Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Rights Talk and the Culture of Entitlement

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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

Rights-talk is all the rage these days.

The Canadian government has just announced –on a $50,000 page of the National Post (Oct. 6) – that we must now thrill as a nation to the creation of “The Canadian Museum for Human Rights.” Immediately I hear the sound of cocktail glasses tinkling at tax-funded conferences; I see limousines waiting for overpaid government bureaucrats who are putting the final touches to yet another dreamland social-engineering document.

Rights are a Roman invention that was extended to ethics via natural law theory. For over two millennia we were assumed to have various rights, and corresponding obligations and duties according to our human natures. From this grew traditional parental rights, matrimonial rights, property rights, and so on. Most of these have come down to us in our fast-fading common law tradition. Fading, because our belief in nature and natural rights has been under relentless attack by egalitarian radicals over the past century and replaced by the notion that human rights exist not due to our natures, but to our status. That is because radicals find the whole concept of human nature dangerous. And of course it is. So they have gotten rid of it.

The American legal scholar Wesley Hohfeld (1879-1918) created the most simple and widely used fourfold classification of modern rights. These are liberties, powers, claims, and immunities. A simple example of each type would be, say: a liberty-right to free speech; a judge’s power-right to sentence a criminal; a claim-right to social security; and an immunity-right to be free from persecution. But little of this has anything to do with human nature.

As a result we are now said to have human rights not because we are human beings (or male or female, or married, and so on), but simply because we are all citizens. And of course – not to be overlooked by grant-seeking academics and fee-hungry lawyers – once we drop nature and define rights only by status, the list of new rights has no natural end. So up on the table we get women’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, rights of the disabled, bilingual rights, washroom rights, the right to social security, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to education, the rights of blacks (disabled blacks, lesbian blacks, etc.), the rights of fat people, of tall people, and on it goes. And it all makes me nervous.

Because all you have to do to create a new “right” is to argue successfully for a new status. This is the process by which so many new rights have come into existence, even though things like gay marriage are so clearly against nature. At any rate, this is how we have become nations of rights-seekers, our courts endlessly consumed (when so many rights come into conflict, as they must) by debates over whether or not one guaranteed right ought to “trump’ another (which is to say that in the circumstance, one of them will not be a protected right. It will be surrounded with “specifications”). So as it happens, “rights” that everyone assumed had some force and effect end up receiving or losing such through the often bizarre social and moral views of unelected strangers called judges, and human rights commissioners. In other words, modern rights-talk, for all its prevalence, is fluid, fickle, and up for grabs according to who is waging the strongest emotional rights-war against whom.

How to explain this modern empire of rights? My wife says it is a psychological response: we seek to create and defend an increasing number of new human rights in a vain effort to regain the dignity we used to believe was bestowed on us by God. Modern rights may thus be seen as a compensatory reflex or grasping for legal dignity as a replacement for moral dignity. We lived under felt social and moral obligations widely recognized and upheld precisely because they had an absolute source that judges and commissioners could not mess with. And these placed a moral onus on all to perform and behave in certain commonly accepted ways. The Ten Commandments (a list of moral obligations common to most civilizations in history) is a good example. But modern rights are different. They do not create expectations to honour, respect, obey, or to perform a duty to others in any way, but to receive something from others or from the state, or from a court. At bottom, many of them seem designed simply to defend us from the actions of others. So whereas obligations are selfless and create a sense of duty to others, many modern rights are selfish and create a sense of entitlement and defensiveness against others.

A solid critique of this trend – one I am most embarrassed to see Canada now enshrining in a “museum” – is by Mary Ann Glendon in her book Rights Talk: the Impoverishment of Political Discourse (NewYork: Free Press, 1991). Herewith:

“Our rights talk, in its absoluteness promotes unrealistic expectations, heightens social conflict, and inhibits dialogue that might lead toward consensus, accommodation, or at least the discovery of common ground. In its silence concerning responsibilities, it seems to condone acceptance of the benefits of living in a democratic welfare state, without accepting the corresponding personal and civic obligations ….”

She, and other critics amplify this point by insisting that rights-talk is bad because it teaches citizens to make impractical and forceful demands to entitlement (accompanied by the appropriate “outrage”) with no thought for the consequences to others or to society at large. That is why it is no accident that North America, “the land of rights,” is also now the land of litigation.

Joel Johannesen
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