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Big Government Bureaucracy Politics The left Uncategorized US Politics

Stop Feeding the Critters!

Dave 07I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a bit, mostly on business, and one of my favourite places is Washington DC. I’ve visited the monuments – the Lincoln Memorial is, to use the word appropriately for once, awesome. It takes more insight than I can comprehend to convey what Lincoln did at Gettysburg, using only 270 words.

And the Vietnam War Memorial is pure genius; nothing but a black granite wall engraved with the names of 58,000 Vietnam vets who died in that conflict. Vietnam Memorial.jpgIt begins as a wedge and gradually heightens, building emotion as you walk along it. 58,000 names truly is overwhelming. But then you think of the American Civil War with more than 600,000 dead, or the 20th century with over 100 million civilian deaths, killed mostly by the Communists, or the National Socialists / NAZIS, for the greater good of an imagined utopian state. Socialism’s ultimate experiments.

But underneath the facade of the inspiring monuments and beautiful buildings, Washington DC is a swamp. (I guess because I’m an old farm boy the picture in my mind is more of a barnyard that hasn’t been cleaned out for decades. It’s a breeding ground for maggots, and a nasty mess, and whoever gets around to cleaning it is going to get nasty.)

But let’s stick with the contemporary metaphor. Donald Trump says he’s gone to Washington to “drain the swamp.” That’s good, because last November the American electorate hired him to do exactly that.

Unsurprisingly, the Swamp Critters don’t like it.

Because if you’ve followed American politics like I have, since November 1963, you’ve come to realize that the Washington swamp grows darker and murkier by the decade. Swamp Critter Elitists have increasingly taken control, and they include many – not all –  Democratic and Republican politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, leeches – oh yeah, I already mentioned the lobbyists and lawyers , and the bureaucracy which is often known as the deep state.

And many bureaucrats in the deep state are convinced that politicians come to Washington to learn how things work, rather than the other way around. And by the way, the deep state bureaucracy in Ottawa is just as convinced. Their view is that if a political party doesn’t lean Progressivist Left, they have no right to the levers of power, no matter what the electorate has said.

And of course, Washington’s (and Ottawa’s) self-styled Elites also include the media, and while they aren’t officially part of government apparatus, they’re definitely Swamp Critters.

Considering that Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached pandemic levels, the administration has nevertheless made admirable headway over the last six months in reducing or eliminating dozens of job-killing regulations.

For the first time ever, there seems to be an awareness in Washington that, vis-à-vis North Korea, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. Illegal immigration is way down; the stock market, and permanent jobs, are up.

There have indeed been too many amateur hour stumbles, and too many ill-advised Tweets (Somebody, please, Duck Tape His Thumbs!), but the simple fact is that American voters hired Trump because they were sick of professional politicians.

And put the worst spin on it that you will; the Trump crowd’s sometimes unwise, but so far, non-criminal interactions with the Russians, pale in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s clearly criminal carelessness with classified emails, destruction of evidence, perjury, and influence peddling.

Add to that the fact that if Hillary had moved into the White House, Bill would have moved in there with her. Interns beware!

Swamp-Thing-25-00.pngI’m not a huge Donald Trump fan, but I’m a Yuge fan of what he was hired to do, and I genuinely hope for his success.

But he’ll need to smarten up, and learn to STOP FEEDING THE CRITTERS!

Soon please!

I’m Dave Reesor in Calgary.

Categories
Canadian Politics Immigration Politics Terrorism Uncategorized

More Khadr

Dave 07Last blog I suggested we might need a more balanced look at the Omar Khadr file. I expected to get some negative feedback, and I certainly did.

Why did I use a picture of a teenage Khadr? Because he was a teenager when the incident happened. And another: He wasn’t a child soldier under international law at the time. He was a child under Canadian law, and unfortunately, he is a Canadian born citizen whether we like it or not.

Earlier this week, Andrew Lawton substituting on Danielle Smith’s talk show, interviewed John Carpay, a citizen’s rights warrior who many of you are familiar with. John was discussing some of the too frequent incidents of governments trampling on a citizen’s rights.

Lorne Grabher is a Nova Scotian who’s had a personalized license plate, with his name on it, since 1991. Recently, a woman complained that it was hateful and promoted violence against women, so the government of Nova Scotia refused to renew it. (Personally, I don’t know that I’ve ever run into a woman that sensitive, but obviously, they’re out there.) In any event, the government took away Mr. Grabher’s freedom of speech, including the freedom to use his own name! You might think it’s trivial, but it’s not. It’s about free speech.

Most provincial governments have passed laws restricting free trade between provinces. It’s against the intent of Confederation, but until now, they’ve gotten away with it.

New Brunswicker, Gerard Comeau, realized he could buy beer in Québec much cheaper than in New Brunswick, so he made a beer run and brought back a trunk load. The RCMP was waiting for him, and charged him under provincial law. Now, you may be a teetotaler and think this doesn’t concern you, but, again you’d be wrong. Anytime a government tramples on the freedoms of a Canadian citizen, we all need to be concerned. Incidentally, Comeau fought the law, and he won.

So back to Omar Kahdr. It is a fact that he was 15 years old when he threw the grenade that killed the American soldier. There is reasonable doubt that he threw the grenade, but let’s accept it as fact, so he was taken to Guantánamo and spent 10 years there as a prisoner.

During that time, he claims he was tortured. I personally don’t think sleep deprivation is torture, or else I’ve been tortured for many decades. But when sleep deprivation is employed as a tool for obtaining a confession, there can be reasonable doubt as to the veracity of that confession. In any event, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled, unanimously, that during his time at Guantánamo, Khadr’s rights as a Canadian were abridged.

And that’s the crux of the matter. When a government tramples on any citizen’s rights, that government must be brought to heel by every legal means possible, even if we believe that particular citizen to be inconsequential, or despicable, or, someone who, in our eyes, deserves no rights.

I have been uncomfortable with the lynch mob mentality that has accompanied this case from the beginning, just as I was regarding the Maher Arar case. Jurisprudence based on emotion is something to be feared by every Canadian.

Liberals and Conservative governments are both culpable, but the Liberals are most deserving of our opprobrium. A couple of decades ago Prime Minister Jean Chretien actually intervened on behalf of Khadr senior, a known terrorist, but the genesis of this debacle began even before that with a Liberal immigration policy primarily designed to create Liberal voters.

The Conservatives brought some sanity to the immigration file; Justin Trudeau is bringing back the insanity as quickly as he can.

Personally, I am in total agreement with Kelly Leitch’s proposal that we screen immigrants for a willingness to accept, and adopt, the values that have made Canada a magnet for millions. And one of those values is the right to due process.

We don’t need immigrants or refugees that favour sharia law, nor those who practice female genital mutilation, nor for that matter do we need Northern Ireland Protestants who get overwrought about a 400 year old battle, or Basques that feel that car bombs are a legitimate political tactic.

Of course the $10 million settlement is ridiculous, and the way Trudeau handled the file displayed typical Trudeau hubris. The Khadr case should have been allowed to wend its way through the judicial process, even if it ended up costing taxpayers $40 million, and it might have.

Hopefully, something’s been learned from this immigration related debacle.

Don’t hold your breath.

Categories
Canadian Politics Politics Terrorism Uncategorized US Politics

Regarding Omar Khadr

Dave 07I realize that I have a gift for occasionally making everybody mad, and this may be one of those occasions. As I’ve been able to uncover them, here are the facts.

Omar Khadr’s parents were both born elsewhere, his father in Egypt. They met and married in Canada and the children, including Omar, were born here. Therefore, Omar is a natural, rather than naturalized, Canadian citizen.

The elder Khadrs were not interested in integrating into Canadian society. They supported terrorist organizations, and the parents should never have been allowed into Canada in the first place.

Omar KhadrOmar was immersed in Islamic radicalism from the time he was born. When he was 15, and still legally a child under his parents control, he was taken by his father to Afghanistan where at the end of a firefight with American soldiers, he threw a grenade which killed one American soldier and wounded another. His father was killed.

Omar was apprehended and even though he was technically a child soldier at the time of the incident, he was convicted by a US military court and spent 10 years in Guantánamo Bay Cuba, during which time he claimed he was tortured. There has been no proof.

There is no question that he is a Canadian citizen, and that he did not receive Canadian standards of justice. It is also clear that he has not, since returning to Canada, made a serious effort to dissuade other young Canadians from following in his footsteps.

I suppose I could stop there because I probably already have made everyone mad at me by trying to give both sides of the story. If we ever needed King Solomon to come back and adjudicate an issue, now would be the time.

My view is that any Khadrs, or any other immigrants born elsewhere, who actively support terrorist organizations, should have their citizenship revoked, and be expelled.

But Omar Khadr is a Canadian born, Canadian citizen. I don’t trust him, but he was not treated properly according to Canadian law, and therefore should be compensated.

And 10.5 million is way too much.

Tear a strip off me on my blog site, and I’ll post your comments.

Dave Reesor