Thursday, November 27, 2008


Been busy lately, but I wanted to point Canadian readers to this post at Somena Media.

It's a posting of Bruce Clark's "A Critique of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission" with a reference that Mr Clark was the lawyer for the Gufstason Lake defendants.

Read the whole thing, but the short version is that because of the limitations/terms of the Commission, "the commission can not expose wrongdoings of the government." Mr Clark further states "The commission will look at symptoms but neither the cause nor the liability of the causer. It can not and will not investigate crimes by the government."

I'm not sure I entirely agree with Mr Clark's conclusions, and I did some investigating that led me to believe that the Commission may actually discover/expose any such facts it finds, only leaving any consequent civil or criminal legal adjudication to actual trials regarding the specific incidents, for example.

That would mean that the Commission itself is to be only an impartial fact-finding agency, and not--instead--a civil or criminal trial court apportioning blame, reparations, liability etc.

However, what I don't know is if I am correct. I could be very wrong, and the Commission could be hamstrung exactly to the degree Mr Clark says it is.

I hope not, and I'll be paying attention, because, if there is one thing I *am* very, very sure of, it's that Mr Clark (in fact, every First Nations citizen) has every good reason to distrust the Canadian federal government given past actions. I don't blame Mr Clark one bit for being suspicious.

And I hope First Nations people aren't betrayed again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Great Regulation Shortage of 2008

Look around you because it's an astonishing trick.

The politicians and bureaucrats are (so far, successfully) framing the economic mess you're surrounded with as "The Great Regulation Shortage of 2008."

I guess it's understandable because the meddlers are fighting to keep their taxpayer funded "regulator jobs".

The important question is, though: "Why on earth would anybody still believe them?"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rex Murphy, Human Rights, Ezra, etc...

HT to Ezra/pointing at Rex Murphy on Human Rights...

From Rex (go read it all...)
The essential point is that the most basic rights, those of freedom of thought, speech and expression, belong to the individual. That is why we call them intrinsic or human rights. They are rights that inhere in our basic status as human beings. They are our most profound rights, belonging to our character as human beings. And, for that reason, we neither multiply them trivially nor dilute their force and meaning by placing them in piecemeal cohabitation with less fundamental accommodations.

Like the right not to wash one's hands while working in a fast-food restaurant, or the alleged right to strip past a certain age, or the right not to be offended by a Mark Steyn article. These "cases" may have merits, and some wild philosopher may articulate those merits. But they do not abide, as rights, on the same plane as freedom of thought, speech and expression. They may be something, but what they are will not be inscribed on any cenotaph: They are not human rights.

Human rights, the real ones, are ours from the beginning. They are not bestowed by the state, because the state does not "own" them; they are not a state's or a ruler's or, for that matter, a human-rights commission's to give. It equally follows that they are not a state's or a commission's to abridge, circumscribe, tamper with or make a toy of.
There's a simple test that goes a long way to deciding if a Human Right as described is real, or simply one of the many made-up fakes masquerading as actual rights these days, and it's this:

Real "rights" don't require that you do anything to, or for, anybody to recognize or provide them; all they require is that you leave other people alone.

So: when it's not a real right, pretty please, stop referring to such things, even casually, as "rights". It just confuses people.

You can always use the term "legal permissions" or "State permissions", or "involuntary taxpayer provided benefits" or "coerced business accommodations" or some such in your efforts to be accurate. You'll find that terms like that fit the bill for essentially all the fake rights.

And, just to be very clear: claims for "positive rights", "economic rights" and "social rights" always and every time are claims against your real rights. They are nothing more than arguments to take your stuff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A note on Ms. Palin...

Antonia Zerbisias has a completely different take on it than I do, but hats off to Antonia for linking to this from The Nation's Katha Pollitt
Palin's presence on the Republican ticket forced family-values conservatives to give public support to working mothers, equal marriages, pregnant teens and their much-maligned parents. Talk-show frothers, Christian zealots and professional antifeminists--Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schlafly--insisted that a mother of five, including a "special-needs" newborn, could perfectly well manage governing a state (a really big state, as we were frequently reminded), while simultaneously running for veep and, who knows, field-dressing a moose. No one said she belonged at home. No one said she was neglecting her husband or failing to be appropriately submissive to him. No one blamed her for 17-year-old Bristol's out-of-wedlock pregnancy or hard-partying high-school-dropout boyfriend. No one even wondered out loud why Bristol wasn't getting married before the baby arrived. All these things have officially morphed from sins to "challenges," just part of normal family life. No matter how strategic this newfound broadmindedness is, it will not be easy to row away from it. Thanks to Sarah, ladies, we can do just about anything we want as long as we don't have an abortion.

[W]hile Palin did not win the Hillary vote, the love she got from Republican women, including very conservative, traditional women, shows that what I like to call the feminism of everyday life is taking hold across the spectrum. That old frilly-doormat model of femininity is gone.
As far as I see it, the above being generally true and generally good stuff, Palin and her candidacy did way more for "the feminism of everyday life" than, say, Bill Clinton (the last great Democratic "emancipator") ever did.

It might be gracious to just give her some of the credit for it...without being snide. After all, she did all that by just being who she was.

Oh, yeah...what wasn't true in the above quote? This part:
No one said she belonged at home. No one said she was neglecting her husband or failing to be appropriately submissive to him. No one blamed her for 17-year-old Bristol's out-of-wedlock pregnancy or hard-partying high-school-dropout boyfriend. No one even wondered out loud why Bristol wasn't getting married before the baby arrived.
Absolutely true that "Talk-show frothers, Christian zealots and professional antifeminists" didn't say that stuff; virtually nobody from the Right did.

But lotsa sniggering passive-aggressive statist-leftist jokesters did.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Antonia Zerbisias notes: "How people can vote for the first African American president in American history, with all that implies, while simultaneously voting to discriminate against gays is testament to the incoherence of American politics and the lack of clear cut philosophy guiding people's choices...."

"....How do some people deny other people the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even when it's no skin off their noses?" she asks.

She's correct that there's a lack of clear-cut philosophy at the heart of what she sees as the disconnect.

The right of people (of any and every gender...and number) to marry, free of government preference or censure, free of state interference, is based on an ultimately individualist position: the individual right to choose the structure of one's own consensual relationships.

Pretty much everything Barack Obama stands for, though, is antithetical to individualism. And so Obama's voters made a mistake individualists wouldn't make. That's not a surprise.


I found this quote here at MSNBC:
"I think it's mainly because of the way we were brought up in the church; we don't agree with it," said Jasmine Jones, 25, who is black. "I'm not really the type that I wanted to stop people's rights. But I still have my beliefs, and if I can vote my beliefs that's what I'm going to do.
What Ms. Jones actually means, of course, is "if I can vote to make others behave according to my beliefs, that's what I'm going to do".

A perfect example of what I'm talking about.

And this (another perfect example) in the same article:
"What the church does is give that perspective that this is a sacred issue as well as a social issue," said Derek McCoy, African American outreach director for the Protect Marriage Campaign. "The reason I feel they came out so strong on the issue is one, for them, it's not a civil rights issue, it's a marriage issue. It's about marriage being between a man and a woman and it doesn't cut into the civil rights issue, about equality.
I'm sure Mr. McCoy wouldn't have a problem if, say, his behaviour was to be affected by, say, a strict Muslim view, then. After all, to Mr. McCoy it's "a sacred issue as well as a social issue"; it's not at all about his right to choose his own consensual relationships.

Yeah, I'd say "the lack of clear cut philosophy guiding people's choices" is exactly the problem, Antonia.