April 7, 2008

Jadewarr Steps Out To The Corner Store

Over the past few days, a thought has been gnawing at me.

Most critics of the human rights racket still allow that the commissions serve a legitimate purpose in protecting the rights of individuals to equal employment and lodging opportunities. But with each new revelation about the personalities and practices of Warman, Steacy and Co., I've started asking myself "What are the odds that the abuse and incompetence are unique to the section 13 thought police branch?"

My best guess was "zero".

It didn’t make a sliver of difference to note that this opportunist had been using this known tactic for a number of years… extorting money from small mom and pop places (filing complaints on such enterprises, knowing well that most would give in and cough up some compensation).

So the Human Rights commission kept bumbling along… to the point of losing the “case” file, clearing the charge due to it being dormant for over 3 years, only to have it brought back to life “due to a clerical oversight”.

In addition to this indignity, we were harassed by a so-called investigator, who in the midst of her self importance, let out a slip of the lip… a RACIAL slur! Yes. A real bonafide racist remark made by a representative of the BC Human Rights Commission!

More - Too corrupt for the real police...


Posted by Kate at April 7, 2008 7:50 PM

Here's the problem with Human Rights

Wronged by our rights

Theodore Dalrymple says that so-called human rights drive out kindness, decency, tolerance and all sense of mutual obligation People who stand on their rights are seldom much concerned with the rights of others. There is no logical reason why this should be so, but it is a fact of human psychology. ‘It’s my right!’ is a call not of freedom, but of egotism.

Of course, we all want to live in a society in which certain rights are respected. The right of free speech, the right to a fair trial if accused, freedom from arbitrary arrest, and so forth: to these we can all assent without worrying too much about the metaphysical nature of rights, whether they derive from God, from human nature, or from mere historical and legal convention.

There is little doubt, however, that the idea of rights has expanded dramatically in the last few years, so that no sphere of human existence is left untouched by them. This expansion is the end product of decades of what one might call resentment studies: the academic view of the human past and present as nothing but oppression, of minorities by majorities and of majorities by minorities. The only protection from such oppression is formal legislation. No dissatisfied person or complainant now fails to mention the violation of his rights, which makes him doubly aggrieved.

The principal beneficiaries have been the lawyers, rather than those to whom the supposed rights have been granted, or those who believe (or have been persuaded) that they possess them. Negative rights — the absence of formal legal prohibitions — have been replaced by substantive rights. For example, it was once the case that a woman’s right to bear a child if she so wished meant that no one had the right to forbid or prevent her from having a child; now it means the right to in vitro fertilisation on the same basis as any or every other woman, irrespective of her personal character or habits.

This expansion of rights has led to both a paralysis of the public service and to a rapid and terrible deterioration in the character of the population — not of everyone, of course, but of substantial numbers of people.

It is easy to see why. Once something is declared or believed to be a right, it carries with it a metaphysical connotation of inalienability. This again is a matter of psychology rather than of philosophy or logic, but it is so and likely to remain so. Thus, by definition in the minds of many, a right imposes not duties, for if it did, it would not be a right. Rights are unconditional; and even if they were granted by Parliament they cannot be abrogated.

A right to health care means that the patient — or should I say customer? — is under no obligation to behave reasonably towards those who provide it. Nothing he does can deprive him of his rights. If, as a result of his own ill-conduct, he doesn’t get what he thinks he needs, he believes his rights to have been violated.

The idea of rights to tangible benefits sets up a deeply unattractive and psychologically damaging dialectic between ingratitude on the one hand and grievance and resentment on the other. If you receive what you believe yourself entitled to, you are not grateful, precisely because you were entitled to it in the first place. If, on the other hand, you do not receive what you believe yourself entitled to, you are doubly aggrieved, first at not receiving what you want, and second at the violation of your supposed right to it.

Moreover, it is quite clear that the extension of rights has the effect, and no doubt the intention, of turning the population into a rabble of dependants and petitioners. It extends the power of bureaucrats, adjudicators of rights and lawyers over the rest of society. If you believe yourself entitled by rights to something that you do not receive, what do you do? You spend your time and energy seeking redress from the very people who have failed you in the first place, rather than seeking a constructive solution for yourself. Your independence is sapped, which is precisely what a state dominated by lawyers and administrators wants. And so you are enticed into the administrative labyrinth, from which you will never emerge.

Considerations of people’s supposed rights often paralyse sensible action. They preclude kindness and common sense. Let me give an example from the prison. On human rights grounds, it is forbidden to treat psychiatrically disturbed patients against their will in prison, except under dire emergency. Thanks to the brilliant brains of the Department of Health, moreover, prison is the new psychiatric hospital, the DoH-induced shortage of hospital beds meaning that prison is the only place for the most acutely disturbed.

As any visitor to 18th-century Bedlam could have told you, untreated psychiatric patients are often very noisy. Prison is, as a matter of fact that we are not going to change, the kind of institution in which noise is magnified by echoes and reverberations.

In the name of human rights, therefore, one untreated and noisy psychiatric patient may keep scores of other prisoners awake night after night by his constant shouting and banging, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Why not send him to hospital, you may ask? Because there are no hospital beds. And so, in the name of an abstraction so beloved of our intellectual classes, many people suffer quite unnecessarily, and even the person allegedly being protected by the observance of his rights is denied the treatment that he needs.

Considerations of rights, which are deemed by much of the population to be inalienable, unconditional and metaphysically unassailable, drive out considerations of kindness, decency, tolerance, mutual obligation and so forth: all the considerations, in fact, that make civilised or dignified existence in a crowded society possible. Everyone becomes an atom of an inert gas in a vacuum, whose rights act as physical forces to prevent him from combining sociably with other such atoms.

Thus a man in a tower block believes he has a right to play his music at all hours of the day and night; his neighbour, on the other hand, believes he has a right to peace and quiet. How is this conflict between two absolute but opposite rights resolved? Trial by baseball bat, since the vaunted protections offered by the legal system do not exist in cases such as this. Hell hath no fury like a man who believes his rights are being violated.

The idea of human rights, then, when extended beyond a few very general and negative rights, does not liberate us; it turns us into feral egotists who are at the same time dependent. This effect can be seen in our schools, where children do as they please because, with the native cunning of youth, they have realized the permissive possibilities inherent in the notion of their rights. I can only say how relieved I am that I shall not be around to see the full flowering of the human-rights culture in the years to come.

Posted by: John West at April 7, 2008 8:26 PM

Back in the 1940s, Simone Weil warned about "human rights" uncoupled from "human responsibilities." We see the results of this uncoupling every day.

Since the Steyn/Levant cases became big news in December, I've received a number of stories like the one Kate posted, but am asked not to blog about them.

People want someone to know about what they've experienced but remain terrified about getting in trouble.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 7, 2008 8:32 PM

Ujjal Doshanjh, now a Liberal MP, would not reply to this man's repeated requests for help.

Very interesting!

Posted by: BB at April 7, 2008 8:40 PM

A little bit o mythology right here in Canada, lop one head off The Hydra Commission and an even more disgusting one takes its place.

Posted by: Bernie at April 7, 2008 9:11 PM

Its like Aliens. You no sooner put paid to one gross monster than the next one falls off the ceiling on you. Then your automated area defense runs out of ammo and all heck breaks loose.

Tax cut. Biiiiig hairy one. Drop it on 'em from orbit. "Its the only way to be sure."

Posted by: The Phantom at April 8, 2008 12:14 AM

Human rights thugs are no different than MOST bureaucrats. They all sit on thier f**king asses making up rules. There are examples of it everyday.

The difference with HRC thugs is they have more authority than most bureaucrats. Its just like a border guard. Most are assholes to start with but they get a gun and it makes them a "super" asshole. The question I want ask is does the border service hire assholes or do they become assholes once they are hired?

Horny toad

Posted by: Horny Toad at April 8, 2008 12:47 AM

ever the optimist and considering pm harper's quote that goes way back about the hrcs being "scary stuff" - plus the long haul that saw reform/alliance/conservative/minority gov't - does it not make sense that stephen harper has a personal stake in seeing this abomination of good intention rendered? his patience must be tried at every new report because i believe he follows this. and i believe that when, not if, the conservatives form a majority - this dark piece of canadian history will be decisively put to rest.

i am planning a quiet celebration with a bottle of fine red wine when that day comes. i won't be dancing on anyone's grave but i will sleep much better that night than any other night of the last four months.

phantom - i agree - nuke 'em.

Posted by: johnnyonline at April 8, 2008 1:33 AM

mark lemire started it. unlikely as a hero he is nonetheless.

Posted by: kelly at April 8, 2008 1:56 AM

I got taken to the commission once.

Not as bad as it sounds, I only found out about it after the fact when the commission sent me a letter to my place of employment. It was in the mid 90s, I was middle management, and I caught an employee red handed stealing. I fired the employee, who promptly launched a claim with the OHRC for two weeks pay. The commission dismissed the complaint, as there is no provision for payment in lieu of notice when fired for just cause.

The complainant? Dave Finlayson, lives north of Oshawa now, runs a drywall contracting business. Just kidding. It was a visible minority woman, single mom. I of course am a white guy.

About the posted story: when I was younger and much better looking I was a waiter in Vancouver. It wasn't *that* long ago, the term "server" had already been normalized in the industry. I did notice that the Chinese community was a little slow on the uptake and the Chinese owned places still advertised for "waitress" when everyone else was advertising for "servers". It gave the impression that human rights codes don't apply to the ethnic community and I took notice if not objection to it back then.

If in fact this scenario did occur then I have little sympathy for the so called "Mom and Pop" Chinese restaurants that got taken to the commission; that's what they get for voting Liberal and cashing in on affirmative action. Score one for the boys.

Posted by: Defendant at April 8, 2008 4:36 AM

I'm appalled that the Justice Minister hasn't even made an attempt to address the immoral and unethical behavior in the HRCs in Canada, from all the evidence that has been posted on the net and blogs there is absolutely no reason for his silence. Just because the HRCs can act outside the laws that govern us "Unwashed dirty little people" doesn't mean it shouldn't be addressed. I want the issues of misconduct, planting evidence, why are investigators and complainants allowed to maliciously persecute people for personal reasons. What's it going to take for a responsible government to deal with this issue?

Shame on Harper, there is more than enough evidence to order an internal investigation by an outside police agency or consultant. Why the silence, do those that have had their lives destroyed not matter? To be labeled a Neo Nazi by the HRC doesn't mean a person is one, considering they themselves freguent White Supremacist sites for sport and to implant evidence. Who's the real White Supremacist, an anonymous person posting his pride of skin color or a employee of the HRC spreading filth and hatred? The lines blurred now, those that investigate are more vile than those they entrapped. In my opinion.

Posted by: Rose at April 8, 2008 7:25 AM

Rose - I too am stumpted by Harper's inaction.

I guess, it is more important to talk about human rights abuses in China rather than deal with real human rights abusers here at home.

Posted by: The LS from SK at April 8, 2008 7:41 AM

The only purpose HRCs serve is as a make work project for the sleaziest collection of venal public sector parasites we have.

The only side benefit has been that Canadians are safe from witches and space lizards.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at April 8, 2008 8:17 AM

Rose and WLMR: No politician is going to martyr themselves for the cause, when they are desperately trying to win a majority. I suspect that Harper will end up forming a non-partisan committee (a la the Afghanistan panel and the David Johnson thing) to review the issue and provide recommendations.

I'm sure that PMSH and Levant have had discussions of some sort and I suspect that they are letting more and more light to shine on the dark underbelly in hopes of illuminating more Liberal or bureaucratic malfeasance.

Maybe the iron isn't hot enough to strike yet. Also, would PMSH want to come out swinging in support of a neo-Nazi? Wouldn't he wait until that issue has cooled and the Steyn and Levant cases are front and centre?

"Guilt by association" is the game that the media will play...witness Kinsella's actions in that aspect.

Posted by: Eeyore at April 8, 2008 9:17 AM

Rose and LS, why is it Harper's job to save your butts? Begging the government for relief is the Liberal way, not the conservative way.

I can pretty much guarantee you that because of the likes of Robert Fife and his innumerable fellow travelers in the MSM, Mr. Harper is going to say -nothing-, and say it loud.

Inconvenient, but life often is. Big Brother is not going to come and haul your chestnuts out of the fire, because Big Brother is the problem. My suggestion is that you start raising all kinds of hell with every MSM outlet and government factotum you can get an address for.

Politely, of course.

You want your right to free speech back? Better start screeching. My MP is on this like ugly on a wart hog. What's your MP doing?

Posted by: The Phantom at April 8, 2008 10:17 AM

John West - Bravo, sir. I was going to leave a comment, but you have encapsulated the issue most succinctly in your post.

Posted by: Jonathan W at April 8, 2008 7:58 PM

John West - Many thanks for the Theodore Dalrymlpe take on things. I LOVE his writing.

Although you don't use quotation marks, I assume that most of your post, @ 8:26 p.m. on April 7, was an article he wrote. I want to copy it, so have a favour to ask: could you please indicate the exact beginning and end of the article? Is the title "Wronged by our Rights"?


Posted by: lookout at April 8, 2008 8:06 PM