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Makichuk: Death of a Tiger and ‘quiet pressures’ on China

Trudeau even invited the People’s Liberation Army soldiers to join Canadian troops in winter military exercises, before someone in the Pentagon heard about it, and kiboshed it in a hurry.

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One of my all-time heroes died this week.

Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan – a perennial All-Star and the quiet leader of the 1968 world champions died at age 79, the team announced Thursday. 

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, Freehan had suffered from dementia for several years, spending the last few under hospice care in his northern Michigan home.

I’d seen him play many times, at the old Tiger Stadium — a big old ballpark in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. 

Held up by massive green girders, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. And the hotdogs and beer were awesome.

The news shook me up a bit, but it also made me think of the America, and the Canada, that once was.

When heroes were heroes. The generation that preceded us may have been the greatest ever and we damn well knew it.

We didn’t tear them down due to decades-old allegations nor did we throw paint on historic statues or burn down churches.

Looking at Freehan’s early ’60s baseball photos and cards, I shed a few tears. No, actually, I wept.

Thoughts came pouring back when things were much simpler. When our nations held what we call the moral high ground. Or at least we thought so.

Back then athletes didn’t make insane money as they do today. When NHL great Gordie Howe retired he only had $13,000 in pension money. Imagine that.

There was no internet, of course, no video games either. No computers.

As a kid, if you were lucky you had a sandlot to play in. If you were even luckier you had a real baseball glove.

The neighbor’s boy, Rick Gauthier, took pity on me and gave me his glove. To this day I still don’t know why but I took it and treasured it for years.

It was never boring on my street in Windsor. There was always a street hockey game, or a touch football game going on.

Thinking back on it now, the only thing that kept me going in that silly, rotten Ontario Catholic school system was the knowledge there might be a game that night on my street and maybe, just maybe … some girls might join us.

Freehan made a grand total of $37,000 that year, about double what my Dad was making at the car dealership where he worked. 

Some players today make more than that in one game. 

A journalist once asked “Joltin” Joe DiMaggio, why he played so hard every game.

He responded: “The reason I play so hard is that somewhere out there is some kid who has never seen me play before, and I don’t want to disappoint him.”

Imagine that – playing for the love of the game. RIP Joltin’ Joe.

Suffice to say, the game of baseball has stayed mostly the same. Most of the same rules apply and thank God for that.

But the playing field that makes up the game of international relations has drastically altered and we have not changed with it.

China has grown much stronger. Much, much stronger. 

To the point where they can bully nations like Canada at will, especially when we have leaders who are lacking in courage and backbone.

China’s effective use of so-called “gray zone” stratagems has also changed the way the game is played.

Case in point — the two Michaels currently sit in Chinese prisons accused of things they likely didn’t commit. 

Apparent retaliation over the high-stakes dispute involving Meng Wanzhou – the “Princess of Huawei.”

According to Justin the Younger, our dashing but feckless leader, it may still take “quite a long time” to resolve the case of the two Canadians who have been detained for over two-and-a-half years.

In defending this “quiet diplomacy” — which has achieved nothing — Justin, in his overbearing school principal style, said: “The approach on consular cases like this one, unfortunately, takes quite a long time and we don’t always get to talk about what is going on.”

“Much of this is wrapped up in global diplomacy, quiet pressures,” he said.

Right … quiet pressures. 

I bet those “pressures” will work on Xi Jinping, who has brutally imprisoned an estimated 1.5 million people, mostly Uyghurs, but also including Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other ethnic Turkic Muslims, Christians and even foreign citizens in secretive internment camps.

What does Trudeau take us for? A bunch of monkeys?

A prime minister with no balls and a communist government in Beijing holding us hostage and no hope in sight. Ain’t that wonderful.

To deter China’s so-called gray-zone antics, Washington and its allies (that’s us) must take a page from Beijing and adopt a holistic, grand-strategic posture that applies patient, vigilant countervailing pressure on many fronts simultaneously, write James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara of National Interest in an analysis. 

“In short, the defenders of the status quo must think in shades of gray and must accustom themselves to acting in the twilight between peace and war. To do any less would concede to China the initiative — and the future shape of the regional order,” the write.

“Gray-zone aggressors deliberately refuse to breach the threshold between uneasy peace and armed conflict, justifying a martial response. Instead, they demolish the status quo little by little and replace it with something new.”

Fearful of making unpopular, difficult decisions, the Liberal government has waffled and surrendered the initiative to the PRC. Game over.

According to Holmes and Yoshihara, gray-zone strategies are designed precisely to impose such quandaries on rival nations and their weak-kneed politicos.

In other words, folks, we have been outplayed, badly. 

In this game of global diplomacy, Trudeau is an amateur – a lightweight who never really qualified for the big leagues.

Using a baseball analogy – he has struck out, again, and again, and again.

Trudeau even invited the People’s Liberation Army soldiers to join Canadian troops in winter military exercises, before someone in the Pentagon heard about it, and kiboshed it in a hurry.

He reportedly went into a rage after his novel idea was flushed down the loo. Which is right where it belonged.

So when you go to the ballot box this fall before you make an X, think about the two Michaels, and what their life must be like in that Chinese hell hole.

Think about what the communist government is inflicting on their Canadian families. 

Think about the lack of leadership that has brought us to this point. The point of utter humiliation on the world stage.

And say a prayer for Bill Freehan.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
makichukd@gmail.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steven

    August 22, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Haven’t you heard Trudeau is a Communist asshole & Canada’s leader without a clue.

    Secondly, Trudeau as Prime Minister stated Canada is a Post Nation State. Thirdly, Trudeau admires China, although, China thinks Trudeau is an idiot & named him Little Potato; I’d have called him TURD instead.

    If you haven’t guessed by now. Globalism, under Trudeau & his G-7 leaders (so called elites) is the new Communism for the G-7 Nations & the G-20 will follow right along.

    Biden pulled down the bed sheets for China & Russia along with the Taliban to hope on top of him and give the US President a good screwing & Trudeau will be right there with him bending over.

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Opinion

MORGAN: Trudeau’s radical new environment minister prepares to kill the West’s energy sector

“Justin Trudeau never made a secret of his ambitions to be known to posterity as The Prime Minister Who Saved The World from Climate Change.”

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The world is in the grips of an energy crisis.

Decades of well-meaning but naive energy transition efforts in developed nations have created a fragile world energy grid that is now faltering.

While Germany was once celebrated as a world leader in renewable green energy, coal has returned to the top spot as their source of electricity generation, while electricity prices have risen 500% in Europe. India and China are increasing coal production and are in a bidding war for Russian natural gas. Energy price spikes are feeding a rising cost of living, which in turn is impacting the standard of living for the entire planet.

It’s not even winter yet.

So how is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responding to this looming energy catastrophe? Will he help facilitate the production and export of ethical Canadian energy products in order to ease the burden on our European and Asian customers? Will he ease regulations on Canada’s petrochemical sector in order to mitigate domestic inflationary pressures as energy production increases? Will Trudeau applaud Western Canadian energy production as a means of employing Canadians while paying for COVID-19 measures?

Of course not.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his new cabinet appointments to signal that he is declaring an all-out war upon conventional energy generation in Canada. In appointing radical enviornmentalist Steven Guilbeault to the position of environment minister, Trudeau is making it clear he has no interest in allowing Canada’s petrochemical sector to continue upon its path to net-zero emissions. The prime minister wants to shut down the fossil fuel industry altogether — and he wants to do it soon.

For those unfamiliar with Steven Guilbeault’s history, he has been involved in extreme environmental actions for decades. In 2001, Guilbeault was arrested and charged for hanging from the CN Tower in Toronto in a Greenpeace protest. His act put emergency responders in real danger. Guilbeault was involved with a group of protestors who terrorized then Alberta Premier Ralph Klein’s family as they climbed upon the roof of the premier’s home as a protest stunt in 2002. Guilbeault is not a run of the mill environmental activist; he is from the extreme fringe of activists.

Government cabinets are very carefully selected. The people chosen to fill cabinet roles represent the direction the government plans to go in. Justin Trudeau never made a secret of his ambitions to be known to posterity as The Prime Minister Who Saved The World from Climate Change. The cabinet selections of Tuesday make clear that Trudeau no longer wants to just talk and tax about climate change; he wants to act. Westerners had best take heed.

With six years in office as prime minister, Trudeau has little he can point to as an established legacy besides a crippling debt that will last generations. The clock is ticking and if nothing changes, he will be remembered as being little aside from a vacuous placeholder with a famous name in the Prime Minister’s Office. Justin Trudeau’s almost debilitating vanity is well established. He does not want to go out that way, and he plans to make battling climate change his legacy.

While battling climate change could be accomplished though mitigating efforts such as carbon-capture and selling clean burning natural gas to the world, in appointing Guilbeault as Canada’s environment minister Trudeau made it clear he wants to fight climate change through shutting down Canada’s fossil fuel and petrochemical sector. Guilbeault has expressly stated that it is is goal, and it was no mistake that Trudeau gave him the authority to do it.

Trudeau has been candid in stating he doesn’t pay attention to monetary policy and fiscal issues. He doesn’t care that the world is in an energy crisis and doesn’t understand what shutting down Canada’s petrochemical industry will do to the economy. Trudeau’s foresight doesn’t extend beyond his own nose and all he’s envisioning is being enshrined as the crusader who defeated the hated oil industry.

Alberta should be the leading province standing up for and defending the energy sector against an ideologically driven federal government. Unfortunately, Premier Jason Kenney has proven himself to be long on talk and short on action when it comes to standing up to Ottawa. Kenney is also now distracted with a breaking sexual harassment lawsuit against one of his cabinet ministers. He won’t have the time to mount a spirited defense of Alberta’s industries, nor does he have the public support to be taken seriously in such a defence. Western Canadian energy companies and workers are vulnerable and Trudeau knows it.

There will be no help coming from our new federal natural resources minister either. Minister Jonathan Wilkanson comes from a history of renewable energy development. He will be tickled pink to see petrochemical companies driven from Canada’s economy.

The chill is already happening. Getting investment into Canadian conventional energy projects was already a tough task due to Ottawa’s hostility towards the sector. In light of the new federal cabinet in Ottawa, finding investment will be nearly impossible. Would you invest in a Canadian energy project when the prime minister has appointed a cabinet determined to shut down the industry?

The only advice I can offer to Canadians right now is to buckle in and get ready for a rough ride. Trudeau will be attending the 26th UN Climate Conference in Glasgow next week and he will be strutting. You can imagine Trudeau will be bragging to them all about how he will be setting up Canada as an example on how to battle climate change. Trudeau has always had trouble being taken seriously by other world leaders. He sees this as an opportunity to set himself up as a player on the world stage.

When Justin Trudeau gets back from the Glasgow summit, watch out. He has loaded the gun with his new cabinet. He will be fired up and ready to shoot and the first target will be Alberta.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Manitoba Tory election about substance, not gender

Stefanson appears to be the favorite, having garnered the backing of the majority of caucus before Glover entered the race.

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Manitoba’s next premier will be named Saturday when the governing PC party’s new leader is chosen.

Candidates Shelly Glover, 54, and Heather Stefanson, 51, are both seasoned politicians.

Much breathless ado has been made over the fact the province’s next premier will be a woman; which is somewhat baffling considering that glass ceiling was already shattered with subsequent performances offering not a lot to boast about.

Think Alberta and Ontario. But that can be attributed to party affiliation and accompanying destructive policies, as much as abysmal leadership failure that harmed both provinces.

It’s about substance, not gender.

Roughly 24,000 Manitoba PC party members eligible to vote cast their ballots by mail or delivery to the party’s Winnipeg office.

The results will be announced during an in-person event at Winnipeg’s Victoria Inn, allowing limited attendees who all must be fully vaccinated. So, to be clear, unvaccinated votes are most welcome, but those who cast them, stay away.

And that brings us to a core issue the candidates differ on that is paramount in the minds of voting members: getting through COVID and mandates in place.

“I believe no one should lose their job because of their personal health decision,” said Stefanson — who served as health minister until she bailed to run for the leadership — in reference to vaccination requirements.

Yet she staunchly supports the strict COVID mandates and compulsory vaccinations she helped put in place that are causing people, including front-line health workers, to lose their jobs.

Glover said alternatives must be found to mandatory vaccinations because reducing the number of employees caring for patients isn’t an option.

Shelley Glover. Courtesy CBC

She promised no more vilifying or firing the unvaccinated, or blanket lockdowns for small and medium-sized businesses.

In fact, Glover said former premier Brian Pallister’s “tyranny is over” for both Manitobans and MLAs he kept on a tight leash.

Stefanson appears to be the favorite, having garnered the backing of the majority of caucus before Glover entered the race. However, political pundits opine Glover shouldn’t be counted out.

On the surface the race has been amicable. There was a wee back and forth over Stefanson’s claim that Glover would fire or try to oust MLAs who didn’t support her. Glover challenged her to prove it. She didn’t.

Stefanson, the establishment candidate, was first elected in Tuxedo in 2000. She has served as deputy premier, justice minister, minister of families, and most recently as health minister when appointed January 2021.

Glover, embraced as the grassroots candidate, is a 28-year Winnipeg Police Service veteran.

She was elected as a member of Parliament in the 2008 federal election and served the Saint Boniface riding until 2015. She was a member of the Privy Council of Canada and served as heritage minister.

The membership also weighed both candidate’s stands on strengthening the economy, education, and health care systems; building better relations with the province’s indigenous groups; and supporting business.

The winner, to be sworn in at a later date, will replace interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen who took over when Pallister resigned as premier September 1.

Whoever emerges victorious faces the formidable task of reviving support for a party losing ground to the NDP.

And regaining the trust of Manitobans.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

MAKICHUK: Trudeau shows true colours with transfer slap in the face to Alberta

The Eastern Laurentian elites will continue to screw us over. It will never stop. 

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He mocked us.

He mocked us, he mocked us.

That Jack-in-Office at the PMO threw dirt as good, hard-working, God-fearing Albertans trundled off to the polls to have their say on transfer payments that have soaked us dry of billions of oil patch dollars for decades.

The very man who, in recent years, has spent more time in the ethics office than any other politician in Canada, had the absolute gall to marginalize our province, and our premier, by saying the issue was “incredibly political.”

Regardless of how they voted (Elections Alberta reported 61.7% of voters said “yes,” to ending Equalization, with 38.3% checking “no”), they had a fair, democratic right to choose.

“To eliminate equalization, which is what’s proposed in Jason Kenney’s referendum, is something that cannot be done by the federal government,” Justin Trudeau said with a sardonic smile.

“It needs to be done by the federal government working with seven provinces or territories representing over 50% of the Canadian population.”

Sorry pal, that’s not true and you know it.

If Alberta wants to opt-out, it can opt out … and praise God, someday that will happen. 

That Ottawa-based baboon can’t stop us if we wish to go our own way. Especially if we embark on a balanced journey of provincial autonomy over the next decade. 

To borrow a quote from his father — who had cajones — “Just watch (us)!”

The entire issue was summed up by the increasingly leftist Globe & Mail, with a disgustingly overbearing and insulting headline that read: “Don’t take Alberta’s referendum seriously.”

I won’t offer any further details, the headline was enough. 

Between the Globe and the federal freeloaders in Ottawa, it’s not hard to figure out the West will never, ever be taken seriously or treated fairly and equally with the bully boys: Quebec and Ontario and their media cronies.

The Eastern Laurentian elites will continue to screw us over. It will never stop. 

And you know as well as I do, with the rapidly increasing national debt, it ain’t gonna get better.

Not for you, me, or the generations to come.

Columnist Rex Murphy summed up Alberta’s plight very well, in a 2019 piece in the National Post:

The Suzukis, the Sierra Clubs, the always railing Greenpeacers, the fund-raising behemoths of the eco-industry, and the swarms of petty NGOs, self-appointed activists, and trippy climate celebrities — Bill Nye the Foolish Guy may stand for them all — have feasted on the portrayal of Alberta energy as world-damaging, nature-offending and planet-despoiling.

It was and is a gang-up on a global scale. One fragment, one singular project of an entire world industry in a little corner of Alberta has been painted as the villain of planetary disaster. Under the specious umbrella of “we must save the planet”  and “global warming is an existential crisis” the energy industry of a single province has endured a vicious, unfair and fanatic assault.

A while back, I was having a beer at one of my favourite establishments, the Border Crossing, down on 17 Ave. S.E.

They make an escargot dish with melted cheese and toast that is to die for and a nice deck in the back where a guy can enjoy a nice Cuban cigarillo in peace. 

Anyway, I was chatting with a fellow who did time in the “Big House.”

He seemed a good, hard-working fellow who made a mistake, paid the price and learned from it and then moved on.

I asked him what was it like in there?

‘You don’t wanna go there, man … you don’t,” he said. The serious look on his face added to that sentiment.

“But let me tell you something. If you ever do end up there, the biggest, toughest guy in the joint is going to come up to you and set you straight.

“And you can’t back down, you have to show no fear and stand up to him.”

Terrible images raced through my head.

“But what if he’s way bigger than me and tougher?” I pleaded.

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “If you don’t stand up to him then, you are done for.”

The reality of that discussion never left me. Knock on wood, I don’t ever end up in the clink!

But this, my friends, is exactly how we must deal with the pin-striped snakes in Ottawa.

We can’t be afraid, we can’t back down … we look them in the eye, and fight back with every peaceful but effective, and hopefully legal means in our toolbox, and with every ounce of strength we can garner.

They are nothing but a bunch of overpaid federal nabobs, led by the trumped-up party boy himself and backed by Mountie strong arm men.

Recently, I was chatting with an esteemed friend of mine on Facebook — a man much more accomplished than I.

He told me that the mere mention of Alberta with Eastern friends conjures up vitriolic hate and derision as if we were the bad guys.

Other friends have told me the same.

Well, that’s just fine, I don’t mind playing the part of Jack Palance in Shane, I don’t give a damn if they hate us. I really don’t.

But damn it all to hell, one day they might just respect us and fear us.

Take our money in transfer payments but block our pipelines and demonize us? 

Sure, go ahead and embrace token Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s so-called Green restart. 

See where that gets you. See if it pays your mortgage, your car payment, your daycare and your groceries.

One day, mark my words, the West will rise. As forceful and beautiful as the early morning light on the Alberta foothills.

To quote the great Winston Churchill, “Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.”

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the military editor for the Asia Times.
makichukd@gmail.com

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