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Bruce Dowbiggin

Unspeakable Terror, Unfathomable Treachery: Exposing The Despicables

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What if they staged a war and nobody bought in? After Wag The Dog on #Covid19 vaccines, mass Rez school secret burials, #Russiagate, Hunter’s laptop, Nazis in Parliament and the Trucker Convoy you can appreciate that some in the population have Blockbuster! Story skepticism about the real story of the Hamas attack on Israel.

So good luck to the rulers and their Media Party selling a narrative on Gaza. If there is fatigue in the general population about another Blockbuster! then you own it. The one crystallizing aspect of horrific events such as this or 9/11 is the stripping away of the Mikado-like political phonies and exposure of the bias in your media. The faux-experts in academia find their dialectical materialism diatribes blown away like dandelions in the wind.

Hollywood leftists see their demands for measured justice rendered absurd. And the virulent radicals in organized labour confirm all the suspicions about their use of members’ dues to excuse the behaviours of scoundrels. For this service, some small measure of thanks.

While nothing assuages the brutal loss of life in Israel and Gaza we do have a clearer picture of the people— official or not—who now infest our communities with their anti-colonist clap-trap.. (FFS, the Israelis are indigenous to the area and can show it goes back 3000 years.) People who danced in the streets of Arab cities after 9/11 are now dancing in the streets on Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Our PM harvested this sociopathy from abroad, and now we reap the whirlwind at home.

And, gosh darnit, the purchased media is trying hard to keep the lid on his Pandora’s box of despicables who walk among us. “Do not refer to militants, soldiers or anyone else as ‘terrorists.” CBC’s director of journalistic standards, George Achi, wrote in an email to employees on Saturday. “The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story.” (BTW The Canadian government classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization.)

This laughable prohibition comes from the same network whose staff regurgitated PMJT’s claims of Nazis, Putin stooges and the “far-right” among the Truckers Convoy. They won’t use the term “terrorists” because it’s “political”, but “far right” apparently is GoodThink.

Outsiders noticed the double standard at work. @AnnCoulter “When Muslims in Canada drove their trucks through the streets, celebrating the slaughter in Israel, you figure Justin Trudeau froze any of their Bank accounts?” Trudeau, BTW, delayed any statement condemning Hamas 48 hours till Monday, sending his staff to explain— falsely— that the CDN embassy in Tel Aviv was functioning for citizens stranded in Israel, when, in fact, it was “operational”, whatever that means.

By the time Trudeau finally spoke up the leaders of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States had already expressed support for Israel and condemned Hamas for “its appalling acts of terrorism.” Canada was not included in the statement. Gee, wonder why? Could it be Skippy is passé with the heavy hitters?

Meanwhile out-of-her-depth Foreign Affairs minster Melanie Joly declined to say whether Canada would support Israel’s full retaliation against Hamas. But did say Canada will keep sending millions in “humanitarian” money to Gaza, as if Hamas won’t abscond with it.

All this gibberish was set against rationales for brutality from the fashionable Left. Mohammed El-Kurd, the Palestine correspondent for The Nation, stated: “What is happening in occupied Palestine is a response to weeks and months and years of daily military invasions into Palestinian towns, killings of Palestinians, and the very fact that millions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are besieged under Israeli blockade.” Yadda yadda.

There was a predictable rush among Canadian politicians to placate the Hamas apologists and equivocate the slaughter by demanding the attackers’ feelings be considered equally. The mayor of Canada’s largest city tried to work the word-salad dance, condemning Hamas, then including them as a victim , then sorta’ condemning them while saying, “My earlier tweets on this have been deleted because of the harm and confusion they caused.” (Confusion? Really?) All in the space of a few hours on the weekend. Now that’s leadership.

Across leftist media Woke voices sought to diminish the horror with vanilla equivocations. The same networks that leapt instantly on the George Floyd death, inflaming passions with false reporting and hagiographic distortions of the death of the convicted felon— and who then stood aside as rioters and looters burned American cities in “mostly peaceful” demonstrations— suddenly took a “bothsiderist” approach .

The polite liberal shuffling of media feet on Hamas was reminiscent of the famous 1991 SNL skit where Phil Hartman is a newspaper editor struggling to convince the rest of the staff to put Pearl Harbour on the front page of their paper. Meanwhile, Star Trek relic George Takei turned his light saber on Israel. “The Israeli government has cut off food, water, and fuel to 2 million people inside Gaza. Collective punishment is not only contrary to international law, it is inhumane and illogical. How will this deescalate the violence rather than radicalize many more? It is madness.”

Prompting @BecketAdams to note, “after 4-5 years of U.S. media personalities condemning “bothsiderism” in Trump coverage, we’re inundated now with point/counterpoint commentary where the topics are like, “Is it wrong to rape and murder Jews?” and “Terrorists: do they have a point?”

Peter Savodnik on USSA News targeted the “ersatz activists of Hollywood and Silicon Valley” like Takei.  “People who turned the Ukrainian flag into their avatars, those who worry about misgendering and triggering and safe spaces, those who insist words are violence (those for whom violence is apparently not violence)—they’re busy ignoring all this.”

Perhaps most shocking to Canadians was the full-throated braying of support for Hamas from organized labour leaders. The staff union at McMaster University was succinct, “Palestine is rising, long live the resistance.” CUPE’s Fred Hahn was similarly unrepentant. “As we all think about reasons to be thankful this #thanksgiving2023, I know I’m thankful for the power of workers, the power of resistance around the globe. Because #Resistance is fruitful and no matter what some might say, #Resistance brings progress, and for that, I’m thankful.”

(After taking incoming for three days, CUPE came up with “@cupenat CUPE grieves the loss of life brought by the recent escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine. We recognize that many Canadians are terrified for their loved ones and we offer heartfelt condolences to all affected families and communities.”)

Well, when you put it that way! Even at the depths of WW II when the Nazis were committing unspeakable crimes, no one from the U.S., UK, Canada or Australia wildly cheered and encouraged the rape, kidnapping and murder of German citizens by Allied soldiers. Those crimes could get soldiers executed. The Soviets? That was a different story. @FredHahnCUPE  is the Red Army.

Don’t believe the faux contritions. CUPE and their union pals will go to their graves believing this poison of victimhood. They will not respond to logic, cajoling or emojis. The only course of action is to identify them, isolate them and remove their financial support till they recant or expire.

This utter leftist defeatism of Trudeau/ Obama Nation is becoming clear once again: “It was around this time in the Obama Admin that all the world watched with horror as ISIS burned people alive while Obama focused more on calling them ISIL. And everyone in the media wrung their hands and said gosh- golly I wish we could do something. Michelle held a sign, made a sad face, and posted on Social. That was it. We’re powerless. We lose.” —Daniel Turner.

We are back there again. It will only get worse as Israel goes street by street in Gaza. Expect the sob sisters of journalism to describe it as being like the Warsaw ghetto with Israelis as Nazis and Hamas as the Polish underground. They have friends to protect. Why should they finally get history correct now?

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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 bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Corked: The Incongruous Affection For Government Liquor Retailing

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First, the nostalgia. In 1974 we worked at the (now departed) Huron and Dupont LCBO site for Xmas. In those days, when people arrived by dog sled, customers were required to consult a book, find the code that corresponded to their choice of wine or booze, and then hand the slip to a clerk (us) who would fetch the evil brew from a deep lair beneath the store.

Okay, it was from shelves beyond the view of customers. We would then return with the bottle, a cashier would process the transaction, and democracy was safe for another day. After we left, the LCBO modernized stores to allow customers to actually see the bottles they were considering (heresy). They hired clerks who actually knew something about the products, Later still they even had sales and tasting bars in fancy stores adorned in chrome and wood accents.

Those who wanted anything different could hoover to Buffalo or Rochester where the stores were often modest but the prices attractive. Different stores carried different inventories. While Ontario customers ordered rationed futures or shivered in parking lots to get a miniscule share of a hot new wine, getting product at the U.S. stores was both immediate and not rationed.

The contrast was stark. Which is where things sit today. The Ontario government (like all provincial governments save Alberta) is still in the retail business. In the day, they had about 8,000 slots for shelf-worthy products. If you wanted to purchase something else you needed a process that made finding the headwaters of the Nile seem like a casual jaunt. It’s less strenuous now, with the Ford government allowing sales in corner outlets and grocery stores.

But the LCBO remains a unionized tribute to Bill Davis’ Ontario. A polite, apologetic concession to pre-Trudeau Canada. Which is why the noisy ruckus being kicked up by the unionized employees is a downer for the Family Compact sensibilities. The people who stock shelves, operate cashes, check IDs and refuse to give you plastic bags are on strike to protect their sinecures with government. Have they no gratitude?

Union leaders are insisting that the loss of their workers will be a death blow to healthcare and education in the province. All sorts of miscreants will be allowed to escape detection in the buying process. For those of us now living in Alberta this eye-rolling claim is amusing. You see, private liquor retailing has been in effect here for decades. Different stores have different choices. Sales are an everyday feature of the experience. While the LCBO brags about its buying power you don’t see it reflected in prices. Bonus: We also can purchase Costco’s Kirkland brand wines which are cheap and delicious.

The predicted increase in crime and diminution of tax income without unionized store clerks has not happened. As Brian Lilley explains in The Sun, “Statistics Canada tracks the annual net income of liquor authorities in Canada and for fiscal year 2022-23, Alberta returned $825,104,000 to the provincial coffers. With a population of 4,645,229 as of April 1, 2023, that means the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission gave the government a per capita return of $177.62.

“That same year, the LCBO’s net income from liquor was $2,457,527,000. With a population of 15,457,075 as of April 1, 2023, the LCBO returned $158.99 per capita. Even using the $2.58 billion the LCBO remits, which includes other earnings, the LCBO’s per capita return to the province would be $166.91, which is still lower than Alberta’s return.” In short, we call bogus on the union’s claim.

But there is in government liquor sales the Canadian quality of worshipful adherence to the state. This is the polite impulse of restricting competition that has driven healthcare into the stratosphere for Canadians. Even as they wait 18 months to see a specialist or sit endlessly in a waiting room, Canadians privately welcome this as a merit badge for not accepting the two-tiered systems of Europe or the insurance-based market in the U.S.

Their suffering gives them gravitas that, as middle-class folk, they can suffer like the poor folks do, the ones whom, pace the NDP, need our empathy. The glossy brochures churned out by LCBO minions allow a frisson of pizazz but without oppressing the folks camped out in Trinity Bellwods park.

For this reason the Ford Conservatives are treading very carefully despite the evident big-foot uselessness of the current model. In the venerable Ontario government tradition of trying to be half-pregnant they don’t want to stir up the class warriors seen recently in ant-Israel demos. It’s similar in the rest of the provinces where bureaucrats have convinced elected officials that, like Jack in Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you, Ennis.”

Whatever the LCBO strike result it’s a safe assumption that no one in the Canadian bureaucracy will be losing their jobs to the free market. The huge bumps in hiring since Covid show a colossus that has no intention of giving back its power to regulate. From liquor to climate Canadian politicians have ceded responsibility for areas that can be handled more efficiently and cheaply by civil servants and consultants. Kind of like CBC.

It is possible to kick the habit. The recent Chevron SCOTUS decision seeks to unpack the bureaucratic state by de-fanging its armies of in-house experts, pushing regulations and laws back to elected officials and away from the sprawling DEI-infested bureaucracy. You can tell it’s working by the torrents of complaint from redundant officials. Even more drastically, new Argentine president Javier Milei has reduced his cabinet departments from 22 to just nine.

While PM-in-waiting Pierre Poilievre talks a big game about tackling these excesses, he doesn’t stand a chance at rationalizing government services. So it’s likely he’ll have to content himself with a nice glass of beer or wine. That, under the LCBO, will cost him more than it should.

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. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Soccer Most Foul: While Canada Soars The Game Suffers

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Watching Canada’s mens team at the Copa 2024 soccer tournament has been a hoot. With a coach who hasn’t been there long enough to unpack his bags and with a smattering of world-class players they’ve managed to make a little go a long way. They play mighty Argentina on Tuesday after winning a dramatic shootout against Venezuela on Friday.

They’ve yet to score more than once in any game. In two games they’ve been shut out in regulation time. One of the top forwards, Tajan Buchanan, broke his leg. The grandstands are about five percent Canada, 95 percent the other guys. They played almost an entire game with a man advantage and never took any advantage.

The Canada national team huddle together during the Concacaf Gold Cup football match semifinal between Mexico and Canada at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on July 29, 2021. (Photo by AARON M. SPRECHER / AFP) (Photo by AARON M. SPRECHER/AFP via Getty Images)

But here they are. God bless ‘em. The American announcers, bereft after the U.S. collapsed, have adopted Canada as a feel-good story. Should they beat Argentina it will be almost enough for Canadians to forget that Justin Trudeau is still their prime minister. Almost.

What is unavoidable— outside the Canada plot line— is the distressed state of soccer being played at the Copa and the concurrent Euro 24 tournament deciding the champion of that neck of the world. Not that it hasn’t been a disputatious disgrace in the past, but the soccer playing out next to Canada’s ascension is breaching new lows.

Soccer is the UN of sports. It has a storied past. It represents many good and virtuous things in the world. But it is now a swamp of corruption, cynicism and bad people. To paraphrase the Hunter S. Thompson expression, soccer is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.

At times it seems that the object is the litigation process of lies and deception during the game, not the eventual outcome. Like Iran on the UN Women’s Commission or China on the Human Rights board, Ecuador as a soccer titan seems to beggar the imagination. But there you go.

The nadir of this incarnation of “the beautiful game” was likely the unwatchable spectacle of Uruguay and Brazil on Saturday night. The way the bodies were hitting the ground you’d have thought it was the Somme. Except at the Somme, the bodies didn’t miraculously revive and rejoin the battle as if nothing had happened to them.

While there were 37 fouls called (including four yellow cards and a red card) dozens more incidents ended up with players writhing on the turf, pounding the grass with their fist as if their leg had been severed. When the referee ignored the charade, their teammates swarmed Dario Herrera to dispute the sheer injustice of it all. The pantomime of outrage and pomposity was more suited to Gilbert & Sullivan than a sporting event.

Creating some offence seemed to be too heavy of a load for the Brazilians and Uruguayans. (Brazil’s star Vincius Jr. was suspended for the game.) Hence the puny four shots on target in the entire 120-minutes plus of regulation (three by Brazil, one by Uruguay). Better to see if the referee can set you up for a free kick inside the box by feigning injury. Or halt your opponents as they threaten to launch a ball in the direction of your goalie.

The endless lather, rinse, repeat of this process was exhausting as it became clear that the clubs were going to let a shootout settle who would proceed to the semifinals against Colombia (Canada/ Argentina is the other semi.) Finally Uruguay outlasted Brazil 4-2 in the shootout.

Almost hidden in the docket of legal challenges made to luckless referee Herrera was the fact that one of the Brazilian players is currently being investigated in for match fixing. Turns out he’s been (allegedly) taking a dive to draw a yellow cards so his being buddies can cash in.

But he’s been granted a papal dispensation or the equivalent to play in the tournament . Oh, that puts the whole thing beyond the pale. Remember that unhappy bettors once murdered a Colombian player for an own goal at the World Cup. What could possibly go wrong?

That brings up another subject. Which is the standards for what’s allowed in the game. Under a mysterious tradition, defenders are apparently allowed to grab jerseys, hand-check attackers, tackle players in the penalty box on corner kicks and generally impede attackers who stray into their vicinity. If you want to know why three of four COPA matches and three of four Euro matches ended in SO or OT, look no further than the permissible impeding of offence. Scoring is a herculean task when teams are remotely competent.

In a hidebound sport such as soccer where politics reigns supreme, nothing happens without someone’s palm being greased. (And this is our seemingly umpteenth time in our four decades reporting on sport that we have made this point.) But we shall try again.

Other sports have understood that neither fans nor networks pay to see defence. So the NBA made hand-checking opponents a foul. The NHL made slashing the hands of a shooter into a two-minute penalty. The NFL told defensive backs that they couldn’t grab jerseys or limbs in covering receivers. It worked, freeing up the game enough so it doesn’t look like Brazil/ Uruguay every night.

Surely, soccer can restrict the borderline tactics of defenders to allow more flow to the sport. No doubt the cro-magnons that roam the pitch will howl. The players-turned-announcers in the booth will scoff. Fans will blame “sissy tactics” when their team loses.

But please. For one last time. We want to enjoy soccer, not endure it. Open up the game. Shut down the players who turn soccer into The English Patient. Let skill, not clever fouling, decide matches. Remove the terpsichorean spectacle from the pitch.

There. We said it. Nothing will change, but we will feel better about not watching in the future.

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. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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