Captain Airhead, Would You Please Go Now?

      Throne, Altar, Liberty

The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Captain Airhead, Would You Please Go Now?

 Leap Day this year is the fortieth anniversary of Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s announcement that during a “walk in the snow” he had decided that he would step down and not lead the Liberal Party into the next Dominion election.  He had been leader of the Grits for sixteen years since Lester Pearson stepped down in April of 1968.   With the exception of the six month premiership of Joe Clark he had been Prime Minister all that time.   His was the third longest premiership in Canadian history.   The longest was that of William Lyon Mackenzie King who had been a different kind of Liberal leader.   King, like Trudeau, had been a traitor to Canada, her history, heritage, and traditions, but in his case it was American-style capitalist liberalism to which he had sold us out.   In the case of Pierre Trudeau it was Soviet and Chinese Communism that was his true master.   Canada’s second longest premiership was also her first that of Sir John A. Macdonald.   Sir John had been the leader of the Fathers of Confederation and never betrayed us.   Nor did Canadians ever grow tired of Old Tomorrow.   Shortly before his death in 1891 he won his sixth majority in that year’s Dominion Election by campaigning for “The Old Flag, the Old Policy, the Old Leader” against a Liberal Party that sought to move us closer economically and culturally into the orbit of the United States.   By contrast by the time Trudeau took his famous walk Canadians had grown absolutely sick and tired of him.   The Liberals were heading to defeat, Trudeau knew it, and in the interest of preserving his legacy and what was left of his reputation jumped off the ship before it sank.

The electorate’s having grown sick of Trudeau and his party should be regarded as the expected outcome when a Prime Minister remains in office for a long period of time.   Sir John’s enduring popularity can be taken as the exception explainable by the fact that he was an exceptional statesman, identified with the country he led as no other Prime Minister could ever hope to be due to his central role in her founding, and a personable leader to whom people could relate.   When a Sovereign, like Queen Victoria during whose reign Confederation took place or like our late Queen Elizabeth II of Blessed Memory, has an exceptionally long reign this is cause for celebration and rejoicing.   It is the role of the Sovereign, after all, to embody the principle of continuity and everything that is enduring, lasting, and permanent in the realm.   The man who fills the Prime Minister’s office, by contrast, is very much the man of the moment.   Premierships, therefore, are usually best kept short.

Pierre Trudeau’s son, Captain Airhead, has been Prime Minister since 2015 and Canadians are now far sicker of him than they ever were of his father.   Personally, I had had more than enough of him while he was still the third party leader prior to the 2015 Dominion Election.   Why it took this long for the rest of the country to catch up with me I have no idea but here we are.   It is 2024 and Canadians are divided on whether they would like Captain Airhead to follow his father’s footsteps and take a walk in the snow, whether they would like to see him suffer the humiliation of going down in defeat in the next Dominion Election or whether they would like to see him brought down in an act of direct divine intervention involving a lightning bolt that strikes the ground beneath him causing it to open up, swallow him whole, and belch out fire and brimstone.  What unites Canadians is that we all wish that he would make like Dr. Seuss’ Marvin K. Mooney and “please go now.”   Thermidor is rapidly approaching for Captain Airhead and his version of the Liberal Party as it eventually comes for all Jacobins.

The Canadian Robespierre seems determined, however, not to go to his inevitable guillotine without one last stab at imposing his ghoulish and clownish version of the Reign of Terror.   On Monday the Liberals tabled, as they have been threatening to do since the last Dominion Election, Bill C-63, an omnibus bill that would enhance government power in the name of combatting “online harms.”   A note to American readers, in the Commonwealth to “table” a bill does not mean to take it off the table, i.e., to suspend or postpone it as in the United States, but rather to put it on the table, i.e., to introduce it.   Defenders of omnibus bills regard them as efficient time-savers.   They are also convenient ways to smuggle in something objectionable that is unlikely to pass if forced to stand on its own merits by rolling it up with something that is desirable and difficult or impossible to oppose without making yourself look bad.   In this case, the Liberals are trying to smuggle in legislation that would allow Canadians to sue other Canadians for up to $20 000, with the possibility of being fined another $50 000 payable to the government thrown in on top of it, over online speech they consider to be hateful and legislation that would make it possible for someone to receive life imprisonment for certain “hate crimes”, by rolling it up in a bill ostensibly about protecting children from online bullying and pornographic exploitation.  As is always the case when the Liberals introduce legislation that has something to do with combatting hate it reads like they interpreted George Orwell’s depiction of Big Brother in 1984 as a “how-to” manual.  

Nobody with an IQ that can be expressed with a positive number could possibly be stupid enough to think that this Prime Minister or any of his Cabinet cares about protecting children.   Consider their response to the actions taken over the last year or so by provincial premiers such as New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs and Alberta’s Danielle Smith to do just that, protect children  from perverts in the educational system hell-bent on robbing children of their innocence and filling their heads with sex and smut from the earliest grades.   Captain Airhead and his corrupt cohorts denounced and demonized these premiers’ common-sense, long overdue, efforts, treating them not as the measures taken in defense of children and their parents and families that they were, but as an attack on the alphabet soup gang, one of the many groups that the Liberals and the NDP court in the hopes that these in satisfaction over having their special interests pandered to will overlook the progressive left’s contemptuous disregard for the common good of the whole country and for the interests of those who don’t belong to one or another of their special groups.  

Nor could any Canadian capable of putting two and two together and who is even marginally informed about what has been going on in this country in this decade take seriously the Prime Minister’s posturing about hate.    The leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Pierre Poilievre, when asked about what stance the Conservatives would take towards this bill made the observation that Captain Airhead given his own past is the last person who should be dictating to other Canadians about hate.   Poilievre was referring to the blackface scandal that astonishingly failed to end Captain Airhead’s career in 2019.  It would have been more to the point to have referenced the church burnings of 2021.  In the summer of that year, as Captain Airhead hosted conferences on the subjects of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that consisted of a whole lot of crying and hand-wringing and thinking out ways to get around basic rights and freedoms so as to be able to throw in gaol anyone who looks at a Jew or Muslim cross-eyed, Canada was in the midst of the biggest spree of hate crimes in her history.   Christian church buildings all across Canada were targeted for arson and/or other acts of vandalism.  Not only did Captain Airhead fail to treat this violent and criminal display of Christophobia as a serious problem in the same way he was treating these other types of hatred directed towards specific religions he played a significant role in inciting these attacks on Canada’s Christian churches by promoting a narrative in which all allegations against Canada’s churches and her past governors with regards to the Indian Residential Schools are accepted without question or requirement of proof. (1)

Clearly Captain Airhead does not give a rat’s rump about hate qua hate.   If hatred is directed towards people he doesn’t like, like Christians, he shrugs it off even when it is expressed through violent, destructive, crime.   If it is directed against people he likes, or, more accurately, against groups to which he panders, he treats it as if it were the most heinous of crimes even if it is expressed merely in words.   While I am on principle opposed to all laws against hate since they are fundamentally unjust and by nature tyrannical (2) they are especially bad when drawn up by someone of Captain Airhead’s ilk.

Captain Airhead’s supposed concern about “online harms” is also a joke.   Consider how he handles real world harms.   His approach to the escalating problem of substance abuse is one that seeks to minimize the harm drug abusers do to themselves by providing them with a “safe” supply of their poison paid for by the government.   This approach is called “harms reduction” even though when it comes to the harms that others suffer from drug abuse such as being violently attacked by someone one doesn’t know from Adam because in his drug-induced mania he thinks his victim is a zombie space alien seeking to eat his brain and lay an egg in the cavity, this approach should be called “harms facilitation and enablement.”   Mercifully, there is only so much Captain Airhead can do to promote this folly at the Dominion level and so it is only provinces with NDP governments, like the one my province was foolish enough to elect last year, that bear the full brunt of it.   Then there was his idea that the solution to the problem of overcrowded prisons and criminal recidivism was to release those detained for criminal offenses back into the general public as soon after their arrest as possible.   Does this sound like someone who can be trusted to pass legislation protecting people from “online harms”?

Captain Airhead inadvertently let slip, last week, the real reason behind this bill.   In an interview he pined for the days when Canadians were all on the same page, got all their information from CBC, CTV, and Global, before “conspiracy theorists” on the internet ruined everything.   He was lamenting the passing of something that never existed, of course.   People were already getting plenty of information through alternative sources on the internet long before his premiership and the mainstream legacy media became far more monolithic in the viewpoints it presented during and because of his premiership.   What he was pining for, therefore, was not really something that existed in the past, but what he has always hoped to establish in the future – a Canada where everyone is of one opinion, namely his.    This is, after all, the same homunculus who, back when a large segment of the country objected to him saying that they would be required to take a foreign substance that had been inadequately tested and whose manufacturers were protected against liability into their bodies if they ever wanted to be integrated back into ordinary society, called them every name in the book and questioned whether they should be tolerated in our midst.

Some have suggested that Bill C-63 is not that bad compared with what the Liberals had originally proposed three years ago.   It still, however, is a thinly-veiled attempt at thought control from a man who is at heart a narcissistic totalitarian and whose every act as Prime Minister, from trying to reduce the cost of health care and government benefits by offering people assistance in killing themselves (MAID) to denying people who having embraced one or more of the letters of the alphabet soup, had a bad trip, the help they are seeking in getting free, deserves to be classified with the peccata clamantia.   It took a lot of pain and effort for this country to finally rid herself of the evil Section 13 hate speech provision that Captain Airhead’s father had saddled us with in the Canadian Human Rights Act.   Captain Airhead must not be allowed to get away with reversing that.

It is about time that he took a walk in the snow.   Or got badly trounced in a Dominion election.   Or fell screaming into a portal to the netherworld that opened up beneath his feet.   Any of these ways works.  

The time is come.  The time is now.  Just go. Go. GO!   I don’t care how.  Captain Airhead, would you please go now?! (3)

(1)   Anyone who thinks the allegations were proven needs to learn the difference between evidence and proof.   Evidence is what is brought forward to back up a claim.   Proof is what establishes the truth of a claim.   That the evidence advanced for the allegations in question simply does not add up to proof and moreover was flimsy from the onset and has subsequently been largely debunked is an entirely valid viewpoint the expression of which is in danger of being outlawed by the bill under discussion.   In a court of criminal law the burden is upon the prosecutor to prove the charge(s) against the defendant.   Not merely to present evidence but to prove the accused to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The same standard must be applied to allegations made against historical figures and past generations.   They, after all, are not present to defend themselves against their accusers.   To fail to do so is to fail in our just duty towards those who have gone before us.   The ancients had a term for this failure.   It is the vice of impiety.

(2)   The folly of legislation against hate was best expressed by Auberon Waugh in an article entitled “Che Guevara in the West Midlands” that was first published in the 6 July, 1976 issue of The Spectator, and later included in the collection Brideshead Benighted (Toronto: Little, Brown & Company, 1986).    Michael Wharton, however, writing as “Peter Simple” was second to none, not even Waugh, in ridiculing this sort of thing.– Gerry T, Neal

From Dubya to Dhaliwal

Throne, Altar, Liberty

The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, February 5, 2021

From Dubya to Dhaliwal

 I am a Tory rather than a true libertarian.   Actual libertarians would say that government is either a necessary evil or an unnecessary one, depending upon whether the libertarian is one who believes in the “nightwatchman state” model or one who believes that the state is a criminal plot against the rights of the individual.   I hold to the classical view that laws are necessary and that government is a good thing in the sense that it is an institution that was established and exists to serve the good of the public.   The degree to which any specific government in any specific time and place can be said to be either good or bad depends upon the degree to which it actually accomplishes this purpose.   Having said all of that, I am the kind of Tory who, like the novelist Evelyn Waugh and his son Auberon, has a great deal of sympathy for the minimal government type of libertarian.   As the elder Waugh once put it “I believe in government; That men cannot live together without rules but that they should be kept at the bare minimum of safety.”     It is from this perspective that I make the following observations. 

Whenever government declares “war” against something other than another country, whether it be drugs, crime, poverty, whatever, it is for the purpose of expanding its own powers.    This expansion of government is never necessary and it always involves the diminishing of the civil rights and freedoms of the governed.   It is very difficult to contract the powers of government after they have been expanded and to restore rights and freedoms after they have been diminished.   Any time, therefore, that the government starts talking about wars against abstract enemies we should take this as an alarm bell telling us to stand up for our rights and liberties before we lose them.

You are perhaps thinking at this point that I am about to apply this to the militaristic language our governments have been using while announcing totalitarian restrictions as their response to the spread of the bat flu.   While that is certainly a valid application, I will let you make it for yourselves.   Instead, I wish to consider another example from twenty years ago, the ramifications of which are now becoming most evident.

On September 11, 2001, al-Qaida, an Islamic terrorist organization that had evolved out of the CIA-trained mujahideen that the United States had employed against the Soviet Union following the latter’s invasion of Afghanistan decades earlier, attacked its former sponsor by hijacking planes and flying them into the towers that symbolized American and international commerce in Lower Manhattan.   The American President at the time, George W. Bush, shortly thereafter declared a “Global War on Terror” and gave the rest of the world an ultimatum to either stand with the United States in this battle or be counted on the side of the enemy.

By declaring war on the abstraction of terrorism in general rather than merely the specific, concrete, terrorist organization al-Qaida that had attacked America, Bush signaled that he had a far more ambitious project than merely settling the score and punishing the perpetrators of 9/11.   While terrorism is notoriously difficult to define due to a lack of consensus with regards to certain of the particulars there is a general understanding that it occupies the space where the kind of violence that law enforcement deals with and the kind that requires a military response overlap each other.   This makes it a particularly bad choice for an enemy in an abstract war.   In addition to the problem common to all wars against abstract enemies, that they can never be won and brought to a decisive end because abstract enemies cannot surrender or be toppled or killed, a war against terrorism is an invitation to merge the law enforcement and military functions of government in a way that threatens the privacy, rights, and freedoms of the governed.

This is precisely what happened with the Bush administration’s War on Terror.    In the first month of the War on Terror the Office of Homeland Security was established which about a year later would be expanded into the Department of Homeland Security, a creepy body, like something out of a totalitarian dystopia, in which the line between law enforcement and the military is all but eliminated.   In less than two months after 9/11 the Bush administration had drafted and pushed through Congress the draconian Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act, which stripped Americans of anything but nominal constitutional protection of their privacy rights and turned the American republic into an Orwellian surveillance state. 

I knew full well at the time that this was a power grab aimed at expanding the powers of the American government at the expense of the privacy, rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans.   I knew this because this is precisely what the men who were rushing to do this in September of 2001 had been saying about similar efforts on the part of the Clinton administration in the 1990s.

In the spring of 1995 I was finishing my freshman year as a theology student.   At the very end of the semester a terrorist attack in the United States was all over the news.   A truck loaded with a homemade bomb had been detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.   Bill Clinton immediately began pointing to this event as demonstrating the need for the Omnibus Counterterrorism Bill that his Attorney General Janet Reno’s Department had drafted and that had been introduced in the US Senate a couple of months earlier by none other than the present occupant of the White House who at the time was Senator for Delaware (Chuck Schumer was the sponsor of the Bill in the House of Representatives).   The bill met with strenuous opposition from civil libertarians of the left and right and consequently it was only a very emaciated version that was signed into law by Bill Clinton on Hitler’s birthday the following year.  When, barely a week after 9/11, Bush’s Attorney General John Ashcroft had the draft of the PATRIOT Act available – a bill so long that few who voted on it had been able to read the entire thing – this was because he had basically recycled Clinton’s Omnibus Counterterrorism Bill, adding a few bells and whistles here and there.   Ashcroft is said to have called up Joe Biden to tell him that it was essentially the same bill that he, that is Biden, had introduced seven years earlier.   Now, although Clinton had failed to get the surveillance state he sought in 1995-1996, he did not let up in his efforts to enhance government powers in the name of fighting terrorism.   Indeed, he brought the matter up with increasing frequency as his many indiscretions began to surface and his administration became enmired in scandal.     Around 1997, for example, he wanted the FBI to be given the power to intercept and read all internet communications.   An excellent article was penned in opposition to this by the said John Ashcroft, who at the time was Senator for Missouri.   The article was entitled “Keep Big Brother’s Hands Off the Internet” and included such wise observations as the following:

“The Clinton administration would like the Federal government to have the capability to read any international or domestic computer communications…The proposed policy raises obvious concerns about Americans’ privacy…There is a concern that the internet could be used to commit crimes and that advanced encryption could disguise such activity.  However, we do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for unlimited wiretaps.   Why then, should we grant government the Orwellian capacity to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web?…The administrations interest in all e-mail is a wholly unhealthy precedent, especially given this administration’s track record on FBI files and IRS snooping.   Every medium by which people communicate can be subject to exploitation by those with illegal intentions.   Nevertheless, this is no reason to hand Big Brother the keys to unlock our e-mail diaries, open our ATM records, read our medical records, or translate our international communications”.

Indeed.   It appears that some time between 1997 and 2001 one of the pod people from Don Siegel’s 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers had replaced Ashcroft with a look alike who instead of the above sound reasoning espoused rhetoric about how those raising concerns about the PATRIOT Act’s impact on civil liberties were aiding and abetting the terrorists.   He was hardly the only one.  The same could be said of a great many of the most prominent figures in American conservatism who had talked like Ashcroft about the Clinton administration’s threat to American liberties in the 1990s, only to turn around and support the PATRIOT Act in 2001.   It was at this point that I lost all respect for American conservatives – other than those like Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and Charley Reese who were manifestly the same people, espousing the same principles, regardless of whether a Clinton or a Bush was in power.

It was a couple of years later, when Bush and Ashcroft were again talking about expanding their powers to fight terrorism – they had drafted the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, nicknamed “PATRIOT II”, but it was never presented to Congress – that the late Sam Francis wrote an article explaining the case against all legislation of the type, in what was the single best response to the annoying “it’s okay when our side does it” attitude among the Bush “conservatives” that I ever read.   He wrote:

But the larger point is not what this administration does or doesn’t do with the new powers.

The point is that the powers are far larger than the government of any free people should have and that whatever powers this administration doesn’t use could still be used by future ones.

That, of course, is how free peoples typically lose their freedom—not by a dictator like Saddam Hussein suddenly grabbing power in the night and seizing all the library records but by the slow erosion of the habits and mentality that enables freedom to exist at all.

Instilling in citizens the notion that the power to seize library records is something the state needs is an excellent way to assist that erosion.

Most libertarians, of the left or the right, will tell you how we have been eroding those habits and that mentality for several decades now.  – Samuel Francis, “Bush Writing Last Chapters in Story of American Liberty”, September 25, 2003, Creators Syndicate.

The truth of Sam Francis’ words is now glaringly obvious.   

The White House is now occupied by the decrepit swamp troll who had introduced the first draft of what would eventually become the PATRIOT Act back in 1995 and he is calling for even more anti-terrorism legislation.   He has also openly turned the War on Terror against those whom the Clinton administration had in mind when they attempted, unsuccessfully, to launch their own War on Terror that year – American citizens who stand up for their rights and freedoms, especially Christians who are serious about their faith, white people who object to being vilified for the colour of their skin and turned into scapegoats, and gun owners.   

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin that implies that those who are unsatisfied that the outcome of last year’s election was legitimate, are opposed to the lockdown measures that trample all over their rights and freedoms (“frustrated with the exercise of government authority” is how the memo words this), or both, are potential violent threats to the United States.    A government that regards around half of the people it governs as threats is no longer a constitutional government that respects limits on its own power for the protection of its citizens and their rights and freedoms.  It is more like a government that fears and has declared war on its own people.   The progressive media that during the last administration defended its monolithically hyper-adversarial stance with slogans like “democracy dies in darkness” has been calling for Republican senators such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and in some cases the entire Republican Party to be designated “domestic terrorists”.  The United States is a two-party country.   If you criminalize one of the two parties you are left, of course, with a one-party state.   Otherwise known as a totalitarian dictatorship.   The kind of state that the United States, the capital city of which is now under military occupation by its own army, is giving every impression of becoming.

From up north in the Dominion of Canada it is appalling to watch our southern neighbour turn itself into the world’s largest banana republic, both because of what it means for our American friends and because bad ideas and trends down there have a nasty habit of migrating up here.

Think back to 2001 once again.   Our Prime Minister at the time was Jean Chretien, who was in my opinion a creepy, sleazy, low-life scumbag, to list only his better qualities. While Bush, Ashcroft, et al, were making a big noise about the PATRIOT Act and all the other things they were going to do in fighting their War on Terror, Chretien, relatively quietly had Anne McLellan introduce Bill C-36, an anti-terrorism bill of his own into Parliament.  It quickly passed the House and Senate and received Royal Assent in December of that year.   It consisted of amendments to several different pieces of existing legislation, such as the Criminal Code and the Official Secrets Act.   Some of its provisions, at the suggestion of Bill Blaikie who at the time was the Member representing Winnipeg-Transcona in the House of Commons, were given sunset clauses which caused them to automatically expire in five years. Other provisions remain to this day.      

I will provide an illustration of how this led to the shameful abuse of government power twenty years ago before returning to the present.

One the pieces of legislation amended was the Canadian Security Intelligence Services Act, which created CSIS in 1984.   The amendment replaced “threats to the security of Canada” with the much broader wording “activities within or related to Canada directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political, religious or ideological objective within Canada or a foreign state”.   CSIS, when it took over the RCMP’s intelligence functions, also took over the issuing of security certificates, a provision of the 1978 Immigration Act which allowed for those who were not Canadian citizens to be declared a threat to national security and deported in a streamlined manner.

In December of 2001, just as Bill C-36 was going into effect, American immigration officials arrested Ernst Zündel, who had left Canada in 2000 vowing never to return, rather understandably as he had on three separate occasions been persecuted by our government for his unpopular political-historical views.  He had married an American citizen, the Russian-German Mennonite novelist Ingrid Rimland and, had he been anybody else, would have been on track for American citizenship himself.    Interestingly enough, in February of that year the men’s magazine Esquire had published an essay by journalist and war correspondent John Sack in which Zündel featured   The essay was entitled “Inside the Bunker” and recounted the writer’s experiences at the previous year’s conference of the Institute for Historical Review where he met holocaust revisionists such as Zündel.   The essay, which was later selected for inclusion in the anthology, The Best American Essays 2002, edited by Stephen Jay Gould, was more-or-less the opposite of every other article which had ever appeared about holocaust revisionists in the mainstream press.  Sack treated them respectfully, pointed out a few places where they were demonstrably right, and gave reasons for rejecting their conclusions that were based on evidence rather than abuse, for he presented them all in general, and Zündel in particular, in a sympathetic light as basically ordinary people, who were more hated than guilty of hatred and whose views arose defensively, in response to post-World War II German bashing, rather than out of anti-Semitic bigotry.  Evidently, the essay had no impact on the American and Canadian authorities.   The Americans charged him with overstaying his visa and sent him back to us.   CSIS issued a security certificate against Zündel, which it would not have been able to do prior to Chretien’s anti-terrorism bill becoming law because he was by no means a threat to the security of Canada having been a peaceful and non-violent man for all of the decades he had lived here.   Under the Anti-terrorism Act, however, they were able to stretch the very flexible new wording of their mandate to include him on the basis of people he had associated with.

He was detained and held in solitary confinement in a tiny cell for over a year while he was tried in his absence before a prejudiced judge on the grounds of evidence to which neither he nor his lawyer, Doug Christie, were given full access, and ultimately was deported to Germany where he was arrested over things he said or written in North America, charged, and sentenced to five years in prison.

To summarize, the greater flexibility that had been given to our “intelligence” agency on the grounds that it was needed to protect our country from the threat of terrorist violence was used pretty much immediately after it had passed into law, to once again persecute a man whom our government had been persecuting for his political-historical opinions since 1984, this time denying him the protection of due process that had been available to him previously and which had ultimately prevailed in those cases when the Supreme Court struck the laws under which he had been convicted down.

This was a most disgraceful episode and one that clearly demonstrates that governments that seek to expand their own powers and flexibility in order to combat foes like “terrorism” cannot be trusted to confine the use of those powers to that purpose.

Parliament did take greater precautions than the US Congress in passing the Anti-terrorism Act.   I have already mentioned that certain provisions came with sunset clauses that would cause them to expire in five years unless the House and the Senate agreed to an extension.   The Act also required that the House and Senate appoint committees to conduct a comprehensive review of the Act within its first three years, which would be a necessary preliminary step towards any extension.   While a short extension was agreed upon after the first review, ultimately these provisions were allowed to expire in 2007.   By this time Stephen Harper had become Prime Minister, but the expiration of the provisions should not be attributed to any great concern for the privacy, rights, freedoms, and due process of Canadians on his part.   In his final year as Prime Minister he introduced a new Anti-terrorism Act, Bill C-51, which was more like the USA PATRIOT Act than Chretien’s Anti-terrorism Act had been, and which greatly expanded the powers and mandate of CSIS.   Readers might recall that this loathsome piece of legislation was the reason I vowed never to vote for the Conservatives again as long as Stephen Harper led the party.   The Conservatives were defeated in the election that fall, which I would like to think was in retaliation to Bill C-51, except that they were replaced in government by the only party in Parliament that had supported them in passing it.

Now let us return to the present.   One of the provisions of Chretien’s Anti-terrorism Act that remains in effect was the creation of a list of groups officially designated as terrorists.   It is odd, actually, that this was allowed to stand, because it is one of the worst provisions in the Act.   It essentially functions like a decree of outlaw, depersoning everyone in the groups placed on the list, stripping them of all constitutional protections.

One might think that the New Democrat Party, Canada’s officially socialist party (as opposed to all the unofficial ones), with its long history of human rights rhetoric, would have a problem with this.   Back in 2015, when they were led by Thomas Mulcair, they were on the right side, the opposing side, of the Bill C-51 debate.   In 2021, however, they are led by Jagmeet Singh.   One might think that Singh, considering his open support for the cause of separating Punjab from India and Pakistan and turning it into the Sikh state of Khalistan, a cause that has frequently been supported by acts of terrorism, including one of the most notorious – if not the most notorious – to take place on, well, not on Canadian soil, but in Canadian airspace, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, would have even more cause than other NDPers to oppose the official terror list.   At the very least one would expect him not to be throwing stones from within this particular glass house.   One would be very, very, wrong in all of this.

Not long after a number of unarmed and oddly dressed supporters of Donald the Orange temporarily delayed the Congressional certification of the Electoral College vote by entering the Capitol in Washington DC causing everyone to break out into histrionics screaming “coup” “insurgency” and the like, Singh tweeted that the event was an “act of domestic terrorism” and stated that “the Proud Boys helped execute it”, “Their founder is Canadian”, “They operate in Canada, right now” and that he was “calling for them to be designated as a terrorist organization, immediately”.

What is this “Proud Boys” that Singh thinks deserve the terrorist designation more than the mass murderers of Hindus?

It is not, as its title would seem to suggest, an organization devoted to advancing the alphabet soup cause.   It is a group that has attained notoriety over the last five years mostly for its confrontations and clashes with antifa.   Antifa are those groups of masked thugs that go to events organized by right-of-centre groups and lectures featuring speakers with views that leftists believe ought not to be heard and try to disrupt and shut down these events and lectures through intimidation and bullying.  I don’t know if this was the original intent when the Proud Boys was founded but it quickly gained a reputation as a group that was eager and willing to fight back.

The media, which has tacitly and sometimes explicitly, supported antifa for years, has attached all sorts of labels to the Proud Boys that seem to completely disregard the group’s account of itself.   It is frequently called “white nationalist”, for example, despite the fact that it has always been multiracial, that its founder, the Canadian born “godfather of hipsterdom” and co-founder of Vice magazine, Gavin McInnes, is a civil nationalist who explicitly rejected racial nationalism, and its current leader, the one who has been charged with regards to the incident on Capitol Hill, is an Afro-Cuban.   McInnes described the group as “Western Chauvinist” but he explained this quite clearly in terms of the values of Western Civilization, which anyone from any race can adhere to and which, in an irony totally lost on his progressive critics, are entirely liberal – in the sense of classical liberal – values.  

Since the facts obviously conflict with the claim that the Proud Boys are white nationalists, why do the media and the self-appointed anti-hate watchdog groups continue to so designate them?

Obviously it is because they are not using the term to convey any meaningful information about who and what the group is but as a weapon to demonize, discredit, and destroy it.

The exact same thing can be said about Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal’s call to designate the group a “terrorist organization”.   There is little if anything in the facts that would support this designation in any meaning-conveying sense.   The violence perpetrated by antifa which exists solely for the purpose of using violence or the threat of violence to suppress opinions with which the left disagrees and silence those who hold such opinions far more closely fits the meaning of the word terrorism than pushing or punching back against said violence, whatever else one might think about this sort of responding in kind.   The designation is not intended to be meaningful, it is intended to destroy a group that Singh opposes for political reasons.

This is a terrible misuse of a law that seems like it was written to be terribly misused.

Singh followed up on his tweet by raising the matter in Parliament and bringing it to a vote.   The House unanimously voted for a motion recommending that the government add the Proud Boys to the terrorist list.   There was not a single dissenting vote.   Anybody in the Conservative Party who might have thought that antifa and BLM deserved to be on that list much more than the Proud Boys kept that thought to himself.   Anybody in the NDP or Green parties who might have objected to the terrorist list even existing on the grounds that it is a threat to human rights, kept that thought to himself.   This unanimous vote to declare the group a terrorist organization for entirely political reasons, depersoning its members and stripping them of their constitutional protections, speaks extremely poorly about the politicians we have sent to Parliament, and bodes very ill for our country’s future.

The motion in Parliament had no binding force on the government.   Bill Blair, the ex-cop who is Public Safety Minister – a title from the French Reign of Terror which ought not to exist in a free Commonwealth realm, back to Solicitor General, please – told the CBC that the decision would be based on “intelligence and evidence collected by our national security agencies” and that “Terrorist designations are not political exercises”.     On February 3rd he declared that the Proud Boys, along with a bunch of obscure groups that few have ever heard of before, had been added to the list.    

Jagmeet Singh was elated, although it was reiterated on the occasion that his motion was not a motivating factor in the decision (yeah right), and he called upon the government to go even further in eliminating groups that disagree with him.  He was quoted by the CBC as saying:

We need to build a country where everyone feels like they belong. Those hateful groups have no place in our country.

Clearly all anti-terrorism legislation needs to be repealed immediately.   Anything that gives such a man, who is so completely stupid that he cannot see the glaring contradiction between these two sentences, this kind of power to destroy those he doesn’t like is a far greater threat to our country than terrorism itself. Posted by Gerry T. Neal at 7:44 AM

: Auberon Waugh, Bill Blaikie, Bill Blair, Bill Clinton, Ernst Zündel, Evelyn Waugh, Gavin McInnes, George W. Bush, Jagmeet Singh, Janet Reno, Jean Chretien, John Ashcroft, John Sack, Sam Francis, Stephen Harper