Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blackout Law Goes to Court

Mark October 16th on your calendar.

That's the day Paul Bryan will be in the Supreme Court of Canada to make his case against this country's archaic election blackout law, the law making the "premature transmission" of voting results a crime.

Certainly, this legal battle will be of interest to all bloggers as this law effectively censors the Internet.

You can learn more about this case here.

The National Citizens Coalition is helping to finance this challenge.

Political blogs

Courtesy of the folks at Campagins & Elections magazine here's a list of some libertarian blogs.

And just to show that I am willing to cover the entire political spectrum, without bias, here's a list of some Republican blogs.

Lunch with Ruby

Liberal leadership front-runner Michael Ignatieff has come up with an interesting way to raise funds.

He's auctioning off a lunch with the attractive Liberal MP, Ruby Dhalla!!

According to the sales pitch Ruby is a "health care provider, businesswoman and currently sits as an MP for Brampton-Springdale. Meet her for lunch and discuss anything from politics to parliamentary procedure. Location to be determined, but know this – anywhere you are, Ruby’s probably been there twice this year already!"

No word, however, on Ruby's "turn ons" and "turn offs".

Now I don't have a problem with this idea, but it seems to me the supposedly "progressive" Liberal Party would not want to be seen auctioning off its female MPs the highest bidder.

And I wonder what the women's movement thinks about this?

Needless to say, I will be watching this experiment closely. If it works maybe I will employ it to raise funds for the National Citizens Coalition.

OK any ladies out there interested in having lunch with me?

We will start the bidding at 50 cents.

Politically Correct Immigrants

Whenever a political controversy arises you can always count on some sort of Political Correctness angle to emerge.

Take the current debate raging right now over the issue of "illegal" immigration.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is urging reporters to drop the term "illegal" and use "undocumented" instead.

I wonder if "undocumented" immigrants would work as cheaply as "illegal" ones.

H/T Hit and Run

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Air Fright

I am going to remember this the next time an airline loses my luggage. Things could always be worse.

NDP's Daft Draft

In an op-ed I wrote recently, I noted that CAW boss Buzz Hargrove believed the NDP was too right wing.

Well, it looks like the NDP has taken that as a challenge.

Stephen Taylor got a hold of some NDP draft policy proposals, and some of them are pretty far out in left field.

What gets me about these proposals, however, is that the NDP doesn't seem to be for anything, just against.

They are against freer trade, against America, against Israel, against free markets.

Maybe that's what you get from a political philosophy that can only look backwards instead of forwards.

Adolf Redux

Check out this letter from Iran's President Nutjob to German chancellor Angela Merkel.

In it, the Iranian leader suggests Germany and Iran need to form some sort of alliance as both countries are the victims of "special groups".

These special groups he says constantly portray Germany as a defeated and indebted country of World War II in order to continue their extortions.

He goes on:

"I am sorry to remind you that today the perpetual claimants against the great people of Germany are the bullying powers and the Zionists that founded the Al-Qods Occupying Regime with the force of bayonets in the Middle East."

In other words, both Germany and Iran have a common enemy: the Jews.

A certain former German leader likely would have agreed with this analysis.

H/T Powerline

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Me on the Radio

I am going to be on The World Tonight, with Rob Breakenridge to talk about the One Tonne Challenge flop.

Scheduled be on the air at approximately 8:40 PM.

Plan your evening accordingly.

Buzz, the Liberals and Brookstreet

Here is my latest contribution to the Brookstreet Group blog.

Penguin Controversy

In light of the recent controversy involving Reuters and doctored photographs, I thought it important to bring to light another possible deception.

Check this picture out.

Clearly it has been tampered with.

Everybody knows Penguins and Polar Bears live on separate continents.

Law School Jihad

If I was a student at Osgoode Hall Law School, I think I would fail.

At least I would fail if my law professor were Michael Mandel.

His examinations seem to be a bit one-sided and I don’t think I would give him the answers he is looking for.

I know all this because a law student sent me one of Mandel’s exams from 2002.

One sample question asks the student to imagine, there is a Canadian civil servant who has been fired by the Prime Minister from her position as his communications officer for calling the American President a “moron” in private conversation.

The student is then asked to imagine, the United States has requested her extradition, not for the “moron” remark but on the charge of murdering ex-president George H. Bush, the father of current president George W. Bush.

Then the student must imagine, “President George W. Bush, at a press conference held before the hearing says if Canada doesn’t extradite the woman who called him a moron and killed my dad, America will impose economic sanctions on Canada that’ll make the suckers holler uncle.”

Yeah that sounds like a realistic scenario.

Another question asks the student to evaluate the American justifications for invading Iraq and what international crimes could the U.S. and its leaders be guilty of committing.

No mention, of course, of possible legal charges against Saddam Hussein.

And the final question on the exam consists of a two and half page denunciation of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians followed by a request to analyze the case for bringing up former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on war crimes.

Sounds a bit biased doesn’t it?

Not that Professor Mandel doesn’t practice what he preaches.

In fact, he once did try and get President Bush charged with international crimes in real life.

Maybe they should change the name of the school to Osama Hall Law School.

Monday, August 28, 2006

National Newswatch

For those of you suffering Neale News withdrawal, here's some good news.

Another news aggregator has been launched called National Newswatch.

Check it out.

And I am not plugging this new site because it features my letter to the editor in today's National Post called the "One Tonne Flop"

It's just a coincidence.

One Tonne Letter

Here's the "Letter of the Day" in today's National Post.

I wrote it after reading this article.

Re: One-Tonne Challenge Could Not Have Met Goals, Aug. 25.

So, the One-Tonne Challenge was really a One-Tonne Floppe. It flopped despite a $26-million media campaign and it flopped despite having Rick Mercer as its spokesman.

Now a government report says it failed because the Challenge didn't "motivate" Canadians to reduce greenhouse gases with complementary "economic instruments."

"Motivate," of course, means coerce and "economic instruments" means higher taxes. Backers of Kyoto should remember this.

If the government ever gets serious about implementing Kyoto, it won't be funny guy Mercer who's in charge. It will be the taxman.

Gerry Nicholls, vice-president, National Citizens Coalition, Toronto.

Ok, OK, so this is just a re-working of a post I had a few days ago on this blog.

Cut me some slack it's a Monday in August!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dealing with Hezbollah

Rondi Adamson has a great piece in today's Toronto Star on why negotiating with terrorist groups like Hezbollah is a bad idea.

Writes Adamson:

"Its (Hezbollah's) stated desire is the eradication of the state of Israel, with a promise that Jewish and Western targets be attacked the world over.
So would we, say, negotiate a reasonable number of attacks per year?
Or, would we talk about allowing Hezbollah to eradicate a certain percentage of Israelis? They are also fans of Islamic law. Would we negotiate an acceptable number of rights women could give up? "


This is something certain members of the Liberal and NDP caucus should consider.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Conscience of a liberal

One book that had a major influence on my political development was Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative.

In fact, Goldwater was probably the most principled American politician of the last century and the man most responsible for giving life to conservative politics.

So it's interesting to note that a documentary is coming out which apparently claims Goldwater was actually a "kind of liberal"!!

The documentary's producer, who also happens to be Goldwater's grandaughter, notes that he favored abortion rights and allowing gays in the military, and refused to attend President Nixon's funeral because he "cheated" the country.

Well yes that does make Goldwater a "kind of liberal" but they are usually called libertarians.

Israel's Strength

Israel's real strength isn't its army or its air force or its intelligence service.

Its real strength is it's a free society.

In a free society citizens can openly criticize their leaders and debate tactics and national strategy.

And that's exactly what is going on in Israel right now in wake of the recent fighting in Lebanon.

Israelis are holding their political and military leaders to account.

It's hard to imagine such a thing happening within the ranks of Hezbollah or in places like Syria or Egypt.

Yet because Israelis are free, because they can challenge their leaders without fear, because they live in a society with where new ideas can come to the fore, they can more easily adapt to new circumstances and bounce back from failure.

This is a lesson their terrorist enemies may learn the hard way.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The One-Tonne Floppe

The federal government paid comedian $85,000 to pitch its pro-Kyoto “One-Tonne Challenge” campaign.

It then backed him up with a $26 million marketing blitz.

Somehow, somewhere, some one in the federal bureaucracy thought this would be enough to convince Canadians to dramatically alter their life style choices and reduce greenhouse gas emission.

It didn’t work.

According to media reports a government study concludes:

"There is overall recognition that the One-Tonne Challenge should have been complemented by additional measures [such as economic instruments and regulations] in order to motivate timely action and in order for the program to be successful.”

In other words, the only true way to “motivate” Canadians into cutting back on emissions is to coerce them into it with “economic instruments” which likely means massive taxes.

Backers of Kyoto should remember this.

If the government ever gets serious about implementing Kyoto it won’t be funny guy Mercer who’s in charge: it will be the taxman.

Ari Takes on Jimmy

A couple of postings ago, I featured a link to an interview where former U.S. president Jimmy Carter lambasted Israel for what he called an "unjustified" attack on Lebanon.

Well, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer took exception to Carter's opinion and sent him the following letter:

The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

Dear Mr. President:

I just read the transcript of your interview with the German magazine, Der Spiegel, in which you accuse Israel of launching an “unjustified attack on Lebanon.”

Even after the interviewer reminded you that Israel was the first to get attacked, you charged Israel with lacking “any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon.”

As someone who served in the White House as a spokesman for a President, I am reluctant to criticize another President, but in this instance my conscience compels me to do so.

Mr. President, your words are music to Hezbollah’s ears and your message is a blow to long-term peace.

Just as you underestimated the threat of the Soviet Union in the 1970s, you underestimate the threat of radical Islam today. Your condemnation of Israel, the victim, only encourages Hezbollah, the attacker, to bide its time and attack again.

Ahmed Barakat, a member of Hezbollah’s central council, last week told the Qatari newspaper as-Watan that “Today Arab and Muslim society is reasonably certain that the defeat of Israel is possible and that the countdown to the disappearance of the Zionist entity in the region has begun. The triumph of the resistance is the beginning of the death of the Israeli enemy.”

I was raised a Democrat but I changed parties in 1982 because I believed your policies and the nuclear freeze movement invited increased Soviet militarism and adventurism. President Reagan’s military build-up and credible threat of the use of force helped bring about the demise of Communism and brought freedom and a better life to hundreds of millions in Central and Eastern Europe. It also secured a lasting peace.

I’m sorry to see you articulate about Hezbollah and its aggression the same weak world-view that encouraged Soviet aggression. As Ronald Reagan showed us, peace through strength is the only formulation understood by those bent on destruction.

I understand your longing for peace and your fond hope that Hezbollah can be reasoned with. However, when you call Israel’s defense “an attack”, when you call what is justified “unjustified”, and when you call morality immoral, I conclude that the pro-defense, strong foreign policy lessons of the 70s and 80s remain unacceptable to you. Also, when you criticize Israel for targeting so-called “civilian” areas in Beirut and other areas where Hezbollah hides its operations, the result would be – if Israel listened to you – the creation of safe havens from which more violence and rocket attacks would be planned and launched.

Sadly, Hezbollah today is planning its next war. For the sake of peace, Israel deserves your praise, not your condemnation.


L. Ari Fleischer

H/T Adam Daifallah

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Better Review

Yesterday I posted some less than flattery comments concerning my Buzz Hargrove op-ed.

Well to balance it off, here's an email I got this morning:

Dear Mr. Nicholls:
Thank you for the article today on the CAW convention this past weekend. As a CAW worker working mandatory 48 hour weeks, it is hard to keep on top of what the Mandarins are up to.

As noted above, I am a CAW worker. As such, articles such as yours are of more than passing interest to me.

I do believe this to be a huge story - a major political force in this country just called for the overthrow of our economic - and necessarily political – system.

Thank you very much for any help, as well as for an important piece of journalism - too bad the country's journalists missed it.

Just goes to show you that not all CAW employees are ready to embrace Buzz's socliast revolution.

Getting the Buzz Out

My friend Joel Johannesen has posted my Buzz Hargrove column on his Proud to Be Canadian site.

Also don't forget you can hear me discuss this topic with Greg Staples here.

New Day

Recently the Canadian Medical Association elected Dr. Brian Day to be its next president.

This has led to much hand-wringing on the left, as Day is seen as a proponent of ending the government's monopoly over health care.

Yet as Dr. David Gratzer writes in today's National Post:

"Dr. Day isn't suggesting that the entire system be privatized, as his most zealous critics have charged. He simply recognizes that there is a role for a vibrant private sector in health care -- as there is in the other nine-tenths of the economy."

In other words, the Berlin Wall of socialist health care in this country is starting to at long last crumble.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Neo-Con" Rant Edition

As noted in my previous post, I had an op-ed in the Globe and Mail web edition discussing CAW boss Buzz Hargrove's political ideology.

Well it has won me a whole bunch of new "fans."

Here's a sampling of some comments posted on the Globe site:

"Mr Nicholls is spouting off the usual neo con rant against unions and socialism."

"I can't believe the Globe and Mail would have someone such as Gerry Nicholls write on the CAW severing ties with the NDP. Mr. Nicholls writes with a definitive bent against socialist movements."
"Having Gerry Nicholls of the ultra-right wing National Citizen's Coalition write an insight (?) piece about CAW and the NDP is about as appropriate as his reference to Mel Gibson and Jewish history."

"It's just too bad the Globe couldn't find somebody more credible that Gerry Nicholls to write an opinion piece about unions and socialism. As the VP of the National Citizens Coalition, Gerry is just another extreme right-wing ideologue who can't put together a logical opinion without sputtering ultra right-wing rhetoric."

"Well, I'd like to hear what Gerry Nicholls really thinks, not just the party line of the National Citizens Coalition, whoever they are. This appears to be another Neo-Con group that is a front for the most extreme of interests, or is it foreign interests."

"This is the first time I would actually deem the Globe editorial staff to be irresponsible. Gerry Nicholls is neither an expert on the CAW or the NCC. He is a media relations hack for an organization that makes the Conservative Party look liberal by comparison."
"Why the G&M would even feature an opinion piece by Gerry Nicholls is beyond me. He's a paid propagandist. Don't believe anything he writes. Every word is chosen to sell his minority view that those who have deserve more and those have less get what they deserve."
"It is somewhat surprising that the Globe and Mail would allow such propaganda to be published. Mr. Nicholls passes off his outdated theories and opinions as if they were facts."
"I really can't imagine anyone less qualified than this right-wing propaganda-spouting nutbar to comment on the shenanigans of labour and the left. The Globe should be embarrassed by their choice of comment-writer."
"I have a feeling that the only person less reputable than Buzz Hargrove - insofar as providing analysis that one can interpret prima facie as relatively academic and undertaken with intellectual integrity - is the head of the National Citizens' Coalition."

So there you have it.

Apparently I am an extreme right-wing ideologue, propaganda-sprouting nutbar, media relations hack.

Wow, it’s going to be tough fitting all that on my business card!

Why Buzz Really Split from the NDP

I have an op-ed today in the "web-exclusive" comment section of the Globe and Mail website.

It's all about Buzz Hargrove's radical left-wing agenda and what it could mean for Canada.

I would also urge you to check out Hargrove's political manifesto: In the Eye of the Storm: The Re-making of Canadian politics.

It lays out his plan to replace "capitalism with socialism."

Oh and be sure to check out page 16 - where you will find the National Citizens Coalition singled out for attack.

It's reminiscent of another attack against us.

Buzz doesn't like us very much, and he will like us even less after he reads my Globe piece.


I did an interview about my Globe piece with Political Staples, which you can listen to here.

Also did an interview on the Gary Doyle Show (570 News Kitchener) and on Focus 980 (CFPL London)

Tonight I will be on Nightline BC with Michael Smyth.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CBC Bias

It's not often the CBC apologizes for its biased reporting.

In fact, I don't think it has ever happened, until last night.

Thanks to some excellent work by blogger Stephen Taylor the CBC last night admitted it goofed on a story concerning Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Congratulations to Stephen Taylor for this coup.

Boston Massacre

My sincere condolences to the entire Red Sox Nation.

Covert Enemies

It seems some Liberals don't understand the real nature of our terrorist enemies.

Why is that?

American write Michael Barone comes up with one possible answer: the rise of moral relavitism.

H/T Powerline

Monday, August 21, 2006

Politicians Should Look West

Canada’s western provinces – British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan – are doing quite well economically these days.

In fact, over the past three years, British Columbia has grown 3.4 percent a year on average; Alberta 4 percent; and Saskatchewan 3.5 percent.

Or to put it another way, among Canadian provinces and the 50 American states, Alberta ranked seventh in growth, British Columbia ninth and Saskatchewan 17th.

I got all these interesting little facts from the Fraser Institute’s Niels Veldhuis, who wrote about them in a piece which appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal.

Velduis says the reason for this economic growth is simple: those three provinces cut taxes which improved “incentives for work, savings, investment and entrepreneurship.”

Ontario and Quebec meanwhile, which refuse to cut taxes, are experiencing sluggish, underperforming economies.

Anybody see a pattern here?

As Velduis puts it, “Western Canada has created an environment within which all types of economic activity can flourish. This is why the region is benefiting from not only direct resource extraction, but also growth in downstream related industries such as manufacturing and processing as well as in the skilled service sector.”

Of course, this scene is also playing out on the world state.

Those countries which cut taxes and encourage freer trade will prosper; those which do not will falter.

It’s time the federal government looked to the West for some inspiration.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Waste News

There go the politicians again -- taking away our rights.

Globalization the Book

This is the book I am reading right now, In Defense of Globalization, by Jagdish Bhagwati.

If you think this is a boring book to be reading in the summer . . . well you are absolutey correct!

But it's the least I can do to ensure this blog has all the latest news on world trade.

Well I guess I could do less.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blackout Blues

Here's what the CRTC and other Canadian cultural nationalists would just love to do.

History's Biggest Loser

Why does anybody care what this guy thinks?

Buzz's Strategy

Yesterday Buzz Hargrove and the CAW formally severed their political relationship with the NDP.

This comes after the NDP expelled Buzz from their party to punish him for his decision to back the federal Liberals in the last federal election.

Now while it’s fun to watch this little civil war unfold on the Left, there are also deeper questions that need answered.

For instance, what is Buzz Hargrove up to? Why has he abandoned the CAW’s traditional support for the NDP and for all intents and purposes gone over to the Liberals?

Well, I think Buzz, who is no dummy, understands the tide of human history is flowing against him and his socialist world-view.

A few months ago in a Financial Post column, Hargrove warned against the new “social and economic regime” taking root in Canada.

This new regime, says Hargrove meant new policies such as “deregulation, privatization, tax cuts, the leaning and refocusing of government programs and – of course – globalization.”

Hargrove, probably correctly, has decided the NDP can’t overturn this new market-oriented regime. Only a left-leaning Liberal Party – backed by the NDP in Parliament – can possibly turn back the clock.

So that’s Hargrove’s goal.

Give him credit – Hargrove is thinking strategically.

And if conservatives and other free-market supporters are going to stop him, they will have to start thinking strategically too.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Terrorism: the basics

John Thompson of the Mackenzie Institute is one of Canada's foremost experts on the threat of terrorism

In a recent MacKenzie Institute newsletter, Thompson outlines the fundamentals of this threat:

1. Terrorism is as terrorism does. Terrorism is not radicalism or protest; nor are terrorists ‘soldiers’ – they are thugs on the make. The characteristics of terrorism involve deceit, concealment and violent atrocity in pursuit of an abstract agenda. They only seek to tear down. Building up is not something that they are focused on except in the most general ‘after I win everything will be better’ sense.

2. Remember that terrorists lie to themselves. So why expect them to be truthful to the rest of us? Terrorists allow themselves to become caught in an artificial worldview, convince themselves that their violent actions are for the purest of motives, and believe that they are heroic figures and agents of destiny. The longer they stay in their group, the more real these self-deceptions become and the more unlikely it is that they will ever abandon their course. One should then also remember that:

(a) What terrorists say they want and what they really want can be very different. The political demand is often only the excuse for their actions; their primary motive is always based on an interior psychological terrain.

(b) Sometimes an offer to talk is not worth accepting. Young groups hold you in contempt and view any negotiation as a short term ploy; old terrorist groups (like the Basque ETA or Tamil Tigers) simply cannot give up the conflict which has become the sole meaning of their lives.

3. There are no root causes, okay? If somebody is talking about root causes, you can
automatically dismiss their viewpoint as being unhelpful (at least). Terrorism always involves choice. Terrorists always deliberately select to identify with an ideology that lets them act out in the way that they chose to. Carlos the Jackal, Yasser Arafat and Bin Laden each could have been anything they wanted to be, but they each chose to be a terrorist.

4. The terrorist’s first victims are his own people. If you think taking measures against al Qaeda is disrespectful to Muslims, think again. Jihadists have killed far more Muslims in the last 20 years than the United States and Israel combined. Then add American and other Western emergency aid and interventions that have saved Muslim lives to the total. How many Muslims has al Qaeda saved from famine and want?

5. The terrorist’s claims of leadership are always suspect. If a terrorist is claiming to be speaking for an entire people, it’s usually because he silenced the moderate leaders among them. Terrorists want to lead societies and don’t want compromise – the first killing by the leader of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers was of a federalist Tamil politician… and they’re still being murdered there.

6. We are the good guys. Terrorists are not. If you don’t understand this yet, you may be afflicted with “Fuzzy-Thinkingitis” a common problem in the Post Modernist environment where no values are concrete, context is irrelevant and all opinions are to be regarded as being equal. Please restrain yourself from public commentary in order to protect others from your condition.

7. Self-Defence is not immoral. If a terrorist thinks it is worth his while to attack you, surely it is worth your while to defend yourself? The terrorist thinks passivity is weakness and holds it in contempt, and despises tolerance except when using it as a shield. There is no real hope of political negotiation, so you might as well look to your defences.

8. Their idea of peace is not your idea of peace. This is especially true with the Jihadis – for them peace can only come when the whole world is under the rule of a restored Caliphate (which, frankly, will spell an end to human progress).

9. We can’t protect everything all the time; make your choices carefully. Terrorists will always get through somehow, and the cost of greater protection comes with a very steep price-tag. We can only expect so much of our police and security without turning into a totalitarian state, so think carefully about what you ask for. However, we can spend more than we have been and Canada’s new anti-terror laws are a reasonable response.

10. The terrorist wants you to feel afraid and helpless. Here is how you fight back against terrorism – refuse to be terrorized. Live as normally as you can. Don’t fear the abstract threat but respect the real one (e.g. go touring in Europe but don’t go backpacking in northwestern Pakistan). If and when your city gets hit, make a visible show of resolute calm.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Survival Tips

Maybe homeland security should check this out.

Brookstreet Posting

I have another posting up at the Brookstreet Blog.

This one is on forced dues and politics.

Liberal Priorities

Now that Maurizio Bevilacqua has endorsed Bob Rae what does it mean to the Liberal leadership race?

Not much according to journalist and author Paul Tuns.

Paul argues Michael Ignatieff is still the front-runner:

"Most people I talk to say that Ignatieff has emerged as the person to beat not because he has excited the party but that likely delegates (to use a word I've heard a lot) are 'settling' on him. They like the positive media coverage, they think he brings fresh ideas, and he is not tainted by either Adscam or taking sides in the Martin-Chretien feud. Most importantly, they think he is the only person who can beat Stephen Harper. "

Doesn't that reflect the sterility of political debate in this country?

The Liberals aren't thinking about new visions or promoting an ideology, it's just "who can beat Stephen Harper."

And it's not just the Liberals; the Tories were guilty of the same mindset while they were in opposition.

The irony, of course, is that a party that spent more time on developing a coherent set of policies and less time on short-term political tactics, would likely be more successful at the polls.

Alexandre has a rival

Shhh, nobody tell Alexandre Trudeau, but it looks like Fidel already has a special friend.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sun Song

Ever wonder why the sun shines?

Best Sci-Fi Movies

Top Ten Science Fiction Movies of all time as determined by me:

1. Forbidden Planet
2. War of the Worlds (1953 edition)
3. Aliens
4. Them!
5. Planet of the Apes (1968 edition)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
7. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
8. Alien
9. The Road Warrior
10. Star Wars

Honorable mentions for The Andromeda Strain and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Alexandre and Fidel sitting in a tree . . .

Bad news for Alexandre Trudeau.

Trudeau's little love note to Communist dictator Fidel Castro has revealed his true feelings, so as a favour I plugged his and Fidel's name into the "Love Calculator".

Sadly, it says they only have a 15 percent chance of their relationship working out.

And to make sure the Love Calculator is accurate I performed my own test and it passed with flying colours!

But don't worry Alexandre, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Real HIStory

I took a lot of history courses in my university days, but not once in any of my classes did this ever pop up.

Waiting for Raul

Latin American specialist Ken Frankel had an interesting op-ed in the Globe and Mail the other day on Cuba's future after Fidel.

Frankel noted, Raul Castro, Fidel's annointed successor, is a "pragmatist, a proponent of Cuba's free-market experiments earlier in the regime, and an admirer of China's success in introducing free-market programs."

So perhaps, just perhaps, once Fidel is ethicaly, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably dead, Cuba might break free of its antiquated Marxist mind set and embrace at least some free market reforms.

And that will be good for the world and it will be good for the Cubans.

But please don't tell any of this to Alexandre Trudeau, I don't want to spoil any of his childhood fantasies.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hair Raising Science

Here's why I wholeheartedly support more cloning research.

Barry's Blog

American humour writer Dave Barry is apparently a libertarian.

I mention that to justify recommending his hilarious blog.

The Big Picture

While cleaning up my desk I came across this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, I had clipped several years ago. (click on it to enlarge)

It kind of puts things in context.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nation-states and violence

When it comes to the legitimized use of violence the nation-state isn’t the only game in town anymore.

Look at what’s happening in the Middle East.

Israel is waging war not against another state, but against Hezbollah, which is essentially a street gang on steroids.

Yet rather than being isolated as an outlaw aberration, Hezbollah enjoys the support of large parts of the world community and the international media.

In other words, Hezbollah – a non-state actor – is getting the stamp of approval when it comes to using violence to achieve its aims.

And you don’t have to go thousands of miles away to see this happening.

In Ontario, there has been an illegal native protest going on for about five months.

Militant natives have blatantly defied the law and occupied land in Caledonia to press their land claims.

And for months the police and the federal and provincial governments have done nothing to uphold the law.

They are letting the militants get away with it.


Because they are afraid of violence.

Now I am not suggesting the government is wrong to avoid violence.

But clearly the message coming out of the Caledonia stand-off is that the government is implicitly admitting that the Mohawk Warriors – a non-state actor – have the right to use violence to achieve their aims.

So what does all this mean for the future?

It means the nation-state is in for some competition.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Case of the Vanishing Billboard

Here’s something pretty strange.

Yesterday CBC news was doing a story on the “Support our Troops” campaign the National Citizens Coalition is running.

And as part of the story they wanted to shoot our billboard in downtown Toronto.

Great publicity right?

Yeah, except for one little detail: the billboard was not there.

I don’t mean it was vandalized, or that a new billboard had been put up.

I mean the whole billboard was missing. It had completely vanished.

It was a real mystery.

After a little investigation, however, the story unfolded. Turns out somebody in a truck had smashed into it before the weekend.

Now the culprit was probably just some drunk; nobody could possibly be that angry about our message.

Could they?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Liberty Seminar Update

I hear from my secret sources that this year’s Liberty Summer Seminar was a big success.

As readers of this blog may remember, the LSS is a great little country outing where conservatives and libertarians get together in bucolic splendor to exchange ideas, engage in debate and just have a good time.

Unfortunately, I could not attend this year’s seminar which prompted LSS organizer Peter Jaworksi to send me an email.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m sorry you couldn’t make it this year Gerry. I would have liked to have seen you . . . and I’m absolutely certain that you would have stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning with Mike Walker drinking Liberty Ale to ballads by Lindy. I’m just certain of it.”

Of course, Peter could not know this, but I am not much of a drinker, and I usually nod off by about 10:30 PM, but it still sounds like a lot of fun and I am sorry I missed it.

Next year I will have to make it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Unions, the NDP and gag laws

According to Elections Canada, big unions and their allies spent about $354,000 on political advertising during the last federal election.

And surprise, surprise the bulk of that money went to support NDP candidates or NDP policies.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) even spent $287 to buy a leather jacket for NDP leader Jack Layton!

Of course, one problem with all this is that union bosses are using forced dues to finance this spending. In other words, they are forcing employees who pay dues to pay for a political agenda they probably may not support.

That's undemocratic.

This pro-NDP campaign also highlights a problem with the election gag law. That's the law which makes it a crime for citizens or indepedent groups to spend more than about $170,000 on political advertising during an election.

The National Citizens Coalition, for instance, would be severly limited if we wanted to mount a pro-free enterprise ad campaign.

Yet unions, by pooling their resources into a common goal, such as supporting the NDP, can spend many times more than the official gag law limit.

This might lead some politicians to call for tigher gag law limits.

A better answer, however, would be to scrap it altogether.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More Progressive Opinion

Recently I wrote a piece for the Brookstreet group blog on the word "progressive."

Typically a word used by the left to describe their policies, I argued there was nothing progressive about socialism.

Well, here is another take on the political use of that word.

Media Bias

Here are a couple examples of media bias for your long weekend pleasure.

First, Stephen Taylor exposes what he says is a little editing on the CBC's part to make Prime Minister Stephen Harper look bad.

Second, Reuters confesses that it released a doctored photograph which makes an Israeli attack on Lebanon look worse than it actually was.

More and more it seems like media bias is becoming more blatant these days.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Role Reversal

Communist officials say they fear the Americans will soon invade Cuba.

Well, that would be a switch.

After all, for the past 47 years, Cubans have been invading Florida.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Who's Progressive?

Here's my latest contribution to the Brookstreet Group.

It's about who really is "progressive"?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Really Right Brothers

While visiting the Powerline Blog last night, I learned about an interesting band called the Right Brothers.

And what makes them interesting is their unabashed conservatism.

They have songs like Bush Was Right, and Dear Mr. Reagan and my personal favorite Shut up and Teach.

If I wasn’t so cheap I’d buy their CDs.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Words Matter

Mel Gibson is – deservedly – being vilified for his recent anti-Semitic outburst.

It’s shocking to think that someone like Gibson could utter such a bigoted comment as “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

But it’s interesting how one word can mean so much.

For instance, if Gibson had been giving a speech to a literary society in Paris and declared, the “Zionists” are responsible for all the wars in the world, he would be the hero of the European elite.

Or if he had been speaking to an anti-Bush rally in Los Angeles and shouted out that the “neo-cons” are responsible for all the wars in the world, he would be a cinch to win an academy award.

And if he had been on the CBC and suggested the “Americans” are responsible for all the wars in the world, he would be considered a visionary.

Maybe Gibson’s problem is he just didn’t understand how to speak in code.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Castro Successor

Now that it looks like Fidel Castro might be on his last legs, it’s time to start thinking about replacements.

After some serious thought I have come up with some likely successors.

Here they are in no particular order.

Jack Layton
As Cuban president he will get a first hand look at what Canada would look like in a few years if the NDP ever takes power.

Mel Gibson
I don’t think there are many Jews in Cuba.

Michael Moore
It would give him a captive audience for his next documentary.

Justin Trudeau
His dad would be so proud.

Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Riccardi
He might be able to finally find some decent pitchers for the Blue Jays.