So Americans Want Canadian Healthcare? Think Again!

Here is my article warning Americans – especially Senator Bernie Sanders, and the rabidly socialist Congresswoman AOC – against trying socialized medicine, Canadian style.

If they do, they are just going to repeat Canada’s mistake.

The article was released today on the Opinion page of The Epoch Times, New York – and in other editions of this newspaper.

I think it covers all the main objections in a reasonably short space. So, if visitors to this website have ever longed for a concise, fact-based argument against socialized medicine – this is it!

Feel free to forward it to your list of contacts, or post it to other websites.

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https://www.theepochtimes.com/so-americans-want-canadian-healthcare-think-again_2794863.html

 

 

 

“It Landed On President Trump’s Desk This Morning”

Here is the link to my article “Democracy, Abortion, and Slavery,” which was recently published in The Epoch Times newspaper in New York City.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/democracy-abortion-and-slavery_2776955.html

In my opinion, the link established here between abortion and the new kind of slavery it engenders is of utmost importance. So, I encourage all readers of this piece to send it to your list of contacts and get the word out. Then, maybe, one day, as a people, we will be able to say: “I once was blind, but now, I see.”

The New York Editor wrote me the day after it was published to say “It landed on President Trump’s desk this morning.”

He is a regular reader of The Epoch Times, so that was fun to imagine he may have actually seen this piece.

Then, yesterday, I got a call from New York. It was a writer for Epoch Times calling to ask my opinion about Trump’s State of the Union address, and what did I think about all the socialism chatter in America these days?

I told him that because America’s Constitution and governmental structure were cobbled together specifically to make big government impossible, they will find themselves faced with a Constitutional crisis of major proportions if they continue in this direction. It would require a lot of Amendments, or a new Constitution entirely to make socialism legitimate in America.

So … I think Trump was right to say “America will never be a socialist country.”

 

 

 

“Predatory Censorship”

The title of this post is comprised of just two very apt words from an article published last August by Sir Roger Scruton, called “The Art of Taking Offence.” And I am very grateful for them.

It was the physicist Fred Hoyle, I believe – or was it George Orwell? – who once said “Words are like harpoons, once they go in, they are very hard to pull out.”

I hope the words “predatory censorship” will stick in the mind of all who reflect deeply on what has happened to what used to be called “free speech” in the West. Below is the key paragraph from Scruton’s article:

“There are now experts in the art of taking offence, indeed whole academic subjects, such as ‘gender studies’ devoted to it. You may not know in advance what offence consists in – politely opening a door for a member of the opposite sex? Thinking of her sex as ‘opposite’? Thinking in terms of ‘sex’ rather than ‘gender’? Using the wrong pronoun? Who knows. We have encountered a new kind of predatory censorship, a desire to take offence that patrols the world for opportunities without knowing in advance what will best supply its venom. As with the puritans of the seventeenth century, the need to humiliate and to punish precedes any concrete sense of why.”

 

And these are the key phrases:

“predatory censorship”

“a desire to take offence”

“the need to humiliate and punish”

Let us reflect on what these words are telling us about the thought-police in our midst

 

 

 

The Prosecution of Free Speech in Canada

Here is a piece from American Thinker that will startle anyone who remembers what “free speech” used to mean.

The best rendering of the underlying principle was articulated in her book Life of Voltaire, by Evelyn Hall (d.1956). This was exactly what Voltaire believed (as do I) but the words are hers:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Well, there are of course, reasonable limits to free speech, such as to shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater.

The gentleman in this piece, Bill Whatcott, never shouted “Fire” anywhere. He has just voiced reasonable, and largely fact-based objections to the radical nature of contemporary social and moral policies, and has argued that they offend traditional moral principles

I have done so, too. All my writing life. I don’t know why I have not ever been charged. A Canadian newspaper once tried to have some my statements against the normalization of homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia (and a few other things) in The War Against The Family (1993) sent to a so-called Human Rights Tribunal.

I wrote to the newspaper that they might have a more interesting time suing prestigious professional journals such as Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Society) from which all the facts I quoted were taken.

They went silent, and I never heard back from them.

Read on, and weep for the death of free speech in the West.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/01/free_speech_is_dead_in_canada_the_persecution_of_christian_activist_bill_whatcott.html

The Abortion Right, Compassion, and “Accidental Live Birth”

I am part of a freethinker group that debates all sorts of topics by email. Recently, I got into it, as they say, with R and H, who both (thus far) support a woman’s “right” to abortion and they ground this supposed right in the simple fact of her “choice”, which is the virtue-signalling mantra of all modern progressives.
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My response to these two gentlemen began when R objected to my phrase “pity party” which I used to describe his worry that a pregnant single mom should not be required to endure a life of raising her child all by herself. Unfair, he argued, and if we are compassionate we should allow her to abort.
I replied: I didn’t mean to sound quite so sarcastic. I was a little worked up. But I did mean to take aim at what looked to me like selective compassion for the mother, over compassion for the unborn child she is about to kill.
Then, I continued, you said: “when has any emotion ever not been selective?” Wow. If you are really arguing that all compassion is selective, then you must also be saying that no compassion has any genuine object of compassion. If all compassion is relative, then  object is simply decided by the person feeling the compassion. Is this what you are arguing? If so, this converts compassion into an arbitrary feeling, and hence a kind of mockery of real compassion, doesn’t it?
 
Then, you argued that compassion should be extended only to the “extant human being,” but not to what you call “the developing human tissue” in her body. 
I am a little astonished that someone with your knowledge of physiology makes such a statement because the unborn child is genetically, and in terms of the complete DNA info needed for maturation, a fully-formed extant human being that is obviously going to mature to full size. It is not just “developing human tissue,” like, say, a piece of skin, or a piece of a fingernail.
I mean, think about the fact that we now know (as we didn’t not so long ago) that the baby’s heart starts beating around 21 days of gestation – three weeks. Almost 100% of all abortions everywhere in the world, take place after that point. A piece of “tissue” does not have a beating heart. And in a slogan that helped convert me many moons ago from a man who didn’t care, to one who cares very much about this issue: “Abortion stops a beating heart.”
Some other objections:
* Contrary to what you said, Canadian law is completely silent on abortion. We have no law.  No law whatsoever. Parliament declined to create a new law after the last law got struck down by Parliament in 1988, in R. vs Morgentaler.
* There is no 20 week rule or limit for abortion in Canada, as you have assumed. Canada has publicly-funded (and other docs have privately performed) hundreds of thousands of post 20-week abortions over the last forty years, including a smaller but quite significant number of late-term abortions (in the third trimester, after 24 weeks).
Same in the USA, but there, in the millions over forty years. Some of these unborn children are in the two to five pound range, and even much larger.  Professor Ian Gentles, a world expert on this topic from Toronto, can fill you in on the actual numbers.
We simply don’t know how many partial-birth abortions have been performed in Canada (of children too big to pass the unripe cervix and birth canal intact, and so they are extracted feet-first, the skull collapsed by sucking out the child’s brains when all but the head is out – to make the skull smaller so that it can exit more easily. In some US cases of admitted partial-birth abortions, abortionists speak of “disarticulating the neck” (breaking its neck to ensure the baby is dead) before pulling the last of the baby out of the birth canal.
Doctors suck brains out, or disarticulate baby-necks to avoid the charge of delivering and then letting-die a live baby, and then getting charged with murder. It is a way of killing the child before it has “passed completely from the birth canal” (the wording in the Canadian Criminal Code that defines a “human being”) so as to avoid admitting they killed it.
In short, if the child is just a thing still in the womb, then it cannot be murdered. Because – to reference my earlier argument about slavery – the child has already been converted by law from a human into a thing, and is therefore legally the slave-property of its own mother. And, just as many slave jurisdictions in history refused to charge whites with murder for killing a slave, we refuse to charge abortionists with murder when obviously killing a child still alive and (partially) in the womb.
With the position you have supported, and even though you previously knew nothing about it, wouldn’t you and H logically also have to support this gruesome partial-birth procedure? And if not, why not? You both will likely try to argue that you could not support such a horrible thing because of your compassion.  But you argued previously that compassion is just an emotion relative to the person feeling it, and not necessarily justified by any objective circumstance. So, you don’t get to first base.
I think you should come into the open now. You have admitted your “understanding” re the abortion regime we have been operating in Canada (and massively in the USA) is – how should I put this? – not fully-informed.
And H, as a black man, I have a question for you. And the rest of us would like to hear your answer. Black mothers mostly from poor parts of the USA, at 6% of the US population, account for 38% of all US abortions. How do you react to this fact? Hard to believe you will not call it a genocide vs. blacks.
But then … if you support “a woman’s right to abortion,” as you have said, what’s wrong with what even many objecting blacks call “fetal genocide” against the black race?” I am guessing you are either forced to accept this reality by your own logic, or, will be forced to say you are against only racial abortions.
If so, that means you will have to argue for affirmative action in abortion, and push for “abortion quotas,” so that blacks, whites, hispanics, etc, are aborted (killed in the womb), according to their % of the population, that % to be adjusted annually to account for population shifts. I am not joking, this will have to be where such thinking takes us if the charge of selectively aborting blacks and the poor is to be countered. Oh, my goodness …
So both R and H: I would love your answers to my question: Do you support all abortion, even up until the moment of natural birth as justified only by compassion and a woman’s choice? After all, that is the law and a woman’s “right” in Canada.
Incidentally, folks, and your response to this would be of interest as well – CIHI. the Canadian Insittute for Health Information has recently published information that between 2013 and 2018, there were 766 “botched” late-term abortions in Canada (not counting Quebec, where reliable separate numbers show 218 “accidental live births” between 2000, and 2012).
The numbers on these babies:
By age of gestation: 8 babies at 29 weeks and older; 27 babies at 25 to 28 weeks; 557 babies at 21 to 24 weeks; 141 babies at 17 to 20 weeks.
These are situations where late-term abortions were attempted, but … the children were “born alive” (did not die from the injection of acid or saline solution into the womb prior to extraction). The authors of the CIHI report actually called for “feticide” injections directly into the womb, n future,  to more certainly kill the babies before the extraction is attempted, thus to reduce the moral and legal embarrassment of these “accidental live births.”
Now this ought to be an explosive bit of information that challenges all our moral/legal presumptions surrounding abortion. Why? because the mother’s intent was to kill her baby, which she legally can do in her own womb. But the intent failed, and the babies were born alive. So they “magically” as the video below so trenchantly puts it, became human beings. Check it out:
Once these aborted babies magically became human beings, the full panoply of the resources of the medical system should have been brought to bear save the lives of those children, should it not, as they would have done for any other human being found alive on a hospital bed?
But this was not to be. We currently have only anecdotal info that everywhere these children, although now full human beings, are simply”left to die.” We don’t know how long that takes, what suffering they endure, or whether anyone has bothered to call the police and report what by our own law is defined as murder.
Somehow, magically, the mother’s choice to kill her baby gets extended beyond her womb, to outside it.
OOps. Oh well, says the medical team … time to go for dinner …

A “Progressive” Analysis of The Christmas Story

Here is a rather funny take on the Christmas story composed by my colleague, Professor Harley Price.

Harley teaches classes in the School of Continuing Education at the University of Toronto in all sorts of wonderful subjects from classic Greek and Roman literature and Christian theology, to Homer, Dante, Chaucer and Shakespeare, and much more. If you are within striking distance of Toronto, a course from Harley is a very rich experience indeed.

Here is his “progressive’s” analysis of the Christmas story.

It is a good laugh, and would be a great laugh it it weren’t that so much of it is already festering in the progressive mind..

http://159.203.24.119/2018/12/22/pricetons-third-annual-christmas-trigger-warning-christmas-story-2118/#more-1332

And you can see more of his insightful and educational pieces in which he exposes “the smelly little orthodoxies of the day” at www.priceton.org

 

 

 

“Disruptive Essays” – Just Released! There Are No Safe Spaces In This Book

This is a letter of flagrant self-promotion to say that my latest book, Disruptive Essays, has just been released, and is available on websites such as Amazon and Chapters. You can see it on the Home page of this website, and in my “Books section, where you can click to purchase easily. On the cover, I warn:  There Are No Safe Spaces In This Book!”

Word is that university students in residence at our temples of political correctness are buying the book in droves and hiding it under their mattresses for secret reading at night!

Since I first posted this message, the book has been selling well. So thanks to all who have already purchased it.

These essays were assembled because many people have told me over the years they would like to read some of my work, but don’t know which book to start with. So I decided to prepare this one as a “Reader”, which is to say, as a collection of essays drawn from all my books, from journal articles I have published but which most readers will not have seen unless they are subscribers to those journals, and from previously unpublished work.

It feels awkward to urge people to buy my books. But this is the holiday season, and over the years I have found that most people are thankful for the suggestion. They so often have said: “Oh Great idea! My Dad [or my spouse, my brother, my daughter] would love a book like that for  Christmas.”

So … if you want to change minds, to change the country, or just want to please (or challenge) someone you know ? Please consider clicking one of the links below, and that part of your shopping will be done!

Below the links, is the Table of Contents, so you can see what’s in the book. Better be sitting down!

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amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks-intl-ship&field-keywords=gairdner+%22disruptive+essays%22

amazon.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/262-2174515-2412347?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=disruptive+essays

chapters

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=disruptive%20essays#internal=1

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Table of Contents for Disruptive Essays

On Politics, Society, and Government

1)  How Popular Illusions Produce Public Ignorance

2) Democracy and the Anti-Polis

3) Hell No, Quebec Can’t Go! (Repeat … Repeat … Repeat)

4) Conservatism In A Nutshell

5) The Senate, and the Tyranny of the Majority

6) A Shock Sheet on Canada

On Sex, Feminism, and All That

7) Religion, Sex, & The City

8) Rethinking Nabokov’s Lolita: Why Beautiful Writing Cannot Make the Ugly Beautiful

9) If You Want Pure Egalitarian Democracy, You Have to Kill Babies

10) The Daycare Temptation: Sacrificing the Well-being of Children For $$$.

On The Family, Gender, and Innate Sex Differences

11) Sexing Society

12) Sex, “Brain Sex”, and Evolution theory

13) The Family Is A Democracy? (Get Ready to Lose the Election)

14) Killing Marriage (Trigger Warning for all LBGTQers, etc., etc,. etc.)

15) Restoring the Pro-Family State (A Rescue Kit)

On Culture, and More

16) Deep Culture, Skin-Deep Culture, and Sushi

17) Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree

18) Tom Wolfe, and “The Kingdom of Speech”

19) Lance Armstrong and the Sport of Lying

20)  Global Warming (& Cooling) In A Nutshell

21) The Constants of Nature

On Democracy, Libertarian-Socialism, & Micro-Fascism (Really)

22) How Rousseau Might As Well Have Started WW II

23) What Happened When John Stuart Mill Fell in Love With Poetry & Another Man’s Wife

24) The Triumph of Will Over Nature

On Islam and Islamism

25) Charlie Hebdo & The War of the Gods

26) What Kind of Islam Is It? The Sooner We  Figure This Out, The Better

27) Why The Gods of Islam and Christianity Aren’t The Same

On Freedom

28) On Libertarian-Socialism: How Liberal Democracy Overcame Its Own Contradiction

29) Six Kinds of Freedom

30) Some Paradoxes of Freedom: The Will to Control, to Obey, and To Be Free

On Relativism & Universalism

31) Anthropology & The New Universalism

32) Universal Moral Beliefs

On Christianity, Democracy, & The Roots of  “Political Religion”

33) Democracy and The Politics of Perfection

34) Marx’s “True Democracy”

35) Hitler’s “True Democracy”

 

 

 

“The Epoch Times”, Falun Gong, and Me

A few weeks go I was approached by an Editor working for a newspaper based in New York city called The Epoch Times, who said he had been following my work, and asked me to write Op-Ed columns for his newspaper.

I had never heard of The Epoch Times, and so a little research was in order. This is a newspaper that publishes in 35 countries, in 23 languages, and boasts a subscription base (unaudited) of 1.3 million readers! Not small potatoes, as the saying goes.

You can read their statement about themselves here:

https://www.theepochtimes.com/about-us

The short story is that this newspaper was created at the beginning of this century by John Tang and a small group of Chinese businessmen who enjoy a practice known as Falun Gong. This was developed in 1992 and is a kind of exercise + meditation you can read about here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falun_Gong

Falun Gong soon grew very popular, attracting about 70 million practitioners, and so was as soon persecuted by a worried Chinese Communist government. Communism is rooted in a purely materialist philosophy that denies all spiritual realities, and so Falun Gong was correctly seen as a threat to Communist ideology, simply by its existence.

Accordingly, this newspaper was organized primarily as an anti-communist/anti-totalitarian voice, but as you will see from their statement, and from their slogan “Truth and Tradition”, they consider themselves to be mainly an organization promoting truthful non-aligned journalism.

You can see one of my first two columns here:

https://www.theepochtimes.com/libertarian-socialism-how-modern-democracy-overcame-its-own-contradiction_2686279.html

This is going to be an interesting experience, and who knows where it will lead?

Murderers, Aboriginal “Healing Lodges” & So-called “Restorative Justice”

I have just read about how Terri-Lynne McClintic, the murderer and accomplice to the rape – the rape! – of eight-year old Tori Stafford – has been transferred to a low-security “healing lodge” where, it is assumed by Correctional Services Canada, she will receive better “aboriginal” treatment and rehabilitation/healing than in a regular prison.

This blog is excerpted from Chapter Twelve of my book The Trouble With Canada … Still! (2010), and is sub-titled: “Hug-a-Thug, and Justice Be Damned.”

Sadly, nothing much has changed since then. The scandal of so-called “Restorative Justice” and Native “healing” is described only briefly here. But In a future blog I may expand on both.

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This part of the chapter is adapted, from Michael Harris’s book Con Game (2003), a must read for anyone concerned for what he says is “the Truth About Canada’s Prisons.”

In his book, Michael wrote: “Canada’s prison system is a place where criminal behaviour is rarely altered, true recidivism rates are hidden from the public, and the so-called “restorative justice model” is embraced with all the fanaticism of a cult so sure of its philosophy that it is openly hostile to criticism and reform.”

Michael currently holds the Irving Chair of Journalism at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.

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On average, Canadian criminals serve 32% of their sentence before day parole, and just under 40% before full parole. Non-violent federal offenders who qualify for “accelerated parole review” may be paroled after serving only one-sixth of their sentence. For most of us who assumed that a sentence was handed down because it was deserved, the reality seems to be – justice defeated.

Some 64% of prisoners have not finished high school, 30% did not complete grade 8, and on standard literacy tests, the average prisoner scores at grade 7.5 level. Inmates retain all the rights of ordinary citizens (why, is a mystery, as they have by their actions attacked society). At institutions like Fenbrook, in Gravenhurst Ontario, inmates can buy their own TVs and for a small fee can watch restricted movies on HBO or Cinemac. They can also subscribe to over 15 pornographic magazines. In 2000, 528 inmates at a Saskatchewan penitentiary were treated to a New Year’s “pizza and porn” party organized by the unit managers, who organized the food and piped the porn over the prison’s closed circuit T.V. There were 128 sex offenders in that prison enjoying all this. In 2002 the Sun newspaper chain reported a prison party which included tree-climbing and swimming naked while other inmates BBQed the filet mignon steaks.

All Canadian prisons have a very serious drug problem, and 80% of the drugs are taken “in the front door” by visitors, who due to Charter restrictions are difficult to search properly. A 2000 Warden’s memo recommended searching visitors in “a non-intrusive way.” But drugs are smuggled in any available body cavity, even baby diapers (children are never searched). One favorite is swallowing a condom filled with cocaine, tied with dental floss to a tooth. During the visit, it is pulled up and delivered. In 1999 guards seized 2.2 kilograms of cocaine, 164 grams of opiates, 5.4 kilograms of cannabis, and 1,916 gallons of “brew” (home-made alcohol). Visitors sue prisons at the first opportunity for personal search infringements, and if from a minority race, they sue for racial insult, too. One visitor was arrested for trying to smuggle in $51,000 worth of pain killers.

Due to such Charter blockades, many drug dealers say they make more inside the prisons than outside. At Joyceville prison, 24% were intravenous drug users, and a quarter of those started their drug habit in prison (guards are often pricked by infectious needles). Although official policy is zero tolerance for drugs – and sex – in Canada’s prisons, Harris’s book mentions many prison memos alerting inmates to the dangers of drugs, or that a cyanide-laced drug may be circulating, and about clean needle policy. Prisons also distribute condoms and safe-sex guides (HIV/AIDS levels in prison are ten times those outside), clean needles, and bleach kits. Two thirds don’t use condoms, and many share needles. If the drug use to which inmates are accustomed is threatened at all, they react with threats of major riots. One guard said that notwithstanding official policy, the real policy on drugs and alcohol is “tolerance and appeasement.” In blind inmate surveys, 40% admitted having used drugs in prison. [in 2009, violent offender Wade Gunoff, who was jailed for three years for beating and permanently disabling a 61 year-old man, and who had already tested positive for drugs five times while in prison, told the Parole Board that he “won’t quit smoking marijuana until he is freed from jail” National Post, Dec. 11, 2009].

As for aboriginal offenders? The story is horrendous, as mentioned. Canada’s justice system has responded to the aboriginal penal disaster by going aboriginal itself: there is now something akin to a separate system of justice for aboriginals in Canada, that “ensures spiritual and cultural needs are addressed” during the criminal’s “healing journey,” [which is accomplished by means of the “Restorative Justice,” or RJ methods I will describe in a future blog]. Harris opines that Canada has never had a unified “aboriginal culture,” so the correctional cocktail of native spirituality and customs actually “has corrupted native tribal traditions rather than incorporated them into correctional programs.”

At any rate, along with all this special attention to presumed cultural roots (we really have no idea how genuine or nominal the “spirituality” of the average aboriginal is), there are infuriating instances of racial bias trickling down from the top: in April of 1999 Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that a lower court had not paid sufficient attention to the “nativeness” of killer Jamie Gladue, and suggested that natives should be judged in different ways from the rest of us. Result? Jamie served only six months for manslaughter. This has resulted in what Harris rightly calls “a racially based, two-tier justice system” [it’s an extension of Canada’s aboriginal apartheid/reserve system]. Some native reserves now sign custody contracts with CSC and take their criminals – even their first degree murderers – home, even when they have first been sent to the white man’s prison without any right of parole. In 1994, native offender Susanne Riley got herself into a healing circle and never served a single day in prison for murdering her common-law husband.

As for that other special class of criminals – Women? There are just under 500 women in federal prisons, and just over 500 serving time in the community. About 28% of female prisoners are serving sentences for murder. Harris reports that for the most part they are treated not as criminals, but as “social victims.” The trend has been to get women out of prison and into the community insofar as safely possible. Short of that, we have built them very expensive community-style minimum security “living-unit” prisons where they enjoy group housing in cottages (where they are called “clients” rather than prisoners) and do their own shopping, cooking, learning and laundry, etc. and more or less decide on how their lives will be run while serving time. Karla Homolka cooked her own food, wore the clothes she liked (it is hard to tell guards, who do not wear uniforms at such prisons, from prisoners) wandered the grounds of her “prison” freely, and participated in fun-loving birthday parties. (When being transferred she was flown more than once on private RCMP planes at a tag of $20,000 per flight). This RJ approach – where the emphasis is on rehabilitation and “healing” rather than on punishment – was a fiasco at the new Edmonton Institution for Women where, in the first six months, there were assaults on staff, one inmate was murdered by another, suicide attempts, “and seven escapes of medium and maximum security inmates within eighteen days.” Drug use and needle-sharing is rampant at Edmonton. In 2001 twelve of 68 inmates tested positive for HIV/AIDS, and fifty for Hepatitis C (as deadly).

As for human rights? They apply rigidly to all prisoners, under something called the U.N.’s “Tokyo Rules” that mandate member nations to give prisoners all normal human rights. In 2002 Canada’s Supreme Court, without authority of Parliament, granted prisoners the right to vote in federal elections, but as Harris points out, the judges “saw no contradiction in allowing the people who break the country’s most serious laws to have a say in electing those who make them.” Guards are another story. Their rights seem wholly ignored. They are routinely physically and verbally attacked and threatened. Inmates get away with a myriad of crimes against each other and against guards which, Harris writes, “would be the subject of civil and criminal proceedings” if they happened anywhere else.  So much for the “Con Game.”