Sunday, December 30, 2007

Savage suit against CAIR

Keeping in mind that CAIR-Canada has a long history of questionable activity ...

Michael Savage (of "The Savage Nation") is suing CAIR for copyright infringement - a suit in which Savage’s attorney alleges and connects a whole bunch of very interesting dots, including:

[my bold]
... Defendants are part of a deliberately complex and deliberately confusing array of related organizations which in general operate under the name "Council on American Islamic Relations" aka "CAIR". In fact, these names are often modifications of the true name of the
corporate entities.
This organizational structure is part of the scheme to hide the illegal activities of the group, funding, the transfer of funds and to complicate investigation of the organization. ...
... CAIR has used extortion, threats, abused the court system, obtained money via interstate commerce under false and fraudulent circumstances. ...



The allegations in the Second Cause of Action contain more detail regarding CAIR's involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks and other terrorist activities.
In 2005, CAIR's Washington branch received a donation of $1,366,466 from a Saudi Arabian named Adnan Bogary.
CAIR was tied to terror from the day it was formed. The group was incorporated on or about 1994 by Omar Ahmad ("Ahmad") and Nihad Awad ("Awad"). Both men were officers of an terror organization known as the "Islamic Association for Palestine".
The Washington based CAIR 990 return lists Omar Ahmad as their Chairman Emeritus". Omar Ahmad is also listed on the CAIR website as being the founder of CAIR...

And much, much more under the headings:



And the Canadian connection:

The unique role played by CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to manipulate the legal systems of the United States and Canada in a manner that allows them to silence critics, analysts, commentators, media organizations, and government officials by leveling false charges of discrimination, libel, slander and defamation.

In addition, both organizations have actively sought to hamper governmental anti-terrorism efforts by direct propaganda activities aimed at police, first responders, and intelligence agencies through so-called sensitivity training. Their goal is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist

The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Whabbi-based islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual "shock troops" of Islamic terrorism.

Should we be surprised?

[h/t Five Foot Fury]

Friday, December 28, 2007

Canadian healthcare - lessons for Britain

In its study of health reform in Britain, the UK’s Institute for the Study of Civil Society (CIVITAS) has researched a number of European and North American medical systems.

The CIVITAS report on Canada makes some very interesting observations:

Lessons for Britain

Like the NHS to Britons, medicare is a quasi-religion to Canadians. Both systems are regularly subject to the claim that they are the best in the world.
Comparison with the US is ... understandable, but unfortunate. Firstly because opinion of US health care is largely based on myth (many Americans believe these myths too)...
Both the NHS and medicare have founding and guiding principles which they systematically fail to meet or abide by. Hence the charge in Canada that everything is free but nothing is accessible".
... three problems within the Canadian single-payer (government) healthcare model. First, accountability is poor and aggravated by the Federal structure. Second, decision-making is politicised. Third, single-payer government control eads to a lack of innovation. These three lead to a lack of responsiveness to patient needs or wants.
Canadian health care is inefficient in that financing (lack of direct payment) does ot encourage users and providers of health care to be accountable ...
Single-payer tax financed healthcare lends itself to rationing.
... poor availability in Canada of advanced medical technology, ...

... On most objective measures the Canadian system at best disappoints, and at worst is simply unacceptable in a wealthy, modern nation, particularly when expenditure is considered.
On an ideological level some might consider the Canadian system attractive, however, the reality is that the Canadian tax-funded single-payer model restricts expenditure to such an extent that healthcare supply far from matches demand.

Not that we didn’t already know most of this - but it’s worthwhile having an outside opinion.

The bottom line lesson for Britain: avoid the Canadian model like the plague! It suffers from many of the same problems as the British NHS. Which leads one to wonder whether Canada’s system has been thoroughly infiltrated by socialist Brits.

There are many lessons Canadian policy makers can draw from other counties. It’s a pity that all we seem to get are ridiculous references and comparisons to "American-style" healthcare. Other CIVITAS country reports are worth a look, particularly the first three listed here: France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Hungary, Holland, and the USA.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto assassinated - the West will miss her

Mark Steyn reminisces:
... she was my next-door neighbor for a while - which affects a kind of intimacy, though in fact I knew her only for sidewalk pleasantries. She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be - though in practice, as Pakistan's Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world's most corrupt political classes.

... to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation. "Everyone’s an expert on Pakistan, a faraway country of which we know everything," I wrote last month.
Earlier this year, I had an argument with an old (infidel) boyfriend of Benazir's, who swatted my concerns aside with the sweeping claim that "
the whole of the western world" was behind her. On the streets of Islamabad, that and a dime'll get you a cup of coffee.
As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions. Rest in peace, Benazir.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Merry Christmas to all!

Success in Iraq

Queen’s professor of political studies, Bruce Gilley, writes a thoughtful piece on Iraq. His take is refreshingly far from what one expects from the typical Canadian academic. Though he does express a seemingly obligatory "I’m no fan of Bush" and "... administration’s mendacity on WMD", the rest optimistically supports the war’s aims and progress: own view is more positive: Iraqi democracy is on the right track. As it continues to develop in the decades to come, George W. Bush's war will be vindicated.

The only semi-democratic states in the Arab world are Jordan and Kuwait. Iraq is rapidly surpassing them in terms of its electoral, civil and media freedoms.

We usually give our politicians at least a four-to five-year term in order to engineer even minor changes in public policy. Why would we expect Iraq to build a functioning democracy in terrible conditions in a shorter time? Talk about double standards.

...developments described above are vindicating, not undermining, the original case for war.

Fatwas and jackbooted liberals

Today the ‘Post’ started a series on “faith”. George Jonas’ contribution turned to the subject of free speech:

As for relations between the faithful and the faithless, don't push it. An exchange of fatwas isn't a dialogue.

Talking of fatwas, I've been suggesting for years that super-liberalism is likely to have sub-liberal consequences. What's super-liberalism? It's a condition, common in Canada, whose main symptom is bending over backwards to be straighter than vertical.

What do fatwas have to do with liberalism? Well, super-liberalism's fatwas are routinely issued by Human Rights Commissions, federal and provincial; and their sub-liberal consequences include a denial of constitutional guarantees of fundamental freedoms.

A journal is free to print what it considers right as long as it also prints what it may consider wrong, according to sub-liberals. They wouldn't have complained to the Human Rights Commission about Mark Steyn writing in Maclean's ... had Maclean's agreed to publish a rejoinder "from a mutually acceptable source."
it's a novel approach: the Human Rights Commission as a literary agent. Ingenious. Maclean's is a hard market to crack and Steyn is tough to compete with, but perhaps if I get my agent a pair of jackboots and turn her into a Human Rights commissar ...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Debunking the AGW “consensus”

This U.S. Senate blog provides a comprehensive summary of a Senate Report released today. The Report details the objections of prominent scientists who recently disputed anthropogenic global warming claims:

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.


Paleoclimatologist Dr. Tim Patterson, professor in the department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, recently converted from a believer in man-made climate change to a skeptic. Patterson noted that the notion of a "consensus" of scientists aligned with the UN IPCC or former Vice President Al Gore is false. "I was at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia in the fall and I would say that people with my opinion were probably in the majority."


Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution.

Great stuff. This has to be the biggest blow yet to climate alarmists’ claims of "consensus".

So, we should see some solid media coverage for a week or so, right? Headlines proclaiming "Global crisis cancelled!"; videos of polar bears happily scampering on the Arctic ice; thrilling animations of stable sea levels; footage of the snows returning to Kilimanjaro.

[Via CBL]

Media pandering to Islamo-radicals

Yesterday, Ezra Levant discussed the efforts of hyper-sensitive Calgary Islamo-idiot Syed Soharwardy to harass the Western Standard using complaints to the police and the Alberta HRC. Ezra went on to identify a chief culprit in encouraging Soharwardy and his ilk: [my bold]

I blame... the media. Seriously: I blame them for the soft bigotry of low expectations. If Soharwardy and Elmasry were WASPs, the media would ridicule them for their thin skin, and would attack their views as the reactionary fascism that it is. But because they're foreign-born, dark-skinned Muslims who speak with an accent, the media shut off their natural skepticism and forget all of their ideals about free speech -- and their judgment -- because they want to be gentle.

They're not doing Muslims any favours. The media -- and all polite society -- should marginalize the fascists and the radicals, and build up the moderates, like Toronto's outstanding Tarek Fatah, or others like Irshad Manji and Salim Mansur.

Elmasry and Soharwardy actual retard the integration and progress of any Muslims who follow them -- thankfully, a small number. For, instead of teaching them true civics -- such as how to participate in the cut-and-thrust of democratic debate without running to the government -- they teach them to be professional complainers and ... victims.
Elmasry and Soharwardy are media-hungry radicals -- which is why only the human rights commissions of the world (and doe-eyed journalists) will give them any credit. Constructive Muslim leaders would teach their flock the essence of Western liberal civics -- how to debate and participate, not how to whine, censor and bully. In other words, they should teach Canadian values, and leave the Saudi values behind.


Stop the HRC

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pope Benedict on climate change “prophets of doom”

From the Daily Mail:

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.

His remarks will be made in his annual message for World Peace Day on January 1, but they were released as delegates from all over the world convened on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali...

... fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering ....

... while some concerns may be valid ... vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.

Amen to that!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Free speech in America

In Philly it’s the PHRC:

IT DOESN'T take a six-hour public hearing like yesterday's to know that Geno's Steaks owner Joey Vento and the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission have different approaches to dealing with the city's immigrants.

The commission, which enforces civil-rights laws and mediates inter-group disputes, distributes pamphlets that ask, "Are you a victim of discrimination?" - in even languages.

Vento earns most of his cash selling one thing - cheesesteaks - and he wants you to order in one language. "This is America. When ordering, please speak English."

The sign, he said, posted more than two years ago, is designed to make a political statement and keep the line moving at the world-famous Geno's Steaks.

...a three-person panel heard more than six hours of testimony from witnesses for the HRC, which wants the sign removed, and Vento, who refuses to comply.

Even in America, huh?

Meanwhile, back in Canuckistan - sign the petition:
Stop the HRC

Monday, December 17, 2007

GHG narcissicism

This graphic makes it obvious.

Canada’s total GHG emissions are about half of China’s annual growth in emissions.
Dion and the Kyoto lobby should get real. Canada ‘setting an example for the world’ is just so much narcissistic feel-good posturing. If Canada disappeared off the map altogether it would make NO difference to global climate.

This is exactly why the Tories think it’s nuts for Canada to sign on to potentially crippling GHG targets while the China’s of the world keep on truckin’.
Of course it’s nuts for anyone to sign on to anything resembling Kyoto targets, anytime. But I’ll accept a compromise for now.

[Cribbed directly from GayandRight]

Until we meet again

Here's a very moving photo tribute to the troops serving overseas.
Great choral accompaniment.

[h/t Vinney D]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Postmodernist multiculti folly

Yesterday, the National Post published the po-mo musings of a pair of U of T academics regarding the Aqsa Parvez honour killing in Toronto.

I’ll address one, professor Emon, who opined:

“... we have an issue of multiculturalism that we need to recognize cuts both ways -- i.e. how do "we" Canada accommodate the "other," and how does the "other" accommodate "our" Canadian values....”
If it is “an issue of multiculturalism”, that’s an unfortunate consequence of our cultural elites’ having promoted multi-culti folly for decades. And if it does “cut both ways” - “our” Canadian part was done when “they” immigrated.

This is how mutual accommodation should happen (adopting Emon’s po-mo manner of expression):

“We” Canada accommodate the “other” by welcoming “them” to Canada thereby affording “them” the opportunity to better “their” lives in “our” free society.

The “other” accommodates Canadian values by observing Canadian laws, official languages, customs and practices and by making a sincere and vigorous effort to assimilate productively.

At the same time, however, since “ours” is a free society, “they” are free to use their ethnic languages, customs and practices so long as they do not violate “our” laws. The same rules, naturally, apply to “us”.

“We” Canada should not be helping “them” to maintain “their” ethnic traditions. That is a private matter. And “we” Canada certainly should not be assimilating to “them”.

Any support that “we” Canada give “them” should be strictly to help them adapt to Canada, foster national unity and bolster “their” identity as Canadians and their loyalty to Canada.

Official ‘government’ policy should be to promote, not multiculturalism, but a unified Canadian identity - a single dynamic, evolving Canadian ‘culture’.

[h/t five-foot-fury]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poll - best former PM

In this one, however, at least 51% have their heads completely up their as*es!

And wouldn't you know it. A poll in the midst of a scandal involving Mulroney.

Poll - Harper on climate change

A mildly satisfying poll result so far.
Only 30% have their heads solidly up where the sun don't shine.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Multiculti cabinet minister versus Islamic Congress

According to this press release:

Jason Kenney, the secretary of state for multiculturalism, weighed in Wednesday on the controversy surrounding columnist Mark Steyn's bestseller America Alone.
However, Free Dominion’s Connie Fournier was less than impressed:

OK, I like Jason, but I am kind of disgusted with him right now.
When we were attacked by the CHRC last summer, Jason was silent.
When Paul Fromm was to speak in the Parliamentary Press Gallery about the injustice of the CHRC, Jason initiated a vote to ban him from Parliament Hill.
But now Jason is suddenly a heroic defender of free speech.
I guess he just had to wait for a popular enough victim to come along before his principles could kick in.
[via and]

Ok, I can fully sympathize with Ms. Fournier's point of view. I support the Free Dominion fight for free speech in our now demented Dominion. In a more perfect world there wouldn't be an HRC to suppress it.

However, it isn't a perfect world and Jason Kenney can't necessarily come out and support every HRC victim. I don't know Paul Fromm's politics or opinions but it may not have been wise for Kenney to take a stand supporting him.

Maybe the Islamic Congress has inadvertently done us a favour and made it possible
for a cabinet minister to speak up for free speech. If so, perhaps, finally, we'll see some progress in shutting down the HRCs.

Stop the HRC

"To be attacking opinions expressed by a columnist in a major agazine is a pretty bold attack on the basic Canadian value of freedom of the press and freedom of expression," Kenney said in an interview. "I think all Canadians would reject that kind of effort to undermine one of our basic freedoms."


CBL has been on a Bali-induced tear recently, ripping away at Al Gore and other AGW fanatics. A short round-up:

Selective interpretation. Last year the warm winter weather was proof positive of looming climate disaster. This year the cold weather is, well ... cold.

AGW = Al Gore Windbag.

Assault on reason. Lemon does a masterful take-down of a fawning review of Gore’s recent book assaulting reason. See also Big Fat Lying Liar.

Impact of Kyoto compared to doing nothing: on global climate - not much; on the global economy - enormous

Al Gore’s ‘carbon-offsets’. What offsets?

Giga-death. By Bjorn Lomborg’s estimates, the number of dead innocents resulting from Kyoto-esque schemes would dwarf the slaughter perpetrated by Stalin and Mao.

Turn your LIGHTS ON for Earth Day. Count me in!

Well done, Brian!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mulroney/Schreiber/Chrétien affair

Brian Lemon at CBL raises a good point.

Since the parliamentary ethics committee is so keen on investigating the behaviour of former prime ministers maybe they should also consider looking into Jean Chrétien's consulting activities shortly after leaving office:

Dec. 12, 2003: Last day as Prime Minister.

Three weeks later
Feb. 7, 2004: Arrives in Beijing in the company of a team of Power Corp. executives, including his son-in-law, Andre Desmarais.

Followed by ten more international lobbying and speech-making events over the next eleven months. Hmm!

“Liberals” can be so ... illiberal

Today's G&M poll

And from there it’s but a small step to banning smoking and who knows what else in our homes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

HRCs and the Muslims versus Maclean's

Mark Steyn weighs in on the Maclean's HR case with links to the HRC complaint documents:

Referring to one complainant, Dr. Elmasry, Steyn says:
Steyn also includes this fine quote from David Warren's recent column on HRCs:
[HRC tribunals] are kangaroo courts, in which the defendant's right to due process is withdrawn. They reach judgements on the basis of no fixed law. Moreover, "the process is the punishment" in these star chambers -- for simply by agreeing to hear a case, they tie up the defendant in bureaucracy and paperwork, and bleed him for the cost of lawyers, while the person who brings the complaint, however frivolous, stands to lose nothing.
Click the banner to sign the petition
Stop the HRC

I'm happy for the good doctor to be as Judeophobic and homophobic and Steynophobic as he wants. I'm just concerned to maintain a level playing field for all phobias, and the biggest obstacle to that are these cockamamie Human Rights Commissions which are an abomination to any free society.

I have included the questions the magazine was obliged to answer (within two weeks). They include:
What is the intent of the article?
How did it come about in one of the oldest settled democracies in the world that government agencies were given powers to require a "free" press to justify the "intent" behind a particular article?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A carbon tax on babies

This global warming hysteria is really getting out hand. This time it's Australian academics.

... a radical proposal to reduce population growth has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia - a carbon tax on babies.

... writing in the Medical Journal of Australia Barry Walters, an associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia, is making that case.
Australia now has a below replacement fertility rate of 1.7 babies per woman. More children are needed not fewer. Which is probably why there's a $5000 baby bonus.

Then I always knew that environmentalists hated people.

Conrad Black

These guys say it better than I ever could:

Father Raymond de Souza:

Since the outset ... I have believed that the American prosecutors were criminalizing what was essentially a management dispute. After following the trial closely, I was confirmed in that judgment.

Lord Black is a man of words. He is noted for his delight in using them. He devoted his business life to publishing them. He has written millions of them himself, from columns to weighty biographies. He is a man of words. And he would not say he was guilty simply to make life easier, because he respects the words too much. Is that not what a man of his word should do?

Robert Fulford:

In the shadow of the Chicago disaster, it's easy to forget what he's done for Canada. In the 1990s, anybody could tell that Canadian journalism was mediocre, but only Conrad Black did anything about it. ...Unlike nine out of 10 publishers, he was interested above all in making good newspapers, and he asked of his employees only that they care as much about quality as he did.
While six and a half years in a Florida prison will be no picnic, Black will make the best of it. He’ll no doubt go on being at least as productive a writer as before.

Monday, December 10, 2007

UN IPCC guilty of dishonesty, political tampering

Bill at ‘A Dog Named Kyoto’ posted a great find a couple of days ago. One of Al Gore’s fellow Nobel Peace Prize winners, Lord Monckton, expressed some strong contrary opinions. Writing in the Jakarta Post he rakes the UN IPCC over the coals for its dishonesty and political tampering:

Two detailed investigations by Committees of the House confirm that the IPCC has deliberately, persistently and prodigiously exaggerated not only the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature but also the environmental consequences of
warmer weather.

If we take the heroically stupid decisions now on the table at Bali, it will once again be the world's poorest people who will die unheeded in their tens of millions...

My fellow-participants, there is no climate crisis. The correct policy response to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing. Take courage! Do nothing, and save the world's poor from yet another careless, UN-driven slaughter.

Read the whole article.

HRC, free speech issues heating up

The ‘five foot fury on Richard Warman’s "incurable douchebaggery" and more. An interesting note in the Wikipedia entry on the CHRC:

Richard Warman, an ex-CHRC employee is the primary complainant pursuant to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. 24 out of 29 Complaints referred by the Commission to the Tribunal since 2002 have been complaints filed by Warman.
SDA on Warman, the Maclean’s Magazine case (with a link to the complaint) and more.
Free Dominion is cranking up a petition to the politicians in support of free speech, decrying the human rights commissions’ role in censorship:
We consider many complaints launched through so-called "human rights commissions" to be political tools to shut down dissent and uphold politically
correct thought and opinion. In particular, we note the inordinate number of
successful cases brought against conservatives and, in particular, Christians.
And, calling for their suspension:
Therefore, we, the undersigned, call for the immediate suspension of all so-called human rights commissions in Canada until a full and impartial review is conducted to ensure that Canadians' fundamental right to freedom of speech is preserved.
Update (Dec 12): Here's Mark Steyn's take to date.

Stop the HRC

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Get anything done today?


Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better,even though I have it!!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.
This is how it manifests:
I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my cheque book off the table, and see that there is only one cheque left.
My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.
I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water.
I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.

Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed,
the bills aren't paid,
there's a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled
because I know I was busy all damn day, and I'm really tired.
I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it,
but first I'll check my e-mail....

Do me a favor. Forward this message to everyone you know,
because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

[via Chuck in Edmonton]

Free speech, human rights commissions, Steyn

The five foot fury quotes David Warren's thoughts on the matter. I particularly liked the top quote:

"... “Freedom of expression” did not develop in the West from purely idealistic motives. Nor is it necessarily a pretty thing. Like so much in civil society, we put up with it because the alternative is worse, and we'd rather cope with free speech, than with the free intimidation that results from its suppression."
Good stuff.

David Warren's whole piece includes new info on the status of the complaint against Maclean's and Steyn:
It's time to start writing to politicians, newspaper editors and .... STOP the HRC.
... the case ... brought against Mark Steyn and Maclean's magazine, before Human Rights Commissions for Canada, British Columbia, and Ontario, by the Canadian Islamic Congress, led by Mohamed Elmasry. The first two commissions have already agreed to hear the case...

Global warming lemmings

This is where global warming loopiness naturally leads. We wind up begging our nanny state to impose ever more ridiculous restrictions on our freedom.

It’s an admittedly small sample (so far) but the trend is familiar. Want to vote?
Update: Late results show an encouraging turnaround - 60/40 against the nanny statists. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Multiculturalism a flop

Even Globe and Mail readers (66/34 74/26) think multiculturalism is a lousy policy.

Human rights complaint filed against Maclean's

This ought to be good.

Four [Muslim] students at Toronto's Osgoode Hall Law School are accusing Maclean's magazine of violating their human rights over an article titled The Future Belongs to Islam [by Mark Steyn].

They've filed complaints with the federal, Ontario and British Columbia human rights commissions over the October 2006 article.

The article discusses the high birth rate among Muslims and speculates that Islamic people could become the majority population in Europe. It also says some Muslims are violent radicals.
Maclean's said it stands behind the writer of the article, Mark Steyn, and it is confident the human rights commissions will find no merit in the complaint.
But Sohail Raza, a representative of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said Maclean's had the right to publish the article. "This is Canada, not Sudan, Egypt or Pakistan, where the press is stifled," he said. "There is absolute freedom of expression and people have an opportunity to voice their opinion." [I wish!]
Maybe now we'll begin to see some real debate about the Human Rights Act, Human Rights Commisssions and their suppression of free speech.


See also, and.

Euthanasia - promoting a culture of death

The denial of parole this week for Robert Latimer sparked a lot of debate about legalizing euthanasia (it seemed mostly pro Latimer and pro euthanasia).

This letter clearly illustrates where I think legalized euthanasia leads:

[At a symposium] ...discussing the Oregon situation -- where physician assisted suicide is legal about 75% of patients who died with assisted suicide did so for depression or fear rather than terminal disease or pain.

A speaker from Holland, whose grandfather was euthanized against his will, reminded us that the most recent Dutch government report recorded 550 cases where patients were euthanized without their consent in 2005...

... the Gronigen University hospital [in Holland] is euthanizing newborns with disabilities based on the parent's request.

As in Oregon, most patients request euthanasia or assisted suicide because of depression or "a feeling of being a burden on others," which includes adolescents, even those 12-16 with parents' consent.

... with legalized euthanasia, the fragile seniors and people with disabilities will feel unwanted and request euthanasia, making the right to die become the duty to die.

... counselling, treatment for depression or palliative/hospice care....should be supported, rather than promoting a culture of death.

As with many ideas, good and bad, people (especially ‘authorities’) tend to go too far. Legalizing euthanasia is a bad idea that, in spite of good intentions, leads inevitably to horrendous abuses (the road to Hell ...).

Legalized euthanasia is a slippery slope with a very steep path to legalized murder.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Relief from horrible tax law

And this front page story in my other daily had some good news for a small group of taxpayers.

JDS Uniphase workers caught by a combination of bad tax law, investment naivety and the great tech slide of 2000 saw some welcome relief, thanks to local MP Gary Lunn and Canada Revenue.

Because of prevailing tax rules some JDS workers were left owing huge taxes on ‘income’ they never saw a penny of.

People hurt by this appealed for years to the government, to Paul Martin and to their local MPs for relief and received none, until now. In the meantime people lost their homes, families and marriages crumbled and many otherwise suffered greatly under the severe financial stress. Though the relief is no doubt welcome now, for some it came way too late.

Still there are those who think there should have been no tax relief in this case. Since it sets a "dangerous" precedent exposing the government to claims from other taxpayers, critics argue it was a mistake to offer the relief. They do have a valid point. The government was following its own long established rules when it insisted on payment of taxes.

However, to them, I say bullcrap! A tax law that inflicts losses, solely as a result of taxes imposed on ‘in-come’ that never 'came-in', is a horrible tax law. And, precedent schmecedent! If anyone else suffered similar losses due to these patently unfair rules, they bloody well should be compensated as well.

Tax relief, though, isn’t nearly enough. Tax rules need to be changed so that this can’t happen again. And the fix is very simple. As in most other jurisdictions and in most other investment circumstances in this country, unrealized income should not be taxable income. Period.

More ‘human rights’ lunacy

On the front page of my favorite daily today this annoying story was featured. Six school kids in Woodbridge, Ontario, with the help of (big surprise) "Maurice Brenner, a human rights expert"

...are asking the Ontario Human Rights Commission to force their school to launch mandatory lunch-bag inspections to screen out foods to which they have severe allergies...

"Nothing is too much when we're talking about kids' safety," [Brenner] said.

"These kids are frankly frightened -- they're scared to go to school," [Brenner] said. "And nobody should be afraid to go to school." [I don’t suppose Brenner and the little munchkins’ parents had anything to do with scaring the crap out of them.]

So, potentially, we have a new fundamental ‘human right’ in the making - the right to be absolutely safe, at the everyone else’s expense.

One would think that if the little buggers are so deathly afraid of their allergies it would be easy for their parents to teach them not to eat other kids’ lunches, or any other strange or dubious foods. But no, they expect everyone else to guarantee their safety - which is not possible anyway.

The implications of a win for Brenner and the idiot parents are obviously far-reaching. The OHRC, if it has any sense, should refuse to hear this idiotic case.

In general, this represents one more reason to scrap the Human Rights Act and with it the HRCs. They are being used by zealots of all stripes as a Trojan horse (or battering ram) to harass and force loopy ideas on the rest of us.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Steyn on Howard - “A loss for civilization”

Some of Mark Steyn’s reflections on John Howard’s government:
Too bad Howard’s regime is gone. Such common sense and plain-spoken leadership are rare commodities.
"You can't find any equivalent in Italian or Greek or Lebanese or Chinese or Baltic immigration to Australia. There is no equivalent of raving on about jihad," said Howard.
... [Treasurer] Peter Costello. Sympathising with Muslims who wish to live under sharia law, he mused: "There are countries that apply religious or sharia law: Saudi Arabia and Iran come to mind. If a person wants to live under sharia law these are countries where they might feel at ease. But not Australia."
Howard called for "a root and branch renewal of Australian history in our schools, with a restoration of narrative instead of what I labelled the 'fragmented stew of themes and issues"'.

Australia should never have had a "department of immigration and multicultural affairs", but, given that it did, Howard was right to rename it the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Government should promote citizenship, not multiculturalism.

Colin Powell I never expected much from, but few hitherto clear-headed types have shrunk in office as remorselessly as Condi Rice.
Alexander Downer my favorite foreign minister...for his gleeful mockery of transnationalism and its pointless committees stuffed with representatives of what he called "busted arse countries"..."Multilateralism is a synonym for an ineffective and unfocused policy involving internationalism of the lowest common denominator."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Bali Communiqué - corporate climate hype

The Bali Communiqué cooked up by the 'Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group' as advance hype for the Bali UN Climate Change Conference (Dec 3 to 14) has more than 150 corporations as signatories. It’s an impressive list: Shell, Sun Microsystems, Philips, GE, The Body Shop, Du Pont, Ebay, HSBC, Kodak, Virgin, Nokia, KPMG, Coca Cola .... and a cast of tens more.

The communiqué begins:

"The scientific evidence is now overwhelming. Climate change presents very serious global social, environmental and economic risks and it demands an urgent global response....
And endorses the UN IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, concluding:

We urge world leaders to seize this window of opportunity.
In return, we pledge to engage positively with governments to help develop the policies and measures that are needed internationally and nationally for the business sector to contribute effectively to building a low carbon economy.

So what does it mean?

Most of these companies will not have in-house expertise to independently evaluate the science. So, for the most part, their CEO’s and boards of directors have, for a variety of reasons, chosen to accept and endorse the UN IPCC executive summaries as filtered through the alarmism of Al Gore et al. The variety of reasons will include everything from naive altruism to environmental enthusiasm to corporate advantage and rent-seeking.

Take Ebay for example. It has no expertise in climate science. It’s in the business of collecting commissions for brokering the purchase and sale of stuff over the internet. It would be a foolish waste of time for its executive to focus on anything but its business. Though Ebay does need to worry about such things as the effect of shipping costs on transaction volumes. So while Ebay has no internal expertise for concluding that the "scientific evidence is overwhelming" it would be concerned about the potential effects of climate change policy on its business. And this is true AGW or no AGW. By signing on with a bloc of doomsayers, though, it risks promoting policy changes which will do harm to its business.

General Electric is a different kettle of fish. GE has huge axes to grind. It is heavily invested in nuclear and wind power generation technology as well as in carbon trading (like Du Pont and Al Gore). So, again AGW or no AGW, companies like GE stand to gain big-time from alarmist driven climate change policy.

The Body Shop’s signature on the communiqué is emblematic of the environmentally sensitive participants. Though the controversy surrounding its famously bogus product claims should have disqualified it.

One hundred and fifty signatories, impressive though some of the names may seem, represents a small fraction of the big companies out there. And they bring no new information to the scientific debate.

The Bali Communiqué means ... not much. Though AGW true believers will trumpet it to each other and anyone else who will listen.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Proportional representation and (un)Fair Vote Canada

Lawrence Solomon began his ‘Postcolumn today:

Canada needs electoral reform to bring in proportional representation. It is unconscionable that in a modern democracy such as ours, vast swathes of the
electorate should be effectively disenfranchised ...
Aarrggh! Lawrence Solomon is now on the stinking PR bandwagon? Say it ain’t so!

However, reading on we discover that by ‘proportional representation’ he means straightforward rep-by-pop which is currently out of whack with BC, Alberta and Ontario badly under-represented. Mr. Solomon’s problem is with Bill C-22 which brings BC and Alberta up to snuff after the 2011 census but will leave Ontario 11 seats short. He is also unhappy with organizations such as Fair Vote Canada who have been silent on the issue:

The unfairness, affecting almost 12.7 million Ontarians, could not be plainer. Yet rather than take on this dismissal of the principle of one person-one vote – surely a prerequisite for any voting system that pretends to democratic fair play – Fair Vote Canada has other priorities.

The Fair Vote lobbies, its fair to say, are not about fair voting at all. They are not even about proportional representation, the term they have appropriated to describe their electoral preferences. The Fair Vote lobbies are about delivering power to the parties, rather than power to the people.

Right on, Larry! What a relief! The guy who brings such good sense to the global warming debate and who previously denounced Ontario’s MMP proposal just couldn’t have climbed into bed with the Fair Vote PR flacks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Parliamentary ethics committee gong show

On Mike Duffy Live today, lawyer William Kaplan, author of a book on the Mulroney/Schreiber affair, had this to say about Schreiber’s questioning and testimony before the ethics committee hearings:

I don’t think there was any damage in testimony today to anyone. The only thing that was damaged was the reputation of the House of Commons and the special committee on ethics. They behaved badly as predicted. It was a gong show as predicted. They were undisciplined. They were uninformed. They didn’t put a good face of government out to the people of Canada.
Kaplan described how American legislative committee hearings are run and, comparatively, the Canadian version comes off as an amateur show.

Duffy criticized committee chairman Paul Szabo for coaching Schreiber on how to avoid answering questions.

Video here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

CBC insists on zero wait times - at the border

Terence Corcoran makes an excellent observation in today’s Financial Post.

This week an ambulance carrying a Windsor patient to a U.S. hospital for an emergency angioplasty was held up for a few minutes by U.S. border security. Apparently (I don’t watch the CBC) the CBC’s The National carried the story, with "a sense of outrage", as part of its on-going border-watch coverage. This led to Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announcing in the House of Commons: "We don’t want to see this continue."

Mr. Corcoran:

But what is it that Mr. Day and the CBC don’t want to see continue. By reporting this as big news, the CBC essentially seemed to be imposing a tough Zero Wait Time policy on U.S. border officials.

Only in Canada would the national media get into a lather over the difficulties of crossing a border to get health care - when the need for an emergency trip across the border is the Canadian "Wait for it" health care system.

Private hospitals are mostly illegal in Canada, certainly in Ontario, thanks to the border and Ontario law that blocks privatized health care. The Henry Ford health care group couldn’t build an angioplasty unit in Canada if it wanted to.

This lack of private facilities is a source of national pride among Canadians, and the border is the enforcement mechanism...

A Globe and Mail headline ... said "Day urges U.S. to reconsider border policies." That's certainly easier to say than "Day urges Conservatives to reconsider health care policies."

This is as close to a cosmic joke as you can get in Canadian affairs.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Healthcare - Canuckistan versus America

As all Canadians are reminded almost daily -‘American-style’ health care is B A D. It’s a given that the Canadian/Cuban/North Korean/Soviet universal healthcare model is the best in the world.

According to a new study by economists at Baruch College in New York - not quite so. William Watson summarizes the results:

The health payoff to higher income ("income-health gradient") is bigger here than in the United States... even though the whole purpose of medicare is to eliminate the effect of income on health. [my bold]

And some small details:

one magnetic resonance imager for every 37,000 Americans, versus one for every 182,000 Canadians.

computed tomography scanners ... one for every 31,000 Americans, versus one for every 87,000 Canadians...

The Japanese ... have even more [CT scanners and MRI’s] than the Americans.

...Americans seem happier with their health care than we are with ours.

...we have better longevity and infant-mortality statistics. But other differences between our societies explain that..

Fifteen percent of older Americans say their health is excellent, versus only 8% of Canadians...

...more Americans than Canadians who have a given condition receive treatment for it.

In several forms of preventive care, we lag the Americans.

Americans have a higher incidence of cancer, we have higher mortality rates...

And, there’s no mention of the fact that "waiting lists" are essentially unheard of in American healthcare.

Now, let’s hear it one more time for Saint Tommy.

Ref also.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Canadian star chambers in action - again

This time professional, self-appointed ‘human rights’ Nazi Richard Warman sic’d the Canadian Human Rights Commission on waitress and racist blog commenter Jessica Beaumont.

A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recently rendered its decision finding Jessica guilty of communicating hate messages on the internet, fining her $1500 and ordering her to cease posting ‘hate messages’ on the web.

No question - Ms Beaumont has some unsavory views about certain non-white, non-Christian and non-heterosexual groups. She’s clearly racist and homophobic and unrepentantly so.

However, provided she doesn’t advocate violence towards the people she hates (and she didn’t), she should be able to freely express her hateful stupidity. Unfortunately (as noted previously) in spite of the Charter’s fine words about free expression, the Human Rights Act effectively cancels those rights.

The danger here, is not the Jessica Beaumonts, but the Human Rights Act and the ‘Star Chambers’ it mandates. If Jessica Beaumont’s speech can be suppressed anyone’s can. The hate speech section of the Act, if not the entire Act, should be repealed.

[Via SDA where there’s some outstanding debate and discussion.]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Water ‘conservation’ idiocy

This survey today reminded me of another of my pet gripes - idiotic conservationsim.

A perennial bugaboo of the local Victoria press, politicians and enviro-nuts is the state of the fresh water supply. The Regional water Nazis restrict water usage during the dry months and hector the populace year round to conserve. UVic and the local newspaper recently teamed up to publish a conservation bulletin just chock-full of nifty recommendations for cutting down on water use including: multiple toilet uses before flushing, halving time spent the shower, not running the tap while brushing teeth, etc.

As Glenn Beck would say - this is a load of conservationist bullcrap!

There is no shortage of water! This is the Pacific Northwest for God’s sake! We get 5 feet of rainfall every year. We’re surrounded by rain forests. If there were a shortage of anything (and there isn’t, except for common sense) it would not be water but water storage capacity.

If we don’t use the stuff it collects in the reservoir which overflows in January every year (December last year) and flows into the frickin’ ocean. So instead of flowing out our taps, down the sewer pipes and into the ocean, it just flows over the top of the reservoir dam and straight into the ocean. With the amount of available fresh water it’s not possible to ‘waste’ it. It’s an annually renewable resource.

So why the phony hype about conservation - as if using it today is somehow robbing future generations? I don’t know. It’s hard to figure except that it gives the Regional government ‘authorities’ a chance to yap about what wonderful ‘stewards-of-the-earth’ they are. In my estimation, given all the fresh water that falls out the sky here, the Regional authority’s principal job is to make sure that enough of it is collected in reservoirs and avoid having to hector us with stupid ‘conservation’ suggestions.

Worth repeating

Aussie PM John Howard on multiculturalism:

"Immigrants, not Australians, must adapt. I'm tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However there are a few things that those who have come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. ...This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But if you complain about our flag, our pledge, our Christian beliefs, or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of our other great Australian freedom, ‘The Right to Leave'!"

It would be nice if the Canadian political class could be as sensibly direct.

[via, and]

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Engineers - natural born terrorists

Most National Post editorials are well thought out, sensible pieces. But occasionally a clunker gets by the editorial board.

Being an engineer, yesterday’s editorial entitled "Engineering terror" made me perk up. Drawing from the results of a study by a pair of Oxford sociologists who noted that a high percentage of the violent Muslim jihadis had been trained as engineers it went on to make some very loopy generalizations: to suggest that there is a "mindset" inherent to engineers that may make them attractive candidates for Islamist recruitment.

...[engineers] are known to have the most pronounced tendency to vote conservatively

...anyone who's had engineers as friends knows they can be prone to sneering at "soft" academic disciplines. may be the most religion-like of scholarly fields...

Well, I suppose someone had better get busy modifying the iron ring ceremony to include an admonition to kill the infidels.

Anyway, it was inevitable that rebuttals would be forthcoming. And sure enough there were two excellent letters printed today (here and here).

D. Hoffer of Winnipeg:

There is a more logical explanation. Muslim extremists recruit methodically and evaluate their recruits meticulously. The dumb ones get to wear a suicide belt and blow up a restaurant. The bright ones are more useful...

Flies don't cause manure and engineering schools aren't incubators for terrorism recruits. Engineering schools are, however, a useful way for terrorists to learn how to be massively destructive.

Ian B. McLeod, Oakville, Ont:

...this ... sullies the name of all engineers and is truly unbelievable coming from a world renown national newspaper.

The engineering profession has done more good on this planet than all other vocations combined. ... ... ... ... Without engineers, the planet would quickly grind to a halt. The same cannot be said for editorialists.

...that all engineers are conservative (I doubt you will find one in Engineers Without Boarders), and that as a group we are highly religious is grossly false.

... the social scientists that came up with this cockamamie theory ... need a refresher course in engineering cause and effect.

The entire premise of the social scientists theory is backwards. ... I guess it takes an engineer to point out the intuitively obvious.

I would have thought that the National Post editorial board would have figured that out on there own, seeing that you collectively spent all those years studying such nuanced causation in your enlightened social science classes.

Bravo! Messrs Hoffer and McLeod.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

“An Inconvenient Book”

That’s the title of Glenn Beck’s forthcoming (Nov 20) new book. When trying to assess whether or not to buy the book one need only look at the comments listed under the Amazon "Reviews":

"Glenn Beck is CNN's chief corporate-fascism advocate."
-- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
[Trustfund-wealthy enviro-idiot]

"Finally! A guy who says what people who aren't thinking, are thinking."
-- Jon Stewart
[Look who’s talking - the host of a fake news show.]

"Satan's mentally challenged younger brother."
-- Stephen King
[Famously flaky author of supernatural tales.]

"There's something about him that suggests that, one night, he'll say something that will cost him his career...."
-- Keith Olbermann
[Never heard of him.]

"Glenn Beck shouldn't be on [the air]."
-- Al Franken
[Envious host of a liberal talk radio show with a double digit audience.]

Beck’s book ought to be a winner. My order is in.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Political correctness and communist propaganda

David Thompson revisits an interview with Theodore Dalrymple who explains the commonality between political correctness and communist propaganda:

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect, and is intended to.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Capitalism denigrated by the usual suspects

The alternative to private ownership is state ownership or communism (or socialism as defined by Mises). And you’d think by now it would be obvious to all but the most fanatic socialist that capitalism has a far, far better track record than the alternative in terms of improving peoples’ lives around the world. In fact, using the word ‘better’ in this context is inappropriate - the socialist record is uniformly dismal.

Yet, unfortunately, many people who ought to know better, since their own lucrative incomes derive from the capitalist system, routinely denigrate capitalism by equating it with greed, crime, corruption and worse. In his column yesterday William Watson quipped:
Peter Foster’s column today pursues a similar theme, this time using the new Denzel Washington flick "American Gangster" as a case in point. While the movie itself makes odious equations between gangster criminality and capitalism the reviewers are just as bad or worse. Mr. Foster reviews the reviews from more than dozen mainstream newspapers and journals in the USA and UK including the New Yorker, Guardian, Chicago Sun-Times, People, etc. All of them draw the same offensive comparisons - criminality = capitalism.
My own two cents: These film-makers and critics seem not to notice that American gangsters carry out their criminal operations in much the same way that Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam and every other statist totalitarian gangster did/does. They control their turf ruthlessly, brook no dissent, no opposition and demand the absolute loyalty of their underlings on penalty of murder or worse. In a socialist totalitarian system, private criminality cannot readily compete with the state because it is ruthlessly put down - no competition allowed. The baddest ass in town is the state. The fact that American criminals operate within a capitalist system and so adopt its trappings and use it to their benefit is not an indictment of capitalism but of criminality. As Mr. Foster put it:
Western media twits ought to know better but, sadly, they don’t. This is yet one more instance of ongoing western"liberal" reflexive self-loathing - attacking western civilization as the root of all modern evil. The opposite is far closer to the truth.
That criminals might use business methods is no more an indictment of capitalism than the experiments of Joseph Mengele were an indictment of science.
Capitalism is not a perfect system, but ... if it is sloppily considered the bedmate of crime, what chance does it have against the Naomi bin Ladens of this dangerous world?

This insult to the Invisible Hand is served up with a liberal helping of Black History Month-style condescension.
What is more disturbing is that so many reviewers have accepted the notion that ... capitalism and gangster-ism are pretty much joined at the hip.

"Two words bring roughly equal discomfort in polite Canadian conversation:
pedophile and capitalist."

capitalism: economic system characterized by private ownership of property,
production of goods for private profit, and the institution of bank credit. (The
Columbia Encyclopedia). See

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Those goofy “Foreigners Around the World”

In the May 1976 edition of National Lampoon, P.J. O’Rourke wrote an incredibly un-pc (pinc?), occasionally gross but hilarious description of the world’s "foreigners".


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The profound power of free markets

In today’s ‘Post’ Terence Corcoran, in an 'editor's note', highlights the classic essay "I, Pencil". Leonard Read’s 1958 essay clearly and simply illustrates the power of free markets to spontaneously bring about the peaceful co-operation of thousands of different people around the world in the course of efficiently producing the humble pencil. All this, Mr. Corcoran reminds us, is in the absence of (or, more likely, in spite of) politicians and government bureaucrats.

Milton Friedman’s abbreviated version of the essay from his television series "Free To Choose" is on this YouTube video.

The "I, Pencil" essay, along with Friedman’s complete television series, should be a mandatory part of every school's curriculum, repeated at every level. Fat chance. Instead, the kids will get "social justice" studies and AlGore's "An Inconvenient Truth".

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tax cuts, dopey jingoism, etc

Tax cuts are good.

But, predictably, not everyone is happy with the ones just announced by the Tories. Naturally the socialists see no good in them at all - it’s all lost revenue and breaks for the rich and their evil corporations. Stéphane (the idiot) Dion muses about reversing the GST cuts. Though some economists do think that GST cuts are a mistake. Other, more sensible ones, like William Watson are more upbeat, concluding: "Keep it coming, Mr. Flaherty."

Not being an economist I don’t really follow the anti-GST-cut arguments. And even though he’s for the cut William Watson says: "cutting the GST may tilt people unproductively toward consumption". That’s one of the things I don’t get. If people tilt towards consumption don’t the producers have to ramp up production accordingly. Won’t increased production mean more jobs in the manufacturing, distribution and retailing sectors. Won’t increased production mean more profits to be re-invested in production or elsewhere. So, just how is more consumption "unproductive"?

Whatever. Mr. Watson’s column also hits on one of my pet peeves - the Canadian propensity for self-congratulation: "...the Economic Statement: Page 1: "Canada is the greatest country in the world." They said this in the Throne Speech too." It’s meaningless jingoism that reminds me of the new BC license plate motto: "The Best Place on Earth", which is embarrassingly meaningless jingoism. It ought to play really well on trips outside the province. As Watson observes everybody thinks they live in the best place, for one reason or another, otherwise they’d move.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Indian mess

Jonathan Kay speaks the blunt truth about Canadian aboriginal policy. His analysis and prescription for a ‘fix’ is based on "three well-observed empirical truths":

The modern global economy is driven by cities...

...collective land ownership is a recipe for economic disaster...

Welfare destroys societies....

Mr. Kay observes that implementing the necessary change is "a massive legal and political undertaking". He’s absolutely right and I’d add that the biggest obstacle to change is the Indian leadership. If they don’t own up to the need for it and to their own responsibility for the present mess - there’ll be no meaningful change - which pretty much sums up progress to date.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Enabling the destruction of a neighbourhood

Further to the previous post here’s an excellent description of how the Victoria needle exchange has wrecked a neighbourhood:

For those of us who observe the devastation of a neighbourhood in the name of a social experiment, resentment is focused not on the unfortunates, but on those who planned and implemented this disaster, including our mayor and council.

This on a day that started with me scooping diarrhea embedded with needles off my front steps.

Used needles, human feces, discarded underwear, assorted condoms and other unsanitary byproducts of addiction are frequently deposited on properties in the neighbourhood.

...for a 70-year-old pensioner who grew up in a city where she once walked fearlessly, it is utterly disheartening.

...many senior citizens, some handicapped, live here. Many are unable to sleep at night, never mind take a walk. They are intimidated by the arguments and yelling, the confrontations and their increasing fears of violence.

The needle exchange is a gathering place for addicts and the predators that they inevitably attract.

...the predictable consequences of "injecting" a crime-prone subculture into what was once a beautiful, pleasant and safe neighborhood.

Also predictable is the silence and inaction of the mayor and council on the citizens’ plight. Silent, that is, except to call for more needle exchanges and safe injection sites which will create an even bigger mess. Their deep ‘caring’ for addicts doesn’t extend to the real victims here.

I don’t suppose the bleeding hearts will ever understand that their ‘caring’ will never help an addict who only cares about the next fix. In fact the ONLY way an addict will ever get around to quitting dope is to care enough about himself to try. With the city making it easier to use dope that becomes less, not more, likely.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stop enabling drug abusers

Victoria has a needle exchange located in a busy downtown area. I drive by it every day. It's always an eyesore - littered with trash, feces and dopers hanging out or sleeping in the doorways.

Though the mayor and council are cronic, bleeding heart enablers, a sizeable proportion of the populace have their heads screwed on right.

According to this poll two thirds want the needle exchange gone.