A Red Tory Victory in Alberta!

Well, go figure. Who would have thought that a resurgence of the “Red Tory” political brand would occur in, of all places, Alberta? For weeks now, right-wing pundits across the land have been viciously excoriating the Alberta PCs for being “Red Tories” and for having drifted so far to the left in recent years as to have become a supposedly oppressive Liberal government in all but name – something that would surely result in them being, as Ezra Levant confidently predicted last week, decisively “crushed” in yesterday’s election.

Ah, but as things turned out, clearly not so.

It seems that Levant (his pre-election blog archive now makes for even more hilarious reading/viewing in retrospect) and other perpetually indignant tub-thumpers of the right-wing media elite utterly failed to appreciate the evolving dynamic of the Alberta electorate; especially that of the province’s increasingly diverse urban demographic which evidently has little regard for a collection of hateful bigots, witless hayseeds, ignorant cranks, anti-science crackpots, and religious kooks masquerading as “libertarians”…

Parliamentary Fight Club

Irrespective of the supposedly worthy fundraising cause involved, what an utterly bizarre and unseemly event this past weekend’s charity boxing match was. Hard to believe that we’ve actually sunk lower by a quantum measure of absurdity in comparison to our American friends – can you imagine two members of Congress showing off their “tats” and battling it out in the ring?

Poor Ezra Levant; it must really chapped the insufferable little toad’s backside that not only didn’t the Liberals’ pretentious “shiny pony” get flattened in the first round, but actually managed to withstand Senator Brazeau’s initial hammering and eventually best the odds-on favourite Conservative with a TKO in the third round.

As much as I’m completely appalled by the event, I have to admit to whimsically considering that more such brawls might perhaps be a worthwhile replacement for the shrill and mostly pointless haranguing of Question Period. Hmmm… I wonder if Pierre Polievre has tats?

Take Off, Eh?

As a Halloween treat, Ezra Levant attempts to be funny by masquerading as an obnoxious “Barge Delahunty” intruding on a Rob Ford look-alike (who knew?) in a series of increasingly awkward encounters.

I have to admit that this parody had its humorous moments, even though the premise was quickly beaten to death; although that may well have been part of the point.

Not shown in its entirety here, Levant went on from this spoof to viciously excoriate the CBC for… well, you know the usual litany of whiny, self-serving complaints that are fiercely propounded on a daily basis in every “news” outlet of the Quebecor Media conglomerate.

Rebranding the Tar Sands

Reluctant as I normally am to say kind words about Ezra Levant, I have to admit that his campaign to re-brand the Alberta oil sands from what environmental activists in the United States had lately taken to calling “dirty oil” into “ethical oil” is nothing short of an absolutely brilliant marketing idea.

As presented, the argument is a powerful one… After all, who could dispute that Saudi Arabia is a thoroughly nasty, intolerant, repressive, autocratic regime? By polar contrast, Canada is, as Levant likes to say, “the boy scout of the world” – a veritable exemplar of modern, secular, pluralistic, liberal values, and so on.

I realize that it’s a simplistic formulation (compromised to a degree by the fact that Canada presently imports about half of oil for its own domestic consumption from offshore – the bulk of which comes from dictatorial OPEC nations whose “ethical” nature is dubious), but unless one is adamantly opposed to oil as an energy source regardless of origin, then branding our frozen bitumen sludge as the preferred “fair trade” choice of consumers is… genius!

The Source… Of Division

You have to almost feel a little sorry for Ezra Levant given that his new gig as Sun TV’s resident annoying prime-time squawkbox forces him to stir up “controversy” on a nightly basis… even when little to none may actually exist!

For the past several nights on his program he’s been desperately trying to relive his glory days as publisher of a failed Calgary news magazine whose name escapes me by fanning the flames of Islamophobia and/or provoke some sort of furious backlash of free speech outrage in connection with a speaking tour by Dutch MP Geert Wilders that was sponsored by the International Free Press Society and the Canada Christian College.

Alas, nobody really seemed to care that much… Last night, for example, Mr. Wilders addressed a select group of 150 invitees at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa – an event hosted by Ezra Levant as it happens. The protest-free engagement would probably have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for a silly article in the Globe & Mail by Gloria Galloway posing the rather dumb question: “Why is National Arts Centre hosting Dutch MP accused of being anti-Islam?”

Of course, that was all the tinder Ezra needed to launch into a fiery attack on the NAC, the prejudice of the liberal media (especially the clubby culture of the press gallery), dreaded “Ottawa bureaucrats” and whatever else he could extemporaneously think of to indignantly lash out at:

Just as an aside, the funniest thing about the article, and perhaps what caught Galloway’s attention in the first place was the hilarious premise under which Wilders’ speaking engagement had been booked. If NAC spokeswoman Rosemary Thompson is to be believed, it was “that the International Free Press Society called the catering department about a month ago and said that they had a Dutch MP coming to Canada for a speaking tour and that it was part of the Tulip Festival.” If true, that was a delightful bit of subterfuge.

Back though to the nub of the “problem” that got Ezra exercised in this instance which was the comment made by Thompson that, “Obviously the NAC does not agree with Mr. Wilders’s views.” This was the launch pad for Levant’s petty tirade about the remark being indicative of a presumptuous, arrogant liberal conceit, etc.

But wait… There’s another equally valid interpretation of Thompson’s defensive remark that seems to have been entirely missed by our Sun TV host (and hundreds of angry commenters on the site of the original article), which is that is the NAC does not necessarily agree – and as a federally funded institution, nor should it – with the views of ANY of the speakers or performers that rent the facility for their events.

I suspect this is the sort of trivial, inflammatory nonsense we can expect from Sun TV… making much ado about nothing and cynically whipping up angry, divisive culture wars on a nightly basis.

Ezra Levant v. Cedar Tree

Armed only with a gas-powered chainsaw, Ezra Levant demonstrates how, thousands of years ago, the capricious God of the Old Testament gave doughy, bespectacled little cunts dressed in plaid, absolute dominion over the Earth and all its living things.

This absurd stunt where Sun TV’s wannabe Glenn Beck maliciously hacked a potted cedar down to a ragged stump was apparently connected to a ridiculous strawman argument purporting that misanthropic environmentalists and others of a “liberal” persuasion (or “cult” as Ezra prefers), hate mankind and would just as soon depopulate the planet rather than allow free markets to work their infinite capitalist magic just as God intended. Or something like that.

I’ve watched this program a few times and it just baffles me. Maybe it’s all being messaged in some sort of tacit code or dog-whistle frequency that only batshit crazy wingnuts and fellow travellers of the radical right blogosphere can properly comprehend. It certainly doesn’t relate to any kind of reality that I’m familiar with.

Passion of the Levant

Ezra Levant spends an entire hour (minus short breaks for oxygen — and commercials) righteously fulminating on The Michael Coren Show. More at his fundraising and self-promotion website.

It’s hard to take issue with much of what Levant has to say here and although I haven’t read the book, I’m fairly certain that I’d concur with his vehement loathing of the HRCs — in practice, if not entirely in principle.

One minor quibble regarding the interview… Levant repeatedly moans about the onerous, unrecoverable legal expenses that he incurred exonerating himself as publisher of the Western Standard, which strikes me as a bit odd considering that he’s a lawyer and could therefore have quite adequately represented himself (with the usual caveat of having fool for a client, of course). Moreover, as he observed when regarding the Byfields case, “What was the point of having lawyers? There were no laws being followed.”

Word Association



Whether by design or happy coincidence, it’s somewhat amusing that Ezra Levant’s blog today (announcing the “official” release of his yawntastic new book*) is graced by a banner advertisement for The Keith Fink Files — a website detailing the legal antics of “the worst lawyer in Los Angeles” who it seems has been sued repeatedly for malpractice, defamation, and malicious prosecution, amongst other things. Fink and Levant… a rather curious juxtaposition that.

*Here’s the shorter version of his blog entry today: “Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me!”


Failed publisher of a governmet subsidized right-wing rag

I really have neither the time nor the patience to pick and sort through this concatenation of excrement to demonstrate what a shallow and seriously twisted little partisan hack Ezra Levant is, but allow me to highlight just one of many egregious turds in this morning’s desperate apologetic regarding Harper’s catastrophically awful budget.

But perhaps the most important reason why conservatives shouldn’t be too depressed by this budget is that it doesn’t create any new, permanent government programs that will continue to drain the treasury for generations to come. There are no new “product lines,” such as a national daycare or pharmacare program that would be difficult to uproot. The bulk of the spending is in tangible one-off programs, such as rebuilding roads and bridges and low-cost housing.

There you go… Low-cost, affordable housing for average working families is regarded by this smarmy, hypocritical prick as a “one-off” program. Do I really have to explain what’s entirely wrong with that?

It’s funny (in a curious and ironic way) that while Levant joyously celebrates the fact that Harper’s budget “doesn’t create any new, permanent government programs that will continue to drain the treasury for generations to come” he simultaneously revels in the fact that “the GST cuts continue to pour $12-billion a year back into consumers’ pockets.”

Wow. Can’t you just feel your, um, “pockets” swelling as you read this?

Gaza in Ruins

Aljazeera looks at the devastating aftermath of what Ezra Levant laughably describes as “Israel’s defensive war against Hamas terrorists and their missile attacks against Israeli civilians.” More about that later, after the clips.

First of all, let me just say that the following in no way condones the reprehensible practice of firing rockets at civilian targets in Israel (or any targets, for that matter) by Hamas. But let’s get real here. From 2001 when the Hamas missile attacks started until the present, despite having lobbed thousands of evidently near useless rockets across the border, the grand total of fifteen Israelis have been killed. That works out to about two people a year being killed by missile attacks. Two. The chances of being killed in a routine traffic accident are hundreds of times greater (the number of road accident victims in Israel for 2008 stood at 444).

To launch a carefully planned military campaign — with a plainly fraudulent causa belli it should be noted — that involved raining death from above with a high-tech “shock and awe” campaign of relentless bombing (utilizing illegal white phosphorous munitions, no less), followed by a brutal rampage through the streets of Gaza with heavily armoured tank and infantry corps, leveling markets, houses, mosques, schools… and well, just about anything in their path it seems, can hardly be called “defensive” in any sense of the word. And the end result of this grotesquely disproportionate response? The reduction of an already miserably forsaken ghetto to hellish rubble, at least 1,033 people killed (including 335 children and 98 women), over 4,800 injured, and many more thousands left homeless refugees.

Clearly, this wasn’t a “defensive war” but rather, a savage and vindictive retribution — in other words, collective punishment against the people of Gaza. At the outset of the war, Israel said that it was striking at the Palestinians to “teach them a lesson”… Well, they certainly did that — but surely it was one that will do little to advance the cause of peace that the Israeli government claims to want so desperately.