Sunday, May 01, 2016

Canada’s Great Leap Forward

Feel the ecstasy of the Leftist writer below as Canada prepares to emulate Chairman Mao. And they even refer to the policy set as a "Leap". Yet another demonstration that the Left don't remotely understand economics.  That the policies described would be very impoverishing is not considered.  It's just dreams, divorced from reality.  But the policies concerned would be very disruptive and Leftists like that.  It is probably the real reason behind the "Leap".  Mao's version was certainly very disruptive.  The consolation is that, if implemented, the associated disasters will get Pretty Boy thrown out on his ear at the next Federal election

In early 2015, 60 representatives from Canada’s Indigenous rights, environmental, social and food justice, labour and faith-based movements met to draft a progressive vision for Canada’s future. The idea came from a belief that “now is the moment for a transformative agenda to come from outside electoral politics, to build a wave of popular support that will put real pressure on the Federal Liberal government.”

The result is the Leap Manifesto.

The manifesto, described as “a call for a Canada based on caring for the Earth and one another”, makes 15 demands. It starts with respect for “the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land” and full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It urges the shift to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, a 100 per cent clean economy by 2050, and commits to no new long-term fossil fuel extraction projects.

Other demands include community control of clean energy systems, investment in public infrastructure, high speed rail and affordable public transport, resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, and a localised ecological agriculture system.

It also advocates an end to damaging free trade deals, welcoming refugees and migrants, expanding low-carbon professions like caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public interest media, a universal basic income and removing corporate money from political campaigns.

These proposals would be fully funded by an end to fossil fuel subsidies, financial transaction taxes, increased resource royalties, increased corporate and high income taxes, a progressive carbon tax and cuts to military spending.

To me, this sounds like a common sense list of good public policy. It would rein in the cowboy extractivism of fossil fuel companies, end the toxic relationship between polluters and politicians, offer masses of good clean energy jobs, deliver justice to the most vulnerable parts of our population and secure a sustainable future for human beings on a liveable planet.

To the establishment complex of banks, government, industry, think tanks and the corporate media, a common sense plan to avoid climate catastrophe is actually an INSANE RADICAL MARXIST AGENDA TO RUIN THE ECONOMY.

The Leap Manifesto has made quite a splash since its release during the Canadian federal election campaign in September 2015, pretty much dividing opinion along these lines.

Thus far 200 organisations, 40,000 Canadians and numerous celebrities (celebrities!!!) have backed the manifesto while the media has hysterically dismissed the document as “economic madness”, a “prescription for economic ruin” and my personal favourite, “another step towards re-enacting the Bolshevik revolution”.

The great strength of the manifesto is its grassroots origins and political independence.

As a “People’s Platform”, it’s not limited by the constant compromises of electoral politics but can still make waves in Parliament. The Green Party of Canada have highlighted similarities between their own platform and the Leap Manifesto. The National Democratic Party (NDP), who were the favourites for the 2015 election until they were outflanked by Justin Trudeau’s disgusting handsomeness, passed a resolution at their convention earlier this month to support the Leap Manifesto and debate its principles at the grassroots level over the next two years. They lost their leader, Tom Mulcair, partly due to his unconvincing and shifting positions on key aspects of the manifesto.

A majority of voters from the Greens, NDP and governing Liberal Party support the Leap.



The White Working-Class Meltdown in the U.S.

They are the ones least able to protect themselves from perverse government politcies -- e.g. when a less qualified black gets a job they should have got -- or an illegal offers to work for less than the legal minimum wage

During an era of headline-grabbing advances in medicine, the United States is experiencing a health cataclysm.

The latest straw in the wind is last week’s report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that life expectancy for white women declined slightly from 2013 to 2014.

Other studies indicate rising death rates for a white working class that is in a slow-motion economic and social meltdown. Self-destructive behaviors are outpacing medical advances against killers like heart disease and cancer. Hopelessness may not be a condition studied by epidemiologists, but it is cutting a swath through a segment of white America.

A paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences late last year highlighted the bleak American exceptionalism of this crisis. It focused on middle-aged whites. In the 20 years prior to 1998, their mortality rate fell about 2 percent a year, in keeping with the trend toward lower mortality in other advanced countries. Then the rates diverged. Rates kept declining in countries like France and Britain. They begin increasing for middle-aged whites in the United States.

The slide in the wrong direction was driven by drug and alcohol poisoning, chronic liver diseases and suicide. In 1999, middle-aged blacks had higher rates of poisoning than whites; by 2013, rates were higher for whites. Overall, mortality rates for middle-aged blacks and Hispanics have declined since 1999, as they have increased for whites.

The trend among whites breaks down neatly by levels of education. The mortality rate for middle-aged whites with a high-school degree or less has jumped since 1999; the rate for middle-aged whites with some college but not a degree stayed roughly flat; the rate for middle-aged whites with a college degree or more dropped. If there is such a thing as white privilege, no one has told less-educated whites.

The most direct indicator of rising distress is that the suicide rate in the United States is at a roughly 30-year high, according to new figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. The rate increased for white middle-aged women by 80 percent from 1999-2014. Although the data wasn’t analyzed by education level, researchers believe it tracks with other findings about increased working-class mortality.

It is not just the middle-aged. The New York Times analyzed death certificates earlier this year. The good news is that the gap in death rates between young-adult blacks and whites is closing fast; the bad news is that soaring death rates for whites account for much of the change.

The Times found that the cohort of whites aged 25-34 is the first to have higher death rates than the generation before it since the Vietnam War, and the trend is particularly pronounced among the less-educated. The rate of drug overdoses among young whites quintupled from 1999-2014.

The white working class is dying from the effects of a long-running alienation from the mainstream of American life. As one researcher told the Times, “they are not in stable relationships, they don’t have jobs, they have children they can’t feed and clothe, and they have no support network.” It is a formula for loneliness, stress and despair.

The Washington Post recently wrote a compelling portrait of a woman in rural Oklahoma who died at age 54 of cirrhosis of the liver. It was a tale of joblessness, of martial breakdown, of alcohol abuse, of repeated heartbreak, until she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” She drank herself to death. At her funeral, the Post reporter noted the plots of friends and relatives who had died at ages 46, 52 and 37.

The authors of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper say middle-aged whites may be a “lost generation.” That is depressing enough, but there is no guarantee only one generation will be lost.



A Superior Vision

Walter E. Williams

Last month, I celebrated the beginning of my 81st year of life. For nearly half that time, I have been writing a nationally syndicated column on many topics generating reader responses that go from supportive to quite ugly. So I thought a column making my vision, values and views explicit might settle some of the controversy.

My initial premise, when looking at all human issues, is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are your private property. If you agree with that premise, then certain human actions are moral and others immoral. The reason murder is immoral is that it violates private property. Similarly, rape and theft are immoral, for they, too, violate private property. Most Americans will agree that murder and rape violate people’s property rights and are hence immoral. But there may not be so much agreement about theft. Let’s look at it.

Theft is when a person’s property is taken from him — through stealth, force, intimidation, threats or coercion — and given to another to whom it does not belong. If a person took your property — even to help another person who is in need — it would be called theft. Suppose three people agreed to that taking. Would it be deemed theft? What if 100,000 or several hundred million people agreed to do so? Would that be deemed theft? Another way to ask these questions is: Does a consensus establish morality?

Self-ownership can offer solutions to many seemingly moral/ethical dilemmas. One is the sale of human organs. There is a severe shortage of organs for transplantation. Most people in need of an organ die or become very ill while they await an organ donation. Many more organs would become available if there were a market for them. Through the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, Congress has made organ sales illegal. Congress clearly has the power to prevent organ sales, but does it have a right? The answer to that question comes by asking: Who owns your organs? One test of ownership is whether you have the right to sell something. In the case of organs, if it is Congress that owns our organs, then we have no right to sell them. That would be stealing from Congress.

People have the right to take chances with their own lives. People do not have a right to take chances with the lives of others. That is why laws that mandate that cars have brakes are consistent with liberty and seat belt laws are not. You might say, “Aha, Williams, we’ve got you there because if you don’t wear a seat belt and you have an accident and turn into a vegetable, society is burdened with taking care of you!” That’s not a problem of liberty. It’s a problem of socialism. Nobody should be forced to take care of me for any reason. If government assumes the job of taking care of us, then Congress can control just about every aspect of our lives. When I was a rebellious teenager, my mother frequently told me, “As long as you’re living in my house and I’m paying the bills, you’re going to do as I say.” That kind of thinking is OK for children, but not for emancipated adults.

I have only touched the surface of ideas of self-ownership. The immorality associated with violation of the principle of self-ownership lies at the root of problems that could lead to our doom as a great nation. In fiscal 2015, total government spending — federal, state and local — was about $6.41 trillion. That’s about 36 percent of our gross domestic product. The federal government spent $3.69 trillion. At least two-thirds of that spending can be described as government’s taking the property of one American and giving it to another. That’s our moral tragedy: We’ve become a nation of people endeavoring to live at the expense of others — in a word, a nation of thieves.



In 2015, 19,000 Criminal Illegal Immigrants Were Released From Custody

More than 19,000 criminal illegal immigrants were released from custody in 2015, according to new figures disclosed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

The 19,723 criminal releases—as the government refers to them—represent a 35 percent decrease from fiscal year 2014.

The phrase “criminal releases” can apply to a wide range of crimes, including traffic violations—such as driving without a license—to more serious offenses like sexual assault, rape, and murder. Their crimes include misdemeanors and felonies.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for less immigration, the 19,723 criminal releases had a total of 64,197 convictions among them. More than 200 of those were homicide convictions. Most are traffic offenders.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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