Rights, rights and more rights.
Due to constant and often strange interpretations of Canada’s charter of rights, the rights of Canadians are constantly under discussion. This is a good thing as rights are pretty much one of the most important things that we have as citizens in a democratic nation.
In Canada it would appear that murderers and chronic escapees have the right to walk away from minimum security prisons at will. What confounds me with these prisoners exercising their right to escape and further terrorize Canadians is why these men would choose to walk away from Ferndale Institution in the first place. This is the “prison” that has offered such things as horseback riding, pizza delivery and until recently a nine-hole golf course.
The golf course was closed a few years ago. Due to the latest escape (walkaway) by a declared dangerous offender, there are only 9 remaining dangerous offenders currently in Ferndale. It is doubtless that those who thrive on pampering vicious criminals such as the John Howard Society will be lobbying and howling that these prisoners have the right to golfing and we should bring back their course before the remaining 9 murderers and such choose to walk away in hopes of finding a new pitch and putt.
Myself, I am rather heartless. I don’t care if I hurt the feelings of murderers, rapists and those who feel that these animals have as many rights as law abiding criminals. I am proposing an offensive and profound concept that may reduce the number of walkaways in Canada’s prisons in this link. I hope this idea is not too offensive.
Now, putting aside the rights of murderers, rapists and such to enjoy pizza delivery and long walks in the rain, Canada has been tied up lately in the battle for what I would consider to be a much more important right. That right of course is freedom of speech.
Most often the discussion of rights comes up when one right clashes with another. The assumed right for one not to have their feelings hurt trumps the right to free speech in the eyes of way too many in this nation.
The latest in the series of SLAPP suits against journalists, media outlets and bloggers who have dared to speak freely is one threatened by Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer Giacomo (the drama queen) Vigna against Ezra Levant. The crime Ezra appears to have committed here was to dare to post a transcript of Vigna’s rather pathetic performance in a human rights hearing and to make fun of it. For those not familiar with the transcript, I will paste the highlights below.
MR. VIGNA: Sorry. Mr. Chair, I don’t have the flu but I don’t feel in a serene state of mind to proceed with the file today. I don’t feel very well. I feel dizzy, I feel anxiety, and I am not in a serene state of mind to proceed with this file today.
I have a lot of things worrying me right now and I don’t want to elaborate, but my colleague said, Mr. Fine, there are some certain incidents that have occurred which I don’t feel at liberty to elaborate right now, which have had an impact on my ability to proceed in a professional way on this file, at least for today, because I wouldn’t be rendering the Commission a just service by proceeding in this condition.
I am not dying, Mr. Chair, I don’t have the flu, but I am not mentally capable of proceeding under these circumstances.
THE CHAIRPERSON: But the witness is here?
MR. VIGNA: The witness is here. It’s not the question of the witness. The witness is here. I thought until this morning that I would proceed, but I really don’t feel primarily mentally able to proceed, and physically too.
MS. KULASZKA: I am very concerned about this very hush hush allegation that some sort of breach of security has happened. The only people who have been here for the last two days are us, either counsel or a representative of the party. No one else has been here in this room. I know of no incident outside that’s happened….
MR. CHRISTIE: I have heard two explanations which are as frivolous as any I have ever heard in justifying an adjournment of a whole proceeding… To say I am not feeling well, but sit here and talk about it, is inconsistent. There is no medical certificate, and I heard very faintly Mr. Vigna say I’m not physically sick, I don’t have a serene state of mind. Very few of us in the difficulties we face always have a serene state of mind. I don’t know what that means.
This is not a case of a nervous breakdown or a mental state justifying a psychiatric examination. I am certain of that. To say I don’t feel like doing it today is insulting…
MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, I will provide a medical certificate.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Please sit down, Mr. Vigna.
MR. VIGNA: I feel insulted by that comment.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Please sit down.
The defendant in this case had to spend the time and money to be at this hearing and pay for his lawyer to fly there. What was the result? Vigna puts on his little dramatic performance claiming not to be “serene” enough to proceed and has the hearing deferred.
How can one not mock Mr. Vigna’s performance? Even 6 year olds trying to get out of school are more creative in their excuses for non-attendance (and often much more convincing). Mark Steyn posted a great little musical suggestion on the issue.
Vigna’s little dark comedy in the hearing is public record. There is no reason that this cannot be posted on other sites. What Mr. Vigna is suing for is that he was made fun of and his feelings are hurt. Nothing untrue was posted by Mr. Levant. If there was damage to Vigna’s character in any of this, it is directly due to the little swooning tantrum that Vigna had in the hearing. Perhaps Mr. Vigna should choose less public venues when he decides to put on such performances.
Warren Kinsella has gone after freedominion and the chronic opponent of free speech Richard Warman has already jumped on Ezra in the lawsuit frenzy, I guess we may as well have every other hypersensitive weenie who has been to a human rights hearing jump on.
Lets get this straight people. There is no right not to have your feelings hurt nor is there a right not to be offended! Get over it.
Life can be tough. We hear people say things that offend us at times. People say things that hurt our feelings. Living and dealing with hurt feelings is simply part of the price of free speech. Suck it up princesses.
We have freedom of religion. That is a vital and important right and it is constantly under attack as well.
In the mixture of freedom of religion and freedom of speech we often get what some may consider offensive clashes. Such is life.
One person who constantly exercises his right to free speech regarding religion is Pat Condell. This man has an incredible gift for humorously pointing out some of the rather glaring flaws in organized religion. Mr. Condell is quite fair in that I see no discrimination among the religions that he cuts into. He nails them all.
Doubtless many religious people will find Mr. Condell’s view on the world offensive. Should Condell be silenced for this? I am a dedicated Pastafarian in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Perhaps Pat will take an offensive run at my faith sometime. You can all rest assured that even if I took offense or my feelings were hurt, I would never for a second question Mr. Condell’s right to speak his mind.
If you are easily offended by shots at religion, may I suggest that you do not click on the video links below. If you have a sense of humour and like a no holds barred look at religions, I strongly suggest that you listen to a few of Mr. Condell’s rants.
Pat Condell covers our Canadian issues below.:
Here Mr. Condell covers faith in general.
If you like those, you will find many more of Pat’s videos here.
If you are offended or your feelings get hurt, I wont offer some sort of false apology. I really don’t care.