March 12, 2012

We Have Ways of Making You Park

Okay so, this is funny: an Ottowa woman claims that convenient parking is a "human right" (and that her having three kids qualifies her as having "special needs" as well.) Moreover, the woman in question is a former investigator for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The comedy routine writes itself, and National Post columnists are having fun with it, sarcastically comparing her plight to that of victims of Pol Pot and Stalin, etc.

I'd also agree, more or less, with the takeway that "anyone who has ever wondered about some of the more inane rulings made by that august body now has their explanation — if the bar for what constitutes discrimination is set this pathetically low, we’re all guilty of something"; and with this bit quoted by Glenn Reynolds:

There is a cost to this nonsense. The more ludicrous the claims being made under the human-rights banner, the more the concept itself is stretched and mauled completely out of shape, the more that the real elements of human rights are degraded or forgotten. Human rights are not a sticky post on which you paste the latest silly thing that annoys you…

All true. And you can't blame the columnists for having fun with it. In fact, though, they're having so much fun with it that it's a bit hard to tell from the editorials what the actual complaint is: what it is is, the city bureaucracy won't grant this woman permission to park in front of her own house. At least that's how I read it -- she wants to install a "parking pad" on her front lawn (and, though I'm speculating here, she seems to be relying on her own expertise on how the "human rights tribunal" system works to use it as a weapon against the bureaucracy itself. Two cheers for that, really.) Both columnists proceed under the unquestioned assumption that such a desire (to park your car on your own property) is an outrageous demand, the government's prerogative to grant or deny, an expectation of special treatment to which ordinary people quite obviously have no right.

Actually, the Canadian jokes kind of write themselves here, too, but I'm not laughing all that much. Because we're headed that way ourselves soon enough if we're not indeed already there.

So sure, it's not a "human rights violation." But, it's a violation of something, eh?

Posted by Dr. Frank at March 12, 2012 06:28 PM

i hate when people have a valid point, but they argue it in such a ridiculous way that everything they say looks silly.

Posted by: aaron at March 12, 2012 08:15 PM

What a bunch of sluts those columnists are.

Posted by: josh at March 13, 2012 05:16 PM
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