Uncle Steve Awarded Human Rights Medal (Say What?!)

by matttbastard

“I wonder how long it will take them to figure out that my name isn’t ‘Stephen Lewis’?”

You have got to be shitting me:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today became the first Canadian to receive the B’nai Brith International President’s Gold Medallion, in recognition of the Government’s efforts to fight discrimination and uphold human rights in Canada and around the world.

[...]

In presenting Prime Minister Harper with the award, B’nai Brith International President Moishe Smith, a resident of Ottawa who is the first non-American president of the organization, cited a number of actions the Prime Minister and the Government have taken to advance human rights and oppose discrimination, including:

  • Unequivocally supporting Canada’s role in the UN-sanctioned mission in Afghanistan;
  • Refusing to sign a resolution denouncing Israel’s right to self-defence at the 2006 Francophonie Summit;
  • Suspending relations with the then Hamas-led government in Palestine, for its refusal to renounce terrorism; and
  • Delivering a heartfelt apology acknowledging the overtly discriminatory Indian Residential Schools program.“Prime Minister, whether in opposition or in government, you have always portrayed a leadership style that speaks of principle and honesty,” said Mr. Smith.
  • Y’know why irony was unavailable for comment, Alison? Because it just committed suicide.

    Related: Bob Hepburn on how certified humanitarian Stephen Harper is “snubbing” a true Canadian human rights icon, the *ahem* “disgraceful” (hey, wasn’t irony’s festering corpse lying face down a moment ago?) outgoing UN Human Rights Commissioner (and former Supreme Court of Canada justice) Louise Arbour.

    When [Arbour] announced her resignation, diplomats from across Europe and other parts of the world sang her praises. Some presented her with flowers. Canadian diplomats, though, barely acknowledged her presence, issuing only a bland, terse statement acknowledging that Canada would continue to support human rights.

    Later, then foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier tried to assuage the outrage from human rights groups over Canada’s dismissive response by issuing a short statement praising Arbour for “expanding the concepts of human rights and fundamental justice.”

    Since then, Harper and his government have remained silent, except for Toews’ ugly outburst.

    Is Harper so small-minded that he cannot speak for himself about Arbour and her accomplishments?

    Is such pettiness a sign that Harper is once again out of step with most Canadians, this time when it comes to recognizing the need for a progressive, courageous champion for human rights?

    Yes and yes.

    Simple answers to simple questions.

    But hey, at least Uncle Steve has a shiny medal from B’nai Brith to ease his (non-existent) conscience.

    Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

    Supreme Court of Canada Unanimously Defrosts Libel Chill

    by matttbastard

    The Globe & Mail:

    The media should not live in constant fear of facing a libel suit every time a provocative commentary is published or broadcast, the Supreme Court of Canada said yesterday in a major ruling won by controversial Vancouver radio broadcaster Rafe Mair.

    In a 9-0 decision that modernizes the defence of fair comment, the court found that Mr. Mair did not defame Christian-values advocate Kari Simpson when he denounced her stand on a book-banning controversy.

    “An individual’s reputation is not to be treated as regrettable but unavoidable roadkill on the highway of public controversy, but nor should an overly solicitous regard for personal reputation be permitted to ‘chill’ freewheeling debate on matters of public interest,” Mr. Justice Ian Binnie said.

    Judge Binnie said that the key to a defence of honest belief – particularly in an era when extravagant overstatement is common – should lie in whether an honest person could have held the same opinion.

    “We live in a free country, where people have as much right to express outrageous and ridiculous opinions as moderate ones,” Judge Binnie said. “In much modern media, personalities such as Rafe Mair are as much entertainers as journalists.”

    Score one for the chronically hyperbolic Canadian media personalities who live and die on the alter of outrageous and ridiculous opinions (ahem).

    H/t The Robert Bond Papers

    Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

    John McCain: Domestic Violence is Hi-fucking-larious

    by matttbastard

    Now here’s a surefire strategy to win over those mythical feminist Clinton supporters who refuse to support Obama no matter what–channel the spirit of Henny Youngman:

    As the Huffington Post reported, McCain in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun headed for the gutter while trying to explain why he did not choose Republican Governor Jim Gibbons (now in the midst of a messy divorce and previously the subject of sexual assault allegations) as his Nevada campaign chair:

    McCain: I appreciate his support. As you know, the lieutenant governor is our chairman.

    Q: Why snub the governor?

    McCain: I didn’t mean to snub him. I’ve known the lieutenant governor for 15 years and we’ve been good friends….I didn’t intend to snub him. There are other states where the governor is not the chairman.

    Q: Maybe it’s the governor’s approval rating and you are running from him like you are from the president?

    McCain: (Chuckling) And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago…

    I’m sure clever one-liners like that totally crack up his man-crushing Beltway fanclub during bourbon-fueled late night josh sessions on the Straight Talk Express, but it’s a safe bet they aren’t the sort of entreaties that feminists (or, I’d wager, most women in general) find particularly persuasive.

    Yr doin’ it wrong, McSogynist.

    Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

    Ralph Nader Deals Race Card Against Obama, Reminds Apathetic Media and Public That He’s Still the #1 3rd Party Spoiler (Fuck Bob Barr!)

    by matttbastard

    Honourary soul brotha Ralph Nader was utterly shocked when Illinois State University president (and alleged POC) Al Bowman declined to sip from the third party pimp cup – photo by Andrew Benning

    Re: “talking white” – what Shark-Fu said:

    Black is not a monolith and we do not all think, act, talk, eat, pray, fuck, sing, dance, vote or manifest anger the exact same motherfucking way.

    You goddamn fucking right.

    Also see Liss, Steve M, and Ta-Nehisi Coates for more on Nader’s racist dumbfuckery.

    Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers