Basic RGB

A Spade, A Spade

On October 7, George Achi, the CBC’s Director of Journalistic Standards and Practices and Public Trust, e-mailed all CBC journalists, urging them not to refer to Hamas as ‘terrorists’.

“Do not refer to militants, soldiers or anyone else as ‘terrorists.’ The notion of terrorism is heavily politicized and is part of the story. Even when quoting/clipping a government or a source referring to fighters as terrorists, we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is opinion, not fact. This includes statements from the Canadian government and Canadian politicians.”

Actually, calling someone a terrorist who blows people up, kidnaps civilians and threatens to behead them, and cuts babies’ throats out, is not opinion, it’s fact. We may quarrel whether one person’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist. But to avoid the use of “terrorist” to describe Hamas, let alone to practically forbid it, perverts the English language in a way that would make George Orwell gag.

The CBC’s argument is that because terrorism is part of the story, the word “terrorist” is somehow off-limits. Really? How incredibly condescending our national broadcaster is to think that people can’t read or hear the word “terrorism” and not feel compromised, or worse, offended. I say if someone can endure the actual terror of being kidnapped, murdered, and much much worse, we can endure hearing about it.

And not some pablum-ed version of it, where a “terrorist” is now just a “participant,” but an actual person “who uses violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to act.”

Long before their invasion of Israel, Hamas has been condemned as a terrorist organization by dozens of countries, including Canada.

So their commitment to terror is not a matter of debate or discussion. It’s a matter of legal fact.

Get a grip, CBC.


1. Waiters who are nauseated by food. The very young Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell in their famous skit from 2010. Could this be the real reason restaurants are so short of staff?

2. Last year, a Gairdner. This year, a Nobel. In 1995, Dr. Katalin Karikó was demoted and had her pay cut by the University of Pennsylvania, where she toiled as a researcher. It turns out she and a colleague held the key to mRNA vaccines which basically saved humankind during COVID. Last week, she and her Penn colleague Dr. Drew Weissman won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. But last October, she won what is often the precursor to the Nobel, the Gairdner Award. Here’s her incredible acceptance speech from that night in Toronto. And speaking of Nobels…

3. Why women won. Last week, Harvard economist Claudia Goldin won a Nobel Prize for chronicling how women have advanced in the workplace. Here’s a summary of her work, published this month as Why Women Won. In 1989, Goldin was the first woman to be offered tenure in Harvard’s economics department; she’s just the third woman to win a Nobel in economics (vs. 94 men); and the first to win on her own.

4. Do you speak French, Italian, German or Japanese? Then please translate what Sid Caesar is saying (and gesticulating).

5. How to get a grip. On …old bags …on laugh-out-loud wildlife …on even more wildlife…. on your life-death balance (scroll down to video)…and most of all, on Americans’ life expectancy, which is falling fast.

6. Life is short. Have an affair ™. It’s been 10 years this week that Ashley Madison, the Toronto online ‘dating’ site for married people looking to have an affair, reached its peak popularity. Then, disaster. In 2015, hackers released the data of 36 million Ashley Madison clients from 46 countries, with people’s names, phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, and even their sexual preferences. Yet infidelity marches on. Ashley Madison’s site is still up.

7. Annals of advocacy and advertising. The Paris law firm Tomasini & Avocats goes after predators. They also know how to market.

8. Director of Intelligence. Just say those words and your mind’s eye will conjure up a man. But the heads of the big western spy agencies these days are women: Anne Keast-Butler is the new head of GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence, cyber and security agency, and “the first female intelligence agency head since Stella Rimington and Eliza Manningham-Buller. Meanwhile, Avril Haines is America’s Director of National Intelligence, Gina Haspel is Director of the CIA, and Rebecca Weiner is the head of the NYPD’s intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus. In Ottawa, Jody Thomas is the Prime Minister’s National Security Adviser.

9. Is cancer metastasizing? No. More and more, cancer is a disease you live with, not die from. Cancer peaked in the 1980s and we are now entering a golden era of cancer research, treatments and cures.

10. What’s the most terrifying predator of all? Humans, of course. I don’t mean metaphorically, but scientifically. Just hearing a human voice will cause a lion to flee for its life.

11. What I’m liking. Podcasts, especially The Rest is Politics with Brit political insiders Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell.




It’s one thing to dream of the South Pacific. It’s another to go.

If you have the time (Feb. 25 to March 9, 2024) and the money (from $US14,830), you can make that dream come true, have the time of your life, and a lifetime of memories too. So if not you, now, when?

For more information, click here.

Bob Ramsay

Here are the other trips RamsayTravels is hosting in the coming months.

In order of appearance…

October 2-10, 2023 — Bicycling and the Kardamyli Literary Festival in Greece.

May 29-June 5, 2024 — Sail down the west coast of Italy, from Nice and Genoa, to Naples and Amalfi.

September 2-9, 2024 — Lindblad Expedition to the Great Bear Rainforest.

Just e-mail Bob Ramsay at if you have questions.

Thanks for coming this far with us.

Bob Ramsay

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