Monday, December 29, 2014

Oh What A Lovely War

It's kind of nice to see some indications that the rest of the right is catching up to your humble correspondent when it comes to the culture wars, but I hope you'll forgive me if I don't get up and dance a jig.

You see, in order for there to be a culture war, there needs to be an actual war, not a ridiculously lopsided curb stomping wherein one side blitzes the other's blind spots repeatedly. We're getting our asses kicked on battlegrounds we don't even understand, places that don't even look like battlegrounds until the Twitter and Tumblr mobs sweep over them. Toy stores, video games, movie theatres.

Furthermore, for there to be a war, there needs to be objectives, strategy, and something resembling an aim. Instead, we have various rampaging mobs who seem to have no goal beyond acquiring power for its own sake. Strongmen spread out across the world stage. Disease flares, claims lives, and disappears. Your nation's capital, or the quiet café where you stop for a coffee, might be the next site of an armed attack by a lunatic given new purpose by the terrifying ISIS. Powerful celebrity rapists stalk their prey, elected members and political parties sell out wholesale for the merest promise of advancement, and various cartels use the seat of government as a launching point for their products. And what do the ordinary folks have going for them? Petitions? Online comment threads? Stupid blogs like the one you're currently reading?

I look into the face of John Maguire, and I see a man who traded a life of anonymity for a chance to speak on behalf of something horrible and organic and frightening.  Exactly what do we have that could compete with that?

OK, OK. Maybe I'm aiming too high. Maybe doing something about ISIS and mobs of social justice warriors is just not in the cards right now. Let's set the bar lower. Way lower. Let's see if the good people of Alberta will take this Wildrose defection lying down, like Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith think they will.

Surely that's not too much to ask. We're not talking about Ontario here, where the Premier's Sudbury byelection stunt barely rates a whisper. In Ontario (so I'm told) they just accept outrageous behavior from governments as a matter of course. Not like those rootin', tootin', pop-gun shootin' Albertans, who virgin-birthed the Reform Party and made Canada what it is today in spite of those Eastern bums, goddamnit. The PC Party of Alberta is going to get tossed out on its ear in the next election.....ummmm.....well, at the very least, the defectors will lose their seats....uhhhhh....well, at least some of them will lose their seats? Maybe? Please??

Nuh-uh. We know what's going to happen. Danielle Smith knows what's going to happen. A broad-based distraction campaign will be launched, reminding people that electing anyone other than the PC Party of Alberta will spell doom for all, and it's going to work, because it always works. Nobody knows that better than Danielle Smith, who could have been Premier if these same chickenhawks who are presently so mightily outraged about her departure hadn't bolted back into the PC Party of Alberta fold when she waffled on some fool's homophobic blogpost. So, given the opportunity by Jim Prentice to exact bloody revenge on the voters, she took it. It was low, and mean of her, but you would have all done the same, because nothing is more liberating than the chance to vent your cruelty on those who have wronged you.

Don't worry though, because I've got good news for those angry Albertans. The PC Party of Alberta is indeed going to be smashed to atoms, but it won't be in an election, and it won't be on the say so of any right-thinking Alberta folks. When the world powers are done battling for supremacy, the biggest and the meanest of them is going to set their sights on Canada after they've eaten everything else.

Right now, my money is on ISIS, because they, above all, do not engage in Prentice-esque and Wynn-ian maneuvers where they cover their aggression and viciousness with platitudes and talking points. You might have noticed how they encourage their followers to rape, to kill, to oppress and subjugate. If you rewatch Mr. Maguire's fun little video message it becomes quite clear that this is a man who has given rise to his worst impulses, and what the writer of this piece misses entirely is that whatever benefits there are to living in Canada, you can't get the complete package- rape, murder, subjugation and oppression- anywhere else but in the Islamic State, which might be more properly called the Land of Do As You Please.

By the way, the ISIS top brass also knows that what they're up to doesn't have anything to do with Islam anyway, so anyone who makes that point is, unfortunately, missing the real point as well.

The social justice warriors cannot bring themselves to this level of naked, open, blatant power-lust. They do not condemn the actions of ISIS because they know ISIS is crazier than they are. Instead they go after the low hanging fruit, like scientists who make questionable fashion choices. Hell, even hackers from North Korea are playing small ball compared to ISIS, who would just have slaughtered James Franco and Seth Rogen, and the entire staff of Sony, and then burnt down every movie theater they could find for the lulz.

And if we were even in the least way serious about fighting a "culture war," then we would also be out to prove that we were crazier than ISIS. There would be no question about the correctness of capitalism or Western culture. We would meet them with the purest form of imperialism and grind them and all their apologists to dust.

That will not happen, because we are a polite society who apologizes for wrongs before repeating them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O Come All Ye Faithful

Queen Wynne-ceslas looked out after feasting on Stephen Harper for the past couple of weeks and realized that it's been a while since she utterly humiliated the Dippers, so she reached out to the NDP MP for Sudbury and, in a Christmas miracle, turned him into an instant Liberal.

Cue righteously indignated oranginas screaming about the "allure of power" while everyone else rolled their eyes. We were treated to the spectacle of the famously useless lump of an MPP Gilles Bisson, the very textbook definition of an NDP opposition lifer, a man so utterly addicted to taxpayer funded perks and so committed to keeping his constituents on the merry-go-round that the Liberals and the PC's once teamed up around election time to try and get him fired, going off about "cynical politics". The man's tongue should have voted for an immediate strike action against his brain after that one and hit the picket line, but principles are hard to come by these days, even for usually inanimate body parts. Irene Mathyssen, whose party once forced her to stifle her objection to women supposedly being objectified in the House, still found it possible to wag her finger about Wynne's government not being progressive.

As if every one of these gravy boats, these walking, talking monuments to low expectations who will forever remember that glorious day in 2011 when they managed to not come in third, wouldn't dash across the floor as soon as a real politician gave them a call. Before I believed that this Christmas pantomime had anything to do with principles, I'd guess they were mad that Wynne hasn't ever reached out to them to run as Liberals.

On the very same day, so that we conservatives didn't get too high and mighty, came the news that after kicking and screaming for years about deficits and other stuff nobody cares about, the Wildrose Alliance has finally decided to pack it in and rejoin the PC Party of Alberta so they can go right back to blowing money as fast as humanly possible. I can't really blame Danielle Smith, though, because if I went out on a limb against a visibly corrupt government in 2012 and then I got left standing by a bunch of so-called true blue Albertans who see fit to lecture the rest of the country on fiscal management and then bolt back to safety at the first sign of trouble, I'd also be willing to toss up two middle fingers and leave them without a voice in government.

Meanwhile back at the Hall of Justice, the Conservative Party of Canada is no doubt baffled by Justin Trudeau's unwillingness to die despite being declared dead by them for the 164th time. I had more than one smug staffer get in my face over the past couple of months for not being sufficiently over Justin. And I have to admit- I really thought this Pacetti/Andrews harassment mess was the final straw, and that I was wrong. I really thought that the Liberal faithful would have seen Justin putting two of his own down like dogs without even giving a moment's consideration to the benefit of the doubt (which is after all their legal right no matter what kind of hateful, disgusting human beings they might be IRL) and realized that Justin dices with their fates the way the gods do with mortals. He actually would suspend the right of due process, without waiting for the facts, because historically people haven't believed rape victims.

(The really sick thing is,  Liberals have always been fine with due process going out the window so long as that only applied to conservatives, but now that they might suffer the same consequences, well...that took some getting over.)

And, to bring it back full circle, we have Kathleen Wynne, leading the entire province around by its collective nose. We just had a damning Auditor General's report that she handwaved by picking another fight with Stephen Harper. We have a PCPO leadership race that she just dropped a bomb on by forcing the entire party to worry about a byelection. (And we'll get to that leadership race very, very soon.) Hell, this rope-a-Dipper-dope ploy she's pulled isn't even new- she did the same thing in the London West by-election last year, but now since Andrea Horwath blew her shot at the big time and alienated Big Labour, she might actually get away with it. Unless the NDP nominate a candidate that is 100% union tested and approved and promise never ever to mention the word "taxpayer" again, they might be in a leadership race of their own come March!

How does she do it? She knows that deep down, everyone wants to be a Liberal and vote Liberal, and that everyone who isn't a Liberal has a really tough time of it trying to justify themselves to voters who get really mad at the way things are but will do anything to avoid an actual change. Just like the song says:

Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Space Between

We put a lot of trust in systems, yes we do. Police officers, MP's, public broadcasters, celebrities, schools and universities, governments.

And when all of these things let us down, as they so very often do and as they have over the past short while, we like to blame certain things, like ticking checkboxes. We talk about cultures that protect abusers, and systemic racism, and lack of due process and consultation. All of this is very, very much in vogue these days.

What we can't do is see the flaw in ourselves. There's Jian Ghomeshi, and there's us. There's Mike Brown, and there's us. There's a nice little separation there. Very clean.

Once we have allegations of sexual abuse or a police officer shooting someone or a government blowing it hugely, then the door is opened and we can have a big important public conversation about the issue. Not before. Sure, we may feel like things are not right beforehand, but it's not the right time to say anything.

Then the next disaster happens, and the time for having conversations is over and everyone scrambles to take the next position and hold it. There might not even be enough time to have consistent positions. You can emerge from Ghomeshigate promising to believe each and every single allegation of sexual assault, no matter how trivial, and still believe that the allegations made by the as-yet unnamed NDP MP against Massimo Pacetti are baseless and that he's a victim. Gotta be appropriately concerned about abuse in the one case because we have a face to put the allegations to, but it's OK to want to wait for more evidence in the other.

I guess I shouldn't judge too harshly, After all, nobody has the first ever loving clue what to do in any of these situations. You can be a police officer with the full weight of the law behind you, or you can be one of this country's elected officials, and suddenly you discover that, whoopsy-doodle, there's no "procedure" in place for the sticky situation you find yourself in, even though it might be something that happens all the damn time as a consequence of the job you do. So you panic and do something really stupid. Then everyone else around you panics until they can find a talking point that everyone can stick to or until someone emerges who doesn't have their head up their ass.

I shudder to think what would happen that day if Kevin Vickers hadn't been functional enough that day on Parliament Hill. Too damn close. So let's give Mr. Vickers every honour we can throw at him, and justifiably so. But let's just take a step back and think for a minute what it means that he, and he alone, had the stones to draw his weapon and kill when the head of state was in danger. You probably wouldn't have done it. You would have defaulted to some other type of primitive state, fashioning spears out of flagpoles against a man with a gun, praying, falling to the floor in the fetal position.

We are so ridiculously close to doing unspeakable things to others or falling apart completely that it  is absolutely terrifying. Once we turn Big Ears Teddy's head to face the wall so he can't see what's happening, all bets are off.

The truth of life is fundamentally, deeply conservative. It is everyone for themselves. And the rallying points, the institutions we build, the cultures we maintain, are distractions from that truth.  That's why, despite the knowledge that institutions can't protect us most of the time, we maintain our belief in their sanctity. Stand up for the CBC. Support the troops. #NeverRapedNeverReported. Signals and symbols and hashtags is all that's keeping this species together. It's far, far too hard to accept the truth about human beings and how we need scripts, written for us by others who look like they know what they're doing.

Don't ask people to educate themselves or dig themselves out of their ruts. It's too damn hard. You're asking way, way too much. Only the very rare and the very strong can and do divest themselves from this closed loop and live free, on their terms.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

He Who Hesitates.....

Partisans yakking away all over the place about Monday's byelections, working themselves up into a fury, throwing talking points back and forth, analyzing charts, graphs, polls and trends, all in the name of trying to predict what's going to happen at the big dance federally next year.

Crap. All of it. Crap, crap, crap.

We don't need to ask questions or throw around talking points. We know, because we've seen repeatedly over the past few years, what it takes to win an election. We know what the voters want, even though we can't say it out loud. They don't want half measures. They don't want timidity or cautiousness. They don't want lukewarm populism, half-assed attempts to reach out to non-traditional voters, or focus grouped slogans. They want blood and fire. 

They want the guy, or lady, who will say anything, do anything, and believes regardless of what anyone else says or does that the top spot is theirs and has been theirs since minute one, and behind that guy or lady there must be legions of supporters ready to throw themselves on grenades for the cause at a moment's notice. Any pussyfooting, any fooling around, and above all, any assumption that the other side is done for and doesn't need to be kicked all the way down the hill is fatal. The voters know this, but still the party elites, the men and women pushing toy soldiers around on a map, believe a more moderate approach is called for. They know better, you see; everyone they know who's worth listening to tells them so. 

The Liberals might never have won Whitby-Oshawa, but they probably should have been a lot closer if they want to take Harper's head off or force him into early retirement beforehand. So I have no choice but to conclude that somewhere between the latest revelations from the Senate and Del Mastro's resignation they decided that they had it in the bag. They didn't make enough voters believe that they were doing God's own work.

Of course, you wouldn't know it to have heard Justin's concession speech, which wasn't a concession speech at all but, creepily, a victory speech. Unsurprisingly, these two losses haven't done a thing to diminish his belief in his own inevitability. He sees the increased share of the Liberal vote and he knows that more people- not enough, but more- are being conned into believing once again in the enormous scam that is Trudeaumania Redux. If he annihilates the NDP in the next election yet falls short of wiping out the CPC, that'll be a victory as well. For, as we all well know, the left is at its terrifying best when it's clawing out handhold after handhold, slowly moving the line down the playing field.

It seems like centuries ago, but once we were the ones gaining on the LPC. So it went, for five long years. Inch by inch. Bit by bit. After Harper's majority was won, we stared across a wide gulf at the NDP, ready for political Armageddon. But then the generals on both sides started losing their nerve, assuming the Liberals were dead and buried, listening to the whiners who called for an end to Harper's endless partisanship and the politics of division. Maybe it was the furor over the wet fart that the robocalls affair shaped up to be, or maybe it was the griping from the true believers that they didn't get everything they wanted once the votes were counted. Either way, the magnificent cataclysm we all wanted but couldn't admit to wanting never happened.  And even if we hadn't lost our nerve, the NDP made an even bigger blunder; assuming that now that the Liberals were toast, it was their duty to pick up where they left off.

Reduced to their lowest standing ever, the Liberals threw their high-minded principles out the window and embraced, without admitting it, the extremely conservative notion that power must be taken by force, and picked Trudeau specifically because, and only because, of his supposed ability to beat Harper. It's amazing how, no matter how educated and sensitive and questioning of the culture we are, we always return to these basic, violent qualities when times get hard.  

As such, it is time for the Conservative Party of Canada to permanently return to what made it the governing party, something it only seems to do around by-election time these days. Not a dependence on poorly articulated "conservative principles", not curbing its more aggressive tendencies because the grandees in Toronto are offended, and not writing off the Liberals and Trudeau the way the Liberals once wrote Harper off as an Alberta redneck with wonky ideas.

We read Mark Steyn's exhortations to change the culture instead of just winning the election and calling it a day, and we remember when the CPC was chugging its way uphill and there was no time to sit back and relax, and we can compare those glorious days to being under siege right now. Instead of patting ourselves on the back for holding two safe ridings, we need to be asking ourselves how we can win all- ALL- of the ridings that we don't already have, and then how we can hold them for the next few hundred millennia, and then we need to be asking how we can ensure that every living being on this earth accepts the conservative facts of life for the facts of life that they are. That'd be a good start.

We don't need to blow stacks of cash paying consultants to tell us what we already know, and, for that matter, neither do the Liberals. Life is a war for dominance, and when that war ends, life ends.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dividing By Zero

The first election I was ever involved in seriously- Ontario, 2007- consisted of John Tory bumbling his way to defeat, followed shortly by a bunch of people I respected getting marched over a cliff for daring to ask dangerous questions like "Why?" and "How?", and the people responsible for that particular disaster making every excuse possible and getting away with it. You could say it was a bit of a formative experience.

One thing I learned from that election that has held true through every single subsequent election, leadership review, leadership race, and generally every test that the Canadian public has been put to is that the voters will always- always- go for the safest option. Not the best option, not even the smartest option, but the safest option. What is likely to cause the least conflict and friction? Who's going to make us sacrifice the least? Who has the fewest negatives? Voters do this because they know on a very basic and intangible level that the world is a scary and frightening place, and the people who know this the best are (usually) the Liberals, who cynically offer them a chance to keep things the way they are and pretend conflict doesn't exist.

Before that election, the PC bosses were confident, as usual (and wrong, as usual) that nobody would believe any of the out-and-out lies the Liberals were going to tell about John Tory. Just look at him, they said. He gets up at 5 AM and doesn't leave a room until he's spoken to every single person in it. Nobody's ever tried to smell his poop, but not only doesn't it stink, it's probably worth more than any of us will ever be worth. What is Dalton McLiar going to do against that?

To this day, it's hard for me to believe that for one month in 2007 the entire province bought the notion that John Tory was a radical social conservative. They did, though. And it's because between the two of them, John Tory had one policy that was going to cause friction and Dalton had none. They got over it in time to help him be "the safe alternative to the Fords," though.

It's also hard to believe, but there was a time that everybody thought Rob Ford was legitimately the best option out of his group of candidates. George Smitherman was hated by his own party, treated anyone outside his Liberal circle like dirt, was a known former drug abuser, and thought this brutish knuckle-dragger from Etobicoke wasn't fit to polish his silverware. He thought Toronto owed him the mayoralty. He made no secret of it. Rob Ford kept it together for the duration of the campaign whereas Smitherman looked like he was going to bite off and eat the head of the first voter who looked at him funny.

Truth challenged but boring Premier beats privileged but decent zillionaire with a tendency to say awkward stuff. Privileged awkward decent zillionaire beats (the angrier brother of) the slightly oafish guy who is somewhat relatable despite saying really offensive stuff from time to time. Oafish and sometimes racist but still relatable guy beats preening snob ashamed of his humble beginnings. It's a hierarchy of safe and predictable from which voters choose the least worst option based on the options they're given for a particular choice.

Now I'm sure that John Tory has read all the newspapers telling the world that the circus has moved out of city hall and based on that he truly believes that he will be able to bring harmony to council, and in that respect he is wrong wrong wrongitty wrong wrongo wrong.

First of all, we have almost the exact same city council we had when the circus was in town, which means we pick up almost exactly where we left off. Rob Ford is still on council. All of Rob Ford's opponents are still on council. The ideological makeup of council is basically the same.

Then you still have Ford Nation out there in the upper left and upper right corners of the city with a whole bunch of entitled social justice warriors all over the place who decided to cut off their noses to spite their faces and let Olivia Chow burn because she didn't give them everything they wanted. Leaderless and confused, they still managed to get Ausma Malik elected to the TDSB even as nearly half of the money wasting trustees got cleared out, mount sizable challenges to centrist and right-centrist incumbents in Davenport, give conservative councilors elsewhere a run for their money, and help obnoxious leftist incumbents that by all rights should have been defeated stay comfortably where they were. That's a hell of a better final score than the right had at the end of the night.

If anything, this mayoral race is just another data point on the trendline showing that, if you want a halfway conservative government, your best bet is to form a "wing" of a much bigger and much better organized Liberal framework. And indeed these two groups, Ford Nation and the social justice warriors, will be pushing their agendas through their respective mouthpieces whilst Wynne and her new toy John Tory will tie their own centrist agenda into a pretzel trying to please everyone and failing. That's the next four years in a nutshell, but at least until council gets rolling again these two factions are battling it out in other arenas: the online debate over Ghomeshigate, for example, or in the chatter over what last week's attack on the Parliament Buildings means for our nation.

In this corner we have the tag team of "Ban All Muslim Immigration" and "Ghomeshi Is The Victim Of A Conspiracy of Crazy Women", and in this corner we have, "Canada Had It Coming And They Deserved What They Got" and "If You Don't Think Ghomeshi Is Guilty As The Day Is Long, You're Perpetuating Rape Culture." Ding ding! Well, it's not actually much of a fight, is it? Team Social Justice has critical-theory-using millenials, twitter and tumblr mobs, celebrities, and Glenn Greenwald on its side, and Team Ford Nation has the usual gang of reg'lar folk facepalm-generators.

Based on the other 8692 times we've had this matchup, I'm going to give Team Social Justice a slight edge and predict that it will become just a bit easier to blame Canada for terrorist attacks perpetrated against it, and instead of blaming women for being assaulted like we did and still do, we'll move a little bit closer to assuming men are just guilty (which is way better, of course).

John Tory can't even answer a simple question about white privilege without becoming confuzzled, so I can't wait to see what his views on rape culture are, or what he thinks about Glenn Greenwald's super clear and super helpful "distinction" between justifying the attacks and talking about their causes which is not a distinction at all because it's completely obvious what Greenwald wants to accomplish here: he wants to shift blame for terrorist attacks from Muslims to white people, which, like what the rest of the social justice warriors want to accomplish with Ghomeshigate, won't actually improve the way we treat one another but will instead just change who the victim is, so we'll all be equally frightened and equally guarded and equally miserable.

So long as we need someone to blame (which is always), the John Torys of the world are powerless.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Eye of The Beholder

When I write about the efforts of left wing activists to appropriate power for themselves, I do it for the same reason I became a conservative in the first place: not because I'm overly interested in defending the rights of the powerful, but because at least the defenders of the powerful are honest (OK- they can be honest, from time to time) about what they want, and don't pretend to hold a set of high-minded ideals which they obviously do not have. This false moral superiority- this claiming to be fighting social evils under the guise of social justice- is why I write pejoratively about social justice warriors. As long as I draw breath, I'll never understand why people have to perform increasingly complicated mental backflips to cover up their true feelings.

For example: The fact that, in Western society, historically, white people have had and continue to have advantages over non white people is undeniable. As I pointed out in my previous post, nobody can deny that without looking silly. Unfortunately, though, that's not good enough for the social justice warriors, who want to make sure you understand that racism against white people cannot and does not exist and that they have no time to listen to how white people may or may not have been legitimately treated poorly or felt upset.

Now again: the feelings of white people are not what I'm concerned about here myself. All that concerns me is that if you're trying to make the case that you're attempting to move the species forward in spite of itself, you kind of have to not let your own pain get in the way of all that, so that jerks like myself don't think, "Oh. This has nothing to do with social justice. This is really all about your own stuff." Don't get me wrong: if your aim is simple revenge, there's a definitive case to be made for that. It's what's called rational selfishness.

But you see, for the social justice warriors, A is not A. Not all feelings are equal. The bias in favour of whiteness is so pervasive that any act of discrimination against white people is irrelevant. It's kind of like how the Ontario Liberals blame Mike Harris and Stephen Harper for everything and write off the egregious stuff they do as not really worth worrying about.

There are other ways you can prove that social justice warriors don't really care about social justice. If you cite an example of minorities doing well in spite of this apparently massive bias against them here in the West, you'll usually get something sputtered out about "internalized racism."

If you are a minority and you don't spend your time talking about how your colour or religion holds you back, you've got internalized racism. Instead of staying truth to yourself, you pretended to be as white as possible, and that's the only possible way you could have made it. Thomas Sowell has internalized racism. Amy Chua has internalized racism. Dinesh D'Souza has internalized racism. Michelle Malkin has internalized racism. Ford supporters who are not white certainly have internalized racism.

I could deal with this by pointing out that it's enormously insulting to assume you know how people got the views that they have, but instead I'll just offer up the following story:

When I grew up, I went to a religious school that taught me, among other things, that my race was unique and special, that we were chosen by God, and that we had a special inalienable right to a certain disputed area of land over which people routinely kill one another. This was not "internalized racism." This is the literal teaching of the religion in which I was raised. Many other religions and cultures teach and reinforce something very similar, and in many cases these teachings predate the Western capitalist culture these social justice warrior fools are railing against by a very long time.


Now you can claim that this is horrific and wrong and an example of the evils of religion, but you're not going to get help from the social justice warriors who are preoccupied with destroying the "ideal" of "whiteness". Of course that makes sense when you consider that this is not actually about any big important ideals like social justice which have to be followed consistently. How can we expect predominantly white leftists with first world problems to know anything about what actually goes on in places like Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe where non-white people do legitimately awful things? It's not part of their frame of reference since these people know nothing outside their own experience anyway.

Isn't it fascinating how everything these people do proves the correctness of the conservative way of thinking?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little White Lies

It was bound to happen eventually. The time is at hand when the Canadian conservative movement must confront the issue of white privilege.

So far we've had one major clusterkludge on the Sun News Network and one loaded question directed at John Tory, which, surprise surprise, he didn't answer very well. In both cases, there was an attempt to deny the existence of white privilege, and in both cases the right (such as it was) fell victim to one of the oldest tricks in the social justice warrior handbook: make your opponent look like an utter dumbass by causing them to explain away a concept that they don't and can't understand very well. Perhaps I can be of assistance in making sure this doesn't happen again.

First of all, you may have noticed that the very concept of privilege is a colossal logic bomb specifically designed to confuse the hell out of privileged people so that they lose the debate before it even starts. White privilege exists, so we are told, and the reason we know privilege exists is because white people aren't aware of it. Because white people are not subject to racism they have a much easier time of it than non-privileged people, so they would of course have no frame of reference. Then, when they are called out on their privilege, they will naturally say, "Sorry, I don't see it." Denying privilege exists is proof that privilege exists!

If denying the existence of privilege is just going to encourage the social justice warriors and make us look (and feel) stupid, then what we need to do is stop sounding like irrationally positive Liberals who pretend things couldn't be better and say: Yes, privilege exists. There is a power imbalance and society is divided into those with power and those without. If you're having trouble doing this, just remember that in this province, we have been governed for quite some time now by Liberals who have never hesitated to exercise their privileges at our expense.

Now that we have admitted that society is composed of warring factions, we have two courses of action. We can get overwhelmed with guilt at how awful it is that there is a power differential and start falling over ourselves to tell everyone how sorry we are about it all, or we can start exposing the social justice warriors for the immense hypocrites they are by showing how they are out to steal our privilege for their very own.

In case you can't tell which one of these two paths I prefer, let's examine the consequences of each one. Path A, the path where we all feel terrible and give up everything of our own free will, is a nice and comfortable path, and the social justice warriors would really prefer you took it. They say, and some of them actually believe, that if you acknowledge your own privilege, nothing will happen to you. (This is, of course, a nicer way of saying, 'Your money or your life'!)  Path A is the path taken by lots of world leaders, and when you are on this path you bankrupt yourself and others doing whatever the social justice warriors want so as to avoid conflicts and because looking like you don't care about inequality is a bad way to stay in power.

Prospective mayor John Tory has, in his earlier incarnations, tried to win over the social justice warriors by giving them almost everything they wanted, but stubbornly refusing to budge on this or that issue, which always ended up being his downfall. That's the problem with the social justice warriors: they know that they can get everything they want by pushing the guilt button, so they don't settle for half measures.

Ah, but for those rare moments where the John Torys of the world decide to plant their flags, the social justice warriors need to set an example so that all the little people will not plant their flags as well. The social justice warriors do not like having to do this at all. Oh, the indignity! The dirty slog of politics! Why oh why do these conservatives force us to make attack ads and tithe our union brothers and sisters?

At this point, instead of capitulating or going back to pretending the problem doesn't exist, I recommend that conservatives do something that's so insane that it just might work. You see, when the social justice warriors get off their high horses and start using morally ambiguous tactics, they have crossed a threshold. They are now trying to impose their agenda by force. So: if they are willing to leave their saintly principles by the wayside now, what's to stop them from doing the same once they have attained real power? What's to stop them from tilting the playing field in their favour? What's to stop them from becoming- gasp- privileged themselves???? Not a damn thing.

So what should conservatives do, then? It's easy: Point their fingers and draw attention to the fact that the high-minded social justice warriors are no different from anyone else. They are people, and people are self-interested. They do not want equity: they want supremacy. They do not want an end to privilege: they wish to have it for themselves. They do not want social justice at all, but a license to kill.

An example of this would be to make the case that your opponent is not a spoiled manchild who is "in over his head", but a bloodthirsty revolutionary enamored with his own destiny who will not hesitate to brutalize everyone who dares oppose him. By saying these completely true things, the CPC would be giving Canadians a reason to believe they are "better off" with Harper, instead of just saying so and hoping they'll believe it. Because Canadians are no different from the social justice warriors or from Trudeau or from anyone. We're all people, and we're all driven by the desire to protect ourselves and the people who look the most like us (which is a pretty good explanation for white privilege in and of itself, but that's neither here nor there) and while it's fine to dream, the song isn't quite true: Heaven is not a place on Earth.

And the social justice warriors, incredibly enough, acknowledge this fact. Why, they ask themselves, can we dream of all kinds of fantasy worlds yet we have not been able to imagine one where oppression does not exist? I have never yet heard a better argument for the correctness of the conservative worldview. The reason why we cannot imagine a world without oppression is because one cannot exist, and will never exist, because privilege is part of who we are.

Indeed, privilege is so integral to society and to all of our lived experiences that no conservative should have a reason to deny that it exists!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Running Man

Mild-mannered Richard Klagsbrun was just doing his thing, blogging at Eye On A Crazy Planet and writing about educational issues, until one day, fed up with mismanagement at the Toronto District School Board, he decided to run for school trustee in downtown Toronto.

He didn't have grand political ambitions. He didn't know about the politics of his opponent and trustee-apparent, 
union puppet and Hezbollah flag-waver Ausma Malik, until he got into the race. And he certainly didn't know that by putting his name on the ballot, he would turn a low-profile trustee race into a national news story. Now he's up against the social justice warrior machine, in what might be the fight of his life.

Who are social justice warriors? They used to be your basic leftists, but around 2011 they kind of got fed up with how the right was marching to victory every time because people were worried about jobs and the economy after the recession and the right had the issue of the economy well in hand. Realizing that they were never going to win so long as the concept of the economy mattered to people, they set out to demonstrate massively against income inequality, as well as racism and misogyny and all the other problems that come along with living in a world where an economy matters. They decided they were going to shut down the system entirely and start a new one. They were going to make use of social media to attack capitalism and racism en masse wherever they saw it. Instead of wasting their time reaching out to drones like you and me who are embedded in the system, they decided they were going to destroy the system and that would be so awesome that people would join them of their own free will.

In summary, social justice warriors are the new face of the left, people who are so done with being not-haves that they have collectively said #YOLO and have stopped worrying about collateral damage. This is crucial. In days of yore you could always count on the left to come to the table and talk about the economy and how to make it so people who didn't have it so good would be taken care of in some way. No more. These people are damn proud of what they're doing and how awesome they are for doing it.

At the three major levels of government, where there is scrutiny by the media and an organized resistance, they have to move forward slowly. But in places like the Toronto District School Board, where there is less scrutiny, the social justice warrior agenda is given free rein. The result: Widespread misuse of public money. Barely disguised attempts to promote the agendas of governments with awful human rights records under the guise of helping students "understand their history". Attempts to exorcise the demon of white privilege.

Their M.O. is always the same:

Step 1: Find a group of unsuspecting people congregating together, slightly out of sight from the public view
Step 2: Surprise them with a swarm of attacks
Step 3: Take advantage of their disorganization and confusion to impose their agenda.

As they spread from sector to sector, coming soon to a theater near you, the social justice warriors must, eventually, make their presence known in your world. If you have a thing that you like, that thing is going to be attacked as a symptom of our diseased culture, and you need tostop liking it because if you just like the thing without being intensely critical of the thing, you're just perpetuating the culture.

So let me reiterate: You, Mr. or Mrs. Blog Reader Type Person, will soon be in the same position as our friend Richard, having to defend yourself against incursions from the social justice warriors, whether you want to or not. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Not A Lie.....If You Believe It

I've been staring at the following two headlines for the past hour trying to figure out a way they can co-exist in the same universe:

"Ontario Premier Says Her Government On Side Of Unions When It Comes To Good Jobs."

"Ontario Orders School Board Trustees To Cancel Pay Raises". I'm sorry. There's just no way she could get away with this. She did not promise good paying jobs to unions and then tell trustees to retract a pay raise for themselves like 5 minutes later. Well, actually, of course she did, because Ontarians are just that gullible, which just may be how Ms. Wynne got to be Premier in the first place. If Kathleen Wynne stood in front of a bunch of voters and said, "I am not here in this room right now," I'm pretty sure they'd believe that, too!

Oh, wait a minute, it's actually worse than that. Wynne just told the trustees to cancel the raise. She didn't elaborate how she'd make them actually do it. So she's like a parent who threatens to punish her kids but never does. We knew that already, of course. This is the Premier who made a transparently false apology for the gas plant in a debate. This is the Premier who said the government would be more careful about consulting people about wind turbine development when it hasn't. This is a Premier who declared that there would be an open government initiative and then slammed the door shut on what's going on at the Ontario Power Authority. She says stuff because she knows you fools are dumb enough to believe it.

For the past two months I've watched my conservative friends on Facebook cream their jeans every time Kathleen Wynne makes a move towards corralling her out-of-control union pals. It's like watching Charlie Brown try to kick the football. "No guys, she actually said there was no more money this time! We should totally believe her!" Never mind that these are exactly the sort of people who should be able to see Wynne for the duplicitous, mendacious, disingenuous soul that she is: they want government spending to decrease, dammit, and that's all they care about.

Let's look at the hard evidence. Unions put Wynne in power and kept her there. Less-government-spending people didn't. Therefore there is precisely 0% of a reason for Kathleen Wynne to actually follow through on her half-hearted calls for less spending.  But because there are enough people who are so stupid as to actually believe her calls for less spending are genuine since she's such a nice lady who smiles a lot, we're going to be stuck in this two-step forever. Ontarians are never going to wake up to the fact that Kathleen Wynne is playing what amounts to a game of peek-a-boo with them, because she's smart enough to realize that this bluster about the deficit is just that: bluster.

Of course all the other provinces point their fingers and laugh, ignoring the fact that wherever you live right now, you've probably got a provincial government that has decided to ignore massive chunks of their own electorate. Right-leaning governments are toppling like dominoes across our country, and the ones that do have conservative credibility (B.C. and Quebec) are only that way because conservatives comprise a wing of that party that could be replaced at any time without too much damage to the government at large since the left is effectively non-existent there (for now). In those provinces they have tried to create actual conservative parties that have failed because: why? Why pay anything more than token attention to this rump of voters? Who cares about what they want?

Then you have the absolute champion of this new brand of Liberal fuddle-duddle: your friend and mine, Justin Trudeau. This week Derpy decided to take it to a new level by saying no, the fact that ISIS/ISIL are beheading and raping and running wild across the Middle East doesn't mean we should step up and help people there.

Well, why the hell not? He's already given the one finger salute to people who are opposed to marijuana legalization, pro-lifers, those who believe in a partisan Senate, Sun News, supporters of Israel, and those of us who give a whoop about the economy. Why shouldn't he toss foreign policy hawks off the island, too? Who are these Bush-lovers, anyway, and why should they have anything resembling representation in government?

Oh, but Trudeau will continue to reassure everyone that he is the Prime Minister of all Canadians, as opposed to those conservatives who are only interested in playing to their base. And we will believe him, and he knows it. He knows that the government has already won the battle for our souls, and we depend on it to show us the way.

Of course most conservatives think this is Trudeau proving he's unfit to be Prime Minister, but I beg to differ: I think Trudeau knows exactly who he's speaking to. He thinks there is a Bizarro World Ford Nation out there who wants an end to wars abroad, an end to social conservatism, and an end to austerity. He has a raft of allies who have won elections banking on the same thing.

I hope to heaven that he, and I, am wrong. But I don't think I am.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Red Herrings

I am endlessly fascinated by the paradoxes of modern leftist thought. On the one hand, they believe that racism and sexism and other social ills are widespread, cultural, systematic and pervasive. On the other hand, they also believe that they as individuals have nothing to do with the spread of these social ills.

The standard bearers of the left have set themselves up in opposition to capitalism, white privilege, and the patriarchy. They dedicate themselves to destroying these three things. Poverty exists because of capitalism. Racism exists because of white privilege. Violence against women exists because of the patriarchy. Remove capitalism, white privilege, and the patriarchy, and the social ills that they cause will disappear. To remove capitalism, white privilege, and the patriarchy, all that is necessary is to educate oneself about these issues, and you will undergo a magical transformation that will allow you to be less racist, less classist, and less misogynistic.

(By the way, this is what Justin Trudeau really means when he says, "the budget will balance itself" but we're not going to get into that today.)

Leftists will get really, really mad if you suggest to them that social ills are a difficult but necessary part of being human. They cannot accept that capitalism is a natural expression of humanity. Greed is not natural. Hate is not natural. Violence is not natural. These things are cultural, and are the result of noxious and nebulous invisible conspiracies perpetrated by the 1% and by corporations.  They can be overcome through education. They must be overcome by education, because if they can't, then the whole progressive enterprise is kind of doomed, and, ummmm....

If you are somehow still racist, classist, and misogynistic, it's because you're doing the educating thing the wrong way, or you are allowing something to interfere with your education. And that is why Olivia Chow's campaign for Mayor of Toronto is in big trouble. She has allowed the seductive promise of power to distract her. She was talking about populist issues that do not matter, like saying she'll respect tax dollars and pretend to be concerned about how public money is spent. Luckily, someone got to her just in the nick of time (of COURSE it had nothing to do with declining poll numbers....are you suggesting that St. Jack's life partner could ever be motivated by self-interest?!?!?! For shame!!!!!) and that's why she's doing stuff like tossing the War Room Boss under the bus, mentioning the word "progressive" in every other sentence, and calling for property tax hikes.

Another person who wasn't sufficiently educated was Andrea Horwath, as this brutal writeup from Martin Regg Cohn a few days ago shows. Not only did Andrea Horwath run a campaign that was "more centrist than the Liberals, out-Torying the Tories", she and her inner circle have apparently been doing things like "concentrating power in the leader's office". This has antagonized the poor, innocent union movement to such a degree that they are feeling "little more than contempt" for Andrea, and we've got at least one union boss calling her a "coward," and at a convention a few month down the road Andrea might be "educated" right out of the leader's office. Horrible! Can you imagine how triggering this all is? How did the NDP get so far away from the sacred path of destroying capitalism? It must be the patriarchy at work, influencing and corrupting all it touches!

Olivia Chow is, as I've said, no Andrea Horwath. She's come to her senses and is trying to rebuild. But, as many have it going be enough? Not if the polls are any indication, at least right now.We might actually end up with John Tory, of all people, as Mayor of Toronto, because Olivia decided to play the power game.

Now this is very interesting. You would think Olivia realizing that she erred and changing course would get the masses - who, let's remember, are very concerned about income inequality and not at all about getting their own back, violently, from those who cross them- on her side again. See, it's about education. And when you're educating yourself, you have to make mistakes and apologize and learn from them. If we accused third graders of being "cowards" because they couldn't do their long division the right way, we'd be monsters. 

And we also know that the left is qualitatively different from the right (so they say) in that they don't do things like nurse grudges and tear people down just for the sake of tearing them down. That's the kind of mean-spirited behavior we can expect from conservatives. But what else can you call it when the left treats Olivia Chow and Andrea Horwath the same way? If I didn't know better, I'd say that the disgruntled left are just mad that they lost the provincial election and that they are losing this mayoral election.

They'll never admit that, though. They will hide their bitterness and greed and hateful feelings behind phrases like "conditions of injustice". They will continue to blame their losses on the machinations of the evil business elite for distracting people like Chow, Horwath and Mulcair from the true path that led guys like Bill de Blasio to victory in NYC.  Speaking of which, what is Bill de Blasio up to? Failing to keep his promise to fully end stop-and-frisking, I see? Well, I guess the left should be getting mad about that, except they must be distracted by big business again, or something.

Anyway, one thing we can all agree upon is that BS-ing yourself and others and saying things which you don't really believe is no way to win an election. Isn't it nice to find some common ground?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The War At Home

When I was in school not so long ago, studying something non-political so I could have a reasonably fulfilling job, a lot of my classmates didn't quite know what to make of my interest in the political world.

In my line of work, you try to avoid controversy. There are a lot of attempts to stay professional and above the fray. Some are successful at maintaining this professionalism. Most are not, but that's because they try and fail. And since everyone was trying so hard to pretend like they were professional robots and developing anxiety disorders in the process, there was little patience or understanding for people who actively sought out controversial stuff like politics.

So topics of discussion in school focused around stuff like TV shows, video games, sports teams, pumpkin spice lattes at Timmy's, and other stuff that was vanilla enough to be discussed without offending anybody. (In case you didn't know, pumpkin spiced lattes are now controversial, part of the anti-GMO agenda.)

Some of these people came from places that were torn apart by war. They may have lost family members in conflict and were no strangers to politics. Others were from small-town Ontario where there is little reason to love the government on a good day. But for some reason, they didn't bring their outside stuff into the classroom. And that was the way it was.

Then one day the Ontario government decided that the way everyone in my profession got paid was an affront to fairness. Until that day, we had been pretty confident that we were helping people, and that people trusted us in return. I of course knew that was nonsense, and that people viewed us as little more than pawns of massive corporations out to squeeze them for every dollar that they were worth, and that if things were really fair, we'd all be working for free. I knew that because I was a conservative, and I had pretty much always understood that life was an unending struggle for dominance, for the tiniest advantage over the next person. And for a short while there, they understood that, and life was good for me.

Then the government won the fight, as it always does, and my colleagues went right back to talking about the same stuff they'd always talked about.

I tell you this tale of woe because if it isn't your story, it soon will be. Soon, you too will be castigated by people for doing something you thought was perfectly natural and right, that you had always done and you will be made to change your behaviour. You can't stay on the sidelines. You can't claim neutrality. You are not safe.

This is the ultimate, undisguised agenda of the left. The total reconstruction of our society based on mass hashtag-shaming and picking fights over day-to-day issues until you can't even recognize the world around you anymore. This is the aim of the social justice warriors, of the unions, of the various forces which gain ground each and every day. And in a world where we're very, very concerned about rising income inequality, you- yes you, person reading this- are not going to avoid their scrutiny. Sooner or later, you will fall afoul of their agenda. You'll use an offensive word, or resist a change, or fail to speak out when your favourite actor or actress breaks a taboo.

Some people say, "Well, Mr. J., what's wrong with social justice? Why are you mocking people who want social justice? Isn't equality and fairness what we all want?" Sure. I couldn't possibly be against equality and fairness, because that would make me a monster. If it were just about equality and fairness, I would have nothing to write about. If it were about fairness and equality, the people pushing these agendas would have some defined point where things would finally be fair and equal.

Except....for some reason, the social justice goalposts keep moving. It's the craziest thing. When a milestone gets reached- like, say, having a Premier of Ontario who is a woman and who is married to another woman- you can't draw the conclusion that we have less sexism and/or homophobia in our province on the basis that such a thing was unthinkable just a decade ago.

You can't feel good about the direction in which society is heading, you can't praise advancements in equality and fairness, and you can't be optimistic about things getting better because- and here's the kicker- it is not about equality and fairness. It is about greed, selfishness, and endless, endless entitlements disguised as a drive for fairness and equality. How much can we squeeze from these rich people who don't like being called privileged?  What are other ways we can make people who have more than we do feel bad about themselves? Isn't it great that we can be as harassing and cruel as we wish to people we don't like and justify it because we've been oppressed for so long? 

We ask ourselves why Canadians are going overseas to join ISIS, as if this needs to be explained. They join ISIS because they want the power to retaliate against society because society hasn't given them what they want. I guess we should feel lucky that we have only have to deal with out-of-control unions, because at least the unions and the social justice warriors confine themselves to complaining about TV shows and video games and celebrities being offensive. You've got to go pretty far away from Canada to find oppression worth picking up a gun to fight against, I guess. Privilege really is terrible, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sympathy For The Devil

There was a lot of schadenfreude in the rightosphere lately about how Olivia Chow's mayoral campaign distanced itself from our old friend the War Room Boss. To some people, this is, apparently, some kind of victory, which is an understandable response given the steady, unrelenting rain of crap that the right has had to deal with for what seems like forever.  

Yes, I can definitely sympathize. For I remember the early days of this here blog, when I took it upon myself to occasionally push back against the War Room Boss' theatrical Carville-ianisms once it became clear that the PC Party of Ontario had jelly in their spines and would rather loudly proclaim "NOBODY CAAAAAARES ABOUT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY" (whilst clicking on his site a zillion times per day) instead of, you know, doing anything. 

So it fell to li'l ol' me to do stuff like correct the record when he tried to imply that the PCPO was attacking Bill Davis, or to point out that one of the guys in his punk band just happened to have some coincidental connection to an attempt to boot Ford from office early, or to purchase a copy of his latest book in a Chapters outlet a couple of days before it was supposed to be made available to the general public. Fun stuff, not so significant in the grand scheme of things. Hell, I even dared to dream that he appreciated the fact that someone cared enough to try.

But (I thought, anyway) there was a higher purpose here: If I could show that the big bad scary War Room Boss was not the Mephistopheles everyone else on the right made him out to be, then maybe we could get back to important stuff like winning elections. Maybe, just maybe, if we pushed back as a movement, effectively, using facts instead of sputtering ragefully or pretending "nobody cares" about this stuff, then we would look like a group of people the voters would consider voting for instead of being the butt of jokes.

Little did I realize that the right is so wracked by insecurity that they would rather tell each other ghost stories or deny the existence of the problem altogether. And- let's be honest- the podunk, cottage-industry nature of our political system makes people like the War Room Boss (who have actually studied at the feet of guys like Carville who take their jobs seriously) look like Prometheus bringing fire to the mortals. So, I got a lot of visits to my site every time I pushed back, but nobody else joined in.

Then, Dalton called it quits and Team Pupatello tried and failed to retain some form of sanity within the OLP and....well, there was really no point in poking him any longer. There was a much bigger threat now. The armies of Big Labour had emerged as a viable political force, influencing the choosing of a Premier of Ontario, and suddenly the left didn't need guys like the War Room Boss to frighten the right with a little theatricality and deception.

There is no more room for cisgendered white privileged males (like the War Room Boss) within the confines of a truly progressive party, or mayoral campaign for that matter. No more "it's the economy, stupid." No more Clintonian triangulation, no more "borrowing ideas from the left and the right". No more "mean-spirited attack ads" or showing up on TV with Barney the Dinosaur dolls or war rooms in general. Cheap political tricks like that distract from the real progressive narrative- destroying capitalism, the abolition of the concept of gender, forced transfers of power to the underprivileged, the end of resource exploitation, the dismantling of the police and the military, overturning the entire judicial system......and hey, PR guys like the War Room Boss make their living off of representing some of those interests, don't they? Oh dear.

But let's not be too mean to Mr. War Room Boss. He's just reaping the fruits of his own labour. For in that book of his which I purchased, he laid out the thesis that the way back to power for progressives was to harness the energy of the Occupy Movement. Of course he should have known that it's impossible to co-opt a group of inflexible radicals who have committed themselves to destroying the system and have no interest in being part of it....but then again, aren't we guilty of the same thing? Haven't we underestimated the unions and the social justice warriors for decades, telling ourselves that the real votes are in the centre?

And do we imagine- as the War Room Boss did, once upon a time- that we can stay holed up in our little enclaves? Do we, and other traditional Liberals, imagine that we will be spared the guillotine? No, no....the social justice warriors will not be so kind. All who participated in the system will pay, and pay dearly.

So let us remember the War Room Boss positively, with some wistfulness for the fun times that were. Because compared to what's coming, a few tweets calling a subway plan racist is water cooler conversation, easily forgotten.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Time Is A Flat Circle

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Durham MP Erin O'Toole asking for donations because Sid Ryan and the unions had elected a Liberal in his riding provincially, the riding that his own dear father had held for so long. It was a good email. It played on people's emotions. It'll likely achieve its objective, which is to net the CPC a good chunk of cash. But for all that, it missed the point entirely.

The point being- as we all know- that we have a group of unions ready to activate at a moment's notice and destroy everything conservatives hold dear. And nobody seems to be able to do anything to stop them.

Now you would be justified in wondering precisely why (after three elections in which the Working Families Coalition made a very big difference) the right has been so slow to do anything substantial to counter their influence. You might even ask this question aloud. But as I've found out over the years, suggesting that anything more be done than "spreading the word" about nefarious union influence in the hope that the average Canadian won't stand for it gets party people very very nervous and causes them to start making a spiel that I call the "We Need To Be Very Careful" speech.

Supposedly, if you listen to these people, when the contract was drawn up that created the Working Families Coalition, the Liberal lawyers wrote in some super-secret magickal legal incantation from the fourth circle of hell that our top legal minds can't hope to decipher, much less replicate. I of course have no legal training (and neither do lots of other rank-and-file conservatives), so I wouldn't even be able to begin untangling this knot. The upshot of all this, though, is that whenever anyone starts musing about raising money as a third party as a possible counter to the WFC, chances are they're going to get pulled into a room somewhere and told that We Need To Be Very Careful about that because unspecified horrible things will happen with Elections Canada being somehow involved.

While I admit to not being able to tell a legal brief from a brief summation, I have a pretty good understanding of human psychology. And I know that when people start expending a lot of energy worrying about beside-the-point issues, it's so they can distract people, and themselves, from massive, truck-sized problems like "What the hell are we going to do, to really do, about this WFC and these unions" that they've convinced themselves are way, way too hard to tackle.

This was the reason for last year's embarrassing right-to-work debacle, in which the PC Party nearly ate itself for fear that we were handing the unions a loaded gun. As if our very existence wasn't a trigger for the WFC. It's also why the PC Party of Ontario expends so much energy on the Red Tory vs. Blue Tory battles, because if we can't stop those unions, at least we can make life difficult for each other. It's why the PC's spend so much time "sticking to the message" on policies that are vote losers and on idiotic "laser-like focuses", because when you are "laser-like focused" on something you can't see the train barreling towards you until it's two feet away.

And if that wasn't bad enough- if you comforted yourself with the knowledge of "well, at least the federal party has it together"- we now see this exact same behaviour coming out of the PMO in the form of ridiculous ads against Justin Trudeau that are about as damaging as a kiss on the forehead. But it's not just stupid ads about marijuana- it's how right-wing folks unironically refer to Junior as the Shiny Pony, how Sun News uses the same Secret Muslim messaging about Trudeau that worked so brilliantly against Obama, and how we've all convinced ourselves that Canadians are too smart to vote for Mr. In Over His Head next October. We all see the gathering together of Liberal elites and their union running dogs in preparation for next year, and we've decided that we're going to pass the time laughing at Justin and pretending that he is far too silly to be taken seriously so that we can act all shocked if he does reduce the CPC to atoms the same way we all acted surprised that the PC's flamed out in June.

Conservatives have become conflict avoiders, worn down by years of being accused of having hidden agendas and feeling increasingly like the battle for the culture is being lost. And as they continue to conflict avoid, the social justice warriors will continue to acquire more and more power while blaming invisible conspiracies for all the ways in which our society continues to slip backwards. Then the debt bomb will explode, and the difference between us here in nice safe Canada and the rest of the world will disappear, and we will be finally forced to confront these problems that we have avoided for so long, and there will be an enormous amount of chaos, and then the cycle will start all over again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Psalm 118

What is the biggest knock against the Liberals? What is the one thing, above all else, that annoys people (okay, us) about them? There are lots, sure, but if we had to pick one thing, only one, what would it be?

No question about it. It is that Liberals lie.

Are Liberals the only ones that lie? Not at all. Conservatives lie plenty. I'm not going to pretend that they don't. The difference is in what Liberals lie about.

Liberals lie about who they are. They will tell you that they are: Canada's natural governing party, the party that listens to grassroots, the party of Bay Street, of Main Street, of Toronto, of Montreal, of rural Alberta, of free trade, of protectionism, of aggressive foreign policy, of being honest brokers, of the flag, of Canada's health care system, of compassion, of deep cutbacks to the provinces in the 1990's, of higher taxes, of the environment, of pipelines, of the Senate, of veterans, of peacekeeping, of education, of net neutrality, of protection of standards, of supply management, of reproductive freedom, of protection of religious rights, of multiculturalism and LGBTQ equality and personal freedom and everything else that could be dreamed of. A Liberal will tell you that they are all of these things at once without seeing any kind of contradiction.

Well actually.....that's not quite true. I mean, sure, up until very recently it was true. That's how Liberals won elections. And when they won elections there was a hope that they would do something right every so often. Even when they lost elections, that hope never went away.

But then, something happened. It didn't happen to the Liberals per se. It happened around the time of the last financial crisis, where people saw their incomes and futures wiped out and where an entire generation- my generation- saw themselves saddled with more debt than they could ever imagine would be paid off in 50 lifetimes. And instead of fighting back, we all just kind of.....went up to our rooms and pulled the covers over our heads.

The system had basically failed, and the voting public decided it couldn't be fixed. It, and the people who supported it, were going to rebuild it, and themselves, out of nothing, by educating themselves about all the ways in which they were terrible and personally responsible for oppression. These people and this system were going to be punished for the tiniest errors. Opposition leaders were going to be defeated in their own ridings. People who reached out across the aisles to non-traditional bases of support were going to have their arms metaphorically chopped off. Change was going to be looked at as scary and terrible.

Don't go looking for real reform from opposition parties. Those guys are and were all just fakers and posers, fauxgressives and not-real-conservatives, who weren't really down with the way stuff was. And as such the voting public would be damned if it was going to rouse itself for anything other than the true Second Coming, the new Golden Age of Prosperity to which everyone was entitled.

Therefore, just doing things the same old way isn't going to work for the Liberal Party of Canada and their various and multihued subsidiaries in the provinces and in the cities. Gone is your grandpa's LPC where you could hope for a tax break every couple of decades. The new Liberal Party of Canada is now a full-on revolutionary, positivity-fuelled tide of history into which all the brightest lights are drawn, under the leadership of the Destined One, the Kings of Kings, and the Breaker of All Vessels. You know to whom I refer before I even write His name- His Christlihoodness - the LORD- Justin Trudeau.

We all know, on some primordial level, that His Derpiness's daddy was the closest thing we have in this country to a mythological figure- a Lincoln, or a Pilsudski, perhaps, or even Uncle Jesse from Full House. So- logically- Justin is the only one with the ability to bring in the Age of Glory. That is why everyone is projecting their wants onto him, and him specifically. That's why this guy is able to say that it's time for a carbon tax while Stephane Dion and Alf Apps got trampled for saying the exact same thing. The LORD is on the side of a carbon tax, so what might men do?

That and the fact that the unions have picked him as the guy who's going to finally take down Harper. That always helps.

Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, Liberals lying. Yeah, that was a bit of a downer. But no longer. They don't have to lie anymore and be all things to all people in that annoying Liberal-y manner. These guys have the Justinian authority to go full on wackadoodle progressive- after they get into government. For now, they have to pretend to be pro-pipeline and other stuff like that, but that's what all great Liberal leaders do- tell people they're not going to raise taxes, or tell people they'll eliminate the GST.

Consider Israel. No longer will the LPC have to issue half-assed press releases supporting Israel's right to defend itself. No longer will people like Rick Salutin have to wag their fingers at progressives who happen to be pro-Israel. Can you imagine the relief? Can you imagine how much easier it will be for Liberal MPs to not have to worry about tangling themselves into existential knots, to not have to be jealous of the CPC who can afford to take a consistent stand on the issue? They can just drop the whole charade and tell pro-Israel people to go take a flying leap, the same way they told the pro-lifers and whatever contingent of the LPC supported partisanship in the Senate.

By the way, if you happen to be a supporter of Israel and can't stomach an LPC where Omar Alghabra determines Middle East policy, well, you can sit in the corner with Tim Hudak and everyone else who thought some semblance of fiscal discipline was an idea Canadians would still get behind. Don't do that, though, because there's still a chance that Trudeau might let CJPAC  continue to throw nice parties in downtown Toronto.

So it is that ideas that we could all once agree had some merit get tossed out the window, and the stone the builders had rejected becomes the cornerstone, or whatever.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Where We're Headed

It's been about a month since the PC Party of Ontario caved in on itself (again) and since we have a nice long period of undisturbed Pax Liberalis ahead of us with nothing to do until the mayoral election comes to a boil (and we'll get to that very soon, oh yes we will), I thought I'd just sketch out for all of you wonderful people exactly what lies in store for us as a species, because that's the kind of service I've gotten rather good at performing.

I want to paint for you a picture of a world where the very notion of fiscal conservatism has ceased to exist. We're talking absolutely zero concern about the use and misuse of public funds, where the notion of living within your means is about as quaint and outdated as reading The Saturday Evening Post.  Debt is not a bad thing or a shameful thing anymore; it's what we all deal with. It's an annoyance. The debt and deficit is at some comically huge number of digits, but things continue as before. Life goes on. People work two or three jobs and are increasingly stressed out and detached, and companies stretch further and further to make ends meet. But it's all good. Because it's a load we're all sharing together. Governments don't give a whoop about how hard it is for you and would rather tell you that we're living in times of unprecedented prosperity, but when you look abroad at places like the Crimea or Iraq or Israel or places in Africa where they kidnap school-age children because they can, you realize things aren't that bad. Then Game of Thrones comes on and that's all people can talk about the next morning.

This is the near future. It's a lot like the present. In the slightly farther future, we stop talking about debt altogether, because debt is a concept created by rich people to enslave poor people. Everyone knows that.  We'll be starting to look really critically at the very notion of money. Why do we have this stuff called money, anyway? All it does it create problems. And jobs. When was the last time you went to your job and did anything but work way too hard to earn money? Just what the hell is so fulfilling about that for you as a person?!

Is it your fault that your job sucks, that you're in debt, and that you don't have enough money? Of course not! You're fine. You're great! You have lots to offer the world and you're entitled to the best the world has to offer! All the time! Literally not one second must pass where you have to deal with something that makes you feel like less of a person. And that includes hurtful language, someone not getting where you're at emotionally, or having someone overstep themselves.

And if anyone commits any one of these social crimes, regardless of their intent, then you are absolutely justified in being as rude, as harsh, as confrontational as you can possibly be. These people are oppressive, are literal rapists, and contribute to assorted cultures of violence against underprivileged people. They need to be exposed, repeatedly, to the kinds of social violence that they perpetrate, consciously and unconsciously, against everyone else so that they understand and are properly EDUCATED and feel incredible amounts of shame about the role they play in maintaining the system that holds everyone else down.

So I'm sure you can see how in the happy and healthy society we are moving towards, in which everyone either believes the above or is socially terrorized into believing the above, we will have to do away with the notions of good paying middle class jobs, responsibility for yourself, fiscal discipline, the traditional family, and all the other stuff that we Conservatives were maintaining increasingly tenuous footholds on.

Now I want to stress that this is not the work of malevolent Liberals. People like Kathleen Wynne take advantage of this sort of thing, but they are not the creators of this entitlement virus. No, this is an authentic, crowdsourced creation of the people. They are simply done with sacrifice, and they're really done with having to sacrifice while other, more wealthy people stay more wealthy than they are. They're going to punish the NDP simply because they held up the Liberal budget for a month.

And- most importantly, even though nobody on the right wants to admit it publicly- not even Conservatives are willing to accept cuts. In what I will always consider the defining moment of Campaign 2014, Tasha Khierridin- a person who wrote a book entitled, "Rescuing Canada's Right,"- announced publicly that she wouldn't be voting for Tim Hudak because he was talking about doing something that would affect her child.

So no, Kathleen Wynne is not going to impose austerity or sell the LCBO. She's going to tell the credit agencies to go take a walk, and be lauded for it. Let the oppressive tools of global capitalism turn the screws on Ontario and downgrade our credit rating into the cellar. That's not going to stop Ontarians from greeting everyone they meet with a smile, even though the cupboard's a little bare.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Turn Down For What?

Part 3 in our series on "Why the PC Party of Ontario is Perma-Screwed" deals with the recently revived idea that Hudak's platform was too far to the right, and what was needed was a broadening of the party's appeal. Basically, we need to go back to trying to win over Liberals and swing voters.

It never ceases to amaze me how many conservatives there are who think that there is some magical dial out there, like a volume knob, that we can turn up and down, and there is some optimal level of "conservativeness" that is acceptable to the general public and we just haven't found it yet.

I've been involved in conservative organization for close to a decade now. I have lived all over this province. I have knocked on lots of doors and asked people how they feel about a wide range of conservative candidates and leaders, and people are saying the exact same things now as they were back then. If the candidate is openly and vocally conservative, that's scary and weird. If the candidate makes an effort to emphasize their own personal progressive views, or if the party makes an effort to curb those that are openly and vocally conservative, that's just a cover-up for the hidden agenda. Because there is no acceptable level of conservativism.

So go the John Tory route if you must, but don't expect people to like you or vote for you just because you do everything you can to show how progressive you are. When you do that, voters sit back and wait for you to make a mistake, and then when you inevitably do, that's all the reason they need. Because when it comes to being progressive, the real progressives have you beaten before you even start.

I remember how the federal Tories would talk about how the public would eventually get used to Harper and how, because he had been in office for a few years, he would eventually gain the trust of the voters so long as he didn't allow anything really crazy to happen. But here it is, with Harper having been in power for 8 years going on 9, and he's still regarded as this unnatural gargoyle perched atop Canadian politics. He and his government shouldn't be there. We're not a real country with him there. When Trudeau wins, then we'll have our country back. Even if Trudeau is infinitely worse than Harper? Yes, even then. Because Trudeau, for all his flaws, isn't a conservative.

If I needed an example of how little trust people place in Harper, I just need to point to the robocalls affair. When the story broke, Harper was guilty. That's it. It went all the way to the top, it was directed from the PMO, it was a targeted pattern of suppression, and it was perfectly consistent with Harper's M.O. Meanwhile, there is more evidence that the OLP ordered the cancellation of the gas plants, linking the OLP to ORNGE, knew about waste at eHealth, is connected to the Working Families name it....than there is evidence that Harper or the PMO ordered the robocalls. Today, everyone knows what a robocall is and is vaguely suspicious about them if not outwardly hostile to them, and nobody, if you believe articles that are written in the Toronto Sun, can tell you about the gas plant scandal "because it doesn't have a catchy name."

Liberals don't have to be competent or have policy that makes sense or be ethical or even really try that hard to be elected. There are Liberal MP's and MPP's that barely campaign, vanish between elections, hold openly pro-life views, are indistinguishable from members of the CPC or NDP, can't negotiate their way around an ethnic celebration without a platoon of handlers, and might be barely clinging to life. All of these are preferable to Conservatives- any conservatives, no matter how progressive- in the eyes of Canadians.

So the only possible way that Conservatives will hold government is- as the case with Harper- if they appear to be hypercompetent and hyperorganized in the face of endless efforts from the fifth column to discredit them. But that's hard. And in a place like the PC Party of Ontario, you don't go very far by preaching absolute competence. It's about the crucial distinction between Red Tories and Blue Tories (even though nobody outside the party knows or cares what the difference is) and how those people on the other side are to blame for whatever calamity we've just gone through.