[Times Online] If his aim was to be noticed by America, Russell Brand more than achieved his goal last night as he ranted that President Bush was a “retarded cowboy” while hosting the MTV awards.
The New York Times were appreciative of Brand’s turn, saying the “manic, intelligent English comedian, injected the show with politics (pro-Barack Obama), raunch and philosophical musings.”
Oh. You thought the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission worked for Canadians, just because you pay her salary? Silly you. Canada’s just a small cog in the World Congress Mission Machine (we’re not being paranoid; they actually call themselves the World Congress, and Lynch herself talks about their “mission.”)
We got her pic from the University of Ottawa, where Lynch is a Board of Governors member.
Lynch is also the chair of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Quite a title.
We admire her. All of that money and power, and no pesky elections to get in the way.
Way to go, Jenny!
[Speech by Jennifer Lynch, Q.C., to the World Congress of Rehabilitation International]
When I was asked by Rehabilitation International to attend this conference, I accepted instantly. I have a deep respect for the work that you do. In addition, the theme of this World Congress – building an inclusive society— is central to the work of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, both domestically and internationally.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first convention of the 21st century, is rapidly becoming one of the most ratified treaties in the human rights system. Rehabilitation International played a seminal role, by bringing attention to the need for the international protection of these rights and in the drafting of the Convention.
Here we are– just 8 years into the new Millenium – and we find ourselves at an interesting, challenging and hopeful time. A time when the opportunity of realizing our mission of building an inclusive society is in sight…
[GW Hatchet] GW’s sexual harassment policy is very similar to one just found unconstitutional in a very recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. The court struck down a very similar policy at Temple University even before it was applied in a specific situation. This follows several similar court decisions which suggest that rules limiting sexually harassing speech in workplaces cannot be applied to student speech in public universities.
Both university’s policies were modeled after those of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but the court says that doesn’t make them constitutional. Indeed, it notes that “there is no ‘harassment exception’ to the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. We have found no categorical rule that divests ‘harassing’ speech as defined by federal anti-discrimination statutes, of First Amendment protection … some speech that creates a ‘hostile or offensive environment’ may be protected speech under the First Amendment.”
[Buffalo News] A Hamburg landlord has been ordered to pay $110,000 in a housing discrimination case involving sexual harassment aimed at a female tenant.
Gerald D. Meyerhoefer made unwelcomed sexual advances toward the working mother who rented a mobile home partially owned by Meyerhoefer.
The woman, who lived in the mobile home with her teen age son, filed a complaint with Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME).
Administrative Law Judge Matthew Menes ordered Meyerhoefer to pay the woman $100,000 in damages for persistent daily sexual harassment aimed at the mother and for the emotional distress it caused her. Meyerhoefer also has to pay $10,000 in punitive damages.
Enjoy the ride, Irish folk. You don’t elect them, but you pay their salaries.
[Irish Times] The plan to merge five different organisations with responsibility for different aspects of human rights protection is “unworkable, inappropriate and frankly untenable”, according to the chairwoman of a new grouping set up to oppose it.
The Equality & Rights Alliance has been formed in response to the Government’s proposal to merge the Equality Tribunal, the Equality Authority, the National Disability Authority, the Data Protection Commission and the Irish Human Rights Commission.
Thou Shalt Not Be A Big Meanie To Anyone
[McGill Daily] Journalists, comedians, and pastors, among others, have been brought before the British Colombia Human Rights Tribunal for exercising their human right to free speech. This star chamber has the power to force people to pay fines, publicly repudiate their own beliefs, and even to send them to jail if they refuse or cannot do those things. All this is done without respecting basic human rights such as the right to face one’s accuser or the right to freedom of speech.
The vagueness of the B.C. Human Rights Code and the Administrative Tribunals Act means that if you read the Third of the Ten Commandments aloud in, for example, a church, you could be brought before the Tribunal for condemning those who have left any of the Abrahamic religions. The Third Commandment reads: “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me.” I should note that I’m an athiest and I don’t believe in the Ten Commandments, but I have a big problem with being told I can’t say them aloud…
– Peter Hurley was The Daily’s Web editor last year. His favourite right is that which allows him to party.
[Star Phoenix] The public plaza of River Landing’s centrepiece will have outdoor access to able-bodied persons only.
Georgie Davis, who gets around in a wheelchair, said she was startled to learn she will have to ride one of two elevators inside the planned Urban Village to get to the raised plaza in the centre.
Four sets of outdoor steps are designed leading from the street to the plaza, but they don’t include ramps for persons with disabilities, cyclists or parents with strollers.
“I just thought they were taking a step backwards,” Davis said. “In this day and age, you would think (barrier-free) universal design would be a given, not a second thought. I believe it’s a form of segregation.”
Davis said she’s hoping changes are made before the project gets its final approval. Otherwise, she said she’ll consider a complaint to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
From the Less Talk, More Action file:
[CBC] The federal government has imposed targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe, slamming what it says is the regime’s violation of human rights and “perversion of a legitimate democratic process.”
“Since the election on March 29, and the presidential runoff on June 27, the government of Zimbabwe has subjected opposition supporters to intimidation and state-sponsored violence, and has made no visible effort to improve the lives of its citizens,” Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson said in a statement on Friday.
Maybe some countries aren’t going because they know you merely want their news cameras and publicity. Just a guess.
[Reuters] The new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay, called on Monday for an open debate about racism and religious intolerance, taking aim at countries threatening to boycott a summit on those issues.
In her first speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the former International Criminal Court judge said next April’s already-contentious U.N. conference on racism and xenophobia would be impoverished if the United States and others sat it out.
“Let’s not forget that diversity of opinions is often an inherent and welcome characteristic of relationships among peers,” she said.
The United States and Israel walked out of the last big U.N. summit on anti-racism, held in Durban in 2001, saying it had become a forum for anti-Semitism.
Canada has said it will not take part in the follow-up meeting planned for Geneva, and the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and France have said they may stay away if Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians again stands to eclipse all else.
[The Australian] THE Sex Discrimination Act actually discriminates against men and urgently needs to be fixed to give them the same rights as women.
Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick yesterday admitted elements of the 25-year-old legislation favoured women at the expense of men and should be overhauled to give both sexes equal rights.
In the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on the effectiveness of the act, Ms Broderick argued that men didn’t have access to the same rights and entitlements as women if they believed they had been “indirectly” discriminated against in a workplace situation.
Rebecca Finch - Western Standard Pic
[Western Standard] In the Ontario riding of Dufferin-Caledon, Rebecca Finch, the Liberal Party nominee, has already gotten into some hot water when she blogged about proposed federal arts program cuts, calling the federal Conservative government a “sad, undemocratic, un-Canadian, dishonest, close-minded, elitist, morally bankrupt, over-zealous, bigoted, chauvinist, and ignorant excuse for a government.”
Updating her post with another one, entitled “Never post a blog when you’re angry“, the firebrand expanded on what she meant by each pejorative adjective in her original post.
The Western Standard goes on to kiss Becky’s ass for her stance against censorship, calling it “very encouraging.” We call bullshit. The government is full of “bigots” because they want to cut independent movie funding? Anyone that uses the reflex “bigot” and “chauvinist” tags, without facts, to stir up resentment is simply a hack in our books.