Friday, August 31, 2007

Left v Right

Extract from a discussion with a fellow Teacher on Right v Left.
His comments are in black. My replies are in Red. Its slightly humerous.

But therein lies the problem, exactly as you have pointed out. What exactly is left and right?

The terms originate from the French Revolution – it referred to the seating arrangement within the Legislative Assembly (1791). However it has undergone many revisions and interpretations since then.

I see the modern right as supporting smaller government, free markets and a focus on the individual as an entity. The modern left supports larger government, more regulated economies and a focus on the group as the entity.

However even this difference is by no means all that obvious on a case by case basis. A point to remember Conservatism is not necessarily synonymous with the Right nor is Liberalism synonymous with the Left

Leftism (not to be confused with the ‘Left’) though is a philosophy that champions the radical overall of the establishment by violent or non-violent means to fit or resemble a possible utopia. Leftisms include: Marxist-Leninism, Maoism, National Socialism, Stalinism, International Socialism, Trotskyism, Anarchism, Islamo-Fascism, Primitivism etc.

Its legacy has traditionally been one of bloodshed and suffering in the name of a flawed ‘greater good’. Leftism’s modern origin in the West derives from the Radical Jacobins of the French Revolution.

A clear definition is needed. Or complete avoidance of the terms as they do tend to obfuscate issues. True For example, you mentioned that Turner's a big Democrat fan and therefore CNN is not right wing. But I would argue that the Democrats are also right wing. Figured you would. (As I heard once, 'it doesn't matter who's in power, because business always pulls the strings.'

So if the NDP came to power would they become right wing or are they right wing already?

But that doesn't really clarify anything as you have rightly pointed out.Perhaps this dilemma has something to do with corporate vs collective. Corporations and those who come from the corporate elite rule by decree Castro came from an elite family and pretty much rules by decree with very little real consensus. Does that make him right wing? within their domains, but collectives 'rule' by some form of consensus.

So the Western Liberal Model is Left wing then??? Mmmmm – Key issues are often decided by a vote in the Legislature (a type of consensus) not by decree.

I see some faults with this corporate/collective dichotomy. The Borg from Star Wars are a Collective does that make them left wing compared to the right wing Federation?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On the Space race..Taming a Critic

My replies in Red to **'s critique of the Space Program.

And ironically the lack of commentary is a direct result of the corporate voice dominating every official public discussion. Isn’t this presumptuous? Are you going on feeling or actually bona fide research? How about the militarization of space and the military-NASA program? Such as building a missile shield to protect the US from foreign warheads? How awful.........

Do you ever hear any critiquing of the 'space program' in the corporate media?


Never. Why? Because the snow job is so intense and so complete.

Have you ever heard of Occam’s razor……….'s_Razor . It would be reasonable to apply it here before treading down the path of the grand conspiracy.

Sell it hard and sell it to the young kids as 'glamorous' and fun. Hey, even sell it to teachers!

It is. Space Exploration is an incredible example of the scientific spirit at work, international co-operation, creative use of brain power etc. It is a wonderful way to promote a love of the Sciences. As a Physics and Chemistry teacher I champion it with the greatest of enthusiasm. Sorry **, but sucking the life out of a subject because it does not fit in with one’s ideological framework is in my opinion a disservice to the students. Here are some side 'non-military' benefits from the Space Program:

If you look carefully, you will find that NASA is mostly military and mostly a huge waste of money going into the pockets of in-the-know cronies.

Ever wondered how many people have employment and can feed their families thanks to the funding of the Space Program and the growth of its spin off industries? Would you rather they go out of work to prove your point?

"Got a wrench for $30 thousand? What a bargain. Let's buy it! A screw for $150 - sounds good!" This type of graft is going on all over, all the time.

Yes there has been waste like any other project – but why do you always focus on the negative?I believe these waste issues are being dealt with under the New NASA leadership of Mike Griffin.Besides NASA’s budget of $16 billion or so out of a total US Budget of $1000 billion ( <1.6%)>

And still we have media types and politicians pushing the war toys sales job on the public with the corporate media carrying the message for free. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to hear even one syllable questioning the intelligence of wasting vast quantities of public money on 'white elephants of destruction' such as these.

Point has already been dealt with.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On Ward Churchill

The following is a reply that I sent to an individual who I regularly debate concerning Ward Churchill.

To **

In an earlier posting I described Ward Churchill as a pseudo native, an intellectual charlatan and an individual who lacks academic integrity. I believe all of these descriptions to be accurate and his dismissal warranted. This is not to say that I disagree with all that Churchill necessarily has to say (a topic for a later discussion) – I have read two of his books From a Native Son and A Little Matter of Genocide as well as several of his essays – but there are greater issues at hand here that we as educators cannot afford to ignore.

False claims of Aboriginal Descent (Pseudo Native)

Churchill has claimed on several occasions that he is an American Indian. He has used such an identity to advance the position that he is an authentic and genuine voice of the indigineous people of North American However the man is a fraud. He has at various times claimed to be Creek, Cherokee and even Metis sometimes changing the percentage makeup of each.

A research into Churchill’s background revealed the following:

As Churchill has lurched through Indian identities, he has not found a single Native relative or ancestor. He is descended from a long line of Churchill’s that Hank Adams has traced back to the Revolutionary War and Europe. Adams, who is Assiniboine-Sioux and a member of the Frank's Landing Indian Community, has successfully researched and exposed other pseudo-Indians. Adams traced Churchill's ancestors on both sides of his family, finding all white people, including documented slave owners and at least one spy, but zero Indians.

The above excerpt is taken from Suzan Showan Harajo’s Why Native identity matters: A cautionary tale

For more on Churchill’s heritage read

Churchill also claimed enrollment in the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. The band had this to say:

Ward Churchill received an "Associate Membership" from the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma (UKB) council in May, 1994. He was not eligible for tribal membership due to the fact that he does not possess a “Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood” (CDIB) which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Interior / Bureau of Indian Affairs. Because Mr. Churchill had genealogical information regarding his alleged ancestry, and his willingness to assist the UKB in promoting the tribe and its causes, he was awarded an ‘Associate Membership’ as an honor.

Churchill still continues to claim that he is a bona fida Band member. Associate Membership does not imply Native background – Bill Clinton was an associate member of the Band as well.

Why is this important? Because as an aboriginal person Churchill greatly benefited from an affirmative action program. He was hired as an assistant professor despite the fact that he has no Ph.D, and was granted tenure the following year. His fast tracking through the Ethnic Studies Department (not normal policy at the U of Colorado) was largely based on his experience speaking as a NATIVE.

Intellectual Charlatan/Lack of Academic Integrity

Ward Churchill was not only guilty of plagiarism and poor citations but also of FABRICATIONS and FALSIFICATIONS.

See Smallpox Blanket Genocide: "Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? Fabrication and Falsification in Ward Churchill’s Genocide Rhetoric by Thomas Brown

See General Allotment Act:

Churchill also plagarized the writings of three authors Fay Cohen, Annette James (his ex-wife) and Rebecca Robins.

Now as a supporter of free speech I would not fire Churchill based on his Little Eichmann’s comment (even though it was completely uncalled for and callous in every sense) nor would I dismiss him based on the fact that he turns his classrooms into a forum for spewing his own ideology (a fact that he admits to and that I personally detest) but the lack of academic integrity shown above makes dismissal the logical decision.

This is not a case of free speech this is an issue of protecting academic standards. If we don’t protect academic standards why bother having universities in the first place?My position is very much consistent with a Classical Liberal Viewpoint and I believe it to be reasonable.

Thanks Gavin

Letter to Michael Coren

Hi Michael

A few remarks about you recent shows:

1. On the healthcare debate - Full marks to doctor Yoel Abells - he articulated both sides of the argument very well, had fair criticisms and seemed to be extremely open minded in working on an optimum solution for all. In short he has not let dogma blind him to reason which seems to be the case with Dora Jeffries. Also on healthcare - I was surprised that none of the four guests bought up the idea of pegging user fees to income.

2. A few weeks ago you questioned Sid Ryan on the left's apparent silence towards the suppression of Trade Union figures in Iran. It would be interesting to know how he would respond if you suggest CUPE boycott Iran as they did (and very unfairly so) with Israel.

3. You often entertain debate on Faith based schools however in all the discussions I have witnessed so far I have never once heard anyone mention the fact that the publicly funded Catholic system discriminates against teachers based on religion with respect to hiring. While it makes sense to have Catholic educators teach religious based courses (I have no objection there) I fail to see how one's faith plays an issue in the teaching of secular subjects eg. Physics, Math, Chemistry, History etc. Last time I checked Newton's Laws of Motion worked regardless of the type of God one chose to believe in.

Any thought to the ideology in education meme?

Tough luck about the Man U result on Sunday the Devils were lucky once again.



Friday, August 24, 2007

Political Philosophy Positions

The problem with debating online is that it is so easy for others to misinterpret your views - partially this is intentional on their behalf but I believe it could have something to do with poorly developed comprehensive skills. The following is a list of positions that I sent out to a recent forum to clarify my position on several issues. It is by no means inclusive of all political topics but it is a start.

These are my positions.

1. I am a Classical Liberal in that I believe in free enterprise, private ownership of property, electoral democracy, human rights and civil liberties.

2. I support a strong and often interventionist Foreign Policy by the western nations that does not shy away from confronting and dealing with totalitarian challenges such as Fascism, Communism (in its various incarnations), Islamist Militancy etc. If this makes me a Neo-Con then so be it. I will not apologize for that.

3. I believe that Western Civilization has for the most part been a success – progress in science, medicine, art, human freedoms, the law, quality of life, economic well being emphasize this point – however I do concede that there is still much room for improvement in most of these aspects.
Political writers/journalists that I generally like include: Charles Krauthammer, Jeff Jacoby, John Stossel, Melanie Philips, Mark Steyn, Victor Hanson, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Paul Johnson, Richard Brookhiser, George Will, David Horowitz, Phylis Chesler and La Shawn Barber.

4.I am opposed to the Death Penalty as it is applied in the US and various other nations but do believe that it has some merits in the case of convicted Serial Killers, Mass Murderers and War Criminals. Nevertheless I argue that those facing a death penalty charge – should have available to them via government funding the access to the best legal defense – some lawyers such as Alan Dershowitz often represent such clients Pro Bona.

5. I support a women’s right to choose but believe that various methodologies used in Partial Birth Abortions are immoral and should be banned. I have strong reservations about abortion after the 16 week limit but argue that these should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

6. I oppose Affirmative Action as I believe it to be discriminatory, ineffective and condescending to the groups that it is intended to help. The fact that all Democrats and many Republicans cannot see through this façade and continue to support such policies is very disappointing to me.
I believe in policies that champion self sufficiency and avoid the victim-victimizer dichotomy that has become too common in the social democracy.

7. I am not an American so I cannot vote in the US elections. If I could I would consider myself neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I vote based on the Overall merit of the Candidate. Looking back (trying to avoid the benefit of hindsight) I would probably have supported: Roosevelt 32-44, Truman in 48, Eisenhower in 52, Stephenson in 56, Kennedy in 60, Johnson in 64, Humphreys in 68, Nixon in 72, Ford in 76, Reagan in 80 and 84, Bush Sr in 88, Clinton in 92 and 96, Gore in 00 and Bush Jr. in 04.

8. In this current election (2008) I am backing Rudy Giuliani but would not be averse to an Al Gore presidency (although his Global Warming Angle has taken on a seemingly hysterical role as of late). This could change between now and 2008 based on new information available.

9. In Canadian politics I have voted PC, Conservative and Liberal at various times. I have never voted NDP – as I see its economic policies as shortsighted - although I have respect for some of their political figures namely Ed Broadbent, and most recently Joe Comartin.

11. I support a Compassionate Conservatism that argues for the maintenance of the Traditions and Foundations of Western Civilization whilst working to improve the overall human condition.

12. I am strongly opposed to Leftism. This is not to be confused with liberalism. Leftism is a term that describes the various philosophies that seek to radically alter the structures of Civilization to create a proposed utopia. History has shown that movements toward Utopia often have the inverse effect of creating a Dystopia devoid of toleration. Typical leftist philosophies include (but are not inclusive of): Anarchism, Collectivization, Fascism, Forced Atheism, International Socialism, Islamism, Maoism, Marxism, National Socialism, Nihilism, Pacifism, Primitivism, Radical Feminism, Religious Fundamentalism (of any kind), Rigid Environmentalism, Scientism, Stalinism, Strict Socialism, Trotskyism. All of these are anathema to the spirit of human reasoning and are deleterious to the overall progress of our species.

13. I am not a Libertarian (nor an Anarcho-Capitalist) as I believe that taxes are necessary and that there is a need for welfare programs within society. I do not accept the ‘survival of the fittest’ maxim as a guideline for our civilization. In my opinion this encourages a philosophy of self-centeredness that is ultimately damaging.

14. I see the necessity of corporations for large projects that require economies of scale but I believe that it is the duty of government to prevent the rise of oligarchies that restrict the openness of an economic system based on true competition. In short I tend to favour small business Free Enterprise over large organization Capitalism.

15. Government should minimize its interference in people’s personal lives as much as possible but not to the level where such pertinent issues as child and elder abuse, domestic violence are ignored.

16. Liberal Democracy (LD) while not a perfect system is still the best form of practical government that exists. I support LD as it provides a fair balance between the right of the individual and that of the State. All the Leftisms outlined in 12, fail in the long run as they are extremely biased to one side of the individual/state duality.

17. Liberal Democracies have the right and must defend themselves against internal and external threats. If not they risk extinction.

18. I am a supporter of soft multi-culturalism- encouraging various groups to appreciate their own cultures within the context of the LD. I oppose hard multi-culturalism that favours state supported cultural institutions. It is for this reason that I oppose hiring based on ethnicity and funding of cultural and religious schools. The latter should be driven by the community concerned although I do support government funding of the secular aspect of the cultural and religious schools curriculum.

19. I believe that Global Warming is a reality for in the current context but I am not convinced that it is largely driven by humanity. Nevertheless I do support the realistic efforts to reduce our carbon foot print. I am however opposed to the Kyoto Plan – which punishes Western Industry while ignoring the environmental harm caused by the growing Chinese industrial complex. I see Kyoto as more of a Western Liberal ‘feel good plan’ that is inconsistent with the global reality of pollution.

20. I support the use of Nuclear Power but would like to see more government initiatives – through tax incentives – that encourage wind and solar power facilities. I am also encouraged by the progress made by properly using clean coal and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

21. I am heartened to see government support for national Parks and ecological havens (I would like to see even more) and I believe that these should remain off limits to corporate or any other type of exploitation.

23. I do not agree with the radicalism of various environmental groups that spike trees and engage in various forms of eco-terrorism.

24. I am opposed to the Paleo-Conservative (Old Right) movement. It is too geared toward isolationism, social conservatism and the politics of division.

25. I support Gay Marriage as I see it as a logical extension of a vital institution that will grow stronger through inclusiveness.

26. I favour a monetarist approach to economic regulation over Keynesian fiscal initiatives however I believe that there is still room for the latter (up to a reasonable point) in a well run economy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

York University Bookstore - Center of Dogma

York University is located in Toronto, Canada. For more read:

I was recently at the York University bookstore with the intention of spending a $50 gift voucher that I had just received from the Faculty of Education. While the gift in itself is very welcome I was disappointed to see once again how inferior the York Bookstore selection is with respect to world issues. In the politics section I estimated that there must have been over 200 books. I counted exactly 5 with a conservative focus, 30-35 with a liberal bend and a whopping 170+ that can best be described as Leftist. In fact there were twice as many books by Noam Chomsky alone (regurgitating the same old themes) than by all the conservative authors put together.

Regardless of what your position is in politics this reflects a very distinct bias. Conservative writers are every bit as prolific as their leftist counterparts – a scan of political books on the internet will show this truism but somehow within this enclave of academia there was no reflection of this reality. Now one could argue that books by Chomsky are better sellers and that the bookstore is just acting to maximize profits (profits off Chomsky the irony kills me) but if profit was the real motive then surely the bestsellers of Mark Steyn, David Horowitz, Thomas Sowell, Bat Ye’or, John Stossel. John O’Sullivan, Andrew Sullivan would be on sale as well. This of course is not the case. Where is the balance?

As an educator I have always believed in the principle of objective thinking (as much as it is indeed possible) and a criticality of reasoning. If the same University bookstore had been biased in favour of conservative authors I would be equally concerned. Not that I believe that one should dictate to a store what they should carry on a book by book level but University bookstores should have a responsibility to represent a broader spectrum of thought than what was evident on the shelves here at York. If this were an ‘alternative’ bookstore on Queen Street it wouldn’t bother me in the least but I find it sickening that in the university milieu of York where diversity of thought is supposed to be encouraged such an apparent lack of it is so openly on display in such an intellectual setting

Monday, August 20, 2007

In the News XXXI

Peruvian President Alan Garcia promises to rebuild Pisco
It is believed as of the time of this article that 540 people were killed and 1500 injured.
148 bodies have been removed from San Clemente Church alone. 85% of the houses have been destroyed in the city. The Earthquake had a magnitude of 8 that was followed by a 5.6 magnitude aftershock.

French Foreign Minister vistits Iraq,8599,1654291,00.html
The French are first-class meddlers (and normally mess things up) but I will play the wait and see game on this one.

Libya releases five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor
The charges against the Medics were trumped up but once again the party in the wrong (Libya) comes up looking reasonable and approachable. Iran played the same game with the captive British sailors earlier this year, as did Hamas in the Alan Johnston saga....A definite pattern.
I wonder how much nuclear assistance the French have promised the Libyans? This is the frightening part? For me the jury is still out on Sarkozy......I do not believe that he is the darling that the conservative media makes him out to be.

Suspiciously absent: Palestinian Authority anger for the charges against the doctor? Now if Israel had did this...which they wouldn' would never hear the end of the complaints.

PresidentialCampaign 2008
taken from:


R. Giuliani - 33% (Value is holding firm)
F. Thompson - 19% (down from 21% - last month - although officially not an entry)
M. Romney - 14% (up from 8% - Straw Poll in Iowa helped him out)
J. McCain - 11% (down from 16% - I can't see McCain survibing the race)
M. Huckabee - 4%
R. Paul - 3%
D. Hunter - 2%
The rest - 4%
Undecided - 11%


H. Clinton - 36% (holding strong)
B. Obama - 21% (consistent over last several weeks)
A. Gore - 15% (not even standing)
J. Edwards - 9%
B. Richardson - 3% (my choice)
J. Biden - 2%
D. Kucinich - 1%
The rest - 1%
Undecided - 10%

Footer on Sunday

A poor refereeing descision robbed Liverpool of a win over Chelsea at Anfield. Stevie G. set up Fernando Torres who scored to put the Reds up 1-0 at the half but then an alleged penalty by Steve Finnan on Florent Malouda gave Chelsea the equalizer.
For more on the game read:

On the positive note Man City defeated Man U at the Eastlands 1-0 and Blackburn held the Gunners to 1 -1 tie at Ewood.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Past Times that I enjoy (not in any order)

Reading - especially History, Politics, Futurology, Science and Philosophy
Watching English Footer - especially Liverpool FC
Debating and Discussing Ideas with others (Live in person or on the Internet)
Spending time with my Wife
Playing with my son
Watching Movies
Using my imagination
Solving Physics/Math Problems
Following International Tennis, Footer and Rugby
Reading Quality Comics


There are many popular past times/Fads/Products that for one reason or another I have never taken to. Here is a list of some of them:

Boy/Girl Groups
Reality TV - except for Dog the Bounty Hunter - He seems more real than the rest
American Football
Game Shows other then Jeopardy
Drinking on Restaurant Patios
Sitcoms since Seinfeld
Electronic Personal Organizers
Text Messages
Watching You Tube
Rap/Hip Hop/Grunge
Country Music
Sandwich Wraps
Salads for Lunch
Shopping - unless it involves Books and Toys for the Little Guy
Ordering Pasta at Restaurants
Reading Modern Novels
Hockey in Canada
Reading Douglas Copeland
Harry Potter
Dan Brown Novels
Manga Comics
Electronic/Computer Games
Daily Stock Trading

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Response to Lefty #2 - Hamas Radio Closings

He tries to compare Chavez's shutdown of RCTV with Israel's closeure of pro-Hamas stations that have been aiding terrorism. This is not so.

His responses in Blue
My Responses in Red.

How do you know the Palestinian station in question was as you describe it?Read: Israeli military and foreign ministry officials told RSF during a fact finding visit to Israel in December that the Israel Defence Forces targeted media on the basis of their use for military purposes and not because of their programming. Seems reasonable because if Israel wanted to target stations based on programming only there would be many more stations (with larger listnership) that they could close down – lots more.

Have you ever seen the vile hatred projected by several Arab station towards Jews in general or does that not really concern you? I posted some video clips. This is common information. Many of these stations still continue to broadcast despite the fact that Israel has the means to shut them down. Aside from an educated guess, it seems quite presumptuous of you. More like logical…Sorry the Vulcan in me

And if indeed the station was practicing #3 and #4, surely there were other means at the disposal of the Israeli government (5th most powerful military on the planet) to prevent that particular hate from being broadcast. Such as what? Give an example? Blowing up the stations – methinks not.

The west bank is certainly not as lawless as Rwanda was before the genocide there. Understatement of the Year The perpetrators were known and they could be found (perhaps they were even imprisoned) but then you would have complained about that as well – Damned if you do! Damned if you don’t !! Israel's court system is used all the time to prevent westerners from even entering the west bank, Yes on a case by case basis but the fact that there is so much on site reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian segment of the Israeli/Arab conflict indicates that this is much less than in other conflict areas. . Lets not forget as well that the Israeli Court System often contradicts the IDF on various issues -

m not convinced by your explanation. **, I am not sure anything would convince you. It seems as though you made up your mind some time ago on this issue and are sticking to it.Also, the catch-all "associated to one degree or another with the Islamist Militancy" is a recipe for abuse and especially human rights violations. "Oh well, they must have been militants. Shut it down!"

Except that many other sources of Hamas propaganda are allowed to continue their programming unabated from within the West Bank, Gaza and Israel proper in some cases. You are resorting to the good ole flood gates argument.


My earlier post

Gavin writes:

The Stations in the article you referenced are all associated to one degree or another with the Islamist Militancy. . (Hamas and co. etc – Hamas is an organization who in its very charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews). The stations in question are associated with:
#1 Promoting biased coverage
#2 Doctoring footage to misrepresent the actions of the Israeli military and government
#3 Calling for the Death of Jews – (using programming that is often targeted to children see
#4Encouraging violent action and suicide bombing against civilians#
#5 Using their broadcasts to compromise Israeli military position in the war against proven Islamist Terror threats.

I am willing to excuse #1 and #2 in the interests of freedom of speech (as much at the Hamas portrayal sickens me – Leftist Israeli stations are constantly guilty of this as well). Cases #1 and #2 appear to be similar to the RCTV incident…

#3,#4 and #5 are not. In fact #5 alone is justification for Israel to shutdown the stations.

The Venezuelan Economy

Taken from a discussion with a fan of Hugo 'dictator-in-motion' Chavez

(All are my words)

The Unemployment rate in Venezuela sits around 8.9% - which is not bad relatively speaking It is slightly better than Brazil and Argentina but not as good as Chile and Peru.However it has dropped considerably over the decade so far – although this seems to be a phenomena across most of South America – which makes me wonder if it may not be associated with the long term impact of fiscal conservatism that has become a mainstay of South American economic thinking since the hyperinflation years of the 80’s and 90’s.

Nevertheless I will give Chavez some credit for the lower rate. In late 2004 I visited Venezuela, a beautiful country, with a very warm and friendly populace (based of course on my limited experience there – no I didn’t stay in a resort for a full week if that’s what you are thinking – but actually toured the countryside), but I couldn’t help noticing how much job duplication there was. For example in Canadian restaurants we normally have one ‘busboy’ per table in most Venezuelan restaurants there were 2 or 3. It reminded me of my sister’s account of visiting Hungry in 1989 (in the dying days of the cold war) – she said that in many of the washrooms for example there were several individuals employed to dispense soap and hand out towels – not exactly efficient but I suppose from a human issue standpoint it does provide work and of course makes the unemployment numbers look good.

Inflation in Venezuela is a problem, It sits around 20%. This does represent a sharp decline from the 1996 era however the vast drop in inflation did not occur under Chavez’s watch but under the previous government as the graph shown on indicates. In fact around June 2003 it skyrocketed again to 50%+ levels. The raise in oil prices may have played a large factor in this. You are correct, ** that there was a steady decline in the 2004-early 2007 period but as of June 2007 inflation appears to be on the increase (It could be related to expectations of handouts following foreign oil investment nationalizations that have become more apparent of late).

The problem with the Chavez plan is that it has a ‘candy-to-the-kid-element’. It looks good right away and is appealing to the populace but the long term implications of increased nationalization are usually disastrous (case in point most of Africa and many European countries in the 50’s and 60’s, not to mention the East Bloc Nations)– it decreases foreign investment and discourages a competitive market that ultimately would favour long term/sustainable growth and overall improvement in the standard of living.The economist five year forecast discusses this issue further.

As for Crime rate – here are some articles worth looking into



Saturday, August 11, 2007

Debate with Silly Leftist #1 - Part Deux

My earlier comments in blue
His Replies in Green
My Secondary Replies in Red
Side comments grey - Did not appear in original dialogue

actually the US was largely isolationist between WWI and WWII and conflict free for the most part Banana Wars and other wars in Latin America…I said they were largely not completely isolationist …..please read my wording properly The Americans needed to build their military; they were not quite ready to interfere in Europe and colonies in Africa……..and of course after that they were planning to aid the Klingons against the Romulans to bring in Regime change…. This is all baseless speculation.

I believe North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950 to force a regime change The Americans with the backing of South Korean political leader Syngman Rhee called for United Nations-sponsored elections to ratify the republic of South Korea. Nothing wrong with that. Full Korean elections were unrealistic – the Soviets were not prepared to let this happen as Kim IL Sung’s supporters were outnumbered 2 to 1. Many Koreans in Cheju…? , who were involved in the Korean independent movement, were divested to hear such calls: “The prospect of a permanent division of Korea sparked renewed upheaval. When mass demonstrations failed to stop the sham election, some workers and peasants began localized guerrilla battles in early 1948”(Cummings, Bruce),,, Agreed. Most Koreans wanted a reunion -but under their own terms not those of the dictator Kim-Il Sung and his totalitarian regime.

The Americans (and the Soviets initially - My experience is that Lefties for the sake of convenience tend to ignore that there was more than one player in the Cold War - before they gave the go-ahead for invasion) wanted to create a buffer zone and did not care for the will of the Koreans.

In a way you are correct here (he had a partial point)Cold War real politics influenced judgment significantly. The tragedy of the Korean situation is that both the US and the USSR are to blame (no analysis of Cold War Politics can should forget this dichotomy – we should also not forget China’s role later on) for the problem in the first place as both substituted power politics for the will of the Korean people. On moral grounds this cannot be defended. On practical terms it has worked out well for the South Koreans for the most part.
North Korea is a failed nation…a hermit kingdom…a monument for the transformation of utopic ideals into a dystopic hell….If the UN/America - (90% of the foreign troops were American but troops from 15 other countries including Canada took part – South Korea supplied 50% of the total troops) - had not acted in the Korean War to block the North Korean Invasion it seems likely that 40 million + extra people would have been doomed to live under an autocracy where large segments of the population have faced starvation under a brutal regime. Instead as of 2007 South Korea is an economic success, a democracy and one of the Four Asian Tigers… good for them. It has one of the highest standards of livings in Asia while North Korea has arguably the lowest. History has proven that American intervention in 1950 was the right action. I would give up the defense of North Korea if I were you **, most of the diehard leftists have abandoned that sinking ship a long time ago. Il Sung may have been a ‘progressive’ darling at one time (as Chavex is now) but the ‘nepotistic kingdom’ that he has constructed is an insult to any body who values freedom

On comparing Gitmo to the Gulags

Lets see millions of innocents perished in the brutal Soviet Gulags…. There are a five hundred or so terrorists at Gitmo ….Seems a reasonable comparison…NOT….

You completely miss the pointYou had a point? The United States cannot declare itself as a democratic and free country…it is free and democratic but it is also a nation at war with Islamist militancy………., while maintaining secret prisons. Obviously not that secretive if most us appear to know about them…, where torture and humiliation is the norm. Its not the norm…I agree that it is an issue……. but comparing this to the Soviet Gulags as the Amnesty International article indicated is ridiculous That is the Point.

On a ridiculous poll that argues that most people in the UK see Israel, US, North Korea and Iran as being negative force, I couldn't resist this spin.

Easy to Explain:Those with knowledge chose: Iran and North KoreaThe rest: Israel and the US Right

because all those who criticize America and Israel are ignorant….No but those who take stock in silly BBC polls of this nature go some way to validating your assertion….. . Whatever you say champ. it just wasn't worth the effort to adress a seemingly lack of wit.

He still continues to avoid adressing the question below:

Why is it that non-Muslims such as myself (and many others) seem more concerned about violence by Muslims towards their fellow co-religionists than most Muslims are on the very same issues? Example – The Taliban killings, Darfur, Shi’ite-Sunni violence in Iraq etc. Right, because all Muslims you know think the same wayNote the lack of lcomprehension here..I never said this either? For the umpteenth time read my question, think, then reply. Most Muslims do not ascribe to the Taliban’s interpretation of Islam and their views on Women. Ok – Then why were there so few mass demonstrations organized by the Muslim community against the Taliban when they were in power? Why were there hardly any demonstrations against Saddam Hussein when he was in power? I believe he suppressed both the Kurds and Shi’ites – fellow Muslims?
Moreover, let us not forget who created the Taliban.
A typical leftist tactic diversion

A conglomerate of influence but the main ideological framnework driving the worst excesses of their Taliban behaviour is Wahhabism – a brand of Islam promoted by the Saudis while they mascarade as allies of the West. The tragedy here as well – and I have mentioned this several times before – is that the US has not been tough enough on the Saudis.

As for Darfur:

Good – it took them long enough. Now maybe these organizations can put action to word and start pressuring Russia and China to stop supplying arms to the Islamist perpetrators. I find it interesting though how you had to go to a Jewish site to pick this up. Jewish groups – right and left (and believe me I am no fan of Rabbi Lerner but he is correct on his position with respect to Darfur) have generally been very vocal about condemning the genocide in Sudan. After all as victims of genocide ourselves (– as well as world indifference) – we have seem first hand what the outcome can be.

You have a bad habit of generalizing people. - an act of deperation - but how about this for a doozy of a reply

No just a good habit of not being Politically Correct when genocide is a factor….

For more read:




Friday, August 10, 2007

Debate with Silly Leftist #1

Gavin's original comments in blue
Lefty's comments in Green
Gavin's new comments in Red

But lets be realistic here – comparing human rights in the US to Iran or North Korea is in a way like trying to equate the tennis prowess of an ATP Tour regular with your occasional Sunday afternoon player. Its simply not worth the intellectual effort.

I will admit that the US has taken many steps to correct injustice and has been the champion of human rights for sometime now…. Finally we agree on something.. ….good However, their foreign policies has always been nothing short of malevolentMarshall Plan? Peace Corps? Democracy in Japan? All bad in your books?………, There hasn’t been a period in US history in the last 90 or so years where they have not been in a conflict directlyactually the US was largely isolationist between WWI and WWII and conflict free for the most part or indirectly supporting regime change in a foreign countrySo based on this logic they shouldn’t have entered WWII to force regime changes on Nazi Germany, Japan and Italy? Mmmmmmmm is not true for any of the countries you mentioned I believe North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950 to force a regime change. Thankfully it failed. We know this as the Korean War .
Iran acts to influence regime change through its proxy armies: Hezbollah (Lebanon) and now Hamas (Gaza Strip).
Moreover, in domestic affairs, you simply cannot ignore not ignoring anything just putting it into perspective now what is happening in Guantanamo Bay described as “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International. Lets see millions of innocents perished in the brutal Soviet Gulags…. There are a five hundred or so terrorists at Gitmo ….Seems a reasonable comparison…NOT….

According to a recent poll, Iran, Israel, North Korea, and the US top the list as countries with the most negative influence in the world

Easy to Explain:
Those with knowledge chose: Iran and North Korea
The rest: Israel and the US

He then claimed that Us Supreme Court Justices always mimic the views of the presidents that appointed them.

“....... Presidential appointed judges do not necessarily mimic the views of their President who appointed them. In fact they often don’t. Souter, O.Connor, Kennedy tend to be more liberal than Bush Snr and Reagan.”

I suppose the Supreme court handing Bush the election was just a figment of my imagination

I didn’t like the Supreme Court Decision either. I believe that a new election should have been called. Problem is…, is that new elections are costly and a nation such as the US cannot exist in a state of quantum electoral flux for long periods of time.

… Souter flip flops, O’ Connor comes of as a liberal bc she cares about women rights, and Kennedy is a Libertarian.

Exactly. Judges on the US Supreme Court are independent thinkers. Case proven.

He then said that he likes Sweden as it is a transparent democracy.

I guess you must like paying taxes (not sure what is so transparent about that – seems rather opaque to me).
Sweden has a Standard Value Added Tax of 25% compared to Canada’s 7%.
After taxation the average income left in ones pocket is $14,770 in Sweden compared to $22,050 in Canada.
It is the only country in the world with a total tax revenue of over 50% .
On the positive side Sweden gave the world Volvo, Saab (both now US owned), Scania, TetraPak, Ikea, Bjorn Borg, Abba, Linneaus, Arrhenius, Raoul Wallenberg, Berzelius, the Paris of the North and Bergman movies.

Footer News

Liverpool more popular than United? Perhaps.....,,2145522,00.html

Another goalkeeper for the Reds

William Gallas - New Arsenal Captain - Third Frenchman in a row

Tevez is a United man - finally - saga has become long in the tooth

Heinze impasse Continues

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Some useful links on the dictator Kim Jong-il

Lest we forget.......

On Kim Jong-il - Note the Guardian is not a Conservative paper by any stretch of the imagination,2763,1136483,00.html,,1077559,00.html

Here is some further reading from wikipedia - Kim Jong-il has been routinely criticized by world governments and international NGOs for human rights abuses carried out under his rule, as well as for North Korea's production of nuclear weapons, contrary to previous legal, international obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and his own commitment to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. Camp 22 is North Korea's largest concentration camp, where up to 50,000 men, women and children accused of political "crimes" are held. Reports of gross violations of human rights by the guards have been reported, such as murdering babies born to inmates. Kim's expensive taste has become a media target. In the context of United Nations sanctions restricting the trade in luxury items to North Korea following the country's October 2006 nuclear test, Reuters coverage noted that "No one enjoys luxury goods more than paramount leader Kim Jong-il, who boasts the country's finest wine cellar with space for 10,000 bottles. Kim has a penchant for fine food such as lobster, caviar and the most expensive cuts of sushi that he has flown in to him from Japan."His annual purchases of Hennessy cognac reportedly total to $700,000, while the average North Korean earns the rough estimate equivalent of $900 per year. Some defectors describe a network designed to recruit the country's most-attractive adolescent females to serve as sexual playthings for Kim and other members of the ruling elite. The girls are taken from their families and assigned to mansions and lodges used by high officials. In their early 20s, the women are married off to lower-ranking officials.

Exposing Castro and Chavez

On Fidel Castro

Still seems very popular with the Left and many Liberals. However the hypocrisy in ignoring the following is awful- none of these again are conservative sources.

You may want to check this movie on the suppression of gay rights in Cuba

Castro on homosexuality:

[H]omosexuals should not be allowed in positions where they are able to exert influence upon young people. In the conditions under which we live, because of the problems which our country is facing, we must inculcate your youth with the spirit of discipline, of struggle, of work... [W]e would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true Revolutionary, a true Communist militant. A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant Communist must be

Source: Lockwood, Lee (1967), Castro's Cuba, Cuba's Fidel. p.124. Revised edition (October 1990) ISBN 0-8133-1086-5

On Hugo Chavez

Seems to be the new darling of the left but his Human Rights abuses should make ‘progressives’ think otherwise. - Rigging the law in Venezuela - more damnation of freedom of expression - Crimes and misdemeanours - links to militia - Caracas crime capital

Foreign Policy Magazine says that Chávez has "updated tyranny for today" and "is practicing a new style of authoritarianism". Foreign Policy (Jan 1st 2006)

Thankfully many grassroot organizations have started seeing through him

The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom ranked Venezuela 152 out of 157 countries, among the 12 economies of the world labelled "repressed

On Nepotism:
At the end of may 2007 Asdrubal Chavez, Hugo Chavez's cousin has been chosen as public company Petroleos de Venezuela's vice president. His elder brother Adrian has been appointed education minister and his father Hugo de los Reyes Chavez is governor of the state of Barinas. Barinas' secretary of state is another brother of Hugo Chavez. Furthermore Anibal Chavez is mayor of Sabaneta de Barinas and Narciso Chavez candidate for the mayorship in Bolivar.

From Le Monde

In addition he has tied himself closely with Iran and North Korea.
- Iran expresses support for Chavez

Friday, August 03, 2007

My Political Philosophy - Part II - Guarding the Gains

8. Democracies have the right to defend themselves against militant threats such as Fascism, Communism, Islamism, Anarchism etc. During the course of this defense civil liberties may be threatened. It is the duty of the government to limit these restrictions on civil liberties but not to the extent that it places in jeopardy the well being of the populace.

9. Freedom of the Press is a vital aspect of the proper functioning of society but when the press becomes active as an agent that undermines national security (such as the NY Times revealing secrets about Federal monitoring of Islamist cash flow methodologies) reasonable limitations may be required.

10. Nobody in a democracy must be above the law. This includes the leadership who must still remain accountable for their actions.

11. A strong military is part of the infrastructure that guards the democracy. It is illogical to assume that the natural role of a democracy is that of pacifism. Perhaps this would be the case if all the nations in the world were democratic but the presence of renergade regimes with imperialist ambitions nullifies this pacifist approach. The failure of western peace movements as a viable entity resides in its inability to grasp this phenomenon.

12. Healthy patriotism is a necessity for a society to survive in the long run. The fact that it has been eroded in the West by unhealthy cynacism will prove to be one of the weak points in the fight by the democracies against the autocracies.

13. The US as it stands currently represents the best hope for the survival of the democratic model in the future. Other than Israel, Britain (to some extent) and Australia it appears to be the only nation capable of confronting the Islamist threat.

14. The EU has set off into the sun and has embarked on a pathway that if not abated will lead to its own demise. This is illustrated by the low birth rate of its member nations, the collapse of Judeo-Christian values in its general population, the rise of Islam within its borders and its dovish approach to international terrorism. The growing influence of socialism - the dominant political philosophy on the continent since World War II - has further transformed the EU into a byzantine culture driven by red tape bureaucracies. While European countries no longer fight wars amongst each other (a positive aspect of the outcome of democracy) by the same token the continent seems petrified to deal with the Islamist threat. In both Afghanistan and Iraq European acquiescience to terrorism reflect this truism.

15. Further attempts at an anti-Islamist foreign policy in France for example has been undermined by the Gallic strain of Greed Capitalism that sees nothing wrong with selling weaponary to ones enemy if a profit can be generated. Unfortunately the Greed Capitalism construct manifests itself in American politics and other Western Nations as well. This is another problem that needs to be looked at with more earnest. For this reason I have listed it as one of the most prominent threats to Western Civilization.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

20 Boredom Sources

1. A Democrat Candidates debates – all Candidates support an immediate exit plan, all champion Affirmative Action, All are Pro-Choice, All are inclined to Socialized Medicine. All support big government. All have signed up to the Global Warming agenda. Which brings up the issue as to what exactly is there to debate?

2. Listening to Stephane Dion speak - his lips move but that’s about it…

3. Listening to speakers from Palestine House – Level of engagement consists of calling Israel an apartheid state (when any logical analysis will show that this is incorrect) and not budging from that position – So much for rational talk and informed debate.

4.The World Cricket Cup – Nobody was in Australia’s league. Made for a rather dull affair.

5. Women’s Tennis – A poor comparison to the Men’s game. Don’t count on many winners but you will see lots of dry rallies.

6. Friends – A sitcom that in over 10 years on TV was perhaps funny on 5-6 occasions.

7. Heavyweight Boxing – Since Lennox Lewis’ retirement the domination by Eastern European fighters of questionable ability makes for one big snore fest. Where are the Ali’s, Frazers and Foremans? Right now I would even settle for the overrated Larry Holmes.

8. CBC Canada – Hour upon Hour of Sanitized News and politically correct programming. Makes an excellent argument as to why government should not be in the business of entertainment.

9. Bush Bashers – I am no fan of Dubya – but the list of people willing to unfairly blame the American President for every ill under the sun has become so long that the meme has lost much of its significance – come on people focus!!

10. Exit Strategies – Its bantered around in the media for public consumption but what kind of intelligent ‘strategy’ is it (other than idiocracy) if the enemy knows all about it. Sun Tzu must be cursing in his grave/ashes right now.

11. Home Decorating/Fashion Design Shows on TV – Ok we get it – we dress like pigs and live in sties? Only the aesthetic one’s can save us from our own demise. To whom should I make this cheque payable?

12. The Scottish Premier Soccer League – Celtic v Rangers. Everyone else just makes up the numbers.

13. Donald Trump’s Ego – Its almost as large as Oprah’s bank balance.

14. Mike Moore – Do we really need to see another feast of selective editing and planned finger pointing in a propaganda piece that masquerades as a documentary?

15. Noam Chomsky/Howard Zinn – Rehash the same blame America rhetoric in countless books – while walking to the bank - to a doe eyed audience eager to pin everything on the Man.

16. Sid Ryan – The Foghorn on the Left who clings to a brand of socialism that fell by the wayside (even in Europe) in the 1980s. Often sees himself as a champion of the little man – a woeful inaccuracy used to cover up his general opposition to policies that would make place his position as union ‘deity’ in jeopardy.

17. The NDP – Still sticks to the mantra of High Taxes as a way of punishing the productive portion of our population.

18. The Liberal Party of Canada – Have made themselves the so-called paragon of Canadian politics by robbing from both the right and the left and repackaging those policies as their own. Truism is so apparent that it is well…..boring.

19. CAIR’s hypocrisy – Boring but tragic – A cry baby organization that is quick to invoke the First Amendment when it suits them - to stifle investigation of potential terrorist threats - but not when it doesn’t - championing criminal hate charges against a university student for simply flushing a Koran in the toilet.

20. Richard Dawkins – Has made G-d bashing a personal obsession – in fact for an atheist he probably spends more time thinking about G-d than does the average theist. Possible book title for those nauseated by this high priest of scientism – The Dawkins Delusion.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007