Do all Jewish people look alike?

Quebec’s bigoted securities regulator certainly thinks so.

Check out this shocking Graeme Hamilton report in the Post:

MONTREAL — Rabbi Momi Pinto has a beard and wears a yarmulke, just like the man from whom he bought his Montreal home in 2012.

According to court documents, that is where the similarity between the two men ends — and yet it was allegedly enough for Quebec’s securities regulator to conduct an “abusive” search of Pinto’s home last September.

In a lawsuit filed this month at the Montreal courthouse, Pinto and his family are seeking $230,000 in damages from the Autorité des marchés financiers and two of its investigators. They allege that in its hunt for evidence related to online gambling company Amaya Inc., the AMF relied on outdated registry information and a “grossly negligent” investigation to search their house.

Pinto’s lawyer, Julius Grey, said the “humiliating and invasive” search is a symptom of a larger problem. “It is the high-handedness of many government institutions today. They think they have a right to do whatever they want to do,” Grey said.

I was actually born on that street in Montreal. My parents told me our Jewish neighbours were thoughtful, courteous and wonderful people to live among. They loved it there.

And you know what, AMF jerks?

We could tell them all apart.


Column: ink-stained enablers

Who’s to blame?

When the United States of America regains its sanity – when the equivalent of political Nuremberg war crimes trial is convened – who will bear the blame for Donald Trump?  Who is responsible?

There will be plenty of blame to go around.  Russia, of course, for interfering in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, so as to give Trump an extra 79,646 votes and an illegitimate Electoral College “victory.”  The Republican Party, for embracing a “man” who admits to groping women – and who says dark-skinned people live in “huts” and “shitholes” and should not be allowed to set foot in the United States.  Several million Americans, who are apparently just as racist and misogynistic as their man.

But we in the media will be in the metaphorical prisoner’s dock, too.  We deserve to be.

We in the media share in the guilt for the chaos and division unleashed by Trump.  We mocked his candidacy before he won the Republican nomination.  And then, when he won, we swore that he’d never become president.  And when he topped the Electoral College – criminally aided and abetted by the aforementioned Russia – we said he’d be swiftly impeached.

But a year later, Donald Trump is still President of the United States.  And some of us bear responsibility for that.

This writer has a book coming out from Dundurn Press next year, loosely about the Trump era.  It is called New Dark Ages.  In a couple passages, I try to explain how those of us who ostensibly predict political events have gotten rather bad at it.

“The press called [him] a bigot and a white supremacist, and everything in between.  But, to Republicans, it didn’t matter.  The media didn’t understand that the Republican faithful weren’t gravitating towards to his campaign despite his racism – they were supporting him because of it.

“…the mainly-rural, high-school-educated, angry old white guys loved [Trump], wasn’t just because of what he said. They worshiped him because of how he said it – the way he said it. They loved him because he talked like they did, when they were in the privacy of a dark room in a trailer park somewhere. They loved that he didn’t use twenty-dollar words when two-dollar words would suffice. They loved that he said outrageous, offensive things, and that the queers on TV couldn’t resist reporting on what he said, and then analyzing it over and over and over. He stirred up the elites and the intellectuals.

And when they did that, they were letting [Trump] control the agenda. They were letting him dominate the dialogue. And, in some cases, [Trump] was therefore literally getting as much as a thousand times the coverage his more-experienced rivals were getting.”

Many of us in the media privately (and not-so-privately) despise Trump, but we can’t stop talking about him.  We chase every shiny silver ball he rolls past us.

Since he has become President, the media’s inability to understand Trumpism has only grown worse.  Facebook, for instance, last week announced that it would start minimizing real news stories on its platform – and, apparently, encouraging photos of kittens and birthday parties instead.  Twitter has announced its cracking down on racists who post hateful comments – but has continued to let the Hater-in-Chief, Donald Trump, to thumb out whatever foul thing that pops into his miniscule cranium.

Platforms like Huffington Post – which, full disclosure, I parted ways with last week, because of their willingness to shield Trump-like sexual predators from scrutiny – don’t even pay a cent to those who contribute to their web sites, and then wonder why journalism is dying.  And then Trump imposes a punitive duty of Canadian newsprint, clearly – as CFRA radio host Brian Lilley pointed out – to punish his critics at places like the Washington Post and the New York Times.

What we in the media are doing in respect of Trump’s new dark ages, we are doing wrong.  We diagnosed the disease wrongly – and, now that the pandemic is fully underway, we are merely advising a couple of aspirin and some bed rest.

We can do more, and we should do more.  We need to re-evaluate the way we cover Trump, and we need to change our ways.

Because whatever we are doing is working only for him.  And it’s not working for the people we serve – our readers and listeners and viewers.


MLK

It’s his day down here in the US, today.  It feels sad. It feels like this country is being run by the son of a Klansman – and it is. That’s bad.

Then again – on the other hand – a year ago, my wife and our daughter were near the spot seen in the photo above, protesting the racist, sexist, extremist Unpresident. That’s good.

Educate your kids about the importance of Dr. King.  In 2018, it will be more important than ever before.


New Dark Ages? What?

Spotted late last night on Apple iBooks. I didn’t expect to see it.

And, it immediately had the effect of panicking me about where I am on book three in the X Gang series (it’s a trilogy, for those who care).

The third book doesn’t have a title yet. But, like the first two, it’ll likely be another Bad Religion song title.

Pre-order now!


How’d you like to get this in your inbox?

All of Hawaii did, today. Would certainly make you a lot more alert, wouldn’t it?

When I was a kid in Dallas, at David G. Burnet Elementary, we used to practice for air raids. We’d take shelter under our desks, stop talking, and await further instructions.

We were preparing for the inevitable North Vietnamese fusillade, apparently. I was pretty young, so I didn’t ask a lot of questions.

Anyway. As Lisa and me head Stateside tomorrow, I am moved to wonder: is the most-policed state in the world smarter because it’s always ready for incoming missiles? Or are they just sort of naturally paranoid?

I still know the Pledge of Allegiance, but I actually don’t know the answer. But I do know I’m quite happy Hawaii is still there. It’s the only state I’ve never been to, you know.


When a neo-Nazi hate rag returns, don’t stick your head in the sand

As many of you know, Lisa and I and many others – in the Jewish, Muslim, LGBT, and other minority communities – have been fighting the neo-Nazi hate sheet Your Ward News for more than two years. We have launched civil actions, we have pushed the authorities into laying criminal charges, and some of us have even initiated private criminal prosecutions of these white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

The latest issue of this so-called newspaper, however, is out. CBC News has interviewed us about it. Lisa and I have been hearing from many people on the East side of Toronto who are very upset. They thought the laying of the criminal charges would put an end to Your Ward News.

Unfortunately, however, that hasn’t happened yet. While the publisher and editor of this Holocaust-denying, pro-Hitler piece of filth have been charged with wilfully promoting hatred against women and Jews, the courts have lifted some conditions which would’ve made it difficult for them to continue disseminating hate. That was a mistake.

This week, then, I started a new civil action against the haters behind Your Ward News, and they’ll be served soon. Lisa, meanwhile, launched a civil action against them last year – and she is represented by the legal powerhouse of Heinen Hutchinson. And, next month, we will be back in the criminal courts to pursue the editor and publisher for printing death threats.

The best approach, then, is not to give up. The best approach is not to stick your head in the sand. The best approach – notwithstanding what our sadly-misguided local councillor says – is not just to shrug and give up.

The best approach is to keep fighting.

If you receive this newspaper, contact the police. Contact your local MPP. Contact your Member of Parliament. Let the media know. The only way to defeat hate is for communities to come together and keep up the pressure.

That’s what we intend to do, and hopefully you will too.