Sunday, January 1, 2017

Fake News from The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has descended to a level of denial and condescension that is truly without precedent. In a recent editorial (Friday, Dec. 30, 2016) they categorized a litany of leftist memes that are the manifestation of the rule: “accuse your opponents of the very actions you intend to enforce”.  The Globe displays contempt for the average citizen who they imply is too incompetent to appreciate the danger of challenging the status quo.

The nameless editors state that “liberal democracy” is under threat in the West simply by the nature of decent that voters have freely selected.  Is not the freedom to choose a hallmark of an institution that “perpetuates our way of life”? Not so says The Globe. The irony here is that the threat to our way of life is the driving force that has led average citizens to reject the present class of elites that hold the reins of power.
   
Somehow the Globe believes that “populists, racists and autocrats” want to destroy our parliaments, our courts and even our civil liberties. This from people who would subjugate our national interests to global agendas that by their very nature would undermine the primacy of our law making institutions. The status quo promotes large scale immigration that would both reduce wages and increase the cost of government. The average citizen cannot be faulted for questioning the profound effect this policy has on their way of life. The status quo promotes “climate taxes” and restrictions that are applied to countries with the cleanest energy use and exempt the real polluters. The average citizen cannot be faulted for questioning a policy that adds considerable costs to their way of life and has no discernible effect upon the stated goal of protecting the climate. The status quo promotes what are called “free trade agreements” which are in reality codified restrictions on how we trade. The average citizen cannot be faulted for questioning why their jobs are leaving the country while special guilds, such as banks, teachers, lawyers, doctors, government employees and cultural cronies are all protected. In a bizarre twist The Globe confidently asserts that those who oppose these programs are after “unfettered power”. It quickly becomes evident that a prerequisite of imposing these policies is centralized, institution disarming, executive action.

The “most obvious” target of The Globe editorial is “the rise of Donald Trump”. The editors accuse him of attacking the “pillars” of his country’s liberal, constitutional democracy. Again the irony is delicious. Trump, who is not even in office yet, has clearly proposed a constitutionally constrained administration that will promote policies that favour American citizens. In the conservative tradition he of course believes that the private sector can benefit more people than an enhanced public sector. His predecessor, whom The Globe loves, enacted thousands of executive orders which bypass the Congress, selectively prosecuted his opponents with government institutions like the IRS and blatantly thwarted attempts to execute the law on immigration or even his own administration.

One has to ask when did leftist doctrine become an unassailable liberal institution of democracy. Donald Trump is condemned simply for stating the obvious in a desperate attempt to use political correctness as a tour de force. They claim that Trump's opinion that a particular judge may be biased, because he was a member of La Raza (a racist Mexican organization), puts him in conflict with the entire judicial system. This ignores a basic tenant of legal history in a system that routinely questions bias in an attempt to blindly prosecute justice. What is the Globe proposing here? Is it racist to question obvious bias?  Trump is accused of promoting violence when almost all the beatings and cat calling came from leftist protestors. We all saw DNC operatives, who later were forced to resign, boasting how they could rig an election by busing in voters who would vote multiple times. Yet Trump is accosted for not swallowing the brazen distraction that the Russian’s somehow hacked the DNC without similar proof.  The mountain of evidence that the Mainstream Media colluded with the Democrats is ignored by The Globe for obvious reasons. Trump is castigated for pointing this out. The editors don’t what to mention the alternative media which in many cases was far more accurate than they were. Trump is also made to look as though he doesn’t respect peaceful protest, but the Globe doesn’t seem to understand that private property is out of bounds for protest in the constitution.
 
Perhaps the most inexplicable claim in the editorial is that Donald Trump is responsible for dividing people by race and religion. Under President Obama race has become a badge of victimhood or the mark of an oppressor. The last eight years have produced divisions in society we have not seen since the early part of the 20th century. It has become permissible to call for the death of Donald Trump or for that matter any white people in the current climate of political correctness. An incontrovertible fact is that most terrorism in the world is perpetrated by just one ideology, radical Islam. By denying the importance of this fact it could be reasonably concluded that the open door policies of Mr. Obama have directly contributed to a schism between races and religions. The Globe says it is Trump’s fault because he wants to do something about it.

The Mainstream Press loves to warn us about “fake news” while insinuating untruths themselves. They imply that Trump supports white supremacists, “defines democracy as an election he wins”, "the press is only free if it supports him" and “us” is anyone who cheers for him. Even the editors at the Globe know this is patently untrue - but the insular media echo chamber loves it.

The incomprehensible logic of this editorial continues by conceding that many Americans believe that the system “celebrates the buying and selling of U.S. politicians by special interests”. Instead of outlining what Mr. Trump has proposed to fix the “rot”, the Globe quickly aligns the new administration with political extremes that it claims want to “blow the whole thing up”.  Cui Bono?

The left does not trade in introspection and The Globe is no exception. The editorial implies that many people are losing faith in liberal democracy. No one asks why in the piece and yet the elephant is clearly in the room. The subjection of the average citizen’s interests to global priorities has pushed government further away and has made it into an adversary not a benefit. Brexit was not a call for a strong leader to take over and relieve citizens of unpleasant civic duties, but the genuine desire to amputate a parasitical appendage that served the interest of others. The press openly despises individuals who wish to protect their “way of life” and calls them right-wing, anti-immigration, racist and now authoritarian.

Using the totalitarian government of China as a reference, The Globe freely compares Western democracies to the corrupt, unstable societies of Turkey and The Philippines. Never once do the editors even suspect that the electorate in Canada or Britain are using their institutions to correct what has become a bloated abuse of their trust. The Chinese claim that the US political system is powerless to restrain the despicable conduct of incompetent politicians, yet that is exactly what it has done.
It would appear that The Globe thinks that anyone in politics who says they are going to do something and then actually do it are authoritarians. Hence they reserve equal scorn for Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump. In an “Oh well, what are you going to do” moment the editors say that “Canada, like all countries run by imperfect human beings, suffers from politicians who sometimes break promises, mismanage funds, accept donations from lobbyists, and evade and lie”, but they really don’t mean it and are great guys if you would just get to know them. Much better than those authoritarian types like Putin or Trump who might just try to fix things.

The Globe concludes with a warning that these “authoritarian” leaders who were elected according to the rules of a constitutional democracy are a mortal threat to our institutions. Must we be wary of those who propose to act in the best interests of their own citizens? Congratulations Globe and Mail, you have equated Western democracy with endemic corruption (which we must accept) and the onus of self-sacrifice which is our obligation to the world at large.

 Thankfully the citizens of many Western democracies completely disagree and will use their proven institutions to improve their lot in life. They will say once again, in the immortal words of Colonel  Thomas Pride, to the parasitical interests that feast upon the public purse… You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Just Saw This on Twitter - Socialism for Dummies


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cobalt atoms on graphene: a low-cost catalyst for producing hydrogen from water

Rice University catalyst may lead to clean, inexpensive hydrogen production for fuel cells 
 A new catalyst just 15 microns thick has proven nearly as effective as platinum-based catalysts but at a much lower cost, according to scientists at Rice University. The catalyst is made of nitrogen-doped graphene with individual cobalt atoms that activate the process. (credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

Cost-effective replacement for platinum
“What’s unique about this paper is that we show … the use of atoms,” Tour said, instead of the conventional use of metal particles or nanoparticles. “The particles doing this chemistry are as small as you can possibly get.”
Even particles on the nanoscale work only at the surface, he explained. “There are so many atoms inside the nanoparticle that never do anything. But in our process, the atoms driving catalysis have no metal atoms next to them. We’re getting away with very little cobalt to make a catalyst that nearly matches the best platinum catalysts.” He said that in comparison tests, the new material nearly matched platinum’s efficiency to begin reacting at a low onset voltage (the amount of electricity it needs to begin separating water into hydrogen and oxygen).

Read more here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Case for Legalization of Freedom


Let me get this straight right off the bat, I am no fan of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and I will not be voting for him in this election. His government would increase spending & by necessity our taxes. They will erode our traditions & deemphasize the achievements of our history that occurred beyond the last 50 years. They will debase our culture under the guise of multi-culturalism and throw open our borders to anyone no matter the cost. They would promote a globalist agenda that is subservient to the United Nations at the expense of the interests of Canadians. So when I make the case for legalization of Marijuana it is not in support of Mr. Trudeau and his cynical ploy to woo the younger demographic to his big government Liberal cause. Phew!
I write this in the hope that our Prime Minister will once again return to his Libertarian roots and conclude that ending the Prohibition of drugs is the morally and economically correct thing to do. Mr. Harper has done a masterful job at keeping Canada united and prosperous. Ending prohibition is not a compelling issue that should lead to his defeat. The truth is, there isn't another party in the country that is closer to the goal of individual liberty than the Tories. (that has a chance of winning). I am promoting a process with stated goals that will evolve over time to enhance our freedom.

The case against legalization of marijuana was made recently by Ken Robertson, a former police chief and parent, in the Toronto Sun. The thrust of his argument was that legalization would lead to increased impaired driving accidents, an escalation in the addiction rate and the real concern about the health consequences of using marijuana. Mr. Robertson seemed to be advocating decriminalization as the correct course to take since it would emphasize treatment over the police arresting users for possession.  He believed that this would free up badly needed police resources for more urgent duties. His most compelling argument however comes as parent who does not want his children to be seduced into using drugs. I strongly believe his heart is in the right place, but his prescription will not get him where he wants to go.

 I start from the premise that “man must be free” to choose his destiny and by extension be responsible for the consequences of his actions. The law should support this concept by punishing activities that inflict provable damages against the life or property of others. Once a person reaches the age of reason they become an adult and have earned the right to be treated as such. Our legal tradition enshrines the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” necessitating the punishment of crimes committed, not restrictions on those who may, in the future, commit a crime. The paternalistic view that government is the guardian of our welfare is anathema to the historic evolution of common law.

The economic case for legalization is clear and undeniable. The free market decides how to meet the demand for goods by setting a price somewhere between what will provide a profit and what consumers are willing to pay. Any interference with these transactions will cause distortions that will result in costs imposed by Adam Smith’s invisible hand. If the supply is restricted the price of the product will by necessity rise. If the demand remains steady and the supply is outlawed then a black-market is created to meet the demand with the cost of circumventing the law built into the price. It is the prohibition of products that enables exorbitant profits that finance the viability of criminal organizations. The unintended consequence of government regulations lead directly to the correlation between the outlawing of products and the existence of organized crime.

For what appears to be mainly emotional reasons we have gone down a road that obliges the government to impose regulations upon us in the hope of re-engineering our behavior. The result has been an unmitigated disaster. Our best intentions have empowered a criminal class operating outside the constraints of the law. They profit by corrupting our politicians & law enforcement, unethically market to our young people, lure young men away from traditional responsible lives for the easy rewards of crime and violently defend their territory against all comers. Consider the fact that organized crime formerly controlled the distribution of alcohol with results that are well documented. Once alcohol was legalized, organized crime was forced to find new sources of revenue. The social ills caused by the abuse of alcohol are still with us, but the criminal element has been reduced to insignificance and the taxes collected help to mitigate the damage. Isn’t it time to start learning from our mistakes and stop enabling criminality?

Sometimes legal prohibition of products or services promotes the growth of vested interests that purport to exist for the greater good and enforcement of the law. Police budgets are inflated and defended by the need to fight the violent activities of organized crime. Social agencies fund-raise to help the addicted, abused mothers who were abandoned by criminal spouses.  It is suspected that Intelligence Agencies around the world have funded black operations by facilitating illegal drug deals. These groups would be in favour of a status quo solution such as greater funding to fight the contrived menace. Little thought is given to undermining unlawful profits by making the criminals compete with the likes of Molsons or Seagrams. In fact many view this as simply a transfer of money from law enforcement to greedy corporations.

The health issue is a legitimate concern that should be addressed by scientific study and conclusions. The disease caused by abuse of alcohol and the smoking of cigarettes is well documented. One would have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the perils of these legally sold products. Cigarettes have been controlled, regulated, restricted and taxed to the point that there is now a profitable business case to be made by selling them illegally.  So even here we are enabling the black-market. The solution of course is to treat people like the adults they are and let them decide their own destiny.  

With products like Cannabis the danger is not yet fully understood. It has been claimed that smoking pot can lower one’s IQ, that it can lead to lung cancer or it can bring on deadly consequences if mixed with other drugs. It has also been called a gateway drug because its lower cost helps build a relationship with the drug salesman who can then up-sell the customer to something stronger. Studies that show the exact opposite have also been published. As with other little understood threats to humanity, opponents will invoke the “precautionary principle” which justifies a ban in their minds. Our legal tradition passed down from the Magna Carta tends to let the individual decide what risks they would like to assume.

The argument against legalization that resonates with most people is the fear of impaired drivers causing havoc and carnage on our roadways. With alcohol it is well known that most DUI accidents causing death involve a chronic drunk with multiple offenses who is vastly over the legal limit. The answer is tougher punitive sentences for those who kill on our roadways. The lowering of the legal limit from .08 to .05 BAL is sadly a PR tactic to inflate the argument for more regulation. It does not address the problem. With Cannabis the same logic must be used. Those who kill while driving under the influence of any substance should punished and taken off the road with the full force of the law. Will legalization increase the number of impaired or drugged driving offenses? In Colorado we have a precedent, according to official state statistics the number of drugged drivers involved in fatal crashes has remained constant or declined over the past 10 years.  

The moral foundations of our legal tradition, where “arbitrary measures” by government should be vigorously opposed in order to protect our cherished freedom, are the basis in law for legalization. The invisible hand of the market where regulations distort the commercial viability of supply and demand offer a strong economic case in favour of legalization. The corruption and violence caused by empowering organized crime support legalization. The freedom to study long term health effects demands legalization. The decisions we make while operating a motor vehicle remain the same and the responsibility remains the same.
I have not come in contact with pot since high school many years ago. My concern is not to make pot more accessible to young people – it already is. The control of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol would reduce the profits of crime, add revenue to government coffers, promote legal business, reduce police budgets and end the incarceration of people for possessing a weed.  The solution is freedom.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Prohibition & The Freedom Agenda


This summer Toronto is welcoming athletes from all over the Americas to participate in something called the Pan Am Games. Most Canadians have very little knowledge or understanding of the many Latin countries which are outside the winter vacation spots they like to escape to. Most importantly they are unaware of the destabilizing effect our (and the USA war on drugs) policy of prohibition is wreaking on both Americas.

Western governments seem to have learned little from history and once again they are doomed to repeat their mistakes. The conviction that government sanctions will protect our children from dealers of addictive self-destruction has had the depressing effect of exacerbating the problem on every front. The finest intentions have realized our greatest fears.

It is time we were appraised of the consequences of our actions and begin to empathize with the victims of our rectitude. In the late Nineteenth Century the crusading zeal of militant Christianity had imposed upon the world a rigid morality which endorsed a style of political correctness where the appearance of respectability was valued above all else. In an unregulated society this expectation of self-moderation had many beneficial effects and was an impetus for the great social and economic achievements of the Victorian era. At the time there was a strong belief that mankind was existentially evolving into a more perfect society. The great institutions that were built during this time were the edifices of confidence. But, behind the veneer of decorum existed an underworld of human frailty. It is instructive to note that during this period of morality nascent industries of vice were happily and profitably operating out of view.  The brothels, opium dens and myriad drinking establishments served as pressure relief values for many who desired respite from the culture’s overbearing expectations. 

As we know vice can lead to many social and physical ills. The destruction wrought by participating in the forbidden world of debauchery (mainly men) repulsed the guardians of respectability (mainly women) and they demanded that something be done. Good people took up their crusade with the moral equivalence of the abolitionist movement to end slavery. They demanded the institutions of government step in and save the population from itself. Thus the legal prohibition of drink, drugs and sex was imposed for the greater good.    

Safe from the distractions of vice, humanity could at last achieve another evolutionary step on the road to perfection. Yet, something peculiar happened almost immediately after the “Greater Good” was served. The demand for forbidden fruit strengthened and the revenue netted by those supplying it increased. Attempts by authorities to stop the trade in contraband only seemed to produce a more creative entrepreneurial response. Average citizens were being rounded up and charged with criminal offences simply for possession of something they chose to consume. Suppliers operating in the Black Market meant that product quality control was hit and miss – without legal recourse many customers were cheated or poisoned. Colossal profits financed sophisticated criminal organizations that could bribe or extort government officials and prosecute a relentless public relations battle in the press. Operating outside the law required an armed security infrastructure that would not only ward off the police, but also other criminal competitors. They were well armed and would defend their source of revenue by any means possible – killing both themselves and innocent bystanders. Taxes had to be raised and fines increased to pay for the ever increasing demands for police resources to combat the threat. Young men were enticed to forgo the traditional path of fatherhood in order to chase after the riches promised by the dangerous Black Market adventure. Within a short span of years the majority of people had had enough, at least when it came to booze.

The end of prohibition was a great reprieve which forced the engorged criminal organizations to look elsewhere for profitable opportunities created by laws that would restrain legitimate competition.  

Today many people cannot even comprehend a world where self-moderation is not accompanied by volumes of rules and regulations that govern every aspect of their lives. As in the past we have chosen to outlaw certain vices for the “greater good” and not surprisingly we are enduring the same results. A critical difference is that the world is a much smaller place. If prohibition is enacted in one country the black-market demand will be supplied by resources that could come from anywhere around the globe.

Contraband is produced and delivered by ruthless criminal gangs in South America and the Far East.  Prohibition laws in North America are enabling these lawless organizations to operate off-shore and reap obscene profits.  Our laws are once again enriching criminals. They are still bribing and extorting officials and in some countries have become so strong that they control the entire government. High profits mandate that markets have to be defended from other criminals as well as the police. This has led to turf wars where hundreds of thousands of people in Latin America have been slaughtered. Our very civilization is being challenged by enriched warlords who are terrorizing entire populations in countries like Mexico and Columbia.

Banning products or services simply to protect citizens from themselves will only empower those who seek to subvert our purpose. Prohibition corrupts our government by providing a reason to bribe, extort or terrorize those who operate our institutions. The cost of maintaining police resources to counter the lawbreakers escalates year upon year as the futility of their mission puts them at odds with the personal freedom enjoyed by the citizenry.

The work ethic of our young people is undermined by temptation to reap a higher income within the Black Market. It degrades their respect for legitimate authority and encourages them to shun the responsibly of a traditional lifestyle. In effect they become the pawns within vast criminal organizations.

So what can we do?

Do we double down by increasing the power of the state? Do we treat every human being as a potential criminal by watching and cataloging their every move? Or, do we adopt a Freedom Agenda that is based on the respect of each individual?

Foundational documents like the Magna Carta sought to prevent the damage that cascades as a result of laws enacted to protect society from “potential” injury. A man should be judged by his peers and not subject to regulation without just cause.  Re-adopting respect for the freedom of individuals would have the wonderful effect of defunding and disarming criminals, lowering the cost of government and the police, promoting a responsible lifestyle for our youth, reducing the subversion of many third world nations by criminal elites and ending a major source of corruption within our own government. It will give us a chance to demonstrate the true compassion that grows out of our principled empathy for our fellow man.
Those who benefit from the status quo will fight the Freedom Agenda tooth and nail. Fear, uncertainty and doubt will be broadcast from every organization or institution that stands to lose funding, status or most of all control. Yet at the end of the day it is we people working for our personal self-interest who hold the power. We must expose the Prohibitionists for the paper tiger they are simply by demanding our legitimate right to freedom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Michael Coren



Many of us in our search for truth and justice will change our point of view and that is admirable if the reasons are valid. If they are not we are doomed to bounce from whim to whim never being certain of our motives.
In order to insulate one’s self from vacillating on your core beliefs, one must make a commitment to principled consistency. Over the years I have detected a capricious view of the world from Mr. Coren. He would make exceptions that in many cases were at odds with the principles of freedom. Unless he makes a commitment to non-contradictory thought he will soon devolve into a zealous authoritarian collectivist. Very sad. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When their research has social implications, how should climate scientists get involved?

My response to this Guardian position.

Taking a position as a political advocate means that you are no longer adhering to the prime directive of objectivity that is the due of true Scientists. In many ways you are no longer open to dissent when pressing your objectives with emotional zeal. You have become a believer.

If protecting your reputation is important than it is incumbent upon any professional to distinguish between their work and their hobbies.
Many climate alarmists have embraced the "Precautionary Principle" as the basis for their prescribed remedies, making them, in effect insurance salesmen. My understanding is that if you want to keep the price of insurance down, consumers must be persuaded to buy it, not compelled. The hard evidence so far leads many of us to discount the need for such a policy.

Political advocates prophesizing that the Arctic will be ice free by 2014 or that a child in New York will never know what it is like to throw a snow ball doesn't sell many insurance policies.

It devolves into the realm of opinion which by its nature, even if supported by evidence is subjective. I might take the evidence that red cars are more likely to be charged with speeding than blue cars. Yet that is only my opinion that your red car will get a ticket.

In order to come to a political solution opinions are important, but they must be distinguished from a scientists work, otherwise they become an inflexible dogma.

The point is that Political Advocacy is not Science. Everyone in a free society has the right to an opinion on political solutions, especially scientists. But, an opinion, even from a scientist, cannot be regarded with the same validity as an experimental deduction.

Indeed many scientists hold conflicting opinions on the best course of action we should take even if CO2 touches off a violent series of positive feedbacks.

It would be refreshing for a lay person like myself to see more debating and defense of prescribed actions in the public arena.

Either I have missed it or I have not seen a serious public rebuttal of: 1) The evidence that shows the climate has not warmed over the last 10 to 15 years despite an increase in CO2. 2) The polar ice is increasing in size. 3) There is no evidence that the number of tropical storms has increased. I think most of us are open to conflicting evidence when presented honestly & without bias.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Has the Public Sector reached a Critical Mass?

On June 12, 2014 another Liberal Majority government was elected despite a record number of scandals that cost taxpayers billions of dollars. What should have been a public shaming and humiliating defeat for the incumbent has turned into a clean slate to pursue a policy of empowered paternalism.

How could this happen?  I asked a prominent economist from the University of Western Ontario for his opinion on why the Tories were failing to catch fire with the electorate. His only answer was “it means that errors were made” (by the Tories). The answer could lie in an examination of those so called “errors”. The Tories had campaigned with a moderate plan to create private sector jobs and stabilize the fiscal deficit. They had called it the “Million Jobs” plan that would require a slowing in the growth of government. The result was a tidal wave of alarmism from public sector unions, and surprisingly from a few private sector labour organizations such as the Journalist’s Union.  The Tory plan was portrayed as a “slash and burn” agenda that would, believe it or not, destroy the province's economy. Was Tim Hudak’s error that he did not hide the fact that he believed something had to be done about provincial spending? Was it a tactical error to endorse the chopping of 100K public sector jobs? Was it a mistake to focus on Ontario’s competitiveness? Some pundits think so. Yet, this is a reaction to a plan that focused on fiscal responsibility (I would argue in a very moderate manner) and its failure to attract support points to a much deeper transition that has taken place within the province.

Over the past decade the Ontario government has aggressively broadened its powers to influence and distort the economy. It has dramatically increased the cost of energy with its draconian implementation of the Green Energy Act. It has thwarted entrepreneurial growth within the health industry by enforcing professional privilege that restricts less expensive resources from providing services. It has mandated that automobile drivers should be harassed with insurance services they don’t need and cannot opt out of, while forcing them to comply with overbearing and expensive inspection requirements. It has broadened the scale and cost of the education system so that children are drawn into the system at a much younger age.  The government has also lavishly spent its treasure on computerized databases that watch every detail of a citizen’s health status and drug purchases, driving habits and other metadata intrusions. These incursions have contributed to the explosive growth of Public Sector employment and Private Sector Cronies who are funded in whole or in part by the government.


The growth of the Public Sector has a corollary growth in the mandate for organizations that are designed to protect and expand the incomes and jobs of those who work for the government. This mandate includes political action in favour of more public spending. With the continuous growth of the Public Sector it will soon reach a critical mass where this vested interest has the power to elect the government it chooses.  Ontario is now faced with the terrifying prospect of being at the mercy of its own public infrastructure. It explains why a Liberal Party that has been in power for almost a decade and has been responsible for the most expensive scandals in the Province’s history can be re-elected with a majority in the Legislature. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The Curious Tale of the Burton Stone

This is the account of Percival Alexander Burton, born April 11 in the year of our Lord 1899, in the County of Essex, Dominion of Canada.

It is my purpose to commit the tale of an enigmatic heirloom to paper in order that the record may be passed to succeeding generations with the full appreciation of its history. What has come to be known as the “Burton Stone” has had an extraordinary and yet mysterious passage on its way to my possession and care. This stone is not to be confused with the celebrated plague icon from the Middle Ages titled the Burton Stone which resides in York, in the United Kingdom, rather it takes its name by coming into the possession of Sir Richard Francis Burton in 1860.

North American Shawnee Indians believed that a crystal stone descended from the firmament cradled inside a suspended light – In February, 1759 near a place in the Ohio Valley where the Shawnee War Chief Puckshinwa had taken up residence. This stone’s sudden appearance was construed by Puckshinwa’s mother Methotase to be a sign of some indecipherable significance.   In consultation with her British husband, a trapper named Rogers, she kept the peculiar stone securely concealed, passing it on to Puckshinwa upon her death.  His mother’s cryptic gift became Puckshinwa’s constant companion and oracle. It was the focus of his meditation, which at times, would proliferate into a dark prophetic vision. He named the crystal stone; “The Feline” in honour of his tribe, The Kispoko (meaning the dancing tail of a great cat). After years of contemplation Puckshinwa came to appreciate the icon’s purpose as a gateway through which he gained inner peace and the force of will to thrive and endure disquieting circumstance.

For Puckshinwa war was a constant menace upon his people - Be it first the Iroquois and their French allies, then the westward expansion of the British Empire, he felt they were constantly under threat of annihilation.  It is said that Puckshinwa contemplated the oracle of the Feline Stone before going into battle. But, before a great confrontation he rejected his inspection, being overcome with rage before a battle in 1774. He left the crystal with his son Tenskwatawa and was never seen again.

Tenskwatawa was devastated by the loss of his father and sought to sooth his sorrow with opiates and drink. At the very moment of despair it is said that Tenskwatawa began to contemplate the Feline stone and his life was renewed.

Tenskwatawa adopted the Lenape philosophy of self-reliance as revealed by their prophets and credited the crystal/stone for his rebirth. He was able to entice a large following of diverse tribesman with his beliefs and soon was regarded as a foremost spiritual leader.

The War of American Independence removed many of the official restraints, imposed by British foreign policy, to westward expansion of the colonists. This brought conflict with indigenous people wherever their interests overlapped. Tenskwatawa rejected the ways of the colonists and promoted a traditional Indian lifestyle. He eventually founded his headquarters in a new village he called Prophetstown.

Hatred slowly infused itself into Tenskwatawa’s creed. He soon became the prophet of an apocalypse that would descend upon his enemies. It was at this time that his hubris took control of him and he discarded the Feline Crystal - giving it to his older brother Tecumseh.
    
Tenskwatawa encouraged resistance to the new American Nation by attacking settlers and building a defensive confederacy of Indian tribes based in Prophetstown. Rage began to guide his actions and he rejected council from his brother who himself had begun to contemplate upon the Feline Stone. The Governor of the Indiana Territory, Willian Henry Harrison, was convinced that the status quo was intolerable. He organized a military force and in 1811 advanced on Prophetstown with the intention of destroying the village and the confederacy.

Tecumseh counselled Tenskwatawa to leave the village as Harrison approached, but Tenskwatawa in a fit of rage rejected his brother’s council and ordered a preemptive attack on Harrison’s force. The Indians took Harrison by surprise but were soon defeated leaving the way open to Prophetstown. Harrison completed his mission by burning Prophetstown to the ground and returned home. The Shawnee, now lead by their chief Black Hoof rejected Tenskwatawa and banished him.

It is said that Tecumseh thereafter consulted the Feline Crystal and proposed that independent Indian lands, echoing the great Mohawk leader Joseph Brant, were to be considered commons for all to use. But Indian elders were not in agreement and some of them, in the name of all, signed a treaty that sold their lands for the exclusive use of the settlers. Tecumseh was enraged, but he kept his composure and went from village to village espousing his vision with rhetoric and scintillating logic. He went so far as to meet with Harrison on a number of occasions to make his case for lasting peace. His nascent appreciation that his dream of an independent Indian state had swiftly become a forlorn hope led him into the depths of despair.  

The tides of history soon transformed everything. Tecumseh was swept up in the World War that came to North America in 1812. He found a kindred spirit in Sir Isaac Brock, the British commander in Upper Canada, and soon his idealism was revived. After contemplating the Feline Stone he engineered one of the greatest bloodless victories of all time. Tecumseh and Sir Isaac bluffed the commander of Fort Detroit, Brigadier General William Hull into surrendering without a fight. 

Sadly Sir Isaac Brock was killed shortly after while leading his men at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Sir Isaac was replaced by Major-General Henry Procter whom Tecumseh held in low esteem. Procter’s strategy was rejected by Tecumseh who wanted a more aggressive campaign against the Americans. Tecumseh became despondent after a number of defeats where he had not coordinated his actions with the British commander. It is at this time at the Fork of the Thames River, in October, 1813 that he gave the Feline Stone to a member of the British liaison contingent, Lieutenant Andrew Bulger. That very day Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames.

Andrew Bulger had immense respect for Tecumseh and had accepted the stone with great reverence. Tecumseh had discussed the history of the stone with Bulger in great detail and it became a prized possession. Much of what is known about the Feline Stone was preserved by this British officer.

Fatefully Bulger settled in Western New York State after the war. He came in contact with a man by the name of Joseph Smith who espoused a doctrine he named the "Latter Day Saint" movement. Smith had transcribed something he called the “Book of Mormon” which had been written by American Indian Profits. Knowing the story of the Feline Stone Bulger informed Smith of the story of Tenskwatawa and his conversion to Lenape philosophy and prophecy.

Smith immediately appreciated the significance of the stone and convinced Bulger to release the stone into his custody as an icon of his movement. It is unclear what the movements of the stone were from that point in 1830 and its subsequent rediscovery in Salt Lake City some 30 years later.

In 1860 Richard Francis Burton, the prolific writer, remarkable linguist, pilgrim to Mecca and world famous explorer embarked on a trip to North America. He had a keen interest in religious and sexual practices of exotic cultures. Predictably the Mormons of Salt Lake City were a prodigious curiosity for him.

He arrived in Salt Lake on August 28 and spent 3 weeks observing them. Burton met with Brigham Young and proposed that Young make him a Mormon. Knowing Burton’s history of religious insincerity, Young politely declined. Not to be thwarted Burton is said to have befriended certain young Mormon women, who incidentally were to ask him to marry them before he left. He was able to persuade them to reveal where he could gain access to the deepest secrets and icons of the Mormon Tabernacle. It is at this time that the Feline Stone somehow came into his possession.  Brigham Young had given Burton a historical overview of the many stones that were brought to the Tabernacle, but of all the "seeing stones" the Feline Crystal struck him as having the most meticulous lineage and an odd emission akin to a vibration.

Why or how the Crystal/Stone left on a stagecoach for San Francisco with Richard Burton no one knows. Suffice to say Richard left town quietly without fanfare while oddly, no one at the Tabernacle has ever publicly wondered where it went. Perhaps they were glad to be rid of it since those who had come into possession of the Feline Stone had sooner or later rejected its meditative enlightenment and paid a heavy price.

Upon returning to England by December of 1860, Richard Francis Burton married his devoted sweetheart Isabel Arundell and then embarked on a somewhat lackluster diplomatic career. It is unclear if Richard ever used the Stone as a tool of contemplation or even where the Feline Stone was kept until Richard’s death on October 19, 1890. Burton's temperament did not seem to allow for patient introspection. Certainly Isabel was eager to discard it along with anything else she felt might reflect badly on Richard’s legacy.

My father Fredrick W. Burton, who fancied himself as somewhat of an impresario, upon hearing of Sir Richard’s death immediately contacted Lady Isabel via the post to request a memento for a distant relative.


Now of course Fredrick had no idea if he was related to Sir Richard or not – it was just an instinctive grasp for what he perceived as an opportunity for profit. I am told that when a parcel arrived from Lady Burton, without a note of any kind, he could hardly conceal his amazement. Mother said it was quite comical to see him open the package only to find a rock in a threadbare purple velvet sack and a few pages of brown note paper with scarcely readable details written hastily upon them. Fredrick called it the “Burton Stone” and regarded it as an emblem of the folly of unrealistic hope (a hope he would maintain throughout his life). The Stone languished among Fredrick's forgotten possessions for 51 years until on a spring day in 1941 I came upon it and asked my father what it was and where it came from. He said it was a family heirloom given to him by Lady Isabel Burton in 1890, but of course it wasn’t worth anything. I don't believe he had ever taken the time to study the notes Richard had enclosed in the sack.

I painstakingly copied the notes to preserve the story the best I could - they were disintegrating in my hands. I have tried to contemplate upon the Crystal to no effect and I am filled with apprehension that the dereliction my life has become is in some way a fable to this folly. This account is all that is left of the tale which I hope will be passed down to successive generations of the Burton family so they can touch an icon from the mists of time. It might have easily been lost and I regard my contribution to saving it as my imprint upon immortality. PAB December 31, 1963

This account along with the "Burton Stone" were passed to me by my Great Uncle that New Years Eve in 1963. I was only seven years old. I still remember sitting in my Grand Father's parlor watching the Red Skelton Show when Percy asked me to keep something of great value safe and secure for all time. Percy was a lost soul but was someone I had developed an affinity for. Passing on the Burton Stone may well have been the major accomplishment of his life. I fully intend to fulfill my promise to do the same. Christopher J. Burton July 8, 1983 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Does Prohibiting Prostitution Enhance Freedom?

A rebuttal of Mr. Hampson's rebuttal of Anthony Furey's Libertarian defense legalizing Prostitution

Mr. Hampson has attempted to rebut a rational defense of prostitution with an emotional justification for state paternalism.  His argument presumes that human beings aspire to be indolent ne’er-do-wells, who, without the states intervention would become ideal fodder for manipulation by tyrants. They just don’t know what is best for them without his help.

Freedom is a two edged sword. It requires one to be responsible for one’s actions and most importantly to bear the consequences of those actions. The described man who only wishes to smoke marijuana and immerse himself in Pop culture must at least create enough wealth to pay for cable TV & his supply of pot in a free society. Only overbearing parents or the Nanny State could enable this lifestyle without contributions from the under achiever.

It is responsibility that gives human life its dignity. This is why slavery, initiated violence against others and child pornography are wrong. The use of force robs an individual of the dignity of responsibility and compels them to accept the consequences of someone else’s actions. Hence, the use of force by the state to engineer proper behavior in its citizens is inherently degrading.

By prohibiting prostitution the state is in effect creating a protected market for criminals who can demand high margins for a service with supply that is artificially constrained. In a free society it is a fallacy to claim that a woman is “being bought” and used. By her own volition she or he has traded value for value from a negotiated agreement.

Freedom also provides a moderating force to self-destructive activities. The freedom to speak one’s mind in a forum that does not violate the rights of others could be used to impart moral lessons and wisdom to all who would listen. It also provides us with the ability to use our compassion freely to whomever we think is worthy.

One can only conclude that by prohibiting sovereign individuals from engaging in an activity like prostitution the state has robbed us of the dignity of responsibility. This, I counter, makes us much more susceptible to tyrannical manipulation than if we truly were to choose our own course of action.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Revisiting the political divide

 
 Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)                              John Locke (1632 - 1704)

For lack of an argument many antagonistic partisans prefer simply to label their opponents as right-wing or left-wing in the hope it will relieve their audience of the necessity for any further thought. This is particularly irksome for a lucid adversary when the debated activity is misaligned on the political grid. But, what is this grid and is there a test that will reliably place one’s ideas in its proper place?  

I realize that this would be detrimental to anyone obfuscating their message deliberately, but I believe the time has come to agree on a universal political spectrum.

In 1789 the political divide was loosely defined by the seating in the French National Assembly. The spectrum consisted of a Jacobin elite on the left-wing of the house supporting what they called a republic and a Legitimist elite on the right-wing defending various implementations of the Monarchy. The overriding theme of the time was which elite would exercise absolute power over the unfortunate citizens of France. In hind-sight we know that the Jacobins would self-destruct by implementing an unprecedented orgy of political genocide known as the Terror - While the right-wing elites would implode by escalating destruction into the monumental catastrophe known as the Napoleonic Wars.

The French were unwilling or unable it seems to appreciate the evolutionary road to enlightenment that was unfolding in Britain and her empire. The dominant theme in Britain was the long road leading to the rejection of absolutism in all its forms. This began to unfold after the signing at Runnymede in 1215 of the immortal Magna Charta. Evolving with time half the British political spectrum could be defined by the classical liberal John Locke who advocated freedom through his justification of property rights and by proposing the separation of church & state. He became a major inspiration for the rebellion in 13 of Britain’s colonies in North America. The other half, perhaps best embodied by Edmund Burke have taken the view that tradition and religion were the best bulwarks against tyranny. The idea was that existing institutions could be modified, not replaced, to protect the rights of individuals. The consequences of these two roads have produced the “Constitutional Republic” and the “Constitutional Monarchy”. Both of these systems are designed to overcome the impulse toward absolutism – one overt and the other subtle.

Through the 19th and 20th centuries absolutists experimented with many different implementations of their trade. The Pragmatism of William James and John Dewy became the justification for all manner of tyranny under the rubric; “the end justifies the means”.  Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Islamism and Socialism are the resulting abominations. The dominant theme for modern day absolutists is the demand for group rights that are identified as the “collective”, the “people” or the “class”. By advocating for a group with a uniform message this structure is by its nature elitist. In response to the elitist experiments proponents of individualism began to question the legitimacy of the right to govern. The logical conclusion of this thinking is an ideal state of anarchy where no man is governed by another.

Today the political spectrum is inherently coloured by the clash of the elite forces of absolutism and the individual’s rational desire to be free. Boiled down to its bare essentials this is collectivism on the left of the grid and Individualism on the right.

Now you should know where you stand. If you advocate policies that require or justify the use of force against other people such as; government social programs or other wealth redistribution schemes, State monopolies like education or the post office and restrictions on free speech then you reside on the left-wing of the Political spectrum. If you advocate volunteerism, believe in free enterprise and freedom of thought & conscience then you reside on the right-wing of the grid.
Now that that is cleared up; are you a collectivist or an individualist, an elitist or an individualist, an initiator of force or an individualist – If you think about it you may change your mind.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Useful notes on Objectivism*

*From: TVtropes          

A philosophy inseparably connected to the name of its creator (and namer), Russian-American writer Ayn Rand.
Plato divided philosophy into four primary branches; Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics and Politics. Objectivism has positions in each of these areas:

METAPHYSICS


Metaphysics is the study of existence (also known as Ontology) as well as the basic 'substances' which make it up (also known as Cosmology). Rand argued, following Aristotle, that Ontology was the proper area of Metaphysics and that Cosmology should be reserved for the physical sciences. Thus, Objectivist metaphysics is confined to an Ontology.
What is Ontology? Ontology is the study of what it means to exist. This is probably the most mind screwy it gets, because 'that which exists' is a broad category. However, the basic questions of Ontology can be summarized as follows: Is there something? and If there is something, does it exist independently of my consciousness?
When you were a child and you thought that by closing your eyes, you could make something you dislike go away - well, that was your younger self hoping that the thing you didn't like existed in a way that depended on your consciousness.
Objectivism argues that: 1) There is something. 2) That it exists independently of your consciousness and you can't simply think it into non-existence. Philip K. Dick, no Objectivist himself, nevertheless articulated a definition of reality that many Objectivists can agree with: "Reality is that which, if you stop believing in it, does not go away."
You may ask "how can I know this? How can you know this? How can Ayn Rand know this?" The problem with asking that, according to Objectivists, is in order to know something, that something must exist in the first place.
Objectivist metaphysics thus stiplulates three axioms, i.e. undeniable, irreducible facts, describe how reality works:
  1. Existence exists (there is something)
  2. Every thing that exists has a specific nature or identity ('A is A' or 'a thing is what it is'). A thing must be something, otherwise it is nothing.
  3. You exist, and you exist possessing consciousness, which is the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

The theory suggests that these facts are "undeniable" because to deny them requires them to be true. If you deny that existence exists, you have to exist (because only entities can perform an action like denying something). Additionally, this denial assumes you have a consciousness which allows you to think and perceive and process information.......read more here.

Kant & Subjectivism

Kant's subjectivist philosophy*

"On the contrary, Subjectivism is the antithesis to Objectivism. Subjectivism was effectively established -but not explicitly stated- by German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). One of Subjectivism’s central tenets is that external reality is completely dependent on the internal reality of the perceiver; that reality as an individual perceives it (or in extreme cases as a collective perceives it) is a construct of the desires of the perceiver, or whims, wishes, hopes, or fears. 

Subjectivism holds that the universe is not absolute, in fact it asserts that no absolutes exist whatsoever- which is a contradiction, and contradictions do not exist- henceforth Objectivism is right because its tenets/axioms do not contradict themselves. “Subjectivists believe that feelings are the creator of facts, and therefore a man’s (collective in some cases) primary tool of cognition. If men feel it, declares the subjectivist, that makes it so,” a famous critique by Ayn Rand."

*Quote from William Nauenburg at Opinion

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cui bono?


Why are Toronto’s young black kids participating in gun violence? On the surface it is a perplexing problem that seems to defy a rational answer. But at its root, as always, there is one culprit that will foil any “symptom based” plan to end this unwelcome tragedy.  The Filthy Lucre obtained by reaping the profits of a false economy is the stimulus for extreme gang violence.  It is the “illegal” drug trade that is without a doubt the greatest contributor to urban violence in our country.
Because the Nanny State sees itself as the guardian of morality, having usurped the church, it feels compelled to regulate every aspect of choice within society. It is a self-perpetuating system that creates infrastructure to deal with alleged social ills, thereby legitimizing and expanding them into demand for further regulation.  Without the power of the modern Nanny State the Law of “Unintended Consequences” would serve as a lesson in corrective reform.  By creating powerful vested interests the state is unable to take curative measures without being accosted by a wave emotional propaganda designed to enforce the maintenance of ever expanding bureaucracy.
With almost existential inevitability the Nanny State will decree what is in the best interest of its population.  The most devastating instrument for state enforcement of morality is to prohibit a product or service that is desired by a segment of society.  Prohibition creates a market vacuum that can only be exploited by criminal activity.  Rather than focusing on liability for damages the state uses the law to shield the market from legitimate competition with the result of ludicrously high prices and profits.
Being much more resourceful than the state gives them credit many people will seek to supply the demand for prohibited goods or services. They will create the organization that is necessary to operate within an illegal environment.  Since the state has withdrawn the protection of law and order, these organizations will defend their market share from rivals with violence.  By following a policy of Prohibition the state has created a positive risk/reward incentive for many people who desire a fast-track to riches.
The prohibited activity becomes the focus of state expenditure which then creates a vested interest that is determined to expand its funding. Cui bono! All of this leads back to 15 year old kids killing each other in order to compete within a street level sales organization that operates in a lawless environment.  
Prohibition enriches criminal organizations, leads to violence, creates expensive vested interests and results in the death of children.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nothing to see here


Nothing to see here – move along – quickly now! (Responding to note below)
All of the cheerleaders for the “Idle no more” or “party on” group, such as the CBC, Toronto Star & other lefty apologists don’t want you (the tax payer) to know the facts. It appears that Sun News is the only news outlet willing to ask some of the right questions.
When “Sacred Cow” issues like the standard narrative for Climate change or Native rights are challenged by the facts many of us just don’t want to face up to reality because it doesn’t jive with our world view.
We use the standard tactic of attempting to deflect attention away from the issues at hand and hurl abuse at the proverbial straw man that everyone agrees is the enemy.  For many on the left side of the political spectrum the straw man is Sun News. They are liars (they must be I read that in a blog somewhere) or they are in the pay of big oil. So we can safely avoid paying any attention to the issues at hand and write off the inconvenient facts as the ravings of a lunatic.
Well, many of us from the right, centre, left and libertarians want to know the truth about how our tax dollars are being spent and what is the motivation for that spending. Basic questions should be asked in order to take rational action toward the desired outcomes.
These issues start right at the basic principles we use to govern our morality:

1)   In our society whose interests predominate? The individuals or the guilds (elites)?

2)   Is it moral to perpetuate unsustainable communes based on race with tax dollars?

3)   Are racially based contracts even constitutional in the 21st century?

4)   Are we encouraging an elitist criminal culture with our paternalistic welfare?

5)   Are native people being used as tools to achieve political agendas?

Let’s address the real issues at hand and avoid the use of Red Herrings to deflect attention away from them.  And yes we can take arguments seriously, even from the CBC or Sun News. It requires only that we take responsibility for our own interpretations and defend them rationally.
CJB

All that said, it is certainly strange that the Attawapiskat First Nation seems to have been running a multi million dollar surplus for the past two years.
The financial statements are here btw:
http://www.attawapiskat.org/wp-content/uploads/2011-Consolidated-Finanacial-Statements.pdf
Hardly 'investigative journalism' though. 
Ezra could have put all his 'reports' together from his bedroom. He even admits the networks rep. as a tabloid. 
It's pretty insulting of him to sweep aside the efforts of the many canadians involved in the Idle No More and Occupy movements as goalless stunts organized for attention by some mysteriously rich circle of radical liberals. An interview or two would be welcome as well. Just a poor excuse for real journalism. 
Overall, not worth listening to. 
But that's just my opinion.
gregory

On January 14, 2013 5:44:48 PM PST, gregory burton wrote:
Can we really consider seriously any arguments presented on Sun News?
REALLY? 
I mean come on, If a branch of the CBC printed a line of tabloid papers would we still trust the integrity of their reports?
Sun news was created because Quebecor thought Canadian viewers were getting bored and switching to American news channels. 
Bored. Not suspicious.
Canadian News channels maybe haven't been the most exciting in history, but they've generally done a decent job at being honest and well rounded, and have garnered a reputation for being networks that report facts. 
Not so with Fox News, the American template for the Sun News Network. Their shifty antics and reputation for mis-reporting are well known and documented by many, and most are at least aware. These people make entertainment news. It's their mission statement. They sell 'hard news' and 'edgy opinions' to a market demographic of bored citizens. They've said it themselves quite plainly if we care to listen.
(one example of an independent online magazine doing simple, straight reporting.)
http://www.broadcastermagazine.com/news/quebecor-to-launch-english-news-channel/1000374543/
Up until now I haven't needed my news, or my world for that matter, to be more exciting or edgy than it already is. The likes of Rick Mercer and John Stewart are about as much 'opinion' reporting as I can stand, and that, because at least they acknowledge the joke.
I'll stick with the CBC until pressure forces them through the same hoop. And after that, I'd rather make a few well-considered phone calls and emails to folks who are involved or who know people who are involved (which I'm sure we all do if we think hard enough) to get some firsthand info. than listen to explicitly 'less politically correct' and 'unapologetically patriotic' entertainment news.
From where I stand these issues are much more important for us to be thinking about than anything Ezra Levant has to say about a very old and very delicate issue in Canadian society and politics.
Keep your heads up, and much love
gregory

Monday, December 3, 2012

In response to Brian Stewart: Time for Canada to get back to peacekeeping

To Brian Stewart

Many of us do not have a problem with peace keeping per se - it is the body controlling the operation that breeds disgust.  The UN has indeed proven to be a cess pit of corruption and political complication. Many of its operations come preconfigured for failure with compromises that have led to soul destroying restrictions that produce genocidal results.

Peace keeping missions in the future should focus on the best interests of Canada and our allies, but they should not be prosecuted under the auspices of the UN. NATO and The Commonwealth are far superior organizations for the promotion of peace that remains in-line with our western values.

Mr. Stewart will find few who wish to return to the futility of past liberal Canadian fantasies where Canadian soldiers are reduced to helplessly pleading with combatants to maintain a cease-fire and refrain from slaughtering innocent civilians. It is also most distressing to hear Mr. Stewart refer to Somalia, Rwanda, and Srebrenica as merely the down side of a good policy – any organization that would have its soldiers stand down while genocide is underway is corrupt to the core.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This Says it All

If we can save but one........


"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
                      C.S. Lewis


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Debased by Debate


Exposed as irresponsible spend thrifts, the left is desperately searching for ways to connect with its base and find its way back to power. In Jamaica they have decided to employ xenophobia with a good measure of racism. (It is so much fun to accuse others of outrageous intent – but “reductio ad absurdum”) Portia Simpson Miller the Prime Minister has decided to implement constitutional change and replace the Queen as head of state in the island. Why? Because it is a great devise to deflect attention from the fact that she has no stomach for policies that will improve the lot her fellow countrymen.

In Canada the Monarchy is very popular (to the everlasting consternation of the left) and it would be suicidal for a Liberal or NDP leader to make such a policy a major plank in their platform. For them the deflection will come under the guise of a “reasonable debate”. They need time to repeat over and over again, with the help of their media minions, their xenophobic, anti-British heritage message.  This was the same tactic Lester Pearson used to undermine Anglo- Canadian heritage in the 1960’s. Keep chipping away at the infrastructure until through exhaustion it ceases to be relevant.

 The problem is that there is no downside to the Monarchy.  It adds to the prestige of the country on an international level, it rewards valour and it generates more wealth than it costs. On a constitutional level it provides moral leadership (exemplified by King George during World War Two) while at the same time acting as a model for the limitation of executive power. The tradition of our Constitutional Monarchy stands as point of patriotism, like the flag, that all people can rally to regardless of political affiliation.

The Monarchy is a symbol of our Country.  To debate it is to debase it – much the way that debates on the right to burn the flag denigrates it and the country. To debate the Monarchy would cause great pain and distress to many of our soldiers and senior citizens.  Canada is a mature, confident democracy that is in no small measure a direct result of our history. Even while young Liberals are preparing their mischief, they cannot deny that the very subjects they pretend to speak for have in the past petitioned the Monarchy on the world stage. Both Aboriginal people and Québécois have used this avenue to present their case before the people of Canada.

The symbols of the Country should never be subject to partisan debate unless there is an aggrieved party. With the Monarchy as with the flag there are no damages – only benefits.

At the polls Canadians will punish the Left again if they inject xenophobia and racism into the national debate – they will give pain for pain received.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Entitlement and Anti-social Behavior = OWS

The occupy movement, if you can call it a movement, has highlighted a peculiar inconsistency that has muddled thinking in the West for 100’s of years. Since the Enlightenment toleration of divergent views has become the hallmark of the compromise we call modern society. Today we are pushing the envelope on the toleration front to the point where we tolerate advocates who would outlaw toleration.
Most sane people agree that the foundation of Western freedom is adherence to the rule-of-law. Law that is arrived at by a democratic process we call Parliament. It would follow that those who skirt the law are either undermining freedom or protesting an unfair law. How then do we classify those who game the law for an affirmative benefit for themselves or their constituency?
The reason the occupy movement has not roused a larger base of support from the local populations (other than the fact that they are an unsympathetic, unwashed rabble without a cogent message) is because they are perceived to be getting away with something the rest of us cannot. Most of us know that we would be penalized without exception if the parking meter runs out or if we block traffic. Yet protestors flout regulations in the name of expression with what appears to be little consequence. We expect a “level playing field” or “equality before the law” will instill a sense of fairness that makes social interaction tolerable.
The inconsistency is the erroneous belief that the “freedom to destroy freedom” in the name of protest has any legitimacy in western thought.  For centuries the principles of Locke, Smith and Jefferson have come under exceptionally innovative attack by those seeking an unfair advantage. Vested interests have always tried to subvert freedom with intimidation to enhance their position. Unions routinely obstruct the rights of others for partisan benefit, just as the guilds and marketing boards restrict entry to professions or production for their own profit. The growth of government itself is a form of subversion that tilts the playing field toward absurd levels of unfairness (In direct contradiction of the stated goals). 
I hope we have reached the limit of tolerance for anyone who would disregard the law in pursuit of unfair benefits. The economic crisis we face today is the direct result of government policies that sought to “help” certain constituencies by giving those advantages others do not have. This mandate to fast track some people encouraged ingenious but disastrous behavior in the money markets by insinuating that sub-prime loans would be underwritten by government policy.
Perhaps the best illustration of the escalating divergence from the path of freedom is the contrast between the Tea Party protests and the Occupy Wall Street movement. One group scrupulously obeyed the law, demanded unconditional liberty with no advantage and promoted a consistent philosophy. The other group broke the law, demanded free stuff and had no coherent message to speak of.
If we truly want to maintain our liberty within a civil society we must reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law. Sadly this will only bear fruit when the law itself is purged, as best we can, of favoritism and partisan advantage. Social engineering by government inherently seeks to subvert natural law and supplant it will short-term utopian goals. We are now enduring the long-term effects of the Welfare State; extreme feelings of entitlement and anti-social behavior. I.E. The Occupy Wall Street Movement.  God help us!