Perverse reversal

WE charity is a right scandal. Appalling. It really should topple Trudeau. Probably won’t. Should. Won’t.

Why?

I don’t really know but it is likely because outrageous incompetence, criminal corruption, disgusting behaviour everywhere so prevalent, blatant bigotry and violence from our police and the general level of mayhem existing in all walks of everyone’s life, Trudeau’s ridiculous levels of elitism and corruption will seem par for the course. “What else is new?”

There are more ‘things rotten in the state of Denmark'(Shakespeare) of course but that above list should be enough to ‘bury’ yet another multiple foot-in-mouth action by Trudeau. He also has the benefit of Trump everyday out-clowning everyone on the planet – even Justin.

There are few attractions to being a politician today but one is that, no matter how bad you are, you will not achieve the level of disaster and mismanagement that so many have already achieved in the last decade. I.e., the governors of Florida and Texas will go down in history as amongst the top ten with Trump, of course, a hall-of-famer in sowing chaos and destruction.

Hmmmm……now might be a good time to run….?

Anyway…back to Trudeau: Trudeau was at his best when he isolated. I strongly urge him to continue that. He shouldn’t even go outside the cottage. Send Sophie instead. Hey, Justin! Why not hire your mother to represent you like Trump hired Kayleigh McEnany?

When I was young and traveling around, I spent a lot of time in Mexico. I was with Sal. We were living in a VW bus. On the beach. It was all fun when we were young. The only problem I had at the time were the Mariachi bands. I hate Mariachi bands. I hate clowns, too, but I hate Mariachi bands even more. So, when I was sitting at a romantic restaurant under a palapa making moon-eyes with Sal and a Mariachi band showed up, it was very disturbing and so I would quickly get out a five dollar bill, wave the lead annoyer over and give it to him on the condition they go as far away as they could get – preferably at another restaurant ($5.00 was a good tip in the 70’s). If trapped in any situation wherein Margaret Trudeau started to speak, I would pay $100.00 in an instant to get her to shut up. Maybe more.

Paying Margaret Trudeau to speak is like paying a Pitt bull to bite your leg. Totally illogical and very painful to endure. If known that would happen, they would sensibly put the Pitt Bull down in advance. And WE knew Margaret was going to happen.

This blog was going to be about the letter from the ‘respected writers’ that suggested that polite debate, even disagreement was OK and that ‘Cancel Culture’ was extending too far – to the point that people could no longer safely speak their minds to any degree. Too much flack from saying anything that some other person doesn’t like. And I agree with them. Free speech and all that.

But a perverse reverse of that principal is that I do NOT want to pay to hear idiots speaking. My tax dollars should not go to hire Margaret for anything except maybe biting legs (yes, I know that WE claims that they have different divisions so that tax payer dollars were not directly funneled to Margy. Not the point.)

The point is that we should have free speech for just about everyone but, if a Trudeau is speaking, we should get paid for listening to it.

34 thoughts on “Perverse reversal

  1. Innocent until proven guilty. Minor point given that no charges have been laid. No one charged! Nothing will happen with the Conflict of Interest investigations. If any one is guilty of a breach of ethics…they are told to go and sin no more. No teeth. Remember the $35 Christmas gift from the Aga Khan’ Nothing! Lots of allegations nothing criminal. Very little moves the political dial these days. This will not lead to an election because the NDP are broke, Conservatives are leaderless, the Bloc does not want an election and the Greens need to grow. The Liberals are over 50% in popularity so …!

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    • I am not so sure that a criminal act even happened. Anyone can hire Margaret. But that is not the point. The point is that the ‘inner kingdom’ of Central Canada has always been ‘connected’ and that everyone lunches with everyone else alla time. They KNOW each other and a lowly department head in the Motor Vehicle Department can get an audience with the Minister of Transport but the ‘main’ rep in Vancouver, complete with fancy office is not even KNOWN by that same minister.
      In actual fact, I had lunch with Guy Ouellette back in the 70’s and he was the Immigration minister. I was 26. When we spoke about the refugees, he said to his aid, “Whose our guy out there, anyway?” I said, “Peterson!” And he said, “Oh, yeah, Bob Peterson.” I had to stifle my yell: “JIM Peterson!” Immigration head
      office in Vancouver and they did not even know his name! But everyone in Central Canada has lunch alla time. That is the level of cronyism, networking that results in Margaret getting a speaking fee. It’s all that way in Central Canada.

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  2. What you say is true about networking, particularly political networking. In some provinces a change in government means a change of employees in various jobs. The winner of the election ‘cleans house.’ Some time these house cleanings go deeper that the usually political advisers. These changes of political provincial governments often are very partisan.

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    • Absolutely. BC does it, too. The Libs were were worse than the NDP but old ‘hands’ at the NDP get appointed and paid well, too. It’s disgusting on the one hand but, on the other, if you gain office and the person now serving you as your assistant hates you and all that you stand for, waddya spos’ed to do? You fire them and hire someone you like. Our system is just broken. Plain and simple. In fact, it is so bad that if you TRY to do the right thing, there is usually NO mechanism for that! Try giving back part of a ministerial grant that you did not spend – as I did one year when running the clinic. They said, “Geez, no one has ever given a portion of a grant back! Keep it and subtract that sum from next years grant. We do not have a mechanism to take unspent money back!”

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  3. What you say about government grants is true. Spend the grant or next year your grant will be cut. On the WE front Peter MacKay and his wife are involved with WE. Guess who is rushing to cut his ties. On the matter of house cleaning smart governments keep the civi service and not cut it when they take power. Cuts can get rid of important experience.

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  4. I was looking up ME so I could try and understand the issue. First thing came up was WE to ME or is it ME to WE? One side a charity the other a corporation (WE). When do people get paid to do a talk for a charity usually done for free I think. There was a very good TV show back in the day called “The Establishment” did an excellent job of showing how central Canada operates, out of golf clubs.

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    • Right. Central Canada has a sense of privilege derived from their real political power. They control the Nation’s purse. That sense of privilege has been embedded in CC for so long, it has become real elitism. Think Mike Duffy. Think Trudeau. But elitism is another word for cronyism and not-so-bound-by-the-rules. They honestly do not think that they are breaking the rules (even when they are) because they are the rule-makers.

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      • Oddly, as disgusting as it all is, it seems so natural when you are there. You get elected and immediately replace the old politicians and inherit their ‘team’. You don’t feel comfortable with their team and so you appoint new people. ‘Course, some of the new people are your old peeps and they deserve the job because they like you and have already proved loyal.
        And, so it goes. Your peeps are ‘in’, their peeps are ‘out’ and then the mood is all good…relaxed…throw out a favour or two….whoopee! “Your wife needs a job? No problem!”
        How Trudeau could be so stupid as to ‘allow’ his mother to get paid for a speech to a charity (that just rec’d a large Fed government contract) is beyond me. I mean. HE HAS HAD TO LISTEN to that airhead for years! No one is gonna accept that she is a legitimate speaker on anything except, perhaps, being a groupie to the Rolling Stones!

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  5. Nepotism is a powerful temptation! From top to bottom in our society the expectation is to help the family. Can you get your cousin a job? Blood is thicker than water. Most of us in a position of influence might at times be tempted to exert it. Do me a favour. This social currency is deeply entrenched. What are the chances of altering human nature when it comes to putting the family first? Birds do it, bees do it, even crocodiles in the swamp do it! It’s Darwinian.

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    • I am of two minds….I understand it completely and would definitely hire Sal for anything – she’s great. And I would not hire other relatives ever! So, it’s a hard call if you set ethics and rules aside. But it also does kind of illustrate that ‘who you know’ is the norm and meritocracy is not.
      It means that a perfectly well-functioning, good person can be ‘let go’ simply because they are associated with the old regime. And that is completely unfair.

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  6. The expression that, “No good deed goes unpunished.” The partisan’s creed is to assume that politics are transactional. So we have a $35 Christmas sweater seen as an attempt by the Khan to influence future grants to the Khan’s foundations. Such claims of immoral conduct are like the pot calling the kettle black. This is political partisanship on full display.

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    • Yeah…that sweater was a non-issue. MAYBE the trip and all the luxury laid on was an issue but the sweater was not. So, what does that say about me? Well, it says that BIG gifts are way out of bounds and small, token shows of friendship are just fine. So then who is to say what is BIG and what is token? To Trudeau, most crap is token ’cause he’s so wealthy. For me, the sweater, if over $100.00 is way too big. As a mediator or arbitrator I would not allow a client or anyone to buy me even a cup of coffee. I did that to set the bar. But no one ever tried to influence me ‘cept the occasional politician.

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  7. Your point about the sweater being a ‘non-issue’ is shared by many. What does it mean to be immoral? Our legal system rests partly on a code of laws and institutions but also on traditions not codified. Not sure how many moral codes co-exist in the world and how many of them cite equality as a moral imperative.The point of moral/ethical codes might be to foster inequality. Part of the point of an ethical code is being the one to decide or to claim who is or who is not ethical. In politics those who decide are said to be non-partisans. Morality/ethics are highly variable and situational. So if I remove a small packet of sugar from the Khan’s table is that relevant or irrelevant? What if the Khan hands me a gift of a sweater and I recoil and say, “Sorry my grace I can not accept your bribe!” And an incident might irrupt. The taking of the sweater might be spun as the PM being deferential. The PM was perhaps demonstrating his inferior status to the Khan by accepting the sweater. The absolutists might say its value is unimportant an unethical act has occurred whereas a relativistic person might see taking of the gift as good manners.

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    • Immoral means to ‘choose’ evil/wrong over good/right. Amoral means simply ‘not to care’. So one could be moral and thus good, amoral and thus uncaring or immoral and thus desiring to do bad things. Turns out that Trump is more on the immoral side because he chooses to do bad things (according to his niece) as well as amoral (’cause he doesn’t care too much about anyone but himself) Conceivably, Trump could occasionally dip into the moral if he showed love or concern for others but there is no evidence of that in his 73 years so we can fairly de-emphasize that probability.
      As for absolutism – the belief that there ARE RULES! – is hard to defend. The fact is there are NOT rules in most of ethics so much. There are fixed ethics like laws, policies, procedures, rules and such that say, the police might wish to exercise or should exercise but, for the average person, we are more subject to ‘situational ethics’ – that is ‘doing the right thing’ no matter what the situation and the ‘right thing’ is very subjective. But it is usually based on societal values, personal survival and hoped-for long term behaviours – so it is almost measurable in the holistic sense.
      So, to go to your example of the sweater being offered, you are really faced with two questions: is this an absolutist ethical situation (rules to be obeyed?)? Or is this situational?
      Since I, personally, hold little stock in the absolute, my inclination would be to be situational in my thinking. In reality – as an MP or political figure, I REALLY SHOULD be absolutist and simply decline the kind offer and state that the rules of my government do not allow me to accept. Knowing me, I would likely NOT think that way at the time and so I would choose to be ‘nice’ and accept the sweater graciously only to be pilloried in parliament when the story got out.
      And then we have to move on to looking at the ethics of the media and and the opposition in smearing me with such a petty matter even if I did choose wrong. No Christian forgiveness? No perspective? Is this ethically motivated or selfish?
      Mind you, elevate the sweater-gift to $250,000 in speaking fees and the media’s and the opposition’s ethics would be questioned if they DID NOT report the story.
      I hate Trudeau for his elitism, ignorance and downright silliness but his ethics are – so far – within ‘forgiveable’ parameters – especially on the vacation and the sweater. (I even expected his defense of his SNC Lavalin position being his commitment to his constituents. Which is wrong as even a partial absolutist but super wrong situationally.) His ignorance and silliness, however, are unforgivable.

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  8. SNC Lavalin was a claim that he ‘tried’ to influence the Office of Prosecutions to use some other legal remedy but that was denied by the Office of Prosecutions. It hangs in the air as a claim of an unproven ethical violation or strike two. The RCMP were asked to investigate…nothing. As to the source of ethics take your choice so many religions are claiming moral superiority. Peter McKay is running to lead one of the political parties claiming the ethical high ground. But Peter and his wife were involved with WE and Peter MacKay’s tweet praising WE and its fine works has been taken down mysteriously but NOT by Peter Mackay. Is that moral high ground crumbling a bit? Running for cover? Dave I know how you hate hypocrites in any guise.

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    • Like I said, I knew he would claim ‘exceptionalism’ as the area’s MP. Which, to me, is plausible because he is an idiot. Any mature adult knows that his standing as the PM put him in a different role. But I attribute most of that to elitist stupidity, out-of-touchedness’ and his sense of the Divine Right of Trudeaus. As a REAL power broker-cum-bully like Trump? Not in the same league. He is T-ball compared to MLB on that score.
      Religions? Moral superiority? I guess. That’s fair. They all seem to claim the high ground, the recipe, the tablets from God. But Religious Morality is a contradiction in terms. How can hard (go-to-hell) rules be moral in every human conflict? I.e. Thou shalt not kill – unless you are attacked or hungry or a wolf wants your sheep or whatever good excuse the Rabbi or the Pope will accept? Thou shalt not kill is absolutist and yet the bible is full of the LORD smiting the evil-doers. Religion is blind obedience to contradiction, to truth, to doing the right thing. No one can practice it and no one should.

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  9. As one might point out claims to holding the high ground are a silly smoke screen for other objections to the PM. One of his hated sources of influence is that some find the PM to be charismatic. Dour versus charisma. Now I get it some see him as a little Joke. But currently the Liberals are around 50% but the Conservative are under 30 %. But some Conservatives feel they are at a charismatic disadvantage. I hear the dry heaves of disagreement.

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    • And so you should. 50% approval means nothing. Means NOTHING. Firstly it is just a bit MORE approval than the other idiots. Even I look handsome compared to Danny Trejo or Eli Wallach. Relativity is no foundation. Let’s get a real, strong, smart, good adult and dispense with the pretty-boys and sociopaths.

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  10. So pretty boy gets dumped and get rid of the sociopaths and all parties take a hit. The sad state of affairs is that image matters to some and the shamming, blaming and virtue signalling parties are not getting traction. Be kind, caring and let’s look after each other is more popular in politics these days.

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  11. Perhaps if you were able to have a pitbull bite your leg WHILE Margret Trudeau prattled on…..would make the whole process, while painful…..slightly more endurable….?

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    • Trying to put any kind of lipstick on that pi…woman…is pointless. A two digit IQ is still just a two-digit IQ. More than a few hours of exposure will make you go mad.
      As you can well imagine, IQ is not the prime criteria by which mates are usually considered (however fleeting the relationship might be) but seriously? Margaret Trudeau as a speaker? As a thinker? As anything other than a total ditz? Oh well, at least she is harmless for the most part (if you do not count producing the prince of parliament)

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      • She is an expert in schizophrenia being a schizophrenic herself and from time to time under a doctor’s care. Often speaking about one’s mental illness is therapeutic and that is the compassionate opportunity offered several times by the WE Foundation.

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      • Well….that actually makes much more sense than I first imagined. If she is talking about mental illness then it is somewhat more legitimate.

        Well…..ll…………………..except, of course, for the speaking fee of $250K…….but I don’t mean to be picky. I am just less outraged by the incident because she actually may have had something more to say than I thought even possible. And I thank you for the edification.

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  12. More clarification: she got 250,000 dollars for an estimated twenty-eight appearances according to the Vancouver Sun. As the Sun claims it is an estimate only and they offer no other details. In a manic phase she was photographed at Studio 54 in New York…early 1970s or fifty years ago. Her challenges are sadly well know by some Canadians.

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  13. I would not personally go to listen to Margaret Trudeau speaking about mental illness nor would I read any of the four books she has written. She is an acclaimed professional speaker and has received many positive reviews of her speeches. As I’ve said she is not someone I would go and see. I would go and see Chomsky because I agree with many of his views and I have seen Chomsky in person and read many of his books. Having expressed my views on Margaret, in my personal opinion she a highly respected speaker for many Organizations and is widely admired.

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    • You are kinder on her than I. I do not think her speaking ability is really where my objection lies. It is more like the ‘elite’ and privileged taking, taking, taking. MS is a Sinclair. She has money. Trudeau inherited it, too. They ain’t hurtin’. But Canadians are. And Canadians don’t have the privilege or the connections or the membership card to the elite Liberals or Conservatives. For her to take money from a charity is unconscionable in my opinion. As Sally said today, “Geez, I give hours of my time and skills (hard earned) to the community every week for free. Does that woman need more money? From a charity no less?”
      And that is mostly my objection. There is a smidge of bias against her for being yet another spoiled brat but, all and all, it is much the same thing.

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  14. I know I’m not comparing equivalents but let’s consider the charitable works of our Canadian Sovereign. I did not check to see how much direct support Canada gives to our sovereign. I’m not arguing any equivalency here but the UK gave our Sovereign 104 million pounds, in 2019. Our Queen has a vast personal fortune. The Queen’s stipend Is about 104 million pounds per year towards all her expenses. The Queen does not do charitable works for free. I do not have much money but my charitable works are all at my expense. In the lowly space between me and my local charity works and the folks who fly all over the world doing charitable works are paid just as the Queen is paid. ‘WE’ built a school in Africa to foster human rights for girls. The speaker who gave the speech opening this facility was paid no fee! Until recently all the royals received stipends for carrying out “Royal Duties.” Harry and Meghan recently cut their links with “Royal Duties.” Former PM Harper is paid for speaking. If he were to speak to the board of The Bank of Montreal, he would be paid. If he were to speak at a WE charity event would it be an expectation that Harper not be paid? In my opinion WE is a business and quality speakers help to enhance WE’s bottom line. That is why WE pays many speakers. That is why WE hires professional fund raising speakers. It not all altruism. Many professions require evidence of charitable works on one’s curriculum vitae as a character reference. Those volunteering are often getting important experience towards future job placements.

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    • None of what you say is wrong. You are telling it like it is. Facts, whole truths are what we deploy in court to determine right or wrong. You are right to describe what is fact, what is true, what is the way of things. I do not deny the facts. I get it. But just because Trump exists does not mean I want him to continue. The fact of corruption is not in question. I just don’t like it. I find it immoral and especially so when politics is involved. Maggie can speak if she wants. And if it is at an event for SNC Lavalin, she’ll get paid. But should she? If SNC gets government money the answer is NO! No amount of ‘splaing will convince me that it is OK, warranted, justified or acceptable. It- not you- is wrong.

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  15. Now that is a very interesting point that anyone who is a relative of an MP serving in the government ought not work for any company that takes cash from the government. In a hypothetical situation suppose Justin’s brother wanted to work as a rough neck in the tar sands but if that extraction company received government subsidies then he could not. Is this the sort of case You mean?

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    • Within reason, yes. Reason being ultimately manifested by the ethics commissioner. If we do not like cronyism and we do not like direct nepotism, then why would we like intimate networking? What is wrong with the meritocracy? Bear in mind, there is a ‘reasonable’ clause to this position. If some cousin of Trudeau was an actual roughneck working in the camps and eating at the mess hall and getting dirty and sweaty for the going union wage, I (if I was the ethics commissioner) would say that is NOT a conflict of interest. Nor does it show bias on anyone’s part. Carry on. But Joe Biden’s son getting $50K a month to sit on a board of a company in Eastern Europe is very, very suspect and warrants a review of a similar commissioner. Trudrau’s mom getting $300K for a series of speaking engagements FOR A CHARITY that is contract with the government that Justin manages/influences is clearly wrong. Why all the fuss? Politicians should work in the service of the people. They should not unduly benefit from that.

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  16. I very much like the expression.”Within reason.” Not going to try change anyone’s mind. I firmly believe that people are entitled to their opinions. In 2002 WaterAid Canada appointed an honorary president. WaterAid Canada does social development work in poor countries working to improve water supply and improve sanitation facilities. WaterAid Canada sent speakers in support of the organization’s goal many places. WaterAid Canada sent a representative to Mall along with former PM Kim Campbell In 2014, as part of its social development efforts. As I mentioned Margaret’s speaking career began in 2002 and her stature as a speaker grew. Currently there is an ethics investigation into nepotism and undue influence but one has to dig deep to find parts of her personal back story not currently in the press. Thirteen years of developing a career is apparently not relevant to the current media narrative.

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    • I might reluctantly acknowledge an earned reputation for her as a speaker but being good or not is NOT really the point. She is also the mother of the PM, does NOT need the money and WE is a charity (as are, I suspect, the majority of her speaking engagements). What part of charity is so hard for these people to understand? What part of conflict of interest is so EXTREMELY hard for the PM to understand? Remember: in describing justice, it is said that “Justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”. A corollary to that might be ‘public justice’ or ‘public servants’. There is an extra burden of ethics on those that serve the public and use the public purse with which to do it.

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  17. Shakespeare’s character Hamlet, suggests that human nature is limited. Knowledge is limited. Hamlet says, There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. A discussion about the depth and scope of ideas know and unknown in the play “Hamlet.”

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