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..
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published but which most readers will not have seen unless they are subscribers to those journals, and from previously unpublished work.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!
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 TheEpoch 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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Below are the last words of a little-known, 115-page book I published with Stoddart in 1994, entitled Constitutional Crack-Up, when Quebec was agitating for separation, yet again, and Canada’s Federal Government was wallowing in the confusions and contradictions over what the constitution of a free people is supposed to mean. Five thousand copies were printed, which sold out in three days, but the book was never reprinted. I was trying to illuminate the difference between a written and a living constitution.
And so there is work to be done. For the solution to our troubles will not come from any written constitution. It will come from the unwritten constitution: from the minds and hearts of the people as they reconsider and then restore the founding values of their nation. This will require a new solidarity and belief in eternal, rock-solid principles, without which no euphoric paper constitution will ever have any meaning, and with which, no attempt to corrupt the constitution can possibly succeed.
Such principles, deeply held and clearly articulated are the only possible shield to protect the people against the ceaseless claims of interest groups, radical ideologues, politicians, and tax-mongers of all kinds, who will hurl themselves against that shield in vain. The living constitution, in other words, lies in the passion of the people for the basic values and principles by which they choose to live, not in any piece of paper. But where there are no values or principles, or where these are forgotten, or undefended, there can be no passion; only confusion, and narrow self-interest. Such a people is soon easily corrupted.
So our first duty as a people is to reflect, to read, to comprehend. And then to stand and speak boldly against the enormous engines of big government and special interests, until they fall defeated. For this to happen, every man and woman must be able to say:
The backstory, as they say, is that I had been pestering his Producer for months to do an interview about this book. She kept refusing, because she didn’t like anything I argued in the book.
But when the book hit #1 in Canada on the Globe and Mail Bestseller List, and had sold about 50,000 copies, she finally relented, and we did this interview. After his genteel opening, Gzowski jumps in and begins to fire questions at me. You can hear how he is sort of trying to write a book of his own here, rather than to express any genuine interest in my book.
Two years later, when The War Against the Family was published, he once again, and again after much pestering, agreed to do an interview, but this time, he ganged up on me. With no notice whatsoever, he handed me a 400 page book the moment I walked into the recording studio written by a homosexual professor at the University of Winnipeg, and announced that he, too, would be on the show. We got going, and it turned into a shouting match, with me against both Gzowski and the Professor, who didn’t know what he was talking about. A “family” for him, was any group of people who like each other and live together for at least a day.
At the end of the interview, which was quite steamy, I extended my hand to thank Gzowski, who was, after all, Canada’s Public Radio Servant #1. But he refused to shake hands with me.
It was uncomfortable and a little embarrassing. But … about three weeks later, another Producer called, to say that they had received “an avalanche” of mail over this show, and would be reading a lot of those letters, pro and con, in a special show that week.
They did so. But what they didn’t read, was a lot of the really critical letters of which listeners had sent me copies, in which many said they had been fans of Morningside for many years, but would never listen to Gzowski again!
In the “Freethinker” discussion group of which I am a member, the subject of libertarianism/liberalism, and abortion, has arisen again. This is too complicated to spell out completely for now. But I responded to one of our discussants with the sequence of abbreviated arguments listed below, and am sharing them with visitors here.
Anyone interested in the full version of my philosophical and moral arguments against abortion can find them in a number of my books – especially in my last book, The Great Divide, where there is a whole chapter on this anguishing topic.
The starting point for me is to get agreement from my opponents, in this order:
1) What a pregnant female human being is carrying is alive
2) It is a human life, and not the life of an animal like a turtle or a puppy. So if you are pro-abortion you have to admit you are in favour of killing human life at some stage
3) What gives modern pro-abortion thinkers (and especially libertarians) a presumed “right” to abort this life, is the conversion of this unborn human life into property ( via the so-called “born-alive” rule – supposing it is not “human” until it leaves the mother’s body).
4) but the conversion of what all must admit is life, into property, is just the old slavery-manouevre. It is exactly the same legal trick used to convert living black people (or greeks, or romans, or jews) into chattel slaves.
5) ergo: our modern liberal-democratic abortion regimes are therefore in fact slave-regimes of a new kind.
6) the modern paradox (“I once was blind, but now I see…”) is that most liberals and libertarians who utterly and even violently reject slavery of any kind, accept abortion on demand. Still blind.
There is perhaps no better test of the effects of nature vs. nurture, than studies of identical twins reared apart. The social sciences may not have much luck finding “genes” that control human behaviour. But the next best thing is to find the degree of “heritability” of characteristics shared by identical twins who have been reared in wholly different families.
Here is an interesting article from Quillette on this topic.
If anyone wants really good short books on this general theme: how the democracies of the West have been feminizing/de-masculinizing their men – usually in the name of “equality” and “social justice,” and by waging a war against human nature, the natural family, and natural biological differences – start with these classics …
George Gilder, Men and Marriage
Alan C. Carlson, Family Questions (especially his chapter, ‘The Anrogyny Hoax”)
David Popenoe, Life Without Father
Guaranteed, you will never see these issues in the same light after reading these books.