The Historian Of Decline

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Taking it anyway


Friday, August 19, 2005

Frank & Ernest

Actress becomes US citizen to protest Iraq

Wait, what?! The MSM assured us that actresses (and actors) would be streaming across the border into Canada because Bush won re-election. Not only did that not happen, foreign actors are now becoming American citizens because of Bush. Remember, the media will never predict the future, but the Historian of Decline will. Feel free to re-read what I said during the afterglow of the Iraqi elections.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Doctors support parallel private health

Canadian doctors have discovered what the rest of the world has known for a long time: goods and services cannot be allocated properly by centralized agencies.

"The Canadian Medical Association is now backing a private, for-profit health system.

Dr. John Slater of Comox, B.C. says: "I have stopped believing in Santa Claus and I have stopped believing the government will ever fix the monopoly system.

He adds that governments have had 40 years to get the monopoly system right but have failed; meanwhile, the casualties are piling up.

"One of them has been my wife,'' says Slater."

After World War II the prevailing wisdom was that free markets caused harm to the common people. Governments everywhere took upon themselves the responsibility of managing their economies, only to fail miserably. One by one, nations partially rolled back government control and allowed more markets to function than they had previously. It became apparent that markets were positive forces in the lives of people everywhere. Under free markets, people obtain something they want by giving up something a seller wants. Everybody wins!

To the Canadian state-run health system, all of this never happened. The passage of time has forced an admition that the system is not working, and that it was a mistake in the first place. The working man, who is theorized by Marxists to be the beneficiary of state economic control, has found his pocket picked by governments who are hungry for billions of new dollars for health care while being unable to control the soaring costs of their system. Furthermore, it is the working man who suffers and sometimes dies trying to get health care from a system that often cannot provide it.

If the intention was simply to provide free health care to everyone, there are other methods of accomplishing that without giving the state a monopoly on an entire sector of the economy. The Canadian health system has more to do with blind faith in marxist theory than handing out free health care. Canada's intellectuals need to learn some economics and stop fighting positive change, and the CMA's about-face is one step in that direction.


Worried about vote

Republicans are worried that the continual bad news from Iraq will harm their re-election chances in 2006.

The New York Times reports:

"Some said that the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats and could pose problems for Republicans in the Congressional elections next year.

Republicans said a convergence of events - including the protests inspired by the mother of a slain American soldier outside Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas, the missed deadline to draft an Iraqi Constitution and the spike in casualties among reservists - was creating what they said could be a significant and lasting shift in public attitude against the war."

There is one word for this: justice.

After shamelessly milking the Iraq war to win elections, it is only right that the Republicans now pay a price for their decisions. 1800 soldiers have already payed the ultimate price, only to be used as little more than fodder for election machines. Soldiers ordered to fight against a country that was not supporting terrorist attacks, did not have WMDs, and posed no threat to America deserve better than that.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hitler beats Blair in poll

Leadership is something, but it isn't everything. A leader can rally the populace to support a cause or firmly assuage their fears and keep them in a complacency. There are many leaders in every civilization, but only a few that achieve the ultimate power of control of the State. Then, having attained power, they find it difficult to relinquish it, for human nature cannot be undone.

Leaders can inspire people in their community or show a business the way to success. They can lead States in directions that maximize their own ability to keep power while ignoring good policy and trampling people underfoot like so much detritus.

Healthy, growing civilizations insist on leaders that respect freedom while declining civilizations rest complacently on the laurels of past generations. Their leaders strip away every last liberty until all that is left underneath is a grinning skeleton, signifying death where there was once vitality.

Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler outranks the sitting prime minister of Britain in a recent poll on leadership. This is a warning to the west: we cannot look at politicians as saviours, or states as sources of salvation. Just as they have their responsibilities we have ours, to keep them in check.


Hillary Clinton

Oh Hillary, what are we to think of you? You tempt us with your moderate image and honeyed words. Yet you tease us with your demure behaviour and coy statements regarding your presidential ambitions. Perhaps we can discover some small clue about your intentions by examining your childhood.

Young Hillary deep in thought.

Hillary as a teenager.

Hillary in the hippie years.

Hillary's little-known religious phase.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Politician's hair

It's the hair baby. No one said it was easy being a leader, and hair follicles are often the first to betray the strain of the politician's amoral lifestyle. The constant lying, the gritty struggle to survive, the sex-- it all takes a toll.

Our politicos can pass laws about hair, but all the power in the world can't keep their hair follicles from arriving at a bitter pigment-devoid end. Here are just a few examples of what politicians look like early in their careers, and then later after a few minutes of overexposure to the media's shiny lights. First up, Canadian Conservative leader Stephen Harper.


Monday, August 15, 2005

No-fly lists

The government is carefully screening babies for potential terrorists, and refusing to let suspect babies board airlines. If even infants can become suspected terrorists for no good reason, we should all be afraid of Big Brother.

"Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list.

It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights."

Full Story Here

Our wise leaders have only had a few years to impose useless regulations on us in response to terror. Give them a few more years and they will incompetently treat us all like potential terrorists. Just as babies must miss flights, unable to clear their names with unyielding bureaucrats, we could all potentially be stuck with whatever label the state gives us.


Cindy Sheehan

President Bush is trying very hard to become the only president to spend a fifth of his time in office at a ranch in Texas. He has no time to meet people who have lost children in Iraq due to his orders. While Cindy Sheehan continued her vigil Bush said, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

It would be unfortunate if Bush had to come face to face with the consequences of his decisions. Fortunately the bastion of liberty and justice has a new weapon designed to prevent pesky gatherings that are not authorized by government. The futuristic ray gun causes an intense burning sensation in the skin, forcing crowds to break up. It is being deployed in Iraq and it's only a matter of time before it is used here.

Who's the real target, terrorists or us?


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bush slaps down general

General George Casey, US ground commander in Iraq, foolishly briefed his troops on plans to withdraw up to 30 000 of them by next year. Keeping the troops informed of what the brass is thinking may have been the tradition for most of Casey's career, but he has to realize that things are different now.

In Canada the political party that forms government inherits a military that toes the party line. The commanders echo whatever the politicians say regardless of whether it is a good military decision. Now the United States military, like its Canadian counterpart, is supposed to become an echo chamber for those in power, repeating back whatever it is they want to hear; or even hiding information if it will benefit their supreme rulers in DC.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Situational Libertarianism

Civil liberties in Britain were given support from an unlikely source, someone close to the centre of power. Tony Blair's wife, Cherie said this about the government's reaction to terror:

"It is all too easy to respond in a way that undermines commitment to our most deeply held values and convictions and cheapens our right to call ourselves a civilized nation."

Charles Krauthammer hit back with a different view:

"Liberties should be as unlimited as possible - unless and until there arises a real threat to the open society....Call it situational libertarianism....There is no slippery slope, only a shifting line between liberty and security that responds to existential threats."

No doubt Krauthammer genuinely believes that America is immune to the forces that we have seen at work through out history. Just because America has oppressed its own citizens in the past, usually during times of war, only to loosen that oppression later, is no guarantee that it can successfully flirt with fascism this time.

Other countries have descended into tyranny and it is the height of arrogance to blithely assume "it cannot happen here." When nationalist fervour leads people to excuse the execution of innocent citizens as the price for a nation's security, conditions are ripening for a long slide down a very slippery slope.

"We must fight the terrorists because they hate our freedoms!" we are told. While the terrorists continue talking about our foreign policy and ignoring our freedoms, our leaders are ignoring their own horrible foreign policy and attacking our freedoms as the root cause of terrorism. When Big Brother watches all, and insists we show our papers before setting foot outside of our yards, terrorism won't be a problem anymore. Call it situational libertarianism.