Natural Friends, Natural Enemies
This essay makes the case that we liberal democrats (conservatives) should cultivate linkages with our natural friends in order to oppose, deflect and ultimately defeat our natural enemies: statists, leftists, Islamists and Progressives.
Natural Friends, Natural Enemies
by Frank Hilliard
There is a reason why the left supports Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinians, and the atomic Mullahs of Iran and Pakistan. There is also a reason why liberal democrats support Israel, George Bush and the Conservative party of Canada. Curiously, it's the same issue in both cases.
The reason for the former is that Islam believes the state and the individual not only have the same interests, but are one and the same. In Islam the individual is subservient to God's will and the unbeliever is subservient to the believer's will.
Liberal democrats, by contrast, hold the belief that individual rights are paramount and that God has given individuals free will to choose between good and evil. To the liberal democrat, individual rights trump group rights. We believe these truths, in the words of the Declaration of Independence to be self evident.
Thus, we can see that there is a natural affinity between the left, statists, Progressives and Islam. Leftists believe in redistribution of income to achieve leveling in society; statists believe this is best done by government and Progressives treat the whole business as a religion. You have just to watch climate fear activists like Dr. David Suzuki to realize they feel environmentalism is sacred. All of these groups would agree with the Imams that society should adhere to various norms. The imams would like us all praying five times a day and abstaining from pork; the environmentalists would like us doing yoga five times a day and are also against factory farming. Same. Same.
Indeed when Marx said religion was the opiate of the people he might well have added, and Communism is the new religion.
One more similarity stands out. Statists want the state to have complete power and thus are all for gun confiscation. How can you inforce strict social rules if society owns weapons? Hitler was opposed to the private ownership of guns; so is the Liberal Premier of British Columbia (remember Liberals are Progressives), the Liberal Premier of Ontario and the new very liberal President-elect of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama.
Liberal democrats (remember these are conservatives with a small 'c') believe in individual rights, property rights and the right of self-defence. They (we) are for small government to allow for the maximum amount of liberty, minimum redistribution to provide the largest incentive for development and progress. We believe the state is necessary for defence, public works and the justice system. And not much else.
OK, given these elements, you may begin to discern how conservatives are failing to ally themselves with their natural friends while Islamists are finding ways to join up with our natural enemies. It's time to bulk up our side.
Let's review who our friends are.
Gun owners believe in the right of self defence, or more broadly, in the right of an individual to own a weapon. This is straight liberal democratic theory but amazingly some (many) gun owners don't realize it. They have been lulled by decades of Liberal propaganda to think they should rely on the police for protection when the simple fact is that there will never be a policeman at the foot of your bed when your house is broken into by a murderous home invader or rapist. Conservatives need to remind, cajole and browbeat gun owners into voting their own beliefs, IE; for the Conservative party.
As Israel is currently demonstrating, the right of self-defence extends to nations. And not surprisingly, Israel is a liberal democracy. Also not surprisingly, Israel allows citizens who are not criminals or insane to carry personal weapons. Thus there is an affinity between gun owners and Jews, or should be.
Catholics and Evangelicals
Liberal democratic traditions are based on our common Judeao-Christian heritage. Catholics have always been in the forefront at blocking Islam's attempts to dominate the world; thus they're on our side. Evangelicals like to go back to their (our) biblical roots and thus have a connexion with the Holy Land. Good for them. If there is a problem with these two groups it is that they have misread the Bible with respect to the carrying of arms. Christ was not opposed to citizens arming themselves, only against Peter using his on the occasion of His arrest and subsequent Crucifixion.
This hardy group should be marching shoulder-t0-shoulder with us, but they often verge into anarchy in search of ultimate solutions. Think of libertarians as our own NDP; well-meaning extremists who need to be blended into the liberal-democratic broth, like pepper, rather than left on their own.
Motorcyclists and Snowmobilers
If ever there were a group of individuals prepared to put their life on the line, it's the motorcycle community. Every ride is an exercise in individual responsibility, or irresponsibility. Motorcyclists do not, generally, believe in 'protecting' society against itself.
Smokers and Tokers
Smokers have already felt the cold hand of Progressives. We need them and they need us. As for drug users; remember you used to be able to buy cocaine or opium over the counter and no one thought anything of it. That's the liberal-democratic way. Let people be foolish if the want; it can only kill them. If it kills someone else, sue the ass off their estate. Liberal-democrats believe in the court system to redress grievances.
Lawyers and Bankers
Lawyers deal daily with individual rights. Their big mistake was to succumb to the lure of the Charter of Rights. Trudeau, that very, very clever man found exactly the right prostitute to appeal to his fellows. They need to get back to basics, namely developing laws based on precedence. Bankers should take one look at Sharia financial law and recoil in horror. Female bankers should take a look at Sharia law generally. Both these groups, sharks in our midst, need to be allies.
There are, no doubt, more natural friends. We need to join their organizations, talk to their groups, show them how our rights--all our rights and freedoms--are under attack from the left, Progressives and Islam.
If we're successful, we will defeat the powers of darkness. If we fail ourselves; we will have failed all mankind.
Thucydides said:Looking at the friends and allies on both sides of the divide:
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, with about $60 billion in assets each, are America’s richest men. With all that money, what can they force us to do? Can they take our house to make room so that another person can build an auto dealership or a casino parking lot? Can they force us to pay money into the government-run retirement Ponzi scheme called Social Security? Can Buffett and Gates force us to bus our children to schools out of our neighborhood in the name of diversity? Unless they are granted power by politicians, rich people have little power to force us to do anything.
A GS-9, or a lowly municipal clerk, has far more life-and-death power over us. It’s they to whom we must turn to for permission to build a house, ply a trade, open a restaurant and myriad other activities. It’s government people, not rich people, who have the power to coerce and make our lives miserable. Coercive power goes a long way toward explaining political corruption.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s hawking of Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat; Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel’s alleged tax-writing favors; former Rep. William Jefferson’s business bribes; and the Jack Abramoff scandal are mere pimples on the government corruption landscape. We can think of these and similar acts as jailable illegal corruption. They pale in comparison to what’s for all practical purposes the same thing, but simply legal corruption.
Thucydides said:This is the 21 century Kirkhill; why bother with tables, chairs and office space when we can create a Distributed Republic and conduct our business over the Internet?
The real issue isn't so much that politicians are heavily infected with the statist meme, but rather that so much real power is no longer in accountable hands:
Kirkhill said:Some of us, like you and I, actually have to make a living.
And people wonder why homeschooling is on the rise
To test fundamentals is to victimize. Thus saith the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.
The National Post rightly takes them to the woodshed.
No rational person can wade into the debate over standardized testing in schools without coming to suspect that the world around them has gone mad. Consider the propaganda pouring out of British Columbia, where the provincial public teachers' union... is supporting an attempt by the Vancouver public school board to organize a mass opt-out of skills tests for students in Grades 4 and 7. The BCTF argues that these "Foundation Skills Assessment" tests "victimize children who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who speak English as a second language, and for whom learning is difficult"; not to mention a "colonial" attack on aboriginal students. [...]
Consider what B. C. parents are being told here. The people whom those parents trust to teach their children have openly declared their expectation that natives, immigrants and poor people can be automatically expected to perform poorly on neutral exam-based assessments of student performance... Given that the very existence of public schools is predicated on teachers' ability to reduce social inequality and equip everyone with the basic skills of citizenship, this is essentially an open admission of preordained failure.
The understatement of the day, and an admitted digression:
If this sort of statement were to emerge from the other side of the political spectrum, such an implicit argument in favour of lower expectations for society's marginalized groups would be denounced as racist and classist in a millisecond.
Readers will note that Vancouver and the BCTF are not against testing per se. They are against "foundational skills" testing, which implies they oppose the concept of a standard. Or perhaps it the outcome of drawing of the line, or raising of the bar, that they cannot abide: that neo-Liberal privileged minorities seem to be scoring more poorly than "rich" English-speaking non-natives. This is what makes the standard really, really wrong. (About the only way this test could be more offensive to neo-Liberal sensitivities is if white Christian males consistently achieved the highest scores.)
It's confounding in a way. How better to determine whether or not a pupil of any race or creed is ready for the next step in a classic liberal education than to probe his or her fundamental knowledge? Surely if the child can't read then that's a problem that people would want to first know about and then plan to resolve!? Yet the very tool that might assist teachers in crafting corrective action plans and putting something useful in place to get little Johnny back on the rails is being discarded. In favour of what, one might ask? What is the alternative? Ask Johnny how he feels about it, perhaps?
For heaven's sake, someone should notify the BCTF that the world as we know it relies heavily on standard forms of knowledge and communication. If a child cannot read or do maths or write then he or she is in serious trouble. The industrialized world will not be as friendly and cushy as the school to someone who cannot communicate.
Parent, unless your child is one of the few exceptions, not making it through high school (even college in today's world) will be a massive blow to your child's future ability to work and achieve any sort of independence. I'm certain you'd want to know that little Johnny or Susan is positioned well for their education and the broader future as a productive, independent citizen, and, in the event they are not, to start to strengthen areas that you know are weak. That is the substance of your best wishes and hopes for your child, after all, and it's why you're doing your absolute best to plan for their post-secondary education. Why should you expect anything less from the education system?
This, dear reader, is why some parents empty their pockets to put their children in private school or, even more courageously, teach them in the home. The institutionalized PC codes, the utter irrationality of the policy makers, the inanity of the unions, and the abandoning of any common denominator make public education almost unbearable. Yes, there are notable exceptions at the board level, school level, even at the classroom level. But when the teachers themselves -- the ones entrusted with imparting the bulk of foundational educational knowledge in your child's head -- consider the testing of fundamentals tantamount to victimization then the wheels have clearly fallen off the public school bus. Without fundamentals, friends, all you have is a crap shoot.
The question then becomes, Do you take your kids off the public school bus or grab a tire iron and start putting the wheels back on? That's a post for another day.
Kirkhill said:Between the two factions I would leave an empty chair at 6 - symbolizing that the opposite of governance from the Throne is nothing and consequently that nothing divides Libertarians and Anarchists and Left and Right.
The Statists would cluster around the throne.
Kirkhill said:But Zip, the Objectivists at least suffer the concept of a Throne. The anarchists and the libertarians, not so much.
The real question is whether Liberals/Democrats have any firm convictions. I am a lifelong Democrat and I am really beginning to have my doubts.CougarDaddy said:Wow. Appalling. You really think that Liberals/Democrats lack a longer attention span and are a bunch of hypocrites with futile ideals.
Brad Sallows said:...they've already revealed that their proposed new spending wish lists include things which have nothing to do with economic "stimulus".
My post was clearly in response to Thucydides, who likes to imagine the Liberals as out-of-control tax-and-spenders and the Conservatives as paragons of fiscal restraint. I did not misrepresent Harper as anything, I just stated facts.Brad Sallows said:>that it is he who initially raised income taxes upon coming to power...
Please try to bring some full honesty and disclosure to the debate instead of aiming to misrepresent Harper as a tax-and-spend socialist.
All true. So what? All I said was the Conservatives raised income taxes.Brad Sallows said:The Liberals promised to drop the rate for the lowest bracket from 16% to 15%, and, because they were the government and the measure could be implemented without recourse to Parliament, did so (for the 2005 tax year). The Conservatives stated they would lower the rate to 15.5%, and, in the event, made it 15.25% for the 2006 tax year. It was made 15% for the 2007 tax year. So for one year, Canadians were burdened with a 0.25 percentage point increase in the lowest bracket, for which the maximum taxable income was $36,378. Those who reported the maximum taxable income for that bracket paid an extra $90.95, which surely must have crippled them.
Stephen Harper's Conservative government is the highest spending in the history of Canada. Why do you consider provincial transfers to be somehow different than regular federal spending?Brad Sallows said:>spending has sky-rocketed to unprecedented levels
That is mainly because government revenues have sky-rocketed to unprecedented levels and the Liberals had already established the new high watermark through several years of low-balling estimates to produce surpluses, of which the majority fraction was happily pushed into new spending (one-time or otherwise). With federal government spending already at its highest level, the only way for the Conservatives to reduce spending is to not only avoid new spending, but to either freeze year-over-year increases to account for routine inflation or cut other spending. As it happens, a close analysis of recent budgets shows that the Conservatives have not exactly been handing out gravy: in addition to inflationary increases, much of the spending has been in the form of transfers to other levels of government.
Why would it not be deficit spending? The government's fiscal position would dictate that it is. The main criticism comes from the foolish cutting of the GST and the farce that was the November fiscal update (which predicted surpluses for the next five years, might I remind you).Brad Sallows said:The Liberals have adopted the tactic of accusing the Conservatives of being poor fiscal managers. Rather than the bullsh!t Iggy has been leading with recently which the collectively dim media seem unable to grasp is criticism of his own party, here is the proper perspective:
- the Liberals did not put all year-end surplus amounts toward cutting the federal debt while they governed
- the Liberals did not generate surpluses anywhere near $30 billion
- the proposed coalition did propose to spend $30+ billion on "stimulus" without indicating any measures of consequence that would be taken to prevent it from being deficit spending
I'm not sure what you mean exactly, could you clarify.Brad Sallows said:The Liberals are basically accusing the Conservatives of managing the finances as did/would the Liberals. Each time Iggy or Brison aims a salvo at Harper, they are in effect painting themselves in their own sh!t.
I completely disagree. Governments need money to deliver basic services. They need to find the optimal ways to raise it, and most economists agree that the GST was a great taxation tool. It was one of Brian Mulroney's greatest legacies (and a startling example, along with the FTA, of how he put the national interest ahead of his political survival, in comparison to Harper) and helped establish the fiscal framework that would allow the Liberals to cut deficits. The Conservatives have no moral or economic advantage for cutting it rather than income taxes (which they raised). Can you find me a serious economist who believes that it was better to cut the GST and dole out trite tax credits rather than cut income taxes? It's certainly not the end of the world, just a reflection of the Conservatives' poor fiscal management.Brad Sallows said:There is, however, a difference: unlike the Liberals, the Conservatives cut federal taxation (the GST), thereby transferring responsibility for spending approximately $12 billion from the federal government back to taxpayers. Economic and moral advantage: Conservatives.
I have not seen any indication that the Conservatives are seriously interested in reducing spending in the long term. What is clear however, is that they like taxation policies that are sub-optimal for the Canadian economy. They favour cutting consumption taxes and implementing trite, piddling tax credits over across-the-board income tax cuts that spur work and productivity. In addition, they prefer an expensive, bureaucratic cap-and-trade system to fight climate change over a simple carbon tax. There is little doubt that the Liberals offered a better fiscal vision.Brad Sallows said:I'd like to see the Conservatives reduce spending further, but I see no point electing Liberals to do the same plus worse: they've already revealed that their proposed new spending wish lists include things which have nothing to do with economic "stimulus".
I have not seen any indication that the Conservatives are seriously interested in reducing spending in the long term. What is clear however, is that they like taxation policies that are sub-optimal for the Canadian economy. They favour cutting consumption taxes and implementing trite, piddling tax credits over across-the-board income tax cuts that spur work and productivity. In addition, they prefer an expensive, bureaucratic cap-and-trade system to fight climate change over a simple carbon tax. There is little doubt that the Liberals offered a better fiscal vision.
john10 said:My post was clearly in response to Thucydides, who likes to imagine the Liberals as out-of-control tax-and-spenders and the Conservatives as paragons of fiscal restraint.