Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper thinks Kyoto is a bad idea, but he will now apparently seek to implement it; Liberal Leader Stephane Dion thinks Kyoto is a good idea but he did nothing to implement it.
No doubt, Harper will vehemently deny this serious charge --but surely that's not enough.
Surely, the only way the Prime Minister can truly establish his eco-friendly credentials is to ruthlessly root out these "climate change deniers" who threaten our society.
And the best way to do that would be to set up a House of Unenvironmental Activities Committee with the power to investigate and expose the non-believers.
As a good "green" citizen, I am willing to do my bit.
To help the HUAC do its job I have even put together this handy list to help citizens spot these "climate change deniers" in our midst:
* Watch out for any citizen who refused to take the "One Tonne Challenge".
* Be on the look out for people who throw their newspapers in the "glass only" section of recycling bins.
* Warning bells should go off if your neighbor named his dog, "Kyoto Science is Flawed"
* Keep your ears peeled for any passerby who takes the name of David Suzuki in vain.
* Does your co-worker refuse to wear green ties?
If you notice any of this behaviour, report it immediately to the government.
We can't afford to have even one citizen thinking freely when it comes to the Kyoto Accord.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
It's based on a posting I ran on this blog a few days ago, regarding Jack Layton and ATM fees.
By the way, I will be on the show The Last Angry Man, tonight between 7:00 and 7:30 PM EST to discuss this issue.
Immediately I disagreed, telling him "I love attack ads." Indeed, I have produced dozens of them over the years.
A shocking admission, I know.
In Canada we are supposed to hate attack ads. Canadian politicians especially hate attack ads because they are so impolite and rude.
Back in 2004, for instance, while he was still leader of the Opposition, Stephen Harper denounced "American-style" attack ads and pledged he would never use them.
Yet we now learn the Tories are airing anti-Dion "American-style"attack ads on TV.
And right on cue, Liberal leader Stephan Dion says he is outraged.
"Harper has nothing positive to say about his own record,” Dion told CBC Newsworld. “Being unable to say anything positive about [himself], he wants to spend all this money to try to attack me in a very negative way.”
Yeah right, Stephane it's terrible.
But wasn't it your party that set new lows for nasty attack ads in the past two federal elections?
So maybe my love of attack ads isn't so shocking after all.
In fact, maybe the only difference between me and the politicians is that I'm more honest, although being more honest than a politician is not much an accomplishment.
It's like bragging that your skinnier than Michael Moore.
For more on my view on this check out this column I wrote a while ago for the Vancouver Sun.
I will be discussing this issue on the aforementioned Gary Doyle Show at approximately 12:50 EST and on Adler Online at about 4:15 PM EST and on the Jim Duff Show at about 4:45 PM EST and on The World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge at 8:40 PM EST. And I will also be talking about this tomorrow morning at 7:45 AM EST on The CHQR Morning News.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
This epiphany hit me when I came across an interesting passage in the Book of Samuel.
It's a story which takes place some time after Charlton Heston has led the Israelites to the Promised Land, so named I suppose because it had no government.
Not realizing how wonderful having no government was, however, the Israelites asked God to give them a King so they could more easily smite their enemies.
God doesn't think this is such a good idea and, through the prophet Samuel, he gives them a warning that sounds like something a prehistoric Milton Friedman might have said:
"This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots . . . He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."
Unfortunately, the Israelites don't listen and they end up getting Saul as their King, and as God predicted that didn't turn out too well.
Of course, today things have changed a lot since those Bible days.
A king no longer takes our donkeys. Today we are a democracy meaning we elect our donkeys to Parliament.
Friday, January 26, 2007
And so no one should be surprised that NDP leader Jack Layton, his party floundering in the polls, has come out flailing against the big, bad banks.
More specifically Layton wants to ban banks from charging fees when customers use automatic teller machines.
"We believe it's gouging when a person comes up and they want $40 or $60 of their cash and a bank is charging them $1.50 or $2, $2.50," Layton said. "That's a rate of payment which is very, very high -- and unfair."
And Layton points out that "ordinary families work hard for their money. If they want to take a few dollars out to go to the grocery store, the banks shouldn't be keeping $1.50 or $2 or any of that money."
Great stuff if you're into populist left-wing rhetoric.
But let's face it, when it comes to gouging consumers, banks and their ATM fees are small potatoes.
If Jack Layton really wants to protect "ordinary families" he ought to be railing against the biggest gouger of them all: the government.
After all, it's governments that hits you with the GST and PST every time you make a purchase; here in Ontario that amounts to 15 percent of the bill.
And then there's the outrageous government fee know as "income tax", that devours a large chunk of the take home of Canadian families.
At least I can choose whether or not to use an ATM; but I have no choice when it comes to taxes.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
How has Harper done on his first 365 days on the job?
Rondi Adamson answers that question in an excellent column which appears in the latest issue of the Christian Science Monitor.
Check it out.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Friedman fans are planning all sorts of events to commemorate this great man, but one of the most interesting ideas comes from the Ideachannel, which is holding a "Challenge the Status Quo" contest.
Contestants are asked to produce videos which "challenge government policies or those of your parents. You could challenge urban (or rural) myths. Maybe try to debunk what textbooks or TV reporters claim as fact."
First prize is $5,000.
What we really need, of course, is a political party which will challenge the status quo.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Now usually I would not be able to report on what happens at PAAC events as they are strictly "off the record".
But as the emcee Steve Paikin noted details of these meetings always end up on the internet in a few seconds anyway, so the meeting was declared "on the record."
That's the good news.
The bad news is nothing was discussed which was all that interesting.
We did learn that being a front-runner was not such a good thing for Michael Ignatieff; and that the turning point of the Liberal convention occurred when Gerard Kennedy's delegates went en masse to Stephane Dion and that Bob Rae's strength was more illusionary than real.
But heck I already knew that stuff.
The best tidbit actually came from a Liberal activist sitting at my table, who told me she would sooner "eat glass" than see Bob Rae as Liberal leader.
Something tells me the wounds have not yet healed.
In case you missed it, Royal told reporters yesterday,"It goes with our common values, which are Quebec's sovereignty and freedom. I think that Quebec's influence and its place in the hearts of the French people support that."
Clearly it's inappropriate for a foreign leader to make any kind of comments on the domestic politics of another country -- imagine if President George Bush voiced support for Alberta separation.
However, Royal's statement hardly rates up there with Charles de Gaulle's infamous "Vive Quebec Libre" speech.
For one thing, de Gaulle was a larger than life figure; who the heck is Ségolène Royal? De Gaulle was actually president of France at the time; Royal is just an opposition politician. And de Gaulle's comment was a lot more strident.
Yet, the Quebec nationalists are all excited about this "endorsement", which I believe reflects their political weakness -- I mean who cares what an obscure politician says?
Besides if Quebec separatists really want to be successful they should stop seeking advice from socialists, who seem to be making a mess out of their own country.
Monday, January 22, 2007
The CRFA ads extol the virtues of renewal fuels.
Hardly controversial, right?
After carefully reviewing the ads, the Television Bureau of Canada (TVB) has decided they actually express an "opinion".
This is Canada, we can't go around airing TV ads willy, nilly that express a point of view. Who knows what unregulated exposure to opinions would do to our citizens?
It might cause a panic.
But the TVB is on the case. It says the CFRA has to re cut the ads to make sure Canadians realize that they are hearing an "opinion."
Of course, I have an opinion about all this, but I don't think I would want the TVB to review it.
Stephen Taylor has done some interesting research on the TVB.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
It's a great place if you're in the market for showers featuring more electronic gadgets than the space shuttle, or for "lush and vibrant" artificial grass that's resistant to salt damage, fire and nuclear war, or for furniture that looks like it was lifted from the set of some episode of Star Trek.
Yet what really piqued my interest was the "All Terrain Cabin" or ATC.
The ATC is the brain child of a government-funded project called BARK, a British Columbia non-profit "collective" that is supposed to raise the profile of Canadian design and ingenuity.
BARK's motto, by the way, is "Same-Sex Marriage + Crude Oil = Canada".
Inspiring isn't it? Somebody should translate that into Latin and put it on our coat of arms.
Anyway back to the ATC, a 480 sq ft. "mobile, self-contained, low-impact, smart, tough, cool and all Canadian," cabin which is supposed to "provide inspiration for our nation."
Actually, it's not so much of a cabin, as it is a mobile downtown Toronto condo.
I mean how many cabins have Gourmet settings cutlery or or Omer Arbel Hanging Lights or Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas wall murals?
It even has a toilet that makes potting soil. (Note to self: never eat anything grown in an environmentalist's garden.)
What gets me is the choice of videos the cabin includes.
You would think an all Canadian cabin would feature the latest Don Cherry Rock'em Sock'em hockey video.
But no, the BARK "collective" decided the left-wing documentaries The Corporation and Manufacturing Consent better raised the Canadian profile.
Mind you, I wouldn't mind all this, except that as a taxpayer I am forced to finance the ATC, and that doesn't make me happy.
In fact, BARK makes me want to BARF.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I met a lot of great people and had a wonderful time.
Blogger Brian from Cambridge, who attended the speech, has a write up on my talk here.
Check it out.
Key quote: 'I also had the opportunity to talk to Gerry, and he is a very nice, decent man, not the evil reptilian demon from hell that the Buzzistanians make him out to be."
Thanks Brian, it's good to see you appreciated my true nature.
Now if you will excuse me I am going to look for a nice hot rock to rest on.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
So says the "the elite board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" which the Toronto Star tells us is "moving the minute hand on their Doomsday Clock closer to the fatal hour of midnight."
In case you haven't heard of the Doomsday Clock, the elite board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists created it back in 1947 as a way of warning us about the dangers of Nuclear Armageddon.
Reportedly the minute hand will be moved two minutes, from the current seven minutes to midnight to five.
I guess when the clock does officially strike midnight we will all turn into nuclear pumpkins or something.
Mind you, we really shouldn't be too fearful.
After all, back in 1953 the Doomsday Clock was set to two minutes to midnight, meaning we are actually three minutes safer today than we were 50 years ago.
Still we are supposed to take this as alarming news.
"This is a sober and highly alarming judgment by a group of people who are knowledgeable and experienced," said Nobel laureate John Polanyi, a faculty member in the University of Toronto's chemistry department.
Yeah, I guess the rest of us had no idea that this is dangerous world. Good thing a bunch of smart scientists are out there to point it out to us.
All this reminds me of an article American writer P.J. O'Rourke wrote a few years ago lampooning Nobel Prize winners who released a statement on how to solve the world's problems.
"Nothing in their statement indicates that the opinions of common men are worse or more foolish than the opinions of Nobel Prize winners," wrote O'Rourke.
"Let us have our international actions truly `legitimized by democracy.' When it comes to questions of `What is to be done?' let's ask any old person. Let's ask Mom. Mom says, 'Global warming or no global warming, it's still winter. Wear a hat.'"
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Called Full Comment, this blog will feature links to various Post articles as well as postings from the likes of Lord Conrad Black; Andrew Coyne; Lorne Gunter; Barbara Kay; and Gary Clement.
Pay it a visit, and be sure to leave a comment of your own.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Mostly those reasons dealt with internal decline, ie corruption, Roman decadence, sapping of martial spirit, even lead pipes.
But according to this excellent book I just read, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Roman and the Barbarians, the real reasons for the fall were external --- Barbarians and lots of them: Huns, Franks, Germans, Goths.
Anyway, I would recommend this book to anybody interested in classical history (and who isn't?).
It's quite a readable narrative and the author does a good job of modernizing Roman concepts, ie he talks about Roman "spin doctors", who tried to make Imperial disasters sound like great victories.
Some things in politics never change.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Well, the editors of Maclean's magazine agree with me.
In an editorial entitled "Keeping Politics and Democracy Separate" they write: "He (Kingsley) strayed unacceptably into partisan politics by advocating restrictions on third-party election advertising."
Get this: the law requires us to be educated as to how to properly handle "hazardous materials".
We assumed at first it was a mistake.
After all, this is an office not a chemical plant. The closest thing we have to a hazardous material is the cologne one of my co-workers splashes over his body.
But no according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Harzardous Material Information System, such items as liquid paper, toner for copiers and any cleaning product are deemed to be hazardous materials.
I wonder how I have survived this long.
But if he's so smart why did he recently compare Alberta's economy to a milk cow?
In a speech delivered in Halifax the other day, Dion was explaining why Albertans should not fear his Kyoto plans, which many believe will gut the province's oil industry.
"I'm not there to kill the growth," said Dion, "I'm there to make the growth sustainable. I don't want to kill the milk cow. But I want to make sure that the milk will still be good and there for our grandchildren."
Did Dion really think comparing Alberta to a cash cow that needed to be "milked" was a good idea?
Did he really think this would win his party support in Western Canada?
If he did, he should check out this Edmonton Sun editorial which likely reflects the views of many Albertans.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
And although it's not a strictly a political book it does have the occasional "mordant" bit against big governments everywhere.
It retails for $9.95 (plus s/h and GST).
You can order it here.
That is he has done precious little to cut down on the size, scope or cost of government in America.
And now it looks like he is exporting these notions to Iraq.
Patrick Basham, of the Democracy Institute , notes this in an article which appears in today's Ottawa Citizen.
Basham notes that Bush's proposed "military surge will be combined with a Back to the Future-style billion-dollar government jobs program that borrows more from FDR's Depression-era statist New Deal than from 21st-century free-market economics. Mr. Bush's New Deal for Iraq is an abandonment of conservative economic principles to match his earlier abandonment of a traditional conservative foreign policy."
So what should Bush be doing?
Basham says, "for Iraq to become a democratic beacon in the Middle East, it must first become an economic beacon. Such essential economic progress will occur only as a result of limited, rather than extended, government interference in the country's economic life. An end to financial corruption and a program of privatization, low taxes, and minimal regulation -- built upon a foundation of private property rights protected and enforced by an impartial court system -- are prerequisites for building an oasis amidst Iraq's economic desert."
Sounds like a good policy for Iraq, and by the way it sounds like a good policy for Canada.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Accordingly on my visit to Ottawa I left behind my gloves and hat and warm coat, thinking it would be a tropical paradise.
It's like 100 degrees below zero out there! I almost died of frostbite going out to get a coffee.
Mind you it's my fault for listening to the high priests of the emerging environmental cult.
Actually, it's not so much a cult, as it is like a primitive pagan religion as practiced by those native tribes in old Tarzan movies.
Chief: Winter getting warm.
Witch Doctor: Winter getting warm because the great god Kyoto is angry.
Chief: What we do?
Witch doctor: Must sacrifice virgin SUV to Kyoto. Make him happy!
Ok so this posting doesn't make much sense, but I am just typing to keep my fingers warm.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
And I must say I would highly recommend it.
Located on the Island airport downtown, Porter airlines is easy to get to, its lounge is comfortable and comes with free internet access and its planes are comfortable.
But best of all, taking this airline is a good way to stick it to Toronto's socialist mayor and his gaggle of NDP minions.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Check out the screaming headlines in the papers today: "Harper Goes Green", "PM Warms to Environment," "PM Charts a greener course".
And all this because Prime Minister Harper appointed John "Rusty" Baird as his new environment minister.
Now I hate to pour acid rain on all this hoopla (by the way whatever happened to acid rain), but I am not convinced the environment will be the killer issue when the next election rolls around.
As Andrew Coyne writes in today's National Post, "While there are true believers on both sides, the broad mass of the public wants Something Done about global warming, but wants Someone Else to pay for it."
Fact is, if the environment was truly the number one issue of the land, David Suzuki would have been elected PM a long time ago.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Mark your calendars.
The Confederation Club, one of the region's largest speaker forums, has invited me to speak to their group on January 18th.
You can order tickets here.
Hope to see you there!
Well I also sent the Star a letter to the editor on the subject, which was not published.
So here it is:
Re: Election financing comes clean – January 3, 2007
Before Carol Goar deifies the politicians behind Canada’s election finance laws, she should realize there is another side to the coin.
Simply put, these laws infringe on important democratic rights and freedoms.
Imposing excessive restrictions on political contributions, for instance, clearly limits the right to free expression.
Likewise, the election “gag law” --which makes it a crime for citizens or non-partisan groups to spend their own money to express their own views –undermines the right to democratic free speech.
Nor will these draconian finance laws make for “cleaner” elections.
If anything, they will simply help incumbents and drive political influence seeking underground.
In short, you can’t improve democracy by destroying freedom.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
What she fails to mention, however, is that these laws -- such as the election gag law -- also infringe on democratic rights and freedoms.
This is something the American judicial system seems to understand.
In fact, last month a U.S. court shot down an American election gag law, saying it infringed on the constitutional right to free speech.
You would think Goar -- a journalist who makes her living expressing opinions --- would understand the importance of free expression.
But then maybe I am asking too much.
Wasn't I just the cutest thing?
And check out the rubber ducky in the lower left hand corner. (No it's not a doll!)
Who would have ever thought such an adorable baby would grow up to be the terror of Canada's left-wing.
Of course, even after all these years I still retain my boyish good looks.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
The Ten "Cannots" of Political Economy:
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the wage-earner by tearing down the wage-payer.
You cannot further the brotherhood of mankind by encouraging class hatred.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative.
You cannot help man permanently by doing for them what they could do and should do for themselves.
The exact origin of this quote is unknown.
Six Miracles of Socialism:
There is no unemployment, but no one works.
No one works, but everyone gets paid.
Everyone gets paid, but there is nothing to buy with the money.
No one can buy anything, but everyone owns everything.
Everyone owns everything, but no one is satisfied.
No one is satisfied, but 99 percent of the people vote for the system.
Jonathan is a bright young Calgary lawyer who has done a lot of good work advocating for individual freedom and electoral reform.
And I'm not just pushing his site because he mentions my recent National Post article.
Out of his eight important stories, seven will have negative consequences for the world.
This tells me two things: 1.)Paul is a pessimist, 2) he doesn't believe in the metric system. If he did, he would have listed "ten" of the most important stories of 2006.
See my posting below for instance.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Every year at this time, it’s traditional to come up with “Top Ten Lists”.
That’s why we see things like the “Top ten best movies of the year”, “Top ten worst movies of the Year”, “Top Ten `Top Ten Lists’ of the Year”, and so on.
So not being one to argue with tradition (and since I am not all that original) I have come up with my own top ten list: “The Top Ten Most Overrated Political stories of 2006.”
And without further ado here it is:
Stephane Dion’s Dog
The media made a huge deal out of this mutt. Why? Because Liberal leader Stephane Dion named it “
Throughout 2006 the media was all giddy about how Michael Ignatieff was a “public intellectual” and a Harvard professor --as if any of that actually mattered. If intellect was all you needed to succeed in politics Stephen Hawking would be president.
Buzz Hargrove’s Political Savvy
When in the last federal election union boss Buzz Hargrove decided to go campaigning with Paul Martin and the Liberals – we were told this was a great coup. And as it turned out it was a coup, but for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. And if the Tories are lucky, Buzz will campaign for the Liberals in the next election.
Stephen Harper’s “Right Wing Agenda”
When Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister, the country’s left-wing elite warned us to brace ourselves for his hidden right wing agenda. Well I am still braced and I’m still waiting.
Joe Volpe’s Leadership Follies
A Liberal getting involved in questionable fundraising practices. Yeah that’s really headline news.
Court Challenges Program Getting Scrapped
When the Tories scrapped this program, which funded constitutional court challenges, some media-types and politicians went ballistic. But let’s face it, the only ones who really cared about it were left-wing special interest groups, feminist lawyers and Linda McQuaig
Belinda vs. Peter
If I want to watch a soap opera I will tune into the Young and the Restless.
Justin Trudeau as Heir Apparent
About the only person who thinks Justin Trudeau is worthy of any media attention at all is ---- Justin Trudeau.
Harper Vs. The Press Gallery
Stephen Harper and the Ottawa Press Gallery don’t like each other. This actually made lots of news in 2006. Memo to media: Nobody Cares!!
Green Party as a New Force in Politics
According to the media hype, the
Of course, I realize that by making this list I am actually contributing to over-rating all these stories.
But that’s OK, because it gives me some ammo for the next “Top Ten List” I am working on.
It’s called the “Top Ten Biggest Ironies of 2006”.