Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, and Donald Trump

There are two types of people: those who think Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg are the best columnists in the world, and those who are wrong.

The rest of us who opine in public might have a really good day and produce an excellent piece now and then but, for prolific quality, coupling insight with comedy, Mark and Jonah are the only mortal locks in the game.

If these two bylines are unfamiliar, you may recognize them from their broadcast work.

Jonah is the panelist with the goatee on Fox News’ Special Report. Be careful you’re not confusing him with the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, though. A handy way to tell them apart is Jonah is funnier and doesn’t have dry-mouth every damn time he speaks.

Mark, when he’s not writing, is perhaps best known for his guest hosting of Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. He’s the Canadian guy with the British accent.

Normally, I eschew columns about other writers, the subject matter being too esoteric for mass appeal, and the enterprise itself sufficiently meta as to miss the point of policy debate.

To wit, why should I read your prose if all you have to tell me is that Paul Krugman said something stupid or that Ta-Nahesi Coates is a race-obsessed tool? And birds go tweet.

But, as the Romans would say, exceptio probat regulam – the exception proves the rule.

In conservative circles, the exceptional nature of Mark and Jonah is not really in dispute, though their supremacy as I have pronounced it may be.

Kevin D. Williamson and Ross Douthat are always worth a read, as are Kyle Smith and Charles C. W. Cooke. Ann Coulter’s weekly screed always brightens a right-thinker’s Wednesday evening. People really seem to like Matt Lewis, and one always learns something from Charles Krauthammer and George Will.

Given the choice, however, between one of Mark’s non-musical Steynposts or Jonah’s G-File newsletter and any of the above, the discerning curmudgeon knows which way to click.

Two quick examples, chosen more or less at random:

Mark on the willful deterioration of modern Christianity:

“Most mainline Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left clichés, on the grounds that if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an ‘Arms are for Hugging’ sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.”

And here’s Jonah, on the topic of presidential aspirant Ted Cruz having been born in Canada:

“While I am certainly open to theories about how Ted Cruz is the Manitoban Candidate, hiding in plain sight until he can impose the metric system on our children and make us all passive-aggressively polite, my hunch is that’s not the case.”

That is arguably the best sentence written so far this year.

Before proceeding, I should note that, good as they are, both Mark and Jonah have their weak points.

In Jonah’s case, when he strays from his natural habitat at National Review and writes for mainstream publications like USA Today, his work flattens instantly, losing all traces of humour and style. It’s like he turns into Rich Lowry (incidentally, we pundits have a term of art for the weakest writer on any opinion staff: “Editor”).

Mark, meanwhile, supplements his nonpareil criticism of political correctness, Muslim apologists and “climate change” mountebanks with interminable contemplations of his true passion: songs and their histories. One is patient with such devotion, particularly from someone who has provided so much enjoyment at no charge, as Mark has done. But confronted with thousands of words on who sang the shoo-be-doo’s that magical day when Dean Martin wore a turtleneck and John Kander ordered decaf and Frank Sinatra something-something, honestly, just shoot me.

I should add that neither of these guys is a pal of mine. To my recollection, Jonah and I have never met. Mark and I have a number of mutual friends (Ezra Levant and Kathy Shaidle prominently among them), but I remember meeting him just once, at a symposium and dinner party in New York City over a decade ago. I told Mark he’s the best columnist in the world and he did not disagree. ‘Nuff said.

The reason for all this inside-baseball, tire-pumping, knob-polishing metaphor-mixing is that these two leviathans of limited government – the north and south poles of planet Leave Me Alone – are at odds over the same thing dividing the entire conservative movement right now: one Donald J. Trump.

That’s not to say that they’re fighting – although that pay-per-view would be a goldmine – merely that they disagree.

For months, Jonah has been pleading with anyone with eyes to read that Trump is not a true conservative and is ill-suited to the presidency. Trump has even deigned to respond, referring to Jonah as “a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants” – a putdown that probably needed at least one more rewrite.

Mark, meanwhile, avers that the Trump phenomenon is a perfectly logical reaction to the feckless, conviction-free conduct of so-called "conservative" leaders like John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, et al.

A few words from each on the topic:

Jonah: “Trump has the charisma, I’ll grant him that. But there is no evidence he’s thought deeply about the job beyond how much classier it will be once he has it.”

Mark: “For many conservative voters, 2014 was the GOP's last chance, and they blew it. For those conservative voters whose priority is immigration, 2016 is America's last chance, and Trump's the only reason anyone's even talking about that.”

Both represent their positions well, and for those of us who give regular contemplation to their opinions to help us develop our own (see also, "plagiarize"), beholding them in opposition is like hearing Mom and Dad fight (I'll leave it to Mark and Jonah to decide which of them is which).

I was about to say Mark has the better of this argument until I saw Sarah Palin had endorsed Trump.

While Palin's imprimatur may help Trump in Iowa or among "Evangelicals" (the media's irksome catch-all for anyone who isn't overtly Catholic or a Democrat), I've long suspected that her act has worn thin among regular people.

Sure, we think she got a bad rap in '08 and we were embarrassed to see liberal journalists act as though they were saving the nation by blocking her from the vice presidency – especially when the alternative was Joe Biden.

But her aw-shucks know-nothingness, her cantankerous up-talk, and her shameless self-promotion have started to rankle.

Palin's sign-offs used to mean a great deal – Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who delivered the ostensibly Trump-maligning GOP State of the Union response, owes her election to being plucked from relative obscurity in a crowded field by Palin in 2010.

Palin was, at one time, the embodiment of that roguish, mavericky, lemme-tell-ya-somethin' ethos that Trump now represents. But today, among the normal people you don't see on political panels, I expect she is a tired brand.

Indeed, as Trump's appeal has been largely based on his independence, it is possible Palin's endorsement could backfire.

It's such a standard politician's move, rendering Trump more like the Republican squishes Mark describes, at least aesthetically.

In a way, Mark and Jonah’s respective positions on Trump the outsider reflect the current state of their careers. While Mark continues to write for publications all over the world, as well as release books and cat albums (no joke, see below), he shook the dust from his cloak and departed National Review, where Jonah is a Senior Editor and now the top-dog writer.

Mark’s reasons for leaving were twofold: One, a prissy NR editor you’ve never heard of (except, perhaps, if you know this story) decided to upbraid him over a couple of jokes Mark referenced in discussing gay marriage and the intolerance of its advocates; two, Mark and NR had irreconcilable differences over legal strategy as they are both being sued by serial litigant and climate mullah Michael Mann.

Much as I would like to say National Review sucks now, in chorus with many conservatives, they still have Jonah – and Williamson, Cooke, and David French are just too darn good for me to spit that out. Even so, under Lowry’s Boehner-like leadership, the place has had a serious come-down from the days when William F. Buckley roamed the earth.

But there they are – Jonah ensconced in what’s left of the manor Buckley built, while Mark, like Liberty Leading the People (although with both breasts covered, one hopes), gives voice to the rabble outside.

Let me be clear about the distinction – Jonah is not claiming Trump won’t win, merely that he shouldn’t; and Mark, while acknowledging Trump’s persistent lead in the polls, is not endorsing him so much as saying, if several election victories by established Republicans make no difference, why not give the new guy a shot?

It’s a rare and significant schism between the two best in the business – with potentially serious implications for everyone reading this sentence – this sentence I am writing now – PERIOD.

Finally, if a person loves animals, little else matters. Jonah writes a good deal about his dogs and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Meanwhile, Mark has released an album for cats – “Feline Groovy.”

Score it that way at home if you like: Mark vs. Jonah, Trump vs. anti-Trump, cat people vs. dog people.

It will be fun to see who’s right, notwithstanding the fate of the world’s indispensable nation.

Theo Caldwell rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. Contact him at

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How the Left Controls Language

As Dennis Miller is fond of saying, liberals have a War Room for everything but war.

Similarly, the left is ever eager to refer to any unacceptable behaviour as “terrorism,” so long as it isn’t what you or I or otherwise normal people would consider terrorism.

Consequently, a bunch of ranchers occupying a vacant building to protest government overreach is terrorism (or the work of Y’all Qaeda), but a Muslim fanatic gunning down his fellow soldiers while screaming “Allahu akbar” is “workplace violence.

An armed, incoherent recluse inside a Planned Parenthood clinic is a terrorist, but a man who shoots a Philadelphia cop and expressly states that he did so in the name of ISIS is “a criminal with a stolen gun.”

Coordinated rape gangs throughout European cities are to be ignored or explained away, but Donald Trump is the real terrorist.

To the left, terrorism is only terrorism when the perpetrator looks like Johnny Lawrence or Gavin McInnes’ dad.

I could go all day on the forced euphemisms deployed to defend Islam; or, more properly, to insist Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, the clear and unequivocal declarations of the perpetrators notwithstanding.

My friend Ezra Levant points out that in the Calgary Herald’s report on a shooting at a nightclub there, the reader is not informed that both attackers were named “Mohamed” until the twenty-fifth paragraph.

Right now, you’re on the ninth paragraph of this column. Even if you hate my guts (right back atcha, commie), is my meaning difficult to discern?

Opacity, evasion, and obscuring plain truths are liberal hallmarks. The left is all about control, and language is crucial to that ambition.

It’s not just matters of life and death, like Islamic terrorism, wherein liberals twist the truth and seek to co-opt you in their lie. It happens every day, in ways large and small. We must recognize these efforts, and resist them.

If you are a parent, perhaps you recently attended a “Winter” concert or celebration at your child’s school.

To whatever extent Christmas was referenced, you can be sure it was immediately diluted by the mention of other holidays, supposedly in the name of “inclusion,” “diversity,” and “tolerance.”

As G.K. Chesterton put it, “There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.”

It would create an awkward, binary juxtaposition simply to present Hanukkah as the sole alternative to Christmas, so clueless educators toss in their favourite standby: Kwanzaa.

Honestly, do you know one person who celebrates this made-up, American holiday, invented by an FBI stooge? Does anyone other than schoolteachers ever refer to it without being ironic?

Yet there it is, stuffed in between the birth of Christ and a humongous menorah, perhaps along with some celebratory Gaia bush pruned by Ms. Foster-Jamal’s Grade 2 class.

Again, this isn’t about “diversity” or “inclusion” or any of the reasons leftists might give; it’s about pretending the period around December 25 is jam-packed with all kinds of sacred events, in order to crowd out the one thing even non-believers know is most important.

Lies about gender are ubiquitous these days and, unlike the grinning, passive-aggressive coercion surrounding a “Winter” concert, leftists are more aggressive here.

Even though he is a man in every biological sense, and achieved greatness and fame under his given name, if you fail to refer to Bruce Jenner as “Caitlyn,” you are worse than Hitler. Moreover, Twitter will correct you (and perhaps remove your checkmark).

New York City has now instituted six-figure fines for, “intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title” or “refusing to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities, such as bathrooms or locker rooms, and participate in single-sex programs, consistent with their gender identity.”

This is madness and a lie but, by controlling the language, the left seeks to control you.

Recently, my wife and I attended a restaurant opening and an old friend introduced us to a fellow of her acquaintance. We talked about how much fun our wedding was (I wore a kilt; the answer to your question is, “lipstick”).

When this new fellow spoke to my wife, he kept pointing at me and referring to her “partner.” After several, conspicuous repetitions of this, I asked him what he meant. Remember, gentle reader, that this chap had just been introduced to me as her “husband” and we were in the midst of talking about our wedding.

He at first feigned confusion at my question, then became prissily offended. He had many married friends, he informed me, who didn’t mind being referred to as “partners.”

My wife and I are not a law firm or a wrestling tag-team (though who knows what the future holds), we are married. Moreover, this man had been given our preferred appellation moments before. Yet, he apparently felt the need to adjust our language to suit his principles.

I wasn’t rude or aggressive in asking (when I’m being rude or aggressive, trust me, you’ll know it), but even my gentle pushback was enough for him to go nancing off and not talk to us for the rest of the evening.

Compare this with the recent news coverage of my old pal Seamus O’Regan and the conscientious well-wishes to him and his “husband.”

Seamus, as you may know, has entered a “wellness” program to embrace “an alcohol-free lifestyle.” For conservatives, this is called “rehab.”

I met Seamus when I was Best Man at his cousin’s wedding in Newfoundland approximately one million years ago. On and off thereafter, we had a number of good-natured, well-refreshed debates about policy. He was, incidentally, the first to spring that, “I’m not a leftist, I’m a classical liberal” routine on me – as though Edmund Burke would be Jake with gay marriage and abortion on demand.

It has been noted that, while decent people hope Seamus can quit drinking, he was positively gleeful in mocking former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for his substance abuse.

As Seamus addresses his self-inflicted, first-world problems, don’t tell me he’s “courageous” while Rob Ford is a “disgrace,” or that Seamus has a “husband” while my wife has a “partner.”

Seamus’ case is not only an object lesson in how language is contorted to benefit the left, but also of how easy life is for liberals of limited talent and erudition who simply show up (Justin Trudeau, please call your office).

Finally, no contemplation of the left’s linguistic perversions is complete without some mention of the Clintons (though it depends what the meaning of “is” is).

On any issue, either or both of them can be counted on to parse, redefine, misconstrue and outright lie to serve their interests. But two recent instances stand out.

The first, briefly, was a telling moment in which an interviewer asked Donald Trump about Bill Clinton’s “alleged extra-marital affair.” Trump, bless him, was quick to point out Bill’s affair with Monika Lewinsky is not “alleged” but “admitted.” Moreover, well beyond an “affair,” the former president has been credibly accused of various forms of unwanted touching, harassment and rape.

This trick of the left may have worked in the 90s, minimizing Bill’s monstrous acts through the use of language, but it will be tougher this time around. Watch this space.

Second, asked recently to distinguish between a Democrat and a socialist, Hillary Clinton had no answer. The venue was friendly and the questioner was fellow Democrat Chris Matthews.

Even so, Hillary had no coherent reply, demonstrating that, for people who like to control words, liberals are surprisingly weak at deploying them.

This pertains to my swipe at Seamus (and Justin), above. The liberal worldview is all about control and mastery of superficial things, like language and words, but there is nothing of substance beneath that rapacious desire.

Here is a woman who aspires to lead what’s left of the free world, yet she has no cogent answer to a rudimentary question of public policy. It is because she has given no thought to anything but her own advancement.

This shows that for all their posturing and will to power, they are hollow and can be beaten.

You see it on the news, and in your daily life: small moves, subtle edits, and constant, picayune pressure to talk, think, and believe as they do. Speak your mind and let them pound sand.

Theo Caldwell is nodding his head like yeah, moving his hips like yeah. Contact him at

Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Unexpected Child

Recently, this column took issue with those who claim the Syrian refugees are just like another Middle Eastern family seeking shelter at Christmastime. Drawing an equivalence between Mary and Joseph stopping over in Bethlehem for the census and tens of thousands of people arriving for good from a terror-rife part of the world is, as my mother would say, bollocks on stilts.

Nevertheless, while I reject the premise of that analogy, please allow me to present another which, while perhaps not much better, is at least no more craptacular.

To wit, the Christmas story is, in part, the tale of an unexpected pregnancy.

As you know, gentle reader, this column takes pride in its rapier, nonpareil lampooning of the left. But as you further know, we would rather light a candle than curse the darkness.

With that latter sentiment in mind, and directing my comments particularly at our leftward compatriots who join us from time to time, I’d like to take a stab at détente on this issue.

That is, you put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword and we try to kill each other like civilized people.

Please note that I extend you the courtesy of not calling you “friends,” as is the cheesy vernacular, since we’re not, really – you don’t play shinny and stop at Tim’s with me, I don’t compost and go to Starbuck’s with you.

Moreover, I possess some familiarity with your views of me and the dangerous crowd I run with, to which I reply the feeling is quite mutual.

All that’s to say, I don’t expect to achieve a lasting chumminess here.

But what I would like is to attain an understanding on a matter of life and death – not to you or to me, but to others.

Both you and I, gentle reader, are alive, conscious, capable of rational thought (to varying degrees), and protected by the law. If someone were to harm or kill us, there would be consequences.

We reason together from that privileged position as to the fate of a third party that does not enjoy these attributes: children yet to be born.

Let’s pause right there and consider our nomenclature.

You are no doubt familiar with the tendency of both pro-life and pro-choice advocates to box in their adversaries by choice of words. That is, the former insist on saying “babies” while the latter call a kid a “fetus” even as it’s crowning.

While I have my preference between the two approaches, I promise I’m not doing that here. I genuinely do want to see if there is common ground and then, like German and British soldiers after the Christmas Truce, we can go back to fighting.

Let us consider that 9-month-old fetus and work our way backward.

If, like the vast majority of people, you see a third trimester pregnancy, in which the child not only appears fully human but can survive outside the womb, as something to be preserved, then we have a basis for discussion. The rest is a matter of degree.

Conversely, if you are among the immovable minority who insist that a baby is not a person until after it has fully emerged from its mother – or even, until the family brings it home – then I wish you Merry Christmas and excuse you from the remainder of this conversation.

To those who remain: I am not a politician and I hope, for your sake, you’re not one either. For many reasons, this is good, particularly since culture is more powerful than politics.

This, like every significant policy issue, is a question of culture, from which politics follows, because it’s not primarily a political or a legal matter. It’s a human thing.

Can we agree to that, and weigh the merits of both sides?

If you lament the loss of people we will never know, but understandably wish to avoid the acrimony of this particular policy debate or make things even more difficult for unhappily pregnant women, almost-born babies are the simplest place to start.

Culturally, numbers and sentiment are with you in opposing the termination of nearly full-term pregnancies for any reason other than life and death complications.

North American political progress on this point has been mixed but, if you need a law to tell you it’s wrong to do away with a fully formed baby, you are surely among the minority I amicably dismissed above.

From there, however, it gets more complicated and necessitates some discussion of politics, law, as well as something else we hear a lot about in policy debates: science.

Now, my Master’s degree is in a science so soft it’s practically flaccid. That said, I’m not shaking too badly to match wits with, say, Leonardo DiCaprio or Prince Charles (speaking of science, technically alcohol IS a solution, but I digress).

Science, like culture, must always be willing to face questions and able to withstand scrutiny.

As scientific advances tell us more about the development of babies in the womb, including their capacity to feel pain, and increase the likelihood of survival for premature births, we must re-evaluate the concept of personhood and the consequences of our actions.

Again, this is both a cultural and political matter, in that order. If we know that terminating the life of a 20- or even 8-week old fetus will be excruciating for it, and if we further know that this child could survive outside the womb, are we still okay with that? If so, what does that say about us? And if not, how should the law reflect our view?

As to that last, both the United States and Canada have inverted the order of culture and politics through Supreme Court decisions – the US in 1973 and Canada in 1988.

For some, this constitutes a cultural stare decisis, putting the issue beyond debate. But to say we cannot discuss a literal life and death issue because a few lawyers made the decision for us decades ago is not only misbegotten, as we have seen, but an abdication of our God-given responsibility to reason.

I have precious little faith in politics, politicians, and lawyers, so how about the following: We make the law irrelevant.

That is, if we all agree that little lives are important and that those of us already born have a responsibility to give the same chance to others, if we are able, it will not matter what excesses the law allows.

As Saint Paul instructs, all things are lawful but not all things are good. Eventually, perhaps a legal and political solution may come to pass, but not without a cultural shift in favour of life – and not until people believe they have better options. By then, it won’t matter.

What, then, to say to those who are skeptical or disagree and, most important, to women who are pregnant and did not plan or wish to be?

Perhaps something like this: It is not my job to judge you. Whatever, if anything, you know about me, I’m actually much worse than you think. It is a safe bet that you are a far finer person than I am.

Moreover, despite whatever caricatures you may have seen, many who share my views feel the same things: compassion for you and appreciation of their own shortcomings.

We believe you, and the child within you, are created in God’s image and worthy of respect.

Returning to that unexpected pregnancy at the first Christmas: Mary had faith and courage but, unlike many surprised mothers-to-be, she had been told in no uncertain terms by the Angel of the Lord that her child would be a big deal.

Justin Bieber’s mum presumably received no such assurance (whether or not Bieber is the Antichrist, I leave to those possessing of more advanced theology).

It’s easy for those of us not in that position to say “have faith” or “choose life” when there is little consequence to us. I’d like to improve on that.

I don’t believe in coincidences. If you or someone known to you is on the horns of a dilemma with an unexpected pregnancy and planning to terminate it, have the child and I’ll find a way to raise it for you.

This isn’t a first-come, one-off proposition. I’ll do it for as many as ask. If you’re wondering how such an undertaking could be accomplished, as the Irish philosopher Paul Hewson put it, “The God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister.”

I’m not doing it because I think your kid is the Messiah. In fact, if the child grows up with much exposure to me, chances are he’ll be a world-class jerk. Nevertheless, he has a right to live.

Now, this is a sincere offer, but let’s please not make it the focal point of this prose. What I’m saying is that if those of us who are pro-life mean what we say, we must be part of the solution beyond stating what the law should be or what other people should do.

And to those on the other side, I reiterate the words of another Theo: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Happy Christmas, everyone.

Theo Caldwell can’t feel his face when he’s with you. Contact him at

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christians Get Special Treatment

Surely we can agree that what Christians need most is a good talking-to from people who don't share their beliefs.

It's quite something, isn't it? The same people who spend this time of year kicking over crèches, expunging Christmas carols, and ensuring no Christian prays in public nevertheless have an ironclad grasp of what Jesus thinks about everything from immigration, to abortion, to gay marriage and guns.

People who wouldn't dream of calling Caitlyn Jenner "Bruce" or pointing out that he's not a woman (much less "woman of the year") are perfectly at ease lecturing adherents of a faith they don't even follow.

On issue after issue, Christians routinely earn a jolly good spanking for not living up to leftists' standards or for questioning the supremacy of liberal orthodoxy.

The leitmotif is that Christians are hypocritical, failing to meet moral obligations that the critics themselves do not recognize.

Of particular bemusement is the glee displayed whenever a prominent Christian is caught misbehaving, as though this reveals some previously hidden truth about the faith. But if the jackals knew anything about Jesus’ stated mission, they’d know Christianity is a religion for bad people.

If you were already perfect, you wouldn’t need it. This is why Jesus is not a Christian.

And so we endure the know-it-all smirks of media types, the insufferable sanctimony of leftist celebrities and, of course, the ubiquitous, judgey rants of angry, showerless hippies.

Speaking of which, Barack Obama called it “shameful” and “not American” to consider prioritizing refugee status for Middle Eastern Christians who are fleeing ISIS and the Syrian civil war.

Why is that? Christianity has been the most persecuted religion in the world for some time, and the treatment of Christians in Syria and Iraq has been especially vicious. If they were of any other faith, would giving them special protection be likewise ruled out of bounds?

The question of Syrian refugees has occasioned a field day for those who sneer at Christians. To wit, anyone who questions the importation of tens of thousands of people about whom we know very little and have understandable security concerns is, ipso facto, making baby Jesus cry,

Knock it off, gaylord.

I honestly don't know what Jesus would do about the Syrian refugees, and neither do you. Certainly, he would prescribe love and compassion, but how best to apply that? Is welcoming a city-sized population of unknowable people from a region rife with terrorism compassionate to those who might be put at risk?

Would the best thing for Syrians be to establish safe zones close to their home, or even to help them win their country back?

These are difficult questions, with which many good people are grappling.

But it requires an egregious caliber of self-regard to suppose you know for certain what the answer is, based on a book you probably haven't read and don't believe, and to encapsulate your high-mindedness in a cartoon on your Facebook page.

Even George Stromboulopoulos, who should be saying nothing but sorry for his weekly desecration of the formerly revered institution of Hockey Night in Canada, delivered a bizarre little lecture to the “Bible Belt” by way of that damn Kermit meme.

Revealing the quality of judgment that sees him appear coast-to-coast-to-coast each week in pajamas fashioned into suits, Snuffalupagus enlists Kermit to equate Syrian refugees with a certain other “Middle Eastern family seeking shelter, fleeing persecution” at Christmastime. Get it?

He states it’s, “hard to disagree with the facts” but then mentions that “technically” Joseph and Mary were just traveling for the census of Caesar Augustus before adding, incomprehensively, “but it adds to the poignancy of the refusal.”

Never mind that this is hipster doofus nose-ring nonsense – there’s a dig at Christians to be had so, as the kids say, I’m just going to leave this right here.

In my previous column, I mentioned the politically correct spontaneous combustion of Liberal Cabinet Minister Chrystia Freeland on Real Time with Bill Maher. I bring it up again for two reasons: First, stupidity of this sort cannot be confined to a single session of prose; second, as she is my Member of Parliament, I claim the special privilege of acute embarrassment.

In her mangled wreck of a discourse, in which she attempted to create an equivalence among extremists of all religions, Freeland noted, “The Bible says, ‘an eye for an eye.’”

Neither Freeland, nor her fellow panelists, nor even columnists purporting to upbraid her for her performance possessed the biblical literacy to know that Jesus specifically refuted that concept. This is how we got the expression, “turn the other cheek” (which the Lutherans famously adapted to, “kiss my ass”).

Nevertheless, despite knowing almost nothing about the religion, while oversimplifying and misinterpreting what little they have gleaned, the left are quite sure that whatever has gone wrong, Christians are somehow to blame.

Which of course brings us to Colorado, and the recent shooting in and around a Planned Parenthood clinic.

In the media and online, it was striking to see the clawing desperation for the perpetrator to be a practicing Christian.

Even after it was revealed that Robert Lewis Dear has no religious bent (he isn’t even a Republican!), the UK’s Daily Mail reported that a cross “was displayed outside his house.” Have a look at the “display” yourself.

Egads, it’s a pair of sticks which, if you look at sideways, yeah, kinda looks like a cross (either that, or…I got nothing, it’s a pair of sticks).

No matter – to these people, he may as well have erected a scale replica of Christ the Redeemer on his roof.

Among the most relentless accusers are former or nominal Christians, eager for the “strange new respect” of the mainstream left.

An erstwhile friend of mine, who has made a career of hopping back and forth between sides in the culture wars and sneering at whomever he disagrees with at the moment, was quick to proclaim, “Many ‘Christians’ should be deeply ashamed today.”

Mind you, this was without knowing the shooter’s religion or political affiliation – and he has none, to speak of. Based solely on the fact that he was inside a clinic of Planned Parenthood – where no staff or patients were injured – he is presumed to be Christian and his guilt is extrapolated to other adherents of what is (for now) the world’s largest religion.

Now, my old pal may be a toothache and a bore, but he is far from anomalous. The internet and the airwaves were inundated with silly-bears of this sort, complete with the tiresome, preening self-righteousness the supposedly tolerant reserve for Christians.

But you know what? Let’s give it to them. Let’s assume the shooter was a tambourine-banging, Benny Hinn-believing, white suit-wearing Christian weirdo (or, if you like, a busy-fingered pederast protected by Vatican City’s lavender mafia – whatever stereotype makes you feel most self-satisfied).

Isn’t this when the reflex to proclaim that a person’s religion has nothing to do with their actions kicks in?

Just ask John “You Name It” Kerry about all the other things that cause people to do bad things before religion is to blame.

What’s that you say? Only one religion benefits from that kind of rote, politically correct defence? You’re almost there.

It’s true, Islam inspires people to find new and exciting ways to explain away the plain truth of some of its adherents’ behaviour. But no other religion would be so swiftly, viciously, and comprehensively villainized for the actions of one believer as Christianity.

Sure, a lot of people don’t like Israel, but no responsible, otherwise employable person would come out against “Jews” immediately after an attack like the one in Colorado, even if there were evidence of a Jewish culprit.

So, while Islam is uniquely protected and cherished by those who wish to think well of themselves, it is merely first among equals. Perhaps Islam’s defenders are so eager and unequivocal in their insistence that the religion has nothing to do with violence because they’ve had so many opportunities to rehearse this line.

Among many other things, political correctness is a conscious choice to invert reality. In this case, whenever we are attacked by radical Muslims, the acceptable leftist reaction is to insist that the group most in need of protection and accommodation is Muslims.

Only Christians can be instantly blamed, and subjected to collective guilt.

To those who indulge in these daily little judgments and mass assumptions, I say the following:

I am a Christian, but not a very good one. In fact, I’m Presbyterian, which barely even counts. I’m not supposed to tell you I think you’re a dope and your worldview is mush-minded idiocy (in this way, I do the job other Christians won’t). I do and it is, but that’s between me and God.

Which brings up another point – if you knew my religion’s holy book nearly as well as your smug status updates and moronic hashtags suggest, you’d know you weren’t put on this earth to be my judge. Jesus specifically said that before you worry about the speck in my eye, you ought to take the stick out of somewhere yourself.

Theo Caldwell is standing in the dark. Contact him at

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Racism" and "Climate Change": The Left's Answers to Everything

For ages, it seemed “racist” was the only world liberals knew, much like “Hodor.

No matter the crisis or quandary, just give them a minute and those on the left could explain how racism, probably yours, was the cause of it all.

It was the only rhetorical move they had – and the only one they needed. No matter how abstract, they would apply it to any policy dispute, as in, “Oh, you aren’t in favour of Obamacare? Racist!”

Obviously, the technique has not lost its utility, as demonstrated by the shrieking eels currently making themselves heard across American college campuses.

But along the way, they came up with a new catch-all: “climate change” (actually, their original term was “global warming” but, as there has been no “warming” in almost 20 years, they’ve had to adapt).

Democratic presidential candidate and angry Muppet Bernie Sanders has repeatedly called climate change the greatest crisis we face (in this inanity, he is far from alone), and has even averred that this invented problem is the cause of Islamic terrorism and responsible for ISIS.

Funny how climate change doesn’t cause Christians or Jews to go on murderous rampages.

This is, of course, an exquisite vintage of stupid, but it does not end there.

A popular liberal claim is that 300,000 people die from climate change every year. As to which specific people these might be, that’s where the reception gets a little fuzzy. ‘Twas always thus.

Socialists love people in groups of a million or more. Consequently, they insist their preferred crises are walloping some colossal number of people, rather than give a name – just one – of a victim and explain specifically how that person was affected.

For example, aid worker Anita Datar, who devoted her life to helping others, was gunned down by Islamic terrorists. She was one among many victims of this genuine crisis this month alone, and their names are easy to find.

Presumably, the roster of those killed by climate change is alongside the list of those who’ve died from second-hand smoke.

My pal Gerry Nicholls recently quipped that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, frustrated at not being taken seriously, ordered Canadian war planes to bomb climate change. Not for the first time, Gerry might be on to something.

If we are fed up with leaders who insist on obsessing over a made-up crisis in the face of a real one, we should just tell them ISIS has a sasquatch-sized carbon footprint. That’ll make their bull run.

Speaking of bull, Hillary Clinton boldly asserts that Muslims, “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

If you subscribe to the belief that the vast majority of Muslims are neither terrorists not terrorist sympathizers (and I do), it is still patently obvious that Islam has at least something to do with terrorism.

But the worldview of people like Hillary, Justin, and Bernie is not about facts. It is about something else entirely.

Among the many life lessons to be gleaned from Kung Fu Panda is that we must let go of the illusion of control. It is well-documented that liberals are all about controlling their fellow man. Here, they strive to control the very nature of mankind.

It would be more convenient if Muslims had nothing to do with terrorism, which were really caused by climate change, and if any assertion to the contrary could be dismissed as racism.

Speaking of which, it is bemusing when leftists who wish to call you anti-Muslim scream “Racist!” as though this worldwide religion of over a billion adherents were somehow a race.

As the kids say, what the actual F?

The truth is, ISIS is not under control (nor is it “contained”) and no amount of insisting that our problems are of our own making, and thereby mutable by altering our own behaviour, will make them so.

To the liberal mind, however, it is always our fault (or, more particularly, your fault), and there is no problem too complex to be encapsulated by that dopey Facebook meme of Kermit the Frog drinking his damn tea. But that’s none of my business.

Steve Sailer has described political correctness as a “war on noticing.”

If you notice, therefore, that there has been no actual global warming in nigh two decades, or that a lot of “workplace violence” tends to be prefaced with “Allahu Akbar!” then you are declaring hostilities.

As to the former, it is impossible to take environmentalists’ worship of “science” seriously, or even to respect their capacity for basic mental agility after watching the Congressional testimony of Sierra Club President Aaron Mair on this topic. Take a look, I’ll wait.

And as to the latter, bear in mind that that same US government that promises to subject “Syrian refugees” to strict scrutiny also scrutinized Nidal Hasan right up to the rank of Army Major before he self-deployed as a “Soldier of Allah” and slaughtered his colleagues at Fort Hood.

Whether American-born like Hasan or foreign unfortunates like those fleeing the Middle East, the liberal mind has a willful blind spot when it comes to Muslims.

Incidentally, if your appetite has been whetted for footage of leftists discrediting their own positions through witless, inarticulate defences thereof, have a gander at Liberal Cabinet Minister Chrystia Freeland on Real Time with Bill Maher recently. Take your time, I’ll be here.

Where were we? Oh, right – you’re a racist. Also, 97 percent of scientists agree you’re worse than Hitler.

Racism and climate change are the one-two purse-slaps of political correctness.

On the topic of those Syrian refugees, accusations of racism have been predictably and ubiquitously leveled at all those who voice concerns about importing tens of thousands of unknowable people from such a hotbed of climate change.

As Canadian commentator Rex Murphy wisely noted, “Keeping our eyes open does not close our hearts.”

To the left, people who use their eyes, or their brains, or who speak the truth, are all racists. Just live with it. It’s how they roll.

Liberals refuse to see, and so they are perpetually mystified by the obvious. Also, it seems they want to be mad at someone, anyone. Political correctness offers permissible rage, moral superiority, and the ability to shrink existential problems to manageable size.

To the climate change obsessives, I say with the utmost compassion, you really need to get over it. Open your eyes, please, as we could use your help with the real problems of our age.

And to those who have, do, or will call me a racist: Y’all can kiss my black ass.

I will not go back and forth in a discussion instituted in bad faith, nor am I required to prove my innocence to self-appointed judges. Also, your fly is open.

Do they really believe it? That is, do otherwise cogent, seemingly sane adults honestly think the major challenges of this world can be miniaturized and explained away by first world obsessions? Or, as I suspect, are they just repeating received wisdom, having learned their outrage phonetically?

Either way, if you blame racism or climate change, without irony, for the crises of our time, you forfeit the right to be taken seriously.

Theo Caldwell has a dream. Contact him at

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Time for Anger

Anger is a funny thing. It gets a bad rap, but it serves a purpose.

I have written before that accusations of anger are a common device to delegitimize and dismiss opposing viewpoints. Similarly, you may have heard it said that the first man to raise his voice has lost the argument. That’s bollocks on stilts.

Wrath may be a deadly sin, but it’s not the same. Anger is a legitimate emotion, gifted to us for a reason, and hopefully deployed with just cause. Conversely, wrath connotes an unhinged, unfocused fury, also suggesting vengeance, which belongs to God.

Jesus showed anger. He also wept. He knew there is a time for each.

With a monsoon of respect for my newly tri-coloured friends all over Facebook, and the world leaders and private citizens repeating the “our hearts go out” mantra after the terrorist attacks in Paris, this is not a time to wallow in sadness. This is a time for anger.

As I type, the three days of mourning declared by French President Francois Hollande are concluding and his promised, pitiless ass-kicking has commenced. That is good.

What we need now is a controlled burn, a tempered rage, as we remember what was done to those poor souls in Paris, then look at our loved ones and recognize that, given the opportunity, our enemies will do the same to them.

This is not over, not by a long chalk. We must summon the will, and the anger, to end this war on our terms.

To begin, we must recognize what we are fighting. For many people, this is uncomfortable, and forces them to articulate truths they have been conditioned to believe are hateful or bigoted. But this need not be so.

We may acknowledge that our adversaries are human, and came into this world worthy of the love and dignity of every living person. As the poet Terence wrote, “Humani nihil a me alienum puto,” or, “I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”

But we must also realize that they are in the thrall of a great evil. Radical Islam is a powerful thing and, like other murderous ideologies we have known – Nazism and communism among them – it can seduce people by the millions.

If we accept the popular insistence that 90 percent of the world’s Muslims are not bent on jihad toward the West – or 95 or 99 percent, let’s say – then even a best-case scenario leaves us with 13 million people eager for our death. That’s several times more numerous than the largest standing army the world has ever known.

The hippy-dippy formulation that “religion” is to blame is willfully blind to the destructive tendencies of one religion in particular.

A friend of mine, whose views I respect in all areas except his snide denunciation of faith, posited that all those offering “prayers” for Paris should remember that “praying” is what motivated the terrorists in the first place.

Honestly, cut the crap. If, God forbid, you find yourself the victim of a suicide bomber or held hostage by a group of fanatics, you know damn well they won’t be Methodists.

Insisting on a false equivalence among every religion while placing yourself serenely above it all only makes things harder and causes you to look like a pompous dick.

Likewise, scolds who rush to tell us we shouldn’t condemn “all Muslims” are lecturing no constituency of consequence.

No one is condemning “all” Muslims (in fact, a number of people refuse to condemn any). But it is safer and easier to tut-tut the rest of us than to name and confront real evil.

To those people I would reply, instead of preaching and coming up with ways to make yourself look good, perhaps pitch in and help – because, like it or not, you’re in this fix with us.

It’s often said that politics is downstream from culture. Consequently, if men like Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau insist on chirping about “climate change” in this time of genuine crisis, it is because we allow it.

What we say to one another, and the things we believe in, matter a great deal. And so, if we allow ourselves to define our enemy in the form of radical Islam, we must then consider our side of the conflict.

What does our society stand for and is it worth defending? Are we nothing more than environmentalism, political correctness, and Caitlyn Jenner? If so, then let our surrender continue apace.

If, however, we maintain some flicker of the liberty bequeathed to us by generations past, and if we possess even a sliver of their courage, then I say that is worth fighting for. And I have a righteous anger at those who would take those things away.

I do not want this fight. I want to live in peace with my wife and family. But I am honked off that I will be leaving them a world less free and more unsafe than the one I have known.

Part of this fight is to be honest with ourselves, to afflict our own comfort. Hard decisions have to be made, both at home and abroad. Again and again, we will have to choose the lesser of two evils.

On immigration, for example, we must consider options that shake our sense of our own goodness, such as curtailing or ceasing the entry of people from Muslim-majority countries.
This includes the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees scheduled to receive asylum in Canada and the United States.

If it helps, consider that the United Nations has estimated that 75 percent of those fleeing Syria are men, and as many as 80 percent of the millions streaming across Europe are not Syrian at all, nor are they refugees. They are economic migrants, leaving nations where there is no civil war in order to find better lives in the West.

One feels empathy for such people, and guilt for denying them the opportunities of a society to which we had the great blessing to be born.

Nevertheless, we must proceed. Consider the number of hostiles outlined above. The risk is too great. As Mark Steyn notes of Paris, the barbarians are inside and there are no gates.

The imperfect but necessary solution to the refugee crisis is to establish safe zones in Syria and Turkey. This is accomplished as part of our overseas obligation: to destroy ISIS and take away its territory.

Western leaders are goaded by political adversaries and journalists with the shibboleth of favouring “boots on the ground” in Syria.

No sane person wants war. Even so, the correct response is yes, boots will be on the ground, in the air, and up ISIS’s ass, as necessary.

ISIS is not an insurgency. It is a state, controlling land across numerous countries, of the approximate size of the United Kingdom. This must not stand, and our response cannot be piecemeal. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, who knew a thing or two about military victory (and defeat), “If you start to take Vienna, take Vienna.”

Our military response must be overwhelming and sustained, until ISIS is destroyed in its lair. In so doing, we will kill those who would kill us.

It is supposed that Islam grew from the God of Abraham revealing Himself to a new people. If that is so, then that God knows that sometimes, bad guys have to die. You can look it up.

Most important, we need to remember that this is a war of ideas, and we must be fearless in defence of ours. We believe in freedom and the value of all human life (don’t we?). We reject cruelty and subjugation, and those who would impose the mortal supremacy of their beliefs on others deserve the business end of our might and anger.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, herself a victim of radical Islam, avers that, “European governments must do their own proselytizing in Muslim communities, promoting the superiority of liberal ideas. This means directly challenging the Islamic theology that is used by the Islamist predators to turn the heads and hearts of Muslims with the intent of converting them into enemies of their host countries.”

Just so. But to this, I would add that the conviction and strength of all of us is what shapes this fight, and informs what governments will do.

We elect leaders of disparate skills and character, and in time they all come and go. But what each of us believes and what we can bear – that is what will decide this conflict.

As the lyric goes, we have to choose to win or lose – and it’s time we started winning.

Theo Caldwell is damn mad. Contact him at

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Axis of Idiocy: Liberals, Bureaucrats, and the Media

As the expression goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.

Specifically, if you find yourself made queasy by the group hugs among our new Liberal rulers, our moral and intellectual superiors in the news media, and the people we pay to make our lives that much more difficult through the public bureaucracy, you are in excellent company.

And since the Canadian federal election, you’ve been under pressure to get in line and start smiling like everyone else, haven’t you?

Resist that pressure to conform, push through the nausea, and keep speaking your mind.

Don’t be fooled by all the grinning, oleaginous calls for comity and putting differences aside. As I’ve written previously, this is what the left always does after winning an election – they declare the time for partisanship is at an end and it’s better that you just get with the program rather than stick to your principles.

Ask yourself – would they be so accommodating if we had won? Were they so eager to beat swords into ploughshares last time we prevailed?

Instead, I propose that we keep taking the piss out of them for the next four years at least, until we are hoarse and our ribs ache from laughing. Not only will this numb the pain and pass the time, but liberals are at their preening, unattractive worst when on the business end of humour.

It’s not that they can’t take a joke – it’s that they willfully refuse to acknowledge a joke when it’s at their expense. Rather, they attempt to recast mockery as intolerance, hate, violence, and, of course, “anger.”

It’s been awhile since I first supposed that “angry” is the new “racist.”

That is, the leftist tactic of accusing every opponent of racism having grown tired from overuse, they instead denounce those who disrupt sandbox play as furious and unhinged.

My own commentary has been called harsh. This puts me in mind of the one time I ran for public office, 15 years ago. I was 27 years old and advocated a few simple ideas: more free votes in Parliament, fixed election dates, lower taxes, and reducing government spending and debt.

For this, and for the unpardonable sin of running against the Liberals, I cannot count the number of times I was called a racist.

One morning, while canvassing outside a subway station, some urban beta-male (whom I guaran-damn-tee is some kinda Twitter tough guy nowadays) called me a Nazi, flashed a “Heil, Hitler!” salute, then ran through the turnstile and down the stairs before I could discuss it with him further.

I and my fellow candidates, many of whom were likewise economy-focused amateurs participating in the process for the first time, were called “bigots” and “Holocaust deniers” by a Liberal cabinet minister who shall remain nameless (hint: It was Elinor Caplan). And that person goes around with “Honourable” in front of her name.

Yet I’M harsh? Serve it on toast.

They’re getting better at it, but not much. A commenter on my previous column took issue with my characterization of Liberals as bionically stupid, but inelegantly attempted to conflate my derision of the left for their ideas with bigotry of the worst kind: “Every time someone expresses hatred towards another party, race, country, etc., by pigeonholing them and describing them in black-and-white ways, they are doing a disservice to society and to themselves.”

See how that works?

My ridicule of the left in general and Liberals as a party is juxtaposed with racial and national prejudice, in hopes of drawing an equivalence. Also, it’s “hatred.”

Never mind that judging people by skin colour rather than character content is the exact opposite of what I propounded. Persiflage is upgraded to incitement, as well.

Watch for that move.

The left cannot defeat you with ideas, gentle reader (to the extent they have any, they’ve all been discredited by the 20th century), but they will criminalize you if you’re not careful.

Beat them to the punch and never apologize, it says here.

And as to this “hatred” business, let’s dispense with that right now, my leftist friends: I don’t hate you and I’m not angry with you – no moreso than I could hate or be angry with a two-year-old monkey.

I think you’re misguided, I’m often embarrassed for you, I do worry you’re going to hurt yourself by chewing through a cord or swallowing car keys – but hate? Never.

The disingenuous little flower who attempted to re-characterize me from a poor man’s Mark Steyn (which I strive to be) to a Republican Robert Byrd (as if the GOP would tolerate one) concluded his whinge with a familiar plea: “Take the ‘other’ to lunch and listen to them.”

Ah, the old “listen” routine, as though we can ever escape hearing from the left. Now I’m meant to buy them a meal, too?

We’ve listened, we’ve heard you, and we think you’re already out to lunch.

This is reminiscent of agitators perpetually calling for a “conversation” about race, gender, what-have-you, or people who want to tell you about their religion but almost never want you to tell them about yours.

Of course we listen and talk to them.

We hear from liberals in the media non-stop, both in news and entertainment. We even have an inside joke with them about the movies and TV shows they produce (more of a plot twist, actually): Look for the first character to profess Christianity and he’s the true villain, in league with Big Business and neo-Nazis.

And they’re always full of good tips for real-life Christians about what Jesus would think about this policy issue or that one, and how we can adjust our views to be more Christ-like.

On a personal level, we talk to them all the time. They teach our kids, for heavens’ sake. They’re the ones who organize the Peace Assembly (formerly, “Remembrance Day Service”) and the Winter Festival (formerly, “Christmas Concert”).

Theirs is the mindset that gave us political correctness, government-enforced multiculturalism, and mandatory bilingualism coast-to-coast. (Speaking of which, I happened to read the French label on my shower curtain this morning: “Rideau de Douche.” Sounds a lot like Ottawa these days.)

Which brings us back to the news media, the Liberal Party, and members of the risibly named “public service.”

Of course journalists are feeling “sunny.” Their party was victorious.

Civil servants are all giddy, too. Like Arthur and England, the left and the bureaucracy are one.

Kevin D. Williamson calls the government payroll a more dignified form of public dependency for relatively low-skilled and mainly unenterprising people, whose main purpose is to stand between citizens and the things they wish to achieve, charging a fee to get out of the way.

It’s a question of who’s king of the castle.

Someone suggested to me that the next Conservative leader should promise two billion dollars for the CBC on the campaign trail then, after winning the election, put Ezra Levant in charge of the place.

Howzat for a hidden agenda?

You’d have the Friendly Giant digging oil fields with his bare hands. Tell me that’s not win-win.

Alas, the current CBC is just as it always was. Still, one wonders at how swiftly they go from antagonistic to prostrate once their preferred party takes power.

Peter Mansbridge is smarter than Justin Trudeau (heck, Peter Puck is smarter than Justin Trudeau). Why, then, does the venerable newsman feel the need to give the young ruler a full rub-down on the occasion of his swearing-in?

Is it purely pecuniary, as the Liberals have promised to give the CBC more money? One senses it is less a matter of quid pro quo than simply a shared ideology – and identity.

It is notable that both men have had wonderful careers handed to them with very little effort.

Mansbridge tells how he was hired by a CBC manager who liked the sound of his voice when he made a lost luggage announcement at the airport (perhaps the last unbiased report he ever gave).

And as for Justin, well…

We on the right have long since come to terms with that the CBC is about. We also accept that, among the rest of established news media, there is precious little comfort to be found.

About the Toronto Star, the less that is said, the better. As for the Globe and Mail and its affiliates, their girlish squeals that pass for analysis are barely worth mentioning.

The National Post, which features some genuinely top-notch columnists (take a bow, Chris Selley), is nonetheless too ideologically confused to be reliable.

Indeed, this is a long-standing problem and is part of why the then-Editor in Chief invited me to write columns for that paper almost a decade ago. I did so for three years, often frustrated by a hard-left opinion editor whose views on abortion, for just one example, made Henry Morgentaler look like Rick Santorum.

He also, in our first meeting, advised me that his major challenge was finding female columnists. Naively, I wondered aloud if his major challenge weren’t to find simply good columnists, such that readership would increase. I was young(ish) then, and not yet fully aware that, in the leftist worldview, everything – education systems, military and foreign policy, and certainly media outlets – are nothing more than the apparatus for politically correct, social engineering claptrap.

Consider another of the Post’s opinion editors, Andrew Coyne, who recently resigned his editorial position (while bravely keeping his lucrative column space) when the publishers spiked his endorsement of the NDP, and you get the picture.

Writing in the Post, Christie Blatchford purports to chide Mansbridge for conflicted and shoddy journalism. What she ends up doing is slagging Mansbridge for not massaging Justin quite the right way.

Justin’s a genius, you see, for not making too much of softball questions and letting Mansbridge do all the work. He not only found Justin’s lost luggage, he carried it for him, too.

It’s a question of perspective. J.J. McCullough has written a tremendous piece imagining what it might be like if the media reported on Stephen Harper’s first day in office like they reported on Justin’s.

Because when it’s a Liberal ascending, it’s “sunny ways,” no matter what. For just one example, as we speak, they are literally dumping tons of crap into the St. Lawrence River. Can you imagine the hysterical media outrage if a Conservative Environment Minister signed off on that?

I have heard from a number of people who suppose that after Justin inevitably founders in office, the media might admit their mistake. Fat chance. As with Barack Obama, they will double down, blame everyone else, and willfully deny the obvious.

But the market is changing. One feels for victims of now-routine layoffs at large media companies but, from a consumer’s perspective, it’s not hard to see why this happens. Traditional news media are predictably leftist, humourless and flat-footed. Who wants to pay for that?

New outlets, like The Rebel and Taki’s Magazine, represent a different business model. Even so, it’s often suggested that the powers that be will try to stifle us, or haul us up in front of one of their little star chambers. If only.

My friend Kathy Shaidle and I are in competition to see which of us can be first to garner a “human rights” complaint. We know you’re out there, you little crapweasels, and a word of advice – you’re better off sticking with me.

Put yourselves in a room with Shaidle and she’ll make what Ezra and Steyn did to you look like Mansbridge interviewing Justin.

(Incidentally, ever notice that “Human Rights Commission” has the same initials as “Hillary Rodham Clinton”? Discuss.)

Fortunately, we no longer have to hold still and be lectured on what is acceptable, or funny, or hateful or out-of-bounds by a handful of privileged, coddled, news media fossils.

You know why?

“Because it’s 2015.”

Theo Caldwell is the monster at the end of this book. Contact him at