The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Captain Airhead Strikes Again!

It has been almost two years since a gullible Canadian electorate was duped into giving the Liberal Party a majority government in the last Dominion election. This means that that government, headed by Captain Airhead, is approaching the half-way point in its four year mandate. It has recently been reported that the Grits have passed less than half the legislation in that time than the previous Conservative government had. This is not surprising. The Prime Minister has been far too busy flying around the world, handing out money, and looking for photo-ops, all at the taxpayers’ expense, to actually do the job of governing the country. John Ibbitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, made the observation that “the amount of legislation a Parliament creates matters less than the quality of that legislation.” As true as that is, the quality of the bills the Trudeau Grits have passed is enough to make one wish that they had, the moment they were sworn in, called a term-length recess of Parliament and sent every member on a four-year paid Caribbean vacation.

One example of this is Bill C-16, which passed its third-reading in the Senate on Thursday, June 15th and which was signed into law by the Governor-General on Monday, June 19th. Bill C-16 is a bill which amends both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. To the former it adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of grounds of discrimination prohibited by the Act. To the latter it adds the same to Section 318, the “hate propaganda” clause of the Code. The Canadian Human Rights Act and Section 318 of the Criminal Code were both inflicted upon us by the present premier’s father in his long reign of terror and it would have been better had the present Parliament passed legislation striking both out of existence rather than amending them to increase the number of ways in which they can be used to persecute Canadians. When, a century and a half ago, the Fathers of Confederation put together the British North America Act which, coming into effect on July 1, 1867, established the Dominion of Canada as a new nation within what would soon develop into the British Commonwealth of Nations, their intention was to create a free country, whose citizens, English and French, as subjects of the Crown, would possess all the freedoms and the protection of all the rights that had accumulated to such in over a thousand years of legal evolution. The CHRA and Section 318 do not belong in such a country – they are more appropriate to totalitarian regimes like the former Soviet Union, Maoist China, and the Third Reich.

The CHRA, which Parliament passed in 1977 during the premiership of Pierre Trudeau, prohibits discrimination on a variety of grounds including race, religion, sex, and country of origin. It applies in a number of different areas with the provision of goods and services, facilities and accommodations, and employment being chief among them. Those charged with enforcing this legislation have generally operated according to an unwritten rule that it is only discrimination when whites, Christians, and males are the perpetrators rather than the victims, but even if that were not the case, the very idea of a law of this sort runs contrary to the basic principles of our traditional freedoms and system of justice. It dictates to employers, landlords, and several other people, what they can and cannot be thinking when conducting the everyday affairs of their business. It establishes a special police force and court – the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal respectively – to investigate and sit in judgement upon those private thoughts and prejudices. Those charged do not have the protection of the presumption of innocence because the CHRA is classified as civil rather than criminal law.

There are more protections for defendants under Section 318 because it is part of the Criminal Code but it is still a bad law. Incitement of criminal violence was already against the law long before Section 318 was added. It is not, therefore, the incitement of criminal violence per se that Section 318 was introduced to combat, for the existing laws were sufficient, but the thinking and verbal expression of thoughts that the Liberal Party has decided Canadians ought not to think and speak.

Bill C-16 takes these bad laws and makes them even worse. By adding “gender identity and expression” to the prohibited grounds of discrimination the Liberals are adding people who think and say that they belong to a gender that does not match up with their biological birth sex to the groups protected from discrimination. Now, ordinarily when people think they are something they are not, like, for example, the man who thinks he is Julius Caesar, we, if we are decent people, would say that this is grounds for pity and compassion, but we would not think of compelling others to go along with the delusion. Imagine a law that says that we have to regard a man who thinks he is Julius Caesar as actually being the Roman general! Such a law would be crazier than the man himself!

Bill C-16 is exactly that kind of law. Don’t be fooled by those who claim otherwise. The discrimination that trans activists, the Trudeau Liberals and their noise machine, i.e., the Canadian media, and everyone else who supports this bill, all want to see banned, is not just the refusing of jobs or apartments to transgender people but the refusal to accept as real a “gender identity” that does not match up with biological sex. Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto who has been fighting this sort of nonsense at the provincial level for years, and who testified against the Bill before the Senate committee that reviewed it, has warned that it could lead to someone being charged with a “hate crime” for using the pronoun – “he” or “she” – that lines up with a person's birth sex, rather than some alternative pronoun made-up to designate that person’s “gender identity.” Supporters of the bill have mocked this assertion but we have seen this sort of thing before – progressives propose some sort of measure, someone points out that the measure will have this or that negative consequence, the progressives ridicule that person, and then, when the measure is passed and has precisely the negative consequences predicted, say that those negatively affected deserved it in the first place.

Indeed, progressive assurances that Peterson’s fears are unwarranted ring incredibly hollow when we consider that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has said that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity” would be considered discrimination under a similar clause in Ontario’s provincial Human Rights Code, if it were to take place in a context where discrimination in general is prohibited, such as the workplace. Bruce Pardy, Professor of Law at Queen’s University, writing in the National Post, explains that this new expansion of human rights legislation goes way beyond previous “hate speech” laws in its infringement upon freedom of speech. “When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself,” Pardy writes, but “Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.”

It is too much, perhaps, to expect Captain Airhead to understand or care about this. Like his father before him – and indeed, every Liberal Prime Minister going back to and including Mackenzie King – he has little to no appreciation of either the traditional freedoms that are part of Canada’s British heritage or the safeguards of those freedoms bequeathed us by the Fathers of Confederation in our parliamentary government under the Crown. For a century, Liberal governments have whittled away at every parliamentary obstacle to the absolute power of a Prime Minister backed by a House majority. The powers of the Crown, Senate, and the Opposition in the House to hold the Prime Minister and his Cabinet accountable have all been dangerously eroded in this manner. Last year the present government attempted to strip Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of what few means it has left of delaying government legislation. The motion in question was withdrawn after the Prime Minister came under strong criticism for behaving like a spoiled, bullying, petty thug in the House but it revealed his character. These Opposition powers are a necessary safeguard against Prime Ministerial dictatorship but Captain Airhead, the son of an admirer of Stalin and Mao, regards them, like the freedoms they protect, as an unacceptable hindrance to his getting his way as fast as he possibly can. Years ago, George Grant wrote that the justices of the American Supreme Court in Roe v Wade had “used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought - the triumph of the will.” This is also the modus operandi of Captain Airhead and the Liberal Party of Canada.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Subversive Film

Wonder Woman

Produced by Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Tencent Pictures, Wanda Pictures and Warner Brothers Pictures
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Screenplay by Allan Heinberg
Story by Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs
Distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures

A presumably biologically male individual – for reasons that shall become apparent I cannot call him a man – named Steve Rose, was not impressed with the new Wonder Woman film, and while some of his criticisms – “bludgeoning special effects”, “a messy, often wildly implausible plot” are technical, his primary objections are political. Writing for the left-liberal Guardian newspaper, Rose blasts the movie for failing to be the “glass-ceiling-smashing blockbuster” that he had been anticipating. Later in his review he laments the fact that it left its potential for “patriarchy upending subversion” as an unexplored avenue.

Anyone paying attention to the silly controversies that surrounded the release of this film, from the jeremiads over the heroine’s shaved armpits to the demands for women-only showings, will know that feminist ideologues had high hopes for this film. Not only is its protagonist a female superhero – the female superhero, for that matter, as no other has come remotely close to the same stature as William Moulton Marston’s legendary creation – its director was a woman as well, Patty Jenkins. Surely such a film would not only be a step towards redressing the gender imbalance in the superhero genre but would also be a vehicle for proclaiming the feminist gospel of strong, independent, women who do not need men?

Perhaps the production team had such thoughts in mind as well – finding somebody in today’s Hollywood who is not heavily programmed with left-liberal ideology including feminism is like finding a needle in a haystack – but they had other priorities. They were, after all, making the fourth in a series of films leading up to this fall’s Justice League in which DC hopes to achieve the same kind of success that their rival Marvel has had by tying in movie versions of all their main characters to the Avengers franchise. Apart from the character’s cameo in last year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, this was to be the big screen debut of the character who comprises, together with the title characters of the aforementioned film, the triumvirate of DC heroes that have dominated the world of comic book superheroes since the Second World War – a full two decades before Stan Lee became the Edward Stratemeyer of cartoons and ushered in the Marvel Age of Comics with the Fantastic Four, Spider-man, the Incredible Hulk, etc. Clearly a lot more was riding on the success of this film than satisfying the demands of feminists.

It is possible, however, that what really has Mr. Rose’s panties all tied up in a twist, is that the film is subversive after all – subversive of his own beloved, if entirely unrealistic, beliefs. Although this is purely unintentional on the part of the film’s producers it is nevertheless the effect of the story’s plot. Note that to explain how I will have to give away that plot in its entirety so if you have not seen the film and wish to do so without knowing how it ends, go and do so now before reading any further.

The film begins and ends, shortly after the events depicted in Dawn of Justice, with the title character, portrayed by Israeli model and actress Gal Gadot, reflecting on her personal history in response to a message from Bruce Wayne. She was raised on the island of Themyscira – a tropical paradise where nobody grows old, hidden from the rest of the world by a magical barrier, and populated entirely by women – the man-hating Amazon warriors. Diana, the future Wonder Woman, is the princess of the Amazons, being daughter of their legendary Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). Her father, as she discovers at the end of the movie, was Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Her mother keeps her paternal heritage hidden from her, telling her that she had sculpted her from clay and begged Zeus to bring her to life.

Note that if you are looking for “patriarchy upending subversion” in a strong, female, warrior character, it rather defeats this purpose if the character is both an Amazon and a goddess. From Homer’s Iliad onwards, these have always been exceptions to the patriarchal rule that only men are warriors.

So why did Hippolyta deceive her daughter about her origins? Well, it turns out that Zeus had a particular purpose in mind in siring Diana. In the backstory to the movie, an interesting synthesis of Greek mythology and the Biblical account of the creation and fall of man, Zeus had created man as a just and kind being, but man was corrupted by the god of war, Ares. Zeus then created the Amazons as a positive influence but they were enslaved. Hippolyta led them in revolt, but Ares killed off the gods when they came to the Amazons' defence until Zeus, himself fatally wounded, forced Ares into retreat and then created Themyscira for the Amazons and sired Diana so that there would be someone powerful enough to finish off Ares should he return. Hippolyta gives her daughter an abridged version of this story, leaving out the information that Zeus was her father and that she herself was the weapon intended to be used against Ares.

Hippolyta clearly does not relish the thought of her daughter performing the task for which she was sired. She is reluctant to allow Diana to be trained as a warrior at all, relenting only when it becomes evident that she cannot prevent it. While this is partly maternal concern for the safety of her daughter, she also does not believe the world to be worth saving. When Diana leaves the island during World War I with the intention of hunting down Ares Hippolyta tells her daughter “be careful in the world of men – they do not deserve you.”

The reason Diana left the island is because she had learned of the “war to end all wars” from American Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) whom she had rescued from the ocean after his plane crashed just off the coast of Themyscira. Having become convinced that Ares is behind the war, she arms herself with the Amazonian body armour that would become her Wonder Woman costume, a golden lasso that compels people to tell the truth, and a sword she has been deceived into thinking is the god-killer. She makes a deal with Trevor – she will help him get off the island and back to the war, and he will take her to the front where she can confront Ares. Convinced that a particular German warmonger is Ares in disguise she slays him – but the war still rages on. Trevor explains that people are not always good and share in the responsibility for the evils of war – there isn’t just one bad guy to blame. When she repeats her mother’s words he admits that it may be true, but tells her that it isn’t a matter of deserving, that if she truly believes the war should end and that lives should be saved, she should keep on fighting but she turns from him in disillusionment.

At this point the real Ares (David Thewlis) reveals himself to her. She attacks him with the sword she thinks is the god-killer, but he easily destroys it. He then reveals to her everything that Hippolyta had kept secret – and tries to persuade her to join him in his hatred of mankind. When she hears her mother’s sentiments again, this time from the mouth of her archenemy, she repeats the arguments of Steve Trevor, whom she has just seen sacrifice himself to save thousands of innocent lives, and blasts Ares to smithereens with lightning. Lightning was, not insignificantly, the weapon of her father.

So how best do we encapsulate all of this? To become Wonder Woman and defeat her archenemy, Diana had to leave her women-only island, reject the philosophy shared by both her mother and the villain, and discover the father her mother had hidden from her and choose the path he had set for her. To do all of this she had to meet, fall in love with, and draw inspiration from the man whose judgement she ultimately accepts over that of her man-hating mother.

Yes, this film is subversive all right – subversive of its own feminist message. For that it deserves an award.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hic et Ille VII

An Apology to My Readers

My posting has been light all year and it has now been over a month since my last post. I apologize for this. It is due to my writing time being tied up with projects external to this blog. One of these is quite a large project and is still not finished so posting may continue to be light for a few months to come – perhaps the remainder of this year.

So We Have a New Conservative Leader

In the Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership convention last month, Maxime Bernier the most libertarian of the candidates was leading up until the thirteenth ballot, which gave the leadership to Andrew Scheer. This outcome has its positives and its negatives, as of course would have been the case with any of the alternatives as well. Among the positives, Scheer is a strong royalist – an absolute essential for a Tory leader – and has the reputation of being a social conservative if not as staunch a one as Brad Trost or Pierre Lemieux. Also impressive is Scheer’s promise that as Prime Minister he would withdraw federal funds from universities that allow Social Justice Warriors to get away with bullying, harassing, and silencing those who hold opinions contrary to theirs.

The down-side to Scheer is that he is very much a Stephen Harper man. Apart from the fact that this taints him by association with the man who made himself so unliked during his time as Prime Minister that the country was willing to hand the reins of power over to a shallow little empty-headed egomaniac, there is something in the Harper brand of neo-conservatism that puts a damper on the enthusiasm that would otherwise be inspired by each of the listed positive points.

Harper-style neo-conservatism blends elements from the traditions of both the old Conservative Party and the Reform Party/Canadian Alliance. The latter was a very pro-American tradition that believed in closer economic partnership with the United States – free trade, traditionally a plank of the Liberal Party platform – and in introducing democratic reforms to the upper house of Parliament to make it more like the American Senate. These aspects of the Reform tradition have survived into the neo-conservatism of the present Conservative Party even though they are the most difficult to harmonize with the elements, such as royalism, taken from the tradition of the old Conservative Party. Scheer himself is on the record as saying “I support an elected Senate with meaningful term limits.” Many royalists such as myself would say that to insist upon elections and term limits for the Senate weakens the foundation upon which you will need to stand in fighting for our hereditary monarchy should it come under republican attack. (1)

Neo-conservatives are convinced that fiscal conservatism wins elections but social conservatism loses elections. This is what the media, the academics, and the other parties tell them, but what it boils down to is the idea that people want balanced budgets, spending cuts, and tax breaks more than they want secure homes and communities, strong marriages and families, and a stable moral environment in which to raise their children. This is nonsense – but try convincing a neoconservative of that. This is why social conservatives know that while neo-conservatives will court their votes and tolerate them within the “big tent” – which is more than can be expected from the leadership of the other parties – they will do nothing to advance the causes dear to their hearts.

Finally, as welcome as are Scheer’s proposals for cutting off funds to schools that allow politically incorrect viewpoints to be silenced by the tyranny of well-organized cultural Marxist bullies, civil libertarians will remember that the Harper administration was no friend to freedom of speech. The private members bill that finally brought about the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act – the “hate speech” clause – during the Harper years had the support of the governing party, but not of the government itself. Worse, while it is the Trudeau wing of the Liberal Party that has demonstrated a propensity for passing absurd laws that punish people for saying things about women and racial, religious, and sexual minorities that egalitarians consider offensive, the Harper neo-conservatives have shown themselves to be fond of enhancing the government’s powers to monitor our private conversations in the name of national security. This is what Bill C-51, which made Harper so unpopular towards the end of his premiership, was all about. The response of both the American and Canadian versions of neo-conservatism to the increasing threat of Islamic terrorism has not been the sensible policy of keeping potential jihadists out of our countries while letting Muslims live in peace if they can in their own. Rather it is the exact opposite of this – allowing mass Islamic immigration into our countries while bombing the hell out of them in their own. When, as any thinking person could have predicted, this produces an increase in incidents of Islamic terrorism, they then introduce intrusive domestic surveillance and other police state measures to deal with it.

If there is an unmixed positive about Scheer, something that does not have a corresponding negative to diminish it, it is that he has said that he would scrap the carbon tax which, like so many other of the schemes of the Liberals/NDP/Greens is an evil wearing the mask of a good. The carbon tax raises the cost of living for all Canadians while reducing the funds they have available to meet their expenses, hurting the poor and the working class the most. The villains who have imposed it, however, like that soulless monster Justin Trudeau, go around bragging about how caring and compassionate they are, because they are doing something for the environment. In reality the environment is not helped in the least by this shameless money grab. Let us hope that if Scheer gets the opportunity to put this promise into practice that he will follow through.

Kudos to America’s Caesar

Liberals have, for decades, denied the obvious fact that the news media, in its editorializing and increasingly in its reporting, is heavily biased in their favour. How much longer, one wonders, can they maintain this façade? It is difficult to know which is more sickening – the way the Canadian media fawns over our grossly incompetent, arrogant, and idiotic Prime Minister or the way the American media pounces on the smallest flaws they can find in their President as grounds for terminating his term in office. “He starts on the wrong side of his mouth when brushing his teeth – impeach him!”

While there is much that President Trump deserves criticism for – among other things, the way he has moved away from the Buchananite rhetoric of his campaign towards a more typical neo-conservatism with regards to the Middle East – he deserves praise for the move for which the international media has sought to crucify him over the last two weeks. On June 1st he announced that he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change a year and a half ago. This agreement was a fraud of the same type as the Trudeau Liberal carbon tax, just on a larger scale.

Let me explain it to you. The climate on this planet of ours has never been constant. It has been changing for as long as there has been an earth and will continue to change for as long as earth exists. The amount of that change which can be attributed to human activity, past, present, or future, is a fraction of a fraction of a percentage point. Even if the theory of anthropogenic climate change were true – and it is not – and the earth’s climate was changing in the way the theory says it is, for the reasons it says it is, and with the results the theory predicts, the actions that the governments of the world agreed to take in the Paris Accord would not have the slightest effect on it.

The Paris Accord is about one thing and one thing only - allowing the political leaders of the world to show off, pose as saviours of the world, and otherwise virtue signal for a scheme that does nothing – absolutely nothing – except take wealth from poor and middle class taxpayers in rich white countries and give it to wealthy kleptocrats in poor non-white countries.

Kudos to Donald Trump for pulling his country out of this farce.

Ontario To Rename Itself New Sodom?

If, unlike the residents of George Orwell’s Oceania that we are all starting to resemble, you can think back a couple of decades and remember the past as it actually happened, you will recall that at the time one of the hot issues on the agenda of what was then called the gay-rights movement was the question of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children or not. Those who supported the status quo, which prevented them from adopting, did so on the basis of a child’s need for both a father and a mother. That their reasoning was perfectly sound and legitimate did not prevent the other side from getting into a tizzy, shrieking hysterically and calling it bigotry and discrimination and all sorts of other nasty and unpleasant sounding things. That was basically all that their own argument amounted to and eventually some judge got so sick and tired of their whining that they won.

Now, in the current year, the Liberal government of the Province of Ontario, headed by a hatchet-faced lesbian with an axe to grind, has just passed a law, Bill 89, which allows – or, perhaps, requires – foster and adoption agencies to turn down couples who oppose the agenda of the alphabet soup gang. In practice, this means “Evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants, traditional Roman Catholics, and orthodox Christians in general, need not apply.” Worse, it gives Children’s Aid the right to take natural children away from such parents.

It is remarkable, is it not, how quickly those who start out by saying “we just want our rights” can move to taking away rights from other people once they attain power.

Christians, of course, are not the only ones who hold quaint, old-fashioned, antiquated ideas like that if you are born with a penis you are male, if you are born with a vagina you are female, that males should pair with females and vice-versa, and that male-female couples should raise their children together. All of these Muslims that Kathleen Wynne, like Justin Trudeau, is so enthusiastic about bringing into the country, think the same way. Do you think that now that under the provisions of Bill 89 the Children’s Aid of Ontario is going to start taking their children away?

Yeah right.

(1) For a Senate Reform proposal that addresses the problems with the Senate as it stands, while remaining true to the principles the Fathers of Confederation had in mind when they made the upper chamber of our Parliament an appointed Senate, see my essay "Senate Reform":