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Anti-Québec logic

11 Jun
Alert the media! India's national football (soccer) team is turbanless! India must be racist and xenophobic!

Alert the media! India’s national football (soccer) team is turbanless! India must be racist and xenophobic!

By Evan Zenobia

ANCIENT ROME—It looks as if the Québec Soccer Federation has really stepped in it, this time.

It’s not really their fault though. It’s just that the English Canadian media has been dumping shit all over the sidewalk.

Yes, ever since the FSQ announced that turbans would, along with all other headgear, be impermissible on soccer pitches, everyone from rags like Maclean’s and the National Post to federal cabinet ministers have denounced the regulation, thundering righteous, theatrical indignation and hurling accusations of racism and xenophobia at Québec.

By now, you’ve probably heard or read the standard narrative. Driven by either a radical secularism gone mad or just by Québec’s innate and distinctly un-Canadian xenophobic racism, Sikhs were singled out by FSQ and swept off the soccer field. Now, Sikh children will be barred from the game, cruelly excluded by racist Québécois officials.

This isn’t the first time the Sikh community’s religious obligations have run across trouble in Québec. In 2010-11, a scandal erupted over the barring of kirpan (knife)-bearing Sikhs from entering the Nation Assembly. The FSQ faced similar criticism for banning the hijab. And, the standard reaction from the conservative English-Canadian establishment had been to accuse Québec of racism or xenophobia.

But that’s not what’s happening.

According to the FSQ, headgear is not allowed on the soccer pitch. You can’t wear a baseball cap, or a cowboy hat, or a tuque, or a crown, or a German war helment. The rule is no headgear. A turban is headgear. Therefore, turbans are not allowed.

So now Québec is being accused of racism because in Québec everybody, regardless of their religion, is subject to the same rules and regulations.

When you treat everyone the same, that’s not discrimination, it’s called equality. And I know that conservatives actually hate that, but they should be honest about it instead of accusing the 7 million people of Québec of intolerance and hatred.

In any case, the FSQ will follow FIFA’s lead if the international body allows turban. But until FIFA makes its decision, Vic Toews and Parm Gil and Jason Kenney and the esteemed “writers” at the authoritative rags of Canada’s business classes should quit their hysterics about “intolerance,” and maybe practice a bit of tolerance to Canada’s second largest province.

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Hugo Chavez, champion of the people

10 Mar

By Evan Zenobia and Qalina Tileli

OTTAWA—The people of Venezuela have lost their president. Hugo Chavez, 58, passed away on the 5th  of March, after a long battle with cancer.

Chavez was a tireless defender of the poor, whose presidency was marked by comprehensive campaigns aimed at eradicating poverty and illiteracy and expanding democracy in Venezuela and throughout Latin America.

So it’s no surprise that it was only moments after his body grew cold that Sun News and other notorious big-business liars media outlets carted out their most repugnant talking-heads to slander Chavez.

In Canada, Sun News unsurprisingly takes first prize in the contest for most outrageously libellous and hateful accusations against the late president. On the 6th  of March alone, Byline, the Arena, the Source and Charles Adler each devoted a segment to smearing Chavez, calling him a dictator and cheering for his death like all good pro-life conservatives do.

Here are just a few of the gems these odious propagandists churned out about the democratically-elected president who cut poverty in half and extreme poverty by 70 percent.

Chavez who crushed opposition, shut down newspapers, busted labour unions.” Ezra Levant, liar.

This is a glorious day that a horrible man like Chavez is now assuming room temperature.” Steven Crowder, “comedian,” “Christian,” racist and amateur union buster.

I’m sorry he didn’t take his good buddy Castro with him to hell.” Charles Adler, “Christian”

At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” Stephen Harper, liar, mediaphobic politician.

It really says a lot about the priorities and real values of Canadian conservatives when they can’t restrain themselves from spewing the most dishonest and hateful bile about a man who never set foot in Canada. So, we’re going to dispel, one by the one, the slanderous myths conservatives have brewed up about Chavez, and expose the real roots of conservative hatred.

Hugo Chavez was a dictator

For a supposed dictator, Chavez was very democratic. He was elected president in four separate elections. To address the slander of vote-rigging, here’s what former US president Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela’s elections “[a]s a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” And, unlike Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, Chavez won each election with a majority of cast votes with very high voter turnout. All without robocalls or billionaires bankrolling him.

What’s more, Venezuela, under Chavez’s leadership, expanded democracy. Democracy in Venezuela is more than voting for professional politicians to squabble for four years. Chavez initiated a program of community councils and co-operatives, where people come together to make decisions affecting their community collectively at a truly grassroots level. Meanwhile, the Chavez government has actively encouraged high voter participation. Venezuelan democracy, then, is truly “rule by the people.”

Hugo Chavez repressed dissent

No, he didn’t. Unlike your standard dictator, who jails journalists, intellectuals, teachers and artists, Chavez did no such thing. Only five to eight percent of the country’s audience tuned into Venezuelan state TV (Still better than Sun News!). That means 92 to 95 percent of the country’s TV, and the bulk of its print and radio media as well, was fully independent from the government. But of course, conservatives consider letting the KKK march a litmus test for freedom.

Unlike the Harper government, there was no systematic attempt to silence scientists, and government officials actually spoke to the media!

Hugo Chavez has impoverished Venezuela in socialism!

Actually, the Chavez administration dramatically reduced misery. Chavez reduced poverty by half, and extreme poverty by 70 percent. Meanwhile, Chavez has also expanded access to health care end education for the country’s poor, mobilizing the country’s natural resources—once the private domain of multinational corporations and the country’s sell-out billionaire elite—to fund eradication of poverty. While poverty continues to exist, the socialism of the twentieth century reversed the spiralling economic devastation of pre-Chavez administration, and can only be considered a profound success in the fight against inequality and for social justice.

Hugo Chavez was an enemy of the United States

True, because the United States made themselves an enemy of him. In 2002, the US backed a coup d’état against Chavez, which was reversed by mass protests and mobilization in his defence. Meanwhile, US public figures and talking heads threw vitriolic attacks against the Venezuelan president, including Evangelical “Christian” Pat Robertson’s call to have him killed.

The Chavez administration nationalized foreign-owned petro projects in Venezuela and firmly took control of the nation’s oil and other resources. Using the oil wealth to fund democratic and anti-poverty projects, Chavez enraged the traditional elites and their US-based puppet masters. Chavez’s confrontation with the United States grew from governance in the interest of his country’s poor. What’s more, the Venezuelan government also provided free fuel to tens of thousands of low-income American families along with needy people all over the world.  Imagine that, governing for the people and not greasing the palms of the wealthy!

Chavez called Bush the Devil

Also true, and not necessarily ridiculous. Bush was a man who cheated his way into the presidency, lied to his country and the world so that he could bomb Iraqis and steal their oil. I don’t think that seems very illustrative of Christian virtue.

Conclusion

Conservatives don’t hate Chavez because of any passion for democracy. Conservatives hate democracy. The Sun News Network star pundit Michael Coren defended the jailing of Russian dissidents by the vicious Putin regime. Bush gained the presidency after losing the popular vote, and Stephen Harper prorogued parliament to prevent the elected representatives of the majority of voters from forming a government.

Conservatives hate Chavez because he challenged their vision and their values. Rather than selling out and subordinating his country to neo-colonialism and his people to exploitation, his government uplifted and empowered the masses of the poor. Rather than acting as a puppet for the ultra-rich, he invested in programs to combat poverty.

And it worked!

Chavez’s presidency is proof that a government can invest in common people rather than in billionaires, that fighting poverty is not futile and that the people, truly empowered, will not tolerate assaults against their rights, equality or freedom.

¡VIVA CHAVEZ!

Michael Coren a Christian !?

25 Jan

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA—In the 20 December 2013 Arena feature “Justin a Catholic?”, Michael Coren and Sun News regular Jack Fonseca spent several minutes in righteous indignation over Justin Trudeau. Not over his policies or his positions, but because the Liberal leadership candidate has the nerve to call himself Catholic.

Imagining themselves to be senior clergymen, the two effectively excommunicated Trudeau from the Roman Catholic Church. Even though Trudeau was born to two Catholic parents, was married in a Catholic Church and never publicly converted to any other faith, Coren tells the audience that Trudeau is not a Catholic; worse he is a heretic.

Coren, of course, is lying.

Which really begs the question: is Michael Coren a Christian?

It’s not that anyone should really care. But if Coren wants to lower the bar past redneck speculation that Barack Obama is secret Muslim to the point where it is apparently legitimate to label political opponents heretics, I figure Eclipse News ought to take a stab at sixteenth-century-style religious paranoia.

See, Coren and Fonseca declare that Trudeau’s positions on social issues make him unfit to speak to audiences of Catholic School students. In particular, Trudeau’s advocacy for a woman’s right to choose is tantamount to violation of “thou shall not kill.”

But then, Coren works on Sun News, where he is constantly breaking that whole Biblical rule against LYING. A hobby he shares with most Sun News regulars, including Fonseca.

Then, of course, there’s the station’s hypocrisy, by which they bill themselves as champions of free speech, but then use Trudeau’s supposed religious impiety as an excuse to repress his.

So really, it would appear that Michael Coren is not, by his own definition, a Christian.

Sun News can’t spell

26 Sep

By Qalina Tileli

GATINEAU – Seriously, it can’t. As this goes to press, the title to the September 25th The Source feature on Che Guevara reads Che Guevera’s not chic.
“Guevara” is a common Spanish surname and the name of a village in Spain’s Basque Country. It is not spelled “Guevera.” Does Sun News really have nobody to check on these things? Especially when the blurb for the story actually spells the name correctly.
Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara was a physician who joined the Cuban revolutionary movement in the 1950s and was instrumental in the overthrow of US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara worked in volunteer labour and pushed for racial integration in Cuba’s school. He was assassinated on orders from the CIA in 1967. He is revered as a martyr, freedom fighter and symbol of Latin American dignity throughout the developing world.

Sun News’s Ezra Levant fabricated an took the opportunity to slander Guevara, with his guest accusing the revolutionary of executing over 1000 people in just one year. The most authoritative, well-researched and comprehensive biography of Guevara, Jon Lee Anderson’s “Che Guevara, a Revolutionary Life,” states that 55 people (mostly war criminals) were executed on his watch. The guest went on to state that the Batista dictatorship claimed only 700 lives over 9 years; in fact some estimates put Batista’s victim count at 20 000.

But truth has never gotten in the way of Sun News. That’s why Levant suggested a Che t-shirt should arouse the same indignation as a shirt bearing the likeness of Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler. Millions died under Stalin’s heal. 17 million died in the Holocaust alone; millions more died under Hitler’s rule before the Holocaust and as victims of his war.

Last I checked, 55 was not equal to 17 million.

But then, Sun News does suck at math.

BASTA SUN NEWS!

Sun News lies again about Gay-Straight Alliance; nobody shocked anymore

19 Sep

By Qalina Tileli

GATINEAU – It’s honestly not shocking to see Sun News making stuff up, especially when it comes to gays and/or Muslims.

So Eclipse News wasn’t surprised to see Sun News pundit Michael Coren say about the Ontario government’s anti-bullying bill that “it’s not about anti-bullying, well it is, it’s about bullying the Catholics.”

Of course, any person with an iota of reason understands full well that “the Catholics” in Ontario are not being bullied. In fact, Ontario is the only province in Canada that to this day continues to operate a publicly-funded Catholic school board, which has the option of refusing non-Catholic students at the elementary level!

So who is bullying “the Catholics” and how? True to form, Sun News blames the Muslims and the gays in the feature “Muslim prayer rooms in Catholic schools.”

Because Catholic schools are being “forced” to allow Gay-Straight Alliances to function on their campuses, the government is not accommodating Catholic religious intolerance beliefs. This is made worse by Catholic schools having to accommodate Muslim students by providing them with space for prayers.

This amounts to bullying because, Sun News pundit as Christina Blizzard puts it:

“[w]e have to have religious accommodation within our schools even though we know it’s a Catholic school, okay I get that, but where was the religious accommodation when they passed the anti-bullying bill that forced the Gay-Straight Alliance which are contrary to the faith beliefs of Catholics?”

Sun News makes a false equivalence between accommodating a basic and simple demand for prayer space and accommodating anti-gay bigotry. Catholics in Ontario have a Catholic school-board which enjoys the right to block the enrollment of non-Catholic students in its elementary classes. No other religious group in Ontario has such privileges. Meanwhile, the Ontario government has ordered the publicly-funded Catholic school board to follow the exact same protocol as the Public board on the GSAs. Rather than being bullied, the Catholic board gets the exact same treatment as the public board, except that it legally permitted to exclude heretics and infidels until Grade 7.

Leave it to Sun News to make the bully into the victim.

Sun News is lying, as usual. And don’t let yourself think this is a minor blunder. On September 3rd, Sun News regular Jack Fonseca declared lied

“[w]e have the government now starting in September actively promoting homosexuality to kids in high school and in the public system it’s even gonna be in elementary schools some have started that… and nobody’s warning them that hey if you go into this lifestyle if you choose this risky behaviour this type of activity, you actually have a 1 in 6 chance of catching a uniformly fatal disease.”

Lies and slanders against the LGBT community are staples of Sun News, and Sun News is never afraid to twist the truth if doing so enables the pundits to whip up hatred and vent their own personal obsessions against people they don’t know.

Sun News wants to replace Maple Leaf with British colonial standard

19 Sep

By Qalina Tileli

GATINEAU – Sun News doesn’t make secret their contempt for distinct Canadian identity. David Menzies wants to replace Canada Day with “Dominion Day,” a celebration of British rule over Canada. Michael Coren and Brian Lilley, meanwhile, have characterized a number of things they expressly despise as “extremely Canadian.”

But Eclipse News was not expecting to find Sun News explicitly call for restoring the Red Ensign as the official flag of Canada.

The Red Ensign was the official of Canada until 1965. A British Union Jack occupies an entire quarter of the flag. In fact, the Red Ensign almost identical in design to the flags of Ontario and Manitoba, except the shield is slightly more elaborate. The shield is the only thing that distinguishes the Canadian Red Ensign from the flag of British India and Bermuda. Almost every British colony, from Kenya to Australia, had a Union Jack stamped on the top-hoist quarter on its flag, marking the supremacy of the British Empire over the people and resources of land.

The Red Ensign denotes a longing and passion for colonialism. It expresses joy for the British Empire’s exploitation and oppression of Canada’s peoples and lands, and it subordinates independent Canadian identity to an imposed and artificial ultra-loyalist monarchism.

This masochistic, anti-Canadian symbolism is just what the doctor ordered for Sun News. In its website’s Top Story on September 18th, the network’s token francophone Brigitte Pellerin figures that the most logical response to the PQ’s removal of the maple leaf flag from the Québec National Assembly is to restore the imperialist rag as a national flag.

“Can we get back to the Red Ensign then? Because you know as you’ll recall the Maple Leaf was in fact adopted as a national flag of Canada in part you know because it does not have any reference to the royal issue, it doesn’t have anything royal in it and maybe now we can just get back to the Red Ensign which would please a great number of people I suspect as the national flag of Canada. Because if we’re not going to please these people in Québec no matter what well why bother trying?”

It’s difficult to see the reasoning behind this logic. Sun News is clearly upset by replacement of the maple leaf by the fleurdelisé. Then again, Sun News is apparently no more passionate about that uppity symbol of non-royal, independent Canadian identity than the Parti québécois. Apparently it was just meant to appease those “separatists” in Québec who insisted upon the radically absurd notion of having a flag that didn’t salute British imperialism.

But hey, if we’re not going to appease the PQ, why stop at the Red Ensign? Why not go back to just using the Union Jack? While we’re at it, let’s scrap using any designs on our currency other than the Liz Windsor’s portrait! And that whole pretension of being a sovereign country, ha! Wouldn’t it be nicer to not have to kowtow to Québec and just apply for re-annexation and colonial status under the British Crown? That’s Sun News patriotic vision!

And as revoltingly colonial Sun News’s mentality on this subject is, it’s also racist. The folks who set the agenda at Sun News clearly aren’t fond of the Maple Leaf flag, and would like to replace it with the Red Ensign. The network is fine with imposing Anglo-Saxon supremacist symbols all over the country as a replacement for the Maple Leaf, but declares a symbol of Québec pride replacing one Canadian flag unacceptable.

But Sun News of course continues to use Maple Leaf symbolism in almost all of its graphics. That’s another layer of hypocrisy coming from Canada’s “patriotic” “news” station.

Sun News bad at math

18 Sep

By Qalina Tileli

GATINEAU – Maybe that’s why it thinks it’s popular.

Sun News in general, and Brian Lilley in particular, is never afraid to denounce bilingualism as social engineering.

Even though speaking more than one language is generally a valuable skill which helps sharpen other senses, the Sun News pundits just can’t stand it. He makes it clear in this whiny tirade “Trudeaupian bilingualism gone too far”.

Which is too bad, since studies show that successfully mastering multiple tongues is positively correlated with success in other fields. Learning French might help Sun News pundits improve their math.

” St John’s, Newfoundland, population 179 000, French population according to Stats Canada, 535, that’s just, 0.2 percent of a percentage point. Put another way one twentieth of a percentage point. One twentieth of one percentage point of the population is francophone.” (around 03:43)

Well, actually, the math shows that 0.3 percent of the population is francophone, but that’s not the real mathematical blunder in this rant.

0.2 percent is not equal to one twentieth of a percentage point. It is actually one fifth of a percentage point. One twentieth of a percentage point would be 0.05 percent.

I don’t know how school worked when Lilley was a kid, but I started learning fractions in the fourth grade.

So, does Brian Lilley know less about math than a good deal of elementary school children? Or does he just read off a teleprompter that scrolls the words of a mathematically inept writer?

Or is Sun News well aware that this is an error that wouldn’t pass on a math pop quiz, but thinks its audience is so stupid they won’t bother to do the math themselves?

Either way, it’s insulting. A man like Lilley, who apparently doesn’t understand basic arithmetic, can score a gig on Prime Time television while thousands of citizens are out of a job.

Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Canada!

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