Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thinking Back ...

As the year comes to a close, it's the perfect time to reminisce.

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

Media Alert

I am going to be a guest on Focus 980 with John Wilson (CFPL Radio London) at approximately 11:15 AM EST.

Topic: What's ahead for 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Free Speech Under Attack

For libertarians this is an age of paradox.

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

Harper's "Mood Swings" Explained

Stephen Harper fans will be glad to know I recently rushed to his defence, in a recent "Macleans 50" commentary.

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

Season's Greetings



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who has visited my blog this year -- even to those who sent me nasty letters.

By the way, that's a Christmas beetle.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Real Man of the Year


The Weekly Standard has a great cover parodying Time Magazine's decision to name Vladimir Putin as "Person of the Year."
The Standard thinks American general, David Petraeus , who currently seems to be having some success in Iraq, deserves the honour.

The Standard writes: "Time ludicrously chose to make Russia's ex-KGB agent-turned president Vladimir Putin its cover boy. They just couldn't make Petraeus man--oops--person of the year. Our liberal elites are so invested in a narrative of defeat and disaster in Iraq that to acknowledge the prospect of victory would be too head-wrenching and heart-rending. It would mean giving credit to George W. Bush, for one. And it would mean acknowledging American success in a war Time, and the Democratic party, and the liberal elites, had proclaimed lost."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Flanagan Debate Audio Posted

The Fraser Institute has posted a podcast of the debate I had with Tom Flanagan back in October.

Topic: Are the Harper Tories heading in the right direction.

McCain's Attack on Free Speech

As readers of this blog know, I am an ardent opponent of election gag laws in this country.

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.

H/T Janet

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Media Alert

I am going to be on the Michael Coren Show (CTS TV) at 8:00 PM tonight.

Topic: Latest developments in federal politics.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Get Letters

A couple of days ago, I was getting all kinds of hate e emails from Liberals for my "nasty" Sun Media column, in which I compared Dion to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

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.

Sheesh!

Well at least I know what to get my detractors for Christmas: A sense of humour.

Media Alert

I will be on Michael Harris Live, (CFRA Ottawa) to discuss my Toronto Star column at approximately 2:45 PM EST.

Harper, Our Glorious Leader

Yesterday, I had a column in the Sun Media chain, which upset some Liberals.

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

Ebenezer Dion

You would think, this being the festive season, I'd go easy on Liberal leader Stephane Dion.

But I won't!!

Check out my latest Sun Media column, where I compare Dion to some lovable Christmas characters.

Monday, December 17, 2007

CRTC Blues

A true conservative federal government would move to dismantle the Stalinist-style Canadian Radio and Television Commission.

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

Liars, Steroids and Snow, Oh my

Here's a grab bag of observations on recent events:

* 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

Future of Freedom Panel

Back in October I was on a panel at a Canadian Constitution Foundation conference on the Future of Freedom.

Well the CCF has posted the audio of that panel discussion which you can listen to here.

My topic is election gag laws.

CBC Ethics

It seems the CBC was writing the questions for Liberal MPs sitting on the House of Commons Ethics Committee.

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

Would You Believe ...

One of my favorite shows as a kid was Get Smart.

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.

Year End Media Alert

You know, I think some people thought I would disappear after April of this year. But in fact, I have been busier than ever. Just put this report together:
My Media Appearances, speeches and published works since April 2007
(In reverse chronological order)
December 12 – Blog entry featured in Toronto Sun’s “Best of the Blogs” section.

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
Conservatives.

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.

Political Gossip

I am hearing from a secret, inside source, that the House of Commons Ethics Committee is going to find former Prime Miniser Brian Mulroney guilty --- of steroid abuse.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tory Card

Got another letter from the federal Conservative Party of Canada.

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."

Yeah right.

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

Best Blog

Hey, the Toronto Sun today features my recent posting "Green New World", in their "Best of the Blogs" section.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saving the World with AOL

Take a look at this video, which shows what the hit TV series 24 would be like had it come out in the mid-1990s when our communication technology was a bit more primitive:



H/T Justin.

(Belated) Media Alert: Who Let the Blogs Out?

Here's a column I wrote which appeared in the Calgary Herald about a week and a half ago.

Topic: How the Internet will undermine Canada's "election gag laws."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Green New World

Ever wonder what kind of society the eco-loony left brigade has in store for us?

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

Bastiat's Take

Some quotes from Frederic Bastiat:

"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

Drafting a Leader

I will confess I was a little surprised when Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory didn't resign after he lost this year's provincial election.

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

Media Alert

I am going to be on the Michael Coren Show tonight on CTS at 8:00 PM.

Topics to be discussed include: our health care system, government ethics and scantily clad women.

Taliban Jack

Now I know why people call NDP leader Jack Layton, "Taliban Jack".

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 Quiet Illusion

Recently watched an excellent documentary called The Quiet Illusion which shatters the myths surrounding the "Quebec Model."

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

Dion Parties Like it's 1975

Liberal leader Stephane Dion says the next election will be an ideological battle pitting the "narrow, selfish Conservative idea of Canada" against the Liberals' "vision of a richer, greener, fairer Canada."

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

The Road to Bali

World leaders are converging in Bali to figure out ways to halt global warming.

Meanwhile, most of Canada is in a deep freeze today and digging out from a winter snow storm.

Talk about bad timing.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My Dion Prediction

A year ago today, I posted my view on the Liberal Party's decision to make Stephane Dion its leader.

"St├ęphane 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.