Fox News? No. Fair debate? Yes

In this story the usually reasonable Lorrie Goldstein sets out a strong case for the benefit of having yet another TV news channel. Anyone who still believes the media is unbiased is incredibly naive – the CBC worst of all. For example, on the fundamental issue of big interventionist government vs small, pro free-market government, how could we even expect a media corporation where 100% of its employees are 100% dependent on a massive ($1 billion is still massive isn’t it?) tax-funded subsidy for their jobs to be unbiased?

So, until government gets out of the business of journalism and journalists discover the value of simply reporting honestly and as objectively as possible, the best option is for their to be competition between the snidely and dishonestly leftist media and the openly and honestly right-wing media.

So let the games begin. I look forward to a network where all the sacred cows of Canadian socialism are bashed with a dose of cold reality. The result should be plenty of beef for everyone.

Fox News? No. Fair debate? Yes: Goldstein | Lorrie Goldstein | Columnists | Comment | Toronto Sun.

It’s easier to have an opinion than to rely on it

Everyone complains about the health care system in Canada. We even make fun of it. For example,

Subject: TWO DIFFERENT DOCTORS’ OFFICES

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, Is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The SECOND sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn’t reviewed for another week
And finally has his surgery scheduled for a month from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

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The FIRST is a Golden Retriever.

The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.

Next time take me to a vet!

Truer words were never spoken but why the difference? Because the senior citizen (unless he’s a politician or a politician’s friend) is forced to rely on the public health care system while the dog benefits from an entirely private system.

Pit a public system vs. a private system and the private one will always provide better results for the same money or the same results for less money – usually both.

People are too content to criticize something but then sit back and accept it as if it just has to be that way, like the weather. Public systems are not artifacts of nature, they are relics of a failed philosophy. If we place any value in our own judgment we ought to act on it and not just complain.

Our duty NOT to vote

I’d love to see a “none of the above” option offered in these polls, as in “If you could mark your ballot for ‘None of the Above’ to indicate your dissatisfaction with all the other choices would you do so?”

I believe that the approximately 50% of Canadians who don’t vote are doing that already by the only means permitted. A wasted vote is a vote cast for someone you don’t agree with just because the other options are worse. Politicians should have to earn our vote, not get it by default.

They say we have a duty to vote. What about the politicians duty to (a) tell the truth, (b) not to cheat on their expense accounts, (c) govern democratically, etc.?

If things are going to get better we must not rely on the politicians to make it so – they’re fine with the way things are now. We need to start thinking outside the box. The politicians don’t care who we vote for so long as we vote for someone because by doing so we give legitimacy to the system and the winner it produces. But the system is corrupt and invariably produces bad government that uses and abuses us. We can only expect change when we start denying politicians the one thing they can’t survive without.

Don’t vote . . .

. . . not because you don’t care, but because you do.

Wouldn’t we be giving up our democratic rights, something valiant Canadians have fought and died to preserve for us? Rights are something we can choose to exercise or not based on whether it is in our interests to do so. When exercising a right simply allows others to oppress us then that right becomes a wrong.

Focusing on our right to vote is a misdirection, a slight of hand used by politicians at election time to assure the legitimacy of the system their power and wealth depend upon. The focus ought to be on their responsibilities, not on our rights. Their responsibilities include:

1. Honesty – always telling the truth;

2. Integrity – doing as they promise to do, or, if that is not possible, resigning and seeking re-election on a different promise;

3. Accountability – being open in their dealings including the way they handle our money, especially for their own expenses;

4. Good faith – acting in the best interests of those who elected (employed) them rather than in the electoral interests of themselves, their party, or their leader;

5. Respect – dealing with each other as professionals charged with the job of working together to make wise decisions;

6. Stewardship – exercising the power delegated to them by their electors, not lording over us by claiming more power than we grant to them;

7. Perspective – understanding that they work for us, that they are the servants of the people and not our rulers.

Does this sound like a description of the way we are governed? No matter which party is in power?

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. It is insane to keep going to the polls and casting a vote hoping for something better. If no one voted the politicians would lose their claim to legitimacy. Before they allowed that to happen they would be forced to effect real change – to start acting responsibly. But first we have to start acting responsibly.

Don’t vote.

$1.4 million for every job “saved”

$1.4-million for every job saved – The Globe and Mail.

Thank goodness the government is looking out for us in these troubled times. If it were left up to me I would never have thought of this solution. I would never have thought to take a million and a half dollars from other Canadians and give it to a business which loses money hand over fist in the hope that doing so will save 1 auto worker’s job. I am far too simple-minded to come up with something so ingenious.

I know it is the Conservative government which did this but thank goodness they had the Liberals and NDP to appeal to their conscience and make sure they went through with this bold plan. They would have preferred even more money be spent, maybe $2 million or more per job just to make sure it worked.

No, I would never have thought of such a wonderful plan. I would have treated the car makers like everyone else. I would have said, well, if you can”t make cars that people want to buy it is better to close up and let those who can do your work instead. Now I can see how utterly unimaginative that would have been.

What would we ever do without governments to solve our problems for us? (Oh how I would so very much like to find out!)

Preston Manning shows his collectivist colours

In “The downside of up”

yet another champion of conservatism shows how intellectually bankrupt conservatism is. This time it is former Reform Party leader Preston Manning.

Manning”s thesis is that the lesson we should take from the recent economic downturn is that free markets don”t work. He says the smaller government of the last few decades resulted from carrying the pro-market principles he once espoused too far. In his own words, “Not until the recent financial meltdown and economic downturn did we come to realize that there are limits to the application of this ideology.” He now advocates an increased role for government saying that “both law and freedom have essential roles to play in achieving a better economic paradigm.”

Now take a careful look at that last statement. The phrase “both law and freedom” discloses the depth of Manning”s treachery. There was a time, when it was politically savvy for conservatives to acknowledge that the function of the law was to preserve individual freedom. Manning”s juxtaposition of “law” and “freedom” necessarily implies (a) that the law can and should have another objective, and (b) that this objective must involve the restriction of freedom.

Gee Mr. Manning, where do we sign up to help with your gentle crusade against the excesses of freedom? Excesses like wealth, prosperity, personal liberty, and social harmony far exceeding that of any of the civilizations you claim to take your lessons from. Just what our world needs, another person calling for more and bigger government. Thanks so, so much.

The economic and technical advances of the last decades occurred against a backdrop of governments which generally opted to keep their hands in their own pockets than in the pockets of their citizens. The philosophy of freedom which conservatives said they believed in actually worked. Even the recent downturn is evidence not of markets failing but of how markets can self-correct. Left alone the market would have disposed of failed businesses and even industries, redirecting capital into those which actually produced the goods and services people actually want.

But conservatives must be the most loathsome invertebrate species on the planet. Having won all the battles they still conceded the war. They are not potential allies of libertarians but a dangerous distraction from a philosophically consistent defence of freedom. I would prefer to contend with an avowedly socialist government. Freedom would be better served by the more open and honest display of collectivist errors then the subtle treachery of woolly wolves such as Harper and Manning.

I used to believe Preston Manning was the greatest Prime Minister Canada never had. Now I see that he would have proved Stephen Harper”s equal in disappointing those of us who truly appreciate the power of the sovereign individual to create the wealth prerequisite to the welfare of every person in our society. Platitudes such as this,

“Now is the time — when the economic slowdown is creating new opportunities as well as hardships — for those of us who are pro-government and those of us who are pro-market to recognize each in the other the necessary complements to our own one-sidedness.”

are just a coward”s way of couching the betrayal of principle in emotionally-laden mush. Saying, “can”t we all just be friends” to those philosophically opposed to freedom is simple surrender. To conservative traitors those of us who still believe individual freedom is worth fighting for say: we don”t need you, we don”t want you and frankly, we can”t stand you.

It all makes sense now

So let”s see. The car makers are losing money because we are not buying their cars. Foolishly we think we own our money and we think that we get to decide how to spend it. That”s why we each call it “my” money. So we decide we want to save it, or spend it on something other than a car, or maybe even on a foreign car instead. Silly isn’t it?

Silly because that”s where the government steps in and says, “You won”t give the car makers your money in exchange for the cars they make so we will take your money from you and give it to them anyway. And by the way, you don”t get a car.”

We would be better off if the government just forced us to buy cars. Maybe hold a lottery and one in every several households over a certain income level has to buy one. Or maybe we all have to take turns buying a car every 4 or 5 years from these guys. At least these ways we”d get a new car (albeit one we would not have purchased if we actually lived in a free country). Instead we are just being robbed blind by the government and the loot is handed over to undeserving corporate scumbags and their parasitic employees. And this is what leftists call social “justice”?

Sell the CBC

Now’s the time, if there is ever to be one, for the Conservatives to sell the CBC. Here”s why.

  1. In a minority Parliament the Conservatives won”t need to shoulder all the blame for it among those who still like the idea of a state-controlled media.
  2. Those who would retain the CBC don”t vote Conservative anyway so no votes will be lost. By putting it in the budget, if the budget is defeated it will become an election issue which will galvanize conservative-libertarian support for the Conservatives.
  3. It can be sold as a necessary measure in hard economic times.
  4. It will eliminate an active political opponent of the Conservatives.
  5. It will reduce pressure on private media to exhibit a leftist bias and result in more objective reporting.
  6. Eliminating this state-funded atrocity will create a void in the market which can be filled by private talk-radio, cerebral PBS-type media and similar programing on existing media which will arise.
  7. There will be no more tax-funded disgraces such as the recent racist Radio-Canada Bye Bye show reported on by the Globe and Mail.

The public appetite for ridding our country of this infernal institution has never been higher and the political price never lower. The Conservative membership strongly supports privatization. That leaves one inescapable conclusion – that if the CBC is not sold by this government, it is because powerful members of the government want it. Who are they? I”d love to know where each one stands on the issue.

Canada is a fascist state: the auto sector bailout proves it

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia’s article on fascist economics:

“Historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because “the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise… Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social.”[26] Fascist governments encouraged the pursuit of private profit and offered many benefits to large businesses, but they demanded in return that all economic activity should serve the national interest.”

Now consider, in the recent $4 billion bailout, the government is stealing our money (called taxation), and giving it to businesses which are so inept that they are losing $6 billion per month. If these businesses were profitable do you think the government would have taken their profits and used it to pay for public services? No, that would be communist and that”s bad too. (What lunatic tries to make a profit when its just going to be taken from him. Communism punishes the able and rewards the weak, lazy, and stupid for being weak, lazy and stupid. It only lasted 70 years because there it was at least able to produce machine guns and people wiling to use them on their neighbours.)

No, profit (except for the amount stolen through taxation) remains private as it should but loss, well that”s another matter. I pay my life, car, health, and home insurance companies a pretty penny every month so that if I suffer a reversal in any of those areas, the insurance company will pay most of my loss. When did we, you and me and every other private Canadian citizen, become the insurers for the auto industry, or any other industry for that matter? When did these mega-businesses pay you and I a handsome premium every month so we would agree to bail them out if times got tough? When did we agree to work and earn money so our government could take it from us and give it to these failures?

If I am irresponsible enough to fail to buy adequate insurance and I suffer a loss, it is I who suffer. If the loss is truly too much for me to bear I can resort to private charity or welfare. But these corporate welfare bums are unwilling to suffer any such loss. Executives “need” to maintain their huge incomes and expense accounts. Workers “need” to preserve their inflated wages which people earning 10 times less than they do are taxed to preserve.

This is another feature of fascist economics – “corporatism” – referring to a system where the representatives of various interests within an industry (the largest businesses, unions, etc.) determine state policy for that industry. Sound familiar?

The last part of the Wikipedia excerpt refers to the cover story for all of this – that it is being done in the interests of the nation. Is anyone else out there like me and wish that all these people that are doing all these things supposedly in my best interest would just leave me alone?

What we need is not fascism, corporatism, or communism. What we need is for people and businesses to be self-reliant, to make it or break it based on the value of what they produce and not on how effectively they whine. The auto industry should not get one dime from the government. Instead they should be given the name of a trustee in bankruptcy so their assets can be sold to pay their debts and place those assets in the hands of people who can do something better than lose $6 billion per month.

“But what about all the jobs, lost both within the industry and as a spin-off effect?” Smoke and mirrors; slight of hand; distraction – these are all tricks used by both magicians and politicians. And the media (and the public) fall for them every time. The $6 billion that the government gives to the auto companies has to come from somewhere – take more taxes from people, redirect spending, borrow more money, print more money. That about covers the options. If they tax it from people or redirect spending they are just preserving auto sector jobs by losing jobs in other areas of the economy. Worse, since the auto industry is failing, more jobs are lost in other areas than are preserved in the auto sector. But the good news is that the big headlines “Auto industry saved” makes auto workers, politicians, media, and voters feel good. Never mind that even more jobs were lost, one here and two there, throughout the rest of the economy – no headlines there.

Another option is borrowing. But any amount borrowed just reduces the amount available for other productive businesses to borrow to fund their relatively more productive enterprises. So again, a pile of jobs get saved over here under the camera lights but even more jobs are lost spread fairly evenly across the rest of the economy.

The last option, printing more money, is inflationary by definition and thank goodness no one is talking about it so neither will I.

So, anyone who supports the bailout is either stupid (or ignorant, or thoughtless) or dishonest – lying about it being good for the whole country when it is actually only good for a limited few and for a limited time.

I am ashamed, ashamed, ashamed that I ever belonged to and supported the party that is most responsible for turning Canada into a fascist state. Conservatives should know better. They pretend to know better. They spout off about valuing free enterprise and personal responsibility. That means they have duty to stick to those principles when the chips are down. A would-be rescuer who throws a rope to someone who has fallen through the ice has a duty not to let go of the rope until the victim is safely ashore. Conservatives who say they believe in free markets but embrace corporatism when the market takes a bad turn are worse than enemies, they are traitors and they deserve a traitors fate.

Maybe a dose of Liberal purgatory or NDP hell will smarten people up and bring to power true believers in the economic heaven that only free-market capitalism can produce.

Election 2008: Just Say “NO!”

There”s not much room inside that little white circle next to the names of all the candidates that appear on the ballot you will be handed on election day. Just barely enough room for an “X”. But I plan to squeeze in an extra letter and to put it inside every one of those little circles. I plan to give each candidate, each party, and each leader just exactly what they deserve – my personal vote of non-confidence – I plan to vote “NO”.

My ballot will be classed as a “spoiled ballot” but I don”t think it will be spoiled at all. I think a spoiled ballot would be one cast for a candidate/party/leader who doesn”t deserve it and in this election, that includes them all.

Elizabeth May and the Greens

The fundamental evil of this group is that they place a higher priority on preserving every one of earth”s creatures before one – human beings. Every organism survive, not by getting along with its environment, not by adapting to it, but by changing it, using it, shaping it in such a way as to facilitate its survival. Deny it all you want – you”ll be denying reality. In the case of every other organism this is called “natural” but in the case of humanity it is called “artificial”. Why? Clearly the premise is that a colony of slime has more right to be here than we do. The fundamental premise behind the environmental movement is anti-human – a rejection of our right to life on earth. Thus the Green”s will not get my vote, money, support, etc. under any circumstances.

Of course the Greens (other than the more extreme elements who are at least honest about their premise) use rhetoric of harmony and sustainable development to confuse the simple-minded among us. But why “Green Party” if not because they are willing to sacrifice any and all to this one cause (including first scientific objectivity).They are truely a single issue party and the issue is not what is best for individual Canadians.
So voting Green would be spoiling my ballot.

Jack Layton and the NDP (Non Democratic Party)

Why the slur (“non”)? Because they would increase the size of government and the scope of the state”s interference with our lives. As long as everyone does and says what is politically correct everybody is happy but step out of line and look out – industries get nationalized and individuals get hauled before so-called “human rights” commissions.

Their fundamental error is hubris, the idea that “they” (those elected or appointed to positions of political power) know better than “we” (individuals left alone to decide for ourselves) what is in our best interests and how to achieve it. The error is exposed in this simple exercise. Think of all the information (knowledge, wisdom, whatever) stored in the minds of 30,000,000 Canadians. Think of how little of that we effectively communicate to others via language. Think of how much more of it we are each able to use if left to our own to make decisions for ourselves. Centrally planned economies that non-Democrats like Layton drool over run on decisions based on communicated knowledge while decisions made in free economies utilize all that incommunicable knowledge we all posses.

So voting NDP would be spoiling my ballot.

Stephane Dion and the Liberals

The problem with the fundamental principle behind the Liberal Party is that there is none. That is unless do-and-say-whatever-it-takes-to-get-elected-this-time constitutes a fundamental principle. This is the party of political opportunism, of moral bankruptcy packaged as pragmatism. It is only when your principles are so misguided, so out of touch with reality that they pose an obstacle to your progress, that an appeal to pragmatism over principle becomes attractive. Then one should re-evaluate one”s principles and consider alternatives.
There”s a saying that if you don”t stand for something, you”ll fall for anything. The Liberal Party stands for nothing other than itself and it cynically uses others for its own ends. A principled politician will use politicalpower to enact good policy. A Liberal politician will advocate popular policy to achieve political power. Doubtful? As yourself what fundamental principles or policies have have been consistently associated with the Liberals over time. Name an issue – a little research will show you that the Liberal Party has taken a stand on opposing sides of that issue within the past few of decades.

This election the Liberals are running on the Green Shift – a new tax on carbon. Its supposed to be a tax on consumption which is better than taxing incomes (productivity) but then low income earners will get rebates to offset the tax. Voila, it has been instantly converted to a tax on incomes.

The only tax we should have is a tax on stupidity – 50% of the assets of anyone so utterly insane as to consider supporting this idea. Fortunately and unfortunately that would probably raise enough money to retire the national debt (another Liberal invention).
So voting Liberal would be spoiling my ballot.

Stephan Harper and the Conservative Party
Much of what has been said of the Liberal Party can now be said of the Party which was once the legitimate repository of the Reform Party”s honourable legacy. If there is a fundamental principle behind the tenure of Harper”s government it certainly escapes my notice. The media bash the Party as the most conservative in Canada”s history. Think a minute – what is that saying? We have never had a Conservative government that was fundamentally different than the Liberals they replaced – never. Mulroney? He out spent and out taxed the avowedly socialist Pierre Trudeau and in so doing piled up a massive national debt. Has the Harper government been more conservative than that? Absolutely, but so were the Liberals under both Chretein and Turner. So, so what? As the NDPers used to say, and can say again: “Liberal, Tory, same old story.”

Since they have no principles to run on the Conservatives are running a campaign based on Harper”s “strong leadership”. This is a none-too-subtle way of making his Liberal opponent”s practically non-existent leadership skills the focus of the campaign.

But there are principles of leadership to keep in mind too. Strong leadership does not equal tyranny and it doesn”t equal lying. Being a strong leader does not bean bullying. It means having the confidence to hear and even encourage dissenting opinions. It does not imply a concentration of power but the wisdom to delegate. Harper agreed with the Gomery reports criticism of the Prime Minister”s Office under Chretein as having too much power but his own PMO has concentrated power even more.

Dion has accused Harper of lying and some of the media are aghast. Well we all know what lying means. Now consider that Harper promised to end the GST on gas prices over 86 cents per litre, never to tax income trusts, to hold a free vote on the definition of spouse, and to honour the letter and the spirit of the law fixing the next election date in October 2009. Well the emperor”s got no clothes and saying one thing and doing the opposite makes Harper a liar or I”ve been using a faulty dictionary.

So on both those measures Harper comes up short. He is not a strong leader but a petty tyrannt who needs and deserves to be thrown down.

So voting Tory would be spoiling my ballot.

Staying home on election day is not an option. I want my vote to count. If I stay home I am lumped in with those who simply don”t care. If I go to the poll and vote “NO” my vote will be counted. Will it influence the outcome? Not this time. But to the extent that one vote matters at all, mine will send a signal to anyone who wants my vote that they first must deserve it.
If there is a Libertarian on the ballot s/he will get my vote. Otherwise I”ll be voting “NO” across the board.

The party’s over

June 19, 2008

To whom it may concern:

Re: My Membership – No. C6303796

The party that I worked hard to build would not have:

  1. appointed a non-elected Senator,
  2. appointed a floor-crosser to the Cabinet,
  3. broken its promise not to raise taxes (1% added to lowest rate)
  4. broken its promise to eliminate the tax on capital gains
  5. broken its promise to eliminate the GST on gas once the price hit 85 cents per litre,
  6. broken its promise not to tax income trusts
  7. taken full advantage of undemocratic Liberal election financing laws rather than repeal them,
  8. increased the power of the PMO contrary to Justice Gomery’s strong recommendation,
  9. broken its promise to allow free votes on all but the main financial measures,
  10. broken its promise to hold a free vote on the definition of marriage,
  11. broken its promise to repeal the long-arm gun registry and use the savings to finance additional police services,
  12. failed to respect, adhere to, and implement the policies endorsed by its membership,
  13. generally failed to distinguish itself in any significant manner from its Liberal and Red-Tory predecessors.

The party I supported would have kept its promises and remained true to its principles. It would also have stood up to a leader who acted like a dictator and reaffirmed its commitment to grassroots democracy in its own administration. By selling out its principles for the sake of political expediency my party has ceased to exist, making my resignation moot. Nevertheless, to make it official – I resign.

Sincerely,
Howard MacKinnon

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So that”s that. Next? My application for membership in the Libertarian Party of Canada is in the envelope ready to mail tomorrow.