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Another day.  Another dollar.  Another delusional attack by the outrage machine.

Some of you may be familiar with the latter term.  It's gradually become part of our political vernacular, both in social media and the outside world.

While there's no formal definition, the outrage machine can be best described as the concoction of manufactured outrage against an individual, group or political ideology.  The source of this agitation can be anything from a social media post to a perceived historical grievance.  When enough people have either accepted a particular narrative, or have been whipped into a near-frenzy, they'll work together in a collective fashion to try to erase someone's personal, political or social media influence.

Some efforts succeed.  Others fail.  Still others leave lasting impressions of a type of derangement syndrome that never truly go away.

Here's a recent example that happened in Canada.

On Aug. 29, Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay retweeted a video of an interview conducted between Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and billionaire businessman George Soros.  The discussion occurred in 2009, when Freeland was a journalist working at the Financial Times.  In the two-minute clip, Soros expressed his support for then-U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts to build stronger ties with China and felt this alliance could lead to, in his words, a "new world order, a financial world order."

Findlay highlighted this discussion as one in which Freeland listened intently to Soros's analysis "like student to teacher."  It was an attempt to be amusing, and draw an imaginary line between two individuals with similar political viewpoints.

Unfortunately, the video's original source was reportedly linked to conspiracy theories and other hateful propaganda.  When the outrage machine caught wind of this, its members got… well… outraged.

They suggested Findlay, like some other Soros critics, was attacking the financier for being Jewish, wealthy and powerful.  Accusations of anti-semitism started to circulate on social media.  Some wondered why Conservative leader Erin O'Toole hadn't spoken out or reprimanded her.

Within a few hours, Findlay took down the original tweet. "Earlier today, I thoughtlessly shared content from what I am now learning is a source that promotes hateful conspiracy theories," she tweeted that afternoon.  "I have removed the tweets and apologize to anyone who thinks I would want to endorse hateful rhetoric."

Her apology was clearly genuine, but it didn't satisfy the outrage machine mob.  Political progressives felt it wasn't sufficient.  When O'Toole decided the apology would stand on its own merit and no further action would be taken, some suggested he and the Conservative Party were peddling in the same anti-semitic and conspiracy theory waters.

OK, let's stop this tidal wave of outrage right here.

Criticism of Soros's left-wing politics and activities isn't always rooted in anti-semitism.  In fact, mainstream criticism of the Hungarian-American billionaire businessman rarely has anything to do with his religion.  If it did, Israel's foreign ministry certainly wouldn't have denounced Soros in July 2017 because he "continuously undermines Israel's democratically elected governments" and gives money to organizations "that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself."

Rather, it has everything to do with his ideology and the causes he funds.

Soros founded the Open Society Foundations, which support ultra-progressive ideas and are fiercely critical of conservative leaders, parties and governments.  He's provided significant funding to liberal/progressive organizations like the Tides Foundation, America Votes, Priorities USA Action and Media Matters for America.  These groups, in turn, support abortion, climate change, euthanasia, gun control, left-wing politicians in the U.S. and beyond, legalized marijuana and same-sex marriage, among other things.

A few conservatives and libertarians may agree with Soros on one or more pet issues, but the political differences are vast and unmistakable.  That's why most mainstream right-leaning thinkers, commentators and activists oppose him.

Yes, there are a small number of screwballs who have a different agenda.  Some friends and associates in politics and the media focus way too heavily on their meagre influence, and they should really stop doing this.  Those fringe elements don't represent mainstream thinking on the political right, and shouldn't be linked with us now or ever.

The same principle should follow when mainstream liberals and social democrats are linked together with fringe groups on their side of the political spectrum.  That's not justifiable, either.

As for Findlay, she made a mistake.  She likely focused on the Freeland-Soros interview from a reputable British newspaper instead of the controversial source that circulated it.  She quickly apologized, which is why O'Toole opted to leave the matter alone.

Hardly the first public official to ever gloss over something on social media, truth be told.

Alas, facts and logic don't matter to the outrage machine.  There will always be something else that creates anger, frustration and rage in modern society, and its members will surely find it.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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Police in Canada are not accountable to the public.  This isn't a novel observation, by any means, but it is an urgent one.

The bad apples have spoiled the bunch, and even when rotten cops are discovered, they're not only kept in the barrel, but the other apples will insist the rotten stay among them.

Take the case of Const. Nermin Mesic of the Ottawa Police Service.  Our good constable is actually not so good.  He's also a landlord.  At one point he had a tenant behind on rent, so he did the natural thing for an upstanding member of public service and protection, he threatened the man's life.

The tenant made a recording of the tirade Mesic went on, threatening the man, his wife, and his children while he drove the tenant around after the police officer forced him into his car.

"I don't care.  I don't care.  Sell your kid.  I don't give a shit.  Make your wife do something," Mesic said, according to the Ottawa Citizen.  "I guarantee you I'm going to spill blood.… People for money, they kill right?"

Not exactly officer of the year stuff.  But, you might think, we know this because of disciplinary process! Things must have been fixed!

Ah, dear reader, how naïve of you.

You see, our dear constable has indeed been disciplined, to the grand total of a one-year demotion in rank and a six-month probationary period.  This after four and a half years suspended — with pay — and pleading guilty to uttering threats, for which he was given an absolute discharge.

There is, of course, more.  This is not Mesic's first foray into thuggery.  In 2009, the Citizen says, he was convicted of discreditable conduct and insubordination for "slapping a youth twice across the face during questioning, kicking him, grabbing his throat and forcing him to the ground."

And yet, he remains a cop on the beat.  Thanks, in part, to letters from other cops, members of the community, and prosecutors supporting the poor officer.  "Throughout his career has acted in a professional matter," Terence Kelly a retired deputy chief who oversaw the hearings.

A cop with a history of brutality acts brutally.  A former cop lets him off the hook and back on the force.  His fellow officers write in support.  So too do prosecutors.  Law and order coming together to protect one of their own, show us all whose side they're really on.

It doesn't matter what the police officer has done, or how many times.  He is a member of the brotherhood of police and must be protected.  In doing so, police everywhere discredit themselves.  They are not here to protect and serve you and I, they are out to protect and serve each other.

We are but sheep to be beaten down by our shepherds.

If this were some kind of outlier case, I might be too far out on a limb.  But, of course, this is not an outlier.  This is the norm through police forces throughout our country.  Bad behaviour is punished as gently as possible, if it's to be punished at all.

In Saskatchewan, the RCMP was called to help with a wellness check.  An Indigenous man suffering from depression had harmed himself.  The Mountie, naturally, threatened the men inside, punched their window multiple times.  Then came back with an axe to hack open the door, which the men opened rather than let the cop Jack Torrance his way in.  He was reassigned elsewhere, CTV reports.

In Montreal, within walking distance of where I'm writing this, a Black man waiting outside the bank for his girlfriend to take out some money one night had police U-turn to question him.  They said the lights above his licence plate weren't working.  When the man got out of the car with his video camera to see the lights, which were working, police put him up against the SUV, put him in cuffs and threw him in the back of the squad car, according to CBC.  Then they lied on their police report about the whole encounter.

At the end of August their punishment for racially profiling, lying, using unnecessary force, and unnecessarily detaining someone was announced.  Thirteen days suspension!

In Toronto this week, an officer was pictured with a fun bit of thin blue line apparel, in the form of a patch with a Punisher logo — the superhero vigilante who kills his way to personal justice — with a truncated version of the slogan "I may walk among the sheep, but make no mistake, I am the sheepdog."  After it was spotted by a Toronto Star reporter, the force said the cop was ordered to take the patch off his uniform.  The force would not say what the officer's name was, or what further punishment he might — or might not! — face.

These are all officers who are still walking around our streets armed.  They see themselves not as guardians of public trust safety, but as an occupying force there to keep in line a restive population.

They are acting above and beyond the law in letter and in spirt.  This cannot go on.  None of these officers should still be on the force, and yet they walk among us, fully armed.  Something must be done, but nothing is.

Our prime minister kneels at a protest, and then does nothing.  Worse, he keeps a former police chief who over saw mass, illegal arrests in his cabinet.

If police forces refuse to be reformed, they must be dismantled.  Empty gestures will no longer cut it.

Photo Credit: CTV News

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to set the stage for a fall election, even though he pleaded publicly that the government has "no interest" in such a scenario.  But if the government really had no interest in an election, the case should be closed.

Instead, Justin Trudeau insists that if Canadians are called to the polls in the fall, it will be the fault of the opposition parties.  United, the three main opposition parties can indeed decide to bring down the Liberals.  But united, they are not.  For instance, the Bloc is sniping as hard at the Liberals as against new Conservative leader Erin O'Toole.  And O'Toole is trying to cast himself as the workers' fighter, a role the NDP wants to preserve for itself.

It should be easy for Trudeau to find at least one dancing partner.  O'Toole has accused Trudeau of wanting "to rush some fake election" to avoid accountability regarding the WE scandal.  "We'll work with them if it's for the benefit of Canadian families", he told the CBC's Power & Politics.  Basically, O'Toole is open to voting confidence in the Trudeau government, despite the WE scandal.

After pledging to bring down the government this fall in the wake of the WE scandal, Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet has been trying to put back some toothpaste in the tube ahead of the Throne Speech, in order to have some room to manoeuvre.

Meanwhile, the NDP still has not overcome its financial and organisational difficulties.  Singh is probably not keen on an election, but what can he do if the Liberals won't have a dialogue to ensure the throne speech passes?  Supporting an ethically challenged government while getting nothing in return could be costly politically for the NDP.

Trudeau says he is willing to listen to proposals from the other parties, but he has not reached out.  "We are in a minority Parliament, and it is not I who will decide whether there are elections, " Trudeau argued in Toronto on Wednesday.  "We have no interest in an election.  It will be up to opposition parties to decide whether or not they have confidence in the plan this government is going to put forward to help Canadians."

Translation: the Liberal government will bring forward its Speech from the Throne, it will offer the opposition the opportunity to either endorse it or overthrow the government.  No negotiations, no discussions: my way or the highway.  In essence, Trudeau is daring the opposition parties to bring him down during a pandemic.

If he really wanted to avoid an election, Trudeau would reach out to the other parties and negotiate about the content of the Throne Speech in order to secure their support.  He won't do that because he feels that the opposition is too weak to stand up to him.

The opposition parties must determine now if Trudeau is bluffing and if they are ready to call his bluff.  If he is bluffing, he'll fold and give up concessions to at least one of the three parties in order to survive and stay in power.  If he is not bluffing, Trudeau is gambling the future of his minority government.  The last Liberal Prime Minister to do that was Paul Martin.  It didn't pay off.

Photo Credit: National Post

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.