Alberta Politics
Protesters outside Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto yesterday (Photo: Twitter, @meganboler).

Which is better, hate crimes or war crimes? The Beaverton nailed the Munk Debate two months ago

Posted on November 03, 2018, 1:43 am
5 mins

For what was supposed to be a fresh news story, an old report from the Beaverton circulating on social media yesterday actually came closest to accurately describing what went on in the so-called debate last night between alt-right U.S. political agitator Stephen Bannon and the neoliberal propagandist David Frum.

The Beaverton is a Canadian news-satire website. But what’s funny about two powerful men connected to the two worst administrations in postwar American history arguing rhetorically about, in the Beaverton’s insightful words from two months ago, “whether hate crimes are better than war crimes”?

Stephen Bannon (Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons).

Mr. Bannon, the former political strategist for Republican President Donald Trump who is frequently described as a white supremacist, has based his career on provoking hate crimes with the goal of bringing something approaching outright fascism to the United States. So far, he seems to have been remarkably successful, and lately has been spreading his malignant agenda further afield.

Mr. Frum, a speech writer and advisor for the war-mongering Republican administration of George W. Bush, helped lay the intellectual foundation for the long and bloody American “War on Terror” in his famously disingenuous “Axis of Evil” script for the 2002 State of the Union Speech. We all know how that worked out.

Both men remain senior apparatchiks in the increasingly unhinged American right. The latter, though, is apparently seen by Canadian media as some sort of liberal because he appears to still believe there’s a modest role for the U.S. Constitution, or maybe just because he has roots in Canada.

This is no joke, though, even though the Beaverton’s old advancer for last night’s “Munk Debate” at Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto was pretty funny.

David Frum (Photo: Twitter).

The Beaverton certainly set up what actually came about yesterday more discerningly than last night’s mainstream media accounts of Toronto Police pepper spraying and arresting Canadian demonstrators who dared to protest this travesty.

Why would any Canadian organize a local debate between two factions of the American corporatist right and try to pass it off as a serious policy dialogue between a conservative and a relative liberal, a notion that is preposterous on its face yet seems to be the predominating media narrative.

Actually, this is easier to understand if we consider the apparent agenda of the organization behind last night’s event.

Press Progress reminded us earlier yesterday that the Munk Debates are bankrolled by the Aurea Foundation, established in 2006 by the late Peter Munk, the Canadian gold-mining billionaire.

The Aurea Foundation says on its website it “gives special attention to the investigation of issues related to the political and economic foundations of freedom, the strengthening of the free market system, the protection and enhancement of democratic values, human rights and human dignity, and the role of responsible citizenship.” Whatever that means in practice, former Munk Debate participants include Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair, so obviously the foundation isn’t allergic to war criminals.

Regardless, Press Progress pointed out, “the Aurea Foundation is one of the biggest funders sustaining a network of right-wing think tanks in Canada.” The goal of such efforts, it is clear, is to move the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse ever further to the right.

This too was the effect of last night’s event. The substance of the debate – “be it resolved, the future of western politics is populist, not liberal” – isn’t really the point, or, given the well-known positions of the “talent,” even particularly relevant.

As has been argued in this space before, our government should have been less concerned about the free speech rights of a foreign right-wing agitator who wishes nothing good for Canada, and more concerned about the real threat a racist visitor with a proven record of provoking violence presents here.

God knows, we have enough of our own right-wing loons. Let them argue the merits of domestic fascism themselves!

Nothing good will come of the fact our doormat of a government meekly allowed this clown to cross our border. The well-heeled ticket holders in Toronto, who got a vote, apparently plunked for hate crimes.

6 Comments to: Which is better, hate crimes or war crimes? The Beaverton nailed the Munk Debate two months ago

  1. Geoffrey Pounder

    November 3rd, 2018

    Were Bannon’s remarks at last night’s debate racist? Did he incite violence? If so, file charges. Otherwise, feel free to refute his remarks with logical argument supported by facts and evidence.

    Calls from the left to limit (legal) speech play into their opponents’ hands — and only hurt the progressive cause. Calls for censorship make the left look weak, fearful, shrill, and irrational.
    Calls on the govt to ban Bannon merely legitimize PM Harper’s decision to keep British MP George Galloway and Democracy Now host Amy Goodman out of the country in 2009. Do we really want to go down that road?
    Have we so little faith in our principles, our arguments, and our institutions that we must silence voices on the other side?
    We have no inherent right to be protected from disagreeable or controversial speech or words that hurt our feelings.
    Don’t like neoliberal think tanks? Create your own. Nothing to stop you.

    Keep racists out of Canada? Much of the country would be depopulated.
    Why aren’t we talking about racism at home? Environmental racism is institutionalized in Canada. Whether we keep foreign racists outside our borders or exile our home-grown variety (remember Harper’s “old-stock Canadians”?), how does that solve the problem?
    The Bannon and Frum circus is a distraction. We have enough problems of our own to worry about.

    Reply
    • Rick

      November 4th, 2018

      The point of the above article was that both sides of the “debate” were represented by right-wing ideologues. No mention of either one inciting violence or racism this time, so your straw man attempt to shift the conversation doesn’t really work for.

      The rest of your lecture seems to be just scolding and directing people on how to think “correctly”; except you also seem to have missed this point, too: We *are* talking about racism at home.

      Reply
      • Geoffrey Pounder

        November 4th, 2018

        Rick wrote: “both sides of the ‘debate’ were represented by right-wing ideologues”
        Media spin aside, was that fact ever in doubt?

        Rick wrote: “No mention of either one inciting violence or racism this time”
        So no justification for cancelling the event or preventing the speakers from entering the country. As the author advocated in his last column, and suggests again here. No straw man.

        “As has been argued in this space before, our government should have been less concerned about the free speech rights of a foreign right-wing agitator who wishes nothing good for Canada, and more concerned about the real threat a racist visitor with a proven record of provoking violence presents here.
        “…Nothing good will come of the fact our doormat of a government meekly allowed this clown to cross our border.”

        Rick wrote: “The rest of your lecture seems to be just scolding and directing people on how to think ‘correctly'”
        On the contrary, my comment goes straight to the free-speech issue, which progressive commentators and protestors seem all too eager to ignore. Threats to democracy, including violence and racism, are not the exclusive province of the right.

        Rick wrote: “We *are* talking about racism at home.”
        Some people seem to be far more excited at the prospect of a lone racist crossing the 49th parallel.

        Reply
  2. tom in ontario

    November 3rd, 2018

    Speaking of people who shouldn’t be here, how about Lord Almost of Crossity Harbour or whatever he’s called. A convicted felon in the U.S. who renounced his Canadian citizenship for that of Old Blighty he continues to grace us with his lordly presence in Toronto.

    Reply
  3. Political Ranger

    November 4th, 2018

    Me thinks you’re missing the point entirely while your analytical machinery has been co-opted by main-stream bias.
    Bannon began by explicitly positing the problem is the elite few taking almost everything for themselves and leaving almost nothing for the rest of us. Frum did not take him up on that argument, the MSM hasn’t either and nor have you.
    This is corporatism or class warfare if you prefer and appears to be the accurate assessment of the root of today’s problems.
    Where I disagree with Bannon is with his solution; he claims Trump and his band of thieves and criminals are disassembling the apparatus of the state in favour of the people. There is no evidence that Trump or most of his top ‘Capos’ are even capable of understanding democracy or common wealth; they are undoubtedly disassembling but only for their own personal benefit.
    The corporate class in America and in Canada is a criminal culture. Over the last 40 years that culture has metastasized into business practice, notably and most worrisome into the small business sector. To the extent that they are not controlled and regulated by a government – of the people, for the people, they win and we lose.
    Not a peep tho! As always the mob (that’s us) would rather collect our pay and bewail the fictitious hordes at the gate than soberly assess our situation and chart a course for prosperity for all.

    Reply
  4. November 11th, 2018

    A hate crime is what the Notleycrats have done to trans women’s reproductive freedom, not to mention their marketized reparative therapy praxis, straight out of the minds of cisfeminist luminaries like Michelle Landsberg and Valerie Solanas. Mr. Climenhaga seems to want his readers to believe that if you stand up for the rights of the lumpenized against a bigoted bureaucratic state, you’re on a path straight to genocide.

    Well, I happen to know what the definition of genocide is, and it far-more-accurately represents what the left has done to trans women, both out and closeted, for the past fifty years. Here are some receipts that include the actions of a surrogate for Secretary Clinton:

    http://thecurvature.tumblr.com/post/2858923845/so-id-seen-some-folks-previously-reference-gloria

    http://transadvocate.com/fact-checking-janice-raymond-the-nchct-report_n_14554.htm

    http://transadvocate.com/50000-deaths_n_8926.htm

    And the historical parallel:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institut_f%C3%BCr_Sexualwissenschaft#Nazi_era

    What is it about liberals other than their own staggering dishonesty that causes them to be unable to recognize a death economy they operate, while castigating all critics as being eager to institute a death factory?

    Reply

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