was justified under section 1 as the law had a rational connection to its objective, it was not overly limiting, and the seriousness of the violation was not severe as the content of the hateful expression has little value to protect." (You can click here for the full text of the decision).

Now, things do get somewhat sticky, given that we have to consider religious doctrine as an exception to hate speech laws. Where the law lies on that has not yet been interpreted, as far as I know, though it seems that the hatred promulgated by the Phelpses is egregious enough that the court would hold that the harm to society of not subjecting them to hate speech laws would outweigh the religious exception rule.

Is that clear enough for you, yet?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:04 PM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe you should go learn what the law is before you continue down this path.

I know what the law says. If the SCC is trying to make it not worth the paper it's printed on, that's their prerogative

It's not that difficult to save yourself further embarrassment.

Oh, no embarrassment necessary, since I was right about the guarantee of freedom of expression that's explicit in the Canadian constitution.

Zundel had his sorry ass kicked out of the country

Well, yes, Zündel was deported from Canada because he had no legal right to live in Canada. His ideas, and his expression of those ideas, had nothing to do with the legitimacy of his deportation—had he become a Canadian citizen during his many decades living there, he'd be living there still.

Every single clause of the Charter is subject to this.

Declaring a handful of wingnuts to be criminals, simply for waving signs around and telling people they're going to hell, is not a "reasonable limit[]" that is "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." They're not assaulting anyone, they're not inciting violence, and in the specific Red Deer case, they'd be doing even less than normal—holding up signs that said things as incredibly offensive as "Canada is doomed." Arresting them for this denies them the freedoms, guaranteed them under the law, of conscience (however stupid), religion (however stupid), thought, belief, opinion, and expression (stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid), peaceful assembly, and association.

The freedoms guaranteed by the Charter are plainly stated. If the Supreme Court of Canada wants to allow a mockery to be made of the Charter, that's a burden on their shoulders, but you shouldn't pretend it's not happening. You may find yourselves in the same position as citizens of China, who enjoy "freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration…[and] of religious belief." On paper, at least.
posted by oaf at 4:22 PM on August 9, 2008


The freedoms guaranteed by the Charter are plainly stated.

Yes they are. It is also plainly stated that they are subject to reasonable limits, e.g. hate speech, the question of which was settled quite decisively 18 years ago. You're ignoring that because...?

simply for waving signs around and telling people they're going to hell

Except that's not actually what they do, and you know it.

Dude, get over it. We have different laws up here, and we're quite happy with them. We also have things like health care and elections that aren't stolen and a government that isn't going out of its way to shred every last vestige of what it's supposed to be standing up for.

But wait.. I seem to recall you telling me that as a Canadian my opinion on anything USA related is irrelevant and I shouldn't be commenting.

What's good for the goose, oaf...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:31 PM on August 9, 2008


Durrrr.

Ignore his twaddle, it's far less aggravating that way.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:43 PM on August 9, 2008


Except that's not actually what they do, and you know it.

What do they do other than that, besides travel to different places and do the same thing?

It is also plainly stated that they are subject to reasonable limits

Content-based prohibitions aren't appropriate for a just and democratic society.
posted by oaf at 5:01 PM on August 9, 2008


"But wait.. I seem to recall you telling me that as a Canadian my opinion on anything USA related is irrelevant and I shouldn't be commenting.

What's good for the goose, oaf...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:05 PM on August 9, 2008


Oh, I couldn't resist..

Content-based prohibitions aren't appropriate for a just and democratic society.

Of course, which is why pornography may be sold to minors, yeah?

Ohh... wait..
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:09 PM on August 9, 2008


Oh, I couldn't resist...

Content-based prohibitions aren't appropriate for a just and democratic society.

Of course, which is why pornography may be sold to minors, yeah?

Ohh... wait..


Dear DNAB,

This is known as 'shooting fish in a barrel' -- and up here in the wilds of Nova Scotia we consider that to be just the teensiest bit unsportspersonlike...

Please do not encourage our Neighbours to the South (tm) to take an interest in the finer points of Canadian jurisprudence... those of us already here would prefer that those still there not be too well-informed about the state of things hereabouts -- I'm sure I need say no more... [grin]

Pernicious the Musuqodoboit Harbour Farm Cat's faithful amanuensis and general factotum
posted by pernishus at 5:39 PM on August 9, 2008


What's good for the goose, oaf...

Non-answer, just like five fresh fish. Seems like you don't actually have anything to counter with.

Oh, hold on…

Of course, which is why pornography may be sold to minors, yeah?

Ohh... wait..


Yeah, you're right—pornography isn't proscribed entirely, and at least theoretically (and probably actually), you're protecting minors by not allowing them access to something which could harm them developmentally. So, we're still waiting for an apt comparison from…anyone. Bueller?

This is known as 'shooting fish in a barrel'

Yeah, it's really not fair to dnab or fff, is it? From two people I get half a counterargument. Perhaps you're up to it, pernishus. (Here's a tip: don't start off with the mistaken notion that freedom from expression is a fundamental freedom.)
posted by oaf at 7:37 PM on August 9, 2008


In addition to the above, restrictions on pornography are not inherently restrictions on the expression of an opinion. I guarantee you that if the Westboro people showed up with big Canadian flags (or even American flags—it's Olympics time), or even went with signs that don't appear to be making any sort of real statement at all ("I AM NICE TO TAPES"), they wouldn't be threatened with summary arrest. And that's the problem—it's crossing into thoughtcrime territory.
posted by oaf at 7:55 PM on August 9, 2008


What's good for the goose, oaf...

Is hardly a non-answer. Or do you deny that you have told me that, as a Canadian, I have no business commenting on the USA? Because if that's your position, then you have no business commenting on Canada. Or is it different for you, somehow?

Here's the thing. You claimed (semi-correctly) that freedom of expression is guaranteed in the Charter. It is, subject to Clause 1. You keep ignoring that. If you're going to claim the Charter as part of the basis for your argument, you have to take the whole damn thing, not just the bits you feel like.

Up here, we believe that it is reasonable to place some limits on free speech--as, indeed, your people also believe, which is not something that you can argue; it is fact. We further believe that one of the reasonable limits on expression is that expression which is inherently based in hatred--anti-Semitism, racist propaganda, etc--is inherently damaging to a society which, unlike yours, revels in its multicultural makeup. Our laws reflect this, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms reflects this, our courts have held the constitutionality of these laws to be beyond reproach. As with every single law in the world, our hate speech legislation aims to reduce harm by inflicting penalties for causing that harm. That you don't believe hate speech is harmful is your choice; believe as you wish. But don't you dare sit there in the USA and claim that we in Canada are not free, or that in some way you enjoy more freedom than we do.

We do not have a government tapping our private conversations. We do not have hundreds of people incarcerated indefinitely without access to full legal rights. We do not have Bible-thumping fuckheads getting Creationism into schoolrooms across the country. We do not have a national leader who got into office through a broken Supreme Court and rigged votes. We do not have an apparatus hell-bent on destroying an entire country on a flimsy pretext. We do not have politicians who are outright bought and paid for.

The arguments for OMG ALL SPEECH MUST BE FREE boil down to: I'm going to say whatever I want, and too bad for you. Sorry, but it's too bad for you. There are consequences to speech, and the enormous limits on expression in your own country are no different than the limits we place on the speech in our own: there are some things that may not be said, and there are some things that may be said only in certain contexts, and there are penalties for transgressing those things.

The bottom line is this: we have different laws. They work for us, and they work for us very well. That they are not the same laws as yours is really not our problem, and is frankly something we up here are very thankful for.

Oh, and as a foreigner, I'm sure you would agree that you have no right to comment on our society.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:56 PM on August 9, 2008


it's crossing into thoughtcrime territory

People like you keep bringing that up. You can think what you like, and nobody is claiming otherwise. What you may not do is act in ways that are contrary to law and society. You can think about killing someone; you can't do it without consequence. This is no different. Nobody anywhere is telling anyone what they may or may not think.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:58 PM on August 9, 2008


Oh, and, oaf... I would really suggest you lay off the condescension you're lobbing at pernishus, there. He is an old and dear friend, and is quite possibly the single most intelligent person I have ever met in my life. Many, many people share this opinion.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:59 PM on August 9, 2008


Content-based prohibitions aren't appropriate for a just and democratic society.

Well, that's certainly arguable - and I see you and dnab are happily doing a little of that - but in fact and in law, that's how it is in Canada (and the U.S.). You can argue that it shouldn't be like that, but it's pointless to argue that it isn't like that, because that's how it is.
posted by rtha at 8:09 PM on August 9, 2008


And one more thing.. your "freedom from" thing? It boils down to that old saw: my right to swing my fist stops where your face begins.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:15 PM on August 9, 2008


do you deny that you have told me that, as a Canadian, I have no business commenting on the USA?

I can't be sure I didn't say it (let's be honest: cutting out all the comments you make solely or primarily for the purpose of bashing the U.S. would probably cause your comment count to drop by 10%), but in searching for some comment when I did say it, I managed to find other people saying similar things. You quoted the whole comment in your response, so I'll just link to that. That thread is full of comments like that, but no comments in that thread are mine.

You keep ignoring that.

No, I don't. I have, however, pointed out that the limits to Charter rights have been interpreted to be far greater than required by the words in Clause 1.

If you're going to claim the Charter as part of the basis for your argument, you have to take the whole damn thing, not just the bits you feel like.

If only the Supreme Court of Canada felt similarly obligated.

That you don't believe hate speech is harmful is your choice; believe as you wish.

I do believe hate speech is harmful. I also believe that the right answer to hate speech is more speech, not fines or jail time. Pretending that the bad man and his relatives with the nasty signs aren't real? It doesn't make them go away, and putting them in jail doesn't change anyone's mind. Outlawing an idea makes it more powerful because it's taboo.

Nobody anywhere is telling anyone what they may or may not think.

Yes, and it's legal for U.S. citizens to travel to and from Cuba, as long as they do not spend any money in the process of doing so. But travel there is still legal. That's a distinction without a difference.

What you may not do is act in ways that are contrary to law and society.

Hypothetically, if you were to publish your comments here as a newsletter, some of the ones you've made about the U.S. and its populace would (rightfully) get you hauled before the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

I would really suggest you lay off the condescension you're lobbing at pernishus, there.

He seems to be implying (I would say "is implying," but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt) that I'm relatively uninformed about Canadian law or jurisprudence. That conclusion means he's not using his powers of reading.
posted by oaf at 8:56 PM on August 9, 2008


that's how it is in Canada (and the U.S.)

In Canada, only through carefully planned (mis?)reading of the Charter. In the U.S., content-based proscriptions don't hold water.
posted by oaf at 9:03 PM on August 9, 2008


my right to swing my fist stops where your face begins

Coincidentally, your right to silence others' speech also stops where my face begins.
posted by oaf at 9:08 PM on August 9, 2008



In Canada, only through carefully planned (mis?)reading of the Charter. In the U.S., content-based proscriptions don't hold water.


Hardly.

I also believe that the right answer to hate speech is more speech, not fines or jail time.

Good for you. We don't.

You seem to claim to know more about Charter law than Canadians do, as these questions have largely been settled. Pray tell.. which bar are you admitted to? What's that, you're not? Hmm. I have an idea, why don't you call Clayton Ruby. I'm pretty certain he can explain to you precisely why you a) don't understand the Charter, and b) certainly don't understand it better than our own judges.

Nobody anywhere is telling anyone what they may or may not think.

Yes, and it's legal for U.S. citizens to travel to and from Cuba, as long as they do not spend any money in the process of doing so. But travel there is still legal. That's a distinction without a difference.


No, it's really not. You can think about punching me all day long if it pleases you. Once you act on that thought you will be subject to legal consequences. That's kind of how the law works.


If only the Supreme Court of Canada felt similarly obligated.


They do. Unless you can show me your Canadian legal credentials--which I can guarantee will be far outstripped by the judges on the bench in Ottawa--I'm going to have to conclude that you are talking out your ass.

You don't know what you're talking about. I'll be leaving you alone now to demonstrate your ignorance. Doing so seems to be something you revel in, so hopefully it should please you. Me, I'm going to go watch Michael Phelps in a speedo.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:47 PM on August 9, 2008


Coincidentally, your right to silence others' speech also stops where my face begins.

Not in Canada. I suggest you re-read the Charter.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:48 PM on August 9, 2008


The pig enjoys it. You get muddy. Think about it and act accordingly.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:56 PM on August 9, 2008


A challenge, if you will:

After a grisly murder that makes international news, a group of Americans stages a very small rally somewhere in Canada consisting of about half a dozen people holding signs that say "God hates Canada."

After a particularly spectacular bank failure in the U.S., a group of Canadians stages a very small rally somewhere in Canada consisting of about half a dozen people holding signs that say "God hates America."

Explain how and why these two groups deserve to be treated differently.
posted by oaf at 10:01 PM on August 9, 2008


I suggest you re-read the Charter.

It clearly affirms the right of everyone to freedom of expression. But I already quoted that part above.
posted by oaf at 10:03 PM on August 9, 2008


You can think about punching me all day long if it pleases you. Once you act on that thought you will be subject to legal consequences.

You are equating assault with speech. For whatever reason, you don't want to understand that this is a deficient analogy.

You don't know what you're talking about.

The irony escapes you. Like so much else.
posted by oaf at 10:07 PM on August 9, 2008


Go on, run away, as usual. It's your pattern.
posted by oaf at 10:08 PM on August 9, 2008


After a grisly murder that makes international news, a group of Americans stages a very small rally somewhere in Canada consisting of about half a dozen people holding signs that say "God hates Canada."

After a particularly spectacular bank failure in the U.S., a group of Canadians stages a very small rally somewhere in Canada consisting of about half a dozen people holding signs that say "God hates America."

Explain how and why these two groups deserve to be treated differently.


The Americans in question are inciting hatred against a protected class. The Canadians aren't. But, again, if you actually understood the issues in question you wouldn't bother raising such a ridiculous point.

Try understanding this: THE FACT is that in Canada, speech is not an unfettered right. THE FACT is that in Canada hate speech is prohibited. THE FACT is that you do not understand law better than our judges do. You may think it's not fair, boo hoo, but that is in fact how things are, the issues have been tried in courts of law, and the answers have been posted for you in blue and white. Deal with it.

It clearly affirms the right of everyone to freedom of expression. But I already quoted that part above.

And you keep deliberately forgetting Clause 1. Re-read.

The irony escapes you. Like so much else.

Congratulations, you had already lost the argument based on knowing less about Canadian law than your average 14 year old, but the insults nailed it.

Sucks to be you, I guess.

(Phelps won a gold. And damn. Damn damn damn. That man is fine.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:13 PM on August 9, 2008


It's your pattern.

As opposed to yours, which is living up to your chosen username. Tsk.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:14 PM on August 9, 2008


The Americans in question are inciting hatred against a protected class. The Canadians aren't.

Canadians are a protected class, while Americans are not?
posted by oaf at 10:20 PM on August 9, 2008


THE FACT is that in Canada hate speech is prohibited.

THE FACT is that Canadian law is explicitly worded to guarantee freedom of expression.

answers have been posted for you in blue and white

Pshaw. Not by you—you're not an authority on this (see your ludicrous and incorrect conclusion that the Canadians in my example can't be prosecuted, but the Americans can).

And you keep deliberately forgetting Clause 1. Re-read.

No, actually, but I'll point out again, for your sake, that the restrictions imposed on freedom of expression are more than what's called for in the Charter. How many times will I have to type it out before you understand that the Charter does not, by its wording, allow for the criminalization of hate speech? Sure, it's doable if you change what "reasonable" means—and apparently they did.
posted by oaf at 10:27 PM on August 9, 2008


oops
THE FACT is that Canadian law is explicitly worded to guarantee freedom of expression. Evidently the Supreme Court of Canada has decided to set that part aside in favor of something else.
posted by oaf at 10:32 PM on August 9, 2008


I'm also not sure where you get the idea that sexual orientation is a protected class while national origin is not. Saying that Americans are all going to hell is just as prohibited by Canadian law as saying all homosexuals are going to hell.
posted by oaf at 10:41 PM on August 9, 2008


At the risk of wading into the midst of an argument between two members, I wanted to add something (very belatedly). While I admit that I don't understand the intricacies of Canadian Law, I am a Canadian and my immediate reaction to all this Phelps kerfuffle is this:

While there may be criticism regarding our hate speech laws, saying we don't truly have freedom if we don't have "real" freedom of speech, etc, I give a respectful "fuck that" in response. I'm *proud* of the fact that our government and citizens will take a decisive stand (e.g. telling BSOs not to allow them entry) against Phelps and his ilk. I'm glad that as a country we say "Your hatred is NOT okay here" and will take action to reinforce that.

But I'm ridiculously biased as a gay Canadian woman, so take that for what you will.
posted by aclevername at 10:52 PM on August 9, 2008


aclevername, nobody has 'real' freedom of speech, least of all the USA. Americans don't like being forced to confront that, so they get abusive, as we see above.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:53 PM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


He seems to be implying (I would say "is implying," but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt) that I'm relatively uninformed about Canadian law or jurisprudence. That conclusion means he's not using his powers of reading.

First, thank you for the forbearance expressed in your first sentence. As an almost complete newcomer to Metafilter, I may unwittingly cross the line locally drawn between what it is permissible to say and what it is not... Often there exist differences in on-line communities between what is permitted in theory by the explicitly-stated rules and regulations adopted by those communities, and what is tolerated in the practice of everyday living together. My experience has been largely confined to two such communities: the USENET group alt.callahans, between 1996 and 2003, and, more recently, Live Journal -- which I understand from a cursory acquaintance with the local mores is not necessarily particularly well-regarded in the Metafilter arena.

In so far as your second sentence is concerned, I would think, rather, that a possibility to be considered is that we might be using different comparator groups in determining our respective evaluations of the extent to which you are informed about Canadian law and jurisprudence.
posted by pernishus at 3:29 AM on August 10, 2008


aclevername, nobody has 'real' freedom of speech, least of all the USA.

The U.S. is light-years of Canada in that regard, though. You don't face the Inquisition down here when you say things that are true but unpopular. Just ask Maclean's. Or Don Cherry.

Americans don't like being forced to confront that, so they get abusive, as we see above.

I shouldn't need to remind you that hate speech is illegal in Canada.

different comparator groups

My "relatively" was based on the other commenters in this thread. It still holds true.
posted by oaf at 8:33 AM on August 10, 2008


light-years ahead of Canada
posted by oaf at 8:34 AM on August 10, 2008


Well, the Phelps clan were chickenshit and didn't do any picketing, as far as I can tell. They don't have the courage to take a little jail time in exchange for expressing their message of hate.

Oaf, why do you do this to yourself? You clearly know sweet-fuck-all about Canadian hate speech laws. FFS, man, that we have something called "hate speech laws" should be a big cluestick as to whether there are limitations to freedom of expression in this country. And yet here you are continuing to argue against facts that have been clearly presented.

You're like a creationist goon attempting to prove evolution is wrong.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 AM on August 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


the Phelps clan were chickenshit and didn't do any picketing

Today's article in the Star seems to bear that out.

You clearly know sweet-fuck-all about Canadian hate speech laws.

Since that would put me on par with you, I can't take that as an insult.

that we have something called "hate speech laws" should be a big cluestick as to whether there are limitations to freedom of expression in this country

That those laws are being used to intimidate people and organizations for saying things that are true belies the explicit statement that everyone has "freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication." It's not a reasonable limitation consistent with a free and democratic society if your net ends up catching people who aren't doing anything wrong. Otherwise, you're far closer to arresting people for displaying the Tibetan flag (hate speech against Han Chinese!) than you are to a free society.

Outlawing the expression of hatred (or any idea) with the mistaken notion that it does anything to change anyone's mind is just plain foolish. Just ask the Germans. (Neo-Nazis attack leftist youth camp) The Nazis have been outlawed for sixty years, and that attack was what, three weeks ago?

here you are continuing to argue against facts that have been clearly presented

I really think you should re-evaluate that statement given your comments here. The fact is that you are guaranteed, by law, freedom of expression within limits appropriate to a free democratic society. The fact is that you don't quite have that.
posted by oaf at 10:16 AM on August 10, 2008


The fact is that you don't quite have that.

No, your opinion is that we don't have that.

Our society, our judges, and our legislators disagree with you. Get over it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:13 PM on August 10, 2008


Christ on a pogo stick, now oaf is bothering me in memail.

First clause of the Charter says that it "guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."

The top courts have found limits and made law regarding hate speech.

The Manitoba laws regarding funerals make disruptions to services illegal.

It couldn't be more damn clear that there are limits to the freedom of speech in Canada, and I would be surprised if most Canadians not only were perfectly well aware of this, but did not also approve of it.

Yet dipshit is going to continue to insist that he's right, in the face of clear evidence that he is not. FFS.

Oaf, do not bother pestering me in email. You want to continue this, you do it here in the open, where everyone can see how wrong you are.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:28 PM on August 10, 2008


From here on out, I'm going to contribute $1 to PETA for every comment in a PETA-related post. So there. Just try to post another PETA-related link! :)
posted by mrgrimm at 6:51 PM on August 11, 2008


Mrgrimm, I suspect there'll be a 2000 comment metatalk post on PETA if only to test your resolve.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:01 PM on August 11, 2008


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