The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, February 10, 2023

Thanks for the Laugh Tucker, But No, His Majesty’s Free Canadian Subjects Do Not Need Your Type of “Liberation”

 As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, Am not I in sport? (Proverbs 26:18-19)


There was a dinner once, one of those formal affairs that people pay to attend and where they are forced to listen to a seemingly endless program of speeches.  At this one, the audience was about evenly divided between Canadians and Americans and they were intermixed among the various tables.   At the table where the speakers were sitting a debate broke out over concepts and styles of humour.   One speaker took the position that Canadians and Americans were indistinguishable in their senses of humour.   Another argued that Canadian humour was distinct from American humour. 


The debate continued through a couple of the formal speeches until the second debater, the one who contended for a distinction between Canadian and American humour, was on dock to speak next.   At this point he said that he would settle the matter.   “I’m up next”, he said.  “I bet you that I can separate the Canadians from the Americans in the room with a single joke.”


His interlocutor agreed to the bet and the speaker ahead of him concluded his speech.   “The ones who laugh are the Canadians” he said before going to the podium.


“Ladies and gentlemen” he said “I’m afraid I have some bad news.   The world will end at 7:30 tonight.   8:00 in Newfoundland”.


The preceding joke has, of course, been made largely obsolete by the demise of broadcast television and the explosion of new communications technology as well as by the waning number of Canadians who listen to or watch the CBC in any media format.   Today, the “8:00 in Newfoundland” joke would be more effective at distinguishing between older and younger generations of Canadians than distinguishing between Canadians and Americans.


Fox News host Tucker Carlson maintains that we Canadians have no sense of humour and cannot take a joke.    Is he right?


The backstory to this begins with a remark he made towards the end of last month on “Tucker Carlson Today.”   This is the show he does on Fox Nation, the station’s streaming platform.  It has different content and a different format from “Tucker Carlson Tonight”,his weekday evening show on the station’s main cable/satellite platform.   He was joking with a guest about our Prime Minister, Captain Airhead.    In this context, he brought up all the money the United States is wasting on the Ukraine and asked “Why are we not sending an armed force north to liberate Canada from Trudeau?   And I mean it”.


This came to the attention of Matthew Green, the Member representing Hamilton Centre in the House of Commons, who raised a motion on Tuesday, 26 January, calling upon the House to unanimously condemn Carlson’s remark.   Green and the party he represents, the socialist NDP, apparently took the Fox host’s remark as a serious proposal.   The motion did not receive the unanimous consent that was sought and was defeated.  


This prompted a response from Carlson on his show the following Wednesday.   We don’t want to be too picayune or anything, but we did not suggest the armed forces liberate Canada” he said, either having forgotten his exact words or attempting to get the maximum mileage out of the distinction between a suggestion and a question.   Then, after a few remarks about everyone who cares about rights having fled Canada, Canada having become a dictatorship, the United States not liking dictatorships, and the like, he said that there is “so little going on in Canada, like civil liberties, that if you tell a joke about Canada, they go bonkers”.  


Green and his party, who have not let the matter drop but taken it from the floor of the House of Commons to their webpage where they are asking people to sign an online petition telling Tucker Carlson that his “hate” isn’t welcome in Canada, have responded very foolishly.   Even though he said “And I mean it” the overall laughing, flippant, tone of the conversation rather contradicted these words which he seems to have used much in the same manner in which teenagers, college students, progressive activists and other empty-headed twits use the word “literally”, i.e., as a sort of emphatic punctuation rather than with its actual meaning.   Carlson was joking.   It was an extremely tasteless joke.   Jokes about invading someone else’s country belong in the same category as jokes about murdering someone else’s children or raping his wife.   It is best not to bestow dignity upon such by acknowledging them, much less making an issue out of them in the halls of Parliament.  


Everything I just said applies to the joke that Tucker Carlson told intentionally.   There is another joke in his words, one which I rather suspect he told unwittingly.   It is a much better joke.


It is a joke to think of the United States “liberating” another country.    From the moment they staged their Revolution in the Eighteenth Century the Americans have been talking incessantly about “freedom” and “liberating” people.  All this is and all it has ever been is enough hot air to float a fleet of Chinese spy balloons.  The Americans fought their Revolution to “free” themselves from the most liberal government in the world at the time.   That’s liberal in the older and better sense of the word which referred to the belief that government power needed to be restrained and limited to protect the personal rights and freedoms of the governed.  The American revolutionaries falsely accused the British government of tyrannizing them despite that government’s having taken a largely laissez-faire approach to them, because it would not let them forcibly convert the French Roman Catholics of Quebec to English-speaking Protestantism and would not let them go into Indian territory and take it by force.   When, about thirty years after their Revolution the Americans did indeed try to “liberate” Canada they found that the Canadians correctly understood their “liberation” to mean “conquest” and preferred to remain in the British Empire.   The Canadians fought alongside the British army and successfully repelled the American invaders.    In this period, between the Americans having attained independence from the British Empire in the eighteenth century and British North America’s Confederation into the Dominion of Canada in the late nineteenth century, we who remained in the British Empire generally enjoyed greater freedom, less regulation, and more decentralized governance than the Americans did under their new federal republic.


Before proceeding to comment on the United States’ next big “liberation” project I would like to expand upon the last sentence of the last paragraph by saying with regards to the relative freedom of Canada and the United States that the nineteenth century was not the last time in which the case could be made for Canada being the freer of the two countries.   It made news last month when the Frazer Institute in Canada and the Cato Institute in the United States released the 2022 edition of the Human Freedom Index and Canada was in thirteenth place – a drop from her previous spot of sixth, and the first time since 2012 that Canada has fallen below the top ten.   In the 2022 edition of the Index of Economic Freedom  Canada ranks lower yet, at fifteenth place.   Undoubtedly the present Liberal government has contributed significantly to the decline in Canadian freedom – the compilers of the Human Freedom Index say that a large part of this was due to Canada’s harsh pandemic measures and while provincial governments, mostly Conservative, contributed to this, the main push for lockdowns, forced masking, and vaccine mandates came from the Dominion government.   Note, however, where the United States stands on both of these Indexes.   She is twenty-third on the Human Freedom Index and twenty-fifth on the Index of Economic Freedom.   In other words on both she is ten spots below Canada.   If we switch from discussing freedom in general terms to specific freedoms examples of freedoms that seem to have stronger constitutional protection in the United States than in Canada can be found.   Among fundamental freedoms, freedom of speech is the example that stands out and among auxiliary freedoms, the freedom to own and carry arms.   This, however, merely makes the rankings in these indexes that deal with freedom in more general terms all the more striking. These relative rankings are not an anomaly of the 2022 editions.  Nor can they be explained by pro-Trudeau bias.   The Cato Institute and Frazer Institute are libertarian think tanks and the Index of Economic Freedom is published by the Heritage Foundation – the foremost American conservative think tank. If there is any bias it would be in the opposite direction.   Undoubtedly such facts will cause some sort of mental breakdown among those incapable of distinguishing between talking the most and the loudest about freedom on the one hand and actually possessing and practicing it on the other.    


After failing to conquer Canada in the War of 1812, the next big “liberation” project undertaken by the United States followed upon the organization of the Republican Party in 1854 and the first election of a nominee of that party to the office of President of the United States in 1860.   Thirteen states found Abraham Lincoln to be such an insufferable ass that upon his election they decided to exercise the right of secession which the founders of their republic had written into their constitution after the original thirteen colonies had illegally seceded from the British Empire.   The breakaway states formed their own federal republic, the Confederate States of America, which the United States promptly invaded and conquered, employing brutal scorched earth tactics in what remains the bloodiest war in their history.    The states that wanted to secede were subjugated and those that had remained in the Union found themselves, alongside the conquered South, now saddled with a federal government that was exponentially more centralized, more powerful, and more intrusive than it had been before.   Naturally, the American government spun this as a war of “liberation” or, to use the synonym that was in vogue at the time, “emancipation”, i.e., of the slaves, and to be sure, after the war they passed the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing most types of slavery.   It is interesting, however, how that in his first Inaugural Address Lincoln had promised to do the exact opposite of that if the seceding states returned to the Union, whereas the Confederates had offered to abolish slavery if the United States would let them leave.   One might be tempted to think that the abolition of slavery, the accomplishment of which, oddly enough, required a deadly internecine war nowhere other than in the United States, was merely a pretext and that the true purpose of the war was to concentrate the political power that had previously been diffused through the American states in the American federal government in Washington D. C.


When the United States decided to enter World War I on the side of Great Britain, France and the other Allies their president at the time, Woodrow Wilson, sold it to Congress as a war to “make the world safe for democracy”.   Since such idealistic romantic drivel had nothing to do with the war as it had been fought  up to that point Wilson had to give the war a makeover and inserted into the conditions for peace at the end of the war that the German and Austrian emperors abdicate their thrones and these countries become republics.   This boneheaded blunder created the vacuum that two decades later was exploited by a man who consolidated both republics into one, made himself dictator, and set out to conquer Europe.   Once again Britain and the Commonwealth and France went to war with Germany and once again the United States joined us after her morally handicapped president figured out a way of maneuvering Japan into bombing his own country.   The Allies invaded Nazi-occupied Europe on D-Day and for once the United States took part in an invasion that actually was a liberation as the Allies drove the Nazi occupiers out of Western Europe.   Eastern Europe did not fare so well.   There it was the Soviet Union that drove the Wehrmacht back to Germany but rather than liberate these countries it enslaved them to Communism.   This was an outcome that the other Allies did not want but was forced upon them by American president Franklin Roosevelt, the bitch to Joseph Stalin’s butch.  


At the end of the Second World War, therefore, the Soviet Union occupied Eastern Europe up to and including East Germany.    Soon thereafter the Chinese Civil War would start up again and the Chinese Communists, whom the Americans had insisted must be part of any Chinese government that wished to have good relations with the United States, drove their main rivals the Chinese Nationalists off the mainland which they then turned into the People’s Republic of China.       The Americans had brought the Second World War to an end with the unconscionable act of actually using the new weapon of mass destruction they had invented in the Manhattan Project to kill thousands of civilians in a country that had been trying to negotiate peace terms for a year.   By the end of the decade the Soviets had obtained this technology and the nuclear arms race was on.   In the Cold War, the United States, now the leading power in the West, maintained military bases in Western Europe and a nuclear arsenal to deter invasion from the Communist bloc.   The nuclear arms race, however, meant that if the USA and the USSR were to directly attack each other both would end up destroyed and the whole world along with them.   Therefore, while the Soviets and Americans both sponsored revolutionary groups that sought to take over the governments of third party countries – and each described the goal of the groups they sponsored as “liberation” – neither was willing to risk the direct confrontation that would bring about Mutually Assured Destruction.  Accordingly, military ventures in which the United States came to the assistance of someone fighting against actual Communist forces, such as the Vietnam War tended to end in failure or at best stalemate as in Korea.   At the same time they used the Cold War as a pretext to overthrow the governments of several countries – Guatemala in 1954 for example – for reasons of their own that had nothing to do with Communism.  The countries they so “liberated” were hardly better off for it  


This last item, that the United States used the Cold War as a pretext to “liberate”, i.e., overthrow the governments of several countries for reasons that had nothing to do with containing or rolling back the spread of Soviet Communism, is the germ of truth in the interpretation of the Cold War popular with leftists of the Noam Chomsky variety.   Otherwise, this interpretation which treats the Soviet threat itself as having been non-existent, a fiction devised to cloak American capitalist imperialism, is wrong and laughably so.     Just as laughable, however, was the idea of the United States as the great protector of the free world against Soviet tyranny.  In many ways this is comparable to a mob protection racket.   You know how these work.   The mob boss sends some of the boys over to a local business where they say “real nice place you’ve got here, it would be a shame if something happened to it” and collect a payoff from the business owner for protection from themselves.  The Communist threat was real alright, but it came with a “Made in the USA” stamp on it.    I pointed out earlier how the United States’ having demanded the abolition of the German and Austrian monarchies created the vacuum that enabled Adolf Hitler to rise to power.  While the American government did not have the opportunity of overthrowing the Russian Tsar in the way she drove the Hohenzollern and Hapsburg dynasties from their thrones since Tsarist Russia was on the side of the Allies, her Wall Street bankers financed the Bolshevik Revolution that transformed Orthodox Tsarist Russia and her Empire into the Communist, atheist, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with the knowledge and approval of Woodrow Wilson.   As hard as it is for those raised in the Cold War with its dualistic mythos of the capitalist United States as the champion of light and freedom against the Communist Soviet Union the avatar of darkness and bondage to wrap their heads around the fact in the first half of the Twentieth Century right up to the start of the Cold War the attitude of the American government and indeed the American establishment in general towards the Bolsheviks and their regime was adulatory and supportive.   The Americans of that era saw the Bolsheviks as being brothers-in-arms in the common cause of Modern progress.   The difference between the Communist economic system and their own was less important to such Americans than their similarities.   Both the American and the Bolshevik regimes had been born out of revolution.   The Americans had rebelled against their king and established a federal republic, the Bolsheviks had murdered the Tsar and his family and established a federation of republics.   The Americans in their Bill of Rights had prohibited church establishment in their First Amendment, the Bolsheviks declared Soviet Russia to be officially atheist and sought to eradicate the church.   The Bolshevik approach was more murderous than the American, but both saw monarchy and the established church as that from which people needed to be liberated.   Both saw revolution as the means of liberation.   Both had a linear progressive or Whig view of history as moving from a dark past to a bright, shining, future and both had a materialistic faith in man’s ability to solve his problems through science and technology.   The United States was one of the first, if not the first, Western country to enact most of the planks of Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto.   For example, the second and fifth planks (“a heavy progressive or graduated income tax” and “centralization of credit in the hands of the state”) were implemented in the United States in 1913, the year before World War I broke out (1).   FDR’s fawning and obsequious behavour towards the worst of the Soviet dictators was not just some sick idiosyncrasy of his own, it was this earlier, positive, American attitude towards Bolshevism taken to its extreme.   While Americans quickly learned the true nature of the Soviet regime with the onset of the Cold War elements of the earlier attitude persisted until 1959 when the Americans helped put Fidel Castro into power in Cuba.   This too they thought of as an act of “liberation”.


When it comes to freedom or liberty, Americanism is largely zeal without knowledge.   The idea of revolution as the means of liberation is nonsense to anyone familiar with the history of revolutions the outcome of which is generally tyranny.  A stable and secure civil order is the prerequisite of freedom.  Revolutions are by their very nature inimical to stability and security which furthermore are the properties of long established institutions not of newly minted ones.  The new regime that emerges from a revolution has seized power, but has not attained authority and so must rely upon naked power to govern.   The very word tyranny itself originally spoke of usurpation, an ancient testimony to the fact that power that is seized is power that is abused.   The equation of freedom with democracy or the republican form of government is also nonsense.   Every dictator in the history of the world has come to power by claiming to speak for the people as their voice and champion and the most brutal dictators have been those with the masses behind them.   Every Communist state has been republican in form as was Nazi Germany.  With only a couple of exceptions the freest countries of the last century and indeed all of history have had parliamentary governments under reigning monarchs.   This is hardly surprising given what we just stated about a stable and secure civil order being the prerequisite of freedom and stability and security being traits that come with long establishment.   Monarchy is the most ancient and stable of government institutions.   Our American friends and neighbours are quite ass-backwards on all this.


Tucker Carlson appears to think that Canada has become a dictatorship under the premiership of Captain Airhead.   Is he right?


Captain Airhead certainly has a dictatorial mindset.   This was evident in the way he led his own party before he became Prime Minister and it has been evident in the way he has governed Canada since.   It was most on display in his response to the Freedom Convoy last year.   Rather than meet with and speak to those who were loudly but peacefully protesting his vaccine mandates he became the first Prime Minister in the Dominion’s history to invoke the Emergencies Act.   His father had been widely thought to have acted dictatorially in 1970 when he invoked the War Measures Act to deal with terrorists who were kidnapping and murdering people.    Captain Airhead invoked the successor legislation to the War Measures Act to crush a peaceful protest and moreover did so when the only aspect of the protest that was anything more than a nuisance to other Canadians, the partial blocking of traffic on important trade routes, had already been dealt with by local law enforcement without the use of emergency powers.   This was clearly the act of a Prime Minister who had lost whatever respect he may ever have had for the limits that tradition, constitutional law, or even common decency place on the powers of his office.   He froze the bank accounts of ordinary Canadians who were fed up with draconian pandemic measures and had donated a few dollars to the protest against such, he sent armed and mounted policemen in to thuggishly brutalize the protestors, and threw the protest’s organizers in prison.   Then, nine days after it was invoked he rescinded it.  However much he might think and act like a dictator, Canada’s constitution still works sufficiently to prevent him from actually being one.  After the Prime Minister declares a public order emergency both chambers of Parliament have to confirm the invoking of the Emergencies Act.   Captain Airhead was able to obtain such confirmation from the House of Commons when he and the leader of the socialist party shut down debate and whipped their caucuses into voting for it.   The Senate, however, was not about to rubber stamp the Emergencies Act.  They debated it vigorously and it would seem that it was because he did not have enough votes in the Senate to obtain confirmation that the Prime Minister revoked the Act and voluntarily gave up his emergency powers rather than face the humiliation of being stripped of them by the chamber of sober second thought.   Another aspect of our constitution that likely contributed to the revoking of the Act is the fact that Canada is a federation.   The Prime Minister had consulted with the provincial premiers before invoking the Emergencies Act, had received the general response that it was a bad idea, and a few days before he revoked it a couple of provincial governments announced that they would be filing legal challenges to it.


Could this sort of thing ever happen in the United States?


The year before the Freedom Convoy was the year in which the United States swore in a new president, Mr. Magoo.   To secure his inauguration, they sent in thousands of National Guardsmen and other armed forces and turned Washington DC into a military occupied zone.   Rather poor imagery for a country that boasts of its peaceful transfers of power but this was deemed necessary because of an incident that had taken place two weeks prior on the Feast of Epiphany.  That was the day that the American Congress was scheduled to meet to confirm the results of the previous year’s presidential election.   These were highly irregular results to say the least.  The incumbent, even though he increased his vote count from the previous election and carried almost all the bellwether states and countries, ordinarily near infallible predictors of an incumbent victory, apparently lost to Mr. Magoo, who’s having been nominated by his own party was somewhat difficult to explain given how poorly he had done in the primaries.   At any rate, the incumbent, Donald the Orange, believed he had good cause to suspect foul play.   As Congress convened on Epiphany, he held a massive rally of his supporters and aired his grievances.  The rally concluded with a protest march, and a portion of the protestors broke away from the main group and entered the Capitol.   This was declared to be an “insurrection”, “storming of the Capitol”, “coup”, “occupation” and “attack” and the powers that be in America continue to insist upon the use of this language although the facts don’t seem to warrant it.   It is a strange sort of insurrection whose participants feel no need to arm themselves to the teeth and mostly just walk around in weird costumes and take selfies.   In the fighting that broke out as the police went in to clear and secure the Capitol there were several injuries on both sides but the protestors clearly got the worst of it.   One of them was shot by the police.


Captain Airhead and his cabinet in framing their response to the Freedom Convoy were obviously seeking to evoke the image of what had occurred in Washington DC on the previous year’s Epiphany.   In both countries these events were followed up by public inquiries.   Note the difference, however.   In the Dominion of Canada, the focus of the public inquiry was the government’s response to the Freedom Convoy protest, her use of the Emergencies Act, and the question of whether or not it was justified under the terms of the Act itself.   The cabinet, including the Prime Minister himself, were essentially put on trial, held account for their actions, and subjected to grilling cross-examination.   In the American republic, the focus of the ongoing inquiry by the US House Select Committee has been on Mr. Magoo’s predecessor whom they are desperately trying to blame and prosecute for the “insurrection”.


So thank you for the laugh, Tucker, but no, we are far better off and far more free as subjects of His Majesty Charles III here in the Dominion of Canada, even with that dimwitted moron Captain Airhead as Prime Minister, than we would be “liberated” by your republic.   Let us worry about Captain Airhead.   You have enough problems of your own with Mr. Magoo.



(1)  Canada, by contrast, introduced the income tax at the end of the War as a measure to pay for it.   The income tax here never got as heavy and progressive as it got in the United States from the 1940s to the early 1960s.   From 1944 to 1963 the top American income tax rate never dropped below 90%.   It never made it that high here in Canada.   The Bank of Canada was chartered in 1934, twenty one years after the United States passed the Federal Reserve Act.


  1. Damn. Tucker got your maple leaf all wrinkled and crinkled. Lighten up Francis. Trust me when I say you guys up there are on your own just like us. And I would bet you that you guys will be speaking Chinese before your neighbors to the South.

  2. Hear, hear, Gerry! Spot on. I see you hit a nerve, too!😉

  3. That was me, didn't post properly.