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Freedom

26 Mar

March 26, 2012

 

Freedom: Getting what you asked for

 

There are many in the blogosphere who have taken on the libertarian ideology like a newfound religion. Like most religious converts, they are blind to the fallacies of their new security blanket.

 

We don’t need government for anything, they say. We shall home-school our children. We will not pay taxes. We want to be free.

 

Okay, so who will build your roads? Who will clean your water? Who will take care of your sewage?

 

Everyone for himself, they say. We want a utopia of “freedom”, they say. Instead, they will get a utopia of chaos where a ‘man’s life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, to quote Hobbes.

 

Freedom from government and regulation? Isn’t that what we have now? And, of course, the most powerful in society, the big corporations and the financial elites, have all of the freedom that the libertarians are calling for. And look at the mess we’re in.

 

It was freedom from government regulation that caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and, to a large extent, the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

 

It was freedom from government regulation that has caused the world economic crisis.

 

It was freedom from government regulation that has led to the rise of the fraud that is genetically modified food and patents on life forms.

 

It was freedom from government regulation that has led to the pharmaceutical quackery industry that has inventing diseases and drugs that are more toxic than the illnesses themselves.

 

It was freedom from government regulation that has led to horrors of processed foods, e-coli and listeria outbreaks.

 

All governments have been hijacked by the rich and powerful, leading to economic dislocation, wars, and environmental catastrophe.

 

Government is good if it takes care of the general welfare of the population. Government is bad if it becomes an instrument used by a powerful few to impose their will on the many.

 

I advocate the return to the Rule of Law, where the individual’s rights are guaranteed and protected, and are considered of greater importance than the interest of the tribe, religious group, or corporation.

 

I advocate the application of laws and regulations to control powerful interest groups whether they are industries, corporations, political action groups, religious and tribal advocacy groups, etc.

 

I call for the return of strong government to take care of those things which are for the general welfare (water, roads, electricity, etc.) and the ability to raise taxes from individuals and corporations according to their ability to pay.

 

And I advocate Equity over Equality. We are not all created equal, although we should be equal before the law. There will always be people who are better than others at doing certain things. I advocate that a person be rewarded equitably, according to the capital he puts into an enterprise. This capital may consist of money, physical and/or intellectual effort, etc.

 

These are the four factors I advocate:

 

  1. The Rule of Law
  2. Individual rights above all else
  3. Strong government for general welfare
  4. Equitable rewards

 

As an aside: Franklin Delano Roosevelt came from a banking family and was a member of the ruling elite. He saved the ruling elite from themselves by imposing government regulations to moderate their greed and restore the American economy.

 

 

The Pimping of Canada

23 Feb

The Pimping of Canada – December 5, 2011

Sometimes, one can learn a lot about a country by looking at its symbols. The beaver is synonymous with Canada. Most Canadians delude themselves into thinking that the beaver was chosen as a symbol of Canada because it is an industrious animal, and Canadians see themselves as industrious people.

The fools! From the 15th to 19th centuries, the beaver was hunted almost to extinction in order to meet the European demand for beaver felt hats. Beavers were trapped and skinned, and their skins were sent to Europe to made into hats. In other words, not only was a valuable species almost exterminated to meet the demands of foreigners, but the manufacturing and value-added work was done outside of Canada, using raw material from Canada. That’s the Canadian way!

For a time, under Prime Minister John A. Macdonald and the old-time Conservative Party, Canada used high tariffs to develop its fledgling manufacturing base. Canada’s  commodity-based sectors (like agriculture, mining, and fishing) were opposed to the high tariffs and wanted free trade. Yet the policy was successful in developing a manufacturing base that created millions of high-paying jobs. (The conflict between the North and South in the U.S. civil war was more about the high-tariffs demanded by the North to protect its manufacturing-based economy and the demand by the South for free trade for its commodity-based economy).

Anyway, after decades of political battle the free-traders got their way. First it was the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, then the North American Free Trade Agreement with U.S. and Mexico, and soon it will the North American Union.    Today, Canada is more than happy to destroy its land and water to sell tar sands oil to the United States. With that raw material the U.S. will create tens of thousands of jobs in the petro-chemical and plastics industries – jobs that Canada is just too dumb to want.

There’s another way that Canada has been pimped. One of the best things former Prime Minister Jean Chretien did was to keep Canada out of the war in Iraq. One of the worst things he did was get Canada into the war in Afghanistan. Canada has been in that war from the beginning, caught up in the emotional vortex immediately following the incident of September 11, 2001 (an inside job, but that’s a discussion for another time). At first, we sent in our elite commando force, the JTF2, and then we sent in our regular troops.

Afghanistan was the “good war”. Our troops were there to bring freedom from the oppressive Taliban. Our troops were the good guys, even building schools and hospitals. And most of all for Canadians proud of their Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we were there to promote civil rights, especially women’s rights.

Which brings us to the recent judicial farce in Afghanistan. A nineteen-year-old woman was raped and promptly sentenced to 12 years in prison on the charge of having sex out of wedlock. The stylish and enlightened Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, had the woman released from prison after she agreed to marry her rapist. Ah, good old family values, eh?! For this almost 160 Canadian soldiers have given up their lives?!

By the way, don’t blame Islam for this farce. This is pure tribal logic. It is tribal law with a religious wrapping. Even Talmudic and Roman Catholic church laws have similar nasty surprises, especially for the female gender. (A topic for another time and place)

Yes, Canada is getting dumber and more militaristic, even taking part in the civil war in Libya, bombing schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and other civilian infrastructure.

Yes, Canadians are truly the running dogs of American imperialism.