law

Of Honour- and photo ops

Parliament voted last week to revoke the honorary citizenship it had previously bestowed upon Aung San Suu Kyi the  civilian  leader of Myanmar, horrified that she has done nothing to stop the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya – OOPS- I guess the Prime Minister was a bit too quick off the mark in awarding the honour in the first place .

It leads me to ponder – what is the purpose of bestowing honorary citizenship anyway? I can think of no practical reason for doing so, other than the obvious opportunity it affords politicians to indulge in a feel good photo-op with a celebrity. Canada’s recognition of  Suu Kyi obviously did nothing to improve the human rights situation in Myanmar, so really, what was the point?

Granting honours, especially to celebrities who are still alive and capable of disappointing us can be a tricky business.  The Order of Canada has had to re-think its membership list so many times, after recipients have subsequently disgraced themselves  I’m surprised they don’t  keep the honour roll in pencil. So why do we do it?

Take Bill Cosby, for example. Back when  he was still  “America’s Dad” and a benign and beloved father figure, he collected over 60 honorary degrees from Universities across the US. His conviction for sexual assault has caused a massive recall of those honours by a number of prestigious schools.

Interestingly, Yale University is not amongst them. It has a long-standing policy not to revoke honours bestowed upon persons who subsequently disgrace themselves. Given that  Yale is the  alma mater  of both Judge Kavanaugh and Judge Clarence Thomas ( of Anita Hill fame) this is perhaps not surprising!

 

 

Categories: law, Politics, Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Like lawyers everywhere I relish every opportunity to throw around obscure Latin phrases, to confuse and confound the uninitiated. This blog’s headline is an example, although it will be instantly recognizable to students of logic amongst the readership, as well as those who keep a copy of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics on their bedside table.

It refers to a type of argument that seeks to destroy a proposition by taking it to the extreme. In legal argument it is sometimes employed along with its sister, the “Floodgates” argument (“judge, if you find in favor of the idiot on the other side, it will open the floodgates of litigation”)

Let’s have some fun with Reductio Ad Absurdum. Readers of my companion blog will know that I’ve been alternately bemused and incensed by the swelling tide of political correctness that seems bent on erasing the names of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie from public view, because of their actions against aboriginal people. There have been shrill demands for their names to be removed from schools, bridges and even pubs that have been named after them.

Logically then, any historical public figure whose actions were abhorrent by today’s standard should receive the same treatment. May I present Chief Maquinna, a well known chief of the Nuu-Cha-Nulth. While history will remember him best as the chief who welcomed Capt. James Cook to Nootka Sound, it also records that he was an enthusiastic owner of slaves. Slavery of course, was an established part of First Nations culture, pre-European contact, but Maquinna is also known to have captured European whalers who strayed into his territory, keeping them as slaves, and putting some to death when they attempted to escape. It seems to me that the chief’s conduct ticks all the same boxes as Sir John A. and Sir Matthew.

So, when various school boards vote to rename schools named after Sir John A. McDonald, surely  the name of Maquinna  Elementary school  should also get axed (there are two schools named after Maquinna, incidentally, one in Vancouver and one in Port Alberni )

Last, but not least, since the Kingston  pub Sir John’s Public House recently felt compelled to change its name to simply ‘The Public House’ to avoid offending patrons, should not Tofino’s  venerable Maquinna Hotel follow suit ? Ironically the Maquinna  Hotel bar is  a favorite First Nations watering hole, being conveniently located just above the pier where the water taxi from the Ahousaht First nations Reserve  docks.

Reductio Ad Absudum ?

 

Categories: First Nations, humour, law, Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t go under the Mistletoe —

In the aftermath of L’affaire Weinstein, and in the face of the rise of the #METOO movement, navigating the already dangerous shoals of interpersonal relationships has become a whole lot more complicated for us guys.

No wonder then that when a dear friend posted the following query on her Facebook page it elicited several hundred responses :

LADIES! Should a man ask permission for a 1st kiss? Hot or not? Have rules changed?”

I confess I had to think about it awhile, since its been a number of decades since the  issue has had any personal relevance to me, (although I think, back in the day, I was probably more inclined to beg forgiveness afterwards than ask permission beforehand, ) but the conversation on Facebook was lively and interesting, with several wags suggesting that the only safe course for a fellow to follow would be not only to ask, but to get it in writing , with her signature on a lawyer-drawn “Consent to Kiss” form. As soon as I saw the post, I knew my duty was clear-I must protect my Bros, by crafting such a form. So, guys, here it is- no need to thank me- we’ve got to stick together, ya know! – just buy me a  beer sometime.

                                                      CONSENT TO SNOG

BETWEEN

(Guy- insert your real name here )

(Hereinafter the “Snoggor”)

AND:

(insert name of object of your affections here )

(Hereinafter the “Snoggee”)

WHEREAS: Snoggor intends to  invite Snoggee to participate in certain activities more particularly defined herein, ( the “Defined Activities”) and wishes to confirm Snoggee’s informed and enthusiastic consent to such activities;

AND WHEREAS Snoggee warrants that she is of full legal age (as defined by the Age of Majority Statute of her Province of principal residence, and/or the Criminal Code of Canada);

AND WHEREAS Snoggee  is aware that the Defined Activities carry with them certain inherent  risks, included, but not limited to, feeling of euphoria,  unexpected metabolic or physiological changes, transmission of disease, risk of developing interpersonal relationships, which can occasionally lead to matrimony, and further that Defined Activities are gateway activities, which may lead to  participation in more intense activities, including, but not limited to nuzzling, licking, groping, fondling, and/or Hanky Panky.

WITNESS that Snoggee, by affixing her hand and seal hereto as of the date  hereof does :

(select one)

grudgingly,

willingly

enthusiastically

passionately

hereby consent to participate in one or more of the following  Defined Activities and releases and saves harmless the Snoggor from and against any liability  pertaining to participation in the Defined Activities

(select all that apply)

a)    a kiss  ( French ? or English?)

b)    multiple kisses

c)   other associated and incidental activities

Dated at  ____________ in the Province of British Columbia  this    day of         2017

(Snoggee sign here )     _____________________________

 

  • definitions – for the purposes of this consent and release form  Defined  Activities shall mean and include a kiss/snog/smooch/or tonsil hockey involving interfacing passionately with another being, creating a field of physical obsession and focused arousal centered on the lips, mouth and tongue, and in the Territories a=of Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon, may include, mutatis  mutandi, the rubbing of noses.

 

 

 

Categories: humour, law, Reflections, relationships | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“Honey, who’s in the driveway?”

There is a guy down the road who looks a bit sketchy to me. He always looks a bit scruffy, never makes eye contact, and he is often seen lounging about his back yard while the rest of us honest, god –fearing citizens are toiling away at the office. Continue reading

Categories: law | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.