Saturday, August 16, 2014

Obliterating history

 Letter to the Toronto Star, Aug. 11, 2014:
Along with many others, I was disappointed to learn of the re-naming of Cawthra Square Park. That action by city council erases the last recognition in downtown Toronto of one of our pioneer families. Have politicians no awareness of our city’s history? All in all, a disgraceful performance by elected representatives.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

No accommodation in human rights?


Letter to the Toronto Star published August 19, 2014:

Your Aug 11 editorial, "One rule for all," betrays a dated mode of thinking, as false as "one size fits all." 

The issue in this case was the request by a group of visiting Hindu priests to be cleared by men only of the Canada Border Services Agency. Denial of this request bespeaks an ideological and absolutist frame of mind. Would you say the same if a group of Muslim women requested clearance by women only?  

The ham-fisted "one rule for all" is another example of "human rights" gone barking mad. Surely there is room for accommodation? Surely accommodation of legitimate and reasonable requests is the Canadian way?


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Letter to the Toronto Star, August 25, 2014
Re: Human rights gone mad, Letter Aug. 19
Letter-writer Raymond Peringer misdescribes the situation when he says that visiting Hindu priests asked Canada Border Service Agency to be cleared by male employees only. What they asked for was to not be cleared by women. When seen in this light, it becomes obvious that the request contradicted Canada’s commitment to gender equality, and should not have been granted.
(Name deleted), Toronto
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RP comment:
The writer exemplifies that frame of mind which allows for nothing beyond the letter of the law. This utopian, absolutist, zero tolerance, ideological approach to human behaviour has produced more than its share of  nonsense at our human rights commissions. 

Inspiration for my comment ---  A Truth Telling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom, 1653, by Baltasar Gracian S.J.  "Drink nothing to the dregs, either of the bad or of the good. To moderation in everything has one sage reduced all wisdom. Too great justice becomes injustice. The orange squeezed too hard becomes bitter. He draws blood instead of milk who milks too hard. Even in enjoyment, do not go too far. The spirit itself grows weary if worked too long."