Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Red Cross and Flu Vaccines

Remember the Red Cross? Up until several years ago, the Canadian Red Cross held a monopoly on blood collection in Canada. A Canadian could not give blood except through one of the many mobile, state licensed, Red Cross blood donation centres. Tens of thousands of Canadians caught Hepatitis C and AIDS from contaminated blood collected by the Red Cross. As a result, the Red Cross no longer exists. Killing thousands of Canadians apparently killed the Red Cross. I don’t know which to grieve for.

Sorry. That was sarcasm. I grieve not for the Red Cross.

Pardon me for changing the subject but, today, we are deluged with state funded propaganda urging us to get a flu shot. Private corporations are commissioned by the government to manufacture and provide flu vaccines. Eleven million flu shots are given in Canada annually. The government has a monopoly on the commission, distribution and delivery of this vaccine.

Now I'm not paranoid - at least not clinically diagnosed as such - despite the satorical mast-head at the top of my site. Yet I am compelled to ask: If we trusted our government to deliver uncontaminated blood through the Red Cross, and was betrayed in this trust, why do we trust our government to deliver clean, uncompromised flu vaccines?

SARS, the west nile virus, mad cow disease and the bird flu were unheard of a few years ago. Today they are front page news. New dioxins, viruses and contaminatory agents pop up at an alarming rate. And when our media covers these occurrences, Canadians shrug and pretty well ignore it.

I wonder - what if the next big health threat were to be created as the result of some unforeseen combination of elements in our flu vaccine? Lets face it, flu vaccines consist of a plethora of viruses and toxins that none of us would allow injected into our bodies otherwise. And many viruses and deadly diseases lie dormant in their carriers for decades until finally exacting their terrible cost.

Viruses mutate and the manner in which various chemicals, viruses and toxins interact is not fully understood. What if the cocktail of agents in the flu vaccine were to mutate or interact amongst themselves or in conjunction with the physiology of certain people in an unforeseen manner that resulted in the creation of a new deadly virus or toxin? Or what if the unspeakable happened and the vaccine itself was somehow contaminated?

Now, let me lay my biases bare. I don’t trust government. In fact I believe that anyone who does trust government is a fool. Government is not a person. It is not a singular entity that you can converse with, get a feeling for its integrity and gage the level of its trustworthiness. Government is a detached, cold, impersonal entity that doesn’t even know your name.

Dying hepatitis C victims begged for assistance from Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government. And the government members stood, one by one, under penalty of expulsion from the Liberal party, and voted to deny them the compensation they deserved. The government held a monopoly on blood collection. And when thousands of Canadians acquired terminal illnesses from the government sanctioned blood collection agency, the government abandoned them. As it would abandon you.

So let me be clear – it is not the fact that government is often incompetent and ignorant in the administration of its programs that drives me to distrust it. Rather, I distrust it because when their incompetence and ignorance kills thousands, and they are challenged, they abandon the dying in order to preserve their own political power.

And if the day should ever come - and I pray it doesn't - when the flu vaccine is found to have caused the deaths of countless Canadians, you can count on one thing – the government will take no responsibility. The dying and the relatives of the dead will be faced with a wall of government lawyers and will have to fight in our courts for decades to get any recompense. And no government official will ever be held responsible. This is what happened to the Red Cross hep-C victims and this is what will happen to the victims of any future health catastrophe.

It is the way of Canadian politics. It is the system we love and, as such, the system we deserve.

Friday, November 19, 2004

It's Not Easy Raising Daughters Today

I regularly read a column on the CBC website by a feminist writer named Georgie Binks. Today, her column contained a quote from a so-called “sex-therapist”. It went like this: "We don't want to be admonishing teenagers against having sex. We want to be teaching them more about how to have healthy sex.".

I thought about this for awhile, puzzled, and suddenly the light came on.

Oh. Of course. Healthy teenage sex! As opposed to unhealthy teenage sex! Riiiiight! I get it. It’s our job, as parents, to send our thirteen year-old daughters into the night with a wink and a condom.

Gee. I had always intended to advise my daughters to abstain from sex until they are emotionally mature and have a life-mate. How utterly passé eh? I guess nowadays you can’t be a good parent unless you are a willing partner in your children’s promiscuity.

Of course there is no voice on the CBC to bring balance to this debate. In fact, hardly anyone these days is expressing discomfort or concern about parents becoming complicit allies in their children’s sexual rompings. "Sex is everywhere and the sooner you get down with it, the better!" That’s the message our children are getting from the CBC and from everywhere. And that’s the message our new-age parents have bought into and are promoting.

But what about the severe personal and social price of teenage sex? Especially for young women. Why is no one mentioning that there has been an alarming increase in single welfare motherhood and sexually transmitted diseases in female teenagers since parents became sexual cheerleaders for their daughters? Sadly, There are precious few public platforms in Canada that allow anyone to point out the obvious - being a sexually promiscuous and irresponsible female teen often carries with it a terrible personal and social cost.

My oldest daughter is only nine, so I’ve got a few years to go before I’m thrust into the fun-filled world of teenage sexual angst, but I do know one fact that is unassailable – and one fact that I will be teaching my daughters - boys and girls are completely different. This is why I will stress to my daughters that they are not sexually equal to boys. No. They are their superiors.

There will never be a level sexual playing field between males and females no matter how many journalists, sex-therapists and assorted CBC left-wing social commentators cry and wring their hands for it. Let me repeat - boys and girls can never be sexual equals - girls will always be superior. After all, they have a uterus. Boys don’t. Girls can conceive new life inside them and bring that that life into the world.

I believe that it is because of this wondrous gift that only females have – the gift of being the only gender that can give birth to our children - that they have a higher standard of sexual care than boys do. They need to be more careful. They need to respect themselves and their reproductive abilities more than boys do. After all, they are the ones who carry the gift. However, the gift can also be a curse, depending on when and with whom they have sex.

I can almost feel the righteous indignation seething from some of you who read this. “How dare this stupid sexist pig suggest that females have more responsibility than males when it comes to sexual activity and reproduction” To these people I have only one simple question to ask: How many single dads do we have living in our welfare housing complexes with their illegitimate offspring?

You'll need only the fingers on one hand to perform this calculation. But you'll need a calculator to count the mothers.

Girls have a lot more to lose than boys when they engage in casual sex. One single act in the heat of the moment can wreck their lives and shatter their dreams forever. Daily, our adolescent daughters are bombarded with the message that sex is normal and healthy and they have as much right as boys to go out and get some. And daily our adolescent daughters get pregnant by boys, and catch STDs from boys, who will never be husbands to them, never be fathers to their children and never be financially stable enough to provide any sort of support.

Why then, is it sexist or inappropriate for me to suggest that girls should be more careful? This is not simply a matter of gender equity or sexual empowerment. It is more a matter of common sense. Those with the most to lose should take the most care.

As a father of two girls who will someday be young women, I am appalled at the message that is being sent to them in today’s society. They are constantly being told that it is empowering to cavort as so-called equals with boys in the sexual sandbox. No one is telling them that, in order to be men’s sexual equals, they have to take a step down the evolutionary ladder, not a step up. And many of them take that step, fall, and never get up.

It’s the fall that I hope to help my daughters avoid. I expect to get no help from the media or from any public mouth-piece in our society. So I guess I’m on my own. Wish me luck. The last thing we need in our society is another single teenage mother on welfare with herpes. But that is exactly the type of young woman our valueless society is encouraging my daughters to become.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Why Do We Need Parents When We Have Schools?

Over the past few days, the newspapers and other media have been carrying a story about a controversy involving the use of our schools to sensitize our children to homosexuality. Apparently a school showed some young children a video depicting families where children are being raised by same-sex couples. Some Muslim parents have voiced their opinion that schools are no place for such activity and have asked that their children be excused from the room when issues of sexual orientation are discussed. The school board refused, claiming that the human rights of same-sex parents would be violated if some parents were allowed to exclude their children from such initiatives.

I must admit that this makes no sense to me at all.

When did it become a violation of anyone’s human rights to simply refuse to listen to what others are saying? To even suggest that I must, under punishment of law, never walk away or close my ears when something is being communicated that I do not agree with is tantamount to fascism. No longer are my eyes and ears my own. They now belong to the state. And I may not close them if the state says they must remain open. This scares the bejebbers out of me. If the state owns my eyes, why aren’t they paying for my glasses? It seems only fair that, if they can dictate when my eyes cannot be closed, they should at least pay for what I see when they are open.

That said, lets focus on the real issue here. Am I the only one who finds it deeply troubling that our state run schools have taken over the responsibility of imparting morals and values to our children? When was it, I wonder, that school board officials acquired the right to tell our children what to think and feel? Even the Premier of Ontario has announced that he supports allowing school boards to perform this deeply personal parental function. I always thought that schools should be places where children learn how to think - not what to think.

There was a time when teachers and school boards respected the rights of parents to mold and shape their children’s sensibilities and values. In return, parents respected the rights of teachers to impart knowledge and, if necessary, uphold order and decorum in the classroom through discipline. Today, we live in a much different world. Today, teachers spend too much time trying to coddle our children and influence their personal values; and parents spend too much time teaching their children the basic rules of grammar at home at night. I can’t help but feel very uncomfortable about this arrangement. It seems very unnatural – creepy even – to think that we as parents are allowing total strangers to decide what our children should think and feel.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point, in the fairly recent past, those who control our education system decided that simply imparting academic knowledge and expanding our children’s minds with facts was no longer enough for them. They wanted to reach into our children’s hearts and souls and actually shape our children’s values, morals and sensibilities to correspond with their own. In essence, they decided that parents were not to be trusted to pass on the correct values to their children and therefore the state should take over.

Certainly there are enough semi-literate high school graduates walking our streets to prove that schools are spending insufficient time actually teaching our children. So why then, I wonder, can they justify spending valuable educational time on social indoctrination initiatives. Maybe it’s time our educrats were reminded of their natural place in society. It is their job to teach. It is my role to parent. They should stick to what they get paid for and teach our children to read properly. It is unnatural and immoral for them to presume to have the right to mold my child’s values and sensibilities. As a parent, that’s my job. And I am more than capable of teaching my children tolerance and compassion.

Remember the Hitler youth movement? Children were indoctrinated by the state to subscribe to values dictated by the state and to turn in their parents if they dissented in any way from the state-decreed norm. That was then and this is now. In both cases the state is telling us what values our children must have.

Now, I am not comparing Hitler with same-sex advocates. However, I cannot help but notice that they are employing the same methods to condition and train our children to think, feel and believe what they want them to believe. Our children must watch, listen and bow to their superior edicts, or they will be punished. The opinions of their parents are secondary, if not irrelevant. And, as a father, this really frightens me.

Geez, but it’s fun to be a parent these days.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Great Divide

On Tuesday, George W. Bush was re-elected as President of the United States.

A vast number of Canadians do not like Bush. And yet the American people re-elected him with a solid majority of votes. Apparently, Americans don’t think the same way that Canadians do. And, I am compelled to ask why. Look at what we have in common: We are two nations formed by usurping the land of natives, founded on Christian principles by white men and created by people who were displaced from their homeland and sought to build a better life. And yet, there is a significant political, social and ideological divide between us. The differences are many.

The U.S. is a strong military power respected (if not feared) the world over. Canada has no military to speak of and other nations really don’t give us much thought in that respect. The US became an independent nation in 1776 by fighting for their independence. Canada became a nation in 1867 through diplomatic and peaceful means. The U.S. had slavery. Canada did not. (Slavery was abolished on our soil by the British parliament 33 years before Canada became a sovereign nation.). The U.S. has inner cities rampant with drugs, crime and depravity; Canada does not. The U.S. has racial riots. Canada doesn’t. U.S. citizens get to vote for their President directly. Canadians don't. They vote for their local candidate and the leader of the political party that elects the most candidates automatically becomes the Prime Minister. The U.S. executes some of its murderers. Canada does not. U.S. citizens vote democratically on social issues like gay marriage and marijuana legalization. Canadians obediently follow the dictates of their unelected, ideologically driven, supreme court judges who are appointed for life by the Prime Minister.

Many people think that the major difference between us is our health care systems. The U.S. has a capitalistic system. The poor can be deprived of health care if they cannot afford it. However, those who can afford it, get it post-haste. And there is never a shortage of care. Canada, on the other hand has a socialistic system. In Canada it is illegal to pay for health care – everyone gets access to state funded doctors and hospitals. However, there is always a shortage of care and ordinary Canadians can die waiting in line for treatment while rich, famous, influential and connected Canadians get immediate treatment anytime they want. (Hmmm, wait a minute -maybe our health care systems aren't completely different. After all, both let the rich get preferential treatment:-)

Anyway, the major differences between the U.S. and Canada, I think, have to do with religion and military might. In the U.S. George Bush, an admitted Christian who based many of his policies on his Christian beliefs, was elected president. In Canada, Stockwell Day, the leader of the opposition, was vilified, ridiculed and discredited among Canadian voters because of his Christian beliefs. This, I think, strikes to the heart of why we are so different.

Americans still adhere to their belief in the Christian God. Their President says “God Bless America” and the American people do not see this as a bad thing. America is, if not a Christian nation, a nation that respects its history as a Christian culture. In Canada, however, it’s an entirely different story. Canada has already made the leap from Christianity to secularism – from belief in an established set of understood values, to belief that everyone has the right to set their own values and no one has the right to judge anyone else for any reason whatsoever. And in Canada, unlike the U. S., there is little if no respect for the founding Christian culture.

I think that, because they actually look to their historic Christian values as absolute, many Americans are more able and willing to judge others and to take action on those judgements. Canadians, having no definable values, are not willing to judge anyone or anything and therefore, will likely never take action on anything if challenged. (Check out the story of Bill Sampson for a glimpse of how impotent and dismissive the Canadian government is when dealing with atrocities committed against Canadians in other countries. http://www.ccadp.org/williamsampson.htm

Christian Americans have built a powerful military and are willing to use it when they feel threatened. Secular Canadians, however, have a neglected and decimated military and therefore will never be able to defend itself if threatened.

And this cuts to the crux of the matter.

If attacked by terrorists, Canadians could never conceive of waging war on a country that harboured them. Not only do we lack the military ability; we also lack the will. The U.S., on the other hand, is both willing and able to wage war on anyone who attacks it. George Bush was re-elected because of his ability and willingness to wage war and kill America’s enemies. To elect a leader for this reason would be unspeakable if not unimaginable here in Canada.

Two nations, created by Christian people who had much in common. Who woulda thought that we’d end up so different.