Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Buying the ethnic vote

There ought to be a law!

Naresh Raghubeer’s article in today’s National Post emphasizes a serious downside of the Canadian interpretation of multiculturalism. In their zeal to buy ‘ethnic’ votes politicians inevitably corrupt the political process.

Giving as an example the McGuinty government’s recent splashing of millions in grant money to various Ontario cultural groups. 2007 grant recipients included:

- Islamic Institute of Toronto ($500,000)
- St. George Arab Cultural Centre ($300,000)
- Bengali Community Centre ($250,000)
- Armenian Community Centre ($500,000)
- Six Sikh temples ($750,000)
- Chinese Professional Association [CPAC]($250,000 )
- Museum of Hindu Civilization ($200,000)
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Toronto, ($250,000)
- United Jewish Appeal ($15 million)

The Iranian-Canadian Community Centre's $200,000 grant was disbursed despite there being "no written request for funding."
A CPAC board member also worked in the Minister's office.
Awestruck Sikhs beheld $250,000 landing in a temple that was embroiled in a court battle over the alleged mismanagement of funds.
...two grants of $100,000 each went to Sikh gurdwaras in Malton and Rexdale, where certain Sikh devotees promote the Khalistan movement and push to break up India. ... Even an image of Talwinder Singh Parmar is posted there, despite his masterminding 329 murders .... in the 1985 Air India bombing

It’s not just McGuinty either. All politicians engage in this highly questionable practice:

...may well explain why Liberal leader Stephane Dion had his party vote down crucial expiring provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law introduced by his own party in 2001.

Last October, Mr. Harper turned over $30-million and Ottawa's venerable old War Museum building to establish the Centre for Global Pluralism. The Centre is to be captained by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 15 million Shia Ismaili muslims.

And what’s wrong with any of this? Well, it’s pretty much self-evident, but Mr. Rughabeer spells it out anyway:

We risk importing into Canada the tribal politics that afflict the countries from which many of our immigrants have fled.
We also risk melding the realms of state and religion. This is a mixture that apparently appalls "progressive" Canadians when the religion at issue is Christianity. Why should the phenomenon be any less pernicious when the faith is Islam, Hinduism, Judaism or Sikhism?

I’ve said it before - I have nothing against anyone practising or promoting their various cultural enthusiasms as long as they’re within the law and aren’t forced down my throat. But they should be funded strictly privately not with taxpayers’ money. In fact, there ought to be a law prohibiting governments from giving money towards any group or activity that does not directly serve the interests of all taxpayers - more bluntly, a law that forbids buying votes with public funds.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Socialism is worse than racism

A memorable quote from the Devil's Kitchen:

A racist is a stupid, ignorant bigot but at least he cannot, and will not,
try to force me to believe what he believes and force me to pay for the
implementations of his beliefs. Socialists do.
[via David Thompson]

Friday, July 27, 2007

The lefty mind

In an excellent discussion between David Thompson and Ophelia Benson (co-author of ‘Why Truth Matters’) we get some insight into what goes on in lefty heads.

Ms. Benson insists that postmodernism, for example, has little to do with the left. David Thompson, argues very coherently to the contrary:
OB: ...There are core ideas and allegiances that do place people firmly and openly on the right or the left, but a sceptical view of postmodernism is not one of them....
DT: ... pomo’s key contemporary figures – its architects and advocates - are almost all leftwing and often pointedly so. I’m guessing this isn’t just a coincidence…
OB: ...I think the whole subject is mixed up with celebrity-worship, fandom, star-hugging, fashion, trendiness, attention-seeking, in a truly depressing and distasteful ..... But what on earth is 'left' about that? Nothing, I would say.
DT: Well, as to what’s ‘left’ about the worship of dubious figures, I’m inclined to cough and mutter Marx", "Castro", "Chavez" and Che Guevara T-shirts." Communist societies are surprisingly big on idolatry, aren’t they? .... Ditto the white middle-class lefties who wave placards announcing "We are all Hizballah now." I guess it’s something to do with "giving it to the man" or not liking one’s parents or something. It all seems a tad narcissistic to me, and just a little depraved.
OB: Yes, but is the idolatry of known Communist societies a feature of their Communism or of something else? .....Maybe it's just groupthink; maybe it's that simple and that obvious and there's nothing more profound to be said about it.
DT: It seems to me that your idea of what a left ought to be is rather at odds with what much of the left, perhaps most of it, has become. ...
DT: It’s easy to see what much of the left is against, if not the reasons why. It’s much harder to see what the left is for. I don’t see a coherent set of ideas. I see a patchwork of contradiction, often for its own sake, or the sake of appearance, or in some cases to enact some kind of personal psychodrama.

Here's the whole piece.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Free speech in Canuckistan

This has been a hot topic for about a week now. But, better late than never:

The law

The Constitution giveth our freedom:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.
And the Human Rights Act taketh it away:

First, by identifying types of discrimination:

3. (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.

Then targeting speech as a basis for a ‘discrimination’ complaint:

Hate messages

13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.


(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) applies in respect of a matter that is communicated by means of a computer or a group of interconnected or related computers, including the Internet, or any similar means of communication, but [excepting] ...the facilities of a broadcasting undertaking.

So, our fundamental freedom of expression is sacrosanct right up until someone claims to be offended by what we’ve said and our ass is hauled before a human rights tribunal (a.k.a. Kangaroo Court.) If the human rights bureaucracy decides to pursue a complaint it will be investigated i.a.w. Part III of The Act.

The overall effect of having the Human Rights Act hanging over our heads this way is to limit our fundamental right of free speech. We have a ‘human rights’ law that suppresses our human rights. Wonderful!

In action

Obviously the potential for mischief and harassment by a loopy or politically motivated complainant is great. This is exactly what is happening to the owners of the blog site Free Dominion who have been served with a notification of complaint and have lawyered-up in preparation for a defence. The complaint is from woman by the name of Gentes (a non-Muslim) who claims to have been deeply offended by these comments on the FD site:
04/24/06 "I can't figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals."
03/09/06 "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada."
More on this via Relapsed Catholic here, here, here and here.

What I’d like to know is why the Human Rights Commission decided to press ahead with an investigation in this instance. Why didn’t they just dismiss it as a mischief complaint?

Some speculate that the HRC is heavily populated with lefty scolds who would like to see the conservative Free Dominion site silenced. Seems like a credible theory to me. Which is all the more reason the Human Rights Act and the Human Rights Commission should be scrapped. They’re antithetical to human rights.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Afstan - more negative spin from CTV

It seems that nearly everything we hear from opposition parties and the MSM about the war in Afghanistan is aimed at demoralizing the homefront (which in earlier times would have been considered treason.)

Last night’s coverage by CTV’s Robert Fife kept this up in spades. In his despicable piece Fife aired video clips of Amir Attaran (notorious for detainee abuse accusations), Taliban Jack Layton and dopey Dion to background his own negative spin that the Harper government was attempting to keep French-Canadian troops out of harm’s way.

Never mind that what Fife said is a new shift towards training Afghan troops has actually been an integral part of the mission all along. From a post by blogger Flit via The Torch:

I simply don't have the time to refute every untruth in the Canadian media about Afghanistan these days, but the CTV's irresponsible Bob Fife piece tonight was really a new low point.
I really do urge anyone and everyone .... to read the actual NATO-UN-Afghan Government mandate, as laid out in the Afghanistan Compact.
As for Fife and the rest of the CTV team behind that piece, who, if they were ever pointed to this document, apparently failed to keep their lips moving past the third page, I fear they're beyond redemption. It seems almost all public disapproval of this mission in the Canadian context is an argument from ignorance, fuelled by ignorant media.
The primary fight at home is not against timidity; it's against ignorance.

The Torch's Damian Brooks adds some of his own interpretation of what’s going on. Eg:

But I wonder if there isn't more to the public opinion polls than simple ignorance. I wonder if there's a subconscious tendency to avoid information that would require Canadians to step out of our comfortable lives...
In light of our unwillingness to delve beyond the predictable soundbites and headlines of our established media organizations - whose only purpose is to sell more advertising by telling us what they think we want to hear - I wonder if there's any set of circumstances that would have Canadians rearing up on our hind legs and charging into a fray.

Both the Flit and The Torch pieces deserve a full read.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Prosecute the prosecutor

Scooter Libby re-redux

As noted before, in the Valerie Plame affair special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew in advance there was no crime and knew Scooter Libby wasn’t involved in the non-crime but brought him before a grand jury anyway.

George Jonas makes a good point. If misleading a grand jury is a crime then Fitzgerald himself should get a dose of justice:

It's grandstanding prosecutors who are politicizing justice,... I wouldn't jail Libby for 30 hours, but assuming he deserved 30 months for what he did, Fitzgerald should be looking at 30 years.

Update: Robert Novak sheds some more light on this in an interview with Hugh Hewitt:

HH: Let me ask you, I’m bored silly by the Plame affair, Robert Novak, but I do have one question about your opinion? Why was Armitage not charged if Valerie Plame’s identity was a secret, and Patrick Fitzgerald was investigating its leak?

RN: Because there was no crime committed under the Intelligence Agents Identity Act. That bill was passed, Hugh, to protect intelligence agents overseas from being outed by left wing forces, and then marked for assassination. It was really a readly serious act, nothing like somebody sitting in Langley in the CIA Headquarters as Mrs. Wilson was, doing analysis. There was no crime committed under that act, and therefore, he was not charged. And so that is the whole problem with the Libby indictment. He was charged for obstructing justice when there was no underlying crime committed, or allegedly committed.

HH: Why did Fitzgerald, do you think, in your opinion, continue on with the investigation once Armitage had revealed it was he who was the leaker?

RN: Because…you know, when he entered the case, he was told that Armitage was the leaker. That information was given to him, because it had been known for three weeks before he was named as special prosecutor. And therefore, I think the Justice Department should have bitten the bullet and taken care of him itself. Why he did not reveal that is something that is in the mysteries of the whole, strange relationship of special prosecutors. It is very difficult for them to say no crime was committed, you’ve named me for nothing, and I’ve established a staff for nothing. But that’s in fact what he should have done.

Which confirms that the prosecutor Fitzgerald was guilty of misleading everyone including the grand jury.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hirsi versus Avi

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "..you .. spit on freedom"

Kathy Shaidle says "Avi Lewis is too stupid to really be Jewish".

I think that may be an understatement. Based on his recent interview with Hirsi Ali, Avi Lewis is a certified moron and CBC leftoid arseh*le! Sorry about the redundancies.

And if you need reconfirmation of why you are perpetually irked at being forced to pay to subsidize the CBC - this interview will do the trick.

Nevertheless, Ali more than holds her own. Her responses to Lewis’ incessant barrage of idiotic clichés, assertions and questions are priceless:

Lewis [sarcastically]: "Your faith in American democracy is just, uhh, delightful!"

Ali [calmly]: "It’s the best democracy in the world."

Following a string of anti-American slurs from Lewis, Ali again calmly responds with a steadfast defence of America.

Lewis [laughing smugly]: "Is there a school where they teach you these American clichés? Is it part of your application process? I can’t believe you just said that!"

Ali: ".....I’ve lived in places that have no democracy, no founding fathers...no freedom. You grew up in freedom and so you can spit on freedom because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom. I don’t. ... America has its problems; there are things wrong with America... But it is still the best democracy on earth."

No doubt, Lewis, smug moron that he is, came away thinking he had put Ali in her place. He couldn’t be more wrong. As Kathy put it, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, tore him "a new one".

Update: Dennis Prager plays back and comments on the interview. Prager: "I don't recall a host looking as intellectually shallow in comparison to a guest, in my life." [h/t]

Upperdate: Blazing Cat Fur has compiled a list of blogs commenting on this.

Yasser and Svend

There were always rumours but now we know why Svend was fond of Arafat.

[via the Corner]

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Conrad Black - a victim of the times

George Jonas has an interesting take on Conrad Black’s sorry situation. In a nutshell, Jonas believes Black was the victim of his company’s usurpers who took advantage of the prevailing anti-corporate "Zeitgeist" and enlisted government regulators and prosecutors to do their dirty work:

The liquidators wanted to cash in. They had no use for the founder.... As far as they were concerned, the Moor had done his duty, the Moor could go.
Larceny through government isn't new, though we usually expect to see it in
Russia or China. But in our days of government intervention....They point regulators at their targets, a grand jury being their biggest gun.
Inquisitors rarely fail to find the heresy they're looking for. By the end of 2003, Conrad was ousted as CEO; in 2005 he was indicted, and in the spring of 2007 his trial began.
The easiest way to rob a man is to call him a thief.
The evidence didn't support the contention that Conrad and his codefendants defrauded the shareholders......Never mind the evidence, [prosecutors] told the jury in their closing statements. Forget the paper trail. Just follow the money, and whoever got it, convict him.
Conrad had the facts on his side; the prosecutors had the spirit of the times. When the charge is witchcraft, and the venue is 17th-century Salem, whose chances do you fancy?
After his ouster, stock values had dwindled from around $19 to barely $4.....Most of those who ran Hollinger into the ground never made it to court, either. They were content to draw their multi-million dollar fees for dismantling the house that Conrad built...
...the media talked about "victimless crimes," but they were wrong. The victims were sitting at the defendants' table.
Good luck Conrad! May your appeals be successful!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Global ‘coldening’ looms

Tim Blair reports that Australia has suffered through the coldest June on record since 1950:
Imagine that; all those trillions of tonnes of evil carbon we've horked up into the atmosphere over six decades of rampant industrialisation, and we're still getting the same icy weather we got during the Cold War.
In contrast with the alarmingly hot weather in May:
Australian Associated Press report on May's weather...."Climate change gave much of Australia's drought-stricken east coast its warmest May on record, weather experts say".
But the ever flexible AGW moonbats have an answer for everything:

...climate change is like Michael Moore's tracksuit - it can fit anyone. In 2005, Greenpeace rep Steven Guilbeault helpfully explained: "Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that's what we're dealing with."


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Honouring our heritage

Versus stuffing it "in a drawer"

In today’s Globe, Christopher McCreery takes issue with certain senators’ objections to flying the Canadian Red Ensign at Vimy Ridge.

The protest by Senators Roméo Dallaire and Marcel Prud'homme over the flying of the Canadian Red Ensign at Vimy Ridge demonstrates an acute lack of national maturity.
From their tone, one would almost suspect that the government was flying the battle flag of Imperial Germany at Vimy.
Mr. Dallaire has even suggested that the Canadian Red Ensign be "put away in a drawer."
We are now 40 years beyond the flag debate; surely we can be mature about the Canadian Red Ensign and its rightful place in our rich history.....No part of our history belongs stuffed away in a drawer.
Good for Mr. McCreery!

My own way of honouring the Red Ensign is to fly it on Dominion Day (that bit of our heritage vandalized back in October, 1982.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Scooter Libby redux

Robert Novak, in his new memoir, belatedly cleared the air about the Valerie Plame affair which resulted in Scooter Libby’s jail sentence for fibbing to the special prosecutor.

From Novak’s interview with Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state:

I then asked Armitage a question that had been puzzling me but, for the sake of my future peace of mind, would better have been left unasked.

Why would the CIA send Joseph Wilson, not an expert in nuclear proliferation and with no intelligence experience, on the mission to Niger?

"Well," Armitage replied, "you know his wife works at CIA, and she suggested that he be sent to Niger." "His wife works at CIA?" I asked. "Yeah, in counterproliferation."
After Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago named as a special prosecutor in the case, indicated to me he knew Armitage was my source, I cooperated fully with him.

So, even though the prosecutor knew who committed the ‘crime’ he was supposedly investigating, he harassed Libby, put him on trial for obstruction and had him jailed. Meanwhile the known ‘culprit’, Armitage, was let completely off the hook.

All of this suggests the prosecutor knew there was no crime to investigate and pushed the case for the sake of politics and press notoriety.

President Bush was right to spring Libby from jail. A full pardon would have been better.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Cruise commies

What’s a cruise communist? Think ‘limousine liberal’.

THMQ elaborates.