11/30/2005

These Are Also Great

Both images were in the PowerPoint presentation I mentioned below. I didn't have room for them, so they got their own post.

Pirate Paul


How Paul Sees Himself

How Much is A Billion Dollars?

I recieved the following as a PowerPoint slideshow in my email the other day. It is so good that I decided to reproduce it as a blog entry. I have not included all the pictures, only my favorites.

How much is a billion dollars?

A billion here, a billion there. Just how much IS a billion dollars?
It's one thousand million - a number that is beyond comprehension.
If you have yet to celebrate your 32nd birthday, you have yet to live one billion seconds.
One billion minutes takes us back to the time of Christ.
If you were to stack money at the base of the CN Tower, you would hit a billion dollars at the observation deck using one thousand dollar bills! Not one thousand, one dollar bills... one thousand dollar bills.
A billion dollars spent at Canadian Tire would purchase 21 million trigger locks, 21 million long-gun carrying cases and 7 million lockable gun cabinets.
With a billion dollars, a reward of 1.8 million could have been offered toward solving each and every murder committed in Canada in 2002.
A billion dollars would cover the cost of running every single courtroom in Canada for a year and still leave enough money to purchase 20 brand new MRI machines for some lucky hospitals.
If you made a 1 year old child sit on the bathroom floor and drop loonies into the toilet at a rate of one every 2 seconds, 24 hours a day, he would be finished at age 65.
The Liberal government has spent two (not one, but two) billon on the gun registy so far.
They have also misplaced a billion in failing to track land claim settlements through Indian Affairs.
And over a billion in the HRDC scandal (remember that?)
Do not forget!
This was your money!
So, who was Finance Minister through all this?
The man who is now our Prime Minister, Paul Martin.
He claims he knows nothing about any of these scandals.
How can that be? He signed the cheques!
Could you vote for this crook or his cronies who seem to place themselves above the law?

Wow! What a List!

I found a link to this list at The High Places. It's a list of Martin's hidden agenda, a list of reasons to be angry, a list of reasons not to vote Liberal. I have reproduced it below.

Maybe it's because Paul Martin was in favour of ballistic missile defence, before he was against it.
Maybe it's because he was for the Iraq War, before he was against it.
Maybe it's because he was against same-sex marriage, before he was for it.
Maybe it's because he was against the Clarity Act, before he was for it.
Maybe it's because he was against free trade, before he was for it.
Maybe it's because he was against deficit reduction, before he was for it.
Maybe it's because he was against the GST, and then kept it in place.
Maybe it's because he rails against co-operation with the Bloc, when his Quebec lieutenant (yes, his top man in Quebec) is a frickin' co-founder of the Bloc himself.
Maybe it's because he demonized Tory tax cuts, before unveiling even bigger tax cuts himself.
Maybe it's because he presents himself as the saviour of public health care, when he gut it by the billions as Finance Minister.
Maybe it's because Sheila Copps said he wanted to scrap the Canada Health Act.
Maybe its because Sheila Copps said he wanted to scrap Old Age Pensions.
Maybe it's because he turns a blind eye to health care privatization in Quebec. Because he attends a private clinic himself.
Maybe it's because he declares an end to cronyism and patronage in Ottawa, and then appoints a disgraced guy like Art Eggleton to the Senate.
Maybe it's because he says he was "Mad as Hell" about Adscam, while he hands out no-bid contracts to buddies like David Herle and the Earnscliffe Strategy Group.
Maybe it's because he's presented three radically different budgets in the space of one year.
Maybe it's because he condemns terrorism with his lips, and then knowingly attends fundraisers for Tamil terrorists.
Maybe its because he deceived the Canadian public about the amount of federal money granted to his own company, Canada Steamship Lines, when he was Finance Minister. Only about $150 million by the way.
Maybe its because he talks about slaying the democratic deficit when he goes on appointing unelected Senators. Because he stops at nothing to shield his star candidates, and then leaves Chretienite nomination candidates like Sheila Copps to the wolves. Because he dictatorially rescheduled opposition days, filibustered his own budget and ignored more than one vote of confidence this spring. Because he sent his chief of staff to buy the floor crossing of the Grewals. Because he did buy the floor crossing of Belinda Stronach. Because he scheduled a confidence vote around the surgery of a Tory MP fighting cancer. Because, in the words of the Globe & Mail, he's had the gall to "spit in the face of the Commons and call it respect.”
Maybe it's because he's mused about using the notwithstanding clause on same-sex marriage, and then falsely accused the Conservatives of planning to do the very same.
Maybe it's because he's opposed minimum sentences for criminials since day one, and all of a sudden has proposed minimum sentences for gun crime, just weeks before an election.
Maybe it's because he paints himself as a patriotic Canadian, and yet has refused to fly our flag on his ships. All so he could violate Canadian labour law and pay third world wages of course.
Maybe it's because he attacks the Tories on the environment, when his ships dump dangerous waste into the Great Lakes.
Maybe it's because of these infamous words, that go to the to the heart of the trustworthyness of Paul Edgar Philippe Martin: "Screw the Red Book... Don't tell me what's in the Red Book. I wrote the goddamned thing. And I know that it's a lot of crap."
I could go on, but alas, I don't have all year. Suffice it to say that Martin's core beliefs, his principles, his priorities, his agenda, has been as consistent as the solid state of an ice cube in a scorching desert, and about as clear as mud.
In fact, he really has no core beliefs, no priorities. His is a government of endless improvisation, of expedience, of an endless obsession to stay in power.
His agenda is so hidden even he doesn't know what it is. He has to keep looking to the prevailing political winds to find out.

11/29/2005

Boy Are They Begging to be Made Fun Of

So, I saw a link to this at SDA.
It's the Liberal Party of Canada Blog.
Wow.
Not only is it retarded and doomed to spectacular failure, crap like this shows you just how out of touch the Liberals are with the common man.
Wow, look at me! I'm in "cyberspace,"
Now, what's truly hilarious about this beginning is that my husband and I say this whenever we come across a really bad website. You know the kind. They have lots of spinning things, or flaming torches, or bad midi music playing in the background.
The guy even defines a Blackberry. Just in case you've been living under a rock and didn't know, a Blackberry:
[is] a wireless handheld device (true)
enables political staffers to stay in touch, (because normal people don't use them... by the way, did my taxes pay for those?)
instantly communicate with the media (so that you can get that spin out before your opponents do)
and develop freakish, superstrong thumbs with which they can (do unmentionable things).
My favorite though, is the copyright at the bottom. This website is the property of the Liberal Party of Canada and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express written permission.
I take it I am violating said copyright, then?

My Election Thoughts

I was going to write something deep and meaningful last night after the vote, but I forgot. Now, all I can think is "Finally! An election! Better call Dean Allison and get my sign for the lawn."

11/28/2005

A New Look... Hmm

Canada.com has a new look. It's chic and modern, but when I looked at it this morning, I honestly thought I had the wrong place. The change is quite drastic and one cannot tell that this is where you go to find the National Post or Global News.
The designers really need a lesson in branding.

The Big Day

The government falls today. The vote will be at 6:30 EST this evening. I've turned CPAC on, and it will probably be on all day.

11/27/2005

Another Comment

The original comment by Beryl Wajsman was posted here. I have reposted it below.

INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OF MONTREAL
INSTITUT DES AFFAIRES PUBLIQUES DE MONTRÉAL
1411 rue Peel, édifice Marine, bureau 502, Montréal, Qc, H3A 1S5

22 April 2005
Montreal

Institute Bulletin No. 291

DARE TO CALL IT TREASON
THE CORPORATE OLIGARCHY OF
CANADIAN POLITICS

"You have dishonoured this place by your contempt. You are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. A pack of mercenary wretches. Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? You have grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. Upon the peril of your souls depart from this place. You have sat here too long to be of any use. Go I say! In the name of God, go!"

~ Oliver Cromwell


This week we witnessed a singular act of courage in the Canadian political landscape. Perhaps born out of necessity, but no less brave for it, the former Director-General of the Liberal Party of Canada’s Quebec wing Benoit Corbeil, at great personal risk – admitting to mistakes committed - gave us an inside look at the attempted usurption of our country. If we have the courage to understand; the conscience to act; and the compassion to realize that even worthy efforts are not without shortcomings; we may still be able to take our country back.

The grave import of his revelations not only help to clarify many of the unanswered questions that leap out at us from the confusing and contradictory testimony we have witnessed at the Gomery Commission, but also bring into stark relief the suspicions held for many years on the political street regarding the internecine relations between Chrétien, Martin and “les hommes dans les ombres” and their influence over the compromise of Canadian consequence and the subversion of the sovereignty of the people’s suffrage.

Corbeil alleged that a relatively small group of highly influential political, corporate and legal mandarins had as their foundational, over-reaching purpose the "...acquisition of power over this country; the consolidation of that power; and most importantly the exploitation of that power..." And how that power was obtained and manipulated through control of the institutions of what he termed the "...réseau Libéral..." the Liberal network.

A network that operated at the national level using the various provincial wings as facades to conceal the real work of their machine. A machine whose core was the Federal Liberal Agency for Canada with the complicity of the party executive and the electoral commission. A machine that had its own fund-raising apparatus depositing in Ottawa; whose orders were to be strictly obeyed at the regional and local levels; and whose members included the highest ranking elected and operational representatives of both the Chrétien and Martin camps.

If Corbeil is correct about the aims of this group, that "...met behind the closed doors of the most powerful law firms in the land and decided judgeships, contracts, grants and mandates...", it would explain why Chrétien gave his fierce and bitter rival, Paul Martin, a man he personally detested, the control over the policies of the public purse. Arguably a job almost as important as his own. Were certain respected "eminences grises" involved in this "merger?"

Both men’s public links to certain members of the group Corbeil alludes to have been known for years. However, what has been generally known only to the professional political street are the private intimacies of these two men to that same circle. Names, of course, cannot be mentioned here because paper trails are scarce.

Corbeil’s allegations that all leaders at the top of the Liberal Party were aware of, and acquiesced in, all the strategies and tactics that led to the first Federalist win in Québec in the 2000 election in twelve years would make sense. For not only did Chretienites and Martinites realize they had no future without a country to govern, the mandarins who ran the machine realized that in order to continue to profit from the maintenance and manipulation of power over a country, they needed a country to maintain in order to manipulate.

It would also be fair to speculate that a decision was made to enlist the talents of both Chrétien and Martin to keep this momentum going. Chrétien for his considerable political skills in organizing and propagandizing, and Martin for his financial acumen at fine-tuning the budget priorities and ordering, or re-ordering, the necessary fiscal rules and regulations that would be of benefit to this group. One could be forgiven for concluding that a "cold" peace was imposed. Chrétien and Martin were necessary sides of the same coin.

A peace that produced two parallel and positive results for the men in the shadows. Chrétien accomplished his political task of maintaining political stability and nearly eviscerating the separatist option in Quebec. Martin pushed forth the money agenda so important to those who had invested so much of their treasure in this endeavour.

Retroactive tax changes for the movement of capital. More generous regulations for off-shore corporate havens. Transfers of surpluses from the Canada Pension Plan and the Unemployment Insurance funds coincidently coupled with the greatest growth in corporate welfare in the history of Canada. Export Development Guarantees for questionable deals for sick companies. Subsidizing the China trade to allow cheap labor pools for Canadian vested interests. Added fiscal advantages for wealthy Canadians. In short, generationally and foundationally systemic changes for the benefit of the privileged.

Compared to the gravity of the above, the deals that Chretienites and Martinites alledgedly benefited from through communications companies and contracts to consulting firms like Earnscliffe might be characterized as mere tips to keep the hired helps’ collective beaks wet. As pollster Allan Gregg once wrote in the Globe and Mail, the amount of money supposedly wasted according to Sheila Fraser would be equivalent to $15 lost in a $100,000 stock account. He calculated it at .015% of the Federal budget from 1995-2000.

So why all the fuss and bother and the $85 million spent so far on Gomery? What is becoming clear from many sources, Corbeil being just one, is that much of this was a tragedy of hubris.

It has been a source of speculation for some years that after the near disaster of the 1995 Referendum, leading businessmen began to take play a more intimate and active role in the operational and strategic decision-making of the Liberal Party. Particularly to assure that money would always be available in case of another sovereigntist challenge. It is well known that Mr. Chrétien had been quite shaken not just by the narrow outcome of that 1995 vote, but by the sorry financial state of the "NO" Committee some six weeks before the vote at the time of the famous 150,000 person rally in Montreal.

The men who rescued the situation came from the financial world. They had a comfort level with Martin that many have said did not exist with Chrétien. For them Martin seemed to be the steadier steward and, equally important, they understand each other’s cultural shorthand. As a result of all this, Martin’s position in the "concordat" with Chrétien was substantially strengthened.

The cold peace imposed on Chrétien and Martin seemed to reign until Martin starting pushing the envelope in 1999 to get Chrétien to quit, believing that the latter had reneged on a supposed promise to leave after two terms. The same conflict we are now seeing in Britain between Prime Minister Blair and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.

The Martinites sniping gained momentum amid the leaks aimed at Gagliano. They took advantage of the situation tin order to undermine Chrétien’s credibility. They piggy-backed on the attacks against the most caricaturistic member of Chrétien’s team. They had no real objections to Gagliano. In fact, most had heard that if Chrétien would leave, Gagliano would support Martin. They were friendly. But Gagliano was the soft underbelly of the Chrétien defenses. He was an easy target. And more importantly he was choice fodder for the press.

As matters escalated and spun out of control, Chrétien made the mistake of letting the new Public Works Minister Dan Boudria send the whole mess to the Auditor-General even though she had already twice investigated sponsorship and found the problems corrected. The press latched on to the small stuff of the story: the ad companies, the jobs for friends, because it was easy. They missed the big picture behind the scenes. Because for all the enmity behind the two camps, both Chrétien and Martin still realized they had residual common interests. And those interests demanded that the central vehicle of control, the Liberal Party, remain in tact and in power.

That was why Chrétien offered Martin to stay in office an extra few months and handle the fallout from Fraser’s report. It would be better for the party. But Martin wanted the office so badly he said no. But then he made his "Boudria" mistake. He listened to his junior political staffers and appointed the Gomery Commission thinking he’d score political points. What he forgot was how intertwined both camps were.

He never imagined that the Gomery blowback would expose the institutional intimacies between the two camps, as we saw from the fourth day of Jean Brault’s testimony, where Brault implicated half-a-dozen Martin intimates as alledgedly being in contact with, or benefiting from, the same big, bad agencies. And now we have the same House Accounts committee that Martin closed down in its investigation of the ad agencies, starting its own investigation of Martin’s relationship with Earnscliffe and the activities of his top aides.

The powers in council rooms apart threw up their hands at trying to herd these fighting cats together early in 2004. But as further proof of the institutional memory of Martin, he realized he had to do something to keep the core of the party in tact. He realized that just as Chrétien had offered to stay through Fraser, it was now time for Martin to be a good soldier. That is why at the end of the Ottawa phase of Gomery, Martin actually applauded Chrétien’s testimony to the Liberal caucus as "...a tremendous job for Canada..." punched the air with his fist and led the caucus in a standing ovation for the former Prime Minister.

And here is the heart of the Pandora’s Box that Benoit Corbeil has so boldly opened. It’s not about the money. As Allan Gregg wrote, the money is not the issue. Hewlett-Packard ripped off the Department of National Defense for more money than the ad agencies and in a shorter time. The gun registry was $1 billion over budget with no inquiries. Martin’s “mis-statement” on CSL receiving $167 million, not $167,000, in contracts on his watch was dismissed as an accounting oversight. When the Landry government suffered through the Oxygene Neuf scandal the Premier fired those responsible, after using the appropriate police and judicial procedures to ascertain guilt without ruin to reputations, and refused to call an inquiry because he rightly said "...public inquiries quickly become public inquisitions..."

Money is part of every aspect of life in liberal economic democracies, including politics, and shall always remain so. As I’ve said in speaking to social action groups, if you have the money to spend $100 on hockey tickets, get 1000 people together and get $25 from each and give it to the candidates of your choice. You’ll have clout. There is nothing wrong with using the tools of the powerful for the benefit of the vulnerable. We need not sink into the mire of false pieties.

The over-riding concern that Corbeil alludes to is of a different dimension entirely. An almost pre-meditated institutionalized plan to permanently subvert our state imperatives and priorities to the dictates of one willful group. And the arrogance of that mindset permeating our elected representatives as well. Ministers dictating directives to agencies of law enforcement; investigations set up apart from normal judicial procedures; curtailing of due process; engagements between elected representatives and corporations. In short, a Liberal Party that has nothing liberal about it. It is about as “liberal” as the Institutional Revolutionary Party that ruled Mexico for 70 years as the tool of the vested interests was "revolutionary." Words, images and circuses for the diversion of the masses.

Canada has been taken through the looking-glass. Black is White. White is Black. The risk, the great and agonizing danger we face today, is that relief from the prejudices already suffered; renewal of constitutional rights already abridged; restoration of rule of law already corrupted; and revival of the sovereignty of our suffrage already compromised, may come too late. The governance of our commonweal is becoming a mystery to the uninitiated and a snare to the unwary. The system of justice it is grounded in, a two edged sword of craft and oppression.

To call the bodyguards of lies that have led this nation to such levels of low limitation and narrow circumstance treasonous, may not be too harsh a judgment.

It is perhaps time to remember the words Oliver Cromwell spoke to Charles I and say to these men in the shadows and those they control,

"You have dishonoured this place by your contempt. You are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. A pack of mercenary wretches. Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? You have grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. Upon the peril of your souls depart from this place. You have sat here too long to be of any use. Go I say! In the name of God, go!"

Beryl P. Wajsman
President
Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
(www.iapm.ca)

11/25/2005

An Amazing Comment

Everyone needs to read this copy of a letter that was left on my blog today. It is in response to a comment left by Beryl Wajsman. For those who don't feel like clicking, I will post the message in its entirety below.

Dear Beryl,
A copy of my correspondence to the PMO, some time ago June 1st, 2005. For your reflection:
Dear Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D. Governor General of Canada

A copy of my correspondence to the Prime Minister and Leaders of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition forwarded for your perusal.

I believe we are at the end of the democratic coil.

Yours truly,

Hans Rupprecht BGS, PDP, CFP

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Hans Rupprecht CFP [mailto:hancor@msn.com]
Sent: June 1, 2005 9:55 AM
To: 'martin.p@parl.gc.ca'
Cc:

Subject: State of Government

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Hans Rupprecht CFP [mailto:hancor@msn.com]
Sent: June 1, 2005 9:45 AM
To: 'duceppe.g@parl.gc.ca'
Subject: State of Government


Dear Prime Minister Paul Martin,

Stephen Harper, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition
Gilles Duceppe, Leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Jack Layton, Leader of New Democratic Party

It would appear that the learned Prime Minister Paul Martin is really a Tory in disguise. PM Paul Martin’s conversion to the Tory cause, is reminiscent of his namesake on the road to Damascus. Suddenly, we have Paul Martin the "Peeler" attempting to govern without significant confidence in the House of Parliament. The Prime Minister is doing a fine imitation of his 19th century counterpart PM Robert Peeler; albeit without a significant moral compass for his party.

We will have to do a little better than the equivocating compass of moral relativism, which suggests certain objects only have value when one chooses to place value on them. The offering of patronage from the PMO through use of "plausible deniability" and so called "same sex" marriage debate comes to mind. Now we have the bald faced deal brokering by the Gurmant Grewal tapes, subject to "public deniability" for all to see. I extend my salutations to the government for sinking to a new criminal low; in its efforts to hijack democracy. Moreover, seeing that marriage is a provincial power per S. 92(12) of the Constitution Act 1867 all promises against religious discrimination will be rendered a nullity. Perhaps the Prime Minister would like to consult with Pope Benedict XVI on the nullification of marriage, for he has clearly mislead on the issue of constitutional responsibilities. Are we the public to assume that there is no moral objectivity outside of oneself, save the lowest common denominator as expressed by the government?

To wit, one only need note the performance of Belinda Stronach newly minted Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Belinda has single-handedly reinvigorated the 19th century "Bed-Chamber Crisis" by creating one of her own. Given that Ms. Stronach has yet to finish her degree; it would seem that she has some skills development to work on herself. As a starting point, if I may be so bold to suggest, be a little less strident in the placement of those stiletto Gucci heels, as they clearly have the capacity to cause significant pain. Please choose a better epitaph than the "Ministry of Silly Walks." An alternate interpretation, is to suggest we have government by the corporation, for the corporation; the hidden hand of federal politics.

Next we have the proposed legalization of marajuana. Of course I am delighted to contemplate that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces may be “higher than a kite” as he decides whether we go to war or not. Given that our previous Prime Minister Jean Chretien has suggested he would be the first to light up after legalization gives me pause to wonder about the quality of advice given in the PMO. To contemplate a stoned Prime Minister involved in Ballistic Missile Defence... "Oh lets press the launch button!" Well thank God Almighty we have avoided this certain disaster given my previous writings on the BMD subject. We hardly need discover new and inventive ways in which to incinerate ourselves.

Further paralleling PM Robert Peel, the Irish Potatoe famine has as its corollary the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Repeal of the Corn Laws is hardly the prescription of the past. Surely to God we are not, as part of the international community, going to let the planting season pass only to leave an estimated 2 million displaced to simply starve. This will only serve to add insult to the 180,000 lives already lost to blatant bloody mindedness. Our commitment as a nation, to the security of persons and human life, at home and abroad, has to be more significant than to suggest to Almighty God: "Return to Sender." While welcome, it will take more than underwriting funding for the African Union mission; some significant on the ground troop strength through the United Nations or other force combination has to make its way there in very short order. Using the existing African Union force to integrate new peacekeepers might be the place to start. 2700 soldiers spread out over a nation the size of France is not going to do the trick. The alternative is to add Sudan to the humanitarian disasters of Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, etc. If the western world nations don’t make a concerted effort in this regard, we are no better than the so called despot regimes we so often decry, for we have become in Burke’s words mere bystanders. Or to use the Irish phrase, we don’t "give a tinker’s damn." Given that Prime Minister Paul Martin has visited Darfur himself; he is no doubt aware of the grave consequences of not acting. It is quite one thing to condemn verbally a despotic regime; it is quite another to ignore the egregious errors this same regime manifestly commits. It means precious little to appeal to God for guidance in one’s throne speeches, when we studiously ignore our God given intelligence to provide solutions. One needs no Divine miracle, when the correct solution is to give governments a good collective kick in the backside to do it’s duty. Through systematic under funding of the military, a fact the Prime Minister himself has admitted to, we have created the inability to respond over the past decade. We as a nation should be loading planes of peacekeepers now; before it is too late. We quite simply need to place "boots on the ground," before the planting season window of opportunity irrevocably closes.

No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

The Constitution Act 1867 suggests that per s.91 that the House of Parliament has the power to make laws in respect of "Peace, Order and Good Government." One might reasonably make the case we have been delivered unto "War, Chaos and Bad Government."

Most recently we have had non-confidence motions passed which suggested that due to the lack of progress with Liberal Party and governmental corruption that "..the government should resign." This was subsequently reaffirmed in 3 motions to adjourn the House. What part of the statement "get ye gone" does the government have such great difficulty in understanding?

Evidently, we are rewriting Westminster Parliamentary tradition; now to be replaced by the dictum "Government will enjoy the Queen’s pleasure to govern; so long as it is politically convenient to delay, through whatever means necessary legal or not, until suitable defections are secured, from members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition." Ostensibly, this new precedent will be extended into the future by months and years. I congratulate the government on overthrowing Parliamentary convention, not to mention laws against bribery, and replacing it with, in the words of historian Michael Bliss, "proto-tyranny." The current Liberal Party, as practiced, has crossed the democratic version of the river Styx. Welcome to Hades, ladies and gentlemen, the temperature should be rising shortly.

Indeed, now we have president Chirac suggesting he will resist the democratic will of the people, in the event they vote "No," in a referendum on the European Constitution. How far will this poison to democracy spread? So this is democracy, only accepted when it accords with the will of the elite?

Moreover, we have the following announcement made on May 25th, 2005: The federal Liberals would consider ignoring a House of Commons defeat should they lose any of the several coming votes that are matters of confidence between now and the end of the spring session, Chief Government Whip Karen Redman says!!! We won’t be taking any lessons from the Parliamentary pedants who inhabit the government benches.

The aforementioned statement in effect suggests that we will inaugurate a period of "taxation without representation." I congratulate the Chief Government Whip for renewing and modernizing the 1837 Rebellion. Perhaps we should be loading our muskets with ball and shot right about now; given the government has departed the democratic mortal coil.

I gather we now have the rationale for the ill reputed gun registry.

Ms. Redman’s statement has to number among the most inflammatory and incendiary since the demagogues mounted the Bema on the Pynx, Acropolis.

But an attempt to turn the right of election into such a farce and mockery as a fictitious fine and recovery, will, I hope, have another fate; because the laws which give it are infinitely dear to us, and the evasion is infinitely contemptible.

...I see no other way for the preservation of a decent attention to public interest in the Representatives, but THE INTERPOSITION OF THE BODY OF THE PEOPLE ITSELF, whenever it shall appear, by some flagrant and notorious act, by some capital innovation, that these Representatives are going to over-leap the fences of the law, and to introduce an arbitrary power. This interposition is a most unpleasant remedy. But, if it be a legal remedy, it is intended on some occasion to be used; to be used then only, when it is evident that nothing else can hold the Constitution to its true principles. Edmund Burke, THOUGHTS ON THE PRESENT DISCONTENTS

This government has passed on! This government is no more! This government has ceased to be! This government is expired and gone to meet its maker! This government is a stiff. This government is bereft of life, this government rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed the government to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! The government’s metabolic processes are now history! The government is off the twig! The government has kicked the bucket, the government has shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisibile!! This government has had its lot, it is no longer, it is expired, it has departed. THIS IS AN EX-GOVERNMENT!! (With apologies to Monty Python’s parrot sketch.)

Auguring the potential establishment of a dictatorship, per the residual power of the crown per S. 91(29) Constitution Act 1867 to suspend all Charter Rights per S.33 of the Constitution Act 1982 is hardly in keeping with the Westminster Parliamentary tradition. As the Queen and public might be want to say: "WE are not amused."

To paraphrase one Globe and Mail editorial: The government would spit in the face of the Queen, Parliament and the people and call it respect.

Edmund Burke might make this observation: "Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it."

Some Internet bloggers, have even gone so far as to suggest: "Where is Guy Fawkes when you really need him?"

Perhaps a more apt description of our government is "Rump Parliament" harking back to Oliver Cromwell. The only difference being that now one must adhere to a corrupted secular rather than religious orthodoxy.

My family has over the course of five generations variously survived the machinations of Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Erich Honnecker. We will be taking no more lessons in despotism and blind stupidity, as we have completed our historical tour of duty. We have greater self respect than mere cannon fodder of ages past and have the medals to prove it.

Well if the unlearned government has passed into the self-styled role of the Philistines of Parliament; we will simply have to declare ourselves "freemen and freewomen" of Canada. So government now proposes taxation without representation; or rather simply theft of democracy itself. By the Chief Government Whip’s own statement to defy future confidence votes, we have become a stolen nation. But seeing as the government has been doing this on the sponsorship file it comes as no surprise. Quite frankly, you can take this proposition straight to Hell.

So let me recap my family’s experience of government under the Liberal Party rule:

1. They failed to provide funding for adequate health services for my mother, and required notice of supervised neglect before accepting her as a patient. (Year 2000)

2. The government through the offices of Canada Revenue Agency, has suggested by logical inference, that I kill my son to secure the Disability Tax Credit. (Year 2003) To date I still await an apology for CRA’s venture into criminality. Further CRA has again failed to approve the DTC for my son Nicolaas notwithstanding the recommendations 2.5 of the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities and a $9-22.5 Billion spending spree to secure a "cats claws in the wooden panelling" margin in the House. (2005)

3. The government has allowed systematic corruption of the electoral process in my home province Quebec; bringing the spectre of the break up of the country, due to its fundamental inability to believe in a balanced federalism. (1994 – 2002) It has further tainted its authority by circumventing a free and fair electoral process.

4. The government has demonstrated that it was willing to entertain assisted suicide through offices of the Attorney General demonstrating it’s general low regard for the security of the person and or human life.

(Fall 2004)

5. The government has failed to pursue a substantive "boots on the ground" effort to avert a 2 million person human disaster in Darfur, Sudan. We have about two weeks to cobble something together, before it all just slips away. Planting season is not coming back. Despite my pleading back on December 10, 2004 and the urging of numerous others, such as David Kilgour MP to name but one, we have failed to adequately redress the appalling conditions present. Indeed, UN Secretrary General Kofi Annan has described conditions as “heart wrenching”. While funding is welcome, the time to act is now.

6. The government now proposes further undemocratic behaviour, with respect to further confidence votes under cutting the notion of democracy itself; advancing in effect the proposition of taxation without representation. So much for the promise of correcting the democratic deficit; it would appear to have rather significantly increased to the point of disenfranchisement.

7. The government through the office of the PMO has perniciously pursued patronage appointments in consideration of abstentions on the May 19th, 2005 confidence vote.

When the government comes to its senses please let me know. I await your considered reply.

One regrettably has to come to the conclusion, that we have been led by rogues and fools.

"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" Oliver Cromwell

Yours sincerely,
Hans Rupprecht BGS, PDP, CFP

Organized Crime: More Likely than Not

Thursday, Opposiiton Leader Stephen Harper made a comment on Liberal behaviour and organized crime. This has caused no small amount of debate.
However, I have been doing some reading. First, I looked at this article in the Toronto Sun and this comment left by Beryl Wajsman. I also recall hearing about mafia involvment that related somehow to Morselli and Gagliano, but as I can neither recall the link nor have a source, I will leave that alone for now.
I am not one to say whether or not Harper intended his comments the way they were interpreted. It is interesting, as PoliticsWatch points out, that none of the 11 Liberal MPs who participated in the debate that lasted all day in the House challenged the comments. Of course, this could always be due to general stupidity, but in light of the article on the possible hit on Martin, I am not so certain.

11/24/2005

Narrow, Angry People

What a tool! There is nothing good I can say about this man. Time to bash away. There's so much good material from Valeri in this article. How can I resist?
"Canadians call it achievement," Valeri said.
You mean "Canadians living in Ottawa that are members of the Liberal party call it acheivement. Regular guys know they're screwed. But they're our peons, so we don't care."
"We will work to make the best country in the world even better. The world . . . has seen the meaning of hope, and it's Canada."
The meaning of hope?
Hope for what?
Taxes that I can't afford? Hope for members of the mafia to rise to political power? Hope for the day when the hard working will support the lazy? Hope for Dingwall's entitlements?
"The world has seen the future and it's Canada."
The world immediately shut its eyes in terror, had a smoke and then begged the States for help.
"We will not let it be turned backward..."
Indeed. We will march inevitably over the precipice and plunge head long into chaos, becoming the first third world country in North America.
"...In the name of some right-wing ideology put forward by narrow, angry people.
Angry? Yes.
Narrow? Well, I admit, I've got skinny hips but really now...

11/23/2005

A Historic Condemnation

Read this article.
Read this one too.

Tomorrow's non-confidence motion reads like this:
"That the House condemns the government for its arrogance in refusing to compromise with the opposition parties over the timing of the next general election and for its 'culture of entitlement,' corruption, scandal, and gross abuse of public funds for political purposes and, consequently, the government no longer has the confidence of the House."
Wow.
I bow in awe to whoever wrote such a scathing and unflinching motion. I am speechless. Whoever you are, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Arrogance.
Gross abuse.

That is so perfectly worded.

Shut Up Ralph

No one asked for your opinion. And here I thought you were so cool.

Hit Him Back 3: Revenge vs Self Defense

How can violence and self-control co-exist? How do you know when you are crossing over the line and you are seeking revenge? When is it no longer self defense or the defense of another?
Often, the answer to this set of questions may not come until after the fact. You may not realize that you have crossed a line until after that line has been crossed. In this case, your only resolution may be an apology. If the other person was also wrong, this can be especially difficult on the pride.
How do you properly make use of violence and still maintain your self-control? Lots of practice. Most people cannot do this without training. The same is true of becoming angry and not losing your self control. In fact, in this discussion, I would say that self control is of paramount importance. This is why people react with such shock when they see cops unfairly beating someone. They are given the reponsibility of using violence for the general good of the people they protect. Cops are therefore expected to exercise more self control than average.
I would argue that the difference between revenge and defense is also one of motivation. If, in your heart, your thinking is along the lines of "I'm going to teach this little bugger a lesson he won't soon forget," then your motivation may well be wrong. I can't tell you this; only you know what's in your heart. Maybe he does need a lesson. Maybe you are the one to do the teaching. Levi and Simeon certainly were. However, you must take great care with such thinking and see that it does not lead you into pride.
Thinking such as "I'm worth more than this," may or may not be wrong. It is not pride to know your worth. Most sexually abused women do not have a proper sense of their own worth. The same is true of those who allow themselves to be bullied.
As an aside, if you believe that letting it happen while you harbour hateful thoughts in your heart is somehow turning the other cheek, you are mistaken. You may as well lash out in spiteful rage, because I hate to tell you this: you are still sinning. It's just a different type of sin.
But back to self worth and self defense.
Knowing your worth is knowing your place in the grand scheme of things. Recall the centurion who said to Jesus that he was in authority and he was under authority. This statement applies to all people in all stations of life. There are people who are, for lack of a better word, "better" than you, and those who are worse. This could be in terms of their looks, brains, possessions, class, physical strength, whatever. No one is ever in the bottom of the pile. You are always somewhere in the middle compared to someone else on any given issue. Not standing up for yourself in the face of bullying or sexual assault presupposes that you are worthless, and this is not true. If you were honestly worthless, God would not have created you in the first place. All life has value. When facing some tormenter, keep this fact at the forefront of your mind. It is both uplifting and humbling.

Hit Him Back 2: The Defense of Another

As a result of the post I made yesterday, and this discussion with Shane at The High Places, I have decided to give some more thought on acceptable uses of violence.

What does it mean to be angry and not sin? When should you turn the other cheek, and when should you strike back? What is righteous indignation? How can violence and self-control co-exist? How do you know when you are crossing over the line and you are seeking revenge?
These can be difficult questions to answer. In the interest of backing up what I posted yesterday, however, I am going to make an attempt. Because I do not believe in pacifism, I think it is an important topic worthy of serious consideration. It is far too simple to say "Yes, you must hit" or "No, it is better to take it."
As a start, it is possible to be angry, react in violence and still do the right thing. Three Biblical examples come to mind: Elijah slaughtering the prophets of Baal, Joshua killing Achan and his family for their sin and Sampson. About the only right thing Sampson did was kill the Philistines. That was the purpose of his great strength and God even assists him with this at the end of his life. However, the average person is not going to find themselves in such situations. We need a better example.
Genesis 34 is the story of the rape of Dinah, Jacob's daughter. Simeon and Levi defend her after the fact and kill Hamor and Shechem. Jacob is angry with them, but Simeon and Levi both say that he should not have treated Dinah as a prostitute. Later, when Jacob blesses his sons, he makes reference to this and says that he should not sit in their counsel because of their violence. Ironically, in the case of Levi, this is reversed when Moses blesses the tribes. As priests, the tribe of Levi becomes the teacher of Israel. Simeon's blessing is missing from the passage in Deuteronomy. (You'd have to ask a scholar why. I have no idea.) It is important to note that the behaviour of the brothers is not held against them as sin in the future. It is also important to keep in mind that under the law, which did not exist yet, they would have had a method to exact justice on behalf of their sister: stoning (again, a violent act).
As an aside, I always find it interesting that the punishment for rape, stoning, would be extended to the woman if she did not scream out for help. It is an important reminder of a woman's worth; she must not lie there and take it. She must cry out.
But back to violence.
The case of Simeon and Levi is clearly one of the strong defending the cause of the weak. There are many references in Scripture that suggest that this is what the strong must always do. It is not revenge to fight for someone who cannot fight for themselves. This is a correct use of violence. The incorrect version would be the strong preying on the weak. This is evil, and spoken against in the Bible many times.
How does the case of Simeon and Levi differ from someone taking revenge? I think it would be very easy to argue that they were taking revenge for what was done to their sister. They even lied to Hamor. However, this would be an incomplete reading of the passage.
Consider Hamor's behaviour. Shechem shows no repentance at all for what he did. Hamor, his father, tries to bribe the brothers into allowing him to marry Dinah by offering trade, marriage with his own daughters, land and money. In this, Hamor shows that Dinah was little more than a piece of property to him. He was a corrupt man. In fact, the chapter specifically states that Hamor had no honour.
Hamor was a Hivite. The Hivites were descendants of the Canaanites, perhaps one of the most sexually depraved groups living in the area. They were cursed by Noah as a result of Ham's sexual sin. They also lived in the land that God later gave to Israel under Moses. They were one of the unfortunate tribes that were to be wiped out as Israel took possession of the land. Not only that, but the Israelites were to have nothing to do with them on account of their depravity.
It is on account of this, and also that there was no law preventing their actions, that Simeon and Levi's behaviour must be viewed as an execution of justice, not revenge.

11/22/2005

Hit Him Back

Sometimes, violence is the answer.
A lot of people disagree with me, I am sure. That's because they are naive or have never faced violence themselves. Many take the idea of turning the other cheek to an extreme. Sometimes, you have to get angry.
That's why Ontario's new anti-bullying legislation is a fundamentally dumb idea.
"Let's talk about it," says the new laws defenders.
"No!" says I. Let's do something about it. I am sick of talk.
We are raising a generation of spineless wimps who can't stand up for themselves. They grovel in the dirt, thinking what they're told. bowing to anyone richer, stronger or more powerful than they. They have no gumption. The "let's talk about it" mentality only feeds this. No one is telling these kids to get up and stand on their own two feet. No one is telling them that they are actually worth something.
I remember once, two of my younger sisters and my brother were stone picking for a sod company. A chap they were working with hit one of my sisters. My brother, although younger, is very protective, and hit him back... significantly harder than he'd hit my sister. My mom, when she first heard of it, was upset.
My dad was proud.
As far as he was concerned, my brother had done exactly the right and manly thing and protected our sister.
There aren't enough people out there teaching the weak to defend themselves. There aren't enough strong people out there defending the weak. There are too many who would rather "talk about it."
There's nothing to talk about.
Hit the guy back.
Only do it once.
You will not need to do it again.

h/t: Les

Not Much News

As everyone expected, the NDP motion to call an election in January passed yesterday. The vote was 167 in favour to 129 against. As expected, the Liberals immediately declared they would ignore the motion, and called it a publicity stunt.
"Hello, pot? This is kettle..."
Anyway, the next important vote will be the Liberal ways and means motion, the infamous tax cuts that aren't going to do me any good. Following that there'll be the Conservative non-confidence motion which, barring disaster, is expected to pass easily.
Everyone who follows Canadian politics knows all this of course. Like most people, I really don't have much to add, except to say that I am happy we'll be having an election. I really don't care that the campaign will be over Christmas, as the only thing I'll really pay attention to is the leadership debates. My mind is already made up: I'll be voting Tory (bet that comes as a shock). Campaign commercials really don't have much of an effect on me, except to solidify my already set-in-stone opinion that the Liberals are crooks that must be punished for their crimes.

11/21/2005

Christmas Comes Early: I bow in Awe

Behold the fruits of someone else's yuletide labours. I don't have anywhere near this much time on my hands.
Still, how can you not appreciate this?

Red Ensign Standard XXXII

Alan is hosting this issue of the Red Ensign Standard. Be sure to take a moment today to read it.

11/16/2005

The "Monstrous" Regiment of Women

Every now and then, I come across blogs that make me want to spit with rage. Several weeks ago I found just such a blog. In the interests of politeness, I will not post the link to it. When I initially found it, the blog was discussing music and the evils of beat. The discussion lacked any Scriptural basis and the arguments were poor, but the author touted herself as a devout Christian with the morally upright point of view on the subject. Anything else could not be accepted.
Beat is evil.
End of story.
Whatever.

Today, against my better judgment, I revisited this blog. Two posts caught my eye. One was entitled "Training Our Daughters," and as I have one, I thought it might be interesting. I could not have been more wrong.
The other was entitled "The Monstrous Regiment of Women." It is the title of a movie that is to be released in the US. I am not sure if the author was aware that it also happens to be the title of an essay/sermon by John Knox. (He decries the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to Britain.)

In the first post, the discussion immediately began with the idea that we should teach our daughters that ladies wear dresses, tell her she's a princess and so forth. I don't think I could disagree with this point of view more if I tried. Such an approach to the raising of a girl can only make her spoiled. The focus is entirely on her outward being. If one wishes to argue from Scripture, as the blogger in question claims she does, then we must look at 1 Peter 3.
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.


And now for the Monstrous Regiment of Women.
Where can I begin? There is nothing I can say about this discussion that is positive. The author of the blog actually said that she felt women should not vote. If they chose to vote, then they must vote according to their husband. While I can see how someone might be inclined to argue the second, there is no conceivable argument that could logically back up the first. To suggest that voting makes you a feminist (although, feminists did bring us the right to vote) is utter nonsense. What's more, not voting is an abdication of your civil responsibilities and you ought to be ashamed if you are such a lazy one!!!
The discussion went on to say that women should not be equal to men under the law or in marriage. Again, this is Scripturally unfounded garbage. The Biblical idea of submission in no way states that a woman is legally or spiritually less than her husband. They are equals. They simply have different roles. It is also important to note that the Scriptural idea of submission does not extend to any and every male-female relationship. To suggest that a woman must submit to any old man is wrong.
Women in the military was also discussed. Quite frankly, I don't see how one can avoid it when this topic comes up. Inevitably, there will be those who say that women should not be in the armed forces. I grew up with this belief, so I am quite familiar with the thinking behind it. Again, although common, it is a Scripturally unfounded belief. I promise, there is no verse in the Bible that says "A woman shall not be a soldier." It is your opinion only, and you are entitled to it. You may not espouse it as being Biblically based.

I am sorely tempted to email this woman and ask her why she even has a blog. If all independently thinking women are sinful feminists, shouldn't she be in her kitchen instead of writing her thoughts online?

The Magic Land of Voting Plants

Ah!
Quebec!
Andre Boisclair is the new face of the Parti Quebecois. The young crack addict won a landslide victory over veteran Pauline Marois. One has to wonder if the voting plant or dog had anything to do with this.

11/15/2005

Cable Gal

I am not a big TV watcher. However, today we got cable. It was a really good deal so we decided to spring for it. I suddenly realized my association with the Blogging Tories has ruined me.
The channel that excited me most was CPAC.

1984

I sincerely hope an eleciton is called before this piece of legislation gets anywhere.
The legislation would force communication service providers - including traditional telephone companies, wireless firms and Internet providers - to phase out technical barriers to police and security agencies seeking access to messages or conversations. Under the federal plan, service providers would be required, when upgrading their systems, to build in the capabilities needed by authorities to easily tap communications. The surveillance initiative represents the latest effort by security officials to prevent terrorists and other criminals from using modern communication devices to shield their dealings from law enforcement agencies.
The problem with technology laws like this is that they are made by people who don't know the first thing about computers. A similar mistake was made in the US over Napster. Can the law makers not see the potential pitfalls of this legislation?
A few questions for the powers that be:
What is to prevent police and security agencies from spying on the innocent? Will a warrant of some kind be required? If you are going to build in the capabilities needed to tap communications, will you build something to prevent hackers from also tapping these communications? If service providers are going to be required to provide sensitive information within a "certain time frame," who is going to decide this time frame? Will it be the same for all cases?
What bothers me the most is that controversy surrounding the bill has revolved around the money firms spend looking up phone numbers, hooking up to networks and relaying communications from one town to another - individual services that may cost anywhere from next to nothing to thousands of dollars. This is all well and good, but why isn't there greater concern about how private information can be misused? Money is not the biggest concern here. Misuse is.

11/14/2005

Revisiting Old Opinions

The great thing about a blog is that you can look back at old opinions you once had and see how you have or haven't changed.
Back in May of 2004, I wrote a post about political blogging called The Three Faces of Eve. When I wrote it, I had no experience in any political blogging communities. One of my first points was that because money and politics go hand in hand, on of the chief ends of political blogging must be money-related.
After spending some time as a member of the Blogging Tories community, I think I would be inclined adjust this opinion somewhat. Money and politics do go together, but the relationship online may not be what I initially thought it was.
Consider Adscam, Dingwall, Abotech and all the other Liberal gaffes that have recently been discussed in the BT community. They are all high profile scandals involving ridiculous sums of money that may or may not have received "proper" treatment by the media. Many BT members do a very good job of tacking where the money went.
I still consider my second and third points to be correct. The second point, politics inherently have a message targeted at a specific audience, is rather obvious and would be true even if blogs were not being used. With regards to the "great equalizer" that the web was hoped to be, we are still a long way off from that day. However, one can certainly argue that blogs have gone a long way towards increasing the political awareness and involvement of the average citizen.

Let's Make It Martin's Fault

Last week saw the unification of the three Opposition parties. This weeks sees the results. If you ask me, it's a fine example of making Parliament work.
No party really wanted an election campaign over Christmas. Let's face it; the apathetic Canadian public would rather stay at home. Whatever party forced an election would likely take a hit at the ballot box.
So, why not make that party the Liberals?
The three opposition party leaders struck a strategic deal Sunday that gives Martin an unpalatable choice:
He can agree to call an election on his own in the first week of January, or he can face a non-confidence motion that would topple his government before the end of November. The first option would see voters cast their ballots in mid-February. It would also see Justice John Gomery deliver his second report on the federal sponsorship scandal in mid-campaign. The second option would launch a campaign that overlaps the Christmas-New year holiday season, although the actual voting day would be Jan. 9.

Possible voting days are as follows:
An election must be held on a non-holiday Monday after a campaign of at least 36 days. According to the opposition plan, a no-confidence vote triggering an election could happen on one of several dates:
The opposition could decide the Liberals rejected their proposal, and go ahead Tomorrow with a no-confidence motion that would trigger a vote Dec. 27.
The Conservatives could put forward a motion Nov. 22 to defeat the government, triggering an election Jan. 2.
The Conservatives may have a second opposition day Nov. 24. The Liberals can defer that vote until Nov. 29, leading to an election Jan. 9.
A confidence vote on a government money bill is scheduled Dec. 8 and a defeat could trigger an election Jan. 16.

However, the Liberals could try to stall making a choice.
The Liberals could respond by proroguing the House of Commons but they would then have to explain that decision to Canadians in light of the assertion that they are working on a full agenda of important legislation.

11/11/2005

Discussion of Article 36: Part 3

There is a great poem by Mother Teresa that ends with this line:

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.


Our submission to government, for the most part, has nothing to do with the type of government we live under. No matter how much we dislike a particular law, until it violates our conscience, we must obey it. Our officials must be respected eventhough they are unworthy.
In the face of something like the Gomery Report, this can be difficult. I know I would like nothing more than to march straight up to Ottawa and give Paul Martin a piece of my mind.
We are fortunate to live in a democracy. We have access to political weapons that Paul and de Gras did not. If a government is truly unworthy of power, then we have the ballot box. However, until such a time as an election is called, we must respect those in power. Moreover we must pray for them, not only for their conversion but that they would be given wisdom t odo their job well.

Discussion of Article 36: Part 2

I am sure I have said this before. It is my opinion that the notion of separation of Church and State has been severely misinterpreted. Christians need to be involved politically. They need to be able to speak to the State, to caution it against passing laws that are contrary to the will of God, to caution it against leading us down the road to chaos. Statesmen must be encouraged, by all available means, not, in the words of Sir Thomas More, "to give up their private conscience for the sake of their public duty."
Deuteronomy 4 speaks to this. God set down laws for the people. "Observing them carefully" would show our "wisdom and understanding to the nations." Later in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God gives similar instructions on how the king is to behave. He is to know the Law and revere God. In Deuteronomy 27, God sets out curses for disobedience, and in 28 He sets out blessings for obedience.

But how do we submit ourselves to a government that is so blatantly corrupt? How can we pay taxes to our government in the face of flagrant spending, blatant disregard for the public good, a total lack of any form of ethics or moral values and assorted types of criminal activity? Our nation is clearly a disobedient one. Those who lead us do not fear God. They don't even consider Him when passing laws, as it is somehow considered a "violation of Church and State." Ironically, there is still prayer before each sitting.

Consider Rome during the time of Paul, and Spain (and other parts of Europe) during the time of de Bras. One could certainly argue that both lived in a time that was at least as, if not more, corrupt than our own. Nevertheless, when each wrote the portions I have selected, they had almost nothing to say on the corrupt behaviour of their respective governments. Their status as the servant of God is discussed, but that is all.
How can this be?
Many prophets in the Bible denounced the wicked behaviour of their rules. Recall Elijah and his continual challenges against Ahab and Jezebel. Consider John Knox. "Give me Scotland ere I die!" He had many fiery words against various rulers in Britain. (Please note: I would disagree with him on some issues, but that's not really the point.)
It is certainly not wrong to call our leaders to repentance. In fact, we should probably be doing it more often. It has occured to me that every time our government prays before a sitting and then passes laws like the gy marriage bill or the impending marijuana legislation, they are in fact calling judgement on themselves. How can it be otherwise? One cannot claim to believe in or follow God and then wantonly disobey Him.
But what of our submission?

Discussion of Article 36: Part 1

Before I begin with the Article itself, I would like to offer a little bit of background as to its context.
The Belgic Confession was written by Guido de Bras in 1561. He was in prison for heresy against the Roman Catholic church. A copy was later sent to King Philip II of Spain, together with a petition. These Reformers declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, but that they would "offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to the fire," rather than deny the truth. Many were later martyred, including de Bras.
I was moved to write this after the sermon I listened to Sunday evening. It covered this portion of the Confession and also Romans 13 where Paul discusses the importance of submisison to civil authorities.

1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.


In addition to Romans 13, I think it is also important to consider Deuteronomy 4 in order to fully appreciate de Bras' words.

1 Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
3 You saw with your own eyes what the LORD did at Baal Peor. The LORD your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor,
4 but all of you who held fast to the LORD your God are still alive today.
5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.
6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."
7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

The Belgic Confession: Article 36

We believe that because of the depravity of the human race our good God has ordained kings, princes, and civil officers. He wants the world to be governed by laws and policies so that human lawlessness may be restrained and that everything may be conducted in good order among human beings. For that purpose he has placed the sword in the hands of the government, to punish evil people and protect the good.

And being called in this manner to contribute to the advancement of a society that is pleasing to God, the civil rulers have the task, subject to God's law, of removing every obstacle to the preaching of the gospel and to every aspect of divine worship.

They should do this while completely refraining from every tendency toward exercising absolute authority, and while functioning in the sphere entrusted to them, with the means belonging to them.

And the government's task is not limited to caring for and watching over the public domain but extends also to upholding the sacred ministry, with a view to removing and destroying all idolatry and false worship of the Antichrist; to promoting the kingdom of Jesus Christ; and to furthering the preaching of the gospel everywhere; to the end that God may be honored and served by everyone, as he requires in his Word.

Moreover everyone, regardless of status, condition, or rank, must be subject to the government, and pay taxes, and hold its representatives in honor and respect, and obey them in all things that are not in conflict with God's Word, praying for them that the Lord may be willing to lead them in all their ways and that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all piety and decency.

And on this matter we denounce the Anabaptists, other anarchists, and in general all those who want to reject the authorities and civil officers and to subvert justice by introducing common ownership of goods and corrupting the moral order that God has established among human beings.

Lest We Forget

Please take a moment today to remember our veterans, and why we have the freedom we do.

11/09/2005

Don't Hold Your Breath Yet

Layton has proposed a February election. The motion will likely be tabled on November 24th.
An important point was made in the Canada.com article.
But it's unclear if the motion would be considered a traditional confidence matter, which could topple the government immediately. It's also unclear if the Liberals would be bound by anything but a true confidence motion.
I take it no one remembers what happened in May? The Liberals ignored the motion that was tabled then. There is no reason to assume this one would be any different.

Winter Election?

This morning I heard on the radio that at last, Jack Layton has withdrawn his party's support from the Liberals. The NDP will not be supporting them on any upcoming matters of confidence. This could mean an election. However, both Harper and Duceppe are skeptical of Layton's sudden change of heart.
Both Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles and Harper said that Layton must be the one who pulls the plug on the Liberals and bring forward a non-confidence motion during one of the seven opposition days coming in the next five weeks. "Our experience suggests that should we again attempt to bring down the government, Mr. Layton will use that attempt as leverage in his negotiations with the Liberals," Harper said during a speech to the Empire Club in Toronto.
Interesting move.
More interesting is this comment:
"I don't want the NDP to come forward with some motion that we're against tax cuts and we're against health-care. If it's going to be a substantive motion it should obviously focus on the government's record of corruption."
I agree with him. Does he suspect the NDP of not considering the Liberal corruption? It certainly appears that way and quite frankly, I don't blame him at all. Layton should have been more outspoken right at the beginning. It will be very interesting to watch what happens on Tuesday.
By the way, this morning's news also indicated that Belinda Stronach was advising against a holiday election and against voting based on emotion... that emotion being sheer rage at the audacity of the Liberal party. If she is advising against it, it must be the right thing to do.

11/07/2005

Jack Layton's Campaign Speech

In a speech delivered to the Empire Club this afternoon, NDP LEader Jack Layton has called the Liberal Party's response to health care "unacceptable." The complete transcript can be found here.
Notice the tone of his speech. Layton puts the onus on the Liberals by declaring his own actions as being "unfortunate" and "reluctant." To be frank, I find his presentation manipulative, servile and spineless. He denounces their corruption but expresses regret at not being able to move forward with them to "make Parliament work." The thought of an election, in which his party could only do better, seems almost loathesome.
I would not, on the basis of this speech (personal political beliefs aside), vote for a party that presented itself in this way. It has no strength, no intestinal fortitude, and that is something every party must have if it is to do well.

Use the Force, Donald!

And in light of my recent edition of the Standard, behold this coming Thursday's Apprentice.

Red Ensign Standard XXXI

A long time ago in a Canada not so far away...



Episode 31


Turmoil has engulfed the House of Commons. Scandal after scandal threatens to rip the governing Liberal party to shreds, releasing the country from its vice-like grip. The taxation of the common people and the use of said taxes is in dispute. The beloved sacred cow of health care is failing and softwood lumber continues to be an issue. Ministers wantonly spend tax monies without fear of retribution. Quebec threatens to leave Confederation... again. No one notices Alberta.
Hoping to placate the public by deflecting their attention away from real issues, the Prime Minister (secretly known as Darth Martin) concocted a story about American responsibility regarding gun violence in Toronto, which most people bought. He also began a weekly radio announcement, forged an alliance with the leader of the far-left leaning NDP and promised to Make Parliament Work. The NDP are not taken seriously by many, and are often the butt of jokes. They don't draw much more than limited admiration, and their general lack of spine serves the dark purposes of Darth Martin quite well.
In the midst of this stand the Conservatives, endlessly dogfighting the enemy. Alone, they wave the flag of integrity begging the public not to forget the heavy taxes foisted upon them and the many sins committed by this corrupt yet benevolent dictatorship.
A tiny band of rebels, considered space cadets by many, Jedi Knights by others, but known as the Red Ensign Brigade to all, recognized that their great country was not what it used to be. Even foreigners with dismal records had taken it upon themselves to point the finger at our mistakes. United under a common banner, a flag renounced by the left and Quebec, they struggled against oppression by blogging about their countries' ills and proposing possible solutions.
Joined by Scott Abbey and John Murney this week but abandoned by their Rebel Leader many moons ago, (and the Raging Kraut, Sue, Kate, and Rebecca sometime over the last fortnight), the members of the Red Ensign Brigade toil endlessly to restore truth and balance to Confederation.

In Quebec, Emperor Duceppe's Seperatist Armies walk the fine line of treason and celebrate the tenth anniversary of the second referendum on the Question of Sovreignty. Their celebration was fueled by the results of the Gomery Report.
The Gomery Report received a great deal of attention this week from the Brigade. Only one member, however, noted the ironic date of its release. Unfortunately for the country, Darth Martin was absolved of any responsibility and declared innoncent, despite the fact he was given extra time to review the report and spin a suitable story. Martin's predecessor Chretien nearly had a conniption during a press conference after the results were released. He was outraged at being found responsible in any way for his cronies' misconduct, and proved his innocence to the public using a sort of Chewbacca's Defense in which he pointed out the possible guilt of Conservatives. This turn of events did not surprise a single Brigade member. Even a Brigade matriarch or two had a comment.
More opinions on the Report and its findings can be found here, here and here.

The struggle against Smith the Sith and the Forces of Abotech continued. As the evidence against him mounted, Brigade members shared their opinions and pondered the Third Solitude neglected by our Governor General.

Not every Brigade member blogs alike and there is always a great deal of extraneous material to cover from week to week. For those members with deep religious convictions, the force is always an interesting, and sometimes provocative topic. Religion is often frowned upon by their enemies, and so it bears special consideration. This issue also saw the celebration of several holidays of significance such as St. Crispin's Day and Guy Fawkes Day. The most celebrated holiday however, was Halloween. The holiday is so popular that even NDP LeaderJack Layton celebrated. There was an unrelated concern over Christmas, but as it is a month away there is not much to worry about at the moment.

One of the most non sequitor topics was the case of banned Pigs and Goldfish. One can only assume that Ms. Piggy will go to England and then to Rome (with a stop over in Paris to do a little shopping for that perfect fur coat) to set them all straight. She is not one to be daunted by the Terrorist Mentality or War. As our country is unlikely to be of any assistance, she may require the assistance of a different Pork Buster
Or perhaps not.

Indeed, these have been dark times for the little Brigade. It is no small task to compose an issue of the Standard; it is a mission fit for a brave Jedi Knight. Below is a list of previous isses.
  1. Castle Argghhh

  2. Raging Kraut

  3. The Last Amazon

  4. Bumfonline

  5. Tiger in Winter (now blogging at Tiger in Exile)

  6. Taylor and Company (no longer online)

  7. Myrick

  8. Bound By Gravity

  9. Dust My Broom

  10. Ravishing Light

  11. Babbling Brooks

  12. Musing

  13. Freeway to Serfdom

  14. Nathan's Updates From Seoul

  15. Striving Against Opposition

  16. The Phantom Observer

  17. Abraca-Pocus!

  18. Tipperography

  19. Turning 30 and a half

  20. Canadian Comment

  21. London Fog

  22. The Monarchist

  23. West Coast Chaos

  24. A Chick Named Marzi

  25. Raging Kraut

  26. Robot Guy

  27. The High Places

  28. The Last Amazon

  29. Robot Guy

  30. Quotulatiousness


The Next Issue will be hosted by: Gen X at 40. May the Force be with you.

11/04/2005

Vote Now!

Hie thee to Canada.com, my Tory Brethren, where they are having a vote on who you think would make the best Prime Minister. As of when I voted, the results were
49.75 % Stephen Harper
11.43 % Jack Layton
3.31 % Gilles Duceppe
35.51 % I would stick with Paul Martin

The Conservative Plan

Read all about it.

The Conservatives have come up with a tought plan to end monetary influence in politics. This is a fantastic idea. It gives people looking for an alternative to the Liberals something concrete that they can hold onto and say "This is what the Conservatives will do for us!"

Layton: Overplaying His Hand

According to the Globe & Mail, the NDP have decided to take the weekend to mull over the response given them by the Liberal government as it related to their Health Care Demands.
They were supposed to announce their intentions today.
The NDP did not get the response they were looking for, that much is clear. They dangled a carrot in front of the donkey's nose, but the donkey decided it wasn't hungry. Now the NDP has to come up with a new plan to maintain their hold on power, without losing either the support of their voters or their time in the media spotlight. The Liberal's have called their bluff and they were not prepared.
Layton is making his party look less and less credible by the minute. When he didn't get the response he wanted from the Liberals, he should have made a quick end of it and moved on. Now they look desperate.

Yokel-Devouring!


Vicious Abhorrent Nihilism-Hungering Orphan-Obliterating Yokel-Devouring Ogre from the Ninth Kingdom

Ahh.
vanHooydonk's rule.

11/03/2005

Layton: Opportunist?

NDP Leader Jack Layton is waiting for an answer from the Liberal Party. Depending on how they respond to his demands on health care, the NDP may or may not continue to support the government.
Given that he will not be meeting with the PM (who has gone to Argentina) but will only be receiving a letter from Health Minister Dosanjh, I can't help but wonder if Layton is pushing the envelope farther than he should. At this point, it seems unlikely that the Liberals will cave in to his demands. It is far more likely that they will call the combined bluff of the Opposition Leaders, daring them to trigger an eleciton over the Christmas Holidays.

11/02/2005

Banned Liberal Party Members

Read the article...
I was interested by the following list of individuals banned from the Liberal Party yesterday by Prime Minister Martin:
former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano; Michel Beliveau, former executive director of the federal Liberal Party's Quebec wing, 1996-98; Benoit Corbeil, former executive director of the federal Liberal Party's Quebec wing, 1998-2001; Alain Renaud, well-connected Liberal Party campaign worker and fundraiser; Jacques Corriveau, president, Pluri Design Canada and Liberal Party fundraiser; Antonio Mignacca, Liberal Party operative and close friend of Gagliano; Beryl Wajsman, president, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal and Liberal fundraiser; Giuseppe (Joe) Morselli, caterer, Liberal fundraiser; Serge Gosselin, worked for the Liberal Party under Corriveau; and Marc-Yvan Cote, Liberal organizer in eastern Quebec.
These are all members of the "old guard," if you will. I am also fairly certain that most of these individuals have had negative commetns regarding the current Prime Minister at some time or another. I know Wajsman and Gagliano both did. I recall listening to an interview with Wajsman a few months ago and his comments were more than a little bit scathing. It would be interesting to review interviews with some of the other listed members, just to recall what they had to say about the current government.
One can't help but feel that Martin's move to ban the above individuals had but two intents: to placate the public in some meager way and to rid himself of those he considered "problems."
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