February 2010 Archives
Here's her outrageously funny speech at the CPAC conference in Washington last week. I can hardly wait to hear her live in Canada! I should send an embossed invitation to the entire "hate speech" squad of the Canadian Human Rights Commission -- they wouldn't be able to write out their censorship subpoenas fast enough.
If you love these videos as much as I do, register for tickets to her Canadian campus tour this March -- details are here. If you'd like info about the private VIP receptions before each speech, send me an e-mail by clicking here.
Coulter is coming to Canada this March, with a three-city speaking tour, and I'm thrilled that I'll be introducing her in each city. The tour is sponsored by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a think tank designed to promote political participation of conservative women, and by the International Free Press Society, a leading force against politically correct censorship and lawfare.
Talk about great company!
In short, the tour will travel to:
London, Ontario on Monday, March 22
Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday, March 23 and
Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, March 25.
Click on the main website for exact details, and for contact information for each city.
All of her speeches are on campus, and are free to students, $10 for non-students.
There will also be a private VIP reception before each event with Ann. If you'd like some details about those, send me an e-mail by clicking here.
See you in March!
Michael Ignatieff's spokesman Ross Rebagliati, the Liberal candidate in Okanagan-Coquihalla, was read the riot act by party bosses last month after he gave a series of embarrassing interviews where he deviated spectacularly from the Liberal line.
Rebagliati submitted to the gag order for a few weeks. But snowboarding isn't a team sport, and Rebagliati isn't much for taking instructions, especially from some squaresville political staffers on the other side of the continent.
So last night he let 'er rip about a whole range of subjects. And what he lacked in knowledge he made up for with enthusiasm. The Commonwealth? Time to leave. The Queen? Get rid of her. He was his usual self: a barroom Napoleon, holding forth on any and all subjects. Even when nobody wants to hear it.
Today Rebagliati realized he had crossed the line again, and publicly admitted he was "getting heat for it". (My favourite is his excuse that his true meaning was lost in translation. Funny, because while the news agency he spoke with was German, both the interview and the publication were in English.)
So far, so normal -- a novice politician screwing up. Again.
But here's what makes this so much fun to watch: unlike most political neophytes, when Rebagliati is caught making a mistake, he doesn't own up to it. He doesn't admit he made a mistake, or just go quiet, or try to correct things. He doubles down, denies he's done anything wrong and brazens it out.
Sorta like telling the Japanese police that the THC in your urine is from, uh, second-hand smoke at a party.
So today, Jane Taber of the Globe and Mail asked Rebagliati about some of his wilder comments. But instead of declining to be interviewed, or climbing down, or "clarifying" or even denying (or repeating the "lost in translation" beauty), Rebagliati expanded. He expounded. He compounded.
Here's Taber's political notebook item on the subject:
Today, in an interview with The Globe, Mr. Rebagliati didn’t back away from his comments. He said that it is “time for Canada to stand alone” and the monarchy “doesn’t have to be part of our government any more.”
“We love the Queen and she is a great representative of the people and basic human rights,” Mr. Rebagliati said. “For the most part she stands for everything good. It boils down to Canadians wanting to be Canadians and not have another country dictate – I don’t mean dictate – set the standard or path for Canada.”
He added that Canada is a democracy and that he does not “see the word monarchy in democracy.”
There's a lot in that, probably more than the Sage of Whistler even knows.
Time for Canada to stand alone, eh? Out of the Commonwealth; then surely out of the Francophonie. I wonder what Denis Coderre thinks about that, or Jean Charest for that matter. What other multilateral projects does Rebagliati want to leave? How about the G8 and the G20? How about the UN and its sub-organizations? How about the Kyoto Protocol and other treaties? How about UN-led peacekeeping?
To be candid, I'd like to see us abandon a lot of these sovereignty-destroying global encumbrances myself. But I don't think that's the Liberal view, is it?
Queen Elizabeth -- probably the most beloved and trusted public figure in Canada -- is good "for the most part"? What about the other parts? What are the foul things that she represents? I know plenty of republicans, but I've never met one foolish enough to try to make the case by smearing the Queen personally.
That monarchy vs. democracy business is gorgeous. Does he think we are not a democracy because we have a Queen? Has he missed the last, oh, 400 years as our monarchy and constitutional democracy were reconciled, to make ours the most stable democracy in the world? Does he think our monarchs are comparable to, say, the royal family of Saudi Arabia? But it is nice to hear Rebagliati so concerned about democracy -- just 24 hours ago he was scolding Stephen Harper for not being obsequious enough towards Communist China.
These statements are no longer just his own. He is an official candidate of the Liberal Party, and even has his own official page on the national party's website. He's speaking for the party, whether they like it or not.
And they do not. Here's what a senior Liberal told Taber today:
...When asked about the Liberal Leader's views on the monarchy, a senior Ignatieff official said: “Mr. Rebagliati’s views aside, we will welcome Her Majesty when she comes to Canada later this year.”
Right; he set Rebagliati's views aside. He didn't defend them -- why should he? They're at odds with those of his party, and with most Canadians. (No doubt, that senior Liberal was just grateful not to have to defend Rebagliati's statements that drugs are "part of a healthy lifestyle".)
I wonder if the senior Liberal Taber spoke with is the same senior Liberal who told the Hill Times that Rebagliati's outbursts are a reason the Liberals don't want an election right now.
But let us not be pessimists. There is a silver lining to this cloud. We now have someone in the Liberal Party who makes Justin Trudeau look scholarly and humble and accomplished.
Ross Rebagliati, Michael Ignatieff's star candidate in Okanagan-Coquihalla, has joined the Liberal Party's policy renewal process with a few modest proposals of his own.
Here's a few of the great man's Deep Thoughts, as told to a German reporter at the Olympics:
On renouncing Canada's membership in the Commonwealth:
I think the Commonwealth is over. We have to move forward.
On ending the monarchy:
To have the Queen appointing a governor-general... I don't know.
On Stephen Harper and why he should be more submissive to China:
We do a lot of business with China.
On Harper's well-received participation at a black tie arts gala last year:
Only an arrogant man can play The Beatles on the piano wearing a tuxedo.
Rebagliati also accuses Harper of being "Bush's puppet". It's a rather stale cliche in the second year of an Obama administration, but it also shows a touching obliviousness to Ignatieff's own eager support for the war in Iraq, and for the use of torture and targeted assassination.
My favourite part of the interview, though, has to be the total admiration Rebagliati has for himself:
On speaking to the Liberal caucus:
I gave a speech before the Liberals at the Ottawa parliament without being an MP. That is something that had never happened in history, I'm like a star.
Not really. Non-MPs speak to party caucuses every single week -- staff, party officials, policy experts, etc. But if Rebagliati's a little hazy on his "history", at least he's clear about one thing: he's his own favourite person -- a star, if he does say so himself.
The German interview was good, but the real Rebagliati comes alive when he's interviewed by friendlier media, like the journalists as Celebstoner.com.
After a shocking interview last month with the Daily Telegraph in London, Rebagliati was ordered by Ignatieff's office to stop talking about marijuana. He had told the Telegraph that his own success “proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can be part of a healthy lifestyle”, and the Liberals freaked out. He was told to go out and talk about the Olympics, but to shut up about his drug habit.
But seriously, how long was that gag order going to last in an interview with a website called Celebstoner.com? I mean, we know Rebagliati isn't the type to quit anything cold turkey.
The first half of the interview was "on message" -- just Rebagliati whining about the fact that he didn't get free tickets from the government. But that discipline could only last so long. Soon Rebagliati was waxing eloquent about the charms of mary jane.
How safe is marijuana?
I personally think it is safer than alcohol and cigarettes.
Attaboy. I can hardly wait until an all candidates forum at a local high school in Kelowna. I'd love to hear him coach kids about a "healthy lifestyle" that is "safer than alcohol and cigarettes". Maybe he can hit some Sunday schools with his uplifting message of drug abuse, and then lying about it. I'm no scientician, but I don't think that's gonna get Ignatieff the soccer mom vote back.
But enough from me. I'm a Tory sympathizer, so I'm probably biased. Let's close with a thought from this week's Hill Times, quoting a Liberal "insider":
...the Liberals are not there yet, and after four years in opposition, they have learned to fear the Conservative machine, said one insider.
"I can just imagine [Liberal candidate] Ross Rebagliati in an ad about everybody smoking dope, and Liberals talking about raising the GST, they can take that stuff and they can really run some negative stuff. ...I'm not sure the Liberals are ready to fight a battle [like] that right now."
Seriously: Ignatieff's own courtiers are citing Rebagliati as a reason not to go to the polls right now. So let's take a poll of our own, shall we?
Will the Liberals let Rebagliati continue his disastrous campaign as their candidate? Or will they quietly underbus him after the Olympics, and run a candidate who's a little less in love with the chronic -- and himself?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments section!
Today's Calgary Herald has an interesting editorial about the campaign of lawfare being waged against me by radical Muslims and their collaborators at Canada's human rights commissions.
As supporters will know, Syed Soharwardy, of the Islamic Supreme Council of Calgary and Khurrum Awan of the Canadian Islamic Congress have been joined in their campaign by current and former HRC staff Giacomo Vigna and Richard Warman, and Warman's spokesman Warren Kinsella. Those five people -- Soharwardy, Awan, Vigna, Warman and Kinsella -- have, amongst them, filed 28 of the 31 nuisance suits and complaints against me.
Here's the Herald on Warman's excesses:
Using pseudonyms, he posted encouraging remarks on neo-Nazi sites such as "Keep up the good work Commander Schoep!" in order, he says, to flush out and identify neo-Nazi sympathizers.
In the U.S. this is called entrapment.
...Warman, in fact, has been the sole complainant since 2002 to the Canadian Human Rights Commission on Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which is the Internet anti-hate section that prohibits statements that are "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt."
Because of his zeal, many accuse Warman of overstepping the bounds of liberty, calling him a modern-day witch hunter whose actions merely helped to inflame and spread the very hatred he sought to stamp out. One of his critics is Ezra Levant, the Calgary lawyer and conservative blogger whose outspoken comments about Warman and other "censors and bullies" at the commission have resulted in a libel action by Warman.
...it also exposed the commission's lack of due process, where fundamental rules of evidence do not apply, and where Warman, a former commission member, was afforded access to files and staff unavailable to defendants. Complainants, it should be noted, also have expenses paid by the commission, defenders do not.
Warman's actions ultimately led to a human rights tribunal ruling that Section 13 is an unconstitutional violation of the freedom of expression provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights. That ruling is currently under appeal. Warman's vendettas also prompted a review by University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon who rightfully argued in 2008 that Section 13 should be repealed so that online hate speech is a purely criminal matter.
We are glad to see that Warman is suing Levant, not out of disagreement with the combative Calgary lawyer, but for the simple reason that Warman will finally have to spend his own money in a real court, rather than availing himself of commission time and resources at taxpayer expense.
We loath neo-Nazi sentiments, but the whole affair reminds us of Matthew Hopkins, who appointed himself England's "Witchfinder General" in the mid-1600s. He hunted down an estimated 200 witches, turning them over to authorities at the price of one pound per witch.
And here's an item from last month by the Ottawa Citizen's Robert Sibley:
Call it jihad through the courts. Once again Ezra Levant is under attack from Muslims who don’t like the fact that he doesn’t like Muslim extremists.
Two years ago, as most every sentient Canadian knows, Levant, the former publisher of one of the few non-Leftist magazines in this country, The Western Standard, and Mark Steyn, a columnist for Maclean’s magazine (and just about every other publication in the free world, it seems), were the targets of various human rights complaints.
...Awan gloated at the thought that his complaints had cost Maclean’s a great deal of money. Indeed, that seems to be the real purpose of the complaints.
Felton quoted Awan as saying: “‘We do not plan to appeal the decision because we attained out strategic objective — to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.’ Awan said Maclean’s spent $500,000 alone on the B.C. case, but that does not take into account the case in Ontario. The total legal cost to Maclean’s is somewhere around $2 million.” (No mention of all the taxpayers’ money the human rights commissions wasted in allowing the complaints in the first place.)
In other words, Awan and his Muslim friends weren’t really concerned about rights or justice or wanting to be treated the same as other Canadians. Nope, it was all about making it too expensive for anyone to dare criticize Islam. It was all about using (abusing?) the legal system to silence Canadians who question the Islamic worldview.
I’d call that jihad chill, or, perhaps, soft terrorism. Isn’t it a kind of terrorism when the law itself becomes the means for frightening people into silence, and, thereby, stripping them of rights to free speech and freedom of religion, which, of course, including the right to criticize religion. (Can you imagine the hullabaloo if the Catholic Church started indulging in lawsuits against those who blaspheme the Son of God?)
Now, two years later, Awan is trying the same tactic against Levant, suing the Calgary-based writer for defamation.
…Awan might be in for a bit of a surprise, presuming the Canada’s law courts aren’t as easily manipulated as the human rights commissions.
Question: do you think Warman, Awan and the others will sue the Calgary Herald and the Ottawa Citizen for criticizing them? I mean, in for a penny, in for a pound, right?
Jean Chretien, the former prime minister, usually only weighs in on political matters these days when it is in the interests of his paying clients -- namely China and companies doing business in China. But he made an exception this week, and chided Prime Minister Stephen Harper for criticizing TD Canada Trust's president, Ed Clark, who had proposed hiking the GST.
Chretien and Clark share an interest in punitive taxation: Clark developed the disastrous National Energy Program that destroyed western Canada's economy for the better part of a decade; Chretien was the energy minister who enforced it gleefully.
Here's Chretien's advice this week on how to deal with bankers:
I never attacked individuals for expressing economic views. ... I did not do that.
Oh really? Let's ask Francois Beaudoin, the president of the government-owned Business Development Bank of Canada. When Beaudoin tried to call in a loan from a friend of Chretien's, for a hotel adjacent to a golf course in which Chretien had a stake, Chretien telephoned him again and again, demanding that he not do so -- demanding that the banker put Chretien's personal requests about Beaudoin's professional judgment and fiduciary responsibilities.
The banker stood firm.
So he was fired. And his severance was scrapped. Only after an extensive lawsuit did he get that back.
So here are the rules:
If you're Stephen Harper, you're not allowed to criticize a left-wing, pro-tax bank president for publicly proposing to raise taxes.
But if you're Jean Chretien, you can privately pressure a bank president to favour your own business associate.
No wonder Chretien loves being a lobbyist in China so much -- their corrupt way of doing business fits him like a glove.
FEB. 10TH UPDATE: the trial in Vigna v. Levant has been adjourned until March 15th.
I haven't posted for a few weeks on the state of the nuisance lawsuits against me, and now's a good time for an update.
Warman v. Levant et al.
In 2008, Richard Warman sued me and several other bloggers for defamation, in Toronto. On Monday my lawyers went to court in Toronto to compel Warman to disclose hundreds (possibly thousands) of items from his computer hard drive that we believe are relevant to the suit. The matter has been postponed for a number of weeks, but will likely be resolved this Spring.
Vigna v. Levant
In 2008, Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer Giacomo Vigna filed a defamation suit against me, too, in Ottawa. Some brief preliminary matters were dealt with today, and the trial itself begins tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at the Ottawa court house on Elgin Street. Feel free to come by if you're interested; the clerk at the front desk will have the room number. The trial will likely take up the rest of this week and start up again next Tuesday.
FEB. 10TH UPDATE: This morning the trial was adjourned until March 15th.
Law Society complaints
I have lost count of the exact number of Law Society complaints filed against my blog -- I think it's 23. All but the last three have been disposed of -- all dismissed, with no finding of guilt and no conviction.
Now, it might sound odd that a lawyer has to answer for blogging -- a non-lawyerly activity -- but lawyers are bound to live up to professional standards no matter what they're doing. I'm pleased to report that, when I specifically asked the Law Society if there was a single word in the nearly 2-million words I've written on my blog that they wanted me to take down, the answer was "no". See, the thing about legal ethics is that they're not just negative -- don't do this or that. They're positive, too: lawyers have an active obligation to work to reform the legal system for the better. If I weren't a lawyer, it would be okay to walk away from the injustices within Canada's human rights commissions. But as long as I'm a member in good standing of the Law Society, I am actually compelled to criticize them -- it's not a matter of choice. That's the balance: being a vigorous critic of our human rights commissions, but doing it in a professional manner. To my deep satisfaction, the complaints that I upset that balance have been dismissed.
All of Warren Kinsella's complaints have been thrown out, as well as all of Warman's complaints, and Vigna's first batch of complaints -- totalling over 1,000 pages -- have been thrown out, too. Vigna has since filed another complaint, but it is a repeat of an earlier complaint and so I expect it will be thrown out, as well.
Let's add that all up. Three human rights commission complaints against me (two in Alberta for publishing cartoons, and one at the CHRC for blogging).
Approximately 23 Law Society complaints (plus three outstanding).
And five defamation actions.
That's 31 complaints or lawsuits all together -- all by people associated with Canada's human rights commissions, and almost all focused on my criticisms of the HRCs. I guess they're fighting me in the courts of law, because they've been so spectactularly unsuccessful in the court of public opinion.
I'm 23 for 23. Still, it's a hassle.
Remember the true freedom fighters
But if I ever feel like complaining, all I need to do is think of the "hassle" that our grandparents went to, to defend our freedoms seventy years ago, or the price our brave Canadian Forces pay every day to promote political and religious freedom in places like Afghanistan today.
I was in Edmonton a couple of months ago giving a speech at a fundraising event for CF amputees organized by the great Matt Altheim. The other speakers were Laurie Hawn, the MP who served for years in the RCAF, and Master Corporal (Ret.) Paul Franklin, who lost his legs in an IED attack in Afghanistan. Here's some video highlights:
It's a little much to talk about "fighting" for freedom when the most I've fought off is a few nuisance suits, and the closest I've come to a "crossfire" is a TV show, and the only "war room" I've been to is in a campaign office. You just can't use those words in the presence of such real heroes who have made true physical sacrifices for our freedom.
Wish me luck. But more importantly, wish for freedom for all of us -- that most valuable thing that every generation much cherish or lose.
Send food, medicine and relief workers. Be amongst the first in the world to help. Dispatch our disaster response team within hours of the earthquake.
Save every child you can.
Make a personal example of donating, encourage other Canadians to donate, and match those private donations.
Host an international Haiti relief conference.
Pledge to make the upcoming G8 meeting about helping the world's poor, especially moms with infants, by funding "clean water, vaccinations and nutrition".
Michael Ignatieff's reaction
"Liberals support the plan so long as it includes abortion".
P.S. Surely it's just a coincidence that Ignatieff's first major policy statement about abortion has to do with Haiti and other Third World minorities, right? I mean, it's not like Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist woman who called blacks "reckless breeders" and had a special "Negro Project" right? I mean, Planned Parenthood would never argue that eugenics was the best solution of racial, political and social problems would they?
Medicare is for the little people. Big shots fly to the U.S.
Here's Danny Williams in 2008, speaking passionately about our socialist health care system (h/t sda):
Do you hear the dripping disdain he has for anyone who dares to even question the sanctity of socialist medicine?
Yet here's Williams today, making plans to get the hell out of our health care system when it comes to someone he cares about -- that is, himself.
His constituents can rot on a waiting list. Not for him, the King of the Island.
At least he isn't lying about it, and at least he's not using taxpayers money to fly there.
Unlike Jean Chretien. Here's my scoop from a few years back:
PM proves health care not equal for all Canadians
Tue Jan 15 2002
Byline: Ezra Levant
Source: For The Calgary Herald
How will Jean Chretien respond to Premier Ralph Klein's free market-health care proposals?
Will he attack Alberta, as he did in the last federal election campaign, with negative ads on television, accusing Klein of bringing U.S.-style health care to Canada?
Or will he punish Alberta financially, as he did in the mid-1990s, by threatening to fine Alberta, dollar for dollar, for inviting private capital into health care?
Whatever Chretien does to our province, and whatever capitalistic acts he accuses Klein of engaging in, Albertans should know this: Jean Chretien takes his own family to private health clinics. In fact, he doesn't just use U.S.-style private clinics. He actually goes to private clinics in the U.S.
And he flies to those U.S. private clinics on Canadian government jets, paid for by Canadian tax dollars.
According to access-to-information documents obtained by the Canadian Alliance, on Feb. 8, 1999, Chretien and two aides flew from Vancouver to Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. According to air force flight logs, they flew back to Ottawa that afternoon with Chretien's daughter. And on Dec. 11 of the same year, Chretien went back to the clinic, this time just with his wife and his aide.
These trips were courtesy of the Canadian Forces 412th Squadron, which has flown literally thousands of nautical miles taking Chretien back and forth to the clinic.
There is nothing wrong with Chretien wanting the very best in health care for his family -- even better care than he thinks he can get in Canada.
And there is probably nothing wrong with him spending tax dollars to fly to these international clinics. For security reasons alone, the prime minister should not have to fly on regular, commercial flights like the rest of us.
But it is wrong for Chretien to avail his family of private, U.S. health care while condemning Alberta for wanting to provide that same quality of care to all our citizens.
Of course, Chretien is not the first Canadian politician to receive private care.
Robert Bourassa, the late Quebec premier, flew to the U.S. for cancer treatment. Joe Clark, the leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives, paid cash for a suite at Toronto's private Shouldice Hospital, where he had a hernia operation in the late 1980s.
Clark tried to explain that he wasn't guilty of secretly using two-tier health care, which he had publicly campaigned against. "It's not a tier, it's a particular facility," Clark explained to reporters.
Chretien was almost caught by the press, too, on his Feb. 8, 1999, trip.
Normally, no one would have known about Chretien's whereabouts that day. The official line was that Chretien was with his family in British Columbia -- with no mention of the stop-over in the U.S.
But then King Hussein of Jordan died.
Chretien was supposed to be at the funeral, but he didn't go. He wanted to go to the clinic in Minnesota, instead. So he claimed that the air force couldn't get him to Jordan in time.
"I was in British Columbia," he told Parliament. "It was physically impossible for me to get to Amman," he said. "I went skiing with my grandchildren."
It might have been embarrassing to miss a world leader's funeral because of a family vacation.
But Chretien's advisers thought it would be much worse to admit to using a private U.S. clinic. In Chretien style, the decision was made to tough it out, and stand by the Vancouver-skiing-couldn't-make-it excuse.
Under extreme political pressure, the air force released an unsigned press release, saying it had let down Chretien by not being ready.
No mention was made of the Minnesota flight. And the next day, Gen. Maurice Baril, then the Chief of Defence Staff, held a press conference to personally accept the blame. Again, no mention of the Minnesota flight.
But air force log books aren't subject to political cleanups: they show that Chretien wasn't in Vancouver on Feb. 8, 1999. At 7:55 a.m., he flew to Minnesota, and stayed there until 4:50 p.m., when he returned to Ottawa.
So the next time Chretien accuses Klein of promoting U.S.-style health care, the premier shouldn't get angry. In fact, he should look at the Chretien family as a customer, and try to get the Chretien family's health-care business.
After all, clinics in Calgary are a lot closer to the ski hills than the Mayo Clinic -- and we accept payment in Canadian dollars.