Inoculating Our Children Against Political Correctness

This is talk I delivered at the second annual Freedom School conference, held in Calgary earlier this year:

James Grant: The Forgotten Depression

A while ago, when the Canadian government abandoned the ‘long form census’ and stopped collecting unnecessarily intrusive information about us, the citizens, this simple act generated great controversy.

Not just in the media – inside my family, too!

You see, my father-in-law is a Keynesian…

It is a difficult admission to make, but, alas, it is true!

My father-in-law and I love each other very dearly – and truly respect each other as professional adversaries – but, when it comes to individual freedom versus central government control, the two of us just don’t agree…  And every chance we get (much to the chagrin to the other adults in the family), we battle for the souls of the next generation of our family!!!

Especially my children – his grandchildren.

And whatever else he may be, my father-in-law is brilliantly eloquent and very, very persuasive.  Neither of which traits I posses:  rather, I counter simply with the ‘deeply uncharismatic’ reason.

So, back to the time when the mandatory (as in – you’ll go to jail if you don’t reveal to the government your innermost secrets) ‘long form’ (i.e. constitutionally – none of the government’s business) census was controversially being cancelled.

Did I mention that my father-in-law, while a student of Economy and Political Science (sic) at Ottawa U wrote an essay deeply critical of Lester B’s economic policies?  Little did he know that his prof was Lester B’s drinking buddy…and mocked him with my father-in-law’s essay.

The next day, my father-in-law got a phone call:  “Belaire!!!  So, you don’t think I know how to run this country?!?!?”

And – he offered my father-in-law a job.  On the spot.  As his special economic advisor!

Needless to say, my father-in-law accepted.  He advised Lester B on economy while he was the leader of the opposition – and penned the wording much of Lester B’s laws – especially anything even remotely dealing with the economy, while Lester B was the Prime Minister.

And he advised and briefed many of Lester B’s ministers:  from PET through Chretien to Martin and many, many others. And, he mentored many subsequent top civil servants…some of whom tried (unsuccessfully) to rope me into what eventually turned into the sponsorship scandal…but that is a different story.

(Must state:  when it came to this scandal, my father-in-law was even more idealistic and naive than I…100% blameless, as he was well retired by then…but some of his past civil servant mentees tried to ‘repay’ him by trying to draw me in to the schemes so I could benefit financially…big time…until they saw I was totally not into corruption and that given proof, I would ‘blow the whistle on them’, at which point they kind of black-listed me…  Honesty is what my father-in-law and I share and the root of our mutual respect, despite our ideological differences.)

My mother-in-law still has a scrap book of all the political cartoons that included my father-in-law – from all the main stream media publications of those days.  And yes, when PET came to power and refused to heed my father-in-law’s advice (which, surprisingly, was actually reasonable) regarding Alberta’s oil-sands, my father-in-law could no longer take the Liberal corruption and resigned.

As he says: he used to be a classical liberal – but he held on to his morals while ‘his party’ drifted away from him.

Of course, he and I disagree most vociferously about which time period is best descriptive of ‘classical liberal’ – we both seek that title, yet each of us understands it to mean a very different thing…reflecting a different ‘era’ of what either of us believes constitutes a ‘classical liberal…

OK – I’m ranting – I beg your indulgence.

Back to the issue of the ‘long form census':  we were up, at a cottage in northern Quebec, with the dog and the rabbit curled up by our feet, arguing over the benefits vs evils of the ‘long form census’.

DSC_2553

And, being the eloquent/charismatic one, my father-in-law was winning the argument – winning my babies’ minds over to the dark side!

That is – until I asked my sons what do they think the government was going to DO with all this information.

Which is what turned the tide…

Why bring up this story now?

Well, it is necessary for the young people in our society to understand what the proper role of the government ought to be – and just how easy it is for the self-appointed technocrats to usurp the decision-making process and subvert political  decision making to their pet ‘models’ and untested hypothesies…

The following video contains very strong empirical evidence for the benefit of denying governments the type of information they are most likely to seek, which would give them excuses to justify interventions in areas they have no right to intervene and interfere in!

Like, say, economy…

Mutlu Kaya – will she ever sing again?

Draw Muhammed Day event denied: interview

Today, Vlad Tepes interviewed me regarding my failed attempt to hold an International Draw Muhammed Day event in Ottawa, on the Parliament Hill, yesterday.

I hope this clarifies any outstanding questions as to why I though I had a permit to hold the event, when, at the last minute, it had been denied.

Also thanks to Vlad Tepes, here are some audioclips from CFRA, Ottawa’s talk show station, on the topic.

First audioclip is from Tuesday night’s Late Night Counsell on 19th of May

And here, Vlad was kind enough to put up commentary and comments from CFRA’s Lowell Green show on May 20th:

So, what exactly happened with that ‘Draw Muhammed Day 2015′ event yesterday…

I had hoped to hold a Draw Muhammed day event in Canada’s capital, Ottawa – on the grounds of Parliament Hill – yesterday, May 20th,  the International Draw Muhammed Day.
I must admit that through this whole process, I have proven myself to be rather naive, since I thought that ‘following the rules’ was the best way to approach this issue…
As per instructions, I applied for the appropriate permit and was told (via phone) that all was in order and only the security issue needed to be addressed before the permit would be granted.
Understandable.
So, I worked with the Protective Policing detail of the RCMP, the people in charge of the security of The Hill, to move the time and specific location of the event in order to make it as easy for them as possible to ensure the safety not only of this event, but also of every other visitor to The Hill.
In order to ensure this could not possibly be interpreted as an attack on one religious minority and their beliefs, I ensured that this event would be critical of all religious persecution of freedom of speech:  since the Pope claimed violence would be a justified response to an insult to his mother, I invited people to draw the Pope’s mother; since people are in jail for having used an image of Buddha with headphones, I invited people to draw an image of Buddha with headphones.
And, to demonstrate that the prohibition against depicting the likeness of the Islamic Prophet Muhammed is by no means as universal as some loud voices today would have us believe, I planned to display historical Islamic depictions of Muhammed.
In addition, I invited people to draw any other religious/political figure they want – this was a freedom of speech event at the occasion of the International Draw Muhammed Day, nothing less or more.
After both an email and phone exchange with various members of this team, I had met with them – in a local coffee shop, none the less, and was told that thanks to my eager cooperation, all of their security concerns had been addressed and the permit would be issued within hours.
Naively, I believed what I was told, and started to let people know about the event.
Being just one individual and not a member of any organization or political party, I simply posted the info on my blog and sent emails to my friends, who sent emails to their friends, and so on….a word of mouth thing, as I have no budget for ads and such.  RISE Canada even took it upon themselves to put up a Facebook page for the event, as I had not even the skills for that.
I waited for the promised paperwork, and waited, and waited.  As of Tuesday afternoon, I was assured it was coming.
Then, at 5:25pm on the 19th of May, I received a phone call informing me that the permit for the event was denied.
Frankly, I was surprised and at a loss for words – I did all I was told and was assured that all ‘security concerns’ were fine – yet, it was precisely ‘security concerns’ that were cited as the reason fro the denial.
No appeal was possible.
No explanation for what these ‘security concerns’ were was going to be provided.
I contacted the RCMP protective detail assigned to me for the event and let them know….and while I realize I don’t understand internal politics, it seemed to me that they were not the ones with ‘security concerns’.
So, I updated the info on my blog, re-sent emails and let everyone know that indeed, in Canada, our constitutionally guaranteed ‘freedom of speech’  only extends to bureaucratically permitted speech…
Anyhow, everybody respected the prohibition against the event – only some reporters and numerous security forces were reported to have shown up….
I have been asked by many people to please re-schedule the event for another time and that is indeed what I will do.
Yet, I am left with the logistics question of how to go about it, since the official permit will, no doubt, be just as likely denied as the first time….and begging for a permit to exercise freedom of speech seems very silly, if not downright oxymoronic…
Anyhow, that is the stage in which things find themselves now.
Thoughts?

Draw Muhammed Day 2015 – on Parliament Hill, Ottawa

UPDATE:  FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN CANADA HAS BEEN CANCELLED!!!

International Draw Muhammed Day 2015

DESPITE HAVING RECEIVED APPROVAL FOR THIS EVENT FROM THE RCMP HILL SECURITY LAST WEEK, LESS THAN 24 HOURS PRIOR TO THE EVENT, A BUREAUCRAT FROM CANADIAN HERITAGE HAD CALLED TO INFORM ME THAT THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO SECURITY CONCERNS.  PLEASE, DO NOT COME TO TRY TO EXERCISE YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN CANADA – THE BUREAUCRATS HAVE CANCELLED IT!!!

Date:  Wednesday, 20th of May, 2015

Time:  13:00 to 15:00

Place:  Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada

Come and join us in drawing Muhammed, the Pope’s Mother, Buddha with headphones and or any other religious/political figure!

Let’s exercise our freedom to blaspheme – while we still can!!!

We will meet at 13:00 hours (1pm) at the Eastern Entrance to the Parliament Hill, because this is the entrance that the October 22nd, 2014 shooter had entered The Hill from after shooting Sgt. Cirillo at the War Memorial.

Then we will walk up along the route the shooter had taken and set up a table on the North-Western corner of the front lawn (just before the shrubbery) at about the half-way point between the two shootings.  (If it is wet and rainy, we will put up a tent, so we can actually produce art and Draw cartoons/pictures.)

And we will exercise our freedom to blaspheme any and every religion we wish!!!

Come one, come all!

Tell your friends!

And let’s prove that freedom of speech still trumps all religious blasphemy laws in the beautiful, wonderful Magna Carta country of ours!!!

UPDATE:

RISE CANADA has been kind enough to put up a Facebook event page for this event:  please, share and spread the word!

Eric Brazeau for Free Speech!

Eric Brazeau is Canada’s honest to goodness political prisoner.

Yes, he is out on bail while he is awaiting his appeal.

If you have been following his story, he was arrested last July for having had a politically incorrect conversation on the Subway in Toronto.  Yes, the subject was indeed Islam…

One of the other passengers had pulled the emergency brake on the train, in between stations, because, well, when somebody is being politically incorrect – what else can you possibly do?

The transit cops gave chase and pursued Eric for a long time before finally arresting him, handing him to the real cops and having him thrown into jail.

Where he was denied bail and awaited his trial in jail.

Yes, violent criminals and drug dealers are routinely granted bail prior to trial, but their actions were deemed to be much less dangerous than Eric’s politically incorrect speech.  No violence, no threats, no intimidation – just straight forward statement of his deeply and honestly held beliefs.

His trial in January was a farce:  the judge seemed more interested in sound bites than justice, with his ‘you had a ticket to ride, not a pass to harass’ pronouncement…

Finally in April, he was granted bail till his appeal comes up.

Which is awesome, but…

We live in a country with a common law legal system.

This means that each and every case sets a precedent which is binding on judges in all subsequent cases.

What this means is that if anyone charged with an offence for something they have said – whether we like them or not, whether we agree with their opinions or not – comes before the courts with a lousy lawyer and they loose their case, the freedom of speech of each and every one of us in Canada, US, Britain, Australia and other common law countries, our freedom of speech will now be restricted because of the unfavourable outcome in this one trial.

So, regardless of who is charged and for what, if it is a freedom of speech issue and they lose their case – each and every one of us loses along with them.

Which is why we have to make sure that for his appeal, Eric can actually afford a competent lawyer.

And this is how we can do it:  his appeal fundraiser is here.

Please, do consider a donation – for freedom’s sake!

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