Friday, December 3, 2010

9-11 Conspiracy Crackpot compares questions about public funding for his marginal theories to Salman Rushdie's death sentence

Blogger Blazing Cat Fur alerted us to the latest nuttiness from the always-crazy Canadian Charger.

Jonathan Kay over at The National Post wrote a column about a grant to a British graduate student,  Joshua Blakeney, to pursue his crackpot 9-11 conspiracy theories. Blakeney is also a sometime correspondent for Mohamed Elmasry's Canadian Charger, as shown in a post from this blog back in August. (Check out the video in the link where Blakeney says that Michael Moore, of all people, is complicit in the 9-11 cover up!)

Kay wrote that:
the University of Lethbridge has awarded Blakeney a $7,714 Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship to pursue his research. (The scholarship is listed as being funded through the “ongoing financial commitment of the Province of Alberta.”) ..  
In other words, the University of Lethbridge — and, through the province of Alberta’s funding arrangements, the taxpayers of Alberta — are paying a British graduate student $7,714 to pursue his conspiracy theory that the 9/11 attacks were staged by Washington.   
Does anyone else see a problem with that?
Well, Mohamed "Elmo" Elmasry's Charger not only doesn't see a problem with that, but is outraged; outraged to the point of grammatical and syntax errors, that Kay would challenge the academic freedom of having tax dollars subsidize theories put forward by people whose sanity could be questioned.

My favorite bit from the editorial in Elmo's Charger is the following, where he quotes Blakeney's thesis supervisor, University of Lethbridge Professor Anthony Hall, about Kay:
It seems to me that The National Post and Maclean’s are essentially trying to put a fatwa on higher level university studies on 9/11. Such a fatwa would clear aside empirically-based research so Jonathan can engage in his own spinning of public mythology posing as the psychoanthropologist who has penetrated the deepest cultural mores of the... ta daaaa... the conspiracy theorists. How pathetic!”   
Dr. Hall said the website advertising the book lauds Mr. Kay's success in “infiltrating” the “Truthers”, language Dr. Halls said is probably an accurate characterization of “Mr. Kay's mode of doing journalistic business as an agent of espionage and counterintelligence for those above him in the chain of command. He and the promoters at Maclean's of a privatized higher education system for Canada are good embodiments of the unfolding operations of the privatized terror economy.”
You know you have a credible, highly regarded academic when he uses phrases like "ta daaaa" in his interviews. But that's not nearly as fascinating as Hall's allegation that Kay is "doing journalistic business as an agent of espionage and counterintelligence for those above him in the chain of command."

This is what I'm having trouble understanding: Hall seems to be mocking Kay for characterizing him and his fellow travellers as 'conspiracy theorists'. And then in his next sentence, he alleges a conspiracy involving Jonathan Kay.

The extent to which a person making those remarks is completely unhinged is something people will have to determine for themselves.

But to give you another indication of the lack of intellectual rigour, or just plain lack of intelligence on the part of these people, Blakeney is quoted as saying, "Where are the Salman Rushdie defenders now? Or do such individuals only like free speech if it criticizes Islam rather than helps exculpate framed Muslims who probably didn’t plan or execute 9/11?"

Let's put this in terms that perhaps, just perhaps, Mr. Blakeney and Elmasry might be able to understand.

No one is denying Blakeney his right to speak his theories or to publish them. What is being questioned is whether crackpot theories should receive public funding. That is significantly different than Salman Rushdie being threatened with death for having written a satirical allegory about the founder of Islam.

In my opinion, only a person with a profound lack of intelligence and/or insight would seriously make that comparison.

And what is truly ironic is that the Canadian Charger's pretend defense of free speech is coming from someone who is so closely tied to attempts to repress free speech through the Canadian Human Rights Commission's notorious thought crimes provisions.
 
Of course, if it isn't yet apparent, irony is completely lost on the people at The Canadian Charger.

18 comments:

Anthony said...

"Threatened with death." To advocate defunding an individual and to deny him or her respect for academic credentials (such as those possessed by Mr. Kay in metallurgy and law) is a kind of professional assassination attempt. My point is that Jonathan Kay should come clean about his own outside financial arrangements to support his own agenda of 9/11 research and publication. Full transparency please Mr. Kay, like we practise at the University of Lethbridge. Is that ironic enough for the entourage of Mr. Kay, our county's premier saboteur of Canadian sovereignty.

Attempts at professional assassination are indeed a form of Fatwah.. a National Post Fatwah.

Richard said...

An interesting, if hyperbolic point, Anthony.

But the fact remains that ideas in the public sphere are valid targets for criticism and that criticism can be extreme. That's how the marketplace of ideas works and why it's so important for the advancement of society for free expression to be a guaranteed right.

You certainly have responded to Jonathan's criticism and will no doubt continue to do so. I don't think it's a secret that Jonathan is working on a book dealing with 9-11 conspiracy theorists, but it's totally legitimate to introduce that into the discussion if you think it's a conflict of interest.

I don't, since most rational people view the idea that the US (and, I suppose, their Zionist allies, in the usual narrative) is responsible for 9-11 as completely nuts.

And whether federal grants should go to funding nutbar theories is a valid question for the public.

Your right to speak is not in question. The question is who should pay for the research and whether this kind of stuff belongs in publicly funded institutions. The Post, as a newspaper, has a responsibility to comment and report on matters of public interest.

If your ideas hold water, then they should stand up in the face of criticism. If they don't, then I can see why you'd be upset, but that's hardly the fault of the critics.

But to compare criticism from a columnist in the National Post to Ayatollah Khomeini issuing a worldwide death warrant suggests to me a lack of perspective which validates what I've written.

Anthony said...

The "marketplace" of ideas around Mr. Kay is just that. Someone is spending many million of $ to buy Jonathan huge access for his agenda of promoting the activities of the war machine. Someone is paying millions to pay for Jonathan's steady efforts aimed at sabotaging Canadian sovereignty.

Jonathan's intervention on the work of my graduate student is not based on mere disagreement with certain ideas. With the backing of his perpetually-money losing publishers, Jonathan is attempting to use his position to dictate what Canadian universities should teach and what research should or should not be funded. He is thus attacking academic freedom with his effort to impose a fatwah on research that deals with the evidence of what did or did not happen on 9/11.

Rather than do evidence-based research Jonathan prefers 9/11 psychobabble, which I expect will be the prevalent style of commentary in his forthcoming "Among The Truthers." Jonathan's journalistic stock and trade is smear and disinformation in the style that was brought to a high level of sophistication by Project Mockingbird types in the Cold War.

I imagine from your comments you are well enough versed in history to understand the background of the kind of work Jonathan does and can extrapolate from the past into the here and now where Subcommandante Kay will no doubt be showered with media attention once he reports in his book on his "infiltration" of the "truthers." All that attention won't be based on merit.. quite the opposite. Serious works of geopolitical analysis are often hidden from public view by the mainstream media these days because they often do not conform with the public mythology on which the mushrooming privatized terror economy depends.

For my views on 9/11 and many other subjects check out Earth into Property, a peer-reviewed text chosen recently by The Independent in UK as one of the best books of 2010. Of course there is not a word about Earth into Property so far in The National Post.

I wonder if Jonathan Kay will give full and proper citations in "Among The Truthers" to "Earth into Property" and to other publications such as those of MacMaster's Professor MacQueen. Will he consider evidence-based research coming out of the universities on 9/11. Or will Jonathan remain satisfied to stay within the prescribed outlines of the assignment he has been given to keep alive the weird public mythology on which continuing rise of the privatized terror economy depends.

Of course The National Post is an integral part of this privatized terror economy. Who is paying to keep the sinking ship of The National Post afloat? Who is paying millions to buy Jonathan Kay such huge access to what sadly passes for mainstream political discourse these days in Canada.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggyTFlCoB7U
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHLJTvvwavo
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_6sQMVYQ_o

Richard said...

There you go, Anthony, you got a plug in for your book, which is available through Amazon.com (don't say I never did anything to help).

You make a lot of wild and unsubstantiated allegations about Kay, the tone of which is typical of the 9-11 conspiracy movement. You add 1 + 1 and come up with 9-11. The fact that the Cold War ended and that there is indeed a military-industrial complex that benefits from the sale of arms does not equal that the government, in collusion with General Dynamics, the Zionists and the Rotary Club (or whoever) engineered the World Trade Center attacks.

The national defense structures of the industrialized world allways lend themselves to weapons development and in fact the types of weaponry being used in the "War on Terror" (which I think is a misnomer), are far less lucrative then the types of weapons used in historical conventional wars. So if they were going to engineer a war for profit, it would make more sense to do that. (I eagerly await your putting that forward when we go to war with Iran, and neglect to mention Ahmadinejad's and the Mullah's support for international terror, their attempts to de-stabilize the mideast, and their nuclear program combined with existential threats to their enemies).

Here's a crazy thought - why don't you do some research on the Islamic movement in the mideast, such as in the case of Iran and Wahabi-sponsored movements, listen to what they are saying in the way of threats against western interests and their desire to impose Islam.

If you're genuinely interested in free speech, you might want to take a closer look at the efforts of your friends at The Canadian Charger to try to impose legal restrictions on speech they find critical of them, and you might, just might come to some conclusions that cause you to re-evaluate some of your ideas.

Anthony said...

"The fact that the Cold War ended and that there is indeed a military-industrial complex that benefits from the sale of arms does not equal that the government, in collusion with General Dynamics, the Zionists and the Rotary Club (or whoever) engineered the World Trade Center attacks."

Your relativist "whatever"says it all.

You gave me the impression you are more honest than that. Just make stuff up and put the info in the mouth of the target. Disinfo par excellence.

You have no idea what I have or have not read until you consult, say, Earth into Property.

Oh yah. By the way. Who are you? You know who I am. But like Black Rod, Jonathan's director of Winnipeg hit jobs, you hide your identity. That kind of evasiveness speaks eloquently of your unwillingness to engage in real discourse where you actually take responsibility for what you write.

You know who pays me. Who pays you? Get out of the shadows and let us know your background and take responsibility for your words. In the academy we don't take well to those who refuse to be accountable for professional hit jobs and such.

Richard said...

Jeez, Anthony, do a google search on the blog! It's been published in the National Post under my name. What kind of a researcher are you?

Yeah, the National Post. Am I going to get to hear something more about "the privatized terror economy" next?

And who pays me!?! For this blog?? Nobody pays me! The National Post didn't even pay me to use my blog post! I get a few cents from those google ads. Listen, you seem to know more about these alleged millions from mysterious unknowns who are paying to promote "the activities of the war machine" than I do. Maybe you could get in touch with their accounts payable department and put in a good word on my behalf, have them send a few bucks my way. I assume you'll be a good reference?

Or perhaps you could hook me up with a federal grant? It sounds like they aren't all that particular about who they give them to.

"Professional hit jobs"? Thanks for the compliment, but I'm just an amateur.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

You can taste the crazy....

holden-mcgroin said...

If things don't work in Lethbridge, I can think of at least one another educational institution that could benefit from Dr. Hall's high academic standards:

http://www.nextdaydiplomas.com/

Richard said...

There was an anonymous comment that came in at 2:06 PM, which I'll post but had to remove certain passages where I've x'ed things out. I apologize to the commenter, as I don't like to censor:


"Yo Anthony! Obviously, at the University of Lethbridge, the STUPIDITY STORE NEVER CLOSES. Me thinks you need better "meducation". You come off like a total cry-baby. (Waaaa- waaa-waaa Boo-hoo-hoo. It's the Zionists fault. Waa-waaa-waa boo-hoo-hoo; - TO ANY NORMAL PERSON, the sum total of your so called (ahem) scholarship.) I can only imagine what a XXXXXXXX embarrassment you are to your colleagues. (if there even was an ounce of respectability to that steaming pile of an institution of higher learning to which you are a member of.) TONY, GET SOME XXXXXXXXX HELP. XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXXX already and clearly hasn't worked.) WHAT A JOKE! (and to be sure, you will be included in my new comedy material as the total XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX that you are.) COMEDY GOLD!

MariaS said...

Richard... this is some kind of crazy !! And, to think this Hall character is a professor ! No wonder our kids are messed up.

Anonymous said...

Richard: good stuff! ...the editing makes it even funnier. (what a figgin joke this guy is!)

Honestly, is it just me or are institutions of higher learning getting so progressive, they're taking us all back to the stone age.

Richard said...

Let's not judge the whole world of academia by U of Lethbridge. A Harvard or Stanford MBA is still a worthwhile degree.

Anonymous said...

...I'm a Wharton man myself.

Minicapt said...

That would be the Harvard of Cornell West, Henry Gates and Michael Ignatieff?

Cheers

Richard said...

Hey, I think Iggy was a first rate academic. In fact, I think he should have stuck with it.

In all seriousness, I would have considered myself privileged to have been one of his students.

And Harvard is also the home to Alan Dershowitz (and a President or two, including the current one).

But I actually did say MBA program, and I think most people concede having one from Harvard is a good thing, as well as the MBA program over at Stanford.

Rose said...

Ahjamadmonkey man has a competitor, sadly we are being forced to fund his tripe. Tinfoil, the guy needs lots of Tinfoil.

Bob Devine said...

Speaking as a retire OTR trucker with 1/2 of my first year of high school under my belt all I have to say is.... Do people really pay 10s of thousands of dollars sending their offspring to these kooks for an education? May God help us all!

michaelrw said...

Any psychiatrists out there? Wondering where "Professor" Hall's statements would put him in the DSM-IV. Paranoid schizophrenic comes to mind.

Apparently the schizophrenia is contagious. Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of listening to "Cross Country Checkup" on CBC-1.
The topic in question was the whole "wikileaks" shmozzle. So a caller from Prince George, BC gets on the air--and proceeds to "point out" that there is a decided lack of commentary on Israel, Syria, Lebanon the Palestinians and the Middle east crisis. Particulary as there has been very little illuminating in the Wikileaks leaks on Israel and its "oppressive policies", this is highly suspicious. Certainly it cant'be the case that there simply aren't the implied mountain of diplomatic communiques' highlighting the very obvious diplomatic frustration over Israel's intransigence, because world leaders have a lot of other issues on their plate, which on any given day play a significantly greater role than what is going on in Israel. Further, it couldn't possibly be the case that maybe the majority of world leaders aren't as firm in a general condemnation of Israel that some like our would be conspiracy propogator would lead us to believe. No according to "our man in Prince George", it must mean that the whole Wikileaks saga has been "state sponsored"(although he didn't mention which state, we all have a pretty good idea as to the inference, right) and that it has the agenda of taking everyone's eyes off the "real agenda"' The very fact that there is nothing suspicious about Israel is itself suspicious. The real agent provacateur, the real culprit here is that "state" who is not being mentioned, you know who don't you. The caller doesn't actually say it in his conclusion, but the inference is that it is none other than that great "Zionist Devil". What astounded me even more than this brief foray into the deep dark recesses of the mind of a "Zio-conspiracy" propogator, was the response of Rex Murphy's stand-in on CCC, who seemed enthusiastic in his hearing a "new take" on this situation for the first time. Or then again, maybe I'm not that surprised at all. The CBC certainly makes no qualms about publicly castigating Israel and it role on "everything", so it does not suprise me at all that conspiracy guy was allowed the time to publicly voice his nonsense.

"Professor" Hall, or Anthony, if you are reading this. My suggestion is that if things don't work out for you at the University of Lethbridge, how about writing for Rex or Anna-Marie over at the CBC, seems like they are right up your alley.