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Friday, October 02, 2009

Intellectual freedom in Canada: The fire along the northern border is not people roasting marshmallows

Franklin Carter at the Book and Periodical Council's Freedom of Expression Committee informs me that the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has appealed the ruling of its own tribunal in the online publishing dispute between Richard Warman and Marc Lemire. Let's hope this finally goes before real lawyers and judges, not social engineers and jet setters.

Blazing Cat Fur asks me to post this, so I do:
The CHRC has mounted a Kamikaze effort to defend the odious Section 13 (1). It is imperative that we ask those organizations who support 13 (1)'s repeal to seek Intervenor Status in the upcoming judicial review of Warman v. Lemire .

Do your bit, write the organizations listed below, where appropriate ask if they plan to seek official status at the judicial review, offer to assist if at all possible with a donation. Nag Harper, nag Nicholson nag your MP, nag the members of the Justice Committee. Send a letter to the editor of your local daily, or write your favourite columnist.

This is your fight, take a swing and make it count for Free Speech. Let our opponents know that we will not negotiate and we will not beg for what is rightfully ours.
Meanwhile, Brian Lilley explains why our Prime Minister does nothing, and will not do anything until there is an angry person on every street. And, as the shakedown continues, that will probably happen. Meanwhile, here is the latest "human rights" Commission outrage. A guy running a gay bed and breakfast had to pay shakedown to someone with a seeing eye dog, but he gets allergic reactions to dogs.

See, the mistake I think the Commissions made is this: They got greedy. Instead of just hounding Catholic bishops and priests, Protestant pastors, Jews, or journalists, they are now going after just anyone at all who can be shaken down.

If you run a Reign of Terror, that is a fundamental mistake. You should focus on groups like the above, whom the average Lotto ticket buyer, movie renter, and employment insurance lineup ticket holder does not care about. Once you start scaring absolutely everybody in town ... people begin to wonder if we are not just better off without you.

It is exceedingly difficult to get rid of a government bureaucracy in Canada, but it has sometimes happened. The eugenics committees, who could order compulsory sterilizations, were abolished - because people were justifiably more afraid of them than of daft kids. I sincerely hope the current "human rights" crowd joins them soon.

Kenyon Wallace reports in the National Post,
The CHRC keeps a file of privately published news stories, opinion columns and blog entries about the commission. According to Terry O'Neill, the CHRC has amassed 1,001 such articles but is unwilling to release the details unless researchers pay a hefty price in dollars.
O'Neill comments in the National Post.

When I asked about the Lynch "hate list" recently, the director-general informed me that they were not watching me. But I have no idea whether to believe them. This is a rogue agency, whose employees pretended to be Nazis for purposes of entrapment. So why should I believe anything they say? For one thing, if you really were a Nazi, the safest place in Canada to hide would be the Canadian Human Rights Commission. You could do it all safely there and pretend it was just a game.

That, by the way, is one reason that entrapment must be very carefully managed even where it may be justified (= infiltrating organized crime or terror cells, for example, to prevent imminent violence). Ordinary civil servants or government-paid freelancers should never have been doing this stuff, and in my view, the people in charge should just resign and seek other work.

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Just up at The Mindful Hack

Psychic phenomena: Persistent paradox

Reptile brain: Even reptiles don't have one, or not exactly, anyway

Law and society: Why I don't believe in the death penalty

Baby bigots? Or adults who pay too much for fishwrap?

Neurolaw: The new "Freudian psychology", but this time with expensive gadgets?

(Note: If you follow me at Twitter, you will get regular notice of new Mindful Hack posts, usually when I have posted five or so stories.)

Fun with Mark Steyn: But when isn't Mark Steyn fun?

Mark, Canadian columnist to the world, discusses a recent fossil find with Hugh Hewitt:
HH: Well, we cannot let this day pass without recognizing two important things. First of all, we’ve discovered a primate that’s 1.2 million years older than Lucy, and apparently a competition between ancient bones has broken out, Mark Steyn. Are you indifferent as to which is the older and allegedly part of our family tree?

MS: Yes, I am, really. I never get terribly excited about so-called evolution stories, because it seems to me that it’s the tiny little bit of us, I can’t remember what it is now, I think it’s not just that we’re, whatever it is, 97% ape, but we’re supposedly 86% or something pumpkin. And clearly, if that’s true, then there’s something not terribly useful about the scale. It’s the tiny little percentage that separates us from the rest of this stuff that makes the difference.

HH: Well, that pumpkin stuff explains radio producers. I’d never thought of that before.
In case anyone cares what I think, after the "Ida" fiasco, I have sworn off accepting any fossil tales in the early days if their discovery. Time will tell if this is anything to write home about.

See also: Scientific American quietly disowns Ida fossil

Human evolution: More from the Ida? I dunno ... files

Ida? I dunno. I wish I had bet a whack on the pop science press dumping all over it

Human evolution: Hype, tripe, trumpets, and (lagging some way after, way out of breath) truth and realism

Darwinists are forever nagging the keepers of the public purse to generously fund their efforts to sell their story to a disbelieving public, but the money is wasted by definition. The reason people don't believe a lot of this stuff is that it isn't believable. More public relations will actually make more people aware of scandals like "Ida" or the fact that there is little or no response to the ridiculous claims of "evolutionary psychology" - which make the science press sound like the National Enquirer.

Apparently, even New York Mayor Bloomberg got taken in. Trust he knows better now.


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