Normally I take the time to expose some of the hypocrisy of the Right, such as the conspiracy to remove Pluto from the list of planets, or much that has gone on in North American politics during the last eight years. However, this does not mean I am not an equal opportunity ranter, exposing the problems of the left as well. I should point out that with the left in such disarray, it's been a challenge, however the last month or so has been a bonanza. It's been such that I'm surprised Ann Coulter hasn't been on a total screed about it. Most of her stuff is so venomous I'm surprised there's not a 'poison' label affixed to her work.
Still, that's for another rant. What has gotten to me has been a couple of things:
the first has to do with the magazine BriarPatch Magazine. It has declared itself to be a Fiercely Independent and often irreverent. It has also led the fight against error and that sort of thing. I had a subscription for one year and with some of the issues, it was one year too long. It had some good material, such as an interview with Naomi Klein, author of the most excellent No Logo, the manifesto of the anti-globalization and neo-liberalism movement. However for every one issue on Naomi Klein, the rest has been, well, not that good. What ended my subscription and allowed me to simply not renew had to be the last one I received. It dealt with the issue of sexuality in Canada. That in and of itself wasn't enough but some of the articles were either silly or bordering on the ridiculous. Plus it revealed, sadly, the hypocrisy of the left.
To quote one article:
offering an alternative to the famous West End bar scene, ... including FOD collective members, to be “shallow, apolitical, capitalistic, expensive, exclusionary, trans-phobic, ableist, inaccessible.
I was shocked at the division in that community and I realized part of the hypocrisy of the Left is that it can degenerate into the same fundamentalist claptrap as the Right. Here is one group narrowing defining itself by attacking another group as being all sorts of nasty 'istic'. My gosh the other group is ableist. So here it is, fundamentalism at its clearest and worst, the division of a group from another by some narrow defining terms. The same group that would deride another as being fundalmentalisst is demonstrating the same belief system. It reacts against another and accuses the other of all sorts of invented crimes.
I think that which did it for me was the interview of Kara Gillies. She spoke of the need to legalize a union for sex industry workers and the potential to decriminalize prostitution. She declared:
Maggie’s and other sex workers’ organizations across the globe believe that the decriminalization of prostitution is a necessary step toward realizing sex workers’ rights and well-being. Decriminalization would involve repealing all of the Criminal Code sanctions specific to prostitution and allowing the sex trade to be governed as an industry or business.
In response to this, the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter posted this article "10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution". The author of the article gives the 10 reasons as:
1. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution is a gift to pimps, traffickers and the sex industry.
2. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution and the sex industry promotes sex trafficking.
3. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not control the sex industry.It expands it.
4. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases clandestine, hidden, illegal and street prostitution.
5. Legalization of prostitution and decriminalization of the sex Industry increases child prostitution.
6. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not protect the women in prostitution.
7. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases the demand for prostitution. It boosts the motivation of men to buy women for sex in a much wider and more permissible range of socially acceptable settings.
8. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not promote women's health.
9. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not enhance women's choice.
10. Women in systems of Prostitution do not want the sex industry legalized or decriminalized.
So the magazine, instead of supporting the exploited, has a person declare the reasons for continuing the exploitation of women involved in the sex industry.
Alright, that's the first demonstration of hypocrisy. I'll have more on the topic of human trafficking in the weeks and months ahead.
The second has to deal with the reaction to a recent bill in Alberta. It seems the government has given parents the right to remove their children from class if the topic is controversial. To sum up the bill:
A bill that has raised the spectre of Alberta parents hauling teachers before human rights tribunals is an offensive attempt to placate ultra right-wing conservatives, says the man whose legal crusade forced the province to rewrite its human rights legislation.
So in other words, the avenue for 'punishing' those who do not think properly in Canada, the human rights tribunal, may become a vehicle of protection against those who have sadly become the natural targets, that is conservatives in Canada. I mean it's alright to have a Human Rights Tribunal when all you are doing is hauling parents and conservatives in front of it, but heaven help the Canadian mosaic if it's being used to target wonky lefties. Of course the response to the article is divided between those who think Albertans are barely civilized to others who say:
What? How dare parents think that they should have more say in educating their kids then the nanny state!
Jail the heretics! Clearly a bunch of unionized socialists should be over to over-rule parents on how their kids should be raised.
I expect there's going to be a lot of hand wringing over this one. Imagine a province allowing parents to have a say in the education of their children. What next some group deciding that they do so have the freedom of thought and expression. I suspect the moment that occurs those on the extreme left will foam at the mouth and declare the sun shall stop shining and stars shall drop from the heavens.
By the way the actual wording of the subsection is as follows:
11.1(1) A board as defined in the School Act shall provide
notice to a parent or guardian of a student where courses of
study, educational programs or instructional materials, or
instruction or exercises, prescribed under that Act include
subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or
(2) Where a teacher or other person providing instruction,
teaching a course of study or educational program or using the
instructional materials referred to in subsection (1) receives a
written request signed by a parent or guardian of a student that
the student be excluded from the instruction, course of study,
educational program or use of instructional materials, the
teacher or other person shall in accordance with the request of
the parent or guardian and without academic penalty permit the
(a) to leave the classroom or place where the instruction,
course of study or educational program is taking place or
the instructional materials are being used for the duration
of the part of the instruction, course of study or
educational program, or the use of the instructional
materials, that includes the subject-matter referred to in
subsection (1), or
(b) to remain in the classroom or place without taking part
in the instruction, course of study or educational
program or using the instructional materials.
In other words, the school will inform parents as to what is going on in the school. Imagine that! Talk about subversive. It's no wonder the chattering latte class in Toronto is tittering. After all, they opine, parents of Alberta will be involved in the educational process of their children, we certainly can't allow that.
Again, the hypocrisy of the left rearing it's ugly head.
To the Left I say, you have been outed, now smarten up