Monday, May 31, 2010
But this one is a classic, from The Stranger.
In order to escape their various imaginary problems, our intrepid foursome traipses off to dark, exotic Abu Dhabi ("I've always been fascinated by the Middle East—desert moons, Scheherazade, magic carpets!"). When they arrive, Carrie, because she is a professional writer, announces, "Oh, Toto—I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!" Each woman is immediately assigned an extra from Disney's Aladdin to spoon-feed her warm cinnamon milk in their $22,000-per-night hotel suite. Things seem to be going great. But very quickly, the SATC brain trust notices that it's not all swarthy man-slaves and flying carpets in Abu Dhabi! In fact, Abu Dhabi is crawling with Muslim women—and not one of them is dressed like a super-liberated diamond-encrusted fucking clown!!! Oppression! OPPRESSION!!!
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Different, aren't they? Me, I'm naturally inclined to favour the Israeli version, but the differences are remarkable. The details will emerge over the coming weeks one would think, but this article reiterates the claim that the IDF were attacked upon boarding one of the six vessels - the one the IDF claimed was transporting "extremists".
Is it unthinkable to assert that a flotilla heading toward Gaza would be assisting terrorists, or even transporting military material? The facts will hopefully emerge, but in the meantime, some words of solidarity with Israel are surely in order, given that the international media will have a feeding frenzy on this one.
Congratulations to the IDF on their show of restraint.
*UPDATE* (and there will be a few)
Sky News posts revealing video and comments by Benjamin Netanyahu. The film is shot by one of the crew of the Mavi Marmara and shows Israeli commandos landing on deck and being immediately set upon by the "peace activists".
The voiceover though, is hilarious! The reporter states that the Israelis "should have anticipated this", when raiding an "aid armada" (completely missing the meaning of the word 'armada' there!). What should they have expected the humanitarian vessel to be full of? humanitarians or something?
Some facts about the incident, as the day progresses
1. Does anyone - anyone - believe the flotilla was in any sense for "peace"?
2. The whole stunt (the 9th attempt) was intended to be provocative. All humanitarian aid is permitted into Gaza via normal routes, there was no need for this mission other than, as a South African might say, to cause kak.
3. Israeli commandos did not attack from the air, but boarded the vessel to search it, as they had done with the other five ships in the convoy. The ship, which did not respond to requests that it identify itself, was boarded and the first man to touch deck was set upon by crowds of men wielding iron bars and other implements. The IDF used lethal force as a last resort. There were hundreds of violent people on that ship and only ten were killed?
4. The crew of that one ship, the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, had been filmed by Al-Jazeera singing 'death to Jews' type songs en route.
5. One female crew member wished for "martyrdom" if the mission did not succeed in breaching the blockade.
No doubt this will be but a footnote in the ANC's diary, but I think it worth a mention for a variety of reasons. The Union was the result of nine years of negotiations between the various political factions in the formerly diverse colonies, and in my view the Union represented a great victory for common sense and peacemaking following a destructive and bitter war.
South Africa was not to be like the other Dominions - one fact that has created real problems since - and was more centralised than Canada or Australia, with their distinct and independent provinces. Rhodesia was given the option to join in 1922 (but rejected 60-40), and Walvis Bay was given away in 1921, but otherwise the borders remain as they were drawn up in 1910.
Love it or loathe it, the Union lasted exactly fifty one years- and 100 years ago today, the South Africa as we know it was born.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
That's my first reaction to the news that an oft-cited source of left-wing commentary on this blog, Laurie Penny, has been set loose on the world as a columnist for The New Statesman. Penny's blog has provided much lunacy, and entertaining material, for me over the last year and her latest article continues a theme I've commented on before in her writing, namely the subordination of womens' rights to those of her broader left-wing ideology.
I'm a well-wisher, in the sense that I don't wish Laurie any specific harm. But I would rather the fewer left-wing journalists out there spewing hate the better.
Her latest subject is the burqa, and the subheading, "It is patriarchy rather than religion that oppresses women across the world."
According to Penny (and I know it's standard practice when using single names of authors to refer to men by their surnames and women by their first, but I'm sure she would appreciate the equal treatment of my using her last), the wearing of the burqa is equivalent to wearing revealing clothing in the West, and cites a Muslim friend who
"shared with me the privations of compulsory Islamic dress, and I explained the pressure to constantly appear feminine and sexy that I experienced as a British teenager".
She weaves between a position where the burqa is simply about clothing choice, and one where
"The Islamic veil is definitively a threat to Western values". Those who use the 'clothing choice' argument often miss that the veil is not just about the female wearer but is a symbol of her possession by one male, and is also a mark of the dominance of Islam on Western streets. This blog has stated previously that a true Liberal approach to 'banning' such symbols and protecting women is to enforce a law which states that no person may enforce any dress upon another, thereby putting the law of the land firmly on the side of those seeking liberation.
No women, it's fair to say, have acid poured over their faces, or are burnt alive or otherwise murdered - with state complicity - for not wearing revealing enough clothes on Western streets. This is why to equate Islamic with Western womens' dress is to miss the point entirely. "Patriarchy" may indeed be at fault, but a certain kind of patriarchy only. Those who want to draw a parallel between, say, stiletto heels and the niqab, might want to try not wearing those heels for a day and observe what happens when they wear something else: Absolutely nothing.
Penny Red: A modesty slip for misogyny.
Ireland changed its birthright laws a few short years ago, to prevent the commonplace phenomenon whereby immigrants, mostly African, arrived pregnant and gave birth to "Irish citizens". By extension, this always meant the mother could not be deported. But now that has changed, and America can follow suit.
See here from George Will :
WASHINGTON -- A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal immigration.
To end the practice of "birthright citizenship," all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment's first sentence: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants.
A parent from a poor country, writes professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare state." Therefore, "It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."
Writing in the Texas Review of Law and Politics, Graglia says this irrationality is rooted in a misunderstanding of the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." What was this intended or understood to mean by those who wrote it in 1866 and ratified it in 1868? The authors and ratifiers could not have intended birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants because in 1868 there were and never had been any illegal immigrants because no law ever had restricted immigration.
If those who wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment had imagined laws restricting immigration -- and had anticipated huge waves of illegal immigration -- is it reasonable to presume they would have wanted to provide the reward of citizenship to the children of the violators of those laws? Surely not.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 begins with language from which the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause is derived: "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States." (Emphasis added.) The explicit exclusion of Indians from birthright citizenship was not repeated in the 14th Amendment because it was considered unnecessary. Although Indians were at least partially subject to U.S. jurisdiction, they owed allegiance to their tribes, not the United States. This reasoning -- divided allegiance -- applies equally to exclude the children of resident aliens, legal as well as illegal, from birthright citizenship. Indeed, today's regulations issued by the departments of Homeland Security and Justice stipulate:
"A person born in the United States to a foreign diplomatic officer accredited to the United States, as a matter of international law, is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. That person is not a United States citizen under the 14th Amendment."
Sen. Lyman Trumbull of Illinois was, Graglia writes, one of two "principal authors of the citizenship clauses in 1866 act and the 14th Amendment." He said that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant subject to its "complete" jurisdiction, meaning "not owing allegiance to anybody else." Hence children whose Indian parents had tribal allegiances were excluded from birthright citizenship.
Appropriately, in 1884 the Supreme Court held that children born to Indian parents were not born "subject to" U.S. jurisdiction because, among other reasons, the person so born could not change his status by his "own will without the action or assent of the United States." And "no one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent." Graglia says this decision "seemed to establish" that U.S. citizenship is "a consensual relation, requiring the consent of the United States." So: "This would clearly settle the question of birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens. There cannot be a more total or forceful denial of consent to a person's citizenship than to make the source of that person's presence in the nation illegal."
Congress has heard testimony estimating that more than two-thirds of all births in Los Angeles public hospitals, and more than half of all births in that city, and nearly 10 percent of all births in the nation in recent years, have been to illegal immigrant mothers. Graglia seems to establish that there is no constitutional impediment to Congress ending the granting of birthright citizenship to persons whose presence here is "not only without the government's consent but in violation of its law."
Friday, May 28, 2010
Here are two realities:
First, the Euro-Canadian Welfare State is - no matter how many Conservative governments we elect - not going any place soon.
Second, our population is only replenishing itself through immigration, and we have now "outsourced" that function - i.e. making babies - to foreigners.
So can we not combine these two facts into a more, er, pro-baby welfare state? Norway has, it argues, accomplished this quite well and Norway is partly correct. It also does a lot of other things - oh, so many, many things - but one thing Norway does is direct a large part of its taxpayer-funded largesse towards under-18s.
Not so smart in a country where Muslims, say, are breeding at three times the domestic rate, one might think, but remove immigrants from the welfare system and what you're left with is a pretty good idea. Fund (secular, state) schools, for example, and withhold married-couple tax credits until they have children (after all, that is the rationale behind the increased allowances).
Why not shrink the welfare state and at the same time make it more child-friendly. This reduces the tax burden and makes it easier for young couples to have children, which is, after, very important for a healthy society.
Welfare isn't going away - but couldn't we use it to solve some pressing problems?
Jonah Goldberg said that if Libertarianism could account for children and foreign policy it would be an ideal political philosophy, and it took me a while to figure out what he meant. Libertarianism, at its heart, is the belief in liberty, at an individual level, which is to form the basis of all laws, ethics and government, and the goal is to protect the rights of the individual and limit the scope and powers of government.
In this sense it could be said that with all the emphasis on the rights of the private citizen, what about matters beyond those of the individual? It has been said that Libertarians are good on economics but bad on social issues, and there may be some truth in this. We are more than just economic units, although only classical Marxist really considers that that's all we are.
It has been said too that Libertarians abhor nationalism and other forms of collectivism. This is untrue, largely, in the sense that while Libertarians abhor Statism, they ought not to oppose forms of collective activity as long as they are voluntary and not imposed by the state.
It has been accurately pointed out that Libertarians, broadly, oppose restrictions on immigration, although this blog has argued against this on the grounds that protecting the life, liberty and property of citizens involves making a distinction between who is a citizen and who is not.
Similarly, I can live with Nationalism - or, preferably, Patriotism. Nationalism is a basic human impulse, and as long as it is not used a stick to beat people with, can be a constructive and noble endeavour. I was recently accused of not being a real "individualist" because I expressed pride in my ethnic and cultural heritage. What nonsense, but yet reading articles by some Libertarians it is not hard to come to the conclusion that they resent the nation-state and all forms of collective identity.
Another criticism of Libertarianism, suggested above, is that an emphasis on the individual neglects children and is anti-family. Again, this is an unfair characterisation. Individualism is a legal framework and has few suggestions to offer on how people conduct their lives. Why should emphasising personal freedom restrict families and the birth of children. Western societies, broadly speaking, are suffering from low birthrates, but the most "libertarian" parts of the Western world - America's Red States - are the only ones where people are reproducing at 'replacement rates'.
Allowing people maximum freedom and, more importantly, letting them spend their own money, seems to lead to larger families, not smaller. This is one reason why Libertarianism has a natural home with traditional Conservatism, and particularly with American Republicanism. It has been said that Libertarianism does not promote "family values" in the way that Conservatives like, but by not "promoting" any values, do we not allow people to make up their own minds - the consequence of which will be that they follow whatever comes 'naturally'?
If "family values" are natural - as Conservatives rightly claim they are - in proclaiming personal freedom are we not implicitly promoting those values?
It could be said that individualism is just pure selfishness. But breeding a culture of personal responsibility is not selfishness. Indeed, what could be more selfish that an entitlements-based society created by left-wing social engineers?
In terms of National security- or as Goldberg refers to it, foriegn policy - what have Libertarians to say? Most are anti-war, and the Bush Doctrine does not go down well. But there is legitimate dissent with the larger libertarian movement about this, and it can be strongly argued that protecting property (and other) rights it is fully necessary to participate in military activity. Americans have never shied away from this and I don't see how National defence is a threat to liberty.
One final criticism of Libertarianism I've heard is that it is almost silent on "racial" issues, in spite of the feeding frenzy the media is having over Rand Paul's remarks. Radical individualism is necessarily silent on such things, and this annoys those who think in those terms. I don't think this can ever be solved, particularly when it comes to racial essentialism.
However, it may -or may not - indeed be the case that "the facts of life are racist". Or at the very least "culturist". I'm a dedicated Culturist, in that I believe that Western culture is superior to all others, and I believe that prosperity is dependent on behaviour. Libertarians are strictly opposed to social engineering and this includes trying to fill the income and achievement gaps between different ethnic groups, which is how Paul got into trouble.
Laws do not need to reflect any differences there may be, however, in fact it is essential they don't. The law must remain neutral and apply to everyone equally. No free pass for poor behaviour should be allowed to anyone, and if this system results in "inequality", so be it.
This applied to immigration too. You may have a "right" to follow a foreign culture on our shores but don't expect us to pay for it. It may be your culture to circumcise your daughter, beat your wife or set fire to your sister, but if you do it here, we'll prosecute you - and deport you.
So, Libertarianism is not a monolith. There is legitimate dissent within, as in all movements, and so I will continue to tread carefully around it, with a critical mind.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
But that too exposes the huge contradiction at the heart of the whole Apartheid= Crime Against Humanity thing: namely that South Africa, the original apartheid state, was a hell of a lot more benign that the rest of Africa at the time - and probably still today. The reason the peacenik lefties didn't go around condemning and boycotting the regimes in, say, Congo or Uganda, was simply that they knew those dictators couldn't be reasoned with, while South Africa could.
Why? because the lefties know that there is an element of civilisation there that was/is not present in most other African regimes. As Hitler knew when he chose the Blitz as an ideal strategy to fight a democratic nation like Britain, civilised societies can take a lot less punishment than totalitarian ones can. Why? Because people are free to dissent, and can put pressure on their governments in a way that fascist states can't.
And the same is true with Israel. The Leftists cannot reason with Saudi Arabia. Or Syria. Or Iran. Much easier to pick on a state with a proper government, whose people can (maybe) be shamed or cajoled into enforcing change. It worked in South Africa. It probably won't work in Israel.
When anti-Apartheid activists declared that South Africa was one of most injust countries on earth, that's not what they meant. They meant it was an injust regime that could be reasoned with and changed, an easier target than going after the big murderers of the world. And that's what they mean when they talk about Israel. They have maybe, possibly, stepped on some of their Arab citizens' toes while doing important security work, but very little is said of the surrounding Arab nations' treatment of minorites - or women for that matter. But those nations are not malleable or amenable to change.
Israel just might be, and so it continues. ...
...It was scary enough last February when the Ontario Legislature voted to denounce Israeli Apartheid Week (with leftie Cherie DiNovo unfortunately in tow), but now the censorship beast is squatting right in our own grassroots organizations.
To appreciate how badly anti-occupation forces have been outmanoeuvred, consider the trajectory following that February vote. Immediately after, the Toronto District School Board forbade all Israeli Apartheid Week activities. And soon after that, Kyle Rae was writing Pride to review parade entrance requirements, citing the legislative vote and invoking city anti-discrimination policies.Yes, we wouldn't want to "stigmatize" the "good" Israelis, the ones who are just as keen to trash the Jewish State as are their non-Jewish "brothers and sisters."
But the snowballing didn’t stop there: next, reps for the city’s diversity unit were expressing their nervousness about whether some Pride participants would feel excluded by the anti-apartheid contingent and raising the issue of city funding for Pride. The implications of this are staggering: pro-occupation ideologues now have their mitts on the city’s fine diversity unit.
All of this makes my skin crawl. The space for allowable discourse shrinks, and now Pride’s great celebration is stumbling into a swamp of bitterness and recrimination.
There’s a lot at stake here. It’s not like there are hordes of groups out there defending the rights of hungry Gaza children, families whose homes have been demolished, Palestinian farmers who’ve had their groves destroyed and civilians strafed by Israeli air power.
Now the orgs that do exist are on the firing line of a relentless and apparently competent campaign to demonize and sideline them.
Things are not going well. In my way of thinking, the weakness of the “Israeli apartheid’’ formulation, quite apart from the interesting debate over whether Israel does or doesn’t practise classic apartheid, is that it allows detractors to claim it stigmatizes the whole of the Israeli people...
To my way of thinking, the weakness of the "Israeli apartheid" formulation is that it's not really about Gaza at all. It's part of a plan, orchestrated by the OIC, working through the UN (hello, Durbans I and II), to brand Israel as an apartheid state as means of justifying its destruction on "moral" grounds. That queers, of all people, would rally to such a cause, one which is Naziesque in intent if not yet in execution (emphasis on "yet"), does more than make my skin crawl. It makes me sick.
Back in 2008, when I was fulminating against multiculturalism on a more or less weekly basis, a reader wrote to advise me to lighten up, on the grounds that “we’re rich enough to afford to be stupid.”
Two years later, we’re a lot less rich. In fact, many Western nations are, in any objective sense, insolvent. Hence last week’s column, on the EU’s decision to toss a trillion dollars into the great sucking maw of Greece’s public-sector kleptocracy. It no longer matters whether you’re intellectually in favour of European-style social democracy: simply as a practical matter, it’s unaffordable.
How did the Western world reach this point? Well, as my correspondent put it, we assumed that we were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid. In any advanced society, there will be a certain number of dysfunctional citizens either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to support themselves and their dependents. What to do about such people? Ignore the problem? Attempt to fix it? The former nags at the liberal guilt complex, while the latter is way too much like hard work: the modern progressive has no urge to emulate those Victorian social reformers who tramped the streets of English provincial cities looking for fallen women to rescue. All he wants to do is ensure that the fallen women don’t fall anywhere near him.
So the easiest “solution” to the problem is to throw public money at it. You know how it is when you’re at the mall and someone rattles a collection box under your nose and you’re not sure where it’s going but it’s probably for Darfur or Rwanda or Hoogivsastan. Whatever. You’re dropping a buck or two in the tin for the privilege of not having to think about it. For the more ideologically committed, there’s always the awareness-raising rock concert: it’s something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but let’s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics. The modern welfare state operates on the same principle: since the Second World War, the hard-working middle classes have transferred historically unprecedented amounts of money to the unproductive sector in order not to have to think about it. But so what? We were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.
That works for a while. In the economic expansion of the late 20th century, citizens of Western democracies paid more in taxes but lived better than their parents and grandparents. They weren’t exactly rich, but they got richer. They also got more stupid. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want.” Sir William and his colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic succeeded beyond their wildest dreams: to be “poor” in the 21st-century West is not to be hungry and emaciated but to be obese, with your kids suffering from childhood diabetes. When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones. In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works. They are not so much without employment as without need of it. At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted. It’s one of the basic rules of life: if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it. But, in good and good-ish times, who cares?
By the way, where does the government get the money to fund all these immensely useful programs? According to a Fox News poll earlier this year, 65 per cent of Americans understand that the government gets its money from taxpayers, but 24 per cent think the government has “plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars.” You can hardly blame them for getting that impression in an age in which there is almost nothing the state won’t pay for. I confess I warmed to that much-mocked mayor in Doncaster, England, who announced a year or two back that he wanted to stop funding for the Gay Pride parade on the grounds that, if they’re so damn proud of it, why can’t they pay for it? He was actually making a rather profound point, but, as I recall, he was soon forced to back down. In Canada, almost every ethnocultural booster group is on the public teat. Outside Palestine House in Toronto the other week, the young Muslim men were caught on tape making explicitly eliminationist threats about Jews, but c’mon, everything else in Canada is taxpayer-funded, why not genocidal incitement? We’re rich enough that we can afford to be stupid.
It’s not so much the money as the stupidity, which massively expands under such generous subvention. When it emerged that President Barack Obama had appointed a Communist as his “green jobs czar,” I carelessly assumed it was the usual youthful “idealism”: no doubt Van Jones, the Communist Obama appointee in question, had been a utopian college student caught up in the spirit of ’68 and gone along for the ride. A passing phase. Soon grow out of it. But, in fact, Mr. Jones became a Communist in the mid-nineties, after the fall of the Soviet Union. He embraced Communism after even the commies had given up on it. Like the song says, he was commie after commie had ceased to be cool. On Fox News, Glenn Beck made a fuss about it. But the “mainstream” media thought this was frankly rather boorish, and something only uptight right-wing squares would do. I mean, what’s the big deal? True, everywhere it’s been implemented, Communism causes human misery—not to mention an estimated 150 million deaths. But it doesn’t make you persona non grata in the salons of the West. Quite the opposite. The Washington Post hailed the grizzled folkie Pete Seeger as America’s “best-loved commie”—which, unlike “America’s best-loved Nazi,” is quite a competitive title. Even so, why would you stick a commie in the White House and put him in charge of anything to do with jobs, even “green jobs”?
Well, because “green jobs” is just another of those rich-enough-to-be-stupid scams. The Spanish government pays over $800,000 for every “green job” on a solar-panel assembly line. This money is taken from real workers with real jobs at real businesses whose growth is being squashed to divert funds to endeavours that have no rationale other than their government subsidies—and which would collapse as soon as the subsidies end. Yet Tim Flannery, the Aussie climate-alarmist who chaired the Copenhagen racket, says we need to redouble our efforts. “We’re trying to act as a species,” he says, “to regulate the atmosphere.”
Er, “regulate the atmosphere”? Why not? We’re rich enough to be stupid with the very heavens.
In his book The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (La tyrannie de la pénitence), the French writer Pascal Bruckner concludes by quoting Louis Bourdaloue, the celebrated Jesuit priest at the court of Louis XIV, who preached on the four kinds of conscience: 1) the good and peaceful; 2) the good and troubled; 3) the bad and troubled; 4) the bad and peaceful. The first is to be found in Heaven, the second in Purgatory, the third in Hell, and the fourth—the bad but peaceful conscience—sounds awfully like the prevailing condition of the West at twilight. We are remorseful to a fault—indeed, to others’ faults.
It’s not just long-ago sins like imperialism and colonialism and Eurocentric white male patriarchy and other fancies barely within living memory. Our very lifestyle demands penitence: Americans have easily accessible oil reserves, but it would be wrong to touch them, so poor old BP have to do the “environmentally responsible” thing and be out in the middle of the Gulf a mile underwater. If you’re rich enough to be that stupid, what won’t you subsidize? The top al-Qaeda recruiter in Britain, Abu Qatada, had 150,000 pounds in his bank account courtesy of the taxpayer before the comically misnamed Department for Work and Pensions decided to cut back his benefits.
The green jobs, the gay parades, the jihadist welfare queens, the Greek public sector unions, all have to be paid for by a shrinking base of contributing workers whose children and grandchildren will lead poorer and meaner lives because of the fecklessness of government. The social compact of the postwar era cannot hold. Across the developed world, a beleaguered middle class is beginning to understand that it’s no longer that rich. At some point, it will look at the sheer waste of government spending, the other shoe will drop, and it will decide that it no longer wishes to be that stupid.
.. And if you don't like it - tough, we're deleting your comments!
There is a "new Canada" just over the horizon — home to a diversity of skin tones, birth countries, languages and religious faiths unprecedented in the nation's history.
By 2031, at least one in four people in this country will have been born elsewhere, new population projections from Statistics Canada suggest, and just half the working-age population will belong to families that have lived in Canada for at least three generations.
"You look at the statistics and you can see it: who's the bulk of the new population, who's going to be our future," says Henry Yu, an associate history professor at the University of British Columbia. "This is the strongest indication yet — obviously, it's been developing for decades — that there is a new Canada."
The federal agency says the foreign-born population in that new Canada is expected to grow four times faster than those who are Canadian-born over the next 20 years, which is projected to create the most diverse population since Confederation. [together with the assumption that this is unquestionably a good thing]
With the vast majority of newcomers settling in large cities, the country's future and prosperity lie in its urban areas, says Yu.
And the "new Canada" is a Pacific Canada, he says, with its strongest ties and biggest portion of newcomers not coming from the European countries of old, but from our Asian and Latin American neighbours with whom we share a Pacific coast, and with Caribbean nations.
It's expected that almost one in three newcomers will follow a non-Christian religion two decades from now, Statistics Canada says, and more than three-quarters will have a mother tongue that's neither French nor English. But rather than embracing this linguistic diversity and the edge it offers in a competitive global economy, Canada has been "very pointedly obliterating the language skills of the children of immigrants," Yu says. [you mean suggesting they learn the language of their adopted nation? How would any course survive if they didn't?]
They learn one of the country's two official languages relatively easily as children, he says, but then they're effectively rendered monolingual by years of English- or French-only schooling and the encouragement to leave their mother tongue behind. [sounds good to me]
"We have an incredible global human capital from this new Canada," Yu says. "We need to think of ways to build upon it rather than being scared and saying, 'Oh my God, we need to make them all into carbon copies of English migrants who came 200 years ago." [And what was wrong with those migrants? They seem to have done ok. what kind of history does this guy teach?]
Richard Day, a professor of sociology and global development studies [hahahaha] at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., objects to using the "basically racist" term "visible minorities" to label a diverse group of people who are on the verge of becoming the majority in Toronto and Vancouver. It's as though there's a white, Christian "unmentioned normal person" that such diversity is being compared to, he says, but one that simply no longer reflects the face of Canada.
"If it were to go beyond the restaurant, to go beyond 'Oh, nice spices you put on your food!' — if it were to go to the level of values and how we treat each other and take on some of the really pro-community aspects of other cultures — that would be cool and I think it's going to happen," Day says. [they let people like this into universities??]
Islam will be the fastest-growing religion in the next two decades, Statistics Canada says, with its numbers expected to triple and encompass about seven per cent of the Canadian population by 2031. [and we see no problem with this why?]
Other non-Christian religions such as Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism will double their numbers, while the proportion following Christian religions is expected to slip from about 75 per cent of Canada's population to 65 per cent, with the proportion reporting no religion will rise to 21 per cent from 17 per cent. [A 4% rise in atheists? How do they predict that?]
There's still too much that goes unsaid when it comes to racial and cultural tensions in Canada, says Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.
Reports tiptoe around the large and growing Muslim population, accompanied by a misinformed anxiety rather than a push to ensure Muslims are successfully integrated into Canadian society, he says.
And, Tarek adds, there's no acknowledgment of the prejudice that exists between different visible minority populations.
"People want honesty, they are thirsting for frank language," he says. "We need to abandon the notion of political correctness and abandon the fear of speaking." [Well he is right about that]
The Baitunnur Mosque in Calgary — one of the largest in North America — will be on the forefront of Canada's growing Muslim population in the years to come.
Sultan Mahmood, an executive member of the mosque, says it's a central tenet of his Ahmadiyya denomination of Islam that Muslims connect with and serve their community — meaning their doors are always open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Mahmood points to the example of an artists' group that has been using the brand-new mosque's facilities while waiting for their own to be built, adding that other community groups drop in to use the gym and they regularly host inter-faith conferences throughout Alberta.
At the end of the day, Mahmood returns home to engage in a time-honoured ritual that knows no national boundaries: gossiping with the neighbours and sharing food in the yard.
"This is enriching our society," says Mahmood, who moved to Calgary from Pakistan in 1992. "We're getting good people and all the good things from all over the world, and I think this diversity has made Canada one of the best countries in the world, and I think Canada will remain one of the best countries in the world because of this diversity."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The Israeli blockade seems to be having little effect on the standard of living in Hamas-run Gaza, which is the opposite of what the mainstream media will tell you.
Indeed the BBC and other prominent Western media regularly lead their viewers and readers astray with accounts of a non-existent “mass humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.
What they won’t tell you about are the fancy new restaurants and swimming pools of Gaza, or about the wind surfing competitions on Gaza beaches, or the Strip’s crowded shops and markets. Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live a middle class (and in some cases an upper class) lifestyle that western journalists refuse to report on because it doesn’t fit with the simplistic story they were sent to write.
Here, courtesy of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, is a report on Gaza’s new Olympic-sized swimming pool . (Most Israeli towns don’t have Olympic-size swimming pools. One wonders how an area that claims to be starved of water and building materials and depends on humanitarian aid builds an Olympic size swimming pool and creates a luxury lifestyle for some while others are forced to live in abject poverty as political pawn refugees?)
I will take all those nasty bloodstained wall-building apartheid-making corporate shares off your hands! Just let me know when you want to divest and I'll be there.
What's that? You wanted money for them?
Why on earth would you want to be compensated? Isn't that money as vile and murderous as the investments themselves? How could you soil your hands or sully your conscience by increasing investment in those Zionist financial instruments?
I will fully absolve your delicate conscience of all responsibility for investment in the Israeli state by taking those smokin' gun stocks off your morally superior hands.
This hits on a theme frequently visited on this blog; that of negative rights and particularly the right to property. On the Canadian news last night I watched a march by 'homeless' Canadians who were demanding homes, and the story followed one about the massive strides in public housing that have followed a multi-million dollar investment by the Provincial Government and Private charities which will create hundreds of new low-cost homes.
Who has a right to demand a home? Someone who believes that "our society" has a duty to "all its citizens", that's who. You'll notice that the same people who demand this - for others - are never the ones who have to stump up for it, i.e. other people. As Mrs. Thatcher was right to observe, you soon run out of other peoples' money.
So does your right to life trump my right to property?
In my previous post, I suggested that a discussion is warranted over appropriate restrictions in a civil society for individuals defending their life, liberty, and estate. But here's a new wrinkle that turns the supposed "right to life" on its head. Poverty activists claim that their right to life entitles them to take your property for their own sustenance if they can't (or won't) provide for themselves. What's more, the definition of "sustenance" in this modern age includes an ever-growing list of creature comforts and amenities. As their appetite for unearned wealth grows, the logical conclusion is the total redistribution of wealth.
The right to life, as found in the Charter, is a negative right. That is, it restricts the government from using its compulsory power to do anything to you that threatens your life without lawful reason (e.g. arresting a violent offender). It does not mandate the government to protect your life from your own stupidity, ineptness, or even poor fortune.
Nevertheless, a charter challenge is underway that hopes to compel governments (i.e. taxpayers) to provide "appropriate" housing to everyone, on the basis of one's right to life. A similar argument is that my right to free speech entitles me to airtime on our national broadcaster. Or that my right to freedom of religion means that the government must pay for my church building. Or that my right to freedom of assembly means that taxpayers should be forced to foot the bill for my local Rotary hall.
They also claim that the right to equality under the law justifies wealth redistribution. They do this by referring to those with similar income levels as "groups" which deserve protection from discrimination. They should be careful what they wish for. If income level is a prohibited ground for discrimination, true equality under the law would invalidate the progressive taxation system which clearly discriminates on the basis of income.
Such Charter claims are wholly opposed to the stated character of our nation as "free and democratic". Forcing the productive through the courts to pay for their necessities of life, much less their other demands, is tyranny and slavery.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I might, for example, have begun my day by throwing rocks at a synagogue, or beating up some gays, if I could find them, but that would just be cynical.
Instead, I spent my day doing completely unicultural undiverse things like getting on with my life. Had I known the UN would have disapproved of this, I might have thought twice.
After all, the UN is the bastion of human rights in the world and... what the hell, I can't even type that with a straight face.
As I have mentioned before, the world is a hell of a lot less diverse than it was 60 or 70 years ago. With mass immigration and "multiculturalism" we know have a mishmash blob of cultures from Vancouver to Venice whereas previously, mankind did what he did best in his own small corner of the world.
See, as Guy White says, "Diversity" just means the lack of white people. The Human Rights in Ireland blog laments "the lack of diversity among members of the new UK Government".
It's made up of two different parties, how could it be more diverse?? Make Robert Mugabe minister of Defence? I'm sure Nick Clegg and David Cameron have completely different tastes in music and clothing, differences that one might describe as diverse, were one not enslaved to the notion that diversity means difference only along multicult-sanctioned lines.
According to the UN site:
The Day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to “live together” better
I'm sure that will be a comfort to those living in Pretoria, surrounded by some cultural diversity whose values they understand very well indeed. Fat lot of good it does when one side's values include removing the cultural diversity of the other by obliterating them from the face of the planet.
Events such as the International Festival of Cultural Diversity will do doubt serve as a meet-the-new-neighbours exercise for Europeans who have been dying to know what the Faroukmijabs next door eat for breakfast but have been too terrified to ask. In fact, wouldn't the Cultural Diversity Day's organisers offer more benefit to humanity if they directed their worthy efforts towards those 'culturally diverse' elements now living in our previously non-diverse cities?
Perhaps a Day of Integration where newcomers could be sat down and have Western ideas explained to them, such as Freedom of Speech and the rights of women? I will gladly learn about Turkmenistan cuisine when I go to Turkmenistan, but one would have thought our Turkmenistaneranian cousins would benefit more from a course in liberal democracy or even Western hygiene.
Ireland has "Africa Day", in which African traders line up to sell us stuff made in China, and Irish girls thrash drums relentlessly in imitation of a very unicultural idea of "African culture". In fact I think there's hardly anything less appreciative of "diversity"TM than the idea that Africa is a single geopolitical entity.
Rather, my "Day of Integration" will teach people how to live constructively in a Western Society, and will include seminars on how to chat up girls, without setting fire to them, how to behave in polite society, and how to enjoy hilarious, satirical cartoons without looking for an embassy to bomb. Simple lessons on "no means no" for first dates, and how to let a woman have an opinion without responding with a punch to the face.
'How to practice your religion privately while respecting the beliefs of others' might be a worthwhile seminar too, as well as 'being a loser doesn't mean everyone else is racist so stop complaining and get a job'. Some basic lessons on our legal systems, too, would be a prudent use of taxpayers' money.
Think how much better we would all get along!
You might well ask, but I think it's always a great exercise in critical thinking to see what lunacy the left is coming up with next. Another Babble poster, Cosmic10 bites the dust, for asking some interesting questions about immigration, and he/she is an immigrant him/herself.
Cosmic10 received an interesting reply from a poster called Mahmud:
Racism is understood through the perspective of who holds the power in a society, not who utters what. In Canada it is a white, Christian predominantly male class working primarily -electoral system requires- for the benefit of their fellow white, Christian, males and occasionally females. When I, a non white, non Christian, immigrant utter what may seem "racist", it is not racism. It is a retort to racism. But when a white, Christian Canadian utters what may seem as racist, since he/she/ belongs to the dominant class, that is RACISM.
Which I suppose sums up the mad lefties' position on the subject nicely. But the usual suspect, Maysie, swooped in and did some banning and now the forum is freed of alternative views once more. phew!
Maysie is an interesting character and has had two websites of her own. Here and here.
She writes a story about a "racist" incident she was involved in, and it illustrated nicely how she thinks. "So it was white-guy to white-guy, the way of small town white patriarchal hegemony", she writes, mistaking an old man's clumsy attempt to be friendly for vicious "racism".
And why not? After all, Maysie makes money from stirring shit, as she happily admits. It's her job, in fact, as she runs "anti-racism seminars" like this one. She tells of how her parents (one Chinese, one Jewish) tried to make her as "white" as possible. In Canada? Gee, who'd have thought they'd try that?
The blog just manages to prove how tied up in self-questioning this sort of person is. "Am I being racist?", "is asking whether I'm being racist, racist??", "Is my using of the word "racist", racist? help!"
What kind of life is that? Anyway, I imagine Maysie is quite content in her career. She could have engaged more fully in the broader economy of Canada, where minorities do exceptionally well, but instead she chose to back into a 'career' that serves only an ideological agenda.
What a great example.
Quick update: At the 'about me' page, Maysie declares that she,
"believes in political and social alliances, particularly with First Nations and Aboriginal peoples whose land Maysie, because of the genocidal practices of colonial and present-day Canada, and despite being born here, is squatting on."
Now, forgive me, for if you genuinely believed for all you were worth that the land you lived on was stolen from others, wouldn't you just leave? Or at least go and find an Indian and beg - or pay - him for permission to stay, and then go off and enjoy your life in Canada?
I think this claim is only partly thought-out. Which is more than can be said for the opinions of most leftists.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
David Cameron has suggested his coalition government would consider scrapping the 50p tax rate if it does not bring in significant economic benefits.
Cameron's indication may be an attempt at winning favour with traditional Tories
The Prime Minister insisted he was a "low-tax" Conservative but described the national debt he is faced with as "appalling".
"I absolutely do believe in a lower tax country and I want to deliver lower marginal rates of tax.
"The problem is the appalling budget deficit. I am still a low-tax Conservative. Born one, lived one, will die one," he said.
Mr Cameron appeared to be attempting to ease the fears of tradtional Tory supporters after a series of concessions to the Liberal Democrats.
Cameron recently described himself as an instinctive Libertarian, which was music to this author's ears - briefly, until I remembered he is a politician and not to be trusted.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Overall, the book is about two things; the low birthrate of the Western World and the growing influence of Islam herein. The two are not necessarily related, but the latter is certainly taking advantage of the former, as well as taking advantage of the West's cultural self-doubt.
Even 20 years ago, we could speak of the Anglo-American model, but now Britain has thrown in her lot with the multicult and the EU to the extent that America really is alone as the inheritor - and repository - of Western Civilisation.
Steyn paints a bleak but accurate picture of the rise of radical Islamism, which is replacing more moderate - i.e. non-jihadist - forms of Islam in most parts of the world. Described as "alarmist", Steyn asks, well, what would it take to alarm you?
The litany of dhimmist surrender-monkeying undertaken by Western countries should be enough to alarm anyone with a love of freedom and democracy, what with Islamists and Western liberals alike trying to diffuse Islamic violence by granting more and more concessions to what are basically the requirements of Sharia. Steyn exposes the myth of the peace-loving "moderate" Muslim majority - who are notoriously silent when it comes to killing in the name of Islam - and suggests that projecting a more confident Western culture may be a better deterrant to Islamist ambition than acting like a bunch of excruciatingly apologetic pussies.
Steyn strikes at the heart of the Euro-Canadian multicultural mess, and the money quote for me is the following (p71):
"contemporary multiculturalism absolves one from knowing anything about other cultures as long as one feels warm and fluffy towards them"
Quite true. And to get a decent curry, who cares if we have to grant citizenship to half of Pakistan to get it?
The shortsightedness of Western governments is summed up in the low birthrates of most Western countries, at least among their native citizens. Only America, and possibly New Zealand, are breeding at replacement rate, and this has both economic consequences and sociological ones. As Steyn writes, as long as your citizens believe in liberal, pluralist democracy, it doesn't matter what colour they are, your country will still work. But what happens when 10-20% of them believe in Sharia law?
France will be the first country to face this question, but the others won't be so far behind. Muslim fertility rates are far higher than native ones for now and, although they will decrease in the future (possibly), they will still have time to become a large chunk of the EU by 2050. The assumption that, because previous waves of immigrants' birthrates fell to European levels quickly, the current wave will too, is in this author's opinion, fallacious.
The earlier groups of immigrants didn't have "multiculturalism" telling them they didn't need to assimilate. They became 'British', while the current crop of immigrants believe their culture is superior, and they have the home-grown multiculturalists nodding their liberal heads in agreement. The welfare state, too, is geared towards helping Islamists be, well, Islamic. Half of European Imams are on welfare, and those high birthrates have no incentive to slow down.
So, I am alarmed, and I think Mark Steyn for clarifying the reasons for that alarm.
Mark Steyn's blog can be found at Steynonline.com
I should add in some criticisms as well as praise for the sake of fairness and also because no analysis is really complete without full honesty.
I found Steyn's criticism of "secular humanism" a little off-target, although he would like admit there is a difference between seculariam and secularisation. People losing faith in God is not really, barring a personal appearance from the Man Himself, something that can be reversed in modern society, but that is not to say that religion should be marginalised in the way it has been in Europe.
The idea of religion as the fount of all that is irrational and premodern has become accepted dogma nowadays, which completely overlooks the realities that atheists are no more or less rational than religious people, and as Steyn himself writes, secular humanism quickly became inhumanism in the hands of fascists and communists.
He says, however, that Secular Humanism is not a potent enough weapon with which to fight Islamism, but I don't quite agree. The language of equality and liberation is maybe the best counter to Islamism that Europe has, and it the currency in widest circulation; Geert Wilders uses such language, rather than any appeal to historical Christianity, to combat the advances of Islamism, and it is not the case the secular humanism equals multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism is a fraud that undermines the best traditions of Europe including secular humanism and other Enlightenment traditions. The sooner people realise that, the better off we will all be.
Let us take it as read that Greece is an outlier. As waggish officials in Brussels and Strasbourg will tell you, it only snuck into the EU due to some sort of clerical error. It’s a cesspit of sloth and corruption even by Mediterranean standards. On my last brief visit, Athens was a visibly decrepit dump: a town with a handful of splendid ancient ruins surrounded by a multitude of hideous graffiti-covered contemporary ruins. If you were going to cut one “advanced” social democracy loose and watch it plunge into the abyss pour encourager les autres, it would be hard to devise a better candidate than Greece.
Harsh but true. And the polar opposite of what John Pilger writes, even advocating violence and unrest in Britain:
"And once again, they [the Greeks] are rising up, with courage. When David Cameron begins to cleave £6 billion from public services in Britain, he will be bargaining that Greece will not happen in Britain. We should prove him wrong"
Nice. I'll stick with the thoughts of the non-riot-recommending Canadian, thanks.
What the Greek crisis ultimately proves is that the one-size-fits-all model of the EU is not only bankrupt but lethal. Trying to turn Greeks into Germans - at the latter's expense - is not only stupid but has exposes the underlying fallacy of the EU model. Do the Eurocrats in Brussels really think that the German economic system can be imposed on Greece?
That "we're all the same, really" and so we can all adopt the same statist mode of government -with the same rates of tax - is the big lie of the EU. Greeks are not Germans, pretending they are has now led to mass unrest and the insolvency of the country. As Steyn points out, Greece ranks 109th out of 183 countries when it comes to ease of doing business, says the World Bank. Their public servants receive 14 monthly paychecks a year. Is it any wonder then that Greece was "downgraded" to "junk" status by "corporate" lenders, in the way that Pilger describes?
Pilger is also upset with all the big Greek shipping magnates registering their companies offshore, but misses the point entirely about why they would do this; why would anyone do business in a country that has 14 paid months in a year? The only point where Pilger makes any sense is where he talks about bank bailouts - here's a clue, he doesn't like them - but most sensible people are against those.
In fact, bailing out Greece is just perpetuating the current state of affairs, which is no good to anyone. Can't we let Germans be Germans and Greeks be Greeks?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
See BlazingCatFur for some excellent entries.
And here's mine:
I'm quite pleased with the way I captured the muscle tone, the gentle flowing curls of the beard, and the modest scriptural covering of the nether regions. A true classic.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
That's always my problem when it comes to getting gifts for my son who lives in Norway. Norway, as most people know, is a society without shortage of any kind, where life is quite easy, government is firmly in control and very little interrupts the citizens' peaceful lives except the occasional multicultural rape.
A few years ago while living in Ireland, I was about to make one of my bi-annual visits and brought with me a brand new toy that I suspected hadn't arrived in Norway yet.
I was right, and the alien-thingy was gratefully received.
After arriving home I was informed that all the kids in his class now wanted one. I thought I could send him a few more (they weren't cheap) and he could sell them to the other kids. The teachers didn't think this was a good idea, but I sent over five more anyway in the hope that he would find his own way to distribute them.
Now, what happens in a perfect, egalitarian society when, for once, demand outstrips supply? What followed provided an interesting sociological study of Norwegian life.
The Boy decided to raffle them (without charging the kids, sadly), which fit in nicely with the patented Norwegian doctrine of "fairness". This produced five very happy children, and some disappointed ones.
So what happened? Well, by the end of the week, three had been stolen.
And everyone was blaming the one Bosnian kid.
There's a moral to this story somewhere.....
Ok, she wasn't banned, but she asked to be deleted after another Babbler named Skdadl remarked that she was suspiciously peecee. Lily_C, as she called herself, was a self-described half-Chinese member of the LGBT community and had previously been an activist in the UK. On a thread about the City of Toronto's threatened funding cut for the annual Pride Parade, over the inclusion of a group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Lily suggested that it was a divisive issue for the LGBT community and that the group should reconsider its participation.
Lily suggested, somewhat reasonably in this author's opinion, that since "Israeli Apartheid" is both a highly inflammatory subject, and, more importantly, one in which opinion is bitterly divided, it does not belong at a celebration of gay and lesbian culture. She wrote:
There is considerable difference of opinion within the LGBTQ community on a variety of issues, why make that worse? Being anti-Israel is anyone's right, but statements like "israel Apartheid" are grounded in opinion, not fact, and are ideologically one-sided, AND have nothing to do with Gay Rights, IN FACT, Israel is particularly advanced when it comes to LGBT Rights. Other aspects of the country have nothing to do with Pride even if many agents provocateurs decide to create rifts within the community. I am well aware of the realities of the Middle East, but I wouldn't bring them to a "Save the Pandas" demonstration.
Bravo, I thought.
For this tolerant and nonpartisan opinion, though, Lily was labelled a "Zionist". She was directed to a Palestinian lesbian site, where the authors came close to blaming Israel for NOT intervening to protect them from other Palestinians. Apperantly, the Israeli state is to blame for Hamas' hatred of gays, because - I think this is their argument, I'm not sure - their lack of statehood has retarded their 'development' into a modern, tolerant nation. Sure.
In fact, Lily herself tried to untangle a major error that had arisen:
"There are issues here that you fail to separate. I am interested the rights of Palestinian LGBT persons, AND in the rights of Palestinians, but these are not the same struggle. If the truth be told, Gay rights for Palestinians are far far more under threat in Hamas-controlled territory than in Israel."
"A Zionist lie.
... Israeli Apartheid is a FACT for Palestinians living under the repression of Israeli violence and racially supremacist policies."Lily added:
"I would suggest that those others who would tell us how we "should" celebrate, and those whose only interest in the LGBTQ community is to advance other issues that are not specific to that community, kindly be respectful of those who do not share those views. thankyou :)"
Quite reasonable again, I thought. There were calls to ban her, of course, as leftists always do when they run out of facile arguments, and Lily_C replied to another thread which was started to criticise the not-banning of "pro-Zionists" like Lily_C.
Unionist, her most vicious detractor, accused her of having "cast off" her principles as a former activist, and she eventually deleted all her comments on that thread, finishing off by requesting to be deleted from the forum. This followed a bizarre twist in the tail, where, having already been labelled a "Zionist" worthy of a typical Babble-style ban, she was labelled overly-PC:
"Lily_C, I hope you won't take this personally, but there comes a time when someone is checking off so many PC boxes that some of us start to feel our antennae quivering, y'know?"
Presumably, a half-Chinese lesbian (or maybe bisexual) feminist with a history of womens' and gay rights activism was a bit too much of a Babbler's fantasy!
So who exactly are they catering to??
In what respect is a secular, openly-Liberal political party that opposes Conservative Islam "far-right", other than in the deluded minds of radical Stalinists still clinging to the erstwhile dictator's potty worldview?
Stalin believed that whatever he did was "left-wing", whereas everything else, including the beliefs of Trotsky -whom he despised - and other "Progressives", belonged on the "right", creating a neat little political spectrum that we still have today, forcing us to pigeon-hole folks who have nothing in common with each other in the same slot.
This two-dimensional axis benefits only those who want to vilify anyone they don't like by pointing to it, as though it were some magical window to the political soul, and screeching about how their enemies are just like - gasp! - Hitler, the archetypal right-winger. Well, the silly axis is revealing of nothing because it's a fraud, it doesn't exist; a fact which eludes the media who continue to peddle it to an unsuspecting public, possibly because the media like simple, straightforward symbols that involved little in the way of thought.
What most people don't realise or begin to comprehend is that Marxism and its adherents -by its very essence, being goal-orientated - wants exactly the same state of affairs to prevail as it did 100 years ago. Everything nationalised, lots of central planning, and an egalitarian utopia. Conservatism, on the other hand, and by its very essence - slow, considered change with respect for the past - changes all the time.
Has anyone even noticed that what Conservatives believe in now is almost identical to what Liberals were talking about in the 19th Century? Does anyone care?
Conservatism changes. Does anyone on the Right believe in restoring autocratic monarchy? The rule of the Church? The removal of the vote from the restless peasants? Of course not. Sure, there are some "social Conservatives" who resist anything that smells of leftness, but by and large, the free market and bourgeois values have won the day.
And that's a good thing, by the way.
Best of luck, Geert!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I love this headline, from the IHRC website:
The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) welcomed the findings of a report published today in
It says it all, really. The IHRC welcoming a report that recomments they have more power? Who'd have thought?
My entirely rational hatred of these monkeys at the IHRC is matched only by my entirely rational hatred of the goons at the Human Rights in Ireland blog. HRI has judged moved all its articles from WordPress sans this author's witty and biting comments (some of which were banned, the rest deleted in the move to the new site).
The HRI blog is entirely run by - guess who? - lawyers! Gee, I wonder what interest they could have in expanding the powers of the Human Rights shakedown, which also includes the Equality Authority of Ireland. Remember them? At the height of the recession, they were busy trying to tell private citizens whom they could play golf with.
The main benefactors of this attempt at spoilsporting were, of course, lawyers, so it makes sense that these fine professionals take a keen interest in how the industry (and it is an industry) is going. Have a look at the authors list.
I oppose these thugs for a variety of reasons, the main one being that they have no idea what Human Rights are, as understood by most sane people. The right to free speech, to property, and the right to be free from state interference are subordinated to the "right" not to be offended, the "right" to have other people validate your sense of identity, and the "right" to have the government pay for any and every grievance you might have against anybody.
I hate them for their power-hungry sense of self-importance, and I hate them for their condescending insults to the intelligence of the rest of the country's citizens. We had a Witchfinder General back in mediaeval times, and that didn't pan out too well for "human rights", so I'm wondering what genius decided to resurrect the office. I'll bet he was a lawyer.
Another article posted at HRI blog -where they also deleted my excellent comments- was on the murder of Toyosi Shattabey in Dublin. The author knows for a fact that this was a hate crime and cites another author, Bryan Mukandi, who says so,
"A young man is stabbed to death in his own neighbourhood for being the wrong colour"
Announcing the outcome of an ongoing investigation is not very lawyery I would've thought, but then I'm not a lawyer. But you have to remember that people of this class have never met a piece of legislation they didn't like.
What should citizens think of this coven of money-grabbing 'experts', who see it as their mission in life to expand the powers of the State -and thus themselves - as sole arbiter of correct, approved, behaviour*?
- to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and, for these purposes, to undertake or sponsor research and educational activities in the field;
- to conduct enquiries. For this purpose the Commission will have the means to obtain information, with recourse to the courts, if necessary;
- to offer its expertise in human rights law to the courts in suitable cases as amicus curiae, or friend of the court, in cases involving human rights issues;
- to take legal proceedings to vindicate human rights in the State or provide legal assistance to persons in this regard;
Or telling them to go to a country that actually has some human rights problems, like Iran?
We'll see how long this well-heeled nest of latte-sipping vipers lasts when defending Human Rights means a bit more than harassing golfers.
I hate Tories. Not the people who vote for them. But the people they vote for. I make no great claims for that as a political position. But as an electoral category it is crucial. For I'm sure I'm not alone and it's pretty much the only thing keeping Labour going right now. It's certainly the only thing that could get me to the polls on Thursday.
I don't have a phobia about Tories. That would suggest an irrational response. I hate them for a reason. For lots of reasons, actually. For the miners, apartheid, Bobby Sands, Greenham Common, selling council houses, Section 28, lining the pockets of the rich and hammering the poor – to name but a few. I hate them because they hate people I care about. As a young man Cameron looked out on the social carnage of pit closures and mass unemployment, looked at Margaret Thatcher's government and thought, these are my people. When all the debating is done, that is really all I need to know.My history is not always up to scratch, but I was always under the impression that apartheid occurred in a different country.
I asked myself, why was this piece of garbage allowed at The Guardian, but then I remember that this is the same disgusting rag that let George Monbiot loose on the world.
What boggles my mind is that in this day and age anyone thinks that Tories "line the pockets of the rich". With what? money, taken from whom? A government that allows people to keep their own money sounds just fine to me, but hardly worthy of praise. On the other hand, any party that prides itself on pinching money from the people who earnt it and giving it to people who didn't sound like a bunch of sick bastards to my mind.
And that is, essentially, the Labour Party's raison d'etre. At least the Conservatives bribe voters with their own money; the Labs do it with other peoples', which makes them looters in my book (well, in Ayn Rand's book actually).
As the election results roll in - and it is very exciting - there is an overwhelming feeling that change is afoot. Whatever the numbers work out to, we could see big constitutional changes in Britain. What we could have is an auction by the LibDems, offering coalition support in exchange for a variety of goodies that no doubt will include electoral reform.
Electoral reform will change Britain forever, and we might not see a one-party government for a very long time, and so the two main parties will be trying to avoid having to do a deal with the LibDems for this reason. They could offer cabinet positions instead but the LibDems will hold out for PR. They will hold the balance of power, unless there are big surprises over the next few houes.
Looking forward to finding out.
Khan elected for Labour in Tooting - his supporters chanting "YES WE CAN".
For fuck's sake, people.....
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The result is the European personification of government, whereby our representative bodies are given anthropomorphic characteristics reminiscent of the personalities that governed throughout much of European, and indeed, world history. To us, government is a parent, a strict headmaster, a nanny, someone to whom we address our supplications, wish to take care of our needs and sort out our petty squabbles.
In turn, we love our government and cannot let it go. It is Stockholm Syndrome writ large. Governments are like the gods of Olympus on whom we think we depend, whereas in reality it is our dependence on which they rely.
How else can we explain our so-called love of Freedom in the face of the steady and continuous relinquishing of responsibility to our political elites?
When we Europeans say we love Freedom, what we mean is, we love Freedom from other peoples' governments, but not Individual Freedom. How fast were the Irish, having controlled their own affairs for the first time ever, willing to submit to an all-powerful church-controlled State?
The American model is unique, but the philosophies that uphold it are not. In fact, most of them are European. The United States constitution is not designed to protect its citizens from foreign governments but from its own. All political power is held to be destructive, and the Constitution is designed to enable to country to function in spite of wingnuts in congress and idiots at the ballot box. And it works.
European countries are not so cautious. We see our governments as a person we can negotiate with, reason with (hence the large number of protests), a character who, although he has already laid down the rules, may just make an exception for us.
When government is a parent, be it father, mother, or both, then the inescapable conclusion is that we are its children. The net result in inevitable; endless squabbling and jostling for position as the favourite child. Sibling rivalry manifests itself in identity politics, where, although bedtime is 9pm, my group must for its own reasons be allowed to stay up till 10.
As a reward for following the rules, we are granted freedoms, maybe even pocket money, and certain "rights". Our rights do not inherently exist because of our own existence but because of the existence of the government that grants them.
To throw off these shackles is a Herculean task, not least because we need to question our own history and identity, but also because dependence (and codependence) is deeply ingrained in our collective psyche. Europeans arrogantly assert that America needs to step in line with the rest of the free world, Canada boasts of how European is its political culture, but in truth it is the rest of the free world that, if it wants to be free, must step into line with the United States.
How does this relate to South Africa? Well, Africans, like Europeans, are monarchists at heart, but even more so. South African voters were entirely too easy to convince that government is the repository of all the freedoms that the citizens enjoy, the all-powerful benefactor that is necessary to preserve those freedoms. When freedom is translated into monetary terms, as the ANC has proven itself expert at doing, then true freedom is lost, and the meaning of democracy is subsumed into a kind of mob rule.