Deborah Gyapong: June 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

It's midnight and no announcement

Will the Morgentaler announcement be made tomorrow AFTER the Governor General's public appearances?

Or has the announcement been postponed indefinitely? Stay tuned.

I'm hearing there are fears tomorrow's Canada Day events on the Hill would become a "spectacle" and that's why the announcement has been delayed. Thousands of angry phone calls might convince anyone that such an announcement on the eve of our national holiday would perhaps lend oneself to being booed on live television during the noon ceremonies on Parliament Hill, when Governor General and the Prime Minister will be there.

Of course there would be others jumping and cheering and leaping for joy. But that would be an unseemly spectacle, too, when you think of the two million or so abortions over the past 20 years. Can anyone, no matter what side of the issue they're on, think that's a good thing?

Actually, I haven't heard of calls to mobilize people to protest on the Hill. I've heard more deep sadness and plans to boycott the celebrations instead.


By the way, it is interesting to look at an Order of Canada medal.

The insignia of the Order is a stylized snowflake of six points, with a red annulus at its centre which bears a stylized maple leaf circumscribed with the motto of the Order, DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country), surmounted by St. Edward’s Crown.


That verse is from Hebrews 11:16. It goes like this:

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Sad how we have lost our country's spiritual underpinnings. Holy Innocents, pray for us.

And pray for Dr. Morgentaler.

Don't forget Fr. De Valk and Catholic Insight

Ezra Levant isn't going to. Neither should you.

He writes:

Maclean's magazine is enormous -- in size, in strength, in profile, in legal resources. And that is precisely why it was let go. It was such a big fish, it would have pulled the Bad Ship CHRC underwater, rather than be reeled in.

Not so with small fish like Fr. de Valk, so small he is being crushed by legal bills, so small my friend had not even heard of his case.

So small that the CHRC knows it can prosecute him with impunity.

So small that he shall not be afforded the politically-motivated "justice" meted out to Maclean's.

That's the problem here. That's why we can't let up. One of the fundamentals of the rule of law is that no-one is above the law, and no-one is below it.

The Canadian Human Rights Act is a bad law -- unconstitutional in its application, when tested against the Supreme Court's 1990 Taylor decision, that barred its application from political matters.

So Fr. de Valk should not be below the law.

But the CHRC thinks the law is good law, and so far, the Conservative government hasn't said otherwise. If that's the case -- and I submit it isn't -- then Maclean's shouldn't be above the law, by virtue of their wealth and power.

Gee, wouldn't it be nice if Maclean's Magazine did a big take out on Catholic Insight Magazine's case and Fr. de Valk?

Well when a Liberal blog reports this could it be true?

What role did Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin play in Dr. Henry Morgentaler's receiving an Order of Canada--still not officially announced. Maybe the award is being aborted as I blog this.
Aborting awards like this would be a good thing. Aborting human beings is not, as much as we might admire Morgentaler's perhaps misguided courage and compassion for women.

When you hear some of the same things from a Liberal blog then, hmmmm, maybe there's some truth? I don't know. James Curran writes:
This year's committee for the O of C consisted of 9 members. The vote favoured Dr. Morgentaler by a tally of 7-2. Justice Beverly McLaughlin apparently waived the usual unanimous vote rule for Dr. Mogentaler's nomination approval. Good for her. And, although I don't have a list of the members of the Chancellery, I do know that 2of them are reported to be the Clerk of the Privy Counsel and the Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage (possibly the two votes against).
Actually, the vote in question concerned the Advisory Committee, not the Chancellery, which is Rideau Hall secretariat that handles appointments. The Advisory Committee, which McLachlin chairs, is called for in the Order's constitution.

Now the Chief Justice playing a key role in getting a divisive politicized figure like Morgentaler Canada's highest honor would surprise me because it would be so appalling for a judge, especially the highest profile judge in the land, to behave like that. There is also a chance she is merely a ceremonial figurehead as committee chair. But her even being on the committee---whatever role she played, figurehead or not---poses big problems down the road for the perception of impartiality should an abortion law ever come before the Supreme Court of Canada. Maybe she will have to recuse herself from any abortion law examination.

Here are the names of some people on the Advisory Committee, helpfully supplied by the folks at 4MyCanada.

In our update late Saturday night we gave you action steps. Late last night we also tracked down the phone numbers of all those who are on the nomination committee, or affiliated. PLEASE take a couple minutes today to give these offices listed below a call and express to them disapproval of this decision. Let's jam their phone lines.

PHONE NUMBERS FOR THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS (ADVISORY COUNCIL) WHO PRESIDE OVER THE ORDER OF CANADA NOMINATIONS:


1) Chair of the Council:
Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, 301 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0J1, Telephone: 613-992-6940


2) Clerk of the Privy Council:
Dr. Kevin Lynch, Clerk of the Privy Council, Langevin Block, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3, Telephone: 613-957-5400


Deputy Minister of the Department of Canadian Heritage:
Ms. Judith LaRocque, Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec, K1A 0M5, Telephone: 819-994-1132


3) Chair of the Canada Council:
Ms. Karen Kain, C.C., Chair, Canada Council for the Arts, 350 Albert Street, 12th Floor, P.O. Box 1047, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V8, Telephone: 1-800-263-5588


4) President of the Royal Society of Canada:
Dr. Yvan Guindon, C.M., President, Royal Society of Canada, 170 Waller Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9B9, Telephone: 613-991-6990
Prof. Yvan Guindon, c.m., Directeur, Laboratoire de chimie bio-organique, IRCM, 110, avenue des Pins ouest, Montréal (Québec) H2W 1R7, Téléphone: 514-987-5785


5) Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada:
Mr. Thomas Traves, Ph.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Ass'n of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 350 Albert Street, Suite 600, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1, Telephone: 613-563-1236
Mr. Thomas Traves, Ph.D., President and Vice Chancellor, Dalhousie University, 6299 South Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H6, Telephone: 902-494-2511


OTHER:
Ms. Sheila-Marie Cook, Secretary to the Governor General, Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1Telephone: 613-993-8200

Ms. Emmanuelle Sajous, Deputy
Secretary, Order of Canada Chancellery, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A1


I hear from another source that this last person, Emmanuelle Sajous, deemed to be "rising star" in the public service, could have and should have vetted this appointment as it has been policy in the past for the council to stay away from controversial, divisive appointments. Is there any more divisive issue than abortion?

Interestingly, Sajous did a stint at the Canadian Human Rights Commission! What an interesting crucible that must have been.

After working for a number of federal institutions including the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Commission, she joined the Privy Council Office in 1999 where she became Director, Leadership Development and Human Resources policy. In 2005, she joined the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General where she was appointed Deputy Secretary, Honours and Deputy Herald Chancellor.

I finally did get a call back from one of the very pleasant GG communications people and was told "No comment" about when or if or anything about any announcement.

Still no news. They must have underestimated the heat even on a holiday weekend.

Killing comedy in the name of human rights--Jonathan Kay

Jonathan Kay is on a roll with some good commentaries in the National Post.

I especially think this one on the comedian Guy Earle now facing a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for being unfunny in his response to hecklers at a Vancouver restaurant.

Now, granted, some of what Kay quotes recently deceased George Carlin as saying I find highly, offensive. I also worry Kay may have the humorless Darren Lund file a complaint against him along the lines of the complaint against Mark Steyn for quoting a nasty radical imam. But no way do I want to have government agencies governing what comics can say in clubs or what columnists write in newspapers. If the Post gets too racy or vitriolic for me I can always cancel my subscription. It's one thing if someone is your boss and calling you names, it's totally another if you've paid admission for "the edgiest show in town" or you have subscribed to a newspaper or magazine or clicked on a blog that you can always navigate away from.

Kay writes:

If the bureaucrats determine that a thoughtcrime has been committed, Earle could be on the hook for thousands of dollars. Or — since B.C.’s human rights tribunals, unlike real courts, can make up just about any punishment they want — he might be forced to avoid certain themes in his act, or even to write and perform gay-friendly jokes. (It’s theoretically possible that B.C.’s human rights commissioners could simply write Earle’s mandatory new jokes themselves: “Hey, did you hear the one about the two homosexuals who got married, and had children, and lived productive lives, and didn’t embody any funny stereotypes whatsoever? …”)

Human Rights mandarins posture as champions of “diversity.” But as this case illustrates, what they seek is actually complete conformity. Their dream is a whole society that, in every nook and cranny, adheres self-consciously to the same rigid, humourless orthodoxies that hold sway in their own circle of professional human-rights paper-pushers.

Normally socialized people — who live and laugh in the real world — recognize that society has different zones, each with its own code of conduct. If a politician or business leader said the sort of thing that Carlin or Earle did, his career would be over. And rightly so. But a comedy club isn’t a boardroom or Parliament building. When you pay your money to go see a modern stand-up routine, you’re on notice that the act likely will be vicious and corrosive. Since politically correct speech is so boring and unfunny, you’d probably demand your money back if it is wasn’t.

Normal people likewise recognize that the stereotypes and obscenity trafficked in comedy clubs are communicated for effect, not as a political message. Two generations after the (Carlin-led) mainstreaming of irony and counterculture, we all know that words change their meaning depending on where and how they’re uttered.


Which all reminds me of a blog post Kathy Shaidle wrote a while back about the blogosphere as a similar kind of zone or venue. Kathy and I are friends, but that doesn't mean I approve of everything she writes. Sometimes I find her posts offensive and I wish she would not say certain things because they make her come across as someone who is not like the person I know. But here she gives a great explanation of venue and persona. It might also explain why her readership is in the tens of thousands and mine is miniscule by comparison. She writes:

Blogging is the Final Frontier, the Wild West, likely the last new medium we will ever witness.

Perhaps a better analogy is a wildlife sanctuary or Yellowstone Park, but for speech.

I aim to try to keep it that way for as long as possible.

People are stupid. They do not understand the concept of venue, or medium, or as Rushdie calls it here, "form."

The fights between players in a pro hockey game would get them arrested in a bar.

The language the comic uses up on the stage would get him punched out were he to utter it just a few inches closer to the floor.

Had Avenue Q been staged without the "cover" provided by puppets, it wouldn't have been so widely accepted. Ventriloquist dummies and animation (think South Park) provide similar "cover", "twice removing" provocative speech from a blameable source and thus rendering it more palatable.

People also don't appreciate the concept of personae. Does any sane adult really believe that Don Rickles goes around talking like that in the supermarket, or that the Monty Pythons wear dresses and viking hats round the house or that Johnny Rotten still spits on people?

Alice Cooper golfs. Think about it.

The lack of sophistication of many of my critics on the Left of the 'sphere is what saddens me the most. (And on the Right, too. We have our share of young, idiotic unsophisticates and cowardly careerist hacks.)

Jonathan Kay on Dion's Green Shift

He writes:


The northern rebuff shows that — whatever one thinks of the economics behind the Green Shift — the politics are suicidal. A carbon tax may be politically palatable in a country such as, say, Denmark, a wealthy, high-tech, geographically compressed welfare state where regional differences are relatively minor and energy-use patterns are relatively uniform. But Canada is a very different beast. Depending on which province you live in, the high price of oil may be an economic godsend — or a catalyst for recession.

In our dozen biggest cities, public transportation and condo life are potential antidotes to carbon dependence. Everywhere else, it’s not. That’s why any carbon tax scheme — even one, like Mr. Dion’s, which offers token tax baubles to rural residents — is sure to be divisive.

That in itself wouldn’t be a big problem for Mr. Dion if he could make the electoral numbers add up. But it’s not clear who — if anyone — is going to get excited about the Green Shift. People who live in energy-producing areas — Alberta, Saskatchewan, parts of Atlantic Canada — are obviously opposed. So, too, are northerners. In the big cities of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, voters are more inclined toward armchair environmentalism. But most of these people now live in the suburbs, and commute from their big carbon-hungry homes in cars powered by $1.35/litre gasoline. What’s in the Green Shift for them?

Scary Scaramouche

Gee, the "remedies," the euphemism for the punishments doled out by human rights tribunals are going to skyrocket in Ontario. Not only that, the government is going to offer free legal help to complainants and let them go directly to the tribunal. This is supposed to speed everything up.

Gee, I thought Barbara Hall's drive by verdict on Maclean's was pretty fast! Maybe the next "improvement" will be getting rid of the tribunal altogether.

I mean, really if truth is no defense, laws of evidence don't apply, and you are guilty with no possibility of proving you are innocent of likely subjecting someone to hatred or contempt in the distant future, why bother with the tribunal either? Just give everyone a Go Directly to Jail card. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Scaramouche has a scary fisking of the news story about these latest developments here.

She writes:

This kind of stuff never “improves.” It only gets more overweening, more intrusive, more ridiculous.)

Various Morgentaler wierdness

Well--I was told on good authority the Morgentaler announcement was coming at noon. Then at 2 p.m. I have been trying ALL DAY to get a media spokesperson from the Governor General's office to call me back to no avail, even tried cell phones of a usually most helpful, responsive group of communications officers. Nada. I'm getting annoyed.

4MyCanada just released some phone numbers for people to call. Someone told me she tried the GG's secretary, who is on the committee that made the choice.

"I called," said said and was told, "We're an agency, we're handling all the calls."


"Government House is shut down, not even available to the public."

She said she was told by the person answering the phone that they're getting lots of calls, everyone's upset and angry. No one is supporting this.

I've also told some MPs are trying to stop this.

Now I hear the announcement is going to come at the end of the day in hopes that the furore will die down by Wednesday.

Fat chance.

It's true--expect Morgentaler announcement at noon

I have confirmed that the rumours are true: Dr. Henry Morgentaler is getting an Order of Canada and the news will be released at noon today.

Someone blind copied me on her letter to the Prime Minister concerning awarding Canada's highest honor to Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

She wrote:

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

It is not often that I feel it is my civic duty to write to you, but this is such a time.

I am writing to protest the conferring of an OC on Dr Henry Morgentaler.

It is inappropriate to sully the Order by what amounts to approval of his ghastly career- the aborting of babies. His career has consisted of a multitude of crimes against humanity. My child is one of his victims; I have had to come to terms with my terrible decision to go to his Montreal office in 1969. That event will haunt me for the rest of my days. I know that what I did was very wrong... I wonder how different my life would be today if I hadn't been able to pay this man 200$ to perform a heinous act against life. Who knows, perhaps I would now have the daughter I've never had (I have 4 sons); reading the literature connecting abortions and breast cancer has shown me that perhaps I would not have had breast cancer in 1992; and that child would be a comfort to me now.

Surely the Order should include only Canadians of high moral tone. Dr Morgentaler has made it possible for thousands of women to make immoral choices, to carry out an act of murder, to make a choice with life-long negative ramifications.

I beg you to use moral suasion to stop this travesty.

Sincerely,

(Name withheld by request)


This woman is one of thousands who regrets her abortion and who also suffered from breast cancer, possibly as a result.

I hear the government is bracing itself for a negative reaction. No kidding. I bet thousands of similar letters and emails are already going out.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Right Girl on the bizarre advice convo with the AHRC

Is it now official policy of the Alberta Human Rights Commission to drive
Christianity underground?
Are we in Iran, where Christian teachings must be done
in basements and behind closed curtains, never letting the neighbors know? Is
this still Canada?
This is absolutely terrifying, if you stop to think about
it. Whether you are Christian or not, you must agree that it is heinous that the
main religion of Canadians is being forced into hiding by these Commissions. Is
this what was originally intended when our government drew up the Charter?
Nowadays, kids go to school and learn about every religion except Christianity.
No one is allowed to complain. But if one of these kids attending the workshop
goes to school and tells his friends about it, all hell will break loose. It has
to be kept a secret. The founding religion of the modern world: Now a dirty
little secret for backrooms and speakeasies.

David Frum spares me from bothering to read this book

David Frum has written a delicious review that tells me I need not bother read "White Protestant Nation."

Frum writes:

Finally, “White Protestant Nation” fails as history because Lichtman will
not think seriously about the relationship between causes and effects. He is
fascinated by what might be called the inner story, and so he mines archives and
clippings for conservatism’s internal debates and struggles. But conservatism
did not come to national political power in the 1980s by means of memorandums.
It came to power because of the collapse of the governing liberal consensus of
the 1950s and ’60s. Riots, crime, inflation, rising taxes, gasoline lines,
recessions, foreign policy humiliation: it was these things that elected Ronald
Reagan
in 1980. The story of conservatism cannot be told in isolation from
the larger political story. Yet Lichtman shirks that story — perhaps because to
tell it would require him to engage the possibility that the liberalism of the
’50s and ’60s had ceased to work.
You do not need to be a partisan of a
political movement to write its history. But you do need enough imaginative
sympathy to comprehend how it won adherents and supporters. Yet increasingly it
seems that the history of conservatism is attracting liberals who lack that
sympathy — for whom the whole thing was a giant con, a tissue of
rationalizations for ugly bigotries. These liberal chroniclers of conservatism
refuse to examine their own prejudices. They do not see that their wholesale
dismissal of the principles of others amounts to little more than self-flattery.
We might call this the Bourbon school of liberalism: after many years in exile,
it has still learned nothing.

If this is true, this is appalling news

The blogosphere is alight with news that the Governor General is going to bestow the Order of Canada on Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the man who brought us abortion on demand and who opened the door to the killing of millions of unborn children.

Several months ago there were similar rumours and I know many people wrote the GG and their politicians in protest. Everyone was reassured that no, these were only rumours, nothing was planned.

I will research this tomorrow when I'm back at work. At this point, I would say there are strong signals this is going to happen, but I do not know for sure.

In the meantime, check out Campaign Life Coalition's response via LifeSiteNews.com.

"It is dreadful that this honour should even be considered for a man who's
only claim to fame is that he is a professional killer of defenseless babies in
their mothers' wombs," said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life
Coalition. "Those who have received this prestigious medal should return it
because it will have been devalued and disgraced," he continued.
"If Morgentaler had any integrity he would refuse the medal", said Mary Ellen
Douglas, National Organizer of CLC. "This presentation should be given to people
who have made Canada a better place to live and the elimination of thousands of
human beings who would have contributed to the future of Canada is a disgrace
not an honour."
Campaign Life Coalition calls on the Federal Government to
address the Governor General stating the inappropriateness of this action.
Concerned people should contact the Governor General's office and express their
disgust.


ProWomenProLife:

Someone is getting the Order of Canada tomorrow…and it looks like it could
be Morgentaler. These rumours are floating around the web. Here’s some info
behind the rumour.
On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sent out
“Order of Canada talking points” to Conservative Members of Parliament and said
that tomorrow, June 30, the Governor General will issue new awards. Nowhere in
that email did it say who will get an award, but sources tell me Dr.
Henry Morgentaler will be among the recipients.
The talking points were meant
to show process–how the decision works, and that Cabinet does not have anything
to do with this decision. It sounds as though they are preparing for the pending
outcry.
Many questions remain: Why now? Why not part of the official
process back in February? Was protocol routed to do this? And finally, though I
only chose to blog about this when I had confirmation from different sources,
will it prove true?
Happy Canada day, all.

The Socon:

I’d like to make this humble request that Canadians from coast to coast
consider boycotting Canada Day celebrations this year because of the
disgraceful and outrageous act of awarding the Order of Canada to the notorious abortionist and baby
killer, Henry Morgentaller.

and 4MyCanada:

It has JUST COME TO OUR ATTENTION that, despite a large out cry against
this a couple months back, Dr. Henry Morgentaler will likely receive the highest
honour in Canada on Monday/Tuesday, the Order of Canada. This
is a surprise to us as we were assured by the Governor General's office that
there were no plans to honour him. So we, perhaps like you, have been stunned by
this announcement and left wondering what has happened behind closed doors.
Normally anyone who receives this award does so by unanimous consent of the
committee that approves nominees. From what we understand at this point, this
committee, headed by Chief
Justice Beverly McLachlin
, PC, decided to over-ride that protocol and take
this one to a democratic vote on the committee. The majority of the committee
voted in favour of Morgentaler's nominee and so, for (what we understand) may be
the first time in history the committee appointed someone without their normal
unanimous consent - someone who millions of Canadians would not consider a hero
in our nation. We all need to act IMMEDIATELY on this one as your voice will
count, big time, in the next 48 hours.

Stay tuned. 4MyCanada has great links to help you take action to oppose
this move.

Even if you reluctantly support the idea that women should have the freedom to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term or not, if you think that abortion should remain legal but rare as Bill Clinton once famously said, then please oppose this man's getting such a great honor.

The strange notion of the collective

I have said before that I believe in group rights. Religious freedom is a group right. It means that a group has rights that precede the state for public practice of their faith and the passing of it on to their offspring. The state can only intrude when the Criminal Code is violated. Language rights are group rights that I have also come to respect because they are part of a nationality's freedom as a group to express themselves in their language and to preserve and pass on their culture within a democracy. I believe in individual rights, but I think they need to be held in balance with the rights of families, religions and nations within a state. Individual rights alone erode the rights of families and other intervening institutions that provide a bulwark against state power.

But the kind of group rights that so-called human rights commissions argue for are really "collective rights" that mar that precious balance that amplifies both the individual and the group, because human beings are most fully human in a social context. In a proper understanding of group rights, the individual is a person, not just an individual cow in a herd.

Instead, collective rights ignore the person. The individual is merely part of an aggregate. And the collective does not have rights over and against the state, the collective serves the interests of state power.

It is interesting, too, in the collective mentality, that if anyone within a collective is criticized for being a jerk, the collective reacts as if the whole group has been tarred.

So, if bloggers or columnists criticize the behavior of radical jihadists, the collective mentality reacts as if all Muslims have been smeared. If the tactics of some radical homosexual activists are criticized, the collective mentality reacts as if all gays and lesbians are being "hated."
If the race of gun-totting teenagers in Toronto is mentioned, then the collective makes accusations of racism.

A group right for Muslims, would allow Muslims to have private schools, to wear their hijabs or other symbols of their faith in public, to exempt their children from sex education classes that go against their morality, and to be able to argue for public policy in light of the Koran. The Criminal Code can and should allow the state to step in if hostile overseas entities are funding those schools, if terrorism is being incited in mosques or other institutions, and to stop polygamous practices or honor killings. But I think these latter things are the exception and not the rule for Muslims and we need to respect their religious freedom because ours depends on it as well.

But the collective mentality would see ANY criticism of Muslims or Islam as an assault on the entire group and uses the sense of offense as a tool to gain more power for this collective through the state. A group right prevents the state from meddling in the affairs of a group unless there is just criminal cause; a collective right invites the state to exert its power on behalf of usually a small cadre of individuals who purport to speak for the group but are really just trying to establish a mini-sovereignty for themselves and their copying machines and email lists. It is a perversion of real group rights. Ultimately it damages real group rights.

Racism exists and so does a tendency to brand people unknown to us as the other. It takes spiritual effort to overcome these tendencies in ourselves. We do not need the help of government to do this. God forbid! Who is making sure these government bodies aren't "othering" groups like white heterosexual males, or conservative Christians?

But once one gets past knee-jerk racism, but gains the right to say....this person is a jerk, whatever race or religion or sexual orientation, because one knows this discernment into the behavior of that person has nothing to do with their group. That person is just a jerk. That's all.

We need to take back our right to say certain individual persons are jerks and offensive and their behavior stinks without being tarred as racists.

The big collective "chip on the shoulder," worn by collectivists who want to amass the power of the state in their favor, needs to be knocked off. Abolishing human rights commissions is a first step. Then we will see what safeguards can replace them that will respect group rights but get rid of this Marxist collectivism.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Guy Earle, I hope you read this letter

My friend Denyse O'Leary has written Guy Earle an open letter and I'm going to do my part in helping her get it to him via the blogosphere.

If you don't know who Guy Earle is, you soon will.

Guy Earle is a comedian who now faces a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing because he acted--he admits it--like an a****** (this is a family-oriented blog) during an open mic comedy show he was hosting and said things he now regrets saying in response to two lesbians who were heckling him, accusing him of being anti-lesbian and who twice threw drinks in his face. You can see a YouTube video of Earle discussing his case with some other comedians in Ezra Levant's lengthy post about him. Scroll down and you'll find it near the bottom.

Denyse writes:


If anyone had asked me a few years ago what I thought of your show (as per your YouTube account), I would have said, "It offends me."

I would never say that today!

The tribunal fascists have hijacked words like "offend." If I say your show offends me, all I mean is, I would choose something else for private entertainment - maybe March of the Penguins, for example.

I don't mean that you should be dragged through tribunals, forced to spend your life savings on defence, forced to apologize for matters on which you are not sorry and do not believe yourself to be in the wrong, attend "reeducation" courses run by cranks and quacks purporting to brainwash you into believing something you reject - or ordered never to crack wise on a given subject again, in public or private.

You face all or any of those. And your fellow wisers will see and tremble. Or fight for the right to be funny.

Ezra Levant has written a couple of posts about Earle. Ezra writes:

Lorna Pardy, one of the humourless lesbians, filed a complaint against Earle and Zesty's. In B.C., unlike other human rights commissions, it is possible to make a preliminary application to dismiss a complaint.

That application to dismiss was rejected this week. Here is the ruling, that commits the matter to go to trial.

Take a look at who wrote it: Heather MacNaughton, the same tribunal member who chaired Mark Steyn's show trial earlier this month.

In that trial, too, the funny-ness of jokes became an issue. The Canadian Islamic Congress said that some of Mark Steyn's jokes weren't funny, but they also insisted that the CBC's awful "sitcom", Little Mosque on the Prairies, was indeed funny, and if Steyn didn't think so, he was a racist.

So MacNaughton feels comfortable in her self-appointed role as government joke-tester.

Oh, there's a joke here alright.

I lament this further loss of freedom and loss of common sense. I lament the fact that one thin-skinned radical lesbian activist is perpetuating the new stereotype of gays as intolerant of any criticism or dissent. I'm sure that EGALE would oppose this lawsuit, because they know it just looks bad, bad, bad on their community who themselves use trangressive art, including comedy, to deal with difficult issues. What do you think Rosie O'Donnell would have done -- whine to the government, or heckle back?

And in a subsequent post, after taking part in a debate on the issue he writes:


Finally, we have some top talent looking into the matter of what is or isn't funny. Forget about Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno; we've got the dour sourpusses at the HRCs on the file. Once they come up with the magic recipe, wannabe comedians around the world will simply have to follow the instructions of the HRCs, and -- presto! -- the laughs will follow. At least that's the logic of a government agency that seeks to be the arbiter of what is or isn't funny.

I was asked by the host how this would affect Vancouver; I said I doubt the Just For Laughs Festival would be visiting anytime soon -- talk about a frenzy of hate crimes! And I asked if Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock, both of whom use the word n*gger the same way you and I use the words "and" and "the", would be allowed into town.

Cole had a quick answer: yes they would. Because they're allowed to make Black jokes, even using the word n*gger. But Whites can't. I'd have to read the transcript to be sure, but I think Cole implied that not only would the same joke told by a White comedian be illegal, it wouldn't even be funny. This, from the "senior entertainment editor" of an arts magazine.

That's nuts, of course. But, from a "human rights" "law" point of view, Cole is actually spot on. Under our "human rights" "jurisprudence", Mark Steyn and Maclean's were subjected to a five-day "hate speech" trial for "Islamophobia" in Vancouver for quoting radical Muslims. The radical Muslims who made the offensive remarks weren't charged (though the BCHRT asserts its jurisdiction not only nationally, but internationally); but Steyn and Maclean's were charged for repeating them. That's actually Cole's logic: a lesbian can crack a joke about lesbians. But a straight woman, or a man, can't. Same joke; but only a special victim group is allowed to tell it.

I didn't find what Earle said funny. Even he wishes he hadn't said some of the things he said.
And if Earle employed these gals and said things like this, especially on a repeated basis, creating a hostile work environment, then I might be more sympathetic to a complaint to a human rights tribunal. But he was being a jerk and so were they. He is absolutely right though that we don't need a government body to legislate this dispute.

We do not need our taxpayers dollars going after people who say offensive things. Especially when he was in no position of power over these people, nor did he supply their livelihood or their living accommodations.

So Guy Earle, I hope you will fight for your freedom of speech and artistic freedom rights. We're with you. And I hope you are with us, even if you disagree with us about lots of things. That's what freedom of speech is about.

So, want to know what the Socks are thinking?

lol...you're hilarious bro. you really don't get it do you??

We have made our point, we have made our statement and whether we lose at all three tribunals it really doesn't matter. We have already won just by going to the Tribunal and sticking it to the haters out there such as yourself.

In fact even when we "lose" we win. We have told the haters out there such as yourself, and your ideological friends such as Kenneth Whyte, that we won't put up with their bullshit anymore...we won ages ago when we filed these complaints, when we got the ontario commission to condemn maclean's and when we actually showed up before the BC TRibunal to argue our case. So the horse has already left the barn...you can bark as much as you want, but we accomplished our objectives a long time ago...so bark on :). Calling the earth flat won't make it flat.

And rest assured i am partying, i was all of last night; it doesn't seem to me like you are.

More at Five Feet of Fury.

Well....here is "maximum disruption" at work.


I wonder if this is cause for an abuse of process lawsuit by the legal team to recoup their thousands of dollars in legal fees.

This shows what our mainstream media is slowly beginning to realize . . .that the process is the punishment and the maximum disrupters out there, the ones who want to steal our freedoms, know it.

Okay, I have read the SCOC decision and . . .

I am still uneasy.

You can read the decision yourself here.


I fear though that anyone who wants to protect their children from information that opposes their traditional religious beliefs and moral strictures concerning chastity is de facto a bigot and intolerant in the light of this decision.

What increases my disquiet is this: Ian Binnie participated in a wonderfully entertaining debate with Antonin Scalia at the Charter@25 conference a couple of years ago. Binnie was the "living tree" guy, while Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice, was the "original intent" guy.

The "living tree" model sees the constitution, the Charter, and human rights as "evolving," "progressing," ever coming to new meanings that the judges need to interpret. It's a version of the "empty container" view that sees terms like marriage just empty abstractions into which society pours whatever meaning it chooses at the moment.

Scalia argued that the framers of laws had an original intent that must be taken into account, that the courts should not improvise and read in new meanings. That legislatures should change the laws, not judges.

Interesting, the word tolerance has, for the empty container/living tree crowd, morphed into meaning "agreement," and "acceptance." Thus when I read between the lines of this Rafe Mair decision, if you do not wholeheartedly accept and approve of the gay lifestyle and same-sex marriage, you are a bigot who at least tacitly approves of violence against gays and lesbians, or at least a "reasonable person" might arrive at that conclusion. Well, that's because anti-Christian prejudice is so widespread, so fashionable. At least some of the justices agreed this was defamatory against Simpson.

And God forbid that you use any "Onward Christian soldiers" sort of language.
I don't know of a Christian today who literally interprets the warfare imagery in the Bible. It is an internal, spiritual battle, and in no way a call to physical arms. In fact, St. Paul himself says we do not war against flesh and blood, a fact that seems to escape non-Christians who tend to be biblically illiterate.

To say Christianity promotes violence against anyone, including our enemies (Jesus teaches us to love them and pray for them) is such a libel against Christians, including activists like Simpson. You do NOT find people who go to Sunday school bashing gays and lesbians. Gay bashing exists and it is horrible and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but the people who do it are not Christians, but usually people on the margins of society, predators perhaps unsure of their own sexual identity who have a false need to assert their damaged sense of masculinity. It has nothing to do with Christian moral strictures.

I abhor violence, intimidation or anti-gay bigotry. But I also happen to think sex exists for a purpose, like hunger and thirst exist for a purpose, not just the pleasure it brings us when appetites are satisfied.

Tolerance used to mean "putting up with" things you disagreed with, or even disapproved of, because trying to legislate certain things out of existence represent a worse evil than the things you had to tolerate. It meant learning to live side by side with people with radically different viewpoints and lifestyles.

Now, unless you approve and applaud and agree you are a de facto bigot and intolerant, at least that's what I'm reading between the lines in this decision.

But this "one-size fits all" view expressed by our growing state religion is highly bigoted and intolerant of difference and genuine pluralism. It is highly majoritarian. We need to toughen up, to regain the old understanding of tolerance. We need to learn to "put up" with those with whom we disagree.

Disagreement must be freely allowed.

Alas, for us Christians, disagreement runs us the risk of hate complaints. I don't think the Rafe Mair/Kari Simpson case holds out much hope for us, I'm afraid.

Why does Joseph Brean still call it a "mutually acceptable" response?

I really appreciate the fact that the National Post has assigned Joseph Brean to cover the human rights commissions. He's done some really good work. Today he has the most comprehensive story of any media outlet so far on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's decision to dismiss the complaints against Maclean's Magazine.

(Longer version here)

He writes:

Brought by Mohamed Elmasry, national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, the complaint was the centrepiece of a three-pronged, cross-jurisdictional offence against Islamophobia in the national newsweekly, with columnists Mark Steyn and Barbara Amiel the main alleged offenders.

The goal was an order forcing Maclean's to print a "mutually acceptable" rebuttal, but this latest failure at the federal level leaves the entire enterprise hanging on the forthcoming decision of a British Columbia tribunal, which heard the case this month.

Why does Brean persist in saying the goal was to force Maclean's to print a "mutually acceptable" rebuttal? I suppose because the complainants later revised their demands to say this is what they were seeking, he's still on somewhat factual ground.

But why does he ignore the fact that before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal sock puppet Khurrum Awan ADMITTED UNDER OATH that a "mutually acceptable" response was not on the table when he and his fellow socks met with the Maclean's editors. No, these "magazine hijackers" insisted on a writer of their choice and control over the cover art.

Ezra Levant reported that here:

That, too, is a convenient lie. As I reported from the courtroom of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Khurrum Awan, one of Elmasry's PR puppets, admitted under oath many, many, many, many, many, many times that the CIC never asked Maclean's for an article to be published, written by a "mutually acceptable source". It was to be an author of the CIC's own choosing. Their claim of wanting a "mutually acceptable" writer was a lie, a PR trick, to make them seem slightly less unreasonable.

Either way -- mutually acceptable choice or not -- it was still an outrageous shakedown, a violation of Maclean's property rights and freedom of the press, and quite possibly extortion.



Thanks to Brean's report we have the first whining I predicted. Here he quotes from a statement from the sock's lawyer Faisal Joseph, a paragon of preparation and legal acumen so beautifully display in his performance before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal:

"We are not surprised at the decision in light of the inappropriate political pressure that has been brought to bear on the commission and that has prompted the commission to set up an internal review of its procedures under [the hate speech section of the Human Right Act,]" he said.

Mr. Joseph said his clients "will take some time to determine whether we will apply to the Federal Court for a review of the commission's decision or whether we are satisfied with the opportunity we had to present our case to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal."

Well, does Faisal Joseph want to outlaw "inappropriate political pressure," too? Anyone who disagrees with him is obviously "inappropriate."

Go ahead, and appeal this case. If you think the political pressure is strong now, just watch it grow as ordinary Canadians catch on to the fact that you and the commissioners who are sympathetic to your illiberal cause want to take away our fundamental freedoms.

Make our day.







Dear Kathy and Arnie--Congratulations!

Don't worry about the Hillary Clinton thing. I think Hillary's gorgeous.

You still have a bit of Flannery O'Connor about you, in a good way.

I think you look terrific. Thanks for putting up the pix.

And congratulations and may you live happily ever after!

Does this decision grant more license to bash Christians?

Though Ezra Levant seems quite sanguine about the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision involving a defamation case against Kari Simpson, I'm not so sure it's a good sign. I have not read the decision yet, but based on the news coverage, I fear it may be just another example about how it is open season on Christians. Anything said about conservative evangelicals or Catholics is "fair comment" no matter how defamatory, libelous, or egregious. Shoot, Dan Brown's "hate screed" The DaVinci Code was a mega bestselling book.

But say similar things--even if true-- about any other group and, well, all of a sudden, fair comment morphs into hate speech. I wonder what the decision would have been had Kari Simpson been sued by, say, a gay activist. We'll see what happens when Stephen Boissoin's case gets appealed. Some groups are more equal than others before the law.

Now maybe the principles in this case will be uniformly applied, and the bloggers being sued by Richard Warman will find this decision helpful. I hope Ezra is right to be optimistic that the highest court is upholding a broader notion of freedom of speech. But if that broader notion of free speech is only one-sided, giving the wholesale right to lie about Christians, demean us, dehumanize us, while making it increasingly illegal for us to defend our faith and moral principles in the public square, this decision could further hurt us.

See, anti-Christian bigotry is fashionable. It's even been useful in political campaigns to bash those scary Christian conservatives, paint them as theocrats, to portray them as morally equivalent to terrorist jihadists, to call them "anti-Charter" and "anti-Canadian" as Liberals have done in recent federal campaigns. There is a spate of books touting this thesis selling well in the United States and bloggers like Andrew Sullivan refer to Christian leaders as "Christianists" and warn they want to take over and impose a theocracy as dismal as that of the Taliban. These are pernicious misrepresentations at best, outright lies at worst. While there may be the odd kook who wants the return of Old Testament Law, or the ridiculous, tiny but ubiquitous Fred Phelps gang with their hateful messages, these people represent less than a fraction of one one-hundredths of a per cent of Christian believers.

The problem is that Christians ARE in danger because of these lies.

The biggest under-reported story in Canada may be the abuses of human rights commissions says Rex Murphy, but the biggest under-reported story in the world is the wholesale, bloody persecution of Christians around the world. Christians are being literally martyred in numbers that dwarf those from earlier periods of history. But does the mainstream media give a hoot?

Christians are in real danger of imprisonment, persecution, beatings, house-burnings, and death, from Africa to India to Indonesia. In Canada, while we remain free of physical harassment, our rights to worship as we please, to publicly express our views, to ensure our beliefs are passed on to our children, are being rapidly eroded. The state is intruding on our families, parents' rights to educate their children and trampling on the consciences of people who object to the new secularist orthodoxies.

But I suppose this is a yawn for the intelligentsia who work for the news media because many themselves have a knee-jerk prejudice against Christians. They think we bring it on ourselves.
They call us haters when they are in fact the ones who hate us.

The great Christie Blatchford gets it

I love Christie Blatchford. When I canceled my Globe subscription, she and Margaret Wente were about the only ones I missed.

In this column today, she nails what is wrong with Canada--and the West, because this incident could have happened in the United States or Europe--and illustrates why the thesis of Mark Steyn's America Alone is a must read for every Westerner (whether by birth or by choice) if we want to preserve our precious heritage and the freedoms that flow from it.

She writes:

It was at that point that the Air Canada clerk at Gate 27 approached me.

“Excuse me,” he said, “you can't say those words. Those words are illegal.”

“What words?” I asked, bewildered, given that by then I'd said probably 2,000 words.

“Suicide bombing,” he whispered.

Now, I know of course one is not to make jokes or threats about bombs at airports, and properly so. But I hadn't been doing that, rather recounting some of the public evidence heard that day at a public trial in the nation's capital.

“That's not illegal,” I snapped, barely restraining myself from adding “You ninny.” Besides, I told him, I was a reporter telling another reporter about my work day, which was true enough.

“Do you want me to call security?” he asked primly. “I'm supposed to call security in these situations.”

Read the whole thing.

Most of us are in a state of tremendous denial. Some are so deep in denial they think people like Mark Steyn are the problem. If he would only stop writing about the problem it would just go away.

But the problem is not just the small but potentially lethal number of radical jihadists in our midst, the ones who combine a strange mutation of Western victimhood with literal interpretations of the Koran. No, the problem really is the secularist multiculturalist fundamentalists who also hate our Western heritage and who have the levers of the state to help them undermine it. It's this mindset that prevents us from protecting ourselves from the small proportion of homegrown enemies--who can be of any race and who may think they are acting in the name of Allah, but who represent a virulent, politicized strain of a great religion.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What about Catholic Insight Magazine, huh?

Okay, so Maclean's Magazine is off the Canadian Human Rights Commission hook, but, pray tell, WHY on earth did it take them so long to dismiss the Maclean's complaint?

Did they have to peruse Ayatollah Khomeini's writings to see if he really did write some rather weird instructions about the treatment of animals and double check every demographic fact and see whether that Norwegian imam actually made the famous "mosquitoes" remark? Why bother if truth is no defense? Did they travel to Europe to see what the demographics look like on the ground?

Catholic Insight Magazine, a small circulation magazine, is still awaiting its CHRC determination and that case has been going on far longer. I know Mark Steyn is a lot more popular than the priests and columnists who write for Catholic Insight but the principles are the same. If Catholic Insight is not safe, not even the Toronto Star is safe.

If the CHRC is really serious about interpreting Section 13 in the light of the Taylor decision, this one will be dismissed, too.

It's outrageous though that Catholic Insight has already spent upwards of $20,000 defending itself.

Fire. Them. All. is no longer good enough. Abolish. Them. Now.

And should there be a need to handle discrimination cases in the workplace, let a system of independent, non-biased labor arbitrators handle it. Let similarly non-biased arbitrators, chosen by both parties as in a labor arbitration, handle housing complaints as well.

No more of these ideologically-driven thought police. We need a Royal Commission to investigate the damage these bodies have done and their investigative practices. We need a set of recommendations that will protect real civil rights and not the made-up new every year human rights that are always at the expense of real civil rights and aim at increasing the size of the Nanny state.

The whole human rights act needs to be redrafted.

Section 13, which is a club that any government can use for partisan purposes, must go. It is way too broad, too open to subjective interpretation. If Taylor is the test, then Taylor should be written into Section 13. Truth and fair comment MUST be defenses.

This is ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS

Stephen Boissoin posts a summary of a conversation with an Alberta Human Rights Commission representative, who advised the U.S.-based pastor who made the call that he get consent-forms before people hear his teachings that include a small section on homosexuality. The Commission employee also advised that none of the participants talk about any of the content publicly. And, did I say this particular course is going to be taught inside a church?

But, when Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Hindu parents want to have their children exempted from hearing the sexual dogma of multicultural fundamentalist securalists that undermine their traditional religious views and their moral sensibilities, the state FORCES them, no consent forms, no opting out allowed, at least in British Columbia and soon in Quebec. In Quebec, starting this fall, even PRIVATE schools will have this sexual dogma forced on students from elementary school onwards.

This conversation is evidence of the breathtaking anti-Christian, anti-religious ideology that is the new state religion that is being forced upon us by busy-body bureaucrats who think they know what's best for social cohesion. This is unbelievable.

They do not realize that their "faith," though non-religious, is a faith nonetheless, based on a priori philosophical assumptions that cannot be proven. Oh, but some ideas, like the Marxist claptrap mixed with postmodernism that animates so many of these people, have been proven to be nihilistic garbage, as evidenced by the fall of the Soviet Union. Too bad so many of our human rights establishment didn't get the memo that their ideas are woefully false.

Well--the Socks can always appeal

Mark Steyn reacts to the fact the Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed the complaint against Maclean's Magazine. He includes some excerpts from the CHRC's dismissal letter:

The Steyn article discusses changing global demographics and other factors that the author describes as contributing to an eventual ascendancy of Muslims in the 'developed world', a prospect that the author fears for various reasons described in the article. The writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

Overall, however, the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature as defined by the Supreme Court in the Taylor decision. Considering the purpose and scope of section 13 (1), and taking into account that an interpretation of s. 13 (1) must be consistent with the minimal impairment of free speech, there is no reasonable basis in the evidence to warrant the appointment of a Tribunal.

For these reasons, this complaint is dismissed.

You know, if the CHRC had always scrupulously abided by the narrow parameters outlined in the Taylor decision, and their provincial counterparts had also done so, then we might not see the widespread outrage over Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. But now that Act has been exposed as so broad it gives any government the opportunity to persecute unpopular opinion.

Pundita weighs in:

TRANSLATION: Maclean's knows, and the CHRC knows, and everyone else following the story knows, that an epic battle is just getting underway.

This said, any day one can avoid an inquisition is a good day.

And congratulations to all those Canadians who have tirelessly kept the story of the anti-democratic Section 13 before the public eye.


Ezra Levant is, of course, on this with some cogent analysis:


The Canadian Human Rights Commission, like any petty tyranny, has a strong instinct for survival. As I predicted last week on the Michael Coren Show, that instinct would cause them to drop the complaint against Mark Steyn and Maclean's. And so they did.

With an RCMP investigation, a Privacy Commission investigation and a pending Parliamentary investigation, they're already fighting a multi-front P.R. war, and losing badly. Not a day goes by when the CHRC isn't pummelled in the media. Holding a show trial of Maclean's and Steyn, like the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal did earlier this month, would be writing their own political death sentence.

So they blinked. Against everything in their DNA, they let Maclean's go. That's the first smart thing they've done; because the sooner they can get the public scrutiny to go away, the sooner they can go about prosecuting their less well-heeled targets, people who can't afford Canada's best lawyers and command the attention and affection of the country's literati.

"There's nothing to see here, people! So turn your TV cameras off, and let us continue on our work without your scrutiny! We promise not to target famous Canadians -- at least not for a little while. We'll keep picking on under-lawyered weaklings. We'll continue to build up our jurisprudence, continue our 100% conviction rate, continue building legal precedents. So when we come for Maclean's next time, we won't have to blink."

I wonder when we'll hear the first whining from the Socks about this, or whether Barbara Hall will jump out and criticize her federal counterparts for undermining her drive-by verdict, her smear on Maclean's editorial professionalism.

Of course, the Socks could be stupid enough to try to appeal this dismissal. Er, not the Socks of course, but their puppet-master Mohamed Elmasry, the president of the Canadian Islamic Congress.



Thursday, June 26, 2008

The state is usurping the roles of parents


Brian Lilley takes a look at some disturbing incursions by the state into the family domain:

The late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau famously said, “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nations.” The remarks were made by Trudeau when, as Justice Minister in 1968, he sought to decriminalize homosexual acts and relax Canada’s restrictions on abortion. Forty years later, the Canada Trudeau left behind still seems to believe that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation -- but can make itself very active in its living rooms.

Read it all. It's got a great title: Who needs a family when you've got a government?

The picture shows the seemingly ubiquitous Mark Steyn and Brian Lilley at 24 Sussex Drive.

I was at the Prime Minister's garden party this evening.....


and who should show up but Mark Steyn, fresh off the plane from France.

Since journalists and their families were invited, there was a petting zoo out front on the lawn at 24 Sussex Drive, with ponies, goats, calves, a donkey and so on. Mark said he wondered if the zoo was like those fish ponds in sushi parlors where you get to choose your meal.

It was a great party set up with kids in mind: hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, onion rings, fresh donuts, cotton candy to eat, face-painting and a clown.

Anyway, Kady O'Malley came up with her slim red BlackBerry in hand and told us the Canadian Human Rights Commission had dropped its complaint against Maclean's for the excerpt from Mark's book America Alone. Mark said he was disappointed, and joked that maybe he should appeal the decision.

Maclean's editor Ken Whyte was there, too, and said, yes, it is indeed true. And, no, the commission did not issue a Barbara Hall-ish drive by verdict. So I guess the Canadian Human Rights Commission has gained a little political savvy and wants to survive a little longer. But the handwriting is on the wall.

Maclean's put out a news release in response to the decision, saying:

Though gratified by the decision, Maclean's continues to assert that no
human rights commission, whether at the federal or provincial level, has the
mandate or the expertise to monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial
decisions of the nation's media. And we continue to have grave concerns about
a system of complaint and adjudication that allows a media outlet to be
pursued in multiple jurisdictions on the same complaint, brought by the same
complainants, subjecting it to costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to
say nothing of the inconvenience. We enthusiastically support those
parliamentarians who are calling for legislative review of the commissions
with regard to speech issues.

The outlawing of honest discussion--only in Canada? Pity

Robert Spencer, writing in Human Events, says it can happen in the United States, too:


Can honest discussion really be outlawed? You bet it can. As long as free people do nothing to stop it from happening. As the OIC presses American politicians to use anti-discrimination and hate speech laws to “stem this illegal trend,” we need to stand up now with Mark Steyn and all the others who are on the front lines of this battle, and tell them that what they’re doing to Steyn in Canada must never happen here. We must tell our elected officials to stop this outrage, resist OIC lobbying, and reaffirm in no uncertain terms our commitment to free speech -- particularly now, when so much depends on our being able to speak with honesty about the nature of the jihadist threat, and so many powerful entities want to make sure we do not do so.

So much depends on this -- possibly even including our survival as a free people.

The jihadist threat is real. Most Muslims in Canada came here to escape extremist elements who would use violent means to establish Islamic supremacy. But a small but vocal faction of Canadian Muslims would prevent Canadian journalists from even discussing the dangers posed by a minority of violent, politically-inspired Islamists. Truth is no defense. Fair comment is no defencs.

As David Harris writes in today's Ottawa Citizen, we need only look at their own documents and words to understand the plans these violent groups have. Jihadists--those who want to use violent means to impose Islamic supremacy on the world--are the minority but remember, it only took 19 men to carry out the 9/11 attacks. All over the world, Muslims are turning against these violent extremists, but in Canada we soon may not even be able to write about that.

Harris, a former senior CSIS official, writes:

Last year's dramatic Holy Land Foundation trial in Texas made the point. There, U.S. prosecutors put klieg lights on previously secret strategic documents seized from extremist Muslim Brotherhood (MB) sources. This subversive worldwide organization is the font from which spring a number of hardline "mainstream" North American Islamic front groups and "representative organizations," including many recently defined as unindicted co-conspirators by the U.S. Justice Department -- and some, amazingly, periodically engaged in "outreach" by unsuspecting interfaith and even government officials.

The prize U.S. document was the Brotherhood's 1991 long-term plan to subvert and collapse the United States and its political, economic and other infrastructure, preparatory to achieving a forced radical Islamicization of that country, and others. Through a malign combination of immigration, intimidation, psychological warfare and subterfuge, the MB proposed "settling" -- colonizing -- the U.S., infesting its infrastructure, and relying on societal openness, constitutional freedoms and influence operations to proceed from there: "The process of settlement is a 'Civilization-Jihadist Process'," said the memorandum, adding ominously, "with all the word means."

If human rights complaints against Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant are successful, then soon we will not be able to read opinion pieces like those of David Harris in a Canadian newspaper. We will not be allowed to quote documents like these, because Mark Steyn's quotes of radical Islamists, are among the grievances in the Canadian Islamic Congress' human rights complaints. In a dishonest sleight of hand, they have removed the quotation marks, and accused Steyn of saying himself what he is in fact quoting. They have even accused him of predicting an Islamic takeover of North America when he was in fact writing a book review of a NOVEL that imagine a future Islamic dystopia.

There is an interesting pattern developing. In the Stephen Boissoin case, criticizing the gay activist agenda was deemed to be hateful against all gay people, even though Boissoin began his letter with a paragraph distinguishing between those activists who want to force their sexual dogmas on everyone else, and gays and lesbians who want to live in peace. And, interestingly, many bona fide gay activists in EGALE find the decision against Boissoin revolting, even though they vehemently disagree with the former youth pastor.

It's the same thing with criticizing radical Islam. It is characterized as hatred against Muslims as a whole when it is not that at all. In fact, some of the most outspoken and effective critics of radial Islam are themselves Muslim. But their lives are in danger from these radicals. It takes great courage for people like Tarek Fatah to speak out. He writes:

Canada is a country where Muslims are respected and accommodated like in no other land on Earth, including Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is immoral for the Islamists to slander my country with the slur of Islamophobia. As Statistics Canada has shown, incidents of racism in Canada are far more likely to affect Christian black Canadians and Jewish Canadians than Muslims. However, truth is the first casualty in this propaganda war being waged against Canada by its own Islamists.



We have a human rights industry in Canada that is selling our freedoms down the river, who hate Western civilization and want to rob us of our birthright.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mark Steyn's America Alone was about people like Pearl Eliadis

Well, I have just finished reading Pearl Eliadis' brilliant Power Point demonstration.

Let me go through some of the pages.

Pearl Eliadis sets the stage:


She claims the Maclean's on Islam articles spawned the "poisonous blogs."

Well, my blog started because I needed a platform to publicize my novel The Defilers and to provide a platform for my journalism. I have been reading Mark Steyn for years--his columns and his books--and they have done nothing to make me hate or fear Muslims. In fact, I welcome the law-abiding Canadian Muslims who appreciate our Western way of life, who have strong family values, and who love our precious freedoms.

I do have concerns about the minority of Islamic extremists, but I am adult enough as are most Canadians and Americans, to separate between those who want to destroy us (Hint, Pearl, there was a certain event on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City and Washington that gave me reason for concern) and the majority of Canada-enriching, law-abiding Muslims who have as much to fear from these extremists as any of us do.

My blogging in earnest started AFTER THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINTS AGAINST MARK STEYN AND EZRA LEVANT. THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINTS PROMPTED ME TO BLOG ALMOST EVERY DAY SINCE DECEMBER ON THIS ISSUE.

So.....there is the cause and effect for you: The Sock Puppets and their master Mohammed Elmasry are responsible for inciting me to blog about so-called human rights commissions. Ditto the complaints against Ezra Levant for republishing the Danish cartoons. The complainants and the commissions that accepted those complaints are the ones who are responsible for the "poisonous blogs they spawned," to use her distorted words.

I categorically reject, however, that my blog is poisonous.

As for the blogs using "distorted and deliberate use of language," well, I think her Power Point demonstration is full of distorted and deliberate use of language, so methinks she is projecting her own tendencies onto those she criticizes.

Human rights commissioners are thought police. She can dress up $30,000 fines and forced apologies as "remedies" but no one except people like her are fooled by those euphemisms. These are punishments without due process. When truth is no defense, nor is fair comment, and anything a human rights commissioner disagrees with is deemed poisonous or extreme, then, there is no due process. But the size of the fines, in addition to legal fees could wipe out an ordinary person. Voila! what do you call someone with the power of the state behind their ability to punish, er, apply remedial fines in addition to the bankrupting legal fees but thought police?

I have kept up pretty closely with the blogging on this issue--at least from the pro-civil rights side---and her Power Point demonstration is the first time I have heard the words "Muslim Home Invasion." Mark Steyn's article barely mentions Canada. She is promoting Islamophobia by using those loaded words. I have not seen even the angrier blogs use that kind of language. As for the comments sections, well, you never know these days if it isn't a human rights investigator or an undercover police officer planting hate.

Her "Muslin Home invasion" description of Mark Steyn's work has nothing to do with the overall thesis of his work. America Alone is really about people like Pearl Eliadis. People who express ideas that are evidence of our civilizational suicide. People who think our precious freedoms and rights are merely empty containers into which progressive thinkers like her pour any meaning they want. People who would chuck our civil liberties out the window and replace them with bureaucracies regulating even our thoughts and feelings.

Mark Steyn's articles and books are about the low birthrate in the West and the fact that our populations are going to halve themselves every generation until we can no longer support our social programs or our infrastructure. His essays are about the fact that we have no confidence in our future, that we no knowledge of our heritage, our history, and the fact that people died to give us the rights that people like Eliadis are trying so hard to take away.

"Should the law be frozen in the post-Cold War epoch?" she asks. She gives away her post-modern, progressive mindset in her rhetorical question. Old rights will disappear, like religious freedom for Christians, but new rights will appear, like that of radical Islamists not to be criticized. Presto!


Pearl Eliadis: philosopher

"Speech IS the most powerful human act," she writes. My goodness!

"It shapes ideas, accounts for most of our communication .....blah blah"

Instead of writing before I think, since for me ideas usually precede speech rather than vice versa, I'll remember how the Gospel of John opens. Maybe she ought to read it and think about the fact that many, many people wiser than she is, going back to Socrates, have profound things to say about truth and beauty and civil society and human freedom that she seems to know nothing about.

Let us pray for Pearl Eliadis that she might have true wisdom and understanding and a humble and a contrite heart, so that she will have some ideas before speaking, some perception, some light to guide her confused soul before she tries to regulate the speech of others. Obviously she has no clue about what built the most beautiful, most free civilization the world has known, no clue about its foundational ideas. No, people like her want to make those foundational ideas hate speech. Often real wisdom is without speech, without words. It's the ability to see clearly, to see what is, despite the confusing speech and distortions of those who think there is no truth, only power relationships. Father, please forgive her and her ilk for they know not what they do.


Pearl Eliadis: are you an anti-Christian bigot?

She says there is no evidence of any commission ever ordering an editorial board to print anything. Well, Lori Andreachuk ordered the Red Deer Advocate to print her seven page Stephen Boissoin decision and to print his forced apology.

"Successful cases against extremists are used as proof that very borderline cases against journalists might well succeed: bait and switch tactic," she writes.

Well....successful cases against extremists---have included cases against Christians for speaking up on religious doctrines. Does she think Christians are extremists? Does she think our rights to believe and to practice our faith should be taken away from us? Human rights commissions are attacking Christian institutions right and left. And, the process is the punishment. Even when complaints against Calgary Catholic Bishop Henry were dropped he was left with thousands in legal fees. The little Catholic Insight Magazine has spent $20,000 defending itself against human rights complaints from a man who thinks he is in a better position to tell what is Catholic doctrine than the priest who edits the magazine. As Ezra asks, who died and made Rob Wells pope?

Pearl Eliadis: Mark Steyn ought to sue you

Nowhere has Mark Steyn ever ever referred to a "Muslim Home invasion." Those are her words and they are a distortion that, if they were made about me, would prompt me to file a lawsuit. He does not subject Muslims to hatred. As I said earlier, it is more likely that the actions of human rights complainants are subjecting certain individual Muslims and supporters to more contempt and outrage than anything Mark Steyn ever wrote.

Nowhere does Mark Steyn EVER incite violence.

To compare his work to that of the Rwandan radio station that called Tutsis cockroaches and directly incited murder is libelous and vicious.

Ezra writes: "That's an execrable comparison -- Steyn has not been accused of inciting murder; again Eliadis blurs mere speech and violence. But, again, it wasn't a Rwandan radio station that killed people. It was soldiers with machetes."

Read Ezra's detailed fisking here. Follow his link to the Power Point demo yourself.

Ezra fisks Pearl Eliadis' Power Point presentation

Ezra Levant writes:

On page 13, Eliadis hints at her real agenda: hijacking and commandeering Canada's media, and subjecting them to HRC meddling. She wants "poisonous" -- hell, why not just say "murderous" while you're at it! -- speech in the mainstream media to lose its "immunity" from Eliadis and her group of would-be editors. She loved Rick Salutin's comment that "money controls the media", a Marxist complaint that seems touchingly quaint, in the era of the Internet. Neither Eliadis nor Salutin spring to mind when I think of the word "modern", so they probably don't know much about how the Inter-Webs work, but money is no substitute for good ideas, as the New York Times's shareholders are discovering.

As happens quite often, Eliadis reaches for foreign legal traditions when she wants to supplant our own legal traditions of liberty.
I am printing off her Power Point presentation to read over lunch. Ezra has a link to it in his MUST READ post.

Great homily on contraception

As I covered the marriage issue and learned about the consequences of separating procreation from the definition of marriage, I also began to learn about the natural law wisdom in Roman Catholic teaching about not separating the procreative and unitive aspects of human sexuality.

These are hard teachings but I have increasingly begun to see their wisdom. Father Tim McCauley preached a courageous homily on this issue. Please read it with an open mind.

I want to begin by asking forgiveness from all of you on behalf of the Church for our failure to proclaim and explain the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage, contraception and natural family planning. Our Popes have been excellent shepherds for us, but many bishops and priests have neglected to teach the truth, so I ask for your forgiveness.

I also want to place this discussion of contraception in the context of God’s mercy, which is the message of today’s Gospel. Jesus re-assures us all: “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners” (Mt 9:13). This is very good news for us, since all of us have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). We all live together among the ruins of the sexual revolution. Fr. Raymond D’Souza put it well in an article on the movie and TV series Sex and the City: “The lasting accomplishment of the sexual revolution was to remake society according to the desires of corrupted adolescent males, with plenty of pornography, easy women and disposable relationships, facilitated by contraception and abortion, cohabitation and divorce” (National Post). I don’t have time to go into detail, but the deceits of the sexual revolution contributed to the break-up of my own family and in the death, through abortion, of two of my cousins. I have also sinned through my own fault by choosing to believe the lies of the sexual revolution, and I did not live a chaste and celibate life prior to becoming a Catholic.

Read the whole thing. Educate yourself.

Hmmmm---hidden inside the Bouchard-Taylor report

...is a tidbit that Montreal Gazette columnist Don MacPherson found troubling. Did any of the freespeechers pick up on this?

Don MacPherson writes (May 27):

The media clearly had "a will to present conflict" and sought out "the most extremist viewpoints." Their reporting on incidents often reflected only the viewpoint of the "plaintiffs" or "victims."

And they made accommodation an issue in last year's provincial election campaign and kept incidents in the news by seeking comment on them from politicians.

One of these politicians comes in for particular attention in the report. "By claiming to speak for the majority, Mario Dumont constantly, but implicitly, legitimized a certain populist, even racializing discourse in public opinion." (To racialize is to give a racial character to something.) This made "expression of intolerance" more acceptable.

Among the media, Le Journal de Montréal was singled out for repeatedly creating a "dramatic staging" of real or imagined situations of reasonable accommodation, based on a very clear opposition of 'les Québécois' et 'les Autres.'"

As a solution, the author offers a hair-raising suggestion: The press council and the CRTC, the federal broadcast regulator, should be given the power to suspend the right of media or individual journalists to publish or broadcast for "negative coverage" that harms social cohesion.

The disturbing assault on the family is an assault on freedom

Many libertarians who uphold individual rights above all else fail to recognize the importance of the biological family as a fundamental unit of society, a bulwark against overreaching state control, and a crucible for the inculcation of virtue and character. Virtue and character, reflected in wisdom, courage, justice and above all moderation or self-control, are the marks of a truly free man or woman. Self-restraint in other words. Otherwise, we need the restraints of the state and we need the state to pick up after our fatherless children and other consequences of our unrestrained "freedom of choice." Now a true libertarian would say, well, we should have no state picking up the pieces and people would quickly learn from their mistakes by the harsh consequences. But too often, it is children who have to pay for the harsh consequences of their parent's choices.

It is disheartening to me that the Facebook group opposing Bill C-10, the income tax act that would remove tax credits from movies deemed to be contrary to public policy has more than 14,000 members who are in effect saying don't touch our sex saturated entertainment, but the one supporting Mark Steyn and the people being crushed by draconian so-called human rights commissions has only slightly more than a 1,000 members.

If there were government moves to regulate pornography on the Internet I bet you would see an outcry about freedom of speech similar to the ones the Liberals raised over Conservative attempts to make sure violent fictional child porn did not have an artistic freedom defense.

But, apart from a few courageous MPs in the Liberal and Tory parties, where are those who are crying out for freedom of speech when it comes to religion, conscience and political opinion?
They think they are free when they choose to smoke cigarettes. And maybe for most people the first few times they visit a site they can take it or leave it. The first few times they light up a cigarette the same.

But with cigarette smoking I learned the hard way that "he who sins becomes a servant of sin."
Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I ever did, because I discovered this habit was a compulsion, that I was not free to stop via a free choice, that I had to rely on the power of God through prayer to help me. It was a humbling experience, to discover that I was a slave to cigarettes. Thankfully, the Truth in Jesus Christ does really set us free from the shackles of sin. But alas, teaching Christian morality and the freedom through self-restraint and living through the power of the Holy Spirit is increasingly being criminalized through human rights commissions.

Maclean's Magazine has some interesting articles this week about Internet pornography and how children are getting exposed to it in the privacy of their own family rooms.

Yet...I bet if there were any political action to regulate porn on the Internet so as to protect families and children, you would see an outcry against "censorship" like you would not believe. The same people who are silent about real censorship would be pumping the handcart to hell like crazy to protect the rights of children and men to enslave themselves to soul-destroying, dehumanizing, demeaning sexual content. Gee, if the so-called human rights commissions really wanted to look at hatred against women, and boys and girls and men they should go after the porn industry.

Instead, however, the targets of the state are the very things that can preserve and transform our society for the better.

Barbara Kay writes about how the state is encroaching ever more and more upon the rights of the family, as a judge did recently in the case of a father whose 12-year old daughter sued him because he grounded her.
Barbara writes:

Public recoil from the court's appropriation of what most Canadians recognize as a private family dispute was swift and intense. As the Post's Saturday editorial noted: "The courts have no business -- none -- in such routine family matters. This ruling is so profoundly intrusive we can only hope the Quebec appeals court strikes it down, and quickly."

Well, it may and it may not. Thanks to the Charter of Rights, our judiciary has come to assume that all personal behaviours are legally examinable, with alternate behaviours liable to enforcement at the court's pleasure, and so -- under the guise of the child's "right" to a peer social ritual -- an appeals court validation is not unthinkable.

As for the Supremes, should it get that far, who can say nowadays? Perhaps they would decide it is "fundamental justice" for a 12-year-old to exercise autonomy over her body's public representation, or that posting salacious pictures of herself "does no harm" or that since no individual liberties are guaranteed without the court's approval -- including the right to discipline one's own child -- the court's personal values, read into some or other fuzzy Charter sentiment, may supersede the biological parent's wishes in response to any trivially aggrieved child.



Not only do we have a court deciding against a father who tried to discipline his daughter by grounding her after she posted suggestive pictures of herself on the Internet, we have a school board in Vancouver telling parents teaching on marriage and the family that is totally contrary to traditional religious beliefs will be mandatory. No religious exemptions. This is a draconian interference with the traditional rights of parents to determine the education of their children.

We need to deepen our understanding of true freedom, and how individual rights and collective rights of families and religions become a bulwark against those who would deify state power and make us worship Caesar. The HRCs are Caesar's shock troops. When I say collective rights I do not mean collective rights in the expense of individual rights.....we need both, held in a good balance. And by collective rights I do not mean the right "not to be offended." I mean the right of a nationality, of a religion, to publicly express and practice its conscientiously held beliefs as long as they do not violate the Criminal Code or the rights and freedoms of others. Religion is not just a private thing. It is a communal activity. Families are not just what we choose them to be. They are a social institution that is more than the mere some of the individuals. The biological family--mother, father and their offspring---are the best institution for ensuring the procreation and the rearing of future generations.

The state is destroying these intervening institutions.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The pope speaks on human rights . . .

During his live homily, delivered via satellite to the statio orbis mass of the 49th Eucharistic Congress, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the most important human right of all, the right to life.

Here's my story on the historic event.



Pope Benedict XV
By satellite video, Pope Benedict XVI addresses the 49th International Eucharistic Congress.
QUEBEC CITY - By satellite video, Pope Benedict XVI told more than 55,000 pilgrims here June 22 about the wonders of the Eucharist.

“The Eucharist is our most beautiful treasure,” the Pope said via two giant screens that loomed over the historic Plains of Abraham at the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress. “It is the sacrament par excellence; it introduces us in advance to eternal life; it contains all the mysteries of our salvation; it is the source and summit of all the action and the life of the church,” he said in a homily delivered live in both French and English.

The Pope said the Eucharist does not separate us from our contemporaries, but, as the supreme gift of God’s love, calls us to make the world a better place.

“We must not cease to fight so that every person is respected from conception to natural death, that our rich societies welcome the poorest and restore their dignity, that every person can live and feed his family and that peace and justice radiate on all continents,” he said.

The rest.

Joe Sinasac has a nice wrap of the week here.

Check out our blog of the Congress here.