Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

How Obama rewards Democrat special interest groups

One way to reward your favored special interests is to exempt them from the taxes that everyone else has to pay.

Consider this article from CNS News. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a plan to impose a new tax on banks to cover an expected $117 billion shortfall in the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). The tax would apply to 50 financial institutions, which have assets of more than $50 billion, and would constitute a 0.15 percent tax on the TARP liabilities of these institutions.

However, auto companies General Motors and Chrysler, which are not expected to pay back all of their $66 billion of TARP money, will not be subject to the tax. Also exempted from the tax would be mortgage institutions Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are largely responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008.

What do you suppose that businesses do when the government tells them to pay more taxes? Well, they just pass that on to their consumers.

But there’s more.

Consider this article from the Heritage Foundation. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

After a long-week of negotiations, unions have won an exemption from the excise tax on high-cost “Cadillac” health insurance plans. The excise tax would fall on health insurance plans that cost more than $8,500 for individuals and $23,00 for families (the union deal reportedly slightly increases these thresholds) starting in 2013. It is one of the many tax hikes proposed by Congress to partially offset the cost of its take over of the health care system.

Obama’s union supporters are getting exempted from another tax that will be paid by non-unionized workers.

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Mark Steyn discusses pastor Stephen Boissoin’s victory against the HRCs

Story on the Corner. (H/T ECM, Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

A couple of years back, the Reverend Stephen Boissoin committed the crime of writing a letter to a local newspaper objecting to various aspects of “the homosexual agenda”. The Alberta “Human Rights” Tribunal convicted him of this crime and imposed a lifetime speech ban preventing him, in essence, from saying anything about homosexuality in public or private ever again anywhere for the rest of his life.

Here’s an except from the judge’s decision:

The direction to cease and desist the publishing of “disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals’ is beyond the power of the Panel. “Disparaging remarks”were not defined by the Panel. But clearly, “disparaging remarks” are remarks much less serious than hateful and contemptuous remarks and are quite lawful to make. They are beyond the power of the Act to regulate and the power of the Province to restrain.

More details here:

The thing is – Boissoin did not get off Scot-free. He had a gruelling 6-year trial and paid well over six figures in legal fees. It’s not clear to me what his remedy is to recover these years of his life and these funds. His accuser’s legal costs were covered by the province of Alberta.

I just don’t believe that things will turn out any different down here, given the kind of people that Obama surrounds himself with. Obama has signed a hate crime bill into law which paves the way for criminalizing speech critical of the minorities listed in the bill. And whenever the right to free speech conflicts with the leftist right “not to be offended”, the “right not to be offended” always wins. This is the way that the secular left is – they want to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

I don’t mind when people say things that offend me, and I sure hope that nothing I say offends anyone else. But in any case, I would rather be asked to apologize than be put on trial for 6 years and forced to pay over a $100,000 in legal fees just because I disagreed with someone and they felt badly. We need to get to the point where radicals on the left understand that it is OK for people to disagree with them, and that it is not OK to bring the force of the government down on people because of speech.

Next time, vote Republican.

Related stories

Here are some stories from the UK:

Here are some stories from Canada:

And in the United States:

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Video of Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn testifying against Canadian HRCs

Videos from Blazing Cat Fur, provided by SDAMatt!

Watch the first one, and you’ll be hooked! They’re awesome.

Part 1: (Ezra goes first, takes 8 minutes, then Mark Steyn starts)

Part 2: (The rest of Mark Steyn’s testimony, 8 minutes, and then questioning starts)

The first questioner at the end of part 2 is a leftist Liberal party MP. He is extremely hostile! So it starts out very hot right away!

The remainder of the testimony is question and answer by the committee.

Awesome!

Blazing Cat Fur has a plan

Blazing Cat Fur has a round-up of reactions from around the blogosphere. Here’s someone who live-blogged it.

And he has a plan, too. Read this post and submit your questions for the Chief Fascist, Jennifer Lynch.

Excerpt:

Jay Curry has got the ball rolling. We are proposing to forward a list of reader submitted questions you would like to see the members of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights hearing on Section 13 (1) ask Jennifer Lynch during her scheduled appearance.

We hope to do this formally with say a top ten list of reader questions e-mailed to each committee member but I also recommend you e-mail the committee members individually.

As Flea suggests you should make your questions short and sweet and back them up with publicly available evidence. You may submit your questions at the blog of your choice, or e-mail me – blazingcatfur@gmail.com if you wish. Thank you.

Previous posts

And here are some links to audio and video featuring Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. (in reverse chronological order)

Share

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Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant on Milt Rosenberg’s Extension 720 radio show!

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Free Canuckistan! Thanks for the link, Binks!

Here is the commercial-free MP3 recording. We Americans need to understand what leftist ideologues do to free speech rights in other countries. It’s going to look a lot like what’s been done by the left in Canada, Europe and in leftist-dominated university campuses the world over. You must listen to this podcast! You will not find a better resource about the leftist threat to our liberties!

Already, we are seeing the Democrats take action to pass “Hate Crime” laws that punish free speech that might offend their favored constituencies! As Trent Franks notes, religious Christians are the likely targets of such laws. Our civil liberties are being threatened, and we need to start learning by studying the defenders of free speech, such as Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

What I like best about Ezra Levant

Ezra Levant is Jewish, but he is the best friend that Christians ever had in Canada. One of the victims of the virulently anti-Christian Human Rights Commissions was a penniless pastor by the name of Stephen Boissoin. Boissoin wrote an essay in which he expressed his opinions on gay activism. The case is described by Levant in the audio linked above.

But the main thing is that I have been watching with awe at how this good Jewish man Ezra Levant, who has his own 6-figure legal bill to worry about, has tirelessly supported this Christian pastor’s right to free speech. He not only re-published Boissoin’s letter on his own blog several times, but he has also organized fundraisers to raise funds for Boissoin’s appeal.

Calgary, Thursday, April 30

This one (and the next two) are very special events. They’re dinners to help a victim of Alberta’s human rights commission — Rev. Stephen Boissoin. As readers will recall, because he expressed his religious views on gay marriage, Rev. Boissoin was punished with a six-year government prosecution, and then an outrageous order – punitive fines, a lifetime ban on expressing his views in public or in private, and an abominable order to publicly renounce his religious views. Seriously — you can read the details here. Tickets are $100, with proceeds going to pay for Rev. Boissoin’s appeal. For more info, and to register, click here.

Red Deer, Friday, May 1

Second fundraising dinner for Rev. Stephen Boissoin’s legal defence, 6 p.m. Details here.

Edmonton, Saturday, May 2

Third and final fundraising dinner for Rev. Stephen Boissoin’s legal defence, 6 p.m. Details here.

Ezra Levant is without a doubt the most heroic person in Canada! That is another reason to listen to the podcast. Levant and Steyn are two good men of courage and directness. This is the podcast equivalent of “Gladiator” and “300″. These are courageous, forceful men who have been given a difficult task. They are direct and passionate. PLEASE LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!!!

My previous posts on free speech in Canada

The Conservative Party takes up free speech in British Columbia

The Conservative Party takes up free speech in Ontario

Video of Ezra Levant discussing free speech on the Michael Coren show

Video interview with Ezra Levant by the libertarian Fraser Institute

Impact of the Human Rights Commissions on commerce in Canada

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IBD: Canada fills Obama’s leadership void

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Investors Business Daily had a good post up about how other countries with more conservative leadership are picking up the slack left by Obama’s naive socialism. Canada is led by economist Stephen Harper, who studied the economic theories of F.A. Hayek and other proponents of free-market capitalism. Harper understands what economic policies promote liberty.

Here is an excerpt from the article: (a podcast version is here)

Thus far, the Obama administration seems more interested in continuing its global apology tour, Latin edition, during this weekend’s Fifth Summit of the Americas than he is in leading. His accusations against America are stronger than his promotion of the institutions and treaties that bring authentic democracy and prosperity to our hemisphere.

Obama’s aversion to policies like free trade, which supports liberty and prosperity, is well known:

Today, Obama is paying only lip service to that trade goal while two finished free-trade treaties with friendly American allies Panama and Colombia sit in his desk drawer, unvoted-on in Congress.

He speaks of the U.S. being “distracted by other priorities” but in reality he’s only “distracted” by listening to Big Labor, which has tried to shut Colombia and Panama out of free trade.

In the same way, he’s distracted by the Farm Lobby’s campaign cash and won’t think of ending the senseless tariffs on Brazil’s ethanol — another major free-trade, and energy policy, issue.

He has yet to expend political capital to muscle Congress to put those tariffs and treaties to a vote. If he did, he would show leadership. It’s not going unnoticed by democratic leaders of our hemisphere, who, from Brazil to Chile to Mexico to Peru, are urging him to take action. This is the one issue he should be showing strong leadership on. But he isn’t.

Yes, the world is truly against us because of Obama’s economic ignorance. But there are some liberty-opposing communist dictators that love Obama - because he supports their dictatorships and the repression of common people who don’t even have enough to eat or the opportunity to earn a decent living. IBD continues:

The region’s protectionists can be counted on one hand, and they just happen to be the same countries trying to ruin their own democracies — among them Venezuela, whose de facto dictator, Hugo Chavez, declared at the last summit in 2005 he would “bury” free trade of the Americas. With Obama failing to lead, he’s effectively handing Chavez the leadership, as well as a victory.

He’s also giving Cuba a victory, unilaterally loosening rules for remittances to the island, providing the bankrupt Castro dictatorship with an economic lifeline as well as a fresh pool of visitors to spy on, blackmail and potentially recruit.

Hot Air links to the photos of Obama accepting gifts and shaking hands with dictator Chavez. Hot Air writes:

Via Tapper, the long-awaited meeting between the “destructive force” and the “ignoramus” hath come to pass. There are already a few photos of the encounter at Yahoo News but you have to go to Facebook for the best one. Check out that thousand-watt grin. Funding FARC, imprisoning dissidents, staging wargames with Russia, and of course consolidating dictatorial power — none of it’s enough to ruin a photo op for The One. I hope this at least convinces El Presidente not to throw that Cuba-themed tantrum at the summit that he’s been planning. We deserve something in return for the free propaganda Barry just handed him.

The world opposes Obama’s unliteral war against free trade. Even Russia is disgusted with Obama’s economic naivete. And so is China. But what about Stephen Harper and Canada? IBD’s article continues:

Canada, by contrast, is taking the lead. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his top priority at the Summit is to champion free trade, in line with the will of the region’s real democracies.

“Our focus for the Summit of the Americas will be about free trade and avoiding other countries moving back to protectionist measures,” Harper’s spokesman said. “Canada’s position is that we must not allow the impact of the (financial) crisis to reverse our hard-fought progress towards freer trade and investment.”

…What a shame that it’s now left to Canada to do the heavy lifting on the actions that will genuinely advance peace and prosperity in our global neighborhood.

According to this just-released news story from CTV, Harper is pledging 4 billion dollars to spur trade with Latin America.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pushing for greater regional co-operation and better hemispheric trade relations at the Summit of the Americas, pledging $4 billion in loan guarantees for Latin American countries.

…Harper said on Saturday that loans to the Inter-American Development Bank will help nations in the region get access to credit and build their economies.

“Canada is taking the lead when it comes to ensuring that countries continue to trade during a time of economic contraction,” said Harper in a statement. “This has not been done before and is a very significant contribution.”

Meanwhile, Obama is making Iran and North Korea feel comfortable about their pursuit of nuclear weapons. What a difference there is between Harper and Obama!

Harper’s recognition of Easter and the importance of religious liberty

Religious liberty is the liberty that I value most. Isn’t it amazing that at a time when Obama is taking steps to greatly reduce the freedom to express Christian convictions in public, that up north the prime minister of Canada is talking about the resurrection of Jesus and the importance of religious liberty as a Canadian tradition?

In case you missed it, here are some videos of Harper on CNN and Fox News, as well one from CNBC with Larry Kudlow. I previously wrote about how Colombia is trying to diversify their economy in the wake of Obama’s snubbing them on the proposed free trade deal.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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