Made-for-TV moment
March 14, 2013 1:30 PM   Subscribe

 
I was going to make a comment that was intelligent and thoughtful... but the best I could come up with was this: Assholes!
posted by HuronBob at 1:35 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, possible law enforcement excesses aside, that will make for a more exciting episode than the one where they fine Chinese exchange students for failing to declare the sausages the students have hidden in their luggage.
posted by Dasein at 1:36 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This really stinks, and I hate the fact that it's for the National Geographic channel. When I was a kid, NG was one of those brands that just felt elevated and smart and classy, and anything with that name on it, you knew you were going to learn or experience something great.

Of course, that was also true of CNN, A&E, Bravo and the History Channel then, too.
posted by jbickers at 1:36 PM on March 14, 2013 [28 favorites]


Dear Canada,

I'm sorry that we've managed to infect you with both the macho border patrol posturing and the disease of police reality TV.

Sincerely,
filthy light thief
posted by filthy light thief at 1:37 PM on March 14, 2013 [22 favorites]


Ah, fuck me. This fucking stinks. Fuck you Force Four Entertainment. Fuck ROB BROMLEY, JOHN RITCHIE and GILLIAN LOWREY.

You are making Canada a worse place to live. Fuck you.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:40 PM on March 14, 2013 [22 favorites]


Of course, that was also true of CNN, A&E, Bravo and the History Channel then, too.

Don't forget The Learning Channel, which is only known by it's initials now, TLC. From the honorable and impressive start in 1972 as the Appalachian Community Service Network, funded by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and NASA, utilizing NASA's satellites to provide the educational programming for free to viewers, it slid downhill into grabbing for viewers with programs like A Makeover Story and Extreme Cheapskates.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:43 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


If anything in contemporary life strikes you as excessive, it's a good idea to check the area for reality television filming crews.

As someone who has watched a fair amount of reality TV herself, my recommendation is to exit the vicintity immediately. If for some reason you are unable to flee the scene, hide under or behind a large piece of furniture or conceal yourself in a closet until the crew either leaves the scene or finds themselves deeply occupied in restaging a shot. Even B-roll could be a fatal blow to your dignity.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:43 PM on March 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


It's kind of ironic, given that a lot of Canada's economic success and global reputation is built upon immigration and, specifically, the diversity and hard work of immigrants.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:44 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


This really stinks, and I hate the fact that it's for the National Geographic channel.

The channel is owned primarily by Fox Cable Networks, a division of News Corporation.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:44 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


i quit watching tv about 20 years ago. every now and again i'll pop my head in to see what's been happening. basically, everything is *exactly* the same as it was back then, except for reality tv, which is much more popular, and at the same time a pathetic insult to human dignity. so, i go back to not watching tv.
posted by facetious at 1:50 PM on March 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I always thought the NGC was cool. Then I saw "American Gypsies," and I was like no, not them too!!
posted by Melismata at 1:50 PM on March 14, 2013


Comment from the CBC link, where the majority of comments are pro-crackdown:

As a wife of a man in the trades in Canada, I have first-hand knowledge of a man who has gone through all the required schooling, ticketing and is part of a union. I often see the unfortunate situation of my husband not working because companies choose to hire from outside of the union, namely, illegal workers.

I'm not in favour of exploitative reality TV or the Harper government's immigration policies, but there are real issues lurking underneath all of this, and construction companies hiring illegal, undocumented workers in order to save a buck does seem like a legit problem.

Personally, I believe Canada should throw our doors open, not deport people already here, but I also believe industries like construction should be regulated in a number of ways. Documentary coverage of society's issues is also a good thing, in principal.

So while the first impulse on this is GRAR!, I'm left feeling a bit conflicted by it all.
posted by hamandcheese at 1:57 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Yeah, I always though the NGC was cool. Then I saw "American Gypsies," and I was like no, not them too!!"

Oh Jesus Christ, fucking bigots.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:00 PM on March 14, 2013


I'm mostly upset about the undignified treatment of people who may be undocumented workers, plus the fact that Force Four is gladly accepting a role as essentially a government propaganda tool. And CBSA agents are like something out of a Franz Kafka novel.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:00 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reality television and documentary coverage are not part of the same solar system.
posted by Catchfire at 2:01 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Reminds me of another show from NBC/Vivendi/Comcast/GE.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:10 PM on March 14, 2013


Anything Vic Toews has anything to do with is pretty much guaranteed to be a shitshow.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:12 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of course, that was also true of CNN, A&E, Bravo and the History Channel then, too.

To be fair, the History Channel has always been a little dubious, since at least once a month it would switch to "all-Hitler" programming to take on Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Like we wouldn't notice they had done that 11 previous times this year?

Eventually, we will be left with reality shows like:
North America's Funniest Deportations
Most Demeaning Workplace
Eroding Safety Net
Capitalism Eats Itself
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:15 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


The linked articles suggest that only undocumented workers were detained and/or arrested, but say nothing about the construction companies that hired them. Surely hiring undocumented and likely untrained workers in a dangerous environment like construction is in violation of several tax and labour laws?
Or is Canada more interested in rounding up foreigners?
posted by rocket88 at 2:16 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Eventually, we will be left with reality shows like:

15 Million Merits
posted by KokuRyu at 2:18 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


The BC Civil Liberties Association's letter to the CBSA [pdf]: "the use of these individuals for an entertainment show is morally repugnant."
posted by Catchfire at 2:22 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


The paperless workers are used twice – as labour and as entertainment. Nice.
posted by Termite at 2:24 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair, the History Channel has always been a little dubious, since at least once a month it would switch to "all-Hitler" programming

And wow, am I nostalgic for those days. They now only show either "Pawn Stars" or "Ice Road Truckers" in 8-hour blocks. (Actually I think the Hitler stuff has moved to the Military channel.)
posted by Melismata at 2:27 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The issue here is exploitation. Is CBSA making money from licensing themselves to the show? Are the undocumented workers who have been arrested and asked to sign a filming release being compensated for their time? (No, I don't believe they are...)

In fact, you'd think the acting unions would be involved. Basically what you have here is a TV show scooping up undocumented workers and using them for their own profit while depriving construction crews of doing the same. And the CBSA delivers the workers into the hands of the TV company for a few short minutes, during which they can make a show that will gross them thousands of dollars with no payment whatsoever to the main actors.

I have written a letter to my startlingly incompentent MP John Weston with no expectation of any reply or concern. Because that's how we roll in Canada since 2006.
posted by salishsea at 2:28 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Canada thoughts of you sustained me during the Bush years, what happened
posted by angrycat at 2:32 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


And CBSA agents are like something out of a Franz Kafka novel.

True enough. I had not been out of Canada for almost five years until I spent a couple of weeks in the USA last month. On my last return from abroad, I arrived at customs and was directed to desk A to hand a CBSA employee this document and from there to desk B to hand another agent another document, and directed from desk B through a door. As soon as I realized that they had directed me past the luggage carousel, I reversed course to get my luggage.

I was detained and questioned for the better part of an hour for having dared to try to claim my baggage. When I was at last allowed to get the bag, I was required to stand at a distance and identify my bag, and describe the contents. The bag was opened and examined, and I had to guide the agent to locate each and every item declared on my customs card. "Yes, that is today's New York Times. Why did I buy it? Because I enjoy the crossword."

I suppose the principle here is to catch smugglers, but had I been familiar with the routine and known to ignore the directions from desk B and thus just turned to go get my luggage, I could have brought anything I liked into the country with no examination of it.

I have a couple of friends who have worked for CBSA and the RCMP covering border crossings. I hear them often talk about how stupid criminals are, but I cannot help but think this is classic confirmation bias. You would have to be very dim indeed to be caught by these border controls, so naturally those working the border controls have an endless fund of stories of dim smugglers.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:33 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't wait for the followup show where the CBSA interrupts the board meeting of the construction firms using undocumented labour, to frogmarch the execs past the cameras to the Force Four van where they can all sign releases to use their images on camera!
posted by fatbird at 2:37 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


In my case, I filled out my customs declaration incorrectly after returning from a country where there is little if any contraband. For that misdemeanor they went through every single suitcase with rubber gloves.

They admitted it was a punishment for having filled out the form incorrectly.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:43 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


They debate fucking zombies in the House of Commons so this better get a LOT of airtime.
posted by GuyZero at 2:44 PM on March 14, 2013


By the way, I included in my emails to John Weston (copied to Force Four) a request that the workers who were arrested receive the profits earned by the show so they can hire lawyers to defend themselves and contemplate a civil action against the CBSA and Force Four.

Does this ever happen in the USA? Do any of the "bad boys" on COPS ever sue successfully for being exploited like this? It's appalling and I literally feel nauseous right now.
posted by salishsea at 2:45 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Canada thoughts of you sustained me during the Bush years, what happened
posted by angrycat at 2:32 PM on March 14 [2 favorites +] [!]


We switched places.
posted by salishsea at 2:53 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I sent some notes out to friends of mine who work in television in Canada, as well as someone who organizes for No One Is Illegal. It makes me sick to my stomach - we're a small country and a small community, and this is really toxic to our democracy and our public discourse.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:57 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


If anything in contemporary life strikes you as excessive, it's a good idea to check the area for reality television filming crews. ... my recommendation is to exit the vicinity immediately.

But how would I ever fulfill my dream of punching John Quiñones in the face?
posted by benito.strauss at 3:05 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


No One Is Illegal organized an emergency rally today at noon. Much credit to Harsh Walia as always she is right on top of this.

A little context for non-Vancouverites - like the rest of Canada, we are currently making a lot of use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, a new conservative creation where migrant labour is brought in "temporarily" and paid below-minimum wage, exposed to substandard conditions, and forced to live in weird government-sponsored barracks. They have no freedom of movement, representation, or rights, and when their job is done they are shipped back from whence they came. The dispute over whether or not to use this type of labour for the Canada Line construction in Vancouver permanently fractured a municipal political party. Obviously unions are pretty pissed about it, too.

"Illegal" labourers like these are now often escapees from the TFWP. Understandably they would like to enjoy basic human rights and be paid minimum wage. And so the increased policing of labour must be understood in the context of the rapid expansion of the TFWP, which is used for everything from mining and construction to staffing graveyard shifts at a 24-hour Tim Horton's. (Meanwhile, our youth unemployment rate is skyrocketing...)

While these workers are most often from Asia and Latin America, a high end pizza place in Vancouver was even caught bringing Italian labour as cooks under the TFWP and, of course, paying them below the minimum wage.
posted by mek at 3:05 PM on March 14, 2013 [18 favorites]


the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, a new conservative creation

I don't think this is true. Worker on this program have been picking apples in the Oakanogan and tomatoes in Leamington since forever. Abuse may be up, but I don't think the program is either new or controversial.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on March 14, 2013


Which high end pizza place?

And this story is pretty sickening.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:12 PM on March 14, 2013


Just sent an email to my local MP and to James Moore registering my disgust. I cc'd Force Four on both emails.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:14 PM on March 14, 2013


Right GuyZero, sorry about that. The program has been in place since the 70s, but it has rapidly expanded under Harper, and many restrictions have been dropped. It's more than tripled in size since he came to power, I believe.
posted by mek at 3:15 PM on March 14, 2013


James Moore, because is he the senior cabinet minister responsible for Vancouver, and also is responsible for arts funding (Force Four has undoubtedly received credits from the government).

I wouldn't bother to contact Vic Toews, since he's an idiot.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:16 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Keith Talent: I got that fact from Kassandra Cordero, who is on the executive of the Vancouver District Labour Council, but she declined to name the specific restaurant in her presentation.
posted by mek at 3:19 PM on March 14, 2013


there are real issues lurking underneath all of this, and construction companies hiring illegal, undocumented workers in order to save a buck does seem like a legit problem.

Have worked construction in Quebec for 20 years now. I get carded by CCQ agents, (Commission de la Construction du Quebec) who are basically construction cops, on a very regular basis, as well as see CSST inspectors (Commision de Sante et Securite au Travail / health and security at work) intermittently and various union representatives now and then. The proactive scrutiny and enforcement makes it so undocumented workers simply can't work (long) in the construction industry here because they will be caught and both employee and employer will be heavily fined (increasing severity with number of infractions). Jobs where any irregularity is found receive daily visits. The control also makes my job well paid and we have obligatory paid vacations (2 weeks at the end of July and 2 weeks at christmas time) and a bunch of medical stuff and a pension :)

Knew other provinces and the states were more laissez faire, as I can work there but they can't work here (without jumping hurdles), well, except France, their construction workers can come here as Quebec negotiated to have some of our trades cards recognized as equal ... but then again they are neither province or state or close enough to make it a viable commute really ... anyway, the only time I saw border agents on a construction site was at the Dorval airport, because the section we were in apparently belonged to the USA, it was a huge pain because we had to register all our tools and if anyone lost so much as a drill bit, everything stopped and we couldn't leave until it was found. But the border agents had no power to card us or bother us even though they had guns, so they just walked their dog.
posted by phoque at 3:25 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


York University has some rather excellent papers available to the public which outline the history and impact of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada.

The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Regulations, Practices and Program Gaps

Making Temporary Permanent: The Silent Transformation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
posted by mek at 3:35 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mek; Not trying to call anyone out or be an asshole, but the claim seems pretty dubious. Living conditions are not that different between Italy and Canada, that it makes economic sense to fly someone over, pay them a sub-minimum wage so that your fancy pizza shop can turn a profit. There's no one in Italy that'd work here for less than ten bucks an hour I'd guess.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:38 PM on March 14, 2013


Keith, perhaps it was Greece and I'm misremembering...
posted by mek at 3:42 PM on March 14, 2013


The linked articles suggest that only undocumented workers were detained and/or arrested, but say nothing about the construction companies that hired them. Surely hiring undocumented and likely untrained workers in a dangerous environment like construction is in violation of several tax and labour laws?

I do think the law should focus the weight of its enforcement on the employers. The way I see it, they do the greater damage of depriving these workers of their due. There's a human rights side of this that I think should be better reflected in immigration law, in many countries.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:43 PM on March 14, 2013


But then rich people might be inconvenienced! Typical liberal myopia.
posted by No-sword at 3:58 PM on March 14, 2013


Dear Canada,

I'm sorry that we've managed to infect you with both the macho border patrol posturing and the disease of police reality TV.


I am terribly ashamed of it but honesty requires me to admit that this one was actually inspired by Australia.
posted by jacalata at 4:07 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do think the law should focus the weight of its enforcement on the employers. The way I see it, they do the greater damage of depriving these workers of their due. There's a human rights side of this that I think should be better reflected in immigration law, in many countries.

Screw that. Just let them in. They are human beings and they want to work and live. Canada is a big country. It can contain multitudes. If corporations can cross the border then every single human being should be able to as well.
posted by srboisvert at 4:11 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Force Four is actively cleaning their Facebook page of critical comments. They're not getting flooded, but they're getting a lot of pretty straightforward rejection.
posted by fatbird at 4:22 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Totally staying away from the immigration issue as I really don't know enough to speak on it with any real contribution, but I can say -

Why? Why do we need to televise this stuff?

This...crap.

Who does it benefit (other than the obvious answer of advertisers)?

Second, why would anyone watch such a thing? I can see the point of a decent documentarist, but not this yellow journalism tripe.

And NatGeo showing it? We need EVERYTHING at the lowest common denominator any more?

Really?

It's enough to make a grown man weep.
posted by Samizdata at 4:27 PM on March 14, 2013


I would say their Facebook page is getting hammered.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:50 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just discovered that I have a contact on the production crew of one of their other shows, which was pitched to me as a pretty altruistic effort to demonstrate how the power of the crowd can be put to good use. Just sent her an email extolling my deep disappointment in this affair. Pharos these two shows should mash it up a little.
posted by salishsea at 4:58 PM on March 14, 2013


When I was a kid, NG was one of those brands that just felt elevated and smart and classy, and anything with that name on it, you knew you were going to learn or experience something great.

They have a huge store in a major mall here in Singapore where they sell NatGeo-branded camera bags, jackets and forma shirts. They had sold out themselves a few years back, it is no longer the yellow-bordered magazine of excellence from our childhood.
posted by the cydonian at 5:06 PM on March 14, 2013


I think the Society somehow franchised off the TV channel, with their name on it, some time ago, and has little or nothing to do with the content.

If you had told me that I would long for a return to the Hitler Channel days of cable, I would not have believed you. The original promise was that all the cable channels meant that there was room for edutainment niches running documentaries about volcanos or the Spanish Armada or whatever, but I guess that has run its course.
posted by thelonius at 5:12 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bromley's CMPA profile is good for a laugh:

In addition to his work in production, Rob is the chair of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, an organization that supports people with disabilities. This organization was responsible for the introduction of the Federal Government’s Registered Disability Savings Plan, the first of its kind in the world.

This interest in community service is also an ethic that he and his partners, Gillian Lowrey and John Ritchie bring to Force Four.

“We have a very strong commitment to give back to the community and we encourage our staff to do this on a regular basis,” says Rob. “We believe this is very important for our kind of business because we are out there in the public. I think companies should be vocal and proud of the work they do outside the office. We certainly are.”

posted by KokuRyu at 5:24 PM on March 14, 2013


If you had told me that I would long for a return to the Hitler Channel days of cable, I would not have believed you.

Shoot, remember when Barnes & Noble were the big guys squeezing out the independent book stores?
posted by benito.strauss at 6:14 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Facebook definitely getting hammered now. No defences that I can see. And they either have given up or can't keep up deleting negative comments.
posted by Catchfire at 6:26 PM on March 14, 2013


This is big news on the Left Coast. On 690 I listened to the (Canadian) wife of one of the people who were asked by Force Four to sign a waiver after being detained. It was heartbreaking.

Just because people are "illegal" doesn't mean they aren't human beings.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:30 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Canada, stop getting worse, I want to move back to you some day.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:41 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is beyond fucked. Is there a Canadian immigration rights group that I can donate to to push back against things like this?

I know about No One Is Illegal but I'm really not comfortable with other (non-immigration-related) parts of their agenda.
posted by ripley_ at 7:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


And they either have given up or can't keep up deleting negative comments.

For a while, at the time I commented on their wall ("Is there good money in propaganda?"), there were around 8 very critical wall posts. They deleted those and made the announcement about the show, and appear to be letting people go in the comments to that announcement.
posted by fatbird at 7:49 PM on March 14, 2013


Why? Why do we need to televise this stuff?

This...crap.

Who does it benefit (other than the obvious answer of advertisers)?


I read something a while back (I can't seem to put my hand on it) about the domestication of humans.
Those who think they benefit really don't.
We keep dosing ourselves with dumbing down media that makes us expect direction only from authority and we wind up living in a world where everyone is the meathead in front of us at the ATM who can't figure it out. Where everyone writes in text shorthand, all the time, for everything. .
I guess Idiocracy is the counterpoint to Brave New World.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:01 PM on March 14, 2013


Canada, stop getting worse, I want to move back to you some day.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:41 PM on March 14


By all means, come back now and help us make it a better place.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 8:08 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of reality television and law enforcement: Steven Seagal protects Vladimir Putin from small children
posted by homunculus at 8:12 PM on March 14, 2013


In Russia Putin protects Seagal.
posted by srboisvert at 9:07 PM on March 14, 2013


Ah yes, the Hitlery Channel. I was cracked up the other day by someone calling this the "History Channel".
posted by telstar at 9:29 PM on March 14, 2013


Border Security is tabloid television at its worst

Mulgrew points out that government tax credits likely helped pay for this program celebrating government "law and order."
posted by KokuRyu at 10:52 PM on March 14, 2013


Does this ever happen in the USA? Do any of the "bad boys" on COPS ever sue successfully for being exploited like this?

There is this guy, who is currently on trial for manslaughter of a 7 year old girl he shot while shooting his other reality show. Not SWAT, he was doing First 48 that day. And an A&E producer got charged with obstruction and perjury both for lying to protect the talent and trying to cover up the extent to which the show had scripted the raid to look good on TV.
posted by queen zixi at 3:34 AM on March 15, 2013


On The Media piece from last year talking about what a shitshow the National Geographic channel has become.

Speaking of reality TV and the Vancouver region, I remember seeing videos of Surrey(?) Police chasing car thieves with dogs. I have no idea if that's common practice, but I found it kinda disturbing.
posted by afiler at 8:38 AM on March 15, 2013


They debate fucking zombies in the House of Commons so this better get a LOT of airtime.

Wait, are the people debating the zombie-fucking in the House of Commons, or is the zombie-fucking occurring in the House of Commons? Because I can't imagine any politicians going on record as pro-zombie-fucking, but politicians secretly fucking zombies at lunchtime would be plausible.
posted by Tool of the Conspiracy at 12:03 PM on March 15, 2013


Screw that. Just let them in.

I think you completely misunderstood me. I'm talking about going after the employers for exploiting immigrants and not giving them the wages and benefits that workers in a particular field in Canada are entitled to by law. This is not mutually exclusive with an open immigration policy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:14 PM on March 15, 2013


srboisvert: "Screw that. Just let them in. They are human beings and they want to work and live. Canada is a big country. It can contain multitudes. If corporations can cross the border then every single human being should be able to as well."

Canada has to throttle immigration to preserve it's Canadianess and to allow new immigrants to prosper. Allowing for example 60 million Americans to flood across the boarder and set up shop would be a disaster.
posted by Mitheral at 12:05 PM on March 16, 2013


Yes if we let Americans flood in they might elect some Bush-like autocrat who would expand military spending, cut social programs, and allow corporations to run roughshod over the environment.
posted by mek at 5:40 PM on March 16, 2013


The CBSA has final editorial authority for these videos. They will naturally edit the videos to present themselves and their goals in the best light. It is in no way a transparent process.

So this is a public-private partnership to produce and distribute propaganda films.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]




Whoo hoo, go Vic Toews, you miserable stupid old man.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:20 PM on March 18, 2013


Vic Toews is an ass, that is clear. And so is this debate re: Christian schools opposing anti-bullying legislation. It must be said that the vast majority of Christians find anti-bullying legislation to be an entirely satisfactory legislative solution to preventing violence and treating human beings equally. I fail to see how you can make the argument that it infringes on freedom of religion if the majority of the members of that religion are supportive of the position.

What you are actually saying is that people who struggle with the moral quandry of allowing bullying should somehow have their views take precedence over the views of everyone else from their religion who are in accord with the legislation. I'm all for protecting minority rights, but this isn't a freedom of religion issue. It is an entitlement issue, and those arguing for bullying, whether it is against GLTBQ students, or undocumented immigrants would have to make a pretty weird argument to have the Supreme Court uphold their freedom to hate speech and bashing in the name of their religion.
posted by salishsea at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2013


I'm pretty sure you wanted this thread, salishsea.
posted by jacalata at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2013


jcalata: Responding to KokoRyu just above you whose second link was to Toews' other major screw up this week. He is an intolerable minister of the Crown and this episode and the other one are stirring indictments of his incompetence.
posted by salishsea at 1:52 PM on March 19, 2013


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