Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Please Visit My New Blog!

Two days ago I mentioned that I might be moving my blog to Wordpress, because the formatting of Blogger is driving me crazy.  It seems to be inconsistent, and, being the obsessive-compulsive perfectionist that I am, everything must be perfect or it bothers me.  And, while I have, for the most part, figured out how to edit the HTML so it is more consistent, it takes too much work to look through the HTML, find the source of the problem, and change it whenever there is an issue (which is a lot).

I thought it would take me longer to make my decision (on whether or not to move to Wordpress permanently), but I love Wordpress so much that I have made my final decision to move already.  While I will miss my rattlesnake "favicon," that might be all I will miss.  So, from this point on, there will be no more new posts to this blog.  I will select some posts from this one to archive there, and this blog will still be up indefinitely (for the archives).

Please visit my new blog:


And thank you to the very few people who actually read my blog.

Lesbians' Hurt Feelings More Important Than People Dying

At the Tim Horton's in Blenheim, Ontario, a lesbian couple was asked to leave due to "acting in a way that was offensive to the families who were present."  According to this video (h/t Blazing Cat Fur), this "story" was reported at the top of Global News (the local Global station, I presume), ahead of unquestionably more important stories, such as the earthquake in Turkey.

Although I do not know any information about this incident that isn't in the video (and this article), I can almost say with certainty that whatever happened was not such a big deal that it should have been on the news at all, let alone the top story.  What may be a bigger story here is, if, in fact, the lesbians were behaving obscenely (and I would use the same adverb to describe a heterosexual couple "locking tongues and straddling each other with their hands down each other's pants), it is that the gay community apparently has a pass to act obscenely, and they can just scream "homophobia" whenever they are criticized in any way.  Tolerance of gay pride parades provides more evidence of this.  Whatever the case, it seems the vast majority of homosexuals are extremely sensitive, and any hint of any "anti-gay" attitude is cause for outrage in the gay community (or something).  I guess, then, that it is no surprise that gay conservatives would be called things like "self-loathing" or "Jewish Nazi" by the gay left.

There is more from the CBC article to which I previously linked:
Rev. Eric Revie of Glad Tidings Community Church says he thought they were a heterosexual couple inappropriately kissing outside the window of the Tim Hortons during the last week of September.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Switzerland Moves to the Centre

In yesterday's federal election in Switzerland, smaller, more moderate parties took votes from the larger, more polarizing parties.  However, that didn't prevent the conservative Swiss People's Party from winning the plurality.  Here are the results:
  • Toni Brunner (Swiss People's Party - conservatism): 26.6% - 54 seats (down 2.4% and 8 seats from 2007)
  • Christian Levrat (Social Democrats - social democracy): 18.7% - 46 seats (down 0.9% and up 3 seats from 2007)
  • Fulvio Pelli (FDP. The Liberals - classical liberalism): 15.1% -  31 seats (down 2.5% and 5 seats from 2007)
  • Christophe Darbellay (Christian Democrats - Christian democracy): 12.3% - 28 seats (down 2.2% and 3 seats from 2007)
  • Ueli Leuenberger (Green Party - green politics and progressivism): 8.4% - 15 seats (down 1.2% and 5 seats from 2007)
  • Martin Bäumle (Green Liberals - green politics and classical liberalism): 5.4% - 12 seats (up 4.0% and 9 seats from 2007)
  • Hans Grunder (Conservative Democrats - conservatism and classical liberalism): 5.4% - 9 seats (did not exist in 2007)
  • Heiner Studer (Evangelical People's Party - Christian democracy and social conservatism): 2.0% - 2 seats (down 0.4% and no change in seats from 2007)
  • Giuliano Bignasca (Ticino League - right-wing populism and national conservatism): 0.8% - 2 seats (up 0.2% and 1 seat from 2007)
The re-election of the Swiss People's Party seems to indicate that immigration is still a major issue, and hopefully Switzerland can make some more progress in fighting the threat of the spread of Islam and Sharia law.  And, despite this ugly incident, Switzerland yet again demonstrates a level of sanity that is quite rare in Europe (Switzerland is not a member of European Union and it has relatively low taxes).  Furthermore, despite a drop in support for the Swiss People's Party, the leftist Social Democrats and Green Party both also received lowered support.  Most of the parties that gained support are centre to centre-right (particularly the Conservative Democrats).  Let's hope the common sense of the Swiss spreads to other European countries (which is unlikely).

CNN Shows Bias in Wake of Swiss Election

To anyone familiar with CNN, this should hardly be surprising.  As I was looking for an article about the federal election in Switzerland that occurred today, I found this one from CNN and I was a bit surprised at some of their word choices.  I expect CNN to be slightly biased, but not so blatantly (emphasis added):
Despite its xenophobic, anti-immigration campaign tactics, Switzerland's far-right Swiss People's Party, which took the largest share of votes four years ago in Swiss modern history, suffered losses in Sunday's parliamentary vote as voters chose more moderate parties over polarizing candidates. 
The Conservative Democrats and the Liberal Greens -- more moderate parties -- were the clear winners of Sunday's vote, signaling a change in the nation's heavily polarized political scene. 
According to Swissinfo.ch, the nations' public broadcaster and pollsters, near-final results showed the People's Party taking a considerable drop, but still ahead of the center-left Social Democrats. 
The two traditional center-right parties, the Radicals and the Christian Democrats are also down 3% and 1.5% respectively, Swissinfo.ch reported.
The far-right People's Party's loss came as a surprise to many who expected the far-right's scare campaign tactics to succeed once again.
Opposing immigration is not necessarily xenophobic.  And recognizing Islam as a threat and establishing measures that mean to limit its influence is the logical thing to do, as the facts suggest Islam is threatening to Western society (hopefully I will elaborate on that shortly).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moving... Maybe

Blogger formatting is driving me crazy.  So, I'm trying out WordPress.  Here is my new address:


Since I do not like change, I may decide to stick with Blogger.  And I plan on posting all of my posts on both this blog and my new WordPress blog, at least until I decide whether or not to permanently move to WordPress.  Also, I literally just established my new blog a couple minutes ago, so it is not quite to my satisfaction yet.

Libya Nostalgic for the 7th Century

The 7th century was the century during which the religion of Islam was founded and subsequently spread across Western Asia and Northern Africa via the Muslim conquests.  Since then, Muslims societies have advanced (or liberalized) inconsistently, with some remaining relatively primitive and with others modernizing significantly (in various ways).

There exist about 46 sovereign nations with Muslim majority populations.  These countries are located in Northern Africa (examples: Mauritania, Tunisia and Morocco), Western Asia (examples: Azerbaijan, Yemen, and Iraq), Central Asia (examples: Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan), South Asia (examples: the Maldives, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), Southeast Asia (examples: Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia), Subsaharan Africa (examples: Somalia, Niger, and Djibouti), and even Europe (Albania and its sovereignty-lacking neighbor, Kosovo).  A full list of countries by Muslim population is available here.  Interestingly, one of the least Muslim countries in the world, Armenia, is located very close to the Middle East.  And something else I found interesting was another country with a very low Muslim population, Malta, is both located very close to Tunisia and has an official language, Maltese, that is derived from Arabic.  

Now, my nerdy inclinations and their requisite history and geography lessons aside, the newly liberated nation of Libya (or at least its de facto interim president) appears to be nostalgic for the aforementioned 7th century (h/t Instapundit):
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its "basic source". 
But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways - it was also the basis of Egypt's largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall. 
Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi's era that he said was in conflict with Sharia - that banning polygamy. 
In a blow to those who hoped to see Libya's economy integrate further into the western world, he announced that in future bank regulations would ban the charging of interest, in line with Sharia. "Interest creates disease and hatred among people," he said.  
Libya is already the most conservative state in north Africa, banning the sale of alcohol. Mr Abdul-Jalil's decision - made in advance of the introduction of any democratic process - will please the Islamists who have played a strong role in opposition to Col Gaddafi's rule and in the uprising but worry the many young liberal Libyans who, while usually observant Muslims, take their political cues from the West.
Given Obama's and the United States' role in the usurpation of Muammar Gaddafi's rule over Libya by the rebels, I believe he has the responsibility to ensure that the new Libyan government doesn't reduce the freedom that Libyans have.  It is irresponsible, and probably dangerous, to allow an Islamofascist to return Libya to its state of tyranny (not that that will necessarily happen, but it becomes more likely with the incorporation of Sharia law into Libyan law).  Furthermore, the West doesn't need more enemies, and Sharia law is already undermining Western values in Europe.  If Obama cares about Western, Judeo-Christain-based values (which is questionable), he should not sit idly by during Libya's transition.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Harry Reid Loves Stealing

From Powerline (via Instapundit):
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday indicated congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.
“It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
Yes, the private sector is doing just great. That’s why unemployment is over 9%, with “real” unemployment more like 20%. And, as I noted on Monday, government spending has done nothing but increase at all levels, even as many companies are cutting back.
Reid reiterated his emphasis on creating government jobs by saying Democrats are looking to “put hundreds of thousands of people back to work teaching children, have more police patrolling our streets, firefighters fighting our fires, doing the rescue work that they do so well … that’s our priority.” He said Republicans are calling the bill a “failure” because they are “using a different benchmark for success than we are.”

And who is going to pay for all of those government jobs? The private sector, to liberals like Reid, is nothing but a fatted calf, or–to switch animals–a golden goose that will never stop laying eggs. They really believe that the people exist to serve the government, rather than the other way around.
I wonder if these government jobs include bureaucrats (i.e. government employees the populace is less likely to support than teachers and first responders).  So, Harry Reid wants to focus on public sector jobs?  The jobs with overinflated taxpayer-funded salaries and benefits, and the ones represented by powerful unions who constantly demand more?  Harry Reid evidently believes that the private sector is strong, the government should focus on strengthening the public sector.  But wouldn't that, in turn, indirectly weaken the private sector?  I'm willing to bet that that is exactly what Reid wants, given how the private sector is evil, or something.

No More Muammar

Muammar Gaddafi is dead.
Libya's ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has been killed after an assault on his birthplace of Sirte, officials say. 
Acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced the death, and later said the colonel had been killed in a crossfire between Gaddafi loyalists and fighters from the transitional authorities. 
He confirmed that Col Gaddafi had been taken alive, but died of bullet wounds minutes before reaching hospital.
President Obama's reaction:
[Obama] appeared to distance Washington from deeper entanglement in the North African oil-producing nation at a time of economic woes at home, placing responsibility for Libya's future squarely on the shoulders of the fractious interim leadership in Tripoli. 
"This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya who now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.
That seems somewhat irresponsible; I would hope that the US would ensure Libya's new government isn't affiliated with or controlled by radical Islamists.
Obama made clear he considered Gaddafi's death a validation of his "leading from behind" strategy that had drawn criticism at home for casting the United States in a support role in the NATO air assault in Libya. Some of his Republican foes see it as an "Obama doctrine" that abdicates U.S. global leadership.
I'm no military analyst, but I would say Gaddafi's death occurred in spite of Obama's "strategy."  It likely would have happened sooner if the US would have taken more of a leading role.   

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"For the Good of Mankind"

After watching coverage of the "Occupy Vancouver" protest on CBC, I am disappointed.  I'm not sure I have ever seen a more one-sided news story here in Canada.  There was not a single criticism of the movement (unless lack of focus on a specific goal is one), and every person they interviewed was either at the protest or said they wanted to go, because they supported the movement.  There wasn't a hint of controversy in the story about the radical leftist politics of the movement.  But, any mere mention of the tea party here seems to be enough to incite accusations of right-wing extremism.

The main message of the "Occupy Whatever" movement seems to be that 1% of the population (what population, I'm not sure) controlls about 40% of the wealth.  So, their solution to this "problem" is to take wealth from that 1% and redistribute it to the remaining 99%.  I don't view this disparity as a problem.  If you want wealth, capitalism allows you to get it if you put in enough effort.  That is, as long as the government gets out of the way sufficiently.  So, whatever these people are demanding, doing the opposite would likely benefit them more (as long as they were willing to put in some effort).

According to the protesters, they are good people fighting evil corporations, and they're doing it "for the good of mankind."  And, after watching another biased news story on "Occupy Vancouver" on Global News, I am glad they at least mentioned an opponent to the movement, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.  According to them, the "[BC Government Employees' Union (BCGEU)] needs to 'occupy' common sense":
  • Main beneficiaries of current political system are public sector unions
  • BCGEU owns major equity in large, profitable multi-national corporations
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) responded today to an e-mail sent to BCGEU members across the province on Thursday encouraging them to “come out and support Occupy Vancouver.” 
The note from BCGEU president Daryl Walker says that “Union members belong to the 99 percent who are not benefiting from the current political and economic system. That message needs to be seen and heard.” 
“Walker is dead wrong,” said Jordan Bateman, CTF BC Director. “Public sector unions are provided for very generously by taxpayers, thank-you very much, and insulated from the economic uncertainties felt by those working outside the public sector. If there’s any group benefitting from the current political system, it’s public sector unions.” 
According to number released earlier this year by Statistics Canada, the average Canadian public service employee earned $1,023.20 a week in July 2011. Meanwhile, everybody else earned an average of $777.69. More than 86% of government workers have a workplace pension plan, compared to just 25.3% of private sector workers.  
“If 99% of the population is not benefitting from the current political and economic system it’s because nearly half their incomes are taken in taxes,” said Bateman. “Those taxes are largely driven by the demands of public sector unions—they want to cut everybody else’s pay to increase their own. As the president of the BC Teachers Federation said recently, teachers want BC’s income tax cuts reversed so they can increase their own pay and benefits by $2.2 billion.”  
Further, the BCGEU is a huge investor in the very corporations Mr. Walker whinges about. Three of the companies skewered in Occupy Vancouver promotional material are Royal Bank, TD Bank and ScotiaBank.  But through their pension plan, BCGEU’s members own more than $439.7 million worth of equity in those three banks alone. 
“The union foxes are hiding in the Occupy Vancouver hen house,” said Bateman. “Unions like the BCGEU invest in some of the largest corporations in the world—the very companies Occupy Vancouver so passionately disparages.”
If you ask me, these people should not be protesting corporate greed, but rather public union and government greed.  Those are the real forces behind economic inequality.

Herman Cain Isn't Really Black

Some liberals apprently don't believe Herman Cain is really black, because he is a successful conservative.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain isn’t “black enough” for liberals? Should he be smoking crack and slamming and hating whites, should he not be a business success, but a welfare-dependent, whining failure, to be an “authentic black” to racist Democrats?
Black conservatives face racism from liberals, particularly black liberals:

But for black Americans the choice of political party appears predestined. It seems liberals but more specifically black liberals have carved in the ten black commandments that “thou shall never be a Republican.” These same black liberals also refuse to submit to the fact that not all blacks think alike.
With black conservatives like Congressman Allen West, Congressman Tim Scott and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain debunking this insulting stereotype, many black liberals have resorted to racist name calling to protect the myth that Democrat policies help blacks. Cain has been target number one on their list.
Here is an example of liberal "tolerance":
Apparently, all members of an "oppressed minority" must think identically or else they are "self-hating" or they are not actually part of that minority.  Herman Cain has been called an "Uncle Tom" and an "oreo," among other things.  He is very successful, despite much adversity.  His success should be admired, and I would think he would be a good role model.  But no, his success apparently makes him "not black."  So, no black people are capable of being successful?  Racists.

UPDATE: I should also mention Janeane Garofalo and her belief that Herman Cain's campaign is designed to deflect accusations of racism of conservatives.

On Wednesday night, she slammed Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts, calling them racists. As you’ll recall, she said the following back in August (about Cain):

“[He's] in this presidential race because he deflects the racism that is inherit in the Republican party, the conservative movement, the Tea Party certainly.”
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air makes this observation on "the supremely irrelevant Janeane Garofalo" (h/t The Blaze):
 this clip encapsulates perfectly how intellectually vapid the Republicans-are-racists argument truly is.  If African-Americans don’t do well among Republicans, it’s evidence of racism, and now if theydo get support among Republicans, that’s also racism. It’s an unanswerable assertion that not only is completely circular in its logic, it’s also lunacy. Basically, Garofalo is kind of like a cult member who insists that every data point supports her religious belief, regardless of whether it contradicts with other data points that are also used in defense of groupthink. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Canada

The Occupy [Insert Location] movement is coming to Canada.  Now, why can't the tea party movement come here?  It's not fair, dammit.  I guess Canada's conservatives are just too busy with their jobs and families (except for me).
Canadian organizers of the so-called Occupy movement are ramping up efforts to rally "against spiritual wickedness in high places" during a global day of action Saturday that now has the backing of at least a couple of major unions [unsurprisingly], and has put police and businesses on alert.
Thousands in at least 15 Canadian cities — from Vancouver to St. John's — were holding meetings Friday to complete plans for the weekend marches, sit-ins and other efforts to decry what the movement says is an uneven distribution of wealth caused by government policies favouring big business.
 So its communism they're demanding.
"I'm encouraged to see citizens rightfully stand up and take action against what are gross injustices in our economic and social structures," said CAW national president Ken Lewenza in a release Friday.
I thought that's what the tea party was for.
"It's time for people to take ownership of their streets, their economy and fight back against corporations and governments championing right-wing, neo-liberal policies that support a select few, at the expense of the majority."
I thought that's what left-wing policies did.
Canadian police units, notably in Toronto and Vancouver where the G20 protests in June 2010 and hockey riots this past June, respectively, have led to violence and arrests, have for days been planning their strategies for handling the Occupy protests. 
Police officials have been as tight-lipped about how they'll handle Saturday's mass events as the Occupy Canada organizers, who keep a low profile and let their Facebook, Twitter and other social networking efforts drive their planning.
No matter what happens, I predict there will be complaints of police brutality.  There always seem to be when left-wing protests are concerned.  However, when a large, unruly crowd is threatening the safety of people and businesses, the police should be able to do whatever they have to (with reasonable limits, of course), to contain that crowd and prevent any further escalation of violence.  If the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver are any indication, hooligans will use any excuse to create further disorder.

Tom Caldwell, chairman and CEO of Caldwell Securities Ltd., which has offices in Toronto and New York City, also isn't exactly sure about the Occupy movement's goals.
"The medium is the protest but what is the message?" he said.

I think the goal of the movement is communism, or at least socialism.  At the very least, it is an excuse for professional protesters to protest over nothing in particular.  I see this movement basically as a manifestation of an emotion-driven desire to turn North America into a left-wing "utopia".  But, with powerful American politicians that are sympathetic to the movement, such as Barack Obama, who knows how much influence this movement will have.  Perhaps Obama will take the movement as America wanting socialism, and I believe he is delusional enough to think that.  Maybe he will enact far-left policies in an attempt to appease the participants of this movement, thinking it will gain him votes.  Or maybe he will simply use this movement as an excuse to enact far-left policies.  Fortunately the Republicans control the House of Representatives.  I wonder what creative (/sarc) ad hominems Obama, the Democrats, and other liberals will use for the Republicans in this hypothetical situation.        

Ugly Canadianism

I came across this old GayPatriot post and I was so disgusted that I had to say something.  That post quotes an article from Avocate.com from 2006 (the original source is no longer availabe).    
As a Canadian, I want to apologize. For many years, I looked down on you. I sniffed at your capital punishment, right-leaning government, and massive military. I would comfort myself with the sense that I was better than you. After all, I’m a Canadian.
But all that changed on January 23 when Canada elected a conservative government with ties to far-right organizations. Boy, was I wrong!
Our sense of superiority grew in 2000 when you elected George W. Bush. With that came talk of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the refusal to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol, and last, but certainly not least, the invasion of Iraq. In those six years, I have never felt happier or more proud to be Canadian. And I rubbed it in every chance I got: Whenever I would bump into one of you Americans at a cocktail party, it was attitude, attitude, attitude.
I’m sorry for that—I really am. There can be no more smug attitudes. No more sneering self-righteousness. No jokes about your fascist state. Welcome to the new Canada: Our prime minister, Stephen Harper, says he is opposed to same-sex marriage and is willing to appease his base by reopening the issue—meaning a potential rolling back of gay rights in our country. And he has promised to withdraw Canada’s support for the Kyoto Protocol. Worst of all, when Bush set out to invade Iraq, Harper was the only party leader in parliament to rise and say we should be alongside the United States in that unjust and immoral war.
I have several things to say about this appalling piece.  Firstly, not all us Canadians are like this.  In fact, most that I have met aren't.  However, there is a prevailing attitude that I have noticed among Canadians that Canadians are superior to Americans.  It's not usually hostile in nature, but it's disturbing nonetheless.  Secondly, this guy is clearly a piece of work.  It is quite common for a liberal to hold conservatism or centre-right politics as inferior, just because liberals are "enlightened" (or something).  There is no logical basis for this sense of superiority.  And this guy perfectly demonstrates their mindset.  He simply dismisses "capital punisment," a "right-wing government," and a "massive military" as things to look down upon.  His attitude is unsurprising given "enlightened" liberals' tendency to view those things as barbaric.  He doesn't bother do give any reason why those things are inferior.  They just are.  And this seems to be a typical tactic used by leftists.  After all, they are the smart, enlightened intellectuals, while conservatives are dumb, old-fashioned bible- and gun-clingers.  That is the universal and absolute truth.  No amount of facts or evidence can contradict that truth.

Of course, not all leftists are adhere to that view.  There are many reasonable ones, as I have acknowledged many times before.

But this guy shows how some liberals think.  Anything conservative is to be looked down upon, from the comfort of knowing you are better simply because you can feel "warm and fuzzy" about your liberal views; and that you are compassionate and espouse love and tolerance.  How ironic that your view of conservatives is based on misrepresentation, and that your lack of tolerance for opposing viewpoints is exactly what you purport to be opposing.  I don't know how many on the left would agree with this guy, so I can only speak to him.  But I am sick of giving liberals the benefit of the doubt.  Based on my experience alone, while there are reasonable liberals that will make an effort to tolerate conservatives, most of them won't.  In this case, it is up to the liberals to show their reasonableness.

As for his accusations of the Conservative Government's "ties to far right organizations," I have never heard anything about this.  But, I am not going to look into it because, according to this guy, the USA's Republican Party would probably be considered a "far right organization," even pre-tea party.  From what I can tell, it's just basically meaningless rhetoric attempting to dismiss conservatives by labelling them as extremists, an often used tactic.  It's the same thing with his use of "fascist," which any grade 10 social studies student should be able to tell him he is using incorrectly.  His lack of understanding of the meaning of a simple political term should discredit his whole article, but it doesn't because his obvious irrationality already does that.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Example of Leftist Ugliness and Hypocrisy

Strangely, prior to yesterday, I had not heard of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests.  For the benefit of others who apparently live under metaphorical rocks, "Occupy Wall Street" is a leftist grassroots movement opposing "corporate greed" and "economic inequality."  With the rightist Tea Party movement in the spotlight for the past couple years or so, many people are comparing the two grassroots movements.  While OWS is protesting "corporate greed" and "economic inequality," the Tea Party is protesting government greed and economic inequality.  The reason I put the object of OWS in quotation marks and not the object of the Tea Party is that I believe in the Tea Party's cause, unlike that of OWS.  Corporations have every right to be greedy, so long as they are in compliance with the law.  I do not believe the government has this right, as its purpose is nothing more than to serve its constituents.  And, economic inequality, as I see it, is caused by the redistribution of wealth.

While the fundamental difference between the two movements is the political ideology that motivates them, another key difference is the method of protest.  Tea Party protests, in general, are peaceful and law-abiding (or so I hear).  OWS protests, on the other hand, are not.  Twenty-three OWS protesters were arrested yesterday in New York City for disorderly conduct, only a few days after a much larger arrest (see quotation below).  I can't remember ever hearing of anyone arrested at Tea Party protests, nor can I find any evidence in a quick Google search (I do, however, find links about anti-Tea Party protesters being arrested).  Keep in mind that the Tea Party movement is several years old, compared to the fledgeling OWS movement.  My Google search did result in me finding this fantastic article, however.  Here is an excerpt (emphasis added):  
One aspect of the Occupy Wall Street and other leftist activism that is a definitive divergence with the tea party movement is disruptive behavior.
On October 1, over 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested — mostly for disorderly conduct — during a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Despite two other peaceful marches across the bridge by other groups earlier that day, the Occupy Wall Street crowd couldn’t resist blocking traffic and scuffling with police. 
When not under arrest (approximately 100 other arrests occurred over the weeks of the protest), the Occupy Wall Street crowd is actually occupying the privately-owned Zuccotti Park, whose owners are working with city officials on plans to return it “to its intended purpose.” 
This rowdy attitude of the radical left is something that, by mistake or design, is grossly unreported in the media.  As the Tea Party must fend off allegations of being violent and racist, leftist protests that are unruly don’t get similar coverage. 
I’ve been active in the Tea Party movement since 2009.  As a black woman, I define the movement’s political diversity and have always been quick to defend its inclusiveness against those who would try to slur it with racist accusations.
I have had the amazing opportunity to meet thousands of freedom-loving Americans who are involved in the movement on their own time and these individuals are sincere in their efforts to reign in our government gone wild by holding our elected representatives accountable.
As a frequent speaker at Tea Party events nationwide, I’ve never seen the same behavior as described during Occupy Wall Street’s Brooklyn Bridge demonstration.  Tea Party activists, in my experience, police themselves.  Additionally, I’ve never been to a rally in which the grounds weren’t as clean or cleaner than when the first activist arrived. 
Doing a Google search of “tea party activist” and “arrest” brings up nothing of merit.  On the first page, I found three articles about people described as tea party activists, but the arrests were unrelated to rallies. 
Another article, about the demonstrations outside the U.S. Capitol Building on the weekend of the Obamacare vote in the House, reports one man — one single person — was detained after being accused of spitting on a congressman.  But that person was immediately released, and no one has come forward to legitimize the claim and collect conservative Andrew Breitbart’s $100,000 reward for providing proof. 
Furthermore, Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa told people waiting to see President Obama speak at a Labor Day rally that they need to “take these [Tea Party] son of a bitches out.”  And there was a January 30 rally in Rancho Mirage, California in which progressive protesters, many of whom were attending a nearby conference sponsored by Common Cause, were caught on video saying they wanted to “torture” and “hang” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 
Salacious allegations against the tea party will get more coverage than actual law-breaking by the left.
It is evident that leftist protests embody the negative attributes that conservative protests are wrongly accused of embodying.  Not that you would ever be able to tell by watching the news, though.  Do we have enough proof now that many leftists are hypocrites?

And, a final note: this is not meant to apply to all leftists.  Only the crazy ones.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alberta's New Premier

Alison Redford is the new premier of Alberta, after winning an upset election to determine the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, over Gary Mar.  I am disappointed in the result, as Redford promises to put "progressive" back in Progressive Conservative Party.  In other words, she will likely move the party leftward.  She also promises "change."

I haven't been paying very much attention to Alberta politics, but I didn't really think change was necessary in Alberta.  Given Alberta's relative success (relative to the other provinces) and conservative politics, the concept of "change" makes me uneasy.  Will a less conservative premier more heavily regulate the oil industry, thus weakening Alberta's economy?

Here's a chilling passage from the Edmonton Journal:
Jacquie Eales voted for Alison Redford on her way home from her 13-year-old daughter’s basketball game.
The 47-year-old Edmontonian, a liberal at heart, didn’t vote on the first ballot. In truth, she says, the Progressive Conservative leadership race wasn’t on her radar.
Then, on the way into work one morning, she heard Redford on the radio.
“She talked about the importance of education and health care, and those are two things that are important to me,” Eales said Monday.
“It’s unlikely that there will ever be a Liberal leader in Alberta, so I thought, if I want to make a difference in terms of education and health care, perhaps I need to buy a PC membership and vote for a candidate who might have a chance.” 
But she didn’t immediately buy a membership. That point came when a friend involved with the advocacy group Friends of Medicare sent her an email highlighting Redford’s support for public health care. “I thought, if I want to make a difference, I have to vote.”
Redford might as well be a Liberal.  The thought of a Liberal leading Alberta is frightening.  One of my favorite things about Alberta is its relatively conservative politics.  Here's an even more chilling passage (from the same article):
“I don’t think Mar did himself any favours musing about having a debate about privatizing health care,” Duffy said. “I don’t know which is worse, talking about it or trying to run away from it, but that’s the worst of both worlds.” 
He said Redford’s campaign ran on a classic public-services platform. 
“So here you’ve got Redford talking about education, reaching out to soccer moms, and then Mar starts talking about privatizing medicare,” he said.
“At that point, you’ve got a classic set up between an in touch, family-responsive candidate who wants to deliver public services, and an out-of-touch business guy. ... It’s a perfect contrast.
So, not only does Alberta now have a CINO (Conservative in Name Only) premier, but the favourite would have considered privatizing health care.  Think about what Alberta could have had!

Hopefully, Redford's premiership ends after the next election, which will apparently be soon.  While the Progressive Conservative Party has governed Alberta for about 40 years, that is because Alberta is a conservative place.  Fortunately, conservatives in Alberta have another option, the Wildrose Party, a formerly minor party, that has been making significant gains in polls, even winning one by a wide margin (in 2009).  To me, this party resembles the Tea Party movement.  It is a fiscally conservative, right-libertarian party with a social conservative branch.  With the Progressive Conservative Party moving leftward, the Wildrose Party's niche is expanding, and the Progressive Conservative dynasty in Alberta may hopefully end soon.  It is worth mentioning that the election Redford won had two parts.  Voters wrote two names on their ballots.  In the first part, only the first name on each ballot was counted.  If there was not a majority, the third place candidate's votes were given to the candidate whose name appeared on the ballots that originally went to the third place candidate.  After the first round, Gary Mar had a plurality of the votes, while Alison Redford gained a narrow majority after the second round.  What this means is that Redford did not win the election convincingly, which is good for the Wildrose Party, which will likely attract disgruntled Conservatives next election.  It is also worth mentioning that many people apparently joined the Progressive Conservative Party just to vote for Redford.  

Here are some Wildrose Party ideas/observations that I particularly like:

  • Restore the role of elected MLAs by mandating that all votes in the Legislature and caucus be free and reported to the public
  • Non-confidence votes would be held as separate and stand-alone votes, allowing MLAs to vote on proposed legislation based on the interests of their constituents
  • Implement legislation allowing for citizen-initiated referenda and voter recall (support thresholds to instigate both processes must be sufficiently high to eliminate frivolous initiatives)
  • Institute fixed dates for general elections, senate elections, budgets, legislative sessions, and Speeches from the Throne
  • Establish an independent Cabinet and MLA pay and benefits review process that prevents the Premier, Cabinet, and MLAs from setting their own salaries
  • Create transparency in finances and budgets by ensuring government debts and cash deficits are reported accurately and in a timely manner
  • Post MLA expenses online
  • Take an aggressive stance with the federal government in regards to the equalization program in order to ensure that billions more of Albertans’ hard-earned tax dollars remain in the province, working for the benefit of Albertans
  • Exercise our provincial constitutional rights by demanding that the federal government not regulate our industry or property in the name of “environmental protection”
  • We will dismantle Alberta Health Services and gradually decentralize the delivery of health care to locally managed and integrated hospitals, Primary Care Networks, family physicians, specialty centres, long-term care facilities and other health services
  • We will reduce wait times for specialists and procedures by opening delivery of publicly paid services to any accredited private and non-profit provider
  • In terms of policing, our province is facing significant challenges as it tries to deal with organized crime, gangs, child exploitation, identity theft, and white collar crime. Too often, the rights of the accused and convicted criminals seem to supersede the rights of victims.
  • Protect the rights of victims by advocating for federal legislation that would see convicted criminals financially compensate the victims of their crimes without the need for costly civil trials
  • Over the last 20 years, the Human Rights Commissions in Alberta have probably been the single worst offender of Rights: i.e. freedom of speech; politically correct activists have used them to punish religious and right-wing social commentators. Even when found not guilty, its expensive and time-consuming
  • Restrain per capita infrastructure spending to a level consistent with the national average.
  • Streamline and decentralize procedures to ensure more funding flows directly to individuals and families in need, and would phase out regional PDD boards in favour of a more localized approach to funding decision-making
  • Encourage small and medium business investment and growth by ensuring Alberta is the lowest-taxed jurisdiction in North America
  • End the current government’s failed strategy of picking winners and losers by handing out corporate welfare grants to hand-picked corporations
  • CFIB say over-regulation costs Alberta $4B per year. Their 2010 report says Alberta and Manitoba are ranked the lowest among the provinces when it comes to reducing this burden
  • According to a Fraser Institute report, a sweet gas well that should take 10 days and $1,000 to get regulatory approval takes almost three years and cost $100,000
  • Actively review and reduce the unnecessary regulatory burdens that compromise the competitiveness of our key industries
There were some ideas I didn't like, and many more that I did, but I like the party's overall message.  

Perhaps the election of Alison Redford is a blessing in disguise, as one-party dynasties tend to engender corruption.  Hopefully, the Wildrose Party will continue to gain momentum and make Alberta politics more competitive.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Obama Panders to Gay Leftists, Herman Cain Speaks Up on Booing of Gay Soldier at Republican Debate

At a recent US presidential debate, a gay soldier asking a question of Rick Santorum was booed by an audience member.  The booer was subsequently rebuked by the surrounding audience and later by Santorum.  In a recent speech President Obama made to gay leftist organization Human Rights Campaign (HRC), he used the booing at the debate as a way to portray Republicans as anti-gay.
Barack Obama last night hit out at his Republican rivals for staying silent when a GOP debate crowd booed a homosexual soldier who asked a question.
During a highly combative speech to an audience of 3,000 gay rights activists, the president said: 'You want to be commander in chief? 
'You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it's not politically convenient,' 
Recalling the boos soldiers Steven Hill received on September 22 during his videotaped question, which was filmed in Iraq, Mr Obama said: 'We don't believe in standing silent when that happens.'

To loud cheers and a standing ovation at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, he went on to say: 'We don't believe in a small America. 
'We believe in a big America - a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America - that values the service of every patriot.
I am glad that homosexual soldiers can now serve openly in the US.  Personally, I don't see the utility in the ban.  If someone wants to defend their country, their sexual orientation should not be taken into account.  Honourably serving gay soldiers are every bit as heroic as any other honourably serving soldier, in my opinion.  And the military (any military) requires discipline and adherence to the strict rules, and any soldier, including gay ones, should receive the proper punishment for breaking the rules if they do.  Other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and Israel, allow for openly homosexual soldiers to serve, without much problem.  I am not one to champion most "gay rights" issues, but I do believe there was an inequality in DADT.  Leftist gay rights zealots certainly didn't help in the repeal effort, as usual, with their ludicrously radical activism.

DADT may have been an unjust policy, but that does not mean that DADT proponents are anti-gay or homophobic.  In fact, I sympathize with them to an extent given the outrageous behaviour of some gay people and activists.  The military is certainly no place for that (but, hopefully the discipline required of military members would have prevented that behaviour, and I would assume most gay soldiers would be above that behaviour anyway).

My favourite US presidential candidate, Herman Cain, has spoken out on the issue of the booing at the debate.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says that he should not have stayed silent after the audience [sic] at a recent GOP debate booed a gay soldier.
The Georgia businessman told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that it would have been "appropriate" for him to have defended the soldier. None of the candidates at the Sept. 22 forum responded to the booing.
But Cain also suggested that the audience may not have actually been booing the soldier. "Maybe they were booing the whole 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal more so than booing that soldier," told ABC's "This Week." "But we didn't know that. So that was not the time to try and decipher."
After watching Herman Cain on Fox News this morning, I was impressed, yet again.  This is a man who directly answers questions asked of him.  And I applaud his speaking up about the booing incident.

Herman Cain is simply way out of Obama's league.  Obama's campaign strategy appears to consist of nothing other than attacking Republicans.  Cain's strategy appears to consist of proposing ideas of how to fix the USA's problems.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Do Not Elect Bob Rae, Please

Whenever the Liberals elect their new leader, I really hope they do not elect Bob Rae.  He gets under my skin.  When he speaks, he comes off as arrogant and combative, and like he is speaking down to the Conservatives because he doesn’t agree with what they are doing (such as calling one of their new policies “stupid”).  It feels like he is lecturing them about how they should be doing their jobs.  It is very annoying, and I would prefer not to have to listen to him.  If he is elected, he will, of course, speak quite often.  And he certainly doesn’t represent the Liberals very positively.  If most “undecided” people think he is as annoying as I think he is, it would not be a good idea to elect him.  

Is Canada Becoming a Police State?

To answer the question that constitutes the title of this post, no.  Of course not.  What an absurd thought.  To those that believe it is, may I suggest moving to Myanmar?  Perhaps that will allow you to see what an actual police state is.  I am a strong believer in “infringing” on people’s rights.  Not their fundamental, inalienable human rights, but the rights that allow them to get away with crime (such as the “right” to privacy).  A reason for jeopardizing that right should be necessary, but it is simply too easy to commit crime because it is too difficult for police to do their jobs. 

It is said that it is preferable for one thousand guilty men to be free than for one innocent man to be incarcerated.  To that, I say, “Huh?”.  If one thousand guilty men were free, as well as one innocent man, then there is the potential for at least one innocent person to become something worse than incarcerated.  The point of a criminal justice system is to lock criminals away from society (to keep society safe), not to keep innocent people from being locked away from society.  At least one possible solution to this is to rid of all these technicalities that free obviously guilty people.  And if someone is probably guilty (beyond reasonable doubt), then it makes sense not to free them.  I reckon the phrase “beyond reasonable doubt” has become meaningless (or its meaning has transformed into “beyond the slightest possibility of doubt”). 

Some actual possible solutions: install conspicuous cameras everywhere (in public, of course), allow for random locker searches (lockers are the property of the school, after all), allow for random drug tests, and give police more power in general, while also limiting it.  Personally, I see no harm in any of this.  I welcome any arguments as to why it may be harmful. 

When I hear of accusations of police brutality, or other such accusations against the police, I am usually skeptical.  That someone would make such an accusation for political gain is quite easy to believe.  I do think that there should be an independent agency that performs investigations into police conduct, because sometimes these accusations are genuine, but I would conjecture that some people just have an unreasonable sense of what “rights” they are entitled to, and how the police should treat suspects (as if they were their grandmothers, or something).  And, given what the police do, I believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gender Equality vs. Gender Roles

There is nothing wrong with traditional gender roles.  However, in my opinion, there is something wrong with forcing traditional gender roles on someone.  Still, reporters discussing a survey seem shocked and appalled that about 40% of teenage boys in Canada (compared to about 15% in the UK) think women should take care of their family and house, and about 45% of teenage boys think men should be tough.  The solution, according to them, and according to the perpetrator of this survey, is to teach gender equality to children well before they begin school and for schools to focus more on breaking down gender stereotypes.  Of course, while this survey is being reported on, I am confused, as always.  I do not see the inherent horror in believing in traditional gender roles.  Of course men and women should be treated as, and thought of, as equals, but that is not necessarily incompatible with traditional gender roles (and especially not with acknowledging that they are different).  I reckon the media is becoming more and more demented.  Of course, tradition is backwards, unenlightened, and moronic.  And those who believe in it all want to oppress and brutalize women, who are, of course, according to them, objects designed for performing the duties that are below men.  And, of course, schools are meant to be tools used to program children with progressive, or “enlightened,” viewpoints as a means to erode tradition’s oppression. 

My god, this is nauseating.  

Should Quebec Get More Seats?

The Conservative majority is planning to redistribute the legislative seats among the provinces, so they are more proportional to the province’s populations.  This means that British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario will receive more seats.  I believe this should automatically happen when the census data is released, like in the United States. 

However, this seemingly innocuous action (redistributing the seats to be more proportional to the population) is causing some controversy.  And, like most controversy in Canada, Quebec is at the centre.  I, like many Anglophone Canadians, harbour contempt toward Quebec.  The reason for this is that Quebec’s French majority is resentful of being a minority nation-wide (or some such thing).  The idea of Quebec separating from Canada is somewhat popular in Quebec, and they use the threat of separation as leverage to gain special privileges.  In Canada’s constitution, Quebec is defined as “a distinct society,” giving it a seemingly superior position above the rest of the provinces.  Indeed, the Quebecois seem to have a large sense of entitlement, as if they deserve special privileges.  And, they are now demanding more seats in the legislature, despite having a disproportionately large number of seats already.  The NDP (Canada’s farthest left major party) is apparently supporting this.  Quebec is arguably Canada’s most left-wing province, giving the majority of its seats to the NDP in Canada’s most recent federal election (consequentially, the majority of the NDP seats are from Quebec).  Personally, I can’t believe anyone is actually taking this seriously.  Fortunately, the Conservative majority will not likely allow this to happen. 

I could care less whether or not Quebec separates.  Pandering to them, however, is completely unacceptable.  The fact that it happens in a first-world country is appalling.  

Showing a Good Example

Dick Cheney received quite the reception in Vancouver last night.  Promoting his book at a $500-per-ticket event, attendees were welcomed by a perpetually angry crowd demanding Cheney be arrested for war crimes (with no evidence, of course).  In an ironic twist, these people, supposedly protesting violence, managed to knock several people attending the event over, despite a large police presence and a chain of police officers separating the protesters from the pathway the attendees used to enter the event. 

I’m convinced that these people travel around looking for things to protest.  And these protests are ugly; they’re not the typical protests where people stand still peacefully holding signs.  These people get in your face, and loudly yell very judgemental things like “do you have no moral compass?”  By now, it should be quite evident that the title of this post is sarcastic.  These people, liberals, of course, do not show a good example.  This kind of behaviour makes all liberals seem crazy, but I’m sure these people represent only a small portion of the liberal population.  So, I ask reasonable liberals to distance themselves from these lunatics and denounce their behaviour.  Demonstrating that you resort to questionable tactics to make your point is not a good way to get people on your side, in my opinion.  In fact, I would bet that average people dismiss the opinions of radicals. 

While I’m on the topic of protesting, I will address the protests over the oil pipeline that is proposed to be built between Hardisty, Alberta and Houston, Texas.  Some of the protesters in this case, as well, resorted to questionable tactics to get their point across.  Acts of defiance, with the intent of getting arrested, just to make a point, does not, in my opinion, make any point other than “I’m mentally ill.”  What sensible person would actually volunteer to be arrested for naught but symbolism?  Not one, I reckon.  There are legitimate concerns about this pipeline, including the potential (but unlikely) risk of the contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer, which was, in fact, raised by the Republican governor of Nebraska.  To me, it seems counter-productive to protest in such a way, because these people are radicals, and their actions do not reflect well on their credibility.  As I said before, average people likely do not take their views very seriously. 

Which is also a reason why I believe the Tea Party movement has gained such momentum.  Not only does the Tea Party represent a common sense approach to solving the USA’s financial problems, but Tea Party protests are also civil (despite their depiction in the increasingly irrelevant mainstream media).  So, the Tea Party movement, unlike certain liberal protesters, are showing a good example.