Alright, here’s today’s second installment, for your delectation and delight. Or whatever.
First off, Blazing Cat Fur has a good time with a CHRC position paper that could have been: CHRC releases Position Paper on Catholicism.
Second, by Ramesh Thakur, via the Globe and Mail: Rights under attack:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the central organizing principle of global human rights, transformed a noble aspiration into binding standards and a source of power and authority on behalf of victims. Now human rights are under threat on three fronts.Many civil liberties and privacy rights have been sacrificed on the altar of enhanced security measures. Our government has abandoned some Canadians jailed and abused overseas under the anti-terrorism label. Our military is accused of handing over suspects to Afghan interrogators skilled at breaking more than toothpicks.
A second source of alarm is that human-rights machinery is threatening to become a monster mocking the meat it feeds on. Human rights should protect individuals from political, social and religious oppression. The state has the responsibility for enacting laws and creating institutions to monitor and enforce them. Groups can capture the political agenda and subvert the process to “protect” group human rights by penalizing individuals who dissent from community views and behaviour.
Criminalizing hate speech is a case in point, especially when offence is established by the hurt sensibilities of a complainant. University campuses, which should be among the front-line defenders of free speech, have been among the first to succumb to political correctness and lobby group pressure. Yale University Press, for example, published a book on the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed but refused to reprint the cartoons.
Fourth, don’t miss today’s totalitarian-sounding ‘human rights’ message, via Scaramouche.
Fifth, also via Scaramouche: Left Out of the Victim Group:
Found this one in the Alberta Human Rights Commission’s newsletter:
•Through funding from the HREMF [Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund], Stage Left Productions offered a social justice leadership program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexual, queer and questioning youth (LGBTTIQ). The participants in this program helped develop a safe space model guide for school administrators and teachers titled OUTSpoken: Youth Supporting Safe Schools. The guide addresses the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities to ensure that all students are provided with safe, caring and inclusive learning environments that respect and affirm their individual identities and experiences. It also provides student perspectives on how they can connect as a community and become more involved. The guide was distributed to a number of schools in the Calgary area. The participants also helped develop an advocacy guide, a LGBTTIQ health competency tool, and workshop. To order these resources contact Stage Left Productions.
I’m glad that everyone in these highly specific categories will be able to have their identities and experiences affirmed at Alberta taxpayers’ expense.
Read the rest here.
Sixth, via Contrarian.ca: What’s the difference between a “no queers” sign and a set of steps?
I am still stuck on the Down Syndrome thread. As Canadians with disabilities will tell you, Canada has a medical model of disability. The approach is, “let’s fix what’s wrong with you,” rather than, “let’s fix what’s wrong with us.” Hence the inaccessible buses, devilish sidewalks, and antediluvian building codes. The result is a hidden and large group of people who are disenfranchised, undervalued, ignored, and sometimes abused. See the shocking account in Monday’s Chronicle-Herald.
One of my big defeats was an unsuccessful complaint against poor building codes I made to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission in 2006. I thought it was pretty compelling, but the HRC are evidently a bunch of cowards who declined to get involved in improving lives.
Read the rest here.
Seventh, I think Stageleft is trying to prove some kind of point in this post: Levant and Free Speechers Swiftly and Firmly Support Greenpeace (any second now):
Ezra Levant today issued a strongly worded rebuke to the Government of Canada for its decision to ban Greenpeace logos from Parliament Hill.
“However much I may disagree with their political and environmental views, to ban the logo of an internationally known environmental group from the Hill is absurd in too many ways to count. But I am especially offended by this egregious assault on freedom of expression. We’ve fought for our collective right to publish offensive cartoons, queer-bash, slander Muslims, mock blacks and and Japs and Injuns, and otherwise uphold our proud national values; the notion that my government, in what seems like a fit of infantile pique, is now banning a logo, a picture, from Parliament Hill, the heart of our democracy, is appalling to me and to everyone who cherishes our precious freedom.”
Levant was joined at the podium by bloggers Arnie Lemaire, Kathy Shaidle, someone called Binks, and a woman on a motorcycle, all of whom nodded vigorously. Speaking for the group, Jay Currie stated firmly: “Yeah. Us too.”
Read the rest here. Actually, just for the record, I stated my opposition to that ban. But you know – whatever. I don’t count.