Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Take a look at this site, People of Walmart. There are interesting captioned pictures of people doing the Walmart thing.
Good evening Walmart shoppers. Are you having fun yet? Some of you certainly are, though not necessarily in the best of taste.
That's not me in spandex. I never leave the house in spandex. Come to think of it, I never am in the house either in spandex.
Walmart brings out the very best in some people. Their pictures are not on this site.
So, the CHRC tribunal gave the over 60 Air Canuck pilots the right to not retire, another right for the left, as it were. I mentioned it here.
But, surprise of surprises. Not everybody was pleased. In fact, only J Ly, her liberal friends, and the Fly Past 60 folks jumped for joy at the news. The people most affected by their arrogance were not so quick to celebrate. In fact they are challenging the ruling as reported several placed in the last few days but here, as well.
The Air Canada Pilots Association has taken up their clarion call to the Federal Court of Canada. Their President said:
"The association has a duty to represent the wishes of the majority of the pilots and we will exercise the legal avenues available to us to ensure that their interests are protected. We are reviewing the details of the decision with our legal representatives to determine the long-term impact on our members and their collective agreement and our options for responding."It seems that the question is whether a collective bargaining agreement where the members of the union (I mean association) voted in favour of 60 as a retirement age holds water, or whether disgruntlement equals entitlement to change things because J Ly and her band of miscreants say so, and want to create yet another human right, the right not to be retired, even if you agreed that you were going to be.
Archbishop Raymond Burke was Bishop of St. Louis prior to his recent appointments to Rome by current Pope Benedict XVI. He is now Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, which makes him similar in ecclesiastical weight to the of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In Catholic circles, it means that after the Pope, Burke holds the highest judicial office in the Roman Catholic Church. he is not someone to be sneezed at. So, when he speaks, Catholics should listen, and not just American Catholics.
The Archbishop wrote an article published in insidecatholic.com titled Reflections on the Struggle to Advance the Culture of Life, a wonderful reflection piece. LifeSiteNews.com referenced it and added its own comments here, and John Pacheco at SoCon or Bust picked up on both here. I guess I will be surprised to see if or how Fr. Tom Rosica over at Salt & Light responds to it.
Early on I gave Fr. Rosica some credit for his past work with World Youth Day, and his other good work, but he has been on a rant, claiming some kind of executive privilege to which he has no right, and has been cutting down LifeSiteNews, and bloggers who are seeking the truth, ever since Ted Kennedy tried to die and be gone from this mortal coil. He got fairly short shrift from The Catholic Register recently, though he did get published when he took his rant to them here.
But, back to Archbishop Burke. He is calling them as the Church sees them. Here is his introductory salvo:
It is clear that we are experiencing today a period of intense and critical struggle in the advancement of the culture of life in our nation. The administration of our federal government openly and aggressively follows a secularist agenda. While it may employ religious language and even invoke the name of God, in fact, it proposes programs and policies for our people without respect for God and His Law. In the words of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, it proceeds "as if God did not exist".By the way, it's not much different here in Canada. For secularism, we can't be beat with our use of Human Rights Commissions to resolve disputes that are invented in the heads of many people.
He next hits the nail on the head for those involved in the nasty dispute going on over the sort of demise of the man who is more alive now that he is dead than he was in recent years, the Tedster recently:
At the same time, there is a lack of unity among those dedicated to advance a culture which respects fully the gift of human life and its origin in procreation, that is, in the cooperation of man and woman with God through the conjugal union and through education in the home which they have formed by marriage. Recent statements, occasioned by the Rites of Christian Burial accorded to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, have manifested profound disagreement and even harsh criticism among those who are publicly committed to the Gospel of Life.He says further:Our tireless promotion of the culture of life, in fact, responds to the deepest longing in every man, and in every society. It anticipates and prepares "a new heaven and a new earth," which Our Lord Jesus Christ will inaugurate at His Final Coming (Rv 21:1).That's a good thing, right.
So, why does Fr, Rosica think he is peeing on everyone else because they disagree with him? Who died and made him God? Ted Kennedy? Just Asking.
What he goes on to say soon after has profound meaning for us here in Canada, particularly as it relates to the most secular of our institutions, our HRCs and HRTs. He spoke of the contributions that Christians had made to the building of America, as they had to the building of Canada as well. Read on:
Articulating the context in which I place my reflections, I do not, in any way, deny the contribution which other religions and persons of good will have made to the life of our nation. To acknowledge the Christian faith which inspired the foundation of our nation and has sustained our nation is not a declaration of intolerance toward persons who are not Christians. It is, in fact, of the very nature of the Christian faith to love all men, without boundary or exception. The Golden Rule, taught to us by Our Lord Jesus, expresses the Christian embrace of all men, without boundary or exclusion (cf. Mt 7:12). For Christians, the acceptance of others who are not of the Christian faith is not a matter of tolerance, but of love which adheres to the truths of the faith while respecting the beliefs of those who are not Christian, as long as those beliefs are coherent with the natural moral law, that is, coherent with the respect for the "inalienable rights" with which God has endowed every man. Christian love does not have its foundation in blind tolerance of others and of what they think and say and do, but rather in the profound knowledge of others and their beliefs, and the honest acknowledgment of differences of belief, especially in what may compromise the life of the nationThe bolds are mine, as they are the pieces I most relate to as a Canadian, though it is all good.
Now he gets to the nub of Faith and Political Life and opens with this paragraph:
Regarding the faith and political life, there has developed in our nation the false notion that the Christian or any person of faith, in order to be a true American citizen, must bracket his faith life from his political life. According to such a notion, one ends up with Christians, for example, who claim personally to be faithful members of the Church and, therefore, to hold to the demands of the natural moral law, while they sustain and support the right to violate the moral law in its most fundamental tenets. We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage. It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself politically in this manner.What he says next has as much to do with Canada as it does the United States, though in particular he was referring to his homeland:
Presently, in our nation, the Christian faith has a critical responsibility to articulate clearly the natural moral law and its demands. Under the constant influence of a rationalist and secularist philosophy which makes man, instead of God, the ultimate measure of what is right and good, we have become confused about the most basic truths, for example, the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, and the integrity of marriage between one man and one woman as the first and irreplaceable cell of the life of society. If Christians fail to articulate and uphold the natural moral law, then they fail in the fundamental duty of patriotism, of loving their country by serving the common good.Again, the bold is mine. Although the Bishop takes some time and some very well chosen words to draw to conclusion about the scandal of the Ted Kennedy funeral, he does so here:
When a person has publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into confusion and error about fundamental questions of respect for human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, his repentance of such actions must also be public. The person in question bears a heavy responsibility for the grave scandal which he has caused. The responsibility is especially heavy for political leaders. The repair of such scandal begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and the public declaration of his adherence to the moral law. The soul which recognizes the gravity of what he has done will, in fact, understand immediately the need to make public reparation.He pulls no punches. All that he says is worthy of reading and thought, not only by Catholics, but by all people of good will.
For our nations of North America to return to right thinking, we need more people with godly wisdom like Archbishop Burke, and with authority to speak truth for us to rally around, to further form and strengthen our consciences.
God Bless You Archbishop Burke.
Sacraments are the life blood of the Catholic Church.
After the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church started on a clean up, and among the efforts was the Council of Trent which was a meeting of church leaders in 25 sessions from 1545 to 1563, under 3 different popes of the time. Among the things they discussed and concurred on was the Roman Catechism, a document written in Latin that was used by priests to teach the faithful. In 1884, the US Bishops gathered in Baltimore, MD and decided to publish an English version of the catechism, and thus gave birth to the Baltimore Catechism, which was first published in 1891, and answered 100 questions about the faith.
The Baltimore Catechism was in use in schools in Canada as well as the US when I was a grade school student in the 1950's and 60's, and I remember to this day the definition of Sacrament from the book, though I confess to remembering nothing more specifically. The definition of a sacrament in the BC was the following: " A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace."
That was simple enough for my 5 year old mind to grasp and remember, though still hard to take to heart, where it now resides. More recently, Pope John Paul II issued the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992, with translations starting in 1994. It did not make it into English until 2006.
Here is what the New Catechism says about sacraments in a section titled Article 2 THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE CHURCH'S SACRAMENTS:
1131 The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. the visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.
1132 The Church celebrates the sacraments as a priestly community structured by the baptismal priesthood and the priesthood of ordained ministers.
1133 The Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the sacraments by the Word of God and the faith which welcomes that word in well-disposed hearts. Thus the sacraments strengthen faith and express it.
1134 The fruit of sacramental life is both personal and ecclesial. For every one of the faithful an the one hand, this fruit is life for God in Christ Jesus; for the Church, on the other, it is an increase in charity and in her mission of witness.
The Church teaches that there are 7 sacraments, and they are classified as follows:
Sacraments of Christian InitiationWith this as an introduction, I intend to write from time to time about the various sacraments and what they mean to me as a Catholic, though I hope not to diverge in any way from Church teaching in the telling.
Sacraments of Healing
Penance and Reconciliation
Anointing of the Sick
Sacraments at the Service of Communion
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Marlene Jennings Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grace put forward the following petition for effective Animal Welfare Legislation:
We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the Canadian House of Commons to the following:THAT there is scientific consensus and public acknowledgement that animals can feel pain and can suffer, and thus all efforts should be made to prevent animal cruelty and reduce animal suffering;THAT recent amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code provisions on cruelty to animals only increased the penalties for offenses;THAT the range of indictable offenses has barely changed since the original 1892 Criminal Code;THAT the fact that so few offenses are ever prosecuted means recent legislation has done little to protect animals in Canada;THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon the House of Commons to adopt effective animal welfare legislation that will actually improve the condition of animals in Canada and promote animal welfare.
"Mr. Speaker, as a follow up to that series of petitions in respect of the pain that animals feel and in view of the fact that babies in the womb for the entire nine months feel some considerable pain caused by the abortion procedures that are used in this country, these petitioners in the country of Canada note that in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms everyone has a right to life, freedom from pain and freedom from the kind of assault fetuses experience in the womb.
"It has been 47 years, since May 14, 1969, when Parliament changed the law to permit abortions," he continued, "and since January 28, 1988 Canada has had no law to protect the lives of unborn children. The petitioners are calling on Parliament, as the Supreme Court also urged, to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception and fertilization until the time of natural death."
Me, I'm for people, including the pre-born ones. Dogs and cats are cute, and if you hurt them, they feel pain, true. But, they never get elected to parliament or picked to run HRCs, do they?
But, if we keep killing off our unborn children what does that say about us as a society? Nothing good, that's for sure.
Manitoba NDP Leadership candidate Steve Ashton has pledged to bring in the Dignity Act if he becomes party leader and therefor Premier of the province.
The Winnipeg Sun reported it here.
He wants racist or other derogatory comments or behaviour to be an offence.
"I want to see Manitoba become a model for human rights," Ashton said. "We want a zero tolerance approach to racism and other forms of discrimination."
Ashton, who is totally out of touch with reality said he wants the bill to be based on the British Race Relations Act, which is a cause of great turmoil in the UK.
Although he is still working on the details, he said in a press release that it would:
"make employers, governments, unions, organizations and individuals in positions of authority responsible for promoting equality and improving race relations by eliminating unlawful discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity and promoting positive relations between people of different racial groups. The bill will also ensure similar provisions for gender and sexual orientation."
Mr. Ashton wants to go "one step further" than existing laws like the Manitoba Human Rights Code and the hate crime provisions of the Criminal Code, since Manitoba does not currently have a "likely to expose to hatred or contempt" clause like the one that is currently being struck down at the Canada HRC, and will fall in Alberta after the Boissoin decision.
As Mr. Ashton says:
"It's common sense. It's when you're inciting racial hatred, that will be the legal test," Ashton said. "The key to the future is getting along, working together, and putting aside some of the things we've seen in the past."
"I want to make sure we nip it in the bud."
I hope someone nips him in the bud. But, Mr. Ashton can be forgiven for his political posturing. He has been away for the last while camping out in the woods, I assume, away from contact with other human beings.
I am waiting for someone to put a test together for "likely to expose to hatred or contempt". If they can do that, then his "inciting racial hatred" should be a piece of cake. Apparently the black flies in Manitoba, where Mr. Ashton must have been camping carry some dread disease that addles the brain.
We have nuts on the left coast, and nuts in Ontario, some pretty wacky behaviour in La Belle Province, and now, looniness coming from Manitoba.
Apparently these people take themselves seriously, though for the life of me I can't imagine why.
Here from their site is a gem posted on September 25, 2009. It was just too good not to reproduce:
The news that the reactionary head of the Catholic Church, Joseph Ratzinger, is to be accorded a state visit to Britain next September was greeted with dismay by the National Secular Society this week. The Pope will meet the Queen and speak in both Houses of Parliament. The whole visit will have the full panoply of a visiting head of state, although the Vatican has only a few hundred (all-male) inhabitants.Many years ago, a man working for me made a small mistake in doing his job in a factory I managed in Indianapolis. I was walking by at the time, and stopped to chat with him. He left me with this bit of wisdom from our encounter. "There is a limit to how smart you can be. There is no limit to how dumb you can be."
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “This is dismal news indeed. Why Britain should seek to laud such a nasty extremist is beyond me. We should not forget that his ‘teachings’ have resulted in the banning of condoms in developing countries where HIV is decimating the populations. He encourages population growth in places where starvation is common. He persecutes homosexuals, treats women as second class citizens, has colluded in the large-scale cover up of child abuse. His Church interferes illegitimately in politics and undermines democracy. It siphons huge amounts of money out of poverty-stricken economies – what is there to celebrate about such a bigot? The NSS will be joining other groups in protesting against the celebration of this ghastly man’s presence here.”
The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is planning to picket the Labour Party Conference in Brighton next week in protest at Gordon Brown’s invitation to the pope.
On most days, I am reminded of his wisdom. Some days it is clearer than others. Today as I read the above, it was a very clear day.
The Miss Marprelate Tracts: Learning: Lessons for Social Conservatives from the Free Speech Movement in Canada
Rebekah over at the Miss Marprelate Tracts has good things to say about being active in this crazy world, when sitting on your duff and doing nothing, meanwhile taking it up the wazoo (which should be mutually exclusive) is standard fare.
The Miss Marprelate Tracts: Learning: Lessons for Social Conservatives from the Free Speech Movement in Canada
Bill C-384 is a private member's bill supporting assisted suicide, put forward in the Spring by BQ member of parliament Francine Lalonde. It has Catholic Church leaders in Canada nervous, as reported in a lengthy section in last week's Catholic Register, all of which is worth reading.
This particular article about Sr. Nuala Kenny, a gutsy 67 year old nun with a pretty solid pedigree is one of several from that issue. Here's her pedigree:
Sr. Nuala Kenny has always been in the middle of things. The New York City girl who came north to join the Sisters of Charity of Halifax in 1962 has been a doctor, a pediatrician, a professor of medicine, a researcher, a founding governor of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research , a deputy minister of health in Nova Scotia and the founder of Dalhousie University’s department of bioethics .She is worried about the debate that is going on, and about the culture that we now live in as she said:
We no longer know how to think about the common. We don’t know how to think about no man is an island, or the life and death of each of us involves all of us.She spoke of the value of palliative care for the dying:
“The culture has changed. The culture has changed to ‘I want what I want when I want it.’
“That is the consequence of our being in the developed Western world, so oriented to individualism — I think rampant individualism — in every form.”
"The whole philosophy behind palliative care was not just to do better pain and symptom control. But it was to restore dying to the normal and the natural. It was to demedicalize it. It wasn’t to increasingly medicalize it.”In 1982, my father passed away in St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario. My mother, sister, and I kept a vigil with him as he lay dying from heart failure, in the intensive care ward of that fine hospital. Some time after he was admitted, my sister and I received a miracle, as we discovered later. We went up to see him on the Saturday afternoon after he was admitted to hospital, and he was sitting up in bed. He had been comatose until then since he had arrived at the hospital a few days before, and went back into a coma later that day, but for a few hours my sister and I had our father back. We told stories, laughed, and had our final hours of the fullness of life with him. Over the next few days, we found out that he had had only 5% of his heart function and what we say happened could not have happened logically, but we were there, and it did happen, and for the grace of that time, we are both forever grateful. We had the chance to say good bye to our Dad, though we did not know it at the time.
My mother and I met with the attending physician a few days later, and discussed ongoing care for my father. The kindly doctor told us that my father would not recover consciousness, told us about the state of his heart and other bodily systems. We agreed to remove extraordinary measures of life support from my father, so that he could die with dignity. He was intubated so that his body was nourished, and was given pain medications so that his pain was managed. The next day, we were all gathered in a quiet room near the intensive care area, and heard the code call and knew that my father had finally passed away.
We were allowed to work our way through our father and husband's death as it was happening and then to grieve the loss of him in our lives, and now to remember him with love and great affection.
A few years ago, my mother was admitted to Victoria Hospital with serious illness. Although my wife and I were both disabled by that time, we and my sister spent our time with her as best we could, and also my cousins and aunt, were there. We have one dear cousin who is a cancer nurse at Victoria, and so knows most folks and also the ropes. We observed some tests done and knew that my mother's time was getting short, though it all seemed so sudden. My sister had to return to Toronto, and my cousin, the nurse and her sister were with us in the evening.
The doctor told us that we should go home, and that if there was anything going on he would call us. We were getting ready for bed, when the phone rang, about 11:30. We called my cousins to meet us back at the hospital, and then called for the on call priest to administer the Last Rites to my mother, which he did. The staff, both nurses and doctors were so supportive, as well. The nurses worked to make my mother comfortable, knowing that she was on her final journey.
My dear cousin, the nurse, took over as they do in such situations, being trained for that, but also having the heart for it too. She gathered us around my mother's bed, and we said prayers for her, knowing that her time was short. As we said the final words of the Our Father, we all knew that my mother left us to go and be with God. We all felt her spirit leave the room, and we were at peace that she was safely in the arms of Our Saviour.
In both of these instances, and in at least one other of personal significance that I just don't have the heart to write about right now, the Supremacy of God was clearly evident, and we trusted in His/Her Supremacy, not out of wisdom on our parts, but out of the grace that flowed to us from God.
Assisted suicide removes the opportunity for these grace filled moments, and puts man in charge, not God. I hope and pray that Bill C-384 dies the death that it should.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Here is a tweet from Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley a few months back that just showed up in the Google Alerts this morning:
Human Rights speech. 1948 Hugh Burnett started 7 year struggle to be served in cafe. Led to Code. He was black. Must remain vigilant today.
Hugh Burnett was a black carpenter in Dresden Ontario. He was part of the National Unity Association formed in 1948, an anti-discrimination group to counter the refusal to serve blacks in restaurants and other stores.
The NUA was actively engaged in getting Premier Leslie Frost to to support passage of two pieces of legislation against discrimination the Fair Employment Practices Act, and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act.
However, discrimination in Dresden did not come to an end, so Burnett staged an illegal sit in at two restaurants in town. The NUA won, ending overt discrimination, but Burnett ended up leaving Dresden as people boycotted his business.
That's the history behind the Tweet of our Ontario AG. It was not the key factor in us getting a Human Rights Code in Ontario, though it was a contributing one. The case of Drummond Wren that I reported on some months back was also significant, because it affected another minority group, Jews.
His conclusion "Must be vigilant today" though is liberal as well as Liberal clap trap. That was then. This is now, and Barbara Hall vigilance is not my idea of a good thing.
Minister Bentley is my MPP, and a good man. He serves his electorate well. However, his Liberal ideology, as it relates to human rights in this province, puts blinders on him to the reality of where vigilance is required.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Last week, I did a posting on the case of Doug McCue here. It seems that here in Ontario, his allergy to dogs was not sufficient for him to deny a woman and her husband a room at his B&B in Perth, Ontario on July 5, 2008. It was less about the dog, than it was about the husband, who was blind. So, the Ontario Human Rights Commission arbitrated a settlement which saw Mr. McCue pay $700 to the Complainants, who had a bull dog for a lawyer, figuratively not literally.
Well, in BC, a couple with a service dog, who were denied the rental of an apartment in BC were then denied their Complaint at the BC HRT, as reported by a local news outlet here. Chalk one up for sanity, but why?
Well, the BC HRT actually believed the landlord's case that his dog Tango was very territorial, which he had explained to the prospective tenants. As the tenants would have to pass through Tango's protected territory to get to their apartment, the prospective landlord refused to rent to them. Undaunted, they filed a Complaint with the BC HRT. Why not, there's gold in them thar hills.
Not this time. It surprised me that the tenant's fake right to live where they wanted with their service dog, meaning there must have been a disability on behalf of one of the tenants to be, was trumped by the landlord's property rights, and dog. I am surprised that they did not require him to pay for all their pain and suffering, and also have his dog put down. After all they were being victimized by this dog, and owner.
So, it may take two to Tango, but in this case the BC HRT halted the music. I'd say good on you BC HRT, but tomorrow's another day, and it's not called the left coast for nothing.
This piece was first published March 15, 1998 in the Indianapolis Star. It is written by Lori Borgman and is available on her blog here.
Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. His obituary reads as follows: Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering.
Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S. A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet.
C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).
A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men's movement, body piercing, whole language and new math. C.S.'s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus.
In the following decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf.
His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.
As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last.
Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.
Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought. Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The Calgary Herald notes that the Alberta HRC is back on its heals at the moment (my choice of word), due to recent court cases on free speech and backed off on the Herald/ Edmonton Journal Complaints for a 2002 editorial on the Middle East.
The article here cited the following:
The case involving the Herald and the Journal arose from an editorial published in April 2002, which catalogued several allegations of duplicity, manipulation, atrocity and hypocrisy on the part of Palestinian leaders in their dealings with Israel.
At the time, reports of terrorist activity came almost daily, interspersed with the late Yasser Arafat's protestations that all he wanted was peace: The matter was top of mind, and ripe for public examination. However, Muslim advocates complained that it was "likely to expose to hatred or contempt Palestinian Arabs and Muslims," though there was no proof of that whatsoever and it was certainly not the intent.
My bold. Telling statement that last one, and where the abuse of power of the HRCs is most profound. As I have stated in another piece, here, there are no boundaries or terms of reference for how one decides on "Likely to expose to hatred or contempt." It is all in the minds of the Complainant, and some bureaucrat with the appropriate HRC who takes up his cause.
If I tell you that something is likely to expose me to hatred and contempt, and you Mr. HRC employee believe me, we have a quorum of two, and it is now a fact, even if we are the only two people in the world who believe it. In these cases, that drag on forever, there is no effort to see if the particular offending materiel actually did expose anyone to hatred or contempt, where time is on the side of being able to categorically prove that it did or did not. At least, it would be if the whole phrase "likely to expose to hatred or contempt" were not just a throw away phrase with no possibility of being factually verified. People are having their lives turned upside down by this phrase in our country and have been for years. We didn't care when they were basement Nazi sympathisers, because they too were throw away members of our society, whose rights of free speech, even if they spoke stupidity and mindless hateful drivel, that no one but a few of their friends ever heard, were being denied.
Frankly, the HRCs got used to the taste of blood on "likely to expose to hatred and contempt", and as there was no real, fake Nazi blood around anymore, they had to get the blood lust slaked somewhere. So, what did you expect to happen? None of the cases that have happened in the last several years should come as a surprise to anyone in Canada.
Bad things happen, because good men say nothing. Edmund Burke did not say it, but he meant it.
This battle is not over. Here is the Herald conclusion:
While the Herald is busy patting itself on the back for fighting the good fight, their role has been nominal. Those really fighting the good fight are those who can ill afford to fight it, the Stephen Boissoin's, Ezra Levant's, Alphonse De Valk's, Marc Lemire's, but must for their own sanity and for their beliefs, and the need to tell the truth that they know in their hearts.
It seems much has been won by the determined resistance of free-speech advocates, like this newspaper, to nationwide commission encroachments on a right to criticize people, organizations and governments that goes back in Canada at least to 1835, when Joseph Howe took on a corrupt provincial government, and won.
We salute them all, if not for their opinions in every case, at least in their tenacious defence of their right to publish them--a right that has cost so many of our best and brightest their very lives.
Premier Stelmach, when even your own human rights commission has changed its mind, you must act: Tear down the offensive section of Alberta's human rights law.
The fat lady is far from singing on this issue.
Friday, September 25, 2009
So, when I wrote about a little silly decision from the Ontario College of Teacher Disciplinary Tribunal recently, I didn't think too much of it. I didn't imagine that they were really a corrupt body that was self serving and hit with the "Power Corrupts" bug. Well, I was wrong.
Take the case of Jim Black for example.
Here's what the record of James Arthur Black says on the Ontario College of Teachers website:
On October 23, 2008, member found guilty of professional misconduct. On July 27, 2009, Certificate of qualification and registration suspended for twenty four months. Reprimand. Member to pay fine of $1000. Publication in Professionally Speaking.Isn't that good? They are policing their own and got a bad one, so they nicked him.
Well, not so fast there, gentle readers.
Jim Black is one of the good guys. Impossible you say. Read on.
Here is a little about Jim Black from the Canadian For Accountability web site:
A retired Ontario teacher with 30 years of experience, he appears to have an excellent reputation amongst his peers: in 2002 he was nominated for the Prime Minister's Award in teaching and he served on the Ontario College of Teachers Council from 2002-2003. We evaluated his situation and determined that he fit the criteria of a whistleblower in difficulty.Here is a bit from the LifeSite News article about Jim from June 17, 2009:
James Black, who was a teacher in Ontario for 30 years, was elected to sit on the OCT Council from 2002-2003. While on the Council, he served for a time on the Discipline Committee, which is in part responsible for deciding whether to reinstate the licenses of sex offenders. In 2006, Black told CTV News that he thought parents would be surprised to find out that sometimes licenses are reinstated. “Even people that have been convicted ... have the opportunity to become teachers again by making a presentation behind closed doors,” Black said.
While on the Committee in 2003, Black participated in a hearing for Rodney Palmer, a teacher who, in 1990, was convicted of sexual exploitation and imprisoned for 15 months. Palmer had made sexual advances on a 16-year-old student at Brockville Collegiate public school, and, after moving to St. Mary’s Catholic School, brought a 17-year-old student home several times to have sex. After his conviction, Palmer’s license was suspended indefinitely.
At the hearing, Palmer sought a reinstatement of his teaching license, which the OCT granted him. According to CTV News, the only evidence they heard was from Palmer himself, and Black was the only member to vote against his reinstatement.
That, of course was not the end for Mr. Black. Later on things began to happen as the LifeSite item stated:
In 2004, Black was asked by the Ministry of Education to submit a critique of the OCT, a new body that completely oversees the teachers of Ontario, one of only two such governing bodies in Canada. Troubled by his time with the OCT, Black submitted a highly-critical four-page report addressing his concerns, particularly regarding them allowing sex offenders back into the classroom.Here is a CTV Whistleblower report from 2006.
After submitting his report, Black says that he was subject to escalating reprisals, and in 2006, he opted to retire, which he says was largely due to the stress of having to deal with the actions being taken against him. In the same year, while running as a candidate for board trustee, Black made his report more public, resulting in media attention.
Palmer filed a complaint with the OCT in 2007, and, after a year-long investigation, Black was found guilty of breaching confidentiality in October 2008. Black is now awaiting a decision regarding his punishment, having just completed hearings.
In this wacky world we live in, a teacher who abuses students can get reinstated and if another blows the whistle on him because some morons at the OCT cannot see the danger he poses to the students in his care, the whistleblower is suspended, and fined, for breaching the privacy of a convicted criminal. Is this a crazy country we live in or what?
Jim Black is a hero. The OCT is no better than our HRCs. They all are cut from the same cloth, and it sucks.
From the Calgary Herald article yesterday when the notice that the 9 charges against the Southam newspapers over a 2002 editorial critical of certain events in the world, and the ideology behind them, there was a gem from the report of the AHRC that I missed at the time.
Here is what it said:
That says to me that Marie Riddle would have continued this case if she could have. In other words, with all the namby pamby free speechers getting in the way and messing up my gig, I have to let this one go. And that Lemire decision is still al bit of an inconvenience.
In a seven-page decision dated Sept. 21, commission director Marie Riddle dismissed all the complaints.
"Although in my opinion statements made in the editorial . . . were offensive, based on the recent case law, I can find no basis to forward the complaint for a human-rights panel, and I hereby dismiss the complaint," Riddle wrote.
Read the editorial that caused these 9 complaints for yourself here. I wonder who the 9 complainants were.
The article appears to have rendered 3 opinion statements, in my opinion. That is what editorials do, and part of freedom of the press.
The first opinion statement was:
The Organization of the Islamic Conference is meeting this week in Malaysia for a summit on terrorism. But delegates are still squabbling over definitions, and many are torturing several different languages in a bid to excuse the suicide bombers who attack "Zionist targets" -- such as, say, families at a Passover seder. Israel, which is waging a military campaign against terrorists, will likely be smeared as a "terrorist state."
The conference will no doubt be a farce -- the predictable fate of any and all such dialogues about terrorism. Thankfully, weak Canadian foreign policy won't be on embarrassing display yet again -- Canada doesn't officially attend OIC gatherings.
Here was a main opinion rendered:
Part of the problem lies with Muslim civilization itself. As Samuel P. Huntington writes in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order: "Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbours ... The conflicts within Islam (have also been) more numerous than those in any other civilization, including tribal conflicts in Africa."This was the opinion of Samuel P. Huntington, who passed away last year. Dr. Huntington was a teacher in the department of government at Harvard for over 50 years, and was highly respected. It was a quote from his book, but then they tried to slam Macleans magazine for quoting sections of Mark Steyn's book a few years back, so this was fair game for them.
Here was the third opinion they rendered:
It is disgusting to hear Arafat mention Rabin, a man killed for his peaceful convictions, in the same breath as himself. Like his terrorist underlings, Arafat sees the lives of children -- Palestinian and Israeli both -- as fodder for the Arab ambition to ignite a regional war that will destroy Israel. He and his supporters must be isolated internationally, beaten down militarily and made to understand that Palestinians can never hope to have a country so long as they embrace the apocalyptic creed under which suicide bombers -- and Palestinians who cheer them on - explode themselves.The editorial was rendering opinions on things going on in the middle east, including providing information in the article to support the opinions being rendered, and a human rights commission is basically letting them off on a technicality, rather than charging them with "exposing a person or group to hatred or contempt".
How I read this is that the Boissoin decision is going to be an important one, because Premier Stelmach does not have the guts to put an end to this farce he calls the Alberta Human Rights Commission, or at least the hate provisions of the HRCM Act.
Blazing Cat Fur has a link to a blog from someone purporting to be a mole inside the CHRC maybe. Is it true? Nothing that any of us can prove from what is on the blog yet, though Marc Lemire could attest to the veracity of it. I suggest that he not.
He/she calls himself "The Fairness Fairy (The Free Speech "Deep Throat")".
I am from Missouri, but am keeping my eyes open on this one.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I receive his inspiring emails each week, and sometimes they speak to me more than others, paritcularly when I need to be spoken to. This one spoke to me. His books like the book this is excerpted from are also very inspirational.
The Love Test
by Max Lucado
Have you ever made decisions about your relationships based on your feelings instead of the facts? When it comes to love, feelings rule the day. Emotions guide the ship. Goose bumps call the shots. But should they? Can feelings be trusted? Can a relationship feel right but be wrong?
Feelings can fool you. Yesterday I spoke with a teenage girl who is puzzled by the lack of feelings she has for a guy. Before they started dating, she was wild about him. The minute he showed interest in her, however, she lost interest.
I’m thinking also of a young mom. Being a parent isn’t as romantic as she anticipated. Diapers and midnight feedings aren’t any fun, and she’s feeling guilty because they aren’t. Am I low on love? she wonders.
How do you answer such questions? Ever wish you had a way to assess the quality of your affection? A DNA test for love? Paul offers us one: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6 NIV). In this verse lies a test for love.
Want to separate the fake from the factual, the counterfeit from the real thing? Want to know if what you feel is genuine love? Ask yourself this:
Do I encourage this person to do what is right? For true love “takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6 JB).
If you find yourself prompting evil in others, heed the alarm. This is not love. And if others prompt evil in you, be alert.
Here’s an example. A classic one. A young couple are on a date. His affection goes beyond her comfort zone. She resists. But he tries to persuade her with the oldest line in the book: “But I love you. I just want to be near you. If you loved me …”
That siren you hear? It’s the phony-love detector. This guy doesn’t love her. He may love having sex with her. He may love her body. He may love boasting to his buddies about his conquest. But he doesn’t love her. True love will never ask the “beloved” to do what he or she thinks is wrong.
Love doesn’t tear down the convictions of others. Quite the contrary.
“Love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1).
“Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light and will not cause anyone to stumble” (1 John 2:10).
“You are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong” (1 Cor. 8:12 NLT).
Do you want to know if your love for someone is true? If your friendship is genuine? Ask yourself: Do I influence this person to do what is right?
From A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado
The Court is a blog of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, usually reserved for commentary on Supreme Court decisions. However, they waded into deep water on the Lemire case, at the Canadian HRT, largely because of its connection to that august body, the Taylor decision of 1990.
The writing is cogent and thoughtful, and worth examining.
Blazing Cat Fur picked it up, and Jay Currie has commented favourably, at the end of the report.
An interesting article in Metronews.ca here puts some background into the recent Air Canada pilots case where 60 year old pilots fought for the right not to retire. The writer, Daniel Lublin reports on the dropping of mandatory ages in Canada, and the challenges that companies are having adapting and dealing with employees around this change.
No Apologies reports that the Vancouver Public Library had the good sense to not allow an Australian group Exit International to host a right-to-die assisted suicide seminar this month in the downtown location.
But, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says it is restricting free speech. As they say:
“We have reviewed the materials Exit International plan to present and it’s our opinion they would not be in contravention of the Criminal Code or put them afoul of Canadian legislation, nor would they be assisting suicide under the definition of the law.”Exit does not seem in a hurry to exit, and is trying to reschedule in hopes the library has a change of heart or maybe a death in the family.
So, there are a lot of wacky people in this country and not all of them are in Ontario. But, at the moment this is a victory for the good guys. However, in this crazy world we live in, I suggest we stay tuned. It ain't over til the fat lady sings.
Lorne Gunter has an interesting blog in the National Post this morning, largely about the Christian couple in England being charged for using "threatening, abusive or insulting words" which were "religiously aggravated", during a discussion they had with a visitor to their B&B who happened to be a Muslim woman.
His conclusion is most telling and true as he links it to things going on on our side of the pond:
I hope Lorne Gunter is not a prophet, or if he is, not a good one. However, I think he is adroitly seeing what is happening in Jolly Olde Englande and logically seeing similar attitudes and efforts bearing comparable fruit here in the colonies.
Government has no right, none at all, to regulate what free people may say to one another about faith, politics or other beliefs. There are personal consequences for what we say and those should be the limits of what any of us has to endure.
Yet agents of the modern state believe themselves empowered to regulate free speech all the time, in Canada every bit as much as Britain.
In Saskatchewan, human rights apparatchiks have ruled parts of the Bible are hate speech. In Alberta, a pastor has been ordered to apologize for expressing views against homosexuality and ordered by the Alberta Human Rights Commission never to utter those views in public again.
If ordinary citizens don't demand of their politicians that they disband the political correctness inquisitions, there will soon be Canadian versions of the Vogelenzangs -- people who are criminally charged for stating their beliefs.
He Who Will Not Be Named In My Blog is the subject of an investigation by the Canadian HRC for . . . hate speech. This has been going on for 3 years now, at the instigation of Marc Lemire, as Ezra Levant reports here.
Ezra's report includes the link to the CHRC preliminary ruling that they will proceed with their investigation, and a link to his own statement of Defence to the suit He Who yadda yadda yadda filed against Ezra, Kathy Shaidle, and the Free Dominion folks some time ago.
Ezra concludes that even though He Who yadda yadda yadda is being hoisted on his own petard, the system stinks and needs to be dismantled.
The Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal, two Southam Newspapers ran a corporate editorial on April 2, 2002. The editorial was titled "Apocalyptic Creed", and was summed up in an article yesterday in the Journal as follows:
The 670-word editorial used strong language in condemning the use of suicide bombers, and in suggesting the death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy might have been used in a propaganda campaign urging children to martyrdom.The Edmonton Chapter of the World Lebanese Cultural Union reprinted the article on their web site here.
It is a hard hitting read, but makes no mention of any person or persons in Canada or who are Canadian. It is therefor considered by the newspapers to be a world news opinion piece. However, it received considerable response from readers, and 9 complaints to the AHRC.
There was also a complaint to the Alberta Press Council sent my Mr. Nizar Ali, on behalf of the Coalition for Media Fairness, of Edmonton. The response of the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal is here, also from the WLCU Edmonton site. As no surprise, the Coalition for Media Fairness is composed of various Muslim groups.
The Journal's Lawyer, Fred Kozak had some reasoned comments to make about the decision, and about free speech:
(He) said the editorial expressed the opinion that delegates attending a meeting in Malaysia should condemn the use of suicide bombers as an inappropriate way of bringing about political change.
"Free expression must always include the right to criticize people, organizations and governments," Kozak said. "It should also include the right to publish a wide variety of views and opinions and perspectives, especially concerning political events in the international community.
"(This decision) recognizes that language is, and will always be, an imperfect way of communicating, and that the expression of opinion will always provoke other expressions of opinion — but that is highly valued in a democracy."
He said the editorial sparked a huge debate and the Journal's decision to publish two dozen highly critical letters to the editor is evidence that the system of democratic discourse is working.
"That is the whole reason we cherish free expression," he said.
But the most telling comment was from Mr. Kozak here:
"Political speech can't be the subject of provincial human-rights legislation," he said. "This was political speech, and the Supreme Court of Canada settled that issue many years ago with the Alberta Press Bill case."
What influence the Lemire case had on this decision that comes 7 1/2 years after the fact is hard to tell, but timing is everything.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
ctv.ca reports that Jewish cab driver Arieh Perecowicz, a Montreal cab driver for over 43 years of his 65 years spent on the planet, is being harassed by the Bureau du Taxi with now 6 tickets for $1,400 because . . . wait for it . . . he has family photos and religious paraphernalia in his cab.
In the bureau du taxi's defence, the fines are a downgrade from their original position that Arieh should be hung. drawn and quartered. I just made that sentence up to see if you were reading.
So, for most of 43 years, these were not a problem. Now, they're a problem, and clearly a BIG problem to the bureau du taxi.
Here is the description of the offending materiel:
Like many cab drivers, Perecowicz spends a lot of time in his cab and keeps pictures of his family with him. The photos of his wife, daughter and son are well-secured on the dashboard and he says they are not a hazard to passengers since there is no way they could become loose.
Also on the dash are small Canadian and Israeli flags and a Remembrance Day poppy. Along with a photo of the founder of Chabad Lubavitch, a Hasidic Jewish movement, he also has two mezuzahs affixed to the car frame between the front and back doors.
Mezuzahs are tiny prayer parchments that are often posted over the door frames of Jewish homes. The prayer is said as one leaves the house in the belief it will help one return home safely.
M. Perecowicz is not your street corner dummy and says:
"I don't see how the city had the mandate and the power to step into something that is clearly, in my mind, a federal issue where the Charter does give us a right of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of expression," Perecowicz said.
The Commission des Transports du Quebec, which governs cab drivers and other drivers for all of Quebec outside of Montreal, has also inspected his taxi and officials had no problem with the items in his car, he says.
Perecowicz took his complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Commission a few years ago, but the tickets have kept coming. The Commission has approved the file and is investigating.
Give 'em Sheol, sir.
SoCon or Bust reports the commencement of 40 Days for Life here.
Last year at about this time, I was in Tucson AZ, and was introduced to 40 Days for Life. As my headline says, it is a peaceful way to protest abortion. In Tucson, we gathered a distance away from an office where abortions were performed, and sat silently and prayed the rosary or other prayers on behalf of the unborn, their parents, especially their mothers, and for those who would take their lives. A vigil was maintained during all daylight hours, and in that time a couple of young women came out to the group who were at least 100 yards from the abortion clinic, and said that they had decided to keep their babies.
Many people that drove by waved encouragingly, although some gave angry, almost apoplectic glares along with a middle finger salute, which I assumed was not "Have a Nice Day".
It was orderly, and so very calm and peaceful. On the final day of the 40 days, the Bishop Gerald Kicanas joined us and assisted in a prayer service. As I met him, I was impressed by his own humility, and felt that the people of Tucson were in good hands.
For a few weeks, I was also able to join the abortion protesters when they met on Saturday morning on the street to pray for 90 minutes near the clinic. We held placards, and each prayed the rosary ourselves, as we were not together, but on different street corners. Again, most people waved encouragingly, and some even stopped to talk, speaking well and offering assistance, and good will.
However, one particular person who stopped left a lasting impression with me of the battle that wages in this fight to end abortion. You may recall that in England last Fall was a kerfuffle about a very young boy, 12 or 13, I think, who had apparently gotten a 14 year old or so girl pregnant and they had had the baby, and were going to keep it. The father of the boy had himself fathered many children by many women, so was a very good influence on his son.
One woman stopped her car, and came up to the woman who organised the 40 Days and also the regular picketing at the clinic, waggin her finger at her with an angry glare in her eyes. She blamed her and all of us who protested abortion claiming it was our fault that this girl had had this baby, and not had an abortion. She was so miffed about this England situation that it needed venting and so we, our leader in particular was a likely target. I would have liked to understand her logic, but am not sure I could have even if I discussed it with her directly.
Such is the world of abortion. I think that Pope Paul VI had a pretty good handle on where the world would head with reproduction technologies. I wrote a piece on it recently here.
If you have the opportunity to participate in 40 Days for Life, and are interested, I urge you to spend some time with them. You will meet some of the most peaceful people you will ever see.
The Chalcedon Foundation is a US "Christian educational organization devoted to research, publishing, and promoting Christian reconstruction in all areas of life."
They have an interesting take on recent developments in our Human Rights machinery in Canada and its slow smothering of faith based people and organisations here. In particular they have been the first to actually talk to Stephen and report on it since the Appeal Court sitting last week.
They started the article with an interesting quote from C. S. Lewis' The Witch and The Wardrobe:
“Come and see! This is a nasty knock for the Witch! It looks as if her power is already crumbling.”For one thing, it is the first time I have seen the Boissoin case boiled down into one sentence that nailed it:
Seven years ago, Rev. Stephen Boissoin wrote a letter to his local newspaper in Alberta, metaphorically declaring war on homosexual activism and blasting the provincial government’s policy of using public education to promote the homosexual lifestyle.They had previously done an article on Boissoin and Alphonse de Valk which was also worthy of reading.
They also summarised succinctly the essence of Gerry Chipeur's presentation on Stephen's behalf to the Court of Queens Bench:
Rev. Boissoin’s lawyer, Gerry Chipeur, argued that the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission exceeded its authority by trying “to limit public debate … and public criticism of government policy.” He also argued that Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the hate speech/thought crime provision, is flagrantly unconstitutional.It has not ever been about homosexuality, but about public policy, which EGALE understood from the start. Darren Lunch, who was actually operating on the public policy, using it to define his materials for teaching, was offended, and so he used a government policing agency to do what he refused to allow public forum to do. Why Darren?
(In the original hearing at the Alberta HRT) “They did not just ask for an apology,” Rev. Boissoin said. “They actually asked me to change my view. I think the judge made it quite clear that he considered it ludicrous.”
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
What I did not know when I reported the other day on the B&B human rights issue of the ill owner and the blind would be patron in Perth Ontario was that the hierarchy of rights was even more severely tested.
Mr. McCue is apparently a homosexual, and I say this not to disparage him, but to comment that unfortunately now he knows how it feels when the Ontario HRC gets their claws into you. They apply their hierarchy of rights, which does not correspond to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is not a hierarchy as they see fit at any moment in time, capriciously.
Homosexuals are no more safe than Christians. Interesting, Huh?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sir Conrad Black is one of the most intelligent men in North America presently. He periodically writes from his cell in Florida for the National Post, as he did this weekend. He wrote a piece entitled Canada must immunize itself, and there was one particular paragraph that caught my eye in a piece that was good top to bottom here:
It is heartening that the new Ontario Conservative leader, and likely the next premier, Tim Hudak, wishes to abolish the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. As has been amply demonstrated by Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant in their travails with them, these human rights commissions have excessive power. In the name of trying to redress the unpleasantnesses of some licit behaviour and of nature's uneven distribution of human talents, they try to squeeze freedom of expression and action, to accommodate the sensibilities of special purpose victim groups. Charlatans have swarmed snorting out of the undergrowth claiming unspeakable prodigies of persecution and "disrespect."Conrad Black has always had a wonderful way with words. I admire his use of our language to graphically speak volumes.
Potentially interesting piece from ABlawg.ca the blog of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, this one written by Jennifer Koshan of the faculty entitled "Alberta's Hate Speech Law Under Challenge". Frankly, I expected better, and not a political pronouncement. It was a disappointment to read it.
Ms. Koshan seems to have spent all of her time teaching and doing government work, so with sue respect does not appear to have much sense of the real world, and certainly not any sense of the Boissoin case.
She concludes her treatise with the following:
If the hate speech provisions in human rights legislation are struck down, the issues in Keegstra surrounding the constitutionality of the criminal provisions against hate speech may be revisited as well. And even if the criminal provisions are upheld, the elimination of human rights protections against hate speech would deprive governments of more conciliatory and less draconian ways of dealing with this social problem.Her last phrase leaves me to wonder where she has been the last several years. It says that she has been on faculty since 2000, having left the NWT before that. But, if she believes this sentence maybe she teaches at an off site campus near the North Pole.
If Ms. Koshan believes that the Alberta Government was conciliatory and not draconian in dealing with Stephen Boissoin, she was clearly not anywhere near southern Alberta for the last several years. And the social problem of hate speech is in the minds of a very few people. Most of what is called hate speech is political commentary that does not agree with the current politically correct viewpoint, and hence has every right to be spoken. The other real hate speech, such as holocaust denial, is spoken and written by such losers as to have no real merit with anyone of any good will or intelligence.
The Ontario HRC has on its web site a report on Racial Profiling with 19 recommended Actions, where no doubt Barb Hall will be putting the hammer down on police forces throughout this once, great province.
The Introduction starts with this liberal sentence:
While racial profiling has long been a concern for members of racialized communities, recently there has been heightened public debate on the issue.Racialized was a new word invented for this report, so it needed to be defined and it was here:
Racialization is the process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political and social life. This term is widely preferred over descriptions such as “racial minority”, “visible minority” or “person of colour” as it expresses race as a social construct rather than as a description of persons based on perceived characteristics.Oh Man! There goes my lunch.
With an auspicious start like that, can it get worse? I don't know. Soon, I will tackle the rest of the report, but not till my stomach settles, and the grand kids leave. I don't want to be short with the grand kids because I am really feeling nauseous and PO'ed at the Ontario HRC.
It does get worse in the very next sentences:
The focus has primarily been on: whether racial profiling exists in Ontario, whoHey Scary Fundamentalist, or Walker Morrow, my wife and I are looking for some place peaceful without wacko liberal fascists running things to live. How are things in BC?
engages in it, who is targeted, whether it is a legitimate practice and what can be
done to prevent it. However, what has been noticeably absent from the public
discussion is an analysis of the effect that racial profiling, or even a perception
that it is occurring, has on those directly impacted and on Ontario society as a
whole. Through its racial profiling inquiry, the Ontario Human Rights
Commission (the Commission) hopes to fill this void by illustrating the human
cost of profiling.
On December 9, 2002, the eve of International Human Rights Day, the
Commission announced that it would conduct an inquiry into the effects of racial
profiling on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. The
Commission emphasized that racial profiling is a human rights issue by stating
that it is wrong and contrary to the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Our beautiful 3 year old granddaughter and 1 year old grandson made their entrance yesterday afternoon, fortunately accompanied by their mother, gracing us with their presence for a few days from their home out west.
They are clearly infringing on our senior's right to sleep, but with smiles and cuddles have thus far dissuaded us from filing human rights complaints in both Ontario, and Alberta where they live, and possibly even Federally with J Ly's troop.
Their middle of the night whimpering caused by their disturbed sleep pattern from crossing two time zones and shuffling from grandparents to grandparents, is creating some sleep deprivation, particularly for Gramma and me, and also is infringing on my right to blog, which is, of course a real charter right. I plan to speak to them both about this infringement, giving them a warning before contemplating more serious action, in defence of my rights.
I am not sure how receptive they will be to my entreaties. The almost 4 year old princess of the house seems to be determined to be in charge, reminding me of Human Rights Commissars we all know and love, or don't. For her part, she has been insistent upon her right to watch Frosty the Snow Man over and over again, even though it is September.
And the wee lad. He still just smiles and has food fights with himself and the floor. If we thought the potatoes were mashed when they were put on his plate, you should have seen them after. He pureed them into his hair, his shirt, all over his face, and every other nearby solid surface. Garlic, rosemary mashed potatoes as hair gel could be a new discovery.
The reality is that Human Rights might give way to just loving humans right nearby, big and small for a few days, and savouring these moments that will pass all too soon.
Ezra Levant has been too busy with his books to write about the schnooks that deceive us all in the name of protection of our Canadian Human Rights. But he raised his head enough to drop a few on He Who Will Not Be Named In My Blog, for his Maximum Disruption strategy, which as Ezra points out appears to have killed the goose that laid his golden eggs here.
As we await some official word on the Boissoin case at Alberta Court of Queen's Bench last week, which could put a more formal stake into the heart of Section 13, and its ugly fraternal twins in Alberta and a few of our other provinces, we should all remain vigilant. Abuse of our right to Free Speech is not the only Human Rights abuse being perpetrated on most of the population of this fair land by the HRCs/HRTs in the name of the few, with the special way they have of making these rights hierarchical, as well as mythical.
Over on her blog Post Darwinist, Denyse O'Leary a good Catholic girls with a good Irish name write some cool stuff. On Saturday morning she was feeling her oats and penned, well not penned really, a letter to Ezra Levant about Intellectual Freedom in Canada.
Read it here.
I picked this up on Bookworm Room this morning.
Daily Mail Online in the UK reported:
What an interesting turn of events.
A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel.
Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments.
They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.
The couple, whose trial has been set for December, face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if they are convicted.
Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.
It is understood that they suggested that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was a warlord and that traditional Muslim dress for women was a form of bondage.
They deny, however, that their comments were threatening and argue that they had every right to defend and explain their beliefs.
The article goes on to say:
Notice any similarities to the Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn cases with our HRCs in the last few years. Our Human Rights world in Canada is out of Control. In the UK, it is OUT OF CONTROL. I can see liberal zealots in Canada pushing for a Public Order Act, with Elmo behind them to nudge them along. Eh What!
The use by the police of the Public Order Act to arrest people over offensive comments has dismayed a number of lawyers, who say the legislation was passed to deal with law and order problems in the streets.
Neil Addison, a prominent criminal barrister and expert in religious law, said: ‘The purpose of the Public Order Act is to prevent disorder, but I’m very concerned that the police are using it merely because someone is offended.
‘It should be used where there is violence, yobbish behaviour or gratuitous personal abuse. It should never be used where there has been a personal conversation or debate with views firmly expressed.
‘If someone is in a discussion and they don’t like what they are hearing, they can walk away.’
He added that the police had a legal duty under the Human Rights Act to defend free speech ‘and I think they are forgetting that’.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
There used to be a 3 room B&B (Bed & Breakfast) on Drummond Street West in Perth called The Cornerstone. Doug McCue, a retired 68 year old Perth man used to run it, since 2003.
But, July 5, 2008 changed all of that, as the Ottawa Citizen reports here. Mr. McCue suffers from acute sinusitis, and is allergic to dogs, so does not allow them on his premises. He even kept hypo-allergenic bedding for his guests in the rooms.
So, on July 5 last year when Nancy Martin came calling, with no reservation and wanted to stay, he told her he could not give her a room, because her blind husband was accompanied by his guide dog.
A quandary for Mr. McCue. In a true free enterprise system, there is no quandary. He would be free to rent his room to whomever he chooses. If I came to rent a room and he didn't like the cut of my jib, he could send me away with my hat in my hand, unless I could find some way to pull a disability discrimination card out of my bag. Here in Trudeaupia, denying a room to a blind man is a No-No. Especially if they have already been shut out once that day, and if they have a pit bull for a lawyer,
Well, Mrs. Martin had been shut out once that day, and she does have a pit bull, the blind, but not deaf and dumb, Terrance Green, who the citizens of Ottawa can thank for the $17 million call out system for the 2 or 3 blind people who take OC Transpo daily, and get off at every stop along the way.
So, her fake right to have her blind husband stay wherever she wants him to trumped Mr, McCue's property rights, and Mr. Green went after him hammer and tong. it was an ugly story, and Mr. Green should be ashamed of himself, but he isn't. It was just business, and after all, he was defending his client's fake rights. Enough already. After free speech is resolved, this cr?p needs to get on the front burner, because this is only the tip of the ice berg.
Bottom line, Mr. McCue is out of the B&B business. The Martin's who are not bad folks donated the $700 he paid them to a charity. The OHRC arbitrated another victory for nobody.
As the article concluded:
The business has been closed. The money has been donated. The Martins never got their room. There was no admission of wrongdoing. And both sides were left physically diminished and disillusioned with the process.
"This is totally unjust," concludes McCue.
The only point, possibly, on which there is complete agreement.
The writer forgot to mention that Barb Hall won. Remember that fake rights of people within certain groups trump other constitutional rights. If remembering that does not make your blood boil, then do nothing. If it does get your goat, then stand up and do something about it.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Yesterday, my wife, mother in law and I traveled to see our new great grandson/grand nephew in Fergus, Ontario. There I saw a scene I have witnessed numerous times over the years, and each time I marvel at it.
Our new little grand nephew is cute as a button, and only 5 weeks old. My dear wife, with a mother's heart held on to him for hours, just grinning that cheshire cat grins and loving him. She rocked him, she soothed him, and she held him as he slept. It reminded me why I love that sweet lady so much.
New Father and mother beamed with pride at their baby son, and their love for him and for each other was very evident. The new grandparents were filled with love, cooing and touching and holding their first grandchild, and it seems to bring a new closeness to them in their relationship as well. Great grandma got in the act, and beamed at her new little great grandson. Girlfriends of new uncles hugged and cooed at the little fella, while the new uncles were swelled with pride at their first nephew. Another great aunt, who herself is childless got in the act, and thoroughly enjoyed hugging and holding Boy Wonder.
Our one daughter who was there with her partner snapped pictures galore along with the new dad, and looked at this little bundle of joy, soaking up every detail of his appearance and demeanor with the eyes of a baby doll sculptor, which she is, and one of the best in the world as well.
Me, I enjoyed every moment of it, soaking up the atmosphere as much as anything, all the love that was in the place, the good will that abounded, the soft baby skin, that one month old baby look. The hospitality of the family has been abundant to us any time we have visited, but yesterday was different. The miracle of new life permeated the place, and all was well.
This little boy holds all our hopes and dreams for the future, as all little children do. May we love him and them, and pray for them and bring them up to be the miracles that they are.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Deborah wrote an incisive article that is available on Canadian Christianity at their website canadianchristianity.com here.
She weaves in the Lemire decision, but also cases against other Christians particularly that have been targets of the HRCs and their concept of "likely to expose . . . to hatred or contempt".
If there is a real point to what is now being seen and heard, it is that awareness is happening, and as more people are becoming aware of the power that has been in the hands of our HRCs/HRTs, a level of warranted disgust is arising.
You must read the article to get the flavour of her writing, and the points she is making. It is worthy of your time.
The Other day, I was doing a piece on the Ontario College of Teachers Tribunal, and opined at the end as follows:
If Barbara Hall had gotten this at the Ontario HRC, she could have spent a lot of tax dollars fixing this guy's little red wagon. If she gets wind of it now, she will probably try to set up a mechanism that allows her to Appeal OCT tribunal decisions to the OHRC, so she can get her pound of flesh out of them. Actually, I see a new special project for Barb's Boys coming here.Well, silly me, I didn't have to keep quiet about it. Barb Hall already has the power in Section 45.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code:
45.1 The Tribunal may dismiss an application, in whole or in part, in accordance with its rules if the Tribunal is of the opinion that another proceeding has appropriately dealt with the substance of the application. 2006, c. 30, s. 5.It says the Tribunal MAY dismiss a Compaint if some other body in the Tribunal's humble opinion has appropriately dealt with it.
That also means that the OHRC will have investigated it first and messed with people's lives again in a second go around at least, on an issue.
I picked this up because of an article by Brian Wasyliw of McCarthy Tetreault, one of Canada's pre-eminent law firms on Mondaq to which I subscribe. I assume you will need your own login to access this article. He examined a few cases that had gone from another body like the Landlord and Tenant Board, Ontario Labor Relations Board, and had previously written about one that was before an Independent Placement Review Committee and Special Education Tribunal.
Mr. Wasyliw came to the following conclusions in his article:
So, isn't it nice to know that among the super powers that the Ontario HRT has is the right to look over decisions of "inferior" tribunals and boards and see if they at least did it right? Our Ontario HRC brings a new meaning to dhimmitude. They are like mould.
These cases re-affirm the basic approach set out in the Campbell decision that the Tribunal will consider two points when determining whether to dismiss a claim under Section 45.1.
- Had another proceeding taken place?
- If so, were the allegations before the Tribunal appropriately dealt with in the other proceeding?
- In deciding whether the other proceeding "appropriately dealt with the substance of the application," the questions is not whether the complaint was decided correctly in the other proceeding. The Tribunal does not have to be satisfied that it would have reached the same conclusion.
- However, some type of examination of the decision from the other proceeding is necessary. This examination requires the Tribunal to consider whether, in essence, the complaint was dealt with in a suitable and proper manner.
Marc Lemire is savouring his quasi-victory at the Canadian HRC, and quasi is as good as it is likely to get in the short term, so why not. Feeling free as a bird for the first time in several years, he is fighting back, the best way he knows how, over the Internet, and from a blog.
Here is why he thinks HWWNBNIMB in particular and the CHRC were after him briefly from his blog Canadian Human Rights Commission Exposed.
If the CHRC has lost the fear of Section 13 sword of Damocles they have wielded for so many years, then people are free to criticize J Ly and her minions with impunity for their dastardly deeds. Marc Lemire, who as much knowledge as anybody about what it is like to be harassed by the CHRC is most welcome to show a little (likely to be a lot) tit for tat.