Over the past few weeks I’ve published one blog entitled:Who is Subsidizing Whom?, and another entitled Stop Subsidizing Public Schools! Unsurprisingly, I got some feedback, both positive and negative.
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.