Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Civil Liberties and Human Rights should remain important for all Canadians

There is no doubt that essential civil liberties and basic human rights should remain constitutionalized, important and intact for all Canadians and their Canadian livelihood, but when special agendas begin to pick and choose whose liberties and rights can trump others, that is when one must question the actions of government assisted commissions and associations one the point of principle alone.

Recently in Ontario, Human Rights Commissioner Barbara Hall and the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled that Christian Horizons, an Ontario based religious social justice agency for the developmentally challenged, could no longer require employees to sign a morality statement. On the issue of prevention against discrimination and harassment of sexual orientation, which has always been covered in the OHRC since its creation by the Robarts Progressive Conservative government in 1962 to administer the Ontario Human Rights Code, seems to fly high against that of prevention against discrimination and harassment of spiritual religion, now to a point where the code protects sexual orientation rights over those of spiritual religion. This is confirmed when reading the decision's statement by Hall, predecessor to third term Harris Progressive Conservative government OHRC appointee Keith Norton, "this decision is important because it sets out that when faith based and other organizations move beyond serving the interests of their particular community to serving the general public, the rights of others, including employees, must be respected".

This is not just Ontario, as Ottawa's Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal and their Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977 under the Trudeau Liberal government have led themselves down the same path, therefore also the same problems. In the areas of free and hate speech under Section 13.1 of the Act, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and its Commissioner Jennifer Lynch had been having a headache over a free and hate speech fight, between Canadian Islamic Congress and Macleans Roger Communications, where an individual article promoted flagrant Islamophobia that subjected Muslims in Canada to hatred and contempt, but it was eventually dismissed. Yet, the Canadian dean of civil liberties Alan Borovoy is right when he states his opinion that democracies must allow them to speak freely, no matter how repugnant, or else they cease to be true working and functioning democracies, an open allowence with guarantee that is currently held in check by and subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law, as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society, in areas such as free speech, as my past Redeemer political science professor David T. Koyzis would always point out properly.

Both commissions are independent agencies of the provincial and federal government, accountable to the legislature and parliament through the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario and the Ministry of Justice of Canada, which means they at the end of the day remain accountable to the taxpayer. Or, so they would be justified as such in a free and democratic society full of free and democratic citizens, perhaps the day has indeed come to elect its judges, an idea that bring honesty, accountability and transparency right to its point. The Supreme Court of Canada, which has upheld criminal anti hate provisions through both code and statutes, will soon have to perhaps look at not only protecting the people from the freedom to discrimination against something or someone, but also the freedom to expression for something or someone, just as the Human Rights Commission of Canada have created a commission to account for its recent actions too.

These commissions and tribunals with their codes must realize one important principle in law, when you make a law or legislation, you must be able to enforce or defend it, not just legally, but morally too. People have the right to write, say or do anything stupid at worst or disagreeable at best, but they also have the responsibility not to write, say or do anything stupid at worst or disagreeable at best, to create more legislation or rulings on such matters takes away both from those who need to learn just common sense in our society today. By deciding upon matters one way over another, such biased reading of a universal code for all people involved, this will eventually deny the rights, liberties, responsibilities, freedoms and the fundamental independence of all people involved, which is exactly what the code and their commissions and tribunal were built to fight against.

Friday, April 11, 2008

No Sausagefest yet still Tackled Up

Redeemer has this little college tradition called Sausagefest, not sure when it officially started, someone says that university archives have it dated back to 2004, but it has us guys wrestling, body, arm and other parts at the end of the year. I took part as a fluke last year, was able to go to the final seven seconds, but was thumped twice on my head by my worthy opponent Jay Slump in the quarters, who I believe went on to the final for his eventual tagteammed defeat. Women here at ReDee supposedly have a Breastfest, but I sure have not seen any evidence of it, though I believe the whole point, as I understand it, is that we men and they women must remain separate the whole day.

Anyhow, I was unable to make their originally stated time of 1 in the afternoon, as I had planned to be sprinting from late morning to early afternoon off campus, but then they changed it yesterday to 4:30 p.m. until dark, behind Dorm 37 down by the courts, which made the event doable. However, then some weird weather came in, a wacky brew of cold wind, fog and some rain that I hear made the grounds too muddy, not like last year's was not muddy enough, especially all done in our barefeet. So just before art class started at 4, minutes before leaving, I had got myself all pumped up with some Rocky Balboa footage and soundtrack for the occasion this time around, already to go. Then with my whole workout silver getup on, it came as quite the blow to find out, just before leaving the building that it had been cancelled, but with its end came the reality no rematch of any kind was going to happen this year. Even with the rumour it would be rescheduled tomorrow, that would be impossible for me, as I had to get some photos shot all next day, so I sadly walked to the gym with my head low, silver fight night getup still on and now depumped about to do some light benching and that was it.

Yet there was my redemption, my good pal Johnny Smye and his Steel City Ironmen bud Darren Arnold were already there inside waiting for me, getting all jacked by the smith machine, because I had forgot we had also been playing indoor football on Friday Nights at five, who immediately upon my return, informed me that they gym had been closed, carpeted down and was getting ready for exams. I was happy that he was there, so we could do some workouts together, but then both explained that no, if we were not going to play the game as originally planned, then what kind of real need was there for them to stick around here. So with the cancellation of both Sausagefest and Five Oclock Friday Night Football Indoors, Johnny came up with a brilliant suggestion towards eventual satisfaction of all parties, on this very contentious situation.

Oh Joshua, he exclaimed, why not take me up on placing a bet of $20 greenbacks that I can get myself and this ball I now hold across that white line behind you, without you even tackling me, as he held my pigskin tight to his chest with his forearm. Standing just by the front foyer entry, next to the doors to the athletic department, he then added, but if I do fail, I will pay out the same amount to you, all in Canuckbucks with the Queen E 2 on the front. After quite the time deciding the rules for full fairness, making sure it was as safe as we could make it, though a line of lockers, five doors and a vending machine were all pivotally possible problems, we got ready to rumble with no one coming our way on either side. With Offensive Linemen Darren being our judge and joint second, it was a complete inhouse offence versus defence on the hall, except reversed as he the challenging defensive back had the ball and me the defending running back had to make the big tackle. Johnny made a leap forward, a studderstep juke, almost taking me out right there, as he passed the over halfway mark, but I held my ground, with him bounding backwards then squared in low for the wrap, one I have missed several times in games past. Finally getting him around the waist, just before his classic froglike turnaround escape I have witnessed him make on others took effect, I threw him down on the rubber bristled mat, my solid tackle ended with a smack of both bodies against the hard tiled floor right back at those twin doors.

Sunshine finally hit my heart, we agreed it was all farmers bet, as it was now a point of honour, not the cash, since the only thing I wanted out of it was my tackle for the night, perhaps needed for the weeks ahead as we emotionally entered exam period, then we shook hands on it. After which I asked them if they wanted to stick around for more workout time inside, but they had to do their business up on the Mountain, so I went in and did mine at the gym. It all ended like any other night in the Bubble at ReDee, but at least I got back into the real spirit of the game again, the way it was and always should be, man versus man in whatever element they find themselves in. Hype is a real natural drug that beats all others, the high one gets off that should never be tried for duplication elsewhere synthetically, I guess that is why some of us do the daredevil thing, like bungeeing highly of the rocks or rollerblading quickly down the steeps, just to go where few others wish to go, but for all the trouble it creates, both legally and physically, that hiphopped up heighten sense of life from the crazy action really makes it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Vick makes Leavenworth into the Longest Yard

That Michael Vick was suspended in the first place, on the known activities of gambling within the dogfighting ring, was a bit of a shock as the custom is part of the life that is lived on the north shore of the James River in Virigina.

But now with news of his playing ironman all time quarterback at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary Camp in Kansas, mainly to keep in shape for the next two years less a month, Michael really is living out the Longest Yard in real life. Vick has been incarcerated for 23 months at the facility's minimum security, federally sentenced in December after pleading guilty to its charges, but all this seems to be nothing but a chicken wing as he will be in one of the best minor league football systems in the world, on par with Canadian, World and Arena ball, as he begins to toss the ball during their prison football season. While Michael takes advantage of his unfortunate situation, his fellow Virgina Tech Quarterback brother Marcus has been in a ton of legal troubles himself, mainly alcohol and drug charges, which just may land him in the same new league as his brother, if the Montgomery Federal Penitentiary Camp in Alabama makes him their own first round draft pick.

Instead of them playing against each other with the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins, perhaps we instead shall be seeing a Ron Mexico playcalling Leavenworth against one Jon Canada bootlegging Montgomery in a most epic showdown on the field since Paul Crewe and his Mean Machine, then again perhaps the guards would already have the prisonsers' number and payoff the playoff game before it happened.