Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Interview Our Government Doesn't Want Us To See.

Say what you want about the CBC, THIS is the exact kind of stuff with which the CBC earns its keep for us Canadians (and, apparently, pisses off the Federal Government).

Whether or not you agree with Mr. Galloway, you - as a free, tax-paying citizen - deserve the right to make up your own mind about him and his motives for yourself.

I'm told the decision to block him from entering Canada, and calling him a 'Threat to National Security' is 'not a matter of free speech'.

Okay. That's fine.

But why go about making less-than-subtle threats regarding those Canadians that decide to listen to him speak through other means? (since, you know, he can't cross the border).

To get caught up - and understand what's going on, you should read this (Taken from The Hour Blog - written by Brian Corcoran):

George Galloway was interviewed on The Hour last night via satellite. "I wish I was there in person," Galloway said "It's a bit odd isn't it George, I'm sitting here in New York.. but your government seems more concerned with national security issues than the United States of America."

Galloway was barred from entering the country on the basis that he provided financial support to the Palestinian group Hamas, which is banned in Canada.

"I was extremely surprised by the government's decision to ban me," he said. "I sit in the British parliament. I've been elected five times, 23 years. If I was a terrorist, or a security risk, you'd think either the speaker of the House of Commons or the Homeland Security division of the United States would have noticed."

Last week, Galloway had challenged the decision not to let him into in Canada. Galloway's lawyers went before a Federal Court on Sunday to reverse the decision barring him from entering. Galloway's request for an injunction to allow him to enter Canada was turned down by a Federal judge on Monday.

Galloway said countries should have the right to bar some people from entry. "If somebody's coming into your country to stir up racial hatred then a country has a right to keep them out."

"But I'm a democratically elected politician of the left... What conceivable reason can there be to stop me from touring Canada... When did I become a terrorist?"

He added: "This is a minority government. Here today and gone tomorrow. And I hope tomorrow comes quite quickly."

Galloway said he brought wheelchairs, an ambulance, and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, not financial support for Hamas. "As it happens I've never been a supporter of Hamas."

The decision prevented Galloway from appearing in person Monday night on The Hour.

Galloway's lawyers filed papers last Thursday saying the decision to keep him out of the country was a "politically motivated" attack on freedom of expression.

The Canadian government refused entry to Galloway, citing him as a national security threat. According to CBC.ca, Galloway called the decision "irrational, inexplicable and an affront to Canada's good name," and said he would fight the ruling with "all means at my disposal."

Some of you may recall we had George Galloway on the show two seasons ago.

For those of you that aren't familiar with him, I highly recommend watching his previous appearance on The Hour here. What are your thoughts? Is this truly a security concern or is this censorship?
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Okay, I'm back.

So, now that you've read that, you should watch this:
http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/includes/player.php?id=1078694774
(Damn you, CBC, for not having an embeddable media player...)

Followed by this:



Pay particular attention to what is said at 9:55
"And therefore if he uses those other means... if he uses those other means, we will see to it that the Canadian government will be monitoring every individual and organization that will have anything to do with it."

There a whack of things wrong with this whole situation - and, honestly, I don't even know remotely enough (yet) to speak on it properly.

With that said, I'll be doing my own research and I'll be asking my own questions.

And - to my Democratically-elected government - you just opened up your own can of worms. Had you let him come and say his piece, I doubt he'd be getting the same kind of press he is and (from what I've been reading) deserves to be getting.

That said, do your own research on the man and his motives - know that everyone is going to spin it, that's unavoidable. Do your best to see what's really there. I'm already nose-deep in a few rather interesting articles - asking myself the question:

"What's so scary about an open debate?"

When our own government forbids us from having an adult discussion in front of adults about adult topics, then it's time to be worried.

On a side note: Interesting how that old canard about 'protecting the children' rears its ugly head in that BBC video -- Actually, I'm going to side-step a bit further here for a moment and say simply this:

Can we just forget about 'protecting the children', please? How about, instead of being their personal Shield-mates, parents start being the ADULTS and TEACHERS they're supposed to be? Why not teach them proper coping skills? Or teach them empathy? Or... Oh! Oh!

How about if we teach them to ask questions and not accept the first answer they hear because it comes from a grown-up??

Children need to be taught to think for themselves, to form their own opinions - To ask questions and find out their own answers. In order to do that, they need to have the opportunity to hear all sides of the story - or as many as are available. Even if it isn't always pretty, even if they never use or find it - the option should be there. Now, if you as a parent want to co-opt their belief system and decide for them who/what they're supposed to believe, that's your right as a parent. You get to make them learn to love/hate whomever you want.

But if you're going to let that duck fly, you better understand what you're saying - 'cause this whole issue is so not about 'protecting the children'.

It's about keeping grown, tax-paying citizens - ADULTS - from asking questions, demanding answers and making up their own minds.

Cheers,
Brandon

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