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Police politicization: Law breakers ignored while law-abiding protesters treated like criminals

Within the propaganda and tawdry political theatre that is the Idle No More movement and the Chief Spence diet program, something rather magnificent occurred last week. A Canadian judge had the courage and consistency to question the police, and perhaps make himself politically unpopular with the liberal bloc that is the senior Canadian judiciary.

Superior Court Judge David Brown, a man of singular wisdom and integrity, was chosen to hear an injunction request by CN Rail to stop the Native blockade of a railway line in Sarnia. Their action was dangerous, irresponsible and — most pertinent of all — plainly illegal. Brown granted the injunction.

But, as we’re so often told in seemingly interminable episodes of Law and Order on television, there are several branches to the law. Now came the turn of the police to implement the law without fear or prejudice.

Problem is, the Sarnia cops demonstrated both in enormous lumps.

Not only did they refuse to comply with the injunction, they refused to even try to do so, and there is evidence that one officer, a staff-sergeant, actually joined the protesters. Orders from the most senior kind instructed officers not to intervene, and at every level of the Sarnia police word had gone out to in effect ignore the law.

In the end, this small protest was ended quite easily when the hands of the police were forced, and with no violence or even particular problems. But it took far too long. The disregard, even contempt, evinced for the law from high-ranking police officers and police lawyers is staggering, and reminiscent of some foreign state we would previously have mocked.

Thank goodness for Judge Brown, but those of us who have covered demonstrations and reported on the police in Canada have seen this politicization for some time now.

In the past year alone, for example, I have seen the police intimidate and harass, even physically remove and threaten to arrest, pro-Israel demonstrators, yet ignore their anti-Zionist counterparts across the street.

I have seen peaceful Christians physically attacked at a gay pride parade and cops ignore their attackers and instead caution the victims and promise to arrest them if they did not leave the scene.

I have seen teenage pro-lifers handcuffed and arrested, merely for holding signs, and an opponent of abortion have his camera confiscated, the photos inside destroyed. He was then told the destruction was accidental — the photos proved police brutality — and it took three separate actions to “accidentally” erase them.

Right to protest

In all of these cases, it should be not the beliefs of the protesters, but the right to peacefully protest that shapes the police response. Yet Natives breaking the law are ignored or encouraged, while law-abiding supporters of Israel, the family or the unborn are treated like criminals.

They are far from isolated cases.

Any private conversation with rank-and-file cops will reveal how depressed they are about the situation, but a new generation of recruits, drowned in politically correct training classes, has often lost sight of what policing is.

When an enormously respected judge tells the police they are not doing the job, surely even Canadians have to demand action.

Let’s see, let’s just see.

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Ideological narcissism: Chief’s hunger strike tough to swallow

While I have some sympathy for Irish republicanism, I loathe the IRA and their cult of violence. But it has to be said that IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands was a man willing to give his all for the cause. Never a heavy-set figure, he refused food of any kind for 66 days and died.

This was after the “dirty protest” when he and other Republican prisoners smeared their cell walls with their own excrement.

Chief Theresa Spence is a very different case. She is, with all due respect, a fleshy lady, and we’re told by several sources that far from being on a genuine hunger strike, she’s merely eating little other than broth.

Forgive me, but that’s a detox regime rather than a serious political protest.

She also being visited by pretty much every ambitious leftist politician, special interest group leader and banal Canadian writer who can find the time. She seems to have become one of the country’s major tourist attractions, a sort of CN Tower but with more public funding.

The latter point is about as central as it gets, because while many natives live in poverty and degradation, the same cannot be said for their myriad leaders.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pumped into the native community through their leaders; that this fortune so often fails to find its intended target is a condemnation of chiefs rather than government ministers. It’s a multi-faceted, complex, historical problem, and emotionalism and hysteria only make it worse.

Most of us can trace ethnic or religious backgrounds where we’ve been persecuted, disenfranchised, massacred. Some are worse than others — natives owned black slaves in America, for example, but no black people owned natives.

This government has in many ways been more empathetic and pro-active regarding First Nations than most others, but the extremists now exploiting this latest protest are far more concerned with attacking Conservatives than dealing authentically with native grievances.

Let’s be clear here. Hunger strikes in a democratic society are immoral and irresponsible. In dictatorships, extremes of political opposition are understandable, but not where the electorate can reject a government and end a prime minister’s career.

It’s ideological narcissism: I matter more than you and my cause is more important and unless you meet with me I shall not eat.

Imagine a pro-lifer on hunger strike, or a Caledonia resident who was tired on native thuggery. B-list celebrities and politicians would not bend the knee, liberal media would not abandon any sense of balance and bow and scrape. Nor should they.

Blackmail is never acceptable, especially when it’s downright contemptuous of the democratic process.

It’s really a very Canadian protest. Not really starvation, not really about what is claimed, very safe, and all wrapped in blankets of cozy white guilt and an obsessive fear of being labelled as politically incorrect.

This won’t be the last word or action in the native debate, just as Bobby Sands’ death had little to do with the eventual peace in Northern Ireland.

That came about when both sides were simply exhausted. Have a Big Mac, Chief Spence, and close down the circus.


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Fashion over debate: Sonny days ahead if Justin Trudeau gets Liberal leadership nod

The world didn’t end recently, and it’s unlikely to come to a conclusion in 2013 either.

Rumours of its demise tend to be greatly exaggerated, either from Christian fundamentalists, Latin American tribes, or assorted conspiracy theorists. Odd how all of these types claim supernatural wisdom but do so badly in their own lives!

What we will see in Canada is the triumph of the mediocre and the mob.

Justin Trudeau. Of course he will become Liberal leader, and in spite of the complacent boasts of his critics he may well become prime minister. And if he does, it will be a disaster not only for Canada but for democracy.

You see, Trudeau is extraordinarily unqualified and vacuous.

He’s not evil, not even malicious, perhaps even good and well-meaning in a suburban, banal, CBC type of way.

He has no ideology other than a vapid trendiness — he has never said anything fresh or even left-wing about economics, foreign policy or governance, but knows we have to marry gay people and abort babies. As I say, childish fashion over serious debate.

But if he wins, he will be a mere face for a more substantial and altogether more sinister body.

First are the old Liberal hacks who were brought to political maturity by his father, and who want to rule again vicariously through the meagre son. They are moderate pragmatists, but are also unscrupulous, cynical and care nothing for democratic opinion.

Next are altogether more worrying individuals; not careerists but driven partisans. They were the people determined that Trudeau should speak to a conference of Islamic radicals. Sources claim that while the old advisers were urging their boy to listen to moderate Muslims, Jewish groups and gay organizations, the young Turks — or would Iranian be a better word? — were obsessed with a “new alliance” of voters.

Any Trudeau victory will be little more than a preamble to the battle within for who controls the Liberal party and its new leader.

Trudeau has very few formed opinions, simply doesn’t understand world politics and chants “middle class, middle class” to any substantive question about the future of one of the greatest nations on earth.

One conservative Canadian television commentator has described him pejoratively as “our Obama.”


Conservatives may dislike Obama’s policies, and he is certainly not the intellectual his supporters claim, but the man does have experience beyond the drama class, and has studied and read hard.

Trudeau is in fact “our Trudeau,” the modern version of Pierre. Of course the father was bright and well-travelled, but his ideas were nothing more than an extension of his own hobbies and fetishes. Daddy controlled, Sonny is controlled. Daddy wanted change for change’s sake, Sonny wants change because his brother and some of his handlers want change.

Successive governments, Liberal as well as Tory, have worked to restore financial and political stability to Trudeau’s Canada, but his son as prime minister would govern in a far more fragile and dangerous age.

Vote even NDP rather than Liberal, and hope a coalition of silly girls, political fanatics and old men longing for former glories do not win the day.


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Insulting fanatics: They’re the people who make up the legalization campaign

Last week on my television show, we interviewed Jodie Emery, a woman known only because her husband Marc is in prison in the United States and enjoys the sobriquet Prince of Pot.

She’s been on the show twice before, is a little lightweight and, typical of many single-issue extremists, indulges in the odd conspiracy theory.

This time I challenged her a little on drug legalization, and her answers were thin and predictable.

Not that I am especially opposed to looser drug laws and I really couldn’t care less about personal cannabis one way or the other.

It’s the plight of the privileged, a bourgeois conceit, a perfect example of western narcissism and self-obsession.

But here is where it got interesting. Even before the interview aired, after Emery tweeted about her rather gentle experience, I began to receive tweets and e-mails.

More than 500 of them in the end. I was called “Jew slime,” “a fag,” told that I “should get cancer,” called every abusive name you can imagine, often with appallingly bad spelling!

Yes, we have the proof.

I care even less about this than about cannabis use, but it does say an enormous amount about the dysfunction and fanaticism of the legalization campaign.

Frankly, I can understand anger from Muslims, Palestinians or gay people when I criticize Islam, defend Israel or oppose same-sex marriage. These are vital issues and emotions run high.

But smoking a joint? And it’s not even about that, in fact.

Nobody is going to be arrested for using cannabis at home, those dreadfully dull mass smoke-ins that seem to occur all the time prove you can be a bore publicly as well. I know cops who use the stuff, but I don’t know cops who arrest people for personal use.

The propaganda campaign that a plethora of charges are successfully filed because of ordinary people having tiny amounts of cannabis on them is mere fantasy.

This is not an ideology or a cause but a habit and an addiction. Like people campaigning for the right to masturbate. We don’t care guys, we just don’t care. Hunger matters, injustice matters, war matters, but this and you don’t. Yet we have the scenario of inverse significance. Activists for African poverty relief, for example — who have every right to be mad — tend to be balanced and polite. Yet activists for irresponsible drug-use — who have no right to be mad at all — are insulting fanatics.

Emery’s husband Marc, of course, in 2005 called former Liberal justice minister, Irwin Cotler, “a Nazi Jew or Jewish Nazi,” so I suppose he was either shaped by or shaping his people. Now this white, wealthy, self-promoter thinks he’s a martyr. Sorry guy, but there are thousands of poor people in American prisons who genuinely deserve help.

Imploding libertarian theories of wanting to legalize drugs so users have to buy them from the state and not the free market; students who have never contributed a cent to society screaming that they demand the right to hallucinate in the street; lies about the potential dangers of long-term cannabis use; utter myopia about the realities of criminal behaviour and so on and so on.

Grow up or shut up.


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Shrill backlash to men’s rights advocate

For more than two years I wrote a men’s column for a rival Canadian daily newspaper.

I’d never even considered men’s issues before, but the editor of the publication wanted the subject to be covered, so I obliged. And thus the door was opened to a world I had never even imagined.

Divorced fathers denied access to their children, even though they paid enormous amounts of child and spousal support and the courts had awarded them joint custody. Women having affairs who had decided to, as lawyers say, “clean house” by telling the police they were being abused. They weren’t, but the cops were obliged to arrest the husband and prevent him from returning to his home.

Men who were themselves victims of chronic physical and emotional abuse being told by the authorities to “suck it up and be a man,” men taking their own lives because their children were turned against them by angry ex-wives. Each time I covered such stories, I would receive myriad letters from men pleading for help.

I mention this because last month Warren Farrell, named by the Financial Times as one of the top 100 thought leaders and author of a number of vital and bestselling books, was due to speak at the University of Toronto.

His subject was the crisis among boys and how they were not doing well educationally, leading to multiple adult problems.

Farrell is enormously respected for his challenge to the assumption that men have total power, and he is also controversial because he has questioned some of the statistics about abuse, rape and gender imbalance.

He supports his claims with a great deal of research, of course, but none of this matters to those who would silence him. There were around 100 of these fanatics at the university before he spoke, ripping down posters, threatening and insulting anybody who tried to attend the lecture, and explaining as only heavily funded students can do, “You should be f—ing ashamed of yourself, you f—ing scum” to those with whom they disagreed. There is ample video evidence.

They gave Nazi salutes to the police and screamed in their faces that they were “f—ing scum and f—ing pigs,” including to the women police officers.

Why some of them were not arrested is beyond me, as they were clearly physically intimidating other people. But failure to arrest violent thug leftists is now common at such events.

The ugliness and stupidity of the mob was invincible. Caked in bad makeup and piercings, their faces creased in hatred and self-loathing, they screamed at Farrell and anybody who wanted to hear him — supporters or opponents — and tried to block all of the exits and entrances. They laughed at and abused anybody who told personal stories about tragedy and suffering, chanted that men’s rights groups were hate groups, and proudly stated their intention was to close down the event and prevent free speech.

In spite of all this, Farrell did speak, and spoke well. But to think that feminism has so often become this, and to see the true shape of the contemporary women’s movement is sad indeed. As the left so like to say, “shame, shame, shame.”

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Morality and tolerance

It’s been said many times that while American pastor Terry Jones has the right to publicly burn the Qur’an, he has the responsibility not to do so. In other words, acts have consequences, and even actions that are legal may lead to illegal responses.

But here, surely, is the point. The burning of a book, any book, may be annoying, but the burning of a person, any person, is grotesque. Jones sometimes destroys words while Muslim mobs frequently kill people.

It’s the difference between action and reaction.

Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses, Kurt Westergaard’s cartoon of Mohammed, and Pope Benedict’s statement in Germany about Islam, for example, all led to hundreds of people being murdered, and countless people beaten, property destroyed, and threats made. One was a book, one a picture, one the repetition of a question asked centuries ago about the Muslim faith.

So, whom do we hold responsible for the horror and terror that ensued after these three now-seminal events in recent history: The person writing, drawing, or speaking, or those who threw themselves into paroxysms and spasms of anger and brutality?

If we are to define ourselves, our culture, and our laws according to the responses of the brute, we might as well give up immediately.

The issue is not whether some obscure cleric should be allowed to enter Canada, but whether Canada is a nation that protects freedom of speech and seeks to curtail the more extreme and unreasonable manifestation of religious fervour.

We’re the first to mock the Americans for bringing God into politics, but we spend a lot of time appeasing Islam when it insists on bringing its god into pretty much everything.

Good Lord, consider what has happened in one single week. Liberals and leftists condemned politicians for wishing to discuss abortion, because they claimed that this was religion interfering with the state.

But the same people then insisted that a man be barred from our nation because Muslims might lose their tempers and kill people as a result of his crossing the border.

If this is not hypocrisy coated with cowardice, I do not know what is. Bibles are regularly incinerated in Muslim countries, blasphemy laws lead to the arrest, torture and murder of Christians, Hindus and other non-Muslims in Islamic states.

The most outrageous and obnoxious things are regularly broadcast and printed about Jews and Christians in the mainstream media in Muslim lands and even Muslim community newspapers in Europe and North America.

But in a way none of that really concerns this debate. It’s not about how immoral and oppressive others are, but how moral and tolerant we are supposed to be. And morality and tolerance have to be protected, even by laws and responses that may seem distasteful. It’s not that ends justify means, but that the bully does not respect compromise.

The reason Canada and the West are so attractive to most Muslim immigrants is because they can be free in a way they could not in their Islamic homelands. We owe it to them as much as the rest of us to preserve freedom, even if it burns a little.

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The Emperor is naked

What a sheer bloody joy it was to see Barack Obama, peace be upon him, exposed as the mediocre, media-inflated, self-important regional politician he so obviously is.

The emperor was revealed as having no clothes at all, as being totally naked. In spite of the massive amounts of media spin and Hollywood slander, in spite of the pompous, smug, verbose and tendentious moderator, in spite of Obama’s blatant dishonesty, Mitt Romney looked the adult to the president’s child. A mature and responsible adult at that, to a petulant and angry child.

Perhaps the most startling moment of the debate was when Romney told Obama: “Listen, I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant. The idea that you get a break for taking jobs overseas is simply not the case.”

Obama was suddenly the community organizer playing with the big boys. He lowered his head, looked scared and tired, was clearly in enormous trouble.

Obama looking like a goofballBeyond Romney’s electoral gains after the debate, remember foreign policy is still to come, and that should leave the president drowning in a sea of accusations.

Why did he joke and laugh with donors hours after a U.S. ambassador had been murdered?

Why did he tell us a movie had caused that murder when he knew it was a planned terror attack?

Why has he insisted on apologizing to an Islamic world that sees compromise as weakness?

Why has he not supported foreign liberation movements in Iran that look to Washington for help, but aided revolutionaries in the Middle East who despise the United States? Does he realize that his policies have increased the chances of war between Iran and Israel? Does he know that Russia feels more enabled under him than it did under President Bush? Why do allies in Europe and Asia feel betrayed?

There are only so many ways and so many times you can tell people, “Yes we can,” when four years have shown, beyond doubt, that no, you can’t.

Whatever Bill Clinton’s moral failures, he was a well-travelled and informed politician when he came to the White House, and can boast some remarkable achievements in domestic and foreign policy while inside it. In comparison, Obama is a flickering shadow.

This may have been the worst defeat of an incumbent in the history of presidential debates. Challengers have been ripped apart in the past — nobody got the better of Ronald Reagan — but never has a sitting president done so badly. You know you’re in trouble when even your buddies in media and entertainment can’t joke and lie you out of defeat.

I almost forgot. [In Canada, whence Michael Coren hails  —  editor] a former substitute drama teacher announced he wanted to lead the Liberal party and become prime minister, because he loves his country and everybody else has got politics wrong. The theatrics of the banal; or, to put it another way, a downmarket Obama, but with even less gravitas and the speaking skills of an annoying 15-year-old agitator.

Mind you, my 14-year-old daughter’s school is putting on Romeo and Juliet and they do need an assistant stage manager.

Only part-time though.

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Bullies or victims? Fairness and proportionality strike out in sport and sexuality

So, a guy who plays pro sport is an idiot. Good Lord, I can’t believe it! I mean, who knew?

Yes, Yunel Escobar was dumb enough to write on his face in Spanish something akin to “You are a faggot,” thus enabling every hypocrite and self-indulgent victim fetishist to moan about the horrors of homophobia.

Big money and big entertainment will do pretty much anything to not offend the gay community these days, and in this case their acts of ostensible contrition were positively nauseating.

Frankly, I don’t think Escobar intended a slur on homosexuals, and was probably not even thinking of homosexuality when for some perverse reason he wrote these nasty words beneath his eyes. It was probably some silly, jock, inside joke.

When it’s used by teenage boys, the word faggot generally means idiot or loser. I’ve heard kids who are trendily pro-gay and pro-same-sex marriage use the term “fag” with no apparent understanding that there is a connection. I’ve also heard gay people use it about other gays. The word will disappear naturally, as is right.

It should never have been written, and no professional sports team should allow an employee to write anything, even innocuous, on his face.

But the story ends there really.

Rogers, the owners of the Toronto Blue Jays, fined the guy $90,000 and suspended him for three games, which is fair enough.

Unlike in 2011 when television sports anchor Damian Goddard was fired from Sportsnet, also owned by Rogers, just hours after he tweeted his support for “the traditional and true meaning of marriage.” He had been defending a hockey player’s agent who was receiving death threats and abuse for refusing to support a pro-gay-marriage campaign.

It could have been a coincidence of course, but we’ll leave that to the human-rights commission where it is being considered. Goddard never used an offensive word, and merely expressed his opinion of marriage. Perhaps he should have written it on his face — he may well still be employed!

As for Escobar — bad word, move on. Stop the grovelling, stop the nonsense, get it in proportion. After all, it’s nothing like what happened to Peter Vidmar. You didn’t know? OK, let me explain. Vidmar is one of the most successful athletes in U.S. history. He was chosen to be the chef de mission of the U.S. Olympic team in the last Olympics, as was gay activist Mark Tewksbury for Team Canada. But Vidmar is a Mormon, and it was discovered that he had made a small donation to the Proposition 8 campaign, enshrining marriage as the union of a man and woman. He has never called anyone a nasty name, never treated gay people badly, is an example of a gentleman in sport. But he opposed gay marriage, and after relentless pressure he was forced to resign.

So who are the bullies, who are the victims, in sport and sexuality? Nobody should face or feel discrimination in professional sport, but can we please stop magnifying a dumb gesture into an act of sociological and moral barbarism?

Oh, and as for compulsory sensitivity training, the Jays are in far greater need of baseball training. The genuine victims are the fans.


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A night with the fanatics

On Tuesday evening, I covered a 9/11 vigil in Toronto, and a counter-protest across the street organized by Islamic and leftist groups calling for the return of Omar Khadr.

We didn’t know that as this was taking place, Muslim fascists in Libya and Egypt were murdering people who had in some way offended them. One of the dead was the U.S. ambassador to Libya, representing a nation that had given so much to free the Libyan people from tyranny.

The ostensible reason for the slaughter was outrage over a fringe movie depicting the prophet Mohammed in a negative light.

So what? We are supposed to be free to speak our minds. The issue here is not the movie but the Islamic reaction to the movie.

Remember, the same week this tiny film was made public, the internationally celebrated Venice Film Festival gave an award to a movie showing a naked woman masturbating with a crucifix.

The Christian response was an e-mail.

I doubt any of this would have moved the crazies protesting Tuesday. They described their demonstration as a hate-free zone, but told me and the other Sun News team to “f— off” as soon as we arrived. Not one of the many protesters could tell me the name of the medic who was killed by Omar Khadr, and some of them said it didn’t matter. They were also indifferent to the stories I told them of Christians, gays, women and moderate Muslims being slaughtered by militant Islamists.

What was noticeable was how many non-Muslim, white student types were there, including one with a megaphone with OCAP — Ontario Coalition Against Poverty — written on it, as an ownership marker. In that most of the crowd seemed to have the latest iPhones and iPads, I’m not sure where the poverty was.

As always, these extremist groups wheel out their token Jew or two, like the old South African apartheid regime always had a black traitor who would praise the system. One of the Jewish ladies at this event explained how all of Israel was occupied territory.

The crowd screamed “fascist” and “hoodlum” at the peaceful crowd of mainly Jewish, Hindu and Chinese people across the road, and then ostentatiously sat down when the Canadian national anthem was played.

Suddenly Omar’s sister Zaynab Khadr was spotted and internal e-mails revealed she would be kindly providing refreshments — no joke.

The lovely Zaynab once said of Americans killed on 9/11, “They deserve it.

“They’ve been doing it for such a long time, why shouldn’t they feel it once in a while?”

We asked her politely for a comment, and the zoo erupted.

We were pushed and threatened, and a group of people surrounded us screaming “racist, racist” and tried to prevent us from moving. One of them grabbed my arm and microphone, but his grip was as tenuous as his grasp of logic.

So, a night with the fanatics. Thank God they do not have the guns and bombs possessed by their friends in the Middle East.

But be aware, they live among us, and their hatred and anger knows few bounds.

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Sympathy well runs dry

Ontario teachers are giving us an education in groundless bellyaching

 So there he was, the leader of one of Ontario’s largest high school teachers’ unions. He sat on national television and explained there was going to be a day of action, and his members would, in his words, “take time off from their volunteering at school to prepare lessons and show the government that they are angry” and don’t want a pay freeze.

I’m sorry! Time off volunteering at school? First, that’s nonsense and you know it.

Most teachers wouldn’t attend a day of action during their vacation because they’re still at the cottage, because teachers have the entire summer off and are paid handsomely with our tax dollars through July and August. Also because, quite frankly, most of them are not particularly political in the first place.

How about the idea that they don’t want their wages frozen? In Ontario, and the situation is not radically different in the rest of Canada, teachers have been given increases almost unheard of elsewhere, which is almost unprecedented in a groaning economy and certainly enormously generous. That’s happened because the Liberal government in Ontario bribed teachers to be nice, purchased union passivity, gave our money to teachers to prevent those same teachers from going on strike and thus giving grief and hardship to the very people — parents — who pay their wages in the first place.

Teaching isn’t easy, but nor is it so terribly hard. Very few Canadians would refuse to exchange their jobs for an indoor life with three months paid vacation, $75,000 a year or more, and retirement in their early 50s with around $60,000 a year for the rest of their lives. I don’t begrudge you, but please stop moaning on that you’re more giving than Mother Teresa and more exploited than some poor bugger enslaved on a 19th-century Mississippi plantation!

I’m tired of hearing about burn out, tired of hearing mythology about getting to school at 7 a.m. and not leaving until 6 p.m., tired of sick days, tired of showing videos when you should be teaching, tired of your activists and leaders with their leftism and social engineering, tired of pretending that public education works so well when, in fact, it is highly questionable.

Teachers in this country have frequently put all of their resources into defeating provincial governments and federal politicians of whom they disapprove.

They have campaigned tirelessly for parties they knew would give them almost anything they wanted. It’s not so easy now, because the money is running out, and even the leftist parties can’t help you much anymore.

The problem you really face is the deposit of sympathy in the bank of the body politic has been run dry. People care, but not that much — they’re more concerned, and understandably so, with their own jobs and futures.

We like you, we respect you, we wish you well, but we also wish you’d teach, give up politics and show a bit of gratitude for the way you’re treated, compensated and cuddled by the rest of society. Hey teacher, leave our cash alone!

Now I’m off to double detention, because I’ve been a very naughty boy indeed.

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Pampered prince

Michael Bryant has a new book out. Yes, the former attorney general of Ontario, a man tipped to be the eventual leader of the Liberal party and even perhaps prime minster of Canada, has just given us 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope.

Appallingly pretentious and lazy title aside, the main point is that this pampered prince of the liberal establishment was an alcoholic and he is angry that the police treated him harshly and even charged him back in 2009, when Darcy Allan Sheppard leapt onto his car and the young bicycle courier was killed.

Look, when Bryant panicked and when Sheppard died, most of us surely thought it was something, while tragic, that could have happened to anybody.

Bryant did not appear to have acted unusually or unnaturally, though there were some worrying questions to be asked.

He was charged, and then after an investigation told that he was free to go. That is how the system works in a civilized nation and as a former attorney general, Bryant really should know this.

That the police initially charged Bryant with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death is also part of that same civilized equation.

It’s the law, and it must apply equally to all — from wealthy lawyers with powerful friends to troubled and broken young men who ride bicycles.

Bryant writes, “It is not unusual for Toronto Police Services to wait weeks (or even months) before deciding how they will proceed with such charges. In my case, the police couldn’t wait a news cycle. I got the opposite of special treatment.”

No you didn’t.

If anything you were treated kindly, and I’d bet the house on the fact that someone like Darcy Allen Sheppard wouldn’t have had the same treatment.

Nor would he have been able to afford the toughest lawyer in town or hire a leading PR company to represent him. You could and did both, Michael.

He also claims the police didn’t interview witnesses properly, yet the police have revealed they have never received a complaint from Bryant or his lawyers about this, and they went to the trouble of bringing in a special prosecutor from outside of the province to guarantee local bias would not influence matters.

Bryant also sounds more than a little smug and artificial when he says he hopes the book brings comfort to others who have struggled, when there’s very little indication of contrition or sorrow on offer — a point emphasized by Sheppard’s adoptive father since the book’s publication.

The fact is, Bryant was a major player in a Liberal party machine that enjoys massive influence within the law, business and media in Canada, and particularly in Ontario.

Some of its senior members have a sense of entitlement that is hideous, and assume they are more significant and important than the rest of us.

Frankly, I may well not have liked Darcy Allan Sheppard very much, but the fact is he is the one who died in all this and the one whose family grieve.

I’m sorry Mr. Bryant, it’s simply not all about you.

Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Michael Coren writes: Mr. Ordinary: Jack Layton was OK. Nothing more, nothing less

The time of waiting has come to an end, and like a child embracing the dawn on Christmas Day I feel my heart bursting with a fulfilled anticipation.

Yes, filming has started on the Jack Layton biopic, and Rick Roberts — who? — and Sook-Yin Lee will play Layton and his wife Olivia Chow in Smilin’ Jack: The Jack Layton Story.

“It’s been a pleasure looking into the life of such a multi-faceted man. I’ve had to learn to speak Cantonese and French, and play the guitar,” explained Roberts. “Jack Layton was an incredible athlete, and I like to lie on the couch — so this in itself has been challenging. The most intriguing part has been trying to embody his passion for life, his generosity, and his resolve to follow his vision in spite of overwhelming odds.”

Quite so. Gifted musician, linguist, Olympic athlete, saint. A little like Gandhi and Churchill, but oddly hidden in an extremely ordinary municipal politician and man who was ever so briefly the leader of the federal opposition. This is the sort of thing that makes Canada look so small and silly. Jack was a nice fellow, but my goodness he had his faults, and there have been legions of better people and better politicians. This is pathetic stuff, all paid for with the tax dollars of the very Canadians to whom, it seems, Jack was a god. Odd, then, that so few of them actually voted for him.

But more bewildering is the casting of the absurd but politically acceptable Sook-Yin Lee as Chow.

“Jack and Olivia were an amazing team in life, love and politics,” she explained pretentiously. “They cut through bureaucracy and remained accessible to people. It will be a challenge for me to embody Olivia in all her beautiful complexity. I hope to serve her well.”

Yeah right, but there was that massage parlour thing wasn’t there, where most of the media refused to refer to the 1996 police raid on a Chinatown massage parlour where Jack was found naked in the suspected bawdy house. (He was not charged). It doesn’t make him a monster, but can you imagine any conservative politician being treated so generously?

Lee would probably have been better cast as a masseuse in the alleged bawdy house, in that she is best known for her intriguing role in a low-budget movie called Shortbus. Laughably bad and largely forgotten, this nonsense caused controversy only because Lee performed non-simulated sexual intercourse and masturbation on the screen.

Nope, she wasn’t faking, it was for real. And who of us is not a better person for watching some silly girl playing with herself and having public sex on the large screen? Well, it’s easier than acting I suppose.

Look, Jack was OK and Olivia is OK. Nothing less, nothing more. The Layton funeral was a preposterous demonstration of ersatz grief and communal neurosis, and yet another platform for Stephen Lewis’s invincible arrogance and pomposity. Stephen Harper was blackmailed into allowing it by media pressure, and it’s sad that he submitted.

Layton was not a beloved Canadian figure, he was a beloved media figure. Now he is to be portrayed in a television hagiography, and his widow by someone who professionally masturbates.

As I say, nice.

Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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It’s about power: Al-Quds Day a celebration of hatred and terrorism

Beyond the hatred, the racism and the anger, there’s a certain irony surrounding Al-Quds Day, commemorated this weekend internationally and to its shame — in Toronto.

The event was founded by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and is an overwhelmingly Shiite Islam event. Anybody who knows Islam will understand that the Shiites are despised in most of the majority Sunni world. They were treated as second-class citizens in Lebanon, they are murdered in Pakistan, they are thought as being, golly, even worse than the Jews in Syria, and there aren’t any in Egypt because Saladin killed them all.

So spare me the lies and propaganda about Islamic brotherhood and the fraternity of Muslim believers. You have not seen genuine hatred if you haven’t seen how Muslim sect treats Muslim sect. And you’ll see a lot more of it when President Assad falls, and his fellow Alawites, a version of Shiite Islam, are likely slaughtered like cattle.

While this sordid event can take place in Canada, it would likely be banned or violently suppressed in most Muslim countries. Believe me, it’s not about Jews; it’s about power, and the psychotic inability of international Muslim leadership to tolerate anybody who does not agree with the established position.

The epicentre of Al-Quds Day is Iran, where homosexuals are publicly executed, women stoned to death, dissidents gang-raped and then murdered, the Holocaust denied, and international terrorism planned and financed. Tehran is the model that many of the people at the centre of this protest admire and would like to see replicated everywhere. They couldn’t give a damn about the Palestinians, and see their plight as another way to extend their own ideology. Good Lord, some of them even pretend to be Iranian when they’re not. I interviewed one of the Al-Quds Day organizers some years ago, and knew him to be Pakistani. He lied to my face, because being Iranian is apparently way sexier in the Islamic fanatic community.

So this is not about free speech at all. Freedom is sacred, but it is not the same as license. All civilized people condemn public pleas for violence and genocide, which is what will be heard at the demonstration if they are in any way similar to past gatherings, and judging by activists’ e-mails that have already been circulated.

There may well also be Hezbollah flags flown. This internationally recognized terrorist group is illegal in Canada and is also playing a central role in the Syrian massacres that we read about every day.

Imagine, for example, a large group of people waving Paul Bernardo flags, or Nazi banners.

A lot of mainstream Arabs and supporters of Palestine are uncomfortable with this gruesome display, but too many politicians, especially Liberal ones, seem to measure morality by votes. It’s not whether something is wrong or not, but how many people might support the party if a stand is taken.

That’s horrible. In some ways even more horrible than the day itself.

As you read [Friday, August 17, 2012 08:00 PM, EDT] this I’ll be speaking to 800 Catholics in Winnipeg. No terror, no hatred, no screaming for blood.

Religions aren’t all the same.

Really, really not the same.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Racism nightmare

Political correctness holding us back from facing gangster problem


There was a BMW SUV parked outside the house, the earnest reporter told us on the radio earlier this week, following the shooting of more than 20 people, and the killing of two at a Toronto party.

But surely the reasons for urban shootings are poverty, lack of air-conditioning, too few basketball courts, racism and a history of oppression.

Whoops, scrap the last reference, because if we mention race, the people out there to whom we lie on a constant basis will realize that gun crime is often the result of black gangsters fighting over drug turf, respect, or simply because they’ve nothing better to do.

Not that we’re always even told the ethnicity of the criminals, sometimes resulting in the ludicrous, Kafkaesque scenario where the police give out descriptions of dangerous people they want to arrest, but are often too politically intimidated to be specific about their colour.

It’s the racism of lowered expectations, in that white people know who the gangsters are because they’re not fools, and black people know because they are so often the direct victims of these sociopathic cretins.

It’s a scene replicated internationally, and even if we ignore the American example ­— where there genuinely is a history of discrimination and the phenomenon of a multi-generational underclass — the problem is entirely obvious. In Britain, for example, there are specific black crime units in every major city. Not, presumably, because everybody is obsessed with catching Conrad Black.

Many of the officers in these outfits are black, and they might just know a little more about who the killers are than white politicians terrified of speaking truth to liberal power, more than Sally Social Worker with her degree in gender studies, or Bobby Bolshevik, who blames everything on anything other than the real causes.

It’s partly about self-regard. Too many teenage girls in the black community have so little of it that they are obsessed with becoming “baby mamas.” What’s love got to do with it? Sod all! Forget love, it’s hardly even about sex. It’s plastic self-esteem through pseudo-parenting, while the man’s self-esteem is defined by the very opposite. He is hardly on the scene at all, and she likes is that way. Of course some of these girls grow to be mature and responsible mothers, but far from all.

If you have several children by various fathers, and if those children are never given any sense of boundary or limitation, if the ostensible mothers party rather than work, and then if they’re told by suburban whites that they’re victims rather than perpetrators, it’s no wonder we have what we do.

Combine this with an attitude that despises authority, a police force led by people seemingly more concerned with appearances than arrests, the pop culture glorification of a rancid sub-culture, and politicians who know even less than they care, and we have disaster.

There has always been ethnic crime, but “civilians” were not targeted, and fleshy profit triumphed over moral and personal anarchy. I’m so damned tired of kids dying while adults are lying.

A great man had a dream, but many who have followed him have made the world a nightmare.

Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Church, state, hijabs

Lots to write about this week, so I have to be a little eclectic.

In Quebec a girl was told she couldn’t play soccer while wearing a hijab and the usual suspects screamed “Islamophobia.”

Actually there are two very simple solutions to this. The young lady must either remove the hijab, or she must not play soccer in that particular league. It’s called obeying the rules, and while you don’t have to like it, you do have to observe it.

The argument really stops there, but if you want more here goes. Wearing a burka is not a religious requirement as the Qur’an only demands modesty, but it is an outward symbol of a cultural statement, and in many ways it is more political than theological.

There are several forms of Islamic covering, but the hijab is the Muslim Brotherhood-prescribed version. Organized soccer does not allow political expression.

A hijab might cause an injury or might give the girl an unfair advantage when heading the ball, but that’s largely irrelevant.

Playing soccer is not a fundamental human right and religion does sometimes require sacrifices. Sorry dear, play somewhere else or do what Christians are always told and change with the times.

Oh, and just to do the irony thing, in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Afghanistan, where the hijab is compulsory, women have been killed for watching soccer, let alone playing it.

In the United States, the ever-shrinking Episcopalian Church — Anglicans with American accents — voted to ordain transgendered people. “Bless us Father Mother Father, for we have sinned.”

So many have left this church, as well as the Anglicans here and the Church of England in Britain, that it’s said there will soon be more ministers than congregants. Good Lord, pretty soon they’ll be more transgendered ministers than congregants!

At the United Nations, Iran was appointed to be a member of the international Arms Trade Treaty conference. Iran being, by the way, another one of those countries where women have been murdered for watching soccer. And boys executed for being homosexual, and transgendered people slaughtered.

But those good old Episcopalians still insist that Iran should be listened to and singled out as the cause for the region’s problems — yes, you’ve guessed it — Israel, where gays and transsexuals have full equality and anybody can watch soccer.

Back in Canada, there are still hardly any Liberals willing to openly declare their intention to fight for the party’s leadership. The most notable so far is Deborah Coyne, and if she’s notable, imagine how anonymous and bland the others are.

She’s best known, of course, for being the mother of one of Pierre Trudeau’s children. He wanted to remove the state from the nation’s bedrooms, while finding his way into Coyne’s. Pierre was 71 when his daughter was born. So he could father a child but, one assumes, not pick her up.

Coyne is no fool, so she must know she can’t win and she’s probably jockeying for position for when the Liberals form another government. Whoops! You’d be better off waiting for the Afghan women’s soccer team to win the World Cup. Or Episcopalians to fill their churches.

Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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