Saturday, October 29, 2005 

Sunday...In the Age of Aquarius

If you walk into a mass-market bookstore you will eventually pass the section devoted to 'spirituality'. The bulk of the books there will be devoted to some type of "New Age" religion or philosophy.

Has the Age of Aquarius come? And if so, is it a good thing?

Vishal Mangalwadi doesn't think it is much good. He is an Indian social reformer and respected thinker. His book on the legacy of William Carey argued that India's Renaissance and subsequent independence had more to do with this English missionary than Mahatma Ghandi. Such statements are shocking to political correctness!

Mangalwadi is intimately familiar with Hinduism, and other Eastern religions which spawned the Hollywood-style New Age movement that we see today.

He thinks that the New Age is getting old.

But for all the ex-hippies who followed the Beatles' spiritual path...maybe it's time for them to let it be.

 

An Infamous Anniversary

It is good to remember the bad times. As a result, we cherish the good ones, and are more diligent to protect them.

Mention those infamous three letters in Alberta, and the bad memories start flooding back.

NEP

Friday, October 28, 2005 

The Shadow Government

There is another power base other than the elected one under the Dome of the Rock, er, Dome of the Leg in Edmonton. It is found among the insiders in the oilpatch who sit on 13 BILLION dollars (paper money that is). Of course, this money is not hard cash, and the boom could go bust someday soon. But the fact that these insiders could be sitting on wealth that is twice the size of the Alberta government's budget surplus means that they have some serious power.

Now noting oil barons with money is nothing new. The point is that for those who wish to see a change in the Alberta provincial government, there is a certain need for getting approval from this
shadow government. The oilpatch is quiet when it comes to politics, so long as politics doesn't stick its nose into the 'patch. But if average Albertans want to see changes in Alberta's governance, these oil insiders need to be on board somewhat.

If there are prospects for Alberta other than Jim Dinning, they need to be sold to the oilpatch. Dinning is a corporate darling---simply because he won't upset the status quo.

If Business can live with the status quo, they won't want to change it. Average folks on the other hand can be crippled by a status quo that is still benign for big business.

And so, Albertans who want change in the provincial government must be mindful of where
the shadow falls too. It is difficult to have one, without the other.

 

Alberta: Vortex of Freedom

Alberta has been a labour magnet for years. Towns like Brooks are known for the number of Maritimers who live and work there. And the phenomenon will only continue as this example shows:

Ron Christie, 51, packed up his family and moved to Alberta after the pulp mill in Nackawic, N.B., went bankrupt last year, leaving 400 people without work or pensions.

Christie, a heavy-equipment mechanic, has started his own business servicing oil field companies. Now, relatives from New Brunswick are following him to Alberta.

"There are so many opportunities here," Christie says in an interview from his home in Grande Prairie, Alta.

"My son just moved out here and started work at a retread plant. Already they're giving him a big raise. Even at McDonald's, the full-time rate is $11.25 an hour."

Christie says he may go back to New Brunswick one of these days - to retire. He says he won't be going back to work in shaky industries propped up by political expediency and taxpayers' loans.

"It's a whole different attitude towards work out here," he says. "Businesses aren't waiting around, looking for government handouts."

It is rare to hear this kind of testimony outside of Alberta (of course every Albertan knows the truth of it). Tax cuts are the simplest and yet most effective way to produce economic vibrancy. But the Nanny-State-Knows-Best attitude would rather drive prosperity into the ground while fiddling with people's money and dishing it out to them in bits (Sounds like the Canadian Wheat Board).

The 'Vortex of Freedom' which is Alberta will continue to draw the best and brightest from the Maritime region and from regions beyond. Don't be afraid to let it pull you in too!

Thursday, October 27, 2005 

Failing to Come Up With a Flanagan

The Albertanist movement needs some help. Whether through the establishment of a think-tank (Sifton Institute progress report anyone?) or by attracting substantial candidates, there needs to be some further progress toward the implementation of new perspectives.

In thinking about issues of what I call 'philosophical infrastructure', Tom Flanagan has come to mind.

Flanagan is a key figure in the CPC, having ascended to be Stephen Harper's right-hand man. Flanagan's rise is due in part to his ability to establish an array of 'thought-works'---meaning policy writing and quotable summaries (Lorne Gunter notes Flanagan's pith, see his profile on Flanagan).

The University of Calgary PoliSci professor's fingerprint is evident on everything from the Alberta Agenda to Harper's stealth campaign in Ontario (bait-and-switch that looks Left, but is still Right).


As the Calgary School enters politics formally (Morton, Flanagan) their vacancies at the 'thought-works' level need to be filled.

But ther
e is also a need for more hubs for these 'thought-works'. Without these mechanisms, the Albertanist movement (i.e. reformist PCs, Alberta Alliance, Separation Party) will be subject to the whims of campaign propagandists whose goal is to win individual nominations rather than achieving widespread 'winability' for Albertanists. (I fear that the extremely valuable forum, Project Alberta, is witnessing some of the former rather than the latter).


Can the New Albertanist movement come up with a Flanagan? Let us hope so.

{Note: A critical, but nonetheless interesting piece on Flanagan appeared in the Walrus, (here)}

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 

Pillars of the New Albertanism #5

#5 Does not want to continue to be seen as 'guilty by association' because of the Federal Government's scandal and cowardice.

The erosion of Canada from a nation of proud history with a heritage of integrity has had many implications. On the world scene, Canada enjoys a reputation for weakness, opportunism, immaturity and irresponsibility.

The fact that Albertans wish to distance themselves from this reputation stems from their own moral disdain for the federal government's actions. Albertans no longer wish to be complicit in the folly and crime of the Federal government.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 

Gwynn Morgan Passes the Power


Gwyn Morgan of EnCana is stepping down from his CEO chair. Morgan has been a powerful dissenting voice on the Canadian political scene even though he held no elected office.

This past summer, he was part of a group of CEO's who chastised Paul Martin for his governance. They deemed Canada to be a nation adrift.

Though no stranger to controversies of his own, Morgan strongly opposed the Kyoto Agenda in a way that garnered national media attention, and the expected response.

On the other hand, he also supported Belinda Stronach as an angel of mercy for the CPC (although remember who comes clothed as an angel of light!), a decision which may be forgiven now since so many people were hood-winked by Stronach's celebrity.

Morgan believed that leaders cannot have their private and public conduct separated. In the wake of Bill Clinton, Enron, and the Liberal government of the last decade, we can only hope that some of Morgan's exhortations will be heeded in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2005 

Americans Want to be like Albertans

It seems that the grass is greener on the other side for Montana farmers as they look across the border and see the benefits of extensive irrigation in Southern Alberta.

The transformation of the Palliser Triangle from uninhabitable desert to garden plot is the result of the 'd-word', yes, I said it---development.

Since the Montanans have not pursued development in their state, they have seen their towns progressively age, while the young people leave.

Alberta towns are regularly seeing the return of their young people to settle down and raise families. What's more, young men and women are flocking to Alberta from many places.

Alberta can be a leader among nations. Just ask a Northern Montana farmer.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 

Renaissance and Reformation Revisited

Is there an Albertan culture? And if so, what is it?

What are the profitable elements of this culture, and what are the destructive? (I do not subscribe to view that all cultures and cultural elements are equally 'valid').

Federalism in Canada foundered years ago in its attempts to engineer a Canadian culture from the top down.

Are there those in Alberta who will do the 'heavy lifting' of creative leadership in all aspects of society? Currently, Alberta excels at economic ingenuity. This is the bulk of the Alberta Advantage. Yet dependence upon the Motherland has allowed us to be lazy in many other areas of life. Do people expect that a separated (or refederated) Alberta will be able to replace these dependencies ex nihilo (out of nothing)?

Alberta is changing with each passing month. New people arrive. New businesses are started. New jobs are assumed. But along with these new arrivals, many problems arise. Many people who are arriving have differing worldviews from the majority of Albertans. These differences can be very helpful for the sharpening of our collective thinking. But if there is no cohesive and practical thought about Alberta's virtues, goals, taboos, and protocols, then many competing agendas will fill that void.

The governing party in Alberta is to be commended for their past convictions regarding short term pain for long term gain in the realm of fiscal responsibility. Albertans are enjoying those benefits today. It is now time for new initiative and leadership to be exercised in neglected areas (eg. Firewall, democratic reform, ending politically correct censorship, etc. Not a heap of Nanny-state programs).

One of the percieved problems with the separatist movement in Alberta has been its short-sightedness. All that many separatists can see is being free of Ottawa's leash. But what of this freedom. If there is no preparation, then Alberta will leave one tyrant for another. Instead, there needs to be a philosophical infrastructure furnished for the establishment of better government, and the encouragment of cultural, not merely political independence.

I fear that Alberta is more influenced by the globalist (cf. WLMackenzie's term) socialist impulse of Ottawa than we care to admit. If that is true, then the benefits of independence could be derailed soon after they are won.

Friday, October 21, 2005 

Klein & Chretien

As noted previously, the comparisons between Klein and Chretien are starting to roll in.

It is typical that Alberta gets labeled as having a 'weird' political scene, when the federal scene (read: Ontario & Quebec) can't get much more dysfunctional. But of course, the Globe & Mail--Canada's National Newspaper-- has a responsibility to uphold the caricature which deems Alberta to be a political backwater, while merely winking at deepening corruption in Ottawa.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 

Alberta_Hater vs. Albertanicus


Here is a comment to my post comparing Saddam with Adolf Hitler.

I'm surprised you're not comparing paul martin to hitler and saddam for the way that he treats "the west"
Posted by alberta_hater | 5:20 PM



Here is my response:


As your 'name' implies, you're the only one doing the 'hating'.

Critique of our leaders is one of the rights and privileges of a democratic society. It is also our responsibility.

But don't think for a minute that simply because I may disagree with Mr. Martin's policies, that I equate him with the Butcher of Baghdad or the genocidal Hitler.

Your polarizing statement (Critique Martin=Martin is a Murderer) is the very contributor to the break-down of democratic engagement.

Into the void of democratic breakdown steps a Saddam or Hitler.

This is where your 'hatred' leads.

 

Hussein & Hitler



Saddam's display of arrogance in the courtroom parallels his unaccountability in life. He will not be controlled except by force.

Watching Saddam's disgusting grandstanding brings to mind the fictitious image of seeing Adolf Hitler, 'the little corporal' bristling in the dock of the Nuremburg war trials. Of course, Hitler was too much of a coward to face his reckoning in this life, and so quickened his reckoning beyond the grave.

Surely Hitler's arrogance is comparable to Hussein's, just as the evil of the latter is to the former.

But the next time Saddam shakes off the guard's grip in defiance, he should be snapped into a 'come-along' or busted to the ground.

Anything less is an exercise in Appeasement.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 

Canada's Falling Integrity


In case you weren't aware, Canada is becoming more corrupt.

And for added proof, Canada has recently been ranked as the 14th least corrupt nation in the world, which seems pretty good, until you see that Canada used to be ranked in the top 5 perennially.

Whether the glass is viewed as half full or half empty, the fact is that there is an ethical, to say nothing of the democratic, deficit in the Canadian halls of power.

But in this democracy, who is to blame? Ultimately the voters who continue to elect increasingly corrupt governments.

Yet to lay blame, is to assign responsibility. And the abdication of responsibility in Canada is as symptomatic among the populace as it is among the politicians.

Calling Canada by the moniker Bananada, or Canuckistan, or whatever, is to call it as one sees it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 

Smoke From the Branding Fire


The Reformer's Firebrand offered these comments meant to induce hat-size swelling:

BTW Alberticanus I love your blog and must compliment you on having one of the most rational and open Alberta political blogs I've seen. I'll drop by often if you'll have this battered old reformer turned separatist.
Thanks WL Mackenzie! I hope I can stay open to rationality and not work myself into an illogical corner!

 

Pillars of the New Albertanism #4


#4 Wishes to see Alberta flourish as a leader among other nations.

Although relatively small in land-mass, Alberta has had exponential growth in its influence throughout the global community. Although relatively young, Alberta has quickly earned a voice in the most significant corridors of power.

By combining keen productivity and an esteem for moral integrity, Alberta has been a model for other nations who wish to better themselves, rather than bolster their elites.

 

Debunking Oil Myths



Thanks to the WorldNetDaily article about the new book, Black Gold Stranglehold, many of our beliefs about oil are set under-foot for a serious debunking.


Be prepared to be challenged by:

* The myth of fossil fuels: Corsi and Smith argue that the deep abiotic theory of oil is a more reliable theory than the fossil fuel theory. It rejects the contention that oil was formed from the remains of plant and animal life that died millions of years ago. Instead, they believe in Thomas Gold's argument that oil is abiotic: "a primordial material that the earth forms and exudes on a continual basis" and is "pushed upward toward the earth's surface by the intense pressures of the earth's core and the influence of the centrifugal force that the earth exerted upon the specific gravity of oil as a fluid substance."

* The running-out-of-oil myth: The 1970s scientific study known as Hubbert's Peak, predicting we would exhaust oil reserves by 2003, has been proven false. We are currently sitting on "more proven petroleum reserves than ever before despite the increasing rate at which we are consuming petroleum products. New and gigantic oil fields are being discovered at an increasing rate, in places the fossil fuel theory would never have been predicted as possible.

* The global warming hoax and other environmental myths: Corsi and Smith present compelling evidence that "burning fossil fuels does not release into the air chlorofluorocarbons or halon compounds, the types of chemicals identified as the culprits causing holes in the ozone." Instead, "human beings breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide" while "plants absorb carbon dioxide and throw out oxygen."

* The folly of oil conservation:
"Black Gold Stranglehold" presents and documents how no alternative energy option has been able to provide enough energy and how each alternative has been deemed uneconomical.


* Oil playing a part in the illegal-immigration problem:
Mexico has the third largest proven reservoirs of crude oil in the Western Hemisphere behind Venezuela and the U.S. As a result, the United States imports virtually all the oil Mexico exports. Consequently, "the U.S. government finds it difficult to take a systematic, hard look at the nearly free flow of illegal immigrants coming across our southern border. As a hedge against instability in the Middle East, the U.S. government has to calculate our oil needs when considering any steps we take regarding Mexico or illegal immigrants.

* The value of the dollar and its effect on terrorism: "In recent years the buying power of the dollar has decreased 40 percent on the average against all major foreign currencies. Since dollars can no longer be exchanged for gold, no hard, fixed commodity stands behind the U.S. international payments, including oil purchases. Osama bin Laden's "war against America was fueled by his belief that the U.S. has stolen the oil of Muslim countries. At the core of the issue is bin Laden's perception that America has paid for oil, a hard commodity, with paper dollars that are no longer backed as they once were by the hard commodity of gold."

* How high the price of oil?: "Today, the U.S. oil industry is sitting on a quantity of oil reserves that has never been higher. Still, we have built no new refineries, and the refineries in operation are producing at or near capacity. The picture that emerges is one of industry conglomerates simply sitting on large reserves and waiting for oil prices to go even higher. At some point, increased gasoline prices become an inevitable drag on the economy."

* Terrorism and Its Threat to Oil: Terrorists are "willing to bet that the U.S. will not be able to afford politically or economically a protracted global war against radical Islamic terrorism. Terrorists, like governments determined to impose price controls on oil, act to disrupt free markets. In doing so, they clearly understand the economic harm they can inflict."

Maybe the author's theories are ungrounded, but surely they must be based on something. Any counter-balance to the 'stranglehold' of the enviro-agenda is a welcome one.

Seeing the challenges presented in this book, makes me think that I'm more brain-washed than I thought before!

 

NDP Cronyism

Rempelia Prime shows how Jack Layton runs things like an autocrat...so much for the New Democrats.

 

Latin Proverb #6


Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

Translation: "The greater the degeneration of the republic, the more of its laws" (Tacitus)

Monday, October 17, 2005 

His Ralphness


Don Martin's piece in the National Post suggests that Mr. Klein might stick around, simply because he can. Is he really wanting to be paralleled with Jean Chretien?

Sunday, October 16, 2005 

Out of Touch


It appears that some folks believe the West could still get in if it became more Ontario friendly.

For example:

Perhaps the problem of Western separatism, especially in Alberta, resides not in the fact that Ontario doesn't vote for "our" party, but rather why the CPC cannot adapt to a national level of policy that Ontario and Quebec can vote for? Perhaps it is not all Paul Martin's fault (although he has some blame to take) for western-alienation, but rather the slogan "The West Wants In" and it's protege Stephen Harper leading the neo-Conservative cause doesn't make our concerns feel real to the East. Perhaps it's our approach to Ontario that is standing in our way?
And just in case you've finally realized your folly, this sentence confirms it:
It's time for the west to get back in - back in touch with the rest of the country.

If refusing to join lock-step with Ontario's national suicide means that I'm "out of touch", then sign me up for a horse and buggy!

Saturday, October 15, 2005 

Albertan Civil War


It's hard to blog when the Oilers and Flames are relieving all of Alberta's pent up frustrations with the federal government!

 

Building the Politically Correct Greenhouse


The pressure on corporations to put on a Kyoto-friendly smile is increasing, as I noted in an earlier post about the Duke Energy CEO.

Now the feds have a 'Clean Fund' which will be headed by a former executive in the energy sector.
Although everyone welcomes advancement in technology and innovation that preserves our environment, it is always a fearful thing to see the federal government controlling it.

It is unfortunate that even the Alberta government's advocacy of environmentally helpful innovation( innovation by smart, private citizens, not big government) is couched in the terms of the dreaded
greenhouse gases--- one of the most ill-founded fears in recent memory(see the Petition Project with scientists as signatories against the Kyoto presuppositions) .

Friday, October 14, 2005 

Chain-Links

Project Alberta noted the Albertan Stance
although without the striking pugilistic graphic.

AB Freedom chain-linked to the New Albertanism Part 3 while footnoting an implemented strategy for CPC defeat.
ABF also noted that some are happy to see Alberta marginalized or suppressed by the Kyoto/NEP 2 machine.

If I missed adding you to this barbed-wire entanglement of chain-linkage, please let me know.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 

Hugh Spots Warren On Miers


If you've been following the SCOTUS appointment of Harriet Miers by George W Bush, you're well aware that it has caused many Republican pals to be on opposite sides of the decision.

Hugh Hewitt (one of my favorite American bloggers) has expressed support for Miers and he cites the change of mind which David Warren (one of my favorite North of 49th commenators) has had about Miers.

The simple existence of such a mass of conservative punditry in the US which allows for lively discussion about a Republican decision seems like a sweet, but wispy dream for a Canadian conservative. That is unless it is an Albertan conservative looking towards Alberta's political landscape, rather than Ottawa's.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 

The Albertan Stance


Whether or not you are a fan of Mr. Klein, the penny-drama being played out between the Premier and Prime Minister Martin clearly shows the Albertan stance at center stage.

As much as Mr. Martin would like to lend a helping hand to Alberta's oil industry, Mr. Klein and every Albertan knows that the 'steel cables attached' to such 'help' would see the use of Alberta oil for a host of Liberal pet projects:
Albertans should be encouraged by Mr. Klein's stance toward Ottawa, for the simple fact that it points toward a future which is marked by a deepening self-determination. Mr. Klein's populism merely acts like a self-determinist when it suits.

But that doesn't mean that others won't come along and implement a self-determining trajectory that resonates with the desires of every Albertan.

If we argue from lesser to greater, think of the possibilities inherent in the formula, "If Klein, then how much more [ blank ]"

 

Latin Proverb #5


Infinitus est numerus stultorum


Translation:

"Infinite is the number of fools" (Vulgate, Ecclesiastes 1:15).

 

Taxonomy of Terror

Uber-blogger Michelle Malkin surveys all of the Islamic terrorist attacks from recent years, even those that have been virtually ignored by the MSM. She concludes her article with this paraphrase of the MSM's attitude:

Nothing to see here. Move along. Islam is a peaceful religion. Stop asking so many damned questions.

Such is the attitude of the national media, which seems to believe that 'tis better to live in ignorance and indulge in hindsight later than to offend the gods of political correctness.

 

A Different Path

Think of what might have happened if Preston Manning had worked at the provincial level back when he started the Reform Party. Sure, it may have been merely a SoCred redux, but what if the all of the policy-grist and grassroots-tapping had been in favor of a provincial government that was advancing the Alberta Agenda?

One result would be that the leadership and acumen of the Harpers and Solbergs would be applied in earnest to Alberta-First policy making.
  1. Their principled commitment to democracy would propose new mechanisms for keeping Alberta politically healthy.
  2. Their understanding of the Federales would make them hawkish for Alberta's interests, and although they would gladly remain in Canada, they would be far too Albertanist to sit passively while Canada (read GTA-Ottawa-Montreal oligarchy) sucks the province dry.
  3. They would not have expended so much wasted energy on trying to have an uncompromising 'voice' in Ontario (i.e. the West Wants In). With the reunion of the PC's and Reform, the end of Manning's experiment was signaled. Now, only Liberal Lite branded as Red Tory will win in Ontario and Quebec. As such this would be a massive roll-over for Reform -rooted movement.
  4. Mr. Klein's Ralphdom would have been challenged in a positive way, and the result would be even further growth, strength and maturity in Alberta than we have already seen.

Of course this is all wishful thinking. On top of that, maybe the great Alberta minds working at the federal level wouldn't want to stoop to the provincial arena.

But my guess is that their love for Alberta is the motivation for their service in Ottawa. And as they continue to hit the Liberal wall from Ontario East, they may start to think about coming back home, where they can do some real good.



Reading Solberg's lyric prose it makes you wonder if he is one election away from being Alberta bound...permanently.

If I was running in the Alliance leadership race, I would be hunting up every well-known former politician and power-broker who is soured on federal politics, in order to try to win them to the cause. If the Alliance started to have 2 or 3 high profile supporters (probably from former federal or provincial Tory camps), it would raise their 'legitimacy profile'. The supporters wouldn't have to be former politicians, but those who are 'influencers'. Maybe somebody should talk with Monte Solberg?

The same holds true for SPA. If they started having a couple of big names offering their support, the party's fortunes would be raised exponentially.

The fact is, there is a leadership void in Alberta politics. Mr. Klein's populism has kept him in power, but his actual
leadership is easily questioned.

Think of the crop of leaders that could be governing in Alberta right now, if only they had taken a different path.

 

Putting the Western Back Into Western Civilization


During some of my ruminations about the need for a critical mass of pro-Alberta think-tanks, I was reminded of something that prompted me to start this bog.

Western Civilization is under attack on numerous fronts.


From the Islamicist attacks on the Twin Towers to the Marxist attacks on the ivory towers. Both instances exemplify the way that the freedom enjoyed in the West is undercut by its beneficiaries.

For example, think of how ironic it is to see Shariah law advanced in a democracy. It is the freedom to destroy freedom. Even though the Soviet has fallen, academic Marxism continues to evangelize successive crops of freshmen
(like this one here: Nechwamps gave me a copy of Ward Churchill’s “A Little Matter Of Genocide”, and that started a read-through of several Churchill books, a kind of second wave that followed my read-through of Noam Chomsky. Ward and Noam are kind of like security blankets for me now. Every once in a while I come across their fresh writings on the Internet, and, no matter how bad the news they bring, I feel a sense of relief that somewhere in this insane world there are still at least two sane people.)


Along with Alberta's rising desire for maturity and growth in economic and political freedom, should there not also be a rise in desire for cultural freedom? The question is, 'which culture?' Should Alberta be a bastion for paleo -Marxism? Or how about Islamofascism? Albertans would say no to these suggestions.

So what culture should be encouraged? Albertans in the main would reply that theirs was the culture of Western Civilization.

So why is there no 'great books' program in Alberta's universities (maybe there is and I am unaware of it)? Where are the cultural think-tanks and institutes that would establish Alberta as a bastion of principled thinking based on the foundations of Western Civilization.

What I'm advocating is a groundswell of discussion, reflection and application of those things that have made Alberta great. Such things are what has made the West the destination of the world (as much as the West is denounced).

Is it just me, or does it seem like the only people talking about these things are bloggers?

Where are the academic equivalents of the MSM?
Probably lecturing to the next class of proto-Marxists.




Tuesday, October 11, 2005 

Pillars of the New Albertanism #3


#3
Does not comply with the efforts of oligarchies to dismantle the hallmarks of Western Civilization.

Canada is being characterized by oligarchy (rule by a few). These self-appointed gatekeepers will only allow opinion that aids the erosion of tested norms and maxims of the West. The abolition of exclusive heterosexual marriage, merit in labor, and differentiation without discrimination have been the inherent pursuit of the Intelligentsia class. Albertans will not allow this self-appointed ruling class to rule any longer. These 'elites' can still have a voice, but one that is not disproportionate to their position in a democracy.

 

Albertanicus Semper Reformada


With many thanks for viewer support (AB Freedom!), and wishing to be responsive to the criticisms and analyses of others, please consider this your invitation to help me continue to reform this blog. Drop a comment of pure criticism, simple suggestion, multiplied malice, or pittance of praise.


Hence, Albertanicus Semper Reformada, "Albertanicus Always Reforming"

Monday, October 10, 2005 

Implementing Strategy

The MSM is beginning to put shoe leather on their regular strategy of divide and conquer against the Conservatives. By regularly highlighting any tiny tension among the Tories ('Harper didn't wave to me yesterday'; 'Mackay didn't think my tie was cool'), the MSM is able to caricature the Tories as perpetually infighting. This ignores the continuous the stealth stabbing that goes on in the Liberal party as a matter of course. On top of this, however, is the pleasure the MSM has in linking the CPC with Brian Mulroney at every turn. Mulroney is a well-hated figure among many in Canada, which is why the Toronto MSM likes to bring his name up often, or even write books about him.

 

Corb Lundin'


Glad to see Corb Lund getting some recognition, even if it's from the elites and bigwigs.

It's tough not to like a guy who sings about oil-patch roughnecks, gettin' stuck in the mud, and saddle-bronc championship bucking horses.

Sunday, October 09, 2005 

Carbon-Tax Pressure

Duke Energy's CEO has come out in advocacy of a carbon-tax on so-called greenhouse gas emissions.

As the FoxNews commentary states,


Duke calls it a “carbon tax,” but we might call it the “Greenpeace tax” in honor of the various radical environmental groups, like Greenpeace (search), pushing global warming hysteria and supporting such a tax. But we could also call it the “corporate appeasement tax” in honor of businesses like Duke Energy that are stumbling over themselves to curry favor with the Greens.

Canada will implement a carbon-tax if only to appease the eco-lobby. Having guilt-ridden CEO's in the US advocating the same will only add fuel to the fire (but without the greenhouse emissions?)

 

Eco-Nihilism and the Coalition Against Civilization


Some forward thinking people are hoping to deconstruct civilization in the hope of preserving an eco-nihilistic utopia.

As Bidonotto says:


Unbelievable? Well, a decade or two ago, who would have believed that parents would be celebrating their sons and daughters for strapping on explosives, walking onto buses and into discos, and blowing themselves and scores of others to smithereens? Who would have believed that an organized gang of fanatics would commandeer airliners and dive them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center? Who would have believed that thugs would torch scientific and medical labs, or threaten and beat up medical researchers...in the name of the "rights" of mice and rats? Who would have believed that there could actually exist a group called "The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement" -- advocating not merely the collapse of civilization, but the total extermination of the human race?

If only we can get more people supporting the Coalition Against Civilization!

While in Canada, we'll have to content ourselves with the Climate Change Action Fund.

Saturday, October 08, 2005 

Sunday... The Problem With Pragmatism

Pragmatism is a problem for churches in North America.

Aizlynne of Exposed Agenda noted the pragmatism of the Roman Catholic Church in its dealings with Prime Minister Martin.

Tim Challies of Challies Dot Com has posted about Pragmatism and its deadly influence in Evangelical Protestantism.

But of course, mainline 'Protestantism' (cf. United Church of Canada) is merely baptized Marxism.

If only more churches had both orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

 

Think-Tank Warfare

Historically, Albertans have relied solely on provincial and federal politicians for the defense of Alberta's interests.

As Alberta has matured as a region, more people are seeing the ideological bankruptcy of these politicians, and the lack of new, common-sensical ideas from their parties.

This problem is not an isolated case. American conservatives felt the same way, and decided to engage their societal and political cultures with an entirely different instrument: the Think-Tank.

If Albertans desire change, they may need to assemble strong 'instruments' for change, just like the Americans have done.

The following article was posted on a Canadian think-tank's website, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy:


2003-02-20

The charge of the think-tanks
The unusual body of people behind many of George Bush's ideas
Lexington, The Economist Magazine, February 13th, 2003


MANY foreigners wish America would calm down a little. Why doesn't it rein in the dogs of war? Why doesn't it put a break on turbo-capitalism rather than revving it up? Why can't it behave more like Jimmy Carter and less like John Wayne? These questions hang over a million European dinner tables.

But America can boast an army of intellectuals whose job description is revving the country up still further. War in Iraq? These people have plans for the transformation of the entire Middle East. Capitalism run rampant? These people have a blueprint for bringing free enterprise to outer space. Welcome to the world of America's right-wing think-tanks.

These are now as much part of the political landscape as the stately left-leaning Brookings Institution. This year, the Heritage Foundation turns 30, the Manhattan Institute in New York is 25 and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is 60. As befits a libertarian outfit, the Cato Institute is a little out of step, having celebrated its own quarter-of-a-century last year. The Hoover Institution in California is an octogenarian.

Their influence is partly a matter of ideas. Two of the brainwaves of the 1990s—welfare reform and zero-tolerance policing—were incubated in conservative think-tanks. The Cato Institute has been arguing for privatising Social Security reform for years; the AEI was protesting about rogue states long before anybody had heard of Osama bin Laden. But it is also a matter of people. Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice are both Hoover veterans. Dick Cheney and his wife have a longstanding relationship with the AEI. Elaine Chao, the labour secretary, is a Heritage alumnus. The Defence Policy Board is headed by Richard Perle, the Überhawk from the AEI, and a quarter of its board members come from Hoover. Hundreds of lower-level administration employees cut their teeth in think-tanks. If “people are policy”, as Edwin Feulner, the head of Heritage, likes to say, then the think-tanks are becoming America's shadow government.

The think-tanks' influence is partly related to the intellectual barrenness of America's two main parties. The Democrats and Republicans are little more than vehicles for raising and distributing campaign contributions. They have no ability to generate ideas of their own, and little control over individual politicians trying to burnish their reputations with new thinking.

This does not explain why right-wing think-tanks are so much more vibrant than left-wing ones. Money is the reason most often cited by liberals. The right certainly has its wealthy supporters, notably Richard Mellon Scaife, a reclusive billionaire based in Pittsburgh; Joseph Coors, a Colorado brewer; and the Koch family, a business dynasty from Wichita, Kansas. But these are dwarfed by liberal organisations such as the Ford Foundation. And the left can call on the resources of America's giant universities, which, as every right-wing think-tanker moans, are stuffed with neo-socialists.

The right's real advantage lies in commitment and organisation. Many of the conservative think-tankers grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, when conventional wisdom held that government spending would solve most problems. They recruited a small army of passionate maverick dissenters, notably academics who felt marginalised at those left-leaning universities. Even now, when they are rich and powerful, there is something endearingly rabid and unhygienic about many think-tankers.

This counter-establishment is remarkably well-organised. This applies to their fund-raising, which now involves tapping thousands of conservative activists: last year more than half of Heritage's $31m donations came from individuals. But the think-tanks also work together. The AEI, for instance, allows intellectuals to think grand thoughts—most notoriously about race and IQ. Heritage is much more focused on the day-to-day business of Congress. In their predictably warlike jargon, the AEI softens up the liberal establishment with long-range bombing before Heritage sends in the ground troops to capture the territory. The conservatives are much less Washington-focused than their liberal peers, with their influence stretching to places like the Cascade in Oregon and the Discovery Institute in Seattle. There are 46 conservative think-tanks outside Washington.

At their most organised, the right-wing think-tanks often seem more like businesses than universities. Heritage, for instance, has a carefully defined mission: influencing Capitol Hill. Mr Feulner ruthlessly sets objectives and measures performance. Heritage is as passionate about selling conservative ideas as Coca-Cola is about selling gaseous drinks. It invented two-page briefs for busy congresspeople. Its various handbooks are so valuable that you see Democrats guiltily consulting them.

Still angry after all these years

Will Conservatism Inc keep its share of the intellectual market? Critics whisper that the think-tankers have become more interested in peddling ideology than in coming up with new ideas; that they are too sycophantic to Mr Bush. Yet the surprising thing about the think-tanks is how vital they remain. Heritage has doubled the budget for its Centre for Data Analysis since it was founded in 1998. Hoover has set up a television programme, Uncommon Knowledge. And they are capable of being sharply critical of the administration—for instance, over steel tariffs and runaway government spending. The libertarian Cato Institute is as vehemently critical of Mr Bush's policy in the Middle East as the AEI and Heritage are supportive.

In the end, the guiding force behind the rise of the right-wing think-tanks has been a deep and passionate fury against the status quo. Looking around these bodies, the conservatives have lost none of their zeal for cutting taxes, destroying red tape and spreading the capitalist gospel. However the war with Iraq goes, foreigners will be complaining for years to come.

 

Pillars of the New Albertanism #2



#2 Considers independence, autonomy, refederation or separation as possible options to be explored, but wishes to look before leaping.This attitude among Albertans expresses their common-sense caution, while earnestly seeking new solutions to existing problems.They may not want to be called separatists because they want to have a clearer idea of what a separated Alberta will look like. But the fact that they are sympathetic to the notion shows that they are not willing to continue in futile efforts at the federal level.

Friday, October 07, 2005 

Alberta Separatism in Reverse From Montreal

It seems that some Montrealers are advocating Alberta separatism:

The Economist has brought forward the important point that Canada's economic growth is being fueled by primary instead of tertiary industries. This damage is being exascerbated by the fact that the Canadian dollar has assumed petro-currency status and the eventual end of Oil will have consequences beyond the wastelands of the West - they have tied us in to their fated demise and we must be sure to disassociate ourselves as much as possible. It is as unacceptable that our economic fate be decided in Alberta as it is that our social policy be set there.

 

Pillars of the New Albertanism #1

Here is the first re-run of the pillars of the New Albertanism:

#1 No longer seeks to win political influence in Ottawa through federal politics.This doesn't mean that Albertans will absent themselves from Federal elections. Rather, it refers to the attitude of Albertans who no longer pin their hopes for change on the success of a federal political party. Albertans will continue to elect the people to represent their interests federally, but they will not expend their best energies on a system that will not permit them to have success. By contrast, some will continue to believe that the myth of influence can become a reality. However, the New Albertanism does not wish to be myopic any longer, but to clearly act in light of existing realities.

 

Believe What You Want-Except in China


It's easy to take for granted the freedom of belief that we enjoy in North America, until we read long-ignored news reports about China.


CAA (Midland, Texas)-July 5, 2005CAA confirms that Beijing House church Pastor Cai Zhuohua’s ( 蔡卓华) trial date has been set. Cai, along with his wife Ms. Xiao Yunfei ( 肖云飞) and two other family members will be tried at 9:00am, July 7, 2005 (Beijing Time) in Court Room No. 3 of the People’s Court of Haidian District, Beijing.
The presiding judge will be Mr. You Tao, ( 游涛, telephone number +86-10-62697101). According to a copy of the prosecution papers obtained by CAA, Pastor Cai, his wife Ms. Xiao Yunfei and Xiao’s brother will be prosecuted on the grounds of “illegal business management” and for allegedly printing over 200,000 copies of Christian literature. Because of Pastor Cai’s pastoral leadership at a Beijing house church, nine prominent lawyers and legal scholars volunteered to defend Pastor Cai. They all believe this is a case of religious persecution under the pretext of “illegal business management.” Among them, professor Fan Yafeng ( 范亚峰) is currently an associate researcher at the Institute of Studies on Law in China’s Academy of Social Sciences which is the top government think tank. Since none of Cai’s family members received any official notification of his arrest and Cai had been brutally mistreated by his interrogators, his family members are considering filing an administrative legal case against the relevant government agencies for its violations of Chinese laws.
CAA appeals to the international community to intervene immediately on behalf of pastor Cai and his family. CAA urges conscience journalists in China to observe the trial.
“This will be a true litmus test for the Beijing government’s religious freedom claims,” said Bob Fu, President of CAA and a former coworker of pastor Cai, “given the fact that 2008 Olympics will be held in Beijing, the international community has an obligation to demand the Beijing government show the true spirit of the rule of law and respect of religious freedom for ordinary citizens like pastor Cai.”.

 

Captain Ed Defends Bloggers North of the 49th

The best bloggers always have the most integrity, such as Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters, Glenn Reynolds, Hugh Hewitt, or Michelle Malkin. That's why it comes as no surprise that Captain Ed would speak up in defense of bloggers in Canada who are accused of being wimps.

With the Canadian government rife with scandal, there are few stories 'broken' by bloggers, so the charge goes.

Captain Ed says the Canadian bloggers are doing their job, and it's nice that he defends those of us who are trying to expose the soft underbelly of Leviathan, but we still have a problem.



Canada still has a highly centralized media distribution set-up. Far more than the US. And although there is a pre-dominance of Leftist news outlets in the States, Canada has a Toronto MSM that is gigantic in influence and power for soft Socialism.

Blogs are the best thing to happen to this country in a long time. It is the only medium where ordinary people can have a sense of empowerment for change. "Votes" used to give common people power, but they don't count for anything, especially if you live in the West.

Without votes, Albertans should take up blogs. This is the only way that Albertan's concerns can be raised. The federal MP's we elect never get to govern. So let's think of other alternatives.

What would happen if every Albertan had a blog....?

 

Hockey Smile


A Battle of Alberta blog! You can bet I'll be reading this one.

 

Latin Proverb # 4


Boni pastoris est tondere pecus, non deglubere.
Translation: "A good shepherd shears his sheep, he doesn't flay them" (
Tiberius to his regional commanders) i.e. don't tax the populace excessively

Thursday, October 06, 2005 

Human Lives Equal to Turkeys

It's nice to see Turkeys finally being elevated to the proper level of esteem that they deserve. Men, women, and children are murdered in our cities on a daily basis, but the over-publicity which they receive detracts from the urgent needs of the Turkeys in our midst who face an annual holocaust.


If only these noble birds had more vocal champions like the ones at PETA.



Miss Match’s Alicia Silverstone Loves PETA“Animals are being exploited in such an unbelievable way; it’s not acceptable. PETA is trying to get your attention, and they’re successful at it. ... If you talk to people who grew up on a farm, they’ll tell you that they had an experience where they were taking care of a cow, and one day their parents took it away and killed it. It’s a torturous experience for them, and that’s when they became hard. People are taught to be grown-up or whatever, and that’s dumb. That bond they had with that cow or chicken was real.” (Redbook)

 

Coin-Roller's Union on Patrol


The silliness of so much union politicking is exposed in this article. Speaking of the Telus dispute it states:

"Job security is the heart of the dispute. The union is fighting to preserve the positions of 375 employees, including janitors, caterers, carpenters, mechanics and, believe it or not, coin rollers - the folks who tend to the machines that roll coins collected in pay phones. The company wants to outsource these jobs, but has offered the incumbents the opportunity to train for other jobs that would, in most cases, pay the same money or better."

Hopefully the coin-rollers won't have the inconvenience of re-training.

 

Tallahassee to Fort Mac

The oil-sands continue to generate press, even in Tallahassee, Florida
(or Kentucky if you prefer)

 

Chain-Links

Offering some recognition to those who have found ALBERTANICUS useful for something(anything?), here are some Chain-Links:

Project Alberta spotted the Sierra Club Evergreen Theatre post and follow-up, and speedily added them to the front page. The post then morphed into a discussion thread topic on the esteemed PA bulletin board.

AB Freedom nabbed the Sierra Club post quickly too. But ABF has been a consistent supporter of ALBERTANICUS, so that is not surprising. He even Chain-Linked a post which spoke of goodness in a socialist!

Sycorax and WL Mackenzie commented on the Sierra Club Propaganda, the former with scientific brevity, the latter with non-Maoist profundity.

Thanks to all for the Chain-Links!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 

Nannies in Ontario Less Successful

The Nanny-State in Ontario makes less money off of its Gov't controlled Liquor business, than the AB gov't does on private stores (see here at the Phantom Soapbox). Nanny-knows-best.

 

The Sierra Club and Evergreen Theatre


Curious that many oil companies sponsored legitimate environmental causes in conjunction with Evergreen Theatre, yet the Sierra Club was the one pushing the Kyoto pseudo-science/hysteria
Where did the money for the Sierra Club's 'sponsorship' come from? It appears to be the federal government, that is, tax money from you and I.

This conclusion comes from the statement about "funded projects" on the Canadian government website that listed the Sierra Club's Evergreen Theatre run.

The formal education system is one of the best and most important routes to reach youth. The funded projects help give educators the tools they need to reach out to students and their families to raise awareness and motivate action.

It's funny that oil and energy companies like Pan Canadian Petroleum and Enmax don't get much recognition for their support of environmental advocates.

But when the junk science from Kyoto needs to be propagated, the enviro-lobby turns to federal money.

 

Grabbabutton #1



Stick a button on your blog collar:

This one has R.E. Lee eyeballing Albertanicus.

 

Latin Proverb #3


Adde parvum parvo manus acervus erit.
Translation: "Add little to little and there will be a big pile" — Ovid
.

 

The NEP2 Kyoto Propaganda Machine


While hunting down some Sierra Club stuff, I was shocked to find the following:

Sierra Club of Canada Prairie Chapter and Evergreen Theatre collaborated to produce "Going to Extremes!", an interactive theatre presentation that encourages students to take action individually and in their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The production was shown in 100 schools throughout Alberta and reached over 25,000 students in grades 7 to 9.

Yes. The shock comes from seeing this propaganda in Alberta.

For further shock, look who is paying for it.

 

Filling the Void (NEP2)


Pontifications from Toronto MSM are to be expected regarding Alberta's oil wealth and its implications. This is the reason that a Sierra Club staffer gets to write an article for them decrying the 'Tar Nation' that Canada is becoming due to the Alberta oil sands.

Citing the dependence of Toronto's Bay Street on Alberta's oil sands for Canada's 'economic salvation', Stephen Hazell goes on to play doubting Thomas about everything this 'saviour' is about.

I may be impolite to ask, but does Canada really want to be America's gas tank?

More like 'gas station', and who's making the money in that scenario!

This could make Canada a global tar baby.

The concern for Canada's reputation provides a backdrop for limiting, controlling and even punishing the Great Canadian Blemish: Alberta.

In the absence of a national energy strategy, Canadians need to understand the environmental and social implications of accelerated development of the tar sands.

This is the clincher, slipped in amidst environmental manifestos and social contracts.
The absence of a 'national energy strategy' is the real reason why all of this enviro-chaos and Americo-chumminess is erupting.

The NEP2 may not come tomorrow or the next day. But if the Liberals win a majority in the next federal election, look for a National Energy Strategy to be placarded soon.

Stephen Hazell will be pushing for it, and even the odd taxi driver.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 

On the Influence of the 'Calgary School'

From a comment on my own blog, and a post at the Shotgun, the topic of the 'Calgary School' and its influence has come up today. (For the classic article on the 'School' see here).

The group is made up of:

Rainer Knopff, F. L. "Ted" Morton, David Bercuson, Barry Cooper and Thomas Flanagan.

The
influence of this group cannot be underestimated. With Flanagan behind Harper, and Morton as a dark-horse to lead the Alberta Tories, they have moved their academic prowess into tangible applications.

In the 'Calgary School' Canadian conservativism had one of the few academic think-tanks that provided real muscle to the movement (the other being the
Fraser Institute).

Since the efforts of this group were centered in Western Canada, and their views marginalized by Central Canadian MSM and its power brokers, this unofficial 'think-tank' has not been influential in a way that it could have been.

Now that
Preston Manning's think-tank has been inaugurated, it seems appropriate to reflect on the Calgary School's impact.

By building critical mass, the conservative movement could have achieved success at the federal level, if they would have started 30 years ago.

But the
beginnings of 'Fabian' thinking are simply too little too late for many Albertans.

The inherent regionalism in Canada is flaming up again. The difference now is that the region of Alberta will not allow the federals to take their money again (NEP2).

The most influential thing that the Calgary School has achieved is by giving Albertans
the philosophical justification for their regionalism... even to the point of separation.

 

More on the Bali Bombings

Here, here and here.

 

The Hope of Fabian Conservatism



Intriguing post from Gods of the Copybook Headings combining Roman history with 'Fabian' thought today, and why the conservative movement in Canada needs to read the text- book.

But have too many seasons come and gone for
a new long-range plan to begin? Other voices are calling for regional, rather than federal alternatives. For regionalist advocates, they don't seek to dismantle Rome's control from without, but from within.



Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;

 

Is Alberta's Prosperity Causing Too Many Problems?


The question is posed, even though most folks are too busy anticipating the bubble being burst by a federal government's pin-prick.

But
some say that Alberta's prosperity is coming at too high of a cost. The examples are sour gas wells near homes in Drayton Valley, urban sprawl in Edmonton and Calgary, deforestation, and 'scarring ' of landscapes.

Of course nobody prefers to have traffic congestion on the Deerfoot or Whitemud. Nobody wishes to have a sour gas well near their back fence.

But most folks would rather have a job, own a home, and live in a safe neighborhood. These things are what they have prioritized. That's why so many people have
moved to Alberta.

Alberta's leaders need to reckon with the problems of prosperity and offer logical plans for addressing them. The problems themselves are a sign of Alberta's maturity. To take on these challenges is part of the responsibility Alberta faces as it moves from a pioneering infancy and a boom-bust adolescence to a seasoned growth in prosperity and influence.

Facing these issues establishes Alberta's right to a leadership position among regions and nations.

In the meantime, I don't hear people in
Drayton Valley complaining. They're too busy working hard, making money, raising families and building their community to fuss about the inconveniences that they face.

Let the envious fuss all they want.

 

Premier Klein's Production

photo credit: CP

Many people are disillusioned with the closing days of Premier Ralph Klein's reign. Although Klein's record in contrast to the Getty era has been a vast improvement, his production levels have been pitiful of late.

For the last number of years, Albertans have been looking for the 'Grand Vision For Alberta' that everyone could hold onto as they speed into the future. But Mr. Klein has opted to rest on his laurels---many good ones, granted---but past laurels nonetheless. And the incrementalism of change that Klein has adopted may appear to be politically savvy, but it displays a lack of both anticipation and resolve.

Mr. Klein had his run, but his complacency is unacceptable in the Alberta meritocracy.


Everybody is working hard.

Sitting on ones' hands in contentment is not an Albertan attitude.

 

Dinning on the Move

Jim Dinning is starting to rev up his campaign to replace Ralph Klein.

His 'top issues' are stated in the following:

He pointed out that education is the most important issue facing Albertans, citing the dropout rate is among the highest in the country. He said that primary resources such as oil and the forests are important and that after the BSE crisis “we can’t rely on Americans.” Rounding out his top three issues facing Albertans was Western provinces needing to be stronger and become better allies to deal with Ottawa.

Regarding regionalism within Alberta, Dinning said:

Asked if he’s focusing his campaign on a specific region he said:“I’m an Alberta candidate. I’m not Calgary, I’m not Edmonton, I am Alberta. I’m addressing issues that cross the entire province, not just urban issues and not just rural issues either. Alberta’s got too big a role to play to have rural pitted against urban or north against south. I don’t play those kind of politics and I don’t like it when it’s done.”

Dinning sounds pretty un-radical. However, in a good economy, it will take a rival candidate of powerful acumen, vision and skill to steer Albertans away from making a safe, numbing decision come election time.

 

Black Gold Rush


Media outlets outside of Canada continue to highlight Alberta's booming economy. Places like Norway, Venezeula, and Alaska all have comparable success with Alberta.

Of course there are blessings or curses with a booming economy. Housing prices in Alberta are jumping exponentially. That's great if you are a homeowner or realtor, but if you're a home-buyer, it presents a challenge.

But these are good problems to have. Better than no jobs, no money, and every asset worth nothing.

About me

  • I'm Albertanicus
  • From Foothills, Alberta Rocky Mountains
  • I wish to serve my neighbors in a democratic society by reflecting on issues related to Albertans. I speak from the viewpoint of a Confessional Evangelical. I am also promoting what I call, "the New Albertanism".
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