Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tears for the CBC

I used to love the Canadian Broadcasting System (CBC). As a youth in Cape Breton, the CBC was one of only three radio stations and one of only two English television stations available to me. It was as much a part of the Cape Breton landscape as the ocean, the mines and the Bras d’or lakes. It spoke to us about us. It was one of us. There were stories of fishermen, miners, local artists, and the great expanses of wilderness that surrounded us. There were stories that touched the heart, mind and soul of all Cape Bretoners.

I wasn’t very politically aware back then. Not many of us were. But to the best of my recollections, I don’t remember the CBC being ideologically biased or promoting any particular political or social belief. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t – just that, in my youth and innocence, maybe I didn’t perceive it.

Today, it’s a different story for me. I now see the CBC as an entity that is highly politicized. Maybe, as an adult living in Toronto, I’m more socially and politically aware. Or, maybe the CBC itself has changed. I’m not sure.

In any event, I still watch and listen to the CBC. Peter Mansbridge and Toronto radio host Andy Barrie are giants in my eyes - men who epitomize professionalism and grace. But sadly, the CBC, as a Canadian voice, no longer speaks to or for me. Today, it is a voice that reflects the values of only a certain segment of Canadian society. The new-age Canadians. The ones who gaze lovingly into the eyes of government and trust it to solve all their problems. Those of us who fear and mistrust government - as, it seems to me, any rational person should – are ignored and often dismissed as right wing neo-con radicals.

If you admire and depend on government, and crawl to it at election time begging for crumbs, the CBC will be your voice. If you demand that government take less of your earnings, and suggest that people should take more responsibility for their own lives, the CBC will abandon you. Worse, it will ridicule you. After all, such notions are hardly Canadian are they? At least not in the Canada that the CBC promotes.

I understand that the CBC receives approximately one billion dollars a year from the government to fund its operations. I do not, in principle, oppose that. What I do oppose, however, is having so much of our money going to fund an organization that is so apparently and blatantly based towards a left-leaning, socialistic ideology. Should not a publicly funded information source, in a democratic society, take great pains to be neutral? After all, it is owned by all Canadians. Therefore, should it not be a voice for all Canadians?

Let me ask those of you who listen or watch the CBC: can you name me one CBC commentator or show host who shows any sign of favouring smaller government, welfare restrictions, capital punishment, the current definition of marriage, punitive penalties for violent offenders, less immigration, or private delivery of some health care services? Alternatively, can you name me one CBC talking-head who shows any concerns about big government, our soft justice system, state funded multiculturalism, abortion, gay-marriage, or our politicized left-wing Supreme Court; or who dares suggest that maybe some welfare recipients should actually get off their bums and look for work?

There are no such people at the CBC. In its halls, there is a huge ideological void.

Everything they put on the air is geared towards suggesting that any and all problems that Canadians face can be addressed with a government funded program or a good dose of counselling. Never is it suggested that, when faced with adversity, Canadians should suck it up, hold their heads high as proud individuals and get on with their lives. In the CBC’s eyes, society or someone else is always to blame for every problem ever experienced by any Canadian.

On Toronto radio, single mothers and other people who have “fallen through the cracks” are periodically trotted out and patted on the head like house pets while the commentator sadly tells us of the lack of government programs to help them. Never are these people asked how they got into the predicament they are in. Never is it suggested that exercising good judgement and personal responsibility could have saved a lot of them from their unfortunate fate. No. Trot out the victim, make society feel guilty for his or her plight and demand additional government funding to save them. Day after day after day it’s the same thing.

Where is the balance? Where is the other side of the story? Where is the CBC that speaks for me? It has disappeared. And in its place is a giant tax funded behemoth more interested in telling me what I should think and feel rather than actually reflecting what I think and feel.

I miss the CBC of my youth. And although I weep at what it has become, I am happy in my tears. For it is better to weep for a departed loved one than to be in denial of their passing.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Cultural Pride and White Anglo Christians

I’m proud of my culture. Everyone should be. Isn’t that what we are taught from birth here in multicultural Canada – that all cultures are equal and none is better than any other? And that we should be proud of who we are? Isn’t that why my culture – Canada’s founding White-Anglo-Christian culture (outside Quebec) - has welcomed millions upon millions of immigrants and refugees while never asking them to embrace traditional Canadian values. In past years, immigrants arrived with a shovel in their hands and integrated into every community, big and small, across Canada. Today’s newcomers arrive with an instant entitlement to a vast array of tax funded social services and, for the most part, settle in their own mono-ethnic enclaves in Canada’s major urban centers.

This used to bother me. I used to think that this self-segregation would result in a country divided along ethnic, religious and racial lines. I saw it as detrimental to the creation of a cohesive, unified nation. To me it was a slap in the face. Newcomers segregating themselves with their own kind, away from the rest of Canadians. I was troubled by the Chinese Community in North Scarborough/Markham who have created a community where many stores and businesses have signage containing only Chinese language – no English or French. This made me feel unwelcome in their stores. The message to me was clear. They were saying: “Thank-you for letting me come to your wonderful country- now stay the heck away from me”.

Then, yesterday I saw a white man and, what I assumed to be, his daughter walking down the street. The girl was no more than 13. She was dressed in clothes that a prostitute would have deemed too immodest. And I wondered to myself: what kind of a culture have we created here in the western world where a father would let his daughter dress like a $50 hooker and parade her down the street without feeing any shame.

Parents of little girls – some as young as eight or ten – take them to Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears concerts. They let them watch these performers strip practically naked while simulating sex and masturbation with their mostly naked dancers. Young, scantily-clad girls stare at us from bill boards, magazine covers, music videos and television commercials in full make-up, suggestively posed, with a ‘come-take-me’ look on their faces. Clearly many of our media sources are run by people who seek to degrade young girls and lower them, in the public’s eyes, to the role of cheap-slutty sex-objects.

Why do we let these media creeps do this? Why are we not offended? Why do we let our little girls worship and emulate sexually explicit performers like Christina and Britney? Do we secretly like it? Does it titillate us to see children acting like sex objects? It must. Otherwise we would be speaking out. What does this say about our precious White-Anglo-Christian culture? We should be ashamed at what we have become.

Single mothers, many on welfare, are everywhere. Many children grow up in broken homes with no relationship with their biological father, let alone the consistent and dependable love and discipline of any one male father-figure. Children regularly talk-back and disrespect their parents to their parents’ faces with no repercussions.

Is it any wonder that newcomers to our nation choose to distance themselves and protect their children from the mainstream culture? Is it any wonder they watch their own shows on satellite TV, read their own newspapers and form their own community groups? I don’t think I blame them at all. After all, it is they who now have the values worth protecting. Whereas western values have become crass, cheap and disposable, like the latest episode of Jerry Springer or the Batchelor, or the latest issue of Cosmo or Hustler.

At the beginning of this piece I said that I am proud of my culture. I was only half right. I’m proud of what my culture used to be. But, I’m ashamed of what it has become. There was a time when White-Anglo-Christian culture was something to defend and be proud of. But no longer. Today, it is something to be wary of and to shield your children from.

And I can hardly blame new immigrants for doing just that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Advice for Perdita - Turn the Crash into Cash

Canadians were stunned when Perdita Felicien fell over the first hurdle in the final Olympic 100 meter women's hurdles event. After all, she was expected to come away with the gold. And with her fall went her dream of winning a gold medal and her chance of getting multi-million dollar endorsement deals. Or, maybe not. I think, if she plays her cards right, she could turn that crash into cold hard cash.

Here’s the plan.

Perdita must immediately approach ‘Johnston and Johnston’ and pitch the following concept for a ‘Band-Aid Brand” © endorsement contract.

Picture this.

Perdita is huddled in the blocks. Sweat drips from her brow and runs sensuously down her hard body across her chiseled abs and down her powerful thighs. She is a goddess. Her beautiful face frozen in a look of sheer determination. The gun goes off and she explodes from the blocks, her long legs gliding effortlessly as pulls out in front. She approaches the first hurdle, leaps gracefully like a beautiful gazelle and.............. falls flat on her face. The other runners flash past. She gets slowly to her feet, her face reflecting the agony of her disappointment. With a painful expression she looks down. The camera pans down to her knee which is cut and bleeding. Suddenly, her mother appears and carefully puts a band-aid brand adhesive strip on the boo-boo. her mother looks up at Perdita and smiles. The camera pans up to show Perdita looking down at her mother. "Thanks mom" she says, her eyes glistening with affection. Perdita smiles. Voiceover: “Band-Aid Brand’ - you'll feel better the moment you put it on”. Fade to Black.

In case that doesn't fly, here are some other endorsement possibilities:

ADIDAS - slogan: “Adidas, we will never let you down."

TRIMARK - slogan: "Just because Perdita fell doesn’t mean the value of your Portfolio has to – trust Trimark to lower the hurdles.”

TURTLES - "Ooooo, I love hurdles."

Seriously though, this was a a truly unfortunate turn of events, undeserved by such a fine lady. And she handled her setback well, with dignity and grace. No excuses. Through her words and actions, Perdita has set an example for us all.

Perdita, may your feet have wings. See you in four years on the centre podium.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ken Dryden's Dream - Canada's Nightmare

I view Ken Dryden’s appointment to the position of Canadian ‘Minister of Social Development’ with mixed emotions. On one hand, he seems to be a very likable chap with a big heart. On the other hand, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions and always paid for with other people’s money. Sometimes, in fact, developers, contractors and business interests benefit more from the road than the travellers do. With that in mind, lets take a virtual test drive down Mr. Dryden’s proposed 'National Childcare Program’ highway.

(For those who haven't heard, Mr. Dryden will be creating a national daycare program at an initial cost of $5 billion with additional annual costs estimated in the $billions. It will create thousands of tax funded government jobs and significantly increase the number of Canadians dependent on government handouts.)

With this program, Mr. Dryden appears to display his good (albeit, frighteningly socialist) intentions. What he is really showing, however, is that he understands and embraces the Vision and core values of the Liberal party.

In case you haven't heard, the Liberal's Vision Statement is:

'The Liberal Party of Canada doesn't exist to serve Canadians - Canadians exist to serve the Liberal party of Canada. '

And the three core values of the Liberal Party are:

Everything a Liberal politician does must - 1. buy votes; 2. transfer power and responsibility from individuals and families to the Liberal state; and 3. create government jobs for Liberal friends and supporters. (I challenge anyone to show me anything the Liberals have done that does not satisfy one or more of those criteria.)

Mr. Dryden is obviously a quick study. He'll make a great Liberal. His new Program will accomplish all three of the above goals admirably.

But let me ask you, do we really need another multi-billion dollar sinkhole run by incompetent Liberal appointees? And more importantly, do we really need to have a national program where responsible parents are forced to pay for the assorted offspring of women who knowlingly make irresponsible reproductive decisions and men who 'eat shoots and leaves’ (Oh, wait, that’s what Koala bears do. Apologies to my furry friends down-under. I didn't mean to compare you guys with those reprehensible absentee fathers.)

Now, where was I. Oh yes: Let me be clear, I don't mind paying for daycare for women whose mates have died or left them and who need to work to live. But I consider it immensely unfair to ask me to pay for daycare for children of women who make a conscious decision to engage in risky sexual behavior with no husband to help support their accidental offspring. As a society, we shouldn't be rewarding bad decisions.

I also don't think I should pay for daycare for children of dual income families where one parent makes enough to allow them to subsist. Lets face it, most dual income families don't work to live - they work for the late model car or cars, the comfy house in the burbs, the nice vacations and the big TV. Let them drive an older car, watch a 20 inch TV, down-size the house to a condo and leave one parent at home with THEIR kids.

I am tired of politicians like Mr. Dryden who endlessly encourage people to look to big brother and my wallet to solve all their self-inflicted life problems. Enough already. If people want kids maybe they should pay for them themselves. If they cannot, maybe they should put them up for adoption at birth so they can be raised by parents who are able to take responsibility for them.

Perhaps Mr. Dryden could demonstrate his compassion and set a personal example for us all by adopting a few needy children himself and paying for their upkeep with his own money - rather than confiscating our money to pay for his grand utopian dream. He should not forget that one man's dream is another man's (or nation's) nightmare.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Religion and Christianity

One of the biggest myths in our culture is that religion has been the biggest cause of war, genocide and oppression in the world. Generally, this myth is perpetuated by anti-religion zealots, secular humanists and their sympathizers. In reality, nationalism and political/ethnic/ideological zealotry account for a much higher number of deaths.

Hutus massacred hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. And it had nothing to do with religion. And look at Stalin. He massacred and starved over ten million. Was he driven by his religious beliefs? No. Like most socialists, he was driven by a fanatical adherence to an insane and unworkable collectivist ideology.

And what about the most famous psychopath of them all – Hitler? He didn’t kill Jews to eradicate their religion. He did it to eradicate them as a people who were smarter and more industrious than he was. He was a loser and they were successful. And it pissed him off.

Pol Pot, Pinochet, Marcos, Mao, Amin, Mussolini, Napoleon, Lenin, Kim, Chaucescu, the list is endless. Clearly, nationalism, ethnic hatred and political/social ideology have killed thousands of times more people than religion ever will. And more importantly, they are still doing so today while most religions, the Christian religion particularly, has become rather benign.

In fact we should applaud Christianity. In the last hundred years Christians have built the most successful, tolerant, inclusive societies in the world. Christians and their descendants wrote our laws, constitution and Charter. Today, people from other cultures can’t wait to come here to share the freedom and prosperity of our Christian-built culture. Yet so many of us let no opportunity pass to slam, disrespect, ridicule and otherwise dismiss Christianity.

Well, no one is forcing anyone to convert to Christianity. But would it hurt to show a little respect and acknowledgement for the Christians whose belief in Christ and his teachings of love, compassion and forgiveness provided them with the moral compass and vision to build the nation we live in today?

As for me, I don't go to church and sometimes I question the motivations, if not the very existence, of God. But my ancestors believed. And it is they to whom we, the inheritors of their nation, owe everthing that we have.

Raising Another Generation of Litterers

Last spring I was heading to work on the subway. With me in the subway car was a group of approximately 25 elementary school age children, along with a few adults, out for a field trip. The trip was very slow due to frequent and lengthy stops between stations due to a fire on the line somewhere.

Never could I have imagined a group of children making so much noise. Twenty five children yelling and screaming at the same time with nary a word of correction from the accompanying adults – some of whom, I assume, must have been teachers.

Finally, after a good half-hour of sharing in this cacophony, one passenger yelled at them to be quiet. I, then, threw in a few choice words of my own regarding how their behavior showed a lack of respect and consideration for those around them. Their teachers looked at me in shock as if they had never heard anyone firmly chastise children before.

I remember growing up. My teachers would never have tolerated such selfish disrespectful behavior from my classmates or myself. Neither would my mother have allowed me to act in such an uncivilized manner in public. Apparently, today’s children are not given the benefit of being taught when to speak quietly or when to shut up altogether.

I believe that a direct parallel can be drawn between this little experience of mine and Toronto’s litter problem. For one thing, both involve people who seem to believe that the world revolves around them, who have very little consideration of the feelings of others and who care nothing about how their actions impact those around them.

Seems to me that if we wanted to raise a generation of rude, disrespectful, littering adults, one way to do it would be to allow them to be noisy, inconsiderate, undisciplined children.

George Orwell's DNA

I read lately that the Chief of Toronto’s Police force wants to create a DNA database that would be used to store the DNA of anyone and everyone who is charged with a crime. Yes, that’s right – charged. Not convicted – just charged.

Get caught with a doobie and charged with possession - defend yourself against an intruder and get charged with assault - protest outside your MPs office and get charged with disturbing the peace and ‘poof’ the state takes possession of your biological blueprint.

The proponents of this frightening idea seem to be totally oblivious of the fact that law enforcement officials, bureaucrats and politicians never demand less power, they always, always demand more. Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard a politician say: “After careful consideration, I have concluded that I have far too much power with respect to my ability to regulate the lives of my constituents. Therefore, I am tabling legislation that will severely curtail my abilities in this respect.”

Never, that’s when.

Seems to me that collecting the DNA of anyone charged with a crime is just one step away from collecting it from all dads who miss their child support payments. And that is just one step away from collecting it from anyone who fails to file their income tax. Eventually we will become so desensitized to the process that we will accept mandatory collection of DNA at birth.

And once the DNA sample is taken, who would have ownership of it? Would it be the RCMP, who pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters and conducted raids on bureaucrats who displeased our omnipotent King Jean? Would it be the Toronto police force, which is mired in scandal and will soon be under the leadership of a left-wing chief personally selected by our dysfunctional Police Services Board? We live in a society where politicians at all levels of government continually expand their powers and demand increasing control of our lives. Do we really want these people in charge of an expanding DNA database? Geez, hasn’t anyone read Ayn Rand or George Orwell?

One-hundred years ago our forefathers would have laughed at the thought of government confiscating 50% of our wages to register farmers’ guns and give grants to buy votes from special interest groups. They would never have believed that their grand children would have to grovel in front of a bureaucrat for a license to cut down a tree or erect a shed on our property or sell lemonade on the sidewalk in front of our house. Our ancestors would be horrified to see the extent to which the government invades our lives today.

The road to total state regulation and control is not one that is traveled overnight – it is a long insidious journey that happens so slowly, so as to be unnoticeable. George Orwell was not a paranoid idiot – he was a cynical visionary who sought to warn us of what our world will become unless we stand up to those in control of our oversized, arrogant nanny-state and say “enough already”.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Abortion - For those Really Interested In Fairness......

Abortion is a reality in our Society. So lets talk about it.

For the first nine months of its existence, the baby is the sole property of the woman carrying it - she and she alone has the power to let it survive or to terminate its existence. The father has no say.

However, once the child is born, even if it is born against the wishes of the father, the father is then garnished and held financial liable for the next 18 years to support a child he never wanted. In other words, women have all the rights and men have only as many rights as women want them to have.

Well, maybe women should not have it both ways - either they should own the life within them before and after birth, or they should share ownership before and after birth. If the man has no say during pregnancy then perhaps he should have no responsibility after birth.

So, in the spirit if fairness, I'd like to offer the following suggestion.

I propose that every man who gets a woman he is not married to pregnant, and who wants her to abort the baby, should be able to serve her with legal papers stating his wishes and withdrawing from any future parental obligations including financial support if she has the baby. If the mother chooses to have the baby, the father is absolved of any future liability.

This, I believe, would result in two positive changes for society: One, it would help even the playing field with respect to reproductive responsibility; and two, fewer fatherless children would be born.

You may be asking yourself, does this guy really believe that this would work? Well, in all honesty, I don't. We all know that such legal options will never be afforded to men. And maybe that's for the best. (Although I'm sure the lawyers are salivating at the thought.) My purpose was to make you think.

Abortion is a serious business. Cutting men out of the decision making process makes them little more than impersonal sperm donators. Is it any wonder then, that some of them behave as such?

Government is Your Bestest Buddy

Over the past three decades, as government has stepped in to do for us what we used to do for ourselves, we have seen an increase in homelessness, fatherless families, institutional elderly abuse, and a chronic shortage of doctors and medical care. As I understand it, 25% of Canadians have no family doctor.

Trudeau started it all. Mulroney and Chretien continued it. They saw that we were eager to get handouts and they exploited our base instincts to their political advantage. Never say no and more people will vote for you. Disguise selfish political ambition as benevolence and the public will eat it up. They learned this lesson well.

Well, government is not benevolent and to trust it to take care of us is folly. It is driven by self-interst and the overriding obsession of being re-elected. It takes from us and uses the money to perpetuate its own existence. Any benefit to society is a byproduct, not a purpose.

Politicians are often arrogant and self-interested and live in a world totally detached from that of regular Canadians. When we depend on them we will always be disappointed, because we are not their greatest priority. They themselves are. And in our disappointment and disenchantment, our self confidence will shrink even further and we will give them more and more responsibility to do for us what we no longer can do for ourselves.

It is an insidious pattern of decline that appears to have no end.

Next stop - Nanny Government will bestow upon us a glorious new gift - a National Childcare Program to save all us poor helpless parents from the hideous burden of actually having to take care of and provide for our own offspring.

Gun Registry - The Future of Canada

September 9, 2035:

After requiring all Canadians to register their guns in 2001, the Canadian Liberal government has systematically confiscated guns from the estates of all registered gun owners as they die. Antiques and other valuable guns are on display in Canada’s “Firearm Museum" in Laval Quebec. Regular firearms have been destroyed. Currently it is estimated that less than 4% of Canadians own firearms.

Canada’s beloved, elderly Prime Minister – Scott Brison - stated yesterday that "Canadians should be proud of their resolve and courage in this principled stand against violence against women and others. "

June 1, 2040

Less than 2% of Canadians own firearms. Those who do must write an annual test in French and pay a $1000. 00 fee, per firearm, per year. Those who fail to comply have their firearms confiscated.

Handgun crime in all major urban centres has skyrocketed. A full page ad, written by Liberal matriarch Sheila Copps at her retirement villa in Cuba, and published by Canada's national newsvoice - the CPC (Canadian Publishing Corporation) urges Canadians to be calm and remember that street level law enforcement is the sole responsibility of the municipalities, not the federal government. Canadians, all of whom are required to subscribe to the CPC Newsvoice, express their profound relief.

February 12, 2045:

After being in power for over 50 years and facing a growing outcry from starving and freezing Canadians, the Liberal Party has enacted legislation requiring the army and police forces to confiscate all firearms in the nation. Starving farmers are expected to resist. Failure to comply brings a minimum 10 years in jail before parole.

Prime Minister Carolyn Parish first thanked her cryogenic surgeon and then went on to thank the nation for its courage and extolled Canadian values as a beacon to the world.

April 1, 2050:

Canada announces that it is nullifying its borders and allowing any and all people into Canada. In response, the US has sealed its border with Canada and issued a declaration expressing its concern with ”Canada’s unfortunate decision”.

January 15, 2055

In Canada, murder carries with it a penalty of one year’s house arrest. Possession of an unregistered firearm brings 10 years in prison. Media sources estimate that less than 1,000 private ciizens own firearms in Canada. Canadians have grown quite accustomed to looking to government to solve all their problems and protect them.

They actually like it!

September 7, 2060:

Facing riots and uprisings in 32 states over a lack of water, wood and petroleum, and after seventy years of bad relations, the American President - George M. Bush Sr IV - declared Canada a hostile nation and ordered the immediate surrender of Canada's resources to US sovereign interests. As the American tanks rolled through Windsor Ontario, the citizens of Canada, long disarmed by their government, gathered together in their communities with their axes and pitchforks vowing to put up a valiant fight with whatever they lay could their hands on.

Bush has already excluded Newfoundland from his annexation with the comments: "You'd have to be crazy to take on those frikken Newfies".