Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction
Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label, Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke

Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction


Hellyer on Martin: This Paul's unimpressed
The following column by Douglas Fisher, dean of the Ottawa press gallery, appeared in the December 7th issue of the Toronto Sun under the above caption.
OTTAWA -- The sharpest, most detailed discounting so far of Paul Martin as a useful prime minister takes up a whole chapter in a book written by Paul Hellyer, his 10th book by my count on the best course for Canada.
One Big Party: To Keep Canada Independent, was published in softcover in Toronto by Chimo Media. The chapter's heading is "Why Paul Martin won't do," followed by the telling Shakespearean line: "What is past is prologue."
Hellyer, now 80, was a major minister in the Liberal cabinets of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and a close colleague of Martin's father, Paul Sr. He resigned from the Trudeau cabinet when his leader said nay to a Hellyer national housing initiative. ...
Hellyer has always emphasized a "pro-Canada" theme, much like that of the late Walter Gordon, arguing an intelligent monetary policy and bold use of "the money supply" could finance our growth and stop the domination of our economy by foreign, largely American, corporations.
Hellyer regrets he has to set out the evidence of Paul Martin's inadequacy, but his "conscience will not allow me to take the easy way out." The task is difficult because he knows and likes Martin, as he did his father, but the son is "quite unlike his father .. he has been ensnared by the right-wing economic philosophy of Milton Friedman and his colleagues and the globalization agenda of the wealthy elite. This has already resulted in changing Canada's course from the pursuit of excellence to the path of mediocrity."
But that's history, Hellyer argues. Now our concern has to be the future and "Paul Martin is a continentalist who is firmly committed to deeper economic and military integration with the U.S. which is the slippery slope to ultimate annexation."
Hellyer's hopes for Martin as finance minister were "devastated" with the 1995 budget which, he says, "became the great divide between the Bay Street boys, who think that money is omnipotent and the rest of us who believe it only a means to an end. In fact, the 1995 budget was a disaster for Canada, and for anyone who understands monetary theory, which obviously Paul Martin does not, a totally unnecessary disaster!"
'Social crown jewel'
Hellyer sets out the casualties of Martin's cutbacks: the health care system, our "social crown jewel ... its bedrock philosophy being that all citizens are treated equally"; the educational system, which ballooned the costs to students of higher education. Cuts also reduced environmental programs, rocked the arts, weakened the armed forces and abetted a crumbling infrastructure of roads, bridges, sewers, municipal transit and waterworks from coast to coast.
In the name of ending deficit, the Martin-Chretien team slashed payments to provinces, Hellyer says, and put responsibilities onto municipal governments and citizens as individuals. In effect, "Martin chose to balance the federal books by downloading billions, previously available for health and education."
Aside from the irreparable harm to our social safety net, "the cutbacks slowed the economy, increased unemployment and resulted in lower tax revenues than would otherwise have been available."
It would be easier to forgive Martin for the inestimable damage that came from his '95 budget "if one were convinced that he had learned from his experience and would lead Canada out of the wilderness to new heights of happiness and prosperity."
Yes, Martin has mastered a rhetoric freighted with visionary phrases but Hellyer insists there is "a jarring discord between his call to challenge the conventional wisdom and his profound attachment to the status quo. Almost everything he believes and proposes can be found in the list of things ... detrimental to Canada's best interests."
Hellyer cites the free trade agreement, Martin's commitment to both the IMF and the World Bank, and his firm belief in globalization and that more open markets must be the cornerstone of development.
Three other strikes against Martin are even more to be feared. The first is his promise to repair relations with the U.S. by increasing Canada's military and "joining Washington's controversial missile defence program ... so making Canada complicit in the installation of weapons of mass destruction in space -- a concept alien to every Canadian value."
The second is that "Big money has made no secret of its preference for Martin as the next Liberal boss. ... It is absolutely impossible to raise so much money as he has and not be indebted to the globalizers in the corporate community." (Certainly, Martin made it clear last week how close his friendship is to some exceptionally wealthy Canadians.)
The third strike is that Martin "still doesn't understand monetary theory after 10 years in the job where he was responsible for it."
Hellyer's book concludes with both his array of tasks for the next government to tackle and something between a hope and a plea that independently minded Canadians, respectful, but not in awe of the U.S., come together in what would be a party embracing the NDP led by Jack Layton, and socially responsible Liberals.
Layton, says Hellyer, "knows in his heart what has to be done." And he can't say that about Paul Martin.
(End of Mr. Fisher's column)
COMMENT (by R.G.): Upon reading, and rereading, Mr. Hellyer's assessment of his friend, Paul Martin, several thoughts came to mind, including these:
Yes, Paul Martin's 1995 budget was indeed a 'devastating' one socially, literally ravaging our healthcare system, severely damaging our educational systems and infrastructure maintenance by huge cutbacks in provincial transfer grants, which in turn caused provincial downloading on funds for municipal government. And from '95 on, Ottawa's cutbacks to our armed forces has practically ruined them for all but policing and 'peacekeeping' duties.
The criminal aspect of this Martin policy, which was accompanied by tax increases, is that it lowered the standard of living of the Canadian people -- and this was totally unnecessary by his failure to adjust federal financial policy to accommodate our productive potential and reflect reality.
Had Mr. Martin this past decade emulated the way Ottawa financed our magnificent World War II six-year war effort, activating the Bank of Canada to use its credit-creation powers to bridge any financial gap, the cutbacks and rollbacks which so damaged our social network and gutted our past several years would not have been necessary. But unfortunately, as Mr. Hellyer suggests, Mr. Martin's forte doesn't seem to be an understanding of modern-day credit creation. (For an examination and understanding of this question, I recommend a read of Part II, pages 15-28 of Canada's Future: Bankruptcy? or Financial Reform and Prosperity? -- a 64-page booklet I published last fall ($8 ppd).
Mr. Hellyer paints Mr. Martin as the man of big business, international corporations and Finance, committed to centralization of power and globalization of markets, etc. However, this policy leads to transferring our industry off-shore to Third World cheap-labour countries with which our local industries cannot compete, and to the loss of national sovereignty. In other words, Mr. Hellyer sees a Martin regime essentially not much different than the present one. Indeed, "What is past is prologue."
Douglas Fisher, in his column, says that Mr. Hellyer's book concludes with "something between a hope and a plea" that Canadians can find some way to come together in what would be a party embracing the NDP and "socially responsible Liberals." Well, noting the egregious shortcomings of the federal Liberal parties since the Pearson-Trudeau era and the financial/economic messes created by provincial NDP regimes, this sounds to me something like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire! But I'll withhold any further comment until I read Mr. Hellyer's latest book. (We hope to have copies to list by press time.)

Alberta talks tough but caves in to the feds
Link Byfield, on behalf of the Edmonton-based "Citizens Centre," under the above caption sent out his Weekly Note to its supporters this past November 14. Here it is in full:
Seated with his customary composure in a crowded Edmonton courtroom last Friday was the criminally accused, Oscar Lacombe.
It's not often that a retired sergeant-at-arms of the Alberta Legislature goes on criminal trial, so I went down to watch.
The sad irony is that for 13 years Lacombe was chief of Legislature security and protected Alberta's politicians. But when their turn came to protect him, Alberta's politicians refused to do it, despite public assurances that they would.
It makes you question how reliable a commitment from the Klein government really is.
Lacombe is a genuine success story -- war veteran of Korea and the Suez crisis, widely recognized for his legislature security work, a Metis, great grandnephew of the missionary Albert Lacombe. He has credibility to spare.
Last January 1, the date when Ottawa's idiotic billion-dollar rifle registry took legal effect, Lacombe held a press conference at a site overlooking the legislature building. He arrived carrying an ancient unregistered .22 rifle, heavily sealed in plastic, and without firing bolt or bullets.
He could not have shot anyone even if they had been shooting at him.
To allay unnecessary fears, Lacombe had met two days before with Edmonton's deputy police chief and explained exactly what he would do, when, where, why and how. (Police testified last Friday that they had "no concerns" about the event posing danger to anyone.)
Lacombe made a short speech denouncing the rifle registry and inviting Ottawa to charge him. Police later confiscated his useless firearm, and (after months of consultation with various prosecutors) charged him under the Criminal Code.
Here we get to the Alberta government's sneaky little treachery.
The new rifle registry is established by the federal Firearms Act, and many of its enforcement provisions violate fundamental legal rights. A few of its less questionable provisions (in particular the registration requirement itself) were also added to the Criminal Code.
Lacome had hoped to be charged by the federal government under the Firearms Act, so he could test it against the Charter of Rights. However, the feds never charge under it, knowing it to be a dead duck if Charter-challenged. Instead they charge under the Criminal Code. But this requires the co-operation of provincial governments, because the Constitution gives the provinces control of prosecuting criminal law. And this was something the Alberta government (among others) has said all along it will not do.
In fact, a memo went out to police and prosecutors across Alberta on December 9, 1998 from the assistant deputy minister of justice, Ken Tjosvold, stating, "Justice Canada (i.e., the feds) will be expected to prosecute all new regulatory offences under the Firearms Act whenever possible. In any case where a similar charge could be laid under either the Criminal Code or under the Firearms Act, it is expected that a charge under the Firearms Act will be laid."
In other words, let Ottawa do its own dirty work:
Big talk. Alberta's Tory politicians have been preening themselves with rhetoric like this for the past five years, claiming that they oppose gun registration and will leave prosecution to the feds.
Well, they ARE prosecuting it, even though they don't have to, even though they said they wouldn't, and even though their duplicity shelters Ottawa's Firearms Act from a Charter challenge.
In the process, they trash the brave gesture of a 75-year-old war veteran. For his protest to succeed, he needed the Alberta government to stick to its word.
But no, our spineless provincial government brings in a charge under the Criminal Code, borrowing a federal prosecutor (Michelle Doyle) to obscure the fact that they are co-operating with Ottawa to protect the Firearms Act from the Charter.
It is beneath contempt. It's an outrage.
Freedom-loving Canadians should tell Ralph Klein to drop the charges against Lacombe and force the feds to expose their precious registry to Charter justice. The premier's office number is 780-427-2251. His e-mail address is
(End of Mr. Byfield's Note)
Mr. Klein's Big Talk usually far exceeds his timid challenge and actions. He likes to be 'one of the boys' in whatever company he's in.

Our Conservative Party
The years of political morphing and mutating seem over, and the Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties have finally married (with a little pressure and help from the head of Magna International) to give birth to our new Conservative Party. Period. At this point they have neither a leader nor policy, so it's too early to attempt any meaningful assessment of this new political entity.
However, there are a few thoughts and views that I'll bring to your attention:
n Douglas Fisher, dean of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, in the Dec. 10th Toronto Sun, notes that in 1956, with a popular Louis St. Laurent Liberal regime firmly entrenched in federal power, the P.C. party was going nowhere. But that year P.C. leader George Drew retired, "to be replaced by a relatively lone wolf MP from Saskatchewan, John Diefenbaker ... in less than a year Dief was prime minister."
Fisher goes on to say, "This backward glance is to remind any who will listen that lightning such as struck the Grits in '57 could hit next June ..."
n Following, are brief excerpts from a column by Linda Williamson in the Dec. llth Toronto Sun:
"(Stephen) Harper met with the Sun's editorial board last week, quietly confident of victory both in the merger and in the upcoming leadership race (although he hasn't formally entered yet).
"Of course we asked him about the anti-merger gang, the polls and the latest Alliance loony scandal (the best-forgotten anti-gay ramblings of suspended MP Larry Spencer).
"But his most interesting comments came when he was asked what he would change as PM.
"Now, Harper knows as well as anyone what his chances are for the job at the moment. But he offered a remarkable vision anyway. After five years of a Harper government, he said, Canada whould be 'more prosperous,' and have, among other things, a fully elected Senate, more transparent, accountable government, and a much more robust armed forces. He'd emphasize law and order and 'free enterprise solutions to public policy issues,' including health care, while ensuring 'no one will ever be denied treatment because of ability to pay.'
"And get this: 'I see no reason why we can't have a lower overall tax regime than the U.S.' Harper added. …
"Whoever leads the conservatives, their challenge must be to force Martin to define himself, and hold him to account for the past decade of Liberal sins. …"
The general consensus seems to be that the coming spring election should bring us a much stronger Official Opposition at least, with the hope of a major change of regime in four or five years.
My own view is that none of our present federal parties, of whatever label, will have much room to significantly and constructively improve our social policy without first some basic reform in our financial policy, and at present no party is prepared to tackle this problem.
Because of the influence of the former Reform Party membership in the new Conservative party, I expect it to more strongly uphold and defend our traditional family values and heritage of freedom under Canadian common Law, than has been the case since the Trudeau era.
Judging by the past actions of the PC and Alliance components of the Conservative party, I would expect it to favour a more intrusive or interventionist foreign policy along the lines of present Washington policy.
More on this in coming months.

Behind the Iraqi War

some further notes - In this On Target section, we are bringing to your attention a few items we've culled from the press and internet in recent weeks. --Publisher

Bush blamed for 9/11 errors
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrat presidential hopeful Wesley Clark blamed U.S. President George Bush yesterday for the intelligence failures that contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"There is no way this administration can walk away from its responsibility for 9/11," the retired army general told a conference.
"You can't blame something like this on lower level intelligence officers, however badly they communicated memos with each other. ... The buck rests with the commander-in-chief, right on George W: Bush's desk."'
Clark, who led NATO forces in Europe, delivered his sharpest critique yet of Bush's foreign -policy. He argued Bush has manipulated facts, stifled dissent, retaliated against detractors, shown disdain for allies and started a war without just cause. --Toronto Sun. Oct. 29, 2003

Failure to find WMD hurts war on terror
The Toronto Sun, Nov. 23, published a column by Lorrie Goldstein under the above caption. Here are excerpts:
Britain's Daily Mirror has a clever feature that floats around the newspaper depending on where the latest news about Iraq is placed. It's a simple graphic that many of us who supported the war against Iraq would like to forget. Today, it will read
It serves as a constant reminder that no justification has yet been found for the main reason U.S. President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave for launching the war in the first place. ...
It now seems obvious Bush and Blair and their respective administrations either lied about the real threat posed by Iraq, or, the more likely scenario, cherry-picked intelligence that reinforced their own view that Iraq was an imminent threat.
And that those of us, present company included, who supported the war on that basis, were wrong. ...
(End of Mr. Goldstein's excerpts)
It takes a man of integrity and courage, when he realizes the truth, to publicly admit that he had been wrong. Mr. Goldstein is such a man, a credit to both his profession and his country.

Saddam was up for deal?
The Toronto Sun, Nov. 8, carried the following Associated Press report:
"BAGHDAD (AP) -- Saddam Hussein tried to reach a last-minute deal with Washington to avoid the U.S.-led invasion that ousted his regime, a former Iraqi official said yesterday.
"The official said in an interview that Iraqi officials had Saddam's 'full consent' when they approached the U.S. with the deal, offering oil contracts for U.S. companies and open access for UN weapons inspectors.
"The former aide's comments to the AP came a day after a Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage, confirmed the last-minute offer and said he was the go-between for the Iraqis in approaching the U.S. administration.
"Hage said the deal fell through because the Iraqis refused to comply with a U.S. demand that Saddam step down.
"He said in the 2½ months before U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq on March 20, he had six meetings with Hassan al-Obeidi, head of Iraqi intelligence foreign operations, and Tahir Jalil Haboush, director of Iraqi intelligence, and had passed on details of his talks to contacts at the Pentagon.
White House mum
"Asked in the interview whether the Iraqi officials were acting for Saddam or on their own, he replied: 'Given my understanding and everybody's understanding of Iraq, I don't think a person of the calibre of Dr. al-Obeidi could come to Lebanon without the knowledge of his higher-ups.'
"White House spokesman Scott McClellan declined to say whether the purported Iraqi effort to avert the war was brought to U.S. President George W. Bush's attention."
Neither further elaboration nor comment seems necessary. It's rather obvious who the warmakers were.

Mr. President, oil isn't worth dying for
The Toronto Sun, Nov. 23, under the above caption, published the following column by its widely respected Foreign Affairs specialist, Eric Margolis.
NEW YORK -- President George Bush should heed the wise old New York garment district maxim: "First loss, best loss."
Translated from New Yorkese, this means when you get into a bad deal, bail out fast. The longer you stay in and refuse to face reality, the more you will end up losing.
That, alas, is just what Bush is doing in Iraq. Better he had gone to the garment district for hard advice instead of the regal photo op in London thrown for him by Queen Elizabeth and her dysfunctional family.
In spite of the royal welcome in a nation that increasingly resembles a giant theme park for American tourists, many Britons were appalled by the visit. They greeted Bush and his preposterously bloated entourage, worthy of Kublai Khan, with about as much warmth as they did the Spanish Armada.
Tony Blair, Bush's de facto foreign minister, salaamed and scraped with unctuous zeal before the visiting Emperor of the West. But at least the Queen summoned up enough pride to refuse White House demands that heavily armed U.S. agents be granted full legal immunity to shoot down threatening Britons.
Back to losing. President Bush's crusades in Afghanistan and Iraq have turned into bloody, expensive messes. These neo-colonial misadventures may soon cost $2-billion U.S. weekly, plus the deaths and wounding of growing numbers of Americans, allies dragooned into service in Iraq and Iraqi civilians.
The so-called political process in both nations is a farce. Their U.S.-installed regimes are widely viewed as quislings. In Kabul, the U.S. at least has an amiable figurehead, Hamid Karzai. No suitable Iraqi yes-man has yet been found. But the White House, seeing its pre-election popularity dropping fast, is desperately seeking some way out of the Iraqi hornet's next into which it so foolishly stuck its thick head.
Facade of power
Bush just announced -- shades of Richard Nixon -- that the Iraq war would be "Iraqized." A facade of political power will be handed over to an Iraqi government. But U.S. troops will stay on for years for "security." What happens if the "independent" Iraqi regime tells U.S. forces to leave? A speedy regime change, no doubt.
The Pentagon plans to build three major bases in Iraq from which to police the central Mideast and guard America's new imperial oil lifeline from Central Asia, down through Afghanistan, to the West.
Anyone who remembers Vietnam, which Iraq increasingly recalls, knows "Iraqization" won't work. Meanwhile, Iraq's Shia majority remains quiet only because it fears Saddam Hussein may return. Ironically, if the U.S. hunts down and murders Saddam, the Shia will rise up and demand an Islamic republic -- just what the White House seeks to avoid.
Any free vote in Iraq will produce the same result. Maybe that's why Saddam has not yet been found. So take Bush's calls for Arab democracy with much salt. The only truly free vote held in the Arab world -- most of which is controlled by the U.S. -- brought to power in Algeria a moderate Islamic government. It was promptly overthrown by the army, with backing from the U.S. and France.
But Bush dares not withdraw American troops from Iraq so long as the elusive Saddam stays alive. Imagine a triumphant Saddam mooning Bush from "liberated" Baghdad. The Democrats would make falafel of the president.
Neo-conservatives insist the U.S. can't withdraw because of loss of face and prestige. Retreat will encourage terrorism, claim these sofa samurais.
Nonsense. America shrugged off retreat from Vietnam and Indochina. All good generals know when to fall back, and -- unlike the neo-cons who engineered these stupid wars -- always leave open a line of retreat. No one cared about Afghanistan when the Soviets killed 1.5 million of its people, nor about Iraq when it lost 500,000 soldiers fighting Iran, or 500,000 children due to the punitive U.S. blockade. Why care now?
"We just can't cut and run," said Bush in London, trying to sound Churchillian. Why not? The best way to get the U.S. out of this quagmire is to follow France's sage advice: bring in a UN-run government as a fig leaf, declare victory, and pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, chaos will ensue. But Iraq and Afghanistan are in chaos now, and terrorism, as we saw in Istanbul last week, still rages.
Get out now before the U.S. gets sucked ever deeper by "mission creep" into a decade-long morass in Mesopotamia. There's still time.
Yes, Saddam or his lieutenants and Arab radicals will crow, but Israel survived similar crowing when it wisely ended its disastrous colonial adventure in Lebanon.
Immediate retreat saves $100-billion-plus. Iraq and Afghanistan are not worth the lives of one more American or Canadian soldier, nor more wear on over-stretched U.S. forces. Withdrawal will damp down raging anti-Americanism around the globe.
Time to end the megalomania, paranoia and crazy biblical geopolitics that drove the U.S. into these profitless conflicts.
Mr. President, be a real mensch and a true patriot by admitting you were wrong, and just get out.
P.S. It's cheaper to buy oil than to conquer it.
(End of Mr. Margolis' column)

Who's subverting Washington?
We recently received by e-mail an IPS report captioned "POLITICS-U.S. -- Strong- Must Rule the Weak, said Neo-Cons' Muse." Here it is, in full:
WASHINGTON, May 7 (IPS) - Is U.S. foreign policy being run by followers of an obscure German Jewish political philosopher whose views were elitist, amoral and hostile to democratic government?
Suddenly, political Washington is abuzz about Leo Strauss, who arrived in the United States in 1938 and taught at several major universities before his death in 1973.
Thanks to the "Week in Review" section of last Sunday's New York Times' and another investigative article in this week's New Yorker magazine, the cognoscenti have suddenly been made aware that key new-conservative strategists behind the Bush administration's aggressive foreign and military policy consider themselves to be followers of Strauss, although the philosopher -- an expert on Plato and Aristotle -- rarely addressed current events in his writings.
The most prominent is Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, now widely known as "Wolfowitz of Arabia" for his obsession with ousting Iraq's Saddam Hussein as the first step in transforming the entire Arab Middle East. Wolfowitz is also seen as the chief architect of Washington's post-9/11 global strategy, including its controversial pre-emption policy.
Two other very influential Straussians include Weekly Standard Chief Editor William Kristol and Gary Schmitt, founder, chairman and director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a six-year-old neo-conservative group whose alumni include Vice President Dick Cheney and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, as well as a number of other senior foreign policy officials.
PNAC's early prescriptions and subsequent open letters to President George W. Bush on how to fight the war on terrorism have anticipated to an uncanny extent precisely what the administration has done.
Kristol's father Irving, the godfather of new-conservatism who sits on the board of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where a number of prominent hawks, including former De fence Policy Board chairman Richard Perle, are based, has also credited Strauss with being one of the main influences on his thinking.
While the Times article introduced readers to Strauss and his disciples in Washington, interest was further piqued this week by a lengthy article by The New Yorker's legendary investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, who noted that Abram Shulsky, a close Perle associate who has run a special intelligence unit in Rumsfeld's office, is also a Straussian.
His unit, according to Hersh, reinterpreted evidence of Iraq's alleged links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network and possession of weapons of mass destruction to support those in the administration determined to go to war with Baghdad. The article also identified Stephen Cambone, one of Rumsfeld's closest aides who heads the new post of undersecretary of defence for intelligence, as a Strauss follower.
In his article, Hersh wrote that Strauss believed the world to be a place where "isolated liberal democracies live in constant danger from hostile elements abroad," and where policy advisers may have to deceive their own publics and even their rulers in order to protect their countries.
Shadia Drury, author of 1999's 'Leo Strauss and the American Right,' says Hersh is right on the second count but dead wrong on the first.
"Strauss was neither a liberal nor a democrat," she said in a telephone interview from her office at the University of Calgary in Canada. "Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical (in Strauss's view) because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them."
"The Weimar Republic (in Germany) was his model of liberal democracy for which he had huge contempt," added Drury. Liberalism in Weimar, in Strauss's view, led ultimately to the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews.
Like Plato, Strauss taught that within societies, "some are fit to lead, and others to be led," according to Drury. But, unlike Plato, who believed that leaders had to be people with such high moral standards that they could resist the temptations of power, Strauss thought that "those who are fit to rule are those who realise there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior."
For Strauss, "religion is the glue that holds society together," said Drury, who added that Irving Kristol, among other neo-conservatives, has argued that separating church and state was the biggest mistake made by the founders of the U.S. republic.
"Secular society in their view is the worst possible thing," because it leads to individualism, liberalism and relativism, precisely those traits that might encourage dissent, which in turn could dangerously weaken society's ability to cope with external threats. "You want a crowd that you can manipulate like putty," according to Drury.
Strauss was also strongly influenced by Thomas Hobbes. Like Hobbes, he thought the fundamental aggressiveness of human nature could be restrained only through a powerful state based on nationalism. "Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed," he once wrote. "Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united -- and they can only be united against other people."
"Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat," Drury wrote in her book. "Following Machiavelli, he maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be manufactured. Had he lived to see the collapse of the Soviet Union, he would have been deeply troubled because the collapse of the 'evil empire' poses a threat to America's inner stability."
"In Strauss's view, you have to fight all the time (to survive)," said Drury. "In that respect, it's very Spartan. Peace leads to decadence. Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in." Such views naturally lead to an "aggressive, belligerent foreign policy," she added.
As for what a Straussian world order might look like, Drury said the philosopher often talked about Jonathan Swift's story of Gulliver and the Lilliputians. "When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect."
For Strauss, the act demonstrates both the superiority and the isolation of the leader within a society and, presumably, the leading country vis-a-vis the rest of the world.
Drury suggests it is ironic, but not inconsistent with Strauss's ideas about the necessity of elites to deceive their citizens, that the Bush administration defends its anti-terrorist campaign by resorting to idealistic rhetoric. "They really have no use for liberalism and democracy, but they're conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy," she said.
(End of the IPS report)

Economic Reality Facing Western World

- A report by Ron Gostick -
Near the top of every politician's programme is a pledge of 'More Jobs and Full Employment'! But in the industrialized world, except perhaps during a major war or an environmental disaster, this objective is becoming increasingly difficult to attain.
Following, are a few news items relevant to this problem.
Two Giant Shadows
The following report, under the above caption, is reprinted from the October 17th issue of the Australian On Target newsletter:
Car production in the world now has a 30 percent over-capacity. Every car-producing nation is staring down the barrel of stiffer competition and stagnant markets.
Australia now exports about 30 per cent of local car production. There is not really such a thing as an exclusively Australian car manufacturer. Every well-known brand coming off a production line in Australia belongs to a multinational, which repatriates part of the profits. Labour forces are Australian. Fifty per cent of car content is made locally, the other 50 per cent is imported components. If there is an advantage for Australia it is that we sit on top of some of the best iron ore and coking coal deposits in the world, and the infrastructure for exploiting these is in place. But we dissipate this advantage in giving away at rock-bottom prices huge quantities of these assets to nations now manufacturing consumer goods which threaten our own industries.
Both China and India are now competing to become the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world, swamping the industrial West with low-cost consumer goods with which we have no hope of competing.
China this year will produce about 2.7 million vehicles, of which 1.8 million will be sold on the Chinese domestic market. This leaves 900,000 for export.
What brands are sold in China? They're familiar names, of which Volkswagen has the largest share. General Motors is next. As world oversupply increases, competition for markets will intensify.
It was Australia, along with other industrialized nations, that welcomed China into the world of free trade via the World Trade Organization. We are going to reap the whirlwind with a vengeance. The idea that small-capacity nations like Australia, with highly taxed, highly paid labour forces, will be able to compete with Chinese output that is rising at an astounding rate, quite capable of flooding the world market at prices no one can compete with, is an exercise in wishful thinking. Multinationals have poured $22-billion into 600 car manufacturing ventures in China since the 1980s. Volkswagen has just committed a further $A10-billion into further expansion over the next five years. China's over-capacity in producing cars will continue to grow. There will be no compunction in exporting the surplus at a price which finally displaces our own car industry.
India's expansion is scarcely less dazzling. Its predominance in communications technology is surpassing the legendary Silicon Valley. Multinationals are pouring investments, which once went into western economies, into India. Some estimate that India may even outpace China within five years. India's largest car manufacturer, Marun Udyog, is now turning out 600,000 units annually. India is also grabbing an ever-increasing share of the pharmaceuticals industry.
What should a country like Australia do, faced with such a challenge? Firstly, we've got to re-think the "growth-and-exports" merry-go-round, which is, traced back to basics, an attempt to catch up with a debt-based financial system. Why don't we aim to produce fewer cars, of a much higher quality? Why don't we take a lead in developing polution-free vehicles? The technology is available. Mexico City runs its buses and taxis on compressed air engines. The use of hydrogen stations running compressors, which give every motorist an interchangeable compressed air tank instead of gasoline, would shock the world. New, high-quality technology and innovation is what we're best at.
Why don't we open up possibilities for the thriving, largely self-sufficient towns and villages that once abounded in rural Australia? And work out a way in which young Australians can get into their own homes debt-free? Do we want young, happy and enthusiastic Australians who raise families in an environment of contentment? We could do it. Visions do not come on time-payment. Perhaps they come when everyone has had enough of what Douglas Reed called "Insanity Fair."
(End of the Australian On Target item)

Last death-rattles of 'full employment'
The following report, under the above caption, appeared in the Nov. 7th issue of the Australian On Target newsletter:
There have been a number of statements and articles recently concerning the much-vaunted 'recovery' in the US. Economists are mystified by the fact that unemployment has not gone down. It is now referred to as the 'jobless recovery.' The pundits claim it goes against everything they've experienced before, and they are mystified. If they'd merely turn to the writings of C.H. Douglas, published eighty years ago, entitled "The Breakdown of the Employment System," they might be enlightened.
The current picture is well illustrated in a recent article from The Wall Street Journal, reprinted in The Weekend Financial Review (25-26/10/03), which gave this picture:
"The US manufacturing sector has gone through 38 gruelling months of declining employment, but a new report shows factory job losses aren't just an American problem. From Brazil to Russia, yes, even to China, manufacturing jobs are disappearing round the globe.
"Economists at Alliance Capital Management in New York looked at employment trends in 20 large economies and found that from 1995 to 2002 more than 23 million jobs in the manufacturing sector were eliminated, a decline of more than 11 per cent.
"Contrary to conventional US beliefs, the research found American manufacturing workers weren't the biggest losers. The US lost about 2 million manufacturing jobs in the 1995-2002 period, an 11 per cent drop. But Brazil had a 20 per cent decline, Japan's factory work force shed 16 per cent of its jobs, while China's was down 15 per cent.
"Joseph Carson, director of global economic research at Alliance, says the reasons for the declines are similar across the globe. Gains in technology and competitive pressure have forced factories to become more efficient, allowing them to boost output with far fewer workers. Even as manufacturing employment declined, says Carson, global industrial output rose more than 30 per cent.
"At the same time, countries everywhere -- including developing countries like China -- are struggling to reduce excess capacity. 'We've got too many steel plants in the world, too many auto companies,' says Bill Belchere, chief economist for Asia at JP Morgan Chase in Hong Kong ..."
The article pointed out that the employment crisis in manufacturing had followed in the footsteps of agriculture.
"From 1910 to 1990, agricultural employment in the US fell to 2.5 per cent of total employment, from 32 per cent, according to statistics provided by Douglas Irwin, a Dartmouth-based economic historian ..."
The Social Credit movement has been pointing to this state of affairs for many years. But conventional political movements from left to right have held the common view that full employment is a "given absolute" for every economy.
Yet, in the tragic personal disasters of 'down-sized' workers across the world, staring at over-production everywhere, lie the seeds of a different kind of world -- where it is not necessary for all to work in order to produce everything that the world needs.
"Well, how are people going to get money to live?" goes the conventional question.
Dr. Jim Cairns was agreeable to the creation of debt-free money for the government to devise ways of employing everyone. "Make-work schemes" would be an essential part of government policy, however useless and detrimental such work might be.
The Social Credit proposal, on the other hand, is to supplement earnings with a National Dividend, paid to every man, woman and child, as part of the inheritance that the technological era has given them. This would provide individuals with a whole range of choices currently unavailable. The mad rush of whole populations going through the rituals of morning and evening rush hours would become unnecessary. Families, communities and, above all, children, would become more important than jobs. Despair and death would retreat before Life more abundant.
The situation so well described in The Wall Street Journal article was heralded in 1995 in the State-of-the-World Forum, held in San Francisco under the chairmanship of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, in which it was agreed by the many world figures attending that all the world's needs in the coming century could be produced by no more than 20 per cent of the workforce.
That situation is upon us. Unless there are changes to the way incomes are distributed, from an employment wage to a national dividend, the promise of a creative world will be dashed to pieces round our ears.
(End of the Australian O.T. report)

Long queue at drive-in soup kitchen
Recently, an e-mail under the above caption, came to our attention. Here are excerpts:
"George Bush's America, the wealthiest nation in history, faces a growing poverty crisis. In the first of a three-part series Julian Borger takes the pulse of the US with elections just a year away.
Monday, November 3, 2003
The Guardian
"The free food is handed out at nine, but the queue starts forming hours earlier. By dawn, there is a line of cars stretching half a mile back. In Logan, it is what passes for rush hour -- a traffic jam driven by poverty and hunger.
"The cars come out of the Ohio hills in all shapes and sizes, from the old jalopies of the chronically poor, to the newer, sleeker models of the new members of the club, who only months ago considered themselves middle class, before jobs and their retirement funds evaporated.
"Dan Larkin is sitting in his middle-of-the-range pick-up truck. Since the glassware company he worked for closed its doors this time last year, he has found it hard to pay his bills. His unemployment benefits ran out six months ago and his groceries bill is the only part of his budget that has some give. He and his wife sometimes skip meals or eat less to make sure their six-year-old daughter has enough.
" 'I would have a real problem putting food on the table if it wasn't for this,' Mr. Larkin said, his car inching towards Logan's church-run food pantry. As the queue rolled forward, he reflected on the ironies of being a citizen of the world's sole superpower.
" 'They're sending $87-billion to the second richest oil nation in the world but can't afford to feed their own here in the States.'
"George Bush's America is the wealthiest and most powerful nation the world has ever known, but at home it is being gnawed away from the inside by persistent and rising poverty. The three million Americans who have lost their jobs since Mr. Bush took office in January 2001 have yet to find new work in a largely jobless recovery, and they are finding that the safety net they assumed was beneath them has long since unravelled. There is not much left to stop them falling.
"Last year alone, another 1.7 million Americans slipped below the poverty line, bringing the total to 34.6 million, one in eight of the population. Over 13 million of them are children. In fact, the US has the worst child poverty rate and the worst life expectancy of all the world's industrialized countries, and the plight of its poor is worsening.
"The ranks of the hungry are increasing in step. About 31 million Americans were deemed to be 'food insecure' (they literally did not know where their next meal was coming from). Of those, more than nine million were categorized by the US department of agriculture as experiencing real hunger, defined by the US department of agriculture as an 'uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food due to lack of resources to obtain food.'
"That was two years ago, before the recession really began to bite. Partial surveys suggest the problem has deepened considerably since then. In 25 major cities the need for emergency food rose an average of 19% last year.
"Another indicator is the demand for food stamps, the government aid programme of last resort. The number of Americans on stamps has risen from 17 million to 22 million (since 2001).
"In Ohio, hunger is an epidemic. Since ... 2000 the state has lost one in six of its manufacturing jobs. Two million of the state's 11 million population resorted to food charities last year, an increase of more than 18% from 2001.
"In Logan, over 500 families regularly turn out twice monthly at the food pantry run by the Smith Chapel United Methodist Church.
" 'In all our history starting in the mid-80s we've never seen these numbers.' said Dannie Devol, who runs the pantry. The food comes from a regional food bank, which is stocked by a mix of private donations and food bought from local farmers by the government."
(End of excerpts from this e-mail report)
COMMENT (by R.G.): Canadians are quite aware of the bank bankruptcy situation in which the rich state of California recently found itself, resulting in the recall of its governor and the election of Hollywood's Rambo to bail out the citizenry of the Golden State.
Less well known, however, is the widespread poverty and near bankrupt conditions plaguing not only the rich state of Ohio, but, indeed, many of the U.S. states today.
It seems that in the U.S. -- as in Canada -- the central government collects an inordinate portion of taxation and that the states are then largely dependent on -transfer payments back from Washington to maintain their social services and infrastructure. But, with Washington now attempting to police the world, maintain a military presence in more than 40 countries and wage- war in the Middle East, there isn't enough money left for adequate transfer funds to the states.
The problem's contributing factors
In the past, participation in major wars -- because of the requirements for military personnel and their maintenance and weaponry, and the huge increase of government spending involved (largely borrowed as 'debt') -- usually practically eliminated unemployment and stimulated the local economy and prosperity. However, this is no longer that case in today's highly industrialized countries.
Today, the United States is demonstrating the cold reality that a modern, industrialized country, with extensive natural resources and topflight technology, can produce enough goods and services to train, equip, supply and maintain a huge war machine worldwide, and at the same time produce and supply the material needs of its whole civilian population -- and do this with less than its full workforce, as evidence that at present the U.S. has a mounting unemployment problem and increasing poverty.
And the only cause of the poverty is a financial system based on debt which has failed to keep pace with the marvellous high-tech productive machine. Washington is now piling up financial debt so fast that, like California, it will soon be a bankruptcy case unless it faces up to this problem and makes essential modification to its banking and financial system and policy. But this question requires further examination. And in this regard, I would recommend a read of my little book published a year ago, "Canada's Future: More Debt and Bankruptcy? or Financial Reform and Prosperity?" (Soft-cover, 64 pp. with most valuable appendices - single copy $8.)
I might add that Canada has precisely the same problems, economically and financially, as does the U.S., perhaps not as critical at present because of our 'favourable' balance of trade and the fact that we are not involved to the extent the U.S. is in foreign military operations and commitments.
More on this in future issues.

Touching not so much upon today's violence and headlines,
as upon questions of Faith, Religion, and things eternal.

In Pope John Paul II we have seen greatness

The October 19th Toronto Sun, under the above caption, published the following column by Eric Margolis, its erudite journalist on foreign affairs.
After covering world affairs for the past 20 years, I (a non-Catholic) believe the greatest man of our era has been His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.
The first Pope since the 16th century who was not Italian, Polish-born Karol Wojtyla quickly confirmed his countrymen's deserved reputation for courage and audacity by shaking up and revitalizing the Vatican bureaucracy and worldwide Catholic priesthood, which were afflicted by low morale, loss of faith, poor leadership and often shocking corruption.
John Paul purged the Church, notably its Latin American branches, of Marxist priests preaching "liberation theology," one of the graver recent challenges to Catholicism. The Polish Pope reasserted the authority of Rome over the Church, parts of which, in many nations, had grown unresponsive, indifferent or outright rebellious to papal authority.
In short, John Paul reinvigorated the Catholic faith by insisting its tenets be faithfully observed, even when strictures against contraception, abortion, or divorce ran sharply counter to social trends. The cost of this dogmatic rigour was high, particularly in Europe: large numbers of Catholics dropped from the Church. But the alternative was worse: to become like Britain's Anglican Church, which, be embracing every trend, from tambourine playing services to homosexual clergy, has ended up standing for nothing, becoming meaningless and irrelevent.
John Paul was also a modern warrior Pope. Branding communism the greatest evil the world had seen, he launched a personal crusade against the Soviet Union in secret alliance with the United States. Vatican money, channeled through Latin America, funded Poland's Solidarity Movement, which ignited the rebellion against Soviet rule that led to the final collapse of what was truly an evil empire.
The Kremlin knew the Polish Pope was its most dangerous enemy: he commanded no divisions, but he inspired the hearts and minds of Eastern Europe's peoples, and ignited their uprising against Soviet imperial rule. John Paul became their liberator. As a result, the Soviets tried to assassinate him.
But John Paul was not just the spiritual father of East Europeans. He raised his mighty voice and mobilized the Church to defend the world's oppressed, voiceless peoples. No one became a stronger defender of the five million suffering Palestinians than John Paul II.
Called for a just peace
When the Muslim world forgot the Palestinians' plight, the Catholic Pope reminded them. He ceaselessly called for a just peace between Arabs and Jews based on a viable Palestinian homeland.
When the Muslim world turned its back on the slaughter and rape of Bosnia's Muslims by savages calling themselves Christians, John Paul demanded the western powers rescue the Bosnians.
John Paul ceaselessly commanded Catholics to purge their faith and minds of that two-millennium-old evil, anti-Semitism, calling for true amity between Catholics and Jews, and between Catholics and Muslims.
As soon as the Cold War ended, John Paul urged the West to temper its capitalist system by protecting the poor, the downtrodden, the helpless. Unbridled capitalism could be victorious as great a danger as communism, warned the Pope. But in the post-Cold War get-rich-quick scramble, few in the West heeded his pleas for social justice.
When President George Bush and British PM Tony Blair decided to invade Iraq, Pope John Paul repeatedly accused them of preparing to wage an immoral war of aggression. In this, the Pope spoke for much of the world, urging the U.S. and U.K. to work through the United Nations and enhance the power and authority of the world body.
But Bush and Blair ignored him, and are now paying the price for their arrogance, folly and greed.
Critics of Pope John Paul charge he failed to adapt the Church to the times. But no great institution can long survive that shifts course to every change in the social winds. Under John Paul, the Roman Catholic Church has declined in adherents, but it has grown stronger and more vital. The Pope's sweeping reforms and newly appointed cardinals will perpetuate his monumental works long after his death, and maintain the Church as a rock of faith in the stormy seas of life. The Church will survive its recent shameful sex scandals, as it has survived so many past disasters.
Ironically, orthodox Muslims and Jews understand much better than many western Christians how important it is for a great, cardinal faith that spans mankind's history to keep firm its moorings and resist the siren calls of modernization and accommodation, no matter how inconvenient.
It is heartbreaking to see this redoubtable Pope and profound humanist, this "great spirit," as Hindus would say, increasingly crippled by grave ailments and nearing his end. But each time I see Pope John Paul, my spirit lifts with the knowledge there is indeed objective good, and that a man of great heart, courage and deep compassion can change for the better this often sordid world.
(End of Mr. Margolis' column)
COMMENT (by Ron Gostick): We may, or may not, fully agree with every view of Mr. Margolis respecting the life and stature of Pope John Paul II. But few indeed would question our view that both he and Mother Teresa stand very high among the servants of both Man and God these past several centuries.

The Anglicans' fast track to oblivion
The National Post, November 19, under the above heading, published the following article by Ian Hunter, professor emeritus in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario.
The Rev. Peter Wall, Rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont., was featured prominently on the Post's front page yesterday defending his decision to marry two lesbians in his church.
In the eyes of the grateful couple, married they now are, as in Rev. Wall's eyes, and by Canadian law too; whether they are married in God's eyes, well, in polite society -- and what society is more polite than Canadian Anglicanism? -- we don't inquire too deeply into that. The contemporary pilgrim travels light; theological ballast is not welcome on the voyage. A few Anglicans might express some doubt about what God hath ordained, but the Rector can be relied upon not to search Scripture too assiduously. As for the official teaching of the Anglican Church to the contrary, Rev. Wall said: "... I'm content to believe that what I did was the right thing to do."
This month the American branch of the Anglican Church (ECUSA) one upped Rev. Wall by consecrating an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, thereby openly declaring its apostasy and severing itself from what all Anglicans profess to believe in, namely "one holy, catholic and apostolic church."
Does any of this matter?
StatsCan reported recently that in the decade 1991-2001, the Anglican Church lost more than 150,000 members (nudging 10% of its total membership). Worse, this is only formal membership; the drop in actual church attendance is much steeper. And since 2001 the pace of the decline has accelerated.
So, who cares who a denomination on the fast track to oblivion does or does not choose to marry?
Well, not Rev. Wall's congregation apparently; he apparently received "a prolonged ovation" when he announced what he had done from the pulpit. And if a majority of the congregation approve, how can it be wrong? Didn't Jesus say: Blessed is he who abides by majority vote"; and "Flesh and blood shall pass away, but the conscience of the Rev. Peter Wall shall not pass away"?
We must face fact: A reversion to the Christian view of marriage is not about to happen in mainline Protestant churches. They have come to terms with Caesar. They will render to the goddess Equality whatever she demands, for neither courage nor conviction is among their noticeable attributes. In fact, I go further: Within a decade, it is safe to predict that the United and Anglican churches, at least, will be issuing fulsome apologies to our gay brothers and sisters for all those shameful years of exclusion: "What could we have been thinking to imagine that something as ephemeral as Scripture should once have stood in the way of your right to self-fulfillment?" Whether such apologies will be sufficient to deter the class action lawsuits, we shall have to wait and see.
Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster, B.C., started the Canadian ball rolling months ago by authorizing the blessing of same-sex unions, while tiresomely insisting that this was somehow very different from "marriage." Well, Rev. Wall has now called Bishop Ingham's bluff, exposing this assurance for the nonsense it always was.
The fact that same-sex blessings and marriage are alike inconsistent with Scripture, and with two thousand years of Christian teaching, need not deter the progressive cleric. He has his conscience to rely upon, and it is, self-evidently, a surer guide to God's will than stuffy old Church teaching. As for the fact that the Anglican Communion, at the 1998 Lambeth conference, carefully considered the issue and came to a diametrically opposed conclusion, well, their consciences are obviously less finely tuned than those of Bishop Michael and Rev. Peter.
Bishop Ingham's action led eight (now 12) parishes in New Westminster, in effect, to declare unilateral independence. Bishop Ingham responded by threatening to revoke the licenses of dissenting clergy. This is inclusivity, liberal style.
For its part, the Canadian House of Bishops has only dithered. Another consultation, another study, a new task force ... Given such flaccid abdication of spiritual leadership, it is not surprising that the Bishop and the Rev. have decided to act unilaterally.
G.K. Chesterton once remarked: "He who marries the spirit of the age soon finds himself a widower."
The Anglican Church of Canada is the best example I know of the wisdom of Chesterton's remark.
(End of Mr. Hunter's article)

The Australian On Target newsletter (Oct. 31, 2003), under the above caption, published the following item which raises the same concerns with which Mr. Hunter deals in the above article.
"Ecclesia Anglicana Libera Sit: So reads the great Magna Carta of 1215 ('The Church in England shall be free').
"Without in the least wishing to offend the many good Anglicans in our midst, that venerable institution does seem to have got itself into a spot of trouble! The English journal Right Now! (Oct.-Nov.2003) gives the following disturbing picture:
" 'In the 50 years between 1930 and 1980 the Church of England lost half its members. This decline continued, albeit at a slightly slower rate, during the 1980s. It seems actually to have accelerated during the subsequent "great leap forward of the Decade of Evangelism." There is, however, one figure which has gone up. There are now double the number of bishops and dignitaries than there were when the Church was more than twice its current size ...' "
"Which makes one wonder? If present trends continue, will the C. of E. diminish to one last final figure -- a future Archbishop of Canterbury? And, if so, what happens to the vast investments made by the church over the centuries? It looks as though the last Archbishop will be a very lonely, but very rich, prelate."
BRIEF COMMENT (by R.G.): As a Christian and a communicant of the Anglican Church, I share the concerns expressed in the foregoing items concerning our Church's present predicament and future, as outlined eloquently by Professor Hunter and stated rather succinctly in the Australian newsletter.
I think I'll leave it at that for the time being.

A Phony Issue Just to change the subject!
The Toronto Sun, Dec. 2, published a piece by its columnist, Lorrie Goldstein, captioned "Phony Issues." Following, are a few excerpts:
Last week, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty made a grand show of eliminating what he described as an ugly example of two-tier medicine.
You know - he's not going to let Alexander Mogilny or Vince Carter butt into line ahead of poor old Mrs. Smith for her MRI.
Except neither Mogilny nor Carter were butting in, because they weren't in the same line.
Worse, Mrs. Smith will not get her MRI one moment sooner, now that Mogilny and Carter are out of her day. That's because she's waiting in the OHIP line, and the hospital MRI she needs only operates during certain hours, because that's all OHIP can afford.
All McGuinty did last week was to tell Carter and Mogilny (and the Raptors and Leafs) to take their money elsewhere for their MRIs, which were being done off-hours, when the hospital MRI was closed to OHIP users. So now the Raptors and Leafs will spend their money elsewhere for MRIs, probably (in) the U.S., meaning their money, which would have gone into Ontario's health system, will now be lost to it. Brilliant. ...
(End of Mr. Goldstein's excerpts)
COMMENT: Mr. Goldstein makes a valid point. His reasoning makes a lot of common sense.
Sanity itself should tell us that when a shortage of funding forces doctors or MRIs, or whatever, to provide less than optimal service to the public through public medicare, and this prompts those with the means to seek service through a private source, this isn't in any way 'jumping the lineup' or lowering the quality of public service. Indeed, it is shortening the lineup and thereby improving the quality of service for those using the public medicare service.
Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, must surely be bright enough to understand this. If he's not, then he shouldn't be Premier or hold any responsible public office. But he's in good Liberal company, as Prime Minister Chretien used this same 'Two-Tier' political scarecrow to scare voters away from the Alliance Party in the last federal election.
As a matter of fact, the claim that our national medicare is a one-tier system is a hoax. For instance, it's known that in Ottawa the upper echelons of the political and bureaucratic establishments have access to medical service when they require it, without enduring lineups! And this is probably the case fairly general across our country. Hardly a one-tier system.
Then, too, the media reports that about 30% of Canadians now rely wholly or in part upon alternative-style medicines and service. This 30% of us have to personally pay for this, even though our taxes help sustain the public medicare system. Apparently, the McGuintys and Chretiens forget to count this tier of private medical service! Perhaps because this private tier is the victim, financially, of the present system of public funding.
Well, we can be optimists and hope that Mr. Martin will retire this old 'two-tier' scarecrow once and for all.

A thought about war
"All progress in the world, and in some ways the world has unquestionably made progress, has been by recognition of TRUTH, and the reason so little progress has been made in the solution of social problems is, to my mind, because in this sphere alone truth has been ignored or denied. ... Running through all history like the thread of Ariadne, it is possible to trace a continuous policy which I can only describe as a divorce between things themselves and the description of them. A well known instance of this is the glamour of war. War, at any rate modern war, is a dirty, beastly, inhumane, insane undertaking, proving nothing, adding nothing to the content of human values, and incidentally definitely dysgenic. ... Not only that, but the conditions which accompany a war give play to intrigue, corruption, tyranny, and wire-pulling under cover of suppression of publicity and the necessity for centralised control which are imposed by the exigencies of the struggle. Yet no war was ever carried on without a definite organisation to represent it as being in some way magnificent, glorious, and ennobling. ..." --From a speech by C.H. Douglas, March 18, 1933

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