Bhutto Slain

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed today.
Bhutto, 54, died in hospital in Rawalpindi. Ary-One Television said she had been shot in the head.
Police said a suicide bomber fired shots at Bhutto as she was leaving the rally venue in a park before blowing himself up.
"The man first fired at Bhutto's vehicle. She ducked and then he blew himself up," said police officer Mohammad Shahid.
Police said 16 people had been killed in the blast.


Merry Christmas

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
-Luke 2: 13,14


Free Speech, Human Rights, Religion and the Like

Interesting article at Canada.com.
Free speech in Alberta has suffered a serious, and unexpected reversal, in the guilty judgment handed down by an Alberta Human Rights Panel on Stephen Boissoin.
His critique of homosexuality in letters published by the Red Deer Advocate had been the subject of a human rights complaint and was declared "hate speech" by panelist, Lori G. Andreachuk.

Boisson is apparently a youth pastor at a church somewhere in Red Deer, Alberta. Back in 2002, he wrote a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate. According to this article, the Alberta Human Rights Commission was funding an initiative to place text-books in schools which teach that homosexuality is "normal, necessary, acceptable and productive."
According to this article, commission panel chairwoman Lori Andreachuk found that there was a circumstantial connection between Boisson's "hate speech" and the beating of a gay teenager. This teenager, while I am sorry for his pain, is entirely unrelated to the matter at hand. There is no measurable connection whatsoever between Boisson's letter to the editor and his beating. Boisson knew neither the teenager nor his attackers.
In any case, how has the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal been allowed to find Boisson guilty of anything at all, let alone hate speech? How is this not a conflict of interest? How can the Commission with which Boisson has an issue be allowed to find him guilty of anything? Is there no third party mediator available? Don't we have a better process in this country for dealing with this sort of an issue?
As the article at Canada.com rightly points out
The decision has an absurd effect. If to even challenge government spending to promote homosexuality as desirable or productive is considered to be holding gays in contempt, how can political debate take place, never mind free expression for those who see it in religious terms? This is just to prefer one view over another, give it the force of law, and effectively reinvent seditious libel.

In a similar vein, the Canadian ISlamic Congress has filed a human rights complaint against Maclean's magazine.By now, this is old news. Maclean's published an excerpt from a book by Mark Steyn. This has outraged the likes of Mohammed Elmasry.
I can't even begin to express how badly I hope this complaint is thrown out of court. Anyone who can publicly state all Israelis are valid targets has no right to cry foul over anything.

There are days I feel like I live in a country full of five year olds.


Return from Facebook Death

So I got my account back.
What a strange experience. Their customer service drastically needs improvement, especially if they want to go up against someone like Google.


And my Facebook Saga Continues

So, apparently the reason my account was disabled is due to the fact it is tied to an email account that both my husband and I use. Furthermore, both my name and the name of my husband is on the account. Somehow, this violates their Terms of Use.
I decided to Google for Facebook disabled accounts. I was really surprised at what I found. Apparently, random disabling of an account without warning is common practice with Facebook. The best example I came across whas that of British politician Steve Webb who found himself banned when someone at Facebook erroneously believed him to be an impostor. In fact, Get Satisfaction has an entire section devoted to Facebook complaints.
My account was disabled late Monday night. As I said earlier, it is a matter of cosmic irony that this should be done in response to a scam alert. So far I have received only two emails regarding the situation, one yesterday and one Monday night. Both were sent around 10pm. I have emailed every available channel trying to resolve the situation.
It strikes me as odd, not to mention inconsistent, that genuine violations such as the distribution of porn (and there are many such cases) should receive either no attention at all or at most get a warning while a non-violation should result in an immediate banning without warning. Furthermore, the lack of attention I have received is just bad customer service. I am only a lone individual. What about the many companies who hope to use Facebook as a marketing platform? It would be a colossal mistake to assume that they would put up with such poor treatment. If Facebook wants to position itself as the social networking tool, then they are going to have to reexamine how they do customer support.


Best News Ever

They, that is Peter Jackson, will be working on The Hobbit.
And, sure enough, TORn is hopping with excitement.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

In case anyone is wondering, my Facebook account has been disabled. I hope to have the matter resolved shortly. Meanwhile, I am going through withdrawal.
Ironically, the account was disabled after I alerted customer support about a particular scam. Someone is passing along a forward claiming Facebook is running out of room. A forwarded message will save your account, etc.
It figures.


CHP Under Investigation

I was recently sent this disturbing story. It is not being covered elsewhere, unfortunately.

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada (CHP) and its Leader Ron Gray are being investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Commission after a homosexual activist complained of material published on the Party's website he claims is offensive to homosexuals.

This deeply concerns me.
I don't vote for the CHP. My reasons for this are many, but mostly they center around their collective lack of experience. However, I have lots of friends and family who do vote for them. Furthermore, I heartily affirm their right to exist. The underlying motivation of any political party is to direct this country in the manner it sees best. The CHP feels it has a vision and they have every right to try and enact their vision.
Individuals do not have the right to launch human rights complaints against political parties. They do not have the right to stand in the way of the democratic process. They do not have the right to dictate to the rest of the country who they may or may not vote for. Individuals get to decide who leads them by voting. That is what democracy is. If you disagree with a parties stance, don't vote for them.

The CHP Leader believes that the case is of highest importance also for the Conservative Government in Canada. "I really think this is a crucial case because if an agency of the government, which the CHRC is, can tell a political party what it may and may not include in its political statements we have gone way down the road to totalitarianism," he said.

Gray is totally right.
A lone individual does not have the right to expect an entire party to change their platform just for them. True, our system is not perfect. However, it will be significantly worse if individuals circumvent the democratic process in order to shape the country in their own image.
If you don't like the CHP and have a competing vision for this country, start your own party. Call it the Anti-CHP Party for all I care.
And may the best man win.


Unborn Victims of Crime

Good news! Excellent news, in fact. The Unborn Victims of Crime Act will be voted on.
I first read about it here. The government source is here.
I will be keeping an eye open for details regarding when the bill will be voted on, if it passes, etc.
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