Thursday, July 23, 2009
Courtesy of The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights
It's a shame that Canada never had a principled and moral argument to counter Tommy Douglas's socialist scheme.
Instead we've had decades of punitive taxation, promises, propaganda and prorogued procedures.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"But the Government will do all it can to keep people safe - and save lives. We are not complacent - each death from knife crime is one too many. So I am determined to push ahead with our efforts to rid communities of the scourge of knives and end the suffering of families affected."Meh, British food sucks anyway.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"United Nations - The United Nations Security Council tossed aside a letter by Honduras coup leaders in which they requested its intervention after alleged threats and provocation by Venezuela.*
UN diplomats told Prensa Latina that the letter has not received any attention, and it will not be distributed as an official document.
That decision was made by Ugandan Ambassador Ruhakana Rugunda, who received the document Thursday as Security Council chairman."
Uganda? Really? You mean this Uganda, this Uganda? The Uganda led by this guy? The guy whose own Supreme court had this to say about the 23 February 2006 election...
"The Supreme Court of Uganda later ruled that the election was marred by intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement, and other irregularities."Absolutely stellar... Anyone else wondering about the logic of foxes guarding hen houses?
A soldier says that there is no more room...
"But you have to save my babies" cries the woman.
There is safety 10 miles away says the soldier, you will have to walk.
But we can't walk 10 miles she cries... Save my children!
At this point the heroine jumps off of the truck. "You can have my spot" she says, in the purest spirit of altruism, giving up her safety and security for a total stranger.
The heroine then looks back at her male companion. "Come on she says..."
And that is where it happens, the companion, rightfully concerned with his own welfare refuses to give up his seat.
The result (condemnation) is nurtured in the watcher, from the earlier characterization of this companion as a coward and a jerk. So the reaction of my wife when she muttered "jerk" under her breath came as little surprise.
I looked at her and realized that she hadn't thought about the elicited reaction. So I asked her. "If you were already safe in the shelter would you want me to give up my life for some complete stranger? Is that woman's life worth more to you than mine? Think about it... I'd gladly give up my seat for you or our kids but for a stranger? What makes her life more valuable than mine?
There was no answer.
Now being as smart (and normally) as rational as my wife is I don't often win an argument with one point like that, but it was so simple this time...
Why? Because the ideal of altruism is so often shown in this way, as a remote "lifeboat scenario" with the situation completely detached from those observing it, where the hero/heroine always eventually survives and the selfish jerk almost always dies. But that isn't true to nature. It is the people who do everything that they can to save their own lives that end up surviving, not the ones that give their safety away to a stranger.
Why is the stranger important? What possible reason could there be to sacrifice your life for a complete stranger? Some might point to animals using altruistic behaviour in the wild as an admonishment that we Humans should be at least as "good" but look at what they are comparing us to.
A monkey or a beaver can not reason and operates on instinct in a range of the moment existence. There are no value judgments being made, the animal is not sacrificing itself it is operating the autopilot of instinct.
So next time you see this cinematic or literary trick used take a moment to think. Raise yourself above the level of a Rhesus monkey or Beaver and ask the important question.
What do you value, what is being asked for in sacrifice?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Alright if our federal government is going to be so weak kneed why don't we all demand sovereignty. I wonder, idly of course, what would happen if the residents of Saltspring Island decided they didn't want federal police on the Island and declared sovereignty.
Would the federal government sit back while a group of heavily armed white people decided to thumb their noses at them, run drugs, guns and cigarettes into Victoria?
I think not.
Well, as far as the Mohawks on Cornwall Island are concerned, if they want sovereignty give it to them. Cut off ALL federal programs and money, blow the bridges and close the "new" border with Mohawk Land. Anyone caught sneaking into Canada should be tried, imprisoned if he/she broke Canadian law and once that term was served deported back to where they came from.
But that was good enough for them."
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Right now, I am still thinking about how a "virtual" Galt's Gulch would work, since we are living in an era that does resemble the collapse of American free enterprise in Atlas Shrugged. While it is very nice to stand and declare your beliefs, most readers can see there is an ever increasing trend towards State intervention in everything, and State oppression is pretty close at hand (if not there already, see the CHRC or the American Congress openly considering a bill of attender against AIG executives...).
Being able to disappear from the view of State censors or other Brownshirt thugs will be a real survival mechanism for anyone who wants to keep liberty alive in these conditions. I am also not so confident that civilization can be rebuilt on Classical Liberal principles as easily as making the sign of the dollar in the air; I am thinking in the worst case we actually need to consider a sort of Irish Monastery project (although this could also just be natural paranoia peeking through).
Sadly, a physical Galt's Gulch is probably not practical or feasible in the here and now (at least not if we like hot and cold running water), and attempts to stake out a physical space in the oceans or deserts is probably doomed to failure in the face of State competition (and the reason we have "States" is because they were the best form of organization for creating and controlling military power ever devised). Unless someone comes up with inexpensive access to space so communities can be established on the Moon, asteroids and moons of the gas giant planets far away from current State competition, then we are stuck with the virtual world.
I am still heartened by ideas that the Libertarian Revolution is actually a social rather than political movement, and Objectivism is certainly part of this movement. The T.E.A. party movement shows there is a groundswell of opinion against the current political and social situation, but no one has managed to capture it just yet, and of course there is always the danger that the T.E.A. party could either devolve into irrelevance or be captured by "the man on the white horse".
Of course, hunkering down in a real or virtual bunker against the impending Apocalypse is pretty defeatist. As Jerry Pournelle reminds readers of his blog "Chaos Manor"; Despair is a Sin. We need to move outwards in all kinds of unexpected directions, small furry mammals in the Jurassic political park.
-Using virtual tools to create and operate in an underground economy
-Going Ragnar Danneskjöld and applying for government grants equal to the taxes you have paid
- Boycotting companies and media that actively promote or support statist views and policy (GM anyone?)
- Supporting political candidates of the Freedom Party or Libertarian Party (a small "c" conservative party if there are no representatives of the first two parties available).
- Working at the municipal level against statist policies
- Becoming energy self sufficient and getting off the grid. Minimizing the use of other centralized services as much as possible or practical is also encouraged.
As you can see, there are lots of possible options, and not every one is possible for every person. You will have to decide which ones work for you, and then execute the plan. The individual actions of thousands or millions of people will have a huge impact, and you can vote with your dollars and your actions every single day.
Freedom is a self help project!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I urge any and all readers to do likewise and stand up for Honduras and the rule of law.
The reason I am writing you is to comment on the deplorable stance
Again and again the legal and constitutional action taken by the Honduran government has been called a coup. If indeed this action is a coup would that there were more of them in the true Latin American dictatorships to our south.
Let’s take a look at some undisputed facts.
1. Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution states that a President that violates the principle of alternation of the Presidency or even proposes its reform, will "immediately cease in the exercise of office". So according to Honduran law the simple act of proposing this reform (which no one is arguing did happen) removes a President from office ispo jure (by operation of that law).
2. Article 42 of the constitution states 6 cases in which the. “The quality of citizen is lost:”
3. A coup d'état, is the sudden, unconstitutional deposition of a legitimate government, by a small group of the State Establishment — usually the military — to replace the deposed government with another, either civil or military.
Sir! The Honduran government has not fallen. The government is in place, the military is under its control and the rule of law is being upheld. Coup? What coup?
Since the end of the colonial era modern liberal democratic nations like
I am ashamed that
Sir, I urge you to stand up for the rule of law in
Monday, July 13, 2009
In all that time only two countries have been kicked out of the organization; Cuba, in 1962 for gross violations of human rights, and now Honduras, which according to the OAS's own website has been "suspend immediately the right to participate in the institution of Honduras following the coup d’Etat that expelled President José Manuel Zelaya from power."
So, a coup is all it takes eh?
I guess these were more acceptable coups...
Argentina, 1955, 1966 And 1976...
Ecuador, 1963, 1976, 2000, 2005...
Bolivia, 1969, 1970, 1980...
Guatemala, 1954, 1962...
Paraguay, 1954, 1989...
Argentina, 1955, 1966, 1976...
Venezuela, 1948, 1958, NB* In 1992 current dictator for life Hugo "it's a coup" Chavez tried to overthrow the elected government of his own country.
I could go on of course, south and central America are no strangers to coup's. One has to ask though, why this one is deemed so heinous as to warrant Honduras' removal from the OAS.
If you want to defeat an enemy first isolate him. That has been effectively done to Honduras, by it's socialist enemies with the USA's new president willingly playing the part of useful idiot.
By the way, a coup d'état is defined as;
A quick and decisive seizure of governmental power by a strong military or political group. In contrast to a revolution, a coup d'état, or coup, does not involve a mass uprising. Rather, in the typical coup, a small group of politicians or generals arrests the incumbent leaders, seizes the national radio and television services, and proclaims itself in power. Coup d'état is French for “stroke of the state” or “blow to the government.”Since the government of Honduras is still in power, since the military is not, since the rule of law is in full force and the constitution of Honduras has been upheld, not suspended...
THIS IS NOT A COUP!!!
How long do you think, till Chavez decides it's his right to enforce this veiled threat? What will we do then?
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Ten year plans...
helping humanity to move from its often selfish, self-centered adolescence to a more globally responsible adulthood...
create and implement global strategies to improve the prospects for humanity...
coordination for effective and adequate action...
Is it just me or does this sound a lot like something that was already tried.
More government, more government programs and more government control are not going to get us out of the problems that have been created by more government, more government programs and more government control.
Ten year plan? Really? You show me a government that is able to stick to a 1 year plan and I'll show you a dictatorship.
Friday, July 10, 2009
What seems true or is taken as factual from tens, hundreds or even thousands of miles away often doesn't pan out once people actually see the situation first hand.
PJ TV has taken the step of putting its boots on the ground, the report speaks for itself.
A laissez faire capitalist speaks of liberties which are prohibitions placed on the state and all other men for the benefit of the individual. The right to life, liberty and property, properly construed limit the civil authority and civil interactions in the favour of the individual.
A progressive modern liberal uses the word to describe liberties that are claims made against the freedoms of some or all of the individuals within a polity. Who makes these claims? Well, society does. Who is society? Well, comes the answer, we all are... collectively
But that answer is and must be a lie.
Societies are made up of individuals, that is the one and only non-divisible entity within them. A demand made by "society" is nothing more than the force and will of some applied against the individuals. Some of this force is applied by politicians to satisfy the nebulous and whim-driven "will of the people" (which amounts to some of the people, some of the time) and some is applied by, of and for the political class, the politicians, the influence peddlers and pressure groups.
Almost as damaging as this force is the philosophical attachment of these two concepts to polar opposite connotations. The branding of the classic (real) liberties as "negative" and the progressive (false) as "positive" has become, in my opinion, the most astounding piece of doublespeak ever accomplished.
The subliminal assurance is that with "positive liberties" we are gaining freedom, with "negative liberties" we are loosing them.
But when one realizes that you can not, by definition, use force against the will of some in order to claim you are granting a "liberty" to all, it becomes obvious that "society" as an entity is undefined and undefinable and declaring a liberty in its name is at best utterly senseless and in fact it is utterly impossible.
With this realization comes the revelation that the only true unit of measure in a "society" is the individual. As a corollary it is realized that anything done for "society" as a whole will necessarily violate the real liberties of the individual. The liberty to live life in the manner of your choosing. The Liberty to be free of compulsion, fraud and force. And finally the liberty of all men to own, in the purest sense of that word, all that they create and all that they earn.
These liberties make no demand on other men.
So the next time someone says that 'such and such is a right or ought to be a right' ask yourself what this right demands, who it demands payment, sacrifice or duty from, and judge accordingly.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
"In two days there could be a solution or it could be that in two months there is no solution,"*
The "solution" was already applied in accordance with the Honduran constitution, on the orders of the Honduran Supreme Court, with a unanimous vote of the Honduran Congress.
Watch this closely... It's historical revisionism performed in front of the whole wide world.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
"U.S. President Barack Obama said from Moscow early Tuesday that the United States backed Zelaya's reinstatement "even though he has strongly opposed American policies."This statement doesn't surprise me. After all, Obama strongly opposes the ideals America was founded on.
From Honduras Abandoned at least it seems that the people of that country still want their constitution respected. Rallies occurred in cities all across Honduras, one protest organizer commented...
"that this is a pacific demonstration from the Honduran citizens, and that this is not the result of what has occurred in recent events, but has been gaining momentum over the course of two months. Mel Zelaya is a totalitarian and wanted to run a vote on Monday (June 29) that was contradictory to the Constitution. The Honduran Supreme Court had warned his Zelaya that his actions were unconstitutional, and the two political parties united and voted to remove him from office."When the people of Honduras are chanting "Out with Mel" why are our leaders doing their damnedest to oppose their democratic will?
Monday, July 6, 2009
Hunter Smith's blog Honduras Abandoned has the best news. Don't even look at CTV or CBC, the Michael Jackson's memorial train wreck and gong show coupled with a yellow lobster have gained their minuscule and terribly skewed attention.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Nope not today. Today I'm talking about Honduras.
The recent Exile of leftist President Manuel Zelaya (background Q&A) from that small, mostly forgotten former Banana Republic has caused quite a stir. The OAS, the UN and even his divineness Barrack Obama have condemned the move.
Those of you who follow Uncommon Sense to any degree would know that normally it would take little else for me to support the Hondurans but those condemnations. However, add in Hugo Chavez's offer to reinstate his leftist friend (by force if need be) and Daniel Ortega's enthusiastic (one might say marionette-like) support for Hugo (reminds me of the way the old soviet block countries would issue similar scripted condemnations en-mass any time they perceived a threat the the Warsaw pact... ) and my support would seem to be clinched. But I'm not nearly so shallow.
The exile of Zelaya was a legal constitutional act undertaken by the military under orders from the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress.
THIS WAS NOT A COUP!
Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution a President that violates the principle of alternation of the Presidency or even proposes its reform, will "immediately cease in the exercise of office". So the simple act of proposing this reform (which no one is arguing did happen) removes a President from office ispo jure (by operation of law). (H/T)
As for his expulsion from the Country that too is covered in the Honduran Constitution under Article 42 which says in part; (*)
ARTICLE 42 .- The quality of citizen is lost:
5. For inciting, encouraging or supporting the continuity or re-election of the President of the Republic.
- In the cases referred to in paragraphs 1) and 2) the declaration of loss of citizenship will file
- For the cases of paragraphs 3) and 6) the statement will be made by the Executive Power by a government agreement,
- and for the cases of subparagraphs 4) and 5) also by governmental agreement, after the sentence handed down by the competent courts.
On top of all this constitutional authority the majority... let me say that again the MAJORITY of the Honduran Congress, the duly elected members of the Honduran government supported the removal of Zelaya, and it was Ordered by the Supreme Court of Honduras!
So why is this an issue? Why are Canada and the USA, the most mature and stable democracies in the Americas supporting the OAS and the Peoples Banana Republics of Venezuella and Nicaragua in condemning Honduras? We ought to be standing and cheering this triumph of law in a place that has had real Coups in the past.
Alas, once again we seem to be applying our own standards to a political system and nation completely disimlar to ours. There is no provision for revoking a citizenship in Canada and our supreme court would not (probably could not) issue such an order as quickly to prevent a would be dictator like Zelaya.
So the Hondurans are living by and abiding by their own constitution, and their constitutional law and we (speaking specifically of Canada and the USA) are siding with the politically correct collectivists of the OAS/UN and the real enemies of freedom (Chavez and his ilk) in condemning them for it.
Here is a young, stable, constitutionally formed Republic showing us what it really means to be a "Nation of Laws, not of Men" and we are censuring them for it.
Shame on us.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
*WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
Then I thought of Canada's health care scheme and the fact that we have enslaved our Doctors.
In spite of the decade that it takes to become a doctor in this country, the intellect required, the drive and dedication of the people who develop these kinds of procedures, in the run of a lifetime a plumber will make more money.
Think about it. The guy that hooks up your dishwasher makes more money in the course of his life than the Doctor that delivered your kids, or returns sight to the blind.
Marx would be so proud.