Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Kevin Kindred is a lawyer in Nova Scotia, who calls himself an activist, and is a Director and spokesman for the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project.
I do not know Kevin Kindred personally, having only come across his opinions in the blogosphere and through an opinion piece that he submitted to the National Post here. His article starts: " I have a lot of love for human rights commissions in Canada. As an activist working toward equality on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, I know the human rights system."
At this point, I thought this was a propaganda piece from Jennifer Lynch, and almost stopped reading. I was ready to label him a wing nut, but read further. Reading to the end and then seeing his comments over on Walker Morrow's new blog here and particularly to this piece here I developed at first a grudging respect, a brief flirtation with Grrrrr, and then concluded that I could get to like this guy, even though we are sexually incompatible (with all due respect to both Kevin and my wife). He writes with respect, and even a touch of humour, even when disagreeing with others, and that gets my attention, and my ear.
It seems here that there is a gay man active among gay people, and interested in promoting equality for gay people in Canadian society. We would probably disagree on the right to marry, because I do not think that is about equality, but this it not a debate at the moment anyway. However, in general, I bet that we are pretty much in agreement about human rights issues for people in Canada. I personally do not separate gay people from non gay people, because in my world, we all deserve to be treated equally. I am a little old school, more Charter of Rights and Freedoms type.
I find it interesting that Kevin Kindred sees Ezra Levant as an enemy. He has definitely been reading propaganda from Jennifer Lynch for bedtime reading. From my viewpoint, Ezra is probably Kevin's best friend in the human rights world, more so than Jennifer. Kevin has stated in Walker's blog comments that "I don’t just take every criticism Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn cook up at face value." There he and I agree. I research them myself, and find that Mark Steyn is a journalist and has only scratched the surface of the problems with the HRCs, though scratch it effectively he does. Ezra is digging much deeper and unearthing more and more junk every day.
Kevin, there will never be equality for gay people in a system that inherently treats the rights of people in a hierarchical manner. If all person's rights are not of equal value, in free speech, employment, housing, including the right to choose whom one employs or rents housing to, based on beliefs and values, then we will never have a society where there will be mutual respect for each other.
I think Kevin Kindred would be an interesting person to have a dialogue with because I am not comfortable with holding a position based on one sided arguments. Having studied several cases in some depth and read what I have tested myself to be very accurate reporting of the same and other cases by Ezra Levant and others, I am pretty sure that Kevin Kindred is blowing smoke when he said in the National Post about Ezra Levant: "He’s using his newfound platform to unfairly attack, ridicule and distort the work of human rights commissions. He won’t stop until there’s nothing left of the system that is so vital in the protection against discrimination." It's this kind of comment that got me asking him in Walker's blog if he wasn't really Jennifer Lynch in drag. He assured me he wasn't, and I believe him.
I would like to hear Kevins Kindred's expansion on Ezra unfairly distorting the work of human rights commissions, and I would like to understand how they are so vital in the protection against discrimination. I don't see it, or believe it, but am open to hearing a dissenting opinion. I have read enough facts from cases to believe that Ezra is speaking the truth, not distorting it. Certainly, there could be more.
On the other hand, I have not read anything that Jennifer Lynch has said lately that leads me to believe that she is doing anything but managing her version of the truth to her own purposes. Take for example the Pearl Eliadis comment distortion. I am open to hearing the veracity of some of her statements where they conflict with the Levant version of same.
Ok. This is not HRC related, but it is truth related, I think. Or maybe it is just one of those wierd (dumb) early morning thoughts.
The first time that I saw the bumper sticker "Lost Your Job Yet Keep Buying Foreign" it was on a Dodge minivan about 2 years ago. I found it confusing on a couple of levels. Chrysler was at the time owned by Daimler from Germany, and I was behind it in my Honda Accord, which was made in America, or maybe I was behind it in my Honda Civic which was made in Alliston, Ontario. I forget that detail. If the driver of the van still has that vehicle and the bumper sticker, Chrysler is now American owned. Is that foreign?
The proud Canadian driver had a baby seat in the car that was made in China, and was wearing clothes made in the Far East somewhere. Okay, he and his wife probably made their kid here in Canada, and maybe his parents did the same. They were at the grocery store buying American and South American fruits and vegetables it being that time of year, and many of the packaged foods in their cart came from abroad because they were cheaper. I did notice that the milk they bought was from a Canadian dairy, as were the yogourt and cheese, mainly because there were no other choices.
I wonder what "Lost Your Job Yet Keep Buying Foreign" really means.
Not to be confused with Obama's Buy American rhetoric. That I get, and I don't like it. In fact, that is specific. I guess it was the ambiguity of the bumper sticker and the dazed sh?t eating look on the face of the guy making the bold political statement with it that struck me.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I was born in 1950. My father was a Spitfire pilot in the Big War, and came back home in the mid 40's somewhat physically disabled, before that was understood. He had married my mother before he went, and she worried her way through the war, as many others did. Her father , though aged, served in the merchant marine during the war, giving her and her own mother more to worry over. As well, my grandfather, being of Irish descent, had a fondness as many do for the drink. He wasn't an alcoholic officially, because he didn't go to meetings, but he could have qualified. In an alcoholic household suppression of expression of emotions, particularly those that could be considered to be negative becomes the rule of the day because you cannot risk offending the potentially volatile alcoholic. My mother was the second of 3 daughters, and it usually happens in the families of alcoholics that the middle child also becomes an enabler.
So, my parents settled in London where my father went to university and started to work in a small business he ran from the house, before that was fashionable. In 1950 I was born and my sister came along in 1953. That makes me ... old, and my sister ... oldish. Our lives seemed normal to us, because it was the only ones that we knew. Here's where the enabler part of our mother kicks in. Our father's health deteriorated, and he spent considerable time in the veteran's hospital here in London, no in and out in a day like now. For us as kids, life was confusing without our dad, and our mother basically taught us not to feel our emotions. She had many tools at hand, shame being a particularly good one. I remember particularly this one that she hit us with. We were raised in a Catholic home so she would say to us: "Anger is a sin. Good Catholic boys and girls don't get angry." Wow! What a heavy burden for little kids to bear.
The point is that I entered adulthood and up until the last few years or so had very immature emotions. My wife on the other hand, has a strongly developed emotional maturity. Boy, did we clash, until I finally got it.
Life for me was very fact based, or so I thought. I remember saying to her during one battle we had almost 7 years ago: "Don't give me this emotional Bull Sh?t. Give me some facts." At the time she called me an arrogant a??hole, and she was right.
If I was going to have a better life, and have a marriage at all, I had to get in touch with my emotions. I had no idea what I really felt about anything. It took a ton of therapy for me to get to a place where I understand where emotions come into the fabric of my life, and what part they play in my decision making on a day to day basis. I realised a lot of things about feelings that I believe are important for me, and significant in this whole HRC situation we find ourselves in today.
Because I was not in touch with my emotions, they were actually running my life. So, here I was telling my wife I wanted facts, when I was angry as h?ll, and could not even realise it, and that was driving me at the moment. Go Figure Eh!
What's that got to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing. But, it has a lot to do with the cost of discrimination in Canada.
Here is what I learned. What I feel about anything is my choice. Two of us look at the same sunset. I feel great joy at the beauty of God's creation. You feel sad that the day is over. Is one of us wrong? No, just different.
Two men find a Nazi internet site and read scurrilous drivel denying the holocaust. One feels that he is discriminated against and files an HRC complaint. The other feels sadness only, and goes on with his life.
An 8 year old black boy in Grade 5 in Ontario steals $6 from the principal's desk and confesses to it in writing, and the principal disciplines him with detention in her office. One parent feels anger that her son has been discriminated against for some reason that defies logic to everyone but her and her local HRC, and so she files a complaint with the HRC. A similar parent is saddened by the behaviour of her child and disciplines the child at home further to ensure that this behaviour is never repeated again.
A Pastor writes a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate about the Homosexual Agenda in the school system, and one teacher gets angry and holds onto this anger and files a complaint with the Alberta HRC. EGALE, who has a real dog in the fight if there were to be one reads the letter, dislikes the content, but calmly dismisses it as a right of free speech.
The problem that I have with the cases I have studied is that they are almost all based more on feelings than on hard data, and the HRCs are finding people guilty of hurting other people's feelings. Well, here is a fact for you HRC folks out there that I taught my kids even before I knew it myself. My kids would come to me and say: "She hurt my feelings." A very popular thing to say in this day and age, I guess. My response is and was: "Nobody can hurt your feelings. Your feelings are hurt. You own that."
Why does it matter if Stephen Boissoin said that the Homosexual Agenda in the school system is wicked? Certainly not because it hurt Darren Lund's feelings, or because it might cause somebody to feel hate, because his words can't make someone feel hate. Give me a break.
For the last several years, the HRCs have been called the "thought police". I think that is a misnomer. I think they are more elusive than that. I think they are the "emotion police."
Saturday, June 27, 2009
A friend suggested that regularly I remember to pray in this endeavour, or maybe I suggested it and my friend agreed, or maybe we came to the conclusion coincidentally.
Kenneth Copeland, a Charismatic preacher who I listened to early after I had a serious conversion many years ago often says: "The success of any Christian endeavour is a prayer success. The failure of any Christian endeavour is a prayer failure." I believe that to be true, though the definition of success in God's eyes and mine has often been different as has the timing.
Most of you who read my blog do so because you, like me are concerned that the HRCs are not enhancing the Human Rights of the people of Canada but damaging them. The are doing so by working at limiting free speech and by creating rights that are not real that are harmful to the rights of others, and thereby creating a hierarchy of rights within this country. This is of course an over simplification of the problem.
But the people from the HRCs are actively engaging in a rhetorical battle, as well as in their kangaroo courts against targets like Ezra Levant, Stephen Boissoin, Kathy Shaidle, other bloggers and others as well. They have money, political power, and a strong will to win cultivated over many years of winning. They have been in the driver's seat for many, many years, and are not likely to relinquish it to a bunch of malcontents over a silly palace coup or series of them.
Ezra's release of Shakedown has galvanized some of the opposition to the HRCs and the difficulties that exist with their modus operandi, but this is just the start.
If you, Dear Reader believe that this battle is an important one for our country and its future, then I say this to you. As a Christian I agree with Kenneth Copeland. As a human being, I would like to broaden the perspective. "The success of ANY endeavour is a Prayer Success. The failure of ANY endeavour is a prayer failure." However, you believe in God, I urge you then to pray in particular for the following prayer requests at the moment, with more to come as they are revealed to me by readers and others:
1) for Ezra Levant that he will continue to have wisdom to uncover and speak the truth as it is revealed to him.
2) for Stephen Boissoin that he will prevail this Fall at the Alberta Court of Queens Bench in his appeal of his conviction by the Alberta HRC.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I am getting goose bumps just thinking about this. A friend from Alberta said in an email last night to just blog for fun, and not get stressed about it. Well, I was getting stressed trying to say and do the right thing and figure it out. So, now it is just for fun, and fun it will be, I hope.
Madame Lynch in her big speech reported and commented by Ezra Levant recently said: "As personal attacks were made against anyone who tried to correct the record, the number of people willing to make the effort dwindled. There is tangible proof of this: 50% of interviewees for an upcoming book on human rights have stated that they feel “chilled” about speaking up."
Interesting Comment. I have found the same thing, but in reverse. I wanted to write in my blog about the real victims of the HRCs, what it cost those who were caught up in cases in cash, emotional distress, job loss family stresses, etc.
I have written directly to people involved in cases I have been researching. I have also advertised to try and find people who have been through a Human Rights case, happily or sadly to get them to tell me what it was like for them. No one has responded. Why do you think that is? I can only guess, but bet I have a pretty educated guess. It's not probably my electronic breath. Would you risk saying anything that might be published that could possibly make it harder on you in your ongoing case? Or, if your case is settled, would you ever want to think about it again?
Having met people who have been put through the mill by the HRCs, I am not sure I trust the veracity of this statement by Ms. Lynch. I can see people being afraid of a government machine from which there is little recourse, and which can chew you up and spit you out at its own pleasure. I find it hard to believe that 50% of interviewees for an upcoming book on human rights would be CHILLED about speaking up.
Ezra Levant, as you might know, wrote a book about human rights, called "Shakedown", which unless you were out of the galaxy on sabbatical recently, you probably heard of. Hey Ezra, did you find any people you spoke to who were feeling too chilled to chat?
A friend sent me these links from the Toronto Sun, Extra, and Life Site News. They are about the expected gathering of about 400,000 for the Gay Pride stuff in Toronto going on now.
The comment attached was "I am all for discriminating against these sick freaks."
The reason behind the comment was that during the Parade and festivities in the past, police have turned their heads away from public nudity of parade participants, and sexual behaviour that is illicit in this country. Apparently, they may not this year. We will see.
My comment to the friend who sent me the links and the comment follows.
I am not for discriminating against these people. I am very much in favour of them being treated as I would be if I behaved as they are going to on Yonge Street in Toronto. In other words, if they walk around nude as some have in the past, wearing only sandals, and either simulate or actually participate in sexual acts, they should be arrested. That is the law of the land, and it is a good law, meant to protect us from being subjected to behaviour that is not acceptable in public in our society.
If the Police of Toronto do not arrest them, or are instructed to not arrest them, then they are in fact discriminating against me, since they would arrest me if I were to do the same thing a week later on the same street, and they should.
Gay people should have to live by the same rules as straight people. That is what I expect to see.
I cannot handle stress, and when I feel stress, I get forgetful, and have had a number of episodes lately where I have forgotten where I am, or why I am there, or what I am trying to do. This scares me when it happens. It is not because of the Blog, though it became a stressor for me. I just need to deal with the Blog better, so will Blog when I can, which will be much more relaxed.
I am responding to this comment I got yesterday:
Anonymous said... In her speech, does Jennifer Lynch ever once admit to fault on behalf of the HRC? Not that I can read. She defends their actions and while completely failing to mention the great human rights attrocities that have occurred to people like me and others, she accuses others of false comment about the HRC. I do not understand your criticisms against those who have spoke out against her. The HRC deserves no mercy in the public arena, nor do those that defend them.
My response is as follows:
I have no problem with speaking out against Jennifer Lynch and others in the HRCs for what they say and do that is unfair. But, there is a balance between humour, and satire in the midst of political commentary which someone like Ezra does very well, and name calling and outdoing each other with t-shirt slogans that goes beyond the job to demean the person. Slam the job. Slam the job the person is doing, but respect the dignity of the person.
Jennifer Lynch is a creation of God as much as you or I are, and as such is as loved by Him/Her as you or I are, and as deserving of that love as you or I are. We cannot earn God's love. It is as free a gift as salvation.
There is significant evidence that the HRCs of our country are not treating the people who reside in this country with equanimity, that there is a hierarchy of rights, regardless of what they say to the contrary. Bring it out into the open, logically, passionately even, with humour, satire, and invite discourse. When people lie, point it out. When they say stupid things, point that out. But, it is not fair to disparage their character and tie that to the job they are doing.
The HRCs are making the battle with Ezra personal, but Ezra has kept it pretty professional, in my opinion. I believe that is the high road.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Dear Reader (or readers if there are more than one of you out there):
I really cannot do this. Since my auto accident over 5 years ago, I have from time to time attempted to find ways to jump start my brain, in hopes that I could return to work, or be able to find some new area I could work productively in. Each time one thing or another has stopped me. I either missed important details, because my brain gets swiss cheesy under stress and too much detail, or in one case I quickly lost a lot of money due to bad judgement on my part, or I put undue strain on my relationships due to being unable to be attentive to them while overcommitting my brain cycles to what I was attempting to do.
I figured it would be different when I got started with this blog because of the case of a friend that I thought was a one off mistake going on here at the Ontario HRC. Also, at the time, I was once again trying to find something useful to do with what I have left of my mind. My wife was visiting our children and grandchildren in Alberta for a month, and I was left alone to my own devices. I had time, and no commitments of my limited store of mental energy. I also figured that this would be no stress, blog when I want, what I felt inspired about. When my wife returned home, this became increasingly difficult, as the realities of a flooded basement, and our life together became more evident, and it is now almost impossible for me to devote energy to blogging.
As I have read about Human Rights, I have developed a real affection and deeper respect for Human Rights beyond what I knew previously. As I tried to bring my brief history of Human Rights forward to Canada, I was stopped by my inability to figure my way through the provincial and Canadian Codes and Acts to the point that I cannot even figure out where to start. Up to the United Nations UDHR I was feeling like I was getting it. Now, I am confused, not by Human Rights, but overwhelmed by content that I cannot get through.
I looked back at some of my earlier blog entries for inspiration, and now have no recollection of ever writing them. I have no doubt that I did; it is my blog after all. I just can't put it together.
Worst of all, for me, my chronic fatigue is getting worse, as I am trying to balance doing some blogging and spending time with my spouse, and attempting to deal with our home as it requres.
The final straw for me was the online visit from IP address 184.108.40.206 at the Department of Justice yesterday that began at 10:20:34 and lasted for 6 hours and 14 minutes and 35 seconds. I know that I am not doing anything wrong here. But there are numerous cases of people out there who have said the same thing. I also know that almost nobody on the planet has read my blog either, though I do have the stats by IP address for the few who have, so the only person I have been likely to offend is myself. I am a disabled person, but I don't think I have said anything that a disabled person could take offense at so I don't plan to take me to an HRC any time soon.
The end result is that something that was initially a challenge and stimulating has become stressful for me. It may not be so for many of the others out there who do it regularly, but whatever the secret is to make it that way has eluded me.
As well, I do not like some of what is going on in the blogosphere. There is, in my opinion, baiting and demeaning of Jennifer Lynch particularly and some other HRC officials as well, that is not appropriate. It has gone past humourous comment, and critical analysis and exposure of actual cases, policies and procedures, and I do not want to participate in that.
So, I have a simple choice really. I can keep doing this at the risk to my own health, and my relationships or I can pretty much stop, including deciding whether to pull back some or all of my previous posts, based on my personal need to reduce stress.
I set out to find the truth, and to an extent have done so. Human Rights are important. I have great respect for the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I also respect the attempts to bring about equality in Human Rights in this country, though I see fragmentation in it due to different Codes in each province, and different application in each as well.
I do not think that people should be discriminated against because of their religion, sexual orientation, politics, colour or any of the other ways that we can identify them. On the other hand, I do not think that an individual or organisation should be forced to accommodate into their organisation or place of business someone whose life and beliefs are counter to their own. That is a form of reverse discrimination.
I think that many people have been treated unfairly by the HRCs in this land. I think particularly of Reverend Stephen Boissoin, and pray for his success at the Alberta Court of Queens Bench this September. He has spent an inordinate amount of money to try and protect his right to free speech. I think also of Fr. Alphone de Valk, a Catholic priest and writer, who was investigated and spent several thousand dollars to defend a case that never went to a hearing, but which tied him and his organisation up for several months. I think also of Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, Macleans, Kathy Shaidle, Marc Lemire and others who are also fighting back, and I hope and pray for all of them that a new understanding of the meaning of FREE speech comes about.
Free Speech is critical to the growth of a society. Its suppression results in totaliarianism, and suppression of other freedoms as well. They are all voices in the wilderness, even if we do not agree with the particular words they speak. Free speech is not about agreeing with everybody's words. It is about being challenged to think about them ourselves, and decide for each of us what is true and important. In the Catholic Church this is called "Formation of Conscience" and is critical to human development.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Before I write another word, let me say that I support human rights for all. However, I consider myself much more inclusive than our Human Rights Commissions, who seem to be selective or at the very least hierarchical in their application of human rights. As well, I do not need to go to extremes to explain myself, like the following.
On the Ontario Human Rights Commission web site, there is a page specifically dedicated to Gender Identity and the rights of people defined to have gender identity that goes beyond the male, female, homosexual spectrum. I read this the other day as part of my review of stuff HRCish, and was shocked by what I encountered there. I thought that George Orwell was a fiction writer who was deceased. Little did I know that he lives and works here in Ontario for the Ontario HRC. Either that or his clone does. As yet clones are not a defined sub group under Gender Identity. Maybe gender identity is not an issue for clones as yet.
It is so bizarre to me that I could link you to the page, and go get under my covers and hide until the insanity wears off in this province. But instead, I am choosing to excerpt it in large part, and comment on it.
As I stated in another post, I have a friend who is transgendered. I would not switch places with her, who used to be a him, for anything on this earth. But, I have spent hours with her, and have a slight understanding of how difficult life must be for her, and I mean slight. Having met her spouse of over 40 years, I have some slight understanding of how difficult life is for them in the transition that my friend is making to the transgendered world from the formerly confused heterosexual male world.
It would not dawn on me to discriminate against her, and because of who she is and where she has come from, she would not DEMAND her rights, but chooses to give people the opportunity to know her and accept her as she is. But, she is also sensitive to the fact that she still has male genitalia, and as such forcing herself on women in certain situations would not be healthy for the other women particularly.
Anyway, here is what the Ontario government wants us all to know about gender identity and discrimination. To the best of my knowledge, Ontario is the only province to have BROKEN ground on this area.
So, from the web page: "The Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario and applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations."
Standard fare thus far, except that the workd "discrimination" probably warrants some serious analysis all on its own, but that is a separate topic I think.
"People who are discriminated against or harassed because of gender identity are legally protected under the ground of ‘sex’. This includes transsexual, transgender and intersex persons, cross-dressers, and other people whose gender identity or expression is, or is seen to be, different from their birth-identified sex."
So, here are 4 specific sub types as bases for discrimination on the basis of sex, plus the ubiquitous "and other people whose gender identity or expression is, or is seen to be, different from their birth-identified sex." My imagination does not give me much to go on here to fill this category, unless predilections for farm animals counts. All I can tell you is that except for the last sentence, I am not making this up here. But, just posing a hypothesis here. Are not pedophilia, necrophilia, and some of the other currently fetishes, which may or may not be criminal just "gender identities or expressions"? Just a thought - a sick one, as in I am getting nauseous thinking that our government could actually be reading this and thinking I have a point. I do not have a point, please.
Then there are some fancy feel good words. "Gender identity is linked to a person’s sense of self, and particularly the sense of being male or female."
This is then followed by definition of specific Gender Identity types for our edification.
"Discrimination because of gender identity is any action based on a person’s sex or gender, intentional or not, that imposes burdens on a person or group and not on others, or that withholds or limits access to benefits available to other members of society. This can be overt or subtle, and includes systemic discrimination, such as when there is a non-inclusive rule or policy.
Harassment is a form of discrimination. It includes comments, jokes, name-calling, or behaviour or display of pictures that insults or offends you or puts you down because of your gender identity."
This would sound good to me except for the judgemental component of "insults or offends or puts you down". That is all about feelings. If you are a gender identified person and feel insulted, then it was an insult. PERIOD. "Nice day today isn't it Mary (who used to be Bill)." "It's a lousy day out, and I feel insulted."
The next paragraph goes on to say: "No person should be treated differently while at work, at school, trying to rent an apartment, eating a meal in a restaurant, or at any other time, because of their gender identity."
Before we look at their examples, here's one of mine. Bill comes to work in his business suit one day. The next day he comes to work dressed in a pretty red frock, with patent leather pumps and a Gucci bag to match. I don't know about you, but try as I might, it would be difficult to take Bill seriously on Day 2. Just a thought.
But, let's take a look at the examples that our government gives us of discrimination:
Example: A transsexual person answers an ad for an apartment. The superintendent says there are no units available, even (sic) through there are.
So if the superintendent doesn't like the cut of somebodies jib, particularly if that person is a gender identity person, that's too damn bad. If a clean cut, well mannered white guy comes to rent the apartment, and a scruffy transsexual comes as well, it would be discrimination to pick the white guy over the transsexual.
OK here's an easy one.
Example: An employee tells his manager that he cross-dresses. His manager says he will no longer qualify for promotions or job training because customers and co-workers will be “uncomfortable” with him.
So, I hire you to do a job selling clothing in my men's wear store to the public. You show up for a while stylishly dressed in good quality men's wear, as I would expect. You then decide that your inner Cross-dresser is not being explored and decide to wear that pretty red frock, with the matching shoes and Gucci bag. And if I tell you that that is not acceptable, then I am discriminating against you. What about your bait and switch that you pulled on me? Oh, I forgot. I'm a normal white guy. You are a Gender Identity challenged person. That's discrimination on my part. Bad Me and it's off to kangaroo court we go.
Ok, try this one on for size.
Example: A transsexual woman is not allowed to use the women’s washroom at her place of work. Her manager defends this by explaining that other staff have expressed discomfort. This workplace needs a policy that clearly states the transsexual employee has the right to use this washroom, while providing education to resolve staff concerns and to prevent future harassment and discrimination.
This one really gets my goat. I know a number of women who were sexually abused at some time in their lives, and they are very sensitive to variations in sexuality, and they should have rights too. So, if one or more of these employees was sexually abused, their anxieties are irrelevant, and the transsexual woman gets to use the washroom she chooses, with no concern for them, and they then get to be re-educated. Good luck with this one Ontario HRC. This kind of cr?p really p?isses me off.
Let's skip along to the next part of this government lesson, Duty to Accommodate. Here's what our government has to say with examples for the dull of mind:
"The “duty to accommodate” is the legal obligation that employers, unions, landlords and service providers have under the Code. The goal of accommodation is to allow people to equally benefit from and take part in services, housing or the workplace. It is a shared responsibility and everyone involved, including the person asking for accommodation, should cooperate in the process, share information, and jointly explore accommodation solutions."
The above sounds okay. But really the gender identity person is in the driver's seat, since he/she can go to the Ontario HRC if he/she doesn't like the accommodation. Remember the all expenses paid for you trip to the Star Chamber for the Complainant, and the all expenses paid up the wazoo for the Defendant.
So, how come I have to stand to pee. I want to use the women's wash room too. Oh, right I am not a gender identity person. Silly me.
So, here is an example, courtesy of the Ontario HRC. There are 2, but you can read the other on your own at the link at the bottom of this page:
Example: A transgendered man raises safety concerns due to threats in the men’s locker room at his gym. The gym management sanctions the harassers and explores possible solutions with the client, such as a single-occupancy shower and change room, or a showering and changing stall in the men’s locker room. They provide him with access to the staff facilities in the interim.
Gym management is going to spend thousands of dollars to make separate change room facilities for "1" transgendered man, who pays a membership of $40 per month to the club. This makes perfect sense to me in the context of the savings in legal fees and Shakedown award trying to win this case at the Tribunal.
One last section remains. That is Confidentiality of Information. You gotta read this from our government:
As I read this, if you work for me and are a transgendered female for example, I have to keep the transgendered part of it a secret, while I accommodate that you are transgendered. So, I pretend that you are just another female, but spend a small fortune to give you separate washrooms, or hire new staff to replace the ones who quit because you insisted on using the women's washrooms.
This is almost too absurd to be reality. I am expecting Alan Funt to pop out with a camera and say "Smile you're on Candid Camera."
If you want to read the entire page, you can do so here.
In a world gone mad, the truth is becoming inconvenient, unless Al Gore wants to use his version of it and Inconvenient Truth as a title, which is not really the truth, to tell us about Global Warming, which is not really good science anyway.
But Feelings. Ay that's the rub.
So, I set out when I started this blog to try and get at the truth, because that is what I have been seeking in the last number of years, having started to wake up from living my life in delusion like we all do, and wanting something better. But, as I dig deeper, I find more people in denial, trying even harder than I am to seek the truth, to keep it buried. Because it is ... inconvenient.
I was shocked to read Simon Fothergill's statements in the Lemire case on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada that Human Rights legislation in Canada is all about feelings, not the truth. I thought: "Are you out of your mind, Sir?" But, as I ponder what he was saying, I wonder if he is maybe from the AG's perspective trying to wake us all up to the lunacy of the legislation that the AG's office has to oversee to some extent, and might be even trying to distance themselves from intentionally or inadvertently.
I "feel" as a Christian that I am being discriminated against. I am personally offended that pro choice activists can speak so hatefully about those who speak on behalf of the unborn children in this country and the world. I "feel" hurt and saddened that Darren Lund and Rob Wells could persecute with the state's help in Alberta and Canada my friends Stephen Boissoin and Fr. Alphonse de Valk who are doing their best to bring the truth as they understand it out into the light of day so we can talk about it, think about it, agree or disagree, and live our lives as we did before, or maybe seek to do something different.
I ask, how come Darren Lund and Rob Wells are allowed to wage war against Christians by filing frivolous claims with HRCs against law abiding Christians who are using our Human Rights to express deeply held religious beliefs based on the Holy Bible? - Because their feelings are hurt. Not really, because their personal feelings were not hurt. They do not have to be. They can act on their own. They just have to contend that somebody's feelings might get hurt even in the future. If that is not frivolous, what is?
Then why do the HRCs actually put men of God like Fr. de Valk and Pastor Boisson through years of hell while investigating this nonsense at their own expense? - Because that is their mandate currently, and that is the problem. That should not be their mandate. There is a very important mandate for them. This ain't it.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Part 2 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights – December 10, 1948
In Part 2 of my review of the sort of history of Human Rights, I look at the bigger stage, before returning to our Home and Native Land.
During the Second World War the Allies had adopted the 4 Freedoms as their war aims, and after seeing the atrocities of the Axis during the war, and having created the United Nations, a move was afoot to create what became the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
There were a number of prominent participants in this endeavour. There was Eleanor Roosevelt, of course, and there was a Canadian, who worked tirelessly on this particularly for several years, a professor of law from McGill University in Montreal. He was the first Director of the Human Rights Division in the United Nations Secretariat and remained with the United Nations for about 20 years. His name, John Peters Humphries.
The resulting document took some haggling to accomplish, as could be expected, but to the credit of the United Nations it was done. It is currently translated into 360 languages and dialects. Pope John Paul II said of this document that it:”remains one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time.”
The full text in English is here. All other 360 translations are available near here as well.
But key rights for us as Canadians since we are signers of this Declaration and it forms the basis for our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms are as follows:
Article 1 – All human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights.
Article 2 – All people are entitled to rights without distinction based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, origin, property, birth or residency.
Article 3 – Right to life, liberty and security of person
Article 6 – Right to be treated equally by the law
Article 7 – Right to equal protection by the law
Article 8 – Right to effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law
Article 10 – Right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him
Article 18 – Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 19 – Right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 29 – Part 2 - In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
Article 30 – Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
Pope John Paul II also had this to say in his message in 1999 for the World Day of Peace, about the UDHR: “The Universal Declaration is clear: it acknowledges the rights which it proclaims but does not confer them, since they are inherent in the human person and in human dignity. Consequently, no one can legitimately deprive another person, whoever they may be, of these rights, since this would do violence to their nature. All human beings, without exception, are equal in dignity.”
Current Pope Benedict XVI had this to say in his address to the United Nations on April 18, 2008: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ... was the outcome of a convergence of different religions and cultural traditions, all of them motivated by the common desire to place the human person at the heart of institutions, laws, and the workings of society.”
Pope John Paul II described the growing understanding of human rights, when he addressed the United Nations in 1979, as a “universal moral law written on the human heart”. He saw the growing international movement to recognise and protect human rights, as represented by the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as “a true milestone on the path of humanity’s moral progress.”
On one other thing are both John Paul and Benedict clear and that is that Human Rights are both universal and indivisible. In other words, they cannot be applied to some people in some situations and not to others. They are to be defended and protected in their entirety and at all times. Contrast this with the hierarchical way that they are being applied in Canada by our HRCs, where Christians are at the bottom of the pole.
I confess to being a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Consequently, I tend to have access to what the Pope has to say about things, and tend to lean towards what he says more readily than many of you might choose to. However, it has been my view that the Pope is more catholic than Catholic, attempting to speak to univeral good. For the Pope to believe in the dignity of all human beings, love for one another, yet to teach against sinful practices as viewed by Christianity is totally consistent.
As we move forward to Canada and the Rights Codes and Legislation both Federally and Provincially, and the administration of such, I will be remembering one quote excerpt above from Pope John Paul II: "The Universal Declaration is clear: it acknowledges the rights which it proclaims but does not confer them, since they are inherent in the human person and in human dignity."
It seems to me that the major difficulties with Human Rights that we are having going forward is threefold:
1) Rights are being reinvented and re-prioritized on the fly, though there appears to be a preponderance of leaning away from rights for Christians.
2) The reinvented and re-prioritized rights are being conferred down peoples throats, rather than acknowledged and proclaimed as John Paul wrote about the UDHR.
3) Once reinvented, these pseudo rights are being indoctrinated into the populace without input from the people, where they are becoming fact not the fiction they deserve to have remained.
The result is becoming that the Spirit of the UDHR is being lost here in Canada, but that is topic for later posts.
The result is becoming that the Spirit of the UDHR is being lost here in Canada, but that is topic for later posts.
Stephen Boissoin wrote me recently with a comment to a recent blog entry. It contained two things that I am giving separate space to. This one is his feelings and thoughts about the purpose of the HRCs. The other will be from his appeal of his Alberta HRC conviction.
Below are Stephen Boissoin's own words and thoughts, and though I understand and generally support them, they do not mirror mine completely. I happen to hold opinions that vary to some degree from Stephen's, because of my own faith background, and particularly because of relationships that I hold very dear to me with a young couple who are Gay, and who are the two kindest, gentlest and most loving people that I know.
So, as I reproduced his wording below, I cringed a bit at a few particular words. But, I have communicated with him enough to know his context, and ask you not to get hung up on a phrase that might be bothersome, but to look at what he has to say in totality, and in the context of my other postings on his Case, and on Stephen Boissoin and his life of ministry to his own and other young people, rich and poor, gay and straight in Alberta.
Regardless, I strongly believe that Stephen has a right to express his thoughts because if he does not and we do not, then there is no debate, and no need to challenge any of us to be better or to think outside our own boxes, including Stephen himself, even if it is uncomfortable to do so. Society is better when we are free to be individuals, but when we also respect each other. That respect does not require us to be in agreement at all times, nor does it require us to sit idly by if we believe that we see those we love coming to harm. Also, because we believe something, does not make it so, even if it is our interpretation of the Word of God. But, if we never speak about it, nobody will be able to question us about it, so we can live within our delusions, and I for one do not want to live in delusion any more.
Stephen wrote the following:
"The HRC's had a purpose at one time when they followed their original mandate which was never to be the thought police or judge and jury of one's intent, expression, belief and freedom.
Who decides what can and cannot be said?
If one cannot comment on their disgust for homosexuality freely then why should they be free to comment against any other behavior pedophilia, polygamy, pornography, slavery or bestiality?
HRC's and the ungodly (deceived) are trying to dupe us into believing that one is born gay, that it is not a choice, not a behavior so it cannot be condemned and must be accepted. This is untrue and society suffers because of it.
Before the Alberta HRC forced me to appear before it, found me guilty and sentenced me, they funded the Alberta PFALG (Parents Families and Lesbians and Gays) Society's mandate to teach youth that homosexuality is "normal, necessary, acceptable and productive and has been for thousands of years."
The Alberta HRC, obviously very pro-gay, uses tax dollars to fund pro-gay organizations????? How could I receive fair unbiased treatment?????? They have overstepped their boundaries and are trampling on our Charter rights. If not stopped they will continue their attempt to shape the moral climate of Canada.
My daughter is 13 and my son, 14. Almost every external influence teaches them that it is normal to be gay. The entertainment industry at large is littered with lewd displays of sexuality, promiscuity and homosexuality. It is easy for someone to be confused in our culture. Many sources tell them that it is ok to be gay, ok to have premarital sex, abortions etc etc.
God's Word says different and the choice is....do you believe in God and His Word? At the end of the matter that is the big question. Every day a question is proposed from God to man.....will you follow me? As long as we are on this mortal coil we must answer by word and by deed."
I received this in a separate email from him and wanted to include it as well:
Stephen Boissoin is doing all he knows to do to live out his call from God to the best of his abilities in this CRAZY WORLD. He is however a human being, and knows too that he is fallible in his interpretations of what that call is.
You are free as I am to disagree with what he says, and to comment on it, click away from it, or to agree with it with reservations. There is no need to charge him with any type of discrimination for speaking freely about his beliefs. That is the worst kind of injustice in a society that is alleged to be free, and to respect Human Rights.
Before I would ever attempt to condemn him, if I were so inclined, which I am not, I would want to understand his perspective to see where he is coming from, and the Context of what he has to say, and he is pretty clear where and what that is. He is a parent of young teens, and is concerned about their well being, and he is involved in ministering to other teens and concerned for them. He is also a bible believing Christian and educated within that context. How are his beliefs and feelings any less valid than yours or mine? Quite simply they are not, unless there is a hierarchy of opinions that exists, where those of homosexuals are more important than those of Christians, for example.
In 1948 Canada signed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was an important document for all of mankind on this planet.
Article 19 thereof states:
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
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.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Roy Green, that well known and well respected Canadian radio personality wants to get Jennifer Lynch and Ezra Levant together on his radio programme today. Yes, but no says the czarina. Him first. Her second, to rebut.
Read what Ezra has to say about it here.
Should be fun. Hope somebody puts it somewhere where we can hear it over and over and over again. The hits just keep on coming, folks.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I don't think that the people that work in our HRCs are bad people. I don't think they get it either. I have read too many bad or near bad decisions, or decisions that I thought could have been good to think that they get it. Bottom line is I think they are all too human, and focused on the wrong things.
I think I wrote in another Post that I believe that they are too interested in being right to seek the truth, which I now realise is a bit esoteric, though it sounded good to me. But last night I had an epiphany moment, not because of my own intelligence, but because of Pete Vere's. I was reading Kathy Shaidle's 5 feet of fury, and she referenced Northern Tequila, where Pete, her co-author on Tyranny of Nice drops pearls of wisdom from time to time, and there it was, and here it is. Please read it.
CONTEXT. You really must read what Pete wrote. It ... well puts things into context Cudos to the Canadian HRCs own Commisar in Chief Jennifer Lynch who gets credit for bringing it into the light with the Pearl Eliadis "hate mongerers", Mark Steyn "pedophile" out of context comments in her report to parliament the other day.
Let me put a couple of cases I have looked at into context.
A pastor, father of young children, who spent time on the streets as a young person himself, and dragged himself up by his bootstraps, due to finding an abiding faith in Jesus Christ. He ministers to and gives all of his personal financial resources to street kids, including without exception gay kids, including a home for them.
As a member of the local Red Deer pastor's association, he sees a high school teacher inviting an openly gay minister to speak about the homosexual lifestyle as an alternative with no balanced presentation of the heterosexual lifestyle. As a parent and also as a pastor himself, he believes the unbalanced nature of this to be wrong, leaving impressionable children with only one side of the story.
He writes a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate telling parents to wake up, and that he is not going to take this lying down. By the way, he wrote a letter to the editor. He did not publish anything. The newspaper chose to publish the letter, which forms part of his defence to the Court of Appeal this September. I hope to write more on his appeal later on as I understand it better, becasue there are several meaningful points where the Alberta HRC broke with the law of the land in their decision.
One more bit of context. EGALE a rights group for gays and lesbians would have nothing to do with slamming Stephen's rights to free speech here because they believed if he did not have the right to speak his mind, then it would only be a matter of time before they lost their right to speak theirs.
That's context for you. The Alberta HRC was not interested in context.
My Principal Friend in Ontario
A mother, a wife, a special education teacher who later became a primary principal in the Catholic school system made a good background for this woman of faith and high moral character, but did not prepare her for the battle she had to wage with one dark skinned parent over claims of racial discrimination and her own health.
The mother of the child made life at the school a living hell for the teacher of the child, with daily unnanounced interruptions to the classroom, until the principal stepped in. After salvos from the parent in language one would hope not to hear from a parent in a Catholic school setting, the Superintendent, with ears burning, required the principal to get an order of trespass to keep the mother off school property. This did not keep her from burning up the phone and fax lines. Contextually, we would say that this woman is overbearing, and controlling, if we were kind. If not, we would say she was nuts.
So, the woman's son stole money off the principal's desk when she was out of her office on one occasion, to which he alone confessed in writing, even though there was another white boy in the room at the time. The principal spoke to both children, accepted their stories and punished the black child with one day of detention in her office with work to be supplied by the home room teacher.
The mother wanted the school also to have a nebulizer for asthma in the school for the boy, to which request the principal provided her with the appropriate forms for signature by a medical practitioner. This would allow the school to meet their standards for administrative and insurance purposes. The mother never complied with this request.
Finally, to top it off, the mother claimed that the principal was allowing the son to be bullied. In context, the boy was part of a group of 4 boys, the white boy from the principal's office, 2 filipino boys, and himself, who as the principal says all gave as good as they got, and tested each other's boundaries from time to time. 10 year old testosterone. My comment - Big Deal.
The mother called the failure to allow the nebulizer on site, failure to punish the white child who had not stolen the money from the principal's desk, and the school yard non bullying all examples of racial discrimination, and the Ontario HRC took on her case. She is going to win this, and the reality of it is she will win because the Ontario HRC does not understand CONTEXT. That and the fact that they do not understand the school system, and the professionalism of those in positions of authority, and are meddling where they have no expertise.
But that's context for you. The Ontario HRC was not interested in context.
Ezra Levant and Western Standard
The Muslim cartoons were a news item. Ezra Levant chose to publish them in the midst of a news story to say this is what the kafuffle is all about, folks. Some Imam got his knickers in a twist, and filed a complaint with the Alberta HRC.
Of course, as anyone reading this blog would know unless you are too busy with your own "Shakedown" to lift your head up, Ezra did not take this lying down. He even wrote a book about it, though the title escapes me at the moment.
With Ezra and the HRCs, it has gotten personal. He has his own personal litigation team at the Canadian HRC, I understand, slobbering over themselves to get at him. But, even if he were alone, he would have them out numbered. He is one determined guy, and my money is on him in the end. Support him. Buy his book. Put your money on him too. Read his blog.
In this particular case (or should I say now ream of cases) context has been lost, but the exception proves the rule as well.
I could go on, but it would get to be more of the same, and too much of a muchness, I fear.
I am reminded of an old saying I heard in years gone by that seems applicable to our HRCs as they now operate. "If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, then the whole world is a nail."
There is good in the intention of our HRCs, for which I laud them. There is a weakness in execution that is putting Human Rights for us all at risk, and making the claim of Jennifer Lynch that Human Rights is a matrix, a false claim. It has become a floating hierarchy in its operation, though context might help bring it back to being a matrix, methinks.
I am not a fan of the US Democratic Party, particularly for their stand on abortion and other things, and consequently I have not been a fan of their choice for President, Barack Obama. It is nothing against the man as a person, but about his political positions.
But he did something last week that was so cool for one little girl that I applaud just because it shows his humanity, and touched her in a way that nothing else he says or does will during his presidency.
Here is the MSNBC report of it. But the jist of it is this. 10 year old Kennedy Corpus went with her Dad on the last day of school to hear the President speak on Health Care in Green Bay WI. Her father rose to ask a question, and prefaced it by saying his daughter had missed school to attend the town hall meeting with him, and he hoped she would not be in trouble for so doing.
The President then did the coolest thing. He asked: "Do you need me to write a note?" He then wrote on a piece of paper: "To Kennedy's teacher: Please excuse Kennedy's absence. She's with me. Barack Obama."
He then left the stage to hand deliver the note to her. How cool is that!! There is a good possibility that that will be a watershed moment in that little girl's life, one which will open her mind to all the possibilities that are there for her, and that is even cooler still.
For Kennedy Corpus, no matter how any one of us or how historians looks on Barack Obama's Presidency in the future, good or bad, she will remember this particular special moment, and it will shape her future, and it is very good.
Good on You, President Obama.
Tim Horton's stores as a policy do not allow people on scooters to pull up to the drive through windows any more, citing safety concerns. OK, fine.
But Dave Matthews in Lower Sackville, NS loves his Timmy's coffee, and plans to take them to the NS HRC because he feels shut out, since he is restricted to getting around on his scooter.
You know that this has all gone too far, when anybody in their right mind thinks that this is a Human Rights issue, and I do not mean Dave Matthews in particular.
It's a bit of a business problem, that is turning into a PR problem for Tim's, that they should be able to resolve to Dave's satisfaction, but it is not a Human Rights issue.
But watch, if it becomes a Human Rights issue, it will be investigated for about 2 1/2 years, then adjudicated for another 1 1/2 years. Then Dave will get $1.37 times 7 (coffees per week) times 108 (weeks in 4 years) for the number of coffees he missed in the mean time, plus a penalty award for pain and suffering (caffeine withdrawal), say another $2,000 all tax free. All the Sackville Tim's employees will get to do sensitivity training for some obscure reason, and there will be cute little cards on the tables in the store reminding the local citizenry about their Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Oh, and the local franchisee and master franchisor will pay about $100,000 in legal fees defending themselves along the way, while Dave feeds the press the ongoing saga on a regular basis.
This is really a no win situation for everybody but the NS HRC, where they get to keep their employment numbers up. Dave does without caffeine for 4 years. Tim's loses reputation and business.
My advice to Tim Horton's while I sit here and sip my double double decaf is to Make Dave a happy customer. It's far faster, far easier, and far cheaper, and much better for business, and keeps the government from meddling in your business and your personal lives. Otherwise proceed at your own peril.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I started on my journey to understand Human Rights inadvertently while living in the US during the Presidential election in the Fall of 2008. At that time, while doing some pro-life work, the kind of stuff which puts me in league with other right wing extremists as far as Homeland Security is concerned, I pondered on the first Human Rights document I knew of, the United Stated Declaration of Independence.
United States Declaration of Independence
As Canadians, we are likely to be aware that this document was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, a gathering of the then 13 Colonies that would become the first 13 of the United States of America. I hear some wag in the back row saying to his wife: “Gee that’s the same day as American Independence Day. I wonder if that’s a coincidence, Martha.”
The document itself was principally drafted by Thomas Jefferson, from Virginia, who would later become the 3rd President of the United States. Jefferson was in fact wise beyond what was finally written, as about ¼ of what he wrote made the cutting room floor, but what remains is masterful, particularly that section which is called the preamble and which I have quoted below.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
If you recall Dean Steacy’s testimony from the Lemire case, which I commented on here, where he calls “freedom of speech” an American concept, here’s where they got the ball rolling. But, it’s not like they copyrighted the concept, and doled out marketing rights like the NFL or something.
Anyway, there is wisdom in these words, and every year there are parades to celebrate them, but a lot of their meaning has now hit that same cutting room floor in the US, and the valuable lessons that we, their nearest neighbour in Canada could have learned have gone to the Arctic or down the toilet. Ponder on these excerpts.
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. True, their unjust powers they get through lies and deceptions, when our backs are turned, and by churning out reports where they tell us what a great job they are doing, omitting deceptive practices and things they are too ashamed to admit to, for fear of losing their jobs. You can read what Ezra Levant has to say about Jennifer Lynch and the Canadian HRCs latest report here, including links to the actual report.
But as immediately follows: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it”. Jefferson and his peers were specifically talking about the British and their unjust rule over the American colonies, but even then, talked about man’s prudence, about altering before abolishing, and about suffering evils where they are sufferable before abolishing. But then there comes a time when action must be taken, words must be spoken or written, to protect the nation.
Four Freedoms Speech – January 6, 1941
Fast forward most of 200 years to 1941. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt voiced his own and the words and thoughts attributed to his wife Eleanor Roosevelt. Many credit these words as being an opening salvo in world wide Human Rights, particularly as they were later followed up with Eleanor’s work in the United Nations on Human Rights.
He spoke of 4 Freedoms in his State of the Union Address to Congress on that day. They were 1) Freedom of speech and expression, and 2) Freedom of religion both from the First Amendment and familiar to Americans of the time. He then added 3) Freedom from want, and 4) Freedom from fear. In context, there was a world war going on then that America was not yet engaged in, but was getting prepared for. So, these were heady times, and though Freedom from want is a post depression hope, more than a probability, Freedom from fear was high on everybody's list of hopes and dreams at the time. The entire speech is available in text here.
October 31, 1945 County of York, Ontario, Drummond Wren - An Unlikely Civil Rights Hero
Now come to Ontario Canada, for the convergence of the end of WWII, a well known Canadian jurist, and an unlikely war veteran turned civil rights hero.
The Second World War killed many fine Canadians, seriously wounded many others, and it woke a bunch of others up. One of the newly wakened was Drummond Wren. He bought a new home after the war, then promptly sued himself. Yes, he did. He sued because he saw a covenant that he had signed that said: “Land not to be sold to Jews or persons of objectionable nationality." He fought in a war for equality for all Canadians and he didn’t think this was right, so he sued to have this covenant declared invalid, and he won.
Ontario Supreme Court Judge John Keiller MacKay, a well respected jurist who would later be Lieutenant Governor of Ontario had this to say in the decision in Re Drummond Wren: "If sale of a piece of land can be prohibited to Jews, it can equally be prohibited to Protestants, Catholics or other groups or denominations. If the sale of one piece of land can be so prohibited, the sale of other pieces of land can likewise be prohibited."
In simile modo, one can also say that if a Catholic priest (Fr. Alphonse deValk) or an ordained minister (Stephen Boissoin) speaks what he believes to be true about homosexuality, which today is condemned as hate speech, then tomorrow, what the homosexual speaks about Christianity or medical care or some other identifiable group is also able to be condemned as hate speech. Simplistically, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and we're just waiting for the weather to change.
Judge MacKay also said in Re Drummond Wren: "Ontario, and Canada too, may well be termed a province, and a country, of minorities in regard to the religious and ethnic groups which live therein. It appears to me to be a moral duty, at least, to lend aid to all forces of cohesion, and similarly to repel all fissiparous (cool word of the day, means separatist or break away) tendencies which would imperil national unity."
Well spoken Judge MacKay in 1945. Jennifer Lynch would have us believe that people sparking debate about the work of the Canadian HRC by criticizing its practices and some of its cases is fissiparous. On the contrary, it is the practices themselves and the lack of accountability and failure to follow proper rules of evidence and procedure for bringing to trial that are hurting the cohesiveness of this country. I say: “Shame on you, Ms. Lynch for lying to us and blaming us for not rolling over and taking the lies.”
Although I digress from specific history of Human Rights, I was so impressed by the Honourable Judge MacKay that some things he said or thought were pertinent to the fabric of Human Rights in this country and so I have included them here.
In later life he also asked this question at one time: "Many new things are useful, but the experience of the ages must not be repudiated. Tradition has its failures but is it not so that tradition is the sum of those enduring values, which have been kept alive through all mutations and help to give us continual stability and direction to life?"
My first impulse is to stand up and start singing the song from Fiddler on the Roof about Tradition. But, more practically, I think of my personal Christian traditions, and those of Stephen Boissoin, and Father Alphonse de Valk, which they expressed in their writings, and for which they were charged with hate crimes. And it is our tradition in this country that, contrary to what our HRCs will tell us by either their testimony or the cases that they adjudicate, we have the freedom to speak our minds, should we choose to so do. That is how tradition and new ideas are communicated.
The one time mayor of Mimico Ontario, Hugh Griggs said of Judge MacKay’s philosophy of life: “I think one should in the first place make a success in his own vocation. He should strive to be a lover of beauty, which is its own reward. He should be of service to others, which is one of the noblest attributes of mankind. He should value truth, without which no nation can become great and no society long endure. “
Judge Mackay is probably rolling over in his grave watching how the HRCs are tromping over the garden of jurisprudence that he strived to nurture in his lifetime is being filled with weeds. Judge MacKay believed you should value truth. Simon Fothergill of the Canadian HRC says the truth is optional, but if your feelings are hurt, somebody's gonna pay. There is a real disconnect here.
In Part 2, I will look at the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with some of my own thoughts, and try to work my way to today.
The CBC reports here today in a HOT news item that the Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann has been offended that Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans made some comments at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto that weren't ... well liberal enough for him, I guess.
She was talking about empowering kids with lessons on finances, probably ok there. But, then she stepped over the line into hate speech territory, methinks. She apparently said, and I am cautious not to quote her directly unless I get drawn into the coming quagmire, that good parenting means making economic sacrifices while children are young as her own children have done. Oh, such heresy! Out damn Spot!
Then she described her children specifically, and said that oh dog gone it, I will quote her directly: " They've understood perfectly well that when you're raising children, you don't go off to work and leave them for somebody else to raise. This is not a statement against daycare. It's a statement about their belief in the importance of raising children properly."
So David Swann, in a fit of pique, and I have to quote him directly because it can't be paraphrased: " If she really said those things, she must apologize. If she doesn't apologize, the premier must fire her. These are truly outrageous claims. I have never been as stunned by the sheer arrogance and ignorance of the Tories as I am today. In a sense, Iris Evans did us all a favour by revealing her contempt for the sacrifices made by hard working Alberta families."
We here in Ontario don't get stunned as easily I think. So, when a mother tells us of the sacrifices her children made in raising her grandchildren of which she is proud, we don't get our knickers in a twist. But, then we aren't sitting in Opposition either, so don't have a political agenda to make fools of ourselves over.
I have an idea. In Alberta, the Alberta HRC takes on pretty frivolous hate speech claims. Maybe Mr. Swann could make up a frivolous hate speech claim over this. Why not? They've got time on their hands, until they have to defend themselves at the Court of Appeal over Stephen Boissoin in September.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
What do people in authority in the Human Rights Commissions in our land all have in common? They all have the smell of fresh blood in their nostrils, and its taste on their tongues. Once a dog has tasted blood it can never be domesticated again. Remember that when you think of how to fix this thing in the future. They have unbridled POWER to reach out and touch someone's life, often for the worse.
Do the most basic of research to find that Human Rights are meant for everyone. Then look at how the commissions choose to discriminate against Catholic Priests like Fr. Alphonse de Valk, ministers like Stephen Boissoin, writers like Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle, Ezra Levant, selectively, because they wrote something that somebody didn't like. Those are just a smattering of the free speech issues over the last few years. And it is not all about free speech. Look at my other blogs, and I assure you I am just touching the tip of the iceberg. There is no way of getting to all the people who have been beaten up by the commissions over the years for some articifial Right that has been artificially wronged by some poor schmoe just doing what he did yesterday.
It took me some time to figure out what this is all about. It was actually so familiar to me. I was telling my wife about a particularly prideful part of my early life when I was looking for money and power, and it was all about me. I worked hard at my jobs, and did the best I knew how, on my own understanding. But, I also wreaked havoc in a marriage, and other relationships, because my focus was really on my own gain. This is the focus that I see in the Commissions. I could be wrong. Then again, I could be right. If so:
Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
It happened to me. Thank God.
Queen sang "Somebody to Love". It was ok. But Anne Hathaway sang it better in Ella Enchanted, and I really liked it. Besides, Anne Hathaway has a very striking resemblance to my oldest daughter Marnie, though I personally think Marnie is more beautiful.
I posted this last fall, and saw the movie the other night with My Dear Wife. I was about to do a posting on it, when I thought to check out my blog to see if it would be something new or if I had done it before. So, I just changed the date on the posting and added this paragraph. Still love the song
Here's the lyrics:
Can anybody find me somebody to love?Here's the song:
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you're doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can't get no relief, Lord!
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
I work hard every day of my life
I work till I ache my bones
At the end I take home my hard earned pay all on my own -
I get down on my knees
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord - somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me - somebody to love?
(He works hard)
Everyday - I try and I try and I try -
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I'm goin' crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
Got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe
Yeah - yeah yeah yeah
Somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Got no feel, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat
I'm ok, I'm alright
Ain't gonna face no defeat
I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday I'm gonna be free, Lord!
Find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Monday, June 15, 2009
After writing my last blog item, I checked to see how the Red Envelope Day campaign n the US actually went and was surprised, but in fact not really, to read what the Homeland Security response was to the Red Envelope Campaign here.
In this campaign, people bought and sent 3 million empty red envelopes addressed to President Obama on which they printed: "This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life is unable to offer anything to the world."
Seems Homeland Security thinks that Pro-life people are now Right Wing Extremists, and pose a threat to National Security.
Wow!! Nasty Right Wing Extremists. They bought 3 million red envelopes and 3 million stamps in a recession. Sounds like terrorist behaviour to me. Put about $2 million into the economy. I thought that would be a good thing, but call me silly.
So, if you disagree with the law of the land, you just need to shut up and suck it up, on either side of the border.
So, I guess that Dean Steacy was wrong when he said in testimony in the Lemire case that freedom of speech is an American Concept. Maybe it is not even an American Concept any more.
By the way, I think killing pre born babies in the womb is a bad thing, and denies them their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the US, Canada and anywhere else in the world.
Unless you have been asleep lately, you have seen Ezra Levant making a fool of attempts by the Canadian HRC to suppress the truth, and make it inconvenient. Boy does the concept of Canadian Warming and Inconvenient Truth bring up other images to me.
You have seen how the lawyers of the Canadian HRC have said that the truth is less important than how people feel as Simon Fothergill expressed in the Lemire case last Fall, and how Free Speech is an American Concept as mouthed by Dean Steacy of the Canadian HRC. Now, their noble leader has put her own spin on things by making ridiculous statements into whole cloth for you to believe that she and her minions are protecting you from something that you need protecting from that mystifies me and many others - THE TRUTH.
She wants to be able to criminalise the TRUTH, if she does not like it. I can't believe I even wrote that here in Canada and that it is a factual statement. How absurd does it get?
While I was in the USA for the winter (why did I come home?) I participated in a Red Envelope Campaign that saw over 2 million red envelopes arrive at the white house protesting abortion in a gentle way. I have in mind a similar white envelope campaign to send to our Prime Minister in the Fall (whoever he might be at that time) to try and draw more attention to this mess we call the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
I do not want to prevent Gay people from having their say, but I do not want Christians or Jews to have their right to free speech hampered either, just because what they have to say is in disagreement with what Gays have to say. Let me tell you, a lot of what I have heard from Gay activists hurts my sensitivities. But some of what sensitive Gay people have to say touches my heart and sparks dialogue. What Marc Lemire has to say does not inspire me a lot of the time, but sometimes he strikes a nerve, and I believe he has a right to speak even if I disagree with him. This hierarchy of free speech that is going on in this country sucks big time, when a pastor in Red Deer (Stephen Boissoin) is supposed to apologize to the town scold, who is not even an aggrieved party for having spoken out about his concerns about a homosexual activits agenda in his town.
How long are the people of Canada going to be "running helter skelter to destruction with their fingers in their ears" as singer songwriter Don Francisco wrote some time ago.