Watch the evasive language on Islamic jihad

Just go to the Globe, the CBC and read the evasive language. Neil Macdonald, senior editor of the CBC, was going on about the fault for the Orlando massacre being in all monotheistic religions, and that if we had ever snickered at a homophobic joke, our shared guilt was manifest. Doug Saunders in the Globe links the Orlando massacre to Republican dominated state legislatures not being pro-gay enough for his taste. Adam Radwanski on how Trump was being too quick to blame it on Islamic jihad because of

“an unverified rumour that the shooter had screamed “Allah hu Akbar” while opening fire.”

Oh, yes, Adam, and the killer had phoned in to 9-1-1 saying hwe was doing this killing on behalf of the Islamic state.But of course Trump was wrong and morally unhinged for linking this attack to jihad and Islam.

I try to remain as calm as I can but sometimes the situation calls for nothing less than outrage. I am disgusted – disgusted – by this kind of moral evasion and turpitude on the part of Macdonald, Radwanski, and Saunders.

As Mathew Hennessey writes in City Journal:

You don’t have to be Bernard Lewis to know that Omar Mateen was motivated by his Islamic faith to kill gay Americans. It would be nice if we could speak openly about this. It would be even better if our major media outlets wouldn’t twist themselves into politically correct pretzels trying to avoid “speculation” about a motive. Sometimes a jihad is just a jihad.

Obama: ISIS didn’t build that!

Early Sunday, approx 02:00: Two law-enforcement officials told The Daily Beast that immediately before starting his rampage, Omar Mateen called 911 and pledged his allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

Later Sunday, 12:23: POTUS speech, “We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism. And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what — if any — inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. “

It is normal

IMG_1054

 

The overwhelming impression I get of Moscow is that it is normal: advertizing, traffic, people, dress, customs, manners, commerce (lots and lots of commerce), shopping, monuments, museums. People are behaving as if they were not afraid. People are behaving like big city people do in Munich, Toronto and Sao Paulo. Getting on the tube and getting on home. Browsing in malls. Going to and from the gym.

The visa requirements are stringent. The Russian officials are sticklers for paperwork, but they seem to be human if there is an error. My visa had an erroneous entry, and I was sent to sit on a bench while they worked it out. Visions of being sent back to Ottawa without getting through the border went through my head. Also of being taken to mysterious places for long interrogations. Nothing is more disturbing than to be without one’s passport while foreign officials do unexplained things with it. In the end the bossman at the airport inspection station simply filled in a new visa for me. Note to visitors: read your visa carefully and check twice for errors. I thanked him and we parted with a smile and and a thank you: spasibo.

They are ripping up a large section of the sidewalks on Tsverskaya Boulevard, which leas into Red Square, to replace them with something grander and more suitable for pedestrians: flower beds, wider walkways, paving bricks. The upgrade involves massive amounts of machinery, most of it apparently German, lots of workers, and total disruption, so that everyone is walking on boards between fences decorated with pictures of writers and scientists from Russian history. Unlike Canada, the project will be done in four months this summer, and not be spread over two years.

Another sign of normality is The Moscow Times, where you can learn lessons in Russian etiquette, or read criticism of Putin, corruption, and ostentatious rich kids. I realize it is an English language publication, but it is good journalism.

The conference I attended was filled with Russian geeks and businessmen acting exactly like their European and American counterparts in the IT and Internet industries, looking for business, passing out cards, listening to lectures on how they handle denial of service attacks, transition to IPv6, and peer with one another’s networks.

I may have cause to change my mind by the time I leave, but my impression, superficial though it be, is that Russia has passed out of Communist fear-driven behaviour decisively. It must always be remembered, as Solzhenitsyn said, that the first and most serious victims of Communism were the Russians themselves. The rebound from that dark age continues. They need a hundred years more of peace and prosperity. I hope they get it.

I thought this quote from him to be particularly apt:

Today when we say the West we are already referring to the West and to Russia. We could use the word ‘modernity’ if we exclude Africa, and the Islamic world, and partially China.

IMG_1057

 

Sex: we are having more of all kinds

A statistically robust study reports that more Americans are engaging or have engaged in homosexual activity over the course of the last  forty years. The change is caused by people who report having had sex with both men and women and not by the growth of the exclusively homosexual.

 “People over time are reporting more same-sex sexual experiences than ever before,” said Brooke Wells, a social psychologist at Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies.

The behavioral trend, reflected in an annual survey conducted between 1973 and 2014, was fueled largely by people who had sex with both men and women. There has been little change in the number of people reporting exclusively homosexual behavior.

The changes were reported Wednesday in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. The research team included faculty from Widener, Florida Atlantic and San Diego State universities. A total of 33,728 people answered the survey over the 41-year period.

The number of U.S. adults who said they had at least one same-sex sexual partner doubled between the early 1990s – that question wasn’t asked earlier – and the early 2010s, from 3.6 to 8.7 percent for women and from 4.5 to 8.2 percent for men. Bisexual behavior rose from 3.1 to 7.7 percent, accounting for most of the change.

The survey found that only 1.7 percent of men and 0.9 percent of women said they had exclusively homosexual sex.

This study discredits the figure of 10% that was given for homosexual population, which was a political fiction of the gay lobby.

The surprise for some will be how to reconcile ideas of gay and straight with the fact that some people, a growing minority, report engaging in sex with both men and women. The difficulty lies in deep- rooted ideas which  are held by the straight and the gay alike.

People have been brought up in a language that defines us as either gay or straight, like an immutable Platonic ideal. Some are spheres, some are cones. No cross over, ever. So sexual orientation is a category, a classification,  rather than an activity. The gay movement has never, to my knowledge, deviated from this ideological stance, and neither has the Anita Bryant crowd.

The line the Gay Lobby peddles is that people are immutably gay or straight,  that homosexuality is an innate condition, that one is born that way, and that to deviate from this view is a heresy.

I recall Cynthia Nixon, a star of the late series Sex and the City, once dared to offer some non-conforming views. She has had both male and female lovers. She expressed herself this way about it:

She recently caused controversy among the gay community when she told The New York Times that homosexuality was a personal choice for her.

The notion that she had a choice in the matter outraged the ideological orthodoxy of the gay movement. [Yes, Dorothy, there is such a thing}.

But now, Cynthia Nixon has sought to clarify her comments further in a statement to The Advocate, telling them that bisexuality is not a choice, but her decision to be in a homosexual relationship is.

The same people who would be outraged to hear that intelligence is 75% inherited, for instance, foam at the mouth when it is suggested that some people might exercize choice in the sex of their partners. How can bisexuality not be a choice, when the sex of one’s partner is a choice? How can free will have a role if the one’s sexual orientation is 100% inherited?

The only way to make sense of this distinction between an inherent ‘bisexuality’, and a free choice of a person to bed a man or a woman, is that ‘bisexuality’ is being abstracted into another kind of Platonic essence distinct from one’s actual choice of bed partner, which is an activity. So we are back to the Platonic solids again, and we simply add a dodecahedron to the sphere and the cone.

I object to the abstracting of an essence from a pattern of activity.

At various times and  places, in various cultures and religions, homosexual and heterosexual relations have been practiced by one and the same person without any social stigma, and at other times and places, in other cultures and religions, homosexual activities and desires have been repressed by force of law, religion and culture, and self-repressed in consequence.

We happen to be in one of those rare moments in time when we can observe  that our culture, for better or worse, is transforming from an extremely homophobic one to something somewhat more tolerant. But we are still carrying around two incompatible ideas in our heads: that homosexual activity is not a choice, but is the expression of an immutable pre-existing condition,  and that somehow the fact that it is not really a choice makes it all right. It is okay to have same-sex sex if we belong to Team B, but not if we belong to Team A. That would be wrong. Team A should never cross over into Team B. That would be like going to the dark side. If people choose to have homosexual sex, then somehow it is wrong, but if they have no choice in their orientation, then somehow it is okay.

The gay political movement has accepted this specious argument. So have most straight people. The data reveal that, as sexual attitudes change, and repression lifts, more people either admit to homosexual activity or, as I think, feel free enough to indulge in it. There cannot be a near doubling of ‘bisexuals’ in forty years if sexual orientation is genetically immutable, like eye colour. But if our behaviour is mutable according to fashion, and  levels of repression, or the absence of repression, then we can and do change.  To ascribe the propensity to have sex with one sex rather than with the other as ‘genetic’ seems a completely unnecessary stretch.

Our language and thinking are still embedded in the previous era. Even if we have become more accepting of ‘gays’, we still firmly believe that people ought to be one or the other.

To use the word ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ in this sense is to use the language of Platonic abstractions. I do not think for second that all those men and women , those 8.2 percent of men and 8.7% of women in 2014, are ‘gay’. Neither does calling them ‘straight’ add to our understanding. They are just people having sex.

Except for that small minority of people who are exclusively homosexual (1.7% of men and 0.9% of women), I think it is misleading to categorize people who have had sex with their own as well as with the opposite sex as ‘gay’. Sex is an activity, not a condition. Something we do, not something we are.

This is Heresy #1 to both Team A and Team B. If sex is something we do, rather than a condition that we are, then sexual activity is rather more like preferring golf to tennis, than it is like being Protestant rather than Catholic, and more like both of them than it is to be blue-eyed or brown eyed.  “He’s a golfer, but plays good tennis too”. Why do we have no trouble with this formulation, but feel awkward with “he likes women, but plays with the men too”? Why is sexual orientation treated as the Big Deal of identity politics? Because we are uncomfortable with sex.

I can see a strictly Christian view of the matter would say that sex should only occur inside marriage. (I do not agree but I can see the consistency of the claim). I can see a socially conservative view that would prioritize the claims of children to a stable home environment over the claims of parents to sexual freedom, and thus that, regardless of sexual activities,  child-rearing must prevail over all other claims. I agree with this view.

That society must give priority to child raising is not in question. What ought to be in question is our either/or attitudes, held by Team A and Team B alike, that one’s choice of sex partner is the exclusive result of an  immutable genetic disposition. The right of people to engage in sex with their own sex, or with the opposite sex, should be a free choice of the will and not, as gay identity politics would have it, an expression of something as unchangeable as eye colour.

We have bought into the existence of pain-inducing and false abstractions, which hinder our understanding of ourselves and the human species. Both sides of the gay/anti-gay debate seem to have accepted these Platonic abstractions as real . Contrary to ideology, many more people seem to be acting on the realization that one’s sex partner is a choice of the heart and the will, and not the expression of an immutable biological condition. A future age will wonder what on earth we meant to do when we divided the world  into ‘gay’ and ‘straight’. We are just human. We can be sexually attracted to almost anyone in some conditions, and attracted to no one in others. Dividing the world into the Platonic abstractions of gay and straight hinders us from understanding both ourselves and other people.

 

 

 

The Long March takes a Great Leap Forward

Mao Dear Diary:

Well, it’s official now. The stunningly successful Long March of the Left through Canadian institutions – aided and abetted by the world’s most compliant media establishment – has taken another Great Leap Forward. In doing so it has placed the nation’s intellectual leadership into the hands of Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis – both of whom have, as journalists, been bringing you objective reporting on world events for years now.

Forget that the difference between the Leap Manifesto adopted by the NDP at its Edmonton convention this week contrasts rather dramatically with Mao’s Leap agenda in that, unlike their beloved Chairman (right), today’s progressives favour the de-industrialization of society and a return to what appears to be a more agrarian existence. And forget that the adoption of the same brings an end to the the NDP’s long history of looking out for the working man.

Naomi Klein

Every major union in the country is now fully committed to an agenda – and will use their memberships’ dues to pursuit it – that calls for “shifting to an economy in balance with earth’s limits.”

They do not care that under the guidance of Klein and Lewis (yes, the former CBC and Al-Jazeera man and son of Stephen son of David: the ailment appears to be genetic) the jobs of every auto worker, shipyard worker, airport worker, miner, auto mechanic, pipe fitter, refinery worker, oil & gas worker and oh so many others need to disappear. Now.

(Update: the Leap Manifesto is not official party policy yet – it was approved to take forward to constituency associations, etc. for more debate/approval. We were working from media reporters that stated “NDP adopts Leap Manifesto.” We should have learned not to trust media (insert face palm emoticon) and apologize to any of Barrelstrength’s many left of centre readers for any distress we may have caused them resulting in a need for the urgent establishment of ideologically safe spaces. Nevertheless, the manifesto did receive the support of a sizeable percentage of the delegates on hand.)

Oh, and because “the time for energy democracy has come; we believe not just in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new energy systems,” the era of private industry and entrepreneurship is coming (we all apparently hope) as well.

Avi Lewis

To be fair the Leap Manifesto, while prioritizing Caring for the Earth, does mention “and Caring for each other.” But it sure doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about caring for one of its own. Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, who’s passionate plea to that it was time to look more charitably upon Alberta and it’s 100,000-plus laid off workers (yes, workers – anyone remember them?) was completely ignored because “Canada’s record on climate change is a crime against humanity’s future.”

To say ignored is to understate. Lewis and Klein want an end to pipelines and tanker traffic. Right now. And they want resources left in the ground. Right now. The Leap Manifesto, implemented, kills Canada’s resources industries to put an end to these “crimes.” Notley, who recently stopped wearing her Che Guevara watch, is now trying to live life as a grownup.

The folks in the Hague are certainly going to be busy prosecuting those who have been creating happy, prosperous lives for humanity because, if Canada’s 2% contribution to global emissions constitutes a “crime against humanity,” President Obama and a lot of other world leaders – including those in the Persian Gulf who used to pay young Avi’s salary at Al-Jazeera, better start lawyering up.

Speaking of throwing people under the bus, the convention also dumped leader Thomas Mulcair. So, this should be fun. Except that this one’s in the bag. Nathan Cullen, the camera-ready eco-indigenous-Great Spirit Bear-worshipping MP from Skeena-Bulkley Valley who won the hearts but not the minds of NDP delegates at the last leadership convention, has this one in the bag.

Our first reaction, Dear Diary, is that this will drive the Green vote and the who cares about money when the world is filled with unicorns vote that fled to our current PM last October, back to the NDP. But, on second thought, it’s more likely said PM will just yoga harder to outleap The Leap. So, say goodbye to reason, say goodbye to pipelines and say goodbye to Alberta and Saskatchewan as part of Confederation.


We say the latter because compared to the intellectual insanities listed above, Hillary Clinton qualifies as a right-wing kook and could be president of the United States come next year.

Failing that and given her absolutely dismal appeal as a campaigner to anyone outside the Dem0cratric National Committee, we are of the view that a truly happy scenario involves Ted Cruz – what’s not to love about a son of a pastor, climate change-denying Harvard Law School grad? – becoming POTUS.

If that happens, the Keystone pipeline will be approved, Alberta and Saskatchewan will have the salt water access they need and they will merrily tell Avi, Naomi, Seth and others whose embrace of the climate change agenda reveals its true purpose to go Leap themselves.


On yet another cheerful note, for the first time in five years we slept in something other than the fetal position following a Canadian election last Monday night despite staying up past midnight to follow every fart and piddle of the Saskatchewan election.

Who every thought following down to the wire races in Saskatoon Fairview and Regina Pasqua could be so inspiring?

And who among us wouldn’t fit better in the riding of Estevan (oil country) where Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party took 5,386 votes. The NDP candidate, who edged out the PCer (yes, a handful still exist in some sort of post-apocalyptic mutation) by 17 votes, finished second with 627 votes.

As Wall said on election night, “God bless this Province.”

Yes, people still say this things. In Canada. Out loud.


This past weekend, April 9 marked the 99th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge – often considered the moment when Canada emerged from its adolescence and asserted its true independence from Britain by taking matters into its own hand and not taking orders from upper class twits. On that day, 3,598 young Canadian men died and 7,000 others were wounded.

Ninety nine years later, students on this continent cry themselves to sleep worrying about gender-neutral bathrooms and demand “safe spaces” when someone writes “Trump 2016” in chalk on a sidewalk.

Nothing is more illustrative of the wisdom once bestowed upon us that while civilization may be thousands of years old, it is never more than one generation deep. Something has gone terribly wrong.

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Sailing the oily seas of everyone’s wars on the West

oil tankers

 

Dear Diary:

We are often critical of mainstream media, but today we begin with a chapeau for Ryan Jespersen of Edmonton’s AM 630 CHED radio for his interview with the Prime Minister last week.

Following a listener’s puff ball question about whether or not the anointed one uses French’s ketchup (Sophie apparently prefers something exotic and organic) and an excruciating dodge to a query as to why it’s OK for eastern Canada to import oil from disgraceful dictatorships but not from Alberta, Jespersen asked, at the 4:40 mark  about the ban on northwest coast tanker traffic. Apparently, the answer is not only that the region is environmentally sensitive, it is that 20,000 British Columbians earn their living in that region in the fishing and tourism industries.

But then Jespersen asks about why, if that is so, there is also not a ban on east coast tanker traffic and the answer is gobbledigook. Which got us thinking: do people not fish or work in the tourism industries on Canada’s east coast? Are the pristine beaches of PEI, the beluga habitats of the St. Lawrence, the world-renowned tidal waters of the Bay of Fundy and the fjords of Newfoundland not “environmentally sensitive?”

Well, apparently there are no fishers or tour guides or sensitive areas anywhere there or, if there are, it is certainly not a matter of concern for anyone in high office in Ottawa these days as the government’s own statistics  show there is 16 times more tanker traffic -3,890 vs 246vessels – in Canada’s Atlantic waters than there are plying our Pacific waters. Further, while 2.2 million tonnes of oil are annually shipped out of Vancouver, 12 times as much oil and petroleum products move through Quebec’s ports alone.

The amount of oil moving in and out of ports in the Atlantic provinces is 82 million tonnes, roughly 40 times more than the entire B.C. volume.

So, we ask again on behalf of Mr. Jespersen: if tourism and fishing and environmental sensitive are reasons for no tankers on the west coast, why aren’t those same reasons applied to the east coast? Oh, never mind – we know the answer and so do you.


Say a prayer for British author Ian McEwan from whom apologies are being demanded for his “hurtful” and dangerous assertion that “call me old fashioned but I tend to think of people with penises as men.”

This shocking comment followed his lecture to the Royal Institution on the “nature of the self” where he expressed concern for the bothersome levels of political correctness and “strange sense of victimhood” sweeping university campuses.

“Such self-authorship takes us to the heart of the identity politics currently animating and troubling American campuses and some in Britain too,” he said. “The self, like a consumer desirable, may be plucked from the shelves of a personal identity supermarket, a ready to wear little black number.

 “For example some men in full possession of a penis are now identifying as women and demanding entry to women-only colleges and the right to change in women’s dressing rooms . . . Others, outwardly capable both mentally and physically identify as disabled, and there has been a recent celebrated case of a white woman identifying as black.”

Pretty dangerous stuff, wot?


Speaking of penises, if you have access to one, you’d best keep it enthusiastic. Indeed, the details of a research paper reported many weeks ago have been confirmed and we can, dear diary, state with confidence that the more sexually active a man is, the lower his risk of developing prostate cancer – the most common cancer among men.

And if you want to know how busy you need to be, the bar has been confirmed at 21 ejaculations monthly. Cowboy up.


It turns out a Belgian journalist (another rare chapeau) of Moroccan origin did a thorough report on how the district of Molenbeek had become a Jihadi hotbed years ago and she was, predictably, dismissed as suffering from a psychological pathology known as Islamophobia.

Her book Undercover in Little Morocco, was published in 2006 and was completely ignored.

 “Everyone said I was exaggerating. I was accused of being Islamophobic, racist. Some people said I had psychological problems and that I was a Muslim traumatised by Islam.”

And now, people are dead. It is worth wondering just who is suffering from a pathology.


Arbour
Arbour
Schama
Schama
Farage
Farage
Steyn
Steyn

We are all aware by now of the attempt by police in Cologne to coverup the wave of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve and many will be aware of the efforts by Swedish police (Sweden is now the rape capital of Europe) to do the same regarding sexual assaults at a music festival.

None of this appeared to be of consequence to Canada’s Louise Arbour, a woman with a distinguished legal career and a leader in having rape recognized as an instrument of war, when she participated in Friday’s Munk debate regarding the global refugee crisis. There, she and teammate Simon Schama were soundly defeated by Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage who managed to turn 22% of the crowd’s votes in their favour. The full debate can be viewed via a link on Steyn’s website and is recommended viewing for those inclined.

Arbour maintained that refugees and migrants will eventually adapt to Canada but also noted that they will, in turn, change us and that’s OK.
While expressing some bitterness at how religion had suppressed women (she’s from Quebec), Arbour did not seem worried at all that those changes go a little beyond the opportunity to enjoy a nice curry or pad thai. Here are some recent examples of – and remember this is pretty early stages – the way societies are being changed in Europe:

Sylvi Listhaug
Sylvi Listhaug

The good news is not just the victory by Farage and Steyn, it’s that Norway is declaring it’s not all that cool with being changed into a medieval caliphate and, having closed their border with Russia to stem the tide of migrants (Finland has done the same) using the Arctic route, is determined not to wind up “like Sweden.”

Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug announced a series of asylum and immigration reforms because :

“We have foreign fighters who have left Norway and [we have] radical environments. We should not stick our heads in the sand and say that everything is good here. But fortunately we are a long way from the conditions we see in some other countries, for example Sweden,” she told NTB.

This, following Denmark’s action in January, hints at some revival of European culture’s will to live.

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How eco-activists really inspired ISIS

tunisiaDear Diary:

One day, when archeologists sort through the remnants of western society and wonder “what the hell were they thinking?” they will determine that it was in Canada, roughly about 2016, where it first became obvious the world had lost the capacity for rational thought.

Canada, as no one in Canada knows, is about to entrench its status as the world’s most socially left-wing nation. Here, unlike anywhere in Europe or the Commonwealth abroad, abortion is available right up until the moment a “cluster of cells” enters the birth canal and it is just fine to do so because you have determined said cluster is not of the preferred gender. Here, a 12-year-old boy may declare himself a girl, play on the girls’ sports teams and use washrooms designated for use only by an outdated construct once known as females. Here, the rights of minorities are deemed so pervasive that anyone who disagrees with anything stated by any member of those communities is banished from the public square and deemed to be suffering from some fantastical pathology. Here, unlike any other nation in the world, marijuana sale, possession and use will be entirely legal. Here, unlike any country in the world, the mentally ill and children will soon not only be able to acquire assistance for their suicides, people and institutions holding the crazy belief that killing is wrong will be forced by the state to end other people’s lives.

And here, the people – because they were bored with competence – enthusiastically elected a government that will plunge them into an additional $100 billion in debt just because being a grownup sucks.

Which brings us to Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and his quite remarkable mid-week speech at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile States conference in Ottawa. There, no doubt to an enthralled audience of believers, he explained that climate change and global warming are among the root causes of the rise of Islamic terrorism in Syria and Iraq.

He correctly points to food shortages and riots as accelerants for the phenomena known as the Arab Spring which led to the fall of numerous North African despots and widespread rebellion in Syria. He neglects to point out how excited the West – led by the United States – was about these developments at the time. He of course ignored all kinds of other facts such as, for instance that this Arab Spring only occurred in nations led by corrupt, unpopular governments. Others – Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kuwait, etc – did not participate in the glorious spring. Most of all, he ignored the fact that it is people who hold to his own slavish beliefs who were ultimately responsible for the food shortages which fuelled the uprisings which led to the Arab Spring which destabilized Syria which led to the rise of ISIS (which is his argument).

What actually happened was that in 2010, US President Barack Obama, as part of his agenda to reduce carbon emissions and halt climate change, announced a massive funding program to encourage Middle America to use its farms to grow crops for use in clean renewable bio fuel energy. And, never mind for the moment that the whole thing wound up wasting $150 billion, the good farmers of Iowa did just that, selling their corn as fuel instead of food. This, as Time magazine pointed out a year later, was the single most important factor in causing the enormous rise in food prices that followed. (that led to the shortages, riots, Arab Spring . . . .)

So, Mr. Minister, it wasn’t actually a changing climate that led to the events you describe. It was the American President’s unblinking faith in eco-extremism to fight climate change that did that because he believed it was more important to feed that ideology than it was to feed people. And, through him, it was you. Thanks.


Speaking of religion, we were touched by the Prime Minister’s moving image of Gaia worship during Earth Hour, which he apparently spontaneously tweeted from his home.Earth hour

This moving performance, complete with a burning log on the fire and a lit candle, each of which created more emissions than if the silly lad and a woman who appears to be imitating Mary Magdalene had simply turned on the lights, was remarkable for its spiritual imagery. We note that the following week there was no photo of the family attending mass for Easter. We admit to some surprise that the PMO did issue a statement concerning Easter but our suspicions were confirmed when we realized that statement did not refer to Christian values as “values we all share.” He does of course state that anytime he refers to Islam.


Keeping with the theme of renewable energy, we note that while according to the CBC hundreds of schools  have, quite emotionally, signed up to be powered by wind energy, the inconvenient truth is that the “schools do not directly use energy generated from the wind farm. However, the turbines contribute electricity to the system from which they are supplied.”

And, while proponents still declare this makes sense because it’s “cost-effective” that view doesn’t appear to be shared by the operators of the nation’s oldest wind farm, who are shutting it down, dismantling it and selling it for scrap. Yet another, um, awkward truth.


The PM, before hustling off to Wahington last week, managed to swing out to Alberta where, showing his party’s historic ability to rub westerners the wrong way, he explained that rather than being upset the federal budget contained absolutely nothing for their battered economy those who didn’t qualify should “be pleased” their home addresses didn’t meet the standard for extended employment insurance
The good news from this is that it means there will be at least four fewer Liberals following the next election although from all reports many selfies were taken (that’s gotta be getting a little old). And, if we can just get that “why should I sell your oil?” question to cross the lips of the golden child, man, it’ll be just like the 1970s. Groovy.

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Great moments in Canadian journalism

Rosemary Barton with, apparently, her BFF
Rosemary Barton with, apparently, her BFF, published proudly on her Twitter feed

Dear Diary:

We have emerged from the fetal position and ceased rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth . . . . after last week’s orgiastic display of professional and intellectual nihilism by many of the nation’s leading journalists.

The image above is clearly worth 1,000 words regarding Canada’s freshly-polished PM’s visit to Washington and we have already, for the most part, covered that.

But a final couple of thoughts beyond what we have already expressed on what real journalists might have covered beyond the menu at the state dinner hosted by the Obamas.
– Was Keystone discussed at all? Softwood lumber? Syrian refugees?
– What is the economic impact of the new agreement to limit methane emissions and what will its impact be on global emission levels.
– What did the US President think of Canada’s plan to legalize marijuana and will that lead to additional screening of Canadians wishing to enter the USA?

We confess we may have missed it, having chosen instead to watch something more professional – APTN evening news – than incontinent cloyings about how America is gaga over Margaret Junior. Nevertheless the above is what real journalists would have done instead of disseminating information about menus and style, taking selfies and generally prostrating themselves before our Leader in a fashion most reminiscent of North Korea’s state broadcaster. Oh, and either completely ignoring or dismissing as irrelevant the monstrous faux pas the PM executed by toasting the President “on behalf of 36 million Americans”– which we all know would have been the subject of endless ridicule had it involved a conservative politician because it is well-established that Liberals are smart so that’s just a mistake. If a Conservative did such a thing it would simply be revealing the inherent stupidity of the genre. And, for sure, we have never had a smarter PM than the one we have now. Right?

We did take the time to test the further assumed wisdom that all anyone in the USA was talking about last week was Justin. Certainly the Washington Post appeared fully erect but we admit we were a little heart-broken when we checked the American breakfast shows Friday morning. As it turned out – who knew – they were much more interested in the Republican debate although CBS, 18 minutes into its broadcast, did do a full two-minute report on the visit.

Alas, similar to ABC and NBC (we did not check Fox because as we all know they are right-wing kooks and not real journalists) the big news was that the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, had made a stunning debut at their first state dinner.

At the end of the day, we are satisfied that Canada’s mainstream media has simply engaged in another bout of diminishing its own trustworthiness and, therefore, the next step in its much-anticipated suicide.


Donald Trump is distastefully crude and vulgar. Just so, and despite the occasional “I’d like to punch him in the face,” imprudence, we remain compelled by the manner in which he has given voice to millions abandoned by the elites governing their political institutions.

1968 Democratic convention
1968 Democratic convention

So we are of the view that the incidents of violence that have occurred at recent events are primarily courtesy of his opponents – a large number of whom are journalists, pundits and commentators who through their own irresponsible use of language are every bit as guilty of inspiring misconduct.

Our social media streams are rife with commentary comparing Trump with Hitler, Mussolini et al (oddly, not the beloved Uncle Joe Stalin who we all know was much loved by his proletariat) and media coverage that turns out to be completely bogus. These people know nothing about Hitler. Nor do they know anything of what a proper political knees-up looks like because alas they are too young to remember the Chicago Democratic convention when we and our Baby Boomer colleagues really knew how to throw a party.

Telling people they have a Hitler on their hands frightens them. Fear turns to anger which turns to action which turns to violence swiftly. The very statement is an incitement to violence. No one will, of course, write that.


Speaking of angry and frightened people, the newly-launched Alberta Freedom Party dedicated to that province’s independence now has about 4,000 followers on Facebook. Expect that to pick up steam.

We also note that the federal government’s recent transfer of $250 million to that province – which is suffering from the perfect storm of low commodity prices and a federal government determined to kill Canada’s major source of prosperity – is widely considered to be a matter of humiliation and condescension. Indeed, it was referred to by Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt as a “ quiet, but substantive blow to the dignity of our province and it isn’t worth the cost.”

 To provinces that have fed at the federal trough, this is an unimaginable view. Yet for those that have stood on their own two feet, it is fairly standard and, for the past 60 years, there’s only been one of those.

It will be sad to lose it but given that Calgary’s unemployment rate is now higher than that experienced by Haligonians and Ottawa’s response appears to be one of thinly-concealed delight in returning Canada’s power axis to its natural state, we expect this will all get very interesting indeed in the months ahead.


As for the future, we noted that Canada will be hosting both the US and Mexican Presidents in June when, our leader says, they will continue to try to stop the weather from changing. Not only that, according to the Globe and Mail, “indigenous peoples can play a role in the global struggle to slow down the warming planet.”

Clearly this man and these people’s powers are unparalleled. Who knew that, in concert, they were able not only to limit its warming but also to actually slow the planet?

It should come as no surprise then that when the PM says “we could do worse than draw on the cultural teachings and historical knowledge that indigenous communities have about how to create a proper balance with the land” he knows what he’s talking about.

And that, surely, includes traditional methods of sewage disposal, reforestation and the reduction of emissions from the burning of non-renewable resources. Looking forward to it.


Finally, we note that the much loved Premier Kathleen Wynne has formally apologized to francophones for Ontario’s 1912 ban on French in public schools. Thank heavens this was finally done.

No doubt this will play well with the hundreds of thousands of Quebec anglophones who were quietly cleansed from their homeland when their language was banned not only from public schools but also from pretty much every sign in that nation/province/jurisdiction during the pogroms of the 1980s.

One suggestion: While she’s busily engaged in the apology business, maybe she can talk the Iroquois and Mohawk people on a”nation to nation” basis about apologizing to the Huron people for their conquest, their slaughter and the “colonization” of their land in the Beaver Wars and finally admit they are living on “unceded” land.

Now,, back to the fetal position and rocking, rocking . . .

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Barrel Strength: your trusted source for breaking news

48 hours after you read it here first, Susan Delacourt picks up what you first read in our Trubama blog. Some might have written a headline that said “For two years, Obama’s friends worked to topple Stephen Harper” and wondered how much involvement a foreign president/government had taken in manipulating Canada’s internal affairs, but hey it’s the Star and this is Canada and when it comes to progressives conspiring to ensuring a sitting government’s defeat, it’s all good with our media – defenders of democracy that they are – right?

Cheers and stroking on the Washington trail with Trubama

Dear Diary:

Left undisciplined and off the leash now by the absence of thoughtful people in power – anywhere – our nation’s scribes and bingo-callers have returned, affectionately, to their preferred, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest state of being.

Exhausted from 10 years of being held to account but alas left unreformed, unrepentant and unredeemed, CBC News Network gushed all weekend over the Prime Minister’s interview (when does that boy find time to work?) on the U.S. stalwart program, 60 Minutes. We think, Dear Diary, that all Canadians should be ashamed when the nation’s publicly-funded broadcaster clearly reveals our dirty little secret – a soft, mushy, lefty inferiority complex – occasional rebellious but always, always yearning for daddy’s attention and approval. Nevermind that the CBS program was unable to distinguish the PM’s mother, Margaret Trudeau, from one of the PM’s father’s dates, actress Kim Cattrell – facts these days are the sole preserve of knuckle-draggers.

This continued through Monday morning when CBCNN’s infotainment specialist, Heather Hiscox, led the morning with “reaction” to the PM’s 60 Minutes appearance. Digging hard, her program grabbed a handful of tweets in a tepid effort to give journalistic justification to what was pure propaganda. So, OK, to be fair some of the propaganda was to promote that CBC itself would be heading to Washington for the PM’s visit there and what it cloyingly referred to as his “coveted” invitation to a State Dinner hosted by the much-loved President Obama.

Which brings us to Rosie Barton, who without so much as a blush continued to use our money to breathlessly thump the PM’s tub, pointing out this would be the first time – in almost 20 years! – that a Canadian would be “honored” with a state dinner in Washington. Digging deep, she provided viewers not only with the complete list of previous occasions: Power & Politics displayed its investigative journalism skills to let us know what was on the menu for each occasion. The people, after all, have a right to know.

What she failed to do – and we expect this will continue all week – was notice what was immediately obvious. Here is the list and see if you can’t figure it out in, oh, maybe, 10 seconds: Truman hosts King; Eisenhower hosts Diefenbaker; Nixon hosts Trudeau senior; Carter hosts Trudeau senior; Reagan hosts Mulroney (twice) and Clinton hosts Chretien.

Yup, you got it – of the seven previous state dinners with one exception (Nixon), all involved either Republicans hosting Conservatives or Democrats hosting Liberals. And when was the last time that dynamic was in place? About 20 years ago. This, friends, is what the CBC is trying to pass off as a rare honor being bestowed upon the boy king. This, friends, is what the CBC is trying to pass off as journalism.

What Barton also might have done is point out the connection between Jennifer O’Malley Dillon , (past executive with the Democratic National Committee and deputy campaign director of Barack Obama’s campaign) and team Trudeau. A summary of her work as “lead American consultant for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada” can be found by clicking here. So, while the people may have a right to know what past prime ministers had for dinner in Washington, Barton, Hiscox et al obviously feel there is no need for the people who pay their salaries to know How The Democrats Worked to Defeat Canada’s Conservative Government, which would be a helluva yarn. And, yes, she might have asked how that might have something to do with our Prime Minister’s “coveted” invitation to dinner. Surely, as one of the most connected people in Ottawa, Barton would know this.

Further, while we recognize that useful context for viewers might have interfered with CBCNN staff’s pitch to have their travel request approved, this will actually be – according to the U.S. government – the 98th visit by a Canadian prime minister to the USA. And, because we know you are curious, our most recent prime minister visited 13 times. The most by any PM was 19 by Mackenzie King (14 of which were between 1940-45 when there was plenty to talk about), followed by Trudeau senior and Brian Mulroney at 14 each.


 

Speaking of crimes against that craft, the usually calm Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail this weekend tore a strip off Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall for failing to kow-tow to Ottawa’s demand that he impose a carbon tax on his people.

Wall, Mason said, was being irresponsible and failing to take responsibility for the fact that, since 1990, Saskatchewan’s emissions have grown by 66%. That, of course is true. But by stating a single truth and ignoring others, Mason misinformed his readers – an old trick more closely associated with advocacy than journalism. The facts  are that under Wall’s watch, emissions in Saskatchewan have grown by only 7.6% since he took the reins of a jurisdiction that was depopulating, wallowing in economic and cultural despair and shepherded it into a land of pride and prosperity – a “have” province. Saskatchewan, he might also have pointed out, is responsible for about 0.15% of global emissions.

Saskatchewan, he might have pointed out, did not do like Ontario and waste billions and billions on failed wind projects. Saskatchewan, he might have pointed out, instead created the world’s first clean coal commercial power plant. But he didn’t.


Speaking of resources, yet another train transporting oil literally went off the rails in northern Ontario this weekend. One wonders how often this needs to occur; One wonders how many times lives need to be put at risk; One wonders just how thick people can remain before they realize they are allowing this to occur because their ideology won’t allow them to admit pipelines are the clearly superior – in every way – method of transporting oil. One wonders why no media made the connection, preferring to see the issue as one of railway safety only.


The nation, our government tells us, needs investment to have a healthy economy. But it’s clear it prefers that to be public money drawn from the pockets of its peasantry rather than private money raised and invested in industrial infrastructure. How else to explain the fussing over the “upstream” impact on global warming of pipelines – most notably Energy East – carrying oil that is already carried on trains and therefore is either a fantasy or a deliberate attempt to hobble the nation’s largest industry. Energy East alone is a $9 billion project.

But, hey, while all this environmental politicking has been going on, everyone seems to have forgotten that the LNG project proposed for British Columbia is worth $36 billion and is about to buy the farm.

We read today that its major partner, Petronas of Malaysia, has pretty much had a bellyful of Canada.. Exhausted by dealing with aboriginal demands, environmental demands and years of insatiable bureaucratic nagging, it has given young Trudeau until the end of the month or, we are told, it is cutting its losses and leaving town. Maybe it’s a bluff. If it isn’t, you can kiss it goodbye. Burn, baby, burn.


A final note of condolence to Power & Politics panelist Alise Mills who – bless her heart – burst her banks on Monday’s show. When it came to the PM’s above-noted “coveted” and “extremely rare” visit to Washington and his relentless efforts to stifle Canada’s economy she noted to her fellow panelists and host that instead of analysing issues “you guys are stroking his hair.” She was, of course, dismissed out of hand amid hoots of derision. For what it’s worth, Ms. Mills, you were too kind. Some might – but surely not us – have indicated that more than his hair is being stroked by the self-styled guardians of democracy these days.

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