Monday, January 19, 2009

A bit of GOOD NEWS

This a depressing time for conservatives. But I offer this to cheer you up:

Ayers denied entry into Canada
January 19, 2009 1:00 PM
Chicago Tribune
Toronto educators canceled a series of lectures and meetings featuring Williams Ayers today after Canadian border officers Sunday night refused to allow the Chicago resident and professor to leave the airport in Toronto.

Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and former member of the Weather Underground, found his 1960s radical past briefly at the center of the 2008 presidential election.

But he is well-regarded among urban educators and had been scheduled to deliver lectures and interviews today on education initiatives for marginalized students, said Jeffrey Kugler, executive director of the Centre for Urban Schooling at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

"We were at the airport waiting to pick Bill up. He just never came out, really," Kugler said.
After Ayers' flight landed at 6 p.m., Kugler said he and an attorney waited until 10:30 p.m. before officials from the Canadian Border Services Agency told them that Ayers had been put back onto a plane to Chicago.

Officials with the Canadian government referred questions on the matter to the Canadian Border Services Agency. Ayers, back in Chicago, did not respond to interview requests.
Kugler said the Centre for Urban Schooling was left scrambling to cancel a busy day of appointments for Ayers. He had been scheduled to deliver a lecture at an inner-city teacher education program, to speak with principals and senior staff from the Toronto District School Board, to visit a classroom and to talk with community youth workers. Later, radio and television interviews were scheduled, followed by an evening lecture, Kugler said.

"Everything was scrapped," Kugler said. "We're going to try it again for sure. But first he's going to find out more about what the issue is that might be stopping him."

Ayers was an anti-war activist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and joined the Weathermen, which later became the Weather Underground. The group set off bombs at government buildings, and Ayers in his 2001 book Fugitive Days said he participated, but never hurt anyone.
The federal government dropped charges against him in 1973. Ayers later became a noted educator and in 1997 was named Chicago citizen of the year.

When president-elect Barack Obama began his first state senate bid in the mid-'90s, he visited Ayers' home for a meeting. Ayers and Obama later worked together on school reform issues.
During the election, Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John McCain pointed out the connection and characterized Ayers as "an unrepentant terrorist."

Personal note:
I recall the day trip I took to Canada back in 1998. I didn't have my passport with me and was traveling on my Drivers License. The border agent at the airport grilled me about my business for about five minutes then let me pass. I spent more time with him than I did at border posts in Japan, China, or Brazil.

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