Posts tagged ‘Liberal Party’

This is a Terrible Idea. They Going to Take their Hair and Gold Teeth Too?

Apparently, Denmark is considering a plan (WSJ, gated) to seize valuables from migrants to offset government costs.  I am sure this will work out just as fairly as do American asset forfeiture laws

Denmark’s minority government has secured cross-party backing for a plan to seize cash and valuables from asylum seekers to help meet the cost of their stay in the Nordic country despite criticism from the United Nations and some Danish lawmakers.

Details of how the plan, which could be adopted by parliament as early as next month, would be put into action remain scant.

Liberal Party lawmakers, who draw up the proposal, have provided few details other than to say that police won’t be taking people’s possessions as they enter the country. Police or other officials would appraise the value of people’s possessions as they check the identity of asylum seeks before deciding what, if anything, the new arrivals should pay.

A while back I wrote a controversial post saying that I don't see any moral difference between building a wall to keep people in a country vs. building a wall to keep them out.  **

For a period of time in the late 1930's, the German government was actually encouraging Jews to leave the country -- the one requirement, though, was that the government stripped them of all their property and valuables on the way out.  So I ask the same question slightly modified.  What is the moral difference between stripping refugees of their assets as the leave a country vs. as they enter a country?


** Several people argued the point by analogy, saying it is OK to lock people out of your house but not to lock them in your house.  Certainly, but this frequent use of exclusionary rights on private property as an analogy for an entire country is deeply flawed.  Essentially, for this to be a valid analogy, one would have to adopt Marxist definitions of state ownership of all property and totalitarian views on individual rights to argue that an entire country is just like a private house.

More Enemies of Free Speech

Note that this has become, by accident, my growing post on the Canadian Sponsorship scandal.

The Right (justly) is criticized by the Left for interfering with First Amendment rights by trying to legislate morality in broadcast television. 

However, I find that most people who claim to be free speech supporters, well, aren't.  Here are a couple of examples.

First, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the very heart of the American left, is attempting to regulate political speech by licensing and regulating bloggers, (not to mention trying to reinvigorate the Fairness Doctrine).

OK, so if both the Left and Right are threatening free speech in GWB's Amerika, then I guess we need to run off to Canada.  However, now we get to watch Canada's ruling party suppressing reporting on its malfeasance, trying to hold off public disclosure long enough to call elections to keep their jobs.  Even Karl Rove might fear to try that.

UPDATE:  Captains Quarters reports that at least one Canadian web site that linked to their story on the Canada mess is being threatened with legal action by the Canadian government.  Here is the original story, with a description of what's going on.  Are you tired of Enron-like financial scandals where you have to take someone's word for it that illegal things are happening, because all the financial shenanigans are too complicated to understand?  Well, this will be a relief, because it is pretty easy to understand that this is bad:

The sponsorship program eventually became a huge slush fund into which over $250
million was poured, over $100 million of which was paid in fees and commissions
to these five advertising firms, with little or any evidence of work done or
value for money.

In exchange for these large contracts for little or no work, Brault kicked
back generously to the Liberal Party, putting Liberal organizers on his payroll
while they continued to perform party work (including, at one point, Prime
Minister Jean Chrétien's brother, Gaby Chrétien), paying invoices to other
companies for work actually done for the Liberal Party, and giving large
donations -- in cash -- to the Liberal Party through Renaud or Liberal Party
organizer (and close associate of Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano) Joe

Update #2:  Winds of Change has more detail about what is going on and the context of the Sponsorship program.  I remember a while back GWB rightly caught hell for using government funds to promote administration policies.  The sponorship program seems to have gone way beyond this:

An important note the Captain missed - the $250 million Sponsorship Program was
concentrated in Quebec, where it was used to undermine the separatist Bloc
Quebecois. I'll note for the record that I don't really have an issue with that
aspect of it, though the Bloc sure does; they're Canada's 3rd largest federal

This scandal may well put the separatists in power in Quebec, leading to yet another separation test for Canada.  Its not clear to me how hard, if at all, the rest of the country would fight separation.

Update #3: More on Canadian (non)free speech here.

Update #4: San Francisco officials claim blogs are exempted and some of the quotes in the original article are suspect.  However, to be fair to the original author, there is nothing in writing that blogs are exempted from the regulation - only a verbal assurance.  When evaluating these verbal assurances, remember that when the nationa income tax was initially passed, the country was given the verbal assurance that the tax would never ever apply to more than then richest 1% of taxpayers.