Nov 082012
 

Betsy Ross Flag 168x100Many Canadians grew up considering the United States, despite its many faults, as a nation to admire. It was the first nation created solely and explicitly to protect the individual rights of its citizens. It was the first nation to have a written constitution to limit the powers of its government and as a result, was the most prosperous nation this planet has ever seen. That is quickly coming to an end. There is a parasitic rot spreading rapidly throughout the US. It is the rot of envy, of greed, of wanting something for nothing at the expense of your neighbour (neighbor), and it is embodied in the person of Barack Obama, The Great Destroyer.

When Obama was elected for the first time in 2008 he was unknown, even to most Democrats, and as such the American people could have been forgiven their mistake. But having endured four years of crippling debt, massive unemployment, a weakened position amongst the world community and an economy all but in ruins there is no forgiving his reelection. He was reelected with deliberate intent with full knowledge of the damage he can cause.

The United States as many of us had come to know it, a noble country, vibrant and dynamic, an economic powerhouse, a country built on freedom and individual rights, a benevolent super-power, has ceased to exist. It is now just one amongst many countries whose people seek handouts and demand entitlements they have no right to. It has blended into a morass of socialist nations whose governments treat their people with disdain and contempt. It has lost its center, its identity as a unique nation among nations. It is experiencing its decline and the world will be forever poorer for its inevitable fall.

Words like “live free or die”, the motto of the State of New Hampshire, Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death”, Francis Scott Key’s “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” are now mere bromides repeated as by rote by adults and school children alike who have no implicit understanding of what those words mean.

It saddens me to think as we approach Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day in the United States, that the very concept of freedom is quickly being lost. Perhaps one day we can regain our sanity and rekindle the fire that is freedom, individual rights, honesty, integrity, productiveness, creativity, common sense, and maturity.

Perhaps one day we can look back at the envious, greedy, childish society we live in today and shake our heads and ask ourselves how could we ever have sunk to such depths? How could we have let such an idea as freedom escape our grasp?

 

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.

Nov 122009
 

PoppyEvery November 11th we honour the war dead by remembering their courage, their suffering, and the risking of their lives for something of greater value.  Some might say sacrifice but that word is often used erroneously.

Why would a young man want to carry a rifle, be shipped overseas to face great hardship and possible death?  Why did 65,000 Canadians and 1,200 Newfoundlanders die fighting in WWI?  Why did over 40,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders die fighting in WWII?

Today we like to say they fought and died for our freedom.  If that is so then I would have to say that they died in vain.  Canada before the first two great wars and even the Korean War was in many respects a much freer country than the Canada of today.

Many of us define Canada today in terms a 20 year old Canadian of 1917 or a Canadian of 1939 would not understand and if they did understand it I think they probably would be shocked.  Today you’ll hear the CBC sycophants say Canada is a country defined by its multiculturalism, its social programs, it universal health care, official bilingualism, even perhaps such trivial things like the CBC.

We have to remember that before the Second World War none of our current social programs existed.

Unemployment Insurance was introduced in 1940, Old Age Security – 1952, Canada Pension Plan – 1966, OHIP – 1972, Childcare Benefit – 2007.  It stands to reason that none of these existed before the First World War.  In fact, before the First World War we didn’t even have an income tax (or the CBC).  So that begs the question; why did these soldiers fight if it wasn’t for what many Canadians now define as Canadian?

If it was for freedom then it was for the right to live in a country where the government did NOT take over half of what you earn.  If it was for freedom then it was for the right to be able to speak out against religious and ideological beliefs that threaten world peace (something that will put you before a Kangaroo Court called a Human Rights Tribunal today).  If they fought for freedom it was for the right to choose any doctor you wish without waiting in a queue (something only our pets can take for granted today).  If they died for freedom then it was the freedom to work and to save for your retirement without having to rely on government handouts in your old age.   If they fought for freedom then it was for the right to live in a safe community where criminals were dealt with quickly and appropriately.  If our veterans fought for freedom then they lost the war.

That is, if they fought for freedom.

Before the two world wars Canada’s foreign policies were decided by England.  It seemed only natural at the time that when England chose to go to war that Canada only followed like a dutiful child.  Most of the veterans fought because of a sense of patriotism.  Not necessarily the best thing to fight for since the other side had millions of patriots too.

We should remember also that there was great opposition to the war from the French speaking Canadians.  And don’t forget the fact that we had to conscript 125,000 Canadians to fight overseas, 25,000 of these being sent to the front.  So when we remember the dead of the Great War we must never forget we sent thousands to die who did not want to fight for England.

We must also remember that Canadians entered the 2nd World War unaware of the atrocities that Hitler was about to perform on millions of Jews.  In fact, Canada had its own anti-Semites in government. And don’t forget our Japanese internment camps.  And of course we must remember that we still needed to enslave over 12,000 conscripted to fight.

I would like to think that the tens of thousands who died in Europe for Canada did so, not as a sacrifice, but because they knew they might lose their lives for something of greater value; a free and peaceful country.  I would like to think that.  The fact is we really don’t know why so many died since we obviously haven’t learned much of a lesson from the wars and seem to continue down the path away from the freedom we think they fought for.

If we consider why Canadians are fighting in Afghanistan I think we have to look at things very much differently.  We have a highly educated volunteer Armed Forces.  The way it should be.   For the most part today’s soldiers are career professionals and are fighting not out of blind patriotism but out of a clear understanding of which country is right and which country is wrong.  Afghanistan was, when we first invaded, explicitly aiding in the training of terrorists and harboring Osama bin Laden.  That country under the Taliban had no right to exist and we were quite right to overthrow them.  It was definitely in our best interests to do so.  What Canada is still doing there is a topic for another day.

Afterthought:

Not many know of a link between the two World Wars and the H1N1 virus.

In WWI over 15 million died from the war.  While at the same time between 50 and 100 million died around the world from the Spanish Flu which was an H1N1 strain of influenza A.  In fact 1 million of Germany’s soldiers had come down with the flu and had to retreat back to Germany effectively ending the war.  Hindenburg, not wanting to admit that his soldiers were unfit for soldiering blamed his loss on the Jews, socialist and Bolsheviks.  He created what was called at the time the “Stab in the Back Legend” claiming that the unpatriotic sabotage of the Jews led to the loss of the war.  This legend was widely believed in Germany and picked up by Adolph Hitler.  The rest, as they say, is history.

(Originally broadcast on Just Right November 12th 2009 (Show #128).  To download the show visit http://www.justrightmedia.org)