Monday, October 12, 2009

Sorry, CAA Travel.


I won't do business with a company that employs an unrepentant and publically-vocal torture advocate as its spokesperson/celebrity endorser.

Maybe there are other discriminating consumers out there who feel the same.


31 comments:

janfromthebruce said...

thanks for bringing that to my attention. I think also letting CAA know is good.
I have CAA, and I plan to let them know.

sassy said...

Same as Jan above.

Trent said...

I can't believe there are others out there that feel the same way I do! I have never understood how people can idolize someone who holds horibbly oppressive and antisocial views!
After reading Tommy Douglas' thesis I was absolutely apalled. What is truly disturbing is how people actually worship his memory as if he were a god rather than the ugly little bigot he really was. Can I count on this blog to support my effort to put an end to the bigot worshipping of Tommy Douglas?

Audrey II said...

I wasn't aware that Tommy Douglas died or was frozen for eternity immediately after having written the academic thesis you refer to. Perhaps the Conservapedia entry needs updating?

I do like the "Yeah, but what about your man..." effort at distraction and the pathetically false assumption of ceteris paribus that it is (as is so often the case) premised on. It comes up so often in conservative commentary, I can't help but wonder if that argumentative technique is taught at the Manning Institute, or perhaps merely absorbed through exposure at midnight P.C. soirees.

When John Gormley dedicates the remainder of his career to promoting the rights of detainees in contradiction to a his academic paper on the potential benefits of torture, then we'll talk. Until then, do please scroll up and stop when you get to the word "unrepentant and publicly vocal advocate of".

In the mean time, since you surely weren't being disingenuous in your above reply, I'm certain that we count on your blog to support the effort to put an end to any financial backing of Gormley's odious torture advocacy? Since one's personal condemnation resume seems to be the game of choice, any links to your next (or previous) posts on Gormley's torture zeal would almost certainly be appreciated by those interested in the house those "lack of condemnation" stones are being cast from and the tenability of that kind of approach.

Oopsies.

Pale said...

What Trent is attempting, I just call "pointy finger"....

I do believe its a Rove thing, but the Canadian Conservatives use the same manual as the US franchise so....makes sense.

Patrick Ross said...

Hold on, Audrey.

What about Tommy Douglas and his thesis?

If we're really going to boycott organizations based on the views of people who are just hired as spokespersons -- even when the views in question are actually irrelevant to the matter at hand -- perhaps we can spare some time to also boycott organizations whose leaders hold distasteful views.

It's approximately forty years too late to boycott the NDP for Douglas' views on eugenics. But perhaps some long-overdue criticism is in order.

Just a thought.

Audrey II said...

Hold on, indeed!

You'll have to please forgive me from not knowing that Douglas is alive today, let alone advocating what you claim (I blame the liberal media and left-wing academia for keeping this from me).

Even if one assumes that the thesis in question accurately reflected the entirety of Douglas' views at that point in time (which is quite the leap to begin with, considering that the work in question was an academic paper), his subsequent actions show a contradiction and rejection of that view that simply does not yet exist for Gormley and torture. The latter is still on the air to this day offering up a full-throated machiavellian defense of torturing terror sustpects. Thanks, though, for again bringing that conservative grasp of reality and the assumption of "all things being equal" to the table.

While I’m sure John Gormley appreciates your impassioned equivocation of his views on torture to Tommy Douglas’ thesis, I’m quite comfortable with acknowledging the distinctions that exist between the two. Given most Canadians views of both Douglas and torture, I’m guessing there are a goodly lot of other people out there two who are familiar enough with the history of Douglas’ views towards the poor and the ill who will feel the same way.

Might I also point out that while you’re brazenly wielding that “Your lack of condemnation of something else entirely makes you inconsistent” sword, it 1) doesn’t speak at all to the issue of torture advocacy (the topic at hand), and 2) has implications for your own position on Douglas if one accepts your bizarre equivocation as fact. When you aim to disqualify the person instead of addressing the argument they are making, the glass house that you’re casting those stones from makes the effort all the more amusing.

Trent said...

"his subsequent actions show a contradiction and rejection of that view that simply does not yet exist for Gormley and torture." You obviously know nothing about Tommy Douglas. During the 1950's the CCF had 'Work for Welfare' here in Saskatchewan. Tommy also went on national TV in 1968, at the age of 63, and stated that homosexuality is a mental illness and that homosexuals should be locked in mental institutions. Tommy lived by his thesis, when he wasn't with one of his many girlfriends.
I would really like to hear/read Gormley's statements supporting torture. I can only assume that the accusation is far stronger than the supporting evidence.
Clearly you only attack those who don't support your neo-socialist world view. Sorry for bothering you, I had hoped you were truly progressive.

Trent said...

OK, one last question, there must be a link somewhere to Gormley's statements. I have only ever heard of them mentioned here on your blog and I would really like to read them or perhaps you down loaded them from the radio station website? I really have a big problem with torture and if Gormley supports torture, well, the man must be boycotted as well as his station. I do hold true to my principles, regardless of political affiliation.

Patrick Ross said...

"Even if one assumes that the thesis in question accurately reflected the entirety of Douglas' views at that point in time (which is quite the leap to begin with, considering that the work in question was an academic paper)"

Omigod.

Do you have any clue what a thesis actually is?

I had no idea that people actually write their thesis on topics they disagree with. It must make that "defending your thesis in person" process a little bit awkward.

And speaking of awkward:

"Given most Canadians views of both Douglas and torture, I’m guessing there are a goodly lot of other people out there two who are familiar enough with the history of Douglas’ views towards the poor and the ill who will feel the same way."

No, Douglas' thesis isn't what one would consider common knowledge of most Canadians. There are actually positive and negative consequences of this.

For one thing, it ensures that the overall positive remembrance of Douglas is secure. I still think it should be. Douglas held one reprehensible belief. But the work that he did establishing universal health care in Canada rightly establishes him as a heroic figure.

His reprehensible views on eugenics aside, Douglas was a human being. He had redeeming qualities.

As it regards John Gormley's alleged advocacy of torture -- as Trent notes, I've never seen you provide any evidence that Gormley has ever made such comments -- your writing on him never seems to amount to any kind of a substantive counter-argument as to why he's wrong, just a series of boycotts against any organization that would dare employ him.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence that you recognize that John Gormley has any redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Moreover, you seem to categorically refuse to criticize the excesses of your own movement, past or present. (Hilariously, by Malcom's definition of what is required to be considered an intellectual, you wouldn't qualify.)

If John Gormley made comments endorsing torture, that is indeed reprehensible. Is there some reason why you can't bring yourself to similarly criticize Douglas' views on eugenics?

Audrey II said...

Trent,

"You obviously know nothing about Tommy Douglas. During the 1950's the CCF had 'Work for Welfare' here in Saskatchewan."

I do know enough about Tommy Douglas to recognize goalpost shifting when I see it. When pointing at his thesis didn't pan out to be a sufficient distraction, now you're now hooting about welfare. Pen a few more replies that transparently shift the discussion away from Gormley and his support of torture and you might even get lucky enough for someone not to notice.

Gormley's podcast archive is available at the Newstalk 650 website.

"Clearly you only attack those who don't support your neo-socialist world view."

Opposition to torture is now "neo-socialist"? Wow.

Pat,

"Do you have any clue what a thesis actually is?"

I do. It is an academic defense of a hypothesis (note the difference between that and personally held eternal belief). Any good academic recognizes a hypothesis to a proposal that's fluid and subject to revision in the face of new or more compelling evidence. I do appreciate you making your grasp on the distinction between the two quite clear.

"I had no idea that people actually write their thesis on topics they disagree with."

Some do. And more often than not, many are open minded enough not to tie themselves to a particular position in the face of contradictory evidence. You could stand to learn something from Douglas.

"No, Douglas' thesis isn't what one would consider common knowledge of most Canadians."

I didn't claim it was, but kudos for creating yet another straw-stuffed casualty. Douglas' actions while governing are common knowledge to many Canadians and the basis for their opinions of him. That's the point.

"There doesn't seem to be any evidence that you recognize that John Gormley has any redeeming qualities whatsoever."

Ah, yes. Attributes to a vacuum. Don't address what's been said, whine about what hasn't. Good show.

"Moreover, you seem to categorically refuse to criticize the excesses of your own movement, past or present."

I'm not speaking on behalf of a movement. Please don't project your partisanship on others. Once again, you've chosen not to address the merit of my stated position, but instead have decided to whine about a lack of post.

"If John Gormley made comments endorsing torture, that is indeed reprehensible. Is there some reason why you can't bring yourself to similarly criticize Douglas' views on eugenics?"

I'm not a relativist. I recognize that Douglas' thesis has nothing at all to do with the reprehensibility of Gormley's torture advocacy. I also recognize when the former is transparently being employed as rhetoric to distract from the latter. I have no idea whether the audience that you've cultivated at the "Nexus of Assholery" grasps this, but I'm interested in reaching those that do. Thanks again for making your approach clear, though.

Patrick Ross said...

Audrey, I'm sure that argument holds water in your own mind.

Perhaps if you could identify some academics who have earned their degrees by writing thesises that they disagree with, you'd be a little more believable.

But your argument simply isn't.

For one thing, there is no evidence that Tommy Douglas ever changed his mind on eugenics. Not introducing a eugenics program during his time in government doesn't qualify as evidence of this, as there are constantly differences between what a politician believes and what they can accomplish politically.

(Imagine, however, the implications of an argument otherwise. You and your cohorts would have to surrender numerous dandy clubs with which you've attempted to beat conservative politicians.)

The fact is that many Canadians who are aware of Douglas' advocacy of eugenics -- and yes, despite your specious argument, Douglas did advocate eugenics -- have forgiven Douglas for it because his record in office demonstrates that Douglas had numerous redeeming qualities.

Once again, the extent to which you seem to intend to hound John Gormley into the unemployment line suggests that you don't recognize Gormley as a human being with any redeeming qualities -- as even Canadians knowledgable about Douglas' dark edges have done with his memory.

You cannot deny this, and yes it very much is relevant.

The ironic thing is that you're clearly using accusations that the mention of Douglas' advocacy of eugenics is a distraction as a distraction of the fact that not only will you not be honest about Douglas' beliefs on the matter, but the fact that you can't seem to bring yourself to criticize him, even when such criticism is due.

It's actually rather hilarious -- you've abdocated any claim to the mantle of intellectualism as defined by your good buddy Malcom.

I'd say that I have no idea whether the audience that you've cultivated here grasps this, but the fact is that I'm pretty certain that they don't.

After all, you've gone to rather extreme lengths to try to drive anyone who isn't willing to fall in line behind you and clap like a circus seal away.

Not that anyone expects you to admit this -- nor admit to your evident ignorance on the subject of academia.

Trent said...

Audrey II,

The mention of the 'work for welfare' was to demonstrate that Douglas did enact several of his ideas put forth in his thesis, which you obviously never read.
If you had taken the time to read it you would know that the most shocking part of "The Problem of The Sub-normal Family" is not just that it is written on eugenics, but the visceral hate Tommy has towards the poor. Tommy calls single mothers "common prostitutes" and talks about how he participated in the sterilization of a young girl "for the protection of the community". It is a very disturbing thesis and anyone who reads questions the character of the writer.

Patrick,
This supposedly great record of Douglas...where is it? Health care? That never would have happened without Diefenbaker providing the funding. The truth about Douglas is that there was nothing really there. Although the transformation of Tommy from a hard-core socialist to being called a "Tory" by the Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor in 1957 is very interesting. I also applaud his stand against the waffle movement, not that it is relevant to anyone outside of the NDP. Finally, after losing 3 elections in 3 CCF/NDP strongholds Tommy was forced into retirement and quickly took a job on the board of directors of Husky Oil. If that isn't a sell out, what is?
I know more about Tommy Douglas than any socialist in Canada, or at least more than they would admit to publicly, and the truth is while Tommy was fascinating, there is really nothing in the way of great accomplishments. All of the biographies written about him are merely sad efforts to try and explain or excuse his association with the KKK and his numerous shady deals, like insider trading of Saskatchewan bonds. I won't even get into the girlfriends.

Now back to Gormley, Audrey, you have to be far more specific than just saying "Gormley's podcast archive is available at the Newstalk 650 website." To expect someone to go through thousands of hours of radio archives just to support your argument is absurd. You must present your evidence. Period. If you do provide the evidence I can promise you that I will join in your boycott of 650 Newstalk Radio.
http://www.katewerk.com/tommy/

Patrick Ross said...

Diefenbaker may have helped provide the funding, but Douglas did all the real work.

It was Douglas who had to deal with the doctor's strike.

It was Douglas who applied the pressure to Pearson to help implement health care on a federal level.

One point about Douglas and the KKK: the KKK was actually a deeply-engrained organization in Saskatchewan's culture of that particular day. It was extremely difficult to be involved in politics in Saskatchewan without being associated with someone who was a member of the KKK.

I've heard it alleged that Douglas was a KKK Grand Wizard, but there seems to be no historical evidence of this at all. It is known that DC Grant, who helped Douglas organize his CCF/Social Credit committee for the 1935 election campaign, was a known organizer for the KKK.

(Before Audrey takes that particular ball and runs with it, Grant actually had no genuine connection to Social Credit. In fact, Douglas' CCF/Socred committee was one of the great stunts of Canadian political history.

Trent said...

"I've heard it alleged that Douglas was a KKK Grand Wizard, but there seems to be no historical evidence of this at all." Douglas was very close to the KKK, he even cast vote in Parliament to support the KKK. No big surprise, really, Douglas was a Baptist minister and Coldwell was a Methodist minister; the two religions most deeply involved with the KKK, both here and in the US.

As far as Douglas doing the work for Medicare, well, Woodrow Lloyd might have a thing ot two to say about that.

But I am still looking for the Gormley-torture evidence.

Patrick Ross said...

Are you daft? When Douglas became Premier he took the Health portfolio for himself. He worked very hard on health care in Regina, and he worked very hard on health care in Ottawa.

Trent said...

No, I am not daft; I am informed. I am well aware that Douglas took the Health Care portfolio, he then implemented hospitalization insurance, that doubled in cost almost exactly 6 months after each and every election. There is pretty much nothing I don't know about Douglas and I can tell you that there really is nothing special about him as a person or a politician, interesting as heck, but not special, profound or noble.
If you want some of Douglas' good points, look into the wage increase and benefits the CCF provided teachers. Most of the other ideas put forth the CCF were failed miserably.
There is so much to know, I should really teach a class on the guy. But, Patrick, if you want to learn about Douglas I would start with "The Life and Political Times of Tommy Douglas" by Walter Stewart. It's a decent book and no where near as long as Jerusalem. I would then read "Tommy Douglas: The Road to Jerusalem", which, as previously stated, a very long book. (they even mention Tommy's breakfast; a poached egg on whole wheat toast, like anyone cares?) You will also want to read "Douglas In Saskatchewan" by Robert Tyre, it's available at the Saskatoon library. From there you will be ready to read Tommy's thesis, which is really disturbing and will make you sick.
If you really want to go further, as I did, take the time to interview people who remember him. My mother told me what Tommy and the CCF did for teachers and several people told me about how much fun they would have when Tommy would come to their little town to give a speech. If there was anything that Tommy was exceptional at, it was public speaking. He would have people laughing so hard they would literally be rolling on the floor with tears of laughter in their eyes.
Interestingly enough is that no one ever replays his speeches. I think it is because Tommy never spoke two sentences without mentioning God or his mission from God to build "The New Jerusalem" in Saskatchewan.

Still waiting for the Gormley-torture evidence.

Patrick Ross said...

Trent, I own Road to Jerusalem.

I've also read numerous archival interviews with people who knew Douglas, both formally and informally, intimately and casually.

I wouldn't classify myself as a top expert, but I'm informed.

For example, I know that what you classify as a vote in favour of the KKK was actually a vote against putting French-language script on Canadian currency.

While a great number of modern-day Canadians may be disappointed to find out about something like this, this is far from a vote in favour of the KKK.

Trent said...

So you know how boring that book is! I guess I should have known you've read it, as you know more than the average NDPer. What did you think of the sad explanation for the insider trading of Saskatchewan bonds by C.M. Fines and others? Or the shake downs of businesses to get them to donate to the CCF? After reading that book I just couldn't believe any of the old CCFer's would have the audacity to criticize the Devine scandal.
I really thought Joe Phelps got hung out to dry in that book, after all, he was just trying to fulfill the party promises.
Anyway, what CCF accomplishments really stood out for you? As you know I really didn't find any, but I'm guessing you have a different opinion.

Patrick Ross said...

Well, I think I've made it fairly clear. It may seem like the generic response, but in health care Tommy Douglas accomplished not only the pinnacle of his own political career, but one of the greatest things achieved by a Canadian for Canada.

It may seem like the generic response. But that's my honest opinion.

Audrey II said...

"The mention of the 'work for welfare' was to demonstrate that Douglas did enact several of his ideas put forth in his thesis."

Not the ones that you were having the vapours over. If shifting to welfare is the best connection you can make between the eugenics sections of Douglas' thesis and his actual legislative record, that doesn't say much for your argument.

"...the visceral hate Tommy has..."
"...Tommy calls..."


Employing present tense doesn't really address the matter of this being an academic thesis, which wasn't reflected in subsequentactual action. At best, all you're arguing is that at a particular point in time, Douglas voiced things that you find disturbing that weren't at all reflected in his actions later in life. Even if we did live in some bizarro "two-wrongs" universe where the ethical evaluation of the two situations was dependent on one another, that's much different than the unrepentant, un-retracted, and ongoing public advocacy of torture that Gormley's engaged in.

"Now back to Gormley"

You mean, the topic at hand that you've spent a goodly lot of effort attempting to distract from? So nice of you to eventually return to it.

"If you do provide the evidence I can promise you that I will join in your boycott of 650 Newstalk Radio."

I'm not advocating a boycott of Newstalk 650 radio, nor am I terribly concerned about winning your individual participation in such a venture, but if you really are interested in something other than Tommy Douglas and "But Johnny did X" grade-school relativism, Gormley's archives are full of examples of what I'm talking about. His April 17th show from this year, IIRC, is one. He's even responded on air to my criticism of his radical torture advocacy not by renouncing it, but by (ironically) attempting to distract from it by relativistically crowing about the even more enthusiastic torture advocates out there. Given the shared penchant for relativism, maybe you, John, and Pat could get together over drinks and commiserate on how Tommy Douglas' thesis somehow is relevant to Gormley's torture advocacy and how opposition to torture advocacy is now "neo-socialist".

Trent said...

Fair enough. But I think you have to realize that you are in an extreme minority with that opinion. And please don't bring up the Canadian Idol like contest the CBC held in which people could vote endless times by phone and Douglas still only got 14 percent of the vote.

Trent said...

Audrey,

Thanks for correcting my grammar.
Now, can you please provide ONE example in which Gormley advocates torture? Yes, that was a disturbing video with John Gormley's voice over talking about your blog...and that is advocacy for torture?
I am going to state it again: YOU MUST PROVIDE PROOF OF YOUR ACCUSATIONS. Just do up another video with John Gormley talking about his support of torture and you win, hands down.

Patrick Ross said...

Well, Audrey, I think John, Trent and I could meet over drinks and laugh about how it is that you just can't bring yourself to criticize -- or even be honest about -- Tommy Douglas' thesis.

For example, Audrey, you claimed before that a thesis paper is simply the defense of a hypothesis.

But you didn't mention the kicker: that it's the author's hypothesis.

Trent said...

Very true, Patrick, but the topic at hand is still John Gormley advocating torture and Audrey has yet to produce any evidence of said advocacy.
Several months ago I sent some very news worthy information to Buckdog which he was very hesitant to post on his blog until he had talked to a lawyer first. He ended up only putting part of it on his blog to avoid being sued. I doubt Gormley would both to sue you, but you never know and CAA may not be as lenient. So just a friendly work of advice; if you can't prove it, don't post it.

Audrey II said...

I've linked to Gormley's archive. He's spoken often on the matter of torture, and he's made his positions on it known multiple times. The evidence is there and accessible. Regular 650 listeners will be more than familiar with it. Even within the last few weeks, Gormley had Gordon "Professor Popsicle" Giesbrecht on as a guest. John hoped that Giesbrecht would show that subjecting detainees to hypothermia wasn't all that bad (the interview ended up as egg on Johns face when he posed the all important normative question to his guest and ended up having his own expert contradict him on the moral bankruptcy of using cold water on suspects).

Gormley knows all of this, and that's why his response to criticisms such as mine hasn't been to deny what the criticism is premised on, but rather to point to the radicalism of others in hopes to mitigate or distract from it.

I certainly encourage others not to take my word for any of what I've posited. Those interested really ought to email John himself and get the details of his positions on detainee treatment and what he's said on the air about it from the horses mouth.

Be sure to tell him that one of those torture-opposing "neo-socialists" who's happy to draw attention to the disingenuity of "I'd rather talk about Tommy Douglas" distractions sent you. ;)

Patrick Ross said...

And feel free to also mention that Audrey has been entirely disingenuous about Douglas' thesis.

Who knows? Maybe he'll be as amused as I.

Audrey II said...

Thanks for again illustrating my point, Pat! Your comment-box participation really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Patrick Ross said...

Meh. I'm not the one who brought Douglas' thesis to the party. But as long as it's here, I say we might as well play with it.

So what gift is my comment-box participation giving, Audrey? A public revelation of your ignorance of academia -- as well as your trademark dishonesty -- doesn't seem like much of a gift.

I mean, maybe not a gift to you...

Trent said...

Audrey,

Your post @ October 16, 2009 1:21 PM was what I have been looking for, sort of, but as close as I think we'll get.
FYI, your link goes no where, may want to fix that.

Audrey II said...

Sorry about the broken link. Having a bit of trouble using anchor tags for addys. Blogger seems to be inserting additional code.

Gormley can be reached at johngormleylive@rawlco.com.

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