Playing the Indian Card

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Pro-science" and "Anti-science"

Why does the Left get to pick which issues are the benchmarks for “science”? Why can’t the measure of being pro-science be the question of heritability of intelligence? Or the existence of fetal pain? Or the distribution of cognitive abilities among the sexes at the extreme right tail of the bell curve? Or if that’s too upsetting, how about dividing the line between those who are pro- and anti-science along the lines of support for geoengineering? Or — coming soon — the role cosmic rays play in cloud formation? Why not make it about support for nuclear power? Or Yucca Mountain? Why not deride the idiots who oppose genetically modified crops, even when they might prevent blindness in children?

--from NRO's The Corner 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Irish in Canada

The size and significance of the Irish presence in Canada is widely underestimated. We are the invisible ethnicity.

Nicholas Flood Davin gives the math for 1877: Ontario then held 559,440 Irish, 328,889 Scottish, and 439,429 English. Canada at Confederation contained 846,414 Irish, 706, 369 English, and 549.946 Scottish—the Irish numbers second only to the French. In the West of Montreal, “les Anglais” of the day were in fact 19,394 Irish, 7,974 Scottish, and only 9,099 English. So, if we are indeed going to speak of “two founding nations” in Canada, those two are: French and Irish.

But even that is not the whole story. Estimates are that the “French” population of Quebec, through intermarriage, is up to one quarter Irish by blood. Marguerite d'Youville's stepfather was Irish. Loius Riel's ancestor changed his name to Riel from Reilly. Louis Saint Laurent's mother was Irish; so was George Vanier's.

I submit that this has left a massive stamp on the Canadian culture and character. There is a real mainstream Canadian culture, and it is essentially Irish.

Irish-Canadian culture is also different from Irish-American culture, or Irish-Australian culture, for several reasons. Notably, the Irish of Canada came mostly from Ulster, and were primarily Protestant. Those in America and Australia came mostly from the south and west, and were primarily Catholic.

Unlike the US, the Irish were also already well established in Canada before the Great Famine. However, even at the time of the famine, there were more Irish emigrants to Canada than to the USA, and those who landed in Canada tended to be the poorest and most destitute. The passage to Canada was significantly cheaper—because there were fewer safety and health regulations in Canada, and because the lumber trade meant many ships were otherwise empty on their westward journey.


Maclean's magazine, July 14, reports a survey in Manitoba showing "kids, after many of their parents began taking advantage of the province's new low-cost daycare, did worse on a basic vocabulary test."

We are sacrificing the rising generations for present comfort. This is a culture committing suicide.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Shiners' War

Joseph Montferrant ("Big Joe Mufferaw") takes on the Shiners.

My native Eastern Ontario was torn in the earlier years of the 19th century (1837-45) by what is called the "Shiners Wars." The Shiners were recent Irish immigrants working in the lumber camps, who generally raised trouble and terror up and down the Ottawa Valley.

Besides raising hell, the Shiners apparently also had a political agenda. At one point they flooded a meeting of an agricultural society, and had their leader elected the society's president. At another they tried to take over Nepean Township, but were outvoted.

Canadian troops were actually called in to restore order.

Generally considered a case of the boys just getting rowdy. But nobody knows why they were called "Shiners."

I have a theory. The term "Shinner" was actually common in Ireland in the early 20th century. It referred to the members of Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist organization. "Sinn" is pronounced like "shin." Could the "Shiners" be "Shinners"?

At first, it looks improbable. Sinn Fein was founded by Arthur Griffith in 1905, long after the days of the Shiners. But "sinn fein" is also an Irish phrase. It means "ourselves," with the implication "on our own." And it is found in English-language nationalist songs from early in the 19th century. It seems likely that Griffith, a speaker of Gaelic as a second language, because it already had a certain cachet, and it may have been quite common for some time in Gaelic.

So "Shiner" might have been a recognized reference, to the Irish of the Valley, to "Sinn Feiner." With the implication that the lumbermen's true aim was some form of self-government for themselves as Irishmen, in the new world if not in the old.

This was, in fact, a common thought among Irishmen throughout the Irish diaspora. We have all heard of the Fenian movement in the US, I presume? And you have heard of Ned Kelly, the famous Australian outlaw? Except he was not just an outlaw. His hope was to establish at least a part of Australia as an independent Irish republic. In 1798, inspired by events in the US and France, the United Irishmen rose in a rebellion that lasted for six years. In 1800--bet you never heard this--Irish in Newfoundland rose in the same cause.

Now note again the year the "Shiners Wars" began. 1837. Do you remember, from your history, anything else that was happening in Canada in 1837?

Two things, actually. In Lower Canada, the Patriots took up arms. Probably the only name you know from that rebellion is Papineau, and you imagine it purely a Francophone thing. Not so. As prominent as Papineau among the rebels was Edmund Bailey O'Callahan, the MLA for Yamaska and editor of the Montreal Vindicator. To make the matter plain, he was the leader of the Irish community in Quebec at the time.

And in Upper Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie also took up arms.

You can see something was in the air.

It is amazing how all this Irish Canadian history has been suppressed. I believe it has mostly been suppressed by the Irish themselves. Canada defines itself as the Loyalist half of North America; Being opposed to the British Empire has no doubt not always been a politically comfortable position. It became less comfortable thanks to the Fenian raids of the latter half of the 19th century, when being Irish in Canada must have put my ancestors under a suspicion similar to that German Canadians would have felt during the First World War, or Japanese Canadians during the second. Indeed, it must have been awkward for Irish Canadians again in the First World War, when the Easter Rebellion happened in Dublin. It was seen at the time by the British as treason during wartime, after all. And this on top of the usual prejudice against Irish and Catholics.

Someone needs to revisit this history, and tell the truth about it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Moloch Lives!

In order to understand Western civilization, grasp one fact: the ancient peoples of the Levant killed their own children. They sacrificed their children to their gods. Every first born son was burned alive at age six or so.

Remember that the next time you hear that the God of the Old Testament seems to be a bit of a warmonger. Yahweh's moral revulsion towards the Canaanites is questionable only on the fashionable modern creed of cultural relativism, that all mortal cultures are created equal. Consider Nazi Germany, or Imperial Japan—worth preserving? Were we not justified in employing whatever means necessary to wipe them from the face of the Earth? How much more so a society that held the murder of innocents as its core cultural value?

Yahweh, God of the Bible was not the only one who was horrified. The pagan Romans were too, when they encountered the practice in the Carthaginians. Everywhere else, Romans were notable for their clemency in victory. But Carthage? They burned it to the ground and salted the fields.

Echoes ring through the Old Testament. Moses was a firstborn son, born under sentence of death. Abraham and Isaac? Understanding that sacrificing one's first son was the required custom in the land, its significance is the reverse of what you might otherwise imagine: Abraham's great proof of loyalty to Yahweh was not in preparing to sacrifice Isaac, but in staying his hand at the angel's command. This was the one thing that distinguished him from everybody else in his day.

The moral depravity of the surrounding culture made morality, ethics, that much more important to the Jews; it became, along with their monotheism, their defining religious characteristic. “Ethical monotheism.”

This factor also explains the uncanny result of the Punic Wars. As a rule, in any war between a land power and a sea power, the sea power wins. Control of the sea allows one to attack any enemy beyond it unexpectedly, at multiple points—his border is much longer than yours. But Carthage was a grerat sea power, at the beginning of the Punic Wars across the Mediterranean from Rome, and Rome knew nothing of ships. It should have been no contest.

The only explanation for Carthage's loss, it seems to me, is a lack of resolve—that, and perhaps deivine intervention i nthe cause of right. And that is, interestingly, just what the historical record seems to show. Several times, Carthage even sought to concede, but kept fighting only because the Roman terms were too onerous. In contrast, when Hannibal was stomping around Italy with his elephant army, the war looked lost for the Romans. But they did not sue for peace.

This, I think, shows the force of moral right. The Romans, in the end, were fighting for their children. The Carthaginians, in the end, might have half-hoped their gods could be proven ineffective.

The power of right is a real thing, so real that the joust or the duel were once considered a just resolution to most disputes. God and a clear conscience give greater resolve and greater strength.

Now here's the dark side of this thought. Who now is killing their children? Who is even holding it up as a core cultural value, part of the universal doctrine of human rights, “reproductive rights” or the “right to choose”?

A just God will need, once more, to wipe out such a civilization.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

This is Getting Grim

The US downgraded. Japan laid low by a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown. Italy on the verge of default. Rioting in London. It is starting to look a little like civilizational collapse.

I'm still betting it ain't, I say technology is going to pull us out of this one. But it looks like the times they are a changin'. I say it is a collapse of the current elite, the current ruling class, that we see happening.

From Today's Toronto Star

"Orthodox Christians differ from Roman Catholics in their belief that the Pope is a human being, not a divine figure."

Religious illiteracy is everywhere!