9/11 Remembered: Ten years out…

Today is September 11th, 2011 and so marks the tenth anniversary of those tragic events which would change all of our lives forever. I still, like many others, remember where I was on the day of the attack, I was working the phones at a call centre that day and we were phoning Americans. When the planes hit you could hear screaming on the phones and crying; we stopped calling obviously and went home where I sat in front of the TV, unable to tear myself away as the horror unfolded. On that day, we were all Americans, we all felt in varying degrees the pain and suffering that was inflicted on them and some would walk away changed forever.

I was in that unique age where I was old enough to understand what was going on, but still young enough to be vulnerable and impressionable. In retrospect that single event was a fairly fundamental moment in my development, I wonder what I would’ve been like had 9/11 never happened, but I’m not writing this today to talk about me. What I would like to talk about is how things have changed in Canada since those events, and how these changes have made the country better and stronger. How despite the terrorists continued and prolonged attempts at destroying our (The West’s) society, we have solidified and become stronger. Nations, not unlike people, are made stronger through tribulation and this event, this tragic horror, was no different.

The year was 2001; Liberal leader Jean Chrétien is Prime Minister with a track record of avoiding engagement in the Middle East (Desert Storm 1). Relations are strained over trade with the US but good with China, a new developing ally of Canada. Deep Cuts to the Canadian Forces has left the Military unable to meet existing mandates and the army of our nation is viewed internationally with disdain citing poor equipment and numbers, but Canadians felt relatively secure as the national narrative dictated that all was well in the world since our debt was down, and no one wished ill-will toward the friendly toque wearing Canucks. Then the unthinkable happened, as the planes crashed into the WTC and Pentagon, and it becomes apparent that the Terrorist threat other nations had been speaking of was real. Many people are left reeling as the shock of an attack on this continent by enemy forces sinks in. Family members of Canadians working in the towers wait in agonizing anticipation of reports of any survivors.

The Canadian culture is shocked, and opinions on the event are at first immediately sympathetic, “No one deserves what happened today” is a common sentiment, the PM orders all flags to be flown at half-mast for a month in support of the US, and all flights are grounded as many Canadians open their homes to Americans unable to return home. The initial response was commendable, but the initial response from everyone was commendable, after all, the only nation to outwardly applaud the attacks in an official stance was Iraq via Saddam Hussein with his now infamous:

 “The American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity”

 We know how that went for him. It seemed that while our perceptions of safety had been shattered, it would result in a new found strength in our alliance with our southern neighbor. Unfortunately, this sympathy and solidarity would not last, and soon the reigning powers in Canada would show how shallow their sentiments of solidarity were, and a deep divide would be created in Canadian society.

Enter “Operation Enduring Freedom”, by October 7th of 2001 a US led invasion of Afghanistan was under way, and Canada had committed to offering Military Aid to the operation, but it would not participate in the initial invasion. This was peculiar, but in keeping with the political leadership of the time. His anti-war, anti-US backers were depending on Jean Chrétien to keep Canada out of the fight and offer ‘Moral support’ but the international pressure, plus that of the opposition led by Stephen Harper, proved too much and Canada was going to war, though not until December of that year. So began the ugly rearing of the anti-American face of Canada. Once it became clear that this country would fight with its allies the divide in the culture became apparent. On the Right were the pro-west men and women that promised to stand united with its allies the United States and United Kingdom to combat terrorism no matter where it lies, in keeping with our promises to NATO and the UN, and in keeping with the principles and values of Canada. On the Left were anti-west, anti-military, men and women that felt despite giving our word to support our embattled brother to the south, and despite UN and NATO commitments of the same, that we should leave them to their own demise and let them reap what they sow, a line all too familiar and none too friendly. Protests erupted across the country in what we can now safely say are the usual places, Montreal, Toronto, and Hamilton, calling for an end to the war, and a severance of all ties with the US. These protests mounted as an Invasion of Iraq was planned again, and the PM, buckling under pressure from protestors, rebuked the US publicly and stated in no uncertain terms that it would not participate in the Invasion of Iraq leaving the US and the UK to carry the lion’s share of that offensive. The opposition government opposed this vehemently but at the end of the day the protestors would win the debate and Canada would stand by the sidelines, unwilling to take a stance against a dictator who engaged in the most heinous crimes against his people imaginable.

As the ugly business of war continued, and the necessity to deal with ever greater threats to the west increased, the split in Canadian society grew and behavior on all sides degenerated. Anti-War protestors were being heckled by anti-protest protesters. The men and women of the Canadian forces were pelted with litter on left leaning campuses; Mosque’s were burned to the ground in rural communities and fundraising for terrorism skyrocketed in Canada. Enough was enough.

As the rift grew even further and this hidden ugly face of anti-western activism and self loathing emerged those that opposed it rallied. Where the anti-west contingent relied on protests and media control to push the message that those who opposed our enemies were evil fascist dictators attempting to institute a police sate, the pro west contingent focused their energies in the political arena. This resulted in a rather positive turn of events, and a number of things happened which bolstered the image and security of Canada. Laws were passed which empowered authorities to more successfully apprehend terrorists; this resulted in the thwarting of a terrorist attack on Canadian soil by the ‘Toronto 18’ and of course the Omar Khadr affair. Our Military is now something to respect (Or fear if you’re a terrorist) with tried and true commanders with hardened experience under their belt leading multinational engagements and troops that receive some of the best training in the world along side bleeding edge infantry equipment. We possess a growing reputation as an enemy of extremism and terrorism wherever it should rear its head, and as a staunch ally and supporter of pro western forces across the globe. We have staunchly taken principled and moral stances when the international community makes decisions that fly in the face of Canadian values. We have pursued liberty and freedom aggressively and all the while maintaining a fiscally sound economy.

This is our legacy of 9/11, this is what Canada is 10 years later as we all try to rebuild and recover from the wreckage of that fateful day. We emerge stronger, and more resilient than ever, we emerge as men and women of sound character resolute in our defense of western values and with clarity restored we are able to see the good from the bad, our friends from our enemies, and while we still have villains within our borders and those that would see all this work destroyed in a heartbeat should an opportunity arise, we are now more aware of the threat and more able to prevent such atrocities from happening. We are better, we are stronger, and we are wiser and are once again ‘The True North Strong and Free’

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I See More Blips Ahead

So I wake up today, to find that most Canadians, dont believe that the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), should be using tax-payers’ dollars to fight a legal appeal over their finances.  Turns out the government is suing the public broadcaster for access to its books.  This is an organization that gets over a billion dollars from the public, doesn’t think the public has a right to know how it spends that money.  The Information commissioner has offered to look at the books, and be a non-partisan agent, and pass on only relevant information to the government.  The CBC has refused this generous offer and has vowed to take it to the Supreme Court of Canada, paying it for it all the way on that money it refuses to tell you about.

Stop screwing around, first hold Parliamentary inquiries and call every one of the executives to explain themselves directly to the government.  Let them explain to the Canadian public, and grilling MP’s why they feel the need to do this.  Have the inquiries on C-Span and let all the media outlets broadcast it.  How much do you want to bet that the CBC would cover it or not?

The other thing is to just privatize and sell the CBC.  We live in an age where multiple Canadian networks are competing for our attention.  We dont need a government body to inform us of what is going on.  Id personally keep the public radio broadcasts, as they actually form an essential service and value for their money.  But the TV rights should go.  This is not the 1930s.  We have the ability to get our information and knowledge from around the world, plus the Canadian Content rules still stand, so our companies are required to continue to make quality Canadian shows and not just by cheap American imports.

So Axe them and let them go out into the world.  So that maybe then they won’t have 65 people doing the jobs of 1 person, in any other network.

So Lloyd Robertson retired last week.  He was Canada’s most beloved broadcaster he was the host of multiple CTV shows and an anchor serving over 35 years on TV.  CTV is one of Canada’s oldest private broadcasters.  Turns out Lloyd had actually left the CBC, decades ago because of the strict union rules that would not allow him to act as a producer or editor on his own segments.  On his last day working for the CBC he was interviewed by his still shocked colleagues who couldn’t believe anyone would want to leave the cozy confines of the CBC, for the dark dangerous world out there.  Had Lloyd never left the CBC dozens of great shows would never have been made by him.

On to other matters.  Some Country Club Republican left his job last week, some staffer I never heard of before, and despite a Google search, I couldn’t even find out who he actually worked for.  But what he did is write a 10 page screw you letter to his former party.  I proceeded to eviscerate his whining complaints, when some Progressive guy, who was the epitome of tolerance, (anyone who disagreed with any of his views was a ignorant bigot apparently, how enlightened!), decided to tear apart my post, which leads us into the next stop.

Mr. Ignorant bigot.  We now live in the digital age.  Anything one of your beloved leaders says is now available forever on the internet.  And if it’s something the President of the United States says, then I can pull up a YouTube video of it, in less than 10 seconds.  So when you go and say something that is not only wrong, but directly contradicted by the facts, I can find those facts and put them on the internet.  To show directly how stupid and ignorant you are.

For instance you stated, that Social Security is completely solvent and that the Republicans wish to gut it for nefarious purposes.  But then here, Mr. Obama said at this nifty little video http://theothermccain.com/2011/07/12/obama-declares-moral-bankruptcy-no-social-security-checks-next-month/.

Are you saying that President Obama is a liar?

Welcome to the future.

Finally once again that Country Club Republican that Google says doesn’t actually work anywhere, was railing against all the new corporate money moving into the election cycle.  Those of you who read my earlier post might recall that I said that money isn’t that big a deal.  That the Media in its laziness is hyping up the role money plays in elections, because it’s an easy story.  I had new thoughts about that.

How do media corporations make money?  Why they go and sell advertising dollars.  If they keep hyping up the importance of money in elections, they increase the importance of their advertising.  So they can raise rates, and make more money!

Remember that future I was talking about.  We now have torrents, streaming live videos, we now have dvrs and dvd shows that we can buy at the store.  We have a million new cable stations, including ones that don’t sell political advertising.  We have so many options that allow us to ignore the classic networks and ignore the advertising coming from those media outlets.  If anything all that money flowing into elections doesn’t go nearly enough.  I can program my dvr to ignore all that advertising including those political ads that I don’t like and many people do.

So by hyping the importance of money, media hopes to increase that money, and hopes it goes to them.  However there market keeps shrinking and has less and less effect.  Politicians are also moving away and going to the social media route, cause a twitter account is free, and they don’t have to pay all that money, to the media corporations.

I predict over the next decade money will continue to increase into election campaigns.  However those people will get less value for it, and eventually decline and go away, as the money reaches and smaller audience of hard core political junkies like me.  However expect more blimps carrying political banners, as advertisers find new ways (or old ways), to reach you.

That’s all for today,

Post By: David March


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The New Patriotism

If you’ve been following the summer news you’ll have noticed a theme starting to emerge from the political circles of Government. You’ll have noticed articles about things like ‘Arctic Sovereignty’ and ‘Pride in the Canadian Forces’ and of course a ‘Return to Royal roots’. There’s a lot that can be said about any one of those topics, but the one thing they all have in common is the sense of a new Patriotism, and as some political pundits would say, a new narrative for Canada. Previously, under less bold administrations, the narrative of Canada and our sense of patriotism were based on some less than ideal items. We were sold the message that Canada was ‘The nicer little brother of America’ that we ‘Didn’t fight wars in foreign lands’ and that our chief principle was that we ‘adopted aspects of every culture into day-to-day life’. While these things all sound nice enough in theory, in practice, they caused a lot of people to lose faith in our country as a strong, independent, western power. That’s because it required us to look outside in order to establish a sense of national pride. This isn’t constructive, and it isn’t healthy, much like depending on others to define yourself is dangerous it is doubly so in the case of national identity.

So what is this new Patriotism?

The dictionary defines it as ‘a devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.’ While this is a fairly dry definition it does get to the point of it. National Loyalty, devoted love, and defense of your country, these are things we see in the new narrative. Arctic sovereignty tugs at the very essence of this ‘it’s a part of our country and you can’t have it’, that’s a very patriotic sentiment. The reinvigorated support for our troops belays this as well, after all, who is a bigger Patriot then those fine men and women that risk it all in the name of Democracy and National Pride? No one.  This new Patriotism is many things then.

It’s Positive.

While any idea can be dangerous if taken too far, the ramifications of this new Patriotism is overwhelmingly positive. It’s a feel good kind of patriotism, the kind that let’s Canadians look at each other and say “This is who we are”. It’s not careless, or without compassion, but it is self-assured.  It’s the sort of Patriotism that accepts other people, but does not compromise on its core beliefs, it welcomes, but it does not surrender.

It’s Strong.

The old patriotism, the one endorsed and sold to us in the mid 90’s to the mid 2000’s, was weak and soft. It was apologetic for our success and self-abasing in the extreme, all under the guise of being ‘tolerant’. This new Patriotism though is Strong, and hard, it charts its own course and commands respect. It is tolerant when an idea is deserving of it and critical when it is not. It stands firmly on ideas and values that belong to it and does not attempt to adopt those things which contradict its values.

It’s Maternal.

                It sees the Country as something to be nourished and protected, and will lash out against those that would seek to do its country harm.  It seeks to strengthen the country, not by coddling and sheltering it but by guiding it as it endures hardships, by teaching it principles that will help see it through anything that might pose a threat or challenge.

It’s Confident.

The new Patriotism doesn’t take shit from anyone. It’s decisive, it’s got hustle, and it works hard at making this country successful, and it does it with the poise and grace of the greatest people we’ve ever known. Nothing slows the eager stride of the new Patriotism, and God willing nothing ever will.

In short the New Patriotism, the one that will take us into the next decade, and hopefully further is comprised of some of the best qualities that we can attribute to a person or idea and with luck those qualities will find their way into the hearts and minds of young and old Canadians across the nation. These are attributes which are noticeably missing from many of my generation and even those younger but this new Patriotism, this new Narrative being painted for our country gives me hope that with a little effort we can right the wrongs that have caused so much harm to this great nation of ours simply by becoming new Patriots, one person at a time.

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How the Canadian Government Works

Today the FRM brings you an educational video on how the Canadian Government works. It covers the House of Commons, The Senate, how people get into positions for either, how we pass our laws and how the Queen factors into this whole thing. Take a look and learn the basics in this video. Enjoy!!

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Arguing with Brits (Cause Arguing with Idiots was taken by Anne Coulter)

Every year that I can, I go to a gaming convention called Origins in Columbus, Ohio.  I always manage to have a great time, and this year was no exception.  This year like most years I played a game called NSDM or National Strategic Decision Making game.  It’s a run by a bunch of former Navy Officers and their friends, and its much like a model UN except way better.  Every time at the beginning of the game they ask all the former players to stand up, and then you sit down after how many games you have played, and I sat down after 4, (Ive now played 5), and those standing after 20 are called the Sharks in the room.  Given that I won for the second time in a row, I got a feeling that I will get special mention J.

 That being said, in our last game we were playing the government of France.  I was playing the middle class moderates, (Nothing but Moderation, Good and Hard).  The inevitable talks about Greece bailout came up, and the President of France a real life European (a Swede actually), once again bailed out the Greeks, instead of making our banks take a haircut.  So I went and organized all the minor parties, convinced the ST’s to run an election, and promptly won the Presidency.  I then tore up the Greek bailout which was likely to lead to a real crisis.

 The Swede called me Le Penn!  After the current leader of the French Nationalist party, a pseudo neocon fascist party in France, that’s been giving the traditional conservative party in France a hard time.  Little did he realize that I was not a fascist, or even a nationalist.  I was a true capitalist and a Libertarian.  I wanted to punish our banks and end social welfare, as I truly believe, that in Capitalism we have to make those who take bad risks pay for their decisions and that is the only way they will ever learn.  I also believe in creative destruction.  That out of the dead piles of corporations and badly run ideas, that the next guys who come out of the wreckage will be better in the long run.  Certainly in the position of France,  the bailouts have been a huge mistake that they will live to regret.  They would be much better to allow the EU to breakup and gain parts of the Med Sea, as their traditional economic colonies.  But that’s another argument.

 Back to arguing with Brits! 

 So Britain has riots.  The mob is out and angry, and there is nothing to control it.  Except for harsh law enforcement.  1600 people arrested and likely will be in jail.  And people are upset over this!  I mean its not fair to punish young people for breaking and entering, stealing and destroying property.  I mean its not like people worked their lives building those shops.  Oh wait, they did.  And you destroyed their livelihood.  But I guess they were ‘rich’ and had it coming to them. 

In World War 2, they hung looters.  They had a zero tolerance for that kind of thing.  As short a time ago as 30 years ago, armies sent into riot zones shot looters.  Looting is an act of barbarism, and an act that devalues civilization.  We live in more civilized times though.  But don’t doubt for a minute, that there is only a thin veneer of civilized behavior on top of people.  When they are enraged, they will do terrible things.  There comes a day, when you push someone so hard, that he strikes back, Im not looking forward to that day.  It will probably a lot of people I know will either die, or end up in labor camps.  Me, I’ll probably do pretty well, in that new world order.  Im responsible and not an idiot.

 So anyways back to arguing with Brits.  We are going to get there I promise.  This guy starts posting stuff on his Facebook about the riots in England.  He says that he hates that once upon a time he was stuck on the welfare doles.  He hated how he was treated and that it made him ashamed.  Good, I think, being on welfare for any amount of time is bad.  Thank god it hasn’t happened to me.  That being said, Im not afraid of work.  I can get a job fairly easy, but in a crazy country like England where the government pays for 70 percent of the economy, that’s not as easy.

 He says that he is upset and angry that the banks were bailed out by the government.  That the banks bribed those officials, into giving them all the peoples money.  That it was truly criminal that politicians got away with that. I should have realized something was up here.  When someone starts talking about the ‘peoples stuff’, that’s usually a bad sign. 

 So here I think as a libertarian, the natural answer to all the UKs problem is to deregulate everything, and to shrink government.  I mean the government cant give all the peoples money away, if the people actually have that money!  And its hard to bribe millions of people.  I mean seriously, are you going to give someone a thousand dollars, cause he offered bribe to bribe you a hundred dollars?  How about that money your holding for a friend.  The guys only going to borrow it, put it in this great scam he has, and you will get the money back with interest!  Honest you can totally believe this guy!

 Remember its always easy to do it when its someone elses money.  And certainly when it’s the ‘peoples money.’

 Give back all the money to the individuals.  Reduce the size and power of governments.  Make it easy to hire people.  I mean its working here in Canada.  The Liberals truly did us a favor getting us down to 18 percent of GDP.

 So what was the response I got?  That no.  I was completely wrong.  The solution, was to regulate the economy even more!  Give more money to the government and more powers to it!  That will solve everything.  Especially so that they don’t end up like the United States of America!

 Well I said, but what about all the economic  evidence, that points to the fact that was the wrong move.  That the idea of further centralizing and giving more money and power to the government always led to less freedom?  That millions of people were moving to the US of A, cause they wanted economic opportunity.  That they wanted to get away from countries like his?

 I was told that the guy violently disagreed with me.

 What do you say to that.  Try to have a rational argument with someone, and they threaten violence.

I ended the conversation.

 And I end this with the note.  Economic Freedom=Political Freedom.  The less you give to idiots, the less they will be able to screw you.  And trust me there are idiots in government.  The nature of the work attracts them.  Power and money always attracts idiots who wish to use it on you.


David March

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The Real Truth About Elections

Ah, the latest news is in from Wisconsin, and after a piling on of money and pressure, the Republicans carried 4 out of the 6 recalls that they were facing.  They lost 2; one of those had to do with the Republican having left his wife for a 25 year old staffer.

So why am I interested in this?  Well a friend of mine (a liberal progressive from California no less!), a few weeks ago, was once again crying about undue political influence and the terribleness of the Citizens United decision.  A decision touted as likely to destroy free speech and allow unlimited corporate spending in elections.  This unlimited corporate spending would then go on to crush the ‘little guy’ in the US.  Cause as we all know money and money alone wins elections.

Well it turns out that in the 2010 election, the number one spender in that election was the Public Sector Unions.  They outspent everyone by 3:2, and still the Democrats went down in droves.  It was a wave election, the largest single election swing in the US House of Representatives in over 60 years.  But by all rights given the fact that Democrats outspent the Republicans, and that everyone ‘knows’ money alone wins these things how’d this happen?

I’ll get to that in a moment, but consider this latest example.  There was recently a spate of Recall elections in Wisconsin.  Attempts were made by the state Democrats, to remove Republicans that they didn’t like who voted to reduce the power of the Unions in that state.  The Democrats outspent the Republicans 2:1 again and still were only able to win 2 of the 6 elections.  A far cry from the 4 they need to take control of the Senate.

So why does this happen?  If money is the single determinant of elections, how is it possible that the Democrats keep losing?

I will tell you as someone who has actually helped participate in elections, and gotten candidates elected.  Money is not the sole determinant of elections.  All those pundits are wrong.  I was about to go off a conspiratorial tear, when I remembered the great maxim.  Never subscribe to conspiracy, what you can subscribe to incompetence, and in this case laziness, as it is far easier for the talking heads, the reporters and the pundits, to talk about a single issue, than to talk about all the other issues.  Whenever there is an easy answer they will seek it.  It’s far easier to say money is the sole decider than to get out there and do some legwork and discuss the issues.

Hey when you got a 10 second sound bite to fill, you don’t want to talk about the fact that elections are determined by voters.

The talking heads don’t want to mention that after every single attempt to increase regulation and control on election spending, that election spending goes up?  That’s a whole other issue.

So I the professional politician am going to let you on the secret that the talking heads have forgotten.  In the end, it’s not money that determines elections.  It’s you.  You the voter, determine the outcome of elections.  Not the special interest groups, not the money, not the talking heads.  If you’re not buying this brand of cool aid, you are not going to vote for the bozo you disagree with.  No matter how much money they spend.

The talking heads don’t want you to think that you matter.  That your voice can be heard, cause if that happened, why would you need them?

Post by: David March

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Economic Recovery in America and Their Credit Rating

Our first V-Blog covers the fall of America’s credit rating, what it means, and how it can be turned around.

For more information check out these links:

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