The Shotgun Blog
Friday, July 01, 2005
My friend Trevor Lautens
My friend Trevor Lautens, whose wise and witty columns illuminated the Vancouver Sun for several decades before a forced retirement transformed him into a stay-at-home dad (yes, even at his advanced age!) and freelance writer, has given Winnipeggers a valuable Canada Day gift: a bit of himself. What follows is the great Mr. Lautens' melancholic ruminations, as published in yesterday's Winnipeg Free Press, on what it means to be a Canadian:
Put out no flags
By Trevor Lautens
UNFORGETTABLY, though I've forgotten his name and can't find his exact words in 45 years of my notebook-diaries, a U.S. senator once said, in surveying his career: "I began by wanting to save the world. Then I wanted to save the United States. Now I want to save... (some local slough or woodland)."
Derivatively -- and what better time than Canada (nee Dominion) Day to quote or misquote an American? -- I once loved Canada. Then I loved my neighbourhood. Now I have some regard for the tree-clad slope behind my house.
It is partly my property, partly my neighbour's -- I met him after just 18 years of residence and he proved to be an agreeable fellow, though neither of us has felt an urgent need to communicate again in the intervening two years.
Possibly a metaphor lurks here. Or not. In what used to be regarded as old age (in my case, 70 is the new 90), Canada looks too big for intimacy, too big for the imagination. It has to be broken up into small pieces to be lived in and through. In its larger cities, even downtown is a place too far.
Politically, the country is uninhabitable. Pride in today's Canada is embarrassing, if not repelling. I won't be there for the fireworks tomorrow.
You can stay while I tilt my kitchen chair back and reminisce, or leave now.
There seemed to be a fresh new dawn in the 1950s, that decade scorned as boring and repressive by those who weren't there for it. The Canadian vocabulary unashamedly included kindness, thankfulness, manners, and such, and citizens quite often even put those words into practice. The actual and linguistic horrors of lifestyle, fulfillment, liberation, orgasm (good, better, best), closure (what of importance is ever closed, especially the death of the loved?) and that tool of the institutionalized New Bigotry, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all gratefully lay far ahead.
Of course, there were unfairness and prejudice, but also -- still in the glow of triumph over evil in the last war, whose righteousness we may ever universally agree upon -- a strong sense of hopefulness, of better days ahead, real wrongs being really righted.
More than an aside on that war: In a Times Literary Supplement review of David Dilks's The Great Dominion: Winston Churchill in Canada, 1900-1954, Nathan M. Greenfield writes: "The Canada Churchill knew is almost unrecognizable, especially to those who have followed the country's reduction in military capacity. The Canadian army rushed to England in 1939 was the only army that could defend Britain in the months after Dunkirk."
Canada's wartime gifts to Britain "totalled one-quarter of those under the more famous American Lend-Lease Agreements -- and Canada's population was one-twelfth that of the United States." Furthermore, Canada supplied 44 squadrons in Britain by 1944, and had built 100 of the Royal Navy's ships and 1,223 of the 5,000 tanks the Allies shipped to Britain.
Since then, countless brains have been addled by an approved high-school textbook that ignored the soldiers and reduced the war to two consequential issues -- women's work (invaluable, certainly) and the expulsion of ethnic Japanese from the West Coast to virtual internment camps.
I've long admired what I call the Class of 1920, those born a few years on either side of that year who ground through a devastating depression, fought and won a war and, hardened into smartness, brilliantly provided Canada's leadership for decades.
Now Canada is uber-enlightened and people are afraid to go out at night. (One never knows, a crooked MP might be lurking in the shadows.)
Dismiss all this as an old man's grumbling if it makes you feel better -- or the mutterings of one who confuses happier times with his youthful self, an argument I grant has some merit. But, when not in danger of being overheard, people of my generation agree with me that it's not just rosy nostalgia for youth. Objectively, life in Canada really was better before the Hippies and the Me Generation and Generation X, and even, amazingly, human rights commissions and liberal judges secretly terrified of their ambitious and even-more-liberal young law clerks.
One finally learns that a single act of personal kindness and civility that lightens a heart and makes life more endurable is more virtuous than an act of Parliament. (To quote myself: All great crimes begin in committee.)
One also learns -- a subversive belief, unpopular and deserving of quick suffocation lest it gets around -- that the displacement of God and enthronement of Man has had only dimly understood but devastating social consequences. To think that we are the universe's highest beings should fill us with the greatest alarm and dread if we look around and, especially, inward. (This, as I always feel obliged to state, from a non-Christian, non-church-going, gin-swilling blasphemer. But that doesn't mean I'm stupid.)
So other hands will have to wave the flags tomorrow. The Canada I cherish -- still -- is a private and mystical one, somewhere up that backyard slope of wild greenery, where a chickadee announces his pert importance over a flower born to blush unseen.
Posted by Terry O'Neill on July 1, 2005 | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My friend Trevor Lautens:
» Love's Labour's Lost from the blog québécois
I consider Trevor Lautens, along with Mark Steyn and David Warren, one of the best political writers in this country. He published a column in the Winnipeg Free Press Thursday that Terry O'Neill featured in The Shotgun; I've taken the... [Read More]
Tracked on 2005-07-11 8:34:54 PM
Please note: this tag makes the article unreadably small in my Firefox browser:
span style="font-size: 0.6em;
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-07-01 9:57:09 AM
After reading the article by Trevor Lautens one has to think about how you can truly have positive emotion around Canada Day. I belief that it is every persons duty to take the time with your kids or anyone who will listen and fill in the blanks as per Canada rich but politically denied history. It is a history to be proud of. If we are to have hope as a nation going forward the next generation needs to know the truth - not a santized politically correct version of our past. In our history the real blemishes on Canadian history were put their by mislead politicians not the Canadian people. It does take some effort to not become a cynic!!!!
Posted by: EL | 2005-07-01 10:22:58 AM
2020 Vision: What will Canada look like in 15 years? (The Cheshire-cat nation)
Posted by quidnunc
On 07/01/2005 8:39:07 AM PDT · 23 replies · 402+ views
The Toronto Star ^ | July 1, 2005 | Richard Gwyn
We are in the grip of a disturbing malaise, marked by poor leadership and a consequent lack of vision Canada today resembles a marathoner who has run with quiet competence to near to the head of the pack but who now is seized by doubt about whether he can sustain the pace — indeed, whether he might have to drop out entirely. This doubt isn't about where we are today. It's about where we may find ourselves the day after tomorrow — in around 2020, the year the Toronto-based Dominion Institute has chosen as its measuring stick for Canada's future...
Gwyn, an avatar of Truedough & Trudopia; clawing his way back to sanity; a mea culpa from the erstwhile socialist. Tough, Gwyn. Have a terrible day, Gwyn.
AdScam Martin after the bill thing: "We are a nation of minorities." Is this to which Gwyn is referring? A nation of people without chests.
Gwyn has fallen out of love with the Librano$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-07-01 10:51:50 AM
Wonderful poetry by Trevor Lautens.
That is my idea of Canada. I was in the Forces in 59 for 2 years. I spent a Summer in B.C. for training. We were still hearing stories from ww 2. The sense of pride and honor was strong.
What can we do now? Truth is there is another war going on. If you don't know there is a war, how can you hope to win it? As Mr. Lautens mentioned, this war is about the presence of our Creator in our society. Our God is not money.
I see a light: Pst. Tristan Emmanuel had 15 000 people in front of Parliament this Spring. And this is only an introduction. I invite you Mr. Lautens to meet brother Emmanuel. Tell him that you are not born again.
Now we live in lies. Lies in politics, lies in education, lies in sex, lies in business, lies in unions, lies in so-called justice, lies in the medias.
Where from come the lies? Read the Bible.
Posted by: rémi houle | 2005-07-01 11:06:31 AM
I'm an Albertan, so therefore I cannot be Canadian.
(take that, Rene Descartes!)
Posted by: Scott | 2005-07-01 11:16:08 AM
Great piece by Trevor Lautens. Reminds me of the Canada I grew up in the 50s and early 60s. Then, sadly, along came Vietnam and with it endless anti-Americanism, promoted especially by immigrant American professors who came to dominate the social "science" faculties of our rapidly expanding, as well as new, universities. Thus were indoctrinated a whole generation of the Canadian elite. And then came multiculteralism, the Charter, etc., etc.
By the way, Jeffrey Simpson, usually the voice of established convention, has a very good and pessimistic piece in today's Globe: "They love us, we love us -- what's the problem?"
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-07-01 11:37:48 AM
This is the first Canada day in living memory where many Canadians, especially those who have the wisdom of years, are not celebrating but are wondering instead how it all went wrong. A mostly unseen (by voters) part of the answer can be found in school textbooks. P.E.T.'s idea of a centrally-planned Liberal-sponsored country has been promoted in schools since the seventies.
It is not by accident that we are no longer the same nation that went to defend freedom in Europe. The curricular seed-planting has gone on for years now. When Lautens writes that "...countless brains have been addled by an approved high-school textbook that ignored the soldiers and reduced the war to two...issues -- women's work...and the expulsion of ethnic Japanese from the West Coast to virtual internment camps..." he could easily add a third issue, that of anti-American sentiment, which has been one of the most fruitful Liberal harvests. Here is a letter to the editor published in yesterday's Edmonton Journal:
"I have just finished writing the diploma examination for Social Studies 30 and I am extremely frustrated with the anti-American bias of the test."
"The test makes Americans look like war-mongering, money-wasting, poverty-causing people. If we want to have a deacent relationship with the Americans, we need to stop warping the minds of my generation (the generation that will soon be in power) and start talking about the positive things that Americans do (save countless lives, help in time of need, etc.)."
"If this kind of stuff keeps getting written on tests, Canada will have no relationship with the United States, much to our detriment." -- (Daunavan Buyer, Edmonton)
Canada day is a good day to reflect on the work and the values of our country's pioneers, and on the values we share with our American friends, but it's also a good time to look more closely at the agenda which is being promoted in schools to our children. Liberal governments in the last thirty-some years have been remaking the country in their own name. It's too late to change what's already done, but the future of this country should not be left unattended in some blind trust administered by school-board bureaucrats.
Posted by: EBD | 2005-07-01 12:01:28 PM
I think that Canada is at a crossroads. It can either continue to oblivion, a road established about 40 years ago by the Liberals, or, it can with great and enormous difficulty, address its problems. I am uncertain whether Canadians have the ability, the knowledge, and even the desire, to address these issues. And - these issues are not superificial; they function as the basic and deadly fault-lines of economic and political health.
1) Canada is now a corrupt oligarchy. Canada is not a democracy. The problem is that the Westminster parliamentary tradition relies on two psychological character qualities for its strength. Its politicians and its civil service must have integrity and principles. The Westminister system, as a system, has no infrastructure to prevent corruption; it relies on the 'psyche' of its agents.
The US, Australia, and other nations, chose not to rely on the psychological characteristics of its politicians and instead, set up their political system with an in-built infrastructure to prevent corruption. They inserted numerous checks and balances. A bicameral system with both houses elected, limited term elections, appointments subject to review and full accountability and so on.
Canada has none of these built-in protections against corruption. What has therefore happened is the gradual take-over of the political and economic levels of our government, by corrupt politicians and unelected unaccountable cartels of power.
Two thirds of our gov't is unelected, is appointed from ONE office, as patronage - turning these appointees into tools of the office. These include all members of the Senate, the judges, the deputy ministers, key agents of the civil service, heads of the public institutions and tax-funded large industries and so on.
All are totally unaccountable and they effectively run both the political and economic functions of this country.
2)The idealistic and completely dysfunctional scheme of an enforced bilingualism has, after 40 years, resulted in a situation where 80% of the population is disempowered - politically and economically. With regard to the anglophone population, which is 80% of total Canadian population, only 10% are, and will be, bilingual. The rest cannot readily move into any major position of the government, including judges, deputy ministers, high level civil servants, heads of public corporations, heads of research funds, directors of scientific institutions, etc. With regard to the 20% francophone population, about 50% are able to move into these positions.
What has developed over the 40 years is a closed clique of self-organized functionaires..who function as the bulk of this civil service. They are located in the Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec corridor. This clique, which has also become associated with the economic cartel of Desmarais, Power Corp, Magma..runs the country.
These agents - the civil level and the economic cartel - are completely and totally unaccountable and out of the control of the electorate.
3. The nature of this major portion of our governance is a key fault line. That is, this portion is unelected, unaudited, beyond the control of the electorate, functions by cronyism and favours - and, importantly - is THE MAJOR portion of our government. All, appointed by the office of the PM. Without debate, without discussion, without accountability.
4. The loss of integrity and principles within our individual politicians has meant that our governmental system is completely open to corruption.
The Ontario Supreme Court, for example, in January 2005, ruled that it was 'to be expected' that politicians would like, would break campaign promises..and that citizens should not expect their politicians to be truthful.
This amazing and little-reported statement effectively said, openly, that integrity and principles are not merely not required by a politician - but - the electorate shouldn't even expect such qualities!
But - since our system has no checks and balances, its proper functioning as a democracy answerable to the people, relied, totally and completely, on these qualities of integrity and principles.
No. In 2005, an appointed judge told the electorate - that we are wrong to expect such characteristics.
What's left? Corruption.
3)Another characteristic of the Canadian identity has been the smothering of dissent. Under the guise of 'multiculturalism' and 'tolerance', Canadians have been led to believe that every form of behaviour, every practice, - is acceptable. Such relativism meant that we became a 'nation of minorities' without commonality or even interest in developing any commonalities. We have become a hive of differences, each mini-group engaged in rampant self-serving ethno-politics, corrupting the Charter by defining all differences as equal.
And, because we have been told that accepting this pluralism is a sign of 'tolerance', we have been refused the right to dissent. Any evaluation of behaviour, any critique of behaviour - whether of our fellows or our government - is viewed as an act of 'intolerance'.
The resultant electoratal apathy is a sign of a deep malaise; it is a sign that we, the electorate, know that we have been disempowered and exist only as 'show' on various holidays.
4)We are assisted in hiding our heads in the collective sands by our media, our gov't, and our universities - filled with socialist Vietnam draft dodgers - setting up anti-Americanism as the venting of our anger. Therefore, we blindly ignore our real problems and instead, blame the Americans ...for anything.
We ignore that our economy is 100% dependent on the American consumer; we ignore that because of this immediate consumer, we need develop no competitive products in Canada, no innovative research, no hard fought ideas and inventions, that we need not engage in any serious industrial development...because whatever we manufacture...we have a consumer whom we can belittle, sneer at and reject..who will still purchase our goods.
What an easy life we have.
And we ignore that that same America would come to our defence, instantly, if we were ever in trouble...while we know that we will assert our moral superiority and refuse to assist it, in any way.
We ignore that with only ONE neighbour, and the rest of our territory effectively bounded by water and/or ice - we have no territorial fears..knowing as well, that the US would always protect OUR territories.
We ignore that we rely on the US to protect the world from terrorists; that we rely on the US to do all the hard slogging in difficult economic, political and social areas.
So- can Canada continue this way? Can it continue with a corrupt oligarchy as its government? Can it continue with an electorate almost totally alienated from having any power over its government? Can it continue as a centralized system - with that system corrupt, manipulative, dealing with the electorate by propaganda, by censorship, by threats, by setting up straw men (do this or you'll become an American)... Can it continue?
We've been this way for a generation. Will this be the new Canada..a permanent suburb of the US, but, in itself, competely and totally corrupt..with a disempowered electorate?
Posted by: ET | 2005-07-01 12:26:42 PM
You guys sound like a bunch of old cry babies.
If you want to influence the next generation, ie me, stop talking about the 50s and make your arguments on merit. the 50s were a long time ago, times change, technology, lifestyles, etc etc etc change, you have to change too or perish.
Canada is still a great country to live in, made better by SSM. Sadly, up until Harper's bonehead comments about re opening the SSM boil, I was ecstatic. I mean, with that out of the way now I could vote Conservative with a clear conscience. Now, as long as Harper is in charge I have no choice but to go Green.
ET you make great arguments and I think that if the Conservative party made similar arguments while proposing BOLD reforms and talking less about social policy they would do much better.
IMHO, most people I talk to would like to see us move to the right economically and politically, while continuing on our path to the left socially.
As for "Another characteristic of the Canadian identity has been the smothering of dissent" I think you aren't stating what you really mean here. What dissent has been smothered? I think this statement seems more SSM related than anything.
Posted by: Kyle | 2005-07-01 12:47:14 PM
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. --Proverbs 16:18
Posted by: Tony | 2005-07-01 1:05:05 PM
It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This Constitution is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the desk it’d be recycled into loo paper! Its metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the table! It's kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-CONSTITUTION!!
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-07-01 1:09:58 PM
It's pinin' for the fjords.
Posted by: EBD | 2005-07-01 1:20:07 PM
Mr. Praline: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
NDP Leader does not respond.
Mr. Praline: 'Ello, Miss?
NDP Leader: What do you mean "miss"?
Mr. Praline: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to register a complaint!
NDP Leader: We're closin' for lunch.
Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this plan what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
NDP Leader: Oh yes, the, uh, the socialist state... What's, uh... What's wrong with it?
Mr. Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It's deadly, that's what's wrong with it!
Posted by: Tony | 2005-07-01 1:37:21 PM
Chris, the Moderator: You have a new plan.
Prime Minister: Can I just say here Chris for one moment that I have a new plan?
Moderator: Er... exactly. (Chris gestures but the PM does not say anything) What is it?
Prime Minister: Where? (looks round)
Moderator: No, no. Your new plan.
Prime Minister: Oh, what is my plan?
Prime Minister: Oh what is my plan that it is. Well Chris you may well ask me what is my plan.
Moderator: I am asking.
Prime Minister: Good for you. My word yes. Well Chris, what is it that it is - this plan of mine. Well, this is what it is - my plan that I have, that is to say, which is mine, is mine.
Moderator: (beginning to show signs of exasperation) Yes, I know it's yours, what is it?
Prime Minister: Where? Oh, what is my plan? This is it. (clears throat at some length) My plan that belongs to me is as follows. (clears throat at great length) This is how it goes. The next thing I"m going to say is my plan. Ready?
Prime Minister: My plan by P Martin. Brackets Prime Minister, brackets. This plan goes as follows and begins now. I will spend more at the beginning, much much more in the middle and then more again at the end. That is my plan, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too.
Posted by: Tony | 2005-07-01 1:38:40 PM
Kyle- what I mean by the 'smothering of dissent', a notion taken from such books as Karl Popper's outline of 'The Open Society and its Enemies' and Natan Sharansky's 'The Case for Democracy' - has nothing to do with SSM.
It's infrastructural; that is, I'm talking about the structure of how our country operates..not about specific issues.
What I mean by this is that in Canada, 'dissent' from the central propaganda - and it IS propaganda - is not permitted. The ideology of 'tolerance' has been inserted in Canada as a clever tactic to prevent questions, debate, analysis of results of actions, etc. So- because we are defined by our Authorities as a 'tolerant people', this means that when these same Authorities propose ANY actions whatsoever: a new flag; the gun registry; refusal/aggrement to help in Iraq; refusal/agreement of BMD; sponsorships as a tactic against Quebec separation; SSM; Sharia Law; Kyoto; etc, etc,etc.
Any proposal is to be greeted by the electorate without questions! Without analysis. Without debate. Questions, dissent, valid argumentation which explores fully the reasons and the conclusions - is simply not permitted.
If you try to question...you are mocked, belittled, ignored. Notice how the Liberals treat the House of Commons question period. They simply refuse to answer the questions. Again and again, the opposition tries to question the Liberals - and it is their duty to do so. Again and again, the Liberals refuse to answer; they divert, they respond with an irrelevant sentence; they refuse to debate, refuse to answer, refuse to allow the topic to be explored in any depth.
Notice how ad hominem the Liberals get when questions are asked; they define Harper as 'angry'...because he questions them! Notice how Chretien treated Gomery..who, as a judge, is supposed to question and query. Chretien was openly contemptuous and furthermore - has asked that the courts disallow Gomery from 'finding fault' with Chretien. Just think of the utter corruption of such a request - Chretien is insisting that a judge, no matter what evidence there is, come to a conclusion as outlined by Chretien! The judge is being asked to reject and ignore evidence! Evidence doesn't matter in this country, for decisions are based, not on evidence..but on agendas. That's why questions and dissent are not permitted. Questions will always seek out reasons. But the reasons for gov't actions are only to maintain the Liberal and the Cartel's political and economic control. So- you mustn't question..because this might expose those agendas.
The MSM systems are similar; they function as propaganda iterations of the government ideology. Explorations - and I mean in-depth explorations -are simply not allowed. Try it - and you'll be sued for libel.
Criticize the government..and say, as Inky Mark did - that they tried to bribe you..and they'll mock you and use racist terms to do so. Tape them, and they'll claim, untruthfully, that you altered the tapes..diverting from the fact that two gov't officials were still offering illegal bribes.
So- the electorate becomes quiet and removed from the gov't..a gov't that has moved itself into a situation where it is totally out of the control of the electorate. It can busy itself with propaganda (waving the flag on Canada Day); and other 'feel-good' irrelevancies..and with continuing its own Cartel agendas.
There's an old 12th century poem..written by Chretien dr Troyes, about 'Perceval and the Grail'.
Perceval went on a quest..for truth. He stopped at a castle for a meal, and was greeted with friendship and kindness. During the meal, as Perceval watched, someone walked by in front of the table, carrying a bowl..and walked into another word. How strange. Perceval said nothing and questioned nothing.
Then, someone else walked by with a lance with a bloodied tip. Again, Perceval watched and asked no questions.
When he had finished his meal, he went outside the castle to continue his journey..and the entire land and people were wasted, a total wasteland. Utterly destroyed. The keeper of the castle told Perceval - This wasted land, these deaths..are entirely your fault. You refused to question, you simply sat passively and accepted and thus, are trapped and have entrapped the world.
"Que tu ne pois demander
Por coi cele got de sanc
Saut par lat pointe do fer blanc?
Et do traal que tu veis
Ne demande n'enqueis
Quel riche home an en servoit"
"You could not ask why, from the tip of the while lance's point..that drop of blood came springing from its top..and when you saw the grail in turn, you did not ask or try to learn, what nobleman was being served"..
Perceval refused the task, a required task because it is the essence of our humanness - of learning. And so..the land died.
This refusal to allow dissent, questions, means that we are, as a society, alien to ourselves. Hesiod wrote that in many societies, the last day of the month was set aside for 'sorting out what is truth and what is not'. A day - set aside for self-analysis..and yet our Liberal government has denied us that right, by its denigration of Question Period and the right to dissent.
Homer wrote 'Alas, how mortals hold us gods responsible! For they say that their misfortunes come from us. But they get their sufferings, beyond what is fated, by their own acts".
And so it is with Canada. We have done this, to and by, ourselves. What is the future? We are now, searching, looking for heroes to lead us out of the wasteland. The problem is, in Canada, with our insistence on equalization, on 'all are one'..whether it be in all dying from public health care or whatever...we do not allow heroes in Canada. We do not allow questions, we do not allow differences, we do not allow dissent, and we do not allow genuine leadership.
Posted by: ET | 2005-07-01 2:32:10 PM
"We are in the grip of a disturbing malaise, marked by poor leadership and a consequent lack of vision"
Wrong answer, Richard Gwyn.
The sickness which Canada is suffering right now is entirely caused by an *excess* of leadership and an *excess* of vision. Ken Dryden is a leader who has a vision of himself and an army of unionized babysitters leading children away from their parents. Atlantic Canadian and Quebec politicians are leaders who have a vision of themselves and their cronies using other Canadians' cash to fill a void created by what they assume to be the utter stupidity and laziness of their constituents. Roy Romanow is a leader who has a vision of somehow "just a few billion more" being enough to satisfy the monstrous cash-eating health bureaucracies and medical fraternities. Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and all the wannabe Liberal leaders are driven by visions of themselves as the wise and benevolent captains of the most humongous electoral and patronage machine in the history of Canada. They all delude themselves that their visions for our lives are much better than the ones that we have for ourselves. What is a little corruption, they say, when you're saving the country?
Here's a new take on the vision thing for you, Richard: personal freedom and responsibility. I'm sure that you think that this is good enough for you - when you believe that it's good enough for the rest of us, then you will have a country to be proud of.
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-07-01 2:43:30 PM
ET: Wow! First chanson de geste I've encountered on a political blog.
Great posts, especially regarding the practical smothering of dissent.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-07-01 2:47:26 PM
Family's feud with a fascist future - ("for better or for worse" is now "FOR WORSE"-socialism!)
Posted by CHARLITE
On 07/01/2005 1:39:30 PM PDT · 3 replies · 58+ views
JEWISH WORLD REVIEW.COM ^ | JULY 1, 2005 | KATHLEEN PARKER
If you were a Big Picture sort gazing at America through a wide-angle lens, you might begin to wonder: Why the big rush to fascism? For a nation that prides itself on freedom, even seeking to infect other countries, we're terribly busy undermining our own. How? Specifically, by destroying the family. Sanctity aside, the traditional family is the front-line defense of liberty, the Maginot Line against creeping totalitarianism. Without the primary, autonomous unit of mother and father — whose duty is to protect and nurture their offspring — government inevitably intercedes. Indeed, it is a goal of totalitarian governments to...
The left liberals have used the communist salami tactic: one-slice-at-a-time to advance their dream of Utopia. The SSM ploy is a slice of the agenda: destroy the family is the goal of the SSM ploy.
Creeping totalitarianism is the mechanism to consummate the dream of Utopia.
The dream is far advanced in this place once known as Canada; only conservatives stand in the way of the left liberals. Fight on; fight on,happy warriors ; say not the struggle naught availeth (A.H. Clough).
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-07-01 3:18:41 PM
ET you had me right up until:
"Criticize the government..and say, as Inky Mark did - that they tried to bribe you..and they'll mock you and use racist terms to do so"
Which left me kind of dumbfounded. How can someone as well thought out as you not see that Alcock’s statement was about Mark's intelligence and had nothing to do with his "racial" background?
I have seen many critics of the government voice their views and not be called racist or bigoted. I have also seen people of a more Liberal persuasion castigated and attacked on these very boards for sharing their views, so in my opinion the door swings both ways on that one.
As for your claims that dissent in "tolerated" anymore.
What do you call this blog? What's the Western Standard? Your list of issues that you claim were not discussed were in fact discussed here, in coffee shops and house holds around Canada, in Parliament, in the Post, even once in a while on the CBC. Seems to me there is plenty of dissent, however the majority has decided against your dissenting point of view on many of these issues. Like it or lump it the Liberals were elected. The Conservatives could be elected next time but they need implement some changes, get some new strategists (the person who brought up the whole bbq circuit should be fired) and perhaps a new leader.
I do see some hunger for major economic and political changes in Canada, on these issues I don't see your point of view as dissent but actually the tip of an oncoming wave. But on the social front, the issues in which youngsters and urbanites like myself will sadly but truthfully base their vote on, many Conservatives are off the reservation, and therein lies the true reason behind our current Liberal hegemony.
Posted by: Kyle | 2005-07-01 3:24:19 PM
Kyle- the attack on Mark was racist; the words used were about choosing 'higher up in the gene pool'. A genetic characterization is most certainly a racial characterization. After all, 'race' is assumed to be genetically determined.
Nor am I saying that dissent is smothered only by an accusation of racism or bigotry. Those are merely two of the tacics used to reject dissent. Other tactics used by the Liberals are mocking, ad hominem, ad populam, trivializing, false analogy...and, as the Liberals do in Question Period, simply not answering the questions. Refusing discussion times, cutting short discussions in the Commons, rejecting referendum options, rejecting Supreme Court decisions, saying that the Supreme court said one thing..when it said the opposite. There are many tactics used to prevent debate and stifle discussion.
I am referring to the governmental process, not this or any blog.
As for your statement:
"I have also seen people of a more Liberal persuasion castigated and attacked on these very boards for sharing their views, so in my opinion the door swings both ways on that one."
As you must realize, the above statement is a conclusion and requires evidence to be acceptable. Otherwise, it is merely an opinion.
The fact that issues are discussed in this blog is not relevant; it's discussion within the government, and dissent voiced to the government that is the issue. The sycophants around the government, all appointed by the office of the PM, do not voice dissent. The MSM rarely voice dissent and a once or twice query is statistically trivial. Check out the papers and the television; the overwhelming reaction is adherence to the Party Line.
The opposition is ignored, utterly ignored in Question Period. Citizen's groups are ignored. Whistle blowers are ignored -- or fired. The auditor general is prevented from auditing many of the areas controlled by the PM's office..with all those appointed positions. Documents and information are not handed over or are heavily censored if they are. All of this - prevents questions, inhibits questions, makes opposition a difficult and almost impossible task.
The public is not informed of the issues; that includes the war in Iraq, the BMD, the economy, Kyoto..Decisions are made without the House being fully informed and without the public ever knowing the basic realities.
You can use examples..of the recent health care decision of the Supreme Court..which the gov't is ignoring and trying to tell us that 'our health care is just great'..and all we have to do is cut waiting times. You can use the SSM decision, where the Supreme Court REFUSED to make a decision - and Martin said that it HAD made a decision..i.e, that SSM was a 'charter right'..Does the public know? Of course not.
In the US, for example, there are two parties - and there is a great deal of dialogue and discussion in the Senate, in the house, in different newspapers; there are newspapers of different political slants, there are tv stations of different slants. Not in Canada.
There is next to no dialogue in our House of Commons. Remember - Martin removed several 'opposition days'. It wouldn't happen in the US! And, as I said, question period is irrelevant, for the Liberals do not answer questions.
Remember the last election? Dissent from the Liberal party line..and you are 'unCanadian'.
What majority has decided against what of my 'points of view'? I was unaware that Canadians have been asked, ever, for their opinions about anything??? There are no referendums, no 'going to the people'. Nothing. So, you cannot say that the majority decided against any point of view.
If you mean by a majority in parliament, then, the reality is that the majority of decisions in this parliament have NOTHING to do with the content or policy and are completely and totally political. That is - they have ONE agenda only..to ensure the winning of Liberal votes either in parliament or during an election.
The budget alliance with the NDP was a deal done to maintain the Liberals in power..and for the NDP to use as a self-praising tactic in the next election.
The SSM vote had one agenda only - to obtain votes in the big cities for the Liberals.
That is - NONE of these issues are decided on the merits of their policy. None. They are decided without principles, without integrity and for one reason only. Power.
That is a corrupt system - and why you promote such a system is puzzling.
I also don't understand why you feel that you have the right to speak for many 'youngsters and urbanites'. I would think that the honest statement would be that you are speaking for yourself. Have you been given the task by these youngsters and urbanites to speak for them? I know quite a few, with the same characteristics of youth and urban, who disagree profoundly with you. My advice - speak only for yourself; such an act has more integrity than the 'puffery' of attempting an ad populam..of speaking for a group.
Posted by: ET | 2005-07-01 3:56:33 PM
"A genetic characterization is most certainly a racial characterization. After all, 'race' is assumed to be genetically determined."
I'll get to the rest of your post later but seriously, intelligence is also "genetically determined". You discredit the the rest of your post in my eyes if you can't tell that it was intelligence that Alcock was obviously referring to.
Posted by: Kyle | 2005-07-01 4:08:27 PM
"Kyle- the attack on Mark was racist; the words used were about choosing 'higher up in the gene pool'. A genetic characterization is most certainly a racial characterization. After all, 'race' is assumed to be genetically determined."
Intelligence is also somewhat "genetically determined" and if you can't tell that it was intelligence that Alcock was referring to we are done here, kthxbye.
Posted by: Kyle | 2005-07-01 4:20:17 PM
God damn the java on these boards suck.
Posted by: kyle | 2005-07-01 4:22:45 PM
And with that, Kyle climbed through the ropes, stepped down off the ring apron, and was ushered down the aisles, holding a bag of ice to his face, into the parking lot where an ambulance awaited...
Posted by: owee | 2005-07-01 4:29:26 PM
Kyle: Regarding the Canadian media:
What the media consider important.
During the PM's press conference June 29 the persons of the Parliamentary Press Gallery did not ask a question about the Supreme Court's decision on health care and its implications.
I guess when Mr Martin says "We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country. Nobody wants that" the matter is closed and no further enquiry is needed.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-07-01 4:38:52 PM
Kyle: - What is it that you don't understand?
Racism is a perspective that 'race is the primary determinant of human capacities' and that would include intelligence.
By 'race' (a concept with which I disagree by the way) is meant a set of characteristics that are genetically determined and that are specific to a population. This population is understood, therefore, as being of a different 'race' or having different 'genetic characteristics'...and these could also include the 'intelligence' of that population.
What Alcock said, with regard to offering Mark an ambassadorship was: "Frankly, if I was going to recruit somebody, I'd go a little higher up the gene pool,"
Now- that remark was referring to genetic characteristics. Indeed, the remark refers to no particular requirement for ambassadorship. Such requirements might include expertise in economics, in history, an ability to speak the language of that country..etc..none of which are genetically determined characteristics and none of which are particularly correlated with being 'higher up in intelligence'. I imagine that an average intelligence would suffice for all these areas of expertise.
Therefore, the fact that Alcock focused his ambassadorial requirements on a genetically determined characteristic rather than a learned characteristic - means that his focus was on an attribute which no amount of learning could provide. That is a racist remark. Most certainly, Alcock didn't specify WHICH characteristic he was referring to - but the fact that it was a genetic rather than learned one - is racist.
And- I presume that's it for the day.
Posted by: ET | 2005-07-01 4:58:17 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.