Monday, July 16, 2007

Defining Treason

The Sun's Peter Worthington questions Jack Layton's motives and actions in this morning's column, "Lucky it's not 1942", and suggests that in another era, this conduct would have been considered treasonous:

No Canadian of good intent should want to make life more difficult for soldiers. We should all show encouragement and offer moral support.

Whenever there's a casualty, the Laytons of our country are in full cry, like hound dogs after a coon. Soldiers in the field know what's happening at home, and it does their morale no good when people who should know better use any opportunity -- even the death of a comrade -- to advance their political agenda.

Conversely, the enemies of our country exploit any dissension -- which should concern all our politicians, regardless of party affiliation.

It's too easy -- and quite misleading -- to assume that because six soldiers died in an enemy attack, that the mission is flawed and failing.

Wikipedia defines treason as a:

...crime of disloyalty to one's nation. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]."

Is it an act of treason to merely express concern or displeasure over the mission? No, of course not. In fact it is the duty of the opposition to lend balance and be a voice for those who disagree with the government of the day.

However, timing is crucial.

I have been asked when and under what circumstances should dissension be allowed IMO. Personally, I think that is why we have a Parliament, and a Question Period therein.

But when politicians use the still-warm bodies of our brave, fallen soldiers to score partisan points, I think their actions are beyond revolting.

* * * *

Update: Please also read Dan Leger's excellent column in the Chronicle Herald - Canada: Do what's right but don't desert Afghans.


SouthernOntarioan said...

I agree, everytime there is a casualty in Afghanistan I see Layton and Dion stand up and make a big hoopla about the mission.

Its quite frankly disgusting. Even Duceppe knows enough to stay out of the spotlight.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Duceppe has shown an incredible amount of class over this issue. Quite remarkable, considering the sentiment in Quebec.

PGP said...

Well I've called Layton a traitor and a fool before.... I sent him a letter about it when he first started grandstanding on the Afghan mission.

That was January 06 and he was shooting his mouth off about how he is the one who speaks for Canadian Values and such along with ridiculous and false assertions about the Afghan mission and our role as a NATO partner.
His response was a recital of socialist dogma and complete BS in defense and justification of his lies and stupidity.
It seems like going over old ground but at least some others are willing to put it in those very clear terms as well.
But it is clearly in line with socialist policy that we should not be a nation of strength or commitment. That we should have no military capability. That we should be supplicants and appeasers rather than defenders and enforcers who stand up and do something when evil grows.

Kingston said...

Wow, This one causes mixed emotions in me Jo, I totally agree the Mr. Layton has the right as any other Canadian to criticize and not support this mission if that is their belief.
That is one of the reasons we wear the uniform, to enable Canadians to speak freely a right won and paid for by soldiers and many others over a vast time frame.
I just think the the NDP and the LPC need to learn when and where to express those opinions. I too agree they are at times playing politics with the deaths and injuries of soldiers, I just do not think they understand that fact. I also think that in the case of the NDP whoever they are using for a military adviser is out to lunch and I have emailed D. Black and Mr. Layton and told them so. No word back on that one.
I do understand politics a wee bit and understand that leaders are pushed by their grass roots and that just leads me to believe that the grass roots in the NDP are a bunch of hypocrites. The party that screams at the top of lungs it support for minorities of all stripes, is unwilling to back up the people that hopefully will in time allow for conditions to protect those people from a hard line religious organization.
It has always made me wonder if Mr. Layton would order Ms.Chow to don a burka. He has no problem saying he believes he can hold honest and binding talks with people who would.

Swift said...

Perhaps you should post the Criminal Code definition of treason. Is Layton guilty of violating the Criminal Code? And while you are at it, are McGuinty and Fantino voilating the treason sections of the Criminal Code?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

According to RT, we're all guilty of Fascism. Quite humorous.

Red Tory said...

If the jackboot fits...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mmmm... It seems that I have a cyber-stalker.

liberal supporter said...

Mmmm... It seems that I have a cyber-stalker.

What do you expect? You have a letter to the editor in today's Sun, don't you?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And a print-stalker...

Gabby in QC said...

Peter Worthington rightly wrote: "Conversely, the enemies of our country exploit any dissension -- which should concern all our politicians, regardless of party affiliation."

Although branding Mr. Layton a traitor is a bit extreme, I believe Mr. Worthington is correct in saying that the dissension at home helps the enemy.
What the opposition seems to have forgotten is that the extension of the mission was VOTED ON by Parliament. Although it passed by a narrow margin, it is STILL and all a legitimate decision adopted by the elected members of Parliament, and as such, the opponents of the mission SHOULD HOLD THEIR TONGUES until the question is put before Parliament again, which the PM has stated time and again that he will do.

And HOLDING THEIR TONGUES goes double for so-called military experts like Steven Staples and Scott Taylor. If they want to change public policy, let them get themselves elected.

liberal supporter said...

How, exactly, does dissent at home help the enemy?

Does it not also help the Afghan people see that what we are trying to help them achieve is a system that allows dissent without jailing and killing dissenters?

The Taliban would be very encouraged by this "sit down and shut up" attitude. It fits right in with their view. If they actually wanted to take over here they would certainly approve of your groundwork in getting us all used to falling in line with the government and not questioning anything.

Why do you support suppression of free speech here, which plays into the hands of the Taliban?

And we are talking about free speech. We are not talking about giving military operational and logistic information to the enemy. That is treason of course. Disagreeing with the government is not, at least not until your Taliban friends take over.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I think we're talking about timing and discretion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

O/T, has anyone ever done beer-can chicken? I have a question.

paulsstuff said...

I have Joanne. What info do you need?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great! Why does it say to use indirect heat? Also, I would be grateful for any tips. Thanks, Paul!

paulsstuff said...

It turns out moister using indirect heat. My weber bbq has three burners, so I turn the back one off and put the other two on medium.

It works great throwing some of whatever spice rub you do on the outside inside the bird as well. One tablespoon is great. Pop the tab on the beer can, and put 4-5 more holews in the top with an opener. Discard(drink:)) about a quarter of the beer, and throw some spices in the can as well. Garlic and oregano work well.

I usually use a 4-5 pound chicken, and cook for about an hour and a half. When the bird is cooked remove from the bbq and let sit with the can of beer still in it for about 10 minutes.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great tips! Thanks, Paul. Where does the fat go? We have a very old BBQ. It's probably an antique as gas BBQ's go. My husband is skeptical, but I wanted to try this out. A three burner one would sure be nice.

paulsstuff said...

If you bbq a lot, the M&M Meats fall off the bone ribs are amazing. Cook on high 10 minutes, 4 bone side down,3 meat side down, and 3 bone side down again. Baste with the leftover sauce each turn. They are better than most restaurants.

paulsstuff said...

The fat usually falls through the grate. That's another reason for the indirect heat, it avoids flareups, although the Weber bbq's rarely flare up anyways.

If there's excess fat inside the bird you can remove that before cooking.

paulsstuff said...

I'm sure hubby will be asking you to cook it again. I was skeptical till I tried it. Now it's 2-3 times a month.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Those ribs sound good. I tried some which I simmered in beer first, and then put on the grill with sauce. They were excellent as well.

If I can ever talk my husband into buying a new BBQ, we'll certainly check out the Weber's. Thanks.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm sure hubby will be asking you to cook it again

I'm asking him to cook it! I just got it ready. lol!

I probably should have started a new post for this. Maybe I'll do a BBQ one sometime.

liberal supporter said...

Ok, here's an oldie:

But how do you find a chicken with two right wings?

paulsstuff said...

Get the Weber Silver Genesis. It's a little dear at around $800, but you can usually find one at summer's end for about $500.

And they are so well built they use half the propane that the cheaper ones use, so in the long run it works out about the same.

Let us know how the chicken turns out.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

But how do you find a chicken with two right wings?

I give up.

Paul, thanks for the tips. I'll tell my hubby.

It's smelling pretty good around here now! Also doing a stir-fry of potatoes, onions and peppers. Yum!

Brian in Calgary said...

Back on topic (sorry, Joanne, but my culnary skills are virtually non-existent):

Technically, as I read his column, Peter Worthington didn't actually label Jack Layton's conduct as treasonous, only that we, as a country, would have done so. And, we would have, incorrectly IMHO. I don't question Layton's patriotism, only his judgment. But then, I've long questioned his judgment, just as I've more recently begun to question the level of his intelligence as well as, reluctantly, the firmness of his grasp on reality.

Gabby in QC said...

Wow! I left to attend to other matters, and the thread has gone elsewhere. ... I can imagine the aroma wafting up ... Bon appétit!

However, if anyone is interested ...
"freedom of speech:
Liberty to express opinions and ideas without hindrance, and especially without fear of punishment. Despite the constitutional guarantee of free speech in the United States, legal systems have not treated freedom of speech as *absolute.* Among the more obvious restrictions on the freedom to say just what one likes where one likes are laws regulating incitement, sedition, defamation, slander and libel, blasphemy, the expression of racial hatred, and conspiracy. ...

Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content.

A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): *a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a “clear and present danger”*—i.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent.*"

The notion of freedom of speech must be the most misused and abused concept in western democracies. Dissenting opinions CAN help the enemy to rally its forces and also bring down the morale of our own. Therefore, *a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a “clear and present danger”*

Anonymous said...

Treason is such a pathetic stretch, but again, what can you expect from Worthington. The guy is a flake.

Actually, Tommy Douglas didn't want Canadians to fight Hitler in 1942 - he wasn't considered treasonous.

Worthington is such a jerk.

Layton's guilty of bad timing, bad taste and opportunism, much like the CPC's whenever they announce more spending or make a speach - always a tacky partisan shot.

Duceppe may not stay so quiet if one of the Van Doos gets killed - I'll bet he'll be out in full force to try to get his numbers back up - don't be so naive. Duceppe doesn't care about the rest of Canada or it's soldiers - only Quebec.

SouthernOntarioan said...


And that is why the CCF is restricted to the history books and Tommy Douglas only receives praise for his actions on health care.

In my mind, his opposition to the war was disgusting and heinous. To stand by while millions are murdered is unthinkable, both then and now. Everyone knew what was going on in Nazi Germany, but we decided as a society to close our eyes (and our borders).

If Duceppe was going to raise hell about the Afghanistan mission he would have been doing it for the last several months. But maybe Duceppe knows that the work that we are doing in Afghanistan is worthwhile and that to abandon them to the Taliban again would be a crime.

SouthernOntarioan said...

And there is a HUGE difference between standing on the dead bodies of Canadian soldiers for political gain and doling out government funding for political gain.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I can imagine the aroma wafting up ... Bon appétit!

Gabby, you were much more eloquent than I..

Paul, it was fantastic!!!! Very moist & succulent. I can't remember having better. Thanks so much.

liberal supporter said...

In my mind, his [Tommy Douglas] opposition to the war was disgusting and heinous.

He favoured eugenics, then after seeing what Germany was doing, he turned against it. He not only supported the war, he enlisted. A medical problem prevented him from ending up in Hong Kong.

Excerpt from bio:

"He differed from the deeply pacifist Woodsworth by supporting collective security. When war came in 1939 he helped lead the wing of the CCF that insisted on full participation. Re-elected in 1940, he joined the South Saskatchewan Regiment and narrowly missed being drafted to Hong Kong in 1941."

liberal supporter said...

But it is clearly in line with socialist policy that we should not be a nation of strength or commitment. That we should have no military capability.

Except for the socialists in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

So are we to believe that the mujahedeen were demoralized because there was not a peep of dissent heard from the Soviet Union? They would read bootlegged copies of Pravda and decide to give up? No, they booted the Soviets out (with our help of course).

To claim that exercising our most important rights is aiding the Taliban is ridiculous. Nobody in public life here is giving them troop positions or anything. If they see dissent here, so do the rest of the Afghans. We argue and bicker here, but our troops are still there. Big deal. They saw no dissent among the Soviets, and suddenly the Soviets decided to leave. They know that in a dictatorship all you have to do is get the dictator to change their mind. So they would be encouraged by any slide to dictatorship here, such as attempts we see now at stifling dissent. They see our major political parties, representing about two thirds of the population, supporting us being there. They know that even if the current CPC regime was defeated, we would still be there.

I see no reason for the Taliban to feel emboldened.

Gabby in QC said...

"Gabby, you were much more eloquent than I.."

Eloquent maybe ... but definitely ravenous after those mouth-watering descriptions.

Moebius said...

In my opinion, he's perfectly free to express his opinions, however stupid, and I'm perfectly free not to vote for him.

Re: beer can chicken, remember to drink the beer first, then refill with plain water. The chicken doesn't give a damn, but you will.

Moebius said...

Oh, by the way, I'm writing a new book called "Treason and BBQ Recipes"!

Reserve your copy now.

paulsstuff said...

Glad to hear it went well Joanne. You can substitute for the beer as well. A mixture of lemon juice with some spices thrown in does a great job as well.

Kinda like your idea about doing a bbq post later on.Ciao

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh, by the way, I'm writing a new book called "Treason and BBQ Recipes"!

Thank you for tying this altogether. Or how about, it would be treasonous to use real beer inside a chicken? ;)

I used near beer, but I wonder if the real stuff would be better.

I promise to get back on track soon.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

A mixture of lemon juice with some spices thrown in does a great job as well.

Oh, that sounds good. No beer wasted that way.

Yeah, we will do a BBQ post sometime.

O.K. That's it. Poor Gabby is hungry and I can't send her a sample via the internet. Was going to take a pic, but got too hungry. Next time.

liberal supporter said...

You have to pick your chicken carefully. The Green chicken will be tastier, with its organic diet, but it may spit on your propane BBQ. The NDP chicken would cut the strings on its limbs and run. The CPC chicken would..., well, there are no chicken CPCs are there? The Liberal chicken of course, would taste great to anyone, all things to all people, no matter what your tastes are.

liberal supporter said...

Oh, and the BQ chicken would demand to be cooked on a separate BBQ.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

To be honest, I think it would be very difficult for a politician to operate out of any mode but that which would be most expedient for their partisan purpose.

Which is to say that I am feeling jaded and suspicious of the whole lot of them; but also very full. Dang that was good chicken!

L.S. - lol! Was that supposed to be the answer to the riddle about the two right wings? If so, I missed something.

Moebius said...

The Liberal chicken might take your money, and pay itself to convince you to vote for it.

Or at least a "few bad chickens" might.

Moebius said...

This is the beginning of a lot of political chicken jokes, I suspect.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Moebius, that's a fowl joke.

Moebius said...


Flocking awful.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ha-ha! Good one. I'll have to defer to your superior wit, since I have nothing other than poultry offerings.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh good. I see that Dark Blue Tory has picked up the Layton thread, which is great because I am so sleepy, I think I'll just... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

SouthernOntarioan said...

My mistake Liberal Supporter. I forgot the golden rule of opening my mouth.

"Think twice and double check your facts."

My apologies.

PGP said...

"Do whats right BUT don't desert the Afghans!"

There is NO "BUT" in doing the right thing!

Doing what is right is doing what we are doing! The only question about this lays in the minds and hearts of the enemies of civilization and in the cowards appeasers of the world.