The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Crown, Parliament, and Common Law

I have argued several times in the past that it is Parliament the concrete institution that we should cherish and treasure and not "democracy" the abstract ideal. This is a point that is well worth repeating in this troubling moment. Liberals, progressives, and neo-conservatives such as those who write for the Postmedia/Sun newspapers nearly always speak in terms of the abstraction, democracy, when defending our form of government. The present crisis, however, demonstrates that it is the concrete institution that is most important.

Last week, Parliament was set to return from adjournment on April 20th. The Prime Minister told the press that it would be "irresponsible" for Parliament to resume in full session in the midst of the pandemic. Andrew Scheer, the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, came to the defence of Parliament's right and duty to hold the Prime Minister and Cabinet accountable. The Prime Minister dug in and insisted upon an arrangement that would make him and his ministers far less accountable to Parliament than what Scheer was pushing for. With the help of the far left minority parties, the Prime Minister ended up getting his way.

Writers from a broad spectrum of political opinion, from the centre-right commentator familiar from every major news medium, print, radio, and television, Rex Murphy, to the former leader of the socialist party Thomas Mulcair, rightly criticized the government over this, arguing correctly that in this crisis we need more accountability from the government rather than less. They did not comment on the dark symbolism of the fact that the Prime Minister's demanding and getting these arrangements that would reduce his own accountability to Parliament fell on the anniversary of the birth of the most notorious tyrant of the twentieth century. Perhaps they felt it would be unfair to draw attention to this coincidence. Earlier this year, however, when the Prime Minister tried to sneak provisions into an Emergency Spending Bill that would have given his Finance Minister unlimited tax and spend powers for which he would not be accountable in Parliament for two years, provisions that attacked the very foundation of Parliament itself, the Magna Carta and the "no taxation without representation" principle enshrined within it, he released the proposed bill on March 23rd. He hoped Parliament would rush it through in a unanimous one day vote on the next day. Mercifully the Opposition stood their ground, he was forced to back down that time and the Emergency Spending Bill, sans most of his power grab, was passed on Lady Day. The day when he sent out the first draft was the anniversary of the Enabling Act of 1933 - a bill which gave the new German Chancellor enhanced emergency powers to act independent of the Reichstag. That Chancellor was the same notorious tyrant born on April 20th. How many times does this sort of coincidence have to happen before it is no longer coincidence but the Prime Minister rubbing his dictatorial aspirations in our faces?

The abstract ideal of “democracy” can be easily reconciled with tyranny and dictatorship. The wisest of the ancients, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, all knew and taught, that democracy was the mother of tyranny. The man who is often credited with being the father of Modern democracy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is also known as the father of totalitarianism. Adolf Hitler, the tyrant referred to in the previous paragraph, was not only elected into office, but governed with the enthusiastic support of a vast majority of his people which he did not lose until the tide of war turned against him.

It is much harder to reconcile the ancient institution of Parliament, which has stood the test of time and proven itself over and over again, with tyranny and dictatorship. Dictators hate parliaments. It is no wonder that the Liberal Party, which was working towards establishing Prime Ministerial dictatorship even before it was infiltrated and taken over by ideological Communists in the 1960s, prefers to speak in terms of democracy.

If more Canadians had a greater appreciation for our traditional institutions, such as Parliament, there would be far greater outrage over what the Prime Minister has been trying to do, and we would be in far less danger of losing these institutions and the heritage of rights and freedoms which stands and falls with them.

In the Dominion of Canada – if you check the opening preamble and Section three of the British North America Act you will see that, unlike my calling what was renamed the “Constitution Act, 1867” in 1982 by its original title, “Dominion of Canada” is not merely a deliberate anachronism but is and remains to this day the full self-chosen title and name of this Commonwealth realm – our government is a parliamentary monarchy, modelled after the mother Parliament in Westminster. This constitution, more than any other the world has ever seen, embodies the concept of a mixed constitution – the combination of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy in a single constitution – which many in ancient Greece had come to think of as an ideal, superior to any of the simple constitution types, even before Aristotle discussed it as such in his Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.

Montesquieu, the eighteenth century French judge and political philosopher, is remembered primarily for articulating the distinction between the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of the state. Although the influence of this articulation was most noticeable in the development of the Constitution of the American Republic, whose Founding Fathers stressed the separation of the powers as checks and balances against each other, Montesquieu himself drew his inspiration from the ancient ideal of the mixed constitution as he found it in the writings of Aristotle and Polybius, and from its concrete manifestation in the Westminster Parliament. Montesquieu saw a correlation between the three elements of Parliament and the three powers, the Crown corresponding to the executive power, the Lords to the judicial power, and the Commons to the legislative. This correlation was not quite as precise as that between the elements of Parliament and those of Aristotle’s mixed constitution. Legislation, for example, requires an act of the entire Parliament and not just the House of Commons. A strength of the Westminster System is that while these powers are distinct, and separate to a degree sufficient enough for there to be balance, they are also united in the Crown. Thus, in the Westminster System the powers are spoken of as the Queen-in-Counsel, which is the Executive Power, the Queen-in-Parliament, which is the Legislative Power, and the Queen-on-the-Bench, which is the Judicial Power.

Although all three Powers are united in the office of the Crown, it is the Queen-in-Parliament that is traditionally understood as being the Sovereign Power. This is due to the nature of the Legislative Power. All of the Powers vested in the Crown are derived from the Law. When a new monarch accedes to the throne, the Coronation ceremony in which the King or Queen is vested with the powers and duties of the office of Sovereign, includes an oath to enact the Law with Justice and Mercy. The Legislative Power is the Sovereign Power because it is the Power to add to, subtract from, or otherwise alter, the Law itself.

Before looking more closely at the Legislative Power and the Law, let us observe here one more way in which the concrete, traditional institution of Parliament is preferable to the abstract ideal of democracy. Democracy can be either direct or representative. Direct democracy, which involves taking every government decision to the people in plebiscite, is obviously impractical except for the smallest of communities. The democracy that is an element of our Parliament, like the democracy that is an element of the American Republic, is representative democracy. Elected representatives in a representative democracy, whether parliamentary or republican, speak in the assembly on behalf of the constituency they represent – or, in countries foolish enough to abandon first-past-the post for proportional representation, the part of the population that agrees with them ideologically. Elected representatives each represent only a segment of the country, and taken collectively, only represent the country of the present moment. It is the role of the Head of State in any constitution to represent the polity in its entirety. An elected Head of State cannot do justice to this role. You can find all the necessary evidence of this assertion in the example of our republican neighbours. The election of every American President for the last thirty years, Democrat or Republican, has been followed by a “derangement syndrome” on the part of supporters of the losing party, or, in the case of the current President, supporters of the losing party plus a large segment of his own party. Nor is this exactly a new phenomenon. Following the election of the first Republican President in 1860, the states below the Mason-Dixon Line, all of which had opposed him, seceded and temporarily formed a new federal republic, which the United States had to invade and conquer in order to restore their “union.” Only a hereditary Head of State, who comes to the office by line of succession, can truly do justice to role of representing the whole of a country. This is especially true, when it comes to those who can only ever participate by representation because they have either passed on to the next world or have yet to enter ours. The Sovereign Power to alter the Law itself can only by right belong to the office of the person who can represent these as well as the interests of those living in the moment. Thus, the Queen is Sovereign, and Parliament, where the Sovereign as representative of the whole – past, present, and future – and the representatives of the moment meet and speak, is the place where her Sovereignty is exercised.

We often used the expression “law making” to speak of the exercise of this Sovereign Legislative Power of the Queen-in-Parliament. It is not an inaccurate expression, for passing a bill into law is indeed the making of a law, but it is important that we distinguish between the statutes passed in Parliament, which are specific laws, small-l, and what is meant by the Law, big-L. The big-L Law is spoken of in the singular, because it is a collective unity that includes all small-l laws. It is much more than the sum of all statutes ever passed in Parliament however, and, indeed, in our traditional system it has always been understood that the largest part of the Law is non-statutory in nature. By the non-statutory part of the Law I am not referring to the excessive amount of regulations that have been imposed by Cabinet ministers and their bureaucratic toadies in the last century as part of their unholy attempt to circumvent the constitution and the legislative process and subvert the Sovereignty of Queen-in-Parliament. I refer rather to the part of the Law that is not made by government, but discovered, being grounded in the underlying law that belongs to the larger, natural order of reality.

That underneath human laws, governments, and justice, there is an underlying law serving the end of an underlying justice, which belong to the larger order of reality is one of the foundational ideas of the Hellenistic civilization of the ancient world which, in one form or another, has remained foundational to the successors of Hellenistic civilization. The Christian civilization of Christendom, was built upon the Augustinian re-interpretation of the Hellenistic concept in which the true Law and justice were to be found in the City or Kingdom of God, of which the cities and kingdom's of men in this world are at best imperfect reflections. Even the liberalism of Modern Western Civilization, at least in its earliest stages, was founded upon concepts of a natural law and justice.

These concepts of a transcendent order of law and justice differ greatly between themselves, but they are variations on a common idea. The opposite of that idea - that law and justice are entirely man-made, being the mere expressions of the will of the strong -is just as old. In the first book of Plato's Politeia, the title of which is usually and misleadingly translated in English as The Republic, Thrasymachus of Chalcedon is the champion of the idea that justice is merely the strong imposing their will in the service of their own interests. The dialogue as a whole, of course, is Plato's articulation and defence, through the mouth of his teacher Socrates, of the transcendent order of law and justice. The transition into the Modern Age weakened the idea of this transcendent order. In the nineteenth century, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche attacked the Socratic/Platonic foundation of this concept in his The Birth of Tragedy, before turning his guns full blast on the Christian understanding of it in The Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil, and resurrecting Thrasymachus with a vengeance in Thus Spake Zarathustra and The Will to Power. Nietzsche's influence over the last century was far greater than is often realized. Even more than Kierkegaard he paved the way for the existentialism of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus. While the novels of Ayn Rand and Terry Goodkind illustrate his neo-Thrasmachyian idea of a "master morality" defined by the creative assertion of strong-minded and strong-willed individuals as he himself understood it, in National Socialist ideology the totalitarian State became the expression of the will to power. Leo Strauss and George Grant were undoubtedly correct in saying that in Nietzsche we must grapple with the great Modern critic of Plato.

This idea, that there is a natural order of law and justice, with which temporal laws and justice must conform in order to be just themselves, has as we have just seen, been a fundamental concept of Western civilizations since ancient Greece. The relationship between our temporal laws and the underlying natural law has been understood differently in various Western societies. One approach is to say that it is the job of enlightened rulers to think about the natural law, determine what its precepts are, and translate those precepts into statutes in as close to their abstract form as the limitations of legislation permit and then inflexibly apply them. There are traces of this approach in Plato. It is the approach of many post-Enlightenment continental civil codes such as the Napoleonic, and can be found in much liberal thought. Our own system takes a different approach, however, and this is one of the major strengths of that system and the reason why there has traditionally been so much more personal freedom under our system than under its rivals, even within Western Civilization as a whole.

We have seen that in our system, the Sovereignty vested in the Queen-in-Parliament comes from the Legislative Power, because this power can change the Law itself. The exercise of this Power, however, is not the primary function of any of our State institutions. When the Magna Carta was enacted, the single most important event in the evolution of the King’s Great Council into Parliament as we know it today, the primary duty of the emerging Parliament was not to pass statutes but to hold the Executive accountable for the taxies it levied and how it spent the revenue so raised. Similarly, the primary duty of the monarch and the Crown ministers was never the creation of new laws but the maintenance of peace and order at home and abroad. This is where the Judicial Power – the Queen-on-the-Bench – comes to the forefront.

The maintenance of peace and order at home is not a matter of telling people what to do and forcing them to do it. It is a matter of providing an acceptable venue whereby disagreements can be arbitrated so as not to escalate into cycles of destructive vengeance. The courtroom is that venue. Aeschylus, the fifth century BC Athenian tragedian, borrowed from the mythology of his native land to illustrate this in the only surviving complete trilogy of plays from ancient Greece, his Oresteia. In the first play, Agamemnon, the Mycenaean king returns from Troy, having avenged his brother Menelaus, burned the city to the ground, and taken the princess and doomed prophetess Cassandra as his trophy, only to be murdered in his bathtub in his moment of triumph as the result of a conspiracy between his wife Clytemnestra and his cousin and mortal enemy Aegisthus, both of whom are seeking revenge for different reasons. In the second play, The Libation Bearers, Agamemnon’s son Orestes returns to Mycenae at the command of Apollo to avenge his father by murdering his mother, which he accomplishes with the encouragement of his sister Elektra and his friend Plyades, but then finds himself pursued by the trio of avenging goddesses, the Furies. In the final play, The Eumenides, Orestes, with the Furies still in hot pursuit, arrives in Athens where he pleads for mercy to the city’s patron goddess. In response, Athena summons twelve Athenian citizens to the Areopagus, to help her decide the case. The prosecuting Furies make the case that Orestes must be turned over to them for punishment for the crime of matricide. Apollo steps in as advocate for the defence. Six jurors are persuaded by the Furies, six by Apollo, resulting in a hung jury. Pallas herself, in her capacity as judge, casts the final vote, acquitting Orestes, after which she appeases the Furies and decrees that from here on out the procedure so established, will take the place of endless spirals of retribution.

All of this demonstrates the basic principle that if people are going to live together in a common society, there must be a peaceful and orderly means of arbitrating disagreements which requires a governing body that will hear both sides and decide based upon the evidence, which has the authority to ensure that both sides abide by the ruling, and into the hands of which, punishment if there is to be such, must be left. This process presupposes both that there is a natural order from which the questions of whether an action is right or wrong, who is right or wrong in a dispute, or, if it is not as black and white as that, the proportion of right and wrong on each side, can be determined, and that this can be discovered by hearing and fairly evaluating all the evidence. In other words, rather than starting with the abstract principles of natural law, and then applying these to actual persons and situations, the courts start with the concrete situations involving actual people, and from these determine in an Aristotelian manner what the abstract rules of right and wrong are. Mistakes can be made in the process, for which reason judges are required to give explanations of their rulings which can be appealed to higher courts. On the principle that the law must be the same for everyone, however, the accumulated rulings of past cases, become the precedents that guide the courts in their present deliberations. These accumulated precedents, in a system which is fallible but contains an internal mechanism for its own self-correction over time, and which recognizes the fact that fallible and flawed human beings cannot be expected to fully measure up to the standards of natural law when taken in their abstract nakedness and so allows for mitigating circumstances and requires only what can be reasonably expected in a casuistic fashion, themselves make up the bulk of the Common Law. The purpose of Parliamentary legislation is to tweak this Law, it is not the source of it.

The Common Law system has historically and traditionally allowed for much greater freedom than any of its rivals. Law that arises out of fair, honest, and in-depth inquiry into the right and wrong of particular situations, is far less likely to result in unnecessary limitations on actions that are not mala in se than either bureaucratic regulations or even legislative statutes. As the case precedents of Common Law have accumulated over the centuries, and corrections have been made over time through Parliamentary statute, certain basic rights and freedoms became firmly established as has the understanding that under Common Law, Her Majesty’s subjects are not supposed to have to ask themselves “is this permitted” every time they want to do something because they are free to do whatever they want provided it is not explicitly prohibited by Law, and have the right to expect that these prohibitions will be few, reasonable, understandable and necessary.

Among the basic freedoms that had already long been established in Common Law precedent by 1982 were the four listed as “fundamental” in section two of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All of the basic legal and civil protections against the arbitrary abuse of government power that are listed in sections seven through thirteen of the Charter, had also been long established Common Law rights. Habeas corpus, the right to have a court determine whether or not a detention is legal, was not given to us by the Charter, although it is listed in Section ten, but has been part of the Common Law for almost a millennium, predating the Magna Carta itself by a half century. The Charter neither gave us these rights and freedoms, nor made them more secure, but rather provided the government with loopholes by which to evade them. It was, indeed, an assault on the Common Law concept of rights and freedoms, which encouraged us to think of these as having been given to us by politicians, rather than arising out of natural law, through history and tradition.

It was also a further assault by the Liberal Party on the Westminster System which goes hand-in-glove with the Common Law, the two having evolved together over more than a thousand years of history. As we have seen, the Sovereignty of the Crown is its Legislative Power exercised in Parliament. The most basic Crown Power, however, is the Judicial Power which, as we have also seen, is the raison d'être of the State, and the institutional authority through which the Common Law develops out of natural law. For this reason the monarch’s office has been that of the highest magistrate since time immemorial, and the traditional final right of appeal under Common Law was directly to the Sovereign. By elevating the Supreme Court of Canada above Parliament, Pierre Trudeau’s Charter subverted both the Common Law and the Sovereignty of Queen-in-Parliament.

Today, our fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, and religion which although they are listed in section two of the Charter, have their foundations not in the Charter but are derived from natural law through Common Law, have been severely restricted to the point of being negated almost entirely, by the restrictions put in place to combat a strain of bat flu that has jumped to humans, perhaps with the assistance of the Communist government in China, and spread rapidly around the globe, producing nothing worse than the regular flu in most people, and killing so far a couple of hundred thousand, making it one of the least lethal plagues in history. We have been told to meet in groups of no more than ten – in some jurisdictions as low as five – at a time, to stay six feet apart from each other at all times, and churches have been ordered closed. These freedoms have not been taken away from us by legislation in either Parliament or the provincial assemblies. The restrictions are regulations imposed upon us by bureaucrats, specifically, the public health authorities. While it has been the provincial public health authorities that have done this, they have been following guidelines that the Dominion public health authority has passed on to them from the incurably corrupt and Communist-controlled World Health Organization. The fact that civil servants at any level of government have the power to restrict these freedoms to this extent and for so long – keep in mind they have been extremely reluctant until recently to even discuss an end to the restrictions and have spoken of these measures as having to be in place for a time frame that is totally unrealistic to anyone who takes into consideration anything other than the effort to combat this specific virus – is totally unacceptable and a great cause for concern. This is not the way our system of government is supposed to work. The reason civil servants, even provincial civil servants, have this much power in Canada today, is due to the Liberal Party’s assault, especially during the period from 1926 to 1982, on the Sovereignty of the Crown, Parliamentary authority, the accountability of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, and the rule of Common Law.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Derek Sloan Asked the Right Question!

Derek Sloan, the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Hastings - Lennox and Addington in Upper Canada, has gotten the panties of the press prostitutes all twisted into a knot. Arming themselves with the print and cyber, verbal equivalents of torches and pitchforks, they have formed a lynch mob and demanded that Andrew Scheer, the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, which is Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the present Parliament, hand him over to them.

His offence was to tweet out a video asking a very valid question about Dr. Theresa Tam, the Dominion's Chief Public Health Officer. The question was one of whom does she serve, Her Majesty's free Dominion of Canada or the Communist regime of Red China. Those who are howling for his head say that this is racist.

Yet, they themselves are the ones focusing on Dr. Tam's race, ethnicity and skin colour.

That Mr. Sloan's question is not a racist one can be easily demonstrated by the fact that the very same question can be legitimately asked of the Prime Minister, Captain Airhead, or, as some like to call him, Justin Trudeau. About seven years ago, he was caught on tape blithering on like the idiot he is, about how he much he admired the "basic dictatorship" of Red China, in response to a question about what country he admired the most. His father, who had been head of a delegation of Canadian Communists invited to a summit in the Soviet Union back in the days of Stalin, was noted for expressing similar sentiments. He gushed and fawned over the Chinese dictatorship at a time when Mao Tse-Tung himself was still dictator. Would it be racist to ask of Captain Airhead if he is serving Red China rather than Canada?

"That's different", the lynch mob will scream.

Why is it different?

The only discernible difference is that Captain Airhead is lily white, with a French last name, and is descended from French and English Canadian stock. Dr. Tam is of Asian race and Chinese ethnicity. She was born in Hong Kong, however, when it was still a Dependant Territory of the United Kingdom and she was raised in the UK. This is not a background likely to result in allegiance to the Communist regime in Beijing.

"That's our point exactly", I can hear the blood-thirsty anti-Sloan gang, crying.

Yes, but you are missing mine.

The reason the question with regards to Dr. Tam is valid, is not because of her race and ethnicity, but because of her connection to the World Health Organization. The WHO is led by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who previous to his current gig, was a high-ranking official in a murderous, genocidal, ethno-Communist regime in Ethiopia in the crimes against humanity of which he was fully participant, and who owes his new position to the Chinese regime. From the very beginning of this coronavirus outbreak the WHO has been acting as if it were the official propaganda organ of the Communist Party of China. At first, when China was downplaying the severity of the outbreak in Wuhan, and silencing those who tried to speak out, the WHO simply repeated what the Chinese government was telling them. Then, when they sealed off Hubei province from the rest of China and world leaders such as Donald Trump in the United States began to take notice of what was going on, the WHO ridiculed the idea that travel in and out of China might not be safe and should be restricted. Dr. Tam, who has been a member of multiple WHO committees and who was named Canada's Chief Public Health Officer two weeks minus one day before Tedros Adhanom took over the WHO is part of the WHO's oversight committee on health emergencies like this one. She is a member of the committee that recommended against travel restrictions. She told Canadians at the time that we were at low risk from this disease. Finally, when the virus had spread around the globe and the WHO declared a pandemic, it advised its member nations to follow Red China's example in containing the virus, by imposing essentially Communist restrictions on movement, association, and assembly on their entire populations. The countries that ignored the WHO's advice every step of the way are the countries that have handled the pandemic the best.. Multiple governments around the world are now demanding an investigation into the WHOs behaviour. The Communist regime in China is "firmly opposed" to such an independent review. Note that the countries that ignored the WHO from the beginning of the COVID-19 panic were for the most part the countries that were hit the hardest by the first SARS outbreak in 2002-2005. The Kingdom of Sweden which had only five cases and no deaths from the original SARS is an exception. The Dominion of Canada is the exception in the other direction. We had the most cases of SARS and deaths from SARS of any non-Asian country. Yet, unlike Taiwan and Singapore, we have been slavishly obeying every dictate of the WHO. It is entirely reasonable to think that our Chief Public Health Officer's being on the committee that decides WHO recommendations might be the reason for that. This very weekend she has been regurgitating the WHO's warnings against relying on "herd immunity" despite that strategy's having worked for Sweden, and a lot better than the WHO strategy has been working elsewhere.

Derek Sloan's question is both valid and appropriate.

Captain Airhead was quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying that Mr. Sloan's remarks "have no place in our country."

On the contrary, it is Captain Airhead's totalitarian attitude - that those who think differently from him on matters such as these have no place here - that truly does not belong in Canada, or any other free Commonwealth realm. He should take his crummy attitude somewhere where it does belong. Like Communist China for example.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Sacrificing Billions to Save Thousands?

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
– Rudyard Kipling

The way the World Health Organization, our power-hungry politicians, the technocratic boobs with tunnel vision who are our health apparatchiks, and the cheap harlots of the mainstream media talk about it, one would think that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a real life equivalent of the artificially engineered, antibody resistant, superflu which wipes out most of the world’s population in Stephen King’s 1978 novel The Stand and the various adaptations thereof. It is not. Although it is possible that like the weaponized flu strain in the novel, it escaped from a laboratory, that of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it is not remotely comparable in terms of lethality. It is basically a normal strain of bat influenza that has jumped species to humans, that has been spreading rapidly due to it being new to the species and thus our having no built up immunity to it yet, but most people are not at risk of anything worse than the ordinary flu from it. Those who are most susceptible to developing the severe and potentially lethal form of pneumonia that it can produce are the same people susceptible to catching pneumonia and dying from H1N1 and the other, ordinary, seasonal strains of the flu.

From the beginning of this pandemic it has been apparent that the WHO’s claims with regards to the lethality of this virus have been greatly exaggerated. Although the press in its daily reports has used “staggering” and similar scare words to describe the rising death tolls, the numbers themselves have not supported the use of such adjectives. Not when taken in context at any rate. COVID-19 has not become the leading cause of death, it is nowhere close to it. The overall number of deaths from all causes for the period of this pandemic has not risen astronomically in comparison with the number for the same period in other years. Indeed, in some areas that have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 this number has been down from recent years.

In most countries, the epidemiologists’ original projections of expected deaths from this disease have been radically revised downward. At some point the mortality rate will have to undergo a similar radical adjustment. Contrary to the lies of the health authorities and the media, the official death count for COVID-19 is not too low but too high. Even though the vast majority of people who have caught this virus and died have had multiple other conditions that also contributed to their demise these have all been classified as deaths from COVID-19. If deaths from regular influenza were counted the same way the mortality rate for the flu would be much higher than it is. Similarly, the other number that goes into the mortality rate calculation is much too low. Since a large number – as many as fifty percent some estimates put it – of those who contract the virus are completely asymptomatic, the total number known to have been infected is obviously much, much, lower than the true number of infected. Indeed, when we consider that international travel in and out of Hubei province was allowed long after the initial outbreak began there – and long after Red China shut down travel from that province to the rest of their own country – during a period in which Western countries, sick with a liberalism far more lethal than this virus, resisted imposing travel restrictions on China, it is almost certain that the virus had made it into all of our countries long before we noticed that it had arrived.

Since the potential lethality of this virus has been hugely exaggerated, the extent to which the repugnant, totalitarian, Communistic measures being taken almost everywhere are “saving lives” is also exaggerated. In pointing this out I do not wish merely to throw water on those currently engaged in a nauseating orgy of self-congratulatory, backslapping, tripe over their efforts to save lives by sacrificing our freedoms, but to contrast the low number of lives saved with the potentially much higher number of lives endangered by the same measures.

While I am no fan of Karl Marx – Groucho is much more my style – and am of the firm opinion that he was wrong about almost everything, there are a few rare exceptions to this. One such exception was the sentence with which he opened his letter to Louis Kugelmann on July 11, 1868. He wrote “Every child knows a nation which ceased to work, I will not say for a year, but even for a few weeks, would perish.” With this sentence he introduces an argument that is neither interesting nor relevant to the subject at hand, but the sentence itself states an obvious truth, one very similar to that which is found in the verses by Rudyard Kipling quoted at the beginning of this essay.

The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus continues to be remembered to this day for his theory about population size and the food supply. Human beings, Malthus argued, can increase our food supply through improved means of production, but if we do so the natural human response will be an increase in reproduction. The increase in reproduction will be faster and larger than the increase in food production so that the growth in population size will exceed the increase to the food supply and as a result there will be famine, poverty, starvation, disease and death. His essay on the Principle of Population was first published in 1798. He expanded and revised it in 1803, and published several further editions with minor revisions before his death in 1834. From that day to this, it has inspired several prophecies of doom, the most famous of recent times being the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb by Stanford University’s Paul Ehrlich which predicted that hundreds of millions of people would die in the 1970s from starvation due to overpopulation. That, of course, did not happen.

There is obviously a flaw somewhere in Malthus’ theory. The question is where. According to the popular Demographic Transition Model, first developed by Warren Thomson in 1929, the problem is with his understanding of human nature. According to this theory, as societies progress towards industrialization they pass through stages and, after they have achieved a certain level of industrial development, fertility rates drop drastically and population size stabilizes. While the demographic history of Western countries and other developed countries such as Japan in the twentieth century would seem to bear this interpretation out, explaining its having passed into conventional wisdom, it has not gone without challenge. Dr. Virginia Deane Abernethy of Vanderbilt University, for example, in her book Population Politics (Transaction Books, 2000) gave several examples of empirical evidence that goes against the theory, making the case that popular late twentieth century progressive efforts to combat Third World overpopulation and poverty with policies based upon the assumption of the DTM, such as foreign relief and liberal immigration to the West as a population safety valve, have not worked as the model would have predicted but have, if anything, made the problem worse. The sharp decline in fertility that developed countries have experienced since the end of the post-World War II Baby Boom is better explained by other aspects of the transition to modernity, such as a severe weakening of the traditional idea that producing posterity is a duty we owe to our ancestors, than by industrial prosperity itself.

The other leading explanation of the flaw in Malthus’ theory is that he vastly underestimated our capacity to improve and increase the food supply. This explanation is also borne out by the history of the twentieth century and much more consistently than that of the DTM.

Now, if this explanation of what went wrong with the predictions based upon Malthus’ theory is the correct one, and I believe it is, then what could potentially happen when we have a global population of 7.8 billion people and we shut down the economy all over the world, jeopardizing out ability to produce food at this improved and increased capacity?

Why, lo and behold, we have just discovered where the potential for a death rate as a high as the one in Stephen King’s book is to be found.

Yes, shutting down the economies of practically every country in the world, is indeed a move that will put the food supply in jeopardy. When those who produce and sell food are almost the only ones allowed to be open they are essentially being asked or told to work for nothing, for nobody else is producing anything with which to pay them. Yes, governments are printing and handing out fiat money by the gazillions, but money has no intrinsic value. Its role in the marketplace is to be a convenient stand-in for real goods. The X number of dollars that you pay someone for Y amount of magic beans, represents the cow that you would have traded in a barter exchange. Perhaps that is a bad example, because both beans and cattle are sources of food, but I think it still gets the point across. If only category of producers are allowed to actually produce anything for sale in the market, the currency that is exchanged in that market will rapidly become worthless, and those producers will become overburdened and start to fail. It is estimated that nine million people in the world die from hunger every year. It is responsible for half of the deaths of children under the age of five. This is over three times the number of people known to have been infected with COVID-19. It is about fifty times more than the number who have died after contracting the virus. As of this writing, the number who have died from hunger in 2020 so far is almost three million. That’s about fifteen times the number who have died after contracting COVID-19, whether the virus was the primary killer or not. The measures being taken to combat COVID-19 will drive the number who die from hunger up and by considerably more than they can bring the number who die from COVID-19 down.

There are those who would say that this is the intentional and deliberate true purpose of the global lockdown. I would not go that far. The problem with the interpretation of events as being the intended outcome of a very powerful and malevolent cabal is that it requires assuming that politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, and the like possess an almost superhuman level of competence. In reality, these are people who think they are Sherlock Holmes, when they are actually Jacques Clouseau – the Jacques Clouseau portrayed by Peter Sellers in Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther films, not the version of the character more recently portrayed by Steve Martin. Unlike the latter, who is able to scrape together enough deductive reasoning to actually solve the case by the end of his movies, Sellers’ classic interpretation of this character was of a bumbling, clumsy, nincompoop whose incompetence is matched only by his vanity and arrogance, and who succeeds only through an extraordinary degree of sheer accidental luck.

That having been said, large scale global depopulation has been one of the chief goals of the environmentalist wing of the United Nations and its ultrawealthy backers like Bill Gates, George Soros, and the late Maurice Strong since at least the 1992 “Earth Summit” at Rio de Janeiro that produced the famous – or, depending upon your perspective, infamous – action plan “Agenda 21.” These people represent the most extreme version of one of the two distortions of Malthus that have been around since his own day. While his detractors, like Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, unjustly accused him of heartlessly wishing upon people the famine, poverty, and death his theory predicted, his supporters, especially those of more recent times, have advocated measures to combat overpopulation that he himself would have found morally repugnant, such as abortion, infanticide, and totalitarian state control of reproduction. Those who want the world’s population reduced by as much as eighty to ninety-five percent are the worst example of this sort. The overlap between the institutions such as the United Nations and individuals such as Bill Gates who advocate this radical agenda and those behind the global lockdown is certainly worth taking note of.

Whether intentional or merely the result of the kind of stupidity that is the unique property of technocratic experts – “I had no idea my solution to Problem X would create the much worse Problem Y because that is not my field of expertise” – the potential lethality of the measures being taken to combat COVID-19, far exceeds that of the disease itself.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Down With the World Health Organization!

Say what you want about Donald the Orange, the current President of the Yankee Republic, but he was absolutely right to cancel funding to the World Health Organization. There are a lot of people, of course, mostly of the type who have been suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome since at least November 2016, who do not see it that way. Captain Airhead, the cartoon character whom the Canadian electorate has foolishly put into office as Her Majesty’s Prime Minister for two consecutive Dominion elections, is jumping up and down in rage, blowing steam out of his ears, and frothing at the mouth in fury over it. This in itself is compelling and convincing evidence that Mr. Trump made the right decision.

The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 as the medical arm of the United Nations. Much like its parent organization, it has been in bed from its very beginning with both the totalitarian tyranny of Communism and the very sort of multinational corporations that give capitalism a bad name.

To give one recent example of its being in bed with Communism, only three years ago the WHO named Robert Mugabe its “Goodwill Ambassador.” Yes, that Robert Mugabe. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when he was known as “Comrade Bob”, this Communist bastard was one of the founders and eventually the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), a terrorist organization backed by Red China that had split away from the Soviet backed Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) over opposition to the latter group’s leader Joshua Nkomo. These were the decades in which Rhodesia, as it was then called, was torn apart by a three way civil war between the two terrorist armies backed by the rival Communist superpowers and the white minority government led by Ian Smith. The civil war ended, largely because Western countries decided to throw Rhodesia under the bus, with an agreement to hold an election, in which Mugabe’s armed goons frightened everyone into voting him into power. He renamed the country Zimbabwe, ruled it as a brutal Communist dictator for thirty years, turned it from a self-supporting breadbasket into a land of poverty and famine, and murdered a whole lot of people. There was enough of an outcry over the appointment of this genocidal maniac that the WHO turned around and dropped him the next day, but the fact that they made the appointment in the first place speaks volumes.

Attention all progressives. The previous paragraph is your cue to cry “raaaaaccccciiiiissssst.”

The man who thought that Mugabe had just the sort of positive image that the WHO needed was Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He had just been appointed Director-General of the WHO at the time and he is still in charge there today. Prior to his assuming the top WHO job he had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Ethiopian government from 2012 to 2016, before which he had been Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012. During these years Ethiopia was governed by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. The EPRDF, predecessor to the currently governing Prosperity Party that replaced it last year, was a coalition of Marxist parties representing different Ethiopian ethnic groups that governed the country since the fall of the overtly Communist regime propped up by the Soviet Union in 1991. It was itself only slightly less overtly Marxist-Leninist than that regime. Tedros Adhanom belonged to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which dominated the EPRDF and was the only member of the coalition not to join the new Prosperity Party when it was formed last year, and which can still be found in the University of Maryland’s database on Global Terrorism where the most recent terror attack attributed to it took place only two years ago. As Meles Zenawi Asres’ Minister of Health, his chief accomplishment was to cover up outbreaks of cholera in 2006, 2009, and 2011 by mislabeling them as “acute watery diarrhea” – one of the symptoms of the disease – and expelling the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and anybody else who could tell the world what was really going on. He had plenty of reason for doing so in that he was withholding medical treatment from ethnic groups his regime was persecuting. As Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, his duties involved imprisoning, torturing, and killing political dissidents and journalists who dared to report on the atrocities of the regime he served. That regime was brutal and genocidal, persecuting Ethiopian Orthodox Christians who were targeted for their religion, and various groups such as the Amhara people who had ruled Ethiopia prior to the Deng, Communist, and EPRDF regimes, the Oromo people of Oromia, and the Ogaden Somalis who were targeted for their ethnicity. Tedros Adhanom, in both of his ministerial capacities serving this regime, was complicit in all of this. No wonder he thought so highly of “Comrade Bob.” He is a monster cut from the same cloth.

As for the multinational corporations that give capitalism a bad name there are none worse than the big pharmaceutical companies. Even the much maligned big petroleum companies look like shining paragons of virtue compared with these guys. Since we all have plenty of spare time now, I recommend that you read the 2001 novel The Constant Gardener by retired British intelligence agent David Cornwell, writing under his pen name of John le Carré. Or, since the totalitarian control freaks have shut the libraries, you can watch the 2005 film version starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. As with his most famous novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which was loosely based upon the Kim Philby affair, this novel, in which a British diplomat investigates the murder of his wife and ultimately traces it to a large German pharmaceutical company engaged in unethical medical testing in Africa, was inspired by real events. Cornwell himself, after giving a this-is-fiction disclaimer, said “But I can tell you this; as my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realise that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard."

The World Health Organization’s funds come from two sources. First, there are the contributions it requires from its member nations as a sort of membership fee. The largest such contribution has always come from the United States – until Donald the Orange cut them off last week. The second source is voluntary contributions, which can come either from governments, over and above their assessed contributions, or from private sources. The constitution of the World Health Organization prohibits it from accepting such donations directly from the pharmaceutical industry, but it can accept contributions from foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which have long been the intermediaries between the pharmaceutical companies and the WHO. Almost a decade ago, the WHO relied upon private donations for about a third of its budget. More recent estimates – and they are only estimates since the WHO has been considerably less than transparent about its funding since Tedros Adhanom became its Director-General - have placed that amount at just below fifty percent, although some have estimated that it is much higher than this, as much as eighty percent.

Those who think that there is some sort of conflict of interest between the WHO’s being in bed with totalitarian Communism and multinational pharmaceutical corporations at the same time have evidently forgotten that the Communist Manifesto was co-authored by a factory owner and that the Bolshevik Revolution was financed by Wall Street bankers. Now totalitarian Communism and corrupt capitalism at its worse have converged yet again in the WHO’s handling of the Wuhan Flu or, as it calls it, COVID-19.

The absurd, illogical, and unscientific strategy that most governments have taken to combatting this pandemic has been at the WHO’s recommendation. This strategy, in defiance of facts and common sense, involves an unprecedented universal quarantine, telling people to stay inside – where viruses of this sort are most easily spread – rather than going outside where viruses have a much harder time spreading from one person to another and where man’s two most important natural allies in the fight against infectious disease, sunlight and fresh air, are to be found. The “stay at home”, “social distancing”, “flatten the curve”, strategy creates conditions that mimic those which are typical of Communist countries – forced closure of churches, requirement of state permission to travel, line ups at grocery stores, shortages of essential goods, basic freedoms of religion, assembly, and association all severely curtailed, encouragement of snitching on neighbours, friends, and family, discouragement of family gatherings, special police forces charged with enforcing petty rules that are all against ordinary forms of behaviour that have now become mala prohibita rather than against true crimes which are mala in se, and the like. The WHO, and the governments that have been listening to it, say that such measures must be in place until there is a vaccine for the virus. An expensive vaccine is the pharmaceutical industry’s preferred solution to the pandemic, even though they have never been able to produce a vaccine for a coronavirus in the past. Bill Gates, who now that the United States has withdrawn would appear to be the single largest contributor to the WHO, has been funding research not only on such a vaccine but on technology for embedded vaccination records that would take health totalitarianism to a whole new level. One would almost think he was campaigning for the job of one of the beasts of the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, except that he is too obvious a choice, resembling nothing so much as a villain from a James Bond movie escaped into real life.

Meanwhile, the evidence continues to accumulate as to Communist China’s culpability in this pandemic. Leaving aside the interesting question of whether this strain of noctilionine influenza jumped to humans through an intermediary at a wet market, as the Communist regime claims, or escaped from the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology where bats are experimented on and which is located a hop, skip, and a jump away from said wet market, it is known that the regime suppressed information about the initial outbreak, clamped down on whistleblowers like Dr. Li Wenliang, lied about the evidence it already had in abundance for human-to-human transmission, and allowed international travel in and out of Hubei province where the outbreak began, long after it had closed it off to the rest of China. Throughout all of this, the WHO accepted everything the Chinese government told them as Gospel truth, praised the regime for its efforts to contain the disease, and condemned the idea of slapping travel restrictions on China when Donald the Orange first raised it in January. They continue to dance to China’s tune to this very day.

Did I mention that Red China had been Tedros Adhanom’s biggest supporter when he was seeking his current position at the WHO?

Yes, Donald the Orange is right to cut American funding to this hopeless corrupt and totalitarian organization. If only the rest of us would follow suit.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Last Freedom Standing

The second section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows:

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

As I point out every time I mention the Charter, I am not an admirer of this document. My problem is not with the rights and freedoms spelled out in it. I don't like that, contrary to widespread but mistaken opinion, this document makes these rights and freedoms less secure than they were before by including two gigantic loopholes. I also have a huge problem with the revolting notion that this Charter is the source of our rights and freedoms, that we did not have them prior to 1982, and that we should all bow in idolatrous worship before a statue of Pierre Trudeau, thank him for giving us our rights and freedoms, and perpetually vote his party into government, All of the basic rights and freedoms in the Charter had belonged to Canadians, as free subjects of the Queen, as part of our Common Law heritage, long before Pierre Trudeau was making an ass of himself with his swastika helmet, goose-stepping, and Roman salute during World War II, and praising every Communist regime on the planet for the rest of his miserable life.

Having included that necessary disclaimer, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that during the COVID-19 panic our Dominion and provincial governments, on the advice of their public health officials, have taken freedoms a), c), and d) from us, and most Canadians have, pitifully and pathetically, willingly surrendered them. Up until now b) has not been touched. This in itself has been remarkable, as of all the four freedoms it is the one that the Liberal Party has undermined and attacked most often in the past, especially when the Party has been led by a Trudeau.

Consider the second part of b) "freedom of the press and other media of communication." Ever since Justin Trudeau first became Prime Minister he has sought government control over internet based "social media" which would certainly fall under "other media of communication." In his first term as Prime Minister he wasted millions of dollars taken from hard-working Canadian taxpayers to prop up failing media outlets. Needless to say, the small independent media companies that have subjected him and his Cabinet to the most intense scrutiny and criticism did not see a dime of this money. Worse, in the months leading up to last year's Dominion election, especially after the campaign was underway, he tried to exclude all but sympathetic reporters from his press conferences, even going so far as to have adversarial reporters arrested. These are not the actions of someone who respects "freedom of the press and other media of communication." They are quite in keeping with the precedent set by the current Prime Minister's father. Consider what the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker had to say about freedom of press under Trudeau pere in 1972:

The Trudeau Government seems to be dedicated to controlling the thinking of Canadians. Through the power being exerted by Pierre Juneau, as Chairman of the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, private radio and T. V. station proprietors in Canada are frightened to speak, fearful of being subject to the cancellation of their licences. One such station was CKPM in Ottawa, which dared to have an open line program critical of the Government. Pierre Juneau did come before a Committee of the House and he uttered lachrymose words in reply to the criticism levelled at him that he wishes to determine what Canadians shall hear, and to deny them the right to listen to what they will. His attitude was different when he spoke to the Association of Private Broadcasting Companies and in effect stated: “When I ope my lips, let no dog bark.” Under him the broadcasting network owned by the people of Canada is allowed to broadcast what he permits. (Those Things We Treasure, pp. 32-33).

Freedom of the press is a meaningless concept if it is limited only to the press that is sympathetic to the government and of which the government approves.

Similarly, "freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression" means nothing if it does not include the freedom to think thoughts the government disapproves of and to express those thoughts. Ever since Pierre Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party, however, and it was already leaning in this direction under Lester Pearson's leadership, the Grits have maintained that freedom of thought and expression does not include the freedom to think and express thoughts which they disapprove of because they consider them to be "discriminatory." The entire Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977 - the entire Act, mind you, and not just the especially bad former Section 13 - includes no provisions that prevent the government from infringing upon people's basic rights and freedoms, as one might otherwise suppose based on its title, but consists entirely of definitions of acts of private individuals and companies as being "discrimination", that is to say, expressions of thoughts of which the Liberal Party does not approve. Since the CHRA does not fall under the umbrella of criminal law, despite including provisions for crippling, punitive, and vindictive penalties, the agency charged with investigating and charging people with violations of this act is not subject to most of the limitations of the regular police and Crown prosecutors. All of this is in complete violation of freedom of thought and expression, and belongs in some Communist regime, not in a free Commonwealth realm.

Our Dominion and provincial governments have already taken away our freedom of religion and conscience by closing the Churches, and our freedoms of peaceful assembly and association by telling us we cannot meet in public or private in groups of larger than ten, or in some jurisdictions even less. The Liberal government in Ottawa already tried to sneak a provision that would give it two years of unlimited, unaccountable, power to tax and spend into a COVID-19 Emergency Spending bill. Now, as the Dominion Parliament is scheduled to resume session on April 20th, this same Liberal government, a government that has talked seriously about using software on Canadians' cellphones and other electronic devices to track their movements, which has encouraged us to switch to cashless - and thus trackable - transactions, and otherwise behaved exactly like the kind of government described in any post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, dystopic novel of the last century or so, has dropped hints that it will be tabling legislation against the spread of "misinformation" regarding the pandemic. Such legislation, if enacted, would of course, mean, that the government that passed it, decides what constitutes "misinformation." Since it is constantly changing its own mind about what the facts are - masks don't help, masks do help being merely one example - this is not exactly reassuring. This kind of legislation would inevitably be used to silence critics of the government's approach to the pandemic. It would mean that it would be safe to agree with the government, but not safe to disagree, which would be yet another way in which COVID-19 measures have brought us closer to the kind of regime that existed in the Soviet Union - or the Reich of the man on whose birthday Parliament is set to re-open.

The Prime Minister has been trying to prevent Parliament from resuming in full session, proposing alternatives which would greatly decrease the ability of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and the smaller parties to hold the government accountable. Parliament's power to hold the Prime Minister and Cabinet accountable is far more important than government ministers having the power to act quickly in a crisis. If the Prime Minister were to get his way on this, it would be much easier for him to push legislation like the proposed anti-"misinformation" bill through a reduced Parliament, Pray that Andrew Scheer keeps up his noble fight against these Liberal power grabs.

Here is a petition from the Alberta Institute against the government's planned assault on free speech:

Sign it while you still can.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Condemn Captain Airhead – But For the Right Reason

Captain Airhead, or Justin Trudeau as unimaginative types like to call him, has received a lot of much deserved criticism this week. As was the case in the notorious “blackface” scandal of last year’s Dominion election, in which it was revealed that on at least three occasions he had worn skin-darkening makeup which, had any of his subordinates or opponents done, would have resulted in him requiring that they resign and be sent in permanent exile to the land of perpetual shame, a hypocritical double standard was the problem.

Captain Airhead, like his Communist father before him, hates the rights and freedoms of Her Majesty’s free subjects in Canada and the Common Law tradition from which they arise. C. S. Lewis in The Horse and His Boy has the Tisroc of Calormen utter these words to his Grand Vizier and to his son Rabadash “It is very grievous…Every morning the sun is darkened in my eyes, and every night my sleep is the less refreshing, because I remember that Narnia is still free.” This is very similar to the sentiment of Captain Airhead, except that he is the Grand Vizier, which is another name for Prime Minister, and it is his own country’s freedom that he hates.

In what used to be called Christendom, but is now called “Western Civilization”, people who hate freedom tend to hate Christianity. Christianity teaches that God, after liberating Israel from literal slavery in Egypt, made a Covenant of Law with them, and promised that one day He would make a New and better Covenant, which promise He fulfilled in the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, events which took place on the anniversary of the original Passover, and which brought spiritual liberty to the entire world. St. Paul, especially in his epistle to the Romans but in many of his other epistles as well, emphasizes that through our union with Christ in His death we die to the sin which enslaved us and that through our union with Him in His Resurrection we are raised to the new life, which is a life of liberty. This is the reason why totalitarians have always hated Christianity above all other religions.

Needless to say, the Christian Passover, known as Easter in countries with Germanic languages, and Pascha everywhere else, which commemorates the liberation of the world from spiritual bondage in the death and Resurrection of Christ, is not the favourite holiday of freedom haters.

With all the necessary apologies to Dr. Seuss, the following is what I suspect went down in the Prime Minister’s residence as Lent drew to a close and Holy Week approached. Captain Airhead, whose heart and whose brain are at least two sizes too small, was stewing away and saying to himself “I’ve got to stop Easter from coming, but how?”

So he consulted with Hajdu, he consulted with Tam, he called on his Cabinet to think up a plan.

Then Captain Airhead, he had an idea – a terrible, monstrous, horrendous idea.

Said Captain Airhead:

“I know what I’ll do, I’ll frighten them all with catching bat flu. The virus from China is now over here, I’ll shut down the country for over a year. I’ll close all the churches, I’ll close all the schools, I’ll close all the libraries, malls, parks and pools. I’ll close all the businesses, except grocery stores, I’ll clear out the sidewalks, and lock all the doors. I’ll scold them and nag them and boss them around, I’ll bully, I’ll badger, I’ll act like a clown. After eighteen months straight of only TV, they all will forget that they ever were free. And then when Easter is just round the bend, I’ll tell everybody ‘Stay home this weekend!’”

He’s a mean one, that Captain Airhead.

Well, we all know what happened. After telling Canadians to sacrifice their Easter plans, he then took off from Ottawa to Harrington Lake, Quebec to be with his family at their cottage for the weekend.

Did Captain Airhead’s heart and his brain grow three sizes that weekend?

Sadly, I’m afraid not. He still insisted that the rest of us give up Easter, put our lives on hold, and surrender our freedoms to the total control of the public health officials.

He has not escaped criticism in the press for his double standard, but that criticism, or at least the portion of it that I have read, has all been rather wrongheaded in my opinion. It has taken the form: Trudeau told all the rest of us to sacrifice our Easter plans, therefore he should have sacrificed his own. It should have taken this form instead: Trudeau was not willing to sacrifice his own family plans for Easter weekend, therefore he should not have told all of the rest of us to do so.

The problem is not that he spent the weekend at the cottage with his family. That at least is a human thing to do. The problem is that he has been bullying and threatening and scolding the rest of us into giving up our lives and our freedoms. That is a despotic thing to do.

Should the fourth estate finally start criticizing Trudeau for piling on rule after rule on top of an already excessive heap of rules, this will be the first sign of our recovery from our true affliction, which is not some batty coronavirus from China but a lack of appreciation of our fundamental rights and liberties.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Only Morons Try to Flatten Curves

Straightenin' the curves
Flattenin' the hills
Some day the mountain might get 'em
but the law never will.

- Waylon Jennings as "The Balladeer" in the theme song to the Dukes of Hazzard. This quote has absolutely nothing to do with what I am discussing in this essay and is thrown in merely for my amusement.

In most – not all – countries, public health authorities have responded to the Wuhan Flu pandemic by issuing “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders to the entire population, closing public facilities, shutting down all businesses and services that they declare to be “non-essential” and requiring that people stay at least six feet from each other when they must go out to buy groceries, get medical attention or the like. The end to which these are the means is expressed in that ubiquitous phrase, one of many that I wish never to hear again in my life after this pandemic is over, “flattening the curve.”

The curve that they are trying to flatten is that of the graph indicating the projected pattern of numbers of persons infected with COVID-19 from when the coronavirus first enters a population – or at least when it is first detected there – to when the pandemic peters out and ends. As is usual for an epidemic/pandemic the numbers infected are small at the beginning, then as it begins to spread faster they rise, at some point reaching a peak, before dropping back down again. Plotted on a graph, it forms the familiar bell shaped curve that statisticians use to represent a normal distribution in probability theory.

To “flatten the curve” means to alter the pattern by slowing down the spread of the virus so that the peak is much lower. This does not necessarily mean that the total number of people infected will be any less – just that the largest number of people who will be infected at the same time will be less. The point of doing this, is to prevent the medical system from being overburdened all at once and collapsing.

It should be observed that this strategy is designed to save the health care system rather than to save lives. It is important that we remember that, as much as our public health officials would prefer that we believe otherwise, these things are not synonymous. When it comes to saving lives, the big question with regards to flattening the curve is which is most likely to produce the most fatalities – a short-term, temporary, overload of the health care system during which treatment will not be available to everyone who requires it or an artificial extension of the duration of the pandemic and the lifespan of the virus giving it more opportunities to mutate and do more harm. To flatten the curve is to produce said artificial extension of the duration of the pandemic.

Our governments are being rather less than honest with us about the fact that the absurd time frames – up to two years - that we are seeing in their projection models are the result of the strategy of flattening the curve rather than the reason for it. The only way to push the peak of curve down is by slowing down the rate of infection and thus extending the duration of the pandemic long past the virus’ natural cycle. Even if doing this were to prove to be less fatal in terms of those who ultimately die from the virus it is an incredibly stupid and insane thing to do because it maximizes the myriad sorts of other damage that will be done by the shutdown.

Shocking as it will be for the many Canadians who worship at the altar of Tommy Douglas to hear this, the collapse of the health care system would not mean the end of the world. The hospitals would recover from such a collapse a lot quicker than the economy will recover from the shutdown, our social and communal lives will recover from our being brainwashed into fearing ordinary human contact, and our heritage of Common Law rights and freedoms will recover from our having willingly surrendered all of our most basic freedoms the moment some Hitler with a stethoscope told us to do so to avoid catching and spreading a bad bug.

The long-term negative consequences of the means being employed to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic so outweigh the benefit of saving the health care system that those who for whatever reason have decided upon this strategy have been trying to sell it to the public by pretending that it is the only option for dealing with this pandemic that is available. Consider, for example, the way in which our Dominion and provincial governments have released over the past couple of weeks the projection models that they have been working with. In the press conferences where these models were released contrasts were drawn. On the one hand, we were given the numbers of those that these models predict will be infected with the virus and die under the measures currently being taken. On the other hand, we were given the numbers of those that according to the model would have been infected and died had we done nothing at all.

All of this is, of course, an obvious example of bifurcation, of the logical fallacy of the false dilemma. It is hardly the case that the only options available to us were to do what we are presently doing or to do nothing. A strategy of protecting the most vulnerable, while letting everybody else go about their daily lives, would reduce the number of deaths expected from the pandemic without the numerous ill effects of flattening the curve. The Kingdom of Sweden is following such a strategy and it appears to be working for them. It has not been often in the last century that Sweden has been a model of sound and sane public policy. It figures that after following their bad example on any number of other issues, usually having something or the other to do with gender politics and political correctness, that when they actually get something right we would ignore them.

Dissenting epidemiologist, Dr. Knut Wittkowski, who was the head of Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatics, Epidemiology, and Research Design for twenty years, has argued that there is no good reason to extend the duration of a respiratory disease’s run through the population and that the present regime of extreme social distancing and shut down, far from being the best or only response to the pandemic, is the worst. He is far from being the only epidemiologist to think this way and to disagree with the strategy being pursued by most public health authorities. As is generally the case, when the mainstream media claims that a consensus of scientific experts is behind a policy which they and the government support, they are lying through their teeth.

That there is a great deal of uncertainty about this virus and pandemic is acknowledged by all. That the measures being taken to combat it will have devastating effects of their own, which will only get worse the longer they are kept in place, is a certainty. Yet the strategy which underlies these measures, requires that they be kept in place for a very long time. This is hardly grounds for the blind confidence in our public health authorities that they are demanding from us at this moment.

Indeed, they are starting to give the impression that we would have been better off seeking the advice of that alternative medicine practitioner whose answer to everything is “ooo eee ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Life and Choice

Not that long ago - indeed, it is a matter of mere months - there was a consensus at all levels of Canadian government, Dominion and provincial, regardless of which party actually held the reins of power, that choice was more important than life. Today, it is the consensus of all levels of the Canadian government that life is more important than choice.

In neither case was the consensus one that was arrived at legitimately through informed and open discussion. In both cases this writer did not merely dissent from the consensus but condemned it as being monstrous and evil.

So what is going on here? Has some diabolical mad scientist from an extra-terrestrial world targeted our planet with a mind reversal beam powered by interstellar radiation?

Not exactly.

What is meant by “life” and by “choice” in the one consensus was radically different from what is meant by these terms in the other. In the first consensus, the choices that were valued over life were very specific choices. The choice of an expecting mother to terminate her pregnancy and kill her unborn child was one such choice. The choice of somebody – usually a person with an irreversible condition that causes intense pain and suffering – to end his own life with medical assistance was the other. In short, the choices were abortion and euthanasia. The lives that were considered less important than these choices in the previous consensus were specific lives – the lives of the unborn children of the women who chose abortion and the lives of those who chose euthanasia. That the termination of these lives would ensue as the outcome of these choices was certain. Furthermore, these deaths were the deliberate and intentional end of these choices for which reason these choices cannot be made without incurring moral culpability.

The reverse of all of this is true about the “life” and “choice” of the second consensus. Although certain demographics are more susceptible than others to die from the severe pneumonia that the Wuhan Flu aka COVID-19 produces in a minority of those who contract it, the disease does not target specific individuals, nor is death certain in any particular case. With the exception of acts like coughing and spitting in someone’s face, which were already considered to be unacceptable behaviour long before the pandemic, the choices that have been curtailed by our fascist public health officials do not deliberately, intentionally, and willfully spread the virus, much less cause the deaths of the small fraction of those who eventually die from it. Barring the discovery of any hard evidence for the conspiracy theories that claim this virus was created in a laboratory there is no moral culpability here.

At the end of February, only a couple of weeks before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals tabled a bill in the Dominion Parliament – Bill C-7 – which, if passed, would remove most remaining legal roadblocks to euthanasia. It would also take a huge leap down that slippery slope from physician-assisted-suicide to physician-with-power-of-life-and-death that opponents of euthanasia such as this writer have been warning about all along. It allows for the euthanizing of those who have lost their ability to consent to the procedure provided that they have indicated their willingness at some point in the past.

The segment of the population that is likely to be euthanized overlaps to a very large extent the demographic that is most susceptible to die from pneumonia from the coronavirus. What kind of warped logic reasons that we must indefinitely cancel the most basic freedoms of everyone in society in order to protect people from dying from the Wuhan Flu in order that their physician might terminate their life deliberately, with or without their consent?

Note also that while each province in the Dominion has ordered its hospitals to cancel or post-pone most surgeries and procedures that do not involve saving lives, abortions remain accessible during the lockdown.

Now consider the kind of choices that the public health bureaucrats have taken away from us. The choice to go for a walk or jog in the park. The choice to get together with friends and family to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and the like. The choice to meet up with somebody for coffee. The choice to shake somebody’s hand, clap him on the back in congratulations, or cheer him up with a hug. The choice to pay our respects and mourn together for loved ones we have lost. The choice to assemble together with others of our faith and worship our God as He commands us. The choice to go outside and get some fresh air. The choice to go to the library and take out a few books. The choice to go to a gym and get some needed exercise. Unlike abortion, these and the thousand other similar choices that are now forbidden us, do no intentional harm to anybody.

It is choices like these that make up what we, until quite recently, used to call “living our lives.”

What is the point of protecting our lives if we are not allowed to live them?
The kind of choices that the Trudeau Liberals – and all the so-called “conservatives” in the provincial governments – believe should be protected at the expense of human life, do not deserve the protection of law. The kind of choices that our health authorities, Dominion and provincial, have taken away from us in order to protect our lives from the Wuhan Flu, are the choices that make up everyday life and which constitute our basic freedoms. Health authorities should not be able, under any circumstances, much less a media-hyped, flu-type virus, with a fancy name, to take these freedoms and choices away from us. Only Communists, Nazis, and others of that general type would ever wish to do so.

George Grant in an essay entitled “The Triumph of the Will” written in response to the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, with the new powers given it by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to strike down our laws against abortion in R v Morgentaler, quoted Huey Long’s famous remark about how when fascism comes to America it will be in the name of democracy. Our Supreme Court, like that of the Americans in Roe v Wade the previous decade, Grant said “used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought - the triumph of the will.”

I wonder what Grant would have had to say could he have seen the way in which the same people who show a disregard for human life in the name of choice, when that choice is abortion, have turned around and criminalized the most everyday of human choices in the name of life. Since it is happening all over the world, and Grant liked to remind us of the ancients’ warning a universal, homogeneous, state would be one of tyranny, I doubt that it would surprise him much.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Failing the Test of Civilization

It is quite evident that the idea that the best response to the COVID-19 pandemic was to shut down society and the economy except for the bare bones minimum, order everybody to “stay at home” and to maintain “social distancing” on the exceptional occasions when they are allowed out for some necessary reason, was thought up by people who have large enough homes that being required to stay in them for months on end will not feel like a prison sentence, where they live with their immediate families, who can afford to have everything they need delivered to them, who can work from home, and who assume that what is true of them is true of everybody, or at least the vast majority of people. It was thought up by pampered fools in other words.

What do these morons think “stay at home” could possibly mean to people who have no home?

It is currently estimated that in the city in which I reside, Winnipeg, Manitoba, there are anywhere between three to fifteen thousand such people. Even the smaller estimate exceeds by far the capacity of all of the city’s homeless shelters combined. The numbers of homeless are much larger in cities like Toronto and it is estimated that in the Dominion of Canada as a whole, there are approximately thirty five thousand homeless on any given night, and over two hundred thousand who will experience homelessness in any given year.

While the shut down orders do not apply to homeless shelters, the social distancing laws have greatly restricted the number they can take in. Meanwhile, the closing of restaurant dining rooms, libraries, and most other public places, has taken away from them the places where they go to find warmth and respite from the elements in winter. It was still winter when these measures were put in place and even now we are hardly past the point where really cold temperatures and large snowfalls would be considered extraordinary, as the huge two-day snowfall of last week demonstrates.

As part of the ill-conceived “flatten the curve” strategy, our governments have been encouraging businesses to switch to debit and credit transactions only. While this undoubtedly makes sense from their narrow point of view – physical currency, which is constantly exchanging hands, is notorious as a means of passing on germs – it is very hard on those who do not have bank accounts and whose only means of exchange is hard cash. It is also, of course, objectionable from a civil libertarian point of view. A cashless society is the totalitarian’s dream, for it means that the government can monitor and record all market transactions. St. John’s Apocalyptic description of the ultimate totalitarian, the Satanic false messiah who will deceive the world and become global despot prior to the Second Coming of the true Messiah, includes the famous detail that he will require people to receive a mark bearing his name or the number of his name – six hundred, threescore and six – on their right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell. Not a few people have drawn the obvious link between this and the totalitarian nature of a cashless society. Some of the supposedly “Christian” supporters of the “flatten the curve” strategy and its extreme measures, in their almost total disregard for the threat to civil rights and liberties during this universal government power grab and their haste to condemn anyone, but especially other Christians, who dissents from their point of view as “selfish” and “ideological” give every impression of having taken the Mark of the Beast in their hearts already.

Just as there are large numbers of people for whom “stay at home” is meaningless because they have no home to stay at, so there are large numbers of people for whom “stay at home” is the equivalent of a sentence of solitary confinement. This is because such people live in small, cramped, quarters with very little space. Such people will be especially vulnerable to “cabin fever” during this period because, unless they are extreme introverts, they depend upon getting out of the apartment and into the neighbourhood to avoid a sense of confinement.

Similarly, people who are single and live by themselves rather than with a spouse and children, depend upon social events and gatherings to avoid a depression-inducing sense of loneliness. These social events and gatherings have now been stolen from them by these vile, power mad, despotic, health bureaucrats who think that flattening the curve is the only acceptable response to this pandemic and that any and all means to that end are justified, which is a truly diabolical point of view.

Obviously, a response to the pandemic that involves shutting down most of society and the economy, will have a disproportionately hard impact on people who depend upon their paycheques to pay the rent, their grocery and utility bills, and other necessary expenses and have little to nothing left over after doing so, and therefore little to no savings. Shutting down the so-called “non-essential” sector of the economy, is far more likely to put such people out of work, than it is to put people with high figure salaries, who can work from home, like the overpaid bloody twits who thought up the “stay at home” strategy, out of work. It eliminates their existing jobs and makes it virtually impossible to find new ones. Government programs to assist such people can only ever be a very short term solution to this problem. Placing such a huge percentage of the population on government assistance at the same time that you are killing the source of government revenue is simply not sustainable for the kind of time frame that the models the “flatten the curve” strategy is based upon require.

Samuel Johnson is quoted by his friend and biographer James Boswell as having said: “Where a great proportion of the people are suffered to languish in helpless misery, that country must be ill policed, and wretchedly governed: a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization."

The new programs being enacted by the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa are not what “a decent provision for the poor” looks like. They are at best an attempt to lessen the incredible evil that our governments, Dominion and provincial, are doing to the poor through their ill-advised strategy for combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We are failing Dr. Johnson’s “true test of civilization.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Government Hubris

Last December, at the annual pre-Christmas open house at the Manitoba legislature, I shook Premier Brian Pallister’s hand, congratulated him on his re-election, and told him to keep up the good work. Today, I wish I could take all of that back. Pallister is the leader of the Progressive Conservative party of Manitoba. I voted Progressive Conservative in the last provincial election, and have voted Progressive Conservative in every provincial election since I was old enough to vote. I do not think that I will be voting for them again for as long as Pallister leads the party. Indeed, I am contemplating actively and aggressively campaigning against their re-election. It is not that I think any other party would govern better. I do not. It is not that I wish to see Wab Kinew become premier of Manitoba. The very thought of that happening turns my stomach. I regard Kinew and the socialist party that he leads with greater disgust and contempt than anything that ever fell to the ground from the backside of a horse. It is rather that in my opinion the way Pallister has been talking and behaving over the last three weeks demands punishment. I am getting really, really, sick and tired of the arrogant, drunk-with-power, threatening tone of Brian Pallister and of his chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin

Pallister ought to have listened to Her Majesty’s marvelous speech on Sunday and learned from her how to speak to the public in a time of crisis. Indeed, all of our provincial premiers and the Dominion premier should have done so. That, of course, assumes that they have the capacity to learn. This is a very big assumption indeed. Our Sovereign is a lady of class and breeding, whereas our politicians, at the risk of unfairly insulting livestock, all give the impression of having been raised in a barn. I have many times written about the distinction between authority and power. Here we have that distinction perfectly illustrated. The Queen in her address to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth spoke with authority. Brian Pallister and Brent Roussin, who never open their mouths without bossing us around, slapping further restrictions down on us, and threatening us, only understand power.

Brian Pallister declared a provincial state-of-emergency at a much earlier stage of the COVID-19 outbreak than his counterparts in most other provinces. This occurred on Friday, March 20th, at which point in time Manitoba had seventeen confirmed cases of the virus, all of whom were people who had contracted the virus while travelling out of province. In declaring the state of emergency Pallister and Roussin limited gatherings to fifty people, required businesses to impose an one to two metre gap between patrons, limited the number of people theatres and dining facilities could seat, and closed all bingo and gaming, as well as gyms and other “wellness centres.” Roussin threatened everyone who did not obey these rules with fines up to fifty thousand dollars – five hundred thousand for corporations – and six months in prison. Pallister, in a truly odious press interview, in which he acknowledged but brushed off concerns that these measures were draconian, encouraged Manitobans to spy and snitch on each other.

Since then, the number of confirmed cases in the province has climbed slowly. It is only very recently at the beginning of April, that Roussin announced that the early stages of transmission within the community, as opposed to bringing it in from the outside, had been detected. At that time there were one hundred and twenty seven confirmed cases. It was before that, however, that he and Pallister had begun tightening the existing restrictions and imposing new ones. Indeed, that very day a two week order for all businesses and services that the provincial government deemed “non-essential” to close came into effect. The order had come down a couple of days earlier. Even prior to that, the government had decreased the number of people allowed to gather to ten. This took place about the time that the first death from COVID-19 in the province occurred – there have been two as of the time of this writing. The first death was of an elderly woman who had been in Intensive Care since the first phase of the provincial shut down. Her death would not have been prevented had Pallister and Roussin imposed the ten person limit on March 20th. Her death would not have been prevented had “non-essential” businesses been ordered to close on March 20th. Tightening the restrictions was not a rational act, but rather a sign that the exercise of absolute power had gone to the chief public health official’s head.

By the first day of this week the confirmed cases in Manitoba had risen to two hundred and three. On Monday, one additional case brought the number to two hundred and four. Eleven people have been hospitalized, seven of whom are in Intensive Care. The very same day, Roussin’s tone jumped to a whole new level of arrogant, totalitarian, bossiness. Issuing threats of police enforcement, this Grinch-like creature stole Easter and the Passover from Christians and Jews. Having already closed the Churches and synagogues, he now ordered the faithful not to have “family dinners and get togethers.” “Everyone needs to adhere to the public health orders” he said “and that includes faith-based organizations.” Which is simply another way of saying that he thinks that his commandments overrule those of God.

That doctors, in the sense of physicians, think they are God has long been a stereotype and, like most stereotypes, contains a great deal of truth. For this reason, it is dangerous to give them any sort of civil authority. It goes to their heads a lot quicker than it does other people.

To those, like this writer, who grew up reading novels by George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Anthony Burgess, and others warning us against totalitarianism, as well as the non-fictional accounts by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Robert Conquest of the very real totalitarianism behind the Iron Curtain, it is hugely offensive that today, Her Majesty’s free subjects in this province of Manitoba, in the Dominion of Canada, cannot go to the grocery store without being forced by authoritarian goons to wait, six feet apart, in a line outside the store until they are told to enter. Once inside the store, their every move is policed by the store Gestapo, until they enter a similar line at the checkout. These conditions belong in Communist countries like the former Soviet Union, not in a Commonwealth realm.

Dr. Roussin’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is furthermore a huge violation of medical ethics. The fact that everyone else is doing it in no way excuses him. What principle of medical ethics could be more fundamental than primum non nocere, which principle is enshrined in the vow to abstain from harm in the famous oath attributed to Hippocrates of Kos? (1) Yet every conceivable form of harm – psychological, spiritual, ethical, social, civil, and physical, including death itself - is the inevitable result of a lengthy, enforced, universal shut down of society.

The tighter the restrictions become, the more rules are imposed upon us, the longer we are kept from our friends and family and Churches, and forced to violate our nature as Aristotle’s “social animal”, the greater the harm caused by the anti-COVID measures will be. There will be this significant difference, however, between the deaths from COVID-19 complications that these measures might be preventing and the deaths from domestic violence, suicide, and murder that these measures will cause if maintained for too long. Nobody, except perhaps the government of Red China, could be legitimately blamed for the former. The blood of the latter will be upon the hands and heart and soul of Dr. Brent Roussin and Premier Brian Pallister forever.

(1) The principle, in the familiar wording, comes, interestingly enough, from another work of Hippocrates entitled Of the Epidemics. In the Oath, of course, it is turned into a vow: ἐπὶ δηλήσει δὲ καὶ ἀδικίῃ εἴρξειν