Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Religion, Sex, and the City

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Take a Hint, Canada.

Yahoo News — Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag resigned on Thursday after parliament formally condemned her handling of the Afghanistan evacuation crisis.
Too bad Canada doesn't have a Parliament. Or a news media.

Canada Excluded From International China Security Pact

Globe and Mail Dismissed by Justin Trudeau as merely a crass American salesman's move to pawn off the latest high-tech US-built nuclear subs to what we have to therefore assume he thinks are the total idiot Aussies, the three-nation deal didn't even include Canada in the talks leading up to the historic pact. And after Trudeau's comments on the matter (and the aforementioned attitude toward the Aussies), you can understand why.
"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday played down Canada’s exclusion from the Indo-Pacific security deal, saying it is merely a way for the U.S. to sell nuclear submarines to Australia ... “This is a deal for nuclear submarines, which Canada is not currently or any time soon in the market for. Australia is.”"
In a clear indication that even Trudeau's political bro Joe Biden doesn't actually take him or Canada seriously anymore (forcing one to wonder if his high-fivin' bro Barack Obama doesn't also come off as a bit two-faced after Obama gave Trudeau a campaign "endorsement" this week), even Canadian officials were left in the dark. Almost like Canada can't even be trusted anymore on any level.

"Three officials, representing Canada’s foreign affairs, intelligence and defence departments, told The Globe and Mail that Ottawa was not consulted about the pact, and had no idea the trilateral security announcement was coming until it was made on Wednesday by U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison."

Trudeau, in contrast, delayed Canada's Wuhan Virus immunization program by signing a deal not with the Americans or Brits, but with... CHINA, for vaccines, in what turned out to be a total failure with countless Canadian lives lost as a result. What is going on here?

And the science SAYSSS…

National Post —Move over Donald Trump. In their NP Platformed email available to subscribers, columnist Sabrina Maddeaux calmly explains that Justin Trudeau's recent uncontrolled angry outbursts — one at a citizen who was rude, and one at a reporter who dared challenge him with actual reporter-like questions — provides a clue as to his baser instincts. And if you saw these outbursts, you'd agree, it isn't a good look for him or any normal human. But moreover, it's a terrible look for anyone claiming the title of Prime Minister. But it's this new line of anti-science, pure crass political campaign bullshit that has me riled:
"...At a weekend rally in Oakville, Ont., Trudeau revealed his hand when he claimed that, “If you want this pandemic to end, go out and vote Liberal.” He repeated the message again, even turning it up a notch, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, saying, “If you want this pandemic to end for good, go out and vote Liberal!”
"This is the ultimate false promise by a politician who’s become infamous for making false promises. No one can guarantee he will be able to end the pandemic. In fact, the expert consensus seems to be that there will be no real end to it: the virus will become endemic and we will be forced to live with it, albeit hopefully more normally. ..."
So it's "follow the science," and "the science says... to vote Liberal”? Many, especially the media, would dismiss "bible belt" politicians who insinuated that "God wants you to vote [whatever way].  This blowhard — and his disciples — should be treated no differently.

Two NDP humans resign their candidacy for alleged racist tropes

The National Post headline reads, "Two federal NDP candidates...

Inflation races higher in Canada — another new emergent threat to any economic recovery

Globe and Mail — They're reporting that Canada’s inflation rate jumps to 4.1%, fastest pace since 2003, sending shockwaves to almost nobody in the news media ahead of the stupid election. For example, the state-owned CBC "news media" division of the Trudeau Liberals reports it as their news item number seven or eight from the top. The G&M, as if explaining it to the CBC, wrote:
"The Statscan report arrives just five days before a federal election that’s seen affordability emerge as a key theme on the campaign trail, with all major parties pitching ideas to rein in a variety of costs, including for housing, child care and wireless plans..."
The cost of "wireless plans" is something like priority number 18,539 for me and 99% of the country, but Jagmeet Singh and the NDP — and therefore their loyal media at every opportunity — make out like it's more important than... I don't know.... inflation at 4% and Canada falling out of the economic freedom top ten... to say nothing of trillion-dollar debts and out-of-control budgets, and that thing about the end of our freedom of speech 'n junk like that. But ma wireless plan!!%#

Not “election news,” apparently: Canada drops out of top 10 countries in annual economic freedom report

Fraser Institute — In a sane land with actual journalism, this would be front-page news, one week ahead of an election. "In this year’s report, Canada ranks 14th based on 2019 data, the most recent comprehensive data, part of a downward trend since 2016. (Last year, Canada initially ranked 8th, although data revisions later lowered its rank to 13th.)"
“Due to higher taxes and increased regulation in Ottawa and the provinces, Canadians are less economically free, which means slower economic growth and less investment in Canada,” said Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute.
Economic Freedom of the World: 2021 Annual Report is the world's premier measurement of economic freedom, ranking countries based on five areas—size of government [Canada: 111th], legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit, labour and business. In this year's report, which compares 165 countries and territories, Hong Kong is again number one—although China's heavy hand will likely lower Hong Kong's ranking in future years—and Canada (14th) trails the United States (6th).

Why isn’t this the biggest story in Canada?

National Review — "Why Isn’t the Attack on Larry Elder the Biggest Story in America?"  Their sub-head put it exactly right:
"A white woman in a gorilla mask threw an egg at a black man seeking to become the first non-white governor of our largest state, and the media shrug."
And they begin their story much as I have over the years: "Do a search for “Larry Elder” and gorilla on the CNN website and nothing comes up. Washington Post? Zilch. Nothing comes up on the New York Times site either..." — only replace those outfits with CBC, CTV, Global, Globe & Mail, etc.
In case you're stupid, let me fill you in: Larry Elder is a black man, but moreover, and in fact almost entirely over, he is a conservative man of considerable intellect and conscience. A Republican.
Indeed, in Canada, wherein they talk endlessly about evvvvvvery instance of "racism" in America in their activist effort to have it spill over into Canada and create divisions here to help fulfill their political ends, they utterly ignored this overt racism doozy. Why? Because they're hypocritical, dishonest, ideological, political... anything but journalists. They should all be ashamed of themselves. But I bet they aren't.
And yet they are so self-assured and arrogant that despite their obvious corruption, which they don't even care if you notice, they continue to demand and accept YOUR taxpayer handouts.

WE: The liberals’, the Liberals’, and Trudeau’s shame —documented in 4-part podcast

The Podcastosphere — I've listened to four parts of the well-done series titled "The White Saviors," narrated by Olusola Adeogun. There will be one more episode. The series documents the "cult" — yes, cult is the word used by an interviewee who worked for them — that is the liberals' own WE organization. I always thought of this WE group as cult-y, and corrupt, and as phony as a Liberal or NDP campaign promise, and as a leftist brainwashing center of bullshittery, but now, more so. Including, or especially because of, Justin Trudeau's participation in it. And the news media's love of it. And Big Public Education's embrace of it. And all of that combined.
The podcast is well described as "the exclusive story of a charity that did well when it was supposed to be doing good."
Produced by Canadaland, which has been on it for years, and arguably broke the story of WE and Liberal Party corruption in 2020.

Click and learn:

Biden’s poll numbers are too embarrassing for the “news” media — I bring you the numbers because the others won't. The "news" media only bring you the news they want you to know, filtered through their very special way of telling it to you — because as you know, they're not really a "news media" at all. Therefore, Biden being increasingly underwater, as demonstrated by the scientific data that the news media studiously refuses to follow at, is ignored. They are lying through omission.
Click to see chart
Read a well-reasoned explanation of Biden's declining poll numbers by Rich Lowry, at Politico, but not at any of the "news media" outlets that couldn't stop reporting on Trump's declining poll numbers.

We won’t “get thru this together,” any more, boyfriend.

Globe and Mail — The Liberals' Globe and Mail division sounded off today on none other than their hero, liberalism's fancy-socked neo-liberal, The Right Woke Justin Trudeau. Seems the marriage is off.
"...We will never find comfort in the Liberal Leader’s corrupted line that we will “get through this together.” He doesn’t mean it. Only certain people matter to Mr. Trudeau – the ones he uses to prosecute identity politics for the singular purpose of furthering his destiny. ..."
The G&M, in a historic fashion reminiscent of the Maclean's revelation of two years ago, suddenly wakes up to discover that the Emperor wears no clothes; or at least those he does wear are just butt-ugly, overly showy, and of poor — possibly Fabrique en Chine —quality. He is, in fact, Right Woke, as I've been saying. And thus, the G&M finally seems to have woken up. Good morning.

The Article

At the recent McGill Conference, I was asked to participate with four others on a panel to discuss “Religion, Sex, and the City.” We each got five minutes to deliver a few opening remarks, and to answer two questions: Does pluralism mean the end of public morality? And if not, what role, if any, ought religion to play? The discussion went from there. Here is my five minutes worth. At the end of the hour, there was some discussion of Charter-type paper documents that (I argued) nations seem to invent and then impose on their people as a kind of substitute for the absence of a genuine common moral bubble (this metaphor explained below). This led to some comments on the effect of Canada’s Charter on our status as a self-governing people, which I have added at the end.

I would like to begin by looking at the meaning of the City held dear by almost all who have come before us. Then I want to contrast that to the current view of the modern city, and offer some thoughts on what this means for religion and sex.

We know that the ancient city -called “the polis” by the Greeks – rested on at least four convictions:

1) Everything has an end, or good, toward which it aims for its fulfillment.

2) The city is an organic whole greater than the sum of its individual parts, the end of which is the flourishing of all. As the seed is to the flower, the citizen is to the city.

3) Citizens live under a common moral bubble of shalls and shall-nots sustained by moral and religious conviction and debate.

4) The most fundamental rule is that the good of all comes before my individual good.

However, the modern city – which we can date from the middle of the nineteenth century – stands as the complete and even proud repudiation of all that I just said, and for that reason I describe it as “the anti-polis.” In such a place –

1) There is no particular vision of the good that is considered better than any other, and so the idea of a common good is off the table.

2) The anti-polis is a collection of individuals, and it can never be a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

3) Each citizen lives in a private moral bubble, strictly off-limits to the uninvited.

4) And finally – and this is the key equation of the anti-polis: if all individuals follow their freely-chosen ideal of the good, then society will also end up good.

Needless to say, this notion of the City as a ship without a course, a rudder, a larger purpose, is unique in human history, and we have arrived at it via our embrace of what I call “hyperdemocracy.” This is a modern political form in which the idea of sovereignty, formerly vested in rulers above, after descending into the hands of “the people” for a century or so, has ended up vested, as we like to think, in autonomous individuals.

At the end of such a fateful journey, all questions about the proper ends of Man and the City, become non-questions. They cannot be answered because although they may be asked of you, or of me (as at this conference) they can no longer be asked of us, for there is no longer any corporate body in the name of which we feel moved to respond.

From this brief sketch, we can now ask:

* Does “pluralism” (which is really just a feel-good cover-term for the disunity of a people) mean the end of public morality?

Seen from the hinterlands, of course it does.

But if you are a citizen of the new anti-polis, where the very term “public morality” is considered retro, the answer is a firm no, simply because pluralism is itself the formalization and sanctification of the “anti-morality morality” I have described.

* Does religion have a role in public morality? I think we should face the fact that in the modern democracies, even before we surrendered our common moral bubble, the Christian religion (in Canada, at least), had not played a forceful role for a very long time, and whenever fresh opportunities have arisen to demonstrate moral outrage and religious fortitude – such as during the recent betrayal of traditional marriage – it has been weak beyond words.

* On the question of sex, I would simply say what everyone knows: In a secular and materialistic society purely spiritual purposes are diminished in principle, and this leaves sex – which was unlinked from biology some time ago – as something pretty close to the highest human joy. In its current free-floating pansexual form it has become a substitute for spiritual bliss and is now worshipped as such in the public square.

The invention of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms was a backward step that returned Canadians to the kind of political condition they endured under their British masters during the colonial period. Let me explain. At that time those who governed the separate colonies in what was to become Canada were officials of the British Crown and were not responsible to the people but to the legislators, judges, and courts of Great Britain. So for decades Canadians fought hard to bring about “responsible government” – a term which in Canadian political history came to mean that government must be responsible to the elected representatives of the people. They were granted bits of this by the mid-1840s, and by Confederation in1867 the principle of fully responsible government was institutionalized in Canada. Accordingly, the laws made by their representatives in Canada’s Parliament were considered an expression of the will of the people and hence the supreme law of the land. (It bears noting, however, that the founders both of Canada and the United States of America considered even the will of their elected representatives supreme only with respect to new statute laws; to their minds, even statute laws were subordinate to the inherited legal rights, customs and traditions of the English speaking people since Magna Carta).

But this happy 115-year tradition was radically altered in 1982 with the introduction of a Charter that was declared “the supreme law of Canada,” and thus a law over and above the laws of Parliament and all other inherited and customary forms of law . The result has been that since then the will of the Canadian people as expressed in Parliament has been subordinated to and must now conform to interpretations of the law of the Charter. In short, the ultimate authority over the meaning of all existing laws and especially over any new laws made by Canada’s legislators is once again, as in colonial times, held by officials the people did not elect, who cannot be removed by the people, and who are not responsible to the people in any direct way.

In response to this charge, Canada’s judges maintain that parliamentarians still hold the ultimate authority because they can make and re-make laws. However, any balanced scrutiny of the record since 1982 will show an abdication, if not a judicial suppression of legislative freedom and responsibility: Parliamentarians are so fettered by the threat of actual or potential Charter scrutiny that they repeatedly defer to past court decisions or to anticipated Charter rulings prior to creating new legislation. The emphasis since 1982 has shifted from the question of what laws the people wish their elected representatives to make, to the question of what laws their judges will allow them to make.

Joel Johannesen
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