The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, July 23, 2021

Pallister is Under Attack for All the Wrong Reasons

I don’t like Brian Pallister who is the premier of my province, Manitoba, very much.   Oh, I was very glad to see him replace Greg Selinger in that office, voted for the Progressive Conservative party which he leads in the last two provincial elections, and even congratulated him in person on his re-election, but I was never particularly enthusiastic about his leadership qualities.    In March of last year, I lost most of my respect for the man when he locked down the province harder than almost anywhere else in Canada before the bat flu had even really arrived here and did so by holding a press conference in which he arrogantly rubbed the heavy-handedness of his approach in all of our faces.  In the year and a half since then, he has whittled away at what little of that respect remained by such behaviour as scapegoating ordinary Manitobans for the failure of the dictatorial public health orders of his power-mad public health mandarin Brent Roussin, setting up a snitch line and encouraging Manitobans to spy on their friends, family, and neighbours and rat them out for violations of these petty public health orders, showing complete and utter disregard for constitutional protections of Manitobans’ basic freedoms and rights, blasphemously raising himself to the level of God by adding an eleventh commandment to the Decalogue, and, most recently, using the means of bribery and blackmail to coerce Manitobans to give up their right to not be medicated against their freely given, informed, consent.

 

I have expressed my present attitude towards the premier in the following lines of verse:

 

Brian Pallister is an ignorant fool!

He’s a stupid, ugly, loser and he smells bad too!

His one and only virtue,

I hate to say it but it’s true,

His one and only virtue is –

He’s not Wab Kinew!

 

That having been said, Pallister has come under heavy attack this month for reasons that have nothing to do with the draconian way in which ran roughshod over all our rights and freedoms in order to swat the bat flu bug.   On Dominion Day an angry, lawless, mob descended upon the grounds of the provincial legislature here in Winnipeg.   The mob was not angrily demanding the restoration of our rights and freedoms and small businesses and social lives.   They were mad, in both senses of the word, because for the month previous far left activists masquerading as journalists, that is to say, most of the mainstream media in Canada, had been using the discovery of graves that are currently without markers near former Indian Residential Schools to defame Canada, her founders and historical leaders, the Christian religion and especially the Roman Catholic Church, and white people in general, in a most vile and disgusting manner.    The mob vandalized and tore down the large statue of Queen Victoria that had stood in front of the legislature as well as a smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II that had stood near the Lieutenant Governor’s residence.   Since Queen Victoria was the queen who signed the bill that established Canada as a country, Queen Elizabeth II is the present reigning monarch and this was done on the country’s anniversary this was an obvious assault on the very idea of Canada herself.

 

Pallister, quite rightly, expressed his “disgust and disappointment” at these actions, condemning them both at the time and in a press conference the following Wednesday.   At the latter he said that the statues would be restored.   He also said, with regards to the early settlers of Canada “the people came here to this country, before it was a country and since, didn’t come here to destroy anything, they came here to build, they came to build better and build they did.   They built farms and they built businesses, they built communities and churches too.   They built these things for themselves and one another and they built them with dedication and with pride and so we must dedicate ourselves to building yet again”.  This is what his enemies wish to crucify him for saying.  Much to his credit, he has so far stood by his remarks.

 

In these comments Pallister depicted those who settled here and built what became the country Canada as having been human beings rather than devils.   This is what the far left finds so unforgiveable.  The fundamental essence of the political left, its sine qua non, is the envious hatred of those who build, especially those who have built in the past those things we enjoy and benefit from as a legacy in the present, which envious hatred manifests itself as efforts to tear down and destroy.    They have to think of the builders of the past as devils in order to avoid the suspicion that they themselves are such.

 

The media, which everywhere but perhaps especially in Canada is largely synonymous with the political left, has framed the controversy which it has itself generated over Pallister’s remarks in racial and ethnic terms.   What is implied, or in some cases practically stated outright, in all the criticism and condemnation of Pallister’s words, is that speaking positively of the European, Christian, settlers who came to what is now Canada over the last four to five centuries and of their accomplishments rather than demonizing them is insensitive and offensive to Native Indian Canadians.   We are essentially being told that our country, her history, and her founders and historical figures from the early settlers through the Fathers of Confederation to the present day, must only be spoken of in terms of shame, that everything we have historically celebrated about our country must be forgotten, and that we must instead forever be beating ourselves up over the Indian Residential Schools.   Should there be anyone left in Canada still capable of thinking at the level of an adult, such a person must surely recognize that it is this attitude on the part of the progressive media rather than Pallister’s speech that is truly demeaning to the Natives as it treats them as thin-skinned bigots who cannot hear anyone other than themselves spoken of positively without taking it as an insult to themselves.   It also suggests that they are incapable of telling when the left is cynically exploiting their suffering for its own interests.  The attack on the symbols of the monarchy serves the cause of the left since republicanism, whatever J. J. McCullough, Anthony Furey, Spencer Fernando, Lorne Gunter, and the average American “conservative” may think to the contrary, is essentially left-wing, but it is difficult to see how an attack on the only Canadian symbol that unites all Canadians – aboriginal, English, French, and newer immigrants – could genuinely serve the interests of Native people. (1)

 

I will note here, for whatever it is worth, that on the day of Pallister’s press conference, the first attack on his words that I came across was on the local CBC.    The segment, which was formatted as a news report although it was in reality an editorial, was by a well-known local reporter and featured as an “expert” a man on the faculty of the University of Manitoba who was described, amusingly in my opinion, as a historian.   Both men are notorious for their left wing views, both are lily white, and both have British-Scandanavian family names.   The following day both the Association of Manitoba Chiefs and the Southern Chiefs Organization issued press releases condemning Pallister and his remarks which it would probably have been fairer to these organizations to not have mentioned as the bigoted and ill-informed terms in which they are written do them no credit whatsoever, but white leftists appear to have been the ones that got the ball rolling on this anti-Pallister campaign.

 

That ball has been picking up speed ever since.   Helping it along have been a number of defections from Pallister’s Cabinet and staff, starting with the resignation of Eileen Clarke who had been Minister of Indigenous and Municipal Relations.   The portfolio was then given to Alan Lagimodiere, the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Selkirk.  Although Lagimodiere is Metis, his appointment has not exactly improved the situation for Pallister as he began his opening speech in this office by saying that those who established the Residential Schools “thought they were doing the right thing”.   This is, as Colby Cosh has pointed out, “a flat factual truth”.   Obviously, a great many Canadians today are of the opinion that they were not doing the right thing.   Ordinarily, when people in one era do something that they think is right and people of a later era, with the benefit of hindsight, conclude that what was done was actually wrong, the latter do not refuse to credit the former for the sincerity of their intentions.   In this case, however, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has so poisoned the well of discussion with its interpretation of the schools as a “cultural genocide”, a vile expression which is a dishonest, morally outrageous, Marxist trick by which cultural assimilation, whatever one might think about it, is treated as if it were the equivalent of mass murder, which it is not, that it is impossible to speak the truth Lagimodiere spoke without provoking an irrational, emotion-driven, backlash.     Needless to say, matters have not been helped by the mainstream media’s having, in what constitutes criminal incitement that has spawned a massive wave of hate crimes, spun the discovery of graves lacking markers near the former Indian Residential Schools into a malicious blood libel against our country and her churches.   Lagimodiere was quickly interrupted by Wab Kinew, the present leader of the provincial socialists who ever since taking over that role from Selinger has been making his predecessor look better by comparison, a rather difficult undertaking indeed.     My personal opinion of Kinew you can probably deduce from the verse about Pallister above.  Kinew, applying the current left wing dogma that nothing positive must ever be said about the Residential Schools and those who established and ran them, a dogma which if applied retroactively would condemn even Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Murray Sinclair, told Lagimodiere that he could not do the job to which he had appointed while thinking the way he does.

 

Since then, there have been more resignations, more condemnations and ultimatums from the chiefs, and more calls from the progressive media for Pallister to step down.

 

If only all of this were in response to what he has done wrong – suspending our constitutional rights and freedoms, treating in-person social interaction which is both bonum in se and absolutely essential to our wellbeing as if it were a crime, destroying small local businesses, declaring religion and worship to be non-essential but places that peddle mind-destroying , highly addictive, substances to be essential, basically turning the province into a police state for a year and a half, and holding normal life ransom in order to bully us all into accepting a medical treatment whether we have made informed decisions as to whether the benefits sufficiently outweigh the risks or not – rather than to what he has done right – refusing to go along with the wholesale demonization of Canada, her European Christian settlers, and her historical founders and leaders, by the left which can only ever tear down and never build up, the media that is so totally in its thrall, and those Native leaders who have shortsightedly joined forces with the left.

 

(1)   English Canada grew out of the United Empire Loyalists who parted ways with the Americans by declaring their loyalty to the monarchy when the Americans rebelled and became republicans.  It was the Crown’s guarantee of protection of French culture, civil law, language and the Roman Catholic religion in Quebec following the Seven Year’s War that preserved French Canadian identity and kept French Canada loyal during the American revolution and down through Confederation in which all the French Canadian Fathers joined the English Fathers in unanimous support for making the new country a parliamentary monarchy rather than a republic.  The Crown is the other signatory to the Indian treaties – Queen Victoria, whose statue was so insultingly treated by the left wing mob, was the reigning monarch when most of these treaties were made.   All new comers to Canada from whatever other country and background have sworn loyalty to the monarch and her heirs to become citizens.  Therefore the monarchy is the one and only national symbol that belongs to all Canadians, albeit in different ways, and thus unites them.    To attack this symbol as a symbol of “imperialism” and “colonialism” in the derogatory sense which Marxists attach to these words is to insult all Canadians of all races, religions, and languages.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hate and Hypocrisy

Just before Parliament adjourned for the summer, David Lametti,  who has been the Minister of Justice and Attorney General ever since his predecessor Jody Wilson-Raybould was shifted to Veteran Affairs after she refused to cave to pressure to improperly intervene in the prosecution of SNC Lavalin, introduced a truly odious piece of legislation in the House of Commons.    If Bill C-10, which the Liberals rushed through the House and is currently on hold for the summer in the Senate, which would give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulatory oversight over social media similar to that it exercises over traditional broadcasting, is a threat to Canadians’ freedoms of thought, conscience, expression and speech, and it is, Bill C-36 is much worse.    Bill C-36 aims to undo the efforts of those who fought long and hard for the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.   Section 13, which was included in the CHRA in 1977 because grievance groups had complained to the first Trudeau government that it was too difficult to silence their enemies using the hate propaganda provisions that had been added to the Criminal Code in 1971 since these required that the accused be given due process, defined it as an act of discrimination to communicate via the telephone – or any electronic communications after an amendment in 2001 – anything “likely to” expose someone to “hatred or contempt” on the grounds of membership in a group protected against discrimination, a definition so broad as to make anyone who said anything negative about members of such groups susceptible to a complaint from which there was, in practice, no defense, where the complainant had no liability for false or mischievous prosecution and was not held to the reasonable doubt standard of proof, which could potentially result in crippling fines and other penalties completely inappropriate for something that is supposedly remedial civil law.    This repulsive statute was the textbook example of bad law.   Up until the final complaint made under it, during the hearings over which it finally came under intense public scrutiny, no defendant had ever won.   Lametti’s Bill C-36, if passed, would reintroduce a clause to the CHRA defining certain types of speech as defamatory.   The new “hate speech” provision would define hate differently than Section 13 did prior to its repeal passing Parliament in 2013.   The government seems to be relying upon this to sell the idea that this new law will not have all the problems that Section 13 had.   According to Lametti, “simple expressions of dislike or disdain that pepper everyday discourse, especially online” will not fall under the new “hate speech” provision, only speech that “is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals”.    This is disingenuous, however, because it is the words “likely to” which occur in the new provision as they did in Section 13, which make the law so subjective, that anything anyone chooses to take offence to could potentially be ruled “hate speech”.   Indeed, Bill C-36 would actually create something worse than Section 13, because the new provision would make offenders liable to up to $50 000 in fines, which is five times higher than the already absurdly high maximum fine under Section 13.   Even worse, it would allow people to go to court, say that they are afraid they are going to be made the target of online “hate speech” by such-and-such a person, and have a “peace bond” issued against this person, who has not yet committed any offence.

 

The Prime Minister, Captain Airhead, whose admirers and detractors sometimes call him by the insulting epithet of Justin Trudeau, has made no secret of his intention to pass a bill of this sort ever since he first took office six years ago.   This is yet another demonstration of his utter contempt for the rights and freedoms of Canadians, due process, and the entire traditional concept of limits and restraints on government power that prevent the government from being able to just do whatever it wants.    The Liberals argue that this sort of thing is necessary on the grounds that the internet is full of “hate” from which “vulnerable groups” need protection.   The further left parties, such as the NDP, say the same thing, only louder and with far less concern for keeping their rhetoric within the boundaries of what is sane and civil.   Resistance to this line of thinking from the Conservatives in Opposition has been pathetic to the point of being virtually non-existent.   Early in June, the Prime Minister and Jimmy Dhaliwal, the clown who leads the NDP and performs under the stage name of Jagmeet Singh, jumped all over an incident in London, Upper Canada, where the driver of a pickup truck had run down a Muslim family as they were waiting to cross at an intersection, and seized the opportunity to condemn “Islamophobia” while pointing to the incident as illustrating the need for strict new “hate” laws, although little in the way of evidence that the driver had been motivated by “hate” was presented to the public.

 

Later in June we saw the beginning of the longest string of hate-motivated crimes in Canadian history, one which is still ongoing.   Lest you think that this is evidence which supports the Liberals’ claim that we need “hate” legislation, understand that although these crimes involve actual violent and destructive behaviour rather than merely words posted on the internet, they are not the sort of hate that the Liberals and other progressives say they are determined to eradicate.   This is because those perpetrating these crimes are targeting people that progressives have no interest in protecting from the hatred of others.  Indeed, several progressives have openly egged the perpetrators of these crimes on.

 

In less than a month, the buildings of approximately  twenty parishes, mostly of the Roman Catholic Communion, but also a few that were Anglican, at least one Lutheran and United, and a handful belonging to such sects as the Christian and Missionary Alliance and Baptists were set on fire and in several cases burned to the ground.  About thirty others have been vandalized in other ways, such as being splattered with red paint.

 

Imagine if this had been done to a single synagogue, mosque, Buddhist or Hindu temple.   Captain Airhead would have immediately called a press conference and there would have been no stop to his hand-wringing, weeping crocodile tears, and lecturing all the rest of us who have never worn blackface once, let alone on at least three separate occupations of which there is photographic and video evidence, about how we need to be more enlightened, tolerant, loving of diversity, and less prejudiced and bigoted, from that day to this.    Jimmy Dhaliwal would have commenced riding around the ring on his unicycle, honking his nose, and angrily berating Canadians, especially white Christians, about how such-and-such a group doesn’t feel safe in Canada.

 

That is not what happened with this ongoing series of attacks, which are obviously motivated by religious hatred, hatred of the Christian faith and religion in general, and of the Roman Catholic Communion in particular.

 

Captain Airhead, instead of issuing a denunciation of these anti-Catholic, anti-Christian acts of terrorism on the day they started, delayed commenting for over a week, and then, while he opened his remarks by acknowledging that burning church buildings was “unacceptable and wrong”, soon after shifted gears and made a lengthy statement that sounded more like an expression of sympathy for the vandals and arsonists, than a condemnation of their crimes.    If any other religion were being subjected to this sort of attack, do you think he would be talking about how the “anger” towards that religion was “understandable”?

 

As for Jimmy Dhaliwal, if he has issued even the anemic, “this is not the way forward”, type of denunciation that Captain Airhead has, I have not been able to locate it.   He is probably too busy spraying people with seltzer water from his lapel flower, climbing out of tiny cars, and trying to make balloon animals. 

 

Although Dhaliwal has not said anything about the church arsons that I have been able to find, members of his party, at least on the provincial level, have openly sided with the arsonists..    South African born Rima Berns-McGown, for example, who represents the constituency of Beaches-East York in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, tweeted her “solidarity with Harsha Walia”.   Walia is the far left activist who became executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association last year and who tweeted a link to an article about the burning of Catholic churches in BC to which she added the words “burn it all down” and later justified this remark by saying that it was “a call to dismantle all structures of violence, including the state, settler-colonialism, empire, the border., etc.” as if this sort of revolutionary Maoism which has never had any but massively evil consequences whenever and wherever it has been put into practice anywhere in the world, somehow made the remark better, instead of, as is the actual reality, much, much worse.   Although in the absence of any official statement from the NDP or its leaders at either the Dominion or provincial levels it would be going too far, perhaps, to say that Berns-McGown was speaking for the party in expressing solidarity with the activist and her violent, incendiary, revolutionary rhetoric, neither the leaders not the other members in general have shown much interest in putting any distance between themselves and their party on the one hand and her remarks on the other.

 

Other Liberals, such as the close friend of Captain Airhead’s who, in order to avoid calling the so-and-so by my own first name, I borrow a joke from The Simpsons and call Seymour Butts, have parroted their leader’s remarks about this Christophobic violence being wrong but “understandable”.

 

As hypocritical as it is for progressives, whether of the liberal or openly radical socialist variety, to demand that “hate”, even when merely in the form of words, against certain groups be punished to the limit, while excusing or even in some cases cheering on hate against other groups, this hypocrisy is hardly surprising.    The left has actively and aggressively promoted Christophobic hatred for a long time.    They have also been actively and aggressively promoting anti-white racial hatred.   Most recently, progressive politicians and their allies in the academe and the media – this includes the vast majority of professors and journalists – have been promoting both kinds of hatred simultaneously, by spinning a few half-truths, many outright lies, and a sea of conjecture, into a disgusting false narrative regarding the Indian Residential Schools.    This narrative is the pretext for the church burnings.  

 

Interestingly, although those fabricating this narrative have incorporated as much anti-white racial bigotry into it as they have Christophobia, the church buildings that have been attacked have conspicuously included a large number belonging to parishes that are not white.   The first Roman Catholic buildings to burn and many of those that have since been set aflame, belong to Native Indian parishes.   The House of Prayer Alliance that saw its building was set on fire on the fourth of July in Calgary had two congregations, one Filipino, the other Vietnamese.   All Nations Full Gospel which was vandalized by paint in the same city has a predominantly African congregation   This does not make these crimes worse than if all the parishes targeted had mostly white congregations, of course, but it shows just how intense the hatred of Christianity on the left is that the burning of church buildings the congregations of which consist of racial and ethnic groups who if targeted in any other way would have provoked an avalanche of outcries and denunciations from progressives has been met instead with the sort of response discussed above.

 

All of this talk about how the anger behind these attacks is understandable needs to cease immediately.    It is empty sentiment.   Taken literally, the statement that anger is “understandable” means that the reasons behind it are capable of being comprehended, which, unless we are talking about a kind of rage that is irrational, psychotic, and detached from any cause outside the angry individual’s own mind, is a truism.   This, of course, is not what those who are talking this way mean by it.   What they mean is that in their judgement the anger is partially or entirely just and that they sympathize with it.    Expressions of this nature are entirely inappropriate in the context of addressing a spree of violent crimes motivated by hatred of a religion. 

 

Can you imagine Captain Airhead saying “this is not helpful, but your anger is understandable” in response to somebody painting a swastika on the wall of a synagogue or an insulting depiction of Muhammed on the door of a mosque?

 

For the same reason such words would be unthinkable in those scenarios they ought to be unacceptable here.   They are also unacceptable in that they indicate an uncritical acceptance of the media’s defamatory spin on the discovery of a large number of graves near former Indian Residential Schools, which spin is at best indicative of a media that has completely abandoned journalistic standards, integrity, and responsibility and at worst of a media with deliberate intent to deceive, defame, and incite Christophobic, anti-white, and anti-Canadian hatred.

 

People who talk and behave like Captain Airhead and other progressives have no business lecturing the rest of us about “hate” or trying to pass laws that are an affront to due process and the freedoms of conscience and speech in an attempt to stamp “hate” out.

 

 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Canada and Confederation are Worthy of Celebration

 

July 1st is the anniversary of the day Canada became a country in 1867.   When I was born the annual commemoration of this event was still called Dominion Day.    This name, steeped in Canada’s history, was much better than “Canada Day” to which it was changed in 1982, prompting Robertson Davies to write to the Globe and Mail expressing his righteous indignation at the “folly” of the “handful of parliamentarians” who so trashed the “splendid title” of Dominion Day “in favour of the wet ‘Canada Day’ – only one letter removed from the name of a soft drink” which folly he described as “one of the inexplicable lunacies of a democratic system temporarily running to seed”.   The old name incorporated the title that the Fathers of Confederation had chosen themselves to designate the federation that was to be formed out of the provinces of Canada (formerly Upper and Lower Canada, which were separated again into Ontario and Quebec when the Dominion war formed), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, to which five other provinces would soon after be added (1), and governed by its own Parliament modelled after the Mother Parliament of Westminster, under the reign of our shared monarch.    The new name simply adds “day” to the name of the country.    This would be like the Americans renaming “Independence Day” as “United States Day” – although, admittedly, it seems to be far more often simply referred to as the Fourth of July than by its official designation – or any other country renaming its main national celebration “Italy Day”, “France Day” or the like.   For this reason, and because the change was not accomplished constitutionally – the private member’s bill making the change passed all three readings on a single day in July when there were only thirteen members of the House of Commons, present, not near enough to constitute a quorum – I continue to use the older and better name.

 

This year, a movement to “cancel Canada Day” has arisen which has nothing to do with preference for the older name for the anniversary.    It is part of the “cancel culture” phenomenon associated with the radical, cultural Maoist, Left, and it is Canada herself, the country and her institutions that these crazies are really seeking to “cancel”.   It is a loony fringe movement that is opposed by the vast majority of Canadians.   It nevertheless has a powerful ally in the mainstream Canadian media, including, disgustingly, the Crown broadcaster, the CBC.   The media has provided its support to these radicals, by dishonestly spinning the discovery of the locations of unmarked cemeteries on the grounds of Indian Residential Schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan as revealing something new about these schools (that they were there to be found has been known all along) and worse than what had been alleged against them in the past (that the bodies are of mass murder victims is extremely implausible).

 

Mercifully, there have been plenty of voices speaking out on behalf of Canada and why she should still be celebrated.   Lord Black gave us the sound advice to “Celebrate Canada, but not its political leaders or its propensity for self-flagellation”, meaning by “its political leaders” the current ones.   Even Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Conservative Party and of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, who in neither role has done much previously to inspire respect and confidence rather than disgust, was almost impressive when he correctly pointed out to his caucus last Wednesday that these wacko activists were attacking “the very idea of Canada itself” and observed that “there is not a place on the planet whose history can stand such close scrutiny” but that “there is a difference between acknowledging where we have fallen short, a difference between legitimate criticism and tearing down the country; always being on the side of those who run Canada down, always seeing the bad and never the good” and that “it’s time to build Canada up, not tear it down”.    Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party said it better when he tweeted “Every society in the world has injustices in its past and present.  The strategy of the far left is to exaggerate them so as to cancel our history, destroy our identity, and weaken our institutions.   They will then build their Marxist utopia on the smoking ruins.”  

 

Sadly, among Canada’s most prominent vocal defenders, those willing to say that the Emperor has no clothes with regards to the narrative being spun against her have been much fewer in number.   This would involve pointing out the difference between newly located graves and newly discovered deaths and saying that one of the great things about Canada is that traditionally we do not allow a man to be condemned after listening only to his accusers and telling his defenders to shut up, and that we are therefore no longer going to allow this to be done to the Churches, our historical figures, and the country as a whole, as has been done up until now with the Residential School narrative.

 

A common theme among those who have spoken and written in Canada’s defence is to praise her diversity.     They are obviously seeking to counter the charges of “racism” made by her accusers who are generally people who profess a very high regard for diversity, other than diversity of thought.    This is not the approach that I would take.   There are a few reasons for this, among them being that while I think diversity of the type mentioned has its advantages, I recognize its disadvantages too, and do not think that it should be turned into the object of cultish veneration the way it has.  The one most relevant in this context, however, is that the high degree of this type of diversity that exists in Canada today is the product of immigration policies introduced by the Liberals in the 1960s, primarily for the purpose of effecting a demographic change in the electorate that would, in their view, make it more likely to keep their party in government in perpetuity.   Since the main targets of those wishing to “cancel” Canada have been the Fathers of Confederation and the men who led the country prior to this period, this is not a particularly good counter to their accusations.   A better means would be to challenge the very idea that anything less than a full embrace of the widest diversity possible constitutes “racism”.

 

 

That having been said, there is an element of this appeal to diversity that can be salvaged and incorporated into a sounder defense of Canada.   As already observed the high degree of diversity that can be found in Canada today has been produced by the immigration policies of the last fifty years or so.    Immigration policy by itself cannot attract immigrants, however.   Imagine that the most repressive Communist regime on earth also had the most open, welcoming, immigration policy.   Not many people would want to take advantage of the latter.   Repressive regimes of this type typically have problems with too much emigration rather than too much immigration.   The Berlin Wall was there to keep East Germans in, not to keep other people out.

 

Therefore, the diversity that progressives have turned into a cult and which is the first thing to which most of Canada’s defenders turn, testifies to how Canada herself was attractive and appealing to a wide swathe of different people.   Now the basis of this attraction was not the opening, welcoming, immigration policy, since as seen in the previous paragraph this is insufficient in itself to constitute such an attraction.   Nor could it have been the diversity that is so much talked about today since this came later as a result of this immigration.     What appealed to and attracted so many different people, from so many different places, was Canada herself and, since the open immigration policy was one of the earliest changes introduced in the radically transformative – mostly not for the better – two decades of Liberal misrule under Pearson and Trudeau the Elder from the mid ‘60’s to the early ‘80’s, this means that it was Canada as she was prior to all the Liberal changes that was this appealing and attractive.

 

Could it be that what made Canada so attractive was the high degree of individual freedom that she, like other Western and especially English-speaking countries possessed, the protection of law that is largely absent from the autocracies and kleptocracies of the world, the parliamentary government built upon the Westminster model that has proven itself time and again to be vastly superior to all the strong-man dictatorships, military juntas, and peoples’ republics of the world, all the rights and freedoms protected by prescription, tradition, and constitution long before the Liberals added the Charter such as the right alluded to above not to be condemned on the basis of non-cross-examined accusations without a fair defense, and all the opportunities to make a decent life for yourself and your family afforded by all of the above?

 

That question, of course, was rhetorical, of the sort where the answer is yes.    It used to be that one did not have to point such things out.

 

Before proceeding, I must say that while all of these things are indeed what made Canada an attractive immigration destination for so many different people of so many different kinds from so many different places it is not the fact that these things were so attractive to so many that makes these things laudable.   They would be worth celebrating even if the only people to ever appreciate them had been the Canadians of the Dominion’s first century.   This is because these things are in themselves a blessing to the country fortunate enough to have them.

 

This cannot be emphasized enough, first, because all of those things were true of the Dominion of Canada from July 1st, 1867 onward and we therefore owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Fathers of Confederation for establishing the country in such a way that all of these things, mostly inherited from the older British tradition, were true of Canada, and secondly, because those who are attacking the old Canada as being “racist” today rely heavily upon rhetoric borrowed from an ideology which thinks all of those things, or any others thought of as having been normative of white, European, Christian, Western Civilization, down to and including the notion that 2+2=4,  are themselves intrinsically “racist”.    Anytime you hear the expression “systemic racism”, (2) or “settler” used disparagingly, or some form of “colonize” used with people rather than a place as its object, you are hearing examples of the rhetoric of this insane ideology.   Perhaps the Canadian leaders of 1867 were not as “enlightened” on racial and cultural matters as today’s pampered and solipsistic generation like to think of themselves as being, but at least they were not so foolish that they could be taken in by such a vile ideological outlook, the product of decades of academic decline during which left-wing radicals took over most of our institutions of higher education and transformed them from traditional places of study and learning into mockeries of the same which more closely resemble Communist indoctrination camps.

 

I had intended to devote my Dominion Day essay for this year to Donald Creighton, who was, in my opinion, the greatest of Canadian historians, followed closely by W. L. Morton.    Current events have pre-empted this topic yet again.   I will say this about Creighton here, however, that throughout his career as a historian, he fiercely opposed what he mocked as “the Authorized Version”, that is to say, the interpretation of Canadian history associated with the Liberal Party that read Canada’s story as a version of the American story – a struggle to attain nationhood by achieving independence from the British Empire – by the boring means of diplomacy rather than the exciting means of war.    The Liberal version was, of course, the opposite of the reality of the Canadian story – the choice to grow up into nationhood within the British Empire as it evolved into the Commonwealth, by rejecting the American path and choosing the old loyalties and connections as a protection against encroaching Americanism.  We can only imagine what Creighton, who died in 1979, would have said could he have looked into the future and seen the day when much of the mainstream media would lend its support to a neo-Marxist re-interpretation of Canadian history which radical activists are using to trash the country and demand her “cancellation”.     We can be sure that he would not see it as leading us in any direction we would like to go.   His frequent warning that those who forget their past have no future applies all the more so to those who declare war on their past.

 

Let us not let the small minority of crazy radicals who want to cancel our country and her history win.  

 

Happy Dominion Day!

God Save the Queen!

 

 (1)   Newfoundland, which joined Confederation as the tenth province, did so much later in 1949.

(2)   “Systemic racism”, when used by neo-Marxists, especially of the Critical Race Theory type, does not mean, as many or perhaps most others think, either ideas and practices in Western institutions or attitudes on the part of those who administer them, that are to some degree or another “racist” in the meaning of the word that was conventional fifty years ago, but rather the entire Western way of doing everything conceived of as being irredeemably and wholesale “racist”.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Abstract Flags

 

One of the bad habits of the age in which we live is the habit of turning abstract terms into flags, running them up the pole, and demanding that everybody salute them or be denounced as a traitor. 

 

This habit can be found on both sides of the political spectrum.   This is, for example, what neoconservatives do with the term “liberty” and its synonym “freedom”.   Up until about a century ago it was self-identified liberals who did this these terms but that is the nature of neoconservatism.   Irving Kristol defined a neoconservative as a “liberal who has been mugged by reality”.  Neoconservatism is yesterday’s liberalism.   Think back two decades to the events of 9/11 and the “War on Terror” that ensued.   The American President at the time, George W. Bush, his Cabinet, and his supporters all maintained that 9/11 had been an attack on American “liberty” by people who hated Americans for their “freedom” and that their “War on Terror” would be fought on behalf of said freedom.   They ran freedom up the flagpole, demanded that everyone salute, and denounced everyone that was not 100% behind everything they were doing as a traitor to liberty.

 

By turning “freedom” and “liberty” into flags, and proclaiming their allegiance to them, however, they avoided accountability for how their actions were affecting the actual freedoms and liberties of American citizens.   In order to fight the “War on Terror” on behalf of the abstract flag of “freedom”, they permanently and exponentially expanded the powers of their government and created a national surveillance state.   It is a strange sort of “freedom” and one that does not much resemble the traditional understanding of the word that can be defended in this way.  

 

This, of course, is the problem with this habit of making flags out of abstract terms.   Allegiance to the term as a flag is required of people, but it is all that is required, not any sort of consistent, intelligent, understanding of the term.

 

Progressives are just as prone to this bad habit as conservatives.   Indeed, they are much worse.    In the previous example it was noted that the abstraction the neoconservatives were saluting as a flag had originally been run up the pole by liberals, who are progressives and this is true of most of the abstractions that today’s conservatives salute.   Progressives are the ones who make the abstract terms into flags, then, when they have decided that the flag they were saluting yesterday is no longer “modern” (1), they abandon it to the conservatives and make a new one.   “Democracy” is an abstract flag that progressives created and neoconservatives adopted even though the progressives have not abandoned it.   Both sides frequently accuse the other of betraying “democracy”.   This is one reason, among many, why I try to avoid saluting this particular flag, and insist that I believe in the concrete institution of parliament under the reign of a royal monarch, that has proven itself through the test of time, rather than abstract ideal of democracy.

 

At the present moment the primary abstract flag that progressives are saluting and demanding that the rest of us show our allegiance to is that of “diversity”.   This, of course, raises the question of what kind of diversity is in question.   The term is used in a myriad of diverse contexts, from speaking of someone whose outfits are radically different from day to day as having a diverse wardrobe to a farmer who plants diverse crops as opposed to only wheat or only barley to my own use of the word at the beginning of this sentence.   The diversity that progressives demand our allegiance to today is a very specific kind of diversity.   It means diversity of the population in terms of categories of group identity.   Race and cultural ethnicity are the most obvious such categories.   Sex ought to be the least controversial such category, in that no human population could last longer than a generation that is entirely of one sex, and all societies except for mythical ones like the Amazons, have been sexually diverse in the traditional sense.   Progressives have turned it into the most controversial category, however, by demanding that everyone show their allegiance to diversity of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”.

 

In practice, the progressive insistence that we all salute the flag of diversity translates into a requirement that we accept the propositions a) that diversity of this kind is an unmixed blessing to a society and b) the more diversity of this kind a society has the better off it will be.   Here again, we find the habit of making flags out of abstract ideas shutting down intelligent thought concerning those ideas.   Both propositions are obviously false.   Consider the first proposition.  The much more nuanced statement that there are positives and negatives to both cultural and racial heterogeneity (diversity) and homogeneity, that each conveys distinct advantages and disadvantages upon a society, and that the advantages and disadvantages of each must be weighed against those of the other can be defended intelligently.   So can the assertion that after such weighing, the advantages of diversity outweigh its disadvantages and the advantages of homogeneity, although the opposite assertion can also be intelligently defended.    The proposition that diversity of this kind is an unmixed blessing cannot be intelligently defended.  Even if it could, however, and further, we were to concede it to be the case, the second proposition, that the more diversity the better, would by no means follow from the first.   Plenty of things that are good in themselves turn bad when taken to excess.   Indeed, in classical Aristotelean ethics, vices (bad habits) are formed by indulging natural appetites that are good in themselves to excess, and in classical Christian theology heresies (serious doctrinal errors concerning tenets of the Gospel kerygma as summarized in the ancient Creeds) are formed by taking one tenet of the faith, true in itself, to excess.

 

More important, for the purposes of this discussion, than what is included in the “diversity” to which progressives demand our allegiance, is what is excluded.   It is quite clear, from the way progressives respond to those who dare to raise points such as those raised in the previous paragraph, that diversity of thought or opinion is not included in the diversity they praise and value so highly.   Indeed, this entire bad habit of turning an abstract idea into a flag is very inconsistent with the idea of diversity of thought or opinion.   Yet, for anyone who values freedom in the political sense as it was traditionally understood, this is surely the most important kind of diversity of all.   For that matter, for parliamentary government or democracy, in any sense of the word that is consistent with a free society, to function, diversity of thought must be the most important kind of diversity.

 

While this does provide a further illustration of how progressives, in raising new abstract flags, abandon those they saluted in days gone by, it has long been observed that even when liberals, the progressives of yesterday, expressed a belief in diversity of thought, their practice often contradicted it.   Remember that famous line of William F. Buckley Jr.’s “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover there are other views”?  He made this statement, in one form or another, numerous times, and I don’t know when he first said it, but the oldest version of which I am aware comes from his Up From Liberalism, first published in 1959.   “Duke” Morrison, the legendary actor who under the stage name John Wayne starred in countless films from The Big Trail in 1930 until The Shootist in 1976, in an interview with Tony Macklin in 1975 said:

 

I have found a certain type calls himself a liberal.   Now I always thought I was a liberal.   I came up terribly surprised one time when I found out that I was a right-wing, conservative extremist, when I listened to everybody’s point of view that I ever met, and then decided how I should feel.  But this so-called new liberal group, Jesus, they never listen to your point of view and they make a decision as to what you think and they are articulate enough and in control of enough of the press to force that image out for the average person.

 

If this could be said of liberals back in 1959 and 1975 it is all the more true of today’s progressives.   

 

One way in which this is evident is in their exclusionary rhetoric.   Progressives, especially those who hold some sort of office of civic authority, have become increasingly prone to issuing proclamations about how such-and-such a thing they disapprove of has “no place” in our community and society.  It would be one thing if what they were so excluding were things like murder, robbery, and rape which would meet with broad disapproval in pretty much any society in any time and place.   In most cases, however, they are speaking of some “ism” or “phobia”, usually one that has been that has been newly coined.   What these neologisms have in common is that each of them is defined in a special way.   On the surface, these “isms” and “phobias” appear to refer to varieties of crude bigotry but they are applied by progressives in actual usage so as to include all forms of dissent from the sacred progressive dogma that identity-group diversity is always good and that more identity-group diversity is always better, no matter how respectfully and intelligently that dissent is worded.   A couple of months ago the Orthosphere blogger who writes under the nom de plume Bonald after the reactionary philosopher who wrote against the French Revolution and its aftermath provided us with some disturbing insights into the implications of the growth of this sort of rhetoric.

 

Another way in which the progressive Left’s increasing rejection of the most important form of diversity for those who want to live in a free society with a functioning parliamentary government is in its use of the terms “denial” and “denier” as derogatory epithets for those who disagree with its dogmas.

 

This has become fairly standard practice whenever progressives run into disagreement on a wide assortment of matters.   The implications of this use of these terms are that either a) what progressives are asserting is so self-evidently obvious that one would have to be stubbornly, stupidly and willfully ignorant to disagree, b) we are under a moral obligation to believe what the progressives say and therefore are committing a moral offense in disagreeing, or c) a combination of a) and b).    Since progressives are not the authorities of a religious communion to which we all belong and have no legitimate authority to set dogma, the second of these implications is absurd.  Since progressives use the “denial” and “denier” epithets to avoid answering well-reasoned and evidence backed arguments against their positions the first of these implications is also ridiculous.

 

This becomes quite comical when the progressive assertions pertain to matters that have a large scientific component.  For decades now, anyone who has questioned the progressive narrative that states that due mostly to the emissions of greenhouse gasses by livestock and human industry the average temperature of the earth has risen and cataclysmic climate change is impending unless the population of the world is radically reduced, we all become vegans, and we stop using fossil fuels for energy has been labelled a “denier”.   A rather convenient way of avoiding answering difficult questions such as “why should climate change be assumed to be for the worse rather than the better, especially since historically human beings have thrived better in warm periods than cold ones?” and “why, since the earth’s climate has hardly been constant throughout history to the point that advocates of your theory have stooped to doctoring graphs of the historical data to hide this fact, should we expect it to remain constant now and be alarmed about the observed rise of about a degree in the earth’s average temperature over a century?”   In the last year and a half we have seen progressives accuse anyone who questions whether it is either good or necessary to sabotage the economies of every country in the world, drive small businesses into bankruptcy while enriching the billionaires who control the big online businesses, cancel our constitutional rights and freedoms, brainwash everyone into looking upon other human beings primarily as sources of contagion, exponentially accelerate the problem of people substituting their smartphones and computers for real, in-person social contact, establish anarcho-tyrannical police states in which acts that are bona in se and absolutely essential to healthy social and communal life are turned into mala prohibita crimes and hunted down with greater severity than real crimes that are actually mala in se, and bribing and blackmailing people into accepting an experimental new gene therapy in violation of the Nuremberg Protocol, all in order to combat a pandemic involving a virus that has proven to be less lethal than the vast majority of previous pandemics for which no such extreme measures were ever considered, let alone taken, of being a “COVID denier”.    To be fair, plenty of “conservative” political leaders, including the premiers of my own province (Manitoba), Alberta, and Upper Canada have all done the same, but the progressives have been much more monolithic about it.   The reason this is so comical is because real “science”, as anybody who understands the word knows, does not make dogmatic statements and therefore admits of no “denial”.   The comedy is greatly enhanced when those denouncing “COVID deniers” or “climate change deniers” advise us to “follow the science” or “listen to the science” as if “science” made dogmatic proclamations, or when they say “the science is settled” when, by the prevalent litmus test of the philosophy underlying science, for a theory to be scientific, it must be falsifiable, and therefore, science can never be settled.   Less funny and more sad, is when someone like Anthony Fauci or Theresa Tam admits the real nature of science, that it is always evolving, but uses this to back up a claim to absolute obedience of the nature of “you should unquestioningly obey my orders at any given moment, even if it contradicts what I told you to do the moment before” as if he, or allegedly she in the case of Tam, were Petruchio and the rest of us were Katherina the shrew.

 

It is far less comical when progressives impose a narrative interpretation on their country’s history in order to undermine the legitimacy of their country and its institutions and attack its historical figures, and then accuse those who point out the holes in their narrative of “denial”.   In this case, the progressives are walking in the footsteps of the French Jacobins, the Chinese Maoists, and the Khmer Rouge all of whom wrought tremendous devastation, destruction, and disaster upon their countries by insisting that their history was irredeemably corrupt and needed to be razed to the ground, along with all of the countries’ institutions.   This is what the progressives that infest Canada’s university faculties and newsmedia, both print and electronic, have been attempting to do in Canada for a couple of decades with their interpretation of the Indian Residential Schools.   In the real past, the past as it actually happened, these were boarding schools, initially founded by Christian Churches as a missionary outreach to Native Indians to provide their children with the kind of education they would need if they were to thrive in the modern economy.   The Indian chiefs of the nineteenth century wanted just this kind of education for their children and so, at their insistence, the stipulation that it would be provided by the Dominion government was included in all of the treaties.   Accordingly, the government funded and expanded these schools, as well as making provisions for day schools on the reserves.   If Indian parents neglected to send their kids to the day schools, the government would make the kids go to the residential schools, but initially it was mostly the kids of the chiefs and the elders of the bands who were sent to the schools at their own parents’ insistence.   By a century later, however, the government was making these schools serve the double function of schools and foster group homes for Indian children whom child welfare social workers had removed from their homes to protect them from such things as physical abuse.   Through utterly contemptible methodology, including a “victim centred” approach to testimony that could just as easily have been used to produce an equally damning picture of the schools to which wealthy, elite, white kids were sent, or for that matter schools of any sort because for any school you can always find alumni for whom the experience was something horrible to be “survived”, and which is completely in violation of the standards by which truth and guilt are assessed in the courtroom and the historical process, progressives spun a cock and bull narrative in which all the bad experiences in the schools were made out to have been the intent of the schools’ founders, administrators, and the Canadian government, and the  purpose of the schools was interpreted as the elimination of Native Indian cultural identities.   The progressives then used this narrative interpretation to claim that all of this was the moral equivalent of what the Third Reich did in its prison camps in World War II or what was done to the Tutsis in the last days of the Rwandan Civil war, which would have been a reprehensible claim even if the facts admitted of no other interpretation than that of their narrative, which is not even close to being the case.   The progressives insist that everything else in the history of Canada, especially anything traditionally seen as a great and positive achievement of either English or French Canadians, must take a backset to their interpretation of the Indian Residential Schools and that Canadians of all ethnicities, but especially English and French Canadians, must perpetually live in shame and submit to having their country “cancelled”.   In the last month or so the progressives have kicked this up a notch by claiming falsely that the discovery of the location of abandoned cemeteries on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School – and more recently the Marieval Residential School in Saskatchewan – was a “shocking” new discovery (that such cemeteries were to be found has been known all along – an entire volume of the TRC Final Report is dedicated to this) and, irresponsibly to the point of criminal defamation of past Canadian governments, the Churches and the school administrators, faculty, and staff, that the graves constitute evidence of mass murder, the least plausible explanation, by far, of the deaths of the children.

 

For several weeks now Chris Champion, author, historian, and editor of the history journal the Dorchester Review, one of the few publications in Canada still worth reading, has been attacked by progressives over tweets made on the journal’s Twitter account challenging this narrative.   Sean Carleton, who is associated with the Indigenous Studies program at the University of Manitoba, accused the Dorchester Review of being a “straight up garbage, genocide denialism, outfit” for agreeing with the Final Report of the TRC that “the cause of death was usually tuberculosis or some other disease”.   Janis Irwin, the Deputy Whip for Alberta’s NDP, also denounced Champion as “reprehensible and disgusting” for expressing this agreement with the TRC’s Final Report, and demanded that Jason Kenney scrap the K-9 social studies curriculum on the preparation of which, Champion had advised the Albertan government.   While this sort of thing is to be expected from those of Carleton’s and Irwin’s ilk, about a week ago the CBC, the Crown broadcaster paid for out of the taxes of all Canadians, ran a story by Janet French of CBC Edmonton,  full of quotes from people such as the Alberta NDP Education Critic, Sarah Hoffman, Nicole Sparrow who is press secretary to Kenney’s Education Minister, Kisha Supernant who is an archeology professor at the University of Manitoba, and Daniel Panneton of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto, all expressing how appalled they were at Champion’s disagreement with the progressive, Canada-bashing, narrative, this time in an article that appeared on Dorchester Review’s website under his byline on June 17th and which pointed out just how inappropriate the comparisons the narrative makes between the residential schools and what happened in Europe in the 1940s are.    

 

In his article, which is well-worth reading in its entirety, Champion wrote:

 

It is ridiculous to compare organizations of poor Oblates to machine-gun-toting Einsatzgruppen and Soviet NKVD.   And it is equally false and unjust to act as if every single nun or priest or brother or Methodist minister and his wife was a child-abuser or sexual predator. 

 

All of this is absolutely true and, it is worth noting, the second sentence is quite consistent with the TRC Report in which the testimony of those who experienced sexual abuse is overwhelmingly of the type in which older students were the abusers, sadly the common experience of boarding school students of all types.  Which is why all of Champion’s detractors quoted in the CBC article do not answer his arguments but merely accuse him of bigoted attitudes and “denial”.   “One photo of smiling children does not negate thousands of survivors’ stories”, which Kisha Supernant is quoted as having said, is the closest thing to an attempt at an answer that appears, although anyone who reads Champion’s article from beginning to end – since the CBC article appeared the same day it is questionable as to whether those quoted had done so – will know that nothing in the article negates the testimony of those whose experience at the residential schools was bad, only the spin by placed on that testimony by the progressive narrative, a narrative, incidentally, which itself negates the testimony of no small number of alumni of these schools whose experience was positive.

 

The progressives who have been attacking Champion and the Dorchester Review talk as if they think that someone who tells a story of having suffered victimization, especially of the sort that can be attributed to some prohibited “ism” or “phobia”, has a right to have “their truth” in current progressive lingo accepted without question or cross-examination.  A certain type of feminist makes this claim explicitly with regards to females who claim to have been sexually harassed or assaulted.   This sort of thinking runs contrary to the principles of courtroom justices, such as the right of the accused to confront and cross-examine his accuser, and the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, principles which exist for very good reasons, to prevent courts of law from being used as instruments of abuse by false accusers.   This kind of talk, however, is a rhetorical device that dishonestly equates criticism of the progressives’ ideas, interpretations, and narratives with criticism of personal testimony incorporate into these narratives.  

 

In all of these examples of progressive dismissal of their critics as “deniers” we can see how progressives have moved increasingly further away from the diversity of thought and opinion that is the most important diversity as far as the freedom of society and the functioning of parliamentary government goes.    In the last example, the diversity of thought they condemn as “denial” is disagreement with their narrative interpretation of the history of the residential schools, a narrative interpretation that they are presently using to attack the foundations and institutions of Canada, an attack which if it succeeds and follows its historical precedents will not bode well for freedom and parliamentary government in this country.   This makes the way progressives have run “diversity” up the flagpole and are constantly demanding that we salute it into a kind of sick joke.

 

Perhaps it is time we all got over this bad habit of turning abstract ideas into flags.

 

 

 

 (1)   In Evelyn Waugh’s Black Mischief, (1932) Basil Seal, having fled England to avoid the duties his mother was insisting he take up, is invited to help modernize the country of Azania by its Emperor Seth, an old Oxford friend of his.   He tells Seth “we’ve got a much easier job than we should have had fifty years ago.  If we’d had to modernize a country then it would have meant constitutional monarchy, bi-cameral legislature, proportional representation, women’s suffrage, independent judicature, freedom of the Press, referendums…” to which the Emperor asks “what is all that” and is told “just a few ideas that have ceased to be modern”.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Kangaroo Court is Now in Session

The sixth of June is the anniversary of D-Day, the day, in 1944, when the Allied forces landed on the beach of Normandy and launched the offensive that would liberate Occupied Europe from the forces of Nazi Germany.  This year, on that date, something happened in the Upper Canadian city of London, which the government of the Dominion has declared to be an attack of an entirely different sort.  That evening a family was waiting to cross at an intersection, when a pickup truck ran into them.   One was killed on the spot, three later succumbed to the injuries they had sustained, a fifth was wounded but not fatally.

 

This would be a horrible occurrence, of course, under any circumstances.  It appears, however, that this was not just some terrible mishap where the driver lost control of his truck.  It seems to have been deliberate.    If this is indeed the case that makes it much worse because a crime is much worse than an accident.  I am speaking, obviously, about how the incident as a whole is to be evaluated.  The dead and wounded would have been no less dead and wounded in an equally fatal accident.

 

The London police very quickly announced that they were investigating this as a hate crime.   Indeed, the speed in which they made this announcement seems extremely irresponsible when we consider that virtually nothing in the way of evidence corroborating this interpretation of the incident has since been released.   This could be explained, perhaps, if the perpetrator, who soon after asked a taxi driver to call the police and thus essentially turned himself in, had confessed to being motivated by hate.   If this is the case, however, the police have not yet disclosed it.   From the facts that have been disclosed, the only apparent grounds for classifying it as a hate crime are the ethnicity and religion of the victims, who were Muslims and immigrants from Pakistan.

 

There are many who would say that just as a crime is worse than an accident, so a hate crime is worse than a regular crime.   I am not one of those.   There are basically two angles from which we can look at the distinction between hate crimes and regular crimes.   The first is the angle of motive.   Viewed from this angle, the distinction between hate crimes and regular crimes is that the former are motivated by prejudice – racial, religious, sexual, etc.- and the latter are not.   The second angle is the angle of the victim.   Viewed from this perspective, the distinction between hate crimes and regular crimes is that the victims of the former are members of racial, religious, or ethnic minorities, women, or something other than heterosexual and cisgender and the victims of the latter are not.  Viewed either way, however, the idea that a hate crime is much worse than a regular crime is extremely problematic.

 

Is it worse to take somebody’s life because you don’t like the colour of his skin than to take his life because you want his wallet?  

 

If we answer this question with yes then we must be prepared to support that answer with a reason.   It is difficult to come up with one that can stand up well under cross-examination.   One could try arguing, perhaps, that the murder motivated by prejudice is worse than the murder committed in the act of robbing someone on the grounds that whereas prejudice is irrational, wanting someone else’s money if you have desperate need of it yourself, is not.   This runs contrary to long-established judicial precedent, however.   If a man is so irrational that he is considered to be insane this is grounds for a plea of not guilty in a court of law.   Conversely, the man who did not go out intending to kill someone but does so in the act of stealing his wallet can be charged with first-degree murder.   This is because his intention to commit the crime of robbery makes it a premeditated act.  

 

Suppose, however, we take the view from the other angle and distinguish between hate crimes and regular crimes based upon the identity of the victims.   From this standpoint, the assertion that hate crimes are worse than regular crimes translates into the idea that it is worse commit a crime against members of such-and-such groups than it is to commit crimes against anyone else.  Worded that way, is there anyone who would be willing to sign on to such a statement?

 

The idea that hate crimes ought to be considered worse than regular crimes of the same nature but with other more mundane motivations arises out of the idea that “hate” itself ought to be treated as a crime.   The problem with this is that hate, whether in the ordinary sense of the word, or in the rather specialized sense of the word that is employed when discussing “hate speech”, “hate crimes”, “hate groups”, etc. is an attitude of the heart and mind.   To say that “hate” ought to be a crime, therefore, is to say that the government ought to legislate against certain types of thought.   This, however, has long been considered one of the distinguishing characteristics of bad government, government that is tyrannical and totalitarian.   Those familiar with George Orwell’s 1984 will remember that in the totalitarian state of Oceania there was a special police force tasked with tracking down anyone questioned, disagreed with, or otherwise dissented from the proclamations and ideology of the ruling Ingsoc Party and its leader Big Brother.   Such dissenters, including the novel’s protagonist Winston Smith, were regarded as being guilty of crimethink.    I’m quite certain that if Eric Blair were alive today he would be reminding us that this was supposed to be an example to avoid rather than one to emulate.

 

To return from the idea of hate crimes in general and in the abstract, to the specific, concrete, incident of the sixth of the June, the way our politicians and other civil leaders, aided and abetted by media pundits and religious leaders have been behaving is absolutely atrocious.   All evidence that has been released to the public to date points in the direction of this Nathaniel Veltman having been a “lone truckman”.   Our politicians, however, led by Captain Airhead and his goofy sidekick Jimmy Dhaliwal, but including Upper Canadian Premier Doug Ford and London Mayor Ed Holder, very quickly and very shamelessly politicized the incident and capitalized upon the suffering of the Afzaal family in order to shift the blame off of the actual perpetrator and onto the Canadian public in general with their incessant talk about “Islamophobia”.  

 

Once again Captain Airhead has been demonstrating his total inability to learn from his past mistakes.   One might think that the man who after building his political career upon a carefully constructed image as the poster boy for “woke” anti-racism was revealed to be a serial blackface artist would have learned a little humility and would have given up lecturing the Canadian public about how we all need to be more enlightened and less prejudiced.   Or that the man whose efforts to use inappropriate political influence to obtain a prosecutorial deal for a company that was a huge donor to his party landed him in the biggest political scandal of his career might have learned that it is not his place to issue proclamations about criminal guilt before the investigation is complete, charges have been laid, and a conviction obtained.   One would certainly hope that the man who has long made it a point of never calling acts of violence perpetrated in the name of Islam “terrorism” would not use this word to describe any act of violence committed against Muslims at the first opportunity that presented itself as if he lived in some fantasy world where Muslims could only be victims and never perpetrators of terrorism. Anyone thinking or hoping such things does not know Captain Airhead very well.

 

The cynical among us would observe first and foremost just how this incident seems tailor-made to fit Captain Airhead’s agenda.   Captain Airhead has made no secret of the fact that he wants Canadians to be less free to disagree with him on matters of race, religion, sex, etc.   Granted, he doesn’t word it that way, he says that free speech is important but it doesn’t include hate speech.     Here is the key to understanding him.   Every time someone says “I believe in free speech” or some equivalent statement expressing support for free speech and a “but” immediately follows that statement, everything that follows the “but” negates and nullifies everything that precedes it.   Captain Airhead has been trying since the beginning of his premiership to re-introduce laws forbidding Canadians from expressing views that he doesn’t like on the internet.    Bill C-10, introduced last fall for the ostensible purpose of bringing companies like Netflix under the same regulatory oversight of the CRTC as traditional broadcasters, has been widely regarded as a means of smuggling this sort of thing in through the back door, and the Liberals numerous attempts to circumvent open debate in the House so as to ram the bill through prior to the summer adjournment have hardly done anything to assuage such suspicions.   Captain Airhead was undoubtedly looking for an incident that he could blow out of proportion enabling him to grandstand and basically say, “See, I’m not a creepy little dictator-wannabee, I’m just trying to fight hate like the kind that we saw here”.     No, I’m not suggesting that Captain Airhead faked the incident.   I would not be surprised to learn, however, that some memorandum had been sent to law enforcement agencies telling them to be on the lookout for anything that could be plausibly spun as a hate crime, and to flag it as such regardless of the evidence or lack thereof.  

 

As for Jimmy Dhaliwal, the less said about his ridiculous assertions that Muslims are living in constant fear of their Islamophobic neighbours in Canada the better.   Such nonsense does not deserve the dignity of a response.

 

By politicizing this incident in this way, Captain Airhead and Jimmy Dhaliwal are, of course, trying to put the Canadian public in general on trial.   “It is because you are prejudiced against Muslims” they are saying in effect “that this happened, and so you are to blame for this young man’s actions, and therefore you must be punished by having more of your freedoms of thought, conscience, and speech taken from you”.   For years the Left has put the Canada of the past, and her founders and historical figures and heroes on trial over the Indian Residential Schools.  It has been the kind of trial where only the prosecution is allowed to present evidence and the defense is not allowed to cross-examine much less present a case of its own.   Over the past few weeks this mockery of a trial has been renewed due to the non-news item of the discovery of an unmarked cemetery at the Residential School in Kamloops.   The incident in London is now being exploited by the Left to put living Canadians of the present day on the same sort of unjust trial before the same sort of kangaroo court of public opinion.

 

In 1940 the film “My Little Chickadee” was released which starred the legendary sexpot Mae West and the equally legendary lush W. C. Fields.   It was the first – and last – time they would appear together.   West and Fields had also written the screenplay, or rather West wrote it with some input from Fields in the rare moments he wasn’t totally sloshed, and there is a scene in it in which some of the dialogue is purportedly taken from West’s own experience of thirteen years earlier, when she had been briefly jailed in New York on the rather Socratic charge of “corrupting the morals of youth” over the Broadway play “Sex” that she had written, produced, directed, and, of course, starred in herself.   In the scene in the film, West’s character, Miss Flower Belle Lee finds herself, through the tongue of the character played by Margaret Hamilton, the actress who had portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West the previous year and who seems to have remained in character sans green makeup for this film, appearing before a judge.   After one of her trademark flippant remarks, the judge asks her “young lady, are you trying to show your contempt for this court?”   Her famous reply was “No, your honour, I’m doing my best to conceal it”.

 

I trust that you, my readers, will recognize that no such concealment is being attempted here.