August 2011 Archives
From The Source, Aug. 30, 2011: Author Salim Mansur explains why he believes multi-culturalism is bad for Canada and will lead to its demise.
From The Source, Aug. 30, 2011: Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief, shares the untold story of Barack Obama and his radical socialist roots.
From The Source, Aug. 30, 2011: Barack Obama's family tree has some shady regions, a fact that the mainstream media chooses to ignore.
From The Source, Aug. 29, 2011: Hurricane Irene was caused by global warming... at least that's what the lefties tell you. Dr. Lorrie Goldstein has a simple answer to that.
From The Source, Aug. 29, 2011: Alberta's gone overboard on its new distracted-driving laws. Joan Crockatt analyzes the absurdity
From The Source, Aug. 29, 2011: The NDP leadership convention isn't until 2012, but the race is already begun. Political consultant Gerry Nicholls breaks down the top prospects.
From The Source, Aug. 29, 2011: I examine the partisan eulogy at Jack Layton's funeral.
My Aug. 28, 2011 Sun column:
Quebec's communications minister has come up with a conceited, self-important, cockeyed plan
The government of Quebec wants to licence journalists.
Christine St-Pierre, its minister of culture and communications, thinks it just ain't right there aren't controls over people like me. Or, more to the point, people like you — mere citizens who aren't "official."
She thinks journalism should be left to the "professionals."
But stop just for a moment.
What is St-Pierre's title again? Minister of culture and communications? What kind of self-respecting, free society has a minister of communications?
Well, Quebec, for starters. In fact, this same minister of communications is in charge of enforcing the censorship laws in Quebec called Bill 101. Those are the sign laws that say it's illegal to have public signs where English words are bigger than French words.
So much for the ancient French promise of liberte, egalite and fraternite — liberty, equality and fraternity. Bill 101 limits speech liberty, it violates equality by forcing English speakers to be second class, and it harms fraternity among different ethnic groups.
When St-Pierre was appointed to her position, she threatened to take a "zero tolerance" approach to enforcing Bill 101. This is Quebec's minister of communications. She's a natural censor. And now she wants to create "a new model of regulation of Quebec media" that would create a legal status of a "professional journalist."
Hilarious — as if journalists are doctors or something.
This whole conceited, self-important plan thinks official journalists — the kind St-Pierre and her government approve of — care about "serving the public interest."
The rest of us are merely, quote "amateur." And, as a reward for being government approved, these hand-picked journalists would get "better access to government sources."
Of course they would. Because they would really become government journalists in the first place. And government journalists go to the government to be told what to say.
Because, according to St-Pierre, that's the test: They serve the government's definition of what a journalist ought to be.
St-Pierre's plans come from a Soviet-style report commissioned by the Quebec government last winter, written by Dominique Payette, who said the government needed to "ensure" the "supply of information and the conditions of practicing professional journalism do not deteriorate further." Not surprisingly, her proposals are also biased against English-speaking journalists.
Of course, Payette and St-Pierre are wrong. The Internet and so-called amateurs have immensely improved journalism.
They've made it freer and more democratic, and have turned everyone with a cellphone camera, everyone with a Facebook page, into a possible news gatherer and a commentator — and a fact-checker and a critic. Maybe it's that last part government hates so much.
I love amateur journalists. I am one, myself. I thank my lucky stars I never went to a journalism school — where the chief thing they teach is left-wing ideology.
Only dictators want journalists to be licenced. In Soviet-dominated Romania, you actually needed a government permit to own a typewriter. But there's one more wrinkle to this censorship plan. Both St-Pierre and Payette are alumni of the CBC.
St-Pierre worked at the CBC for 31 years before joining the government.
Sorry — she already was with the government, wasn't she? And Payette worked for the CBC for more than 20 years.
Of course they did. Do you think a private journalist would call for government censorship? Do you think a private journalist would try to marginalize their competitors using the power of the state?
This is the sickness having a state broadcaster has caused in this country.
The biggest damage isn't financial — it's not the $1.1 billion a year the CBC hoovers up from taxpayers.
It's the corrupting influence on journalism itself — how journalists are turned into government workers, into bureaucrats who care more about rules and power and unions and political games than about freedom and independence.
I blame St-Pierre. She's the political bully who is proposing this cockeyed law. But I also blame Payette for giving Soviet-style journalism an academic patina.
And I blame the CBC for being a massive petri dish in which such vile ideas can ferment.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Aug. 26, 2011: Chris Schafer from the Canadian Constitution Foundation looks at how we have lost some of our economic liberty.
From The Source, Aug. 26, 2011: I have a little fun to show just how overboard the media's adoration of Jack Layton has gone.
From The Source, Aug. 26, 2011: The NDP is capitalizing on the passing of Jack Layton, and unlike the CBC, I will not stand for it.
From The Source, Aug. 25, 2011: EthicalOil.org takes on Lush for their hypocrisy in criticizing Canada's ethics while they do business in Saudi Arabia, selling products for women in a regime that represses women.
From The Source, Aug. 25, 2011: Letters to the show... and a poster from the CBC!
From The Source, August 25, 2011: The latest egregious grant handed down for an artist with a hand out makes me angry.
My Aug. 26, 2011 Sun column:
Layton's death has created a paparazzi-friendly partisan rally
A few brave columnists have said it, but now Quebec Premier Jean Charest has too: The untimely death of Jack Layton has been turned into a political weapon by Canada's left wing.
A rival politician named Amir Khadir, the co-leader of a Marxist and separatist party called Quebec Solidaire, just couldn't help himself.
Charest, like every other Canadian political leader, community leader, Rotary Club president and chess club president, had already issued a contrite statement of public grieving in the wake of Layton's passing.
Charest's was particularly generous, though he has rudely not yet agreed to dye his hair orange to trump Toronto's plan to bathe the CN Tower in the NDP's campaign colours. (Calgary, which has never elected an NDPer federally, shone orange lights on one of its bridges, just to beat the rush).
Maudlin displays of public grieving — by those who had little time for Layton when he was alive — are one thing. But to Khadir and his left-wing party, Charest's eulogy wasn't a generous, non-partisan remembrance of the death of a decent man. It was an opportunity for Khadir to score partisan points. He responded like he was heckling in question period.
Khadir — the boorish politician who noisily promoted a boycott against a shoe store in his riding because it dares to sell some shoes made in Israel — thought he'd turn Layton's still-unburied corpse into a political weapon.
In a ramble that likely only made sense to Khadir's fellow Marxists, he condemned Charest's eulogy, claiming Layton would want the premier to stop acting on behalf of "special interests, foreign investors and friends of the party," and that should have been mentioned in the premier's remarks. Gross.
But really, how much more crass has Khadir been than most of the Media Party? When it emerged NDP spin doctors have been crafting Layton's funeral plans for weeks, and even edited Layton's final letter to the public, the mainstream media didn't react with revulsion, or even indicate a distaste at having Layton's death turned into political theatre.
On the contrary, they were only too happy to play their assigned roles and read from the NDP's carefully crafted script. But what can account for Stephen Harper's sudden descent into this maudlin mania? What on earth caused Harper — the man who has restored the dignity of the office of the governor-general, who has brought back the tradition and sobriety of Canada's monarchy, who just this summer gave the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force back their proper names — to grant an official, state funeral to a man who, no matter how personally appealing, has never held high office in this country?
For heaven's sake, Layton's casket was put on a car and wheeled over into Quebec, then back to Ontario. It went on one last campaign tour. It's surprising no PCO protocol officers have quit over this bizarre indignity — not just to Layton, but to the concept of a state funeral.
Jack Layton had many admirable qualities. His death is a loss for his family and friends and those who saw him as a political champion. But that is different from being a matter of state — by definition, an order of authority and dignity that remains above the fashions of elected politics of cults of personality.
Charest is right: Khadir is a disgrace for using Layton's death as a political weapon. But so is our Parliamentary Press Gallery for beatifying a mortal politician.
And the greatest surprise is the Conservative government — a government whose respect for history, tradition and restraint has been wiped away by corrupting a state funeral into a paparazzi-friendly partisan rally.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Aug. 24, 2011: Jonathan Halevi On the Arab Underground and Iron Dome.
From The Source, Aug. 24, 2004: John Robson gives us further thoughts on yesterday's "Save the CBC" special.
From The Source, Aug. 24, 2011: I fire back at Quebec Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre's conceited, self-important plan to license journalists.
From The Source, Aug. 24, 2011: Michael Coren weighs in on how the death of Jack Layton has led to a death of perspective.
From The Source, Aug. 23, 2011: Professor Aurel Braun explains what goes wrong when broadcasters around the world are funded by their gov’t.
From The Source, Aug. 23, 2011: David Dunlop, an expert on making public assets go private, gives practical solutions to demonstrate how the future of the CBC without gov’t funds wouldn’t look so bleak after all.
From The Source, Aug. 23, 2011: MP Rob Anders takes a look at how the CBC continues to drift away from representing the people who pays their salaries, Canadians.
From The Source, Aug. 23, 2011: I'm doing my level best to save the state broadcaster, but instead I get stonewalled by security and rent-a-cops.
From The Source, Aug. 23, 2011: I argue that privatizing the CBC would both save it from the government and vice-versa.
My Aug. 22, 2011 Sun column:
Can democracy follow Gadhafi?
Libya's Moammar Gadhafi is on the run. It's possible that as this newspaper was being printed, Gadhafi, Libya's dictator for 41 years, has been caught or killed.
Over the weekend, rebel Libyan clans, aided by air strikes from NATO, pushed into the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
This is being hailed as a great victory against a great tyrant.
And in many ways, that's true. Gadhafi hasn't just been a butcher of his own people, as most Arab dictators are. He has also been an active anti-Western terrorist, with a specialty in bombing civilian airliners, including a 747 over Scotland in 1988 that killed 259 people on board and another 11 on the ground.
But what now?
Let's assume that Gadhafi, like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, like Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is about to be driven from power. But look at those two countries today: Still run by dictators — even though the international press gallery has moved on. Can liberal democracy take root?
Saddam Hussein was toppled in Iraq. Same with the Taliban in Afghanistan — both happened with NATO help, just like this war against Gadhafi. That wasn't the hard part. The hard part is holding those countries, stopping the rebels from becoming just as bad, and stopping opportunistic countries like Iran and Russia and China, and opportunistic terrorist groups like al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, from taking over.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, it's taken hundreds of thousands of NATO troops on the ground — incurring thousands of casualties.
There is no appetite for that amongst NATO countries, even those who are in this war for oil.
The rag-tag coalition that is beating Gadhafi in Libya, called the NTC, doesn't exactly look like Canada's Fathers of Confederation. It includes communists, Islamic radicals and plain old thugs.
How do they make decisions? Well, three weeks ago, they arrested their own top military commander, Abdel Fattah Younes, and murdered him. Say hello to the new boss. Same as the old boss.
Is this really a foreign policy success? U.S. President Barack Obama will probably call it that, just like he called the toppling of Egypt's Mubarak a success. But the U.S. has no plan for the Middle East — Egypt is turning towards radical Islam and Iran, and away from freedom and the West. Look for the same in Syria, if it falls.
Obama has made it clear from the very first days of his presidency that he will not lift a finger for democratic activists in the Arab or Muslim world. Obama's speech in Cairo later that year was even worse — it didn't call for fundamental freedom; it did the opposite: It said dictatorships could each have their own definition of democracy.
Compare that to Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. Along with Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, he gave covert help to democratic groups, like Poland's Solidarity movement.
And Reagan gave moral support, publicly condemning the Soviet Union, calling it an Evil Empire, telling the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall. It sent a signal to democracy activists behind the Iron Curtain that they would be helped. Obama and today's useless NATO leadership are sending the opposite message.
They couldn't give a damn about democracy.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Aug. 22, 2011: On Jack Layton's passing. I speak with Adam Giambrone.
From The Source, Aug. 22, 2011: A radical Muslim group has declared a London suburb as a Sharia-law zone. Raheel Raza debunks the lunatic 'lawmen.'
From The Source, Aug. 22, 2011: Climate change is real, all right... at least, the political climate. A new poll finds Canadians aren't so concerned with the environment anymore. I speak with Lorrie Goldstein.
From The Source, Aug. 22, 2011: The situation in Libya is going from bad to worse while Barack Obama works on his golf game.
Tell your friends. Tell your families. Tune in tomorrow to The Source on SunNews, 5 PM EDT, to watch my 1 hour special about how to save the CBC. Together we can do it!
My Aug. 20, 2011 Sun column:
This ain't no party
With Turmel at the helm, the NDP is a disgrace to its honourable history of social democracy
Canada's population is booming — 34.5 million people, according to Statistics Canada. But that growth isn't evenly distributed.
Over the past 10 years, Western Canada has grown a lot, and Ontario, too. Not so for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. But Canada's House of Commons hasn't kept up with this trend. The last time new MPs were added was eight years ago.
That means some ridings in places like Toronto and Calgary have around 150,000 citizens. Compare that to Prince Edward Island — the whole province has just 141,000 people, but they have four MPs and four Senators.
As a minority government, the Conservatives introduced legislation to add 18 seats to Ontario, seven to B.C. and five to Alberta to even things out a bit. But the bill was never put to a final vote. Now Tim Uppal, the Conservative minister of state for democratic reform, has said it's a priority.
But not Nycole Turmel, the interim leader of the NDP. She doesn't want to change the proportion of the House of Commons because it means Quebec would lose a bit of clout.
Look how she said it: "The approach of the Harper government is really divisive right now. It's not constructive, it's not nation-building."
Not constructive? How is adding new MPs to represent shifts in population not constructive? And not nation-building? What does that even mean? And this, "really divisive." How is it divisive?
We have a tradition — a Constitutional convention, you could say — of representation by population. We're lacking that right now. Wouldn't it be divisive not to fix it?
It's literally been done 20 times since Confederation. When Canada was born, there were 181 seats in Parliament: 82 in Ontario, 65 in Quebec, 19 in Nova Scotia and 15 in New Brunswick. Adding new MPs made sense as whole new provinces were being added. And, yes, each time Quebec lost a bit of clout.
Welcome to a democracy.
But when it comes to deciding between Quebec's power and Canada's national interests, Turmel and the NDP choose Quebec — although the majority of Quebecers are surely democrats, who believe in rep by pop, even if it means losing some power. Ordinary Quebecers would surely put the sacred principle of democracy over some trifling political advantage.
Not Turmel. The explanation is obvious: Turmel has been a long-time member of Quebec separatist parties. She was a member of the Bloc Quebecois. And, at least until a few weeks ago, she was a member of an even more radical separatist party called Quebec Solidaire.
So whose agenda is she really promoting? The NDP is an unserious party. No one was more surprised with their electoral successes in May than they were — this is the party of Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the candidate who spent part of the campaign in Las Vegas, only to come back to strike the jackpot on election day.
Half the NDP caucus is made up of accidental MPs like that. And now their leader is a long-time separatist supporter, who has committed her party against democratic equality for the West and Ontario.
Imagine if Tommy Douglas, the NDP's first leader — from the Prairies, by the way — were around. He'd be shocked at what his party has become.
The NDP's socialist economic policies mean they've never been serious. Every once in a while, Canadians forget this and elect a disastrous NDP government provincially — like Bob Rae in Ontario. Turmel has shown that despite its head count in Parliament, the NDP is less serious, less credible and even less Canadian than ever.
It's a disgrace to the honourable history of patriotic social democracy in this country. And it's an embarrassment to Quebec voters who clearly voted by using a dartboard.
It's ironic: Turmel, the accidental NDP leader from Quebec, is actually the best advertisement possible for giving more seats to other provinces.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Aug. 19, 2011: Rob Breakenridge takes a look at how bureaucrats continue to shoot down fun with a new helmet law.
From The Source, Aug. 19, 2011: Michael Coren take a brief trip into the future to talk about his show 'The Arena' which debuts August 30th on SunNews.
From The Source, Aug. 19, 2011: While electronic voting has its perks there are plenty of loopholes to be exploited.
From The Byline, Aug. 18, 2011: I talk to Brian Lilley about my Vic Toews interview, the CBC, and about Bill C-51, the hate crimes hyperlink legislation.
From The Source, Aug. 18, 2011: While the CBC continues to coddle suspected war criminals, we here at Sun News Network are identifying them. An interview with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
From The Source, Aug. 18, 2011: China continues to rise as a super-power, but the freedoms of its people are still on the decline. Joining me is Cheuk Kwan, chair of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China.
From The Source, Aug. 18, 2011: Canada's population is booming, and a lot of that growth is happening in the west, so why is the NDP against seat redistribution?
From The Source, Aug. 17, 2011: Frank Atkins on Alberta's "Please-God-let-there-be-another-oil-boom-I-promise-not-to-piss-it-all-away-next-time" redux
From The Source, Aug. 17, 2011: On Gilles Duceppe's hiring by the CBC. By the time this went to air, Duceppe had quit or had been fired or un-hired. But still it's a chance to plug the "what to do with the CBC" special program on The Source this upcoming Tuesday.
From The Source, Aug. 17, 2011: Peter Jaworski and I discuss an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters.
From The Source, Aug. 16, 2011: I look at how a bill that is being reintroduced into parliament may make offensive jokes posted on the web a crime.
From The Source, Aug. 16, 2011: Rob Smith, a fruit vendor working in B.C., has had his operation shut down and I want to know why.
From The Source, Aug. 15, 2011: Sun columunist Dr. Lorrie Goldstein reveals the truth behind the myth that has elevated polar bears to the status of environmental icons.
From The Source, Aug. 15, 2011: The UK riots are a sign of the slow moral decay happening in many cities, and pointing out the cause is the first step in stopping it.
My Aug. 13, 2011 Sun column;
Big Brother wants to silence us
A few months ago, the great Krista Erickson, host of a show called Canada Live on the new Sun News Network, interviewed a Montreal artist named Margie Gillis.
Instead of just telling Gillis how awesome she is, Erickson asked her some good questions about why she needed money from the government to dance.
More than $1.2 million over 13 years, in fact, for her and her company.
Krista and Gillis went back and forth for 20 minutes -- it was a vigorous debate, probably the first time Gillis was ever asked real questions, instead of just receiving a tongue bath from the CBC.
Because, really, how could the CBC ever ask Gillis about her $1.2 million in tax money for her dancing if the CBC takes $1.1 billion a year in tax money for what they do themselves? There is a built-in conflict of interest that prevents the CBC from doing real journalism, because they're owned by the government and they live off government welfare.
I was totally convinced by Krista. But some people were convinced by Gillis -- they thought she won the debate. But that's the thing -- for the first time ever, there was a debate about government-funded art.
Hallelujah! Finally, some free speech, some diversity in what has been a conformist TV news culture.
But Gillis and her fellow tax-funded government artists didn't like the fact Krista dared to question her. So they declared war on the Sun.
They immediately started a coordinated campaign to censor us. They set up Facebook and YouTube pages directing other government-funded artists to write to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the government TV regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, to condemn us.
Just to be clear: Gillis didn't ask her friends to write to us. She asked them to write to the censors.
Well, it seems like every single Canadian artist who gets a handout from the government felt like their cash cow was in jeopardy, so literally thousands of them wrote form letters to the CBSC and CRTC to complain.
Imagine that: Artists are supposed to be at the forefront of freedom of expression. But government artists care more about their grant money than freedom. So they piled on.
Not to debate us. They don't believe in debate. They want to silence us.
Well, this week the Sun finally fired back. Our lawyers wrote a letter to the CBSC complainers explaining very slowly, and in small words, we are not part of the government. We are not like the CBC, which is owned and controlled by the government. We are free.
But if the CBSC puts us on trial, get this, their trials are held in secret. We're not even allowed to attend their hearing. Krista Erickson won't even be allowed to be there.
And if we're convicted, there isn't even any right to an appeal. It's a kangaroo court in every sense of the words. But if we don't submit to these censors, we don't get our TV licence renewed by the government. It's right there in our licence.
I don't know if the CBSC will hear the case, or convict us. I've dealt with censors before at Canada's oppressive human rights commissions. In my experience, they enjoy throwing their weight around. It's pretty much their reason for existence, isn't it?
If we are convicted, I predict a chorus on the left -- including our government competitors at the CBC state broadcaster -- will try to snuff us out.
They liked things a lot better when there was only one, official view allowed. We're finally providing the other point of view.
Do you like the Sun News Network? The TV ratings say hundreds of thousands of Canadians do.
Well, enjoy it while you can because Big Brother doesn't like it one bit.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
University of Sask. music professor Neil Currie, father of Ewan Currie of The Sheepdogs, talks about his son's band, their road to success and how they paid their dues to the blues (rock actually) without government subsidies.
From The Source, Aug. 12, 2011: Speaking to Lindy Vopnfjord, who wrote the song "Shakedown", about making art without government subsidies. See his page at lindymusic.com
From The Source, Aug. 12, 2011; I speak with Mubin Shaikh, the CSIS agent who infiltrated Toronto's Muslim Terrorists.
From The Source, Aug. 12, 2011: Of all places, Iran is coming out of the woodwork to criticize British treatment of rioters. The irony is too rich. I speak with human rights advocate Majed el Shafie.
From The Source, Aug. 12, 2011: The CBSC and left-leaning citizens may want Sun News Network to stop having heated debates, but that's not gonna happen.
On The Source, Aug. 11, 2011: My interview with bestselling author Mark Steyn on Sun News Network smoked the competition last Wednesday.
On The Source, Aug. 11, 2011: Robert Spencer discusses the London Riots and the efforts of Islamist terror groups to use them to their advantage.
The Source, Aug. 11, 2011 - I takea a look at how the London and Vancouver riots have shown police officers that it is vital to be firm when dealing with rioters.
On The Source: I look at how some Canadians are being called criminals because of simple criticisms. (See video below for the interview following this monologue.)
On The Source: Pastor Mark Harding talks about how he was charged with a crime simply for speaking out against Islam.
On The Source: I look at how Canada has lost its focus when it comes to punishing criminals.
On The Source: I talk with Jerry Agar about Amnesty International's position against naming suspected war criminals.
On The Source: I talk with David Harris about the media's view of Abousfian Abdelrazik and others who have been suspected of terrorist ties.
On Byline: I talk with Brian Lilley about Omar Attaran, who wants the government to pay for in vitro fertilization for him and his wife.
The Source, Aug. 8, 2011 - Amazingly "honour" killings still happen in Canada. My guest Aruna Papp looks at why this continues in a "safe" country.
The Source, Aug. 8, 2011 - What's behind the London riots? My English accent? Nah; Tottenham-born Michael Coren explains the culture clash.
The Source, Aug. 8, 2011 - Opening statement: After all the "hope," "change" and great speeches, the U.S. economy is still tanking. On Obama's attitude.
Below is the edited text version (also posted here);
Opinion: Barack Obama's wake-up
Did you really understand that debt ceiling debate that dominated Washington this past month?
We had very stern speeches by both the Republicans and Democrats. U.S. President Barack Obama gave what felt like the 700th speech of his presidency. But there's a bit of a difference between knowing how to read a teleprompter and knowing how to run a country.
Unemployment is now 9.1% in the U.S. - two points higher than it is in Canada. Their banks continue to fail. Consumer confidence is low. It's a double-dip recession - a second recession happening right after the first.
But it's not just unemployment and slow economic growth. It's insane spending by government. From bank bailouts to car company bailouts to union bailouts to nationalizing health care, there's nothing Obama won't throw money at. Trouble is, he doesn't have the money - so he's borrowing it at a rate unprecedented in human history. Lots of it was borrowed from China. Official Washington gave each other high fives when they agreed to a new, higher debt limit. But that's like a husband and wife and kids having a family meeting and agreeing to raise their own credit card limit. There's someone missing: The people lending the money.
On Friday, one of the world's most respected bond rating agencies did something never before done: Standard & Poor's downgraded America's credit from AAA to AA-plus.
In last month's debt deal, the U.S. federal government gave itself permission to borrow an additional $2 trillion - on top of their current$14 trillion credit limit.
This has been reported by the consensus media as "spending cuts." But spending has never been higher.
Obama's party, the Democrats, has gone into full blamestorming mode.
John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, said the credit downgrade was the fault of the Tea Party anti-spending movement.
Barney Frank, the Democratic Congressman who presided over the junk mortgage meltdown in 2008, blamed the U.S. military.
Obama's White House - never so good with math - said S&P got their math wrong.
But the world believes S&P - the stock markets prove it. They all plummeted.
The downgrade was just a warning. But the thing about warnings is they're not the problem. What they warn about is the problem.
It says a lot about Obama that he is outraged at the messenger. Sort of like being woken up by a fire alarm, and being mad about the noise instead of the fire.
This wake-up call is the best thing to happen on Obama's watch. The Republicans haven't been able to stop his overspending - they agreed to the insane debt deal that caused this rating downgrade. So it took independent observers to do it.
America, the world's great engine of freedom and prosperity, the world's guarantor of security for 60 years, the moral beacon to billions - has been weakened.
Is Obama upset about this debt downgrade? Yes, because it could interfere with his plans for re-election.
But he's not upset with the real problem: The beggaring of America, and suffocation of its entrepreneurial spirit.
EZRA LEVANT - QMI AGENCY
My Aug. 7, 2011 Sun column:
Free pass for Syria killer
Boy, we're getting tough on Syria.
John Baird, Canada's foreign affairs minister, met with Hillary Clinton, his U.S. counterpart, and they held a very stern press conference in which they denounced Syria's tyrant, Bashar al-Assad.
He's the one mowing down his own citizens by the thousand. You know, tanks shooting at civilians kind of thing.
But do not worry, Canada and the United States have denounced him.
Which is an improvement over U.S. President Barack Obama's first approach to the Arab dictators, back in 2009, sending them a sternly worded apology.
Assad is slaughtering his own people, especially in the town of Hama. Which is fitting. Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, who was Syria's dictator before him, killed more than 20,000 people in that same city in 1982. The world didn't stop him then, and they're not stopping his son now.
The United States and Canada can't even bring themselves to call for Assad to leave.
The official U.S. line is they continue to seek ways to "isolate" Assad, and are glad "international opinion" is shifting against him and are "committed to seeing violence end."
But it's not the role of the United States or Canada to be the world's policemen. There are plenty of tyrannies in this world and it's simply impossible for America, even with NATO's help, to take the role of globo-cop.
Take the NATO-led mini-war in Libya. That air war was purportedly started to fix the exact same problems we see in Syria, a brutal dictator killing protesters. At first, the air strikes were supposed to just stop Moammar Gadhafi from killing civilians. But then NATO decided they wanted a regime change and began to target Gadhafi himself.
After months of bombings, hundreds of Libyans are dead — including dozens of civilians. Several of Gadhafi's children are dead, too. But the old Colonel remains unscathed. Last week, the French government announced it was withdrawing its aircraft carrier for a break.
Mission accomplished, I guess — France had shown how morally pure it was, had spent some money blowing things up, and thought it was time to go home.
The only thing worse would have been if they had actually killed Gadhafi. What would France (and the U.S. and Canada) do then? Would we put soldiers on the ground to actually police the country through its revolution to a democratic transition? Would we be a physical buffer between rival clans and gangs? Would we stick around for eight years, as the U.S. has done in Iraq? Or 70, as the U.S. has done in Germany and Japan?
Leftist, one-world-government types have concocted a fuzzy theory called the "responsibility to protect," requiring western nations to do just that — to make other countries' business our own business, even if (especially if) we have no real national interests at stake. The idea is so fashionable it even has its own nickname, R2P.
R2P would have western soldiers everywhere in the world from Rwanda to Darfur to Syria to Libya to Zimbabwe. It's social workers with rifles — which is not what the Canadian Forces were trained to do, nor is it what Canada's military was created to do.
We have a military to defend our borders, and to project our might around the world judiciously to defend our national interests. Like the Second World War.
The slaughter in Syria is a shame and a scandal. But it is not in our national interests to attack Assad. Just as it is not in our national interests to spill a single drop of Canadian blood in Libya, either.
We should do what the French have done — declare victory and head home.
Let the Europeans keep fighting in Libya. Unlike us, they're actually there for a national interest.
They buy a million barrels of conflict oil a day from Libya. It makes sense for them to fight in Libya.
Not for us.EZRA LEVANT - QMI AGENCY
On The Source (SunNews Video page link): Captain Paul Strachan, President of the Air Canada Pilots Association, expresses his worries that Air Canada may soon be taken out by Emirates Airlines.
My Aug. 2, 2011 Sun column:
Putting a new face on the oilsands
The chief criticism of the oilsands is esthetic: Open-pit mines just don't look pretty, and there's some big ones in Northern Alberta.
Only 2% of the land area of the oilsands will ever be mined that way — in the other 98% of the land, the bitumen is too deep to be dug out. That oil will be produced underground — on the surface, the land will be undisturbed and critters will still be frolicking. And even the 2% that is mined is not all mined at once, and all of it must be reclaimed to its previous state (as 61 square kms already have been).
But try arguing all of that against one single picture of oilsands pornography — the emotionally shocking pictures of the open-pit mines that look like something out of the Land of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings.
And therein lies the essential political problem of the oilsands: They look bad.
Add to that literally 100 paid, professional anti-oilsands activists in Canada — most of them bankrolled by foreign lobby groups, like the $200 million/year multinational corporation called Greenpeace — and you've got a major strategic threat to Canada's prosperity and even our sovereignty.
Canada pulled out of the Great Recession earlier than any other G8 nation. Prudent economic policies were important. But it helped that the oilsands pump tens of billions of dollars into the economy each year — across the country.
But none of these facts are sexy; none of this can be shown in a single photograph. And the oilsands' advocates don't tend to break the law like Greenpeace regularly does — trespassing and vandalizing oilsands refineries, or even breaking out of the Calgary Tower to unveil their latest propaganda.
And that's the problem: The oilsands truth is boring. Anti-oilsands lies are exciting.
Which is why the new grassroots movement called EthicalOil.org is so promising.
I'm a bit biased, because the project is inspired by my book of the same name, and I'm a volunteer with them. But I truly think they're going to help equalize the debate against Canada's foreign anti-oilsands agitators.
EthicalOil.org will take no government money, unlike anti-oilsands “think tanks” like the Pembina Institute. It will take no foreign money, unlike anti-oilsands lobbyists like Environmental Defence.
It's being run by Alykhan Velshi, a grassroots organizer whose parents are refugees who fled racial oppression in Africa. So he knows a little something about the choices we make when we fill up with a tank of gas.
If your gas doesn't come from Canadian ethical oil, it's probably from Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE or some other dictatorship.
That's the choice. And suddenly the discussion isn't about boring statistics. It's about whether you're OK with Saudi terrorist oil, Iranian nuke-building oil, Nigerian pollution oil, Sudanese genocide oil. It's about ethical oil versus conflict oil.
EthicalOil.org's website has shocking pictures contrasting the treatment of women in Iran with the treatment of women in Fort McMurray — where the mayor is a young woman. That's illegal in Saudi Arabia.
There's an ad with a picture of young gay men being hanged in Iran — contrasted with Toronto's gay pride parade.
Would you buy a shirt made by slave labour in the Third World? If not, why would you buy foreign oil that's just as unethical?
Already the Greenpeace types are apoplectic.
Good — it's about time.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY