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Saturday, September 19, 2009

With Conservatives like these...

...who needs Liberals?

A Conservative prime minister has launched a stirring defence of universal health care, and lauded Barack Obama in his bare-knuckle political battle to extend benefits to all Americans. But it's not the current one. Brian Mulroney used a speech to 1,500 Conservative supporters to wade where Prime Minister Stephen Harper has steadfastly refused to venture: the bitter U.S. debate over health reform. 
 The former prime minister drew parallels between Obama's uphill fight to reform health care to his own struggles as prime minister, which may have cost him popularity but benefited the country. "Political capital is acquired to spend in great causes for one's country," Mulroney said Thursday. 
 "Prime ministers are not chosen to seek popularity. They are chosen to provide leadership. . . President Obama is fighting for a form of universal health care and is encountering ferocious resistance. "The attacks on President Obama are often bitter and mean-spirited and his approval ratings are sinking like a stone. Still, he fights on. . . "
Fifty years from today, Americans will revere the name, 'Obama.' Because like his Canadian predecessors, he chose the tough responsibilities of national leadership over the meaningless nostrums of sterile partisanship that we see too much of in Canada and around the world."
Yet the bloody fool actually believes it, believes that Medicare is anything but a comprehensive disaster. Perhaps, being a former Prime Minister, he hasn't experienced the sort of health care we proles get on a regular basis. A quarter century ago he silenced his critics on the Left by declaring Medicare "a sacred trust." Sure, conservatives scoffed, a sacred something, like say a scared cow. More than a few shrugged their shoulders and said that Canadians weren't ready to abandon their cherish myth of state guaranteed care, so no point wasting political capital on it. When the time is ripe we'll just scrap the bloody thing. 

We're still waiting. The Cult of Medicare is alive and well, even if its recipients are less lucky. The utterly galling thing is that a man widely regarded as the most successful "conservative" Canadian Prime Minister is portraying Barack Obama as Horatius at the Bridge. In fifty years Americans are probably going to regard Barack Obama as a cooler, and smoother, version of Jimmy Carter. There are parallels here to Stephen Harper's reading the libertarians out of the Conservative Party in March. 

Mike Brock covered the PM's speech to the Manning Institute here. My conclusion then about Harper was that he just didn't get the case for free markets. There is more than enough material floating around explaining how governments provoked the current economic crisis. Nary a word of it was mentioned by the PM. He preferred to scold libertarians as naive teenagers for believing that markets actually work. Brian Mulroney's laudatory comments about Barack Obama's quest to cripple American health care - which if it succeeds will deny Canadians a ready escape route from our system - shows plainly he doesn't get it either. It's not so much political cowardice or cynicism, at some level these "conservative" leaders just don't understand freedom.

Posted by Richard Anderson on September 19, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

I see no mystery nor surprise here. It is only a mystery or surprise if we make the mistake of assuming there is a divide between political parties.

If anyone is confused I strongly recommend reading "Glenn Beck's Common Sense - The Case Against An Out-of-Control Government". While the book is about the USA, we have the same problem in Canada, and Mr. Beck is spot on in his description.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-19 11:38:10 AM


I have posted the part of Mulroney's speech lauding Obama leadership here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpUpmlgYjSw

Enjoy.

Posted by: CanuckPolitics | 2009-09-19 11:44:20 AM


Alain

Glenn Beck is also a charlatan, who likes to call himself a libertarian, and is just loosely spewing the crap that--he himself--has absorbed from more libertarian minding people he selectively absorbs information from.

For instance, Glenn Beck, as far as I can tell is anti-immigration. Yet he takes his free market ideological points from free market types, like Friedman for example, and just glazes over and ignores the arguments for the need to have free movement of people to have a truly free market.

Instead, to use Terrence Watson's terminology, Glenn Beck is one of those conservatives who's taken the thin-veil of economic arguments from libertarians and simply integrated into his worldview. But he's taken almost none of those arguments to their full conclusions. Like most "libertarian conservative" pundits, he fills in the gaps with the typical, jingoistic, racist, sexist, and homophobic bullshit.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-19 12:17:31 PM


Mike you really should be more discerning in your comments regarding Beck. He is anti illegal immigration something the majority of Americans share and something that Freidman himself subscribed to. Free movement of people does not mean unrestrictd access and no review of those wishing access. Comments like "jingoistic, racist, sexist, and homophobic bullshit" only serve to reduce your argument to an ad hominem attack. I really hope those grapes Beck has are not as sour as you seem to think.

From my perspective, Beck is an entertainer with some leanings towards journalism. He has been pretty successful of late in helping and leading the exposing of real clowns like Van Jones and those ACORN employees. He is today's Howard Beale and sems to have struck a chord. His viewer numbers are very impressive. He is helping to shine a bright light on this dark administration.

One other thing, Mulroney always was and always will be statist. His answer was never anything other than more government to any question asked. He was a career polician who was and is a CINO (conservative in name only). The only ahievement one can credit to him is NAFTA which has worked well in spite of its deficencies and loopholes.

Posted by: B | 2009-09-19 1:24:58 PM


Mike, think what you want and call Mr. Beck what you want, but his book contains the facts. Unless you can prove otherwise, I suggest you give some thought to what he describes. You also fall into the mistake of partisan politics using the label libertarian which indicates you either have not read the book or that you missed the whole point.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-19 2:31:58 PM


Glenn Beck is also a charlatan, who likes to call himself a libertarian, and is just loosely spewing the crap that--he himself--has absorbed from more libertarian minding people he selectively absorbs information from.
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-19 12:17:31 PM

It appears that Brock now fancies himself as the "Mikhail Suslov" of the libertarian movement. Brock decides who is and who isn't a libertarian.

Though I suspect this is really nothing more than a case of sour grapes. 2+ million people regularly listen/watch Beck's show on the Fox News Channel. 10 people listen to Brock's "show" on the WS internet network.


Posted by: The Stig | 2009-09-19 4:45:09 PM


Actually, Publius, the time is riper than you think. Two successive heads of the Canadian Medical Association have spoken in favour of allowing private health care to practice alongside the public system, the Supreme Court of Québec has ruled the state monopoly on health care unconstitutional if its compels people to wait for care they could receive sooner if they paid for it, and the CMA as a whole has endorsed the private alternative. The nurses are opposed, but only because they will lose bargaining power if there is an alternative to putting up with their union shit. And several private clinics are already in operation.

Medicare is in no danger of going away. The state monopoly on health care is a separate issue, and to judge by recent developments, its days are numbered. There is no going back to the days of arguing that it is your civic duty to wait and suffer and possibly die rather than take advantage of your own money by paying for an alternate provider that isn’t available to the local crackhead. As for the States, Obama certainly has no plans to do away with private medical services. In fact, his approach is exactly the opposite of our own. He plans to make care available to cover what the private system can’t or won’t; in Canada, private care is being made available to cover what the public system can’t or won’t. Time will tell which is the better approach, but several European countries like France have demonstrated that a blend of the two systems can provide excellent care.

As for Mike Brock, he’ll always be a fringe figure, because his low circulation figures don’t seem to bother him. I doubt he writes in order to get rid of the poison in his heart; he writes in order to spread it around. But that’s just my opinion. Perhaps he actually is right, and all the rest of us wrong. Perhaps. The point, though, is that unless and until he can prove it, his being right has zero chance of affecting the political and social evolution of his country. Being right isn’t enough, if you’re the only one who thinks so.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-19 5:38:28 PM


What's your beef with Medicare? In 1948, in Los Angeles, I came down with polio. The only thing that saved my family from bankruptcy was the March of Dimes, an annual charity campaign.

After my wife and I moved to Canada in 1967, we escaped more than one such disaster--not only to our own ailments, but accidents to our children that Medicare turned from life-changing disasters to merely unpleasant days. I'm now 68, in boring good health, while my American brothers and sisters struggle with enormous insurance costs.

Mulroney, being a smarter (and wiser) politician than you, Publius, recognizes good policy when he sees it. And conservatism, as I understand it, is about keeping good policy and rejecting bad policy until it proves itself otherwise. So who's the real conservative?

Posted by: Crawford Kilian | 2009-09-19 6:15:10 PM


1.) Let me say that I am sick of people like Mike who carelessly throw around words like racist, sexist, or homophobe. They use these words to trash anyone who disagrees with them. Mike and his ilk are desperate to use such words because they can't win arguments on the substance of their line of reasoning. If being pro-life makes me sexist in Mike's book then guilty as charged. If I like 60% of America oppose gay marriage then Mike throw out your worst line(instead of a valid argument). Mike, may not agree with the hollywood crew on the size of government but they are similar in their desire to intimidate their opposition!
2.) Brian Mulroney was a failure in promoting conservatism in Canada. He governed to the left of the American Democrat party. In 1987, Mulroney went against the will of 73% of the Canadian public and had 40% of the PC's in parliment vote down a bill to reinstate the death penalty. In 1991, Mulroney's government passed further restrictions on gun control. He did little to impose any limits on abortion after the Supreme Court gave Canada the world's most liberal abortion law. He did nothing to counter activist judges or the human rights commissions. Mulroney did nothing to downsize the role of the state in the economy or to amend Trudeau's charter. His only real contributions were NAFTA and killing the NEP.The sad fact is that Harper is the most right-wing Canadian prime minister since 1921. However, this is because leaders like Mulroney, Clark, Diefenbaker, etc. governed more like Liberals than true Conservatives.
3.) I don't agree with Beck on everything. In fact, I think that he seems a little weird. However, he should be given credit for going after Johnson(alleged communist), finding out who is really behind ACORN, and how many other radicals have been appointed to roles in Obama's administration. As for immigration, Beck opposes illegal immigration not legal immigration. This is not a racist view but a genuine concern on economic and security grounds. It also has the support of about 80% of the American people. Libertarians have to understand that Americans generally lean center-right politically. This means that they also strongly support conservative(non libertarian positions) positions as the death penalty, school prayer ,strict limits on abortion(legal but very restricted), chain gangs, missile defense system, a large military, and the use of the paddle in schools. Libertarians have to understand that this is the American society that they have to operate in. They can't mock these people like Mike does and expect to gain their support for any of your agenda. Unlike Canada, social conservatives do have a large nationwide base in the United States! Pay attention to the 2010 elections for proof!

Posted by: Dave | 2009-09-19 8:17:01 PM


Mulroney is the Canadian equivalent of Jimmy Carter. He just won't go away quietly the way most people wish he would. They both were personally responsible for taking their respective Parties into opposition status for years.

As for the Obama cheer-leading, perhaps Mulroney thinks he's in the same elitist league as the stinking rich left libs like George Soros. He would naturally defend Canadian Medicare as his arrogance and ego would support the fuhrer concept (Von Mises' description of why socialism always fails) particularly as the fuhrer.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-09-20 12:03:02 AM


I am pretty libertarian on most things but I know we cannot open our borders to all comers while we have a welfare system. That would be national suicide.

Someone wrote our countries conservatives have similar problems. The difference is that Canadian Conservatives finally left the PC and formed their own separate party. Unfortunately they surrendered just as they were on the cusp of victory and the parties merged again.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-09-20 12:18:03 AM


Baloney Maloney just like Barrack Obama has no integrity! Their number one goal is the enrichment of self and acquisition of power and glory! They definitely don't have the best interests of the people first! They are not givers but takers!

As for the reformation of the American Health Care most political leaders are lawyers who made tons of money from lawsuits which have helped to drive the medical costs up.

In Canada we are restricted as to what we can sue for malpractice and other things that doctors do! And this will never happen in the States!

So all the talk about universal health care is a joke because they are not dealing with root causes of the problem including lawsuits and liars!

"Telling and believing lies is the infallible rule for living in national politics, the scientific community, our educational system, national media, business, and even in religion. It seems most everyone either wants to believe lies or they are deceptive themselves. There seems to be a codependency between liars and their receptive enablers in America.

Government representatives peddle lies one after another. There is no end to their deception. They say they want to stop government spending but continually increase it. They say they will not raise taxes but raise them anyway through the back door. They say they will be open and accountable but then they do everything in secret. They say they will have a moral administration and then appoint the most immoral people in the nation to positions of power. They swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States but continually subvert what it says. The list is endless." (Don Koenig)

Posted by: Walter | 2009-09-20 2:16:39 AM


He would naturally defend Canadian Medicare as his arrogance and ego would support the fuhrer concept Von Mises' description of why socialism always fails) particularly as the fuhrer.
Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-09-20 12:03:02 AM

The "fuhrer concept" was developed by Ian Kershaw as an explanation for Hitler's role in Germany. von Mises spoke about the "fuhrer principal" as a specific economic structure. While there is some overlap they are not similar.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-09-20 8:24:29 AM


10 people listen to Brock's "show" on the WS internet network.

Stig, the podcast distribution was A LOT more than 10 people. But okay.

The conservative bullshit point about only being against "illegal immigration" is the biggest false flag, ever. And mostly red herring.

Considering that "legal immigration" is near impossible in many cases, particularly if you don't have a 3 to 4 year university degree, and/or are in a specialized position, or are famous, receive Department of Labour Job Certification to prove that "no American is able or willing to do the job", and after all that... you fall within the yearly quota... then you can have legal immigration.

And people like Beck think the above requirements are too loose. As someone who has previously immigrated to the United States, I can tell you, the desire for conservatives to make the process "tougher" is insane.

They are anti-immigration, and not just anti "illegal immigration", because their modus operandi is to make a broader swath of immigrations ineligible for immigration to begin with.

The idea that America's immigration is this massive security problem is bullshit.

How many companies were founded by immigrants to the US and Canada? Well, let's see.

- Google, founded by Russian immigrant, employs nearly 20,000 people. Revenue: $21.7 billion

- Sun Microsystems, founded by German (Andy Bechtolsheim) and Indian (Vinod Kholsa) immigrants. Invented the Java programming language, among other things. Employs 33,350 people. Revenue: $13.8 billion

- Yahoo!, founded by Jerry Yang (Taiwanese immigrant). Employs 13,400 people. Revenue: $7.22 billion.

- NVIDIA, maker of graphics chips for computers. Founded by Jen-Hsun Huang (Taiwanese immigrant). Employs 4985. Revenue: $4.1 billion.

... and some Canadian examples:

- Research in Motion, founded by Mike Lazaridis (immigrated from Turkey), invented the Blackberry, and employs over 12,000 people.

- ATI Technologies, Inc (now owned by AMD), founded by immigrants: Lee Ka Lau, Benny Lau and Kwok Yeun Ho. Maker of the graphics hardware for the Nintendo Gamcube, Wii, Xbox 360, and many computer graphics chips. Sold to AIT for $5.6 billion.

Other notable:

-Apple founder, Steve Jobs, is the biological son of a Syrian immigrant. Yes, he's actually an Arab-American.

...

I'll save you the full list at this point. But about 1/3 of all the largest technology companies in the United States were founded by immigrants. There is the attitude that we can maintain this trend by simply only letting in "talented people" or "good" immigrants.

However, people like Beck fail to see, that the crackdown on immigration eligibility is driving jobs out of the United States. Companies like Microsoft and EA are moving tens of thousands of jobs out of the United States into Canada so they can have access to our easier immigration system.

In addition to Beck's book, you should read: Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11 by Edward Alden. It describes the serious problems that the anti-immigration attitudes in the United States have caused for it's business competitiveness.

As conservatives applaud the more difficult immigration process, American businesses see less and less an opportunity to bring talent to the US. Instead they are starting to write-off America as a place to do business. And how that's "saving" America from the grubby immigrants, is beyond me.

Don't take my word for it. Take the word of the countless corporate CEO's like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Scott McNealey, and on and on, who have warned Congress that they are shipping jobs out of the United States for this very reason. And the anti-immigrant conservatives don't care.

The heart of North American innovation has always been the immigration system. As it allowed the smartest people to collect here. And now, conservatives think we have "enough" people, and it's time to slow down the turnstyle.

After 9/11, the justification turned to... one of the immigrations... could be... a TERRORIST! Therefore, we should lock down the country, slow down business, and fuck over the economy. Good show. So the terrorists won. They played into the hands of the conservatives and gave them the ultimate fearmongering weapon to justify a cooling-off of the immigration system, and an increased deportation campaign.

But as that book I quoted will note, and some immigration officials have privately conceded, activists like Terrence Bressi, that the immigration crackdowns have been responsible for the apprehension of absolutely zero terrorists since 9/11. The only notable apprehension of a terrorist crossing the border, was in 1999, when Ahmed Ressam was apprehended on his way to blow up LAX. Two full years before any massive crackdown was instituted.

The lack of solid examples of US security improving due to immigration crackdowns is stunning. And the effect it's having on American business is equally so. Not to mention the massive taxpayer expenditures of this massive expansion of the Border Patrol, with the institution of random checkpoints within the United States, which have been strangely lacking of examples of apprehending terrorists. Which is the very reason they've been justified.

So yes, I think Beck is out to lunch. I don't see how anyone can look at all the facts and think that the immigration crackdown has, on balance, been a good thing.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 10:40:40 AM


Mike you are all over the place and still have not addressed "Glenn Beck's Common Sense", which deals precisely with this topic. It is not a partisan issue/problem nor does it have anything to do with immigration. That you disagree with Mr. Beck and the majority of Americans (and Canadians for that matter) on the topic of immigration has nothing to do with proving his findings in his book, "Glenn Beck's Common Sense", incorrect.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-20 11:42:35 AM


Sure, Walter. It's all a conspiracy. Waiter, check please.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-20 11:51:21 AM


Stig, the podcast distribution was A LOT more than 10 people. But okay.
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 10:40:40 AM

Free local newspapers that get throw onto your doorstep in a plastic bag with tons of advertising included make the same claim. Nobody believes it.

Google, founded by Russian immigrant

Is Larry Page a Russian immigrant? Or did you conveniently forget him?

Sun Microsystems, founded by German (Andy Bechtolsheim) and Indian (Vinod Kholsa) immigrants.

What about Scott McNealy and Bill Joy?

Yahoo!, founded by Jerry Yang (Taiwanese immigrant)

Hmm. David Filo seems have been missed

Research in Motion, founded by Mike Lazaridis (immigrated from Turkey)

When he was five years old.

NVIDIA, maker of graphics chips for computers. Founded by Jen-Hsun Huang (Taiwanese immigrant)

Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem are again omitted.

As usual Brock fails to tell the whole story. Which isn't surprising for a utopian who only sees what he wants to see.

Don't take my word for it. Take the word of the countless corporate CEO's like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Scott McNealey, and on and on, who have warned Congress that they are shipping jobs out of the United States for this very reason.
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 10:40:40 AM

This is nothing but corporate BS. The real reason they want to bring in immigrants is because they can pay them less than Americans. In fact most immigrants who work for those companies are actually employees of middlemen.


Posted by: The Stig | 2009-09-20 11:51:40 AM


Impressive list, Mike. But how much does the average immigrant contribute compared with native Canadians? Remember, all extended family who are brought over and then never even learn to speak English must be included in that estimate.

I've nothing against qualified immigrants, and to a point we need them, because we're too lazy to perpetuate our own numbers. This country has far too many couples who are DINKs by choice. I'd be satisfied if we accepted no new refugees and no extended family sponsorships.

You seem to think that there is no native talent to be found in the U.S., that it all has to be imported, because all native-born Americans are sitting on welfare. Good luck proving that one.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-20 11:57:53 AM


Shane, where does Walter suggest a conspiracy? That our politicians lie to us over and over again regardless of the political party is true. That we accept the lies or at least remain complacent on a whole is also true. This has nothing to do with a conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-20 12:10:24 PM


Alain,

Wow, what the "majority of Americans" think. Most Americans don't think Ottawa is the capital of Canada, by the way. It must not be! Appeals to majority opinion do not form a logical proposition.

Hugo Chavez has majority support in Venezuela. That must make him right.

Shane,

I work on the software industry. And there is a shortage of good talent. When we bring people in from India or China, we do not pay them less. That's BULLSHIT.

If we wanted to pay them less, we'd keep them in India or China, and pay them the measly $9000/year that we could get away with. I'm sorry, but you're out to lunch.

When we bring talented engineers in, from third-world countries, we pay them the six-figure salaries that we would pay native people.

That being said, engineer salaries are so high because of the shortage of work. But that's not a reason to facilitate artificial shortage by limiting immigration. That's a ridiculous proposition, and ultimately hurts consumers.

Companies want skilled immigrants, because there is a skilled immigrant shortage. Period.

Stop it with this DINK bullshit, too. It's so tiring. Why does it have to be class-of-civilizations bullshit with you guys? Us versus them. That's why I know your motivation is racist. You're basically saying: why bring people in, when we can produce nice, white, Christian babies... right here?

That's what this comes down to. A ethnic, cultural, agenda. And yes, that in fact, is a form of racism. Because you're choosing to put up walls around the country, and regulate the worth of human beings, with say... native-born Canadians being higher up the totem poll then someone born on the other side of the planet.

The argument you have presented, is an ethnocultural one. Period. And if you think all human beings are created equal, then an ethnocultural argument as to the admissibility of foreigners can be no less than a racist and/or xenophobic position.

You people have twisted yourself up into believing in notions of separate but equal, as not being racist (India for Indians, Canada for Canadians). But it is.

Western civilization is not collapsing under the pressure of immigration. It's been thriving with it.

According to most Conservatives in Canada, I live in the heart of an dilapidated, liberal, immigrant wasteland (Toronto). But I strain myself to see it, every time I walk out the door.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 12:54:52 PM


oops. "class-of-civilizations" should read "clash-of-civilizations"

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 12:56:07 PM


The Stig,

The point of the matter is, as anyone who works in the computer industry will tell you, is that this industry thrives on immigrants. Immigrants from India, immigrants for China, immigrants from wherever.

When dickheads like you come along, and suggest we are just fucking looking to save money by spending $25,000 in immigration lawyer fees, relocation packages costing up to $50,000 and first-class, fix-figure salaries, it fucking enrages me. Why? Because I see first-hand, how hard it is to hire people. And I see first-hand how hard it is overcome immigration loopholes once we do find someone.

I have been fucked-over because the person had a 3 year diploma instead of the mandatory 4 stipulated in the Department of Labour job class and qualification tables. Even though they were brilliant engineers.

So to all the people who roll their eyes and call this corporatist BS, I say: fuck you. Fuck you, and your xenophobic bullshit. You know nothing about what you say, and you haven't been faced with the realities on the ground. I am sick and tired of the "majority of Americans" or "majority of Canadians" telling me who I can and cannot employ. Who the fuck are they? And you the fuck are you? Oh wait, I know: ethnocultural nationalists, who put the collective "cultural protection" before individual liberty.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 1:08:10 PM


... just another form of collectivism, and protectionist bullshit. When you talk about keeping immigrants out to keep salaries up, that is the HEIGHT of trade protectionism, for fucks sake.

And I'm one of the people who perversely benefits from the high salary market for skilled engineers due to the labour shortage. At least my principles are sufficiently high, as to risk a drop in my income if I actually had a more competitive job market to swim in.

Who's the real selfish people here? The people who want to keep their job market all to themselves, reserved for people who are their "own kind"? Or me? Oh, I know. I'm the selfish asshole for wanting to upset your cultural hegemony.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 1:12:14 PM


The point is we have tens of millions of immigrants in this country who contribute almost nothing to society, the money they make is usually sent back to Mexico. They get on welfare and whatever benefits they can milk from the system. Healthcare, education and welfare going to their families cost a lot more than they contribute.

Hospitals in California and other states have shut down. They are the giant sucking sound. Jose's Lawn & Drywall Service run out of a Section-8 apartment is not a net contributor to society. They fly Mexican flags, their children consider the Alamo a big victory and they pledge their allegiance to Mexico.

And yes, we are talking about ILLEGAL immigrants. I hear almost no conservatives complain about legal immigrants who actually come here with the skills and knowledge and desire to contribute.

Don't believe the media, rule #1. Just like people who oppose EMBRYONIC stem cells do not oppose "STEM CELLS". The media is always truncating things to make conservatives look bad.

Imagine if they did this to libertarians, their stories would be about how they want 12-year old porn star prostitutes heroin addict to be able to get abortions and anti-aircraft missiles. =o)

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-09-20 2:33:41 PM


Mike, hopefully someday you will mature enough to be able to have a civil debate. Those with a different view and opinion are perceived as threat to your ego.

The moment anyone suggests and presents sound reasons for selecting immigrant applicants based on the market or national interests, you resort to the typical leftist rant of the person being racist. This is the same strategy used by the Obama camp when anyone does not support his policies and it makes a fool of the ranter.

When I mentioned that the majority of Americans remain opposed to open uncontrolled immigration, you demonstrate the contempt of progressives for the desires of the people in a democracy, by stating that the majority of Americans do not think Ottawa is the capital of Canada as though that was proof that they must be ignored. In a healthy democracy it is the will of the people that matter, but that is something progressives cannot tolerate and seek to change. None of this reflects well on you.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-20 3:32:08 PM


for selecting immigrant applicants based on the market or national interests

I am arguing for the interests of the market, the last time I checked. My entire argument is based on free association of people, free trade, and free markets.

In a healthy democracy it is the will of the people that matter

What do you believe in, Alain? Liberty or the collective interest (aka. socialism)?

If the democratic consensus states that we should jail people who wear pink on Tuesdays, does this make it legitimate? What if the democratic consensus states that we should round up people who's skin colour is darker than "tan", and have them interned? Then, is democracy doing it's job?

How far does your love for democracy go? I mean, you're trumpeting it as this high ideal. But I fail to understand how it plays in your morality.

If a majority of people want to place a moratorium on immigration, does that make it right? What about the minority, who want to be reunited with their friends and families? Too bad? The wonderful ideal of democracy as morality.

You as espousing the value of democratic populism. Which, my dear, Alain, is associated with fascism and socialism. Not the liberal democratic values on which the US and Canada were founded.

Liberal democracy, is a form of democracy that puts liberty before democracy. This means, in theory, that the rights of the individual, supersede the rights of the electorate.

You espouse an opposite value, though. That, the rights of the body politic, exceed the rights of individuals. But that is, by definition, anti-liberty. It's certainly anti-libertarian. It's also anti-market. It's in line with the values of Hugo Chavez, quite honestly.

So what is it that you're trying to say, Alain?

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 3:40:45 PM


Alain,

When Winston Chuchill said that "democracy is the worst system" except all other systems. It was this very dilemma that he was touching on. Democracy *is* anti-liberty. It is why we must tame democracy with constitutions, bicameral legislatures, supreme courts and politically neutral civil staff.

Democracy bring legitimacy to our government, but it does not bring with it, the moral justification to implement ideas at the expense of liberty, just because it has popular support.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 3:44:21 PM


When Winston Chuchill said that "democracy is the worst system" except all other systems. It was this very dilemma that he was touching on. Democracy *is* anti-liberty. It is why we must tame democracy with constitutions, bicameral legislatures, supreme courts and politically neutral civil staff.
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-09-20 3:44:21 PM

What Churchill actually said was "Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;

The context of the speech was a reduction of the power of the House of Lords, an unelected body, with that power being transferred to Parliament, an elected body.

Churchill continues to say, "but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.

While Churchill opposed the reduction of power of the Lords he recognized that Parliament should express the will of the people, in effect the majority rules. In this Churchill would agree with Alain. The speech had nothing to do with taming democracy or the other nonsense that Brock spouts.

As I've stated several times previously the quality of the WS scribblers continues to decline with Brock leading the charge to the bottom.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-09-20 9:06:39 PM


"As I've stated several times previously the quality of the WS scribblers continues to decline with Brock leading the charge to the bottom."

Ah the irony ...

Posted by: Charles | 2009-09-21 7:47:40 AM


William Gairdner summed up perfectly the weakness of the libertarian movement with the following. "Libertarianism must command respect as the only personal and political philosophy of the Western world standing in defence of individual freedom from state power." He continues to say: "Libertarianism has steeped into the breach (in the absence of classical liberalism) and in fulfilling this important task has produced some of the most stirring protests against state power. However, and sadly, libertarians often fail to recognise the Achilles heel of their own otherwise very appealing philosophy: its doctrinaire disregard for any commonly shared conception of the good of society at which we ought to aim, not only as individuals, but as a people."

It is this rejection of societal values that causes us to part company. While it is true that societal values are not static (witches are no longer burned nor is slavery accepted - other by those who believe we should be slaves to the state) as they change and evolve, but to reject them out of hand brings us to the tyranny of the individual.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-21 1:56:57 PM


Alain,

"It is this rejection of societal values that causes us to part company."

I must respectfully disagree. Although libertarianism does not concern itself with societal values, it does not mean that libertarians reject them. Libertarians simply want people to be free to choose their societal values without coercion.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-09-21 2:58:48 PM


Shane, where does Walter suggest a conspiracy?

When he brings up the word "secret."

Yes, politicians lie, but voters are largely to blame for that. They won't tolerate a leader who tells them unpleasant truths. They prefer to take refuge in comfortable lies. When the lie is revealed for what it is, the voters are upset not because the politician lied, but because the illusion they bought into is shattered and that's s-s-scary.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 3:00:35 PM


I work on the software industry. And there is a shortage of good talent.

There's a shortage of good talent in most industries, except those that have collapsed. Talent is always hard to find. This statement means nothing.

When we bring people in from India or China, we do not pay them less. That's BULLSHIT.

Um, where did I say that exactly?

Companies want skilled immigrants, because there is a skilled immigrant shortage. Period.

No, they want skilled people, immigrants or no. Contrary to what you seem to thing, North Americans born and bred are not fit only for cleaning toilets.

Stop it with this DINK bullshit, too. It's so tiring.

What you find tiresome is of no importance. A population that won't reproduce itself will have to import replacements from elsewhere if it is to maintain its numbers. That's not culture war; that's math.

That's what this comes down to. A ethnic, cultural, agenda. And yes, that in fact, is a form of racism. Because you're choosing to put up walls around the country, and regulate the worth of human beings, with say... native-born Canadians being higher up the totem poll then someone born on the other side of the planet.

No sooner does he unilaterally declare the culture wars obsolete than he plays the race card. How hysterically funny. Listen, Mike. One of the cornerstones of libertarian philosophy is the right to control what happens on your own property, correct? Well, our country is our property. No foreigner has rights here but that we grant them. Of course, the reverse is also true--a thought to hold when travelling.

You people have twisted yourself up into believing in notions of separate but equal, as not being racist (India for Indians, Canada for Canadians). But it is.

No it isn't. But it is irrelevant, because I specifically stated that admissibility should be based on qualifications rather than on pity (refugees) or bloodlines (non-dependent family members).

According to most Conservatives in Canada, I live in the heart of an dilapidated, liberal, immigrant wasteland (Toronto). But I strain myself to see it, every time I walk out the door.

Well, that explains everything. You need GLASSES. Off you go and get a pair. Make sure they're nice and thick.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 3:12:47 PM


Random responses:

Glenn Beck is no libertarian, and you don't need to be the Libertarian Police to conclude as much. Beck was one of the smarmiest, ugliest, most idiotic and insolent attackers of Ron Paul the last coupla years. He has only glommed on to ersatz libertarian populism on a superficial basis as a cheap and easy way to avoid the neocon Republican implosion. He has hitched his clammyass onto the Paul-inspired bandwagon for a ratings boost. The guy is a recovering drug and alcohol abuser -- as he never ceases to remind -- but is even more intolerable as the dry drunk that he is.

Mulroney: The Reform Party was born to do away with this everything this a--hole stood for. In some measure, they succeeded. Stephen Harper has reversed the process, and has become a more abominable "conservative" even than Mulroney. The only material difference between the two Tory PMs, is Mulroney had to battle through a genuinely tough recession, while Harpo has glided on boom times, and so far, not had to face a serious economic environment.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-21 3:16:51 PM


Charles, there are still those calling themselves libertarian who, unfortunately, reject the very idea of societal/community values and norms. Mike is a prime example and based on the comments of others he is not alone. I also recognise that there are others calling themselves libertarian who do not do so, which is why labels can be so misleading.

Shane, I agree that voters are equally responsible for accepting the dishonesty of politicians. Still I fail to find evidence of a conspiracy theory in Walter's comments. I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt unless they clearly state otherwise and as a result have been led astray a few times.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-21 3:16:55 PM


The point of the matter is, as anyone who works in the computer industry will tell you, is that this industry thrives on immigrants. Immigrants from India, immigrants for China, immigrants from wherever.

How nice of you to poach talent from other countries that arguably need it more, Mike. Toss aside all moral concerns in worship of the almighty dollar, eh? How typically libertarian.

When dickheads like you come along, and suggest we are just fucking looking to save money by spending $25,000 in immigration lawyer fees, relocation packages costing up to $50,000 and first-class, fix-figure salaries, it fucking enrages me.

What fucking enrages you is of so little fucking importance that it's fucking amazing, Mike. Especially since you're so fucking incompetent that you can't fucking find fucking decent programmers in a fucking country where the fucking rate of computer ownership is a fucking 75 percent.

I have been fucked-over because the person had a 3 year diploma instead of the mandatory 4 stipulated in the Department of Labour job class and qualification tables. Even though they were brilliant engineers.

There's no fucking hyphen in "fucked over," you fucking illiterate dickhead fuckstick. It's not a fucking compound verb. The fucking rules are the fucking rules. They were not fucking created to fuck fucking dickwads like yourself slow and hard up the fucking ass. Nor are they fucking likely to be fucking repealed if this is how you fucking argue as to their fucking unsuitability.

So to all the people who roll their eyes and call this corporatist BS, I say: fuck you. Fuck you, and your xenophobic bullshit. You know nothing about what you say, and you haven't been faced with the realities on the ground.

I can't call it fucking corporatist BS. I call it the fucking ranting of a fucking imbecile with the fucking maturity of a fucking fifteen-year-old who thinks he's the fucking humanistic, fucking gender-neutral, fucking post-Modern, fucking politically correct fucking father-mother in heaven's gift to the whole wide fucking world.

I am sick and tired of the "majority of Americans" or "majority of Canadians" telling me who I can and cannot employ.

So move to Europe. Oh wait, they're cracking down on immigration, too. Looks like you're fucked.

Who the fuck are they? And you the fuck are you? Oh wait, I know: ethnocultural nationalists, who put the collective "cultural protection" before individual liberty.

Welcome to the world.

P.S. I'm changing your name to Cartman, to better reflect your linguistic talents.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 3:25:16 PM


Who's the real selfish people here? The people who want to keep their job market all to themselves, reserved for people who are their "own kind"? Or me? Oh, I know. I'm the selfish asshole for wanting to upset your cultural hegemony.

Like hell. You wouldn't be bringing in outside help unless you could benefit by it. (Conversely, you would betray your own brother to the devil, if you could benefit by it.) Libertarians are not noted for their altruism, Cartman; their motives are usually quite transparently self-serving, and your own selfishness is so virulent that even your fellow libertarians find you repulsive. And the more they point it out to you, the more you bask in it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 3:30:26 PM


I am arguing for the interests of the market, the last time I checked. My entire argument is based on free association of people, free trade, and free markets.

Only if you can benefit from it.

What do you believe in...? Liberty or the collective interest (aka. socialism)?

What do you believe in, Cartman? Anarchy or order? Which brings the greatest good to the greatest number of people? Or do you prefer dog-eat-dog?

If the democratic consensus states that we should jail people who wear pink on Tuesdays, does this make it legitimate?

Legally, yes. Ethically, yes. Morally, probably not. But libertarians are on weak ground when it comes to morality.

If a majority of people want to place a moratorium on immigration, does that make it right?

More to the point, does it make it wrong?

What about the minority, who want to be reunited with their friends and families? Too bad?

Yes. Too bad. Being admitted to Canada is a privilege, not a right. Those who would live here must pass the tests and abide by the rules we set, just as you get to set the rules under which someone may visit your property.

You as espousing the value of democratic populism. Which, my dear, Alain, is associated with fascism and socialism.

Fascist governments are NOT democratic; there has never been a democratic fascist government, even though a few were popularly elected initially. Socialist governments, such as Soviet Russia's and China's, are also often not democratic.

Liberal democracy, is a form of democracy that puts liberty before democracy. This means, in theory, that the rights of the individual, supersede the rights of the electorate.

Liberty of the type you promote cannot be applied across the social stratum in any but a democratic government. Democracy enables liberty, not the other way round; in fact, democracy is itself a liberty.

You espouse an opposite value, though. That, the rights of the body politic, exceed the rights of individuals. But that is, by definition, anti-liberty. It's certainly anti-libertarian. It's also anti-market. It's in line with the values of Hugo Chavez, quite honestly.

If Venezuelans are stupid enough to think that Hugo Chavez is their best choice for leader, then they deserve what they get. Never mind that the country is now a pariah among international traders after numerous firms have had their assets seized and contracts terminated, and that the middle class, the bellwether for economic prosperity, has all but disappeared from the country. The Venezuelans have a hard lesson coming, but no one will be able to argue that they did not deserve it. Indeed, they chose it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 3:59:04 PM


I must respectfully disagree. Although libertarianism does not concern itself with societal values, it does not mean that libertarians reject them.

It must concern itself with them, if it is to govern with the consent of the society involved. This is like saying that you don't support abortion, only the right of someone else to choose to have one.

Libertarians simply want people to be free to choose their societal values without coercion.

And here, nicely condensed to its irreducible essence, is the mental block from which libertarians seem to suffer. There is no such thing as personal societal values, any more than there is such a thing as private public property. Society's values is no more or less than the average of every individual citizen's values. Citizens are free to disagree individually, but that does not grant an automatic right to flout the law. The alternative to consensus law is tyranny.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 4:06:18 PM


I have been reading some Venezuelan blogs and they have events where students show up to see all the colleges giving away information booklets and stuff. Apparently the tables for the foreign college brochures were the most popular.

They can't wait to get out of HugoLand.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-09-22 11:45:07 AM



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