Category ►►► Great White North Natterings
January 6, 2011
The Conspiracy to Murder Marriage - Phase II
Phase one of the conspiracy to murder marriage is the attempt, largely successful in many "developed" countries, to expand its definition to include same-sex couples (SSM); we all know how that's going: Cultural elites want it; the "people" reject it whenever they're allowed a vote.
But the obvious next phase has already begun in Canada (one of those nations whose rulers now wholeheartedly endorse SSM): The Supreme Court of British Columbia is currently hearing a case that argues Canada's laws against polygamy are now also invalidated. In other words, as warned by supporters of traditional marriage -- and despite vigorous denials by proponents of SSM -- redefining marriage to include same-sex couples immediately opens the door to polygamy as well:
The challengers of Canada's anti-polygamy law say that the nation's 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives people the right to practice "plural marriage...."
[Besides the breakaway Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FLDS,] people who practice Islam, Wicca and other religions also are adversely affected by the anti-polygamy law, Vancouver lawyers George K. Macintosh, Ludmila B. Herbst and Tim Dickson said in a brief to the court.
But former members of polygamous communities have complained to Canadian authorities that they were victims of crimes, such as sexual exploitation and forced marriages, often when they were still minors.
Mr. Jones noted the social ills that accompany polygamy, or more correctly, polygyny, in which a few men have multiple wives. The FLDS does not marry women to multiple husbands. These include social pressures to drive excess males out of the community, while preparing younger females for marriage, regardless of their ages or wishes, Mr. Jones said.
So what if Canada changes its law? How does that affect us? Pretty directly, as a matter of fact:
The hearing is being watched closely both for its relevance to religious freedom issues and same-sex marriage. The Vancouver lawyers said Canada's 1890 polygamy ban is out of step with its modern understanding of marriage, which now includes same-sex marriage and offers protections for co-habiting couples.
Other legal observers suggest that if Canada jettisons its anti-polygamy law, other countries could be affected. If foreign jurisdictions, such as U.S. states, recognize same-sex marriages from Canada, for instance, they could be sued to force recognition of Canada's polygamous families, too.
Note that such "recognition" could easily grow to include American men who sojurn up in B.C., marry multiple wives, then hop back down to the United States... particularly if progressivists have their way and get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
And if you combine polygamy (or more generically, since we wouldn't discriminate on the basis of sex, polyamory) with sex-neutral marriage, you have the prospect of group marriage, in which any group of people can claim to be married. As I noted before, wouldn't criminal gangs routinely marry themselves, so that nobody in the gang could ever testify against anyone else in the gang?
It took me a while, but a year or so ago I finally hit upon the perfect analogy to SSM, to explain how it damaged and devalued all marriages, including traditional: SSM to traditional marriage is as counterfeit money to real money.
Suppose some criminal floods the United States with counterfeit bills tomorrow (you can include fiat money issued by the Federal Reserve, if you like). Now look at your own pocketful of legitimate currency. Have the physical notes changed? Is Alexander Hamilton now winking or wearing a beret?
Of course not; the money in your wallet is physically unaltered from yesterday. However, the value of all currency, including yours, has been diminished, debased, and devalued, by the introduction of bogus currency... it's not worth as much, because there's too much of it -- and because much of it is just funny money.
It's the same with SSM: When the definition of marriage is expanded to include many other relationships never contemplated by the vast majority of people who are married, then marriage loses its "specialness," its exceptionalism. As more and more relationships between two or more people are called by the same name of "marriage," eventually the institution loses all meaning whatsoever; "we're married" becomes synonymous with "we hang out with each other and receive monetary benefits," nothing more.
(By the way, those benefits would be forced even upon private parties by the government, state or federal: If an employer or service organization offers benefits to some married employees or members, then it cannot discriminate against other "married" employees or members; for example, employers who offer health-care benefits to spouses of employees would have to offer them to all the wives and husbands of employees in polyamorous multiple-sex marriages, with no upper limit.)
If you believe, as the vast majority of Americans do, that there is something unique and precious about the merging of male and female individuals (not mobs) in matrimony -- whether you consider it holy or just a vital way for Western civilization to propagate its ideology of liberty, equality under the law, and Capitalism -- then it's time to get off your assets and do something to protect it from a tragic martyrdom at the hands of the politically correct. Look to the northern skies to see what's in store here if we don't fight.
But why is the radical Left so anxious to debase marriage? The real goal, I am convinced, is not the "expansion of marriage" to those poor, discriminated-against gays and polyamorous swingers; rather, the real endgame is destruction of the institution of marriage itself. As George Orwell noted in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, perfect socialism cannot allow any force within society to be stronger than the State, including the forces of sex, marriage, and family; all must be ruthlessly stamped out, undermined, discredited, or subverted, so that all familial feelings transfer to the State -- whether that means the nation, as with Fascism, or the world, as with international socialism or Communism. Local sources of power and individual or family strength must disappear.
Three revolutions are necessary to transform us, as President Barack H. Obama wishes, into a true socialist State:
- Love must be channeled into meaningless (and non-seditious) sex, preferably profane and pornographic. (Nothing you would take home to Mother.)
- The institution of traditional marriage in the Western liberal democratic mode must be annihilated as a potential basis for counterrevolution. ("Everything within the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State.")
- And children must be divorced from their parents and raised by the State. ("It takes a village.")
(1) has largely been accomplished by commercial advertising and the arts and farces sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. (2) is well underway in Canada and many European countries, as well as throughout the Islamic ummah. And we have already seen (3) in many "advanced" socialist countries, such as Red China, Nazi Germany, and Castroated Cuba, and the policy is often praised and demanded by the elites of social progress.
Thank goodness for American exceptionalism... which itself is under assault right here in America. So it goes.
Either we fight and win, or we fight and lose, or we simply roll over. What's it to be then?
October 11, 2009
This Burns Me Up
According to Reuters, a truck driver was just fined about three hundred dollars for smoking in his "enclosed workplace"... which happened to be his own truck. There is no indication anyone was riding with him; he appears to have been alone in the cab.
This outrage occurred (of course!) in Canada, home of the knave and land of the "free" (health care, that is):
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, adopted in 2006, prohibits smoking in an enclosed workplace or enclosed public area, and that extends to work vehicles, said Constable Shawna Coulter of the Ontario Provincial Police in Essex County.
"We enforce the legislation and this truck driver was in violation of that," she said.
I don't know whether he owned the truck, but I don't think it would matter to enforcers of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act of 2006. What does matter, according to the (Toronto) Globe and Mail, is whether the company or person that owns the truck operates it entirely within Ontario, or whether it crosses the border into other provinces; if the latter, it's governed under federal (Canadian) law, and evidently can allow smoking in some trucks:
Companies doing cross-border business are federally regulated and can designate some trucks as smoke-friendly, leaving Ontario-only firms as the law's lone targets. And liability for a driver who owns the truck and is its sole operator is hazy.
The editor of the Globe and Mail has another pertinent question to ask:
What about those who work at home? If police find someone running a business from a sofa, enjoying a good puff, will they have the gall to write up a ticket?
I cannot vouch for the accuracy or even the veracity of Reuters-Canada... but I do know one thing: This is our future under ObamaCare. Once the government has a monetary interest in the health of each individual citizen, it develops an irresistable desire to control eveyr aspect of that person's life. After all, the government must protect its investment.
Think. Then vent. Then vote.
(Hat tip to Scott Gilbert, who uses the Big Lizards tip e-mail address to excellent effect.)
February 21, 2009
Steven Crowder: Rants 4 Big Fun
Nothing to see here, just move along...
Rants from Steven Crowder: Collect the whole set, kids!
July 18, 2008
If you're wondering why the posting schedule has been so flakey (as opposed to the posting subject matter, which is just naturally flakey, nutty, fruity, and in general, like a box of libertarian-conservative granola), it's that we're currently on holiday in the Great White North.
(We once went on holiday in the great white whale, but it was too damp.)
At the moment, we're in Calgary, just back from the last two days of the Calgary Stampede. The Stampede calls itself in the "greatest outdoor show on earth," hoping this will be sufficiently different from another slogan that Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey won't sue. Unquestionably, however, it's the largest and most famous rodeo in the world; and I've wanted to see it for decades.
We finally seized the lariat this year, and a stint for the final week-end occupies the first part of our holiday. The second part, which takes place at the very moment you're reading this (unless you're a very slow reader), comprises a six-day horsepack trip through the Canadian Rockies, of which the kindest thing to say is that they look remarkably like the Colorado Rockies, except whiter and somewhat more socialist.
Last night, we watched the finals of the chuckwagon races, which were followed by a massive show that was a bizarre interbreeding between a rowdy nightclub act, a show at Disneyland, a 4th of July fireworks display in a smallish town in Ohio, the Circue du Soleil, a junior-high glee club, and a 1970s performance by Up With People.
(Today we saw the finals of the rodeo competitions: the rope and tie, bareback bucking bronco riding, steer wrestling, saddled bucking bronco riding, and "bucking" Brahma bull riding -- how come nobody ever says bucking anent bulls? -- but I'll talk about that in a day or two.)
The chuckwagon races were a new experience to me; I've watched rodeos on TV and even a couple of small ones around where we live; but I've never seen hot-rod chuckwagons before.
For those of you who have never watched Wagontrain or Bonanza or Gunsmoke, or indeed any Hollywood western made between the 1960s and the days of Tom Mix and Cheyenne Harry, a "chuckwagon" is the transport vehicle that followed along behind the drovers and the cattle on cattle drives, carrying the food, the cookpots and implements, and the cooks. Linguists believe this gave rise to a common expression for something that typically happened after the chuckwagons did their magic; but what do linguists know? They also claim, the cads, that the line "out, damned Spot" from the Scottish play refers to Lady MacBeth's pet leopard.
I suppose in days of yore, chuckwagon races used real chuckwagons; but nowadays they race specially designed wagons with little mini canvas coverings, all painted and bedecked in the logos of the traditional corporate sponsors of the wild west era -- Tellus Long-Distance Phone Service, the First National Bank of Canada, Canada Dry, and the Liberal Party.
In a very Canadian touch, the wagons all begin facing the opposite direction from where they're headed; at the sound of the horn, the first thing they do is turn around, attempting to smush various barrels dotted strategically around the start-finish area. They're usually unsuccessful, leaving many of them standing.
The wagons tear off down the course, each trailed by three hysterical cowpokes on laconic cowburros whose job, apparently, is to race after their wagonmaster with items and stuff he forgot; the sight of the red-faced, whip-wielding pokes spewing violent profanity as they try to move their lazy asses brought tears of joy to the audience's eyes.
There appears to be some rule that the pursuers of the winning wagon must stay within 150 feet of the chuckwagon itself -- that is, close enough that with a titanic heave, they can hurl the forgotten goods ("Those Left Behind") onto the chuckwagon's tailgate. Judging from the triumphal parade after each race, these goods include each wagon's "backup driver," or else the driver's wife (who would be the backseat driver)... or so I surmise, since the wagons only have one driver during the race; but when they come round again, he has a somewhat flustered and rumpled wife or perplexed partner seated next to him.
I forget who won. I doesn't make any difference anyway, because the chuckwagons don't have any food in them.
Speaking of food, we did remarkably well at the Stampede: We only ate a single bison rib each, and then we split a barbecued beefwich... spending a mere $70 Canadian. Oh, I forgot to mention: Sachi had a lemonade, whilst I drank a cup of peach juice; this accounts nicely for the money spent.
The chuckwagon races began at 8:00 pm sharp and finished at 10:30 dull; how many times can you watch little horsedrawn wagons fling themselves around a track at breakleg speed, with cookery and crockery strewing out behind like Toyota engine parts after you go over a speedbump, before your mind begins to wander?
So we were rather pleased when the rilly big shoe started about 11:00; it ran until midnight; then some more until about 1:00; then they decided they had a few more acts that hadn't had their chance yet -- did I mention the motorcycle stunt jumping on stage? -- so they continued on till about 2:00. By 3:00 am, we decided we had had enough, even if they hadn't... so we firmly turned our backs on the Bavarian yodeling society, the Chinese acrobats, the full-scale reenactment of Noah and his ark (the unicorns didn't make it aboard; so now we know), three guys named Pete who were having a beer-drinking and rump-kicking contest, a piper named Johnny Bagpipe who played Van Halen on the pipes, and an international chess championship -- all performing simultaneously with the Greek chrous, to general befuddlement -- and we wended our way to bed.
One of those is a real act from the show. I won't tell you which, but it turns out I actually knew him from 27 years ago, when I marched behind him in greatkilt and pike while he played a medley of "Scotland the Brave," "the One-Shoed Policeman's Jig," "the Flagellating Lepers' Reel," and "Star Wars."
This being Calgary in the summer, the sun was just setting as we staggered out the gates and into the waiting arms of a "courtesy bus" to downtown; due to traffic, we arrived only a little later than if we had walked. But all in all, a wonderful time was had by all, especially the Bavarian yodelers, who got the Chinese acrobats to bounce over the heads of the guys named Pete and beernap their kegs.
In the distant future of Sunday or Monday, I'll tell you about the strange scoring system of Canadian rodeos, in which everyone gets the same number of points, no matter what. I hope this little chat has been informative, and that you don't ever do it again or you'll be grounded, young man.
February 27, 2006
Canadian Health Care Held Hostage: Will Conservatives Free It?
Even the New York Times now agrees that Canada's much-vaunted socialist health-care system is "faltering."
Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other politicians remain reluctant to openly propose sweeping changes even though costs for the national and provincial governments are exploding and some cancer patients are waiting months for diagnostic tests and treatment.
Not only is the system breaking down, it is beginning to be supplemented -- and eventually supplanted -- by a return to a private health-care system. This is happening in classic "boil the frog" fashion, with little steps here and there. But unlike, say, the creeping centralization in the United States, Canada is experiencing creeping privatization... a good and necessary change for our neighbor to the north.
The Times opens with a long anecdote about Canadian Dr. Brian Day, who operates a private hospital in British Columbia, in open defiance of Canadian healt-care laws. His Cambie Surgery Center charges patients money for treatment, just as an American hospital would do. However, even there, most of the hospital's income is legal; many of the public hospitals have begun referring patients to Dr. Day. However, Day plans to open other centers in other provinces... and he has already been threatened with legal action by the provincial government of Ontario:
Dr. Day, for instance, is planning to open more private hospitals, first in Toronto and Ottawa, then in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Ontario provincial officials are already threatening stiff fines. Dr. Day says he is eager to see them in court.
"We've taken the position that the law is illegal," Dr. Day, 59, says. "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years."
Dr. Day is not being reckless in his eagerness to go to court: the Supreme Court of Canada already ruled months ago, in a case in Quebec, that the country's ban on private medical care is unconstitutional when it interferes with the ability of patients to get treatment (though by a narrow 4-3 decision). Since the decision was based upon the Quebec Charter of Rights, not the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it does not necessarily apply to any other province; the same justices split 3-3, with one justice making no decision, whether the ban violated the Canadian as well as the Quebec Charter.
The Quebec government reacted by saying it would apply immediately for a stay of between six months and two years before the decision takes effect, given the chaos it could cause in the delivery of medical services in Quebec.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Benoit Pelletier said the province would consider using the notwithstanding clause in Quebec's constitution as an alternative to abiding by the court's decision.
But it's the first crack in the northern ice. Besides trying to sidestep the Supreme Court of Canada's decision, Quebec is also trying to resolve the underlying problem -- which it recognizes at last as a problem. From the New York Times article:
In response [to the ruling], the Quebec premier, Jean Charest, proposed this month to allow private hospitals to subcontract hip, knee and cataract surgery to private clinics when patients are unable to be treated quickly enough under the public system. The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta have suggested they will go much further to encourage private health services and insurance in legislation they plan to propose in the next few months.
Private doctors across the country are not waiting for changes in the law, figuring provincial governments will not try to stop them only to face more test cases in the Supreme Court.
One Vancouver-based company launched a large for-profit family medical clinic specializing in screening and preventive medicine here last November. It is planning to set up three similar clinics — in Toronto, Ottawa and London, Ontario — next summer and nine more in several other cities by the end of 2007. Private diagnostic clinics offering MRI tests are opening around the country.
In an interesting parallel with socialist arguments against school vouchers in America, socialist defenders of "free" health care in Canada warn that allowing private clinics will "drain the public system of doctors and nurses." This is tantamount to an admission that doctors, nurses, and patients are unhappy with the current system, though of course defenders of the status quo don't recognize that is what they are saying. Similarly, Americans who attack vouchers because students will flee the government schools are in fact making a wonderful argument for vouchers: they implicitly admit that when parents are allowed to "vote with their feet," they opt for capitalism over socialism.
Much of what is driving the surreptitious (or at times, openly defiant) move towards a market in health care is the utter failure of the socialist model to deliver services in a timely manner. That is, the surgeries don't run on time. Waiting periods between initial consultation and treatment can run months or even years, causing many Canadians to bolt south to American hospitals to buy privately what they cannot beg from their own government.
But such stop-gap measures will not satisfy Canadians for long, I suspect. The capitalist impulse is strong, for the simple reason that the laws of the market are not just idealistic yearnings; they are laws of economic nature that cannot be evaded. Socialism can control the price but not the cost of goods and services; and eventually, somebody has to pay the difference between the two. In Canada, as in the United States, that piper-payer is inevitably the middle-class taxpayer.
But equally inevitably, such taxpayers demand they get their money's worth. And when the government proves incapable of delivering it, even Canadians will overcome their Eurocentric revulsion of dirty capitalism and opt for what works over what is flattering to a narcissistic altruism.
Now Dr. Day says he is considering building a full-service private hospital somewhere in Canada with a private medical school attached to it.
"In a free and democratic society where you can spend money on gambling and alcohol and tobacco," Dr. Day said, "the state has no business preventing you and me from spending our own money on health care."
That sounds like an American talking. Perhaps someday, Canadians will not see that as a mortal insult.
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