Category Archives: Against the Grain

When the Left exiled Life: Nat Hentoff on Abortion, Jesse Jackson and the Village Voice

Nat Hentoff, c.1958

In this world turned upside down, the “compassionate”, the “caring”, the “good guys” on the left of the political spectrum have succeeded in twisting the abortion issue, and exiling all dissenting opinion from pro-abortion orthodoxy. In this fascinating piece from 1992 I came across today (thank you to a mysterious MIT-based web site for keeping it alive), Manhattan-born atheist-Jew Jazz-loving left-leaning civil libertarian and legendary Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff reminds us, among other things, that both Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton were once staunchly pro-life. A taste from “Pro-Choice Bigots: a View from the Pro-Life Left”:

Not too long ago, (Jesse Jackson) was a pro-lifer. He wrote and spoke about the right to life and attacked advocates of abortion rights. “There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of a higher order than the right to life,” he would say. “That was the premise to slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation, because that was private and therefore outside of your right to be concerned.” He told the story of how he himself had almost been aborted. A physician had advised his mother to let him go, but she wouldn’t. Don’t let the pro-choicers convince you that a fetus isn’t a human being, he warned: “That’s how the whites dehumanized us, by calling us niggers. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do–and not even feel like they’d done anything wrong.”

Yet being without theology isn’t the slightest hindrance to being pro-life. As any obstetrics manual–Williams Obstetrics, for example–points out, there are two patients involved, and the one not yet born “should be given the same meticulous care by the physician that we long have given the pregnant woman.” Nor, biologically, does it make any sense to draw life-or-death lines at viability. Once implantation takes place, this being has all the genetic information within that makes each human being unique. And he or she embodies continually developing human life from that point on. It missses a crucial point to say that the extermination can take place because the brain has not yet functioned or because that thing is not yet a “person.” Whether the life is cut off in the fourth week or the fourteenth, the victim is one of our species, and has been from the start.

Yet rational arguments like these are met with undiluted hostility by otherwise clear-thinking liberals.

A very smart man. And, oh yeah – he’s got Obama pegged, too.


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Filed under Abortion Unlimited, Against the Grain, Leftist Duplicity, Obama Nation

Quebec City Tea Party – April 11, 2010 – Canada Wants Small Government!

50,000 Quebecois Protest Tax-and-Spend Policies!

I’ve been waiting for this for a year, and now it’s here: the Tea Party has come to Canada! If 50,000 Quebecers are marching in the street against big government tax-and-spend policies, then there’s hope for the free world. PM Harper, I hope you’re listening: Canadians want change, Canadians want smaller government.

UPDATE: Amazing footage from inside the protest here:


Filed under Against the Grain, Conservatism in Everyday Practice, Sucking the Canadian Taxpayer Dry

Rex Murphy on Sarah Palin: An Outsider appreciates an Outsider

Rex Murphy in Newfoundland

Few things have bothered me as much in the past couple of years more than the Canadian commentariat’s reaction to former Alaska Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s emergence as a political force. The left’s vitriol is completely expected, as disgusting as it is (the true face of the left emerges, as the supposed champions of feminism savagely rape the reputation of a successful woman). But nasty attacks from the likes of David Frum, Margaret Wente, Diane Francis, and many in the National Post’s roster of otherwise sensible young libertarian commentators, had been mystifying and depressing.

Well, it took nearly two years, but finally – finally! – an intelligent Canadian pundit has figured out that the Sarah Palin phenomenon is a wonderful thing, and that her detractors’ primary source of animus comes down to the fact that she is an outsider working in an elite insider’s culture. In today’s National Post, Rex Murphy breaks it down in Understanding the Sarah Palin Effect. First, he explains why she is an attractive person and politician:


Filed under Against the Grain, Politicians

Hannah Giles, American Hero

Hannah Giles, 20-Year-Old American Hero
Hannah Giles, 20-Year-Old American Hero – Artwork by David Bugnon

What, pray tell, can a disgruntled 20-year-old conservative do when she feels beaten down by events?

a) Whine, complain, smoke pot and enter the cult of Ayn Rand?

b) Listen to the David Frum defeatists, ditch her principles, and tie herself into knots trying to figure out a way to make “Climate Change” a Republican issue?

c) Succumb to peer pressure, mock Sarah Palin, take a job with AmeriCorps, and fit in with the cool kids?

d) Spend her summer and her savings traveling the country dressed like a prostitute, get priceless undercover footage of crime in progress, bust corruption, and take down a major peg in the arsenal of one Barack Hussein Obama.

For doing something positive with her youth, for being David to ACORN’s Goliath, for exposing herself to law suits and leftist harassment, and for poking a huge hole in the prestige of the Marxist-Demagogue-In-Chief, Hannah Giles has earned a spot in my Hall of Fame. I’m sending $15 to her legal defense fund at

To you non-conservatives who revel in attacking Palin, Carrie Prejean, Giles, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Tammy Bruce, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and other women who refuse to submit to the tyranny of liberal orthodoxy: the jig is up, you’ve been exposed again. Because you know better than I do: there’s no bigger threat to the “progressive” cause than attractive and articulate female heretics.

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Filed under Against the Grain, Heroes of Freedom

Che Guevara Punk Rock

To the ignorant indie creeps, campus faux-intellectuals, and Hollywood ingrates who idolize Fidel Castro’s sadistic, gay-bashing imported executioner: this is cool, not you. Viva The Clap!

(More in’s entertaining and enlightening Che episode.)


Filed under Against the Grain, Left-Wing Causes Celebre

Abortion in Canada: Barbara Kay on the absurdity of it all

I reside in liberal Toronto, where the trite phrase “a woman’s right to choose” is trotted out as the answer to every single question about abortion. Does a fetus, or an embryo, constitute human life? Is it OK to abort such a life before a certain gestation date? Why is the last day of the first trimester any different than the first day of the second trimester? Would it have been OK if your mother had aborted you, or your brother or sister, in the first trimester – would that have been a fine choice for your mother to have made? And what about the thousands of infertile couples waiting for years, and paying tens of thousands of dollars, waiting for a healthy newborn to adopt? Somehow, “it’s a woman’s choice” doesn’t quite cut it.

As it happens, I respect a woman’s right to choose whether to have sex with a man – but once a unique individual begins to grow inside of her as a result of that choice, the choices . At that point, it’s time to grow up and choose between the two remaining options: marry the father and raise a family, or carry the child to birth and grant the gift of life to a loving adoptive family.

But I digress: this post is to promote today’s column by of one of our rare clear-thinking Canadian writers, Barbara Kay, “Sacrificing conscience to the sanctity of Abortion”. The column touches on many questions about the absurd state of abortion in Canada, focusing on two recent events: the proposed fatwa against doctors-of-conscience to refuse to promote abortion by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario; and the public criticism of V-P candidate Governor Sarah Palin for carrying her Down’s Syndrome child to term by the executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, Dr. André Lalonde.

To my liberal Jewish friends and family, I encourage you to open your minds to this liberal Jewish woman’s take on the cult of abortion. If it’s about “a woman’s right to choose”, then what about a doctor’s right to choose? And if it’s about compassion for women, then what about compassion for those who live life with the extra chromosome, who are now told that they should never have been born? If your answer is “it’s a woman’s right to choose”, then perhaps you may be unwilling to face the complexity of the issue.


Filed under Abortion Unlimited, Against the Grain

Is the tedious anti-American leftist whinging over yet? Omar Khadr, getting what he deserves.

Omar Khadr, May 2008 Courtroom Sketch
Omar Khadr, not a kid anymore. (May 2008 Courtroom Sketch)

Has the leftist hysteria over the cause of Omar Khadr subsided yet? Probably not. But the mainstream support for his return to Canada probably hit a peak the day BEFORE the “smoking gun” interrogation tapes were released last week, and is surely on the wane. As Michael Coren and Mark Bonokoski of the Toronto Sun observed this weekend, the images of a self-pitying liar showing neither a dash of remorse nor a sign of mistreatment during interrogation by Canadian officials, are more likely to have extinguished Canadians’ sympathy for him, than fuelled it.

Bonokoski’s column is a little long and plodding, but it is worth reading for its review of the history of the Khadr family, going right back to PM Jean Chretien’s personal intervention to have Papa Bear Khadr released from Pakistani custody back in 1996 so he could take his family to re-join Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Coren, as always, is pithy in his devastating condemnation of Omar Khadr:

If there has been any abuse over the years it is clearly at the hands of Khadr’s own kin. As the highly respected clinical psychologist Dr. Marty McKay told the Children’s Aid Society back in 2004 when Omar’s mother, Maha Elsamnah Khadr, came to Canada, “I am sure that you would agree that counselling one’s child to become suicidal or homicidal constitutes emotional child abuse, leading to physical abuse when the child acts upon these feelings.”

And this is precisely what the good woman has done, often and in public.

She has also, of course, loudly expressed her hatred for western culture and condemned Canada as a vile place where all children are drug addicts or homosexuals. She said she did not want such a fate for Omar or for her other son Karim, who suffered spinal damage after a firefight with the Pakistani soldiers who killed her terrorist husband.

The man may have suffered a different fate if the invincibly naive Jean Chretien had not, in 1995, personally pleaded with the late Benazir Bhutto, then Pakistani prime minister, to release Ahmed Khadr from prison and allow him to come to Canada. He didn’t stay long — there was work to be done with international Islamic murder gangs.

In 2004 the Khadr matriarch was brought back to Canada even though the family had lost several Canadian passports. Hey, it happens. They were flown business class from Pakistan. Hey, it happens. On public money. Hey, it happens.

Well, it happens to some people. Especially if they have friends within special interest groups and can convince credulous liberals who hate America more than they love truth and justice.

Omar Khadr is a tenuous Canadian at best, unlike most newcomers to the country who love it with pride and passion. If we feel sorry for him and his family, consider the family of the young medic smashed beyond recognition that horrible day six years ago. Good Lord, most people don’t even know his name. But they know the name of Omar Khadr.

Fact is, Khadr was captured fighting FOR Canada’s enemy, AGAINST Canada’s greatest friend and ally. Whether or not he was mis-raised by his parents is beside the point. We have no business interfering in this case, which represents: 1) Justice for Christopher Speer; and 2) Protection of America from the deranged psychos who hoped that 9/11 was only the first of many civilian mass-murders of its citizens. Sorry, Omar, but you’re getting what you deserve.

(On a related note: MR. DITHERS IS BACK! Paul Martin, Liberal PM (2003-2005) to Harper: BRING KHADR HOME! The audacity of hypocricy…this guy can’t be for real.)


Filed under Against the Grain, Islamist-Leftist Alliance, Left-Wing Causes Celebre, Terror in our Midst, The Confusion of The Left