Friday, February 29, 2008

Somebody With Too Much Time

Some wit on the Internet has figured out that Garfield comics are even funnier when you remove Garfield.

Is it "Sordi" or "Sawdi" Arabia?

Some interesting comments on radical Islam.

Cadman Scandal

Well it looks like the Harper Tories have a full blown scandal on their hands.

Did they try to bribe Chuck Cadman with a million dollar life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in the House of Commons?

Sure doesn't look good.

Here's what Cadman's wife told the media: "Chuck was really insulted. He was quite mad about it, thinking they could bribe him with that.”

The only person who looks good in this story is the late Cadman, who was clearly a man of great character.

And that's really what caused the problem for Stephen Harper and his inner circle: they don't understand people who stand up for principle.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Austrian Quiz

Are you an Austrian?

And by that I don't mean are you from Vienna; I mean do you subscribe to the economic theories made famous by Austrians like Ludwig von Mises?

Well if you don't know, here's a way to find out.

All you need do is take this Are You an Austrian Quiz, created by the Ludwig von Mises Society.

Warning: This is not your typical Internet quiz.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spider Dating Tips

I should have tried this when I was single.

Buckley RIP

William F. Buckley --- the world's most eloquent and erudite defender of conservatism -- has passed away.

And he defended conservatism when it needed it most -- back in the dark days of the 1960s and 70s, when liberalism reigned supreme.

When I was a university student, Buckley's magazine, The National Review, was about the only source of conservative opinion available.

I don't know how I would have survived academia without it.

And his TV show, Firing Line, was the one program in those days where conservatives seemed to always triumph. (I was biased, of course, but to my mind Buckley always made mincemeat out of the hapless left wingers who dared to venture onto his show.)

Also with his linguistic skills and encylopedic knowledge, Buckley was just plain fun to watch, even if you didn't agree with him.

Finally, unlike so many commenators of today, Buckley chose to debate with facts and logic, not with ad hominen attacks.

He will be missed.

Bacteria, Torches and Budgets

Lots of budget analysis going on today.

And it seems, all things considered, conservatives are pretty happy with the budget's contents, except perhaps for the government's unwillingness to cutback on its spending.

Here, for example, are some of the new Tory spending initiatives announced yesterday:

* $21 million to "retain top science leaders" with 20 research chairs.
Hey that’s about $1 million a chair. “Top science leaders” must really need to sit down a lot.

* $10-million for the operations of the Canadian Light Source research synchrotron in Saskatoon.
Synchrotron? Oh yeah, I think I saw one of those on Star Trek. Seems to me it was some sort of time machine. If that’s the case, I hope the Tories use this synchrotron to go back in time to the days when Stephen Harper was actually a conservative. (Sorry I couldn't resist.)

* $9 million to improve the safety of laboratories dealing with viruses and bacteria.
This really scares me.

* $25 million to provide Canadians with better information on the links between environmental contaminants and illness.
Who cares about “environmental contaminants”? The real problem are those deadly killer viruses and mutant bacteria escaping from our laboratories. I blame our “top science leaders.”

* $12 million over two years to enhance law enforcement within Canada’s National Parks.
Hear that Yogi? No more stealing picnic baskets. Mr. Ranger is now enhanced.

* $25 million to help make the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays a symbol of community and national pride.
Yes nothing gives me more national pride than watching people run around the country carrying a burning stick in their hand.

Of course, some might say this is money well spent. And one of those people is Liberal leader Stephane Dion.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Media Alert

I will be on the Charles Adler Show at about 2:00 PM to talk about today's budget; and will be on The Drive with Duff show on 940 radio in Montreal at about 5:40 PM.


I will be on The World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge at 10:05 PM EST to talk about-- what else?-- the budget

Ten Reasons Why Dion Must Pull the Plug

Check out this column I wrote, which appears in today's Toronto Sun.

I give ten powerful reasons why, for his own good, Liberal leader Stephane Dion must vote against today's budget and force an election.

Yes, I know I shouldn't use my powers to help the Liberals in this way, but sometimes you have to act in the interests of the greater good -- the greater good in this case being me getting published.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Plan for Tory

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty must be a happy guy these days.

And why not?

John Tory is now officially the weakest Opposition leader in the history of Confederation.

Just consider the PC leader's sad situation:

* McGuinty beat him like a rented mule in the last provincial election.

* Tory has no seat in the legislature (And has no prospect of getting one anytime soon.)

* The endorsement of his leadership at the PC convention was less than overwhelming.

* His apparent indecision at the convention about his leadership status has undermined his credibility.

So what should Tory do?

Well maybe he should drop the "Red Tory" routine and try providing Ontarians with a realistic, small "c" conservative alternative to the McGuinty Liberals.

At this point, Tory's got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let the Smearing Begin

So the New York Times is smearing Republican Senator John McCain.

Is anybody really surprised?

Check out Powerline's reaction here.

And here is McCain's official response.

Corcoran Slams Carbon Tax

Check out Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran's neat dissection of British Columbia's plan to impose a "carbon tax".

Calling it a "PR scam" and a "sham", Corocoran predicts the carbon tax will do little, if anything, to reduce greenhouse gas emission, but will lead to higher taxes in the future.

Yet, carbon taxes will probably be all the rage in this country, as politicians scramble to prove their "greeness".

And the greener our politicians get, the poorer we will get.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Castro's Plot

Speaking of Castro, his resignation reminds me of the only column I ever wrote about him.

It's one of my favorites because it mixes my two passions: baseball and politics.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Dying Breed

So Fidel Castro has decided to retire.

That means the only political leaders left in the world still espousing old-fashioned Stalinist socialism are North Korea's Kim Jong-il , Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Toronto's David Miller.

Also, I wonder if Castro will retire to Florida?

And if he does, will he float there in a raft?

Dion's Agenda

Here's my latest Report magazine column, which my friend Joel has put up on his site.

It's about a topic the media doesn't talk too much about: Stephane Dion's scary, hidden agenda.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gag Law Police On the Prowl

The Gag Law Police are circling around a group called Friends of Science.

Seems this group may have engaged in unlawful "election advertising" when it ran a series of anti-Kyoto radio ads during the last federal election without first getting permission from Elections Canada.

Under Canada's draconian election gag law, that's a no-no.

I should know, because about seven years ago I went through this investigative process -- a process that turned out to be quite expensive.

Of course, back in the days when Friends of Science ran these ads Stephen Harper opposed the Kyoto Accord.

Now he supports it, so I am not sure if these radio ads did any good.

Mind you, Harper once also opposed gag laws, but that's a whole different story.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Forced Dues and Politics II

I have a letter to the editor published in the National Post today in response to this article.

Here it is:

Time to End Union tyranny

Re: Alberta's Unions Go After Stelmach Despite Boom Times, Feb. 15.

This article perfectly outlines why Canada needs to reform its labour laws to inject democracy in the workplace.

The law currently allows union bosses to use forced dues to pay for political propaganda.

Unionized employees, in other words, can be coerced through their dues to subsidize a left-wing political agenda whether they support that agenda or not.

That's not only undemocratic, it's anti-democratic. As Thomas Jefferson said, "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

It's time to end union boss tyranny.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Turban Controversy

The producer of a local TV news program called me this morning asking if I would like to go on air to discuss the case of Baljinder Badesha.

He's the devout Sikh who is challenging the law that forces motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Badesha says his religion requires him to wear a turban.

Anyway, the producer wanted to me to take part in a debate, where my role would be to oppose Badesha's stand.

I declined for one simple reason: Badesha's in the right. He shouldn't be forced to wear a helmet. He should be allowed to wear a turban or a bonnet or a beanie cap or whatever he wants.

It's not question of religious freedom but of individual freedom.

The state has no business telling us what to wear; it has no business protecting us from ourselves.

We should have the right to make our own choices.

Liberty in Canada

Here's some good news for those of us with a libertarian outlook: A brand new website has just been launched called LibertyinCanada.

A project of the Canadain Constitution Foundation, LibertyinCanada "is dedicated to documenting the demise of Canadian liberty, but with the intention to reversing the trend."

I know the people who put this site together and I can guarantee you one thing: it will be a principled and true voice for freedom.

Forced Dues and Politics

There's an interesting article in the National Post today exposing how union bosses in Alberta are mounting a massive ad campaign to defeat Premier Ed Stelmach.

Politically this probably won't hurt Stelmach and the Tories.

In fact, it might help them -- in politics it's just as important to have the right enemies as it is to have the right friends.

The real problem with this campaign is that union bosses are using forced dues to finance it.

Simply put, it's wrong to compel unionized employees to pay for a political agenda they might not support.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Media Alert

I will be on the Michael Coren Show tonight as part of the federal panel.

Time: 8:00 PM

Topics: Afghanistan, Free speech and the Lord's Prayer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hey Who Needs Principles?

Kathy Shaidle has an excellent column in the National Post today exposing the Conservative Party's cowardice when it comes to defending free speech.

It's all about that "talking points" memo making the rounds of the blogosphere, which instructs Tory MPs to essentially change the subject when confronted with questions concerning Ezra Levant's battle with Human Rights Commission bureaucrats

As Shaidle writes, "too bad the PMO's response to citizens' concerns about the erosion of their free speech rights is to issue a (secret) document, telling our elected representatives to keep quiet or change the subject."

But why is anybody surprised?

This government has consistently refused to defend free expression.

Recall in the days when he led a national advocacy organization, Prime Minister Stephen Harper vehemently opposed election gag laws. Now as Prime Minister he has done nothing to reform or scrap these undemocratic laws.

Even worse, he has actually enacted his own gag law which limits what individuals can contribute to political parties.

I guess defending individual freedom is just another of those conservative principles which needed to be jettisoned in order to win power.

And winning power is what its really all about, right?

Much better that Conservatives take away our freedoms, rather than those nasty Liberals.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Media Alert

I will be doing two radio interviews to discuss my column in today's Windsor Star.

At approximately 11:45 AM EST will be on Focus 980 (CFPL London); then at 4:30 PM EST will be on Adler Online.

Political Vice Tax

Here is a column I wrote which appears in today's Windsor Star.

Believe it or not I actually make the case for a new tax: a tax on politicians!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nuclear Nightmare

Ever since 9/11 everybody's worst fear was that terrorists would one day detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles or some other large urban area.

Well here's one guy who says the chances of that ever happening are slim.

I want to believe that's true.

Frum's Gloomy Take

Last week I presented a rather optimistic analysis of the Republican Party's chances in the next U.S. election.

Here from David Frum is a more gloomy appraisal.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Climate Change Deniers Beware

Environmental guru David Suzuki recently suggested "climate change deniers" be jailed.

This reminds me of a satiric column I wrote last year in which I jokingly suggested the government set up a House of Unenvironmental Activities Committee (HUAC) to investigate and expose those who didn't follow the green line.

Now it doesn't seem so funny.

Like I Care

Is this supposed to make me upset?

Brits' Olympic Shame

The British Olympic Association seems more interested in politics these days than in sports.

Or at least in political correctness.

And that explains why the BOA is forcing British athletes competing in the upcoming Beijing games to sign a contract which prohibits them from criticizing communist China's appalling human rights record.

Any athlete who refuses to sign will not be allowed to compete.

Somebody should give the BOA a gold medal for cowardice.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Harper Cult

I am quoted in this Toronto Star analysis piece entitled, "The Cult of Harper."

Squirrels and Politics

Conrad Black has an interesting commentary on the U.S. political scene in today's National Post. (Sorry it doesn't seem to be online).

In explaining why Republican Mike Huckabee is essentially out of the presidential race, Black has come up with the best line of the campaign:

"The only states that would tolerate a candidate who trapped and ate squirrels after cooking them on a popcorn-popper, have already voted for Huckabee."

Friday, February 08, 2008

Good News and Bad News

The good news is the Hollywood writers' strike could soon be over; the bad news is that means more movies like this.

Another View of the Manley Report

There has been a lot written about how the Manley Report on the Afghanistan mission is good politics. Like this column, for instance.

But there has not been much discussion as to whether or not the report is actually good policy.

That's why I was glad to see this analysis.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Poll Tax

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has come out with a new poll which shows Canadians think they pay too much in taxes.

The CTF poll, in fact, indicates 65 per cent of Canadians think federal income taxes are too high.

And of course, those 65 per cent of Canadians would be right.

The poll also shows that 45 per cent of Canadians think if the government is going to cut taxes, income tax cuts should be given top priority.

You can read the whole poll here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Union Bosses Breaking Trust With Employees

Canada's courts have once again ruled in favour of democracy in the work place.

Just a few days ago, an Alberta provincial court told the Telecommunications Workers Union it could not use the courts to collect union-imposed "fines" on employees who chose to cross a picket line during a strike.

Last fall, an Ontario Court told the Public Service Alliance Union the exact same thing.

The message to union bosses should be loud and clear: You don't have the legal ability to collect your fines in court. Nor can you "sue" employees who fail to pay those fines.

So why is it some union bosses continue to threaten employees who choose to work during a strike with "fines"?

Because too few employees understand their rights, that's why. And union bosses certainly don't volunteer the information because it would undermine their ability to intimidate employees.

That's why, as John Mortimer of Labour Watch says, Canada needs legislative reform to protect unionized employees from unions that refuse to inform employees of their legal rights.

“Unions have broken trust with those they represent by suing them in spite of the law,” said Mortimer.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Reasons for Republican Optimism

My friend John McLaughlin, who happens to be a top Republican pollster, has written an excellent article explaining why things might not be so bleak for the GOP after all.

Here are the highlights:

• As economic concerns rise, three in four voters still think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, but this time Democrats and Congress share the blame with Republicans.

• The President remains largely unfavorable, but the Republican Party is in the midst of a great volatile nomination battle that will redefine its image and its coalition.

• As unpopular as the President may still be, Hillary Clinton is not far behind. Nationally four in ten voters are unfavorable to her and they are polarized along partisan lines. No way is Mark Penn, Hillary’s pollster correct that she will get 25 percent of the Republican women vote. Her negatives among Republican women are about 80 percent -- even in the Northeast. Last November among Northeast voters, even before the campaign started Senator Clinton had a 41 percent unfavorable rating. For every ad that a Democrat attacks a Republican with, there may be one to put some distance between the Democrat and Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton, as the nominee of her party, will be a catalyst for a better Republican turnout than in 2006. Also she will be a cause for ticket-spitting for Congress. Among those voters who may vote for her, a sizable segment do not want her to rule with unchecked control of government and will split their ticket as they did with her husband in the ’94, ’96 and ’98 elections.

• If Senator Obama wins the nomination, the Democratic Party will have gone even farther to the left and become even more anti-war. This will leave more of the middle and independent vote available to the Republicans.

• The majority of voters in the Northeast are now giving the “Democratic majority in Congress” a net negative job rating. This holds true among independents and even among Democratic voters in key swing districts. Along with the Democratic majority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi now has a net unfavorable rating in key districts.

• Democratic efforts to push a tax increase on middle-class and upper middle-class economy are undermining the Democrats credibility that they are actually cutting taxes for the middle class.

• In key districts, the majority of Northeast voters support a gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq and are opposed to an immediate withdrawal that leaves an unstable Iraq.

• Democrat missteps fueled by New York Governor Spitzer’s very unpopular proposal to give illegal aliens drivers’ licenses and the tacit support by Senator Clinton gave Northeast Republicans an important wedge issue to regain lost ground on security as an issue.

• Last November six in ten voters, 59 percent preferred “smaller government with fewer services”, over “larger government with many services”, 28 percent. In the Northeast the plurality of voters preferred smaller government 48 percent to 36 percent. Fiscal conservatism will be an important opportunity once again for Republicans.

• With the retirement of incumbents and the opportunity for new challengers the Republican Party once again has the opportunity to become the party of new ideas, new faces and change precisely at a time when voters will be looking for independence and change once more.

Dion's Hidden Agenda

For a long time the Green Crowd has been telling us we could have our ecological cake and eat it too.

We could have both strong economic growth and a green, planet-friendly environment.

All we needed to do was turn off unnecessary lights, buy a few green-friendly products and force our kids to watch Al Gore documentaries.

But suddenly some Greenites are straying from the script. Suddenly economic growth is part of the problem.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, for instance, admitted recently that to fight global warming, "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."

And now, David Suzuki, Canada's patron saint of ecology, has also come out against economic growth, telling a McGill audience, “We live within the biosphere. It can’t grow, it’s fixed!”

So all this leads me to wonder where Liberal leader Stephane Dion stands on the question of economic growth?

Is he for growing the economy or for fighting climate change? According to Clinton and Suzuki you can't do both.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fun Is ....

Check out these eight principles of fun.

It's ... well it's kind of fun.

New Group Supports Afghanistan Mission

An assorted group of Canadians, "united in a commitment to the principle that as Canadians, we must honour our obligations to the cause of solidarity with the people of Afghanistan," have created a new association: The Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee.

The Committee believes Canadian troops must stay in Afghanistan and that Canada must remain dedicated to that country's reconstruction and to preventing the Taliban from coming to power.

Supporters of this new association include New Democrats and Conservatives, Muslims and Jews, Christians and atheists, gay rights activists and feminists.

Any association that can unite such a diverse crowd must have something going for it.