First things first: Canada is a great place to live. Prosperous, generally kind, accommodating, peaceful. All good stuff.
Maybe it’s because Canada is so kind, accommodating and laid back that we are also a bit of a wuss of a country. Maybe because there are so few of us across such a vast expanse, maybe because it’s the two-language thing, but it seems next to impossible for Canada to speak or act in one strong voice.
This namby-pamby attitude is on full display thanks to the relentless bullying from China, which the Justin Trudeau government is simply taking and taking and taking and not responding.
I’m sure you know the background of the current Canada-China crisis, but a quick recap is in order.
Canada was drawn into a dispute between China and the United States when it arrested Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on an extradition request from the Americans in December. Not long after, in blatant retaliation, China arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor , on what are no doubt bogus charges of stealing state secrets. While Meng Wanzhou is under house arrest in a luxury condo, the Canadians have since been held in solitary confinement, subjected to daily interrogations and have the lights left on 24 hours a day. They have been prevented from seeing family or lawyers but have been given monthly, 30-minute consular meetings. They are government captives, clearly being subjected to near torture.
And that’s just the beginning. Again using bogus claims, China subsequently barred or restricted Canadian agricultural imports such as canola, beef and pork products.
This is what we’re dealing with: one Chinese national is arrested on the request of the Americans, and now two Canadians have been kidnapped and hundreds of millions of dollars of trade goods are also being held hostage. We are dealing with a blatantly evil empire, a whole new creation – Communists with economic clout. In the days of the Red Menace, places like China and the USSR presented military threats, but not economic. Nobody had to cosy up to China. But now, China has created a new economic order – a country dedicated to making money under the yoke of an all-controlling government. Today’s China is flat-out evil, much more dangerous than the USSR at the height of the Cold War. But since they are now an economic power, the world pussyfoots around China.
Justin Trudeau’s feeble government has tried the traditional diplomatic solutions: behind the scenes talk; trying to enlist allies to our side, etc. But China just laughs; a Chinese government official this week said Canada is “naive” to expect help from allies.
China just keeps kicking us in the teeth, and Trudeau and Canada just take it. Can you imagine if China did the same things to America? Or Britain? Germany? France? There would be demonstrations and retaliation. But here in milquetoast Canada, we just take it, holding out hope that the “rule of law” will prevail. Well, Justin, the rule of law doesn’t apply when only one country is abiding by the rules. The government should launch a PR campaign advising Canadians not to purchase Huawai products. The should go after Chinese imports by any means available, bogus or legit. By doing nothing, China is showing that Canada, a bit player on the world stage, can be pushed around without fear of retaliation. What a wuss of a country.
Speaking of embarrassing events, the Toronto (which means national) media’s obsession with this Kawhi Leonard guy has revealed Canada (and particularly Toronto) to be a very small-time country.
Leonard, in case you haven’t heard, was the star of the Toronto Raptors NBA championship. Thanks to his performance, he became a Toronto (which means national) sensation. Fans followed him everywhere. The media obsessed over him. When he was in Toronto to talk to the Raptors about a new contract with the team (he was a free agent), crowds gathered outside the building where he was meeting with the Raptors. The Toronto (which means national) media treated it like we were awaiting the announcement of a new pope. TSN and Sportsworld gave his free agency lavish, hysterical coverage. Even CTV and CBC national news covered the ‘will-he-or-won’t-he’ story like it was an issue of grave national importance.
Toronto likes to think of itself as a world-class city, but it’s reaction to Leonard’s possibly leaving the team was strictly hicksville. Toronto and the Toronto-centred media were made to look like a teenage girl with a serious crush on the handsomest guy in high school. It was embarrassing to Toronto, and to Canada.
Oh, and if you didn’t hear, Leonard signed with some other team. Gee, what a shame.
Did you know the Alberta Legislature went through a marathon 48 hour session this week? No? I’m not surprised.
The NDP forced a pointless filibuster – its second of the session – over some changes to gay-straight alliance legislation. Based on the hyperbole from the NDs, you’d think the UCP was proposing the public outing of all gay teens. Why the UCP decided to raise this non-issue – tailor made for the bleeding hearts of the NDP – is beyond me. But I guess the UCP wanted to send some sort of message to its arch-conservative base, and the NDP wanted to send a message to its arch-liberal base. What a waste of time and effort.
And speaking of wasting time and effort, the Kenney government has announced a $2.5 million public inquiry into international campaigns supposedly targeting the province’s energy industry. This will take an entire year. Yet, all of the information has already been revealed by Vivian Krause, a dogged researcher who singlehandedly uncovered that millions of American dollars were pumped into anti-oil sands groups. The NDP is right about this one – it’s a glorified Google search.
Well, there goes a big piece of my youth. The news came down this week that MAD magazine was only going to produce one more issue of new material, in August, then revert to an occasional ‘best of’ publication after that.
MAD magazine was my literature of choice in youth. I remember vividly getting my first subscription to MAD, as a Christmas present. I kept the subscription going for a full decade (it came, I swear, in a plain brown wrapper, like a subscription to Playboy or something), carefully saving every issue of the satirical magazine from 1970 to 1980. I would still have every issue of MAD for a decade has it not been for one of my nephews who, on a visit to my parents’ house when I didn’t live at home, rifled through the magazines and took a bunch with him, with my mother’s permission. It still makes me angry.
I loved MAD magazine, particularly the TV and movie parodies, and especially those illustrated by Mort Drucker, one of the greatest cartoonists, ever. And then there was Don Martin and his off-kilter comics and their bevy of hilarious sounds. Spy vs. Spy. The fold-in. I loved it.
I haven’t seen a MAD magazine in years, and looking back on the old issues, they seem pretty puerile. But I loved it then, and MAD will always hold a place in my comedic heart.
Arte Johnson, 90, one of the original cast members of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. He was famous for his German soldier who said: “Veeery interesting..” You had to be there, I guess … Lee Iacocca, 94, the auto executive who became one of the most successful and famous business leaders of the 1980s … Tyler Skaggs, 27, Los Angeles Angles pitcher … Beth Chapman, 51, busty wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter of TV fame … Max Wright, 75, American stage actor who played the harried dad on the sitcom ALF.