The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Fatal Confusion

 

Faith, in Christian theology, is not the greatest of virtues – that is charity, or Christian love, but it is the most fundamental in the root meaning of fundamental, that is to say, foundational.   Faith is the foundation upon which the other Christian theological virtues of hope and charity stand.   (1) Indeed, it is the foundation upon which all other Christian experience must be built.   It is the appointed means whereby we receive the grace of God and no other step towards God can be taken apart from the first step of faith.  The Object of faith is the True and Living God.   The content of faith can be articulated in more general or more specific terms as the context of the discussion requires.   At its most specific the content of the Christian faith is the Gospel message, the Christian kerygma about God’s ultimate revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ.   At its most general it is what is asserted about God in the sixth verse of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, that “He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”.  

 

Whether articulated in its most general terms or its most specific, the faith Christianity calls for us to place in God is a confidence that presupposes His Goodness and His Omnipotence.   This has led directly to a long-standing dilemma that skeptics like to pose to Christian believers.  It is known as the problem of evil.   It is sometimes posed as a question, at other times it is worded as a challenging assertion, but however formulated it boils down to the idea that the presence of evil in a world created by and ruled by God is inconsistent with God’s being both Good and Omnipotent.   The challenge to the Christian apologist, therefore, is to answer the question of how evil can be present in a world created by and ruled by a Good and Omnipotent God.    This dilemma has been raised so often that there is even a special word for theological and philosophical answers to the dilemma – theodicy.

 

Christian orthodoxy does have an answer to this question.   The answer is a complex one, however, and we are living in an era that is impatient with complex answers.    For this reason, Christian apologists now offer a simple answer to the question – free will.    This is unfortunate in that this answer, while not wrong, is incomplete and requires the context of the full, complex answer, to make the most sense.  

 

The fuller answer begins with an observation about how evil is present in the world.   In this world there are things which exist in the fullest sense of the word – they exist in themselves, with essences of their own.    There are also things which exist, not in themselves, but as properties or qualities of things which exist in themselves.   Take redness for example.   It does not exist in itself, but as a property of apples, strawberries, wagons, etc.   Christian orthodoxy tells us that while evil is present in the world, it does not exist in either of these senses.   It has no essence of its own.  Nor does it exist as a created property of anything that does.  God did not create evil, either as a thing in itself, or as a property of anything else that He created.   Just as a bruise is a defect in the redness of an apple, so evil is present in the world as a defect in the goodness of moral creatures.  

 

If that defect is there, and it is, and God did not put it there, which He did not, the only explanation of its presence that is consistent with orthodoxy is that it is there due to the free will of moral creatures.   Free will, in this sense of the expression, means the ability to make moral choices.     Free will is itself good, rather than evil, because without it, no creature could be a moral creature who chooses rightly.    The ability to choose rightly, however, is also the ability to choose wrongly.   The good end of a created world populated by creatures that are morally good required that they be created with this ability, good itself, but which carries with it the potential for evil.

 

One problem with the short answer is the expression “free will” itself.   It must be carefully explained, as in the above theodicy, because it can be understood differently, and if it is so understood differently, this merely raises new dilemmas rather than resolving the old one.    Anyone who is familiar with the history of either theology or philosophy knows that “free will” is an expression that has never been used without controversy.   It should be noted, though, that many of those controversies do not directly affect what we have been discussing here.  Theological debates over free will, especially those that can be traced back to the dispute between St. Augustine and Pelagius, have often been about the degree to which the Fall has impaired the freedom of human moral agency.   Since this pertains to the state of things after evil entered into Creation it need not be brought into the discussion of how evil entered in the first place although it often is.

 

One particular dilemma that the free will theodicy raises when free will is not carefully explained is the one that appears in a common follow-up challenge that certain skeptics often pose in response.     “How can we say that God gave mankind free will”, such skeptics ask us, “when He threatens to punish certain choices as sin?”

 

Those who pose this dilemma confuse two different kind of freedom that pertain to our will and our choices.      When we speak of the freedom of our will in a moral context we can mean one of two things.   We could be speaking of our agency – that we have the power and ability when confronted with choices, to think rationally about them and make real choices that are genuinely our own, instead of pre-programmed, automatic, responses.   We could also, however, be speaking of our right to choose – that when confronted with certain types of choices, we own our own decisions and upon choosing will face only whatever consequences, positive or negative, necessarily follow from our choice by nature and not punitive consequences imposed upon us by an authority that is displeased with our choice.    When Christian apologists use free will in our answer to the problem of evil, it is freedom in the former sense of agency that is intended.   When skeptics respond by pointing to God’s punishment of sin as being inconsistent with free will, they use freedom in the latter sense of right.   While it is tempting to dismiss this as a dishonest bait-and-switch tactic, it may in many cases reflect genuine confusion with regards to these categories of freedom.   I have certainly encountered many Christian apologists who in their articulation of the free will theodicy have employed language that suggests that they are as confused about the matter as these skeptics.

 

Christianity has never taught that God gave mankind the second kind of freedom, freedom in the sense of right, in an absolute, unlimited, manner.   To say that He did would be the equivalent of saying that God abdicated His Sovereignty as Ruler over the world He created.    Indeed, the orthodox answer to the problem of evil dilemma is not complete without the assertion that however much evil may be present in the world, God as the Sovereign Omnipotent Ruler of all will ultimately judge and punish it.     What Christianity does teach is that God gave mankind the second kind of freedom subject only to the limits of His Own Sovereign Rule.    Where God has not forbidden something as a sin – and, contrary to what is often thought, these are few in number, largely common-sensical, and simple to understand – or placed upon us a duty to do something – these are even fewer - man is free to make his own choices in the second sense, that is to say, without divinely-imposed punitive consequences.    

 

Today, a different sort of controversy has arisen in which the arguments of one side confuse freedom as agency with freedom as right.    Whereas the skeptics alluded to above point to rules God has imposed in His Sovereign Authority limiting man’s freedom as right in order to counter an argument made about man’s freedom as agency, in this new controversy man’s freedom as agency is being used to deny that government tyranny is infringing upon man’s freedom as right.

 

Before looking at the specifics of this, let us note where government authority fits in to the picture in Christian orthodoxy. 

 

Human government, Christianity teaches, obtains its authority from God.   This, however, is an argument for limited government, not for autocratic government that passes whatever laws it likes.   If God has given the civil power a sword to punish evil, then it is authorized to wield that sword in the punishment of what God says is evil not whatever it wants to punish and is required, therefore, to respect the freedom that God has given to mankind.    Where the Modern Age went wrong was in regarding the Divine Right of Kings as the opposite of constitutional, limited, government, rather than its theological basis.   Modern man has substituted secular ideologies as that foundation and these, even liberalism with all of its social contracts, natural rights, and individualism, eventually degenerate into totalitarianism and tyranny.

 

Now let us look at the controversy of the day which has to do with forced vaccination.      As this summer ends and we move into fall governments have been introducing measures aimed at coercing and compelling people who have not yet been fully vaccinated for the bat flu to get vaccinated.   These measures include mandates and vaccine passports.   The former are decrees that say that everyone working in a particular sector must either be fully vaccinated by a certain date or submit to frequent testing.   Governments have been imposing these mandates on their own employees and in some cases on private employers and have been encouraging other private employers to impose such mandates on their own companies.   Vaccine passports are certificates or smartphone codes that governments are requiring that people show to prove that they have been vaccinated to be able to travel by air or train or to gain access to restaurants, museums, movie theatres, and many other places declared by the government to be “non-essential”.    These mandates and passports are a form of coercive force.   Through them, the government is telling people that they must either agree to be vaccinated or be barred from full participation in society.    Governments, and others who support these measures, respond to the objection that they are violating people’s right to choose whether or not some foreign substance is injected into their body by saying “it’s their choice, but there will be consequences if they choose not be vaccinated”.

 

The consequences referred to are not the natural consequences, whatever these may be, positive or negative, of the choice to reject a vaccine, but punitive consequences imposed by the state.    Since governments are essentially holding people’s jobs, livelihoods, and most basic freedoms hostage until they agree to be vaccinated, those who maintain that this is not a violation of the freedom to accept or reject medical treatment would seem to be saying that unless the government actually removes a person’s agency, by, for example, strapping someone to a table and sticking a needle into him, it has not violated his right to choose.  This obviously confuses freedom as agency with freedom as right and in a way that strips the latter of any real meaning.

 

What makes this even worse is that the freedom/right that is at stake in this controversy, each person’s ownership of the ultimate choice over whether or not a medical treatment or procedure is administered to his body, is not one that we have traditionally enjoyed merely by default due to the absence of law limiting it.   Rather it is a right that has been positively stated and specifically acknowledged, and enshrined both in constitutional law and international agreement.   If government is allowed to pretend that it has not violated this well-recognized right because its coercion has fallen short of eliminating agency altogether then is no other right or freedom the trampling over of which in pursuit of its ends it could not or would not similarly excuse.  This is tyranny, plain and simple.

 

Whether in theology and philosophy or in politics, the distinction between the different categories of freedom that apply to the human will is an important one that should be recognized and respected.   Agency should never be confused with right, or vice versa.

 

(1)   Hope and charity, as Christian virtues, have different meanings from those of their more conventional uses.   In the case of hope, the meanings are almost the exact opposite of each other.   Hope, in the conventional sense, is an uncertain but desired anticipation, but in the Christian theological sense, is a confident, assured, expectation.   It is in their theological senses, of course, that I mean when I say that hope and charity are built on the foundation of faith.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                           

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Altruism and Mandates Don’t Mix

Those who have demanded that we shut up and do everything the government and its “experts” have told us to do from the beginning of the bat flu scare have insisted that doing so is necessary for the sake of protecting others and that it is “selfish” to be worried about such things as traditional rights and freedoms and their constitutional protections at a time like this.   Of course, when someone allows a fear of the bat flu that is absurdly out of proportion to the actual risk posed by the disease to so distort his thinking that he is willing to throw away, not only his constitutionally protected rights and freedoms, but those of his friends, family, neighbours, and countrymen as well, it is rather rich of him to be shooting his mouth off about how caring and compassionate he is and how “selfish” all those who object to tyranny are.   Nevertheless, they continue to talk this way, and are now telling us that we need to abandon our “selfish” insistence upon our right to make an informed choice before accepting medical treatment and agree to be vaccinated for the sake of others.   This adds yet another layer of dark irony to this entire farce.

 

People do not, as a rule, undergo medical treatment for the sake of others.   If someone takes an aspirin it is to get rid of his headache not his wife’s headache.   If her headache is caused by his complaining about his own then his taking the aspirin may have the incidental effect of curing his wife’s headache but that is not why he takes the aspirin.    You do not inject yourself with insulin out of fear that your neighbour’s blood sugar is too high.   You do not have a bypass because somebody else is experiencing chest pain.

 

Vaccination is no exception to this rule.   While using vaccines to immunize people can benefit others by making it harder for a disease to spread, each person who gets his shot does so for his own protection.   Whatever protection it may provide to others is incidental and if he thinks of it at all it is at most a secondary concern to him.     

 

There is one rather obvious exception to this rule, however.   When someone donates either his blood or one of the few organs he can donate while he is still alive he undergoes a medical procedure that is entirely for the benefit of someone other than himself.  

 

We have arrived at the stage of bat flu mania where a large number of people are insisting that governments suspend our right to withhold our consent and compel us to take the vaccines.    Such people might object to this description of their demands but it is accurate nevertheless.   Putting a gun to someone’s head and telling him to get vaccinated or you pull the trigger – get the shot or get shot – is not the only form of compulsion.   To tell someone that to retain his employment he must get the jab is to put a metaphorical gun to his job.   To tell someone that to regain all the freedoms that were taken from him at the beginning of the bat flu scare, especially access to all the public spaces that were closed at that time, he will have to prove he has been fully vaccinated is to put the same gun to his freedom, which he will not get back even if he does comply, because access to all these places if you can produce the right documents is not the freedom that he had before.  The person who gets vaccinated in any of these instances, who would not have gotten vaccinated otherwise, has not given his voluntary, informed, consent.   The coercion involved invalidates the consent.

 

While banning a medical procedure is justifiable under certain circumstances, forcing someone to undergo a medical procedure is never justifiable.    The closest thing to an exception to this is when an emergency procedure is needed to save someone’s own life and he cannot give consent, voluntary and informed or otherwise, because he is unconscious and likely to remain that way apart from the procedure.    This is very different from forcing someone to undergo a treatment that he consciously rejects.

 

Those who support these vaccine mandates and passports attempt to justify this suppression of each person’s right to reject medical treatment that he has not been persuaded to his own satisfaction that it is in his best interest to accept with arguments that ultimately reduce to the same old “it is for the protection of others” line that the bat flu bullies have been using all along.   It takes on a whole new level of absurdity when applied to vaccines.  

 

Who are the others that one is supposed to be protecting by getting vaccinated?

 

Presumably, these would be the vaccinated.   The people, that is to say, who are supposed to be already protected by their own vaccines. “Your vaccine protects me, my vaccine protects you” is not how vaccines work.

 

Imagine what it would look like if this kind of reasoning were used to mandate the medical procedure discussed above that genuinely is undertaken solely for the benefit of others.   It would play out something like this:

 

The chief public health officer announces one day that deaths due to kidney failure are on the rise.   “This is unacceptable”, he says.   “We must get these numbers down”.

 

The problem, he then informs us, is that all the cadavers, corpses, and carcasses of car crash victims have not been yielding enough salvageable kidneys to meet the needs of the growing number of people requiring a transplant.    Nor is the gap being sufficiently bridged by voluntary donors.

 

Therefore, he announces, the government will be offering incentives for people with healthy kidneys to donate.    Everyone who donates at least one will be entered in a lottery with a chance to win a million dollars.

 

A month or two later, he informs the public that while kidney donations have gone up, the latest computer modelling projects that a rise in kidney failure deaths is about to begin.   In an effort to ward this off, the government is now making kidney donation mandatory for all public employees and encouraging private employers to consider doing the same.   To facilitate matters it will begin issuing kidney donor cards and has developed an app whereby you can confirm your donor status with your smart phone.   Those who have not done their part to stem the tide of kidney failure death by donating one or more of their kidneys can expect to find themselves denied full participation in society as the card/app will also be used to restrict access to anything not deemed essential to only those who have donated a kidney.

 

Such a scenario would be monstrous, of course.    Yet, if the government is going to override people’s right to reject medical procedures that we do not want on the grounds that forcing us to undergo a procedure is necessary for the sake of others, the underlying reasoning would be more valid in this situation than in the real life one.  

 

It is interesting to note, by the way, that the persecution of prisoners of conscience in Red China, especially of targeted groups such as the Falun Gong and Uyghurs, reportedly involves forced organ harvesting.   Communist China is the pattern on which all the governments of the formerly free world have modelled their draconian measures to combat the bat flu.   It is time that we stop doing this and start respecting our own tradition of freedom and constitutional limits on government power, don’t you think?

Saturday, September 4, 2021

“My Body, My Choice”?

 

The slogan “my body, my choice” is not a new one.   It has been around for years and, until practically yesterday, everyone who heard it – or read it on a placard – knew who the person saying it –or holding the placard – was and what this person was talking about.    That person was someone who identified as “pro-choice”, the choice in question being the choice of a woman to have an abortion.

 

Those of us who were on the right side of the abortion debate, the side that generally went by the label “pro-life”, would answer this slogan by pointing out that it was not just the woman’s body that would be affected by the abortion.    The unborn baby inside her would also be affected.    Indeed, its life would be terminated as that is the essential nature of an abortion.    The pro-choice movement has gone to great lengths to disguise the true nature of abortion from itself, and from those women contemplating one.    They use euphemistic language like “reproductive rights”, “reproductive health”, and the like in order to depict abortion as being merely a routine medical procedure.    They object strenuously to efforts by the pro-life movement to shatter this façade and bring the true nature of abortion out into the open by, for example, showing graphic depictions of aborted babies.

 

It can no longer be assumed, when one hears the slogan “my body, my choice”, that the person speaking is talking about abortion.   Indeed, it is probably safe to say that if you hear that slogan today, the chances are that the person saying it is not talking about abortion at all.    This is because in the last couple of months or so the slogan has been adopted by a different group of people altogether, those who are on the right side of the forced vaccine debate and are bravely standing up to the mob which, scared senseless by two years of media fear porn about the bat flu virus, is supporting governments in their efforts to shove needles into everyone’s arms whether they want them or not.

 

The mob’s answer to this new use of the slogan, when they bother to respond with anything other than “shut up and do what you are told” is similar to the pro-life movement’s answer to the pro-abortion use of the slogan.   It is not just our bodies, they tell us.   It is our duty to do our part to take the jab in order to protect others from the bat flu and if we don’t do our part the government should force us to do so by making our lives as miserable as possible until we do.

 

Before showing how and why the pro-life movement was right in its answer to the slogan as used by the pro-abortion movement while the supporters of forced vaccination are wrong in their answer to the slogan, it might be interesting to observe another way in which these two seemingly disparate issues intersect.    Among those of us who are on the side of the angels against forced vaccination there are those who are merely against vaccines being coerced and there are those who have objections to the vaccines qua vaccines.   Those who object to the vaccines qua vaccines could be further divided into those who are against all vaccines on principle and those who have problems with the bat flu vaccines specifically.    The latter include a large number of traditionalist Roman Catholics and Orthodox, evangelical Protestants, and other religious conservatives.    One of the reasons more religious conservatives have objected to the bat flu vaccines is that the mRNA type vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) are developed from research that used a cell line originally derived from an aborted foetus and the Johnson & Johnson viral vector vaccine used a cell line from a different aborted foetus in its production and manufacturing stage.

 

Now, let us consider some differences between these scenarios that render the pro-life movement’s response to “my body, my choice” valid, and the pro-forced vaccination mob’s response to the same invalid.

 

The pro-life movement objects that “my body, my choice” is not a valid defense of abortion because abortion causes the death of someone other than the woman choosing to have an abortion.    This is a strong argument because a) abortion always, in every instance, and indeed, by definition, causes such a death, b) the death is always of a specific someone who is known, to the extent an unnamed person can be known, and c) the death is always intentional on the part of the persons performing and having the abortion.   The opposite of all of this is true in the case of someone who rejects the bat flu vaccines.    Someone not getting a vaccine is never the direct cause of another person’s death.    An unvaccinated person can only transmit the virus to someone else if he himself has the virus.   Even if he does have the virus and does transmit it to someone else that other person is far more likely to survive the virus than to die from it.   This is true even if the other person is in the most-at-risk category.   It would be extremely rare, if it happens at all, that causing another person, let alone a specific other person, to die would be part of the intent in deciding not to be vaccinated.    Therefore, the argument that the pro-life movement uses against “my body, my choice” in the case of abortion, does not hold up as an argument against the same in the case of forced vaccination.

 

A second important difference is in how the expression “my body, my choice” is used by the two groups.   The pro-choice movement uses it against those who would prohibit women from having an abortion.   The opponents of forced vaccination use it against those who would compel everybody to take an injection.   To compel somebody to do something requires a much stronger justification than to prohibit them from doing something.    This is especially the case when it comes to medical procedures.   A reasonable justification for denying someone a medical procedure that is not urgently needed to save the person’s life from immediate danger is far more conceivable than such a justification for compelling someone to undergo a medical procedure.    In the case of the bat flu vaccines, the clinical trials of which will not be completed for another two years, many of which include mRNA which has never been used in vaccines before, which increase the risk of the heart conditions pericarditis and myocarditis, as well as thrombosis (blood clots) and Bell’s palsy, and which is for a respiratory disease that people who are young and healthy have well over a 99% chance of surviving and even those who are not young and healthy are far more likely to survive than not, the idea that compelling anyone to take these could ever be rationally justified is morally repugnant.

 

So we see that “my body, my choice” is weak and invalid with regards to abortion but is strong and valid with regards to forced vaccination (vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, etc.)    The only reason there is a mob supporting and calling for the latter today, is because people and businesses have been terrorized by the media and their governments and subjected to hellish lockdowns and restrictions for almost two years, are sick of it, would agree to almost anything to be rid of it, and so they jumped aboard the forced vaccination bandwagon when the public health mandarins said that we need vaccine mandates and vaccine passports to avoid another lockdown.   The public health mandarins are lying, however, as they have been lying since day one of the bat flu pandemic.  All that is needed for us to avoid another lockdown is for governments to start respecting our constitutional rights and freedoms and the constitutional limits on their own power.     They will only do this if we insist upon it.   Letting them get away with forced vaccination is not a step towards the return of freedom, but towards greater tyranny.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Raptum Omnium Ab Omnibus

 

The late Lawrence Auster, who passed away in March of 2013, was a huge inspiration to the generation – in a rather loose sense of the word – of writers who started blogging in the years when he was active at  View From the Right and who, like himself, were theologically conservative Christians and political “conservatives” in the “traditionalist” sense of the word who espoused views on race, immigration, sex, and gender that would have been well within the mainstream sixty years ago but are now considered to be beyond the pale on the right wing of the political spectrum.    This would include, among many others, Laura Wood of The Thinking Housewife, the contributors to The Orthosphere, and this writer.

 

On April 21st, 2009 he re-posted a comment from a post at Dennis Mangan’s blog and the thread that followed as “The Next Frontier of Non-Discrimination: Obligatory Interracial Dating”.    I’m not sure, upon re-reading the post after all this time, how much of the discussion was carried over from Mangan’s blog, which is no longer around to check, and how much was original to Mr. Auster’s, but it is not important.    The original comment linked to a Youtube video in which University of Delaware students were quizzed as to their willingness to date blacks and Muslims for the purpose of determining how “racist” they were.    The point was that liberal anti-racism was moving from condemning opposition to interracial dating as “racist” to condemning a lack of interest in participating in it oneself as “racist” and thus making interracial dating socially obligatory, hence Mr. Auster’s title.   About half way through the discussion someone who went by the handle “LL” asked Mr. Auster about whether it follows from this revised liberalism that to “eschew same-sex dating” is homophobic.    He answered in the affirmative, saying that this was precisely the direction in which liberalism was leading.    Pointing to how liberals were using previous bans on interracial marriage as part of their argument for same-sex marriage, he said “So if there’s no moral difference between a black and a white marrying each other and a man and a man – or a woman and a woman – marrying each other, there would not seem to be any moral difference between requiring a white student to date a nonwhite student (as some schools are apparently now doing) and requiring a male student to date a male student.”   The last comment in the post was by Lydia McGrew of What’s Wrong With the World and was about how pressure on heterosexuals to date members of the same-sex already existed in some women’s studies classes.

 

This whole idea that liberals’ own internal logic placed them on a trajectory that led from demanding tolerance of non-traditional relationships, to demanding acceptance of the same, to demanding participation in them, was one that Mr. Auster revisited several times.  I thought, and still think, that he was right about this and picked up the theme myself after he passed away.    A few years later, I wrote an essay that started with the hypothetical scenario of someone who politely rejected the advances of a member of the same sex being slapped with a discrimination suit, which he lost and found himself facing cripplingly punitive fines, and from this scenario reasoned towards the ethical conclusion that discrimination qua discrimination was not inherently wrong and that anti-discrimination laws, that is to say, laws that prohibit private persons from discriminating are fundamentally unjust.    Shortly after this, a judge ruled against the Christian dating site Christian Mingle in a discrimination lawsuit, and ordered them to expand their options from “men seeking women” and “women seeking men”.   While the court order did not compel individual men and women to date members of their own sex it was a large step in that direction in that it set the precedent that the realm of dating and relationships was now subject to anti-discrimination law.    In commenting on this at the time, I said that we were rapidly heading towards mandatory obligatory omnisexuality, which I described as a raptum omnium ab omnibus (“rape of all by all”) which expression, obviously, I borrowed, mutatis mutandis, from Thomas Hobbes’ famous description of human existence outside of civilized society and its laws as a bellum omnium contra omnes (“war of all against all”).

 

 

Who would have thought at the time that five years later a radically different situation would develop which could also be aptly described with this same expression?

 

I am referring, of course, to the forced vaccination that is the latest episode in the ongoing bat flu saga.

 

Let us consider the component parts of the expression, beginning with raptum, which would usually be translated abduction but which I am using here in the sense of its English derivative, rape.

 

To call forced vaccination rape is to use this word in a sense that is only slightly less than literal.  In the most literal sense of the word to rape is to force someone to have sexual intercourse with you against that person’s will.   Apart from instances of statutory rape involving an adult woman and a minor in which the minor is unable to legally consent due to age, this almost always means a male forcibly penetrating somebody else.   This is due to basic biology – even if you have a female who is sufficiently larger and stronger than a male to try and force herself upon him in this manner, to succeed would require that his body co-operate in a wayr in which it is noted to fail even when its cooperation is wanted by the male and under the set of circumstances when it is least likely to do so.    Therefore, for all intents and purposes, rape can be said to be forced penetration.    Forced vaccination is forced penetration, albeit with a needle rather than a penis.   To the wiseacres who think that talking about the bees and mosquitos who “raped” them is a witty comeback to this, note that mens rea, which can only be present in those with human moral agency, is a necessary component of any crime.   Insects do not and cannot possess mens rea, humans who compel other people to be injected with substances that they do not want to be injected with, have it in spades.

 

Should, however, anyone still object on the ground that rape is essentially sexual in nature, I shall answer neither by suggesting, however plausibly, that those who are so insistent that everyone who does not want the bat flu vaccine be compelled to take it derive some erotic thrill from this, nor by making reference to the common feminist trope that rape is about power not sex, but by offering an alternative comparison.   Imagine the government telling everybody that they need to have two injections of heroin, and possibly a booster injection of heroin at a later date, issuing heroin passports to confirm that people have had their required doses, banning people from bars, restaurants, movie theatres, concerts and sporting events unless they can prove they have had their heroin shots, and requiring all public employees and all people employed, whether publicly or privately, in certain sectors, to take their heroin shots as a condition of their continuing employment.    This would be considered by pretty much everybody to be a heinous crime against humanity.   The analogy here is exact, with the only difference being the contents of the needle.    The heinousness of forced heroin injection, however, does not lie solely in the heroin itself, but rather permeates the entire act.

 

The omnium, meaning “of all”, requires little in the way of commentary.    The fact that these vaccine passport and mandate measures have generally been introduced after a sizeable portion of the population has already been voluntarily vaccinated shows that nothing short of 100% vaccination will satisfy those insisting upon such extreme measures, which in turn demonstrates just how irrational these people are. 

 

The ab omnibus, which means “by all” is appropriate here because of the broad support these vaccine passports and mandates seem to have.   If the numbers on the matter are at all credible, vaccine passports and mandates have far more supporters than lockdowns and mandatory masks did.   The explanation for this is that the number of those who supported lockdowns and masks but feel that forced vaccination is a step too far is much lower than the number of those who opposed lockdowns and masks and who see the vaccines as a means of escaping these things.    This was inevitable, I suppose.   Once someone has accepted suspending everybody’s basic and constitutional rights and freedoms, imposing quarantine on the entire healthy population, ordering people to close their businesses based on an arbitrary classification of “essential” and “non-essential”, and the like as acceptable means of slowing the spread of a novel respiratory disease that those who are young and healthy have over a 99% chance of surviving he does not have much further to go to accepting forced injections.   Such a person is not likely to understand that holding the rights and freedoms that the government stole from us hostage is not morally different from holding a gun to our heads as a means of persuading us to get vaccinated.   Meanwhile, two years of lockdowns and masks have tired many out, wearing away at their moral resolve so that those willing to resist the vaccine mandates are fewer in number than those who opposed the earlier measures.

 

This is most unfortunate since forced vaccination is, in reality, an escalation of the tyranny of the last two years, not an escape from it.   Do we want to live in a society where we can be compelled to be injected with substances without our informed and voluntary consent?   Do we want to live in a society where we can be required to show our “papers” wherever we go?   Do we want future generations to have to live in such a society?

 

If our answer to any or all of these questions is no, then regardless of what we may think about the vaccines qua vaccines, or whether we ourselves have been vaccinated, partially or fully, or not, we must fervently oppose and reject this raptum omnium ab omnibus now.

Friday, August 27, 2021

The Evanescence of Ethics in the Epidemic

Imagine three individuals who each wish to relieve you of the burden of the contents of your wallet that they might bear this load themselves.

 

The first individual approaches you and says “I hate to ask this, but I’m in a real pickle, I owe Vinnie and Guido $50 and if I don’t pay it by the end of the day they are going to break my legs, would you be a pal and help me out.”

 

The second individual comes up to you wearing a bandana, pulls a gun, and says “stick em up” and then grabs your wallet and runs.

 

The third individual says to you “I want you to give me all your money.  It is your choice if you do or not, but if you don’t I’ll see to it that you can never work, travel, or participate in any community events again.”

 

Which of these individuals was guilty of robbery?

 

The first individual may be guilty of having made very poor choices but is not guilty of robbery. 

 

The second individual is clearly a robber and a stereotypical robber at that, going so far as to wear the traditional uniform of the robber, a mask covering the lower face.

 

The correct answer to our question, however, is that both the second and the third individuals were guilty of robbery.   Robbery is theft – the unlawful taking of another person’s possessions – through the means of coercive force, either actual or threatened.    Both the second and the third individuals used threats to force you to hand over your money.    The nature of what they threatened to do was quite different but the difference does not make what the third individual said any less of a coercive threat.

 

Is it ever right, or at least morally permissible, to use coercive force?

 

This ethical question is more complex than it might at first seem, due to a number of complicating factors.   One such factor is the nature of the coercive force.    Consider our illustration above.   The threats used by the second and third individuals differed in two ways.   One of these was in their level of credibility.   The stereotypical robber’s threat was made believable by the presence of the gun.   The credibility of the other robber’s threat depends upon who the robber is.   If he is in a position of sufficient power to actually carry it out then his threat is credible, otherwise he is obviously a nut and his threat can be disregarded as empty and crazy.   The other way, which is the one that is relevant to this discussion, is in the nature of what was threatened.   The stereotypical robber threatened the use of lethal force.   The other robber merely threatened to make your life miserable, not to take it from you.    Historically, this distinction has been very important in discussions of the ethical question at hand.   While there has been no answer to the question which could be said to have the support of a universal consensus, there has been wide agreement that lethal force is the least justifiable or permissible form of coercion.

 

Another complicating factor is that of the distinction between the state and private individual persons.    It would be extremely difficult if not impossible to conceive of the enforcement of law and the administration of criminal justice that does not in some way or another involve the use of coercive force.    Unsurprisingly, therefore, there has also been wide agreement – although not nearly as wide as with lethal force being the least justifiable or permissible – that it is more justifiable or morally permissible for the state, the institution whose raison d’etre is to enforce the law and administer criminal justice, to use such force than for private persons.    Again, support for this idea while broad, has not been as wide as for the one with which we ended the previous paragraph.   The liberal tradition, that is to say, the tradition that over the course of the Modern Age became dominant in what used to be Christendom but is now Western Civilization, has produced many different views on the matter.   One such view, which is evident today among those liberals or progressives who would argue that you should never fight back and defend yourself, your loved ones, or your property when these are under criminal attack, but  allow yourself to be victimized and let the professionals, the police, take care of it, is that the state ought to have an exclusive monopoly on all use of coercive force.    Conversely, some although not all of the liberals of the kind who began calling themselves libertarian in the last century to indicate their retention and emphasis on the individualism and suspicion of government that were predominant in the liberalism of the nineteenth century, hold that force is only justifiable when used by private persons to defend themselves, their families, and property and that the state is illegitimate.    Although these views, each the polar opposite of the other, are both supported by their proponents from ideas that belong to the mainstream of the liberal philosophical-political tradition, neither could be said to itself represent the mainstream liberal view on the matter of how much coercive force is permitted to the state and the private person.     That the use of force on others, whether on the part of the private person or the state, is ethically permissible only under certain circumstances, which are broader for the state than for the private person, with lethal force being permitted to the latter only in circumstances of self-defense, is much closer to what historically would have been the liberal mainstream.   In this, the mainstream of the liberal tradition was itself much closer to the mainstream of the tradition that preceded it, or, if you prefer, the mainstream of the Western tradition as a whole, including both liberal and pre-liberal strands, than in many other areas.

 

There is one way in which liberalism did depart from the pre-liberal Western tradition that warrants consideration in the context of this discussion, especially in that it had a direct bearing on the way the factor examined in the last paragraph was framed.   Distinguishing between the private person and the state is fairly universal in the ethical debate over the boundaries limiting when force is permissible.  Restricting the distinction to these two, on the other hand, is rather unique to the liberal tradition.   Conservative sociologist Robert Nisbet stressed throughout his career, beginning with his seminal The Quest for Community (1953), the importance of a plurality of institutions.    He described such other institutions as the family and the local community as “intermediate” between the state and the private person.   That liberalism had come to largely disregard these is evident in the radically opposite views both emerging from the liberal tradition mentioned in the previous paragraph.    What the ideas that the state should have a monopoly on force and that the state is illegitimate and only the individual person is justified in using force in self-defense have in common is that they both see the state and the individual as the only players worthy of consideration.   The other institutions that Nisbet called “intermediate” traditionally possessed a significant amount of authority.   Authority, which is the respected right to lead, is different from power, which is the ability to command obedience.      For society or any institution within it to be functional authority must take strong precedence over power but, human nature being what it is, authority cannot long exist without power backing it up.   This necessarily means that those who exercise the authority in Nisbet’s intermediate institutions must be morally able to use some kind of force, to some kind of degree.   Another way in which liberalism’s reduction of everything to the state and individual is evident has been in the way in which the liberal tradition, which in the interwar period of the last century largely abandoned its anti-statist libertarianism from the century prior and then sharply veered into statism after World War II, has been attacking the authority of all of these institutions, especially the family, by having the state strip them of their power. (1)

 

The ability to back up an order with force is the essence of power, which to some degree or another is necessary to support authority.    The force needed to support authority differs from institution to institution in both kind and degree.  That lethal force is limited to the state, except in situations where the individual needs it for defensive purposes is something to which virtually everyone in Christendom would have agreed around the time that liberalism began to convert Christendom into Western Civilization.    This consensus did not exist in the classical civilization that preceded Christendom.    In ancient Rome, the pater familias, which meant the patriarch of a household consisting of a large extended family, rather than merely the father in a domestic unit, held authority, the pater potestas, over his family that was not equal to that exercised by the Senate over the Roman city-state, but certainly comparable to it.    Classical literature abounds with stories featuring the abuse of such authority – Oedipus, the king of Thebes who features in several of the extent tragedies, bears a name (“swollen foot”) that testifies to his having been a victim of a botched attempt to end his life while an infant, carried out at the orders of his father when the latter heard the prophecy that the child would kill his father and marry his mother.     While Oedipus’s father Laius was a king, the order to have the child exposed was an expression of what would have been regarded as his patriarchal rather than his civil authority at the time.      

 

The spread of Christianity and the conversion of classical civilization into Christendom led to the elimination of the practice of infanticide by exposure and stricter limits being placed on the pater potestas leading to the Christian consensus that the legitimate use of lethal force is limited to the state except in instance of self-defense on the part of private persons.    While this meant that the power and authority of the family patriarch was no longer comparable to that of the state and that in temporal terms the civil power was now unquestionably the highest authority, the mainstream point of view in Christendom did not regard all other institutional authority as falling in the intermediate position between the state and the individual of which Nisbet spoke.   The mainstream point of view in Christendom was that there were two realms in Christian civilization, the temporal and the spiritual, the membership of which overlapped, but in which different institutions were vested with the highest authority.   In the temporal realm, the state was the highest authority.   In the spiritual realm, the church was the highest authority.  The bishops, as citizens of the temporal realm, were under the authority of the king as his subjects.   The king, as a member of the church, was subject to the authority of his bishop in the spiritual realm.   The king and the bishop, each possessing the highest earthly authority in his respective realm, required power to back that authority up, and this power was conceived of as two “swords”.   These swords were metaphorical, of course, although much less so in the case of the king, whose sword included the use of lethal force to punish crime. (2)   The bishop’s “sword” was the “keys”, given to the Apostles by Christ after St. Peter’s confession of faith, which included the power to exclude people from the Sacraments and the fellowship of the church.

 

Disagreements about the “keys” were involved in fracturing the ecclesiastical unity of Christendom in both the eleventh and the sixteenth centuries, which contributed to liberalism’s takeover of Christendom and transformation of it into modern Western Civilization.    While the specifics of these disagreements is not relevant to our discussion here, it is important to note that in the Christian orthodox mainstream of Christendom neither the king nor the bishop was thought to have the right the wield his sword whenever he saw fit to serve his own selfish purposes.   Liberalism maintained otherwise, of course, because it wished to weaken the king or replace him with a republic and to reduce the church from the institution of highest earthly authority in the spiritual realm to one of many intermediate institutions in the temporal realm, but the concept of the divine gifting of the “swords” in Christian orthodoxy clearly implies that both kings and bishops were held strictly accountable to God for the right use of the swords, and a great deal of space in the writings of theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas was devoted to spelling out the limits on when these swords could be rightly used.   The importance of this lies in the fact that despite the significant differences between the orthodoxy of Christendom and the liberalism of modern Western Civilization both agreed that there were limits on when force could be used, whether by the state or by private persons, and that these limits were written in the language of ethics, of what is right and what is wrong.

 

The idea that there are limits on the right use of force even for the state is an ancient one, going back to the earliest of civilizations.   Even before the Socratic philosophers wrote the dialogues and treatises that laid the foundation of the long tradition of Western political science, Aeschylus wrote his Oresteia, a trilogy of plays that begins with the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra, continues with his being avenged by his son Orestes, and concludes with Orestes escaping the vengeance of the pursuing Furies by placing his fate in the hands of the patron goddess of Athens who establishes the first jury to adjudicate the case, resulting in an acquittal.   The trilogy illustrates how the civilized justice system with its laws and courts is superior to pre-civilized blood “justice” because it limits the violence rather than letting it continue to spiral and escalate.    The myths behind the plays are much older (Homer had drawn from the same source material in his Illiad and Odyssey three centuries prior to this).   Indeed, even the Lex Talionis that is featured prominently in the ancient Code of Hammurabi (Babylon of the eighteenth century BC) and the Mosaic Law in the Old Testament, can be understood as a limit on the permissible use of force (under it if someone puts out your eye, the maximum that you can demand as just repayment is his own eye).    That the ancients saw the force of law, exercised by the state, as being subject to the limits of morality is also attested to by manner in which they categorized their philosophy.   While modern totalitarians, who reject limits on the power of the state, have sometimes claimed Plato as an ancestor, to do so they must rely entirely upon a dialogue that is fantastical in nature, in which Socrates and his friends engage in an entirely theoretical exercise in city-building that is clearly set in a world other than the one they actually live in.    The purpose of the exercise is not to create a model for the builders of city-states in the real world to use, but to examine further an ethical question about the nature of justice.   The totalitarians’ claim on Plato, therefore, is very tenuous.   By contrast, modern constitutionalists, that is to say those who believe in constitutional restraints on the powers of government which ought to include everybody of every political stripe who is not a totalitarian, can rightly point to Plato’s disciple Aristotle as their ancestor.   Some of these have agreed with the totalitarians in assigning Plato to the latter camp, but where Plato and Aristotle were clearly in harmony was in making politics in the sense of political science, the theory of states and statecraft, a subcategory of ethics, the theory of human habits and behaviour as evaluated by the standards of what is right, good and virtuous versus what is wrong, bad, and vicious.   This is spelled out by Aristotle, who introduced politics as a subdivision in his treatise on Ethics, then wrote a sequel devoted to Politics, but it is also the obvious implication of Plato’s having made his most famous political discussion as part of a larger ethical debate.   The subordination of politics to ethics is consistent with the constitutionalist rather than the totalitarian point of view.


Over the course of the pandemic that was declared early last year and has continued to the present day it has been very disturbing to see this subordination of politics to ethics that has been so important to every phase of our civilization (or to our civilization and its two immediate predecessors depending upon how you look at it) disregarded or, worse, inverted (the use of shame and guilt to coerce people into obeying every public health order – “you are a bad selfish person who cares only about yourself if you object to being forbidden all social interaction for two years straight” – is the use of a twisted form of ethics to serve the interests of politics, not in the Platonic/Aristotelean sense of the word but in a sense of the term that is usually if, perhaps, unfairly, associated with Machiavelli).   At the beginning of the pandemic, the citizens of Western countries basically acquiesced as their governments imposed unprecedented restrictions upon them.   In imposing these restrictions Western governments overstepped the limits their constitutions place on their powers and essentially took away what for centuries Western people have regarded as their most basic civil, if not human, rights.    Telling people they can have only a limited number of people over to their house is a restriction that limits their freedom of association, but telling them they can have no visitors over to their house, as the province of Manitoba did from November of last year until this July, is taking away that freedom altogether.  This is a freedom that is identified as “fundamental” in the second section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that was added to the Canadian constitution in 1982, the rights and freedoms in which the Supreme Court of Canada has previously ruled that governments can limit, but only if the limitation is minimal, as this one obviously was not.   Nevertheless, the province was somehow allowed to get away with this. 

 

Having gotten away with these experimental severe restrictions on our freedoms, our governments then began to add mandates on top of these.   The first of these was the mandate that we wear lower face masks in indoor spaces.   The mask mandates were controversial for a number of reasons, many of which I have discussed in other essays in the past.   What is most significant for our purposes here is that while many have seen the masks as being a lesser imposition than the lockdowns, and in one sense they are right, they represent the transition from the government forbidding us to do things that we had previously been free to do to the government requiring us to do things.   Throughout history, the laws of the freest countries have been mostly if not all prohibitions rather than requirements, and the more requirements a government has added the less free the country has become.   The laws that have been the most universal – the basic laws against such things as murder and theft – are prohibitions.

 

We have now arrived at a point where, if polls are to be believed – and this is a big “if” – the vast majority of Canadians support a different – and far worse – mandate, mandatory vaccination.    The rapidly developed vaccines for the bat flu have spawned much more controversy than the masks.   Much of the heated discussion has been over such matters as the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.    I will leave these matters to others because the ethical problem with vaccine mandates would be the same if they were 100% safe and effective.


Some would distinguish between mandatory vaccination and forced vaccination.    The distinction is false, however, and involves no real difference.   By the latter, these people would presumably have in mind a situation where someone ties you to a chair and injects you with a vaccine without your consent, either freely given or coerced.   A mandatory vaccine, however, is as much a forced vaccine as a vaccine in the circumstance just described.   The only difference is in the nature of the force used, which difference is essentially the same as that between the two robbers in our illustration at the beginning of this essay.

 

Let us use a slightly different illustration.

 

There are three young men.    Each has a young lady of whom he is in pursuit.

 

The first young man woes her with flowers, and chocolates, and sappy love poetry.

 

The second young man, clubs her over the head, drags her off to his cave, and forces himself upon her.

 

The third young man is the young lady’s immediate supervisor.   He tells her that if she wishes to advance in her career, it would be in her best interests to sleep with him, and hints that she will be fired and blackballed in her profession if she does not.

 

As with the original illustration, the first young man is innocent.   The second young man, also corresponding to his counterpart in the first illustration, is a stereotypical rapist.   

 

Is the third young man as guilty of rape, assuming his ploy to be successful, as the second?

 

If your answer is “no” you might be wise to keep your opinion to yourself in the presence of the ladies.  As Rudyard Kipling so aptly said “the female of the species is more deadly than the male”.

 

The reason for this second illustration is that the crime involved is much closer in nature to forced vaccination than robbery.   In both rape and forced vaccination someone’s body is penetrated, without that person’s voluntary consent, by a foreign tube which injects a substance into the body.    The similarities far outweigh the differences and include all the elements of rape which make the act a heinous crime.

 

The rhetoric we have been hearing from political leaders, like the Prime Minister, who have imposed vaccine mandates on certain sectors, has been “it is your choice not to be vaccinated, but there will be consequences”.   Imagine a man saying to a woman “it is your choice not to sleep with me, but there will be consequences”.   It would be one thing if by “consequences” the Prime Minister meant something like “you won’t be as protected against the virus as somebody who chooses to take the vaccine.”    This is obviously not what he meant.   It was a threat of the imposition of additional negative consequences apart from whatever ones might be inherent in the choice itself on those who reject the vaccine.   This is an unjustifiable abuse of government power.   Indeed, it is ethically unacceptable for any institution to abuse its authority and power in this way.   Rather than issuing vaccine mandates for their own employees, and those of certain private sectors, governments ought to be forbidding everyone else from imposing private vaccine mandates.    The latter would be a proper and ethical use of government power.  

 

That so many people have indicated their support for vaccine mandates, government or private, demonstrates just how badly our ethical thinking, which was not exactly in great shape prior to the pandemic, has deteriorated over the course of the last two years.

 

(1)   This is what the so-called Culture War, or at least the moral aspect of it, has really been all about.

(2)  The imagery comes from the thirteenth chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans in the New Testament.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Captain Airhead’s Astounding Arrogance

 

On Sunday the fifteenth of August, it had not yet been a month since Mary Simon had been sworn into the office of Governor General of Canada, when a pestilential nuisance showed up on her doorstep at Rideau Hall to make a request.   One of the more tiresome duties of Her Majesty’s vice-regal representative is that of playing host to visits from the Prime Minister.   This duty must truly become an irksome burden when the Prime Minister is someone as odious as the current one, Captain Airhead.   Of course, since Captain Airhead is the worst excuse for a human being by far to serve as Prime Minister in the history of Canada, only Simon and her immediate predecessors have had to bear this burden.

 

What her Prime Ministerial supplicant asked for, and obtained, was a dissolution of the Parliament formed in the 2019 Dominion election.   Which means that on the twentieth of September, the next Dominion election will be held.   It is an election that nobody but Captain Airhead himself wants.   All of the other parties have opposed the move.   Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives who were Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in the last Parliament and, as the only other party to have ever formed a government or with much of a chance of forming one if the Grits are defeated this time around, would logically be the ones to want an election have condemned the move as an irresponsible, egotistical, waste of money, which it is.  Jimmy Dhaliwal’s socialists and the Lower Canadian separatists who have been taking turns propping up the Grit minority government against the Conservative Opposition have no desire to see their hold on the balance of power potentially eviscerated.   As for the Greens, they are too busy imploding as a party due to self-destructive infighting to want to run a campaign right now.   The Canadian public, polled on the subject, has indicated strong opposition to an election being held at this time.

 

That the public would not want an election right now is hardly surprising.   Canadians have historically not been pleased with early elections that follow too closely after the previous one, and since, whatever you and I might think about the bat flu pandemic having been blown out of proportion by the fear pornographers in the mainstream media, the majority of our countrymen seem to take this stercus tauri at face value, and thus would be even less likely to want a very early election this year than on previous occasions.    This makes Captain Airhead’s move a bit of a puzzler.   Ordinarily, Prime Ministers in his position, that is to say, leading a minority government with only a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, try not to risk being punished by an angry electorate by requesting a new election themselves.   Instead, they try to provoke the other parties into voting them down in a no-confidence vote, so that the party that asks for the vote is blamed and punished by the electorate for the dissolution of the previous Parliament.   Captain Airhead clearly thinks that he can take responsibility for the dissolution upon himself and still be awarded a majority by a public that obviously does not want an election.

 

Perhaps Captain Airhead, or Justin Trudeau as some occasionally call him, thinks that he can count on the sycophantic behaviour of the news media which he has enjoyed to an extent that exceeds that of any previous Prime Minister, including his own father at the height of Trudeaumania, to render him exempt from the normal rules.    It is, nevertheless, an extremely hubristic attitude on his part, especially when we consider all the other assumptions implicit within it.

 

In the Dominion election of 2015 the Grits won a solid majority.     This was due to a combination of people being tired with the previous government and the media’s love affair with the Liberal leader whose surface qualities, hiding a total lack of substance, they found appealing.    When a new government receives a majority in its first election, of course, this is not a reward that is has earned and it is expected to earn it after the fact.   When that government is reduced to a plurality in its next election, as Captain Airhead’s Grits were in 2019, this is the judgement of the public that they have failed to subsequently earn their majority.   In this particular example, it was also a rebuke of the Prime Minister’s scandalous behaviour.

 

Towards the end of Captain Airhead’s first term his government’s popularity tanked due to the SNC-Lavalin Affair, a scandal that concerned inappropriate pressure having been placed on the Justice Minister to interfere in the ongoing prosecution of a major corporate backer of the Liberal Party for political reasons.    This was a corruption scandal that pertained to the government’s behaviour in office.   Then, in the actual election campaign, Captain Airhead was hit with a personal scandal as a couple of photographs and a video surfaced, all showing him in blackface.   This is the sort of scandal that would have ended the career of pretty much any other politician in this day and age.   While personally, I think that those who consider skin colour-altering makeup to be inherently “racist” are twits and dingbats who ought to be ignored by sensible people rather than given the influence to police the thoughts and actions of others, Captain Airhead has, since the beginning of his political career, marketed himself as “woke”, that is to say, the sort of numbskull who takes every dictate from the far left’s self-appointed guardians of public mental hygiene vis-à-vis racism very seriously indeed and caters to their every irrational whim.   In other words, exactly the sort of person who ought not to be caught dead in blackface and whose career ought to be especially vulnerable to this sort of scandal.   He had spent an inordinate amount of time in his first term lecturing other Canadians about how we all need to be more “enlightened” and less “racist” like the image he was trying to present of himself.

 

Having survived these scandals has Captain Airhead learned from them and altered his behaviour according?

The evidence would suggest that he has not.

 

Less than a year into his second term, in the early months of the bat flu pandemic, Captain Airhead announced the formation of the Canadian Student Service Grant program that would give students $1000 for every 100 hours of volunteer work they did that summer up to a $5000 maximum.   The WE Charity was picked to administer this program.   This immediately erupted into a corruption scandal that rivalled SNC-Lavalin for the biggest of Captain Airhead’s career.   The WE Charity had been selected without giving other charities the opportunity to bid on the contract.  This charity had a long association with Captain Airhead’s family – his wife had volunteered for the organization which had paid for her travel and other expenses and his mother and brother had both been paid large sums to speak at its events.   Similarly, his then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau had one daughter who worked for the charity, another who spoke at their events, and had himself allowed the charity to pay $41 000 worth of travel expenses for him and his family.   The scandal led to Morneau’s resignation both as Finance Minister and from his seat in the House of Commons.      Captain Airhead, however, remained in office, taking advantage of every opportunity the pandemic afforded him to thwart a proper investigation by Parliament.   A few months ago, the Ethics Commissioner that he had himself had appointed, declared that “Although the connection between Mr. Trudeau’s relatives and WE created the appearance of a conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict is insufficient to cause a contravention to the Act’s substantive views” and pinned all the blame on Morneau.

 

It would seem that the only lesson Captain Airhead took away from the SNC-Lavalin experience is to avoid being held accountable by Parliament.

 

As for the blackface scandal, the very least we have the right to expect from someone who had gone through this sort of humiliation without, astonishingly, it killing his political career would be that he would give lecturing the rest of us about racism a rest.    Anyone foolish enough to actually expect this of Captain Airhead, however, would be very disappointed.   If anything, he has actually gotten much worse in this regards.    Just before the Parliament that has just been dissolved recessed for the summer his Justice Minister introduced Bill C-36, which would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code so that left-wing control freaks would no longer have to meet the criminal justice system’s standard of evidence in order to file complaints against people for posting things they, that is the leftists, consider to be racist on the internet and obtain rulings silencing these people and/or imposing crippling fines upon them.   Indeed, unlike the defunct Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act which his father had introduced in 1977 and which was bad enough, Bill C-36, like something out of Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report”, would allow these leftist censors to peremptorily punish people with peace bonds that effectively strip them of all human dignity for the racist things the leftists are afraid these people might say in the future.     This takes his anti-racist lecturing to the nth degree.   It follows immediately after two summers straight in which far left radical movements that attempt to conceal their true agenda of hatred of the institutions, laws, traditions, and way of life of Western Civilization and racial hatred of people of European descent and light skin colour beneath the innocuous if banal truisms by which they call their movements have made use of deceptively selective media reporting  to stir up race riots and Year Zero Cultural Maoist assaults on historical figures, all of which Captain Airhead has capitalized on by jumping aboard the bandwagon and maximizing his anti-racist posturing.  

 

This is rather much to take coming from the man featured in the blackface scandal of 2019.   It is enough to induce vomiting in even the strongest stomached of sane people, although the same can be said about virtually everything about Captain Airhead from the beginning of his political career. 

 

Captain Airhead apparently thinks that after two years of demonstrating with his behaviour that he has learned absolutely nothing from the scandals that reduced his first majority government to a minority, that he can request an early election and win another majority.   The arrogance of this is truly astounding.

 

It is possible that he thinks that his pandemic record will accomplish his victory.   If so, this merely makes his hubris all the greater.   His handling of the bat flu has been nothing short of abominable.    

 

In the early months of 2020, before the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic and while there was still a possibility, however slight, of keeping the bat flu virus contained in Wuhan, Captain Airhead and his subordinates branded anybody who suggested that it might be prudent to impose a temporary ban on travel to and from Red China as a racist.   Then in March, the moment the pandemic had been declared he switched gears and began encouraging the provincial governments to impose harsh lockdowns on Canadians based upon the experimental model that Communist China had been using to contain the virus.

 

From the perspective of political strategy there was an almost admirable ingenuity in this.   He could have evoked the Emergencies Act to impose a Dominion-wide lockdown himself.   Instead, he let the provincial governments, mostly led by those whose politics is purportedly the opposite of his, impose the lockdowns and thus incur the resentment of those whose lives were made a living hell by these restrictions which far exceeded anything any free country had ever known before, even in times of war.   Oh, he had a lot of say in it.   The provincial premiers basically gave their provincial chief public health officers free rein, and these in turn acted upon information provided from the Dominion chief public health officer who was appointed to the position by Captain Airhead who threatened to withhold support from the provinces if they veered too much from the lockdown program.   However, apart from the amusing incident when he attempted to play “Mr. Tough Guy” to all the young people who were still having parties and other large social gatherings but merely came across as doing a bad impression of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, he allowed the premiers to play the bully – our premier in Manitoba, Brian Pallister excelled in this  - while he put on his Santa Claus suit and started handing out goodies, essentially bribing people to follow the public health orders and stay home.    If he thinks that by doing so he has bought his way back to a majority government then he is assuming that Canadians are too stupid to realize the connection between his spending all of this money at a time when the production of goods and services has been severely limited and the recent spike in the price of food in the grocery stores.  (1)  Sadly, he might be right about that, although there is no reason to believe that he understands the connection himself.

 

At the very beginning of the first lockdown of the pandemic he asked for Parliament to vote him the power to tax and spend without limits or Parliamentary oversight for two years.   Mercifully, this was met with strong opposition from the Conservatives then led by Andrew Scheer and he was denied getting all that he had asked for, although he has since behaved as if he had been given it all.    This request was an outrageous assault on Parliament and the very principles that have been foundational to that venerable institution since the Magna Carta.   There is an interesting if ominous symbolism in the way he introduced the bill within days of the anniversary of the Enabling Act that had been passed by the Reichstag, the legislative assembly of Weimar Germany, which gave emergency powers to the new German chancellor and his cabinet in 1933 and brought about the most hated tyrannical dictatorship in history.

 

This was not the first time nor would it be the last when Captain Airhead demonstrated his utter contempt for Parliament.   Indeed, his entire second term as Prime Minister could be described as one big digitus impudicus in the face of Parliament.   Throughout the pandemic he treated his doorstep with the television cameras on it as if it rather than Parliament were the seat of government in Canada.   He has treated Parliament as if it had no right or authority to hold him and his cabinet accountable.    When the far left radicals began their assault on Canada and her history he made a point of sympathizing with them and reminding them of the colonial origins of Parliament as if to say that government would be so much better if he could just do whatever he wanted without having to answer to that “colonial” institution of Parliament.   When he got frustrated earlier this year with Erin O’Toole for the latter’s doing his job as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and preventing the House from just rubber-stamping his bills as he would have preferred he threw a tantrum, complained of “obstructionism and toxicity” and called Parliament “dysfunctional”.    If there was any dysfunction in Parliament it was due to his own efforts to prevent that body from giving proper deliberation to his legislation proposals and to ram the latter through and not the Opposition’s doing its job.   Around the same time, when the House of Commons ordered the government and the Public Health Agency of Canada to hand over all documents pertaining to the dismissal of two scientists from the high security microbiology lab here in Winnipeg a couple of years previously, he had the amazing gall to launch a Federal Court case against House Speaker Anthony Rota.   On Tuesday of this week the government dropped this lawsuit, but this was because the dissolution of Parliament nullified the order with regards to the documents, and not because the Prime Minister has discovered a newfound respect for Parliament and its rights.

 

In this disrespect for Parliament Captain Airhead demonstrates yet another kind of arrogance, one which has been common to Liberal leaders since at least William Lyon Mackenzie King, but which he has elevated to a whole new level.   In Canada our system of government is that of Queen-in-Parliament.    In this system, which has been tried and proven over long eons of time, political sovereignty is vested in the office of the reigning monarch.    This office is filled, not by popular election nor by appointment by the rich and powerful, but by hereditary succession.   Therefore, since the monarch owes her office neither to a political faction nor to special interest groups, she can reign as a non-political figure in the way no elected head of state ever could.   The powers of government, principally those to legislate, tax, and spend, are exercised in the name of the Queen and those who exercise them are accountable to the representatives elected by the people who pay the taxes and are expected to obey the laws, which representatives meet in the lower House of Parliament.   Therefore in this system, when it is functioning properly, the Prime Minister and Cabinet are dually accountable both to the reigning monarch above, and to Parliament below.    The world has never known a better system of government than this one when it is allowed to function without subversion.   Liberal leaders from Mackenzie King down and especially Captain Airhead have shown a decided preference for subverting this system.   They seldom object to retaining its outward form, unlike the idiot who currently leads the socialist party, but they do not want to govern under its restraints and so seek to subvert them whenever they can.   Their preference is that in practice the Prime Minister and Cabinet rule through the bureaucracy that they control and are only ever held accountable at election time, at least when their party is in government.

 

If most Canadians had a proper appreciation for our traditional system of government most of the Liberal Prime Ministers of the last hundred years would have been unelectable.   This would be all the more true of Captain Airhead, who exceeds all of the rest of them combined in his autocratic arrogance, making even his own father look humble in comparison.

 

(1)   Wealth is generated by people producing goods and services that they and others want and consists of those goods and services.  Money is the medium that allows these goods and services to be exchanged more conveniently than by direct barter and which allows accumulated wealth to be stored for later use.   The value of money goes up when the amount of money remains the same but the production of goods and services increases, and goes down when more money is put into circulation while the production of goods and services remains the same.    When the amount of money increases relative to that of goods and services this is called inflation which is most noticeable when it manifests itself in the rise of the price of consumer goods.   Whenever the government starts handing out large amounts of money, whether it just runs more currency off on the printing press or borrows from some financial institution – in the age of electronic currency the distinction between these ways of doing it has been blurred to the point where it may no longer be meaningful – the amount of money relative to goods and services increases.   When, at the same time, the government puts a stop to the production of “non-essential” goods and services, that is to say, the goods and services that in terms of real wealth actually pay for the production of “essential” goods and services, this is a recipe for massive and devastating inflation.