Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Indian mess

Jonathan Kay speaks the blunt truth about Canadian aboriginal policy. His analysis and prescription for a ‘fix’ is based on "three well-observed empirical truths":

The modern global economy is driven by cities...

...collective land ownership is a recipe for economic disaster...

Welfare destroys societies....

Mr. Kay observes that implementing the necessary change is "a massive legal and political undertaking". He’s absolutely right and I’d add that the biggest obstacle to change is the Indian leadership. If they don’t own up to the need for it and to their own responsibility for the present mess - there’ll be no meaningful change - which pretty much sums up progress to date.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Enabling the destruction of a neighbourhood

Further to the previous post here’s an excellent description of how the Victoria needle exchange has wrecked a neighbourhood:

For those of us who observe the devastation of a neighbourhood in the name of a social experiment, resentment is focused not on the unfortunates, but on those who planned and implemented this disaster, including our mayor and council.

This on a day that started with me scooping diarrhea embedded with needles off my front steps.

Used needles, human feces, discarded underwear, assorted condoms and other unsanitary byproducts of addiction are frequently deposited on properties in the neighbourhood.

...for a 70-year-old pensioner who grew up in a city where she once walked fearlessly, it is utterly disheartening.

...many senior citizens, some handicapped, live here. Many are unable to sleep at night, never mind take a walk. They are intimidated by the arguments and yelling, the confrontations and their increasing fears of violence.

The needle exchange is a gathering place for addicts and the predators that they inevitably attract.

...the predictable consequences of "injecting" a crime-prone subculture into what was once a beautiful, pleasant and safe neighborhood.

Also predictable is the silence and inaction of the mayor and council on the citizens’ plight. Silent, that is, except to call for more needle exchanges and safe injection sites which will create an even bigger mess. Their deep ‘caring’ for addicts doesn’t extend to the real victims here.

I don’t suppose the bleeding hearts will ever understand that their ‘caring’ will never help an addict who only cares about the next fix. In fact the ONLY way an addict will ever get around to quitting dope is to care enough about himself to try. With the city making it easier to use dope that becomes less, not more, likely.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stop enabling drug abusers

Victoria has a needle exchange located in a busy downtown area. I drive by it every day. It's always an eyesore - littered with trash, feces and dopers hanging out or sleeping in the doorways.

Though the mayor and council are cronic, bleeding heart enablers, a sizeable proportion of the populace have their heads screwed on right.

According to this poll two thirds want the needle exchange gone.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The immorality of socialized medicine

The spread of extremely dangerous disease in Canadian hospitals has received much publicity in recent years. In particular C. difficile and SARS have made headlines.

The medical professionals know a lot about these diseases, their causes and prevention. But a root cause of the problem, government monopoly healthcare, continues to be ignored.

It seems Britain has a similar problem with similar roots. This excellent column by Charles Moore describes the British National Health System. Change the names and it perfectly describes the situation in Canada:

The point our leaders are constantly making is not medical, but moral. It is that the NHS embodies organised altruism. It proves that we, as a nation, care for one another. It makes us "the envy of the world", and it makes us good.

Nevertheless, the basic proposition is not true. The National Health Service is not, morally, or in any other way, the best system of healthcare in the world. Indeed, it is morally defective at its very root, because it does not — cannot — put the sick first. Until this is recognised, it cannot be reformed.

The NHS is, with our state school system, the last major survival in this country of the idea of the 1940s that government can decide what is best for us and make sure that it is done.

We all know that a Minister for Industry could not possibly decide how many computers we produce or how many investment banks we should have. We all know that a Minister for Food could not wisely decree what vegetables should be sold in which shops.

But we cling to the idea that a single organisation employing 1.4 million people, with the GDP of an entire Scandinavian country, run by politicians, can meet our health needs.

Suppose Sainsbury's cold meat counter was found to have helped kill more than 300 people, would the company survive? Yet the NHS sails on, dealing death.

This is all, morally, wrong. It turns the patient from being the entity for which the service exists into a nuisance. Each new patient is just an added cost and each dead patient is an administrative convenience.

The NHS is run from top to bottom, and therefore, from top to bottom, it is bad.

My personal experience of conditions in our hospitals on several occasions over the past decade have reinforced my conviction that Mr. Moore’s analysis is correct. The worst experience was sharing a heart surgery recovery room in a dirty, decrepit old hospital with four or five other patients. While we have a new hospital now, cleanliness remains a serious problem as there continues to be outbreaks of C. difficile and who knows what else. No doubt the careless, dirty old practices followed the staff to the new digs. And the government certainly hasn’t given up its monopoly.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

A ‘Peace’ prize for junk science

Two excellent columns in Saturday’s ‘Post’ on the Nobel Peace Prize.

Terence Corcoron concludes:

Peter Foster agrees and says that Gore’s and IPCC’s work have nothing to do with ‘peace’:

Global warming theory has been in political and scientific trouble for some time, but who knew it had sunk so low it needed a boost from the Nobel Peace Prize committee?
Mr. Gore is by no means an anomaly when it comes to Peace Prizewinners being peddlers of nonsense, tellers of whoppers, or even promoters of political strife.
... the prize was awarded to Mr. Gore and the IPCC "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." But what does that have to do with peace?
... Al Gore's and the IPCC's idea of a good cause involves -- as with Mr. Strong -- demonization of Western lifestyles and promoting the belief that, until we change, we deserve to be attacked morally, and perhaps even physically. It's a funny basis for a Peace Prize.
Update: Mark Steyn's contribution.
The prize has elevated junk science, gross exaggeration and outright misrepresentation to high international stature, the most prestigious award in the world, discrediting all who work honestly to find the facts and do the right thing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

‘No’ means ‘yes’

That’s Andrew Coyne’s reading of the meaning of the 63/37 rejection of PR/MMP in the Ontario referendum. This is typical of the PR fanatics - keep pressing for change till it happens then we’re stuck with it.

Iain Hunter has an excellent take on the PR pushers:

Who are these people, anyway?

Mostly, they're losers. Some of them are former politicians who wish they'd gone farther than they did. Some couldn't get elected dogcatcher. A lot of them are supporters of parties that have little chance of forming either the government or official opposition.

Many more are on the political fringe, among the raving loonies and raging grannies, fanatic cyclists and yogic flyers who have their special, sometimes weird, priorities that they feel everyone should share.

There are women who believe the electoral system must be changed if their sex is to gain the political influence it deserves, and aboriginals who see that system, and what it has produced, as a cause of so much of their historical hurt and present grievances.

And academics, who love tinkering with things, encourage citizens' committees to come up with proposals for a new model that will make each voter think that he or she counts more than he or she does now.

... And pundits like Coyne. And they’ll be back. Like Quebec separatists, they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Al Gore's big prize

So, Al Gore shares the Nobel Peace Prize for climate hysteria with the U.N. IPCC. I guess the Nobel committee hadn't gotten around to reading the British High Court's findings on how economical with the 'truth' Gore was in "An Inconvenient Truth".

Oh, well! Al's in good company - Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter, etc - which is proof positive that climate hysteria is strictly a political matter.

Republican debate moderated by flaming liberal

William Watson liked what he saw in the recent Republican debate. Even though moderator Chris Matthews didn’t seem to have much of a clue, Fred Thompson showed he knows his stuff on Canada. And Rudi Giuliani had a good line on health care:
"... a looming problem with Canada that you missed. If we do HillaryCare or
socialized medicine, Canadians will have no place to go to get their health
But flaming liberal Chris Matthews as moderator? That’s like having Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity moderate a Democratic debate on Fox. Never happen!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A good Act to follow

Lawrence Solomon weighs in on the recent British High Court findings regarding Al Gore’s global warming schlockumentary. In addition to the court findings of ‘error’ in the film, what is notable is the U.K. Education Act of 1996:

...explicitly requires that: "The local education authority, governing body and head teacher shall forbid ... the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school."
Excellent idea, but that didn’t stop the government from explicitly endorsing the political indoctrination of school kids. The U.K. Education Secretary said:

"influencing the opinions of children is crucial to developing a long-term view on the environment among the public. Children are the key to changing society's long-term attitudes to the environment. Not only are they passionate about saving the planet, but children also have a big influence over their own families' lifestyles and behaviour."
This was supported by the Environment Minister who endorsed a closed mind approach to climate science:

"The debate over the science of climate change is well and truly over, as demonstrated by the publication of the report by the IPCC..."
Thankfully, someone challenged (so far, successfully) the government’s blatant disregard of the law.

I know the Gore sci-fi horror flick is being widely shown in BC schools and no doubt elsewhere. It would be nice if we had laws forbidding such propaganda. The British Education Act would be a good one for us to emulate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Convenient pack of lies

Evidence continues to mount that Al Gore and his puppet masters have been playing fast and loose with the 'truth'. This time it comes in the form of a widely reported British court ruling.


Where’s my tax cut?

I’ve seen similar figures before, but they never fail to jolt me. Jack Mintz on taxes:

In a little-known publication -- Fiscal Reference Tables, issued Sept. 27 -- "Canada's New Government" reminds us how much we dole out in taxes, fees and other revenues to all levels of government: $582-billion in 2006. On a per-capita basis, that comes to more than $17,500 per person -- for a family of three that means more than $52,000...

As a share of GDP, Canadian government revenues are more than 40% [or, from the government point of view "we’re losing 60%!"]

Personal tax rates approaching 70% -- due to income, payroll and sales taxes, as well as clawback rates for income-tested programs -- are especially high for Canadians with modest income.

Canada has the 11th-highest effective tax rate on capital in the world and, even worse, sixth highest for the service sector.

Canada has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world, even though we have reduced the rate from 43% in 2000 to 34% today...

Government has a useful role in defense, law enforcement, roads and waterworks. Some of that and most everything else can be had through private enterprise.

So where’s my tax cut? If we can’t expect meaningful relief from a conservative government, what hope is there?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Humourless utopian evangelists

PR supporters, says Lorne Gunter, remind him of:
... Dennis, the muck-tilling peasant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
[played by Andrew Coyne] is such a pinched, humourless evangelist for his utopian ideals that by the end of the scene you find yourself rooting for Arthur to repress him.
Proportional representation, including MMP, appeals to the sort of solemn soul who sees him-or herself as slightly smarter than the rest of us and above anything so crass as partisan politics.
... Marxism, too, looked good on paper until every attempt to implement it in the real world led to a disparity between rich and poor (party members and non-members) that would have made John D. Rockefeller blush, as well as a level of state violence against the citizenry comparable to the worst of fascism.
PR causes bigger problems than it purports to solve:
... PR tends to correct one problem-- too many seats for the big parties --
with another-- too much power for little ones.
Just what we need - excessive emphasis on single issue flakery.
So, Ontario, be careful what you vote for tomorrow!

Monday, October 8, 2007

What "poor"?

A favorite pastime of those on the left is bleating about the poor, poverty, social justice, etc ... Their obvious ‘truths’ about poverty form the basis for calls for ever more state intervention with ever more and ever bigger entitlement programs. After all, how can anyone be in favour of ‘social injustice’?

Together, Mark Steyn and Kathy Shaidle do a fine job of countering the lefty bleats.

Updates: Steyn here and here. Shaidle here, here and here.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Western Standard folds

Just read this very sad news from Ezra Levant. The Western Standard has ceased publishing. It was a magazine I always looked forward to seeing in my mail box and it will be greatly missed. A strong right wing voice ... gone! What a bummer!

I knew something was going on because I had recently called the WS subscription people about what had happened to the summer and fall issues I hadn't received. The answer: "We're considering changing the frequency of publication". But I certainly didn't expect the new frequency would be ZERO!

According to Ezra's post there were 82 issues published and a total of 150 million pages printed. At about 50 pages per issue that means the circulation was only about 35,000. Not enough to generate a profit. It's sad that so few of those who vote Conservative could see their way clear to supporting the only solidly right-wing magazine in the country. Pathetic, really!

Update: Jonathan Kay on Ezra and the Western Standard's demise.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

PR, MMP truly suck

George Jonas said PR sucks. Today, John Williamson of the Canadian Tax Payers Federation disagreed with George because, he says, MMP works just fine in New Zealand.

Also in today’s ‘Post’ are two columns, one by Colby Cosh and another by Lawrence Solomon, citing, among many other things, New Zealand as an example of why Ontarians should vote ‘NO’ to MMP.

Colby Cosh on New Zealand:

How rarely MMP supporters seem to mention that the race-based Maori Party has become a major power-broker in their hero-country, New Zealand.
Colby's main point, though, is that FPTP "ain’t broke"and Ontarians aren’t calling for change anyway:
The plain fact is that Ontarians have greeted the prospect of electoral reform with an apathy that must surprise even a hardened cynic. If there were such abundant appetite for change, any particular alternative to FPTP might well win or lose with the voters in a referendum.....Is it possible that people are largely satisfied with FPTP, in all its tainted majesty, because it is simple, clear, fair and time-tested?
Also Ontarians are being asked to vote for a pig-in-a-poke:

...Ontarians are being asked to vote in the referendum for a principle not yet cast in the stone of specific legislation; it remains to be decided [for example] whether any formal requirements will be imposed on the parties in ordering their lists...
...it's surely better for Ontarians to simply vote "No" to a blank cheque for reform...
Lawrence Solomon argues persuasively that MMP ("Myriad Minority Parties") is a "force for division" :
Now the fastest growing political party in the world, the Pirate Party offers youth the right to download pirated music and movies --a basic human right, it argues. The Pirate Party -- which says it will support any ideology in a coalition government, as long as it gets its way on free downloads......This year it surpassed the Swedish Green Party in members, and in 2009 it is expected to be the Hot New Thing in European Union-wide elections. 

...if Ontarians vote for MMP in the referendum Oct. 10, look for MSM messaging, Face-Book and political chat-rooms to hum, exhorting our youth to join the political process to make free downloads a reality. 

In New Zealand, an orgy of crass political deal-making so offended the electorate after it switched to MMP in 1996 that three years later, in a citizen-initiated referendum, more than 80% voted to roll back MMP......[However] True to form, the newly entrenched politicians ignored the non-binding referendum, and continue to this day to resist calls for reform. 

....Italians and Israelis are likewise trying to reform their dysfunctional systems of proportional representation. 
In the worst cases, proportional representation gives voice -- and vent -- to the vileness in humanity. In France, ... the bigot, Jean-Marie Le Pen... won 32 seats, making him a major political force until public revulsion at proportional representation led to its repeal in favour of a system more like ours. Without proportional representation, Le Pen lost all 32 seats and his party became a spent political force. 
Ontario has its Le Pens, striving to divide us, as it has regionalists and pirates and others with grievances to nurse.
There is no shortage of unintended consequences associated with changing the time-tested FPTP system. Be careful what you wish for!!
And another thing! I confess I’m not just a little envious and annoyed at all the attention being paid to the Ontario vote on MMP. Envious because I don’t recall anywhere near this much debate in the run up to the BC referendum on STV. Annoyed because this seems to be another example of just how ‘Ontario-centric’ the MSM remains.
I just hope the anti-PR pundits keep their arguments handy for the next time the PR-freaks attempt to shove it down our throats in BC.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

USS Abraham Lincoln visits Victoria

USS Abraham Lincoln dropped anchor at Royal Roads this afternoon.

Update: The next morning the local rag greeted the carrier with a frontpage photo and a ... hearty "welcome to a friend and ally"?? Nope - a lovely expression of GREED!

Monday, October 1, 2007

A gruesome lesson for admirers of Gandhi

Pacifists never tire of invoking Gandhi’s example as a non-violent model for bringing about change. His apparent success has attracted many followers.

But, as commenters on this post by Kathy Shaidle point out, Gandhi’s tactics worked because his opponents were decent, civilized people to begin with, the British. This comment by ‘The Phantom’ provides a pointer to a rather gruesome illustration of what happens when this is not the case.

It goes without saying that the Burmese example of the use of pacifism would yield similar results against the Taliban.

Pete Seeger repudiates Stalin (60 years late)

Mark Steyn turns a critical eye on commie-peacenik-singer-songwriter Pete Seeger and those who revere him. Apparently, Seeger, who wrote such well-known songs as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "If I Had a Hammer", and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", now thinks he may have been mistaken in his lifelong admiration for mass murderer Joseph Stalin. Steyn asks:

I hate to admit it, but back in the 60's I kind of liked those dopey songs.
The invention of the faux-childlike faux-folk song was one of the greatest
forces in the infantilization of American culture. Seeger’s hymn to the "senselessness" of all war, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", combined passivity with condescension - "When will they ever learn?" - and established the default mode of contemporary artistic "dissent". Mr Seeger’s ongoing veneration is indestructible.

Would it kill the icons of the left just for once to be on the right side at the time? America has no "best-loved Nazi" or "best-loved Fascist" or even "best-loved Republican", but its best-loved Stalinist stooge is hailed in his dotage as a secular saint who’s spent his life "singing for peace". He sang for "peace" when he opposed the fascistic armaments stooge Roosevelt and imperialist Britain, and he sang for "peace" when he attacked the Cold War paranoiac Truman, and he kept on singing for "peace" no matter how many millions died and millions more had to live in bondage...