Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pathological Hatred

If you ever wanted more clear evidence of the pathological hatred the Liberals and the Left have for Stephen Harper, Scott Reid has provided it in an article in the Globe and Mail. Reid, a former Liberal Communications Director under Paul Martin makes it clear that the current wrangling in Parliament is not about the Canadian economy, what's best for Canada, the Canadian people or different visions for the best future of Canada. It is only about their pathological hatred of Harper.

"Harper is the most dangerous animal lurking in the jungles of Parliament"

"the public interest is always subjugated to his personal political advancement. And he poisons Parliament with an extreme, bare-fanged breed of partisanship that has no hope of repair until he is banished."

"he has laid himself vulnerable to his opponents. Their imperative could not be more clear: kill him. Kill him dead."

"So don't get fancy. Don't get confused. And don't get weak in the knees. If you don't put Mr. Harper in his grave, he'll put you in yours."

Remember, this is not coming from some ignorant yahoo. It is coming from a man who is accustomed to speaking for Prime Ministers and for the Liberal Party. It's not about what is best for you; it's about a hatred of Harper.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Government to Fall?

Lots of questions about what is going to happen in Parliament. With the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc get together to defeat the Conservative government? Will the Governor General ask Stephane Dion to form another government? I admit to being a partisan Conservative, here's why I think she'll need to send us back to the polls:

(1) Dion is the leader of a party that is trying to find a new leader

(2) Dion delivered the smallest % of the vote and the least number of Liberal seats of any Liberal leader in recent memory

(3) a coalition would require the support of the Bloc, who are unlikely to be formal partners in a coalition

(4) a coalition would require the support of the Bloc, who are dedicated to the destruction of Canada

(5) the Liberals are motivated by a blind hatred of Harper, rather than what is best for the Canadian economy

(6) the Liberals only real complaint against the Conservatives is that they aren't spending enough money. They have no good plan of their own to address problems in the economy

(7) Canadians voted for the Conservatives because they perceive that the Conservatives are best for the economy

(8) The Conservatives received the largest % of the popular vote

(9) The Conservatives have a very strong Minority

(10) I could be wrong, but the only historical precedent at the Canadian Federal level is the King/Byng Crisis. A Governor General is not likely to want to repeat this event.

Given these reasons, I believe it would be irresponsible for the Governor General to invite Dion to form a government.

Friday, November 28, 2008


The word "ideology" gets much criticized by the political Left in Canada, as if they themselves have no ideology. And politicians are much praised for setting aside their ideology for a more pragmatic approach during difficult times. But don't forget... setting aside your ideology for a pragmatic approach isn't a good thing when your ideology is right.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Protest Songs vs Changing the World

I was listening to a 1980's protest song over the weekend (specifically 99 Red Balloons). Catchy tune, but of course the words were a German protest against nuclear weapons, the war machine and Ronald Reagan. How Europe hated Reagan. They denounced him as a war-monger. He was burned in effigy, protesters screamed against him, and in the end it turned out he was right and the protesters were wrong. Reagan used the power of a capitalist economy to outspend the Russians, the Russians realized that they couldn't compete because of the weakness of the socialist economy, and the Russians gave up. The walls came down, peoples were reunited, and freedom rang. And of course Europe continued to hate Reagan, to smugly ignore religion and to embrace more socialist ideals. As for Reagan, I suspect he knew the magnitude of what he had accomplished, and didn't really care what a bunch of bearded lefties in Europe thought. But for the purpose of this post I guess the important thing is that that protesters were wrong and it was Reagan who changed the world.

Protest songs have a powerful legacy throughout the second half of the 20th century. But protest songs themselves are a reflection of all that is weak about the political left. Protest songs allow the left to feel like they are doing something, while they smugly look down on anyone who would actually sacrifice for their ideals. Protest songs can only be sung openly in a free society*, unburdened by Communism or thought-control**, the two main ends for which the Left strives (C.S. Lewis's essay on why he is not a pacifist comes to mind at the point). Finally, protest songs appeal to students. These songs let students rage against the system, ignoring the fact that the system (and Mom and Dad) are paying the tab. Socialism seems so good to students, because it is nice to have everything given to you. Unfortunately for students, it is a dream that someone else pays for.

It would be a mistake to over-estimate the strength of the political Left. True, they have media and courts in their favour, and these are a powerful influence. But the Left is ideologically bankrupt. They view a complex world through a series of over-simplistic slogans, and their economic system is not strong enough to support their goals. Finally, they are not willing to sacrifice for their ideals, in money let alone blood. Yes, the Left will win victories, and sing their songs, but in the end the song has to end eventually.

* Russia had a tradition of protest songs under Communism, but they could only be sung underground.

** while pretending to support free speech, the Left in practice is all in favour of silencing dissent of the Left, and using the coercive power of law to try to change peoples thought patterns.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Indian Navy

I tip my hat to the Indian Navy, who know how to deal with pirates without a lot of hand wringing about international law. Threaten to board them and when they open fire, sink them.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Car Makers

Recent press reports indicate that the "Big Three" car makers (GM, Ford and Chrysler) are all in trouble. Sales are way down, they are burning through cash like mad, and without a government bailout it is possible that one or two of them will go under.

I could comment on a situation where unions consider the company they work for to be the enemy, and believe with every fiber of their being that the company will always be around to milk. However this blog entry is going to focus on something different, and that is the fact that successful car makers must also be successful at selling cars. If you don't have a product that people want, you close up shop. If you do have a product people want, then you can usually make it through bad economic times into the next boom.

As for the "Big Three" they have been ignoring what customers want for a long time. Remember when Japanese cars were pathetic? Remember when "Made in Japan" meant cheap and poor quality? Yes, it is hard to imagine today, but such a time existed. But the Japanese car makers improved quality, and now set the gold standard. But Detroit never learned. Detroit's attitude was "add more chrome, add more styling, change to performance tires." And so they lost market share.

But what has really killed Detroit was the fact that the Japanese, having mastered quality, did start to pay attention to styling. Detroit rejoiced, thinking that the Japanese were now playing their game. But Detroit forgot that the Japanese took quality and added styling, while Detroit took styling and added more styling. Without a foundation of quality, nobody cares about styling.

So what should Detroit do? First of all, fire anyone who uses the word "chrome". And demote anyone who uses the word "styling". Close every production line that is producing low quality cars, and concentrate only on those lines that have a reasonable reputation for quality. Offer considerable bonuses to anyone in the company who can come up with ideas for improving quality.

But of course they won't. They'll try to keep doing what they've done in the past, with more energy. The unions will continue to think that there is a secret gold mine that can be tapped at contract time. And style will always take the place of substance in the minds of the automakers of Detroit. Wish it was different, but...