Monday, August 31, 2009

Instant Replay 1 - The Real Victims of HRCs and the Law of Unintended Consequences

I am bringing forward some of my personal favourite blog entries of the last 4 months for this week, just like summer reruns, while I ponder the Fall Season of blog entries. I am working my way through a few items I want to post on, that take some research and time to put my thoughts together. I will still post some new stuff, just probably not any rocket science.

Here is my first rerun, where I started to look at the Real Victims of HRCs, and how the Law of Unintended Consequences gets them as much as the actual efforts of any government minion.

5 1/2 years ago, my wife and I became disabled. During these years, we have struggled with many things, not the least of which was the insurance system. However, all along the way, we have received Disability Income and benefits. So although we have endured financial, mental, physical and emotional hardships, we have not been totally economically disadvantaged, and we have had resources provided to us to help us deal with the challenges we have faced.

The real victims of the HRC’s are not in this position, and I empathise with them, and their plight, which is one of the reasons why I am writing this blog.

This blog is about the real victims of cases that are brought to HRC's. When a complaint is registered with an HRC, if it is a Hate Speech type of complaint, there does not have to be an actual victim, just the possibility that there might be a victim one day in the future. There only needs to be a complainant. In the case of a discrimination complaint, there is an actual aggrieved individual or group putting forward the complaint. For the moment, the aggrieved is a victim.

However, once the HRC is on the job, there are new victims in play. The first real victim in these cases is the Defendant in the action once it gets started. Why would I call the Defendant, who has been charged with discrimination or Hate Speech a Victim? The Defendant is victimized because the Claimant is able to just stand back and let the full might of the HRC come down on the Defendant.

The HRC documents the claim, gathers their evidence of the claim, and adjudicates the claim, all internally. The HRC pays all expenses of prosecuting the claim on behalf of the original Claimant, and regardless of how frivolous the claim, the Defendant absorbs all of his or her own costs to defend himself. The Defendant has no right to confront his accuser, no right to speedy trial, and is not innocent until proven guilty. In fact, the opening premise is that the Defendant is guilty, and the odds that he/she can prove he isn’t against the HRC machine are pretty slight.

I watched as Ezra Levant, who the Alberta HRC has tried to pin down advised a small businessman in London Ontario, who was being victimized by the Ontario HRC in a complaint, to pay them what they asked and get on with his life. Ezra’s logic was that if you can’t afford to fight tooth and nail with these bullies, then you need to get out of the fight as quickly as you can. What a sad but probably true commentary on a disgusting situation in our society.

But, Ezra Isaac Levant http://ezralevant.com/ is, or at least he would have been, one of the real Victims of the HRC’s himself if he wasn’t a modern day Don Quixote, driving an armoured vehicle and locked and loaded with cruise missiles sited on the hallowed halls of the Alberta HRC. I have no doubt that Ezra suffered sleepless nights, and that his personal life was impacted. I do not know if the demise of the Western Standard as a magazine was impacted by his early struggles with the cases brought against him, but it shure did not help.

Ezra Levant is a street fighter, unlike most of us, and refused to take being victimized lying down, or even standing up for that matter. He took it at full throttle, as he seems to take everything.

Ezra has now made a new career out of fighting the HRC’s, and I for one am on his side. Most of the HRC hit list will not fare as well, at least in the short term.

Take Reverend Stephen Boissoin from Red Deer Alberta for example. Reverend Boissoin ministered to at-risk youth on the streets of Red Deer Alberta. He cared for them, because he knew where they came from. He had been there. He knew that many were prostituting themselves to make money to survive, and he had had enough. So, he spoke out in writing to the Red Deer Advocate. His words might have been intemperate, but his heart was well intentioned. He loved the kids and wanted to heal them and bring them to the truth. But for 6 years, he has been fighting against the Alberta HRC machine, because one man Dr. Darren Lund took offence and rather than write a letter to the editor himself, complained to the Alberta HRC. So not only is Reverend Boissoin a victim of the Alberta HRC, but also the street kids of Red Deer Alberta, who lost their mentor, because he had to resign from full time ministry due to the stresses and strains on his life.

He will survive because good ultimately triumphs over evil, though evil might have its season. Will the kids he was ministering to? Does anybody even care about the real victims of this travesty of justice?

And take the case of my friend in Ontario, a grade school principal. She had worked her way up to being a principal by caring about kids and fellow teachers over many long years of hard work, and study. Then one day, an irate mother, a bully herself but with the advantage of dark skin, went to the Ontario HRC, and claimed discrimination, because her son who had stolen money from the principal’s desk was being punished, and because the principal would not allow certain so called medical equipment on school grounds without proper medical approval. The case, now in its third year strained the already fragile health of the principal, and she retired last year. She is a victim of the Ontario HRC, but so too are all the kids and teachers that relied on her for love and support.

She will survive because good ultimately triumphs over evil, though evil might have its season. Will the kids she was guiding? Does anybody even care about the real victims of this travesty of justice?

What is at play here is what is called the "law of unintended consequences". This is not an actual law but a maxim and states that "any purposeful action will produce some unintended consequences." From recent theatrical history, we may be familiar with the "Butterfly Effect".

The HRC's in an effort to protect us from the possible malicious thoughts or words or even deeds of others, that might be construed to be discriminatory unleashes undesirable after effects. As above, they have caused through their hubris a school to lose a loving, compassionate principal, and young people at-risk in need of a mentor to lose that mentor. As well, both of those individuals were left battered and beaten emotionally at the roadside by the weight of the ridiculous accusations leveled against them by these pompous, arrogant popinjays.

However, not all unintended consequences work for the bad. Ezra Levant's book "Shakedown" is for all intents and purposes of your local HRC an unintended consequence, as is his diligent promotion of his intent to see the end of these institutions.

So, the question that I have to ask anyone out there who is listening is this: Who is going to hold the HRC's to account for the lives that they have ruined with their ceaseless and senseless pursuit of the unattainable? Trying to manage the thought lives of your fellow man is arrogant, and reprehensible, as well as a total waste of time, energy, and precious taxpayer dollars. This must be stopped.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pot Calls Kettle Black

But They Might Have Gotten It Right Kinda Sorta

I have been waiting for a human rights decisions that I could point to and say: "There, they did something kinda sorta right, in a back door kinda way." So, conditionally, I am saying today that the Canadian HRC might have gotten one kinda sorta right maybe for the Air Canada Pilots - Fly Past 60 group of pilots who do not want to be grounded after they reach the company mandated retirement age of 60 for pilots. They just didn't need to do it at all.

I am saying conditionally until I read the entire Decision, which will come out in a month or two. I am interested in the details released at that time. However, if as I suspect this is based solely on a calendar birth date, then it can be termed a form of age discrimination that has existed all along in our society. It is not like the pilots didn't know when they hired on that they would have to retire at age 60. Not just one day, "Surprise, you're 60. You're outta here."

The Canadian HRC is calling this mandatory retirement age unconstitutional. Since so much of what the Canadian HRC does in their own practices is unconstitutional, that is really the pot calling the kettle black.

I guess we have to wait until the first 62 year old pilot crashes an Airbus, and the lawsuits go flying left and right to see how this really plays out. I hope that day never comes.

Here is a question I do not know the answer to: Are we, the fare paying public, as safe on Air Canada flights with a 62 year old pilot as we are with a 40 year old pilot? Frankly, I haven't flown an AC flight in so long, the answer is mute for me. We fly out of Detroit when we fly to the US, and fly Westjet from here in London for our Canada flights.

One follow up question: Does J Ly and her Canadian HRC care about the fare paying public or do she and they just care about fake human rights, like mandatory retirement ages?

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.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oy Vey Such a Shondra

Tank Gott in Heaven They Ain't No Stinkin' HRC in Joisey

If there was an HRC in New Jersey there would be turmoil in the streets right now. Here's the deal.

Sunda Croonquist was born and raised in Paterson New Jersey. She is black. But, she is also half Swedish and she was raised Catholic. Sunda Croonquist was a beauty queen who respresented New Jersey in the Miss America Pageant's preliminaries. She also holds a degree in Criminal Justice, so the girl is no dummy.

Sunda Croonquist married a Jewish lawyer and converted to Judaism. Keep up with me folks. While doing surveillance work, and studying acting she got the odd acting and small film gig.

Through chance encounters she got into comedy and then became a black, Catholic, Jewish stand up comedian with a Jewish mother in law and in laws. What ripe talent for comedy until . . .

Until this year, when brother and sister in law and mother in law decided to sue her for her material which offended the poor babies. Hurt feelings. You can figure out if you are offended by her humour here and can read the National Post bit on the lawsuit here.

Fortunately Ms. Croonquist has a good lawyer, her husband's firm.

If these in laws had lived in Ontario, they could have filed a Form 1 with Rabbi Barb et al, and commenced action through the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against Ms. Croonquist. How would Barb's buddies have handled this complaint. Can Jews file a complaint against Jews for discrimination? Or would you have to file the complaint against the part of Ms. Croonquist that is not Jewish? Since she is part Black, and part Swedish, you could claim that she is not REALLY Jewish, just snuck in the back door.

This could be one of those cases that would tie up an HRC causing them to fly in ever decreasing circles until they disappeared up their own ??? That's a good thing, right?

The Fence

An Analogy that Might Have Relevance in The HRC World

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that he was done being angry. His father then suggested that for every day that he held his temper, that he take a nail out of the fence. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that the nails were all gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said: "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you said things in anger, they left a scar just like these ones in the fence. You can put a knife in a man, and then take it out. No matter how many times you say you're sorry, the wound is still there."

What I take from this analogy as it relates to our beloved HRCs/HRTs will surprise you possibly. Every time, an HRC/HRT processes a Complaint, they allow a Complainant to hammer a nail into the heart of a Respondent. Conversely, the Complaint process hammers a nail into the heart of the Complainant as well. I have never heard of a Complaint that has ended well, though I am sure that some have. It is such an arbitrary process, stacked against the Respondent, that the likelihood of a joy filled conclusion at the end is small.

But the process, which rewards the Complainant almost always, diminishes the Complainant, while it belittles the Respondent, because it takes away his/her/their humanity as well, and puts the power over it in the hands of the state.

We have a process that drives nails into 2 combatants, for that is what they are, combatants, though one does not have to do his own fighting, thereby locking them into position during the fray. On conclusion, when the nails are removed, all is well. No, all is not well, and never will be well. Both sides leave a little, to a lot, more jaded, not salved and healed by the process, because it is a punitive process.

The Respondent can hardly walk away feeling good. The process has cost him time, money, self respect, dignity, and has made him hate government meddling in his life more than at any time previously in his life. The Complainant has walked away with an award he might collect, and an order for something to happen that might look good on the face, but it will be done for or to him with no love, just duty, and there is no dignity in that.

You can take the nails out, but you can never take away the scars and the original wound.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Best Defence is a Good Offence

Preparing to Meet Your Pursuer

Disclaimer: I don't know if I have to make a disclaimer here, but anybody thinking that what follows is anything but my tongue firmly in my cheek, doesn't need to follow the suggestions below to prove themselves loose in the mental caboose. This is not intended to be thought of as anything but an attempt at humour. There is not a word of intended truth in it. If you find something truthful here, it was an accident. If you are offended by what I have to say here, I didn't write most of it, and found it humorous when I came across it, because I myself am mentally disabled and laughter is good medicine, and yes, I should get a life.

In response to a Complaint from an HRC/HRT, the best defence is a good offence, and I don't mean that you should be offensive, just prepared in advance and on your toes.

Being disabled is sort of a trumping discrimination. A gay person complaining to an HRC about a mentally disabled person is going to lose, since the mentally disabled person is short a few fries from his happy meal, while the gay person will presumably have the full snack pack available.

In the event that you anticipate an HRC/HRT complaint, the following behaviours should be commenced at least a millenium prior to engaging in the behaviour for which you are going to be complained about.

Early Warning Behaviours for Seeking a Disability for Zaniness
1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
4. Put Decaf In the coffee maker For 3 weeks . Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
5. In the memo field of all your checks, write 'for marijuana’.
6. Skip down the hall rather than walk and see how many looks you get.
7. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
8. Specify that your drive-through order Is 'To Go'.
9. Sing along at the opera.
10. Five Days In Advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you have a headache.
11. when the money comes out of the ATM, Scream 'I won! I won!'
12. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling 'Run for your lives! They're loose!'
13. Tell your children over dinner, 'Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.
14. Pick up a box of condoms at the Pharmacy. Go to the counter and ask where the fitting room is.

In the event that you were unable to schedule your zany behaviour in time to buffalo the inquisitors, you can still use number 5, when it comes to pay your award to the HRC after you are found guilty of whatever egregious behaviour you are purported to have committed, that was such a blot on society.

A Poet Runs an HRC

If I Ran an HRC/HRT

If ever my turn came around,
As strange as that may sound,
To run an HRC or HRT.
It couldn't be the same,
I'm not into that game.
I'd do it differently.

The first thing I'd want
Is for Complainants to file bonds.
No skin in the game is absurd.
The next thing I'd do
Get rid of all bleeding hearts too
No left leaning liberals riding herd.

Legal services for each
Complainant, Respondent. I'm a peach.
No discrimination gonna be happening here.
But, loser pays it all.
On costs and fines he takes the fall.
That's a real kick in the rear.

If you can't make it real
With true facts, not "I feel".
We're not going far with you.
Cause you're going to lose
With your BS on your shoes,
And a certified check for our costs, thank you.

Decisions on facts
No facts. Get the Axe.
Kick nonsense claims out the door.
This is Canada, folks
Too many complaints are sick jokes.
We're not playing that game anymore.

We investigate both sides
Tear the truth from your hides
Cause this ain't likely just about race.
You better come clean
Or we're gonna get mean.
Then, we're gonna get into your face.

Gays might make a claim
They've been hurt and defamed.
If so, we'll look deep into that.
But we'll look at both parts,
And look deep in their hearts,
Not just pull a "Yes" from our hat.

I must confess
I am tired of this mess.
I want HRCs to deal with real stuff.
Not fake human rights
With just white folks in the sights,
Someone has to say "Enough is enough."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Insanity Has Come Ashore

The Politically Correct Are All Around Us to Drive Us Nuts

I seldom look to Snopes for inspiration for this blog, but today was a different matter. This item was on top of the list and it grabbed my attention.

You may recall my invention of the word Quago the other day, after the Quangos in the UK were filling the Online Times with political correctness in language, telling people not to use Black sheep, gentleman's agreement, and other gems from the historical vernacular, so as not to cause offence to somebody or other.

It seems that that disease is thriving in the United States as well. In the item from Snopes, Barbara Mikkelson reported, presumably with a straight face that a couple in North Carolina had gone to Costco and had spotted a combination doll cuddling with a monkey called Cuddle Baby, where the doll was an African American baby, and had a cute little hat on that said Lil' Monkey. It was one of a series that included Hispanic, Caucasian and African American versions of the same baby and also included "Pretty Panda" versions with a panda bear.

The writer of the original item that Ms. Mikkelson was reporting on stated in reference to the African American version of the Lil' Monkey doll that: "These dolls are an insult to us all and need to be pulled from all Costco stores or wherever they are being sold."

She did not seem to be so concerned about the Caucasian or Hispanic version of the doll. So, black kids are being discriminated against and can't have Lil' Monkeys, and justice is served.

She didn't ask me, but I am not insulted. I think this woman needs to get on stronger meds.

Stephen Boissoin Appeal Document - Part 7

Home Stretch

Section G. of the Appeal Document is another legal zinger section, before the nyah, nyah finale, so you will have to wait for the finale, or skip to the end of this blog entry, if you are an ADD type like me.

Section G. is entitled "No Province May Enact a Law that Limits Free Political Debate or Expression". As Mr. Chipeur contends, any limitation on expression is limited to the Federal Government under Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, because such limitations are considered criminal and therefor under exclusive Federal responsibility.

The Panel involved in the Boissoin case was concerned that some speech might not be caught by this limitation, although the Supreme Court of Canada does not share their concern, and they are a real court. Of course, Mr. Chipeur brings out that this is not the first time that Alberta has stepped into do do trying to take on censorial powers over press freedoms going back to the 1930's and the Alberta Press Statutes case. In that case Justice Cannon stated categorically:
"[The] Federal Parliament is the sole authority to curtail, if deemed expedient and in the public interest, the freedom of the press in discussing public affairs and the equal rights in that respect of all citizens throughout the Dominion."
Clear? Crystal. Mr. Chipeur relies on the case for more of his ammunition though, and makes several quotes from it, all of which are interesting, and poignant. In light of what follows in his (not very) brief, this one is key, I think:
"Any attempt to abrogate this right of public debate or to suppress the traditional forms of the exercise of the right (in public meetings and through the press) would, in our opinion, be incompetent to the legislatures of the provinces, or to the legislatures of any one of the provinces, as repugnant to the provisions of the British North America Act, by which the Parliament of Canada is established as the legislative organ of the people of Canada under the Crown, and Dominion legislation enacted pursuant to the legislative authority given by those provisions."
He then goes on to state that the Panel and its witness Professor Barry Cooper recognized the political nature of the Letter and Stephen Boissoin's activities, and that the Complaint arises out of a debate over public policy in the public school system that Stephen Boissoin opposed and that the Respondent to the Appeal supported.

He then states that in his opinion, the Complaint was a strategy by Dr. Lund to suppress opposition to the public policy that he supported (a pretty good one to date I might add). What a way to use the HRCM Act and its processes, and make buffoons of the Panel, if their act of censorship is turned against them.

If it is allowed to stand because Stephen Boissoin does not have the courage to stand against this heinous activity, or cannot somehow get someone to believe in him, then a precedent is set, and off we go. This is why Stephen Boissoin is a hero in my eyes, folks.

He states:
"Dr. Lund's Complaint is nothing more than a transparent attack on freedom of expression , perhaps the most essential element in a flourishing democracy. Without this freedom, a democracy will suffer a quick and certain death."
He places the burden of why the government should limit Stephen Boissoin's right to free speech on Dr. Lund, and closes with the following quote from John Stuart Mill's philosophical work published in 1859:
"Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being "pushed to an extreme"; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case."
With that quote, Mr. Chipeur moves on to the final piece of his puzzle, what we have all been waiting for "The Respondent (Dr. Lund) Should Pay Full-Indemnity Costs to Stephen Boissoin". He starts by pointing out that the Complaint was ill conceived and prosecuted. All right, Lund was dumb enough to bring the Complaint, but the Panel was dumb enough to prosecute it. Where are they? Somehow they did not have to defend their part of this action.

In fact this part is so good that I need to reproduce it for you:"
The history of this Complaint demonstrates why human rights laws should not be available to private prosecutors with a cause. An order requiring the Respondent to pay the costs of the Appellant, Stephen Boissoin, on a full indemnity basis will send a clear message that the human rights process should not be available to private citizens with no personal interest in a case, other than a political cause.

The Respondent was given the full powers of the state (police powers) to require Stephen Boissoin to appear before a Panel to defend himself with expert witnesses and with legal counsel. Stephen Boissoin was required over a period of six years to:
a) retain legal counsel;
b) retain expert witnesses;
c) participate in numerous pre-hearing motions;
d) attend for a week at the hearing before the Panel.

Most importantly, Stephen Boissoin was made liable to both damages and costs under the HRCM Act.

The Respondent should not have pressed on with the Complaint after the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission refused to advance his Complaint (the Commission went so far as to secure an order excluding the Commission from the present appeal)."
Mr. Chipeur also notes that the Red Deer Advocate which published the Letter was not a party to the Complaint, making it a personal vendetta against Stephen Boissoin, and that Dr. Lund benefited personally from the final Decision of the Panel to the tune of $5,000, though as Stephen has said, he will never see it on this earth.

Last, zing, Dr. Lund used resources of the University of Alberta during his prosecution of this Complaint. Bad Dr. Lund.

Mr. Chipeur concludes by requesting an order to bring this to fruition, including setting aside the original Decision of the Panel.

Frankly, I hope they stick it up Dr. Lund's lily white you know what. I am wondering how to get his response to this document, so I can bring it to you. If I figure that out I will do so. Otherwise we will just have to wait for the fur to fly.

By the way, Stephen still needs your support. Visit his blog and donate here, please.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What Might Have Happened in the Chief Commissioners Office Last Thursday

As Herself Gets Word of Ezra's New Book

The following is a work of pure, unadulterated fiction, not impossible, plausible even, maybe, but fiction none the less. This is like the very short joke of the two Irish men who walked out of a pub in that it could have happened, and the probabilities are similar, pretty close to nonexistent. I wrote it for the same reason that I have written a number of things lately, as part of denormalizing something that is odious to me and to many Canadians of good will. With lemons, make lemonade.

This short story involves an imaginary look last Thursday morning inside the office of the Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, a look that none of us are ever going to have.

On Thursday morning, August 20, 2009, as the Chief Commissar of the Human Rights Commission strode into her office filled with purpose and arrived at her desk in the fortified quarters of her domain, she pulled her laptop computer out of her shoulder bag and logged on to the network. She pulled out of her briefcase a secret file and started down her list of THE 1,200 to see what misdeeds were being perpetrated in her world by those who would subvert the right of every person in Canada to feel good, and happy 24/7, particularly herself.

On the top of her list was the big three, Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, and Kathy Shaidle, followed by the rest of those mopes, she called the twelve hundred, not the silly list that had been cobbled together and sent to that nosy young blogger from Vancouver Island, Walker Morrow, but the real list, with tables of search data.

She sat back in her chair, looked out her corner office window, at the surrounding parkland, then took a sip of her chai tea, and mused for a moment about how little those folks out there knew about the working of Freedom of Information legislation. With bait and switch, she could protect her own a??, long after they were off on another tangent. She relied on their short attention spans combined with her abilities to drag things out and to hide things well to keep them at bay. That young kid out west had even been looking at her expense reports online. What a joke, she thought. He can't get anything from that. It's all buried too deep for him to figure out anything he can use against me. I'm far too smart for these people to ever get to me. "I am good," she muttered to herself.

She turned back to her computer, and the first thing she brought up was ezralevant.com. She read the following blog post from himself:
"I'm finishing up my next book. The manuscript is due in to my publisher at the end of the month, which is less than two weeks away.

So I'm going to take a short break from blogging... unless there's something just crazy out there that needs a comment, like some new Jennifer Lynch eruption.

See you in September!"

"Holy sh?t," she cried out, "That son of a b?tch is out to get me." She started to fume, her mind working overtime at what his new book might include. He had been on her like "white on rice". What an irritant he had become. Because of him, she had had to grovel with the CASHRA folks in Montreal, and the Canadian Bar Association in Dublin. How humiliating that was.

She hit her intercom button hard, the stress working its way through her body to her finger tips already, and called out frantically to her Administrative Assistant: "Is the Deputy Chief in the office today, or is he at home this week? I can't remember."

Her Admin responded promptly and cheerfully, but not too cheerfully, knowing that that kind of angst in the voice of the Chief Commissioner did not auger well for the rest of the day: "He's in his office Ma'am. Shall I get him for you?" She was pretty good at guessing what her boss wanted and it had stood her in good stead many times before. She hoped it worked this time as well.

"Yes, I need him now," followed by an audible click. That was not a good sound, she thought. Quickly, she stepped over to the Deputy Chief''s office, knocked on his door frame and entered gingerly into his office. He had his head down perusing a report that was in his hand, while sipping on a fresh cup of coffee.

"Yes," he said as he raised his eyes with some measure of diffidence at being disturbed. He did notice the panic in the Admin's eyes, and felt it in the air as well, so did not utter the next words in his mind.

"She wants you in her office immediately," blurted the Admin, with the anxiety that the Deputy Chief had perceived a moment earlier.

He said nothing but arose from his desk immediately and headed hastily for the door and over to the Chief Commissioner's suite.

Within seconds he was at her door, and he knocked on her door frame rather than just entering. She was staring at her computer with a look of astonishment, combined with anger, fear and trepidation all at once on her visage. As she looked up, he noticed that this woman whom he had considered handsome for her age when she had brought him in to this position, looked very haggard at this moment. He wondered if this haggard look was something new or if it had been there for some time and he had been too busy to notice.

"Sit down for a moment, will you?" The Deputy Chief thinks; Okay angst, not directed at me, that's good. This isn't about me. Whew!

"His book. It's about me, isn't it?" (much angst)

"Ma'am, who are you talking about?" he asks quizzically as he is not up to speed with her yet.

"Levant. That's who."

"No, Ma'am. He's over you." He breathes a sigh of relief. He thinks of Ezra Levant as a popinjay, that will go away sometime soon. After all he's not here in Ottawa, so not a real threat.

"No. He just won't quit. What did I ever do to him?" She has stopped hyperventilating now.

"Well, you know what you did to him. You had him investigated over those dog gone cartoons for the longest time, and he didn't really take it very well."

"But, but, but, it wasn't personal." She's starting to make excuses for herself, finding that lawyers rhythm.

"He seemed to think it was."

"He's going to spread more misinformation, I can just tell. Him and those bloggers. Why won't they just believe me when I tell them that they have it all wrong? They just don't get it, how we are working for the greater good, and they are just in the way, all those . . . little people."

"You need a break and you need to calm down. Maybe you should take a trip back to Nairobi, or Geneva and drum up some more support. You love picking up frequent flyer miles."

"Thank you, Deputy Chief. I'll do that. You understand me. I'm not a bad person. I'm just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood."

As the Deputy Chief leaves her office he swears that he hears the band The Animals singing in the background, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" from their 1965 Animal Tracks album.
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
from 1965 'Animal Tracks'

Baby, do you understand me now,
Sometimes I feel a little mad.
But, don't you know that no one alive can always be an angel.
When things go wrong I feel real bad.

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.

Baby, sometimes I'm so carefree,
With a joy that's hard to hide.
And sometimes it seems that, all I have to do is worry
And then you're bound to see my other side.

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.

If I seem edgy,
I want you to know,
That I never mean to take it out on you.

Life has its problems,
And I get my share,
And that's one thing I never mean to do,

'Cause I love you,
Oh,

Oh, oh, oh, baby - don't you know I'm human.
I have thoughts like any other one.
Sometimes I find myself, Lord, regretting,
Some foolish thing - some little simple thing I've done.

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.
(repeat)
(repeat)

C. S. Lewis

Moral Busybodies - Courtesy of Just Right blog

I have always respected C. S. Lewis as a Christian with an interesting perspective. He was born in 1898, and died in 1963. Along the way, he was a fallen away Christian, who returned to the faith about age 30, somewhat under the influence of his friend J.R.R. Tolkien. Although he wore many hats, he is best known as an author, a Christian lay theologian and apologist. I came across the following quote of his courtesy of the Just Right blog here, which I found particularly descriptive of the workings of our human rights commissions/tribunals at this time, and so I am sharing it with you.
"It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences." -- C. S. Lewis, from God in the Dock, Page 292
The HRCs and their leaders in our midst are Omnipotent Moral Busybodies. They are frightening in their exercise of a power that they should not have, and yet, they are so sure of the rightness of their cause, whatever the heck that might be, that they carry on regardless, and view those who stand in their way, as nothing more than chaff to be discarded.

What will it take for Canadians of good will to awaken to the evil that is being perpetrated in our midst in the name of Human Rights protection, by people appointed and authorized by our governments Federal and Provincial? If I ever figure that our I will do it, and let you know. Until then, I will not remain silent, while people like the following are sacrificed to whatever god is the god of made up human rights:
Stephen Boissoin
Constable Michael Shaw
Bishop De Angelis
My friend the forced to retire grade school principal
Gator Ted Kindos
John Fulton
Violet Landry
and the countless thousands of others who have had to keep secret their humiliation at the hands of the HRCs and HRTs of this country.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quago - A New Term for our HRCs/HRTs

New Vocabulary as Part of Denormalization

Frankly, I don't know how some of the bloggers out there come across the more absurd things in our world, but they do. Blazing Cat Fur picked up on this today. It was basically an article from the UK Times Online about the most absurd thing I have heard in at least the last 24 hours, maybe.

The article was about the Quasi Non Government Organisations (quangos for short and for quaint) banning certain words in common parlance because they might be politically incorrect, such clearly offensive words as gentleman's agreement, blacklist, black sheep, black mark, right hand man. These all clearly have racist or other discriminatory overtones, don't they, at least to idiots with nothing better to do with their time.

Aha, methinks. Brain engaged. BCF headlined his post with "Jennifer Lynch will be on this". That reminds me of other Organisations where idiots are employed with nothing better to do with their time than to try and make us all politically correct. We do it somewhat differently in Canader, eh, what! Our HRCs/HRTs are Government Organisations, not Non Government Organisations, but they are Quasi, in the sense that they are fake courts using fake processes to make real pain for real people, but not following real proper procedures. So they are really Quasi Government Organisations, or we could call them Quagos for short.

Quago works for me as part of denormalisation. They are Quasi - not real. But, with Quago, I am reminded of quagmire, and dealing with them is like falling into a quagmire. When you have been summoned to an HRC/HRT, you have been quagoed. So quago is a noun that stands for the HRC/HRT organisations themselves and also for the process of being complained about and the process of resolving at great pain to yourself the complaint, as in, "I've been quagoed."

So, Constable Michael Shaw was quagoed recently, as has Stephen Boissoin been, though he is appealing his quago. Ontario is trying to quago Bishop DeAngelis and the 12 from St. Michael's in Cobourg. They tried to do a triple quago on Ezra levant, but he saw their quago and raised them, so they dequagoed him. They also unquagoed Mark Steyn. Unquago and dequago mean the same thing essentially.

My friend the grade school principal was double quagoed by Ontario, but then they unquagoed her on the one case, because they said it had no merit. Now, they have requagoed the dropped case, making it a double dip quago.

When you put it this way, you can see that quagoing is both fun and profitable, at least for quagos. J Ly is the head of a quago, or Quagojefe. Quago employees, like baristas at Starbucks could be quagoistas.

I see that my spellchecker went yellow bananas on me with quago and derivatives. Obviously, my new words are not part of the accepted lexicon yet, but since they just came out of my imagination a few minutes ago, I'm okay with that.

Anyway, quago works for me. Whadda ya think?

Listen Up HRCs

Globe Weekend Poll Results

Canadian policy toward immigrants should be based on what?

79% 7066 votes

Integration into the mainstream

 votes
21% 1834 votes

Respect for different cultures

 votes

Okay, so we are not all brain dead here in Canada, just being ignored by our government and particularly by the HRCs and HRTs that they have created allegedly on our behalf.

A recent poll taken by the Globe and Mail with 8,900 online votes concluded with an 80% to 20% majority that we want immigrants to integrate into our mainstream, not focus on multi culti nonsense, and fake human rights.

Multi culti in the end means the end of Canada. What is wrong with our Canadian roots that we are so ashamed that we come from European and UK stock in the majority? I for one am proud of my Irish heritage, and of the Christian component of my heritage as well. I do not intend to wish anybody a Happy Holiday this year either. It will be Merry Christmas from me to you, but then again I am prepared to live on the wild side.

For the longest time, people came to this country and became a part of it, and it became a part of them. Those who emigrated to here from the far East long ago are Canadians and proud to be. If they preserve components of their own culture, they do so without disadvantaging Canadian rule of law, but respecting this country that gave them a good home.

Those we take in now do not seem to have to integrate unto our society, but we have to bend over backwards to respect their cultures, though not requiring them to respect ours. What gives with that?

Try multi culti in Iraq, and see where that gets you. "Yes, Sir, I want you to respect my Christianity and stop doing that Sharia thing you do. Yes, Sir, I would prefer a mask, so I do not have to watch my own beheading. Thank you very much."

So, you come to my country and my government forces me to Respect you by making me accept your culture in my home. You though, do not have to respect my culture in my home land. You can disrespect my faith, my beliefs, my chosen way of life. My government makes rules inventing all kinds of human rights, that make it mandatory for many Canadians to fake respect for all people who are different from our main stream. The results are not surprising, disturbing, but not surprising.

Reinhold Niebuhr - Pride and Serenity

Pride and Human Rights In Canada From Another Perspective

This morning, I came across some of the thoughts, teachings and writings of Reinhold Niebuhr, an American Protestant pastor, teacher, and social justice advocate. He is best known for authoring the Serenity Prayer, which I will reproduce in totality at the end of this piece. Before today, I had never seen all of it, and it is worthy of thought and prayer.

What I came across that was most pertinent to the situation of our Human Rights Commissions in Canada was actually written by Rev. Niebuhr in 1951 in his book The Nature and Destiny of Man. It was his description of pride and I came across it as relayed by Daniel Akin et al from a Baptist perspective, in A Theology for the Church, published in 2007. It never ceases to amaze me that everything old is new again. Here almost 60 years later, what Niebuhr said is proving to be even more true.

Niebuhr wrote about 3 kinds of pride extant in our society, pride of power, pride of knowledge, and pride of virtue. This Christian man then started his discussion of pride by quoting a well known philosopher, socialist of the time Bertrand Russell:
"Of the infinite desires of man, the chief are the desires for power and glory. They are not identical though closely aligned."
Niebuhr describes pride of power thus:
"There is a pride of power in which the human ego assumes its self-sufficiency and self-mastery and imagines itself secure against all vicissitudes. It does not recognize the contingent and dependent character of its life and believes itself to be the author of its own existence, the judge of its own values and the master of its own destiny.... It is the sin of those, who knowing themselves to be insecure, seek sufficient power to guarantee their security, inevitably of course at the expense of other life."
He then went on to describe the pride of knowledge, or intellectual pride that:
"pretends to be more true than it is. It is finite knowledge, gained from a particular perspective; but it pretends to final and ultimate knowledge."
As Niebuhr viewed it, the person guilty of this pride could see limitations of perspective in others, but in himself or herself, not so much, in fact, not likely at all. Reminds me of some HRC commissars I've heard of.

The third area of pride, pride of virtue comes forth in self righteous judgements. As he described it, the self righteous individual condemns others because the judged person is unable to conform to the highly arbitrary standards of the self. As Niebuhr put it (my bold):
"Since the self judges itself by its own standards it finds itself good. It judges others by its own standards and finds them evil. . . Moral pride is the pretension of finite man that his highly conditional virtue is the final righteousness and that his very relative moral standards are absolute."
Boy, I have never heard a better description of the work of our Canadian human rights commissions than this description of pride. Think for a moment how the HRCs and HRTs of Canada are setting about making right imaginary wrongs, for some imaginary or even stated purpose. At least, we can now put a perspective on the purpose behind the stated purpose, if there is indeed a discernible stated purpose that makes any sense.

Now for another view let us look to Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer, and see what his words have to say about the situation we find ourselves in.

The Serenity Prayer

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

Here is a revision that seems to be more operative in our society of the day, though I abridged it also.
SERENITY PRAYER -- Revised and Abridged
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I cannot accept,
and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill today because they p?ssed me off.

Also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today,
as they may be connected to the a?? that I may have to kiss tomorrow.

I prefer Niebuhr's version, and am doing my best to work against this one. By the way, I don't come to an ignorant place of finger pointing at the HRCs of Canada about pride. I have lived almost 60 years with my own struggles with pride, some more successful than others, so I know that when I point a finger at someone else, 3 point back at me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Queen Babs Latest Annual Report

Premier McGuinty Raves About Her

I have been waiting with some trepidation for the latest Annual Report for the Ontario Human Rights Commission to see what new super powers, she who I wish could not be named, had taken unto herself and her minions.

My trepidation was actually unwarranted. Abject fear, and horror would have been more appropriate as she unveiled in her annual report what had been policy for some time, that now personally unburdened by the screwing up of individual lives for the alleged public good, having delegated that to the new/old Tribunal, which still seems to report to the Ontario HRC, she could go after larger groups.

This is the Barb Hall, who declared a victory for the small percentage of visually impaired people, like the Chair of the Tribunal Mr. Michael Gottheil, in our population when she miraculously enforced a system of call outs for each and every stop on every route on every transit system in Ontario, with a few laggards being roundly beaten into submission. By the way, she did this without leaping a single building. She hasn't declared or even acknowledged any form of defeat for the equivalent percentage of acquired brain injury and otherwise mentally challenged members of our population, like myself, who now find it harder to take public transit, because of the increased confusion caused by this unnecessary noise, and the fear and paranoia it causes for us. Law of Unintended Consequences, anybody?

Wait until she releases her policy on Housing and goes after landlords who are reticent to put their homes, buildings and life savings at risk to low income, and less desirable tenants.

Next up, police and RACIAL PROFILING. That's gonna be a big one. If you want to see where she is heading next, watch the Tribunal cases, and see when she ups the ante. First, she went after Metro Toronto Constable Shaw. Now, it's the Chief, William Blair. Then watch as it shifts from the tribunal back to Barb's Commission for policy for all the police forces of Ontario. There's a pattern here, and if the Police Chiefs of Ontario don't jump on this hard, they will be screwed royally by the time this is all said and done.

But, my abject fear and horror quickly turned to nausea and revulsion when I read the following:
Premier Dalton McGuinty praised the work of the commission and took a shot at new Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, who has been critical of human rights bureaucracy and called for the tribunal to be scrapped.
"I think that the Conservatives are bringing kind of a small view to what we're doing here," McGuinty said. "We are participating in a remarkable adventure largely without precedent in the annals of human history. We're inviting people to come here from the four corners of the world. It's only natural and predictable that in those circumstances from time to time there will be a little bit of friction ... we need a place in a civilized society to address those kinds of concerns," he said.
The Conservatives are bringing a small view, says he. If voicing concern about how the Ontario HRC rides roughshod over the lives of individuals, and silences those whom they have destroyed with gag agreements is a small view, give me some more of the small view, please. Premier McGuinty calling the actions of the Ontario HRC "a little bit of friction" is like saying that World War II was a minor family squabble.

The biggest problem currently is that the truth about the abuses of the Commission are so hard to get at because of the gag agreements, and the shame that those who have been abused feel, not unlike that felt by battered spouses.

So, midst all of this zaniness, I wrote this little poem to calm my frazzled nerves. It didn't work particularly well, but it was fun doing it.

Barb Hall Ontario's Queen of Censors

Barb Hall's annual report came down from on high
Full of promise of peace, love and pie in the sky.
It sounded so good, that Premier McGuinty did say
"Our Barb walks on water each and every day."

Jim Corcoran connected with Bishop De Angelis one day,
When the Bishop asked him to leave the altar and pray.
Gay Jim didn't like it and swore he'd been had,
So he went to Pope Barb, who could feel for the lad.

He asked for some cash, $260k if you could,
then for De Angelis to change church gay teaching if he would.
It ain't gonna happen, a fight's on the rise,
And Jimmy and Barb don't have God on their sides.

This is only one dustup, but Barb doesn't care,
She'll pick fights with anyone, any time anywhere.
Her record has been solid, but the reason is clear,
Her opponents are usually quaking with fear.

So, we'll see how she does when the party is over,
Who's standing, who's sitting and who just fell over.
If she wins this one, I quit. I am leaving.
I'll be heading to somewhere warm to do my grieving.

She's going after Housing, her next port of call
Cheap housing, nay free for one and for all.
Landlords are a nuisance. They're such greedy folk.
Complain about costs, mortgages, debt load, what a joke.

Choose their own tenants, pick one over the other.
What about that broke underage mother?
She's got no money. What's that matter to you?
If Barb's Policy says your stuck, then her word is true.

Now Policing's the big one that she's out to get.
To her it's all 'bout racial profiling, the works you bet.
They ground Constable Shaw. Next up is Chief Blair.
When all's said and done, not a cop safe nowhere.

She'll own every badge, while the bad guys go free,
You won't even be safe in your house, you'll see.
When all's said and done, I'll say I told you so,
But I'll be outta here. We'll just get up and go.

If you want it to differ, here's what you must do
Get up off your duff, and help us out of this stew.
Read "Shakedown". Don't breakdown, there's more of the same.
The only way to stop this is to get in the game.

Write letters. Send emails. Phone friends. Do whatever.
But quit, we must not. Not Now. Not ever.
Barb's dastardly plan must be put to an end
Or, you'll never be sure who's up next, my friend.

Stephen Boissoin Appeal Document - Part 6

The Experience of Other Countries with Silencing Freedom of Speech

Because of Stephen Boissoin's Appeal, we have the benefit of seeing how the United Kingdom, Sweden, and our nearest neighbour, the USA have dealt with the issue of freedom of speech through the eyes of his lawyer Mr. Gerald Chipeur.

Though it is not exhaustive, this being a brief to an appeals court, it is significant, and meaningful to us, and to those of us who care about Human Rights, and in this instance, the right of free speech, both in the Province of Alberta and on a National level. This is my penultimate report on the brief, prepared by Mr. Chipeur on Stephen's behalf. For those of you who have not seen the brief, it is available here.

This is ground breaking litigation, frankly, and it is expensive ground breaking legislation, that Stephen is having to fund by himself. He has proven to be no less immune to the HRC finance mess than any one of us would we. Complainant, free. Respondent, costs up the wazoo. By my estimation, he is well on the way to a debt exceeding $50,000 before this debacle is over, one that had no valid reason to have begun in the first place. I urge you to help him, as you have helped others like Ezra Levant, Kathy Shaidle et al, or if you have not yet helped anyone, to open your hearts and pocket books and help him, because he needs your help, and your prayers. If you can donate to his cause, you can do so here.

United Kingdom

We begin with the United Kingdom, from whence a great deal, the majority really, of our originating jurisprudence stems.

In 2005, the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill was before the House of Commons. The member for Manchester, Mr. David Davis in debate quoted the Australia experience with "hate" legislation that had been brought in. They had discovered an unintended consequence (big surprise there) that a complaint against Christians by Muslims led to Christians watching over the Muslims looking for things to complain about, creating an even more undesirable climate. It caused Amir Butler, an original proponent of the laws in Australia to become an opponent and to opine:
"The real key to social cohesion is honest dialogue. A dialogue, unfettered by political correctness, that is based on recognition that we have different ideas."
Mr. Davis had done his homework, and obviously cared about the outcome as he also quoted Mr. Soli Sorabjee the Attorney General of India who had spoken on incitement to religious hatred thus:
"experience shows that criminal laws prohibiting hate speech and expression will encourage intolerance . . . we need not more repressive laws but more free speech to combat bigotry and promote tolerance."
The law was defeated in its then form, but succeeded the following year, though it did not include the concept of "abusive and insulting" and the act required proof of "intention", not just the airy fairy concept of possibility, that is so popular here.

Mr. Chipeur put in a quotation from the House of Lords on the Appeal for Reynolds V. Times Newspapers Ltd. [2001] case. This was a real case before real judges and juries, not judge Lori and her kangaroo court over a Letter to an editor. This case was about the former Prime Minister of Ireland and reporting of events in the UK over the change of office that occurred, and political maneuverings of the time. The former Prime Minister (Reynolds) had sued the newspapers for slander.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead spoke of the need to value freedom of speech, and its foundations, and that:
"any curtailment of freedom of expression must be convincingly established by a compelling countervailing consideration, and the means employed must be proportionate to the end sought to be achieved."
I am sure that Lori Andreachuk took that all into careful consideration, then tossed it aside like she tossed aside the recommendation of her investigator Ms. McGovern to not prosecute Stephen Boissoin in the first place.

Mr. Chipeur adds a very "chilling" quote from the case of Prolife Alliance V. British Broadcasting Corp., [2002] EWCA Civ 297, where Lord Justice Laws quoted the dissenting opinion of Lord Bridge of Harwich in a particular case that was later substantiated, as follows:
"Freedom of speech is always the first casualty under a totalitarian regime. Such a regime cannot afford to allow the free circulation of information and ideas among its citizens. Censorship is the indespensable tool to regulate what the public may and what they may not know. The present attempt to insulate the public in this country from information which is freely available elsewhere is a significant step down that very dangerous road."
How very true. The form of totalitarianism and homogeneity that our HRCs and HRTs are trying to promote in Canada is very worrisome.

But, of course, like any good writer, Mr. Chipeur left his best quote of the UK experience for last when he referenced the R. v. Central Independent Television plc [1994] 3 All ER 641 case and the comments of Hoffman LJ as follows:
"The motives which impel judges to assume a power to balance freedom of speech against other interests are almost always understandable and humane on the facts of the particular case before them . . . [P]ublication may cause needless pain, distress, and damage to individuals and harm to other aspects of the public interest. But a freedom which is restricted to what judges think to be responsible or in the public interest is no freedom. Freedom means the right to publish things which governments and judges, however well motivated, think should not be published. It means the right to say things which 'right-thinking people' regard as dangerous or irresponsible."
Boy, oh boy, Lori Andreachuk sure never read this bit of jurisprudence, or if she did, she skipped over it pretty quickly. After all, it came from a real court.

So much for Mr. Chipeur's brief legal travelogue of the UK. Let's move on to Sweden.

Sweden

In Sweden, where life is freer allegedly, and blond moments are commonplace, literally if not figuratively, you could get jail time for hate speech or maybe not.

At his church in Sweden, Pentecostal Pastor, Ake Green delivered a sermon on July 20, 2003 in which he described homosexuality as "abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of society." He also said that a person cannot be a Christian and a homosexual at the same time. At the end of his sermon, Green said: "We cannot condemn these people — Jesus never did that either. He showed everyone He met deep respect for the person they were (...) Jesus never belittled anyone."

The sermon was reported to the police and the controversy began. Pastor Green was sentenced to 1 month in the pokey for hate speech. Sounds like Canada in a few years doesn't it?

Needless to say, the conviction and sentence were appealed, and well, the Attorney General must be a blond, because he or she tried to uphold the conviction. What ultimately prevailed was not Swedish law, but Article 1o of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ultimately what the Swedish Supreme Court found was that the hate law could not be insensitive to freedom of religion and freedom of speech. The bottom line was that you can't just call something someone says hate speech because you disagree with it, or it hurts your feelings like you can here in Canada, but the judge said it better so I will reproduce what he said and Mr. Chipeur quoted here:
" All statements of a degrading or derogatory nature are not, however, covered. Statements that cannot be regarded as exceeding the bounds of objective criticism of certain groups fall outside the criminal area. To be punishable it is required that it is completely clear that the statement exceeds the boundaries of a factual and responsible discussion concerning the group in question.

The criminal area shall not ... extend as far as to ... include a factual discussion of, or criticism of homosexuality. Criminalisation shall not constitute an obstacle to freedom of opinion or a threat to the formation of opinion. Moreover, the freedom of science shall be preserved. The statements made also imply that such assertions as are best met or set right in a free and open debate shall not be covered by the criminalisation."
In the end, they found for Pastor Green, believing that the European Court of Human Rights would overturn any other verdict regardless.

Unfortunately, we do not live in Europe, but in this Trudeaupia, where the foregone conclusion that sanity will prevail is not valid. It will take a lot of hot hard work, and cold hard cash to come to this conclusion here.

Now coming closer to home, what has been happening just south of us, or north if you live in Southern Ontario.

The United States of America

The US experience is pretty straight forward to date, and I emphasize TO DATE. Kathy Shaidle warned in her book that things look to be changing, and as a part time resident of the southern US, I see bad news on the rise for free speech. However, the constitution and courts have supported pornographers, flag burners, and the like, supporting individual rights of self expression over group rights.

Any look back to the McCarthy era views the time as odious, and not a shining moment in American history.

Americans, who love their flag, have been particularly unsuccessful in prosecuting flag burners, as horrendous an act as that seems to them corporately. And so, to today, freedom of speech remains enshrined in the psyche of the American people. But, the Democratic government seems determined to quell opinion that differs from their own, and is pushing through legislation that will calm the firestorm of opinion against them. This legislation has not met the light of day yet, nor the test of courts either, where it will come up against the American Constitution, and stiff opposition.

Thus ends a brief look at 3 other countries and their take on free speech as viewed mainly through the eyes of counsel to Stephen Boissoin. We continue to pray for his success in the case, and for the finances to pay for the success. One more installment to come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ditties about the Queen of Censors

J Ly Dublin Ditties Looking for Additions

After the weekend blogging about the ill fated J Ly jaunt to the Emerald Isle, Blazing Cat Fur gathered many of the miscreant blog post links together along with his own brand of commentary here. Recently, not being all of deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid, hence not qualified to head an HRC or HRT, I noticed that Scaramouche often favoured his readers with humorous song lyrics on his own blog. So, I saw one of his comments on BCF's blog post, and suggested that a song lyric was in order here. So, Scaramouche smouched one together, which I copied back here. And so it goes on.

Someone might recall; ok, I remember that a while back, during the t-shirt slogan contest I was a bit of a wet blanket, or a bunch of a wet blanket, thinking that demeaning J Ly was not appropriate. Well, I think I was just that, a wet blanket, in fact the t-shirt slogans were not demeaning as much as simple political statements. Besides, it is fun to make light of insanity that is going on around us. When you get lemons, make lemonade. And there ain't no better lemons right now than the antics of our Censor in Chief parading around the world shouting that her sky is falling.

So, in the interest of not taking things too seriously, I have kept the Ditty and poetry going on my own mainly here with a little help. Enjoy and add if you will.

Scaramouche

In Dublin’s fair city
There’s a junket so pretty
It attracted the likes of Ms. Jennifer Lynch.
As she flogged her dead pony
She spoke lots of baloney,
Crying, “Save me, ye lawyers, for I’ll never flinch.”...

That caused me to want to respond with one of my own, which I then put on BCF's comments, and which I have reproduced here.

Mbrandon8026

In Dublin's fair town
Our J Ly sat down
With the lawyers who came from our fair land.
She raved about misinformation
from bloggers in our nation
Crying, “They're mean to me. Give me a hand.”...

Well, Scary Fundamentalist's witty writer had been away for the weekend, and missed all the kafuffle. However, as we all say, better late than never, and he offered up this tasty morsel.

Scary Fundamentalist

There once was a woman named Lynch
who thought her job was a cinch
She censored the right
'till they started to fight
will lawyers get 'er out of this pinch?

Well, it being my blog and all, I wanted to get the last word, not necessarily the best, but the last. Of course, I expect a comment from Scary Fundamentalist with another, and if so I will add it on the end, and then maybe add another of my own, so I can get the last last word, for I will have the last word . . . maybe.

Mbrandon8026


There was a censor, J Ly
wanted miscreants like Ezra to fry
She cooked their goose
but alas some got loose
Now it could be her turn to cry.

Anyone else with a ditty or two, feel free to join in.

First up, me myself and I. 5:30 in the morning and these silly ditties are running in my head.

The Queen of Censors decided one night
To go to the Emerald Isle on an overnight flight.
She told lawyers tall tales
Over Irish stew and ales
In hopes that they'd join in her fight.

And then one for Walker at the Lynch Mob.

It's hard for me to do my job
with them watching, bloggers like "The Lynch Mob".
When e'er I shilly or shally,
Or dilly or dally.
Those pests are always on the job.

And here's my final ditty, a poem really for Ezra.

The Queen of Censors Meets Her Match

I was showing the world what a tough broad I am,
Chasing down haters, give 'em a good body slam.
Bring them into my court and knock them around.
Show them who's boss, till there's nary a sound.

These scum of the earth saying words that are unkind.
When I catch up to 'em, they will be fined.
This human detritus much lower than me.
I'll show 'em who's boss. Just wait and see.

Then Ezra Levant came into my sights
Those 'toons, oh those 'toons still give me frights.
We dug way down deep to get lots of dirt
We squeezed and we squeezed till it really hurt.

We flogged him, and beat him for 900 days.
We nipped at his heals in so many ways.
But, he kept coming back, and he's coming back still.
That Ezra Levant is one heck of a pill.

He made so much noise, that we finally said:
"We're dropping all charges." He said: "Drop dead.
I've had enough of your lousy Shakedown".
He's so hot on my case I feel a breakdown.

I'm not really a meany. I have friends you know,
Or I used to, I think. Where did they all go?
They liked me in Montreal at CASHRA I think.
They smiled and listened. A few gave me a wink.

In Dublin, they liked me. They smiled and they chattered.
I picked up the tab. They listened as I nattered.
I hope it's not true what more and more say,
That J Ly, Queen of Censors has had her day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Readers:

I have had enough and so today will be sending this letter to the Prime Minister. Although some parts of it are personal, it is one that I hope encapsulates the thoughts and feelings of many Canadians of good will. I support our Prime Minister, as the leader of our country, regardless of my own personal politics. However, this situation with the Canadian HRC is beyond untenable. We can blog about it until the cows come home, and we can also sing Kumbaya at the end of each day. I intend to start communicating with elected leaders, not because I think it will immediately do any good, but because we elected them to do good, and I intend to press them to so do.

Should any of you wish to write to him directly, his email address is as follows. I am sure that a deluge of mail would help guide him in deliberating on the fate of the CHRC and Ms. Lynch.

pm@pm.gc.ca

August 18, 2008

Subject: Canadian Human Rights Commission - Jennifer Lynch

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

In the nearly 6 decades of my life, I have been proud to call Canada my "home and native land." Although my wife and I choose to go south for the winter lately, primarily for health reasons, we have happily returned to what we believe to be the "true north strong and free", or so we have supposed.

I am one of the many millions of Canadians who thought of the words Human Rights and Commission as words that fit well together. I thought that the combination made Canada a better place for us all. I had no idea that they were an oxymoron. Like most of us in Canada, I have been deluded.

About 3 years ago, a close friend of mine, a grade school principal, had a complaint filed against her with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (HRC) in what I figured was a mistake that would go away in due course.

As I saw the Ontario HRC wreak havoc on her health and force her into early retirement with no resolution in sight, I realised that I needed to do more to support her.

Early on, I met Ezra Levant, and Kathy Shaidle and read their books. Though what they wrote about human rights and the commissions and tribunals in Canada seemed plausible, I found it hard to believe. After all, this is Canada, sir. This could not be happening here. They simply had to be exaggerating. As I very sadly discovered later through my own research, they only touched on the nature and scope of the problem. It was far too big to be written about in 2 books.

I set out to understand the history of Human Rights in Canada and how we got to a place where a mistake like what happened to my friend could happen. You see, I still thought that it was part of a few isolated mistakes, not a calculated strategy. That was part of the delusion. In my own digging, I had moments of Canadian pride in our early leadership in human rights, followed by immense shame at our current track record here at home.

I read with pride of our contribution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, how John Peters Humphries, from McGill University was the first Director of the Human Rights Division in the United Nations Secretariat and was instrumental in its drafting.

I was also proud to read our own enshrined Charter fundamental freedoms, the
freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association. Little did I know that these were just concepts, and as one of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) employees said in testimony, under oath "American concepts", belittled by the CHRC itself in pursuit of its own aims.

I have been following the activities of all the human rights commissions, but particularly the one under your direct jurisdiction, The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) for some time now. To that end I have been studying case transcripts, case decisions and reporting by official media and by bloggers. Although the media and bloggers have been hard on the CHRC, they have been far softer than its antics, and the antics of its leader, Jennifer Lynch deserve. The unequal layering of human rights for people in this country has become a sick joke and one that is way past being tolerable.

The alleged defence of Human Rights by members of the CHRC, while perpetrating breeches of those self same rights of individual defendants, while in pursuit of them is well documented. The attempts by the current leader of the CHRC, Jennifer Lynch to defend such actions, by outright lies and deception of the Canadian public and by calling into question those who have carefully researched this treachery is disgusting behaviour.

This past weekend, she spent considerable of our tax dollars to fly to Dublin to entreat members of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) meeting there to "write letters to correct misinformation", none of which misinformation she has ever mentioned, documented or brought forward. She also confessed to the CBA that: “For the moment the obligation to defend our existence monopolizes our energy.” This so called leader of an important bureaucratic area of your government is wasting her energy and that of her staff defending an existence that has proven to be unsupportable.

I urge you to bring an end to this hypocrisy and put Jennifer Lynch out of our misery, Sir. We, as Canadians of good will, can no longer tolerate having an organisation that has the potential to do useful work for the people of Canada, be run as a personal fiefdom, with limitless powers to hound citizens for invented breaches of invented human rights by improperly trained staff members, who have no proper work standards or ethics.

The people of Canada deserve nothing less than a full judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, after termination of its Chief Commissioner and her deputies. Their activities and those of members of their staff should be investigated criminally for human rights violations, and for fiscal improprieties, and other malfeasance. This, Sir is going on today, on your watch, and as it continues cannot help but reflect badly on you and your government. I urge you to act bravely and boldly to stop the "chill" that the Canadian Human Rights Commission is bringing to our fundamental rights and freedoms in this fair land of ours. Please ensure that we do not have to amend our national anthem and seek a new word to conclude the phrase "true north strong and ?".

Your Sincerely

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You May Fire When Ready, Gridley err Levant

New Simplified Nickname for the Queen of Censors Below

I wrote Ezra Levant a few hours ago telling him that I was going to be apologizing in my blog tomorrow morning to him for calling his words about J. Lynch intemperate, after her latest foray to the Emerald Isle. I wondered why I got an almost immediate response from himself. Well, it was because he was busy gutting the Lynchmeister in his current edition of his blog. Since what he has to say covers in more detail what I have to say here, except for what I think is a cool nickname for herself, I largely consider this posting the Reader's Digest version of Ezra's Post here. But, accordingly, I have put mine here in the blogosphere Sunday evening rather than waited for Monday morning, just because. So, below is what I originally wrote.


Some time ago, Jennifer Lynch commented about debating Ezra and then ducked out. Bottom line, she has been caught in her commissions misdeeds and her own coverup of those misdeeds and is not going to go quietly. She spent some more of our tax dollars over the last few days to make a little trip to go and tell stories to the annual meeting of the Canadian Bar Association in Dublin, as reported here in the National Post.

So, while she got Janet Keeping of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation to support that Ezra speaks unkindly of her, garnering her about one tiny soupcon of sympathy maybe, but at least a tiny bit of distraction here, I confess that I put a toe on the bandwagon for a bit, thinking that Ezra might have been a bit intemperate calling her a damned liar, and an odious and execrable woman, as well as commenting on her appearance when he saw her in Ottawa one time recently.

I apologize to Ezra here for questioning his choice of words, and paraphrase Admiral Dewey at the beginning of the Spanish American War as his ship, the Olympia, sailed into Manila Bay: "You may fire when ready, Mr. Levant."

Ms. Lynch has now taken her stories abroad and propagated them in Dublin to the Canadian Bar Association, more as usual by omission, and by stretching the imagination with obfuscation, and using an obfuscator's best tools of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

In the article in the National Post, the Queen of Censors told the Canadian Bar Association:
that rights commissions represent an important component of the justice system, giving society's "most vulnerable" minority groups access to a mechanism to deal with alleged rights violations.
What a crock of crap that is. I would have believed that if I just fell off a turnip truck or if I had stopped at the name "Human Rights Commissions" and didn't dig any deeper into the case decisions, and news reports of the insanity that goes on with all the Canadian HRCs.

Except there might be a grain of truth in what she says. After all she is talking about alleged rights violations, and most of the case decisions I have read were of the alleged variety, as opposed to the real variety. The wackiest thing is, of course that the "most vulnerable" minority group in Canada is Caucasian's of which she is kind of an apparent member.

The article started with this stuff:
Canada's lawyers, academics and law school deans were urged here Saturday to come to the defence of federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions and tribunals under attack by conservative critics.

Jennifer Lynch, head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission since 2007, told the Canadian Bar Association's annual meeting that opponents of rights bodies have successfully created a "chill" that makes it difficult for anyone to defend those bodies without also becoming a target.

Lynch, saying some criticisms have been "troubling" and "at times scary," also read out a graphic anonymous letter she received stating that she should be shot dead.

"I'm here to ask for your help," Lynch told CBA members, noting that academic experts, law school deans, and senior lawyers are among Canada's "most trusted sources of information" on public policy matters.

She urged them to write "letters to correct misinformation," encourage other experts to participate in the debate and promote public education of the role of rights commissions and tribunals in the justice system.

Ms. Lynch spoke of the "chill" created by opposition to her own brand of "chill" that Canadian people have tolerated for too many years. The criticisms are at times scary and troubling for her. Wow, that's tough. I certainly don't condone someone sending her a graphic anonymous letter stating that she should be shot dead. I don't wish that upon her, but her behaviour is sufficiently self serving that it would not surprise me to discover that she arranged for one of her minions to send the hate letter to her. Her band of merry men and women are not above that kind of "chill" on their own. Do you need to be reminded of their entrapment tactics on Stormfront?

When she asks, nay urges lawyers to write "Letters to correct misinformation" yadda, yadda, yadda, above about the role of rights commissions, she really starts to sing a now familiar tune. In fact, it begets a new nickname for her, methinks. The music industry has J Lo, who regales us with many fine or not so fine tunes, but Ms Lynch seems to have only one tune, that the bloggers and the media are dispelling misinformation about her and her minions. So, I think we should call her J Ly.

Bloggers and media are reporting FACTS from ACTUAL TRANSCRIPTS of cases and DECISIONS. Where is the misinformation? J Ly is beyond salvaging as head of the Canadian HRC. She is an embarassment to her job and to our country, and the harder she tries to save her job, the more embarrassing she becomes to the government of the day. They need to shed themselves of her sooner than later, and then shed themselves of this albatross.

Don't shoot the messenger dead, as she or someone else said in the hate mail she received, but put the messenger and the message out of our misery.

Joseph and Genevieve Lanigan on Human Rights

Some Lessons are Learned Very Quickly

Genevieve Lanigan and her husband gave birth to a son, Joseph last September, who her doctor had told her would not live very long, due to congenital problems. Of course, in today's advanced society, the "wise" choice would be an abortion. Why put oneself through such unnecessary pain, and for what?

Here's why. Genevieve tells the story herself compellingly. I came across it on my favourite blogger's site, that of Deborah Gyapong here.

Genevieve carried Joseph in her womb for 8 months or so, and she and her husband, their family, friends and caring medical professionals and others loved him for 30 days until he passed away. He was mourned at his Mass of the Angels.

30 days was his lifetime. But, he will be forever in the hearts of his mother and his father, and those who got to know him, and now he is forever in the arms of his heavenly Father.

I read the bubble headed commentators over on the Big Blue Wave site here claiming that human life is this, not that, and begins now , not then. Tell Genevieve when it began for her with Joseph. Better yet, let her tell you that she loved Joseph from the moment that he was conceived.

God Bless You Genevieve for sharing your story with us.

How Human. How Right.

The Open Road Beckons

Freedom of Religion

Recent communications with Walker Morrow got me to thinking about travelling, something I used to take for granted, as I have always loved to do it, whether for fun, or for business. After my auto accident, in late 2003, it became impossible for a few years to move very far, and slowly as I have learned how to cope with my disabilities, I have ventured further, usually with my favourite travelling partner by my side.

In the Fall of 2007, we took our motor home which we had bought to just get away in Ontario, and had enjoyed immensely, and headed for Arizona. It is another story in itself how we ended up in Tucson, but there we were ultimately in an over 55 RV resort. We flew home for December with plans to return to AZ for January and February.

Because of my wife's medical appointments in January, we decided that I would drive our car to Tucson by myself and so I left on January 5th, 2008 to make my way there. A significant part of my healing in the last year had been psychotherapy, as I had been dealing with the losses that I had incurred with my auto accident, the loss of my job, loss of certain mental functions, losses in my relationships with my children and difficulties that my wife and I had been having in our relationship as well.

One final loss for me that was important had been that I was for many years a musician in church choirs, playing guitar and piano, mainly piano over the last several years. I had written music for church, including the writing of mass parts along with the choir director of the choir I participated in most recently. In the 4 years at that time since the accident, I had not been able to attend mass because of the pain the cacophony of sound made in my head, and my wife was similarly challenged due to the illnesses she had contracted that disabled her. So, we had lost the ability to share in the weekly mass, and for me to actually participate in it with a gift I had been given.

The lead up to my departure was very stressful, but in the midst of that stress I had discussed with my therapist that I thought this trip was a pilgrimage for me. I had never taken on a challenge like this before. I was going to drive 3,600 km across country by myself, and had no idea if I could do it.

Anyway, I left home on Saturday January 5th in the late morning, crossed into Michigan at Port Huron, and hit the first interstate highway. I had printed out a Yahoo Maps version of the trip to get to Tucson, but because it disagreed with the route that we took when we drove our RV down in November, I planned to ignore it, and go the familiar way. The first hint of divine inspiration to me came as I got near the I90 interchange. As I approached it, I felt compelled to pull over and get the Yahoo directions out of the car and follow them.

I hadn't wanted to follow this set of directions since it took me near Chicago. Nothing against Chicago. I used to live in Indianapolis and if I had to choose which one to pass by I would choose Indy. Anyway, I followed Yahoo and breezed by the Chicago area, and was heading south on I55, when I started to get tired. As it was just on getting dark, I pulled into the small cities of Bloomington/Normal, which could have been my first clue. I was too tired for it to be at that time. It did not become clear until later.

I found a Days Inn, and a Walmart to get something to eat, and hunkered down. I was beat and fell asleep in a short while. I awoke in the morning, and felt the need to go to church, so after I had come down and grabbed some of the continental breakfast, I asked the clerk on duty where the nearest Catholic Church was. I paid my bill and followed her directions, and at 1 minute after 9 found myself entering Epiphany Roman Catholic Church, on the feast of the Epiphany, the day the Catholic Church celebrates the 3 wise men visiting the baby Jesus.

The fact that the Wise Men came and gave their gifts to Jesus, gifts of significance was not lost on me, particularly when it came time for the collection. I had $100 US in my wallet, and in my head I am thinking I need to put it all on the collection plate. As the collection started at the front of the church, I started to bargain with God about it. In my head I am saying that I'll put $20 in now, and if there is a second collection I'll put the rest in. But, as the plate drew near to me, I was not comfortable with that, and put it all in.

A little while later, as I left Normal, Illinois I realised that there had been nothing normal about this visit, that in fact I had just had an epiphany of my own, and I chuckled to myself as I headed onto the interstate, realising that I still had my credit cards and my debit card.

I stopped in Joplin Missouri that night, having driven the rest of the day. The next day, I headed into Oklahoma and saw a sign for the Shrine of the Infant Child Jesus of Prague. I went looking for it near Oklahoma City and spent some time there. While there, I came across a brochure for the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo New Mexico.

I continued across Oklahoma, enjoying the fact that it was warmer than what I had left in Ontario already, and came across the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere in Groom Texas. I mean, it was in Texas, right. I stopped there for a while. There was a life size version of the Stations of the Cross, and a book store. I contemplated staying longer there, but could not find a motel in the area with an Internet connection so I could use my portable IP phone to contact my wife at home. So, I drove on to Amarillo and stayed there for the night.

The next morning, I headed towards New Mexico, intending to find Chimayo, which was on a small highway north of Santa Fe. How hard could that be to find? Well, I thought I knew where I was going, but ended up hopelessly lost in Santa Fe, so I pulled into a Shell Station on St. Michael's Road (seemed like a safe place to me, a road named after my patron saint), pumped some gas, and went in to empty my overloaded bladder. Two things distracted me. First there was a sign that said the washroom was being cleaned. The second was the lineup at the cash register. I waddled back to my car, and headed for the interstate which was nearby.

I prayed that if God wanted me to find Chimayo he better have a smarter idea than I had, since I was out of them and oh, I needed a washroom too. A few minutes later, I saw a sign for a tourist office just off the highway. I pulled off the road, and in fact had to basically do a u turn on the service road on the other side of the highway and head about a mile back towards Santa Fe. I did not care at the moment about Chimayo, but a washroom was becoming urgent. I got out of my car, and scampered into the office, saw no one at the desk, and headed for the facilities, figuring that I would at least accomplish one important task. When task 1 was done, I came out to find a kindly man at the desk and asked him if he knew where Chimayo was. He said I was in luck and handed me a photocopied page showing me that if I hopped on the interstate back to Santa Fe, and took the next exit and followed that road, I would be in Chimayo in short order. I did and I was.

It turned out to be exactly where God knew that it was, and I had a very peaceful time of prayer there, in a very humble place. I also met the small priest who is in charge of the place, and he was a very humble holy man. It was a special blessing to my trip.

I then headed back south to Socorr, NM for the night and then on towards Arizona the next morning. I had wanted to complete my pilgrimage by going to mass and confession at the Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David's, AZ just outside of Benson on #10 near Tucson, but it was closed on Wednesday, when I arrived. So I went on to the RV resort and got the motor home set up and on site, and then went back there the next day.

On Thursday I completed my pilgrimage by returning to Holy Trinity. I discovered a really interesting bookstore there, and got a couple of books that improved me spiritually. I found a very special interpretive Stations of the Cross that were very prayerful and instructive. I had asked in the bookstore if there was mass and confessions, and they told me that there was a noon mass and that the priest could hear my confession if I asked him after mass. Anyway, after I prayed the Stations of the Cross, I went into the chapel and joined in the praying of the mid day Office prayers which they prayed before mass, and then attended mass. As I sat in the pew, waiting for the priest to finish up, he came down the aisle to me, and asked me if I wanted to go to confession. I made a good confession, and my pilgrimage was complete.

What has this got to do with Human Rights? Only this. I thank God that I am free in North America currently to worship God as I see fit, to follow my heart, to make such a pilgrimage, because I believe it is the right thing to do, currently unhindered by the laws of our lands in North America. I say currently, because there are disturbing legal trends that do not bode well for me to be able to do this in the future.

But, even if in the future it were to become a crime to make such a journey, if such places of faith were to be closed, they will always reside in my mind and my heart, and as long as I live they will live within me.