Anti-Government – That’s Canadian Extremism

The 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada would be a ho-hum read if it had limited it’s scope to identifying the expected culprits: 1. Sunni Islamist Extremists 2. Canadian Extremist Travellers who assist with terrorism in foreign countries 3. Shia Extremists 4.Extremists who Support Violent Means to Establish an Independent State Within India. This included Sikhs until Prime Minister Trudeau decided to remove them because he was visiting the Vancouver Sikh Temple.

Canada’s Left leaning Liberal Government then added a fifth type of extremism – a bundle of all the other bad things in their vocabulary – anti-government, anti-law enforcement, advocacy of white nationalism (supremacy), racial separation, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-immigration, male supremacy (misogyny), bigotry and homophobia. They couldn’t just call this Extremism. No – they had to assign these activities to their political rivals and call it Right-Wing Extremism.

Excerpt from “2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada”

Slick trick, right!?  Liberals could never be racist, homophobic, bigots or misogynists, could they!? If anti-government is now extremism, how can we protest when we think the government has gone too far in some direction? Can a person be opposed to illegal immigration without being anti-immigration? Don’t some left wing social justice crusades embrace the bigotry of man-hating and white-shaming? Why isn’t eco-terrorism on the list? What about special interest terrorism by the fringe elements of animal rights, pro-life, environmental, anti-nuclear, and other movements? Isn’t it a form of bigotry to add ‘Right-Wing’ to any type of Extremism?

Unfortunately, in contemporary usage the terms “right”, “far right,” and “alt-right” have become verbal missiles lobbed daily at individuals and ideas that the liberal-left opposes.
– Walter Donway – Just Say “Racist” –

In Canada, the Left-wing is fighting to stay in power in two elections this year. The Province of Alberta will vote on April 16, 2019. Canada will go to the polls in the fall of this year.

Alberta’s ‘left of the Liberals’ NDP (New Democratic Party) is led by Premier Notley. Mr. Kenney’s  United Conservative Party is the major opponent.  As you might have guessed, Notley is attacking Mr. Kenney’s Conservative candidates by saying they are, yes, Right Wing Extremists.

It is unforgivable when Government tries to silence the opposition by using social engineering to influence attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale. It is unforgivable that mass and social media assist them.

The Race to the Bottom of the News Barrel

What was the spark? A MAGA hat worn by mostly white male teens? Was this a clear case of stereotyping?

Stereotyping or Social Categorization is a cognitive process by which we put individuals into social groups and respond to them as members of a social group, instead of individuals. This can lead to negative interactions. For example, a young liberal might take issue with anyone they identify as a conservative Baby Boomer. Any number of people might be instantly offended by someone they perceive as a privileged white male. We live in angry times.

MAGA – Make America Great Again

Social Categorization is what happened in January 2019 when someone posted, on Twitter, a short video taken at the ‘March for Life’ event. The video was said to be proof that Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School Boys (some of them wore MAGA hats) had harassed a Native American and a group of Black Men at the Lincoln Memorial. The Native American, Nathan Phillips said he believed  “These young men were beastly, and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

The video (sent out from a Twitter account that was later shut down by Twitter for fake and misleading registration) went viral. Prominent individuals and numerous news media picked up the story and ran it without verifying the accuracy. The teens were vilified. There were calls for the student’s expulsion from school; they were threatened with harm, and in a few cases, there were death threats.

Sober second thought came after a careful review of the many videos that were taken that day. These showed that the viral video did not accurately depict what had happened. It simply depicted the story that the video wanted people to believe – ‘privileged young white males’ are evil. The video clip didn’t show that the ‘Men Behaving Badly’, were the Black Hebrew Israelites who were yelling homophobic slurs and racist insults and the Native American who thrust himself at the students.

A significant number of personalities and members of the media, after looking at the full videos, retracted their stories, or apologized for what they had said about the boys.  Other people, however, would not correct their attack stories.

Enter Attorney Robert Barnes.

The threat of litigation has perhaps led to a few more apologies. ‘The Weekly’, (a news program on CBC  which is a Canadian Federal Government Crown Corporation) hosted by veteran reporter Wendy Mesley,  apologized and corrected their story, but not until March 10. They said they “regret characterizing those teens as ‘teenage bullies’” and corrected what they said was an erroneous statement.

Why would it take almost 2 months to issue an apology for running a story based on a viral video on Twitter? What does this say about investigative reporting? What does this say to the consumers and readers of just about all forms of media today?

What can you do to avoid jumping to biased conclusions?

  • Read a range of views from across the spectrum – right, left and middle.
  • Be skeptical about every story that tells you what your viewpoint should be.
  • Be willing to accept that people are not the same as the social categories you put them in.
  • Accept that opposing viewpoints might be just as valid as yours because they are likely based on bias too…

What is an example of a biased opinion you held until you read and understood the validity of a contradictory assessment?

Rethinking Nuclear Power

Here is an interesting story by Michael Schellenberger. He explains his transformation from being anti-Nuclear to pro-Nuclear energy generation.

Is nuclear power as dangerous as we’ve been led to believe?

How do the dangers of nuclear energy compare to the dangers of fossil fuel energy? A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that some 50,000-100,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by particulate air pollution, the biggest cause of which is coal-burning power plants in the midwest and east. Even taking the maximum predicted death toll from Chernobyl, we would need a Chernobyl-sized accident every three weeks to make nuclear power as deadly as coal and oil already is.
Brian Dunning

Did you know that nuclear power could be one of the biggest, cleanest energy providers?

…we’ve been trying to do solar for a long time and yet we get less than a half of a percent of our electricity globally from solar, about two percent from wind, and the majority of our clean energy comes from nuclear and hydro.

And according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nuclear produces four times less carbon emissions than solar does. That’s why they recommended in their recent report the more intensive use of renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

It’s time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science & start questioning the impacts of our actions Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?
– Michael Schellenberger –

Well of Lost Thoughts – 2018

When I find ideas that speak to me, but I’m not ready to blog about them, I save them on my Fueled by Chocolate ‘Well of Lost Thoughts’ Facebook Page. Here are just a few of the ones I have ‘rescued’ from there to share with you.

The Man Drawer

The Car Guy has more than just a Man Drawer – he has a whole Man Cave!

Tupperware is forever.

I had the square cake container and the lid finally cracked when it was about 25 years old. I contacted a Tupperware person and they got me a replacement lid – for free.

Tupperware® brand products were introduced in 1946. The first Tupperware Home Party was held in 1948. By 1951, the Tupperware Home parties were working so well that all products were taken off store shelves.

Tupperware advises that Vintage Tupperware (made before March 2010) is not BPA-free so should not be used for food prep or storage. It is, however, up to individuals to assess whether BPA is as big a health risk as the media made it out to be.

Health Canada’s Food Directorate continues to conclude that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children. This conclusion is consistent with those of other food regulatory agencies in other countries, including notably the United States, the European Union and Japan.
– Health Canada –

And What Are Plastics Made From? OIL!

Canada – 2018 was dominated by the Oil Pipeline Story. It continues in 2019 and the fall out could affect two elections this year. Alberta could turn their backs on the Left wing NDP party, while Canada may turf out the Left wing Liberals.

So to recap: Trudeau’s replacing the Minister who couldn’t get any pipelines built with the one who couldn’t get any infrastructure built, and replacing his former Trade Minister who couldn’t get any trade deals done with his former Natural Resources Minister who couldn’t get any pipelines built. That should make everything better, right??
– Conservative MP Blake Richards –

The issue is how to get Alberta’s Oil Sands product to market. Alberta wants to expand the capacity of existing pipelines and build new ones. They are not allowed to do this under today’s political climate. Until pipeline capacity is increased, oil is increasingly being transported by rail and truck, both of which are less environmentally friendly than a pipeline.

Environmentalists and activists, frequently funded by American money, have played a large role in blocking new pipelines. They have been highly effective in gathering public support and electing governments that support their anti-fossil fuel agendas. They live in a fantasy world…

Unfortunately, with two distinct functions in the economy, the misperception that more wind and solar (used for electricity) will displace oil (used for transport) feeds an ignorance that hinders sound energy policy.
– Jude Clemente, JTC Energy Research –

What would happen to the US today if the fossil fuel industry went on a strike of indefinite duration? What would happen if we gave the environmentalists what they want? Instead of nibbling around the edges, what if we just went all the way? What would be the consequences if Atlas shrugged?
What If Atlas Shrugged? By David Deming, February 7, 2013

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrapped up its $1.1 million cleanup of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camps on federal land in North Dakota, hauling away 835 dumpsters of remaining trash and debris. The site, once occupied by thousands of environmental demonstrators, is now vacant.
– The Washington Times –

Speaking of Fuel

One combine in the field behind our house last fall.

Last fall, 20 combines and drivers  joined forces to harvest Brian Williams’ crop of durum wheat near Milestone, Sask. Williams died right as harvest was getting underway.

The World Record – a total of 303 combines were working all at once in a field of winter wheat south of Winkler in Manitoba in 2018.  This event raisies money for Children’s Camps International (CCI) through its Harvest for Kids event.

I bought an ant farm. I don’t know where I am going to get a tractor that small!
– Steven Wright –

Every Day is Nude Day with Nudinits

Mike Rowe: “I’ve just been informed it’s National Selfie Day. Something to think about…”
David Vitti “It’s also international “Hike Naked Day.” It really bothers me that these two days coincide…”

About a Frog

A lonely frog, desperate for some form of company telephoned the Psychic Hotline to find out what his future held. His Personal Psychic Advisor told him, “You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you.”
The frog was thrilled and said, “This is great! Where will I meet her, at work, at a party?”
“No” says the psychic, “in a Biology class.”

Experiences from ‘The Good Old Days’

Question: Name a struggle you had growing up that kids today will never understand. – Matt Whitlock –
Answer: Fixing a typo involved pushing back your typewriter a character, inserting the white-out strip, re-typing the wrong character to place the white, removing the whiteout, pushing back the typewriter a character and typing the new character. You did this for each wrong character. – Blair King –

Literary Perspectives

When finding a new word, I tend to look it up before reading the rest of the written work to gain a full understanding. ‘Incel’ was such a word. After finding the definition in the urban dictionary, I couldn’t find the ambition to read the rest.
– Harold Sleeper –

Well to be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my point of view, but also by looking into this matter in a different perspective and without being condemning of one’s view’s and by trying to make it objectified, and by considering each and every one’s valid opinion, I honestly believe that I completely forgot what I was going to say.
– Daniel Zimmerman –

Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. For example:

Knowing well the hand signals of his platoon leader, Private James Dawson silently dropped to the dirt, concealed and motionless for what seemed an eternity, a move that he had learned, coincidentally, from his parents whenever the Watchtower ladies would ring the doorbell.
– Peter S. Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA –

Animal Species and the Language Police

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has taken offense to phrases that they say trivializes cruelty to animals. They call it “Speciesism”. In a recent Twitter post, they wrote “Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations.”

PETA suggestions for replacements of what they consider ‘Anti-Animal’ Language.

The response to this tweet was not particularly supportive of the concept. For the most part, the internet laughed.

“So you’re saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
“You’re flogging a dead horse.”
“So you’re advocating violence against flowers now.”
“PETA probably has bigger fish to fry…oops.”
“So, Curiosity thrilled the cat (not killed).”
“Hey peta! You forgot to let the weather know it has to stop raining cats and dogs.”
“I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, sound too pig headed, but want to address the elephant in the room, there is more than one way to skin a cat.”
“We should also address the 800-pound gorilla in the room who is the perfect weight because we don’t body shame here.”

There are hundreds of phrases that are inspired by animals. Do they trivialize cruelty to animals or are they simply a reflection of our interesting and complex language? How is our language being shaped by the growing influence of Pressure Group Language Police?

‘Hop like a bunny’ over to The Phrase Finder for an excellent compilation of Animal Inspired Phrases. If you don’t follow this link then all I can say is “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”
For more Animal Idioms, with some fun photographs, ‘train your eagle eyes’ onto 25 Amazing Animal Idioms. I’m not ‘sending you on a wild goose chase’, really!

What is your favourite animal idiom?