September 2011 Archives
From The Source, Sept. 26, 2011: Guest Vivian Krause and I explore an ugly truth about "Canada's" environmental movement.
My Sept. 27, 2011 Sun column:
Extremists' oil protest puzzling
On Monday, about 250 environmental extremists from across Canada and foreign countries travelled to Ottawa to protest oil.
Plus a couple of dozen "journalists" from the CBC, there to cheer them on.
Greenpeace, the $350-million per year multinational corporation headquartered in Amsterdam, was one of the organizers. So was a group called U.K. Tarsands Network.
So, foreigners. Foreigners telling us what to do here in Canada — and boasting about trespassing in secure areas of Parliament Hill.
Try that in Saudi Arabia. Or Iran. Try that in the United States, post-9/11.
These foreign meddlers pick on Canada precisely because we are the gentlest country in the world. And it would be too tough to try to protest in Iran or Saudi Arabia. The Saudi embassy is just a few blocks away from Parliament Hill, right on Sussex Dr. Saudi Arabia is the biggest oil producer in the world. They have the biggest oil reserves in the world. If this protest really was about oil, why didn't they go there?
We clean up our oil spills; Saudi Arabia covers up theirs. We engage with our critics; Saudi Arabia imprisons theirs. We use our oil money to finance peacekeepers. Saudi Arabia finances terrorists. We treat minorities and women with respect. Saudi Arabia abuses them through sharia law.
But don't tell that to the c-list celebrities like Dave Thomas, who have endorsed this Blame Canada approach to oil protesting.
No, not the famous Dave Thomas, the late president of Wendy's. The lame Dave Thomas — the least-funny cast member of SCTV who hasn't been heard from since then, for whom this protest was a great way to get a little PR. Though he couldn't be bothered to attend himself. Until a month ago, all of this was just normal: A bunch of self-righteous activists denouncing us for driving cars, and then getting in their cars to drive away.
But then we found out that the Saudi dictatorship was also orchestrating anti-oilsands skullduggery in Canada, by threatening TV stations who aired a pro-oilsands TV ad.
Sort of puts this whole Parliament Hill protest in a new light, doesn't it? And maybe it helps explain why the protesters haven't protested outside the Saudi embassy.
But here's a real head-scratcher: The boss of a big labour union came out against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would ship the oil from Alberta to the U.S. David Coles, the boss of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, bizarrely said it would cost Canadian jobs. Truth is, if the Keystone XL pipeline isn't built, tens of thousands of union jobs are in jeopardy. If the oil can't get to market, his union members won't have a job producing it.
The craziest part of Coles' comments was when he said: "Oil workers, whether they work in North Africa, Chile or Venezuela, are oil workers." But that's not true. Oil workers in Canada have the right to unionize. Even non-unionized welders and pipefitters can make $150,000 a year or more.
But in OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia, work is done by minimum-wage foreign labourers, who are forbidden from unionizing.
Since when does a Canadian union boss defend foreign indentured workers, and bash a domestic industry — including his own dues-paying members?
Perhaps this is a cry for help from Coles. Who knows? Maybe the Saudi embassy made threats against the Canadian labour movement, just like it did against Canadian TV stations who dared to criticize Saudi conflict oil.
Canada believes in open debates. But perhaps the first question we should ask anti-oilsands protesters should always be: Which foreign country is paying you today?EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Arena, Sept. 26, 2011: Now the government wants energy drinks sold only by pharmacists! Red Bull connoisseurs Michael Coren and I discuss.
From The Source, Sept. 26, 2011: The Saudi King has generously given women the right to vote, but do these reforms mean anything? Guest Raheel Raza says no.
From The Source, Sept. 26, 2011: I take aim at the professional protesters who hit Ottawa today, big talkers who don’t have the guts to tackle a tougher target like Iran or Saudi Arabia.
My Sept. 24, 2011 Sun column:
Saudi threats a SLAPP in the face
Blocking Canadian-made ad brings a taste of Saudi Arabian censorship to Canada
It's been a week since the Saudi fatwa against CTV became public and nothing has been done.
Of course, Saudi Arabia didn't actually issue a fatwa, like their fellow jihadis in Iran did when they condemned author Salman Rushdie to death in 1989 for writing a book they didn't like.
The Saudis are so much more sophisticated than that. They hired Norton Rose, one of the world's largest law firms, with 2,600 lawyers at their disposal. And instead of being driven mad by a novelist, the desert sheiks are braying about a 30-second TV ad by the Canadian NGO called EthicalOil.org , a group with whom I'm a volunteer.
EthicalOil.org produced the low-budget ad that says what everybody already knows: Saudi Arabian princes treat women in that society worse than they treat camels. That's not a joke. Women aren't allowed to drive, they're not allowed to vote, their testimony in court is worth half that of a man's. But at least the Saudis don't force their camels to go out in the desert heat wearing a burka body bag.
Of course the Saudis don't like that ad. The truth hurts. And the ad will never air in Saudi Arabia because they don't have a free press there.
But that's where Norton Rose's 2,600 lawyers come in. They're trying to bring a taste of that Saudi censorship to Canada.
Norton Rose threatened CTV, demanding it not run the ad. And CTV obeyed.
Was it because CTV just didn't want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending a nuisance suit against a foreign dictatorship with more money than morals? Probably.
But CTV is also owned by Bell Canada, which has done an enormous amount of work in Saudi Arabia, building their telephone infrastructure. Did the Saudi sheiks pressure Bell Canada to shut up their CTV television station? I asked CTV's spokesman and he wrote back to me. He didn't confirm it — but he didn't deny it, either.
This is bigger than a legal quarrel. It's not really a legal quarrel at all. It's one step away from outright blackmail. It's what our Canadian courts call a "SLAPP" lawsuit — strategic litigation against public participation. It's not a real suit. It's abusing the courts as a weapon.
It's lawfare. It's prosecuting the jihad — with lawyers, not suicide bombers.
CTV should have stood firm. It should have told the Saudis to go pound sand. It should have realized freedom of the press is its corporate life blood, and even to spend $250,000 to fend off a lawsuit — a lawsuit the Saudis would never really have gone through with, for fear of public and diplomatic backlash — is a small price to pay for freedom.
I don't accept CTV's capitulation, but I understand it. It's a hostage here. And it needs to be rescued by someone bigger than a law firm. It needs Prime Minister Stephen Harper's help. CTV is being attacked by a foreign country. It needs our sovereign head of government to fight back — and I say this as a competitor to CTV.
Former cabinet minister Stockwell Day says there is no precedent for this kind of interference by a foreign power into Canada's media.
Even during the Cold War, the Soviet Union did not hire lawyers to threaten Canadian media that criticized its totalitarian regime.
Put another way: Imagine the national outrage if the United States started threatening TV stations that said anti-American things.
This isn't a legal matter. And it's not even about the oilsands, or about women's rights in Saudi Arabia. That's what it should have been about, had the ad aired.
But when a foreign dictatorship decided to destroy Canadian free speech, it became a matter of national security, counter-intelligence and national sovereignty.
The prime minister must summon the Saudi ambassador and tell him to call off Norton Rose and have them issue an apology to CTV.
If he doesn't — send him packing back to his desert.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Sept. 22, 2011: Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation, on why we shouldn’t laugh off Ahmadinejad’s crazy rants at the UN.
From The Source, Sept. 22, 2011: Part 2 with Tarek Fatah, on the boycott of the UN's Durban III.
From The Source, Sept. 22, 2011: Liberal Muslim Tarek Fatah says everything short of “eff off” to the Saudi regime for trying to dictate his rights to freedom in Canada.
From The Source, Sept. 22, 2011: CTV may be Canada's largest private broadcaster, but it has the smallest will, as evidenced by its bending to Saudi pressure.
From The Source, Sept. 21, 2011: Terrorism expert David Harris on lax airport security and the Sun story that secondary searches are being ignored.
From The Source, Sept. 21, 2011: CBC's vote compass is back, and guess what, it's rigged once again!
From The Source, Sept. 21, 2011: Peter Bhatti, brother of assassinated Pakistani Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti, tells us why he believes Canada needs to build its Office of Religious Freedom.
From The Source, Sept. 21, 2011: Saudi Arabia's threats against Canadian broadcasters may have scared CTV, but I'm standing firm.
From The Source, Sept. 20, 2011: The United Nations is set to vote on whether or not to establish the state of Palestine and in a way, destroy Israel.
From The Source, Sept. 20, 2011: Now that he is no longer subject to caucus solidarity, Stockwell Day is free to disagree with Stephen Harper on ethical oil vs. Saudi propaganda.
From The Source, Sept. 20, 2011: Saudi Arabia's propaganda and intimidation won't silence me, but it's quickly silenced many politicians and CTV.
My Sept. 19, 2911 Sun column:
Take your secret Saudi threats and shove 'em
Saudi Arabia has hired lawyers to threaten Canadian broadcasters who dare to run a TV ad critical of Saudi conflict oil.
I know this because I am the volunteer chairman of EthicalOil.org, the non-profit website that promotes Canada's oilsands as an ethical alternative to the conflict oil of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC dictatorships.
Alykhan Velshi, who runs EthicalOil.org, produced a 30-second TV ad comparing the treatment of women in Canada with the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. That's a place where women can't drive, can't vote and can't even get medical care without the permission of their husbands/owners.
Compare that to Canada, where the mayor of the oilsands capital, Fort McMurray, is a young woman named Melissa Blake.
Saudi Arabia doesn't like criticism like that, though. They are a fascist state without a free press or any opposition political parties. And now they've hired one of the world's largest law firms, a 2,600-lawyer monstrosity called Norton Rose, to threaten Canada's media into silence, too.
Rahool Agarwal, one of the lawyers at Norton Rose, has been contacting broadcasters across Canada, threatening them if they air the ad. Already two networks have capitulated in the face of such threats, including CTV, Canada's biggest private broadcaster. Agarwal has also threatened EthicalOil.org with a lawsuit, too. He won't say for what - he clearly has no legal case. But the point is silencing dissent. And it's working.
The only way we heard about this campaign of threats was when one concerned Canadian who received a threat tipped us off. When our lawyer contacted Agarwal, he sounded genuinely surprised that he was caught. The Saudis prefer to operate under the radar.
Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Canada. They're an enemy of the West. They're an enemy of freedom. This is not a new revelation. Fifteen out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden was from a prominent Saudi family. Saudi Arabia continues to finance terrorism around the world.
Normally, Islamic extremists focus their hatred on the Great Satan - the United States. But Canada is now an enemy of the Saudis, too. Because we're competitors to them for oil. Within ten years, the oilsands could totally replace Saudi exports to the U.S.
Recently, Saudi billionaire Prince Walid bin Talal said it was in his country's interest not to let the price of oil get too high, lest alternative sources of oil become practical. Well, the largest unconventional oil reserves in the world are in the oilsands. He didn't use the word, but he clearly meant it.
Like Greenpeace, the Saudis hate our oilsands. They're usually content to let Greenpeace do the heavy lifting. But this time, the Saudis were caught red-handed.
The oilsands can take care of themselves. But what about Canada's media? At least two broadcasters have already caved to this Saudi legal pressure. The Saudis are destroying our culture of freedom and replacing it with their sharia culture of tyranny and bullying.
Foreign Minister John Baird must summon the Saudi ambassador at once. If their foreign meddling and bullying doesn't cease immediately, he should be expelled.
Canada is free, and our media should be free - no matter what some dictatorship wants, and what that dictatorship's well-paid lawyers threaten in secret.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Sept. 19, 2011: Middle East expert Daniel Pipes looks at the roots of Saudi Arabia's attack on freedom of speech.
From The Source, Sept. 19, 2011: Guest Alykhan Velshi and I enjoy our last moments of freedom as the Saudis try to impose Sharia censorship on Ethical Oil advocates.
From The Source, Sept. 19, 2011: One of the world's worst fascist regimes is threatening Canadian values and freedoms.
My Sept. 17, 2011 Sun column:
Fire this man immediately
MP's secret affair with Chinese journalist leaves way too many questions to keep him around
Bob Dechert is disloyal to his wife and derelict in his duty to his country.
So why is Stephen Harper standing behind him now?
Dechert is Canada's parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. It's a position of trust. Dechert has a secret security clearance. He sees things that are confidential. He is in a position of responsibility and discretion.
He is checked out by the RCMP. When people meet with him to lobby him, by law those meetings have to be publicly disclosed in a registry.
In other words, Bob Dechert is kind of a big deal.
He's influential on China policy. He is the vice-chair of Parliament's Canada-China Legislative Association. He accompanied Prime Minister Stephen Harper on an official trip to China.
Which is precisely why the Chinese dictatorship sees him as such an ideal target.
CSIS estimates China has 1,000 agents in Canada working not just to undermine us militarily, but also to steal useful information. CSIS estimates China steals a billion dollars each month in technological and industrial secrets -- which is about as much as they buy from us legally.
It's so bad that CSIS spends 50% of its counter-intelligence efforts battling against Chinese spying.
Which is why Bob Dechert's secret affair with a Chinese agent named Shi Rong is so unacceptable.
Shi is the Toronto boss of Xinhua, the Chinese press agency. Of course, there is no free press in China, so Shi actually works for the Chinese government -- the Chinese Communist Party, to be accurate. Xinhua was set up by them as a propaganda arm. But it is now also a de facto spy agency -- not just gathering news, but gathering secrets. Dechert knows that. But he decided to have an affair with her -- a secret affair.
And it was only when Shi's husband found out about their affair by reading her e-mails, and then sent copies of those e-mails to everyone on Shi Rong's e-mail address list, that the world found out about it.
In other words, Dechert didn't come clean about this relationship on his own. CSIS and the RCMP didn't detect it -- even though they gave him security clearance. It was only an angry, cuckolded husband that revealed this disastrous security breach.
Asked about it by reporters, Dechert admitted the e-mails were from him. But he said it was no big deal -- he said they were merely "flirtatious."
Telling someone their hair looks nice is flirtatious. Telling someone that you love them, you miss them, you can't wait to see them again is not flirtatious. It is an intimate relationship. Whether or not Dechert had a physical relationship is not known to us -- Dechert has been hiding from the media.
But the Chinese government surely knows. And if they did have physical contact, if they slept together, or even if they just had a private date, it's surely all photographed by the Chinese government. Probably videotaped, too.
It's called a honey trap. It's the oldest trick in the book.
Dechert should be fired for sheer stupidity for having an affair with a Chinese government agent. That's not just stupid, it's malicious -- because he clearly knew it was wrong, since he kept it hidden. So he knew he was doing something improper, but still did it anyway.
There are many unanswered questions. When did the relationship start? Who initiated it? Besides love letters, what else did Dechert send her? Did they ever talk about Canada-China relations?
What did she ask him about? Since their affair began, what input has Dechert had into Canada-China policy? What has he said in caucus, or to the prime minister? Or as vice-chair of the Canada-China committee?
And here's the most important ones: What else is he hiding? Did he do things that made him susceptible to blackmail? Is he being blackmailed with photos or phone call recordings or videos, right now?
Fire him immediately. Then have CSIS and the RCMP investigate the depth of his damage.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
Accurate 9/11 memory will compel us to act
Why did Sunday's ceremony for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 ban police, firefighters and clergy from the program?
Some parts of the ceremony were well done.
The physical memorial itself — two waterfalls, shaped like the square footprints of the two towers — were visually powerful.
And the rebuilding of one tower — still not done after ten years — is a sign of hope.
Reading the names of the murder victims was a touching moment for their families and friends.
But it is not enough merely to remember the dead and to grieve. We must remember why these men and women were killed; why it was so profoundly evil that they were; why we cannot let this stand, and what we are going to do about it.
The central characteristic of the 9/11 attacks was not the loss of life. It was that the loss of life was the result of human purpose.
It was not a tragic accident or a natural disaster.
Nor was it just a crime. It was a horrendous act of terror motivated by evil ideas. Remembering that means we have to do something about it. Namely: Fighting against our terrorist enemies until we win and they lose.
Instead of calling for victory, though, the official memorial aimed for a tone of closure. New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg said people should no longer even say the words Ground Zero, because that is in the past.
Erasing from the public narrative any trace of the war on terror would be like holding a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, a year later, in December of 1942, and remembering the dead and their families — but not talking about that infamous attack, not calling for courage in the fight ahead, not promising that the dead will be avenged and that freedom and peace will be won on our terms — and not naming imperial Japan.
It would be like Winston Churchill touring London during the blitz, and comforting the victims but not calling for courage and victory.
To this day, hundreds of thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Canadians continue to fight with marvelous courage and ingenuity to defeat al-Qaida, the Taliban and their other terrorist allies. And we Canadians have been a clear voice against terrorism and its apologists at the United Nations.
But there are other ways that we must fight, too — not just to honour the memory of those murdered on 9/11, but to protect ourselves and our families and communities, and our freedom that is under attack.
The first way for those of us not in uniform to fight back is to fight for a control over the language of 9/11. The anniversaries of 9/11 ought not to be a day of service and volunteerism — the official purpose of both the U.S. and Canadian days. Volunteerism is a noble thing, but it is not what 9/11 was about.
We must make sure it is a day of proper and accurate memory.
An accurate memory of what happened that day compels us to take action until we win, until 9/11 becomes a day to mark the beginning of our successful counterattack on to victory.
But we're not done yet. We haven't won yet. The other side knows that. And we ought to as well.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Sept. 14, 2011: Brian Lilley and I revisit the CBC/George Stroumboulopoulos TIFF party at which the host gushed with taxpayer-funded oceanic feeling and explained metaphorically that forests are strong and beautiful.
From The Source, Sept. 14, 2011: Jonathan Halevi looks at the continued uprisings in the Middle East and where Syria in particular is headed.
From The Source, Sept. 14, 2011: Rob Dechert owes it to Canadians to step aside before he risks leaking any more info to potential Chinese spies.
From The Source, Sept. 13, 2011: Why did the CBC throw the biggest party at TIFF using taxpayers' dollars?
From The Source, Sept. 13, 2011: Our diversity consultant Kathy Shaidle talks about Bill Whatcott and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission's appeal to the Supreme Court.
From The Source, Sept. 13, 2011: Controversial activist Bill Whatcott heats up freedom debate.
My speech at the AFDI/SIOA 911 Freedom Rally in New York on Sunday.
From The Source, Sept. 12, 2011: I look at why a Tory MP's flirty email relationship could pose a real threat to Canadian security.
From The Source, Sept. 12, 2011: Not a believer in climate change? Bet you didn't know that makes you a Nazi. Lorrie Goldstein looks at green bigotry.
From The Source, Sept. 12, 2011: I attended 9/11 ceremonies in New York and witnessed a weird whitewash of history and the public narrative of the tragedy.
From SunNews, Sept. 11, 2011: Thane Burnett's report on political correctness at Ground Zero. followed by my comments from New York.
My Sept. 10, 2011 Sun column:
Lest we forget
Ten years ago, the forces of Islamic fascism tore a hole in New York City, and our hearts.
Nineteen al-Qaida terrorists, 15 of them from Saudi Arabia, attacked America that day, in the name of a violent interpretation of Islam promoted by Wahhabi clerics.
Al-Qaida had attacked the West before. As far back as 1993, they tried to destroy the World Trade Center in New York City with a truck bomb - it killed seven people and injured hundreds more. The response from American authority was to shrug it off, to treat it as a criminal matter for lawyers to deal with, instead of a military matter or a strategic attack on the West.
And it's easy to see why - the world was still enjoying the illusion of perpetual peace that came with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. There was a sense, as Francis Fukuyama wrote, the world was at the end of history - that everything was resolved, that it would only be a matter of time before everyone believed in freedom and there were McDonald's in every corner of the world.
But alas, the world isn't that way. There are people in the world who want to kill us or enslave us. And in the case of al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorists, that is the choice they offer us: To submit to Sharia law, to submit to the global rule of Islam in a new medieval-style theocracy or to die.
Islamic radicals like to split the world into two houses -- they call it Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam, or literally the house of submission) and Dar al-Harb (the house of war).
In case you're wondering, we're in the house of war.
The two most devastating attacks on 9/11 were aimed at the World Trade Center in New York City, the twin towers that were for several years the tallest buildings in the world.
They were the symbol of other great ideas, too - the free market, the idea of world trade. And of course, all in the heart of the most vibrant city in America, perhaps the world - home to immigrants from a hundred countries, entryway to generations of immigrants seeking the American dream.
The World Trade Center wasn't just an economic target and a target full of thousands of people - it was a symbol of American greatness and aspirations and leadership.
But even amidst the horror of that day, American greatness showed. In the first responders who rushed in to the World Trade Center, knowing it would likely mean their own deaths. In the passengers on United Flight 93 who initially thought they were the victims of a garden variety hijacking. But when they learned, by making phone calls from the plane, about the other attacks that day, they decided to do something very American. They decided to fight back.
Todd Beamer was one of the men who stormed the cockpit. The last words heard from him by GTE phone operator Lisa Jefferson were "let's roll."
They lost their own lives, of course, but likely saved hundreds of others at the U.S. Capitol building. They were proof of the noble American instincts of freedom and rebellion and self-sacrifice and courage.
Those values are still alive. But in the 10 years since the horrific day, they have been overtaken, in many quarters, by other less appealing American values. Like bureaucracy, political correctness and overlawyering.
The official ceremony Sunday at Ground Zero is being styled as a National Day of Service and Remembrance by President Barack Obama. He said it's a day for volunteerism.
No, it's not. Volunteerism and service are good things. But this is about remembering what happened. It's about remembering who made it happen, and why.
It's about calling evil by its proper name - not avoiding the discussion because it's uncomfortable.
9/11 ought to be a day to rededicate ourselves to freedom. Not just Americans, but Canadians, too, and everyone who shares the values that America epitomizes, the values for which America was attacked.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Sept. 9, 2011: Maureen Basnicki reflects on the pain she has felt since losing her husband in the 9/11 attacks.
From The Source, Sept. 9, 2011: Salim Mansur takes a look at the state of freedom in the western world in the decade since 9/11.
From The Source, Sept. 9, 2011: Wayne Bell, publisher of the 9/11 colouring book talks about its reception. (See Coloringbook.com.)
From The Source, Sept. 9, 2011: The 9/11 attacks may be seen as an attack against the United States or New York City in particular, but freedom everywhere was the target.
From The Source, Sept. 7, 2011: John Carpay talks about freedom of expression on Canadian campuses and his new organization, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
My Sept. 8, 2011 Sun column:
Time for the CBC to leave the nestThe verdict is in: after 75 years of government handouts to the CBC, Canadians want to take the training wheels off, and let the state broadcaster fend for itself without its $1.1-billion annual cheque from taxpayers.
That's the word from a major new public opinion survey conducted by Abacus Data Inc. Funny enough, the hundreds of polls paid for by the CBC never asked those questions - or if they did, the results were never made public.
Abacus asked 1,003 Canadians to give their views about the best way to finance the CBC. Fifty-three per cent of Canadians said it should continue as a non-profit organization - it should sell ads if it can, and make the rest up through contributions from viewers. That's similar to the PBS model in the United States, a public broadcaster that has regular telethons where people who like their brand of programming (and politics) can prove it by cutting a cheque.
It's sensible - which is why 53% of Canadians want it. But it would mean a lot more work for the CBC, since they'd have to listen to what their viewers want, and they'd still have to live within their means if they wanted to convince grassroots Canadians to chip in $50 or $100 in donations. No more limousine rides and first-class travel.
A sizeable minority of Canadians don't even want the non-profit model - 39% of Canadians want to privatize the CBC altogether, as opposed to keeping it as a Crown corporation. That's the model that Canada has taken with national businesses in the past, like Petro-Canada and Air Canada, both of which used to be owned by the government. Not only did the government make money from their sale, but they now pay taxes, too - unlike the CBC today.
Not surprisingly, there are regional differences to this sentiment. Canadians in the Prairies have long felt that the CBC had a hostility to that part of the country, and their values. Fifty-four per cent of them want to sell of the CBC altogether. Frankly, the feeling is probably mutual: a lot of CBC executives probably would like to get rid of the Prairies, too.
These findings are striking, given the dominance that the CBC has in Canadian media - it is by far the biggest broadcaster, dominating the landscape. So it is remarkable that, despite 75 years of propaganda, such a large percentage of Canadians are CBC dissidents - they want it either trimmed back or sold altogether.
Any discussions about reducing the funding of the CBC are met with a campaign-style attack on whoever suggested the idea, first from the CBC itself, and second from its labour unions and PR shills, like the so-called Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. Even the Conservative government has been terrified of touching the CBC's budget - instead, they've gorged it year after year, taking their grant to record levels.
Perhaps this poll will put some steel in the spine of those cabinet ministers who think the idea of a state broadcaster is a holdover from an earlier age of big government.
One thing's for sure, though: the consensus groupthink in Canadian media - everyone agreeing how wonderful the CBC is - is not shared by grassroots Canadians.
The Abacus poll proves it. Now it's up to the government to act on it.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
From The Source, Sept. 7, 2011: Jimmy Hoffa Jr. called the tea party 'sons of bitches' at a Barack Obama rally this past weekend, and they say the right is full of hate!
My Sept. 5, 2011 Sun column:
Banned for nothing
Censors came up with a novel excuse for axing a 26-year-old Dire Straits hit — stupidity
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), the secretive group of censors who regulate private Canadian TV and radio broadcasters, made a stunning admission last week: They don't have the foggiest idea what they're doing.
Remember, back in January, this group of busybodies banned Canadian radio stations from playing the song Money for Nothing by Dire Straits.
That song was released back in 1985 and went to the top of the charts in Canada.
Moving at the speed of government, 26 years later, the CBSC banned it, following a complaint from a Newfoundland listener, because it has the word "faggot".
That's like those creeps who go through kids cartoons frame by frame looking for things that look like naughty pictures.
These sex-obsessed, profanity-obsessed censors decided Canadians can't hear that song even though the word was used by Dire Straits to highlight anti-gay bigotry and to criticize it.
Of course the word is rude and it's hurtful. But since when does the government ban rude words? If you can't even say a word, how could you tell someone that it's rude and explain why?
Because the Sun newspapers raised a ruckus about this, hundreds of Canadians wrote to the CBSC telling them to butt out. It was a rare moment of accountability.
The CBSC were caught being un-Canadian. They were caught being bullies. They were caught being arrogant little bureaucrats, putting their own artistic and political tastes ahead of that of 34 million Canadians.
So last week they tried a do-over. They issued a new ruling, saying it was OK to play the song Money for Nothing after all.
The song didn't change. They just came up with a novel excuse — stupidity.
Here's an actual excerpt from their new ruling. They "did not have much of the information that has subsequently been provided to the CBSC by the public."
And since the CBSC is "not a fact-finding body and does not tend to do original research. had that information been available (the first) Panel might have come to a different conclusion." So they admit they banned a song because they didn't know enough about it and didn't understand it. They didn't even listen to the song — they have a policy of just reading song lyrics. And they actually complain that nobody told them what the song meant before they banned it.
In other words, the CBSC pled stupidity.
Can you imagine these buffoons have the power to tell you what you can listen to or not?
How many other songs and shows and jokes were they too stupid to understand, so they just banned them, like some caveman smashing things that were too sophistimacated.
Me no understand! Og no understand! So Og burn books!
But even if the CBSC were smart, even if they had the common sense to listen to a song before banning it, or to Google the song to understand it, even if they were the smartest music critics or political pundits in the world, so what? They're no better than you or I are. They have no more rights than you or I do. They're not morally superior to us.
Why should we follow their judgment or taste? Even if they are "correct," who died and made them kings?
Correction: Last week I wrote that Jack Layton didn't sit in Parliament as leader of the opposition. In fact, he did so briefly before resigning. I regret the error.EZRA LEVANT, QMI Agency
From The Source, Sept. 5, 2011: Barack Obama came into office as a transformative peacenik, but some new info shows he's an even bigger warmonger than Bush.
From The Source, Sept. 5, 2011: Prof. Tom Harris explains new findings that say the sun - not humans - is the major cause of climate change.
From The Source, Sept. 5, 2011: Alberta has the stupidest government in Canada, and I'll tell you exactly why.
From The Source, Sept. 5, 2011: John Robson discusses the declining support for unions in Canada.
My Sept. 3, 2011 Sun column:
The great Obama cover-up
We know every detail about other presidents and their families, why not this one?
Onyango Obama, U.S. President Barack Obama's uncle, was charged this week in Boston with drunk driving. Turns out he's also an illegal immigrant.
When he was arrested, he told police he wanted to call the White House. Why not? If President Obama bailed out General Motors, why not his own uncle?
In one of his autobiographies, President Obama talks fondly about Onyango, calling him "Uncle Omar." So it's not like they were long lost relatives. But Uncle Omar isn't the only embarrassment in the Obama family. Uncle Omar's sister — Obama's aunt — is a newsmaker, too. Her name is Auntie Zeituni. She was once living illegally in the U.S. too, although she was granted asylum last year. Uncle Omar even had a social security number.
Then there's Obama's grandmother Sarah. She still lives in Kenya. And until a PR firm gave her electricity as a publicity stunt, she lived in a hut without power.
Have you ever heard of any of these members of Obama's family?
These aren't distant relatives. They're aunts and uncles and his grandma.
How could Obama have let his own grandmother live without even electric power? How could he not help his uncle and aunt come into compliance with America's immigration laws?
OK, how about this: What do you know about Obama's brothers and sisters? He's got as many as eight half brothers and sisters — some in the U.S., one in China, some in Africa. Can you name one?
How about his parents? Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan foreign student in Hawaii when he met Obama's mom, Stanley. That was her name, Stanley. She was just a teenager. Obama Sr. already had a wife and baby back in Kenya, but he married Stanley anyways. He was a polygamist.
How did you not know that? Easy, the Media Party didn't tell you.
We know every detail about other presidents and their families — especially their goofy relatives. Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy, actually worked for Moammar Gadhafi. Bill Clinton's half brother, Roger, served time in prison for cocaine.
Sarah Palin ran for vice president, but we know everything about her — and her daughter Bristol's ex-boyfriend Levi Johnston. There are more than two million Google hits about him — just 20,000 for Obama's half brother Mark.
The real point is we know less about Obama than any other president in modern times.
A polygamist dad is exotic. Obama then followed his mom and his new stepdad to Indonesia, where he went to a Muslim school for two years. That's exotic, too.
His mom and dad originally met because of their love of Communism, revolution and third world-ism. That's unusual. It also informs Obama's beliefs today — in everything from the war on terror to foreign affairs to capitalism.
Never before has an American president been subjected to so little scrutiny, or had such an empty resume with so many gaps in his life. He truly is the Manchurian president.
We don't know about Obama, or his values, or his history, or even his family.
And the reason we don't know any of this is because the Media Party doesn't want us to know.
They realize this is all too exotic and problematic, and would lead to just too many questions about their candidate. So they dispatched dozens of reporters to Wasilla, Alaska, to scrutinize Palin, but not to Indonesia or Kenya.
Obama is alien. Not because he's black, but because his beliefs are alien, and were formed in a crucible of radical student activism. If anything, Obama isn't black in the traditional U.S. political sense — he is not descended from slaves. His adult life was one of charmed privilege, a Harvard lawyer-millionaire.
Barack Obama is going down as the worst president in American history. American voters may fix that next year. But the Media Party's cover-up of his faults — and even the basic facts of his life — is a problem that will surely continue for years to come.EZRA LEVANT, QMI AGENCY
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From The Source, Sept. 1, 2011: Topless protestor Michelle Spero joins me--your freedom fighter--to bring you the naked news as we fight to “nip” censorship in the bud.
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