“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”…From the 1971 hit song by the Five Man Electrical Band.
Yes, read the sign, but caveat lector, or, let the reader beware. Last Monday, Meritha and I drove out to Priddis, a beautiful area southwest of Calgary, to look at the fall colors. The trees were still green, and so we’ve made a date to return on October 7, our 53rd anniversary. It’s also two weeks after her surgery for pancreatic cancer. (The update is that the operation was successful, and she is now beginning her 4th day of recovery and is doing well, although recovery from this surgery is quite complicated. We are video chatting each day – aren’t we modern – and highly recommend it!)
Here is a SIGN we saw on the way back from Priddis. I was dumbfounded because it clearly shows, in huge letters and arrows in white reflective paint, that there are two lanes for eastbound traffic on Stoney Trail. The other sign on the overpass clearly indicates that northbound Stoney Trail is not open for traffic.
But look at the westbound traffic in a lane that is clearly marked EAST. I had a conversation with the signalman in the yellow suit, and he told me that contractors assume that the orange pylons will signal to drivers that there are opposing lanes. (He also told me that in his job he sees a lot of misleading signage, although this one is probably the most dangerous.)
Let’s assume that late some night someone veers and knocks down a few pylons west of the overpass, and then someone else takes the sign literally. It’s a head-on waiting to happen and borders on criminal neglect. I’ve driven all over Canada and the United States, driven in Istanbul and have been in numerous other cities in Europe and South America. Dar es Salaam in Tanzania – I’ve driven there – is the only place I’ve seen that has sloppier signage than we do. OK, Dar es Salaam is much worse.
I’m embarrassed to have friends from out of province or country, drive into Calgary. Even at the shiny new Foothills Hospital Parkade, this is the sign you see when you are exiting. Don’t see it? It’s that little 12 x 12 green patch on the extreme left side of the opening. It could easily have been four or five times as large, but then, this is Calgary. Who is in charge of traffic signs in this province?
Meritha’s care at Foothills has been excellent, the doctors and nurses professional, and with spot on bedside manners. We couldn’t be happier. But here is a photo of the entrance doors, to the hospital. They’re not frosted, just dirty. I don’t think I’ve seen a service station or tire shop with doors so filthy. Foothills has a 4 ½ billion dollar budget. There’s no excuse.
That’s today’s rant, and update. I really want to thank the hundreds of people that have sent prayers and best wishes to Meritha and me during this past six weeks. We’ve had a lot of bumps on our road so we’re used to this sort of thing, and I can honestly say that we came to this one with confidence.
Next week, maybe we’ll take a look at the Liberal budget, and the great concern expressed (OK, I’m joking) for Western Canada’s oil industry, and the tens of thousands of unemployed workers. Arrgghh!!
It’s been a busy summer, yet Meritha and I have had several occasions to kick back and enjoy some of the sporadic stretches of great Calgary weather. One of our favourite things to do is go to Calgary’s East Village and walk along the river; one of the rare places our city fathers and administrators are doing a great job, and then find a place to sit and have a cold drink.
One such occasion led us into a conversation with a sparkling thirty-something German couple at the table next to ours, who turned out to be widely traveled teachers. (I know, Germans aren’t known to sparkle, but this couple did!) They’d been in Western Canada for nearly 3 weeks and were leaving for Germany the next day. The conversation lasted two hours, maybe more.
They were impressed with Canada and its immense size, and the friendliness of the people. They were even impressed with the size of the enclosures for the animals at the Calgary Zoo, which surprised me as I had always believed that Berlin’s zoo, which is more world-famous, was also probably more advanced. Not so!
We eventually got to Canada’s current problems, and the issue of Western alienation. Somehow?? I brought up the fact that I believe that separation, or at least a serious threat of separation, is the only way to prevent my grandchildren and great-grandchildren from going through the same divisive and disrespectful relationship with Central and Eastern Canada that we are currently experiencing. They were astonished that Canada could be so divided.
Another topic that came up was Brexit, and the EU. At the beginning of our conversation, the young couple had indicated that they were great supporters of the EU, and I expect that that is a common German attitude, perhaps because Germany considers itself the leader of the EU, and the leader of Europe. (Maybe like Ontario and Québec see themselves as the arbiters of all things Canadian.)
But that led me to pointing out that, in practical terms, there is no way to make a German and an Italian; the former proud of their hard work and the latter of their dolce vita, or sweet life, think of him or herself first as “Europeans”.
I allowed that I’d always believed that the European Common Market was a great idea, but that the European Union, and its misguided attempts to get Germans and French and Italians to identify themselves primarily as Europeans, subject to the whims of bureaucrats in Brussels, was bound to fail. The insurmountable obstacle to this pipe-dream isn’t fundamentally ethnicity, it is cultural immutability.
At that point the conversation took an interesting turn, because the man, Frank, commented: “Maybe Canada is like the European Union”. And as much as I’ve thought about the West’s place in Confederation over the last 60 years, I had never thought of it exactly in that way before, and I told him so. I think it was astonishingly insightful.
Because we do have the same basic problem in Canada as the EU. Unlike the United States with its revolutionary war and its civil war and its existential battle against the Japanese in the Pacific, and its unsavory but storied conquest of the lower 48, Canada has no unifying story other than the CPR, and some World War I and II battles like Vimy Ridge, and Juno Beach.
We all have relatives in Canada, but often we have even more relatives in the United States and overseas. In essence, Canada is a hodgepodge of cultures assembled to halt the advance of American hegemony in the latter half of the 19th century. Increasingly, that’s not enough to keep us together.
And when some elements of Canadian culture are prepared to elect, as Prime Minister, someone so singularly unprepared to lead and unite Canada as Justin Trudeau was, and then, in spite of his arrogance and vanity and dishonesty and divisiveness and corruption, and just plain silliness, great numbers of them are now prepared to try to elect him again, then I have no wish for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be citizens of that sort of country. And the belief that a Conservative government is going to fundamentally change anything, is a triumph of hope over history. More on that next blog.
It’s time, metaphorically, to begin packing, and even if it takes a generation, we need to prepare to exit. Let me know your thoughts.
On Canada Day, Paula Simons wrote an article in the Edmonton Journal entitled: “My Canada includes Alberta.” Heartwarming, if it were true.
But Alberta’s hurting, and it’s clear that some of our fellow provinces, and, most egregiously, the Canadian government, are deliberately adding to the pain.
Ms. Simons trots out the usual arguments. “We are a landlocked province, with an economy largely reliant on international trade. Do we really imagine that it will be easier for us to get our oil, our wheat, our beef, our canola, our lentils, to market if we’re cut off from any coast?”
Does she mean more cut off than we are now? Does she actually believe that BC will block the railways which carry hundreds of thousands of containers from BC ports to distribution centres from Alberta to Newfoundland, or that Québec and Ontario will stop trains from moving west? Or that activists will block pipelines more successfully than they do now? Seems to me that a blocked pipeline is a blocked pipeline.
Simons frets about investor confidence in a new country, so let’s look at Singapore which became an independent country in 1965. They began with massive unemployment, a lack of housing, no natural resources, and almost no land – Singapore covers 722 km²; Calgary 825 km². Together, Alberta and Saskatchewan have 1,300,000 km², and massive natural resources that the world needs.
Within 35 years of independence Singapore was one of the richest countries in the world. It’s a world class banking and tech centre, and even, get this, the central hub for the Asian oil industry. Singapore’s population is 5.6 million; Alberta and Saskatchewan’s combined is 5.4 million, and there’s almost unlimited room to grow.
Simons points out that Alberta is home to 45 First Nations, which control 140 separate reserves. She asks: “Do separatists imagine that all those First Nations will also want to leave Canada?”
It wouldn’t surprise me. When Canada’s indigenous people were asked in a recent poll if they felt respected by the federal government, and felt like a valued part of Canada, a whopping 66% said NO. (I’d be extremely interested in feedback from Indigenous Albertans on this.) In the same poll, only 20% of indigenous people think Justin Trudeau should be re-elected this fall.
It certainly seems that Albertans, including the vast majority of indigenous people are on exactly the same page. Albertans of all backgrounds are tired of being taken advantage of, or stymied by, our nanny-state. Alberta’s indigenous communities are chockablock with entrepreneurs that are ready to go, if only the nanny-state would get out of the way. Imagine getting rid of the stifling bureaucracy, until recently called; “Indian Affairs”.
Simons enthuses: “For all its flaws, and for all its systemic injustices, this is a truly extraordinary country, a nation-state built, not on ideology or ethno-nationalism, but on ideals of tolerance, inclusion and rational compromise.” Nation State? But Justin Trudeau has already told the world that Canada is “post national”.
National, or post-national, whether it’s Justin Trudeau and his government, or the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario, in today’s Canada, tolerance, inclusion, and compromise apply only if you affirm the latest Progressivist ideology. Otherwise you are excluded from federal programs, you are not allowed to open a law school, and you can end up in jail if you don’t mouth the approved pronouns.
Simons asserts that: “Canada is a remarkable experiment”, but then admits: “It doesn’t always succeed.” Indeed, it succeeds less and less. In a country where the Constitution is regarded as, “A Living Tree”, onto which Left-Wing activists can graft whichever Progressivist ideology happens to be trending at the moment, conservatism and common sense and the freedoms gained over 800 years are being forced to the periphery. And Canada’s constitution and amending formula guarantee that there is no way to get them back.
For her emotive clincher, Ms. Simons notes that the Latin motto on Canada’s coat of arms means “They desire a better country.”
Me too. Indeed I dream of a Best Country, but it’s clear that’s no longer possible in Canada. And that’s why I’m a separatist.
I had a different blog prepared for this week, but then a friend of mine sent me a link. It’s to a speech that Rex Murphy gave recently at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.
Now you’re all well aware that I am an admirer of Rex Murphy, and on social media I’ve often linked to his speeches saying: “Rex Murphy at his best.” Of course, a Rex Murphy speech given at his worst is better than most, and at his best is a better speech than anything that you’ll hear elsewhere in the English-speaking world.
But this speech is different. It is profoundly relevant to exactly where we are at this moment in Canadian history, particularly with Canada facing two critical elections this year.
Here’s the link I don’t care where you live; how busy you; are or of what political persuasion, you need to watch this speech. If it’s listened to, and acted on it could go a long way towards mitigating our current, dangerous, Canadian disunity, and one day be recognized as one of the most important speeches in Canadian history.
Here’s the link to an article I saved from the National Post, September 12, 2012, written by the late, and very excellent, George Jonas. It perfectly encapsulates the view that any non-totalitarian would have; that is, that parents have a “prior right” to decide on all aspects of their children’s education. The “prior right” quote comes directly from the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Note that Jonas was not a Christian, but a Jewish agnostic who had survived the Nazi Holocaust. Several of his family did not.
Compare his perspective on parental rights with that of Alberta’s increasingly totalitarian bureaucracy, the Alberta Department of Education, and Education Minister Eggen, who by his actions and utterances apparently agrees with Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda Minister who said: “The youth belong to us!” Wherever you live, it is increasingly likely that your Department of Education believes the same.
I suspect that George Jonas’ brush with the Nazis helped inform his opinion. He clearly understood that we ignore history at our peril.
Please take the time to read the article. It’s more urgent today than it was in 2012. And please share with your email list, and on Facebook and Twitter! Social media is the culture building tool of the 21st century. Let’s use it!
Once again, on Thursday of last week, Albertans got kicked in the teeth by a national institution. A federal court ruled that even after thousands of witnesses had been heard, and hundreds of millions of dollars had been spent on complying with regulations, this was not sufficient “consultation” to allow a pipeline to proceed that would produce tens of thousands of high paying Canadian jobs.
Only in Canada. Literally. No other country would allow the self-indulgent, holding-up of a project so very much in the national interest.
But in the “post-national”, post-modern, post-thinking Canada of Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May and John Horgan, and Rachel Notley; yes Rachel Notley, premier of oil dependent Alberta who hired the virulently anti-oil activist Tzepora Berman, as a consultant no less; in that Canada it is quite possible that no significant export-to-tidewater pipeline will be built in the next 20 years.
Yes, we’ll continue to import oil from overseas – from countries with far lower environmental and human rights standards than we have – but we won’t export it overseas. The mindless call it righteous; the mindful call it stupid.
Candice Malcolm had an article in the Sun newspapers recently, and I’d suggest you read it. She found, that once again there’s a growing feeling in the Prairie West, that Canada isn’t working for everyone. The hard reality is that left wing ideology works for no one, except often the self-righteous ideologues themselves. They are the self styled “elites” tasked with guiding we lesser mortals.
(By the way, did you ever consider that conservatism in Canada has women like Candace Malcolm, Rona Ambrose, Lisa Rait, Candace Bergen, Michelle Remple, and numerous other brainy and competent women. On the other hand, the left’s female bench includes Elizabeth May, Hedy Fry, Catherine McKenna, Maryam Monsef, Jody Wilson Raybould ……. I could go on, but it might be seen as piling on.)
Anyway, we need a rethink. Maybe we need to focus on building a pipeline from Alberta through the Yukon to an export port in Alaska. Aboriginal lawyer and entrepreneur, Calvin Helin is working on it, and it looks feasible.
Maybe we need an Alberta premier that will get really serious with Ottawa until Ottawa gets really serious about nationwide interests. Maybe we even need a premier that will begin the process of having a referendum on separation. Who knows, it might get Justin Trudeau’s attention – once he gets finished choosing the socks of the day.
And I hesitate to bring it up, but maybe we need a conservative leader in Ottawa who is totallycommitted to a common-sensically regulated market economy. That’s something we haven’t had in my lifetime.
Canada isn’t even close to living up to its potential, and the fundamental problem is cultural. Whether the West’s decline began the 1930s or in the 1960s, the Marxist left’s “Long slow march through the institutions of the West” has been successful. Education from K through university; the media from television networks and print media to the Internet, and the entertainment industries, are all overwhelmingly dominated by leftists. And apparently, given last weeks ruling, so is the judiciary.
Our entire culture is in chaos. When I say culture, I am not talking about white European culture, but I am talking about a culture structured on Judeo Christian values. People of all ethnic backgrounds and all religions have moved here from all over the world to participate in that culture, and the opportunities that it affords which were missing in their country and culture of birth.
For those of us, including new Canadians, who believe in fundamental freedoms like those of speech, assembly, religion, and in sensibly regulated free enterprise and property ownership, it is now time to begin our own march, back through the institutions of the West.
It will be a long, and sometimes daunting task, but over the next weeks and months, I’m going to tell you how I think it can be done. Because I have a personal belief, that if a thing is good, or necessary, and there’s no intrinsic reason that it can’t be done, then it must be done. If you agree, LIKE and SHARE this post.
3 years ago I published a blog about the highly controversial flood mitigation project, the Springbank Dry Dam. (SBD)
Here it is again, with some updates.
In the fall of 2014, to great fanfare and just before the Alberta provincial by-elections, the PC government announced the Springbank Dry Dam (SBD); an Elbow River flood mitigation project to be constructed a few kilometers west of Calgary. The announcement was in the papers and on television, and sadly, that’s where landowners who will lose their land, or the use of their land, found out about it. Talk about a callous and cynical disregard for property rights!
There is no question that some form of flood mitigation is required before we inevitably get hit by the next big one. After all, Calgary was subjected to two floods in the late 1800s, each bigger than the 2013 deluge. But it has to be the right project in the right place, and at the right cost.
Here are a few things for Calgarians, and anyone else who believes in property rights, to think about.
Is it right that people whose lives will be disrupted, livelihoods threatened, and property values greatly diminished are completely ignored in the planning stages of a project of this magnitude and impact?
Does it make sense to locate a flood mitigation dam where it will provide absolutely no protection to the communities of Bragg Creek and Redwood Meadows, both of which suffered serious damage in 2013?
Ranching families in the area have ridden these foothills and valleys for generations, and know them intimately. In fact, they have been ranching in the area since 1885; decades before people began building mansions on the Elbow River floodplains. Why was their counsel not sought in the lead up to the announcement of the SBD?
These people of the land point to a number of better locations for a flood mitigation project which would not only protect Bragg Creek and Redwood Meadows but would also provide larger scale and safer protection for the City of Calgary.
Several upstream Elbow dam proposals actually have been discussed by Government bureaucrats. One site that appeared to be viable was the McLean Creek area, but the government told us that “it was finding it too complicated to wade through all the government regulatory requirements, recreational aspects, and environmental concerns that would involve placing the dam on public lands.”
Think about that. Future infrastructure projects in Alberta must sometimes only be undertaken on private lands because it is too complicated to comply with governmentregulations, when putting them on on public (government) land. But if the land is privately held they can, apparently, simply announce the project through the media and, voilà!, problem solved.
In addition to being in the wrong place, the proposed SBD project is based on seriously flawed research. After they announced the SBD, representatives of the Government proudly told us that the project is to be based on a concept they discovered while on a recent trip to the mountain-less Netherlands. It even has a catchy name: “Room for the River.”
As we know, when rivers flood their banks in fertile alluvial regions like those upstream from the Netherlands, the water carries rich organic sediment downstream and deposits it along the river’s flood plains. When the water subsides, the land can be farmed intensively. Does the government actually believe that this is what will happen in the Elbow River Valley?
Anyone who has witnessed flooding in an alpine setting will recognize this as complete nonsense. The proposed “dry dam” will provide a shallow, temporary catchment basin for floodwaters containing mountain sediment and rock grindings.
When the water is released it will leave the sediment behind, and will turn thousands of hectares of pristine and carefully managed grazing land, into a vast, sterile, mud flat. Rock grindings are inorganic and will kill grass rather than fertilize it.
I was in High River several times after the 2013 flood, and the sediment was being hauled away because nothing will grow in it. But how can you remove sterile muck from thousands of hectares?
You can’t, so as the sediment dries out the muck will turn to dust, and a once lush valley will become a dust bowl and westerly winds will carry that dust into homes west of Calgary, and into Calgary itself.
Has the government asked the folks in Springbank and West Calgary how they feel about rock dust? I haven’t heard about it. Because that’s government’s way. They come up with bright ideas to “help you”; insist that they’ve had the finest experts develop the solution, but tend to under-emphasize, or completely ignore, unintended consequences.
A few years ago, Travel Alberta came out with some great commercials telling you to: “Remember to Breathe.” Great advice, especially for West Calgarians, while you still can.
Here’s a commercial I’d like to see, to be directed at governments everywhere.
“Your decisions – including their unintended consequences – affect real people. So, Remember to Think!”
I’m Dave Reesor
** Don’t Dam Springbank.org published this disturbing reminder. I don’t remember it being emphasized in government talking points, or by local media, but it should be a central part of the discussion.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a bit, mostly on business, and one of my favourite places is Washington DC. I’ve visited the monuments – the Lincoln Memorial is, to use the word appropriately for once, awesome. It takes more insight than I can comprehend to convey what Lincoln did at Gettysburg, using only 270 words.
And the Vietnam War Memorial is pure genius; nothing but a black granite wall engraved with the names of 58,000 Vietnam vets who died in that conflict. It begins as a wedge and gradually heightens, building emotion as you walk along it. 58,000 names truly is overwhelming. But then you think of the American Civil War with more than 600,000 dead, or the 20th century with over 100 million civilian deaths, killed mostly by the Communists, or the National Socialists / NAZIS, for the greater good of an imagined utopian state. Socialism’s ultimate experiments.
But underneath the facade of the inspiring monuments and beautiful buildings, Washington DC is a swamp. (I guess because I’m an old farm boy the picture in my mind is more of a barnyard that hasn’t been cleaned out for decades. It’s a breeding ground for maggots, and a nasty mess, and whoever gets around to cleaning it is going to get nasty.)
But let’s stick with the contemporary metaphor. Donald Trump says he’s gone to Washington to “drain the swamp.” That’s good, because last November the American electorate hired him to do exactly that.
Unsurprisingly, the Swamp Critters don’t like it.
Because if you’ve followed American politics like I have, since November 1963, you’ve come to realize that the Washington swamp grows darker and murkier by the decade. Swamp Critter Elitists have increasingly taken control, and they include many – not all – Democratic and Republican politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, leeches – oh yeah, I already mentioned the lobbyists and lawyers , and the bureaucracy which is often known as the deep state.
And many bureaucrats in the deep state are convinced that politicians come to Washington to learn how things work, rather than the other way around. And by the way, the deep state bureaucracy in Ottawa is just as convinced. Their view is that if a political party doesn’t lean Progressivist Left, they have no right to the levers of power, no matter what the electorate has said.
And of course, Washington’s (and Ottawa’s) self-styled Elites also include the media, and while they aren’t officially part of government apparatus, they’re definitely Swamp Critters.
Considering that Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached pandemic levels, the administration has nevertheless made admirable headway over the last six months in reducing or eliminating dozens of job-killing regulations.
For the first time ever, there seems to be an awareness in Washington that, vis-à-vis North Korea, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. Illegal immigration is way down; the stock market, and permanent jobs, are up.
There have indeed been too many amateur hour stumbles, and too many ill-advised Tweets (Somebody, please, Duck Tape His Thumbs!), but the simple fact is that American voters hired Trump because they were sick of professional politicians.
And put the worst spin on it that you will; the Trump crowd’s sometimes unwise, but so far, non-criminal interactions with the Russians, pale in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s clearly criminal carelessness with classified emails, destruction of evidence, perjury, and influence peddling.
Add to that the fact that if Hillary had moved into the White House, Bill would have moved in there with her. Interns beware!
I’m not a huge Donald Trump fan, but I’m a Yuge fan of what he was hired to do, and I genuinely hope for his success.
But he’ll need to smarten up, and learn to STOP FEEDING THE CRITTERS!
One source of negative feedback was Randall. Full disclosure; Randall is my cousin and our worldviews are different, so we spar from the perspectives of Socialism and Atheism, versus Conservatism and Christianity. I hope someday that we can engage in the conversation face-to-face, over a very long lunch.
What I’ve done here is copied Randall’s comments, and then responded to them. Unavoidably, this blog is much longer than usual.
Randall. One system with different schools to fit parent’s interests is a bit contradictory. It would be interesting to see how that would work in rural areas, never mind urban areas!
Dave. How is it contradictory? It’s simply a pooling of school funding through equal taxation levels, and then having equal funding follow each student to the school of their and their parent’s choice.
It’s exactly the same idea as having a publicly funded healthcare system, but with the customer choosing which doctor, hospital or clinic to patronize. What’s unique to both in the Canadian context, is that the student or patient is actually regarded as a customer, rather than an expense; a customer for which the provider must compete with other providers, which forces a focus on excellence in the service provided.
Randall. The worldview that matters is pretty basic: communication, facts, skills and nurturing self actualization with the ability to think independently and objectively. Personal interests, especially religious, must be a private matter.
Dave. Randall, you reveal your bias, and unfortunately, a tint of totalitarianism. Of course we have a Prime Minister who is an open admirer of totalitarians, so maybe that’s the direction we’re heading. And please explain: “nurturing self actualization”??
But it seems to me that you’re basically saying that the worldview that matters, is your worldview. On the other hand, I am not saying that the worldview that must prevail is my worldview. I’m simply calling for freedom of speech, of assembly, freedom of, or from religion, etc., for both you, and me.
I’m saying that if parents wish to send their children to a school that teaches essential subjects from the perspective of their worldview, then that’s their inalienable right. Those rights are not conferred by the government; in fact, it is a government’s essential responsibility to protect those rights.
That is affirmed by The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; Article 26: subsection 3, as well as numerous other International, Canadian, and Alberta declarations and laws. So, what Alberta’s NDP government is trying to do is fundamentally contrary to Alberta, Canadian, and International Law. And, also by the way, also contrary to common sense and decency.
Or, do you actually believe that preteens should have access, through a Department of Education approved website, to instructional videos on oral sex, to pick one of the least offensive examples?
And do you believe that parents should be excluded from knowing when their kids are experiencing gender confusion, or which government approved organizations their children have joined? Again, that’s contrary to the law, and contrary to simple common sense.
Because, how about school marks? If the teacher knows that a student’s parents are really strict about their kids doing well in school, what happens if one of their kids gets an F? The child might be terrified of facing his or her parents, so should they be “outed” to their parents for their bad mark, or should their parents be kept in the dark?
It’s a scientific fact that the many children go through gender dysphoria during grade school years, and even into junior high, but in the vast majority of cases, with their parents love and involvement, they grow out of it. Of course, there are a very small percentage of parents that are abusive, but the law already makes provision for dealing with that.
The Alberta government’s position seems to be that a child’s gender confusion should be affirmed, and even encouraged by the school, but concealed from the parents. Can you defend this?
Randall. Perhaps if churches and ministers paid taxes the government would be able to afford to do a better job.
Dave. I agree that churches and pastors should be held to a very strict standard when it comes to their tax exemptions. But it is a fact that many churches perform invaluable community service in helping people through financial difficulties, addictions, marriage problems, and even in dying. And in most cases, they do a far better job than government funded services, and at no cost to the taxpayer.
Randall. Atheists, at this point, do not need to organize. We live in a democracy (as flawed as it is) and paying our taxes we pay for all the programs government provides (and the subsidies as well…).
Dave. At this point?? Considering the record of the numerous officially Atheistic regimes in the 20th century, that sounds ominous.
Anyway, here’s where our differing worldviews come into stark relief. Socialist/Leftists/ Progressivists (SLP) believe in the all-knowing, all-providing, all-powerful state. Conservatives don’t.
Because conservatives like me have spent the last 60 years observing the SLP worldview being practiced; in National Socialist (Nazi) Germany, in the Soviet Union, in Communist China, currently in increasingly dystopian Venezuela, and on and on.
I personally lived under the disastrous economic policies of socialism in Saskatchewan, although I hasten to add that it was infinitely more benign than the socialist regimes I’ve mentioned. More on that below.
Randall. There is only so much cash to go around. Even wealthy Alberta cannot afford to have special interest schools for every nuance of personal opinion. One public school system for all. Special interests are a private matter. No public money should go to any private school, ever. One “free” private system!!!
Dave. As I proved in my blog, patrons of alternate schools in Alberta currently subsidize the public (Secularist) system to the tune of 30% of their education tax dollars. In provinces like Ontario, it’s 100%. On top of that, alternate schools raise their own capital funding! The Secularist public system benefits by millions from the existence of alternate schools. I know you weren’t a math teacher, but……
Anyway, why are you so against allowing parents to teach their children, within a universally funded education system, an alternate perspective to yours?
Randall. And in your tirade using emotionally charged words like “Nazi” about repeated lies becoming accepted, you forgot to mention Donald Trump. You should be more current…
Dave. Randall, this is my favourite. I knew some people would be offended by my use of the word Nazi. Do you remember Bush-Hitler?
And Harper-Nazi? And just last week, an SLP activist tweeted that Alberta parents that expressed opposition to the NDP’s gender fluidity promoting agenda, were: “Cultural Marxists.”
Now if you assume that most Albertans are quite brainless, you could also reasonably assume that that would be an effective slur. But most Albertans are not brainless, and the poor lady simply revealed herself to be short of an argument.
As you know, I’m no big fan of Donald Trump. But Donald Trump’s lies tend to towards hyperbole, and in some cases are proven to be correct – think of Sweden’s real problem with radical Islamists; whereas the Left’s lies are often a transparent use of Nazi style, “repeat the lie” propaganda, in order to have the lie become fact, and to intimidate those with alternate perspectives.
Anyway, as unappetizing as Trump may be to many, he was hired to drain the swamp, and it’s a reasonable assumption that swamp drainers are not necessarily genteel gentlemen.
One more point about the Nazis. For decades, the left has characterized Nazism / Fascism as being right wing. That is pure, and so far successful, propaganda. Because in fact, the National Socialist party – commonly referred to under Hitler as the Nazis – was socialist in that Hitler saw both individuals and industry as having a prior responsibility to the objectives of the state.
And in that view he was aligned with Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, and more recently, the Hugo Chavez revolution in Venezuela, which has managed to destroy that country in two decades. Its citizens are fleeing to Columbia by the hundreds.
So I’d suggest to conservative readers that we always refer to Nazism as a left wing phenomenon.
21st century SLPs are anti-free speech – routinely shutting down speakers, particularly at universities. They’re anti-freedom of assembly, witness some of Canada’s law societies’ outrageous attempt to prevent a law school being established at Trinity Western University; they’re anti-freedom of religion, and so on.
And they don’t want to discuss it! It’s been my observation that the only people that want no argument are the people that have no argument.
The faces of the Western left used to be those of Tommy Douglas, Alan Blakely, Roy Romanow, Hubert Humphrey, and Golda Meier; reasonable and honorable people all.
SLP faces are now those of Naomi Klein, Rachel Maddow, Jeremy Corbin, the radical management and faculty of far too many universities, and of course, the hopelessly myopic Bernie Sanders, who, having honeymooned in the Soviet Union, still came back a proud socialist. How was that even possible?
Unfortunately, the SLPs current face includes that of Rachel Notley, a woman who I had always believed to be simply a decent person with whom I disagreed. Considering her regime’s actions and attitude, I’m re-considering.
Western civilization is in a very dangerous period for the very simple reason, that those in control of many governments, most bureaucracies, and the media and entertainment industries, are focused on its destruction; in part because Western civilization is anchored by a Judaeo – Christian worldview, which they hate.
Decades ago, English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge presciently wrote the following:“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense.
Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer.
Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”
Randall, I don’t believe we’ve yet keeled over, but we’re on our knees.
Last week I blogged about the differences, as I see them, between left and right. The next day I received my copy of Imprimis, a monthly publication of Hillsdale College. It features an article by the college President, Dr. Larry P Arnn, entitled: A More American Conservatism. This week I was going to publish some back-and-forth online conversations that I’ve had with friends from the left but instead I’m going to encourage you to read Dr. Arnn’s article. Because whatever your nationality, or political persuasion, it deserves at least one read-through.
Dr. Arnn observes that: “Things in the past are like things in the present; they must be judged.” In other words, just because it worked in the old days does not necessarily mean it still works. Think about that, conservatives.
But he goes on to say that we know that: “things that have a good reputation for a long time are more trustworthy than new things.” In other words, just because it’s labelled “progressive” doesn’t guarantee its value. Such arguments are neither left, nor right.
He says: “Laws are made now chiefly by regulatory agencies which combine, in themselves, all three powers of government.” He means that the bureaucracy now behaves as if it has the power of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, all put together. His point is beyond dispute.
And this: “Every employer, every school, many clubs, and family life itself are now the subject of rules too complex for the layperson to grasp.” That’s also beyond dispute and is the reason that ordinary people, left and right, throughout Western democracies, feel they have very little say in their own governance.
Dr. Arnn’s personal style couldn’t be farther from that of Donald Trump, yet he is hopeful about the new US administration. Because, as he points out: “Trump ran in utter defiance of the (debate stifling) political correctness that enforces this new system of government.” Bracketed words mine. Any person who believes that open debate helps lead us to the best ideas must find that hopeful!
All in all, this is an exceptional article, and I would recommend it to everyone interested in thoughtful public discourse. And I urge you to subscribe to this publication, called Imprimis. It means: In the first place, which is always the logical place to start.
Best to each of you!
P.S. I think quite a few of you know that Danny Hozack has been a force in thoughtful conservatism for a long time. For the past several years he’s organized an annual conference called Essentials of Freedom, which alternates between Calgary and Edmonton. This year it’s in Calgary.
Be sure to mark Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 on your calendar. And think about bringing your children, and grandchildren. More information next week.