Pharyngula

Canadian bluenoses

Those Canadians have got a few prigs running things up there, and they’ve apparently trying to pass some laws to slap down those darned naughty artist types. There’s just one line from the sour old prude that’s worth mentioning, the rest is the usual noise.

A well-known evangelical crusader is claiming credit for the federal government’s move to deny tax credits to TV and film productions that contain graphic sex and violence or other offensive content.

Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said his lobbying efforts included discussions with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and “numerous” meetings with officials in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We’re thankful that someone’s finally listening,” he said yesterday. “It’s fitting with conservative values, and I think that’s why Canadians voted for a Conservative government.”

I’d like to make a distinction here.

“I will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes” is a good moral value; it’s defining a standard of behavior for yourself. If McVety, Day, and Nicholson wish to abstain from watching movies with sex, then that’s fine. Personally, I am unperturbed if someone else wants to watch porn, as long as they don’t force me to watch it too, and I think that’s a reasonable value as well.

Conservative values don’t seem to have anything to do with personal standards, at least as they are expressed by politicians and the media. “You will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes” is not what I would consider a moral good. It’s the imposition of values on someone else, not yourself. There really are only two possibilities here: 1) McVety, Day, and Nicholson already do not watch movies with graphic sex scenes, in which case this law causes them no hardship and they can’t be said to be acting for their own good; or 2) McVety, Day, or Nicholson do watch movies with graphic sex scenes, in which case they are hypocrites imposing a standard on others to which they do not adhere themselves.

We’ve been living with “conservative values” here in the US for a long time now, and they rarely seem to have anything to do with a social good, or with people actually setting exemplary moral standards for themselves. It’s always about narrowing experiences, constraining others to a single permissible range of behaviors, and punishing others outside your domain of accepted social norms.

You know, it is possible to be a liberal, progressive sort of person who doesn’t do any of the “bad” things that conservatives detest — who doesn’t drink to excess, use addictive drugs, or gamble, who is faithful to a single spouse and doesn’t spend time on pornography or prostitution. That people don’t do those things is not the distinguishing characteristic of conservative vs. liberal at all. The real difference is that conservatives take sanctimonious pleasure in requiring everyone else to be just like their ideal, and seem to be less interested in measuring up to their own standards themselves than in demanding that others do so; liberals are people who put first priority on abiding by their own standards, and a second priority on allowing others to live their lives as they see fit.

Comments

  1. #1 MH
    February 29, 2008

    Conservative values? I wonder if Charles McVety would praise the Saudi Arabian authorities? They are the real conservatives and we all know what a utopia that nation is.

  2. #2 Eamon Knight
    February 29, 2008

    Um, they’re not exactly trying to ban such films, only deny them certain kinds of government funding. This may, of course, wind up having the same effect, in that the flicks won’t get made, however I think it raises a legitimate issue of what kind of activities the govt should be spending taxpayers’ money on (ie. including those that some find objectionable for whatever reason). Thus, I find it difficult to come to a position either way on this particular issue. I don’t like censorship; I just about automatically disagree with anyone who likes to wrap themselves in the “Family” flag — but that doesn’t automatically translate into thinking that my government should be funding this, or any type, of movie-making.

    Comments? Feel free to persuade me, in either direction.

  3. #3 stogoe
    February 29, 2008

    There really are only two possibilities here:

    Perhaps there’s a third, or maybe simply a corollary to #2: They do watch porn, but feel guilty about it, and therefore the government should step in and enforce their morals for them.

    It all ties back in with the idea of God as the source of and enforcer of moral standards. They really don’t think that humans are capable of enforcing our own morals on ourselves.

  4. #4 Tulse
    February 29, 2008

    I think it raises a legitimate issue of what kind of activities the govt should be spending taxpayers’ money on (ie. including those that some find objectionable for whatever reason).

    I don’t want the government being the arbiter of artistic taste, as that is a dangerous road to go down. This is no different in principle than a publicly-funded school banning certain books because they are “objectionable”.

  5. #5 Azkyroth
    February 29, 2008

    “I will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes” is a good moral value

    Why?

  6. #6 Benji
    February 29, 2008

    I largely agree with you, and as a Canadian I am very upset by this law project. My greatest problem with it is that I don’t know WHO will actually judge the standards or HOW it is going to be done. What are the criterions?

    And also, I think that it is a bit narrowing to attack video contents that may as well be only representative of the hard reality that some people live day to day, and I am afraid that it is THIS kind of movie that will be touched.

    In my point of view, our government lacks credibility in the cultural field, and, despite it has denied it, I do not find encouraging that the religious right (not as worse as yours yet but…) may have influence over it.

  7. #7 william
    February 29, 2008

    Liberal is rooted in liberty, or the exercising of free will. The suggestion that only “conservatives” are guilty of a desire to impress their will or ideal upon others is a dangerous one. How would the libertarians fit into this liberal vs. conservative dichotomy? These definitions of conservative and liberal are not substantive, nor are they based upon the fundamentals of each.

  8. #8 Corey Schlueter
    February 29, 2008

    “We’re thankful that someone’s finally listening,” he said yesterday. “It’s fitting with conservative values, and I think that’s why Canadians voted for a Conservative government.”

    No, that’s not why they were voted in, to nor to repeal the same-sex marriage laws. The Conservative Party is not standing on solid ground right now, with the accusation that party officials may have tried to bribe an indepenedent MP about three years ago.

  9. #9 True Bob
    February 29, 2008

    Often the liberal/conservative dichotomy is described as liberals want to regulate business, conservatives want to regulate human behavior.

  10. #10 Blondin
    February 29, 2008

    “…and I think that’s why Canadians voted for a Conservative government.”

    Actually we have a minority government which means that the majority of Canadians did NOT vote for a Conservative government.

  11. #11 Sarcastro
    February 29, 2008

    Jesus said to avoid temptation, not eradicate it. Isn’t it moral cowardice of the worst sort to try and have the government do away with temptation so you will not have to try to avoid it personally?

    My personal (somewhat Stoic and Epicurean, akin to Cicero’s eclectic Academic Skepticism) philosophy would be a lot easier to follow if everything contrary to it didn’t exist. But then what’s the point?

  12. #12 Brownian, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Actually we have a minority government which means that the majority of Canadians did NOT vote for a Conservative government.

    Oh, but McVety is referring to ‘real’ Canadians, which are Evangelical Christians.

    I myself prefer the term “Shit Stains on the Underwear That Is the Conservative Movement” for people like him, but you know, potato-potahto.

  13. #13 Michelle
    February 29, 2008

    Hopefully it won’t pass, but as a french canadian I’m sick of my provincial government giving funding for every darn shitty artist out there. Their movies suck, their songs sucks, their art are retarded. Heck, they drive fancy cars, but their CD sales are terribly low. Yet all they have to do is ask for more money from the government. What the heck is THAT about?

    I think the government shouldn’t rule on the MORALE of the shebang, but I think we should just give less money in that. Or at least select who deserves the money better. Heck! They funded a project of making a giant banana go in space and which would float over Texas, for sake. (Surprisingly enough, THAT DIDN’T WORK!)

  14. #14 Michelle
    February 29, 2008

    @Blondin: And yet, besides a couple slides like this shit, that conservative minority government works surprisingly well… At least far better than the liberals did for years. Because let’s face it, they sucked. Massively. It was terrible. And the only reason we kept them there was because Chrétien was absolutely hilarious… (and rotten but he made so many memorable quotes I could forgive him!)

    Martin was rotten and annoying. A filthy twisted man.

    …And Dion… Well… um… Wow. I’m not voting there either… He just makes me stare blankly.

  15. #15 Spinoza
    February 29, 2008

    So much of this is irrelevant to morality that it makes me wonder how the world functions at all.

  16. #16 Tulse
    February 29, 2008

    And yet, besides a couple slides like this shit, that conservative minority government works surprisingly well… At least far better than the liberals did for years. Because let’s face it, they sucked. Massively.

    Arguably that was true primarily toward the end of their run, and arguably because they had no effective opposition. The only reason the Harper & Co. haven’t tried to outlaw abortion except for gay fetuses is precisely because they are a minority government. Don’t be fooled — these Western whackjobs will happily require schools teach that dinosaurs lived with Adam and Eve 6000 years ago if they ever get a solid majority.

  17. #17 Bryson Brown
    February 29, 2008

    McVety is certainly a piece of work– self-righteous to a fault, the whole homophobic shebang, a real U.S.-style right-wing Xtian. And his influence over this government is not trivial with Day on the inside (a ‘men walked with dinosaurs’ creationist) and a sympathetic PM in Mr. Harper. I’ve been waiting to see what they would do for the McVety types, after a pro-forma attempt to overturn our same-sex marriage legislation failed so badly that the evangelicals felt hard done by. After all, if they don’t get their way, God didn’t get his way, and that can’t be good– though I have to ask, what’s with that, anyway?!?

    If we’re going to fund these projects (and we have some great artists here, in Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg and others, who’ve used this funding to good effect), then I think we need (as for academic research funding) arms-length procedures with artistic merit (as judged by artists and other qualified folk) as the criterion, not some sniffy criteria dreamed up by a bunch of small town prudes…

  18. #18 Keith
    February 29, 2008

    It’s absolutely about narrowing experience. These and every other Culture Warrior that wants to censor art isn’t doing it to protect values or For The Kids. They want to stifle creativity because they view any book or film or work of art as direct competition for the Bible. And they’re right. Why would you read some moldy old book of shepherd poetry when you can watch a Superman movie and get the same moral parable about good and evil? And maybe you’ll stumble upon somethign that totally contradicts Conservative Values altogether, somethign that opens your mind to other ideas and ways of seeing. Can’t have it. So, they want to starve artists and creative types.

  19. #19 b_nichol
    February 29, 2008

    Dave at the Galloping Beaver has an excellent take on this. [url]http://thegallopingbeaver.blogspot.com/2008/02/sex-drugs-violence-and-things-that.html[/url]

    Note that it is not so much denying funding to certain types of film or TV projects, but that after the two-stage process has been approved for tax exemption, some shadowy group behind the scenes will determine whether the project is not “contrary to public policy”.

    There already exists guidelines that exempt pornography, game, talk and reality shows and sports and news programs, and yet this condescending group of control freaks want to extend that into what they deem might or not be acceptable ‘public policy’. Little Mosque on the Prairie? They have the same names as our ‘enemies’. Gone. Randy, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles? Too much drugs, alcohol and cursing: gone. Degrassi Street? Oh no, no realistic and thoughtful perspectives on teenagers here, you’re gone. Shows making fun of our fucking stupid government (22 Minutes, Air Farce, Rick Mercer). Gone, gone, gone.

  20. #20 Michelle
    February 29, 2008

    @Tulse: 100% with you right there. Because well, politicians are politicians. I think you need to give up a bit of your soul to the devil to become one (And yes, that was just a figure of speech. I dont believe in such things <_<)

    Which makes me think that minority governments are actually a great thing. I don’t want them conservatives to ever get majority, of course.

    I guess that’s why the Bloc still exists. Just to have braindead french canadians break any weak majorities. Of course, that’s NOT what they think they are doing, and I’d rather die than vote for them… I’m just babbling.

  21. #21 Turd Ferguson
    February 29, 2008

    I wish someone would force me to watch porn. Then I’d have a convenient excuse if caught. I loves me some porn!

  22. #22 WRMartin
    February 29, 2008

    stogoe @3 is on to something.
    The ‘born again’ type can be a fairly major reformed sinner a la Ted “I didn’t do meth and have gay sex and lie about it and condemn it” Haggard. They never really lose that desire to. The only thing keeping them on the straight and narrow is the peer pressure of their congregation and their professed lurv of jeebus. They are the weakest moral people you will ever meet. Rock music is a no-no in their life because it causes adultery and fornication. PG or higher rated movies are a no-no for the same reason. Combine all that with their belief that the same behavior and naughty desires afflict all of mankind. Is that what is called “projection”? Since they know believe what causes everyone to sin they know believe they have the solution: Ban Everything.

  23. #23 Sinbad
    February 29, 2008

    ‘You will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes’ is not what I would consider a moral good. It’s the imposition of values on someone else, not yourself.

    As others have pointed out, this is simply barking up the wrong tree. The issue is funding (via tax credits), not availablity.

    #4: “I don’t want the government being the arbiter of artistic taste, as that is a dangerous road to go down. This is no different in principle than a publicly-funded school banning certain books because they are ‘objectionable.’”

    Because I agree with the first sentence I disagree with the second. Whenever the government gets involved in the arts, the art gets compromised (in the same way that funding so-called “faith-based” initiatives ends up compromising religious organizations). Moreover, despite claims of censorship, schools do in fact have to exercise discretion, and rightly so (unless you think Debbie Does Dallas ought to be available at your local elementary school?).

  24. #24 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    . Whenever the government gets involved in the arts, the art gets compromised

    *sigh*

    a horrid overstatement of the actual state of affairs.

    much art simply wouldn’t exist without the NEA, for example.

    (in the same way that funding so-called “faith-based” initiatives ends up compromising religious organizations)

    nope. not the same thing at all, but if you want to talk about that, it’s the organizations themselves that pervert their own missions to garner a chunk o cash for themselves.

    Moreover, despite claims of censorship, schools do in fact have to exercise discretion

    again, you are comparing apples and oranges.

    and, again, your posts are nothing but a waste of time.

    why not start your own blog and invite everyone who cares about what you have to say over?

    oh wait, you did, didn’t you.

    LOL

  25. #25 Brownian, OM
    February 29, 2008

    unless you think Debbie Does Dallas ought to be available at your local elementary school?

    Well, they should have some exposure to the classics.

    In Canada, we’ve always been a little paternalistic about the arts, figuring that if the government won’t pay to support our local talent, no one else will either. (Ah CanCon. Where would would Gowan be without it?)

    It’s partly a response to living next to the elephant.

  26. #26 Arnaud
    February 29, 2008

    Erm, no, not exactly. We all have values and some of these we use to judge others and their behaviour. There is no way around that. Murder is bad? Paedophilia is bad? That’s a value judgement.
    Now we can agree or disagree with these people’s values, but to say that if something is contrary to their values they should only look the other way is a bad argument.
    There is a case to be made that porn, for instance, is as damaging and exploitative as, say, prostitution. (And before you start, I know this law isn’t about porn) If that was proved there would be a case for it to be banned.

  27. #27 slim
    February 29, 2008

    A well-known evangelical crusader is claiming credit for the federal government’s move to deny tax credits to TV and film productions that contain graphic sex and violence or other offensive content.

    So would that apply to the snuff-porn classic, The Passion of the Christ? Or the highly offensive Expelled?

  28. #28 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    Well, they should have some exposure to the classics.

    funny thing about that, turns out that DDD is actually a part of many sociological and film history courses. There was even a documentary made that covered what was going on culturally and industry wise back around that time frame:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Does_Dallas_Uncovered

    maybe more than one documentary, actually.

    not relevant to coursework for elementary students, but that is hardly a case of censorship.

  29. #29 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    How would the libertarians fit into this liberal vs. conservative dichotomy?

    On the liberal side, where they belong. Where else?

    Keep in mind that things like import tariffs are conservative values.

  30. #30 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    How would the libertarians fit into this liberal vs. conservative dichotomy?

    On the liberal side, where they belong. Where else?

    Keep in mind that things like import tariffs are conservative values.

  31. #31 slim
    February 29, 2008

    On a serious note, the French Canadian movie Black Robe was made with government money, was an historically accurate portrayal of 17th century French-Canadian settlements, and was, in parts, brutal and violent.

    Maybe the good pastor just wants to keep science (sex) and history (violence) away from impressionable Canadian children.

  32. #32 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    February 29, 2008

    Well, with our first past the post electoral system, most majority governments are not elected by a majority of Canadians, either.

    In this case, the Conservatives got in because so many people voted against the Liberals because of the Sponsorship Scandal (see Wiki), amongst other things. Interestingly in light of Michelle #13, this was spending money in Québec on advertising, ostensibly to reduce the influence of the Seperatistes.

    With their baggage being what it is, there are probably several reasons to put this legislation forward. Most of our Federal governments have spent money in Québec, as if bribing them to not separate. Even the previous Conservative governments did so. They however had their power base in Ontario and Québec. This minority government has quite a few Reform party members, from west of Manitoba, like Stockwell Day. These are the conservative religious types who favour creationism in schools, censorship, making abortions illegal, the death penalty, etc. They have always resented the Feds taking Western resource money (oil) and spending it in the hope of keeping Québec happy.

    I see them chipping away at trying to accomplish subtle things, since attempting to legislate their main goals would get them bounced with a non confidence vote. Eliminating the position of Science Advisor recently, was one such small victory for them.

    With regard to this legislation, on the one hand, the government subsidizes Canadian culture to keep us from drowning in the massive flood from America, but on the other, their bureaucrats are only responsible for getting rid of all the money they can get their hands on, not spending it wisely. The Canadian Film Board went through a period when they got good work produced, but success comes and goes.

  33. #33 Sinbad
    February 29, 2008

    much art simply wouldn’t exist without the NEA, for example.

    I think such government subsidies are a bad idea whether it’s an alleged artist or corporate welfare. If an artist can’t find support for his/her art, too bad. Moreover, much of the crap funded by the NEA makes a pretty good case that a lot of the money is going to poseurs looking to feed at the government trough rather than to the real artists.

    but if you want to talk about that, it’s the organizations themselves that pervert their own missions to garner a chunk o cash for themselves.

    Which is exactly my point, whether it’s artists or religious organizations.

    again, you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Your saying so doesn’t make it so, especially since you don’t even try to support the claim. Censorship is a necessary fact. The question is merely when and how.

    Well, they should have some exposure to the classics.

    Touche’.

  34. #34 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    I think such government subsidies are a bad idea

    of course you do.

    so, with that in mind, shall we get your positive vote to remove tax exempt status for churches?

    I’ll send a petition to you tomorrow for your sig.

  35. #35 Jason Spaceman
    February 29, 2008

    Charles McVety’s finest moment came when, during a debate on the CBC with Richard Dawkins, he said “The Bible interprets itself”. Watch it here (about 26 minutes in). Most of the audience erupted in laughter after hearing that one.

  36. #36 IanR
    February 29, 2008

    You know, it is possible to be a liberal, progressive sort of person … who doesn’t drink to excess, use addictive drugs, or gamble, who is faithful to a single spouse and doesn’t spend time on pornography or prostitution.

    Ah, but is it possible to be a conservative and not do these things? It isn’t Ted Haggard’s fault that there are male prostitutes, it isn’t Larry Craig’s fault that there are bathrooms in airports, it isn’t Mark Foley’s fault that there are interns…

    Why do you think that conservatives say “if there wasn’t a God, there’d be nothing to stop people from killing or robbing or raping…”? They’re making personal statements about themselves.

  37. #37 Sinbad
    February 29, 2008

    of course you do.

    Your tone suggests you think corporate welfare’s a good idea?

    so, with that in mind, shall we get your positive vote to remove tax exempt status for churches? I’ll send a petition to you tomorrow for your sig.

    I’ll sign it (assuming it treats all charitable organizations the same way). It’s way OT, but our tax code is way too complex. It ought to be drastically simplified, but most people like their deductions too much to do it (and the industry built up around it is too embedded).

  38. #38 Mooser
    February 29, 2008

    “I will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes” is a good moral value
    Why?

    Posted by: Azkyroth |

    Because the images of the female body are sacred to nature, and it is a sort of natural blasphemy to use them without the informed and present consent of the women (or Goddess) involved. It’s not good for a guy to do that, mother nature wouldn’t aprove. And it don’t help your soul none.

    That’s as near as I can come to it in scientific terms. A little bit of prudery goes a long way, so use it wisely.

  39. #39 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    Your tone suggests you think corporate welfare’s a good idea?

    now it’s corporate welfare? thought we were talking about government sponsored social programs and artwork?

    so you want to talk apples instead of oranges, moron?

    whatever. sure, corporate welfare works just fine in certain circumstances.

    ask GM.

    it’s way OT

    LOL

    at least some part of your brain is functioning… but it doesn’t appear to be able to produce a complete picture for you.

  40. #40 Mooser
    February 29, 2008

    Murder is bad? Paedophilia is bad? That’s a value judgement.
    Arnaud

    Ah, the Panglossian detachment of those still breathing with an intact anus. It’s wonderful.

  41. #41 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    That’s as near as I can come to it in scientific terms.

    ??

    mother nature wouldn’t aprove. And it don’t help your soul none.

    uh huh…

    I need to reconsult my astrologist on what constitutes scientific terminology again.

  42. #42 Sivi Volk
    February 29, 2008

    Government arts funding here rarely pays for the whole thing, at least so far as films go. Offhand, the excellent werewolf movie “Ginger Snaps” was partly funded by government money. I think a lot of Cronenburg’s early stuff was, too.

    Some of them are crap, but there are a lot of good Canadian movies that wouldn’t be around without a little help from federal arts funding. This move seems like a bad idea at the least.

  43. #43 Mooser
    February 29, 2008

    Arnaud, they are bad because they hurt people, and we know this, not by a “value judgement” but by simple human empathy. For some people, empathy is a basic value, upon which a system of ethics governing our relations with others could be based. Others seem to see it as an impediment.

  44. #44 Sinbad
    February 29, 2008

    thought we were talking about government sponsored social programs and artwork?

    I see no essential difference between government subsidized art and other forms of commercial subsidies. I expect every enterprise to stand or fail on its own. If that makes me a moron, I’ll wear the label proudly.

  45. #45 Mooser
    February 29, 2008

    I need to reconsult my astrologist on what constitutes scientific terminology again.

    Posted by: Ichthyic

    It’s an intelligent guy who goes right to the source.

  46. #46 darwinfish
    February 29, 2008

    I hope this idea spreads to Germany so they stop funding Uwe Bole. His movies are offensive to anyone with a shred of taste.

  47. #47 Dennis
    February 29, 2008

    The law is set up so that Mr. Day, a former pastor, can decide who gets funding for their film projects. The definitions of sex and violence are his alone. Which means the film does not have to be considered pornographic. Also, try to come to a consensus on what is graphic violence. I doubt this group can. But Mr. Day will. And he will also decide the “other offensive” material. Meaning, if Ben Stein is really on the ball he will apply to the Canadian government for funding for his film. It may be offensive to most people that read your blog but it wont offend Mr. Day.

  48. #48 Arnaud
    February 29, 2008

    Mooser, that’s not what PZ seems to be saying in his third paragraph. You expect your elected representatives to govern and legislate for the good of the country and its inhabitants and, possibly, the planet at large. By doing this, you expect them to uphold moral values.
    You don’t elect them to look the other way when it doesn’t concern them directly because, in a way, everything concern them. (even if it’s to decide that it doesn’t, that’s still a judgement!)
    The same also applies to whether their own misconducts disqualify them from ruling on moral issues (and all issues are moral issues), as PZ seems to imply. They are elected FFS; as long as you keep them in power they need to make value judgements. The business of government cannot stop because a minister has been visiting male or female prostitutes…

    Also, about my intact anus… what?

  49. #49 Kseniya
    February 29, 2008

    Sinbad:

    The issue is funding (via tax credits), not availablity.

    Ah, but funding may impact availability.

    “I don’t want the government being the arbiter of artistic taste, as that is a dangerous road to go down.

    Because I agree with the first sentence I disagree with the second. Whenever the government gets involved in the arts, the art gets compromised

    Well… yes. Ichthyic, I have to defend Sinbad on this one, because I think his statement must be interpreted as being a direct response to the “arbiter” comment, rather than as a more general statement against “involvement.” Of course I agree that funding equals involvement (and the more passive, the better).

    Still, Sinbad, I can’t back you on the second part. I don’t recall much of a fervor over Debbie Does Dallas being available (or not) down at Jenna Jay Elementary, so I must call strawman on that specific example. However, I do seem to remember other soul-destroying works of the devil coming under attack, such as the Harry Potter series, and the lovely A Wrinkle In Time. There’s a grey area between exercising discretion with regard to ensuring that school libraries have age-appropriate materials available by screening out things like porn, and censoring age-appropriate materials based on the personal dislikes of a vocal minority (elected or otherwise). So, as Ichthyic points out, it’s not quite the same thing, even in principle.

  50. #50 The Disgruntled Chemist
    February 29, 2008

    I’m pretty sure that the Canadian government funds (at least partially) the TV show How It’s Made, which is serious nerd porn. I’m seriously addicted to that show.

    Is that OK morally?

  51. #51 Corey Schlueter
    February 29, 2008

    I just realized, why is McVety discussing about this to the Public Safety Minister? Should he not bring this to the cultural minister? Or is he trying to influence our MPs?

  52. #52 AJ Milne
    February 29, 2008

    Actually we have a minority government which means that the majority of Canadians did NOT vote for a Conservative government.

    Quite. And I’m always amused at how fond a certain breed of uptight nutbars like that are of lines like that ‘why Canadians voted for a Conservative government’ one, even in such absurd contexts as this. Same sorta vibe you get from the self-titled ‘moral majority’ (which, as certain wags generally and justifiably point out, is neither). There’s this weird ‘everyone really agrees with me’ attitude they always seem to have. Even when everyone so clearly and demonstrably does not.

  53. #53 Spaulding
    February 29, 2008

    It’s certainly not enough to distinguish between “good” and “not good” moral values on the basis of whether you impose it upon yourself or wish to impose it upon others.

    Certain values are necessary to impose on others, such as the old “Thou shalt not kill,” because they are adequately universal and socially necessary, but more importantly because they harm others. I see it as a 2×3 matrix:

    …………………restriction imposed on others | restriction imposed on self
    ——————————————————–|————————–
    action would..|……….restriction is good……|…….restriction is good
    have harmed.|
    others…………..|
    —————————————————————-
    action would..|………restriction is bad………|..restriction is pretty good
    have harmed.|
    self, not………..|
    others…………..|
    —————————————————————-
    action would..|……….restriction is silly…….|………you’re a prude.
    have harmed.|
    nobody………..|
    —————————————————————-

    I’d also like to note that the value of my point is outweighed by the time it took to format this post…

  54. #54 Azkyroth
    February 29, 2008

    There is a case to be made that porn, for instance, is as damaging and exploitative as, say, prostitution. (And before you start, I know this law isn’t about porn) If that was proved there would be a case for it to be banned.

    No there isn’t, and no it wouldn’t.

  55. #55 Arnaud
    February 29, 2008

    No there isn’t, and no it wouldn’t.

    Good to know, Askyroth. I’ll sleep better tonight.
    Not that it would change anything as to the validity of my argument, BTW.

  56. #56 Interrobang
    February 29, 2008

    I don’t know where Michelle gets the idea that the previous Liberals sucked. Not any harder than any other government we’ve had since the 1980s, and certainly less hard than the current government or Brian Baloney’s… I mean, either you’ve got your choice — vote for the Liberals and get hard-core University of Manitoba Chicago-style hothouse economics, or vote for the CRAPs and get all that plus Republican-style panty-sniffing. As much as I hate the fact that Canada has nothing at all like progressive taxation and that our economy is deliberately kept subservient to the US’s (note how when the dollar got really high there for a while, David Derbes, Bank of Canada mook, had to go in the media everywhere for a while spouting the word “recession” — as if! — to make everyone properly un-uppity again), I’ll take that over the alternative.

    Fuck these guys. Let them go back to their fortified compoundsranches in Alberta where the only things they’ll be hurting are the cows. There’s a saying here that Canadians elect a Conservative government once a generation just to remind themselves why they shouldn’t, but I didn’t need a refresher course.

  57. #57 Michelle
    February 29, 2008

    “I don’t know where Michelle gets the idea that the previous Liberals sucked.”

    …I dunno Interrobang. I guess I got that idea from all the dirt coming up to the surface since a few years about the liberals.

  58. #58 windy
    February 29, 2008

    We all have values and some of these we use to judge others and their behaviour. There is no way around that. Murder is bad? …

    Yes, it is. I look forward to Law & Order: Parking Violations Unit and Midsomer Pub Brawls already.

  59. #59 Bryson Brown
    February 29, 2008

    A little perspective, Michelle–

    The ‘dirt’ that came to the surface was pretty small-time stuff– a few percent of the sponsorship program, which ran for quite a few years and actually did seem to improve the image of the feds in Quebec. Not that that makes it OK– but the notion that this was some huge scandal was a product of press hyperbole and Paul Martin’s internicine crusade against Jean Chretien (of course Martin paid the full price in the end, with all his ambitions frustrated).

    In the meanwhile, the provincial conservatives continue to run Alberta as a one-party state and plan to go on expanding their massive CO2 emissions with no protest from Ottawa, while Mr. Harper’s links to Brian Mulroney, the continuing lies and deception over policy and conditions in Afghanistan and other pretty important matters, and now a little bribery scandal build up. Funny how it took over a decade for enough to stick to the Liberals to give any real trouble, and the conservatives have dug a big hole in just two years of minority government. But self-righteous control freaks tend to make a mess of things, I find.

  60. #60 Dahan
    February 29, 2008

    Sinbad, I’ve dusted up with you before on various topics, but I think that your comment stating:

    “I expect every enterprise to stand or fail on its own. If that makes me a moron, I’ll wear the label proudly.”

    now just makes me feel kinda sad for you. Your probably are just going to say “don’t bother” in a very forceful way, but I do. I’m aware that you’re not a moron, but you do seem to have a rather limited knowledge of how our modern world has come about. Let me just say, it’s not through enterprises just standing or failing on their own.

    Assuredly, the market system is remarkable, but it’s not an infallible god that works in every case, in all things. Hopefully you’ll come to understand that some day too. Best to ya.

  61. #61 LisaJ
    February 29, 2008

    Man, I knew we were in trouble the minute this government got into office. It’s just ridiculous what they’re doing to our country.

  62. #62 Graculus
    February 29, 2008

    The old joke is that there are two kinds of Scots, those that turn their oats into porrige, and those that turn their oats into whiskey. Canada got all the porrige eaters.

    Or, as a friend of mine of Scotish origin put it: “the kind of people that keep an eye on God to make sure He doesn’t offend the presbyter.”

    Generally it’s a different kind of prudery than the fundagelicals, but there *is* an established strain of it in Canada.

  63. #63 Sinbad
    February 29, 2008

    Still, Sinbad, I can’t back you on the second part. I don’t recall much of a fervor over Debbie Does Dallas being available (or not) down at Jenna Jay Elementary, so I must call strawman on that specific example.

    I used an extreme example to make the point. There will of necessity be “censorship.” What must be decided is when and how much.

    However, I do seem to remember other soul-destroying works of the devil coming under attack, such as the Harry Potter series, and the lovely A Wrinkle In Time.”

    It often comes down to whose ox is being gored, doesn’t it? Ironically, simply courtesy would solve most problems, but these aren’t very courteous times (on all sides).

    There’s a grey area between exercising discretion with regard to ensuring that school libraries have age-appropriate materials available by screening out things like porn, and censoring age-appropriate materials based on the personal dislikes of a vocal minority (elected or otherwise).

    You make it sound like that’s a bright line distinction, but it isn’t. I would prefer erring on the side of freedom, but I have no trouble understanding the concerns parents have (been there). For example, is wanting to keep a 9th grader from being assigned Bret Ellis “censoring…on the basis of personal dislikes” or a mere exercise of good judgment? Oh, and why should it matter who’s in the majority?

    Your probably are just going to say ‘don’t bother’ in a very forceful way, but I do.

    Actually, I’m not. I’m happy to leave the vitriol and the ad homs to folks like Icky.

    I’m aware that you’re not a moron, but you do seem to have a rather limited knowledge of how our modern world has come about. Let me just say, it’s not through enterprises just standing or failing on their own.

    I suggest either that you’re misunderstanding me or that it’s you whose knowledge is limited. My objection is practical more than theoretical. Governments the world over have dreadful records trying to manage economies. It rarely works and the unintended consequences provide a lousy kick in the teeth for good measure.

    Assuredly, the market system is remarkable, but it’s not an infallible god that works in every case, in all things.

    I’d go a step further and concede that the market works poorly in many instances, but it almost always beats the alternative. To return to the arts, the market may not have good taste (watch MTV if you doubt me), but the government’s taste is no better and its getting in the middle adds exponential inefficiencies.

  64. #64 Monado, FCD
    March 1, 2008

    There’s a Facebook group, “Canadians against Conservative Censorship Plan.” Feel free to join or start “Everygody else against Conservative Censorship Plan.”

  65. #65 Monado, FCD
    March 1, 2008

    Uh, “Everybody.”

    Sorry about that. Rented fingers.

  66. #66 Ichthyic
    March 1, 2008

    Governments the world over have dreadful records trying to manage economies.

    I’m sorry, but anyone who says you’re NOT a moron isn’t reading you correctly.

  67. #67 Sinbad
    March 1, 2008

    Governments the world over have dreadful records trying to manage economies.

    I’m sorry, but anyone who says you’re NOT a moron isn’t reading you correctly.

    I take it all back — I’ve seen the light. Those Soviet block countries were incredibly successful managing their economies.

  68. #68 Dan
    March 1, 2008

    I’m pretty sure that the Canadian government funds (at least partially) the TV show How It’s Made, which is serious nerd porn. I’m seriously addicted to that show.

    Is that OK morally?

    Posted by: The Disgruntled Chemist

    I hope so. I love that show too. My favorite thing about it is the seemingly odd and strangely MacGuyver-esque grouping of the subjects. “Today, we’ll see how buttons, paint brushes and distributor caps are made.”

    Total nerd/machinist porn, though.

  69. #69 Zarquon
    March 1, 2008

    Since the laws that give rise to corporations are a creation of governments, governments have, in fact, been wildly successful at managing the economy.

  70. #70 Kseniya
    March 1, 2008

    You know, Sinbad, I believe we agree on how the school stuff ought to play out in practice, but the key phrase in my comment was “age-appropriate”. Who’s going to argue that Debbie belongs on the shelf next to Dora? But people do argue that A Wrinkle In Time – a children’s story about love, loyalty, and perseverence in the face of adversity, among other things – should be banned because some of the characters are witches. Ditto Rowling’s series.

    As adults, we do have a responsibility to keep mature materials away from immature audiences. I believe we agree on that. However, we have no responsibility – or right – to make age-appropriate materials unavailable to their target audiences based on our own personal preferences, which is pretty much what this is about. I think we agree on that, too. The subject of this blog entry concerns material and a target age group that I believe we would describe (nominally) as “mature”, but in principle, age is irrelevant, and that’s the point #4 was making.

    I realize this raises the questions of how we defined “age-appropriate,” and of who formulates that definition… but it’s past my bedtime, I’ve got walking pnemonia or something, and this is the best I can do. :-)

  71. #71 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    March 1, 2008

    Corey @50,

    Day’s ‘Public Safety’ portfolio has nothing to do with films. The Minister responsible would be Josée Verner. She has the ‘Canadian Heritage’ portfolio that includes ‘Telefilm Canada’. Some of her minions would be making the decisions that the legislation in question would control. The Prime Minister and his most powerful Cabinet ministers and advisors decide what legislation goes forward, hopefully with the support of the Minister responsible, but power politics rules in the end, I’m sure.

    McVety was bragging and name dropping. His connection to Day would be their common religious fundamentalism. Day was once the leader of the Alliance Party and lost a party leadership election to Stephen Harper. The Alliance Party later merged to become the Conservative Party. Harper has in the past criticized Day for his religious right orientation, but himself belongs to the evangelical Christian & Missionary Alliance church. There are more than a few parallels between Harper and Bush, enough to have him labelled mini-Bush.

    I have no idea why Rob Nicholson would have given McVety the time of day. As a long standing member of the Conservative Party, he undoubtedly wields a lot of power and his portfolio reflects that.

    Dennis, @46, I am sure there is nothing in the law itself that would allow Stockwell Day or any other elected politician to be the hands on arbiter for each and every funding decision. He may have had the power to write or edit the legislation to suit himself, but it seems unlikely. Not only would others in Cabinet have disagreed with him on principle, they cannot allow themselves to propose legislation sufficiently offensive to the opposition parties to bring a non-confidence vote.

    The insidious part is where the bureaucrats have pressure brought to bear on them to make the ‘right’ decisions. Mr. Day could only be one of many voices, and if he weren’t sufficiently circumspect, might bring down the minority government.

  72. #72 Al
    March 1, 2008

    Michelle, I have no idea hwo you can see Dion as worse than Harper, Dion at least has some personality, and opinions(and a ridiculous accent, you have to love it). Harper is obviously made entirely out of plastic (hes even kinda shiny).
    Living in alberta, it is becoming painfully obvious that any polititian who labels themselves as a conservative has no ability to plan for the future, they instead seem to focus on petty ‘moral’ issues and on moving money into the pockets of their friends.
    I’m not sure why canada seems to be moving away from the rest of the first world and trying to imitate the states so much lately, but frankly, it frightens me.

  73. #73 Azkyroth
    March 1, 2008

    I’m not sure why canada seems to be moving away from the rest of the first world and trying to imitate the states so much lately, but frankly, it frightens me.

    Given the tack taken by the present US administration, self-preservation might explain it.

  74. #74 Azkyroth
    March 1, 2008

    Ok, the “you must wait before commenting” thing kicks in to stop me from making a quick correction (like, for instance, this post), but allows the same comment to be submitted twice because my finger slips? That’s…odd. O.o

    Sorry for the double post, at any rate.

  75. #75 BicycleRepairMan
    March 1, 2008

    “”I will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes” is a good moral value”

    No its not. Its no better than “I will not watch zebrafish develop in dishes” Its just an opinion.

    The rest of your post is spot-on.

  76. #76 mandrake
    March 1, 2008
    There is a case to be made that porn, for instance, is as damaging and exploitative as, say, prostitution. (And before you start, I know this law isn’t about porn) If that was proved there would be a case for it to be banned.

    No there isn’t, and no it wouldn’t.

    Yes, there is. It might not be a convincing argument, but that’s a matter of opinion, isn’t it?

    Not that I think that porn should be banned. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re a healthy human being it won’t hurt you, and if you’re not than *not* watching it isn’t going to save you.

  77. #77 PZ Myers
    March 1, 2008

    You’re focusing on the wrong part of the sentence. The object, “movies with graphic sex scenes”, is irrelevant, and sure, you can substitute in whatever phrase you want right there. I’m saying that the good moral value part is “I will not,” this whole business of taking personal responsiblity for one’s own actions. I’m contrasting it with the conservative value of “You will not,” which I thought would make it obvious.

  78. #78 Michelle
    March 1, 2008

    @Al: Oh yea. I don’t like Harper’s face one bit. It’s not as if I was defending the guy really. I just like the current federal display. Minority governments aren’t that bad.

    But if I had like… Harper and Dion and I had to decide who I wanted to go take a beer with , I certainly wouldn’t pick Dion. Even if I wouldn’t pick Harper either. And Jack scares me… He looks like a bobblehead and bobbleheads are in my nightmares. In fact, I don’t like any of the current party leaders…

    Now the independant dude? Arthur? I’d totally go take a beer with him. He’s a hero of my youth and young adulthood!

  79. #79 Sarah_D
    March 1, 2008

    If the idea here was to reduce arts funding across the board (ie. if the actual point were to save money, rather than to parade around “my values are better than yours” puffery), I wouldn’t be happy about it, but at least we wouldn’t be dealing with a situation where the government’s stated goal is to further the interests of one religious group at the larger creative community’s expense.

    As it stands, this bill is both sad and embarrassing.

    On a side note, while I realize that “bluenose” is a legitimate English synonym for “puritan godbag”, we Nova Scotians would like to respectfully request that you choose something else!

  80. #80 Graculus
    March 1, 2008

    we Nova Scotians would like to respectfully request that you choose something else!

    Hey, you named it, you live with it. ;-)

  81. #81 BicycleRepairMan
    March 1, 2008

    Fair enough, its a bit of nitpicking on the choice of words perhaps, I’d call it a “fair enough” moral value then. it is , for example fair enough if a woman chooses by her own free will to wear a hijab, but I wouldnt go out and declare it “a good moral value” out of hand.

  82. #82 Benji
    March 1, 2008

    Michelle

    Well it lefts Mr Duceppe to take a beer with. I met him on the other day and he isn’t that bad. A cool guy I think.

    When you say that you will never vote for the Bloc, I find it funny. I thought that in the last election, but I clearly changed my mind.

    As you brilliantly exposed, the three others make me want to hide anything that may mark me as a Canadian. And I AM NOT a separatist… still I will vote for the Bloc, very probably, at the next election.

    Le parti conservateur s’attire un électorat dont les valeurs sociales sont en contradiction avec celles qui ont fait et font le Québec moderne, et Dion en soufflant dessus on pourrait le perdre outre-mer.

  83. #83 BaldApe
    March 1, 2008

    Love your last paragraph, but one has only to look at campus speech codes to see the counterexample.

  84. #84 Dennis
    March 1, 2008

    Johnnycanuck @70 My mistake, it is actually not even a law we are talking about, but rather guidelines that will be issued to the departments responsible for distributing funds. Again, the people with the most clout (and Day still has much) will have the greater voice in determining those guidelines. There is no vote in the commons on this.
    Keep in mind that this potentially could have a large impact on the culture portrayed in Canadian arts. We’re not talking just popular TV and Movies. Canada has one of the most progressive bill of rights and has traditionally been a tolerant nation in law at least. It would be sad if this goverment stifled some of those voices because they are uncomfortable with their portrayal.

  85. #85 CortxVortx
    March 1, 2008

    Re: #9

    Often the liberal/conservative dichotomy is described as liberals want to regulate business, conservatives want to regulate human behavior.

    Or, as I have heard it put, conservatives want to keep government out of the boardroom, and liberals want to keep government out of the bedroom.

  86. #86 Michelle
    March 1, 2008

    Benji, I’m sorry but he’s a fascist. I would never touch that guy, and you can just read “scumbag” all over his face. Plus, you speak of valors… You may not be a separatist, but his valors are separatist, and the bloc is just pretty much the PQ. And we all know that Quebec SUCKS thanks to the illogical PQ and the pussy Liberal party. It’s headed straight for a bottomless pit, all thanks to all the idiots we had for leaders lately.

    PS: I don’t think french should be usedin an english blog. Have some respect for most of the folk here that don’t understand. Why do french canadians always want to use french everywhere?

  87. #87 Russell Blackford
    March 1, 2008

    What can I say? I think PZ original post is pretty much exactly right. My eyebrows did go up at the bit about “I will not watch movies with graphic sex scenes” being a good value, but I quickly got the idea. PZ meant something like “legitimate ideal”. Yes, it is a legitimate ideal, whereas “I will try to stop other people watching movies with graphic sex scenes” is not.

  88. #88 Mooser
    March 1, 2008

    Arnaud, I am just glad you are in good health. Being in pain can sometimes interfere with those “value judgements” you find so essential.

  89. #89 Russell Blackford
    March 1, 2008

    On the “Should governments fund movie-making?” thing, maybe not. On the other hand, I can see why smaller Western countries like Australia or Canada want to provide public funds to the arts as a matter of national pride, figuring that if they don’t they’ll be overwhelmed by products from Hollywood or somewhere. Or they may want to subsidise the local flourishing of certain arts because they think there’s a value in recording, say, Australian experience in the form of novels and movies and so on.

    I don’t think these are obviously silly arguments, and I’m not going to reject perfectly good government money that is provided on such a basis if I can ever get hold of any. It may be a bad argument for a country like the US to use, but that’s not the issue here; we’re talking about Canada.

    Obviously a long debate that could be had about all this, and I’m not 100 per cent comfortable. But the important thing is that once a country does go down such a path, for policy reasons such as I’ve offered, there’s no legitimate basis to discriminate against art that violates some traditional religious morality. What we, as policy makers, want (presumably) is art that will enable Canada to lift its head high in international art forums – i.e., something that Canadians can brag about – or art that faithfully records some of the experiences of Canadians in 2008. Or whatever.

  90. #90 Arnaud
    March 1, 2008

    Mooser, I just think you make far too many inferences…
    (It would help if you were to tell us what they were!)

  91. #91 Arnaud
    March 1, 2008

    Why do french canadians always want to use french everywhere?

    Because French is SO cool?

  92. #92 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 1, 2008

    Government arts funding here rarely pays for the whole thing, at least so far as films go. Offhand, the excellent werewolf movie “Ginger Snaps” was partly funded by government money. I think a lot of Cronenburg’s early stuff was, too.

    Eastern Promises was funded in part by TeleFilm. I would imagine that McVety would have a problem with providing funding. It has naked guy wrestling with blood, and K9 sex with prostitutes.

    Both elements are key to the story, and neither of them would I consider pornographic. So, who’s going to step in and say that this movie should not have gotten any money from the government?

  93. #93 Ichthyic
    March 1, 2008

    So, who’s going to step in and say that this movie should not have gotten any money from the government?

    why, that would be mr. moron (AKA Sinbad) who would claim NO movie should ever have funding of any kind from the gov’t.

    being an asinine psuedo-libertarian has its advantages. theoretically, one can make idiotic blanket statements regarding gov’t funding at any time, and maintain consistency!

    well, so long as the psuedo-lib themselves never needs any kind of gov’t funding of any kind.

  94. #94 Ichthyic
    March 1, 2008

    Those Soviet block countries were incredibly successful managing their economies.

    uh huh, as if you had fuck all knowledge of eastern block economics, or any other economics, for that matter.

    besides which, you made a blanket statement as to ALL governments not being able to manage their economies.

    not just “soviet block”.

    move your goalposts, much, moron?

    seriously, why anybody give you the time of day around here is totally beyond me.

    at least Kseniya has an excuse – she’s quite ill at the moment.

  95. #95 MJ_
    March 2, 2008

    I’ve seen 5 movies, set in Canada, with actual Canadian characters/content, in the past 5 years, and I’m a Canadian, living in Canada. This out of the 10-15 movies I watch per year. I’d be surprised if 4/5 or all of them did not receive some government funding/tax credits.

    Canadian television is relatively easy to access. Film, not so much. The only way I see Canadian films: the local film festival (not a small expense for a grad student), borrowing from the local library (a 3 day loan, not so convenient), Lackluster Video (selection? whats that?), my local independent video store (30,000 titles, but not everyone lives next to such a shrine to the cinema), or the CBC, which has become remarkably hit or miss (ah, the American movies they played during the hockey strike, those were the days). Thats the reality of it. The good news: what I have seen is usually pretty darn good.

    The films:
    New Waterford Girl, Men with Brooms, Bon Cop Bad Cop, and two documentaries: Douglas Coupland’s ‘A souvenir of Canada’, and another with a less than memorable title that explored the decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of same sex marriage.

    Only ‘A souvenir of Canada’ was throughly unobjectionable. It was somewhat interesting. I got bored with it halfway through. Please, no more of the ‘trying to figure out our national identity’ thing. Here’s a thought, if we had more Canadian films, we wouldn’t have to search so hard for commonalities. But it was ‘family friendly’, so Mr Harper and his cronies want more of the same.

    The other films were thought provoking, witty, and anything but the usual mindless entertainment of the Hollywood blockbusters that I try to avoid like the plague. Any of them would go into my ‘I should buy the DVD category’. I’d happily watch any of them a second or third time. Under the new rules, they probably wouldn’t get be made, or would be heavily self censored by the writers/directors/producers in an attempt to get funding/tax credits. There was sex, drugs, profanity, violence, teen pregnancy, the best explanation of swearing in French I’ve ever heard (more profanity, but if its helping my understanding of French, is it allowed?), the mention of abortion, children disobeying their parents (unbiblical! the horror!),… and that’s excluding content of the documentary on marijuana/same sex marriage.

    As a Canadian, I will be culturally poorer if these rules take effect. I’m 25. I don’t have kids. I’m a taxpayer, and I don’t want ‘G rated’ movies to be the only ones that get government support. I want to see more Canadian films, and films made for more Canadians. What is it with conservatives and their lack of both/and thinking? It boggles the mind.

  96. #96 Joe Blow
    March 2, 2008

    Those Soviet block countries were incredibly successful managing their economies.

    uh huh, as if you had fuck all knowledge of eastern block economics, or any other economics, for that matter.

    So are you arguing that Communism was successful in Eastern Europe?

    besides which, you made a blanket statement as to ALL governments not being able to manage their economies.

    Which is a true statement. Government should be minimized, especially when it comes to art. Then again, we wouldn’t want artists / filmmakers / musicians to sell their works on an open market; in other words, to compete on their own merits (or lack thereof), now, would we?

    Having government involved in the arts is an open invitation to censorship.

  97. #97 Ichthyic
    March 2, 2008

    So are you arguing that Communism was successful in Eastern Europe?

    irrelevant to the point.

    try this:

    are you arguing that communism was NOT successful in China?

    can you see why it’s irrelevant, now?

    Which is a true statement.

    prove it.

    show me a country with no government that has been succesful in “managing” their economy.

    you can’t even see the inherent contradiction, can you?

    goddamn what a couple of knuckleheads.

    good thing you are too stupid to teach.

    Somehow, though, I bet you actually have kids, unfortunately for them and for the rest of the world.

  98. #98 Ichthyic
    March 2, 2008

    funny, but I thought we already had all the morons put forth their “knowledge” of economics in the thread on libertarianism?

    suggest joe and sinbad revisit that thread and post their astounding revelations there.

    you’d find several friends there, I’m sure.

  99. #99 Joe Blow
    March 2, 2008

    are you arguing that communism was NOT successful in China?

    Absolutely.

    prove it.

    This from someone who hasn’t provided a shred of evidence to support anything (s)he has said. Hypocrisy, thy name is Icky Thing.

    show me a country with no government that has been succesful in “managing” their economy.

    Nice strawman. I’m talking about limited government, not no government, two concepts which liberals like yourself are forever dishonestly conflating. The fact is, the less government there is, beyond the essentials, the more effective the economy is.

    you can’t even see the inherent contradiction, can you?

    The contradiction is in your alleged mind. You’re referring to anarchy, something I’ve never advocated. Please learn the difference.

    goddamn what a couple of knuckleheads. good thing you are too stupid to teach.

    That’s pretty hilarious coming from someone who hasn’t yet learned how to use a shift key, or that we capitalize the first letter of a sentence in the English language. Maybe you’ll learn that in the third grade. You may also learn the term “ad hominem”. At least I would hope so, since it seems to be your stock in trade.

    funny, but I thought we already had all the morons put forth their “knowledge” of economics in the thread on libertarianism?

    Schoolyard insults…no facts, no arguments of any substance…yes sir, we have ourselves a genuine MoveOn.org liberal here.

  100. #100 Jim Linville
    March 2, 2008

    McVety has a T.V. show called “word.ca”. It is part of his “Canadian Christian College”. The school is a registered charity. Canadian law forbids charities to engage in politics. His show, however, is full of political agendas. Also, to donate to the college you have to go through a different agency with overt political content. This agency has the same mailing address as the college. He sounds like a good one to complain about tax breaks to others!

    I’ve got a lot of the sordid details on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/3bod8c

  101. #101 Ichthyic
    March 3, 2008

    Absolutely.

    hey, Joe, do you know who owns most of our national debt because their economy is such a “failure” right now, hmm?

    idiot.

    Schoolyard insults…no facts, no arguments of any substance…yes sir, we have ourselves a genuine fox News conservatard right here.

  102. #102 Kseniya
    March 4, 2008

    Careful, now. Joe might be forced to insinuate, yet again, that you’re in second grade. And what will you do then? It’ll be all over for you!

  103. #103 Ichthyic
    March 4, 2008

    oh noes!!!

    I may have to don the “I’m rubber you’re glue” defense.

    Latest estimates put the cost of such potential escalation at slightly less than the 3 trillion our being in Iraq has cost us.

  104. #104 Kseniya
    March 4, 2008

    May I suggest the classic Soviet-era defense: ? ????, ??? ??, ?? ??? ???????? ?????

  105. #105 Ichthyic
    March 4, 2008

    how much will it cost me?
    :P

  106. #106 Kseniya
    March 4, 2008

    Nothing but your dignity.

  107. #107 thalarctos
    March 4, 2008

    ? ????, ??? ??, ?? ??? ???????? ?????

    “??” seems a little formal/polite, given the context–not “??”?

  108. #108 Kseniya
    March 4, 2008

    True, true. It’s my native-english tendencies overriding the obvious. O_O

  109. #109 thalarctos
    March 4, 2008

    O_O

    ??????–can you tell how work-avoidant I’m being if I’m on the Web quibbling about pronouns instead? :)

  110. #110 Joe Blow
    March 4, 2008

    hey, Joe, do you know who owns most of our national debt because their economy is such a “failure” right now, hmm?

    I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the people who were at Tiananmen Square in 1989? The ones who survived, that is.

    idiot.

    Schoolyard insults…no facts, no arguments of any substance…yes sir, we have ourselves a genuine fox News conservatard right here.

    Not to mention a shift-key-a-tard.

  111. #111 Joe Blow
    March 4, 2008

    Latest estimates put the cost of such potential escalation at slightly less than the 3 trillion our being in Iraq has cost us.

    You’re right. Let’s put Saddam back into power. Oh, wait. We can’t do that. I know…we could just hand the country over to Ahamadidenijaddajibbajabba. Yeah, that’s it.

  112. #112 Kseniya
    March 4, 2008

    I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the people who were at Tiananmen Square in 1989? The ones who survived, that is.

    Joe, you’ve just flushed whatever remnants of credibility you may have had right down the toilet with that one. LMAO.

    Should we, like, mention Waco or something, since you’ve decided to completely change the subject? :-D

  113. #113 Joe Blow
    March 4, 2008

    Joe, you’ve just flushed whatever remnants of credibility you may have had right down the toilet with that one. LMAO.

    How do you figure that? Are you a Tiananmen-denialist?

    Should we, like, mention Waco or something, since you’ve decided to completely change the subject? :-D

    What does Waco have to do with anything?

  114. #114 Kseniya
    March 4, 2008

    EXACTLY!

  115. #115 Ichthyic
    March 4, 2008

    give it up already, can’t you hear the big *whoosh* noise as everything you say goes over his head?

    let us say bye-bye to Joey and move on to something less resembling a pile of hair-clippings.

  116. #116 Joe Blow
    March 4, 2008

    give it up already, can’t you hear the big *whoosh* noise as everything you say goes over his head?

    I thought that was a bag of shift keys going over your head.

    let us say bye-bye to Joey and move on to something less resembling a pile of hair-clippings.

    Make sure you stay away from mirrors, then, Icky Thing.

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