They've hated Ezra as long as rabble.ca has been around, since the Canadian free speech advocate represents everything they detest. But what they're currently all mad and freaked out about is that they barely had a few days to celebrate the demise of the Sun TV network, which featured Ezra's show The Source as its flagship program, when Ezra popped up again like Lazarus. Ezra's new venture has even more potential and reach than Sun TV.
That's making rabble.ca furious, because in less than a full week, according to a desperate money plea from rabble, The Rebel has raised $20,000, about as much as rabble has for its entire winter fundraising drive.
Except rabble.ca's publisher, Kim Elliott, who is the spouse of loony Libby Davies, the outgoing Deputy Leader of the NDP, made a big miscalculation.
The Rebel hasn't raised $20,000 in one week. It raised $120,000 in one week. That's than 5 times more in one week than rabble has raised all winter long! And The Rebel is still going strong.
You can help Ezra, Brian Lilley and The Rebel team to keep the grungy, creepy Marxists at rabble.ca mad by donating here. Do it so that everyone gets a chance to see news that the mainstream media is too afraid to show out of political correctness, and rabble.ca doesn't want you to see because it undermines their warped aspirations for Canada.
Pro-Palestinian rallies and groups are being used to aid the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, according to a book the group released this month - united under the front of "bringing down Zionsim."
The book, Black Flags from Rome, encourages European Muslims to rise up and aid ISIS from within, according to a report on the PJ Media website - and notes that terror cells have already been formed.
“There were small armies of the Islamic State within every country of Europe by late 2014, and the intelligence agencies didn’t even know about it!” the book exclaims.
“If you have ever been at a pro-Palestine / anti-Israel protest, you will see many activists who are not even Muslims who are supportive of what Muslims are calling for (the fall of Zionism)," it continues. "It is most likely here that connections between Muslims and Left-wing activists will be made, and a portion from them will realize that protests are not effective, and that armed combat is the alternative."
In the early 2000s, a brutal conflict in western Sudan between the government and rebels led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Darfuris, with millions displaced as refugees. In 2004, the United States declared Sudan’s actions a genocide.
After that spike in attention and concern, the world has largely forgotten about Darfur. Unfortunately, the government of Sudan has not.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh’s capital with his wife, police said Friday.
Do 11 and 12 year olds really need to learn about anal sex in school?
Most of the content in the new Sex Ed curriculum is valid, but the ages at which the material related to sex and sexual activity is being introduced is wholly inappropriate.
For the average kid on the cusp of puberty, the idea of having something shoved up their ass would be gross and disgusting. But thanks to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, teachers will now be telling kids that there are nerve endings in the rectum that for some make the experience pleasurable. Because if you're teaching them about anal sex at that young age, as Wynne's new curriculum demands, then naturally the students will have questions that need to be answered. For most parents, the joy of ass fucking is not something they want put in the minds of their 11 and 12 year olds by someone with the authority of an agent of the state.
It's not that I've got anything against ass-fucking. Unless it involves minors, in which case I have a big problem with it. And if you think I'm being crude in my use of terms, do you imagine for a moment that the young kids Kathleen Wynne wants exposed to this material will be discussing it among themselves any other way?
The sexualization of children is part of the degenerate plan from Kathenne Wynne's alma mater, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) to turn small children into sexual beings.
The "educators" at OISE are working work as fast as they can to make sure kids are keenly aware of sex from a very early age. They want children to reject the biological and hormonal facts of life, and become fluid in their gender. Your kids can decide to be a boy one day, a girl the next, or just decide that they're neither, or both.
And then, when you take away that most basic component of a young person's identity, you leave them at the mercy of the extremists at OISE. The purpose ultimately is to make children more susceptible to being brainwashed into becoming pliable tools for a nefarious political and social agenda.
Does all that sounds insane and unlikely? Sure.
Does it sound like fantastic, outlandish fearmongering? It does until you know the facts.
An OISE professor, Ben Levin, was the architect of Kathleen Wynne's sex ed curriculum, and he is going to plead guilty next week to criminal charges related to the sexual exploitation of children.
Don't let Kathleen Wynne sell you the lie that sex education changes are "desperately needed" because Ontario has fallen behind since the last revisions in 1998. Relevant facts show that Kathleen Wynne is a liar.
So if something was working that well, why do Wynne and the cohorts at OISE have the anxious, histrionic urge to fix it?
Part of it is that there's an education industry operating out of places like OISE and they have to continually tell you that they need to update and "correct" the curriculum in order to justify their jobs.
But that's only part. Most of it has to do with ideologies infused into such places.
At OISE, they're not anxious to improve the health of Ontario's children, they're anxious to take what they see as their best opportunity to "correct" how Ontario's children think.
And if you challenge them, Wynne and her media fan club will throw out dishonest accusations about "homophobia." Yes, there are some fringe elements opposing the curriculum aggravated by the content in the curriculum that deals with homosexuality, as there may be the odd idiot who wants to deny evolution. But the objection the overwhelming majority of the curriculum's opponents have is not to the content, but to the young age that Wynne wants to sexualize children, and to the unscientific, polemic theories about "gender fluidity" she wants to impose in schools.
Homophobia and discrimination against gay people is deplorable, and I'll be the first to say that. I don't know any gay people who define themselves as "genderless," or "gender fluid." Gay people are men and women who are attracted to people of the same sex. A gay man doesn't consider himself a man attracted to men one day and a woman with male anatomy attracted to men the next.
There's something else about Kathleen Wynne's demented gender-fluidity curriculum that is actually anti-Gay. We hear from religious fanatics and vicious homophobes about how homosexuality is a sin, because it's a not a biologically induced sexual orientation, but an immoral "lifestyle choice." That's nonsensical, and science and common sense have demonstrated that people are genetically programmed to their sexual orientations. Some people are bisexual, and are attracted to both sexes, but these aren't choices people make, they are inherent parts of their DNA.
But according to the people at OISE pushing "gender fluidity," you CAN choose from one day to the next whether you're a boy or girl and to whom you're sexually attracted. They are, though from a different perspective, making the same essential argument as anti-gay religious fundamentalists.
Today I heard from a friend who has a daughter in Grade 11 in public school in Toronto. She recently came from England and was raised in their school system. My friend's daughter was shocked that most of her peers, in Grade 11, at a Toronto District School Board school, couldn't explain what an adjective is. Math scores are plummeting in Ontario's schools. University teachers are complaining that kids graduating Ontario public high schools can't even properly punctuate sentences. And what is Kathleen Wynne's answer to that? More sex ed for little kids at even younger ages.
To put Wynne's alma mater OISE in perspective, it's helpful to examine some of the diseased ideologies they are trying to push into the mainstream. The examples are overwhelmingly plentiful.
It's a place that is heavily invested in pushing an educational approach called Critical Pedagogy, which was developed by a Brazilian Marxist named Paulo Friere. In his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is required reading at OISE, Friere advocates what are basically Marxist education values and actually extols the communist dictator Vladimir Lenin.
It's the sort of stuff one might expect to hear from patients at a mental institution, but it's coming from the people who shape your kids' education.
All that is the product of the institution that has played a critical role in shaping the sex ed curriculum Kathleen Wynne is determined to impose on your children, as well as the rest of Ontario's public school curriculum. It's something that most voters will never know, but should be of great concern to everyone in this province.
Posters depicting summary executions by the Palestinian terror organization Hamas appeared early Sunday around the UCLA campus, including kiosks, fraternity and sorority rows, Royce Hall and the Bruin Bear.
The communist Polisario front fighting Morocco is supported by Iran and Syria:
The newly presented report from the EU corruption watch-dog -- OLAF -- about embezzlement of funds from the EU to Polisario, comes as no real surprise for those of us who have followed the confluence between organized crime and terrorism in West Africa. In the investigation OLAF shows how Polisario leadership, in cahoots with Algeria, has inflated the number of refugees in the camps in Tindouf in order to increase aid-money and supplies intended for the refugees.
Furthermore, good-quality foodstuff like Canadian wheat for example, intended for the refugees were switched to lower-quality provisions, selling the higher quality goods on the open market.
The report lists organizations and names behind the swindle and accuses the perpetrators to have built up an elaborate scheme that begins already in the port of Oran, to where aid-supplies are shipped before being transported to the camps further south. Also, goods intended for the refugees were sold to them instead of given to them as was the intention by the donors.
To make matters even worse, it turned out that Algeria used prisoners (both civilian and prisoners of war) to physically handle the goods as well as constructing facilities to handle the aid.
The damages are to be $655.5 million, under a special terrorism law that provides for tripling the $218.5 million awarded by the jury in Federal District Court.
The verdict ended a decade-long legal battle to hold the Palestinianorganizations responsible for the terrorist acts. While the decision was a huge victory for the dozens of plaintiffs, it could also serve to strengthen Israel’s claim that the supposedly more moderate Palestinian forces were directly linked to terrorism.
...Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the "crippling consequences" of climate change. "Ninety-seven percent of the world's scientists," he added, "tell us this is urgent."
Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous." Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities."
Do you think an eight year old, who isn't yet affected by the hormones that would make sexual attraction comprehensible to him or her, needs to spend time in school learning about sexual attraction?
But let's go a little younger. Assuming they don't spend a lot of time around Liberal MPPs or senior bureaucrats, does your six year old need to learn about sexual consent, beyond shouting "help!," if approached that way by an adult?
Does your 11 year-old need to learn about vaginal lubrication and your 12 year old about anal sex?
If your answer to the above is "no," then that makes you a party to "hysteria, hypocrisy and hyperbole." At least it does according to Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn, who has gone into overdrive to defend Kathleen Wynne's reintroduction of the Ben Levin Child Grooming Curriculum to Ontario Public Schools.
The original architect of the curriculum is Kathleen Wynne's personally selected Deputy Education Minister, Ben Levin, who according to his lawyer will be pleading guilty next month to criminal offenses of which he stands charged related to the sexual exploitation of young children.
Yeah. That's the guy who shaped the curriculum. But if you're concerned or object, you're just a prudish old "social conservative," according to Cohn. Except most of us aren't. If you knew me, you'd know how very wrong Cohn is about that in my case.
The objection to the curriculum most of its critics have isn't the content, but the ages of the children to which it is being introduced. You don't have to be a genius to understand that introducing graphic sexual material to young, pre-pubescent children is wrong.
I think, in their hearts, Wynne, Cohn, and the Liberals also know that, and know that most parents in Ontario know that. Which is why when talking about the sexual material in which they want to wrap your children, they use school grades, and rarely the children's ages.
Because when most people understand at how young an age our provincial government wants to sexualize children, they get upset.
According to Cohn, the Levin Child-Grooming curriculum needs to be in schools and taught to little kids because, "children deserve to learn it all in classrooms, not be lured in lurid chat rooms."
Is that the choice? It's either one or the other? What a crock of garbage.
Children are going to learn about sex in a variety of ways. In school, from their parents, from their peers, and from information they get from books and the Internet.
I don't know if Wynne and Cohn are sincere idiots or sleazy snake-oil sellers by pushing the argument that masses of kids are going to become dangerously misinformed by Internet chat rooms and web sites.
Because guess what? If a kid is curious about sex and sophisticated enough to be on the Internet, then it's logical to assume they're capable and likely to go to something like wikipedia for it.
According to Cohn, anyone expressing these concerns is just a "right-wing opposition opportunist."
Have I missed something or are children not actually more knowledgeable about sex than they used to be? Teenage pregnancy rates have declined by a full 51.5% in Ontario between 1995 and 2005.That's the highest rate of decline in all Canada (except Yukon, which was only 0.3% better) and it pretty much refutes everything Kathleen Wynne is trying to con Ontarians into believing about Ontario's kids "falling behind" in Sex Ed during those years.
It's not the public, it's the media and a few activists that become hysterical every time a kid kills themself, and there is an outcry about "cyberbullying." As tragic as each teen suicide is, the suicide rates in Canada have been consistent for years. The most important factor in teen suicide to remember is thatstudies indicate more than 90 percent of suicide victims have a diagnosable psychiatric illness. So if Kathleen Wynne really cared about the health of Ontario's school kids, shouldn't changes in the curriculum focus on mental health, and not sex?
But Wynne and Cohn aren't idiots. They have an agenda. They both tell us that the new curriculum has been shaped by experts.
Turning young children into sexual beings is something they very much want to accomplish in order to further their other ideological goals. Those of normalizing the ideas of gender fluidity, the unscientific idea that biology has absolutely nothing to do with behavior, that children should not think of themselves as individuals, but as part of racial collectives. And it does get worse.
Los Angeles is a city where you simply cannot survive without a car. It's spread out over miles and miles, its public transit isn't great, and particularly as a visitor, it's hard to confine yourself for more than a day to an area where you can be a pedestrian.
Normally, renting a car would be a de rigueur component of any trip to LA, however last weekend, I flew in for a couple of days to go to a dear friend's wedding party. As I anticipated the entire trip would consist of going from the airport to the hotel, then to the wedding party, back to the hotel and airport again, with a lot of alcohol filling the latter half of events, I figured it would be easier just to use taxis.
Then I remembered Uber.
I downloaded the Uber app onto my smartphone just before the trip, with the whole process only taking a couple of minutes.
For those unfamiliar with it, although I assume by now it's only few who aren't, Uber is an app-based service by which you can order a car. That may sound like just using an app to order a taxi, but the Uber experience is slightly different.
You have a choice of the type of transport cars you order with Uber, and taxis are one of those choices, as are limos and SUV's, and just regular guys in their regular cars who have signed on to the service. One of the recent drop-outs from the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race incomprehensibly made banning Uber one of her main campaign planks. Her rationale has something to do with Uber not being safe due to a single instance of a woman having been raped by an Uber driver in India.
Actually, Uber has more safeguards than regular taxis, and North America is not India, where there has been more than one occurrence of women have been gang-raped on public buses. And in North America, there has been a number of sexual assaults committed against female clients by taxi drivers. But we don't see calls in North America for bans on taxis or public buses. But in Toronto, we have a taxi industry that is very threatened by Uber and is trying to use its influence, unfairly as far as I'm concerned, to kill the competition.
It's understandable in that taxi companies have good reason to be afraid; Uber is far better than taking a regular taxi, and it costs less.
Here's why Uber beats taxis:
With Uber, you order your car and a driver gets assigned. Before it arrives, you will get a communication with your driver's name, license number, a picture of your driver, and a link to both phone and text/email your driver, as well as an estimated time of arrival, which is never more than a few minutes.
You don't get that with taxis.
When your Uber car arrives, you get a text letting you know it's there.
When your Uber ride is over, you get out of the car, period. You don't have to reach for your wallet and find the money for the ride and wait for change, because all Uber transactions are done through the credit card you used when you registered your account.
Want to send an Uber car to pick up your kid from school, or your mom from a shopping trip? It's just as easy as ordering Uber for yourself.
Now here's an extra reason that Uber is great. The Uber drivers are really, really polite. I'm sure that may in part be due to the screening process selecting exceptionally nice people, but there's another reason. When your ride is done, you rate your Uber driver from one to five stars. Those drivers want high ratings. Because when you get your ride assigned, you can actually decline particular divers and request another. Drivers have incentive to keep their ratings high in order to stay in demand, the same way eBay sellers want their ratings to be high so that buyers have confidence in them.
But there's something else that makes the Uber experience really interesting. The drivers rate you!
So a driver might actually decline to pick you up if you consistently get rated as an asshole.
Incentivizing civility is a brilliant idea. I only wish some of my ex-girlfriends had publicly accessible ratings I could have found out about so that I could have declined some in advance. But that's another story.
Denny's on S. Bellanca
My flight had been delayed and I got into LAX and out of the airport after midnight. I took a car rental shuttle for the ride that took me a few block from the airport so I could pop into the nearby Denny's, get a coffee, and order my first ever Uber ride.
After only a few sitting in the mild evening air, on some wooden benches outside Denny's, Herbie showed up. We made it from LAX to Wilshire and Rodeo Drive, with some side-trips to find a late-night Ralph's before 2 am when they stop selling booze for the night. Herbie got me to a Ralph's 5 minutes to 2. I popped in and a few minutes later, exited with shopping bags filled with rum, beef jerky, a giant Hershy's bar, and large bottles of Coke Zero, mango juice and apple juice.
Then it was off to Beverly Hills and the hotel. Herbie, was friendly, cheerful, and because it's LA, he is also a movie director who gave me a dvd of his most recent film. It actually stars people I've heard of. Seriously.
And the whole ride cost about $33.
I used Uber a few more times over the weekend and all the rides arrived quickly, used efficient routes, were in clean cars driven by polite drivers, and cost me less than taxis.
I'm an Uber convert.
Oh, and I got an offer from Uber that if someone signs up with my code, they get $20 off their first Uber ride (if used within 3 months of signing). So go ahead and use this code and you're supposed to get a free ride up to twenty clams!
Here's the code: bztsj - I think I also get a ride if you use the code :-)
You can download the app at Uber.com
Those in Toronto familiar with what goes on at York have been calling it Hamas U for years now...
...As the fatal attacks against Adele Biton (2013), Asher and Yonatan Palmer ( 2011), and Yehudam Shoham (2001) have made perfectly clear, rocks are thrown with the intent to wound, maim, and kill. In 2013 alone, there were more than 2400 rock throwing attacks in Israel, injuring over 100 civilians. No decent person can proffer an exculpatory explanation for the routine targeting of innocent civilians; to justify Palestinian stone throwing as a legitimate form of resistance is to incite and promote terror.
However, a terrorist-glorifying mural at York University’s student center is doing exactly that. In a topsy-turvy perversion of morality, not only is violent stone-throwing depicted as a valid form of protest against Israel, but this murderous act becomes the embodiment of “peace” and “justice”.
He was hilarious, handsome, and cool. He was Eddie Murphy before Eddie Murphy was even born.
Bill Cosby is the Jackie Robinson of comedy. While half the US still had segregation laws, Cosby was selling out stadiums with his comedy tours, and his comedy records were on the Billboard Top ten with six of them winning Grammy Awards.
Before anyone had ever heard of Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby opened the door for African-American comedians to hit the mainstream. And the door he opened wan't just in comedy clubs, but on TV, as he went on to be the first African-American TV star, in the hit series I Spy.
I loved Cosby. Sitting in my room when I was a little kid, I'd throw my parents' Cosby comedy records on my little portable, mono RCA record player and listen, over and over, to his albums like Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow...Right!, and Wonderfulness, and Why Is There Air?
Cosby made me roll back on the floor with laughter. There are not too many comics whose material stays fresh after five decades, but as a testament to his genius, Cosby's routines, like Noah and Chicken Heart, remain hysterically funny today.
I loved Cosby. Which is why it's heartbreaking to hear the allegations of sexual misconduct against him. I haven't commented on them before and I won't now. When you have a number of women who would have made up an impressive harem for a Turkish Sultan alleging that he drugged and had sex with them, I'm not going to suggest they're all lying. I just don't want to think of that when I think of someone who was one of my heroes. It's just too painful.
Yeah, Cosby could get a little sanctimonious about up-and-comers who used "blue" material, the way he tore into Eddie Murphy back in the late 1980's. Eddie was more than capable of answering back, and did snap back at Cosby then.
If anyone has an excuse for mocking Cosby's current circumstances, it's Eddie Murphy. But Eddie, in addition to being one of the funniest people alive ever, is also a class act. So when the Saturday Night Live crew implored him to do a routine mocking Cosby on their reunion, Eddie's answer was no. He said he wasn't going to kick the man when he was down.
It's good to see that Eddie Murphy hasn't joined the braying mob and is, by an act of omission, showing respect for a man who paved the road that he, Chris Rock, and multitudes of African-American comedians sped along.
According to a report in today's Toronto Sun, Kathleen Wynne's disgraced former Deputy Education Minister Ben Levin has sent out a letter imploring his friends and former colleagues to write him references prior to his pleading guilty and being sentenced for serious charges related to the sexual exploitation of children.
The Sun's Joe Warmington confirmed the content of the letter with Levin's attorney, Gerald Chan, and it reads in part:
"..."After a great deal of thought and discussion with my family, I will be pleading guilty on March 3 to three of the seven charges, namely one count of possession of child pornography, one count of making written child pornography, and one count of counselling a sexual assault...
Levin got that last bit right. He had some very high profile friends in both the Liberal Party and in the Education Industry who might be unwilling to lend their names to the defense of someone involved with kiddie porn and worse, out of concern for their own standing.
Some of that worse, from the perspective of many parents in Ontario, is that the school curriculum formed under the guidance of Levin, which introduces sexual content to children as young as 6, is going to be reintroduced by Kathleen Wynne's government. Often referred to as the equivalent of a child-grooming-for-sexual-exploitation curriculum, it was withdrawn by then-Premier Dalton McGuinty after an outcry from parents across Ontario. But now that McGuinty's Education Minister Kathleen Wynne is Premier, the Ben Levin Kiddie Porn Curriculum is making a comeback. But this time, the blame lies squarely with Wynne and her Education Minister Liz Sandals.
However, there's something else associated with Ben Levin that is even more odious. It is a cabal responsible for more child abuse and exploitation than Levin alone could have accomplished in a hundred lifetimes. The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where Levin taught, is a sordid hive of bizarre extremism. As a place that teaches teachers how to teach, it actually has laughable academic standards. Most teachers in the school system recognize what a harmful place OISE is to children,but because it is so closely embraced by powerful figures in the Education Industrial Complex, they are afraid to speak out against it. Kathleen Wynne herself holds a Master's Degree from OISE.
Some serious academics have however have made the point that the teaching at OISE amounts to child abuse. It seeks to indoctrinate children to political radicalism and brainwash them to the belief that anyone who disagrees with their "right-thinking" is a heretic, matching the type of conditioning that is a feature of totalitarian societies.
It's success has been slow, since the average ten-year old is more insightful and intelligent than an OISE professor. However, the constant exposure to their toxins have a gradual effect.
Ben Levin was far from the worst that OISE had to offer. And now that he is out of the system, Ontario's children are no more safe than when he was in it.
Kathleen Wynne's government still intends to make his curriculum a part of the education of every child in the province. OISE is still a place where "Social Justice" is headed up by a fanatic who sucks up to vicious devotees of the depraved, murderous, deceased dictator of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini. If anything, they welcome the fall of Ben Levin as a scapegoat that distracts attention from their even more insidious activities.
..."If you’re a young journalist and you really want to know what not to do, just look to Greenwald and The Intercept. In its effort to reinvent journalism or “re-write” the rules, it’s abandoned the core principles of solid news reporting. Details are invariably scattered, context is never offered, headlines and ledes are crafted for impact rather than accuracy, mitigating details are buried and the real stories are lost. It’s a high profile example of a growing trend in digital journalism, and it’s not good..."
The captain of the RMS Titanic clutches at a railing, icy Atlantic water rising at his knees. With the stern of his ship rising high out of the ocean, like an enormous, wounded finger pointing at a distant star in the night sky, he decides to take time to complain about a dolphin that just bumped into the side of his broken, doomed vessel.
That's the image that popped into my head when I saw The Toronto Star's Heather Mallick write, "Just watching Sun put me off my hinges," in a column gloating about the demise of the Sun News Network.
At a stretch, that explains the last four years, the time between Sun TV hitting the airwaves and shutting its doors this week, in the aftermath of an unfavorable CRTC ruling failed to put the conservative network on an equal footing with its cable news competitors. It's anyone's guess what put Mallick off her hinges prior to that, when this supposed fighter against misogyny and patriarchal condescension referred to Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin having a "toned-down version of the porn actress look."
Ironically, the column written by Mallick, whose paper was forced to pay libel costs after she maliciously defamed British writer Melanie Phillips by effectively saying she contributed to the mass murders committed by a Norwegian psychopath, is titled, "Canadians don't like bullies and Sun News fell short on that count." It might have been more accurately titled, "Only I'm allowed to bully, and if you disagree, you're a bully ."
But Heather Mallick is something of a running joke in Canadian media. More troublesome is the sentiment that not only acquiesces to, but approves of limitations on free speech for Canadian journalists.
That may be true for someone whose experience of Canada is limited to the intellectually-barren classrooms of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, or the aggressively sanctimonious coffee houses of the Annex neighborhood, both of which are contained in U of Toronto's environs. But in other places, among other Canadians, given the choice between unfettered free speech and a society where the government and our journalistic "elite" get to decide what can and can't be said aloud, very few would choose the latter.
Certainly not every Canadian journalism professor nor journalist has succumbed to that puerile manifestation of political correctness. Fortunately, this are still many who recognize that for democracy to function effectively, there is an absolute need for a diversity of voices and perspectives.
But we're in a sorry state of affairs that many in education and journalism, the two professions that should be the most ardent defenders of free speech, are among its most outspoken enemies.
We're already seeing the result of that in a generation of journalists who self-censor, and present biased reporting designed not to offend what they perceive as their audience's delicate sensibilities.
Today, they won't tell you what they don't want you to hear. But the way things are going, they'll be telling you what you are and are not allowed to hear. And if the Heather Mallicks of this world are to be the gatekeepers of acceptable speech, then a very cruel, stupid Canada lies in store for us all.
A clever marketing ploy that commenced in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries has evolved into the most exploitative, oppressive day in the Christian calendar.
Crass consumerism isn't something that usually bothers me much. Sure, there is the soulless materialism that goes along with it, but on the other hand, sometimes you can get really neat, unusual, seasonally-themed stuff at good prices. But Valentine's Day stands alone in its uniquely contrived and subtle malevolence.
Apparently it's Geoffrey Chaucer, the famous English poet whose indecipherable works no one's actually read in the last two generations, who is responsible for associating the previously perfectly pleasant and innocuous day of February 14th with the pressures of romantic love. But it was never considered all that big a deal. Not, at least, until improvements to the printing press and cheap postal rates in the late 1700's inspired some fiendish English capitalists with the devilishly clever idea of profiting from people's insecurity by making them think that unless they received a card that day, they were unloved.
Since then, just about every cynical commercial enterprise has gotten in on the act. Florists, chocolatiers, hoteliers, clothing designers, candy-makers, jewelers, perfumers; restaurateurs, you name it. Now everybody with a cash register is trying to convince you that unless you patronize them on the Ides of February, you are some sort of inferior creature.
Commercialism aside, there are far more insidious aspects to this most iniquitous day. There is a condescending, exclusionary component to its message. Some of the best and finest people on earth are single. Yet the message of Valentine's Day is that if you're one of those people, this day isn't for you. Worse still, the shameful implication of this sinister, unofficial "holiday" is that if you aren't part of a couple, something is wrong with you.
The poison of Valentine's Day begins in childhood, when pre-pubescent children are conditioned to associate self-worth with the number of Valentine's Day cards received. Or at least that's the case in places that don't compel children to give every single one of their classmates a card, taking all meaning out of the gesture. And who benefits from that? You got it- the greeting card manufacturers whose dastardly plan this all started out with!
There's also the abhorrently sexist nature of Valentine's Day. There's enormous pressure on men to make some grand romantic gesture and anxiously wait to have it evaluated, like an unfortunate soul standing before Minos, Rhadamanthys and Aeacus in the Underworld, by a woman they have to sufficiently impress. And furthermore, when was the last time a woman on a date had to pick up a tab on February 14!?!
St Valentine being martyred
As far as I'm concerned, he had it coming
But possibly the worst crimes emanating from this idiotic, saccharine occasion are the insufferably tedious chick flicks that hapless men are compelled to endure to appease their female overlords. Under normal circumstances, no self-respecting male in his right mind would be caught dead in the theater watching a complete piece of crap like the current Valentine's cinematic offering, Safe Haven. But on this deplorable day, while wishing we could be placed in a medically-induced coma for the two hours of its duration, we have to pretend we don't hate having to sit through something that would make a root canal seem like a welcome relief.
Surely the time has come for this oppression to end! Starting next year, I propose that every sensible person boycott this exploitative, capitalist manipulation of the insecurities of innocent people! As of 2014, as far as I'm concerned, Valentine's Day no longer exists!
I'd say the boycott should start today, but right now, I'm in a relationship and if there were any hint I would actually follow through this year, I'd be vivisected alive.
(This was originally posted on Valentine's Day 2013 - Luckily, I'm not seeing anyone seriously right now, so I don't find today as oppressive and pressure-filled!)