Monday, August 25, 2008

Chicken Neck Wringing by Human Rights Commissars

Ah, dear reader, things get more and more tawdry with every passing week. I am the son and grandson of men who went to war with the Canadian army and air force respectively (WWI and WWII) to fight for our freedoms. In my youth I had the great honour to receive a commission from HMQ, who for some odd reason had the notion to "repose especial trust in my loyalty, courage and integrity," which merely goes to prove that there is simply no accounting for the whims of royalty or their Governors General (in my case The Right Honourable Roland Michener).

When made a second lieutenant, back when men were still men and sheep were nervous, I was a rather pathetic and spindly specimen of the profession of arms- so much so - I kid you not - that a doctor of medicine, in good standing with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, after appropriate and solemn reflection, recommended I quaff copious quantities of brewed hops and malt every day in order to gain weight. I followed his advice. It took diligence I tell you. But I digress .............

The point of this post has to do with the odious institutions in Canada that are doing their level bureaucratic best to strangle freedom of speech in what Mark Steyn (himself a target of the these modern Star Chambers) calls our "demented Dominion." My forebears would be shocked and appalled at our negligence in defending our freedoms against all enemies external and internal.

To the point. My Saturday National Post had this to say about that.

A group of U. S. professors launched a campaign this week protesting plans by a prominent political science organization to hold its annual conference in Toronto next year, claiming that Canada's restrictions on certain forms of speech puts controversial academics at risk of being prosecuted.

Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania's St. Vincent College, said he will present a petition calling for the American Political Science Association (APSA) to re-evaluate its selection of Toronto for its 2009 conference at this year's annual meeting, taking place over the Labour Day weekend in Boston.

His protest has garnered support from dozens of professors across the United States, including prominent scholars such as Princeton University legal philosopher Robert P. George and Harvard University's Harvey Mansfield.

"Our belief is that the APSA should choose its sites carefully, with particular regard for questions of freedom of speech and conscience," Mr. Watson told the National Post by e-mail. "We therefore believe Canada to be a problematic destination."

Mr. Watson said that professors signing the petition are concerned that recent human rights commission investigations into Maclean's and Western Standard magazines over articles concerning Islam, and the conviction of pastor Stephen Boisson, who was ordered by Alberta's human rights tribunal in May to cease publicizing criticisms of homosexuality, suggest that professors risk being chilled from discussing important academic subjects, or ending up in legal trouble. Mr. Watson said he plans to distribute hundreds of buttons to attendees at the Boston conference reading "Toronto 2009, Non!"

Canada's human rights chickens are coming home to roost and like most chicken coops the stench from the coops is ripe. The smell extends south to our southern neighbours who, while having their own challenges in dealing with politically correct claptrap, have a constitution that unambiguously defends the right of free speech. Here we piously affirm we have the right of free speech, but then immediately state that it is subject to certain necessary restrictions (freedom is not unrestricted - subject to such reasonable limitations etc. etc.) , before proceeding to gut the freedom it of any real content. It is what happens when you treat a seminal constitutional document like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as not a written set of political guarantees, but as a living tree, necessitating regular applications of ideological legal fertilizer.

Sir Winston Churchill said to the Canadian Parliament in December 1941:
When I warned them [the French] that Britain would fight on alone whatever they did, their generals told their prime minister and his divided Cabinet, "In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken." Some chicken; some neck.
What Petain's generals of collaborationist France predicted in 1940, and what Adoph Hitler's evil legions failed to accomplish thanks to men like my father, the odious apparatchiks of Canada's human rights commissions are achieving through stealth and ideological zealousness. Unaccountable human rights commissars are succeeding in wringing the neck of the chicken.

American political scientists are right to be afraid of speaking their minds in Canada.

Several professors in the working group behind the protest "have written in areas that seem particularly disfavoured by the Canadian legal establishment," Mr. Watson said. "We are uncertain of the extent of the legal jeopardy that APSA members might place themselves in should they make public arguments in Canada, or post those arguments online, concerning hot-button issues like homosexuality, same-sex marriage, or the nature of the Islamist threat to Western civilization."

The American Political Science Association, whose members include both American and Canadian academics, is the oldest and largest organization of political science professors. Next month's annual meeting, expected to draw roughly 7,000 political scientists, will be its 104th. The program includes such discussions as Terrorism and Human Rights; Varying Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage; and Missing Alliances and (Un)expected Transformations in the Politics of Islam.

How much longer will Canadians put up with these modern inquisitions?

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army


At 9:20 pm, October 13, 2008 , Blogger Smiley said...

HI John the Mad
YOu asked how long will Canadians put up. I am sorry to inform you that only a few Canadians think that the HRCs are a problem
Canadians are not chickens but ostriches. When there is a problem they hied their heads in the sand and as they cannot see it they think the problem does not exist. They think oh it does not affect me so it is not my problem. I think that HRCs will get stronger and soon you and I will not write the types of blogs we do. But damn hell if you think i am going to go out without a fight.

At 11:47 pm, October 20, 2008 , Blogger John the Mad said...

Damn it to hell - well said!


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