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Friday, May 08, 2009

Intellectual freedom in Canada: Latest roundup - 3 of 3

All I can say, in response to the following, is this: All you spies and snitches who covet a job with the Canadian government, maybe you should fill in an application with a bistro instead.

Lots of people do NOT think you add to the quality of our lives.

From the excellent Franklin Carter at the Book and Periodical Council's Freedom of Expression Committee:

At the federal Liberal convention in Vancouver, delegates voted to "strengthen" the powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. But the vote was far from unanimous.

Garrett Zehr of The Tyee reports: In Alberta, the Sheldon Chumir Foundation -- a civil libertarian org -- takes apart the provincial government's proposal to reform Alberta's HRC. The analysis appears in Alberta Talks:

The debate continues over Ezra Levant's Shakedown, the human rights commissions and the limits of free expression.

First, the debate has spilled into the United States. In Salon, Glenn Greenwald comments on his blog. It is easy to be a Glenn Greenwald, if you are not facing ruin as a result of the fact that someone disagrees with you. In Reason, Michael Moynihan responds to Greenwald's arguments here.

Back in Canada, Marcus McCann of Xtra -- Canada's largest news source for gays and lesbians -- comments at length on Shakedown.

In Toronto, NOW Magazine's Susan Cole attacks the book -- and takes flak from readers (which she entirely deserves).

Imagine! An "alternative" magazine editor wanting to be a censor of jokes! Must we develop an alternative to the alternative? Wouldn't it be simpler to get rid of Cole and just have a plain ordinary alternative magazine , where you are allowed to say stuff lots of honchos don't like?

Paul Lungen of The Canadian Jewish News reports

Carter also notes: For new readers of BPC FoEC news bulletins, I re-post Rob Breakenridge's commentary on Alberta's Bill 44. The legislation proposes to amend the province's human rights act but does nothing about the threat to free expression. Breakenridge is a radio host on Calgary's CHQR:

In the National Post, Kevin Libin also comments on Bill 44:

Finally, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted another resolution that condemns "defamation of religion" (also known as "blasphemy") as a human rights violation. The Canadian government, among others, opposed the resolution. In the Ottawa Citizen, Laura MacInnis reports.

Not a good sign. The most powerful empire in the world on the day that Jesus was born was ... Rome! The Roman Empire persecuted Christians for four centuries - there were hundreds of thousands of martyrs - and then Christians ended up in charge of the Empire.

Huh?

No real religion needs laws against defamation. At one of the blogs I serve, which accepts comments, Uncommon Descent, we have a troll monitor who simply removes posts and bans commenters who - if I may be so bold - eff and dam, and act like we are competing for Troll Hole of the Year. We are not. So they are just gone. Why get the government involved?

Passing laws against defamation - at least to me - signals weakness, not strength.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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