Nov 082012
 

Obama_Romney_168x100I don’t claim to understand the American political system. It is quite complex and has actually changed several times over the years, but in general it goes like this:

The United States of America, contrary to what most people believe, (including many Americans) is not a democracy – it is a republic – a federation of states. Each state may be called democratic, if by democratic we mean that it elects its representatives in each state legislature and each state government derives its powers from the consent of the governed.

The US federal government on the other hand is elected by the states themselves and not by the popular vote of the nation as a whole. So the US is a mixture of a democratically elected House of Representatives, a State-appointed Senate, and a President elected by the States with each State having selected its electors by popular vote within each State, the only exceptions being Maine and Nebraska.

It is the Presidential election system of winner-take-all based on a plurality of votes in each state which keeps out smaller parties who would have to demonstrate a very broad appeal to be able to command the ballots of a majority of the electorate. Hence we have two historical parties develop over the years to dominate the system; the Republicans and the Democrats.

Try as they might, smaller parties like Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party or Jill Stein’s Green Party face a Herculean task of pushing out either the Democrats or Republicans to take first place and get any electors in the Electoral College.

Write-in candidates like a Green Ralph Nader or a quasi-Libertarian Ross Perot didn’t stand a chance with the winner-take-all system of electoral votes. Consider that Ross Perot, in the 1992 election received 18.9% of the popular vote, almost 20 million votes but not one Electoral College vote.

Running for the House of Representatives or the Senate is somewhat different for independents and several have been elected to these Houses but the Presidency will probably be forever beyond the grasp of any third party.

Thus, Americans are left with two parties to dominate the political scene for the foreseeable future.

The differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the US are much starker than the differences we see here in Canada between the Liberals and the Conservatives. In fact, this election has made me consider the duality of voters in the US and to a similar extent here in Canada.

With a large degree of generalization I would say that these are the two types of voters.

One is a producer; the other a parasite or moocher.

One has personal integrity; the other is willing to sell his soul to the highest bidder.

One asks no one to sacrifice himself to him; the other demands others sacrifice themselves to him.

One has pride in accomplishment; the other takes pride in destruction.

One is peaceful; the other violent.

One is patriotic; the other wishes to destroy the state.

One tells the truth; the other lies.

One is willing to listen to the argument of the other person; the other has no time for debate.

I leave it up to you to decide which of these would vote Republican and which would vote Democrat.

I’m sure there were both liberals and conservatives who placed themselves on the side of the peaceful, productive, truthful, patriotic, creators and thought that their opponents were on the other side. In fact there is some truth to that. There are people from both sides of the aisle who could be said to fit one description or another. There are no doubt Democrats who believe they are genuinely truthful, productive and patriotic as there are Republicans who are truthful, productive and patriotic.

That is the problem the US is having; not necessarily with a two party system, but with having each party represents only one aspect of a complete truth.

The Democrats are considered to be the defenders of individual liberties such as the right of a woman to choose the destiny of her own body, the right of gay people to enter into consensual relationships and marriages (If I can use that term), the right to consume mind altering drugs, the right to behave in ways not conforming to tradition.

The Republicans are considered to be the defender of economic and property rights, the right to self-defense and to bear arms, the right to own and keep property, the right to treat one’s home as one’s castle, the right to create and amass wealth, the right to trade freely with others.

But each Party has its list of faults. The Democrats are seen to be destroyers of business, wealth re distributors, protectionist, squanderers of the public purse, and pacifists. The Republicans are seen to be war mongers who are anti-gay, anti-women, against personal liberties and any aberrant yet peaceful behaviour such as consuming mind-altering drugs.

In general these observations are accurate. And yet while the US has had the Democratic Party control both Houses and the Presidency for the first two years of Obama and the Senate and the Presidency for the last four years, the war on drugs has escalated and they are still in Afghanistan and have active military operations throughout the world. When the Republicans were in power we saw a massive increase in regulations and government spending and debt.

It seems that regardless of which Party achieves power Americans are doomed to see the steady erosion of both personal and economic rights and liberties. I don’t believe anyone can say with absolute certainty that a Romney Presidency would be any better than an Obama Presidency; although personally I believe Obama to be the absolute worst President our neighbour has had the misfortune to endure.

I can say this with certainty. Unless one or both parties begins to adopt the perceived positive policies of their opposing Party the United States is doomed to fail as a nation.

Oct 042012
 
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser

When Saudi nationals perpetrated the September 11th attacks in the United States it did not go unnoticed that there was dancing in the streets in many Muslim nations. It is not a secret that millions of Muslims around the world and even those living in Western countries despise Western values and refuse to integrate into the free and civilized world.

Even today we have prominent American and Canadian Muslim organizations and leaders who are in league with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabi Mullahs of Saudi Arabia and are working tirelessly to destroy the West and every good it stands for.

Not all Muslims are against freedom and capitalism. Not all Muslims are our enemy.  But where are these Muslims? Why don’t we hear from them? For the celebrity few who do speak out, like Ayan Hirsi Ali, or Sam Solomon there are death threats and intimidation. Many keep silent for fear of retribution from the greater Muslim community.

I was invited by Salim Mansur, professor of Political Science at Western University and a frequent quest on our show, to attend and video the September 30th launch of a new voice for the many Muslims in Canada who have either remained silent, or who have spoken out with nobody willing to listen to them. The new organization is called Muslims Facing Tomorrow. Salim Mansur is the Vice President of MFT while activist and author Raheel Raza is the President.

At the meeting journalist and television host Christine Williams spoke and the keynote address was delivered by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, ex-USA Navy Seal Lt. Commander and Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).

What I heard at that event is precisely what I had been longing to hear from an organization of Muslims; a call to reject all violence, to embrace Western values and freedoms, including the freedom to offend as with The Innocence of Muslims video trailer.

I did not hear a single note of reticence in their condemnation of those Muslims calling for the curtailment of free speech or any other individual right protected by both the US and Canadian Constitutions. In fact, during the question period one man stood up, gave his name and declared that he was a Muslim apostate and suggested that the crowd give up their belief in superstition. There were no gasps of shock at such an admission, in fact a few people even applauded.

If such a man can stand up in a crowd of about 160 Muslims (by my count) and declare his apostasy without fear then I knew I was in the right room.

While ideas matter it is not ideas which kill people it is people who kill people and even though there are many tenets of what many have come to understand as Islam which are antithetical to peace, freedom and justice it is not the notion of Islam which kills. It is individual Muslims who kill. Those who espouse evil should be routed out as evil and likewise those who espouse freedom and peace should be lauded for their courage to do so.

I have wrestled with the apparent contradiction of what I understand to be Islam and the individual actions of Muslims. That evening I listened as speaker after speaker affirmed that there are many types of Islam. There are Muslims who, much as many Christians do, pick and choose those things attributed to Muhammad in the Koran. Dr. Jasser outright rejected the notion, for example, that Muhammad consummated a marriage to nine year old Aisha. He simply does not believe it. He rejected the call to kill Infidels or Jews regardless of what it says in the Koran. We have seen this before in Christianity as many choose to reject those aspects of the Bible which are inconsistent with civilization and have relegated such passage to history and myth. This may be how a religion reforms itself.

As if in answer to my own thoughts Dr. Jasser also addressed the Muslim notion of al-Taqiyya. He was asked by conservative blogger Dr. Roy Eappen; ‘How does one know that they are not being hoodwinked by moderate Muslims?’ He said that putting his position on the public record and doing it consistently through word and action should be enough to convince people of his sincerity.

When a Muslim stands up publicly to denounce anti-Semitism, misogyny, violence, homophobia, arranged marriages to six year olds and acts consistently to show that he is sincere what more do we need to know to accept the fact that Islam to him is completely different than it is to the Osama-bin Ladens and Wahhabis of the world?

(Originally broadcast on Just Right #270, October 4, 2012.)

Jul 232012
 

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Created and hosted by London talk-show personality Jim Chapman, Left, Right, and Center was launched and aired live from the studios of CJBK am 1290 Radio in London Ontario as a weekly Wednesday feature of his regular three-hour-a-day show Talk Of The Town. Regulars Jeff Schlemmer (a lawyer with Neighbourhood Legal Services) represented the ‘left,’ while Robert Metz (president of the Freedom Party of Ontario) represented the ‘right.’

On this show Gil Warren of the London and District Labour Council filled in for Jeff Schlemer and I filled in for Bob Metz. The topics under discussion were the 1999 Ontario election, taxes and democracy.

Depending on you browser settings you can click here to download the show or use the player below to stream it.

Jul 232012
 

 
 
 
 

Created and hosted by London talk-show personality Jim Chapman, Left, Right, and Center was launched and aired live from the studios of CJBK am 1290 Radio in London Ontario as a weekly Wednesday feature of his regular three-hour-a-day show Talk Of The Town. Regulars Jeff Schlemmer (a lawyer with Neighbourhood Legal Services) represented the ‘left,’ while Robert Metz (president of the Freedom Party of Ontario) represented the ‘right.’

On occasion I filled in for Bob Metz for the position from the ‘right.’ Here is my first fill-in role as Jim, Jeff and myself discuss the topic of education. At the time I was a trustee for the Thames Valley District School Board.

Depending on you browser settings you can click here to download the show or use the player below to stream it.

Jun 142012
 

When the “war on poverty” first began after the Second World War the intentions of those involved were said to have been good. But since all of the data collected since then has quite clearly demonstrated that every single intervention by government to combat poverty has created more poor, more illegitimate children, more ghettos, more unemployment, and more crime, one can only conclude that the efforts of today’s politicians to combat poverty are not based on good intentions.  Their welfare schemes and wealth redistribution efforts can only be described as willful, deliberate, methodical, cold-hearted, immoral, and evil. In the face of overwhelming evidence that social welfare programs, minimum wage laws, regulations, licenses, biases in favour of closed union shops, and social housing ghettos have had the exact opposite consequences than those they have purported it is abundantly clear that the politicians have ulterior motives.

As an example let’s look at Regent Park in Toronto, the home to the gang members involved in the recent Eaton Centre murders. This project was built in the 1940s as a government social housing experiment and at 69 acres is the largest of its kind in the country. It involved the demolishing of the center of the neighborhood called Cabbagetown and the erecting of cookie cutter apartment complexes where the poor could pay whatever they were able. It is currently run by Toronto Community Housing and has become an enclave of economic refugees who are corralled together in what has become a ghetto of crime and poverty where the residents have very little hope of ever getting out.

One of the inherent problems of concentrating the poor together is that when everyone you know is poor; your friends, classmates, neighbours, friends of friends there are no role models to emulate to get out of poverty. There is no one to teach them the personal habits necessary to prosper.  If all you know is poverty then that is all you can come to expect.  The result is despair.

This government-created problem can be solved by allowing the tenants of these apartments to buy their units outright. Home ownership leads to pride of ownership. It allows them to have equity and capital which can then be leveraged to their economic advantage.

It should not go unnoticed that the representative politicians for Regent Park are from the extreme left of the political spectrum. Locally there is Pam McConnell of the NDP, provincially Glen Murray of the McGuinty Liberals, and federally Bob Rae – one time NDP Premier of the province and now the interim leader of the federal Liberals – is the MP for the area. . It should be obvious that they have no intention in doing anything to correct the problem of Regent Park. It can also be easily surmised that these politicians need this society of victims to hold up as motive for their wealth redistribution schemes.

Let’s leave Regent Park and look at the broader picture of growing up in today’s world where many of the adults in positions of responsibility over children have either immoral or amoral ideas about how one should live their lives.

This week we saw the speech of David McCullough, Jr. at the commencement ceremonies of Wellesley High School in Massachusetts go viral and hit the media talk shows. The speech admonished the graduates for being coddled by their parents and too self-centred. Not one pundit had anything bad to say about the speech. Even though, to me the speech is a prime example of what not to say to any child.

These are Mr. McConnell’s closing remarks:

“Exercise free will and creative independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion and those who will follow them, and then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself.”

Not one radio pundit could correctly identify that it is this instruction to sacrifice yourself to the service of others which is at the root cause of all of our problems, all of them.  Altruism is the belief that your life is not your own and that you should devote it to the service of others.  This goes against the very nature of an individual human being who knows with every fiber of that being that his life is his own and that no one else has claim to it.

But the philosophy of altruism is drilled into children today from their parents, teachers, politicians, and from the pulpit. With such positively revolting guidance it is no wonder that youth of today despair.

(Originally broadcast on Just Right #254, June 14, 2012)

Apr 212012
 

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.

Mar 292012
 

Good Lord! – The Right, The Honourable
Abortion And Islam – Morally Superior?
Rude Interruption – The McBean Consensus
Puzzle Unsolved – Issues Resolved

The sphere and cylinder conundrum video by itself.

Depending on you browser settings you can click here to download the show or use the player below to stream it.

Mar 222012
 

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.

Mar 182012
 

Video I took on March 18, 2012 of Lord Christopher Monckton speaking to supporters of the International Free Press Society – Canada at Windermere Manor in London, Ontario. Topics of his speech included the United Nations, environmentalism, science, reason, Agenda 21, Marxism, Islam, and abortion as one of the reasons for the eventual downfall of the West.

Mar 152012
 

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GUEST: The Rt Hon Christopher Monckton, Autodidactic Mathematician, Game Designer, Architect, Journalist, Politician, Skeptic
GUEST: Professor Christopher Essex, Dept Of Applied Mathematics And Past Director, Theoretical Physics, UWO; Co-Author Of Taken By Storm

Global Warming – Has All The Hot Air Dissipated?
Advising Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – Changing The Views Of The Iron Lady
From SudoKu X To The Puzzle That Is Lord Monckton
The Courtier’s Conundrum – The Intersect Of Science And Politics

Depending on you browser settings you can click here to download the show or use the player below to stream it.