Tuesday, December 12, 2006

boooo.

Things like this are going to make it easier for any fiscal conservatives or libertarians who aren't terribly excited about working for John Tory next fall to sit it out, if they were thinking about it.

Of course, with that logic, the best party to work for is the NDP. Why the hell is the freaking NDP the only party trying to save money?

God, that's depressing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

kicking a dead horse

After today, hopefully, mercifully, the same-sex marriage issue can finally be put to rest.

I often completely disagree with the opinion stuff the Globe and Mail prints, but I find myself agreeing with today's editorial on the vote, A vote Harper doesn't want to win. Specifically the following:

The Conservative election theory is that wooing hard [read: social] conservatives by promoting issues close to their hearts will get them to come out to vote in large numbers. But in the recent U.S. mid-term elections and the London by-election, the strategy may have offended centrists who might have otherwise voted Conservative. Ms. Haskett ended up with 25 per cent of the vote -- a five-point drop.

There were a number of possible explanations for moderate Tories' departure, including the argument that the party didn't appeal enough to the hard right or that the Greens bled off a lot of Conservatives. But it might also be that resurrecting the same-sex issue sheared off the moderate supporters that Ms. Haskett needed to win.
(Emphasis and square-bracket comment are mine.)

While I don't think SSM was the only thing that caused Haskett to lose the by-election, (the lack of the field organization that we see a push for by so many party organizers was really disappointing) I definitely think targeting so-cons alone is not going to help us out any.

Politics is, like it or not (I choose not to), a game of concessions, and so-cons' opinions are valid and need to be considered when governing the country, regardless of who is in power. Besides, we need them to win. Similarly, though, there are concessions made to appease red tories and even, occasionally (hopefully), libertarians. While these things might be something we disagree with, we understand that there is a segment of the population that it's important to and we support the party's efforts to address these concerns.

But if the tories keep pushing fighting SSM as a priority (and a secretly major issue during election campaigns) after the vote today fails - and it looks like it's going to - there are going to be some Conservatives wondering when the concessions stop so that we can get some of the things we work for the party to get. Like, oh, I don't know, an income tax cut.

Matt over at Playing Calvinball put it particularily well:
This is soon to be dead, dead, dead. Please, let it die with dignity. If our government is pre-occupied with this issue we will lose, and we will deserve to lose. Not because we are anti-SSM, but because there are so many issues that need to be addressed. Broadbased tax-relief, the hopelessly outdated CRTC, the Wheatboard and a little train wreck we like to call the Canadian Healthcare system come to mind.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

economic update

What the hell is a "Working Income Tax Benefit?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman

I was very sorry to read about the passing of Milton Friedman this afternoon as a result of heart failure.

It's sad to see the life of such a great freedom-fighter and economist come to an end. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet him.

Jason Talley at Bureaucrash did a very nice post on Friedman. So did the Cato Institute.

I won't try to top them.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

bloggers as lobbyists?

Bloggers should have to register as lobbyists!

No, they shouldn't. And it sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it? Yet it's not that big a stretch, using the logic the Senate must have to think that the National Citizens' Coalition should have to register as lobbyists for conducting the same business they always have - informing the public and expressing opinions on the policy the government should be putting in place.

I first caught wind of this from Gerry Nicholls, who links to a copy of the original Hill Times article on the subject on his blog.

For those of you who don't know what the NCC does, the group basically spends its (privately donated) money fighting for "more freedom through less government" by (shock!) blogging, writing op-eds for newspapers, doing interviews, sending out newsletters and taking out ads.

The NCC doesn't directly persuade the government or influence its opinion on policy any more than Andrew Coyne, Ezra Levant, or, hell, Garth Turner do when they write or say something that brings a topic into the public's focus and compels people to ask questions about how things are being done.

Forcing someone to go through the process of registering as a lobbyist for distributing information about a political issue, specifically information that contradicts the status quo, (and, by extention, not allowing former government employees to express an opinion about political issues in any meaningful way for years after the conclusion of their employment) is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
The idea of putting up road blocks to the free dissemination of information (that's free speech, folks) is downright offensive to me, and I hope it is to you, too.

If you love freedom, and/or you think the senate is full of crap on this one, you can support the NCC and send a great big "screw you!" to the senate by joining the NCC, like I did a few years ago.

Garth Turner and my cat.

I don't care about Garth Turner. I really don't.

Well, I try not to care. I try really hard. But it's kind of hard to avoid. A little tricky to explain, too.

Let's just say that Garth reminds me of my cat, Daisy.

I would like to ignore Daisy while I'm studying for a midterm, but she forces me to deal with her by repeatedly positioning herself between my eyes and the textbook, (or, even better, my pencil and the paper), and so I have to go to the trouble of picking her up off the table and dropping her on the floor over and over (and over and over) again.

The saddest part of all this is that I wanted to care about Garth. I can sympathise with Garth. I know what it's like to be stabbed in the back by people who are supposed to be your political allies, and to not get support to the extent you'd like from the people who you thought were supposed to supply it.

But the solution isn't the course of action Garth has devoted himself to (bitching, posting personal information and generally glorifying himself even more than he did when he was a CPC MP). Rather than demonstrating his ability to be an asset to the party, he's showing exactly how he can be classified as a liability.

I originally thought booting Garth from the party was a very bad idea. I still think it was probably a bad idea, but I definitely understand why it was done now - after all, actions in response to an extreme situation are merely an amplification of standard reactions. Garth is obviously a loose canon capable of and willing to dispense confidential information if he thinks it will further his agenda.

A disservice is being done to Garth's admirably loyal EDA, who deserve to have the party membership standing with them in indignation over their nominated candidate being removed and banned from running, especially so shortly after the nomination meeting.

Unfortunately for his EDA, that's not the case. Every day Garth perpetuates this soap opera it becomes easier for those who aren't directly involved to knock the cat off the table without a second thought.

Friday, November 10, 2006

for remembrance day

Tomorrow's going to be awfully busy for me, so I wanted to post this today.
Lest we forget.



The soldier stood and faced God,
which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
just as brightly as his brass.

"Step Forward Now, You Soldier.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek
to the Church have you been true?

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No Lord, I guess I ain't,
because those of us who carry guns
can't always be a Saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was tough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
because the world is awfully rough.

But I never took a penny
that wasn't mine to keep,
though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear,
and sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
among the people here,
they never wanted me around
except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
but if you don't I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the Throne
where the Saints had often trod,
as the soldier waited quietly
for the Judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
you've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
you've done your time in Hell."

(Author unknown)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

something to celebrate in america

So among all the excitement (or lack thereof from me) about what's going to happen in the Senate and the House in the states, people may have missed out on something to celebrate in Michigan.

You see, in Michigan two very interesting (and exciting) proposals were passed on Tuesday:
Proposal 2: A proposal to amend the State Constitution to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.
and, even more exciting:
Proposal 4: A proposal to amend the State Constitution to prohibit government from taking private property by eminent domain for certain private purposes.
There are a lot of people freaking out over Proposal 2, but I think they might be forgetting that laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin still exist. (Whether or not that's a freedom-friendly policy is a topic for another day.)

There is no such thing as "reverse discrimination." It's all just plain ol' discrimination. People should be chosen to do a job based on merit. Any other system is just entrenching and perpetuating the discrimination opposition to this proposal are so afraid of.

Proposal 4 is where the real excitement comes in, though. Nine states voted to ban this kind of nonsense by the government, which became a real concern after the Kelo decision last year.

Protection of property rights is eroding all over and not even constitutionally entrenched in Canada. It's great to see Americans standing up to the government on this one... hopefully we can see some movement on formalizing these rights in Canada someday soon.

american politics

This video from our friends at Bureaucrash does a fairly good job of explaining why I don't get too worked up one way or another about American politics most of the time.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

superkids!


Now you might be thinking to yourself, "Where the hell did she find this? This comic is full of crap!" Well, you'd be right, but that's not the comic's fault - it's because it's from the government. Government isn't good at very many things, but it is fantastic at being absolutely full of crap.

Superkids is a comic from 1976 that was created by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. It seems to be some bizarre form of state propaganda that you would think would be confined to crazy fringe groups like PeTA and governments in books like 1984. I guess Orwell got the year wrong.

Anyway, their powers come from a magical rock, complete with instructions. The wonderful irony is that if the rock actually did exist the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources would totally regulate it and those kids would not be allowed to use it. Then we'd all end up homeless and poor by 1996 because they couldn't divide our garbage for us.

There's also this one, which is just downright creepy, in my humble opinion:



You can see the rest of the comics here... they get more ridiculous (but harder to make into a quick post before supper) as time goes on. Unfortunately the guy whose site they're on has some wacky opinions of his own, but at least he provided us with tonight's amusement.

So if you were alive in 1976 and paying taxes, sucks to be you.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

my "abortion blogburst" contribution

I'm a Conservative and I'm pro-choice.
You can't legislate morality or religion and I'm happiest and we're freest when government doesn't try.


I wish I could write more, but since school is devouring my life right now, that's all I've got to add.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Government and Your Liberty

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

LSS in the WS

For any of you non-Western Standard subscribers, here's the quick writeup with photos from this years' Liberty Summer Seminar by Ezra Levant, with some photos both by and of yours truly.

Click to enbiggen.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tragedy of the... TTC?

A little over a week ago I was riding on the TTC and looked up, and, to my amusement, saw this ad:



and snapped a photo.

If you're sitting there wondering to yourself "Why do people litter on the TTC?" think of this: People don't litter at home because, since they own their homes, they have an interest in keeping their home clean and generally in good shape - the benefit and the responsibility for the home fall on a specific person or group of people. Since everybody "owns" and uses the TTC, there isn't one person or group of people who have an interest in keeping it clean and so, since the responsibility falls on everyone, it effectively goes to no one.

If you're still confused, then I suggest you educate yourself on the tragedy of the commons, which is the name for this phenomenon. Here's the gist of it:

The parable demonstrates how unrestricted access to a resource such as a pasture ultimately dooms the resource because of over-exploitation. This occurs because the benefits of exploitation accrue to individuals, while the costs of exploitation are distributed between all those exploiting the resource. (from Wiki)

If you have a few spare minutes, you should also play the Bunny Game.
(From The IHS' Liberty Arcade.)

While I don't think that privatization would necessarily have that great an impact on the litter levels on the TTC (a private owner who would be able to set the fares may be more inclined to hire people to clean it up than a forever rationing government administration... but then again they may not), I do find it simultaneously amusing and sad that people are so ignorant about a fairly basic economic concept that explains why so many well-meaning plans go afoul.

(And, for the record, though I don't think litter levels would necessarily be changed, I do think that the overall service levels and quality of the TTC would be improved by privatization... just so there aren't any crazy misunderstandings.)

Peter Jaworksi offers his thoughts on my photo here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lindy at the LSS

Lindy at the 2006 Liberty Summer Seminar.


For more video from the LSS, check out Peter's post of another Lindy video from YouTube, which won't let me blog their videos right now, and all the Google Video of speakers at the seminar - courtesy of Stephen Taylor for the most part, I think.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

weekend of liberty!

So this past weekend was the sixth annual Liberty Summer Seminar, and it was amazing, for those of you who were silly enough to not attend.
(For a taste of the action, check out some photos I took that Peter was kind enough to upload for easy viewing... but check soon, before it's not just my photos, and then check back to see more.)

As for appearances, there were old favourites aplenty - between Jan Narveson and Ezra Levant of the Western Standard's annual appearances, Pierre Desrochers gave his talk on the invisible hand and its green thumb, though it was a bit more relaxed at LSS than I've seen it in the past. And how could we forget MARV?

Jan's talk this LSS was on property rights, rather than just principles of liberty (which is the talk I've seen him give in the past.) Ezra, while he's more of a conservative than a libertarian, is so damn entertaining that I don't think anyone really cares.

There were plenty of new appearances this weekend, too - my personal favourites were Danielle Smith of the Alberta Property Rights Initiative and, of course, Mike Walker of the Fraser Institute. Maybe it was the fact that they both used anecdotal evidence to back up their points, or maybe it was the fact that they both just kicked so much ass, but I still get enthused thinking about their presence at this year's LSS. I got to sit and talk with Danielle Smith during a torrential downpour (no worries, there was a tent) and stand and talk with Mike Walker after singing and dancing with him to Brown Eyed Girl at around 2am. (What the hell? I know. It was awesome.)

Another highlight was Scott Reid (the good one, not beer-and-popcorn Scott Reid). Not only did he stay for the entire seminar, rather than showing up just for his talk (something I wasn't expecting of an MP) but he seemed genuinely concerned about the freedom of Canadians. When he mentioned breaking the party line to vote to help protect Canadian privacy I had no qualms about backing up Peter Jaworski's applause.

The announcement of creation of The Institute for Liberal Studies - an organization to educate about and encourage the spread of liberty in Canada - was also exciting for me, as it's a project that we've been working on for a little while now, and it was great to see the reception it got from the crowd this weekend.

(For anyone upset about the name, click on the link. "Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value." (Wiki) It's not just a political party, you know.)

Lindy also gave an amazing performance on Saturday night. Great original songs and covers, plus he kept us all laughing. I haven't been that entertained in a long time - we'll definitely make the trek out to see him next time we can and he's in Windsor.

I suppose I could go on and on about how great the other speakers, company, hosts, food, etc. were, but I'll cut it off here. Stay tuned for LSS video so you can catch up on all the awesomeness you missed out on this past weekend.

Can't wait for next year.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

back off! pay your own mortgage!


Good on Garth Turner for going after MP's mortgage subsidies. I'm not usually a huge fan of Garth's, but this is one battle worth fighting and having a Tory come out against it is great.

This is the kind of thing a Conservative government could quash without losing voter support (heck, you'd probably win some), and for those reasons the kind of thing I was really hoping we would go after once we were in government.

There's absolutely no reason that an MP, making the money that they do, can't pay for an apartment in Ottawa along with their home in their riding without any government allowance whatsoever. There are people out there who make ends meet in similar situations with far less - they certainly aren't helped by MPs taking away hard-earned money to make life easier for themselves.

Not to mention that, as Anchorlink points out, these allowances can even be used to pay for mortgages on property that MPs owned before being elected. (She is also the source for this post's tagline and the hi-liarious graphic seen above.)

I don't even want to think about how my MP, who still hasn't bothered to actually move to his riding (it's so darn hard to sell your property when you overprice it by $20K) is spending this allowance.

So kudos to Garth on this one. Hopefully his reputation as a maverick won't get him written off on this one.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hooray!

Quebec to Allow Private Health Insurance!

Even if it's limited, this is definitely a step in the right direction. I'm so glad to see that the Chaoulli decision had this effect. Let's just hope the rest of the country catches on...

(I guess the death of Zarqawi is a big story, but I would have loved for CBC to have to broadcast this across their homepage, rather than the ten-point font link that's up now.)

From a partisan political perspective, the Liberals might have a harder time attacking us on "two-tier health care" when they have to bash Quebec to do it, which would be spiffy. I guess we'll see.

This just made my day. :D

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

common sense drug policy

LEAP, a group I recently became aware of after reading Pierre Lemieux's column in the latest Western Standard (a worthwhile read for any libertarian, 'case you don't know and you're curious) presents the most logical formal presentation on the problems with the drug policies usually supported by c/Conservatives and how legalization could be a step forward in solving the drug/crime problem here.

It's definitely worth a watch, even if you don't agree.

Click click click. (You know you wanna.)

it's that time again

That's right, kids, it's time once again to get all revved up for:


The Liberty Summer Seminar!

You may have already heard about this years' seminar, in which case this is a handy reminder to register before July 1 for the early bird rate! If you haven't, here's my little plug to give you an idea:

Hosted by Peter Jaworski at his parents' beautiful property in Orono, Ontario, the Liberty Summer Seminar is an unbelievable weekend of camping, eating, music, and bonding over a love for (or interest in) freedom and is turning six this year!

The big speaker will be Dr. Michael Walker, who was the Executive Director of the Fraser Institute from 1974 - 2005... which is pretty cool, and I'm excited to hear him speak. I'm sure Dr. Jan Narveson will be making his annual appearance and putting all young partiers to shame once again this year with his trusty plastic glass of red wine, while verbally destroying anyone who dares speak ill of liberty in his presence. (Really, people, arguing with an Order of Canada recipient is not such a smart thing to do. The guy just knows a lot of stuff.)

If you're interested in how liberty affects our everyday lives and how we can be more free in society, it's a great event to attend, as you learn a lot, do some great networking, and have a crapload of fun while you're at it.

It's a great weekend and I hope some can make it. If you know anyone who's interested please pass on the site.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

McGuipocrites?

So I'm flipping through the Windsor Star before heading to work this morning and I come across an article regarding McGuinty bitching (again) about the fact that Ontario puts more into the equalization transfers than it gets. It's entitled "We pay for benefits for others."

Well, yeah. That's kind of how socialism works, and your government has been trumpeting the "greater good" as the cause behind a helluva lot of measures it's passed in Ontario. But let's put that aside and focus on the issue at hand.

McGuinty insists that "the national equalization program shouldn't be enriched to help poorer provinces that choose to keep tuitions low and slash taxes."

So the provincial government is upset that the federal government is taking money from it to do things that it doesn't necessarily agree with (even though most of the other provinces, who are net benefactors in the equalization program, agree) because it makes more than the other provinces? Does Ontario wish that it could benefit from its own prosperity rather than divvying up its earnings?

Well I could totally get on board with the government on this one... but I find it a little bit strange that they advocate doing the exact same thing they're complaining about to higher-income earners within the province when they obviously see the downside to such practises.

Is there a good way to take "McGuinty" and "hypocrites" and make them into one word?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

climate change

This is the best article I've read on climate change since February 2003.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

OPCCA Convention

From the Campus PC blog:

Don't miss this one! With guests like Tim Powers, Peter Kent, Lloyd Mackey, Adam Daifallah, and more, this is definitely not your ordinary convention.

Clicking on the banner above gets you to the convention page, including our agenda and registration form.


I'm impressed with the speakers they've managed to secure this year, and the topics sound really interesting. Check it out.

five, count 'em, five commitments!

Is it starting to irritate anyone else that some members of the opposition have just not gotten over the fact that the government is focusing on its five priorities? I keep CPAC on in the background while I'm cleaning or doing homework or whatever, and I keep hearing MPs who are shocked and appalled that the government was vague on its environmental plans. Meanwhile Harper was clear that we're going to get his five priorities through before focusing on anything else.

It's almost like all they want is empty rhetoric and idle promises. Though I suppose if the environment is your thing, that's what you're going to talk about.

Certainly after yesterday's sad showing for the Afghanistan debate we should be hearing less about that, at least.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pet Peeve #4672

One thing that gets me peeved pretty often is a complete lack of respect for the armed forces in Canada. You don't have to agree with the missions they're on, but it shouldn't matter. People who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend Canadians and our country deserve an ounce or two of respect, especially from those who aren't willing to do those things.

On that note, the Windsor Star got me worked up today by publishing the article: Co-op program called death sentence.

The article reports on a new co-op program that's been done with the military and the high schools in my area, for which students would be paid and earn four credits towards their degree, and then has quotes from people for and opposed to the idea.

The article is annoying just because it's fairly biased (four sources against, two for) but aside from that, I'm disappointed that the Star decided it was prudent of them to find one student who was completely against the program and ignorant to boot, while apparently not looking for any students in favour of the program. It was my high school. I still visit it. I know the people there. I have a hard time believing that the entire student population (especially those attending the meeting) would be against the program.

As for the teenager they did interview (a grade 11 girl):

"It's too disciplined, too scary," said Fleming about the military. "They beat it into you so you don't know what you think anymore. You're not a person anymore. You're just a machine."

Clearly a sixteen year-old girl with absolutely no experience with the military, with the possible exception of having seen an R-rated movie, if someone rented it for her, is an authority on this subject.

Fleming said she doesn't know what kind of response the program had at her high school, but she's sure there are students who will be drawn to it. "People who want basic things like money and health care will end up going for it. And I'm worried that it will happen to my friends."

Um, this is Canada. In case this girl hadn't notied, there is a fairly large debate raging over how to fix a system under which everyone is covered already. Sure you'd probably get a drug plan, but you'll get that if you get a job at Home Depot.

As for thinking people will get conned into doing something dangerous for money... is this student also opposed to her friends becoming police officers or firefighters?

There is absolutely no logic in her argument, and ignorance makes me grumpy.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

i just donated to the Western Standard

I just donated to the Western Standard, and you should, too.

The Western Standard is being sued for publishing the Mohammed cartoons by some nutty imam in Calgary who seems to be intent on giving all kinds of Muslims a bad name. This imam, Syed Soharwardy, first tried to have Ezra Levant arrested, but when the police explained to him that this is Canada and you can't go to jail for exercising freedom of speech, he decided to spite them and freedom lovers everywhere by proving that while the government won't detain you for exercising a freedom, it is more than willing to sue you.

And so, by using the Alberta Human Rights Commission as his vehicle, Soharwardy has successfully ensured that the Western Standard has to pay $75,000 (which the magazine is attempting to raise) and spend hours in court to defend its rights over what is obviously a nuisance charge. If you're in Alberta, you'll be pleased to hear that you, yes you, you lucky taxpayer, you, will be paying for Soharwardy's side of the trial.

I won't go into all the additional reasons (not personally, anyway) that this is a stupid charge but for all you freedom lovers out there, here's a chance to put your money where your mouth is.

I'm a student so I can't afford much, but I can afford a little. Maybe you can afford a little less, maybe a little more. But however much you can afford, this is your chance to stand up for a freedom that is already restricted too much in this country, so pitch in and do what you can!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

protesters and smoking bans: a two part post.

I won't get into how I feel about the war in Iraq and our soldiers in Afghanistan, but I am pretty amused by the stories about the protests that happened this weekend, and in particular by one story that reported a protester carrying a sign that said "Harper, you were barely elected!" This is, of course, amusing because Harper didn't send the troops into Afghanistan, the Liberals did. And if you put the Tories (who support having troops there) and the Liberals (who sent them there in the first place), you have quite a large majority of the House.

It just makes me laugh when someone's partisan objectives shine through when they try to take the moral high ground as a disguise.



In other news, a town in California has blown Ontario's imminent smoking ban out of the water in terms of the extremes it's going to to keep second-hand smoke away from non-smokers (click) and, as usual, people with no concept of what anybody's rights are come rushing in to defend the ban. Le sigh.

Monday, March 13, 2006

WLS photos

Photos are up at the Freedom Project.


(I took this one!)

Check out the rest for a glimpse of what you missed at the Windsor Liberty Seminar this weekend.

WLS overview

Peter Jaworski does an excellent overview of the Windsor Liberty Seminar, and since I'm lazy, if you'd like to know more, reading his post on the day.

Contacting Peter is also a great way (in fact, it's the best way) to find out more about the Liberty Summer Seminar, which, in case I haven't hammered it into your brain enough, you should attend.

UPDATES:
Blue Blogging Soapbox offers another thorough (and flattering) account of the seminar here.

Ian Clary, another WLS attendee, offers his thoughts on the seminar here , with hints at more thoughts on the day to come. Read Ian's blog for his thoughts on libertarianism and Christianity, a topic I always find quite interesting.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Windsor Liberty Seminar

Thanks to all who attended the Windsor Liberty Seminar this past weekend. The turnout and speakers were both great, and it was awesome to see lots of new libertarian faces along with old friends.

Photos and an overview of the seminar might be posted on the Freedom Project soon.
Don't worry, readers. I'll keep you in the loop.

It's almost time to start plugging for the Liberty Summer Seminar! If you haven't attended one of them before, and you just couldn't make it down to the WLS, you ought to make an effort to attend this year.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

John Tory on health care.

I was disappointed last Friday morning to once again hear John Tory harping on the importance of having only one payer in the Ontario health care system.

He did manage to lighten the mood (well, my mood anyways) by using what was, by far, the worst metaphor anyone has ever used to defend a single-payer health care system.

John Tory says: "We can't leave some people stuck on a leaky boat while others are able to use their resources to buy their way onto a better boat."
(Not verbatim, but that was the spirit of it.)

My inner monologue says: "That's right, John! You keep everybody on that leaky boat! Fuck the lifeboats, we are going down with this ship!

Later, the boyfriend says: "Yeah, because the last thing you want to do is lighten the load on a leaking boat."

Oh, the fun to be had with that metaphor. I'm certainly not getting sick of it any time soon.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

bump!



Since I know you've been losing sleep since you haven't remembered to register for the Windsor Liberty Seminar yet, here's a reminder! March 11, Windsor. Spread the liberty!

Click the banner for more information or to register.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And now, I rant about freedom of speech.

While I'm not all that upset by the decision of most media outlets in the country to not publish the infamous Danish cartoons (with the exception of the CBC, which is a special case, as I outline here) I am intrigued by the discussions regarding freedom of speech in Canada that it's prompted around the blogosphere.

Many bloggers, such as this one, (h/t P.M. Jaworksi) believe that publishing these cartoons actually violate the rights of Muslims. (He also believes in "group rights," which I'm turning over in my head attempting to define, but that's a subject for another post.)

Now, being offended does not in any way hold a candle to a rights violation, and if I had ever been a victim of a rights violation I imagine I would be fairly offended by the suggestion.

I understand and respect that Muslims believe that pictures of the prophet are blasphemous, but put quite simply, we're not all Muslim.

(Matt at The Freedom Project often tells a story Penn Jillette told on the radio one day about a guy who wears a Mason ring but is not a Mason. Someone might look at him and exclaim "But you're not supposed to wear those unless you're a Mason!" but he replies, "I know, but it's OK, since I'm not a Mason.")

There are plenty of beliefs that I don't hold and therefore I don't follow. For instance, I don't believe that choosing to end your life is something that anyone should be able to tell you you can't do, and so I would support any legislation to legalize euthanasia and oppose any legislation that would make suicide in Canada illegal. This is offensive to a lot of people, but while it would make my friends and family sad, it certainly doesn't violate anybody's rights if I decide to have a doctor put me out for good.

Now, whether or not you believe there should be a law against that kind of thing is your own business. I can't justify passing a law that pushes one persons's value system down anybody else's throat, but that's why I'm a libertarian.

I can respect an opinion saying that you don't think that the cartoons should be published because it's in bad taste, but please don't try to tell me that you're against it because of some fabricated rights violation.

(Besides, many Muslims believe in Sharia law, and we all saw how freaked out everyone got when someone suggested bringing that in.)



Another problem arises when people start talking about hate crime charges in response to publications such as The Western Standard publishing the cartoons.

A typical leftist response that I've been hearing is that Ezra Levant is publishing these cartoons because he's some crazy conservative and he's just hiding behind the guise of freedom of speech, and I don't actually have a problem with this statement, other than the fact that I disagree with it.

The problem comes in when you start saying that publishing these cartoons is against freedom of speech or that it violates the spirit of freedom of speech because it is so offensive to Muslims. At that point you're just wrong.

Freedom is the right to be obnoxious or tasteful, offensive or courteous. The whole point of freedom of speech is that you can be an asshole if you really want to, and no one can tell you that you can't, and they certainly shouldn't be able to charge you with a crime for doing it.

So you can be against publishing the cartoons if you really want. But please admit that if you're against allowing others to publish them then you are also against freedom of speech.

/endrant.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

spin, spin, spin.

I always find the ways in which the news is spun particularily amusing. For instance, Pierre Bourque has chosen to jump on the Emerson thing like a fat kid on a muffin. Sure, he's offering both sides of the story, but a little font size manipulation goes a long way when you're presenting the headlines.


(As you can see, Gretzky is also getting the short end of the stick.)

One other thing that amuses me is how quickly Bourque Newswatch changed its tune once what Kinsella wanted (Paul Martin out) was accomplished. It's fun to remember that despite the fact that he has one of the biggest egos on the net, we can always count on Bourque to ask "how high?" when Warren tells him to jump.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Windsor Liberty Seminar

WLS Banner


Registraton for the Windsor Liberty Seminar opens today. You can learn more and/or register by clicking on the banner above.

Come on down to Windsor on March 11 for a weekend of learning and liberty in Canada's very own "sin city." The Superbowl will be over and we've got nothin' to do after then.

The speakers are great and hopefully we can get some new people out and excited about freedom-oriented activism.

If you'd like to post the banner to help us advertise please let us know so that we can thank you!

Note: thanks to sponsorship by the Institute for Humane Studies, this event is open free of charge.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

so it goes

So it's over.

I guess I'm pretty happy with the overall results of the election. I know a lot of tories would have liked to do better in Toronto, but with our stand on SSM, I think it's a little bit silly to be surprised by how things went there.

I was extremely disappointed to see Jeremy Harrison lose by only 106 votes - the kind of loss that can be prevented with an exceptionally strong campaign. Sounds like there's some controversy surrounding that riding, though, so we'll see what happens.

I'll admit that we were a bit blindsided by what happened here in Windsor-Tecumseh. It was an exceptionally hard loss, both because of the work that Rick and our team put in down here, and because we had simply misread the data and were expecting better. NDP polling numbers are tricky. We learned a lot, though. Our eday system works amazingly well - we got our vote out. I'm a little bit addicted to training volunteers now, though. I miss it already and it's only been a few days.

So what's ahead? I expect the Accountability Act will pass without much opposition and we'll see how bad things have really been. After that? I guess we'll see. I'm inclined to think that the next election won't be for three years or so. A bit of a break from elections is in order anyways.

For now, expect to see updates on the Windsor Liberty Seminar very soon, as registration opens on Friday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Liberal attack ads

Yesterday my campaign manager and I watched the Liberal attack ads in his office and we agreed that they had the potential to be pretty devastating. They could have, but I don't think they will be.

The Liberals, in typical 2006 Liberal Campaign fashion, screwed themselves over by pulling the military ad, and then screwed themselves over further when John Duffy lost it on Mike Duffy during a commercial break on Mike Duffy live last night.

Pull one ad of 12 and you take away the credibility of the other 11. These are rookie mistakes, although I'm sure that plenty of Liberal strategists would take offense to that coming from some nobody 21-year-old campaign worker. (After all, it's not what you do, it's how long you've been doing it.)



Meanwhile, polling numbers from our phone bank in Windsor-Tecumseh continue to astound even our own campaign workers. "Stand Up for Canada" signs are appearing in the riding without requests from the campaign, Rick has been kicking ass in the debates he's participating in, and I'm loving all the calls we're getting from supporters asking about the details of the victory party.

Only 12 days to go. Only 12 more days of phone banking, door knocking, scrutineer calling, event planning, GOTV, and spinach dip and chicken wings at Murphy's Tap and Eatery (aka the unofficial Windsor-Tecumseh Conservative Campaign Headquarters II), and envelope stuffing into the wee hours of the morning.

Only 12 more days of NDP declaration that Windsor-Tecumseh is their "safest seat."