Friday, August 28, 2009

Consider This

Stupidity and Hypocrisy

Over the last several months, I have reviewed countless Human Rights Decisions across this fair land of ours. I must say that I was looking for bad decisions, and I must also say in my defense that I did not have to look far. My only reason for skipping over some decisions in a top to bottom review was that most were less ridiculous than the ones that I chose to review. Many Decisions were not very mentally challenging for me, though they had been all of that for the poor Respondents that were the subject of their own Lynching or Halling or gutting by the Chief Commissar of the Province, Dominion or of the particular time period. That's not to say that all the Decisions were wrong either. Sometimes, I think they got it right, and some day I might even write about one or two of them.

In looking at the work of the HRCs/HRTs, I have viewed the worker bees on up as well intentioned but narrow minded liberals, bent on creating law out of fake human rights, begat out of whimsy.

We have seen the antics of J Ly, Queen of Censors this summer as she chalks up frequent flyer miles seeking support to keep her job, from the "misinformation" being spread by the bloggers and media, without providing any correct information to help us poor misguided souls, since she can't bury all the transcripts, Moon Reports, expense reports, and other live and real data that is available.

Here in Ontario, of course, our dear Barbara Hall is chasing Bishops for gays, chasing cops for blacks, chasing landlords for unwed mothers and students, and chasing transit systems for blind people, while ignoring the rest of us. I am not disappointed that she is ignoring the rest of us, just bummed that she is weirding out on these others, and using my tax dollars to do it.

When Premier McGuinty came to the support of Popessa Barb and her latest annual report with his Attaboy, I thought I would be ill, frankly. I was thinking summer vacation, too much suds maybe, a little too much sunshine on the old cranium (him, not me). But, I think he actually believes what he said, though that is not always why a politician says something. If he thought he needed to distance himself from her, he would in a heart beat, and wouldn't issue an Attaboy first. So, she is in his good books.

Oh, and we have some pretty dull pencils in the drawer out on our western coast, delivering scintillating prose in Decisions like the Bertrend case recently, among others, in their lopsided pogrom on employers who might want to make a buck from honest labour of their employees. Perish that thought that people should have to show up and do work for pay.

As to the veracity of evidence before HRC Panels, I like the quote from Mr. Chipeur in the Stephen Boissoin Appeal document where he picked up on Justice Veit in Vantage Contracting Inc. v. Marcil [2004] A.J. No. 368:
The HRCM Act authorized appeals from Human Rights Panel decisions. In deciding that human rights panels had no particular expertise and required no particular deference, the Supreme Court of Canada held, in Dickason, that the court to which the panel's decision was appealed should examine the evidence before the panel "anew and, if deemed appropriate, make their own findings of fact".
Although this opinion of a superior court referred to Alberta Human Rights Panels specifically, it very well applies to all cases I have read, and to all tribunals and commissions.

Then it started to come to me as I read a few quotations from the famous and not so famous. Here are a few for you to ponder. See if they shed any light:

Thinking is the hardest work there is. That's why so few engage in it. - Henry Ford

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. - Elbert Hubbard

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King Jr. Strength to Love

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. - Hanlon's Razor

My wife and I were doing our daily prayer reading yesterday from Living Faith, and it was about the scribes and Pharisees, through the eyes of Jesus, and the context of the time. In Matthews Gospel 23:27 it says:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.
The writer of the accompanying meditation goes on to say:
We all get fed up from time to time. This gospel passage reminds us of the movie Network, where the people open their windows and shout at the top of their lungs: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonig to take it anymore."

Certainly we can't run around shouting at people every time we reach our limit. We have to restrain ourselves for civility's sake, peace in the family, calm in the workplace. But in the face of raging hypocrisy, terrible injustice, the strong preying on the weak, a fair dose of righteous anger is understandable. It may be exactly what Jesus expects.

Dear Lord, help me confront my own hypocrisies.
That last line kind of gets you doesn't it. I first became aware of the lopsided nature of HRC's over 25 years ago. I remember water cooler type conversations at work with other guys about decisions that were going on then, and about us agreeing that the only people you could discriminate against were white anglo saxon men. We joked about it. What they were doing then was as wrong in its time as it is now. We did nothing for 25 years. What does that make us . . . make me? Yep. A hypocrite.

It is time to stop being stupid, stop being hypocritical, and work harder to put an end to this nonsense going on in our HRCs/HRTs.

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