The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, July 30, 2021

A Shameful Surrender

 Do you remember the War on Drugs?


It was Richard Nixon who thought up the idea back in 1971 and while Nixon was, contrary to the impression you might have received from the typical Hollywood portrayal of the man, one of the better American presidents, this was not one of his better ideas.   The idea was that the American federal government would commit a tremendous amount of resources and effort into stomping out the international drug trade.  They would treat the drug cartels as if they were a hostile country that had attacked the United States.   Other Western countries were expected to support the “leader of the free world” in this effort and, to varying degrees, they did.  Fifty years have gone by and the drug trade is still alive and kicking, even despite the constraints on international travel over the last year and a half.    The War on Drugs, in other words has been a total failure.


This ought not to surprise us.   When governments declare “war” on anything other than another country, whether it be drugs, crime, terrorism, hate, or the bat flu virus, the “enemy” is never defeated and the war goes on forever.   This is because such “wars” are largely excuses by governments to expand their powers, escape constitutional limitations that irk them, and spend a lot of money and, therefore, governments have no motivation to win.   


The War on Drugs was a particularly inexcusable failure in that it came only a few decades after the spectacular failure of Prohibition and repeated all of its mistakes.   In both cases, by forbidding a particular trade, government merely made it more profitable because those willing to take the risk of selling were able to charge much more, and more dangerous for the general public, because those undertaking such a venture were heavily armed, organized crime syndicates for whom competition for the illegal trade and its high profit margins resembled war in the literal sense of the word.


There was one significant difference between the War on Drugs and Prohibition, however, one that ensured that the former, even though the commodities involved were less popular, would be an even greater failure. 


Prohibition was the culmination of a movement that had been building for about a century which had a clear, if misguided, vision.   The Temperance movement was one of the by-products of the nineteenth century North American revivalism that had grown out of the eighteenth century Methodist movement.   Ironically, considering that its name refers to the Christian virtue that means “moderation” or “self-control”, it took the moral stance that all consumption of alcoholic beverages is sinful, a further irony considering that this is the moral position that is traditional to Islam, not the one that is traditional to both Christianity and Judaism, which latter is much more consistent with the literal meaning of the name of the movement.   This is, perhaps, only what is to be expected from a movement led primarily by individuals who gloried in their lack of theological education. The Temperance movement had the support not only of religious zealots who took this stance, but of manufacturers who thought, not without reason although there are equally strong counterarguments, that it would make for a more industrious workforce, and of the feminist movement, then in its first wave, the women’s suffragettes.   Here in the Dominion of Canada, the shorter-lived experiment in Prohibition was directly tied to giving women the vote, as Stephen Leacock amusingly discussed in essays on both of those historical blunders.   However, whatever might be said against Prohibition and the movement behind it, they were unambiguous and clear.   They were against the consumption of alcoholic beverages and so, when they got their way, a law was passed – a constitutional amendment in the case of the United States – forbidding all alcoholic beverages and only alcoholic beverages.


The War on Drugs was pretty much the opposite of this.   It did not begin with a grassroots movement that built up momentum over a century – it started out by executive proclamation from the highest office in the United States of America.    It was not a clear and unambiguous moral project.   Confusion and complications arise the moment one attempts to identify the enemy in this “war”.


What is a drug?


Is there a difference between the kind of drugs sold by a drugstore (pharmacy) and those sold by a drug dealer?


The best answer to the first question is to say that a drug is any substance that is non-essential (thus excluding food, water, and air) that is deliberately consumed in one way or another for its effect on bodily and/or mental functions.


Using that answer as our account of the meaning of the word drug, the answer to the second question must be no.   There can be distinctions made between the two categories of drugs but there is no essential differences.    One distinction is between medicinal and recreational use.   Those who use drugs medicinally do so for a therapeutic purpose such as the alleviation of pain, the treatment of an injury, or the curing of a disease.    Those who use drugs recreationally do so for the experience they produce, usually a kind of euphoria called a “high”.   This distinction correlates with that between pharmaceutical drugs and illegal narcotics but the correlation is not exact  nor is the distinction absolute.   Many people use prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical medicine for recreational purposes and narcotics often have medicinal functions (opioids and cocaine are pain killers, for example).   Ultimately, the distinction between pharmaceutical drugs and narcotics is that the former are legal, even if their use is sometimes limited by government (some can only be purchased with a physician’s prescription), and the latter are not.


The obviously artificial nature of this distinction is a large part of the case that many make for the legalization of narcotics.      This is not the only case that can be made from this, however.   Someone who thinks that the goal of the War on Drugs – the elimination of the drug trade, the bondage of addiction, and the ruin of lives that goes along with these – to be a good one, even if he may think the “War” itself to be ill-advised, doomed to failure, the cause of more evils than it prevents, and an excuse for government aggrandizement – could argue that efforts to keep people, especially children, from falling prey to the lure of drugs, are contradicted by the presence of the legal pharmaceutical industry, that advertises its products on billboards, radio, television, and the internet, which advertising conveys, in essence, the same message as illegal drug pushers, i.e., use our product and your suffering will cease and you will find happiness.


Related to the above point about the contradictory mixed-messages being sent by the legal pharmaceutical industry and those fighting the War on (illegal) Drugs, is the fact that the fifty years since Nixon declared the latter have also seen a massive rise in the number of young children being prescribed dangerous mind-altering stimulants such as methylphenidate and amphetamine.   Oddly, these have been prescribed for diagnoses of hyperactivity, which is characterized by the inability to stay still and focus due to excess energy, something one would think ought to be the last thing in the world to be treated by stimulants (amphetamine is the drug that is sold on the street as “speed”).   Some have posited a link between the rise in medicating children in this way and the new phenomenon of school shootings which popped up in the same period, just as others have noted a similar correlation between mind-altering medication and mass shootings in general.   Whatever the truth may be with regards to such allegations – Politifact maintains that the first is false, which is a strong if not infallible indicator that it is in fact mostly true - it can certainly be said that this new propensity for prescribing stimulants to children, which looks suspiciously like the result of the takeover of public education by radical feminists who bullied the medical profession into treating the condition of being a normal young boy as pathological, sends a message that contradicts that of those waging the War on Drugs.


Given the massive contradictions we have just seen between the legal and tolerated advertisement campaigns of the huge pharmaceutical industry and the recent fad of prescribing stimulants to children on the one hand and the War on the Drugs on the other, it can hardly be surprising that the latter turned out to be something less than a success.  


When the War on Drugs began, the main drugs that were regarded as problematic were substances that occur naturally in the coca plant and certain kinds of hemp and poppies.   Experimental synthetic drugs were gaining popularity however – the 1960s saw the LSD craze – and this indication that the use and abuse of recreational drugs was becoming a bigger problem as were turning to newer, more dangerous substances, was likely what inspired the Nixon administration to launch the war to begin with.     Surely, however, the radical shift in the cultural climate towards the major drugs of fifty years ago has to be chalked up as a major loss in that war.


Today, the use of marijuana, the most widely used of the drugs obtainable from hemp, is depicted as normal, non-problematic, and even commendatory on television and the movies.      The drug itself is now generally depicted in popular culture as being harmless and benign.   The most dangerous of its known harmful effects are seldom if ever discussed.   Increasingly, popular culture has been trying to normalize cocaine use as well.


This shift in cultural attitude wrought by the entertainment media has begun to manifest itself politically.   Here in Canada, the Liberal government kept Captain Airhead’s election promise of 2015 and legalized marijuana.   There have been some indications, that they are considering doing the same for harder drugs such as cocaine.   There are growing movements for similar legalization south of the border. 


Meanwhile, the increase in the use of more dangerous synthetic drugs has had all sorts of ill social effects.   The synthetic opioid fentanyl, for example, while technically a legal painkiller if prescribed, has led, through its recreational misuse, to an alarming increase in deaths by opioid overdose.   This is due to such factors as the small amount needed to produce a lethal overdose and its being mixed with other drugs, especially heroin.   The opioid crisis in Canada began early in 2016.   This was shortly after the premiership of Captain Airhead began. Draw your own conclusions about that.  


Another disturbing trend has to do with methamphetamine.   Methamphetamine, like its cousin amphetamine mentioned above, is a synthetic substance derived from the naturally occurring Chinese medicine ephedrine.  Ephedrine used to be marketed as a weight-loss supplement and can still be found, in small doses, in some decongestants although a synthetic form is more commonly used.  Fifty years ago, the biggest problem with methamphetamine was its abuse in pill form, especially by long distance truck drivers who used it for its fatigue combating properties.   In recent decades, however, the crystalized version of the drug, which is used in much the same way as crack cocaine, has been increasingly replacing the latter as the hard drug of choice, especially among younger recreational drug users.    There are a number of explanations for this, among them that crystal meth produces a longer lasting high than crack – hours as opposed to minutes, and that it can be homemade from the synthetic ephedrine in over-the-counter decongestants.    The reason this switch is of concern to the general public is because of the effects crystal meth produces in its users.   It has the tendency to induce paranoia.  Consequently, as younger drug users have turned to crystal meth as their drug of preference, we have seen the rise of the brand new phenomenon of people walking down the street, minding their own business, and being verbally and physically assaulted, in some cases murdered, by complete strangers for no reason outside of the assailant’s drug-addled mind.    Isn’t progress grand?


When we consider how much worse the drug situation is today than at the beginning of the War on Drugs – and much more could be said about it than the highlights given above – the behaviour of our governments over the last year or so appears that much more irresponsible.    


For one thing, the insane, totalitarian, lockdowns they imposed, starting early last year, in order to slow the spread of the bat flu virus, have caused substance abuse, addiction and overdoses to skyrocket.    This was a completely predictable consequence of the loneliness and cabin fever generated by this prolonged, artificial, social isolation as well as the loss of jobs, businesses and savings.   The authorities acknowledge that overdoses and other drug-related problems have gotten much worse over the last year and a half, but they place the blame on the virus rather than on the wrongness of their actions in response to the virus.


Then there is the way in which our governments have been sending the biggest contradictory message to that of the War on Drugs to date this year.   Much effort was devoted in the War on Drugs in trying to keep children from getting involved with drugs in the first place by persuading them to resist pressure from their peers, i.e., other children trying to talk them into taking drugs (the message applied to other situations in which children pressure other children into doing something wrong as well, of course).    This year, however, we have seen a top down effort, led by governments, but also involving media companies – news, entertainment and social – aimed at pressuring all of us into taking the latest products of the pharmaceutical industry, and then pressuring everyone else (our peers) into doing so as well.    How, exactly, do we expect to have any credibility in the future, when we tell kids to resist the pressure to try marijuana, heroin, crack, ecstasy, crystal meth or the like, when we are now telling them that they, and everybody else, needs to shut up with their objections and reasonable questions and take an experimental new form of vaccine, despite the ill-effects, both those that are already known and the long-term ones that we might not know about yet, that provides an inferior immunity to that which contracting the virus provides, against a virus which the vast majority of people survive and which poses only the most minimal of risks to the young and healthy?   


Up until now, Western governments have been fighting Nixon’s War on Drugs with LBJ’s tactics.    Had they truly been committed to defeating this industry they would have gone after the pharmaceutical industry and all the legal dope pushers in the medical profession.    Now it would appear that they have raised the white flag and surrendered altogether.

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”.