Sunday, August 01, 2010

When Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Catch 22: "Catch-22 states that agents enforcing Catch-22 need not prove that Catch-22 actually contains whatever provision the accused violator is accused of violating."  This is the one fictitious provision I'm including here.  But it shows the heart of all of the laws or guidelines that follow: rex lex, instead of lex rex.

Article 58: "A counter-revolutionary action is any action aimed at overthrowing, undermining or weakening of the power of workers' and peasants' Soviets... and governments of the USSR and Soviet and autonomous republics, or at the undermining or weakening of the external security of the USSR and main economical, political and national achievements of the proletarial revolution."  (Note: this article came to mean everything and nothing.  Under it, children were imprisoned for picking up wheat falling onto a road from a leaking government vehicle and Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned for writing about Stalin as, among other things, the "one with mustachios."  No one ever accused of violating this article was ever cleared of the charge, and many received 10 or even 25 years in the Gulag when they were found guilty.

Inclusivity: "In addition, to enhance the working, living, and learning environment for faculty, staff, and students, the University will encourage a standard of conduct and behavior that is consistent with the values of inclusivity. In an environment of inclusivity, there is no place for acts of hatred, intolerance, insensitivity, bigotry, threats of violence, harassment or discrimination."  The local newspaper reported the following: "Ann Mester, associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, wrote that she believes 'the e-mails sent by Dr. Howell violate university standards of inclusivity, which would then entitle us to have him discontinue his teaching arrangement with us.'"  Sounds similar to the "hate" speech violations Mark Steyn was called up on in 2008.  By the way, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunals who handled his case have a 100% conviction rate.


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