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Response to Randall

Dave 07Over 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 BushHitlerBush-Hitler?

HarperNaziAnd 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:Muggeridge “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.

Best regards

Dave

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Alberta Politics Big Government Politics Public Education Socialism The left Uncategorized

Stop Subsidizing Public Schools!

In an interview with CBC News, Duncan Kenney, the executive director of Progress Alberta made the following statements: “We subsidize our private schools more than every other province in the country.” He also said: “We have 15 elite private schools in Calgary collectively soaking up more than $30 million annually in public subsidies.” Unfortunately, both statements contain gross untruths, and are obviously intended to mislead the public.

First of all, and this is an indisputable fact; parents that send their children to alternative schools, (neither public or Catholic), pay exactly the same education taxes as everyone else. Let me say that again. The Smiths who send their children to the public system, and the Joneses who choose to send their children to an alternative school pay exactly equal rates of education tax.

But the Jones’ taxes are not applied equally towards their children’s education. In Alberta, alternative schools receive only 70% as much per-student grant that public schools do, so parents sending their children to alternative schools must make up the difference. That 30% withheld from alternative schools, stays in the public system.

Furthermore, alternate schools supporters build and maintain their own buildings!

So who subsidizes whom? The simple, incontrovertible, mathematical fact is that alternative schools, and the parents involved, subsidize the public system. In other words, the Joneses subsidize the Smiths!

But Article 26, item 3, of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states unequivocally, that parents have a prior right to choose their children’s education, and, that it shall be free. Not in Alberta! Parents that choose an alternative to the public system are being being forced to subsidize, with that 30% of their own money, the public system. (In Kathleen Wynne’s increasingly dystopian Ontario, it’s 100%!)

The second deception in Duncan Kenney’s comments is that there are 15 “elite private schools” in Calgary. Our grandchildren have attended three of these “elite” alternative schools, and I’ve frequently picked them up after school. The other cars waiting to pick up their kids, consistently ran from Beemers, to beaters.

The grand-kids are older now, and I occasionally pick them up at their public high schools, and their classmate’s cars range from Beemers to beaters. There may be two or three elite alternative schools in Calgary, but the rest are simply schools, chosen and supported by parents, many of whom are making major sacrifices for their children’s education.

So why the lies? Well here are some of the Alberta organizations that are involved. The Alberta Teacher Association. The Calgary and District Labour Council. The Canadian Union of Public Employees. Progress Alberta. Note that every one of these is left-wing activist and union dominated.

Left-wing Progressivists are control freaks, and they hate it when they don’t have complete control of the education / indoctrination agenda. It also upsets them that they don’t usually receive union dues from teachers at alternative schools.

Repeating a lie until it becomes accepted as truth is a long-established, Left-wing / Socialist strategy. Supposedly pioneered by Lenin, the repeated lie was most famously used by the National Socialists, (Nazis), in Germany in the 1930s, to create “their truth”; that Jews were at the root of most of Germany’s problems. Failure to stand up to those Nazi lies ended up costing 50 million lives.

Over the last 15 or 20 years, the “repeat the lie” tactic has increasingly been adopted by  the postmodern Progressivist Left. Alberta’s Progressivist cohort are not quite Nazis, but it’s clear that they’ve inherited some DNA.

More recently we’ve discovered that through Alberta’s taxpayer funded GSA website, Alberta’s schoolkids from kindergarten through grade 12, were linked to pornographic websites. When confronted, those responsible took them down, but then accused the parent who discovered the links of being hysterical and sensationalist. The website supervisor responsible is still in charge.

If like me, you believe in the freedoms of Speech, Association, Religion, Property, and your right to choose the worldview presented in your kid’s education, your ideas are in direct opposition to the Progressivist Left.

Alberta’s government has been unleashing a blitzkrieg of ideological initiatives, so freedom lovers need to stop whining, get united, and get working!

For your kids future –

Dave Reesor

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Big Government Self reliance Social Issues The left Uncategorized

Left – Right – Left – Right

Dave 07When discussing politics we often frame the conversation in terms of left and right, progressive and conservative, socialist and capitalist. What do we mean by those terms? It’s important, because unless we more or less agree on the definition of something, there’s no way we can have a meaningful conversation.

A friend told me that Karl Marx created the word “socialism” to describe just one of the stages of communism. He insists that at present there are no socialist, and certainly no communist governments in Canada, the United States, or Europe; only Social Democrat governments that do not attempt to own the means of production, but try to direct the economy through regulation and taxation. If Alberta’s NDP is Social Democratic, they sure do!

Socialist governments, on the other hand, actually nationalize industries, and then, in theory at least, distribute the resulting wealth equitably to all the citizens. The economic chaos in Venezuela illustrates  just how well that works. As Hungarian economist Janos Kornai observed; shortages are the chronic problem with socialism.

Communists just take over and imprison or liquidate anyone who objects, including 70 million or so in the last century.

Communism, Socialism, and Social Democracies are all parts of “The Left.” And by the way, so were the Nazis. The word, Nazi, comes from National Socialist, and the Nazis actively coerced businesses, and citizens, into supporting the objectives of the state.

Conservatives in all their iterations are referred to as “The Right.” Conservatives believe that individuals have the first responsibility, and the right, to decide how to look after themselves, their families, the less fortunate, and their own interests. They also believe in sensibly regulated capitalism, and free enterprise.

True conservatives are in agreement with the left in their opposition to crony capitalism, and corporate welfare.

On social issues, Leftists believe that government appointed “experts” must be allowed to intervene to help citizens run their lives. In practice, it leads to the slavery of dependency, and it distracts governments from doing well, those things which only governments can, and must do.

The left seems to believe that an economy is a zero-sum game. If someone gains, someone else must lose. But in the past 30 years, capitalism and cheap energy from fossil fuels have added so much new wealth to developing countries that extreme poverty has dropped from 35% to under 10%. That sounds like a win win to me.

On the social side, most conservatives do not nonchalantly abandon long-established customs, unless those customs interfere with another persons human rights. We are certainly born with a predetermined colour, sex, etc., but how we live out that reality is based on our choices. It requires a remarkable level of hubris to demand that our choices should override another persons fundamental rights and freedoms; property rights, assembly, speech, and religion.

Left and Right have fundamentally different and opposing world views. The right believes that the individual, family and community are preeminent; the left believes that a citizens first allegiance is to the the state. When we talk to each other, we need to remember that difference.

Being of the Right, I would tend to agree with Winston Churchill who famously suggested that Christopher Columbus was probably the first socialist. “He left not knowing where he was going; didn’t know where he was when he arrived; and he did it all on borrowed money.”

Next week, Red vs. Redneck; an online debate.

Like and Share us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. And JOIN US, and become a member of the Let’s Do It Ourselves community. If you believe, as I do, that the common sense conservative message is often poorly communicated, especially to our children and grandchildren, then let’s do it better.

We want to encapsulate basic conservative ideas in short, and relevant videos, and deliver them on social media. As you can imagine, that requires money; not much, but a little. Here’s the link to a video we produced just to give you an idea of what I mean.

Thank you!

Dave Reesor

Categories
Alberta Politics Big Government Bureaucracy Canadian Politics Politics Socialism The left US Politics

Socialism Observed I

Dave 07August 29, 2015

When Albertans in Calgary Foothills go to the polls this Thursday, September 3, Alberta will have had four months of NDP, or, socialist government. As Dr. Phil puts it: “How’s that workin for ya?”

** Americans reading this need  to reflect on eight years of economic and diplomatic chaos, and then start to reflect carefully – not emotionally – about the next election.

Since the socialist NDP took over Alberta’s government, corporate / business income tax has gone up by 20%. And they have set about raising the minimum wage by an economically insane, (but ideologically pure) 47%. $15 an hour has apparently become North American socialism’s ideologically correct number.

Now this may be a mystery to Rachel Notley and the NDP, but that money won’t come from the legal structures called “Companies.” A company, or corporation, is nothing more than a legal entity that allows a group of investors to pool their capital in order to finance larger business ventures than they could as individuals.

Taxes and wages ultimately come from someone’s pocket, and since companies don’t have pockets – either literally or figuratively, the money will come from the pockets of people like you: employees, job-seekers, investors, and shareholders.

Some businesses can operate with a certain percentage of entry-level workers. They start them at a low wage; spend money training them; and those with aptitude, and, a good attitude, move up quickly. Or they move on to different types of businesses that can afford to pay more.

But if you’re unskilled and looking for a job, the socialists are busily building a huge barrier between you and employment. Higher taxes and arbitrary minimum wages are always a barrier to employment, but especially for the unskilled. To you, the NDP/socialists are essentially saying: “Stay where you are and continue living on your parent’s benevolence, or welfare.”

Or to make it more personal, what they’re saying to my unskilled grandchildren and your grandchildren, your children, or any unskilled person who is trying to get into the workforce is; “You might be willing to go to work for nothing to start while someone trains you, but we won’t allow it. If you can’t find someone willing to pay you $15 an hour, you can’t work.” This is government gone crazy, yet it’s become socialist dogma.

And it will eventually lead to more automation.It’s already happening.McDonalds-Machines

Yet lower wage employees and the unemployed are the people that socialists claim to want to help. If governments actually want to help low income and unemployed citizens, they simply need to create a tax and regulation environment that will encourage people to form and expand businesses. It’s not complicated, but few politicians get it Or, efficient government may conflict with their own political ideology, or they may be stymied by unionized bureaucrats who fight them every inch of the way, because efficient government certainly conflicts with their interests!

Higher taxes and wages also mean that less money will reach the pockets of those who invested their time and money in the business. In turn they will spend less at other businesses like restaurants and shops. Yet perversely, higher wage and tax costs eventually lead to higher prices, when companies are forced to increase prices to prevent losses. This fuels inflation, and inflation eventually takes money out of everyone’s pocket.

Pension funds of all kinds invest in publicly traded companies, so they will be negatively impacted. Even most union pension funds are invested in public companies, so higher taxes will inevitably end up in less money for everyone, including union members when they retire. Think about that!

So everybody loses? Well, not everybody. Because in fact, unions will benefit. They will insist on maintaining the differential between the minimum wage and their negotiated wage and they will also insist that their wages keep up with inflation.

So, socialist governments jacking up wages and taxes is no surprise when you realize that a socialist government’s core supporters are unions; and socialist governments largely consist of ex-union, or union connected politicians and staffers.

In fact, it’s likely that none of this is really a mystery to Rachel Notley and the NDP. It’s just them being true to their ideology, and “dancing with the ones who brung them.”

But there’s one more long-term danger to implementing higher taxes and jacked up minimum wages. That is, that they send a powerful signal to potential investors that a jurisdiction is no longer business friendly.

I’ve watched it happen over the past 40 years in British Columbia. When the socialists are in power, mining and forestry decline. When they are turfed out, businesses cautiously begin to return.

Saskatchewan’s socialist government sent that negative signal 70 years ago, and then, sadly, Saskatchewan’s families spent the next 60 years watching their sons and daughters move to Alberta, and British Columbia, and Ontario, each of which – at the time – had more business friendly governments.

More recently, under the socialist/NDP government of Bob Rae, and the subsequent socialist/Liberal governments of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s once powerful economy has been decimated. Almost unbelievably, Ontario has now joined socialist Manitoba, Québec, and the Maritimes, as an officially “have not province.”

If you have children or grandchildren entering the workforce, think about that!

When the voters of Calgary Foothills go to the polls on September 3, whoever wins is not going to change Alberta’s government for the next four years, but voters do have an opportunity to send a signal.

They basically have three choices.

  1. Vote for the candidate of a party with a long history of entitlement, and, if examined dispassionately, incompetence.
  2. Vote for the candidate of a party ideologically committed to higher taxes, ever-expanding government interference in the marketplace, and, in every other aspect of your personal lives.
  3. Vote for the candidate of a party who – ideologically at least – favours smaller government, lower taxes, market driven wages, and more individual and community self-reliance.

If you are a resident of Calgary Foothills, please think about the issues carefully, courageously and completely. Then be sure to get out and vote!