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Bruce Dowbiggin

Bruce Dowbiggin’s career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience, with successful stints in television, radio, and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster

Justin’s fawning for Castro

The most telling indictment of the death of Fidel Castro this past week came not from a network TV savant but from an anonymous partier in Miami’s Little Havana. Asked how Castro’s brutal regime should be portrayed by the media, he said, “You didn’t see anyone trying to launch a Toyota Prius flotilla to go from here to Havana, did you?” Indeed. But watch CBS/PBS pool boy Charlie Rose in Cuba parsing his language over the death of Castro. The poor man can’t seem to form the word “murderer,” “Global reputation”, “hero to some” and “enormous political figure” come tumbling from his lips, but making note of the blood-soaked ground beneath him seems to escape the poor man. He can’t bring himself to condemn evil. No one in Rose’s respectable press row would ever describe the death of Hitler or Mussolini or Augusto Pinochet without some descriptives about mass murder, torture or watching snuff videos of their terrified victims. Those crimes were true about them, and their place in history is blackened by these inhumanities. These crimes were also true of Castro over a period of 50 years. His history is drenched with death. But like Bernie Sanders’ pals in the Kremlin, Fidel was part of the Great Project. For the generations brought up on the romance of revolutionaries in the Spanish Civil War or Bethune’s China, Papa Joe Stalin was a man of a “shaper of destinies.” Just ask the 10 million he starved to death in the Ukraine what they thought of the destiny Stalin decreed for them. Charlie Rose can’t seem to form the word “murderer,” “Global reputation”, “hero to some” and “enormous political figure” come tumbling from his lips, but making note of the blood-soaked ground beneath him seems to escape the poor man. He can’t… Read More

When the Left and Right Match Firepower

In The Untouchables, Sean Connery’s G-man spelled out the rules of the game. “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?” I was reminded of Connery’s famous speech while watching the left-wing vapours over Donald Trump’s bruising campaign win versus Hillary Clinton, the pantsuited capo di tuti capo of the Democrats. From the editorial boards at almost every major American newspaper to the MSNBC meltdowners to the undergrad street buskers marching for justice— everyone was appalled at Trump’s brusque tactics. Well, if you guys are upset, maybe you brought Trump upon yourselves. After seeing Obama’s Chicago Democrats turn an uncomplaining Mitt Romney into a psychopath inflicting cancer upon his employees and a dog abuser to boot, the alt right made the logical conclusion to match firepower next election— and then some. In short order they brought a gun to a knife fight. That would be a Trump 306 (as in electoral votes). Is Trump a true friend of the little man? Not likely. Does he eat KD for dinner? Nah. When was the last time he took public transit? The fourth of never. But he was willing to fill the “morgue” to get even for Romney and countless GOP victims. That was enough for Flyover America. Naturally the incandescent left was appalled at someone matching firepower with them. They’re furious at Trump’s language, his coiffure and, most of all, for his taking the oxygen out of their safe space with his immigration talk. The nerve… reducing their kabuki marches to a third-rate Bridge On The River Why? This is supposed… Read More

Canada’s take on Trump

    By the fervent interest it has displayed, you’d almost think Canada is voting in this U.S. election. With thousands of dead people and illegal immigrants casting votes, Canada’s contribution would likely go unnoticed if we did. But if words were ballots, we’d be a swing constituency. Take Donald Trump. He has been bombarded by insults from every quarter during this U.S. election season. While many constituencies claim to have delivered the most Trump vitriol it would be hard to top the venom flowing south from Canada. From CBC to the arts community to the left-wing political faction (but I repeat myself), it’s been hard to find a person in Canada who understands, let alone empathizes with Trump’s voters. How dedicated has the criticism been? CBC National Radio news led one morning recently with former prime minister Kim Campbell’s unsolicited comment that Trump was a sexual predator. Second story? Canadian oil pipelines being sabotaged in the United States. Social media, too, has been 90/10 in its scorn for the Republican nominee. Some of this sneering was routine Canadian conceit as they heard Americans discuss Canada’s single-payer health-rationing system. Or Canada’s relative paucity of gun crime. Or when a U.S. comedian extolls poutine and maple syrup. No one does smug like Canada. But in a country that identifies as centrist in most things, this unanimous Trump disapproval from the chattering classes in Canada seemed like piling on. Certainly, Trump supplied several lake freighters worth of material on his sexual history for Canadians to mock. Several hundred decibels below that were his threats to cancel NAFTA or build walls across borders. But where was the countervailing criticism of Hillary Clinton exposing state secrets on her home server? Where was the tut-tutting about her hypocritical stand on abuse of women? Where was… Read More

The first debate

  Hillary Clinton could barely wipe the well-rehearsed rictus smile off her face Monday night during her first public showdown with Donald Trump. The woman with more skeletons in her closet than Dr. Frankenstein could only marvel at how easily she was skating while Trump thrashed in a verbal melt of his own making. To paraphrase the late NFL coach Dennis Green, “He was who we thought he was.” Sure, Clinton and her cabinet of advisers (including psychologists) knew that Trump was going to be easy to rile. But It didn’t get much easier than Monday’s laugher on Long Island. After absorbing a few well-placed shots in the debate’s early moments, Hillary only needed to salt the clouds with passing references to Trump’s taxes, ties and Daddy money and the Republican nominee was soon gibbering about Rosie O’Donnell. Trump’s lather about birtherism and whether he’d told Sean Hannity he was against the Iraq war was all Clinton needed. The Marquess of Queens completely forgot to gut Clinton on the myriad ripe topics at his disposal. When he started on about Iraq & Rosie, Trump was like Bogart in the Caine Mutiny, rolling ball bearings and raving about stolen strawberries. Even if Trump could’ve roused himself to action he’d have to get around the genial NBC host Lester Holt who forgot— can you believe it!— to pursue any of the avenues that lead to Clinton’s epic corruption and deception. (“They’re around here somewhere… I must have mislaid them.”) While Holt seemed fixated on Trump’s past pronouncements on women, blacks and Miss America, his curiosity about the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi and “deploreables” was as close to zero as could be measured by modern instrumentation. The utter certainty advanced by the Clintonistas was impressive. (Progressives never lack for self assurance about their sacred… Read More

Barack Obama: Divider on race

“In the old age black was not counted fair/ but now is black beauty’s successive heir” — Shakespeare Sonnet 127 It took 400 years, but The Bard might well have thrilled to the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president of the United States. To see blackness counted fair in the land that indulged slavery and its offshoots for so many centuries was drama in the vein of Othello. Even his opponents acknowledged the moment’s significance. More than seven years later, it is now a Shakespearian tragedy that finds Obama raging like Othello against a host of imagined foes after seeing the sweet promise of his election end up in the corrosive racial divisions of America. Republicans, police, the NRA, social conservatives, religious communities. All are to blame for not divining his genius in re-engineering society. His announced goal of uniting Americans is now a scrum of identity groups scrambling frantically to carve a “safe space” away from those they hate. No one talks of accomplishment. No one talks of accommodation. People can no longer bump against each other without an “ism” being hurled. Obama’s presidency didn’t begin that way. Actor Morgan Freeman captured the promise of Obama’s election when talking to Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes in 2009. Mike Wallace: “How are we going to get rid of racism and — ” Morgan Freeman: “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man… I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman… You know what I’m saying?” Freeman is now considered by Black Lives Matter as an Uncle Tom for not playing the colour card. An appeaser. Yesterday’s man. In Obama’s United States you’re a nobody unless you have… Read More
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