Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Every now and then, someone will call me (and by extension at least one in five British Columbians) “traitor”.
Presumably, they are referring to our lacking a feeling of allegiance to what R. W. W. Carrall (a Canadian in BC, sort of John A. Macdonald's version of today's Mr. Christie Clark) alluded to when he told BC's Legislative Council in 1870 of his vision of British Columbia as a "solitary outlying colony" handing Canada the "keys of the Pacific",
becoming an "integral part" of the "great and glorious Empire" Canada would become.1
That’s exactly how its been, a “colony” getting screwed by an “Empire”; and that’s not acceptable, that’s not what BC (reluctantly) signed on for.
Try reading the record of proceedings of BC's Legislative Assembly during the confounderation debates. You will notice the point of the deliberations: whether the move would be to the “pecuniary benefit” of BC; you’ll also notice members referring to British Columbia as their "country", "the country" and "our country*".
“The only bond of union outside of force- and force the Dominion has not-will be the material advantage of the country* and pecuniary benefit of the inhabitants. Love for Canada has to be acquired by the prosperity of the country*, and from our children.”2 (emphasis added)
Canada has operated under the apparent assumption that, for example, removing BC’s shipbuilding industry to Quebec (as they previously did with that of the Maritimes) or “managing” our salmon stocks to the edge of extinction for us, would somehow be to our “pecuniary benefit” or engender “love for Canada”.
And some people wonder why we call it “canerduh”. The only surprise is that this current arrangement has lasted since 1871.
So there it is, I’m a patriotic British Columbian, one of many who seek an end to our country’s exploitation by the Empire of the Canadians. Referendum under the Clarity Act and all that.
Name calling from imperialists just comes with the territory.
1 British Columbia Legislative Council, Debate on the Subject of Confederation with Canada Government Gazette Extraordinary of March 1870, Victoria.
2British Columbia, Legislative Council, Debates on Confederation with Canada, pg.11, 1870
Its interesting to note that, while there was no referendum held prior, the confederationists were tossed out to a man at the next election.
One of them, Helmcken noted his "disappointment" at the lack of public interest when the confederation delegation to Ottawa he was part of returned to Victoria;
"No notice was taken of the delegates- no vote of thanks even given them- positively nothing. It is true some half a dozen bankers and so forth gave Trutch a dinner, but neither Carral nor I were invited."
Helmcken, Reminiscences, Vol. V, p103
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
These happy Albertans are heading out of confounderation asap.
Here we go ... :-)
I can't say I'm a big fan of this "BC hooking up with Alberta and Saskatchewan" idea, but certainly those two telling Oddawha to go screw would help enormously here in BC, so I have to send hearty best wishes to the newly founded Western Business and Taxpayers Association.
" the primary reason for creating the WBTA is to have an organization that will act as a support structure for all those with our goals. Below you will find our 6 point plan:
1. Create separatist network that will strengthen the businesses of separatists and help them prosper so they can in turn donate to groups like the Separation Party of Alberta and / or any other party that may come along in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
2. We will also implement other strategies that will dramatically affect other parties.
3. We will fund any and all who share our vision of a new nation.
4. Develop a White Paper On Separation.
5. Convince the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia to withdraw from the federal transfer program, start collecting their own taxes and have a referendum on leaving confederation in compliance with the Clarity Act.
6. Provide training in Campaign Management, Candidate Development, Fundraising, Media Training and more for those that want to organize for elected office or to promote the separation agenda across Western Canada or in their provinces specifically. "
I must say they should have worked something in the way of Separation, Separatist, or better yet, Independence into the name, good to get it right out front, plus it Googles better. However, I shouldn't quibble.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
By SALMAN RUSHDIE
November 2, 2001
LONDON -- "This isn't about Islam." The world's leaders have been repeating this mantra for weeks, partly in the virtuous hope of deterring reprisal attacks on innocent Muslims living in the West, partly because if the United States is to maintain its coalition against terror it can't afford to suggest that Islam and terrorism are in any way related.
The trouble with this necessary disclaimer is that it isn't true. If this isn't about Islam, why the worldwide Muslim demonstrations in support of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda? Why did those 10,000 men armed with swords and axes mass on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier, answering some mullah's call to jihad? Why are the war's first British casualties three Muslim men who died fighting on the Taliban side?
Why the routine anti-Semitism of the much-repeated Islamic slander that "the Jews" arranged the hits on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with the oddly self-deprecating explanation offered by the Taliban leadership, among others, that Muslims could not have the technological know-how or organizational sophistication to pull off such a feat? Why does Imran Khan, the Pakistani ex-sports star turned politician, demand to be shown the evidence of Al Qaeda's guilt while apparently turning a deaf ear to the self-incriminating statements of Al Qaeda's own spokesmen (there will be a rain of aircraft from the skies, Muslims in the West are warned not to live or work in tall buildings)? Why all the talk about American military infidels desecrating the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia if some sort of definition of what is sacred is not at the heart of the present discontents?
Of course this is "about Islam." The question is, what exactly does that mean? After all, most religious belief isn't very theological. Most Muslims are not profound Koranic analysts. For a vast number of "believing" Muslim men, "Islam" stands, in a jumbled, half-examined way, not only for the fear of God — the fear more than the love, one suspects — but also for a cluster of customs, opinions and prejudices that include their dietary practices; the sequestration or near-sequestration of "their" women; the sermons delivered by their mullahs of choice; a loathing of modern society in general, riddled as it is with music, godlessness and sex; and a more particularized loathing (and fear) of the prospect that their own immediate surroundings could be taken over — "Westoxicated" — by the liberal Western-style way of life.
Highly motivated organizations of Muslim men (oh, for the voices of Muslim women to be heard!) have been engaged over the last 30 years or so in growing radical political movements out of this mulch of "belief." These Islamists — we must get used to this word, "Islamists," meaning those who are engaged upon such political projects, and learn to distinguish it from the more general and politically neutral "Muslim" — include the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the blood-soaked combatants of the Islamic Salvation Front and Armed Islamic Group in Algeria, the Shiite revolutionaries of Iran, and the Taliban. Poverty is their great helper, and the fruit of their efforts is paranoia. This paranoid Islam, which blames outsiders, "infidels," for all the ills of Muslim societies, and whose proposed remedy is the closing of those societies to the rival project of modernity, is presently the fastest growing version of Islam in the world.
This is not wholly to go along with Samuel Huntington's thesis about the clash of civilizations, for the simple reason that the Islamists' project is turned not only against the West and "the Jews," but also against their fellow Islamists. Whatever the public rhetoric, there's little love lost between the Taliban and Iranian regimes. Dissensions between Muslim nations run at least as deep, if not deeper, than those nations' resentment of the West. Nevertheless, it would be absurd to deny that this self-exculpatory, paranoiac Islam is an ideology with widespread appeal.
Twenty years ago, when I was writing a novel about power struggles in a fictionalized Pakistan, it was already de rigueur in the Muslim world to blame all its troubles on the West and, in particular, the United States. Then as now, some of these criticisms were well-founded; no room here to rehearse the geopolitics of the cold war and America's frequently damaging foreign policy "tilts," to use the Kissinger term, toward (or away from) this or that temporarily useful (or disapproved-of) nation-state, or America's role in the installation and deposition of sundry unsavory leaders and regimes. But I wanted then to ask a question that is no less important now: Suppose we say that the ills of our societies are not primarily America's fault, that we are to blame for our own failings? How would we understand them then? Might we not, by accepting our own responsibility for our problems, begin to learn to solve them for ourselves?
Many Muslims, as well as secularist analysts with roots in the Muslim world, are beginning to ask such questions now. In recent weeks Muslim voices have everywhere been raised against the obscurantist hijacking of their religion. Yesterday's hotheads (among them Yusuf Islam, a k a Cat Stevens) are improbably repackaging themselves as today's pussycats.
An Iraqi writer quotes an earlier Iraqi satirist: "The disease that is in us, is from us." A British Muslim writes, "Islam has become its own enemy." A Lebanese friend, returning from Beirut, tells me that in the aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, public criticism of Islamism has become much more outspoken. Many commentators have spoken of the need for a Reformation in the Muslim world.
I'm reminded of the way noncommunist socialists used to distance themselves from the tyrannical socialism of the Soviets; nevertheless, the first stirrings of this counterproject are of great significance. If Islam is to be reconciled with modernity, these voices must be encouraged until they swell into a roar. Many of them speak of another Islam, their personal, private faith.
The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depoliticization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern. The only aspect of modernity interesting to the terrorists is technology, which they see as a weapon that can be turned on its makers. If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries' freedom will remain a distant dream.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Our wild Pacific salmon don't have the Premier's ear.
During the 2001 election, the BC Liberals pledged to:
"Push Ottawa for provincial control over BC offshore fisheries, to improve fisheries, to improve fisheries management and protect jobs."
A New Era for British Columbia pg.3
Well, they've had most of two terms and we're still waiting for them to report on what progress has been made. Burnaby Liberal MPPs are maintaining silence.
Ottawa's mismanagement of BC's fish stocks has been disastrous, eliminating the involvement of DFO's Sparks Street mandarins would be a crucial step in saving our wild Pacific salmon from going the way of cod in the Northwest Atlantic.
Allow me to urge you, treasured reader, to email Gordie Campbell, Carole the Nice and your local members (for all the pull they have) and push for this push. With an election coming in the spring, they may just decide to listen.
Monday, December 8, 2008
With Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and an all star band live at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert. October 16, 1992
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It seems Stephi Dionne has been drumming up some external support. Note he promised "When I am Prime Minister, you will get the Canada you want."
Feel free to use your imagination on that one.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
One of the more amusing aspects of the current uproar out in Imperial HQ Oddawha is the oft-repeated charge that a coalition of Stephi, Lefty and Gills would be a "disgrace to Canadian democracy", an affront to "141 years of democracy" and so forth.
What some people have failed to grasp is this:
Such a coalition is perfectly legal under the constitution du canerduh. That it would be a highly undemocratic way of deciding who will run the show simply underlines the basic fact:
Canada is no more a proper democracy than it is a proper federated state, its an illusion of both, but it is neither.
Having Mrs Windsor's stand in pick who's going to fill the office of all powerful dictator, known by the quaint term "prime minister" is most appropriate for a system devised by people who were scared fartless of democracy, or "mob rule" as they termed it. The fathers of confounderation would approve entirely, to be sure. No mob rule going on here, no siree. This is even better than the undemocratic way the undemocratic dictator is usually selected.
Now, in fairness, I must admit that many people's union shop education coupled with endless hours of CSI Altoona, Are You Smarter Than Your Dog? and so forth have left them ill equipped to realize that if trudging to the polls every now and then were all there is to democracy, Zimbabwe would qualify, but more really should have obtained a better grip on reality by now. I suppose one should never underestimate the power of brainwashing.
Oh well, better late than never.
That sound you hear is shattering illusions.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Let those with ears to hear listen.
"The world has never experienced such a plague of darkness like the plague of Islamic fundamentalism that reveres death over life"