Saturday, January 20, 2018

Al Gore 2 /Conrad Black: No Real Justice When Everyone is a Victim!

Inconvenient Truth? 2



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Conrad Black: There can be no real justice when everyone is a victim!

January 19, 2018

Margaret Atwood is the latest to have been hit by the tidal wave of political correctness that has inundated Canadian life, sweeping away resisters


Renowned Canadian author and feminist Margaret Atwood, seen at a press conference for "Alias Grace" on Sept. 12, 2017, is the latest to have run afoul of the political correctness movement.

It is becoming steadily more difficult to maintain morale in the face of the tidal wave of political correctness that inundates Canadian life, drowns resisters, and sweeps away any trace of them. Sen. Lynn Beyak is a perennial lightning rod, and the last bolt to strike detached and evicted her from the Conservative Senate caucus for posting correspondence on her website. The party leader, Andrew Scheer, is a very reasonable and tolerant person, who understands that there are real problems with native affairs policy, and he is not given to flying off the handle. He is as he appears — an affable and thoughtful and civilized individual. He was a popular speaker of the House of Commons, and though he won the Conservative leadership narrowly over Maxime Bernier, because each constituency had equal weight in the selection process regardless of the likelihood of the Conservatives winning the constituency in a general election or the numbers of paid up Conservative association members in each constituency, he won by a significant margin among those who voted in the leadership process.

Yet he gunned Beyak out of the Senate Conservative caucus with a stern assertion that his party would not abide racism. This is commendable, but Beyak is not a racist. The objection was that her website carried extensive correspondence with acquaintances of hers on the subject of native people and their public policy issues, and that some of it was racist. Beyak’s perceived offence was not anything she herself said or wrote, but some of the comments she aired on her site. In an email to me, the Senator described some of these reflections as ”a little edgy and opinionated, well researched by ordinary citizens, (and) filled with compassion and valid observations from history.”

We need to jettison the phoney guilt complex
 
Beyak has a long and distinguished history of working with native groups in her home region of western Ontario. Her problem arises from her conviction, acquired from experience and observation, not from any ethnic or cultural prejudices, that the core of the native problem is not the past, colonization or residential schools, though they certainly caused problems, but what she calls “the bloated Indian industry in Ottawa,” where billions of dollars are thrown out of the windows over the failed programs of the past in the expectation that they would somehow produce improved results. Not only does the status quo cruise majestically on, but it does so on a high tide of confected and orchestrated public guilt about past treatment of the natives, fanned by the fiction that Canada tried to exterminate native culture in an official campaign of “cultural genocide.” I have written here before that no such concept exists and the phrase is deliberately provocative and in this case thoroughly unjust.

Throughout Canada’s 170 years as an autonomous jurisdiction in domestic matters, official policy was positively intended, even if it was often mistaken, ineffectual, or in a few individual instances, antagonistic and oppressive. What we need is to jettison the phoney guilt complex that the courts and the admittedly creative native leaders have fastened on our heads like a crown of thorns, and devise new methods to tackle these problems co-operatively with responsible native leaders and with reasonable standards of accountability. Beyak has worked with a group of 12 local native leaders to create a development program and they unsuccessfully requested an audience with Scheer. The whole concept of allocating funds to native leaders for 10 years at a time with inadequate procedures to monitor how they are dispensed, and of dealing with all these native groups as quasi-sovereign independent nations, and abiding by the judicial findings that practically half of Canada consists effectively of sacred native burial grounds, should be scrapped. We must be generous, imaginative, and respectful, but not stubbornly retentive of failed policy. (Being turfed out of the Conservative Senate caucus is no great burden — I’m an independent member of the U.K. House of Lords and in an appointed house, the whips are just a nuisance. One of Justin Trudeau’s better moves was to release all the Liberal senators to be independents.)

Atwood has been rounded upon as a turncoat for having the temerity to ask for due process
 
The fever of political correctness has assaulted much more challenging targets than Lynn Beyak. The great and redoubtable Margaret Atwood, who has few rivals as the greatest novelist in Canadian history, and has been an impeccable but reasonable feminist all her career, entirely consistent and often courageous, has been rounded upon as a turncoat for having the temerity to ask for due process before the University of British Columbia condemned and fired professor Steven Galloway for misbehaviour with publicly unspecified women, including a student of Galloway’s. The whole process was secretive and gave Galloway very curtailed rights to make his case and the verdict was initially opposed by distinguished native novelist Joseph Boyden, who recruited other writers, including Atwood. The more militant feminist community, forgetting or ignoring the fact that Margaret Atwood had carried water on both shoulders for their cause for nearly 50 years, attacked her as if she was a fellow traveller of male chauvinism, and a critic of no distinction.

Though it does not involve a result that is seriously unjust or such eminent personalities, the controversy over Lindsay Shepherd, a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University, illustrates the condition of freedom of expression. As has been amply publicized, Shepherd played a video of a debate between the formidable and politically incorrect academic Jordan Peterson with Professor Nicholas Matte over the obligatory use of gender neutral pronouns at the University of Toronto. She introduced the video, which had been played on TV Ontario, carefully, and was summoned to a meeting where she was told that there had been complaints that she had created a “toxic atmosphere” through an act equivalent to playing a speech of Hitler’s without giving context. Shepherd recorded the meeting without advising her interrogators of that, and released the recording and roused the interest of a number of commentators, including me. It soon emerged that there had been no complaints, that Shepherd’s conduct was exemplary, and the university and her professor publicly apologized. It ended well and Shepherd became an international personality; there were no apparent sanctions on the conveners of the Star Chamber which she recorded, but the enemies of rigid political correctness don’t want vengeance, they want a tolerant community where spontaneity and individualism are encouraged.

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Canada is constantly officially apologizing and making reparations in all directions — natives, gays, militant women, trans-gender and sexually ambiguous people. Everyone wants justice but there can be no justice if everyone is a victim. Confession is good for the soul and the mind, when it is sincere and proportionate, but we are running the risk of being the first people in history to induce a state of profound moral complacency by the torment of endless self-accusation. Canada has less to apologize for than almost any other country. We should remember the comment of Dr. Johnson to the man who answered a series of questions: “So I humbly presume.” We “could stand more presumption and less humility.”

• Email: cbletters@gmail.com

Rex Murphy: Trudeau as Dictator of Canada?


Rex Murphy: No summer jobs for you! And other decrees from Bishop Trudeau
January 19, 2018
3:02 PM EST

What shallow hubris engenders the prime minister's view that he has the authority to undo citizens' religious and moral beliefs?


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets a crowd during a reception marking the start of a Tamil festival in Toronto on Jan. 16,



Just because you vacation with an Aga Khan, however often, doesn’t make you one. You leave the idyllic island with no more religious authority than when you arrived. Come as a secular politician, leave as one. I think we may begin to wonder if Justin Trudeau understands this point.

The prime minister has recently, speaking as one should say ex cathedra, declared a doctrinal test for any who wish to make application for student summer job grants. If any church, charity or club wishes to apply for one — successfully — it is insisted they endorse and declare in writing their agreement with the Liberal party’s understanding on (a) abortion and (b) a whole raft of other progressive doctrines and dogmas on other sexual and gender issues.

It’s a strange turn. How does one get from students trying to work off their education debts to a government insisting its citizens declare themselves on issues of the deepest moral and religious sensitivity? From student jobs to the roiling tumult of abortion politics? I guess there is more than one way to spin a handperson’s tale:

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Roman Catholic Church?

“Yes.”

“No summer jobs for you!”

Under the latest Trudeau encyclical, the priest, minister, imam, shaman or rabbi would have to publicly repudiate his faith
 
We return to the Bishop of 24 Sussex for explication. Suppose some parish council wants to do a cleanup of the town stream, and figures with a grant it could help half a dozen debt-hounded students by giving them summer jobs. Under the latest Trudeau encyclical, the town’s priest, minister, imam, shaman or rabbi would have to publicly repudiate his faith on an official document and maul his conscience with a lie (thus playing roulette with their immortal souls; religious people actually believe they have them) if the poor students are to be helped by said grants.

Does anyone think Mr. Trudeau, more a stumbler than a specialist on the ethics front, is overreaching here? Just a jot or a tittle? Has he really not read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a document on most occasions he treats as believers of old reverenced the Sinai tablets?

It has as central prime rights those of religion and conscience. Religion and conscience — rights that are as ancient as the concept of rights itself, the pivot on which all ancillary rights depend. They are not rights that depend on a calendar date, nor are they mere manifestations of a particular, transient political climate. In so far as any rights are eternal, these are.

The Liberal platform of the day is not a synonym writ large for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
 
What shallow hubris engenders the sense that Mr. Trudeau, as through this both petty and profound intrusion he has, has the authority to undo the balance of citizens’ religious and moral beliefs and the political dispensations of a particular government? The Liberal platform of the day is not, as this government wildly seems to think, a synonym writ large for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But hey, it’s only a jobs program. Well, once started, why stop? Why stop at the grant-applying organizations? Why not question the students who are to get the jobs? Why shouldn’t they be asked to sign on the dotted line, tick the right boxes? Why shouldn’t they be asked as well if they endorse the Liberal readings on abortion, the carbon tax, diversity, NAFTA, refugee intake, the return of ISIL fighters?

On the principle underwriting the summer jobs policy, there is absolutely no logical reason why they should not be so interrogated and obliged.

At the core of this affair is the blasé assumption of the secular progressive mind that religion, and most particularly the Christian religion, is “so over” so “not 2015” that the rights of the religious are not of the same stamina, not of the same worth and “truth,” as all our “modern” rights freshly blossomed out of fashionable ideological hothouses.

Traditional Christian rights are the rights of the backward part of the population, those who rarely make a noise, block a street, or besiege a parliamentary office. So fooling with them, forcing believers to make awkward or even impossible choices, is seen as either an amusing, politically costless game, or as a condescending prod towards their inevitable evolution to a higher plane. Their betters hurt them only to help them.

It’s an act of arrogance that comes very glibly to a crowd that requires no exertion to feel pleased with themselves — the same arrogance that skips blithely over the stated ethical standards of Parliament and Prime Minister, but in lordly fashion riffs in town halls and cabinet rooms what is right for everyone else to believe and what is not.

As for those dissenting, who sense their deepest convictions are being outraged, their consciences mocked, why they are just stirring up a mere “kerfuffle.” We will be long waiting for the day when an equal slur against a non-traditional religion or one on, say, gay rights, is so characterized.

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