Friday, March 28, 2008

Dalai Lama: Pacifist, Monk, Nazi?

Beijing's representative to Ottawa, Lu Shumin, has accused the Dalai Lama of ruling a totalitarian, Nazi regime in Tibet before the Chinese began their occupation. Found here is a CTV article chronicling several of Shumin's attacks on the well respected spiritual and political leader of Tibet, currently in exile in India.

On a national television program Lu alleged that the Dalai Lama was a slave owner, a claim that has been reputed by several experts. One can safely assume, I think, that many of these accusations are the product of increased scrutiny on China as the 2008 summer Olympics close in.

The Dalai Lama, born Llhamo Dondrub, became political ruler of Tibet at the age of 15. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he currently heads the Tibetan Government in Exile from India. He holds several notable honours, including an honourary Canadian citizenship and a medal from the United States Congress. While I would ahve a hard time accepting any of his theological, or "cosmic", philosophies, he is hardly a nazi.

He has proposed compromise after compromise with the Chinese government on the future of Tibet, and yet they continue to malign him as a slave owner and nazi while their occupation of Tibet is concertedly crushing the native culture, forcing Tibetans out of their homes, and imposing ruinous economic policies that are using up the natural resources at a rate far worse than anything our own, Canadian environmentalists can complain about.

So, who are we to believe? The Dalai Lama, noted pacifist and Nobel laureate, or Beijing, seat of power for China's 'communist' regime?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great Oxymoron on the Prairies

When you come across a party name like Progressive Conservative, something about it should not sit quite right with you. It’s obviously some sort of oxymoron, isn’t it? Alberta’s PCs have governed for 37 years, and have just won a mandate for at least four more.

But something just doesn’t work out in my mind. This sort of mixing and matching of ideas can never work. They seem to take ideals from every end of the spectrum and sew them into a crazy quilt in hopes of appealing to every demographic, but they take the wrong parts.

Rather than taking the fiscal policy of Conservatives and the libertarian policies of many progressives, they seem to have done the opposite, becoming a government based on ruinous, Trudeau-esque fiscal positions and the authoritarian ideologies with a dangerous confusion between the podium and the pulpit.

And yet, they were elected to a stunning majority, leaving the opposition parties sitting just shy of a single digit seat count. But is this really because they’re so popular, or because they have no real opponents? I think that considering how less than half of eligible voters turned up on election day, that question answers itself.

The Liberals can never form a government in Alberta, not without a name change at the very least, and another decade or two of time. We haven’t forgotten the NEP, and we haven’t forgotten the Federal Liberal’s general legacy of leaving the West out of the decision making process.

The NDP and Greens simply have no future here. It’s not going to happen. Their names are synonomous with Communism in rural Alberta.

The Wildrose Alliance Party, perhaps the greatest hope of a real opposition to this ‘benign dictatorship’, to borrow a phrase, had only existed for a month before an election was called. They also had no chance, at least not this time around.

So perhaps we’ll just have to suffer through another term or two of Progressive Conservatism, that great Oxymoron on the Prairies.

American Presidential Race

At this point in the race, there simply are no good options.

When it comes to picking between Clinton, Obama and McCain, where does one turn to for the "right side" of the right wing? Certainly not to Clinton, who proposes things like
legislation raising wages for teachers and principals, censoring the media to protect Americans from things she finds distasteful, and restricting the rights of lenders.

Of course, Obama is just as bad, if not worse. He wants to reverse tax cuts and increase taxes for earners of a higher income bracket, all in the name of reversing the debt. America does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem! His programs will only increase spending while increasing taxes only to demographics he doesn't care about.

Democrats for years have realized that their power comes from the middle to lower class wage earners, so that is where they have cut taxes. Not straight across the board to achieve real equality, but rather they have only raised taxes for demographics they stopped caring about years ago.

Of course, McCain is a little better. While fiscal conservatives can find some solace in the fact that he has never voted to increase taxes, and proposes to institute a necassary 3/5 vote in Congress to ever increase a tax, his foreign policy continues to focus around the War in Iraq, rather than the War on Terror in Afghanistan. In fact, it seems like he thinks the two are one and the same.

So, who does one turn to? I can't answer that anymore. Ron Paul would ahve made an excellent President, but he is and almost always has been a mathematical improbability for the Republican nomination.

So for anyone who has to vote in November, I'd say McCain is better than either of the Democrats. But by how much?

Let me remind you of a saying: "When you choose the better of two evils, you're still choosing evil."

What Is the Right Side of the Right-Wing?

The right-wing of the political spectrum is such a widely diverse group of conservatives ranging from pure libertarians to the big tent "Progressive Conservatives" to Social Conservative theocrats. Many of these who claim to be members of the "right-wing" are actually from the middle, or even the left, of the spectrum.

I believe the "right side" of the right-wing to be those conservatives who believe in small government, who believe in low taxes all across the board, who believe in equal rights for members of all demographics.

The very basis of conservatism, in my opinion, is the belief that if the government ceased to exist tomorrow, the majority of people would continue to live life just as they had the day before. While I would never advocate completely eradicated government, I think that we do not need a "nanny state" to make sure that we follow the rules of society.

I also don't support trying to push through legislation based merely on the fact that we're a "Christian nation". I am a Christian, but I do not believe in legislating morality. Religion should be between a man and his God, not a man and his Government.

We may not be many, but we do exist. We are the Right Side of the Right-Wing.