Thursday, August 25, 2005

What did he do that merits a life sentence?

I admire Marc Emery's entrepreneurial drive, and thank him for channeling it to make millions through open disobedience of a destructive and immoral law. That would be a prohibition law that costs and/or harms everyone but the bureaucracy who get paid to enforce it and the criminals who benefit from huge markups by breaking it.

Former Imperial Tobacco executive Norman Spector wrote in today's Globe on Marc Emery's calling Irwin Cotler a "Nazi Jew". (No permalink outside of the subscriber wall, but there's no need to give the Globe any more ad impressions than strictly necessary anyways. Here's the story if you want.)

When I first heard about it I figured it was shorthand for "Nazi Judicial Independence". Having now read more it looks like the rather ugly construction was meant to highlight Cotler's complicity in destroying Marc Emery (and others who more covertly break these laws) for no reason at all, as the Nazis destroyed Jews for no reason at all.

It has square wheels as an analogy, unless Cotler is a pothead. Surely an N.J. -- I am loath to type it! -- would have to be killing his own people.

Moreover, the key mass extermination element is rather completely missing. Yes, the DEA are a harmful and parasitic organization whose employees profit from suppressing a narcotics trade conducted by criminals who profit from stepping into the breach that the DEA helpfully opens for them in the free market. Yes, as usual with socialist programs premised on the government saving people from the consequences of irresponsibility, the War on Drugs has produced the opposite of its stated intent by ensuring drugs are everywhere. It is an appallingly cynical racket that encourages crime and gets people killed, jailed and ripped off, again, mind you, for no reason. But I don't see any mass extermination in there.

Although the analogy is confused and ugly, I don't see how it can be taken to be antisemitic, since Marc is equating his people with the persecuted Jews. It probably is tasteless to suggest that, without the whole extermination by the millions bit, but then again, I'm not the one about to get a life sentence for no reason at all.

On the other hand, the forum moderator Spector cites is unquestionably an antisemitic moron, on top of being a moron who is an antisemite while being moronically antisemitic. Signed sealed and delivered "CRETIN". Now I wish I'd asked the Prince why he lets that thing shit all over his kingdom like that.

Kate gets some Reefer Madness kicks at something, though I thought Marc was quite clear in his explanation, as grandiose as it may be.

P.S. Nowhere, immer, do I see anyone explaining why Marc should be jailed.


CharLeBois said...

Marc should be jailed because he conducted business in the United States with the full knowledge that his conduct was criminal. This is proven in his stated intent. He knowingly broke the laws to have them changed.

He should be extradited because - again as Emery was fully aware - dual criminality exists in this instance. He should never have assumed that because Canada wouldn't enforce its own laws, the US wouldn't either.

What don't you get? And please address the facts; don't fall back on freedom fighter ideology.

Mike said...

What I don't get, as I've been saying all along, and which you've once again dodged, is: exactly what did Marc do that was wrong?

It seems to me that for a man to be sentenced to life in prison, that man would have had to have done a very bad thing.

Can you tell me what that bad thing is in Marc's case?

gm said...

I suppose if some Canadian broke a law of say (hypothetical country) that punishes say; witchcraft and that it required all practitioners of said activity to be deported, you would support that punishment of said person because they broke the law.

CharLeBois said...

GM: You clearly don't understand anything, but I'll enlighten you anyway. Someone can only be deported if "dual criminality" exists. That means it has to be against the law in both the charging country and Canada. In addition, the charging country has to have an extradition treaty with Canada.

Mike: I guess where Marc has gone wrong is in his refusal to accept the consequence of his actions. He openly flouted the law in hopes of having it changed - fair enough. Why he couldn't use the ballot box & court of public opinion is beyond me. From his past statements it can be understood that he was prepared to be a martyr to fight prohibition laws in Canada (i.e., prepared to be arrested here). If he wasn't prepared to be arrested in America, he shouldn't have extended his protest/business within their jurisdiction. Simple as that.

Seeing as how we both strongly believe in the principles of democracy, I think we can agree that we'd like to see the laws enacted by our elected representatives enforced. And we'd also like to see those who think otherwise about a given law persuade us come election time.

gm said...

Canadian law is under the juridiction of Canada, the US can ask that Canadians enforce Canadian law, this was not done.The raids were a DEA operation; it is the US government that is laying the charges.The US ordered Canadian police to enforce American drug laws.

DEA boss Karen Tandy said Emery had been taken down in part because the DEA wanted to kill his ability to fund marijuana legalization activists and activities.

This kind of statement is perfect for Emery's lawyers, who will argue against extradition on the basis that the DEA's actions are political rather than neutral enforcement of drug laws.

Mike said...

So then, Charlebois, what Marc did wrong was "refusing to accept the consequence of his actions" -- I'll stipulate to that even though his words don't bear that out.

Is this refusal, then, that wrong that he did to merit a life sentence? That is what I am asking you about. Is that what you're saying?

You're putting the cart before the horse here. Once again you refer to consequences imposed by those who enforce these laws, as if they are some kind of metaphysical given like the consequences of playing with fire -- instead of human actions subject to moral evaluation. And so again, still, what I am asking is what Marc did wrong to deserve a life in prison.

CharLeBois said...

Mike, your arguments are rationale, but given that his chosen form of protest was to openly flout the laws, should not he have been prepared to accept the responsibilites that came with his form of protest?

Pietr said...

What is wrong with what Emery did? I'll tell you what is wrong!
There are rules in a book in America,and rules in a book in Canada.
The people that wrote these rules thing they have the right to enforce them,because once every few years they try to say nice things to everybody,and some of everybody put little pencil crosses next to the rule-writers names.
The rule writer people don't really remember what they said,but the feel so validated when the crosses are counted that they sit down straightaway after breakfast,and start thinking of more rules to put in their special book.
Then they have lots of fun sending men with guns to force 'everybody' to obey the rules.

I think that the point is,if there is a rule in Canada which is the same as a rule in the USA,both sets of rulemakers have agreed a special rule which says one set of rulemakers doesn't have to protect everybody(or anybody)from the other set of rulemakers,if somebody breaks a rule of the other country while living in the first.

That is the rule.
This rule is supposed to be about being friendly,so Emery may be put in prison in the name of international amity.
All Emery's friends broke a rule,so they don't count.

I had a copy of the rules,but I ran out of toilet paper.
Is that against the rules too?

Anonymous said...

Prince Marc is innocent!
i DON'T condone violence, but now I understand why those 4 mounties got shot out west.......
God made POT, made alcohol....who do you trust?
Let's march for MARC!

Mike said...

Charlebois, what does that even mean, "accept the responsibilities..."?

Having abandoned the traditional notion that life in prison should only be the lot of those who have done a grievous, or at least identifiable, wrong, do you now mean to say that he should not raise a voice in protest against being imprisoned for life? Imprisoned for no reason that anyone can identify, let alone defend with a straight face?

Joshua said...

"Although the analogy is confused and ugly, I don't see how it can be taken to be antisemitic, since Marc is equating his people with the persecuted Jews."

It was a grossly anti-Semitic statement:

1) In comparing the genocide of millions of Jews with his own self-inflicted troubles he is diminishing the horror of the Holocaust and thus engaging in a form of Holocaust denial.

2) In suggesting that a Jew is a Nazi he is, by comparing Jews to our most hated and evil enemies, insulting not only the individual in question but the entire Jewish people. It is part and parcel of the anti-Semitism that is currently raging through much of the gentile world that the Jews are the real Nazis. How little you gentiles have learned in the last 60 years.

As a matter of fact, the Nazis may have organised the Holocaust, but they couldn't have achieved their objectives without the almost complete co-operation of much of occupied Europe and the total insouciance of the Allies. Thus, in deliberately keeping desperate Jewish refugees out of Canada as a matter of anti-Semitic policy in the 1930s and 1940s, Canada proved herself to be little different in many ways to Nazi Germany herself.

Mike said...

To 1), surely Marc is not the one threatening himself with life in prison among murderers and psychopaths. In a sense he brought this on himself, but to me the important question is -- why should this be brought on him?

I think I'll let Marc defend his own comments. You already have my take.

"Canada proved herself to be little different in many ways to Nazi Germany herself." were talking about trivialization? Tell this to the German soldiers my grandfather killed.

"It is part and parcel of the anti-Semitism that is currently raging through much of the gentile world that the Jews are the real Nazis. How little you gentiles have learned in the last 60 years."

Am Yisrael Chai.