Sunday, December 30, 2007
And since I have nothing else to blog about, let me take this opportunity to list some of my personal 2007 highlights:
* Debating Tom Flanagan at the the Fraser Institute's Behind The Spin@theSpoke Event.
* Writing a regular column for the Sun Media Chain, over the summer.
* Getting named to the Maclean's 50.
* Speaking at the Liberty Summer Seminar.
* Participating in the Canadian Constitution Foundation's "Future of Freedom" conference.
* Discovering Facebook.
* Finding out I have lots of good friends.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
On one hand, we are winning the economic war, as free market capitalism is on the upswing across the globe. But at the same time we are losing the fight to protect our individual freedoms.
The right to free speech is especially under attack. As a society, we seem to have forgotten why censorship is wrong.
Here's what others have had to say about free speech:
"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage." -- Winston Churchill
"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."-- Euripides, Greek tragic poet (480 or 485 B.C. - 406 B.C)
"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."-- Benjamin Franklin, 1730
"The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself."-- Granville Hicks (1901-1982)
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."-- John F. Kennedy
For more quotes on the evils of censorship, go here.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Commenting on an article detailing the Prime Minister's alleged mood swings and temper, I wrote, "even the Dalai Lama would likely lose his cool if he had to deal with the likes of Stephane Dion, Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton."
I only bring it up because this commentary is also featured in the latest print edition of the magazine.
So go buy a copy.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Those are the laws which restrict free political speech during elections and which essentially give politicians and political parties a monopoly on debate.
Well as this article from Reason Magazine shows, the Americans are burdened with the same types of bad laws.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Now I am getting all kinds of hate emails from Conservatives who don't like today's "spiteful" Toronto Star column, in which I suggested the Tories were creating a personality cult around Prime Minister Harper.
Well at least I know what to get my detractors for Christmas: A sense of humour.
Well in the interest of fairness, I have a column in the Toronto Star today, which will probably upset the Prime Minister's Office.
Not that the PMO ever gets upset with me.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
What does Prime Minister Harper do?
He gives the CRTC commissioners a seven per cent pay hike!!
That's wrong for so many reasons.
Wish I could turn the channel, but the CRTC won't let me.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
* The House of Commons Ethics Committee grilling former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
Here's what Canadians have been treated to this week: A bunch of incompetent backbench MPs asking a sleazy former politician about a lying businessman. The system works.
* The Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball
Former Democratic Senator George Mitchell has decided to charge, try and convict dozens of baseball players in a process that relies on rumour, headlines, innuendo and hearsay evidence. It seems the old notion of presumption of innocence has struck out.
* Global Warming
Last year we had a warmer than usual winter, and the eco-loons used this to whip up "climate change hysteria" across the land. Today, as I look outside my window it looks like the North Pole. I just hope that somewhere Al Gore is stuck in a snow bank.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I used to think the CBC was the PR arm of the Liberal Party; but I now realize the Liberal Party is simply the political arm of the CBC.
Next time why not cut out the middle man and have Peter Mansbridge ask the questions directly.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So I am looking forward to the upcoming movie version of this classic comedy, which will star Steve Carell, who happens to star in one of my favorite shows as an adult -- The Office.
Check out this trailer from Get Smart -- the movie.
December 6 – Appeared on The Michael Coren as part of a panel discussing issues in federal politics.
December 1 – Op ed published in the Calgary Herald on gag laws and the Internet
November 28 – Interviewed on Political Animals – WBGU to discuss Canadian politics.
November 21 – Interviewed on Political Animals – WBGU to discuss Canadian politics.
November 17 – Spoke at the Alberta Law Society seminar “Bans, Blogs and Boundaries.”
November 16 – Interviewed on The World Tonight, (CHQR Radio Calgary) regarding the Internet and free speech.
November 14 – Interviewed on Political Animals – WBGU to discuss Canadian politics.
November 7 – Interviewed on Political Animals – WBGU to discuss Canadian politics.
November 4 – Spoke at the Libertarian Party of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting.
November – Column published in Report Magazine on conservatism in Canada.
October 31 – Quoted in National Post editorial on government’s fiscal policies.
October 25 – Appeared on The Michael Coren Show as part of a panel discussing issues in federal politics.
October 24 – Op Ed published in the National Post on conservatism and Conservatives.
October 23 – Debated Tom Flanagan at the Behind the Spin@thespoke event.
October 16 – Interviewed on CTV National News to give a conservative perspective on the federal government’s economic statement.
October 13 – Spoke at the Canadian Constitution Legal Foundation’s Future of Freedom conference.
October 11 – Appeared on The Michael Coren Show as part of a panel discussing the Ontario provincial election.
October 9 – Provided provincial election analysis for Macleans online.
October 8 – Interviewed on The World Tonight (CHQR Radio Calgary) to discuss the legacy of Brian Mulroney.
September 20 – Appeared on City Confidential (Radio 640 Toronto) to discuss Toronto politics.
September 8 –Op ed Published in the Windsor Star on Election gag laws.
August 29 – Op ed Published in the Globe and Mail on conservatism and Conservatives.
August 29 – Quoted in Toronto Star article on Elections Canada.
August 27 – Interviewed on Adler Online (Corus Radio Network) to discuss socialism in Canada.
August 27 – Op Ed published in the Sun Media Chain on NDP policies.
August 18 – Spoke at the Liberty Summer Seminar
August 16 – Interviewed on Focus 980 (CPPL Radio London) to discuss the federal cabinet shuffle.
August 14 – Interviewed on The World Tonight (CHQR Radio Calgary) to discuss the federal cabinet shuffle.
August 13 – Op-ed Published in The Sun Media Chain on freedom and politics.
August 13 – Op ed Published in the Hamilton Spectator on Ontario politics.
August 9 – Appeared on The Michael Coren Show as part of a panel discussing federal politics.
August 2007 – Column Published in Report Magazine on Quebec separatism.
July 27 – Interviewed on Newsline – (CFAX Radio Victoria) to discuss NDP leader Jack Layton.
July 27 – Op ed Published in the Sun Media Chain on political correctness.
July 26 – Interviewed on The World Tonight (CHQR Radio Calgary) to discuss federal Conservative government.
July 20 – Appeared on City Confidental (640 Radio Toronto) to discuss Toronto politics.
July 17 – Interviewed on The Dave Rutherford Show (Corus Radio Network) to discuss election gag laws.
July 11 – Op Ed Published in the Windsor Star on election gag laws.
July 11 – Letter to the Editor published in the National Post on conservatism and Conservatives.
July 9 – Interviewed on the Calgary Morning News with Stirling Faux to discuss federal politics.
July 9 – Op ed published in the Sun Media Chain on federal political strategy.
July 5- Appeared on The Michael Coren Show as part of a panel discussing federal politics.
July 5 – Letter to the Editor published in the Toronto Star on conservatism and Conservatives.
June 19 – Interviewed on The Last Angry Man – (940 Radio Montreal)
June 18 – Interviewed on the Calgary Morning News with Stirling Faux to discuss Senate reform.
June 13 – Op ed published in the Windsor Star on conservatism and Conservatives.
June 12 – Interviewed on the CBC’s The Current to discuss conservatism and the Conservative Party.
June 5 – Appeared on The Michael Coren Show as part of a panel on federal politics.
June 4 – Appeared on CH@5:30 (CHCH Hamilton TV) to debate Sheila Copps.
June 4 – Interviewed on The Gary Doyle Show (570 Radio Kitchener) to discuss reforming the House of Commons.
June 4 – Op Ed published in the Sun Media Chain on new seats in the House of Commons.
June 2 – Interviewed on CTV’s Question Period to discuss conservatism and Conservatives.
May 29 – Interviewed on The World Tonight (CHQR Radio Calgary) to discuss poll results.
May 28 – Interviewed on Calgary Morning News with Stirling Faux to discuss the Reform Party.
May 23 – Op-ed Published in the Toronto Star on the Conservatives and election gag laws.
May 22 -- Interviewed on Mike Duffy Live to discuss conservatism and Conservatives.
May 21 – Quoted in Canwest News story by Norma Greenaway on Conservative politics.
May 19 – Quoted in Barbara Yafee column, Vancouver Sun on Conservative politics.
May 17 – Appeared on the Michael Coren Show as part of a panel discussing federal politics.
May 16 – Quoted in Ottawa Citizen story on contributions to the Conservative Party.
May 15 – Interviewed on Alder Online (Corus Radio Network) to discuss conservatism and Conservatives.
April 27 – Interviewed on the Joe Canon Show (940 Radio Montreal) to discuss conservatism in Canada.
April 27 – Interviewed on Adler Online (Corus Radio Network) to discuss conservatism in Canada.
April 27 – Op Ed published in the National Post on conservatism and Conservatives
April 26 – Quoted in Joey Slinger column in the Toronto Star on Prime Minister Harper’s image.
April 23 – Quoted in Canwest News Story by Andrew Mayeda on Conservative politics.
April 18 – Interviewed on The Last Angry Man (940 Radio Montreal) to discuss Canadian politics.
April 18 – Quoted in Linda Leatherdale column in the Toronto Sun.
April 15 – Quoted in Lorrie Goldstein column in the Toronto Sun.
April 13 – Op-ed Published in The Interim on election gag laws.
April 12 – Interviewed on Focus 980 (CFPL Radio London) to discuss conservatism and Conservatives.
April 12 – Interviewed on CFRA Radio Ottawa to discuss conservatism and
April 12 – Quoted in Globe and Mail article by Brian Laghi on conservatism and Conservatives
April 12 – Op Ed published in The Globe and Mail on conservatism and Conservatives.
April 8 -- Op-ed Published in the Toronto Star gives advice to the Liberal Party.
April 5 – Interviewed on the Mike Duffy Live to discuss conservatism and Conservatives.
April 5 – Quoted in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the National Post.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Last time the party sent me a 2008 Harper Calendar; this time I received a "2008 Sustaining Donor Card."
This card, says the letter, is sent annually to recognize the Party's "key donors", which means
it doesn't take much to qualify as a "key donor" since I have not sent the Conservatives a dime this year.
Anyway, I am supposed to carry this card around with me as a reminder of the "critical role" I have played in "helping Prime Minister Harper and our Conservative Party."
My wallet is already overflowing with cards -- credit card, debit card, library card, SIN card, Health Card, Air Miles card -- why should I stick in a Sustaining Donor Card?
Unless, of course, as a "Sustaining Donor" this card entitles me to discounts at stores, free passes into movie theatres and a special GST exemption.
I'll give it a try.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Well here are some of their "planet saving" schemes currently on the drawing board:
* A special carbon tax on babies.
Yes it turns out those cuddly little bundles of joy are really just carbon gas emitting ecological disasters. As one Australian health care expert put it, "Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society".
* Til Death do you Part
According to a "scientific study" divorce pollutes the environment, because it splits households in two, doubling the demand for electricity and even water. So in the future we can expect couples who wish to divorce will have to file a environmental impact study.
* Banning Beer fridges
A University of Alberta study says beer fridges contribute significantly to global warming. "People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles," says British environmental consultant Joanna Yarrow. "Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home." So to help drive home the message environmentalists are suggesting governments "round up" these threatening fridges.
I wonder if this is all part of Liberal leader Stephane -- My dog's name is Kyoto -- Dion's "hidden green agenda?"
Sunday, December 09, 2007
"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
"Law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice."
"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."
See here for more of his quotes.
Friday, December 07, 2007
And it seems some PC supporters are more than just surprised, they are down right annoyed.
They think the PC party needs a new leader.
In fact, PC party activist Nick Kouvalis has created a website called Draftaleader.com designed to mobilize support for a leadership review.
It looks like Ontario politics might start getting interesting.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Turns out the supposedly "progressive" and "socially liberal" New Democrats, are --just like the Taliban --- highly offended by the sight of female flesh.
We learned this yesterday thanks to NDP MP Irene Mathyssen.
Busybody Mathyssen was snooping on Conservative MP James Moore, spying over his shoulder while he was working on his laptop in the House of Commons.
And much to her chagrin, she noticed Moore was looking at -- horror of horrors -- "scantily clad women".
Instantly transformed from Karl Marx to Jerry Falwell, the shocked Mathyssen ran off to the media to describe in vivid detail the awful story of how Moore was watching "Playboy-type stuff," of a woman wearing a "skimpy negligee kind of thing."
The implication was clear: Moore was some sort of sex pervert, who "objectified" women. And by extension the entire Conservative government must be "anti-woman."
Of course, as it turns out Moore was completely innocent -- the negligee wearing woman was, in fact, his girlfriend.
And lucky for him, otherwise the NDP would likely have demanded he receive 200 lashes.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The Quebec Model, of course, is a euphemism for socialism. For years Quebeckers prided themselves on being the most "progressive" jurisdiction in North America --- progressive meaning Quebec has high taxes, big, intrusive government and powerful, militant labour unions.
Well now, as The Quiet Illusion makes clear, some people in Quebec are beginning to question that model.
Directed by Joanne Marcotte, this documentary features interviews with economists, journalists and students who make a strong case that unless Quebec adopts a more free market approach, the province will soon hit the wall.
It's doubtful this documentary will ever appear on the CBC, so if you want to get a copy you can order it here for $20.00: 115 Saint Denys Garneau
Ste. Catherine de la Jacques Cartier, Quebec, G0A 3M0.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Translation: Dion and the Liberals are going to run on a platform of higher taxes, more regulations and bigger, costlier government.
Sounds like a winning strategy --- if this was 1975.
Oh and in order to make Canada "fairer", Dion recently unveiled a Liberal plan to cut overall poverty rates by 30 per cent and the child-poverty rate by 50 per cent within five years of the Liberals winning the next election.
Wow, that's impressive! Who knew poverty could be slashed just by passing legislation?!
It makes you wonder why previous Liberal prime ministers Paul Martin, Jean Chretien , Pierre Trudeau never passed laws to end poverty?
Maybe they were too narrow and selfish.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
"Stéphane Dion," I wrote "seems like a decent person, but I doubt he is the guy who will help restore the former glory of the Liberal Party."
So you heard it here first.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Hannaford's point is that while the Tories and Liberals are more or less neck and neck in the polls, Conservative support is more intense and therefore more reliable.
Writes Hannaford: "Folks may tell a pollster they'll vote Liberal, but will they actually go to the booth? Or, will they follow their leader who, confronted with things he doesn't like, just doesn't vote? Until Dion changes his game, I guess we won't know."
And by the way, I am not noting this column simply because Hannaford also mentions me: "Gerry Nicholls, who now conducts a one-man guerrilla war on the Conservatives' right flank, says the Conservatives just aren't conservative enough."
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The mascots -- Quatchi, Miga and Sumi --- say Olympic officers are "distinct and special – both in personality and in appearance. One is big, gentle and shy . . . one is small, mischievous and outgoing . . . and one is a natural-born leader with a passion for protecting the environment. All three are mythical creatures with roots in local legend."
Me, I would have preferred mascots with a little more edge to them.
For instance, wouldn't these cute little critters make cool mascots?:
-- Gunny - A natural born leader, this pistol packing chimp with a life long membership in the NRA, has a passion for small arms and cheap booze.
Suvy -- A greenhouse gas spewing, gas guzzling mystical spirit that inhabits Sports Utility Vehicles.
And of course, Muhammad-- The Sudanese Bear with a penchant for whips.
Maybe these will be used in the 2014 Olympics.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Varner argues it might not be wise to force Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf to step down because whoever replaces him might be worse.
Isn't that always the way with that part of the world. It just seems to keep getting worse.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Some nights its comedy shows like the Jack Benny Program, Fibber McGee and Molly or The Life of Riley. Other nights feature westerns: Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel or The Cisco Kid.
But my favourites are the detective shows. It's great listening to the adventures of hard boiled PIs like Richard Diamond, Johnny Dollar and Sam Spade.
And the good news is I found an Internet site, where I can download lots of these old shows!
Why do I like these ancient radio dramas?
Maybe it's because, unlike so many shows today, none of them promote a left wing agenda.
Today, for instance, the watchdog group released its "Top 100 Tory Handouts".
* Pratt & Whitney Canada received two handouts one for $213-million and second for $137-million.
* $47.5 million went to the Mont Tremblant ski resort.
* $27 million got doled out for a soccer stadium in Toronto.
* Alcan pocketed $19.1-million.
The Liberals used to dish out this kind of money too. I guess in politics the more things change, the more they stay the same.
That's too bad.
The idea is they will want to take on the Conservatives before the government has a chance to unveil yet another goody-stuffed budget.
For their part, the Conservatives also probably wouldn't mind having an election sooner rather than later.
Better to go to the polls, after all, before a public inquiry turns up any dirt on the Mulroney-Schreiber affair.
Me, I hope we do have an election in the next few months. Would love to see all those politicians trudging through the ice and snow begging for our votes in sub-zero temperatures.
Yeah, I'm a cruel guy.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
And traditionally Thanksgiving usually means two things: turkey dinners and the Detroit Lions losing.
Well it seems at least one bureaucrat in the United States wants to add political correctness to the tradition.
Powerline points out that the Seattle public school district's "director of Equity, Race & Learning Support" sent a letter to teachers urging them to instruct their students in the "myths" of Thanksgiving.
"The 'myths'," writes Powerline "are a means of teaching students, among other things, that the Pilgrims were 'rigid fundamentalists' who 'egregiously' stole Indian lands and 'massacred' Indians."
Here is the final "myth":
Myth #11: Thanksgiving is a happy time.
Fact: For many Indian people, “Thanksgiving” is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, “Thanksgiving” is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.
No doubt for Christmas the Seattle public school district's director of Equity, Race & Learning Support, will send out a letter urging teachers to remind children that Santa's elves are oppressed, non-union workers.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The accused will be the surviving members of the Khmer Rouge government, which
is believed to have murdered more than one million people between 1975 and 1979.
The massacres, of course, were carried out in the name of creating a Utopian communist society.
I was a university student when these horrors were taking place and I remember having this left-wing political science professor who assured us that the news we had been hearing about the notorious Cambodian"killing fields" was actually a CIA hoax designed to discredit the heroic, anti-imperialist Khmer Rouge.
I sometimes wonder if that professor is still around.
And if he is, I wonder if he telling his students the 9/11 attacks were a CIA hoax.
Probably, old habits die hard.
H/T Dr. Roy
Monday, November 19, 2007
Writing in National Review Online, Hanons argues: "Over the last few months, the U.S. military forced Sunni insurgents in Anbar to quit fighting. This enemy, in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle, had been responsible for most American casualties in the war and was the main cause of unrest in Iraq. Even more unexpectedly, some of the defeated tribes then joined in an alliance of convenience with their American victors to chase al-Qaeda from Iraq’s major cities."
Hanson calls this "one of those radical, unforeseen reversals in America’s wars that have often changed our history."
I hope he's right.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
It's not often I get a chance to speak to an assemblage of law professors, lawyers, judges and journalists.
Fortunately, I didn't get sued.
Among the attendees were old friends like Alan Hunter, one of Canada's top constitutional lawyers. Alan worked with me in the old days when I was championing the fight against election gag laws. (It was nice to be able to chat to Alan without worrying about what it would cost in legal bills).
Also met a fascinating guy named David Cohn from San Francisco, who heads up something called NewAssignment.net, which is all about combining professional news organizations with amateur bloggers.
The seminar itself was held in the Calgary Court Centre, a brand spanking new complex that boasts the latest in technological innovations. For instance, I am told it has the fastest elevators in North America -- which is good because justice delayed is justice denied.
And security in the building is tight.
Well I had to go through an airport-style security system every time I went to the bathroom.
I tried not to drink a lot.
Friday, November 16, 2007
His answer: "Colorful. Nutty. Not serious." But he added: "I hope he continues to the end and becomes even more blunt."
As for me, I think it would be nice to see Paul talk about issues other than the Iraq war.
Anyway for you Paul fans out there check out his video from the Knights of Liberty.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
In this letter, Harper describes the Conservative Party as the "People's Party" and the Conservative Government as the "People's Government."
Hmm, not a great way to ask me for money as I am not a big fan of People's Governments.
Anyway to thank me for all my "loyal support", a nifty gift calendar is included with the letter.
Now I will be able to gaze on the Great Leader of the People's Party every day of the year.
The calendar has photos of the Great Leader posing next to a snow man, there's a couple of him with his cute kids, one of him pretending to look studious at his desk; and of course, the obligatory shot of him basking in the adulation of People's Party supporters.
Wonder when they are going to erect the statue?
Rarely do journalists ever weigh the pros and cons of a policy. Instead they focus on the political tactics supposedly behind those policies.
For instance, is Senate reform a good idea?
What fascinates the media is the behind-the-scenes strategy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, we are told, is only using Senate reform as a clever trap to ensnare Liberal leader Stephane Dion. Countless articles are then written explaining and analysing Harper's moves and Dion's counter-moves.
In other words, politics is presented not as a clash of ideas, but as a sporting event. And the media takes on the role of colour commentators providing the fans with all the inside dope of what's really going on in the field.
And we wonder why the electorate is become more cynical about politics.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
For many people, (especially the PMO braintrust) this state of affairs must be something of a puzzle.
After all, according to the plan, the Conservatives -- basking in the glory of their recent "mini-budget" with its promised tax cuts -- should be riding a wave of popularity right now.
So what's wrong?
Well, media pundits will likely pin the blame on the current Mulroney-Schreiber scandal.
And maybe that's the answer. Or maybe it's more serious.
For instance, it's more likely Prime Minister Harper's problems stem from the fact that he has broken the first rule of politics: Be real.
Harper is pretending to be something he isn't: a Liberal.
That's what voters are picking up on. They sense deception. They think Harper must be hiding something: the dreaded "hidden agenda".
Let's face it, people fear the unknown.
And of course, the Liberals and the media are are doing everything they can to stoke up those fears, conjuring up frightful images of what the "hidden agenda" entails.
What scares voters, in other words, isn't a conservative agenda, it's the caricature of a conservative agenda, a caricature the left has created.
How can Harper turn things around?
Easy. He just has to be true to his roots. He has to proudly proclaim that he is in fact a conservative. Then he has to define what a conservative agenda would mean for Canada.
Would everybody in the country applaud?
But at least everybody in the country would know where he stood.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
But here's an anonymous quote more revelant to the current Canadian military situation in Afghanistan:
We the willing, led by the unknowing, doing the impossible for the ungrateful;We've done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.
But I wonder how much political mileage they will get out of this? First off, we are talking about stuff that happened a long, long time ago, and second off, juicy political scandals are the ones where politicians enrich (or appear to enrich) themselves at the expense of the taxpayer.
That's what made the Adscam Scandal such an outrage: the politicians were using our money to fatten the wallets of their buddies.
So far as I can tell, the Mulroney affair lacks such an ingredient.
Still I bet Prime Minister Harper now regrets all those words of praise he has heaped on Mulroney. I know I cringed every time Harper-- in a blatant desire to please Red Tories -- extolled Mulroney's virtues.
In my view, Mulroney was nothing but a crass, political opportunist.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
The theme for the conference is "Bans, Blogs and Boundaries”.
Other speakers include The Verdict's Paula Todd and the CBC's Ian Hanomansing.
It should be a fascinating event.
And I am looking forward to visiting Calgary, one of my favorite cities.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
No it's not a rock band.
The Political Animals, in fact, is one of "northwest Ohio's most interesting talk shows" and it's broadcast from radio station WBGU (That's Bowling Green University).
One of the hosts of the show is my friend Peter Jaworski, from Liberty Summer Seminar fame. And as you might imagine, the show takes a look at the news from a pro-liberty perspective.
Anyway, I am going to be a guest on the show tonight at about 6:15 PM to talk discuss the Canadian political scene.
If all goes well it could be a regular feature on the show.
And here's the best part: you don't have to live in northwest Ohio, to hear the show, as it's also available via the Internet.
Check it out.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So this will be my last Star-bashing post. (Yeah sure).
Anyway, today the Star lashes out against the latest Conservative "attack ads" targeting Liberal leader Stephan Dion.
"With this latest ad" writes the Star, "Harper has again revealed a nasty side to his personality that raises questions about his ability to set a positive tone for Canada. Partisan politics is a rough-and-tumble business. But Canadians rightly expect their political leaders to take a relatively civil and constructive tone, particularly when there is no election taking place. For Harper, though, playing dirty is his preferred style, in sharp contrast to his election pledge to run a clean and civilized administration."
This from a paper which just a few days ago suggested the recent announced tax cuts would destroy civilization as we know it.
And where was the Star's sense of civility in the last two federal elections, the ones in which the Liberals unleashed some of the most vicious attack ads in Canadian history? Seems like the Star editorial writers only disapproves of negative ads when they target their friends.
And as far as nasty personalities go, what about Jean Chretien? Chretien was the most mean-spirited, vindictive Prime Ministers ever to reside at 24 Sussex Dr.
Just ask Paul Martin.
Did the Star ever complain about his personality?
Of course, here's what the Star is really worried about: the Tory attack ads are working.
Anyway, when it comes to politics Rice seems to be an odd mix of religious right, Democrat.
Check out her endorsement of Hillary Clinton, it's not your typical pro-Hillary manifesto.
And in the interest of balance here are some folks who want to stop Hillary now.
Monday, November 05, 2007
And that's too bad, because our educational system does need reform.
For one thing, parents need the chance to have more choice when it comes to schooling, through a voucher system and Charter Schools.
Providing a little more competition would also make the public school system more accountable and efficient.
But while the politicians won't be talking about these issues, there is one group that will: The Society for Quality Education.
The SQE is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to significantly improving student learning in Canada and to improving our education system.
And it's certainly an organization which all Canadians who believe in educational choice should support.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
So what you say?
Well Robert Tracinski has written an interesting piece on the book's historic significance.
Like her or hate her, Rand, as Tracinski points out "was the first thinker and artist to fully grasp the meaning of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution and to give them expression both in literature and in philosophy."
Saturday, November 03, 2007
You're in the Picture (1961).
Petticoat Junction" (1963-'70).
My Mother the Car (1965-66).
Ernest Angley Hour (1973-present)
B.J. and the Bear (1979-81)
When Things Were Rotten (1975)
Mr. T. and Tina (1976)
The Ropers (1979-80)
Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-83)
Mama's Family (1983-90)
Mr. Belvedere (1985-90)
Small Wonder (1985-89)
Life With Lucy (1986)
Beauty and the Beast (1987-90)
Cop Rock (1990)
Pink Lady and Jeff (1980)
The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage (1991)
The Jerry Springer Show (1991 to present)
Barney & Friends (1992-present)
Homeboys from Outer Space (1996-97)
The Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (1998)
I wouldn't quibble with most of these (never heard of a couple of them), but I don't think you can say Petticoat Junction was one of the worst shows of all time. After all, it had that cute little Benjie dog and those adorable lasses swimming in the town water supply.
And hey, bashing Barney! How cynical can you get.
And all because he defends the use of medical marijuana.
Smell that smell," says Carey, as he walks into a Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary. "That's the smell of freedom."
Talk about stirring up the pot!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Check out the newest member of my family.
My very own computer!
This will make my son happy, because up til now I was forced to expropriate his computer -- for the common good.
As you might imagine, this led to some tense situations as we battled for computer control.
But now peace will be restored.
By the way, this computer has a core2duo CPU; a 16B DDR2 RAM; and a PCI-Express expansion slot.
I have no idea what any of that means, but the computer guy who sold it to me, said it's all good stuff.
Can't wait to try out some games ... I mean use it for all my writing needs.
According to news reports:
Soldiers used tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannons to scatter tens of thousands who massed yesterday in Caracas to protest constitutional reforms that would permit President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely.
Led by university students protesters chanted `Freedom! Freedom!' and warned that 69 amendments drafted by the Chavista-dominated National Assembly would violate civil liberties and derail democracy.
It was the biggest turnout against Chavez in months and students promised more street demonstrations over the weekend.
Now you would expect the world's left-wing activists types to express outrage over Chavez's strong arm reactions to these protests: police opening fire on demonstrators and all.
But you won't hear a peep.
After all, these particular demonstrators were not shouting death threats against George Bush, and they actually seem to oppose socialism.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
So I am considering setting up my own conservative cruise get-away, which will be called The Gerry Nicholls Lake Ontario Odyssey.
Imagine it. A half day luxury cruise on one of Canada's most exotic and exciting Great Lakes (after lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior).
Passengers aboard the SS Gerry will enjoy:
* An exclusive stop at the Oakville's Burger King restaurant.
* Free Diet Coke (while supplies last)
* Starbucks Coffee at a special discounted price of only $20.00 a cup
* Complimentary sea sick pills (these rubber dinghys are a little unstable in rough water)
And if that's not enough to tempt you, consider this list of speakers and topics I just made up:
* John Tory will give a lecture on -- "How to Lose an Election in Three Easy Steps"
* Author/writer Paul Tuns will discuss, "Why I should be the new general manager of the New York Yankees".
* Liberal Leader Stephane Dion will speak on why he isn't a wimp. (Note Dion will only attend the cruise if Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it's OK.)
* Toronto Mayor David Miller will explain why we need a special tax on made up cruises.
* And Rondi Adamson will ask: Can conservatism ever be reconciled with good fashion sense?
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
So sign up today, for the special three hour cruise.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
In today's editorial they denounce yesterday's announced tax cuts with the kind of over-the-top left-wing, class war rhetoric that went out of fashion about 100 years ago.
Check this comment: "It has been said that taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. Yesterday the Conservatives made this country a little less civilized by killing the hope of the poorest in our midst for a fairer society in which everyone has a roof over their head and enough to eat."
Get that? The Star believes allowing Canadians to keep a little bit more of the money they earn will plunge Canada into barbarism!
Get a grip.
Even left wing Star columnist Thomas Walkom doesn't buy that loony spin.
Even stranger than the Star's Retro-Leftism, however, is its urging Liberal leader Stephane Dion to defeat the Conservative mini-budget and force an election over the issue.
Why bring down the government? Well, the Star writes:
"The reasons are clear. If these massive tax cuts are approved, then the Liberals would have to reverse them to be able to carry out a bold, progressive program of social, economic and environmental policies that Dion has promised if the Liberals are elected. And every politician knows that running on the need for tax hikes is a losing proposition."
Oh, I see running on the need for tax hikes is a losing proposition. But running on the need to cancel popular tax cuts is somehow a winning proposition.
Yeah that makes sense.
The Star's political advice would only make sense if they actually wanted Dion to lose.
And hey, maybe that's the answer.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
They call me a "right wing political critic". Wonder if I should put that on my business card?
As far as Flaherty's tax cuts go, what can I say?
Maybe the Tories are finally listening to me.
But then again, maybe not.
As Paul Tuns so aptly puts it, "So after the tax cuts, the government will still be over-taxing us by nearly $12 billion. To my mind, there was room for another $12 billion in tax cuts."
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
"Does this mean teacher unions too? So when there's a strike those who want to teach their students can do so without consequence?"
John Mortimer of Labourwatch was kind enough to provide this answer:
To answer Anonymous re teachers working during a strike. Your right to work could be constrained if the employer refuses to open the workplace and let you work. Not all employers during strikes are prepared to open up to non-managers. Usually it is because they fear union violence and most police forces have policies of not enforcing all aspects of the criminal code during a strike.
The "desk drawers" of lawyers and security firms are full of video of police watching as strikers perpetrate violence, particularly to property. I have been advised that police actually swear oaths to uphold the law, not to keep the peace. In one province a sharp group of people have been assessing what to do about going after governments and the police that refuse to enforce and ensure the rule of law including whether or not these parties can be successfully sued.
Finally, Saskatchewan has Canada's only statute forcing union membership on almost all unionized workers. It also has Canada's only statute law (thank you "Conservative Premier Grant Devine") giving unions the right to fine union members (cannot fine the few who are able to avoid forced membership) who cross a picket line to do their jobs. A statute like this trumps the common law principle that protected the PSAC members - courts do not enforce penalties between private parties to a contract.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The presiding judge called the fines “very unfair,” “extremely onerous” and “unconscionable in the circumstances."
And PSAC bosses must have known they would lose this case.
After all, according to LabourWatch, these bosses paid for a legal opinion back in 2004 which advised them that such fines were, in fact, illegal.
However, the unions chose to continue imposing these fines, obviously relying on the hope that most employees lacked the resources to hire a lawyer to fight for their rights in the courts.
Turns out that was a misplaced hope.
As LabourWatch president John Mortimer put it, "Now PSAC needs to drop its legal actions, and apologize to hundreds of dues paying members across Canada misled since the 2004 legal opinion, which unionized employees paid for”.
Now is also for the time for our governments to enact laws to protect the individual freedoms of employees in the work place.
You can learn more about this important case here.
By the way, LabourWatch is a tremendous organization, that does a lot of good when it comes to fighting for the rights of employees.
It's worthy of support.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Taped it this morning, and it was a good show -- lots of animated discussion.
Also on the panel were my friend John Capobianco and former Liberal leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay.
Findlay, by the way, would have made a much better leader than Stephane Dion.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
It's based on my debate last night with Professor Tom Flanagan at the Fraser Institute's "Behind the Spin @ the Spoke" event.
How did it go?
Well modesty forbids me from talking about winners and losers (I won) but I can say the audience seemed to enjoy the show.
And just to show there were no hard feelings, Flanagan signed my coyp of his book Harper's Team.
He wrote, "Keep up the pressure."
And I intend to.
Oh and one more good thing about last night, was I finally got to meet Wonder Woman.
Monday, October 22, 2007
One reason for this posturing is money.
By creating a crisis situation -- "Oh my God, an election is almost here!!!"--- they can squeeze financial supporters for cash.
In fact, I just received such a letter from the Conservative Party. Ringing the election alarm bells, it implored me for a "special" contribution of $35, $55 or possibly $70.
What really struck me about this letter, however, was how poorly it was written.
Typical sentence: "The Liberals have an all or nothing plan. 'All' equals them getting back in government. If not back in government, the Liberals could care less what impact comes from their anger, personal attacks and obstructionism."
I think I know what this is supposed to mean, but it's just so painfully awkward.
And parts of the letter just don't make sense.
Take this line: "Stephane Dion may use threats and attacks in a shameless attempt to gain national support. Let's make sure his belligerent tactics in Parliament will be remembered in the next election."
Why would you want to "make sure" voters remember Dion's attacks in an election?
And naturally this letter does not contain one iota of conservative principle. No mention is made, for instance, about the need to make government smaller or to promote free enterprise.
Well at least they got my name spelled right.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
They describe me as the "outspoken, non-partisan ideologue who has been a thorn in the side of the federal conservatives since they started to move towards the political centre."
Unfortunately, the release failed to mention my boyish good looks.
Case in point: yesterday an Ontario Superior Court ruled union bosses can't use the courts to enforce fines they impose on unionized employees who choose to work during a strike.
The case involved the Public Service Alliance of Canada which used fines to punish employees who had the audacity to cross picket lines so they could work for a living.
PSAC, clearly thinking it was some sort of parallel government, believed it could sue employees who didn't pay the fines.
Wrong, said the court.
In fact, in Canada employees have every right to cross a picket line.
Let's hope the next step is to stop union bosses from bullying employees who choose to cross a line.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
It's a fact.
Anyway, Carey and the folks over at the Reason Foundation are producing the Drew Carey Project, a series of short documentaries examining how big government threatens our liberties.
The first documentary wonders if the free market can help solve gridlock.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
She is absolutely right.
I want all the Facebook friends I can get!
So if you are on Facebook I would be glad to be your friend.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
In tonight's "Front Page" segment of the Mercer Report, Mercer jokes about a glass of water being "slightly more electable" than Stephane Dion.
Well didn't I just have a column in the Sun Media chain yesterday, claiming a carrot was more electable than Dion!?
OK, Mercer said glass of water and not carrot, but it's the same basic principle.
I should have got it copyrighted or something.
I say "supposed" to air, because you never know sometimes you end up on the cutting room floor.
Actually there is one part I do hope doesn't make the final cut.
For some reason, while answering a question I used the phrase, "political imperative".
Where the heck did I get that from?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Well I turned that into a column for the Sun Media chain, and I think it's definitely my most intellectual piece yet.
Even more interesting is that former Liberal cabinet minister, Sheila Copps, writes a rebuttal piece -- except instead of defending Dion and arguing he would make a better leader than a carrot, she goes on the attack, accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of being like a rutabaga!!
This has all the makings of a vicious food fight!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
It was an excellent event and my hat is off to CCF executive director John Carpay who put together a really first-rate show.
Other speakers at the conference included Michael Coren, Lorne Gunter, Stanley Hartt and Supreme Court Justice Marshall Rothstein.
The highlight for me, however, was Charles Fried's talk on "Is Liberty Possible?" Fried, a Harvard Law professor and former Solicitor General of the United States, eloquently praised the virtues of "capitalist acts between consenting adults."
Another highlight of the conference was meeting lots of friends: people like Dr. Roy, Janet Neilson, Matt Bufton and Peter Jaworski -- who heads up the Institute for Liberal Studies.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation is certainly an organization which deserves the support of Canadians who cherish freedom.
The best line is her description of Ezra Levant, who she says is like "the Tasmanian devil – forever in motion, incomprehensible to others though clearly focused on his own goals, scary from a distance, but up close, just a cute little devil."
Something tells me we haven't heard the last of the "Tasmanian Devil".
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Me I was never really sold on the idea.
But maybe a good compromise would be to have MMP apply to only 37 percent of the province.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Writing about the disastrous election results for the John Tory led Ontario Progressive Conservatives he writes, "the Tory Tories delivered nothing. The official platform was a relentless catalogue of more spending, special-interest cash drop offs, generalized waffles and copies of the latest conventional policy wisdom on anything and everything."
And says Corcoran, "there was nothing to Tory Conservatism that could not have been endorsed by any Liberal, and nothing to appeal to the bedrock conservatives who must be seen as the heart of the Conservative party. They want less government, lower taxes, reduced dependence on government, more frequent initiatives to change the direction of policy."
This would make excellent reading for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
By contrast, small "c" Conservative Mike Harris won two back-to-back majorities in the same province.
Hmmm, I may not be a political scientist or anything, but I think there's a pattern emerging here.
I wonder if the Tory party will pick up on it?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Now more than ever, the country needs a strong, principled conservative voice.
I hope someone soon emerges to help fill the void.
In the meantime, Terry O'Neill is posting his articles which would would have been in the magazine on the the Standard's Blog. Here's one on the judiciary which quotes me.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Yes indeed, other politicians could learn a lot from Fibber.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
This award, according to the Institute's webs site, is presented annually to recognize "excellence and accomplishment in the promotion of economic freedom and free market ideas. Past recipients include Lady Margaret Thatcher, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, and the late Milton Friedman."
Now certainly Thatcher, Klaus and Friedman all deserve this award, but Mulroney?
Yes, I know he enacted the Free Trade Agreement and curbed some of the excesses of the previous Trudeau regime, but it's a real stretch to suggest he promoted economic freedom or free market ideas.
If anything, Mulroney was a classic Red Tory - more than willing to use socialist economic policies if he believed they would further his political career.
And let's not forget his unconservative pandering of Quebec nationalists, which simultaneously resulted in the emergence of the Reform Party in Western Canada and of the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec.
He was also the guy who introduced an election gag law and who appointed socialists to government posts.
So yeah, give him an award for implementing the free trade agreement if you want, but don't do so on the basis that he was some sort of free market champion.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
And in order graduate, he not only had to pass his academic courses, he also had to complete a minimum of "40 hours of mandatory Community Involvement."
This is supposed to develop "a sense of civic responsibility and strong community values."
So civic responsibility, in other words, means forcing kids to work for no pay.
To me that sounds like slavery.
Paul Tuns gets it.
In fact, his news conference today was the first one he has held in the National Press Theatre since he became Prime Minister 19 months ago.
That might suprise some people, but not me.
Do you know how many news conferences Harper held during the four years he was president of the National Citizens Coalition?
News conferences just aren't his bit.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
And one of the interesting things they have done is release a study examining whether or not Ontarians should support a new electoral system -- otherwise known as Mixed Member Proportional Representation.
Their conclusion: Thumbs Down.
Here's some more debate on MMP.
Here's another study on MMP from the Work Research Foundation. They give it a Thumbs Up.
That quote is from Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, a book which the judges who sit on Manitoba's Court of Appeal clearly never read.
Otherwise they never would have rendered such an astonishingly bad ruling.