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Climate Fears and Political Smoke Screens


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This article is from The Opposition With Dan Knight substack.

Unmasking the Political Smoke and Mirrors Amidst Flames, Arson, and Fear

Good Morning my fellow Canadians! You know, the more things change, the more they stay the same, especially in our political landscape. Here we are, amid rising temperatures and heated debates, and as the wildfires burn brighter, so do the Twitter feuds among our politicians. Now, polls indicate that Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party is edging into majority territory, and well, that’s triggered a full-blown meltdown from the usual quarters.

First in line, Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness. He tweeted, ‘Canadians can’t afford leaders who refuse to believe climate change is real,’ citing our worst wildfire season on record. It’s a brilliant strategy, really; never waste a good crisis to get your point across. I mean, who cares about providing solutions when you can point fingers?


Jonathan Wilkinson, our valiant Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, criticizes the Conservative Party for not even trying to recognize that climate change is real. Jonathan, we’re still waiting for you to recognize that humans, actual Canadian citizens, are setting forests on fire deliberately. But sure, it’s all the Conservative Party’s fault. Hilarious!

And then the Liberal Party, oh, the Liberal Party, wagging its finger at all of us, saying, ‘Canadians want more climate action, not less.’ They say it like they’ve cracked the Da Vinci Code of Canadian public opinion. Really? Because last time I checked, polls are showing Canadians might want something a little different.

Let’s not forget the honorable Ryan Turnbull, a man who seems to believe that Pierre Poilievre is the harbinger of the apocalypse, promoting ‘ignorance, hate, division,’ and basically every bad thing you can think of. Clearly, Poilievre’s struck a nerve.

So why the desperation? Why the continuous fearmongering? Could it be because they’re afraid that Canadians are starting to see through the smoke—quite literally? Now, you and I both know that the Liberals would love nothing more than to make you believe that the world is on fire and it’s all because of climate change. The mantra: ‘The Earth is burning, so give us more of your hard-earned money to save it.’ But amid the hysteria, let’s focus. We’ve been through a rough wildfire season. Yes, we’ve all seen the headlines. Yet, here’s the twist. Smithsonian Magazine reveals that 84% of wildfires in our southern neighbor, the United States, are started by human activity. But hold on, in Canada, it’s just 55%. Why such a dramatic difference?

Are Americans simply more careless, or could it be that our authorities are quicker to dismiss human involvement for the more politically advantageous ‘climate change’? Isn’t it more convenient to blame the ambiguous, the uncontrollable, than to investigate potential criminal behavior, like arson, which could be preventable?

And it’s not just a rhetorical question. We have had multiple instances of arson across the country. In Mission, BC; in Mackenzie; in Vernon North Okanagan; in Castlegar; in Grand Forks; in Pictou County, Nova Scotia; in Yellowknife. Just recently, a man in Quebec was arrested for setting fires in forested areas. He’s facing charges. Yet, do you see the Liberal government or mainstream media making a big deal out of that? No, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

In the flurry of headlines, accusations, and the general media hubbub about the wildfires in Quebec, we’re missing something truly elemental: the entire story.

Last month, CBC News blazed across our screens with a dire proclamation. Climate change made weather conditions that powered Quebec’s wildfires twice as likely. That was the conclusion from the World Weather Attribution initiative, a U.K.-based group. Their analysis came in the wake of the record-setting fires in Quebec, and its takeaway? Climate change is ramping up the heat, and in turn, igniting the forests.

Yan Boulanger, a scientist at Natural Resources Canada, even labeled these findings as ‘shocking.’ The province had seen an astonishing 5.2 million hectares burned. The entirety of Canada? A whopping 15.3 million hectares — shattering the previous record. As for this analysis, it’s yet to be peer-reviewed, but CBC was quick to point out the past track record of the research group.

And while those numbers are staggering and the climate concerns valid, there’s another piece of news that’s just as vital to digest.

Two days ago (almost a month later), Quebec provincial police arrested one Brian Paré in connection with — wait for it — numerous forest fires that ripped through the northern province. This isn’t about a stray campfire or a misplaced cigarette butt; this is deliberate, calculated arson. Paré faces charges for setting a fishing cabin ablaze and torching vast stretches of forest over a span of months. It took an army of behavior analysts, criminal profilers, and forensic psychologists to track this man down.

No mention of climate change in that courtroom, I assure you. Do you know what makes fires 100 times more likely? It’s not climate change; it’s ARSON!

Now, I can hear the chorus already, “Dan! Climate change sets the stage for these fires to be more devastating!” Sure, let’s talk about setting the stage. You see, while the liberal media and their academic buddies are blaming your SUV and your meat-eating habits for setting forests ablaze, they’re conveniently ignoring one glaring point: people—real, living human beings—are lighting these fires. Not the weather, not some cosmic karma for humanity’s supposed ‘sins’ against nature.

As for those numbers that supposedly show the weather conditions for these fires are twice as likely because of climate change? A not-yet-peer-reviewed study is your smoking gun? Come on.

And let’s not forget the broader context here. Remember British Columbia?Over 1.6 million hectares devoured by wildfires this year alone. Astonishing, until you dive into the numbers. This isn’t some climate-induced Armageddon; it’s a pattern, one that has a lot of variables—climate being just one small piece of it. Fires have raged for years, caused by everything from lightning to, yes, human negligence. Just ask the folks who remember the Chinchaga fire of 1950—the biggest one North America has ever seen.

Climate change is an easy boogeyman. You can blame it for everything and thus blame everybody, which leads to a broad call for action that usually translates to more control, more regulations, and more taxes. But what it does not lead to is a discussion on the complexities and nuances.

You see, Canada, that’s the sinister issue afoot here. It’s much easier to control a population that’s operating on fear, especially when you can stoke that fear with selective storytelling. As you mull over these points, ask yourself: are we being given the full story, or just the convenient parts that fit a certain agenda?

So you’ve got all these questions swirling in your head, right? Complexities, nuances, arson rates, and where is all that in the grand narrative? Nowhere. Because it doesn’t fit the script, the master plan of Trudeau and Guilbeault to keep you scared, to keep you submissive. They don’t want an informed public asking hard questions; they want a fearful public, willing to buy into whatever they’re selling.

And oh boy, are they selling. A carbon tax here, a trip to China there. It’s like they’re hawking fear from a roadside stand, only instead of selling you overpriced trinkets, they’re peddling overpriced delusions. It’s a yard sale of deception, folks, and the currency is hitting your wallet via taxes!

Alright, now that we’ve connected the dots, let’s dive back into the murky waters of Trudeau’s ‘progressive’ policies because it’s high time somebody said it. You’ve got Justin Trudeau and his trusty sidekick Steven Guilbeault treating the Canadian people like we’re all a bunch of morons. They want to talk about how ‘progressive’ their carbon tax is, and how it’s supposedly saving the planet. Let’s set the record straight: If their carbon tax were the life-saving vaccine for climate change they claim it to be, British Columbia should be a Garden of Eden right now. But guess what? It’s not.

Don’t you just love how they evade accountability? They’re like a couple of tap dancers sidestepping questions they don’t want to answer. Oh, they’ll tell you that it’s ‘complex,’ that you ‘wouldn’t understand.’ Really? You’re going to pull that card? How condescending can you be? This is the same Trudeau who wore blackface, remember? Now he’s judging your understanding of complex issues?

And let’s talk about Guilbeault’s trip to China. Oh yes, China—the world’s leading polluter. The irony is so rich, you could drizzle it on pancakes. What’s he doing there? Sharing tips on how to be environmentally unfriendly? It’s absurd! Yet, they continue to offshore Canadian manufacturing to China so that our country’s carbon footprint ‘looks’ smaller on paper. They’re just shifting the dirt under the rug! It’s all smoke and mirrors!

Now, I know what some of you are thinking, “But the Liberals are doing something about climate change!” Are they? Are they really? Because last time I checked, our forest management is underfunded, our firefighters are under-resourced, and people’s homes are going up in flames! All while Trudeau’s jet-setting around the world!

And let’s not even get started on their international dealings. They have the audacity to preach about ‘green energy’ while sending coal off to China. It’s like a doctor smoking a cigarette while advising you to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s absurd, laughable, and downright insulting to the intelligence of Canadians.

So, when Trudeau and Guilbeault start accusing the Conservatives of wanting to roll back their so-called ‘climate initiatives,’ you better believe the answer is YES! Because Canadians are fed up. They see through the lies, the sleight of hand, the empty gestures that are as hollow as a bamboo shoot!

People are no longer buying into their deceptive narrative. You’re tired of it. I’m tired of it. And you know what? The days of nodding along to sanctimonious drivel are over. Canadians want action, not platitudes. They want honesty, not deceit. And most importantly, they want competent leadership!

Canadians are not stupid. Far from it. We’re a nation of problem solvers, of innovators, of people who brave harsh winters and come out stronger for it. We deserve leadership that reflects that spirit, not one that seeks to divide us, to stoke fears and rely on alarmism to keep their grip on power. It’s high time our politicians understood that message. It’s high time they were held to account for treating Canadians like pawns in their ideological games

And come 2025, let’s make sure they get that message, loud and clear. Canadians are fed up. We’re through with the lies, the virtue signaling, and the blatant disregard for the people who make this country great. So let’s roll up our sleeves, Canada, and do what needs to be done. Let’s vote them out and reclaim the true north, strong and free!

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Irish Saying: Is This A Private Fight Or Can Anyone Join?

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There’s no crying in baseball. And there’s no fighting in golf. Unless LIV is involved.

Don’t tell the participants in the Ryder Cup this past weekend. Under the sunny skies of Rome, the Americans and Europeans produced storm clouds over… brace for it… a golf hat. Or the lack of a golf hat. Let us explain.

American player Patrick Cantlay chose to go hatless, eschewing the U.S. team wardrobe that everyone else agreed to wear. Needless to say the hat had patriotic themes and Cantlay’s decision was seen to be controversial. It was not like quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem, but to those loyal to Old Glory its seemed disrespectful.

It wasn’t helped when media reported that Cantlay had declined the chapeau because, as opposed to teammate, LIV member Brooks Koepka, he wasn’t receiving a bonus for wearing the hat. And that, as a result, the embattled U.S. team was split over the controversy. (After first saying that he couldn’t find a hat that fit, Cantlay later changed his story to say that the bonus/ dissension story was false.)

That was all the partisan European fans needed to hear. They began mocking Cantlay by doffing their hats and jeering him as Team USA stumbled on Friday and Saturday. Rather than fold, however, Cantlay went on a blazing run in Saturday’s final match against Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. Posting three straight birdies, his last forced the emotional Irishman into a difficult putt on 18 to get a tie.

After Cantlay’s dramatic putt dropped, his caddie Joe LaCava (formerly Tiger Woods’ caddie) mocked the crowd by doffing his hat in McIlroy’s vision. As he did he came close to McIlroy who was preparing for his ultimately unsuccessful putt. The two exchanged words. They were not, “Have a good day.” European team member Shayne Lowry then yelled at LaCava who returned fire.

When the sniping ended, the bare-headed Cantlay sunk a dramatic putt to give America hope on Sunday. But that didn’t end the unpleasantness. In the parking lot, McIlroy got into it with Justin Thomas’ caddy Jim “Bones” McKay. Lowry had to physically shove his fellow Irishman into a car to end the confrontation.

Golf’s chattering classes went mad with excitement. What would happen on Sunday as Europe attempted to win the four points that would return them the Cup? Would America be inspired? Was Europe distracted by McIlroy’s intemperate blasts?

Sunday, LaCava told media he’d met with McIlroy that morning to smooth things over. No hard feelings. In the end, etc. The most visible sign of Saturday’s ruckus was Cantlay buddies Justin Thomas, Colin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele also going hatless in solidarity. It didn’t help as Europe— led by McIlroy spanking Sam Burns 3&1—  won the Cup 16.5-11.5. And McIlroy called LaCava a liar about talking to him.

But there was no mistaking the witches’ brew cooked up on the weekend in Italy. The well-rested Americans were handed their hats (badda-bing) early by a Euro squad seeking revenge for their loss at Whistling Straits in 2021. The coach’s selections on the U.S. side— Thomas, Koepka, Burns and Rickie Fowler— stunk out the joint. Calling them coach’s selections exaggerates. Zach Johnson was told by his core players whom to invite.

The Euro coach’s selections might not have been brilliant, but they didn’t hinder the win. Nor were the Euros hurt by the partisan crowd that hooted, chanted and sang its dislike for the Yanks. But that is the Ryder Cup, and when the sides meet again at NYC’s Bethpage Black in 2025 the rabble will reciprocate.

Some players called for calm. Rahm asked everyone to cool down after his half on Sunday. Cantlay smiled benignly through all the hullabaloo, saying the chaos is what makes the Ryder Cup great. But they were drowned out by the international press that pronounced critically on American vanity and the Euros swagger.

The Ryder Cup is traditionally— if not actually— considered the end of the golf season, the culmination of the majors and the FedEx Cup season. So it seemed only appropriate that the first full year of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf end with a sour taste for many. McIlroy, for one, has had a miserable time mixing the old (he won 2 times and earned $13,921,008 but with no majors) and the new (as defiant spokesman for the PGA Tour versus LIV he was hung out to dry by the Tour and many fellow players who allowed him to fight their fight). His outburst Saturday/ Sunday showed the strain he’s carried.

As the only LIV member playing at Marco Simone Koepka did little to put a happy face on his chosen Tour. Dour, sullen and churlish, he refused the ceremonial doffing of his hat when he’d schooled young Lucas Aberg 3&2. Not that the European and PGA Tour officials connected to the Ryder Cup extended a hand or made pleasant noises about the proposed merger with LIV.

Indeed, the ghosts of LIV members haunted the event. Ryder Cup legends Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Graham McDowell, Paul Casey, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson were not only excluded from playing but told there was no place in the coaching room of their teams. It all felt somewhat hollow at times.

Thanks goodness #HatGate resurrected a bit of the old-fashioned bile that makes Ryder Cups so anticipated. For all the polite chumminess of today’s PGA Tour, a silly pissing match is a nice diversion. After all, as Conn Smythe once said after a brawl-filled hockey game, “Much more of this and we will have to print extra tickets for the next game.”

Sign up today for Not The Public Broadcaster newsletters. Hot takes/ cool slants on sports and current affairs. Have the latest columns delivered to your mail box. Tell your friends to join, too. Always provocative, always independent.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via


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Brownstone Institute

The White House’s ‘Misinformation’ Pressure Campaign Was Unconstitutional

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From the Brownstone Institute


I am one of five private plaintiffs in the landmark free speech case Missouri v. Biden. Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court found that the government “engaged in a years-long pressure campaign designed to ensure that the censorship [on social media] aligned with the government’s preferred viewpoints” and that “the platforms, in capitulation to state-sponsored pressure, changed their moderation policies.” This resulted in the censoring of constitutionally protected speech of hundreds of thousands of Americans, tens of millions of times. Based on this finding, the Fifth Circuit in part upheld an injunction on certain public officials put in place by a district court.

Even when the government appealed the injunction to the Fifth Circuit, its lawyers hardly disputed  a single factual finding  from the court’s ruling. A unanimous three-judge panel upheld the core findings that “several officials—namely the White House, the Surgeon General, the CDC, and the FBI—likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content, rendering those decisions state actions. In doing so, the officials likely violated the First Amendment.” The government again appealed the injunction to the Supreme Court, where we expect a ruling this week.

The government’s claim that the injunction limits public officials’ own speech is absurd misdirection. The government can say whatever it wants publicly; it just cannot stop other Americans from saying something else. Free speech matters not to ensure that every pariah can say whatever odious thing he or she chooses. Rather, free speech prevents the government from identifying every critic as a pariah whose speech must be shut down.

We are all harmed when our rulers silence criticism. Our government’s self-inflicted deafness prevented officials and their constituents from hearing viewpoints that should have had a meaningful impact on our policy decisions. Instead, government censorship resulted time and again in the silencing of scientifically informed criticisms of, for example, harmful COVID policies. This allowed misguided and divisive policies to persist far too long.

The scope of the current government censorship regime is historically unprecedented. “The present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history,” the district court judge explained in his ruling. He went on, “The evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario… The United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’.” The Fifth Circuit panel concurred: “The Supreme Court has rarely been faced with a coordinated campaign of this magnitude orchestrated by federal officials that jeopardized a fundamental aspect of American life.”

The government’s only attempted defense is that it was merely offering help to the platforms without jawboning them—”just your friendly neighborhood government agency.” But the law is clear that even “significant encouragement” to censor protected speech—not just overt threats or coercion—is unconstitutional. We discovered that social media companies frequently tried to push back against government demands, before finally caving to relentless pressure and threats. The evidence we presented from 20,000 pages of communications between government and social media demonstrated both significant encouragement and coercion—as when Rob Flaherty, White House director of digital strategy, berated executives at Facebook and Google, dropping F-bombs, launching tirades, and browbeating the companies into submission—until they removed even a parody account satirizing President Joe Biden.

But the more insidious and powerful censorship happens when government pressures companies to change their terms of service and modify their algorithms to control what information goes viral and what information disappears down the memory hole. With sophisticated deboosting, shadowbanning, search results prioritization, and so forth, citizens do not even realize they are being silenced, and viewers remain unaware that their feeds are carefully curated by the government. Novelist Walter Kirn compared this to mixing a record: turn the volume up on this idea (more cowbell) and turn the volume down on that idea (less snare drum). The goal is complete top-down information control online.

We were dismayed to discover the number of government agencies now engaged in censorship (at least a dozen) and the range of issues they targeted: the State Department censored criticism of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Ukraine War, the Treasury Department censored criticism of our monetary policy, the FBI (surprise!) ran point on several censorship ops, and even the Census Bureau got in on the game. Other targeted topics ranged from abortion and gender to election integrity and COVID policy.

Much of the state censorship grunt work is outsourced to a tightly integrated network of quasi-private (i.e., government funded) NGOs, universities, and government cutouts employing thousands of people working round the clock to flag posts for takedown. But constitutional jurisprudence is clear: the government cannot outsource to private entities actions that would be illegal for the government itself to do. If a government agent hires a hit man, he is not off the hook simply because he did not personally pull the trigger.

So-called “misinformation research” at places like the Stanford Internet Observatory is a slippery euphemism for censorship—not only because Facebook executives admitted to censoring “often true” but inconvenient information under government pressure, but because these entities function as laundering operations for government censorship.

Recent attempts to rebrand the work of the censorship-industrial complex with more anodyne euphemisms—”information integrity” or “civic participation online”—don’t change the fact that this is not disinterested academic research, but cooperation in state-sponsored suppression of constitutionally protected speech, always in favor of the government’s preferred narratives.

CISA, the government’s censorship switchboard and clearinghouse agency housed within the Department of Homeland Securitydescribed its work as protecting our “cognitive infrastructure”—i.e., the thoughts inside your head—from bad ideas, such as the ones advanced in this article. (Not kidding: YouTube recently censored a video of our lawyers giving a talk on our censorship case.) These ideas aren’t throttled by government censors because they are untrue, but because they are unwelcome. There’s a more accurate term for the government’s takeover of our “cognitive infrastructure:” mind control. I don’t know a single American of any political persuasion who wants to be subjected to that.

Republished from Newsweek


  • Aaron Kheriaty

    Aaron Kheriaty, Senior Brownstone Scholar and 2023 Brownstone Fellow, is a psychiatrist working with the Unity Project. He is a former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, where he was the director of Medical Ethics.

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