Connect with us

Features

Is ‘Paw Patrol’ capitalist propaganda? This professor on the CBC thinks so.

Is the children’s show is turning our tikes into tiny-tea partiers & miniature minarchists?

mm

Published

on

Everyone with a Netflix account and young children can sing most of the introductory title song of Paw Patrol, however much we wish we couldn’t.

“PAW Patrol, PAW Patrol. We’ll be there on the double!… No job’s too big. No pup’s too small! PAW Patrol, we’re on a roll!” etc.

I put it on for a few hours a day to distract my toddler while I try to get something – anything – done around the house. But while I thought that she was learning about teamwork, friendship, and helping her community, lo and behold, she was learning to support the capitalist patriarchy. Or so says a professor interviewed by the CBC’s Rebecca Zandbergen.

In an interview with criminology professor Liam Kennedy, he lays out – much to my surprise – how the repetitive children’s show is turning our tikes into tiny-tea-partiers and miniature minarchists.

“He [my son] has now internalized my feelings about the series and knows that we don’t in fact watch Paw Patrol in our house,” said the professor on the CBC’s London Mornings show.

The professor didn’t just stop his own son from watching the capitalist cartoon. He published an entire report on it: ‘Crime, Conservation and Corporatization in Paw Patrol’. In it, he lays out just how this pack of pups is brainwashing Canada’s children.

“I’ll start with the depiction of the state. Mayor Humdinger and Mayor Goodway — kind of the representatives of the state or the government – are portrayed negatively. Mayor Humdinger is portrayed as unethical or corrupt. Mayor Goodway as hysterical, bumbling, incompetent.”

Ostensibly, the professor believes that any portrayal of government officials as anything other than ethical, calm, collected and competent, is dangerous.

“She immediately calls the Paw Patrol…and so I would argue that the Paw Patrol – as a private corporation – is used to help provide basic social services in the Adventure Bay community…That’s problematic in that the Paw Patrol creators are sending this message that we can’t depend on the state to provide these services. That private corporations – private enterprise – can provide these services to the community.”

Kennedy also felt that the fictional children’s cartoon was not overly realistic in its portrayal of Chase, the German Shepherd police dog.

“It was a show, kind of emphasizing the benevolence of police officers, and, that struck a chord with me. You know, I felt that that wouldn’t speak to a lot of radicalized and marginalized communities, families and children.

With two German Shepherds in our home, it’s not surprising that Chase was my two-year-old’s favourite character. She even calls their collars “Pup Tags” now. But our dogs have not yet engaged in any racist brutalization of the minorities living in our neighbourhood. To help our toddler see Chase for the capitalist pig that he is, we will consider starting a “Poodle Lives Matter” campaign the next time we’re at the dog park.

To be fair to the CBC’s Rebecca Zandbergen, she didn’t appear to buy the theory hook-line-and-sinker.

“So even if what you’re saying is true…how susceptible might a three, a two, a four-year-old be to these underlying messages that you say exist?”

The professor seems to think very susceptible.

“Some children may internalize messages about mistrust of the state. Or, this show puts a lot of responsibility on individuals to go out and recycle, to protect the environment. It places a lot of faith in private corporations…

What a libertarian hellscape, where individuals are expected to take responsibility for their impact on the world, and not rely on the government to do everything for them.

Zandbergen thought this line of argument a bit much even for a CBC audience.

“There are some good messages, in encouraging people to recycle, right?

Professor Kennedy wasn’t having any of it.

“I mean I think everybody should recycle, but I think we should also depend on the state to facilitate that recycling process…”

Zandbergen to her credit pressed on, asking if there was “anything redeeming about the show?” What about, “No job is too big, no pup is too small?”

“To me that’s an individualist message. Pull up your boot straps. You can do it if you just try hard enough. That kind of message ignores structural barriers in our society and not everyone can do it.”

Zandbergen’s interview has been widely shared in Canadian conservative and libertarian online circles, possibly because the CBC’s headline, “Does Paw Patrol encourage our kids to embrace capitalism?” appears to be an implicit endorsement of the professor’s thesis. At most news outlets, headlines are written by editors, and not authors, and this appears to be most likely the case here. In fact, Zandbergen appears to be politely holding back her laughter during the on-air interview.

But if Zandbergen wasn’t particularly convinced by the professor’s post-modernist intersectionalism, someone at the CBC appears to have been.

But maybe the professor does have a point. Paw Patrol – much as it annoys me as it plays in the background – is teaching our children something: mistrust of state, individual responsibility, and voluntary community mindedness.

So I’ll keep on a little longer today. With any luck, my daughter won’t grow up to be a professor writing intersectional nonsense on the government dime.

You can watch the full CBC interview HERE.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard, and President & CEO of Wildrose Media Corp.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard and President of Wildrose Media Corp. dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading

Features

SELICK: Coronavirus’s asymptomatic carriers

mm

Published

on

Reports of coronavirus patients who show none of the usual symptoms – fever, coughing, or shortness of breath – are both good news and bad news. 

First, the bad. The existence of these so-called asymptomatic carriers will undoubtedly bolster arguments for wholesale violations of civil liberties. Wuhan – China’s seventh largest city with 11 million inhabitants – has already been quarantined. That’s more than a minor inconvenience. Prohibiting the movement of people into and out of so large a city will quickly wreak economic havoc not only on those 11 million, but also on the millions they customarily trade with.   

History’s most famous asymptomatic carrier was probably Typhoid Mary. Born Mary Mallon, she migrated from Ireland to the U.S. in the 1880s and held a series of jobs as a live-in cook for affluent New York families. Everywhere she went, people fell ill with typhoid fever. Some died; many were hospitalized; but Mary herself remained healthy. She was imprisoned from 1907 to 1910 as a public safety measure, but eventually won her freedom by promising to cease working as a cook. However, being a laundress didn’t pay very well, so she soon adopted a pseudonym and returned to cooking. For another five years, typhoid epidemics broke out wherever she went. She was re-arrested in 1915 and quarantined until her death 23 years later.  

Scientists of Mary’s day tried to establish what made her immune. Typhoid bacteria were found in many of her stool samples and in her gallbladder after her death. But the research tools available 82 years ago were primitive compared with today’s. 

So here’s the good news. The existence of asymptomatic carriers presents a golden opportunity to determine what makes some people impervious to the virus while others succumb. Will the opportunity be used effectively? 

There’s a 125-year-old controversy that many people, including doctors and scientists, are unaware of. French scientist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) is well known as the father of modern germ theory—the belief that illness occurs when foreign microbes such as bacteria and viruses invade the body. However, his colleague, Claude Bernard (1813-1878), held a somewhat different theory – the terrain theory – which held that the determining factor in who became ill was the state of the patient’s internal “soil” or terrain. 

Pasteur, incidentally, was no angel, despite his historical glorification. He has been described as an unlikeable person and an unethical scientist who falsified data to produce the results he wanted from experiments. But he was apparently a great self-promoter, unlike Bernard and another French scientist, Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908) who agreed with Bernard. Both B’s died in obscurity.

Reportedly, Pasteur recanted on his deathbed, saying: “Bernard avait raison. Le germe n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.” (Bernard was right. The microbe is nothing, the soil is everything.) Writer Susan Dorey tried to trace this story back to its source but was stymied by her inability to read French and consult original French sources. 

The terrain theory makes sense when you consider that North Americans who travel to third world countries frequently get gastrointestinal upsets that the natives seem impervious to. Likewise, farmers who routinely drink raw (unpasteurized) milk often aren’t troubled by the digestive symptoms that strike some people trying it for the first time.  

Regardless of whether Pasteur recanted or not, coronavirus and its asymptomatic patients now present us with an excellent opportunity to examine why some people are vulnerable to its ravages while others aren’t, despite their exposure. 

There are several possible explanations. Maybe immunity is genetic. Maybe it depends on the state of your nutrition. But a third possibility is that it depends upon the state of the infected person’s terrain, primarily the gut microbiome. This is turn might be affected by what a person eats, what nutritional supplements he takes, what toxins or antibiotics he has been exposed to, whether he was breast- or bottle-fed, and even whether he was born by Caesarian section. 

Scientific interest in the microbiome, and the interaction between bacteria and viruses, has exploded in recent years, with the development of gene mapping technology. Let’s hope it will be applied intelligently to the coronavirus challenge. 

Meanwhile, I’m planning to take extra care of my gut, by increasing my consumption of sauerkraut (unpasteurized, of course), kefir, kombucha, and prebiotic and probiotic supplements.

Karen Selick is the Copy Editor and a Columnist for the Western Standard. She has previously written for he original Western Standard, National Post, Canadian Lawyer Magazine. She is the former Litigation Lawyer of the Canadian Constitution Foundation and is the owner of KeenEyesEditing.ca.

Continue Reading

Features

Top Ten Good News Stories: 2019 Edition

Western Standard brings you the top 10 stories sure to make Westerns smile back on 2019.

mm

Published

on

2019 was not a good year for Western Canada. With a few exceptions, most news concerning our half of the country was unrelentingly negative. But good things did happen (most of them elsewhere), and the beginning of a new decade seems a suitable time to reflect back on the stories that made Westerners smile.

10. Don Cherry’s private podcast received the highest listenership in Canada shortly after being dismissed by Sportsnet-CBC for his politically incorrect soliloquy on Coach’s Corner. Debate raged over if his comments were genuinely racist, or just the latest example of puritanical cancel culture censoring anything controversial. Lost in most of the debate was the hypocrisy of most left-leaning Canadians voting to keep a man who engaged in the unquestionably racist act of blackface, while demanding that Canada’s uncle be fired for speaking his mind. 


9. Western Canada is more united than it has been in years, with the notable exception of BC. The bloc of blue on election night spoke more loudly than all the rallies or convoys ever could. As it was in 1980 under Trudeau Sr., the Liberals do not hold a single seat between Winnipeg and Vancouver. It’s unlikely the voice of the West will be listened in substance, but if they don’t get the message now, they likely never will.  

8. Western Independence is back with a vengeance. While federalists might not view this as positive, it has got the attention of the Laurentians and as every negotiator knows, to be successful you need an ‘or else’. The question is, if the federalists don’t take the ‘or else’ seriously, can the sovereigntist movement move beyond shouting, to become a serious threat?

7. Teck Resources’ Frontier oil sands mine (sort of) approved. It took ten years and still requires approval from feds, but it’s good news and would create 7,000 jobs if Justin Trudeau allows it to go ahead. If he chooses to side with the climate extremists, it’s likely that the still rag-tag sovereigntist movement will see a flood of new recruits. 

6. Polar bears are back. Long the symbol of apocalyptic climate predictions, the polar bear has increased in numbers to the point where they are causing problems for northern communities. Good news for the bears, bad news for the climate extremists in search of a new icon.



5. The world is growing greener. According to NASA, leaf cover on Earth has increased by two million square miles since the early 2000s. That’s more than half the size of Canada and a five per cent increase from two decades ago. The two primary factors causing this are hyper-efficient agriculture and increased CO2, which depending on your worldview is either plant food, or earth-ending pollution.

4. ISIS was defeated and its leader Al-Baghdadi is dead. It’s difficult to tell exactly how much of this is responsible for a 52 per cent worldwide reduction in deaths from acts of terrorism, but it has surely played a significant part. After 20 years of chasing terrorists in never-ending foreign wars, its finally some good news. 



3. Boris Johnson destroyed Corbyn’s Labour Party in the UK election. Brexit will go ahead, the outcome of the referendum respected. Since Britons voted to leave the EU, globalists have lamented the push back against centralized political and economic control, while patriotic movements have looked to it for hope.

2. Hong Kong still stands strong against all odds, and has not (yet) been overrun by China’s nouveau-communist regime. The courage of freedom fighters in Hong Kong is inspiring, and the sight of its students standing up against tyranny contrasts with students in Western countries demanding free tuition and safe spaces. 

Credit: NDP website



1. The NDP lost their bid for re-election on April 16th, making them Alberta’s first one-term government in its history, and ending the province’s socialist experiment that arguably began with Alison Redford. As Rachel Notley failed to gain “social license” from her green allies, Albertans had little time for punishing economic policies with little gain in sight. It remains to be seen if Jason Kenney’s tough talk with Ottawa can produce anything but headlines, or if more drastic measures will be required. 

Bonus: An aspiring modern Michelangelo duct taped a banana to a wall and sold it for $120,000, presumably as art. In front of a crowd of stunned onlookers, another artist ate it claiming his snack was an ‘art performance’ titled ‘Hungry Artist’. The Western Standard does not endorse vandalism, but we struggle to place this in the same category. 

Continue Reading

Features

MCCOLL: Rearming the Canadian Air Force

Canada’s Air Force is falling apart. Here are the top 10 items that can put it back in operation.

mm

Published

on

Successive Conservative and Liberal Governments in Canada have come up short on our NATO spending commitments. The 2020s (or can we now just say twenties?) will be a critical decade for rebuilding the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as our entire fixed wing combat force needs to be replaced. Below are the top 10 most affordable purchases we could make to adequately rearm the RCAF. Please forgive me if it sounds like the 12 days of Christmas for defence procurement lobbyists.

120 Saab CF-39 Gripen-E/F Fighter Jets to replace the CF-18

Much has been made of the fighter “capability gap” over recent years, but few truly appreciate how large that gap has become. During the major CF-18 modernization upgrade of the early 2000s, the CF-18 force shrunk from 120 jets to only 80 as 40 aircraft were retired or torn apart for spares as a cost saving measure. The Harper government’s plan to purchase only 65 F-35As meant that Canada could only fly one of three major missions at a time: the NORAD mission, a NATO mission, or a major self defence mission (like defending Vancouver during the Olympics). The Trudeau government plan to purchase to 88 fighters should allow us to just barely fly two of the three major missions at a time. Returning to a fighter fleet of 120, like we had during the Kosovo conflict, would allow us to fully live up to our international commitments and be in three places at once.

Limited by reality (sorry CF-23 fans – that’s never going to happen), the Gripen is the obvious choice as it’s one of the most advanced fighters in the world, is the only one that would be made in Canada, and is the only aircraft that’s affordable enough that I can recommend buying 120 of them while leaving enough money for the rest of this list. Canadian CF-39 Gripen-E/F jets would be assembled at a new Saab/Bombardier factory in Mirabel, Quebec while creating the domestic jobs at the lowest cost to taxpayers. With such a large order, Canada could justify selecting the newer, and 18 per cent more powerful, General Electric F414 Enhanced jet engine. This engine would make our fighters truly worthy of the name: “CF-39 Arrow II.”

6 Saab/Bombardier GlobalEye Airborne Radar Jets

Canada lacks any Airborne Radar jets and instead benefits from those of our allies. If we want to pull our weight, then we should purchase our own airborne radar jets. Five Saab/Bombardier GlobalEye jets have been ordered by the UAE (the first 3 are already flying). Based on the Bombardier Global business jet, the “green aircraft” are made in Toronto before being flown to Sweden for militarization. Saab recently quoted a pair of GlobalEye jets to Finland and is working with Bombardier to compete for other European orders. A Canadian order would signal long term NATO support for the GlobalEye, help win more export orders, and create more manufacturing jobs in Toronto.

16 Saab/Bombardier Swordfish Jets to replace the CP-140

Canada’s 14 CP-140 Maritime Patrol Aircraft are even older than the CF-18s and need to be replaced before 2030. The only made-in-Canada frontrunner is the Saab/Bombardier Swordfish. The Swordfish is also based on the Bombardier Global business jet. Combining a GlobalEye and Swordfish order would be enough to shift all militarization work to the new Bombardier factory in Toronto.

4 Bombardier Global VIP Jets

Canada’s four aging Bombardier Challenger VIP jets are antiquated and desperately in need of replacement. One of the proven ways to save money on military aircraft is to reduce the variety of jets in service and consolidate the spare parts inventory. With a fleet of 22 Global based Swordfish and GlobalEye aircraft, adding four Global jets in the VIP configuration would simplify logistics while upgrading the small VIP jet capacity.

1 Airbus A330neo VIP and 2 A330neo Passenger Jets

Canada’s aging CC-150 Polaris fleet (Airbus A310-300) is made up of 1 VIP jet, 2 passenger jets, and 2 tankers. Earlier this year our only VIP version was badly damaged in a hanger accident and is still out-of-service. The spare passenger CC-150 that took Prime Minister Trudeau to London for the NATO summit broke down in London and another jet had to take him back to Canada. It’s becoming an embarrassment and, as is so often the case, taxpayers are spending a small fortune keeping obsolete aircraft flying beyond their best before date. We should emulate Australia and consolidate on the proven and cost-effective Airbus A330 platform.

6 Airbus A330neo Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT)

Australian A330 MRTT, Super Hornets, Growlers, and American B-1B Bomber

Australia, France, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UAE, and UK all fly the successful A330 MRTT while Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway financially contribute to NATO shared A330 tankers. Canadian tankers should be built like Australia’s tankers and be equipped with a pair of wing-mounted refueling pods and a flying refueling boom. This would allow Canada to refuel any NATO aircraft.

22 Boeing T-7 Red Hawk Trainers for the Snowbirds Air Demonstration Team 

The 1960s Era CT-114 Tutors are falling apart and the RCAF plans on replacing them sometime in the early 2020s. The new T-7 won the US Air Force T-38 replacement competition in 2018. The T-7 was developed and built in extensive partnership with Saab to keep upfront and flying costs affordable. A Canadian order would keep President Trump happy because we’d be buying America. Additional T-7s could be purchased when our CT-155 Hawk jet trainers need to be replaced.

AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles

During the last major CF-18 upgrade, the CF-18s gained the ability to carry advanced High Off-Boresight (HOBS) within visual range (WVR) missiles including the latest American AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. In typical Canadian fashion, we cheaped out at the last minute and never bought any new missiles. The Auditor General, in a scathing 2018 report, was critical of the lack of planned combat capability upgrades for the CF-18. Finally purchasing these modern missiles is the least expensive way to add combat capability to the CF-18 force. The Gripen can also carry the AIM-9X, so missiles purchased for the CF-18s could be reused on Canada’s future Gripens. 

Munitions, Munitions, Munitions!

The RCAF has often relied on begging and borrowing weapons form our allies when we exhaust our limited stores during a major coalition operation. This should be put to an end by purchasing an adequate inventory of weapons.

First, we need a good stockpile of NATO standard bombs (500, 1000, and 2000 pounds) and laser/GPS guidance kits. Second is new long-range radar guided missiles: the Gripen supports the new European Meteor missile, widely regarded as one of NATO’s most potent Air to Air weapons and reportedly less expensive than the latest American AIM-120D. Third is a new Anti-Ship missile: the Saab RBS-15 Odin’s Spear is certified for both the Gripen and the Swordfish and has a ground attack mode so it can double as an Air Launched Cruise Missile. Finally, we should invest in some low-collateral damage air-to-ground weapons including the latest Small Diameter Bombs and Brimstone missiles.

4 New Twin Otters to replace the 1970’s era Twin Otters

Just because the original design of the Twin Otter was a resounding success for remote operations in the Canadian wilderness doesn’t mean that it makes sense keeping 50-year-old versions flying. In March, one of the RCAF’s old Twin Otters was damaged during a landing near Inuvik. New Twin Otters are being made by Viking in Calgary and are being sold all over the World (even the US Military buys them). Let’s get some of that equalization money flowing back towards Calgary with a much needed RCAF purchase.

Alex McColl is the National Defence Columnist for the Western Standard.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard owned by Wildrose Media Corp.