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One Victory Against the Encroaching Totalitarianism

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The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

One Victory Against the Encroaching Totalitarianism

 
 
If anyone was under the impression that my harsh, negative, assessment of our civil leadership’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in my last essay was overblown, they need only look at the dirty trick the Liberals tried to pull this week. Parliament, which adjourned on March 13th until Hitler’s birthday – draw your own conclusions, was temporarily called back on Tuesday to vote on an emergency spending bill. The problem was not the $82 billion that the government was seeking permission to spend. The problem was that the bill, as originally drafted, included several provisions that would give them the power to increase spending and taxation without submitting the increases to Parliament for a vote.

Perhaps they thought that the panic that the media – which in Canada is almost monolithically the mouthpiece of the Liberal Party – has generated would be sufficient for them to get away with this. Or possibly they thought that all of their efforts over decades to get Canadians to devalue the traditions and institutions we inherited from Britain and to forget the history and significance of those traditions and institutions had finally paid off, and that we would be willing to let them overturn the Magna Carta and the very foundation of Parliamentary government and our Common Law liberties.

Mercifully, it appears they were wrong. Tuesday morning it was reported that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition were doing their job and firmly standing up for our traditional, constitutional, limits on government powers and that in the face of this staunch defence, the Liberals had backed down from their proposed power grab. Which is grounds for hope in this troubling times. The spirit of liberty has not yet been entirely crushed within us.

Later in the day, it was clarified that the tax powers were all that the Liberals had removed from the bill and that they were still pushing for the spending and borrowing powers. The Tories dug in in their opposition to these as well. The parties entered into negotiations but the day ended without the House being called upon to vote. This Wednesday morning – the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – it was announced that the Liberals had dropped all the provisions for extended powers from the bill, which as an emergency spending bill has just passed the House, and will undoubtedly clear the Senate and receive Royal assent within a day or two.

I have been very critical of Andrew Scheer’s past performance as Opposition Leader and his bumbling in the last election but now, when it counts the most, it looks like he has come through for Canadians. Andrew Cohen, writing for the Ottawa Citizen, has praised the Prime Minister’s performance in this crisis saying “This has been his finest hour.” I beg to disagree. This – not the Kokanee Grope, not the costume party in India, not the Blackface/Brownface Scandal, not the SNC Lavalin Affair – has been Justin Trudeau, revealed at his worst – an opportunistic, tyrant, who has tried to take advantage of a global health crisis to attack the foundations of our constitution and expand his own powers. This is Andrew Scheer’s finest hour, not Justin Trudeau’s.

I am under no illusions that the majority of my countrymen see it my way rather than Cohen’s. Canadians have been far too apathetic for far too long towards the riches of our inheritance in the Common Law and the Westminster System of Parliament. It is almost one hundred years since the famous incident when Lord Byng, Governor General of Canada, exercised the reserve powers of the Crown and refused Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s request for a dissolution of Parliament. King, who had been allowed to form a government despite not having won the plurality in the House, wanted the dissolution to save his own bacon because he faced an imminent censure in Parliament over a corruption scandal. Lord Byng’s refusal was an entirely appropriate use of the Crown’s powers to protect Parliament’s right to hold the government accountable, as such champions of our constitution as John Farthing and Eugene Forsey demonstrated in their books on the subject. In the next Dominion election, however, the Canadian electorate bought King’s execrable lies about the matter hook, line, and sinker and awarded him a majority government.

That the government’s first thoughts with regards to dealing with this crisis were that they need to expand their powers beyond what the constitution allows them is itself sufficient evidence that they do not deserve to be trusted with such powers.

The approach they have been taking to the COVID-19 pandemic is further grounds not to trust them. Remember that this is a virus which in over eighty percent of the cases we know about has produced no symptoms to moderate symptoms. The actual percentage of those who have contracted the virus of whom this is true is probably closer to 99.99%. Most people who are asymptomatic would not have been tested unless they were in a situation where they were known to have been exposed to the virus. Thus, an approach to containing the disease which focuses on protecting those most vulnerable to experience it at its worst rather than protecting us all by shutting everything down and forcing us all into isolation makes the most sense. Countries that have aggressively pursued such an approach have succeeded in containing the spread of the disease without going into extreme shut down mode. Ironically, the countries which Mr. Cohen lists in the second paragraph of his column have all followed this approach, unlike Italy and the United States whose mishandling of the crisis he decries, despite the fact that they are following the same kind of approach, albeit with varying degrees of severity, as our own government.

The model which Mr. Trudeau is following is that of advising – and probably eventually compelling – all Canadians to stay at home, away from the threat of contagion, and also from the sun and fresh air which are man’s most important natural allies in the fight against disease. This involves shutting down all “non-essential” businesses and promising that the government will take care of the huge segment of the workforce which now founds itself unemployed. Since government is not a wealth generating institution – despite sometimes having delusions to the contrary – this means that the burden it is taking upon itself must fall upon the only part of the private economy that remains open – the “essential” businesses that provide food and other necessities, putting a strain on these which will, if this lasts for any lengthy period of time, cause them to fail. This would result in far more deaths than the collapse of the medical system that Mr. Trudeau is trying to avoid by the long-term strategy of slowing the spread of the virus and pushing its peak into the future ever would. The modern economy is the way in which we have avoided the Malthusian consequences of our population size. Anybody who is not an idiot knows this. “Lives are more important than the economy” is a lie concealed behind a moral truism. Destroy the economy, and you destroy the lives that it sustains. The Holodomor of almost ninety years ago is an historical example of how a regime used that principle to destroy lives deliberately with malice aforethought. If the Trudeau Liberals accomplish the same it will be primarily through stupidity.

Nor is shrinking the economy to the point where it cannot possibly feed our population and so causing the deaths of masses by starvation the only way in which the model the Trudeau government is pursuing could produce disastrous results. As unemployment skyrockets, suicide rates are likely to rise as well. Furthermore, if “extreme social distancing” is kept in place for as long as the Liberals are saying is necessary – months rather than weeks – there will be a general breakdown in psychological and emotional health. Human beings are social creatures. They are not meant to live apart from each other. Force them to live contrary to their nature for a lengthy period of time and they will start to go bonkers. This too would contribute to a rise in suicide rates as well as other dangerous and destructive behaviour.

Furthermore, just as an extended shut down will rapidly burn up accumulated material capital, so an extensive period of “extreme social distancing” will burn up social capital – the trust between members of a community and society that enables them to function in a civilized way and cooperate for their own common good. The only kind of government that would want to destroy that is a totalitarian government that hates and persecutes all social interaction that is not under its direct planning and control, which demands the total undivided allegiance of its citizens, and which fears any and all rivals for its peoples’ loyalty, trust, and affection.

Those who would rather not live under that kind of a government, who still value our constitution in which Queen-in-Parliament and not Prime Minister-in-Council is sovereign, and our Common Law rights and freedoms won a victory today. Let us practice eternal vigilance and pray that it is not short-lived.

Justin Trudeau is no Friend of Canada

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THE CANADIAN RED ENSIGN

The Canadian Red Ensign

THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

Justin Trudeau is no Friend of Canada

 
I, as long time readers will be well aware, am a Canadian and a patriot of my country. Many Canadians seem to think that being a patriotic Canadian means being anti-American but I like to quote one of my two favourite Prime Ministers, (1) John G. Diefenbaker, who said “I am not anti-American, I am very pro-Canadian.” Of course, for a Tory like myself, being a Canadian patriot does involve a firm belief in my country’s own institutions and traditions rather than those of the United States. I believe in parliamentary government, reigned over by a king or queen, rather than republican government presided over by an elected president, and have argued this point at length. I have a very low view of sedition, rebellion, and revolution, which history demonstrates almost always produce a worse and more oppressive government, and so cannot share the common American belief, born out of their founding mythos, that these are the well-spring of liberty. I say rather, with the long-neglected Canadian conservative John Farthing, that “freedom wears a crown” and believe the tradition of loyalty upon which our country was founded and which led us to stand by Britain from the beginning of the Second World War to be a virtuous tradition worthy of honour. I trust that you can see the difference between this attitude and the juvenile, left-wing, anti-Americanism that the Liberals, NDP and Greens seem to think is part and parcel of Canadian patriotism.

I see, therefore, no patriotic reason to come the the defence of Her Majesty’s First Minister in Ottawa simply because he has been on the receiving end of a barrage of insults from the American President and members of his administration. Frankly, he deserved them. While I have no problem with a Canadian Prime Minister standing up for our country – it is his job, after all – Justin Trudeau, in his choice of time and place to say that Canada “will not be pushed around” displayed a stupidity far in excess of that for which his reputation is already well-established. When the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, commenced, a trade war was already impending between our two countries. Somehow, the leaders had managed to come to an agreement of sorts and an official communication of this had been sent out before Donald Trump took off to Singapore to negotiate what will hopefully be the end of hostilities on the Korean peninsula with Kim Jong-un. It was then that Trudeau called a press conference and uttered his now infamous words, which, given at that particular moment, could only be understood as gloating at having won one over on Trump. This earned him, as was undoubtedly his intention, the admiration of anti-American leftists around the world, but, as with so much other of his grandstanding, it is ordinary Canadians who will have to pay the price in the upcoming trade war which our country simply cannot win. Trudeau has shown his contempt for the teachings of the Holy Scriptures on many occasions but it would have served him well to have read over Luke 14:28-32 before he shot his mouth off and applied its literal meaning even if he continued to ignore the intended spiritual application.

Not only was it the wrong time and place for Trudeau to boast about standing up for Canadians, he was the wrong person to do so. He might have thought that he was simply imitating Trump’s Mr. Tough Guy nationalist rhetoric but there is a huge difference. Trump, for as long as he has been in politics has taken his stand on a hard core, America First, Buchananite, populist-nationalist platform. Trudeau, on the other hand, has worked hard to establish the reputation of being the same kind of left-liberal, cosmopolitan, globalist citizen-of-the-world that his father was. The idea that he would ever put the interests of Canadians ahead of whatever inane brain rot is the latest fashion among liberal intellectuals (2) is laughable.

Consider his track record. His biggest concern in picking the Ministers to fill his Cabinet was not their competency but that the levels of estrogen and testosterone be equal. Feminist ideology and the adoration of the multitudes of young people who have been brainwashed by universities into swallowing that mindless tripe, took precedence for him over the interest of ordinary Canadians in the Ministries of Her Majesty’s government being competently administered. One of the very first things he did in office was to take Canadian taxpayers’ dollars, use it to bring large numbers of the economic migrants invading Europe under the pretence of being refugees from the Syrian Civil War over here, and then take more of the Canadian taxpayers’ dollars to bribe Canadian employers into giving the “refugees” jobs instead of Canadians. He then bullied anyone who objected to this by accusing them of racism. (3)

Trudeau’s attitude towards the Canadian energy industry can only be described as one of arrogant hostility and while this might earn him brownie points with the green gang it does not benefit the average Canadian and works against the interests of all the Canadians employed by the energy industry directly but also those who depend upon the jobs available in an economy that itself is heavily dependent upon affordable energy to survive. He has shut down most of the pipeline projects that would have benefited Canadians across the Dominion, constantly sided with anti-pipeline agitators that are funded by foreign energy interests, and, rather than use force to protect the rights of the petroleum company that had jumped through all sorts of ridiculous loops to obtain legal permission to expand an existing pipeline, opted to buy out the pipeline at the taxpayers’ expence. He has imposed a carbon tax upon the country, driving the cost of gas through the roof, for absolutely no good reason, (4) hurting the most those who were already just barely getting by on the wages from jobs that require vehicular transportation to get to. He has imposed massive debt on future generations of Canadian taxpayers with his runaway defecits, which include large amounts of spending on global projects that do not benefit Canadians, and has increased the cost of living, while reducing the ability of most Canadians to pay through tax increases.

If Canadians have only recently begun to feel the impact of Trudeau’s green agenda on their pocketbooks, we have so far been shielded from the full impact of his anti-business agenda on Canadian employment by the relatively free trade that has existed between our country and the United States, thus allowing us to benefit from economic boom the United States has seen since the election of Donald Trump. That will no longer be the case if Trudeau has gotten us into an unwinnable trade war. Note that I say this as an economic patriot not as a doctrinaire free trader. The basic idea of economic patriotism is that of doing what is best for the economic interests of your country. (5) It is not in your country’s best interests to piss off your largest trading partner, especially if that partner has much more economic clout than you do. Neither, however, is it in your country’s economic best interests to sign free trade agreements that make your country that vulnerable in the first place. Trudeau’s foolish words today would not have the potential to harm us today if Brian Mulroney had not betrayed his party’s historical platform (6) thirty years ago and signed the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement that later evolved into NAFTA and which plunged us into three decades of addictive dependency on free trade.

What will eventually come out of all of this only time can tell. What we do know is that we have no reason whatsoever to be proud of our lousy Prime Minister who serious needs to learn to keep his hubristic tongue in his mouth.

(1) The other, of course, being Sir John A. MacDonald.

(2) When I use the word “intellectuals” I have in mind the way Paul Johnson uses the word in his book of that title (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988) and the following quotation from the late, great, Tom Wolfe: “We must be careful to make a distinction between the intellectual and the person of intellectual achievement. The two are very, very different animals. There are people of intellectual achievement who increase the sum of human knowledge, the powers of human insight, and analysis. And then there are the intellectuals. An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others. Starting in the early twentieth century, for the first time an ordinary storyteller, a novelist, a short story writer, a poet, a playwright, in certain cases a composer, an artist, or even an opera singer could achieve a tremendous eminence by becoming morally indignant about some public issue. It required no intellectual effort whatsoever. Suddenly he was elevated to a plane from which he could look down upon ordinary people. Conversely — this fascinates me — conversely, if you are merely a brilliant scholar, merely someone who has added immeasurably to the sum of human knowledge and the powers of human insight, that does not qualify you for the eminence of being an intellectual.”

(3) Berkeley professor and former Clinton cabinet secretary Robert Reich maintains that blaming economic stress on immigrants is the sign of an ascending tyrant. This is nonsense. A much more reliable observer, Aristotle, noted almost two and a half millennia ago that a tyrant, unlike a true king, prefers and trusts foreigners over his own people. Politika, Book V.

(4) A carbon tax is an idiotic notion dreamed up in hell by the devil himself. A) CO2 is not a pollutant – it is naturally exhaled by all human and animal life and the more of it in the atmosphere, the better for plant life. B) Over 90% of the Greenhouse Effect is produced by water vapour and CO2 is only a fraction of the remainder. C) The Greenhouse Effect is a good thing not a bad thing – without it the earth would be a lifeless ball of ice. D) Climate has been constantly changing throughout all of history and until all of the causes of this are understood and taken into account – and climate science is not even remotely close to starting to have done this – there can be no way of telling how much recent climate change has been caused by human factors. E) The modern warming trend that is blamed on the burning of fossil fuels actually began with the end of the Little Ice Age decades before the industrial boom and included a forty-year period of cooling after World War II which coincided in time with a large rise in CO2 emissions due to accelerating industrialism. F) The “proof” for the theories of climate-change alarmists is not evidence from real world observations but the simulations of computer models. G) The global warming/climate change scare has been a deliberate fraud since day one. The day on which it was presented to a US Senate Subcommittee in 1988 was consciously chosen to be the statistically hottest day in summer, the summaries of the UN’s IPCC’s reports on climate change were written by environmental bureaucrats and released prior to the science reports which were then redacted to fit the summaries. H) “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period” – Michael Crichton. I) Scientists funded by governments and international agencies like the UN are just as likely to provide the results they are paid to provide as scientists funded by petroleum companies.

(5) Adam Smith and David Ricardo’s theories of absolute and comparative advantage ought to be considered, when determining what is best for your country, but they ought not to be treated as outweighing all other considerations.

(6) The Conservative government of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, introduced its “National Policy” to the public in 1876 (they had been discussing it internally since the 1860s), campaigned on it in 1878, and put it in practice in 1879. The policy was similar to that adopted by the new Republican Party in the United States a decade earlier and that which would be adopted by the government of the newly unified Germany – protecting domestic manufacturers with tariffs and the use of government revenue on internal infrastructure improvements, which in Canada’s case meant the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The policy worked quite well in developing the manufacturing base of all three countries, by contrast with the free trade practice introduced in England, the birthplace of industrialism, at the behest of the Manchester manufacturers. While it was agricultural tariffs (the Corn Laws) the latter sought to repeal, their practice of free trade in this same period that America and Germany were practicing economic nationalism led to their falling behind the USA in industrial development. The Canadian Conservative “National Policy” was something of a last-option-available measure initially, but it worked for Canada for almost a century, and it became a fixed plank in the Conservative platform until Mulroney removed it. The old Conservatives believed it to be necessary, not only for the protection of Canada’s own industries and resources, but for her political and cultural protection as well (at least the cultural protection of English Canada, the Victorian-era British culture of which did not have the built-in protection against Americanization of a language barrier like French Canada). The Liberals were the party that wanted free trade and Americanization. Today’s Grits are not likely to admit to being the party of the latter, although they obviously base their policies on what the craziest trend in Hollywood is at any given moment, spewing left-wing anti-Americanism of the sort that Jean-François Revel so ably exposed as irrational in his 2004 monograph of that title. Nevertheless, it was openly admitted by Liberal thinkers of the past such as Goldwyn Smith and John Wesley Dafoe. Their economic arguments and historical interpretations in favour of the Liberal project of undoing Confederation and moving Canada into the American orbit were fully rebutted by Harold Innis, Donald Creighton, and Eugene Forsey.