By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 25 Comments
The Scene. Relaxing in the moments before Question Period, Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper looked across the aisle and nodded at each other—the Prime Minister no doubt recognizing the man opposite as the guy in all those bootlegged VHS tapes he’s been watching.
A short while later, Chuck Strahl, the Indian Affairs Minister, strolled across the aisle and engaged the leader of the opposition in what seemed a friendly conversation. Though the substance of the discussion was unclear, by all appearances Mr. Strahl understood clearly the words that were coming out of Mr. Ignatieff’s mouth.
As demonstrations of bipartisan collegiality, these were heartening scenes. As demonstrations of human ability, they were important clarifiers. Indeed, if these moments are any example, let there be no question that government and opposition do acknowledge and, at least passably, comprehend each other, whatever misconceptions today’s asking of questions and airing of accusations may have left you with. Continue…
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 10:20 AM - 985 Comments
That’s because professional ethnic grievance mongers cry ‘Racist!’ at the drop of a turban
The other day, one of the least soft-headed of Canadian columnists, Lorrie Goldstein, wrote a piece in the Toronto Sun called “Protest backlash unearths racism”:
“Let’s not pretend that much of the condemnation of Tamils in Canada for protesting the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka isn’t racist.
“Any journalist who’s been around knows what’s going on and we have an obligation to speak up.”
I’ve been around. Well, okay, I’ve been nearby, as Mary Tyler Moore liked to say. And, insofar as I feel an obligation to speak up, it’s only to wonder at how far even the remarkably tensile concept of “racism” can be stretched.
By Michael Petrou - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:34 AM - 2 Comments
The family members of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan have a special insight into the pain of losing loved ones to early and violent deaths. For the most part, they don’t have a unique or penetrating understanding of Afghanistan or the NATO mission there.
This didn’t stop the Toronto Star from splashing a banner headline across Monday’s front page quoting the uncle Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton, who was killed on Saturday by a roadside bomb, calling the mission “a fight that can’t be won.” Hamilton’s mother released a statement saying that her son strongly believed in the mission and had volunteered for a third tour – something the Star duly buried in its story.
The headline on the Star’s web version of the story has been changed, which suggests the paper’s online editors have more class than the print ones.
By selley - Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 4:25 PM - 8 Comments
Kathy English, …the Toronto Star‘s Public Editor, recalls what happened when the family of
Kathy English, the Toronto Star‘s Public Editor, recalls what happened when the family of Je Yell Kim, “a dental technician in his 50s who was held in Communist North Korea on vague charges relating to ‘national security,’” begged the newspaper not to report on his plight on grounds “that doing so could jeopardize negotiations to free him.” Short version: no dice.
Kim’s daughter … called my office crying inconsolably and asking why the Star disregarded her pleas. I explained what [Asia bureau chief Bill] Schiller had already told her: that the incarceration of a Canadian by a foreign government was an issue of important public interest in Canada. So, too, was the question of what Canadian authorities were doing to secure his release. I added that as information about her father’s plight had already been posted on the Internet, it was likely that other journalists would report it, perhaps with less sensitivity than Schiller, who conveyed the family’s concerns about publicity.
Well that was awkward, wasn’t it? And is it just me, or is that part about, well, maybe other media outlets will report on it too, and they’re not as nice as we are, squirm-inducingly weak? Kim’s situation and Mellissa Fung’s aren’t particularly analogous, but in each case a request for silence was made and in only one was it granted. It just proves that any explanation of the media blackout that doesn’t include a proviso along the lines of, “look, we make decisions in each individual case in the heat of the moment, not according to some kind of scientific formula, so contradictions are bound to appear,” is doomed to fail.
What really surprises me at this point, though, is that the majority seems to be pretty much okay with Afghan officials picking up relatives of alleged kidnappers and threatening their well-being to secure the release of a Canadian hostage. We don’t even know what happened to these people, after all. We may never. And it could have been just about anything.
By selley - Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 5:38 PM - 23 Comments
The Toronto Star encourages us today to sign Mayor David Miller’s petition to ban…
The case for the ban is succinctly stated on the petition itself: “Handguns are intended for one purpose and that is to kill people. Their presence in Canada has resulted in the deaths of far too many people.” Immediate action is requested.
Handguns are the preferred weapon of violent criminals, so it is only logical to restrict ownership to police, the military and a few top competitive shooters, such as Olympic competitor Avianna Chao of Toronto. But there is scant justification for allowing others to possess this class of weapon.
Private holdings of handguns provide a ready arsenal for criminals who are willing to steal from legal owners. Indeed, about one-third of the illegal guns seized by Toronto police come from such sources. This pool of weapons – successfully tapped by the underworld – could be largely eliminated by ending the private ownership of pistols.
A few semi-circular quibbles and queries, to which we invite readers to add:
- It seems highly unlikely that Toronto’s police officers would agree that “handguns are intended for one purpose and that is to kill people,” given that many will have drawn their weapons at some point in their careers but very few will have killed someone.
- However, if the Star agrees that “handguns are intended for one purpose and that is to kill people,” then how can its editorialists consider sport shooting an acceptable pastime?
By selley - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 3:18 PM - 0 Comments
I waded into the whole poverty statistics rigmarole a few months back, after a…
I waded into the whole poverty statistics rigmarole a few months back, after a Toronto Star editorial posited that “more than 905,000 across the Greater Toronto Area depended on food banks.” The claim was so outrageous that I hear Joe Atkinson clawed himself out of his own grave, dusted himself off and hopped the first trolley to One Yonge Street to inform his editorialists of the error. And in subsequent efforts, they did treat the figure—which represents the total number of visits to food banks across the GTA, not visitors—with slightly more respect. A “total of 905,000 people visited food banks across the Greater Toronto Area in the past year,” they wrote at Thanksgiving, which is… well, slightly closer to the truth, anyway.
But today, reacting to the Daily Bread Food Bank‘s latest annual report, the Star finally got it right. “Food bank use has risen by 5 per cent in the GTA in the past year to 952,883 visits,” they wrote. Perfect. Alas, the whole thing goes pear-shaped again in the very next sentence, which claims “more than 79,000 people now resort to a food bank every month.” The precise number is 79,407, for the record. I know because I went ahead and divided 952,883 by 12. They’ve more or less repeated the original error, in other words, but they’ve converted it from yearly to monthly form.
(Incidentally, for for future Star editorial use, the DBFB says “this year’s increase is attributed primarily to the opening of two new food banks and reflects Daily Bread’s increased capacity to meet the existing need as opposed to an increase in need.”)
By selley - Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 2:34 PM - 0 Comments
Bob Hepburn …tells it like it is, and damn the torpedoes: “It might be
Bob Hepburn tells it like it is, and damn the torpedoes: “It might be politically incorrect to say, but [Stéphane] Dion’s spoken English is bad.”