On October 27, 2012, I was the Master of Ceremonies for the Freedom Party of Ontario dinner held to hear three outspoken individuals give their views about the inculcation of moral subjectivism in our public schools, and how it may affect students and society.
The speakers varied in their ideas about what constitutes a proper code of morality, but they shared an opposition to the view that there is no such thing as right and wrong, better or worse.
None of the speakers was a member or supporter of Freedom Party of Ontario when they participated in this event.
The opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect my views nor the views of Freedom Party of Ontario.
On April 21, 2012, Freedom Party of Ontario held its “Red Alert” dinner on the top floor of the Primrose Hotel in Toronto. The video of the event was released in parts. This second part features a speech by Freedom Party officer and election campaign manager Robert Vaughan, who was emcee for the event.
On March 22nd, 2012 I sat down with Lord Christopher Monckton for a one-on-one discussion of education, journalism, Catholicism, Islam, conservatism, and philosophy.
This week a jury in Kingston, Ontario convicted three people of first degree murder: Afghan immigrant Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their son Hamed Shafia. Dead are Mr. Shafia’s three daughters and his first wife.
While the facts of the case were interesting in their own right, to me the most important feature of the trial was the labeling of the murders as either “honour” killings or simply just another case of domestic violence.
After the verdict was handed down the local talk shows gave considerable air time to a prominent local feminist. During that time she correctly pointed out that “This is about violence against women. This is about power and control.” I would agree with these obvious facts as any would. She then tried to pursued the listeners that there was no comparison between these killings and other common domestic disputes involving a dominating male over a female. Her claim was that any any distinction in culture or religion was irrelevant to the case. To her the fact that a man killed females is all that is of interest to this case and all that should be focused upon.
This is a superficial simplification of what is actually a much more complex affair. Yes, honour killings are typically men murdering their wives and daughters but it is not simply the same as any other domestic violence.
The reason for the crime is what is at issue here, not simply that a man killed another women (ignoring Tooba Yahya’s involvement) or that it is inherent in the male sex to want to dominate and control the female sex, which is a patent falsehood. Many feminists see this as simply a male-female issue ignoring or misidentifying the root cause of this kind of violence, that being the culture, the religion, or the philosophy of the killer. Why does one kill his wife or daughter? That is the question that can’t simply be glossed over with the pat statement that it is a lust for control by a man over women.
The feminist’s argument runs like this: since women are being killed in Canada as well as Islamic countries and since some Christian men have also killed their wives then the issue is not one of religion or culture but one of men and women.
Of course it is true, that domestic violence occurs in Canada to non-immigrants and that Christian men have been know to murder their wives or daughters. What is also true but is being deliberately ignored is that the prevalence for non-Muslim male-female violence in Canada is lower than similar violence in Muslim countries and that the reason non-Muslim men kill their wives or daughters is substantially different than the reason Muslim men kill their wives and daughters.
A man and women get into a fight. Who do you think will come out the survivor? The stronger of the two of course (in most cases.) The fight could be over money, jealousy, housekeeping, what to watch on TV, drunken idiocy or any number of motives. Rare is it that a non-Muslim Canadian will kill his daughter because she went out on a date or chatted with someone on Facebook or didn’t want to wear a particular piece of clothing, or gave birth to a daughter.
Although honour killings are not exclusive to Muslim societies, the fact is that predominantly Muslim societies have a long tradition of treating women as property. Men often, quite literally get away with murder in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia because their tribal cultures, rooted in Islam, has given the authority over women to men.
Canadian Muslim, Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress published an article in the Canadian edition of the Huffington Post on December 7th called “A Man’s Honour Lies Between the Legs of a Woman.” In it he quotes the particular verse in the Koran, verse 4:34, sanctioning the right of a husband to beat his wife:
“Men are in charge of women by right of what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend for maintenance from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in the husband’s absence what Allah would have them guard. But those wives from whom you fear arrogance – first advise them; then if they persist, forsake them in bed; and finally, strike them.”
If we cannot acknowledge this part of the Muslim religion as being key to the second-class status Muslim men give women then it will be impossible to move towards true liberation for women in predominantly Muslim societies and Muslim families here in Canada.
Mr. Fatah goes on to say that Sharia law sanctions the stoning of women for adultery. A practice that is continued today in many Muslim countries. He cites Professor Shahrzad Mojab of the University of Toronto, who testified at the Shafia trial that women embody the honour of the men to whom they belong – first fathers and brother, later husbands.
“A woman’s body is considered to be the repository of family honour. Honour crimes are acts of violence committed by male family members against female family members who are held to have brought dishonour onto the family. Cleansing one’s honour or shame is typically handled by the shedding of blood.”
It wasn’t until 9/11 that many Canadians even heard of “honour killings.” But since then our focus has turned, as it has been forced to, to Islam and Muslim culture. Since then our knowledge of this common practice of the ownership of women by Muslim men has increased and we can properly address the situation.
Many of us correctly identify the murders based on the motive of keeping the family’s honour. For prominent feminists to disregard motive in the murder and abuse of women is only prolonging the suffering of these people. To fix a problem you must first properly identify the root cause of it. In the case of honour killings it is the religion and the cultural practices of the men and women who commit the murders. We can’t forget that women also take part in committing these honour killings.
It is ironic that in Canada we have people refusing to call something by its real name when in Muslim countries it is identified for what it is. In Pakistan, for example honour killings are known as “karo kari.” While the Pakistani government is supposed to prosecute these killings as they would any ordinary killing the practice by the police and prosecutes is to often ignore it. In a sense there are some Canadians who are ignoring it as well. Not the crime but the cause.
If we consider the problem of honour killings even further we understand that it is not simply a matter of religion or culture but of social metaphysics. In an article for the Objectivist Newsletter of November, 1962 (vol. 1 no. 11), Nathanial Brandon defined social metaphysics as
“…the psychological syndrome that characterizes an individual who holds the consciousnesses of other men, not objective reality, as his ultimate psycho-epistemological frame-of-reference.”
“There is an invisible killer loose in the world. It has claimed more victims than any other disease in history. Yet most of its symptoms are commonly regarded as normal. That is the secret of its deadliness.
“These symptoms may be observed all around one: in the lives of all those who are dominated by an obsessive concern with gaining the approval and avoiding the disapproval of their fellow me.; who lack a self-generated sense of personal identity and who feel themselves to be metaphysical outcasts, cut off from reality; whose first impulse, when confronted with an issue or called upon to pass a judgment, is to ask not “What is true?” but “What do others say is true?”; who have no firm, unyielding concept of existence, reality, facts, as apart from the judgments, beliefs, opinions, feelings of others.”
This defines the perpetrators of honour killings. They seek honour in the approval of others, be it their family, their friends, or their tribe. While this syndrome crosses all religious and cultural spectra it is more prevalent in those countries lacking the history of individual freedom we enjoy here in the West.
It is this syndrome which must be argued against when dealing with the warped sense of honour which would cause a parent to kill a child or a man to kill his wife because of any perceived shame they may have brought them in the eyes of others.
(Originally broadcast on Just Right #235, February 2, 2012)
There has been a recent controversy surrounding the dual Canadian/French citizenship held by Federal NDP leadership hopeful, Thomas Mulcair. It is thought that to be the leader of a federal party which one day (hopefully not in my life) could propel said leader to the Prime Minister’s Office he should renounce his French citizenship. I would agree.
Historically Mr. Mulcair would not be the first federal leader to possess dual citizenship. Prime Minister John Turner had Canadian and British citizenship. Of course before 1947 there was no such thing having Canadian citizenship per se. We were all British subjects. From 1947 to the early 1980s all Canadian had dual Canadian/British citizenship. After that we achieved the singular Canadian citizenship dropping the British while also accepting the fact that Canadians can possess multiple citizenships.
Most countries, including the United States, accept the fact that a citizen can simultaneously be the citizen of another country. It’s interesting historically to know that 10 US Presidents were also British subjects. Eight of course were born into the British North American Colonies but two were British after independence; Chester Arthur, and Barack Obama. Obama was British and then Kenyan by virtue of his father who was born into Kenya which was a British colony at the time. Obama lost his Kenyan citizenship when he turned 23 as Kenya law prohibits dual citizenship for adults.
Let’s leave citizenship by descent and by birth aside and talk about oaths of allegiance or oaths of citizenship which I believe to be much more to my point. Being born here most of us did not have to take an oath declaring our allegiance to the Queen of Canada but to become a naturalized citizen or to enlist in our military, or to become a member of Parliament one must take an oath swearing loyalty to the Queen.
The Canadian Oath of Citizenship reads as follows:
“I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen o f Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
I contend that anyone taking this oath immediately renounce any allegiance to any other nation, or leader of any other nation. It would be a blatant division of loyalty to swear allegiance to the Queen of Canada and also have, for example, an allegiance to the Republic of the Untied States of America. It would be a contradiction. It would be a lie. To not renounce citizenship in another country would make a mockery of the oath one just swore to become a Canadian citizen, or to enlist in our military, or be a Member of Parliament. It would be like having two spouses. A form of citizenship polygamy. (It has been suggested that such a renunciation would be unnecessary for citizens from other Commonwealth nations as they too are subjects of the same Sovereign. Such a distinction I will leave for the time being.)
Upon taking this oath I would suggest that anyone possessing prior citizenship in other nations publicly renounce the same and hand over any passports to that country. Not to do so would suggest that the oath was simply a formality.
Further I would suggest that any Canadian citizen, whether Canadian by birth or by blood who actively seeks the citizenship of another nation, and in doing so swears and oath to that nation, must lose his Canadian citizenship. Allegiances cannot be divided. You either swear allegiance to one country or another. You can’t have it both ways.
In 2005 our former Governor General, Michelle Jean was sworn into that office. Two days before that very swearing in which made her Commander in Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces she renounced her French citizenship. This was the right thing to do and I think she set an example for anyone wishing to actively participate in elected federal politics and our military.
Interestingly, France prohibits its citizens from participating in any foreign military or government but in Michelle Jean’s case the French Embassy in Ottawa assured her that they would make an exception in her case. And why not? To have a French citizen as Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces would have been quite the bloodless coup.
Besides being deceitful, dual citizenship, if by choice, has been a major financial burden on Canada as many take advantage of the socialist programs Canada has to offer and become citizens of convenience. Often this scheme involves fraud as in the case of hundreds of Lebanese Canadians who received permanent resident status without having left their home country. This particular case1 centered around a man, one Ahmad, El-Akhal, who obtained2 citizenship for hundreds from the Middle East and at the same time receiving hundreds of thousand of dollars from the federal Government in the form of benefits and tax refunds.
Such scams could be eliminated by requiring Canadians applying for citizenship under our naturalization rules to report to Canadian officials on a regular basis and to provide evidence of their residency. Relinquishing their foreign passports upon taking the oath of Citizenship would also dramatically reduce these con artists who only want Canadian citizenship as a means of having a safe-haven should things turn sour in their real homelands. Much as it did in July of 2006 when Canada evacuated thousands of Canadian citizens from Lebanon costing us $85 Million. While, to be sure some of these citizens were only in Lebanon on holiday, many were permanent residents there and were using their Canadian citizenship to get away from the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel.
An oath once meant something. It meant a person’s honour was on the line should the oath be broken. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that today such a thing as swearing an oath has become a simple formality to be performed and then forgotten. Or worse, to be performed and laughed at as the one taking the oath knows full well that he has no intention of keeping his pledge of fealty to Queen and country.
To break an oath of allegiance to a country should be considered the same as breaking of a contract and if a naturalized citizen, a member of our military, a Member of Parliament or any other who has taken such an oath be found to be working for another country’s government or against Canada by breaking its laws, which is a part of the oath, then the proper course of action for the government would be to rescind Canadian citizenship or, in the case of non-naturalized citizens, remove them from the military or from public office.
(Originally broadcast on Just Right #234, January 26, 2012)
A recent report by early childhood educators has called for the introduction of two year old toddlers to the public school system. The authors of the report cite studies by their colleagues demonstrating the supposed benefits to the child for such an early introduction into the structured institution of the state-run school but they have also cited ancillary possible benefits of keeping women in the work-force rather than staying at home rearing their children.
The real benefit, of course is neither seen by the mothers nor the children. It is realized by the educators. Not simply in their financial gain from the estimated $1 billion in federal funds necessary for the program but in the propagation of the ideology of the vast majority of public system educators today.
“Give us the child for eight years and it will be a Bolshevik forever. “ Vladimir Lenin
It is no secret that the political ideology of the public education system is one that differs greatly from many if not most of the parents who find no alternative for the education of their children. From the newly hired supply teachers fresh out of teacher’s college to the veteran Directors of Education to the Ministers of Education themselves the ideology of the system can be properly defined as being on the far left of the political spectrum. There is no doubt in my mind that the purpose of previous governments in making it possible for children to attend half-day junior kindergarten to all-day junior kindergarten to now toddler kindergarten is the promise of molding the child’s mind into one that is amenable to the ideology of the left. Few intelligent adults fall for it.
If we take a look at the schooling of previous generations we find many positive results. Our forefathers were intelligent and socially adjusted people. They are the people who made the world what it is today and yet many of them did not even finish high school. Many didn’t have the advantage of kindergarten and yet they thrived. How can this be? This is flying in the face of all of the current research on early childhood education.
The monolithic public education system has been, and continues to be the source of many social conflicts. In Toronto we have the accommodation of the children of Muslims who leave class to pray in the school gymnasium while no such accommodation is afforded any other religion. A place of learning the truth of nature such as math and science has been reduced to a mosque. Can you imagine the conflict going on in the minds of the children when the teacher, after perhaps instructing his students in science then dismisses half the class so that they can pray to some super-natural imaginary deity?
Also in Toronto we see the vilest form of ignorance rear its ugly head after decades of silence; the establishment of schools based on race. These afro-centric schools, designed to teach black-skinned Canadians about the history of a continent they have never visited rather than the history of the country they were born into are an affront to reason and an insult to the very children they are segregating on the bases of their distant ancestry.
Not too long ago there was a tussle between the parents who preferred their children to be taught how to read using a method of systematic phonetics rather than the “whole-language” method. The illiteracy rate under whole language was up to 17% of high school graduates. That’s right, 17% of graduates were illiterate. It naturally begs the question how could they have graduated. When I was a trustee on the Board of Education for the city of London I asked the same question to the Director of Education. His answer was that the Board has never failed a child. All children graduate under the child-centered learning system otherwise it would be an admission that the system was a failure.
There is the on-going debate of how young a student must be before the teacher shows him how to put on a condom.
There are debates on the teaching of evolution to children of parents who believe that the world is only 6,000 years old.
There the never-ending debates on class sizes, standards of dress, standards of conduct, standards of punishment, standardized testing, group instruction verses individual instruction.
There are the parents who can only shake their heads when their child has to stay home for several Fridays each year because his teachers are taking part in professional development even though these same teachers have two whole months in the summer to keep up with their profession. Not that such professional development has been seen to improve their teaching skills one iota over the decades.
And while on the topic of teachers we have the teachers’ unions which can and have held every student in the province hostage when they strike to increase their already overinflated salaries. Given the poor results of their teaching I would think that most of them don’t deserve half of what they get.
What galls many of us though is the political indoctrination of our children into a destructive ideology. All children in our school system have seen the Michael Moore documentaries calling for such things as gun-control, socialized medicine, and welfare statism. All have been inconveniently inconvenienced by the propaganda film of Al Gore. Many of the schools turn their lights off for one day of the year and study in the dark as they worship “Earth Day”. Many promote “Buy Nothing Day,” perhaps the most destructive instruction that they can get; the idea that consumerism is evil.
All of this overt and unapologetic manipulation of our children’s minds, much of it out of our control, combined with the poor learning results has led me to the conclusion that given the choice of no formal education at all or 20 years at the hands of these so-called educators I would recommend no formal education at all.
It is my opinion that a child will be better off intellectually, spiritually and emotionally if they stayed at home and played on their computer rather than submit to the daily dose of lies they receive at the hands of our publicly funded educators.
It is no secret, at least to those who have studied the matter that teaching a child to read takes very little time. In a matter of months a child can be taught to read anything. Over time their vocabulary increases and comprehension comes naturally with experience. It is this natural propensity for children to learn that these early childhood educators wish to take credit for.
What can be the cure for these grievous miscarriages of education? Ultimately it is the complete abolishment of the public education system. But, of course we all realize that isn’t going to happen so how do we proceed from here?
First we reject en masse this report that two year old children go to a state-run school. It is not necessarily objectionable that toddlers go to school as many are already in competent day-care at that age. In fact, Montessori and other private schools offer excellent educational instruction for toddlers; far superior to any which could be offered by over-paid government bureaucrats, which is what public school teachers are. Every one of them, you may ask? No, but the vast majority of them.
After we reject toddler kindergarten we can push to roll back the junior kindergarten program. We can simultaneously demand that the government offer tax credits to those who choose to send their children to private schools. Today, only the Catholics are afforded the opportunity to see their tax dollars go to the school system of their choice. This same choice should be given to all parents. If you choose to send you child to a private school you should be able to list that school as the recipient of your education taxes. If you prefer the state to teach your child you could have them direct your taxes, not just to the public system, but to the individual school which your child attends. It is simply unjust that you must pay for the education of someone else’s child against your will, as we do now.
But what of the poor neighbourhoods, and the children of poor parents? If we are to continue with a public education system it is not out of the realm of possibility that rather than funding a system we fund the student instead. This notion that because some small percentage of us can’t afford to educate our children makes it necessary that we fund a monolithic bureaucracy of a school system is like using sledge hammer to push in a thumb tack. It is overkill. Help the child who needs it but not the child who doesn’t.
The public education system has gotten away with their incompetence for far too long. It has become a sacred cow. The two platitudes the educators will spout if we dare to complain of their ineptitude are the following:
- “It’s for the kids’ sake.” To which we reply; No it is not. It is all about you, you overpaid, overbearing, bureaucrat with delusions of self-importance.
- “You’re just a teacher basher.” To which we reply; Yes, and deservedly so.
The notion of “teacher bashing” is a bromide quickly spat out by the teachers’ union bosses who feel that their gravy train is being threatened so they retaliate, not with reasoned, cogent argument for why they are destroying the minds of our children but with schoolyard styled name-calling.
Teachers have to be held accountable, but at the root of the poor teachers and their methods are the teachers colleges. Who teaches the teachers is the question which must be asked. What are the teachers being taught and by whom? I lay the blame for most of the problems of the public education system on the institutions of higher learning. For the rest of the blame just look in the mirror.
When we continue to joyfully accept the nanny state’s offer of “free” day-care in the disguise of education we have only blame ourselves when our children graduate unable to read or write, or when our children find only contempt for us as parents for the years of mindless boredom and macaroni artwork we put them through.
The bottom line is that education is far too important a value to leave to the government.
(Originally broadcast on Just Right #227, November 24, 2011)