Monday, July 31, 2006

Protecting the Good Life

Ahh, the summer time, a time to relax and to enjoy the good life we all enjoy in North America.

And we should enjoy it too, because according to historian Victor Davis Hanson our civilization could come tumbling down at any time.

In a recent column Hanson notes that our current prosperity can be deceiving.

“Many Americans,” he writes, “despite superficial affluence, are in debt and often a paycheck away from insolvency. By historical standards, they are pretty helpless. Most of us can't grow our own food, don't know how cars work and have no clue where or how electricity is generated. In short, few have the smarts to survive if the thin veneer of civilization were to be lost, as it has been from time to time in places like downtown New Orleans”.

Hanson then reminds of us of the many dangers lurking out there:

“In our own new age of war, terrorism, huge debt, high-priced gas and frightful weapons and viruses that we try to ignore, we should remember that civilization's progress is not always linear. The human condition does not inevitably evolve from good to better to best, but always remains precarious, its advances cyclical. The good life sometimes can be lost quite unexpectedly and abruptly when people demand rights more than they accept responsibilities, or live for present consumption rather than sacrifice for future investment, or feel their own culture is not particularly exceptional and therefore in no need of constant support and defense.”

Ok go back to enjoying your summer.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Commie Cartoon

There’s a new kid movie hitting the screens today called The Ant Bully.

Now I have nothing against ant movies – for instance I enjoyed Antz and A Bug’s Life.

But according to this review from Aint it Cool News, The Ant Bully is a socialist fairy tale.

The reviewer claims the movie is “a warm ultra-liberal hug of a kids film, preaching the joys of socialism and hard work, all the while telling a story of what the world might be like in a liberal post-9/11 world.”

What a shame.

I think Hollywood should balance things off and bring back Popeye, whose motto “I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam,” certainly revealed him as a libertarian.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Maybe I am too cynical

Lots of people always say they hate “negative” political ads.

They say political ads should be positive and optimistic.

Well, they should check out this cutesy-wutesy TV ad from the campaign of a guy named Mark Kennedy, whose running for the United States Senate.

Yeah it's positive, but one look at it just might make you pine for some good old fashioned, cynical attack ads.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Brookstreet Group

Stephen Taylor, the bright mind behind the Blogging Tories, has now set up a group blog called the Brookstreet Group.

This will be a kind of forum for conservative pundits.

I only mention this because Stephen has graciously asked me to be a contributor.

You can see my first contribution here.

I Get Fan Mail

It looks like I made a new fan. Check out this email I got yesterday:

Last night I happened to hear some of your gibberish on the Mike Smith show, CKNW980 Vancouver. Of course, I was instantly blown away by your humbleness - such a self-effacing, modest person you seem to be. It certainly made me wonder about your age.

Anyway, I seem to have understood you saying money spent on weapons and war is OK, in fact good for the country, but spending on social programs is not. That is, it's good for Canada to invest in killing people, but it's not OK to invest in programs that enhance the lives of Canadians. Sure, I can see the first option puts a lot of money into the hands of the munitions manufacturers, mostly in the U.S. I guess, but, seriously Gerry, It's troubling to hear of someone like yourself holding such a limited vision for Canadian society.

Yes, I must admit, I am modest – which is difficult when you are one of the “top five political minds in the country.”

As far as spending money on weapons goes, well it seems to me such spending does “enhance the lives of Canadians,” in that it helps stop terrorists from killing them.

But hey that’s just my “limited” view.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stand with Israel Rally

More than 100 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations -- including the Canadian Coalition for Democracies -- are holding a "Stand with Israel" rally on July 26 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Now I don't usually like rallies, but this might be one worth attending.

The speakers will include Retired Major General Lewis MacKenzie, Robert Lantos and Israeli Consul General Ya'acov Brosh.

You can find out more information here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Column Catch-up

Here's a couple of my columns which have appeared in Report Magazine.

This one deals with why I think the Liberal leadership candidates are heading in the wrong direction; and this one looks at union bosses using forced dues to promote their own political agendas.

Media Update:

Just did an interview on Charles Adler regarding my views on the Liberal leadership race.

Am scheduled to do an interview tonight on the same topic, on CKNW's Nightline BC at about 10:00 PM Eastern time.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Radical Capitalism

It's no secret that I have libertarian leanings.

But compared to economist David Friedman, I am a raving socialist.

Friedman calls himself an "anarchist-anachronist" capitalist, which essentially means he believes we could get along quite well with absolutely no government.

Here's a chapter from his book, The Machinery of Freedom, in which he explains why we don't need government police or courts.

You might not agree with him, but you will probably find his radical views intriguing.

McQuaig the Sadist

Left-wingers like to portray themselves as compassionate, so why is it they seem to truly enjoy torturing logic?

Take Linda McQuaig, who in a column in today's Toronto Star chains poor logic to a rack and stretches it to the limit.

McQuaig, you see, blames Prime Minister Stephen Harper for putting Canadians in harm's way.

What did Harper do?

Well, the Prime Minister didn't call for a ceasefire.

"Instead," writes McQuaig, "he did the opposite. He defended Israel's bombing, calling it a 'measured' response — a description he refused to withdraw even after a Canadian family vacationing in Lebanon was killed by an Israeli bomb. This amounted to giving encouragement to a foreign army whose actions were directly endangering the lives of Canadians, and tens of thousands of others."

Now does McQuaig really and truly believe the Israelis or the Hezbollah would stop shooting because the Prime Minister of Canada called for a ceasefire?

Talk about delusional.

Also delusional, is that McQuaig seems to believe that by supporting Israel, Canada is somehow failing to show fairness or moderation.

Seems to me that supporting Israel is both fair and moderate, when you consider its opponents in this instance are a bunch of neo-Nazi, terrorist, thugs.

But I am being logical.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More Oakville Tree News

I am getting a positive reaction to my column blasting Oakville's stupid tree-by law.

That's the law which makes it illegal for residents to cut down trees on their own property.

So far, all the emails I have received support my position.

And the Oakville Beaver came out with an editorial basically saying much the same thing I did.

Maybe I should run for mayor?

My Cottage Retreat

Well I had no blog posting yesterday, because I was enjoying a brief cottage retreat.

Now I am not much of a cottage person, but I must admit, I had fun swimming, kayaking and reading by the water.

However, I did notice that cottage life is not all it's made out to be in those beer commercials.

I mean, I did not see a single bevy of bikini clad babes!

I, however, did see a fat guy in a speedo, and unfortunately, it will be a long time before I can cleanse that image from my mind.

I also saw spiders the size of grapefruit.

Oh and I suffered third degree burns all over my legs thanks to a failure to apply sun screen.

But all in all I had a great time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Score one for the Commies

Looks like the Commies scored a triumph over the federal government.

Back in 1993 the government tried to pass a law which would have, for all and intents and purposes, put smaller parties out of business.

But the Communist Party challenged it in the courts and won.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled the law was unconstitutional because it infringed on free speech.

Well now the government has finally settled out of court.

Now I am no fan of the Communists but I supported their effort in this case.

The more voices voters can hear during an election the better.

I will be talking about this morning on the Richard Cloutier Show on CJOB radio at about 10:30 Eastern time.

Blackout Update

I am going to be on CFAX-Newsline with Joe Easingwood this morning (11:15 eastern) to talk about Paul Bryan's challenge to the election blackout law.

And speaking of Paul Bryan's challenge, we just found out, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted the Canadian Civil Liberties Association the right to intervene in this case.

Like the NCC, the CCLA thinks the blackout law is an infringement on free expression.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My Enemy's Enemy . ..

Check out this item from Strategy Page.

It makes the argument that maybe a lot of Arabs wouldn't mind if the Israelis gave Hezbollah a bloody nose.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Supporting Israel

It's good to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper standing by Israel in these dangerous times.

Unlike France, Russia and Sid Ryan, Harper seems to realize what is at stake for the region's only democracy.

For good analysis on this issue see these columns by Rondi Adamson and David Horowitz.

The Israelis are not fighting for territory -- they are figthing for their existence.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Rights Don't Grow on Trees

Got an guest column published in the Oakville Beaver, the community paper where I live.

It's about a proposed Oakville by-law that will make it a crime for residents to cut down trees on their own property.

I am opposed to it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Not a Great Day

Today just happens to be my birthday!!

And you know what I got for a birthday present: A massive train derailment!!!

That means all the trains home are cancelled until "further notice."

I could be stuck here all night.

Happy Birthday to me.


Took a cab. No air conditioning. Horrible traffic. But at least I'm home.

Changing Hollywood

This is Govindini Murty, a charming and lovely actress/producer/conservative I had the pleasure of meeting recently at a convention in Ottawa (who says these conventions are boring).

And not only is Murty beautiful, she’s also quite perceptive, since she agreed with me when I pointed out to her the similarity in looks between me and Tom Cruise.

So when she sent me an email asking me to help with her pet project – the Liberty Film Festival – how could I refuse?

The Liberty Film Festival is Hollywood’s first conservative and libertarian film festival which aims to provide a greater diversity of viewpoints in Hollywood.

In other words, it aims to challenge the Hollywood Left’s attempts to undermine our Western values and the War on Terror.

The next festival will take place in Los Angeles this fall and if you can’t make it but would like to financially support the festival you can do so here.

Tell them the “Tom Cruise-look-alike” sent you.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Media Takes on Blackout Law

Typically when my group, the National Citizens Coalition, takes on a court challenge it’s a lonely affair.

We don’t usually get a lot of help.

For instance, when we legally challenged the election gag law, the only organization to intervene to support our position was Environment Voters, a small environmental organization.

But things are different with our latest court challenge which pits us against the election blackout law.

This is the case where computer software developer Paul Bryan, with our financial support, is challenging the section of the Canada Elections Act, which makes it a crime to “prematurely” release poll results on election night.

Paul thinks the blackout law infringes on his right to free expression and we agree.

You can learn more about this historic case here and here. The case is scheduled to go before the Supreme Court of Canada on October 16th.

Anyway, the good news is that the CBC, CTV, Rogers Broadcasting, Sun Media and Canadian Press have all intervened to support Bryan’s position that the blackout law is unconstitutional.

Plus the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association are seeking intervener status to also support Paul’s position.

This is all great.

But I have one question: where were all you guys when we needed your help to fight the election gag law?!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

First Language?

In an interview recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to French as Canada's first national language.

He was explaining why he likes to start his news conferences in French.

"We have to remember that the original word 'Canadian' meant the French-speaking inhabitants of North America," says Harper, " so it's our first national language. So I say it first and then I say it in English."

Yeah but the French were not the first ones in North America, so maybe it's not our first national language.

Maybe it would make mores sense for the Prime Minister to start his news conferences in Cree.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

That's a Hellyer of a Loan

A couple of posts ago I noted the problem of “loans” to political parties and candidates.

Under our campaign finance laws a lender to a politician can “write off” any loan if he determines the loan is “truly uncollectible”.

This clearly raises the possibility of a contributor getting around the $5,400 limit on donations.

Take, for instance, the Canadian Action Party.

Back in 1997, Paul Hellyer, loaned the Canadian Action Party (which he founded) $750,000.

Well, a few days ago he told his accountants to write it off. Hellyer calls it a “bad loan.”

Critics are calling it a loophole. After all, that $750,000 loan now looks an awful lot like a contribution.

But you know what? The poor folks at the Canadian Action Party need this loophole to survive. A small party, lacks a large grassroots following and needs a small number of wealthy donors to keep it going.

Campaign contribution limits only serve to help the larger parties and most especially the incumbent party.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Collective Wrongs

Tommy Douglas is an icon and hero for Canada’s socialist left.

The CBC even dubbed him “The Greatest Canadian”.

Yet as a young man Douglas held some unsavory views, views that you don’t much hear about from the left or from the CBC.

For instance, as John Robson points out , Douglas proposed in his 1933 masters thesis the sterilization of “mental defectives.”

Nor is Douglas the only socialist to support such measures.

Sweden, good old social democratic, benign Sweden, practiced eugenics for 40 years beginning in 1935.

In fact, during that period 60,000 Swedes were sterilized in a “controlled breeding” program, for the “good of society.”

Remember this the next time somebody tells you government needs more power to protect the “collective good”.

Sometimes what’s supposedly good for the collective is just plain morally wrong.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Not So Smart Meters

Toronto Sun business columnist Linda Leatherdale quotes me in her Money column today.

She is talking about Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's plan to put "smart meters" in people's homes to measure their energy usage.

Here's my quote:

"Maybe instead of putting smart meters in people's houses, we taxpayers should put a tax meter at Queen's Park, so we can track government waste."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Robbins vs Nicholls

A couple of days ago I posted a picture of myself on this blog, which prompted somebody to leave the comment that I looked like a "younger Tim Robbins".

And that's a nice compliment, except for the fact that Robbins and I actually about the same age.

Anyway, here we are side by side, and I guess we do look alike, with maybe me being just a tad cuter. Oh and of course, my politics are much better.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Viva Italia

I have decided to root for Italy on Sunday to win the World Cup.


Because who wants to see France win anything?

Left-Wing Council Picking On Me

That group of left-wing dinosaurs also known as the Council of Canadians, is describing the Civitas organization as a “group of Canadian conservatives that includes Harper’s Chief of Staff Ian Brodie, Campaign Manager Tom Flanagan, and National Citizens Coalition Vice-President Gerry Nicholls.”

Now I don’t mind being lumped into such august company, but why is the Council of Canadians picking on me? I mean there are hundreds of other conservatives who belong to Civitas.

Maybe left-wingers find me scary or something. Maybe they saw this picture of me in my cool shades.

Anyway, the Council probably won't like my comments which appeared in the Sun Media today on the question of respecting taxpayer dollars.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Young Conservative and His Blog

The National Citizens Coalition, recently hired a university student named Marshall to do some research for us and he’s doing a terrific job.

And, no doubt inspired by me, he has set up his own blog.

It’s pretty good.

Reason Goes to Europe

The libertarian-oriented Reason Foundation is holding what sounds like a great conference in Amsterdam next month.

The conference, which will focus on the struggle for freedom in Europe, touches on such subjects as tax harmonization, social policy and the threat of radical Islam.

What’s really cool about this conference, however, is that Trey Parker and Matt Stone,creators of the hit show South Park will be in attendance.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to jet out to this event, so I figure I will do the next best thing.

And that is rent the Team America: World Police DVD this weekend!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Learning from Joe Volpe

I have an op-ed in today's National Post which takes a look at loopholes Liberal leadership candidates are jumping through in the quest for dollars.

My point is simple: Campaign finance laws which restrict politicial contributions don't make for purer politics.

Just look at the Liberal race which features political donations from children and fishy "loans" from friends and family.

A better plan would be to scrap limits and let voters judge for themselves whether politicians are being corrupted by their financiers.

You can read my article here.

Cool Shades

Check out my new "assassin" shades.

Now not only am I one of the "top five political minds the country," I am also one of the coolest.

I also need a shave.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Purrfect Gift

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be meeting with President George Bush on Thursday, which happens to be the President’s 60th birthday.

What should Harper bring as a gift?

Well a group of experts has come up with some tongue-in-cheek suggestions.

My favorite comes from Patrick Basham, director of Washington's Democracy Institute.
He is urging Harper to bring Bush a cat.

"Keeping his new Canadian friend purring over the coming months will require a serious diplomatic effort on Bush's part," Basham says.

"If Canuck Cat ever feels like a lap dog, a well-aimed claw should remind his American master that he does not always call the shots."

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to our neighbors to the south.

At a time like this it's a good time to remember that the United States of America is not only Canada's largest trading partner and most important military ally, but also our best friend.

So for today at least, let's put aside our past differences -- the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Fenian Raids, and the Carolina Hurricanes -- and extend a happy 230th birthday to the American Republic.