The Shotgun Blog
Friday, September 30, 2005
The Future of Conservatism
This is my last blog entry. Other priorities demand my full attention and I am hanging up my blogging hat indefinitely. In light of this, I thought I would weigh in on the "raging debate" about the future of conservatism in Canada that has been taking place on the pages of the National Post. Unlike Adam Daifallah, I will not confuse the modern American definition of conservatism with the old political conservatism which emerged out of British politics and which breathed its last breath in Canada, save a few adherents here and there, some twenty years ago. This early conservatism concerned itself with loyalty to the monarchy, Canadian cultural and economic nationalism as a response to the American threat (whether real, perceived or contrived), maintaining strong ties to Great Britain, and expanding government and using it to achieve these objectives. This conservatism is dead. It died with George Grant. Adam is wrong when he claims that the leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada between 1867 and 1987 (give or take a few years) were not that conservative. Sure they were, but not in the modern sense of the word.
The only way to advance modern conservative ideas (which, by the way, are classic liberal ideas) such as smaller government and greater individual and economic freedom, is to stop talking about them as conservative ideas. They are human values and ideas which do not require a label. Canadians do not like the conservative brand. How many Canadians actually describe themselves as conservative? Not many. Yet, when asked for their opinion, these same Canadians complain about high taxes and about too many government regulations which limit their freedom. If Preston Manning's suggestion of creating a conservative infrastructure in Canada is to ever come to fruition, the "conservative" label must be dropped and replaced with terms like freedom, liberty, and individual rights.
We need to advance these ideas without the baggage of pre-free trade Conservative Party of Canada politics, the baggage of Diefenbaker and Mulroney, and without the accusations that we are trying to Americanize Canada with conservatism which many Canadians now associate with Bush and Pat Robertson. We will not win the war of ideas by painting this movement as somehow having derived from John A. Macdonald. We also won't win if we try to model ourselves after the GOP. We need a Canadian solution to defeat the confused quasi-Socialist values that have come to dominate Canadian media, institutions and government.
Freedom. Liberty. Individual rights. These are concepts we should start with. These are the things that Canada needs if it is to survive and prosper as a country. God bless Canada.
Multiple Scandals in Ottawa? Scott Brison slips up
Did Scott Brison, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, let the scandal cat out of the bag?
Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, is that not interesting? The minister will not deny that he claimed yesterday that an invoice was seized when in fact, by all appearances, over 100 boxes of evidence were taken from the offices of his department.
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that there are several ongoing RCMP investigations and Public Works has cooperated fully with the RCMP.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh.
Scott Brison needs to explain himself. He announced "several" ongoing RCMP investigations on the floor of the House. That was captured in the official transcript. He should be required to enumerate each and every investigation, when it was started, who is running it, and the nature of the allegations being investigated.
Let's see what happens on the floor of the House next week.
[Extended entry at Angry in the Great White North]
Like holding a rally for lower taxes and inviting the Klan
That's the foolishness of these anti-war rallies which invariably become free-for-alls for the death-to-Israel, Bush=Hitler crowd, Lileks notes insightfully. It doesn't broaden the base. "Middle America might have legitimate gripes with the Administration’s war policy, but they’re disinclined to side with hairy people who paint Bush as Hitler with dripping fangs."
Oh well. That doesn't mean they can't keep trying. Here's some photos from the Sept. 24 San Francisco anti-war rally that were taken by someone who genuinely seems to support their cause. Which makes you wonder, what kind of image they're after, exactly. If you don't think the guy with the "Blackwater Mercanaries out of Iraq and New Orleans" sign on his walker isn't a bit much, then there probably ain't nuthin that is.
UPDATE: My bad. Seems the fella posting the photos was trying to discredit the anti-war movement after all. The folks in the photos are the ones doing it inadvertently.
I become arrogant and offer advice to an entire movement
At the risk of thinking too highly of my meager thoughts, I've posted a lengthy diatribe at my blog about the Conservative Party and why it continues to fail to resonate with Canadians.
A new poll has been released showing that conservative support is growing and not surprisingly many on the right are agitating for an election. If rumours are right, they'll get their wish sometime this fall. And we'll lose again.
What's the standard that the Conservative Party is leading with right now? You and I might be able to rhyme off a few things but we're supposed to be able to, we are politically inclined. Ask the average Canadian what the Conservative Party stands for? I'll bet you won't get very many illuminating answers.
It's the same problem that the American conservative movement faced in the 1960s and you can read it here. Probably nothing no one else has railed on about but I figured I'd get my two cents in.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
The CBC Will Settle Soon
As I have posted several times before, I have been delighted with the current CBC lockout. The only thing that would improve it would be having a manager announce the titles and performers of music that is being played both before and after it is played. But I think this slice of near-heaven is doomed for two reasons:
First, if management has any sense, they will realize that most CBC listeners/viewers do not really miss the CBC. From Michael Campbell, p C03, of the Sept. 29th Vancouvre Sun [h/t to JAK]:
Day 46 and the CBC is still out, but the country's holding together. Is there any limit to the resilience of the Canadian public?
You'll have to forgive me (of course, friends of the CBC won't), but the passionate supporters of the national broadcaster have always been over the top in couching the CBC as the glue that holds the nation together. For some, it's the primary rationale for the nearly $1 billion that taxpayers pay to support the public broadcaster.
To be more precise, according to the latest budget documents, Canadian taxpayers spend about $2.7 million per day to subsidize the CBC, which works out to $982.4 million a year (up from $702 million in 1997). It's this level of spending, combined with low ratings for the CBC's English-language television, that has many people asking whether taxpayers are getting their money's worth.
And if nobody misses the CBC, what is the point of subsidizing it to the tune of $47quadzillion? CBC managers should soon become concerned about whether a different set of politicians might vote to privatize the broadcaster and remove its subsidy because, if that were to happen, many of them would be looking for new jobs.
Second, the NHL is about to begin regular-season play. Hockey night in Canada has been a major revenue source for the CBC, and if they are unable to present hockey in its full glory, if at all, they will suffer both short-term revenue losses and long-term reliability concerns: the NHL could easily strike new deals with the other networks to provide even more hockey than those other outlets already provide, and the CBC could be left on the outside.
The expectation of this possible loss of revenue, in both the short term and long term, gives the members of the guild a stronger hand in bargaining now than they had a month ago. Management has presented a new offer to the Guild.
CBC management made what it described as "significant compromises" yesterday on several contentious issues, particularly new limits on the number of contract workers it would hire per year, in order to end its labour dispute.
However, the Canadian Media Guild, which represents the 5,500 locked-out CBC staff who have been walking on picket lines throughout Canada for seven weeks, called management's settlement offer only a small step toward ending the dispute.
My point estimate is that they will settle by mid-October. Here is hoping I am wrong. But if I am correct, here is hoping it is not for the wrong reason [$ subscription required]:
Heavyweight Liberal MPs called for an overhaul of the CBC management and an end to the labour law that allows the crown corporation to lock out staffers as management put a new offer on the table last night.
I had been impressed, up 'til now, that Liberal and NDP politicians have not become more involved on the side of the Media Guild. But this is something we do not need: MPs declaring the CBC a sacrosanct employer that must not be allowed to lock out its workers.
Separation of state . . . and health care
Paul Tuns describes a libertarian argument, here, against the Canadian single-payer system for health care.
There's another way to look at public regulation, delivery, and funding of health care . . . a Burkean conservative, institutional argument.
I'd like to see the separation of health care and the state, so that hospitals and clinics become legally free-standing institutions, and so the profession of medicine isn't coerced by having to either come into the single-payer system or stay out altogether.
I've written at some length about alternatives to the current system on my blog, under the heading Canadian Health "Care" 'one,' 'two,' and so on. Something that's been forgotten is the contrast between what happened in Saskatchewan v. Alberta when the single-payer system was brought in.
When the single-payer system kicked in, hospitals and physicians were flooded with patients needing bones reset that had never been set, boils burst, and on and on. When people in Saskatchewan couldn't afford health care, they went without, and so when the universal, single-payer system came in, there was a huge pent-up demand for health care. But Alberta had a hybrid system:
- Alberta had government-run health units to which people could come for immunization, eye and ear tests, and many of the things that people now take to the emergency ward
- Every Albertan was required to have medical insurance; if someone couldn't afford insurance, the Alberta Gov't had a very inexpensive non-profit insurance option;
- Hospitals were free-standing, municipal institutions locally governed by self-perpetuating boards or Christian charities likewise governed by self-perpetuating boards;
- Physicians and surgeons ran their businesses and governed their profession much as lawyers still do.
When the single-payer system was imposed on Alberta by the federal gov't, THERE WAS NO PENT-UP DEMAND FOR HEALTH CARE.
It's time to disestablish health care. It's time for separation of health care and state.
Never say never again
Those who remember Gary Collins, who was B.C.'s Finance Minister until last December, may be interested to know that he hasn't lost his skill at answering questions as a politician does.
Mr. Collins, who is now the CEO of Harmony Airways, was recently interviewed by Business Edge, a Vancouver business affairs newspaper. Mr. Collins gave a standard answer when asked why he had decided to leave politics.
"Why did you resign as B.C. Finance Minister last December?"
[Mr. Collins] "Because I'd been doing it for 14 years and I have a very young family. I had sort of completed what I think I went there to do. I looked at all the indicators, all the work we had done and sort of said, "Well, where do I go for the next four years?" I thought it was probably an opportune time to get out of elected office and let someone else have a go at it. I never viewed it as a lifetime career. I viewed it as something I would do for a while, as long as I could continue, and then move on."
Okay, we can conclude that Mr. Collins has had his fill of politics, right? Yes. No, I mean no! Well, you can imagine that I was a little confused by his answer to a qustion later on in the interview.
"What would it take for you to be lured back into politics?"
[Mr. Collins] "People have asked me if I would ever go back and the answer is 'Yeah, I would go back.' I'm not planning on going back. It's not something that I am waiting for to happen. If the right issues come along and I felt I could contribute and I would add value to improving things or solving a problem, then you know, I might consider it. But its certainly not something I have written down in an agenda pad. I'm doing what I am doing now. I'm very interested in it. I have lots of challenges to keep me busy for the next number of years and we'll see what happens."
Let's parse this. The answers seem to me to be, in order:
2) Yes, but don't hold me to that.
3)Yes, if the generic conditions that led me to politics in the first place happen again. [Politicians are only unable to "make a positive contribution" or "solve problems" in places like Stalin's Russia or Castro's Cuba"]
4. No, on second thought don't assume that I will go back to politics because I don't have plans to do so...
5. ...because I have lots of challenges to keep me busy...
6. ...for the next few years which may mean "until I become Premier of B.C.," or "retire".
Spin worthy of a Maytag washer. :) Within a single paragraph, no less.
Freedom v. 'free' healthcare
Jacob Sullum, senior editor at Reason, addressed a Montreal Economic Institute event in Toronto yesterday (CP report here) about food freedom -- the freedom to eat what you want without government interference. Here are some choice quotes:
"People may very well choose to trade off years of their life, or the possibility of disease or injury, in exchange for the current pleasure, excitement, or stress relief they get (from food)."
"It's not for the government to say that's not a legitimate trade-off to make. Canadians need to question the idea that just because something implicates health that government intervention is justified."
"You're talking about protecting people from their own decisions," Sullum said in an interview before the speech.
"What you put in your mouth and how much exercise you get, that's pretty personal. It doesn't get much more personal than that."
All true, but the counter-argument the Left gives in Canada is that these decisions affect your health, that the public pays for (much of) your healthcare and therefore your private decisions have a public cost. Again, that's true. But for libertarians and conservatives that should be an argument against universal, single-payer, state-run healthcare. If such a healthcare system limits my legitimate freedoms, then the system is an onerous burden that needs to be changed, not my behaviour. Mark Steyn has written numerous times that the biggest problem with Canada's healthcare system is not that it is hugely expensive and yet literally kills people, but that it makes people weak because they become dependent on the state. He should add that the second biggest problem, though, is that it gives license for the state to control any part of your life that has (or could be argued to have) any affect on your health.
You will watch us! And you will like it!
Courtesy of Neale News, a new report showing what the rest of us already knew: Canadians prefer U.S. shows over local fare. Apparently, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to some people that Canadians share the same need for coherent entertainment as the rest of the world. They simply cannot comprehend that an overwhelming portion of the population is completely uninterested in Aboriginal programming and Punjabi TV. That's to say nothing about the preponderance of French channels on the Canadian dial.
The CRTC and it's proponents try to foist ambiguous Canadian programming on an unwilling populace, through regulations. What they are finding though, is that Canadians cannot be compelled to watch government approved programming, even if you eliminate most of their choices. Hence, the presence of a growing number of (nudge, wink) U.S. satellites. Try to make them tune in to the views you want them to see, and they will simply tune out.
Don't expect that to stop them from trying to expand regulations, though...
But the poor showing for Canadian-made TV shows comes despite the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the country's broadcast regulator, giving domestic broadcasters incentives to include more advertising minutes per primetime hour if they broadcast more Canadian dramas.
"From our perspective, we believe that the ad incentive program is inadequate, and the only way in which Canadian broadcasters will actually produce Canadian material to any significant extent is if they're obligated to do so through regulation," said Steve Waddell, national executive director of ACTRA, Canada's actors union. (emphasis added)
They can keep piling on more rules, but don't expect their fortunes to change. Last time I checked, TV was still an optional activity. When you offer few choices other than French kids shows (that still use mimes -eeek!) or 'cultural' channels or the CBC (I think they use mimes, too!) don't be surprised when most of us simply decide to go rent a movie.
Now, I don't watch a lot of TV but when I do, I'm not going to waste my time on a program that has a quota for Canadian content. I am virulently allergic to government-regulated programming, and would much rather jump off the cliff, into that wild void called 'choice'. If a Canadian program is good, people will watch it. If however, it is nothing short of politically correct pap - it has to be shoved down our throats, by the CRTC.
Welcome to the Canadian version of 'freedom of choice' - You are free to choose what we want you to see. Thanks guys, but I think I'll just go scrub the brick with a toothbrush, instead.
DeLay & The Journos
I have no idea whether Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, who yesterday temporarily stepped down as House Majority Leader, is guilty of the offense he's been accused of and I express no opinion about whether moving political contributions around should be illegal at all, but I do want to express my disgust at the conduct of my fellow journalists. I can't count the number of reporters I ran into here in Washington yesterday who were quite literally filled with glee that DeLay had been indicted.
Cries of "We got him!" "Yes!!!" and "Alright!" filled newsrooms across this town yesterday. People who loudly and publicly proclaim their official objectivity should make more of an effort to...well...be objective.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Japanese death penalty
The MSM and other opponents of capital punishment often state that the United States is the only "industrialized democracy" that still executes criminals. Perhaps they don't consider Japan industrialized or democratic. Japan Today reports:
"A man and a woman were sentenced to death Wednesday for killing seven people including the woman's own relatives in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture in the late 1990s.
The Kokura branch of the Fukuoka District Court handed down the ruling on Futoshi Matsunaga, 44, and his common-law wife Junko Ogata, 43, saying they first conspired to torture to death a 34-year-old man in February 1996 and then to kill six of Ogata's relatives, including her father and mother, over a period of seven months ending in June 1998. "
The plaything of dictators
[Houlin] Zhao a director of the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a former senior Chinese-government official, is a leader in the United Nations's effort to supplant the United States government in the supervision of the Internet...
Only dictators, and, perhaps, the doctrinaire internationalists who so often abet them, stand to gain from placing the Internet under "international" control...
China, a major proponent of a U.N.-administered Internet, already operates the world's largest and most advanced system of online censorship.
Okay enough, I says. It is time to rally the hackers and other sundry computer shut-ins around the world to take on the Communist Chinese, get them to blow Beijing's censorship apart, ping them to pieces, torment them with torrent. Instead of devising screwball viruses, trojans and whatnot, do something historic. (Am I sounding like your mother? "Why don't you do something with your life.") Hey, a bunch of poorly shaved rabblerousers from a Polish shipyard took on the Soviets and eventually won... Instead of Solidarity, we could call it Hackidarity.
Paul Martin: Amateur BSer
Halifax author Laura Penny discusses her new book Your Call is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullsh*t, with Radar magazine:
Radar: Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin: How does he rank on the bullsh*t
LP: He’s up there, but he doesn’t have the effortless ability to drop a load of crap that makes Bush a standout. Although there was a moment earlier this year with Belinda Stronach, who you may have heard of because she’s a pal of Bill Clinton’s. She’s a blonde heiress, the Paris Hilton of Canadian politics.
Radar: I’ve seen photos. She’s not the Paris Hilton of
LP: Well, we’re a dowdy country. The government would have collapsed if Stronach hadn’t switched from the Conservative to the Liberal Party. When Martin announced that she did this because she cared deeply about the country and that it had nothing to do with the impending fall of the government, the press gallery burst out laughing at him. It was f***ing great.
Nouriel Roubini says the price of oil is sure to go over $100/bbl sometime in the next few years. He argues,
Global demand for oil is growing at about 2.1% per year or about 2 mmb/d (million barrels a day) per year. So, new net supply has to increase by as much just to maintain prices at current high levels. But since existing production fields get depleted at the rate of over 4 mmb/d per year, new production from new oil fields has to be at least 6 mmb/d per year just to ensure that the additional net demand is satisfied.
... So, where will the new 6 mmb/d per year new production come from? We would be very lucky if, between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, we get two thirds of this new production per year available between now and 2010. Thus, based on standard elasticities of demand for oil in face of a highly inelastic medium term supply, this implies that we will oil at $100 per barrel well before the end of this decade.
Professor Roubini is a very smart economist, and so I am reluctant to disagree with him. But as I have posted earlier, citing The Emirates Economist, the Alberta tar sands and the Western US oil shale reserves are potentially gi-normous.
But more to the point: As I write this, oil futures prices over the next five and a half years range from under $67/bbl in the short-term down to near $60/bbl five years from now. If Roubini is right (and for all I know, he might be right), why hasn't his argument been capitalized into futures prices for oil?
I can't link to it because it's behind a firewall, but Vancouver Sun columnist Barbara Yaffe writes today that jewel thief and depression sufferer Svend Robinson is contemplating a return to the federal political arena.
Yaffe writes that Robinson is "canvassing the views of friends and foes around town" about the prospect of trying to knock off Liberal big-mouth Hedy Fry in Vancouver Centre.
Perhaps the most astonishing part of Yaffe's column deals with news that Robinson contacted Coquitlam Conservative MP James Moore with a request that, whoever the Tory candidate ends up being in Vancouver Centre, he refrain from hitting "below the belt" with references to Robinson's notorious jewel heist. Moore is quoted as saying he'd promised to speak out against any such alleged low blows, "on the understanding the NDPer in Moore's riding wouldn't play dirty against Moore."
I've never seen better evidence that Ottawa does strange things to one's mind, even one as sharp as Moore's. Since when is it dirty politics to mention someone's criminal past? This is bizarre in the extreme.
Foster on Thatcher
Peter Foster's Financial Post column today (free online) on Margaret Thatcher's upcoming 80th birthday is useful for two reasons: first, it's a well-written piece with a message Canadian conservatives need to hear right now. Second, he directs us to a website set up by a Canadian woman where you can send the Iron Lady birthday wishes.
The Siren Song of Diplomacy
For those who continue to blather on about 'diplomacy' and 'UN Resolutions' as a method of dealing with the flagrantly volatile fascists of Iran, I want to ask -- What the hell are you thinking?
I've come across 2 interesting articles today. They are both on the subject of Iran, but are conspicuously incongruous with each other. The first one relates to British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw's assertion that even the discussion of ...
military action against Iran was "inconceivable".
Mr Straw said he hoped diplomacy could still end the international stand-off over the country's nuclear programme.
Beggin' your pardon Jack, but who's side are you on? And while you take military action completely off the table, Iran's murdering mullahs and their fascist puppet-dictatorship are resounding a fat, maniacal laugh -- right in your puckered up little face, as they prepare to blow the lid off the razor-thin falsehood that they are, even remotely interested in diplomacy.
Think I'm overreacting? Let me crush your hopes and dreams with this article...
Iran's conservative-controlled parliament took a first step Wednesday toward halting snap inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog of its atomic facilities
On Tuesday, Iran threatened to resume uranium enrichment and to cease implementation of the additional protocol allowing for tightened inspections if the West does not modify the resolution passed by the IAEA.
That's right, Jack. Not only have they resumed uranium enrichment in defiance of UN resolutions, but they are also making a move to expel UN inspectors and continue on their path towards obtaining
nuclear weapons (ahem...) I mean nuclear energy without any checks or balances from the international community. Not that I have much faith in the faceless cabal at the UN, but it would be better than giving Iran carte blanche to develop the technology that would make it a simple task to turn the entire eastern seaboard into a smoldering crater. Where are all the hippie eco-freaks when you need them? Don't they realize how many endangered sea otters could be wiped out in an instant, if Iran decides to play dirty?
Call me 'Chicken Little' if you like. I would sleep a whole lot better if the West would stop sending flowers and love-notes to Tehran and instead, had the butt end of a shotgun parked right where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad parks it.
They're laughing at us...and we're giving them a good reason to.
[ Thanks to Cox & Forkum for the toon ]
I just picked this up via Dave Rutherford's radio show and Neale news: http://tinyurl.com/a7fjr
Why should he bother to try to clear his name? After the Coffin sentence he need fear no serious punishment. He can then just shrug it off and count on a new Liberal bestowed lucrative patronage appointment to the senate or other taxpayer funded niche.
Question: Ontario currently has at least a couple dozen different graphic option license plates available. Do you think they'd ever pick up a design like the one above? I don't, which is definitely too bad for Ontario.
I think the problem is seeing a pro-life message is too often immediately equated with being unconditionally anti-abortion (as in, supporting a ban on the practice).
After not even a month of living & going out down here in Sarasota, it's been pretty evident to me just how strong the 'culture of life' here is. The majority of women in their twenties whom I've met here have children. This is remarkable and in complete contrast to what I'm used to in Ottawa. And it's not that these children were forced on them; contraceptives and abortions aren't unknown to Sarasota, these women simply chose and embraced motherhood.
In all honesty, a few years ago I was guilty of the common urban Ontario belief that any woman under 25 who had a child had obviously made some big mistakes. Now I've come about completely and think that any society that shuns young mothers are the ones who are making a big mistake. All the young moms I've met here are still enjoying life, have a never-ending source of pride in their kids, and for the most part are in school, working jobs or even their own business with the help and support of extended family & peers.
Being generally pro-life, without coming down on those who've made a difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy, isn't hard. Lending as much support as possible to a young woman or couple who've chosen to bring a new child on to this planet is critical. Florida is sending the right message with this plate.
Cross-posted to Highway 401 Blog.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Setting the record straight
Exactly one year to the day after my book Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal came off the presses, the Globe and Mail has finally mentioned it. Today their "Buzz" columnist, Patricia Best, dedicates the first five paragraphs of her column to my book. She notes that Peter Newman's anti-Brian Mulroney tome, The Secret Mulroney Tapes, get "prime bookshelf real estate" at Chapters and Indigo but that if someone was looking for a critical book about the last Liberal prime minister, specifically mine, it is nowhere to be found at Canada's mega bookchain. Best says:
"Is it merely a coincidence that Chapters-Indigo is owned and headed by Liberal Party fundraisers and stalwarts Gerry Schwatz and Heather Reisman?
A spokeswoman from Chapters-Indigo says she believes the reason the book's not for sale through her company is that it was not 'presented' to the buying department by the publisher. Strangely, though, Legacy of Scandal is readily available on Amazon.ca."
I have often been asked if the political bias of Indigo-Chapters' owner Heather Reisman is the reason for Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal not being available in either the bricks-and-mortar stores or online. Sad to say, it isn't. The simple reason that the book is not available through Chapters or Indigo is that the company's terms are prohibitive for small publishers: they want to pay a mere 40% of the retail price (and sometimes less), won't pay a cent for the books until 6-8 months after they sell their first copy of the book and want the right to return unsold books less than a year after they receive the first order. (Note: the 40% takes into effect Chapters-Indigo's percentage as not just wholesalers but as distributors.) The problem is, as I've already said, these terms make it impossible for small publishers to make a profit -- the little capital they have is put into the physical production of a book that they won't see payment for until at least half-a-year later. Some publishers are willing to do that for exposure but some, including Freedom Press (Canada) Inc., are not.
While Chapters-Indigo's policy is not censorship, it has the effect of censoring views that are slightly out of the mainstream. Their policy makes it difficult for authors, both left and right, who are forced to use smaller publishers because the larger publishing houses are unwilling to take a chance on new author or veer far from a fairly narrow political spectrum of acceptable views and topics (or even those who merely prefer to use smaller publishers), to reach a mass audience. This is not a complaint, just a fact of life. And I wanted to set the record straight that there is not a nefarious Liberal plot to keep my book out of the hands of Canadians.
Accounting issues at FNUC
First brought to my attention by Dust My Broom, the excessive operating budget of the Board of Governors of the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) is brought under scrutiny by Shaky of Moldy Peaches:
Why does an institution with only 1,200 students need a 32 member Board? My first thought was that that number is outrageous, however, a closer look and one can see how that number is achieved - not justifiably. The SIFC Act specifies the composition and responsibilities of the board of governors. Two members of the board are appointed directly by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). Other members (partners) are appointed by the senate, Agency/Tribal Councils of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan universities, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Saskatchewan Learning, First Nations University of Canada faculty and the First Nations University of Canada Students' Association.
There is, however, one large unjustifiable expense. There is an annual $125,000 "management fee" paid to the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations for political lobbying and connecting with other institutions. This is an utter shame. What is the FSIN lobbying for? Doesn't the board connect with the University of Saskatchewan and Regina representatives when they attend board meetings? Plus, shouldn't the FSIN lobby on behalf of the countries only Aboriginal institution because they believe in the model not to pay the bills? That is a disgrace and only emblematic of larger problems within First Nations governance models.
Perhaps the government should allocate some of that billion dollars towards hiring FNUC an auditor or two.
The Martin Government Would Never Do This
"The European Union has also agreed that each member state will, where necessary, take additional national measures to check and curb illegal or undesirable activities (including issues of funding and propaganda) of the LTTE, its related organisations and known individual supporters," the statement added.
Belinda Stronach: "A great news story"
Belinda Stronach has exceeded my expectations when it comes to lowering the quality of debate in the House of Commons.
Our Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal seems to be a vacuous as we all feared.
Mr. Christian Simard (Beauport—Limoilou, BQ): Mr. Speaker, faced with the sponsorship scandal, the federal government is not learning from its mistakes. The Prime Minister just appointed as head of Service Canada the very person who was in charge of the gun registry, another scandal involving nearly $2 billion for which his government will soon have to answer.
How can the Prime Minister explain his choice in appointing such a mediocre manager as the head of Service Canada?
Belinda then struts her stuff, and our college-dropout-cum-minister shows off what a few months of first year university can do for your mental acumen and debating skills:
Mr. Speaker, if anyone looks at the service Canada details, I think it is a fantastic story. It is about better service to more Canadians in more Canadian communities. In fact, we are expanding our points of service in the next couple of years from 300 to 600. Therefore, this is a great news story.
There are many layers of accountability factored in, including an advisory board, an office for client satisfaction and a service charter.
I am very proud to be associated with service Canada. It is a great news story.
"It's a great news story! It's a great news story! <SQUAWK!> Belinda wants a cabinet post. <SQUAWK!>"
Needless to say, she doesn't answer the question about the appointment of Maryantonett Flumian. Indeed, she doesn't even mention her name. Does Belinda even know what MP Simard is talking about? She should -- Flumian is Stronach's associate deputy minister, after all.
Yet her answer is, well, just weird.
Well, let's hope Belinda's brain gets into gear soon, before she starts to re-write the rules of our democracy, since the Prime Minister saw it fit to make her responsible for "democratic renewal".
"<SQUAWK!> Belinda wants a cabinet post. <SQUAWK!>"
[Cross posted from Angry in the Great White North]
Coming out of the bigamy closet
From Angry in the Great White North, news about legalized polygamy in the Netherlands:
The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose “civil unions” that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married” both Biance (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.
Angry poses the question: is this really a polygamous relationship, legally, or just a case of a bigamist being tolerated by the State?
The difference is important, since as a bigamist, the only legal relationship is between the man and each wife. The wives have no legal relationship to each other, or to each other's children.
In that legal void lurks all sorts of problems.
If Canada starts to tolerate bigamists as a way of allowing polygamy through the back door, it won't be long before the legal problems with that approach will force these people to demand formal recognition and new laws to cover their "lifestyle".
Angry has more analysis.
Now watch as Canada yells "Yippeeee!" as it careens down the slippery slope.
[Cross-posted from small dead animals]
She didn't swear "by God"
Live blogging the installation of the new Governor-General, I noticed that she didn't swear "by God" but gave a solemn affirmation. The ability to give a solemn affirmation in place of swearing by God was first instituted in Upper Canada, I think, in the 1850s for Christians who for religious reasons would not swear "by God" (see here).
But the ability to swear a solemn affirmation also allows those who believe in another god, or who don't believe in God, to avoid having to swear "by God."
Blogging For Taxpayers
Let's give this initiative by David MacLean at the Taxpayers Federation a push.
Our challenge: Go through the mountains of travel, booze and meal expenses charged to taxpayers by hundreds of politicians and mandarins that are listed here.
Find the waste, look for conflicts, identify questionable expenditures. Take a moment to jot down your thought and email them to me. All of the worthwhile submissions will be posted here. The best submission, as determined by FFT contributors, will receive a copy of Tax Me I'm Canadian! and a free subscription to the Taxpayer magazine.
Details are here.
Lazarus does not come forth
I've just learned that the Christian History Project is being wound up, with its series of books outlining the history of Christianity (The Christians) likely remaining unfinished.
It was the latest venture of my old boss, Ted Byfield.
I was able to find out what had happened due to playing a miniscule role in the enterprise. (I had done a very small amount of research work for the book that was being done now.)
They are attributing the end of the project to a sin: theft. Their computer server was stolen last December. The ensuing costs and business hiatus, the reciever notes in a letter to the project's particpants, has made the project financially unsound.
It's a shame, as The Christians could have been a valuable addition to church scholarship.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Naomi Klein: Communist Now A Race-Baiter
It was just a matter of time before everybody's favorite opportunistic communist, Naomi Klein, weighed in on the catastrophe in New Orleans. (See previous blog entry on Klein.) The celebrated anarcho-syndicalist writes in "Purging the Poor” in The Nation that the Bush administration and big business are using the natural disaster that hit the Crescent City to expel black Americans from the city. The black neighborhoods are still under water while the white neighborhoods are nice and dry, she writes. Klein sees conspiracy even in the corporations that expressed interest in being part of the rebuilding effort: the evil companies are poised to come in and –gasp—provide the city with help (of all things!)
I guess when you get to be as famous and successful as Klein is, you don’t need to be a careful writer anymore. Slant the piece to appeal to the prejudices of your audience and no one will object.
There was one section of the article in particular that got my attention. Early in the piece, she writes that she was “struck” by the reference of a white lobbyist to African-Americans in New Orleans as "the minority community." At “67 percent of the population, they (blacks) are in fact the clear majority, while whites like Drennen make up just 27 percent,” Klein writes. “It was no doubt a simple verbal slip, but I couldn't help feeling that it was also a glimpse into the desired demographics of the new-and-improved city being imagined by its white elite..."
No, no, no. Words don’t have different meanings when you leave the city limits. Anybody who knows anything about America knows that when an American uses the term “minority,” he is referring to minority groups on a national basis. Just because a group that is a minority nationally is in the numerical majority in a particular city, doesn’t mean that the group ceases to be a minority, according to the American way of thinking. For example, here in the District of Columbia, which is somewhere between 60% and 65% black, blacks are referred to as belonging to a minority group. (Don’t bother complaining to me about this lack of precision. I didn’t start the linguistic practice: I’m just reporting on it.) The District of Columbia government, like other city governments across the nation, even has offices that provide services catered to minorities, including to that specific minority that happens to be in the majority in the nation’s capital.
So, my question is: is Klein really as dumb as she seems, or is she deliberately trying to fan the flames of racial antagonism?
The voters of Poland have learned where a corrupt leftist government can take them and have thrown the bums out. Will the electorate of Canada get the lesson in time for the next Election?
Happy birthday to you people
Who says the folks in the centre of the universe don't know the rest of the country exists? Check out this month's issue of This magazine. You know, the publication that Margaret Atwood calls "smart" and Mark Kingwell calls, um, well, "smart"?
"Alberta takes the cake" is the cover story. "Celebrating 100 years of progressive thinking from Canada’s most conservative province ." The cover image even features a cowboy-esque fella holding a cake, inscribed "Happy Birthday Alberta!"
Wow, those Torontonians sure do know how to wish Alberta a happy centennial. Alberta sure has a lot of dear friends out East. I can't help but wonder, though, if it ever occurred to these "smart" folks to ask how exactly Alberta came to be—and if there might be another province somewhere out in these parts that was created, oh, round about the same time.
Racism and Multi-Culturalism in France
On March 8, tens of thousands of high school students marched through central Paris to protest education reforms announced by the government. Repeatedly, peaceful demonstrators were attacked by bands of black and Arab youths--about 1,000 in all, according to police estimates. The eyewitness accounts of victims, teachers, and most interestingly the attackers themselves gathered by the left-wing daily Le Monde confirm the motivation: racism.
Some of the attackers openly expressed their hatred of "little French people." One 18-year-old named Heikel, a dual citizen of France and Tunisia, was proud of his actions. He explained that he had joined in just to "beat people up," especially "little Frenchmen who look like victims." He added with a satisfied smile that he had "a pleasant memory" of repeatedly kicking a student, already defenseless on the ground.
Another attacker explained the violence by saying that "little whites" don't know how to fight and "are afraid because they are cowards." Rachid, an Arab attacker, added that even an Arab can be considered a "little white" if he "has a French mindset." The general sentiment was a desire to "take revenge on whites."
Should New Orleans Be Rebuilt?
Economists' Voice has both a column and an article about whether New Orleans should be rebuilt. Here is the abstract from the article by Edward Glaeser:
Should government rebuild New Orleans? Edward Glaeser asks whether the residents would be better off with $200,000 in their pockets than to have $200 billion spent on infrastructure: shouldn't we be insuring the people, not the place? New Orleans has been declining and its people mired in poverty for decades; its port and pipelines cannot employ a large city, and $200 billion is unlikely to change that.
But don't get your knickers in a knot over this. New Orleans is going to be rebuilt. The only relevant question is how much will be rebuilt and by whom.
My guess is that it will be rebuilt with a population of about 300,000 or so, at the most, serving the shipping, oil, and tourism businesses. And the mass exodus of the rest will cause economic and social disruptions of varying degrees throughout the south (and to a much lesser extent elsewhere).
Is Islam a Religion of Peace?
Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, an invaluable web site that daily informs readers of Islam’s global jihad, cuts right to the chase in this absorbing antidote to the received wisdom about Islam. He turns his attention to the most problematic nature of Islam: its ideologies of warring.... He also takes remarkably precise aim at the politically correct myths that preclude an honest discussion about Islam. Chances are, you’ve heard them all: “The Qur’an teaches believers to take up arms only in self-defense;” “The Qur’an and the bible are equally violent;” “Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists;” “Islam was once the foundation of a great cultural and scientific flowering;” “Christianity and Islam spread in pretty much the same way;” “The Crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe against the Islamic world;” “The Crusades were fought to convert Muslims to Christianity by force;” “The Crusades were called against Jews in addition to Muslims;” “The Crusades were bloodier than the Islamic jihads;” and “The Crusades accomplished nothing.” Against such feel-good bromides, Spencer quotes Ibn Warraq, a Muslim apostate and author who wrote that while there are moderate Muslims, Islam itself is not moderate. Most people are in denial when it comes to this candid observation. As for the misunderstood Crusades, Spencer sets the record straight: the Crusades were waged as a defense against the relentless onslaught of Islamic jihad.Perhaps the most important aspect of Spencer’s book is its timeliness. Islam is widely acknowledged to be the world’s fastest growing religion, but few know just how fast. In fact, Islam is estimated to have reached 1.5 billion adherents thereby surpassing Christianity’s 1.2 billion faithful and dwarfing Judaism’s world-wide population at a mere 13-15 million. Leading counter-terrorist expert, R. Paz, who heads Prism, (The Project for the Research of Islamist Movements, www.e-prism.org), recently told the Christian Science Monitor that while most Muslims are in the moderate camp, "If we're talking about percentages, maybe the supporters of global jihad are only 1 percent of the Muslim world.'' That means, then, that there are about 15 million would-be Muslim terrorists.. . . . . .
Commons holding emergency debate: gas prices
The NDP is waxing
stupid, er, "incoherent" on gasoine pricing in the wake of Hurricanes "Katrina" and "Rita." Video, here, live on CPAC.
Just around the corner
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?
A further tightening of the screw: VOA: China Again Tightens Control of Online News and Information or MSNBC: China toughens restrictions on Internet Why is this? you might ask. Isn't China booming? Isn't everyone happy? As the VOA story explains; Social unrest in China has increased in recent years, with tens-of-thousands of protests occurring annually. The protests are political, economic, religious and social. The number of Internet users in China has also increased to more than 100-million. Ho ho! Those sanctimonious Liberals who said there was nothing inappropriate about Michaelle Jean's dual citizenship have now been proven to be hot air bags by no less an authority than Jean herself. The GG-designate has announced that, in recognition that she is to be Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces, she is renouncing her French citizenship. Now, if only she'll answer the question, "Have you now or have you ever been a supporter of the FLQ?....." An interesting report on statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice on Criminal Victimization for last year. Dalton McGuinty, David Miller and the rest of us judgemental Canadians would do well to take a good look at it. Here are the highlights (all emphasis added): * Though the downward trend in crime rates has Not the dire predictions you hear from our fearless leaders, in Canadian politics -- and you certainly won't see this on the front page of the Globe and Mail (or anywhere within it, for that matter) Why? Because they are all too busy telling us that our gun violence problems and the climbing murder rate in the GTA, is all the fault of those nasty Americans and their embrace of the Second Amendment (The right to bear arms). Even though there is no prevailing evidence that gun possession can be definitively linked to violent crime. To be sure, a gun may make an attack more lethal, and certainly easier to accomplish from an escapable distance - but it no longer seems to be the weapon of choice, for violent assault. Hence, continuing to flail about, begging for stiffer regulation of gun ownership and ignoring any real solutions,will only serve to perpetuate the culture of victimization that we are becoming. A child gets shot on the street in Toronto and immediately there are calls for a further clamp-down on guns, but no mention of actually stiffening the punishment for those who use guns to kill. Some may argue that without the gun, no one gets killed. But to believe that, would require a complete negation of the reality that those who have the desire and motivation to kill will do so, no matter the weapon. Being determined enough, a new law to restrict gun possession will not deter them from finding or stealing one -- or simply resorting to another weapon or their own 2 hands. A friend of mine - who adamantly disagrees with me, about gun possession - sent me a link to the Smith & Wesson Gun Cam. It caused uproarious laughter at my house, but when the snorts abated, it became clear that the guy who runs the site makes a very good point: A gun is not capable of initiating any violence. It must be wielded as a tool, by someone who is willing to kill. But a crime is much like a home renovation -- If I need a screwdriver and none is at hand, I will improvise and use a butter knife, or a quarter, or anything else I can get my hot little hands on, that will suffice. With my determination, nothing is going to stop me from turning that screw! However, regardless of how many statistics come out that prove how wrong they are; And no matter how many times the victims are denied the right to defend themselves, while the criminals continue to arm themselves -- Don't expect that the gun-babies are going to change their tune, any time soon. They're too busy trying to find a way to relate -on an emotional level- with the criminals and find someone else to blame for crime, while an honest farmer in the backwoods of Saskatchewan languishes in jail, for failing to register his hunting rifle. Harvard professor of government Harvey Mansfield rehearses, here,
the imposition and abolition of "speech codes" in North American
universities that enforced "political correctness" and proscription --
elimination, even -- of certain kinds of speech on university campuses
against students and faculty. After taking us through the liberal
squelching of free speech, Mansfield observes that while conservatives
are quietly excluded from university faculties, they are the more
reliable defenders of both free speech and a university open to free
inquiry . . . for more, go to Burkean Canuck. The AG report on the "Canadian Firearms Program" audit is scheduled to be released in February - the same month Gomery is due to hand down his election-triggering report. Though Fraser isn't talking, the Winnipeg Sun suspects it will be blistering;
France, non. Canada, oui.
Crime stats don't reveal what you might think
stabilized, violent and property crime rates in
2004 remain at the lowest levels recorded since
the survey's inception in 1973.
* Rates for all major categories of nonlethal
crime remained stable from 2003 to 2004.
* The rate of violent crime dropped 9% from the
period 2001-02 to the period 2003-04.
* From 1993 to 2004 the rate for crimes of
violence was down 57%, from 50 to 21
victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older.
* Reporting of crime to the police increased
significantly from 1993 to 2004. Reporting rose
from 42% to 50% of violent crimes and from 34%
to 39% of property crimes.
* During 2004, 22% of all violent crime incidents
were committed by an armed offender; 6%, by an
offender with a firearm.
* During 2004 males were about as vulnerable to
violence by strangers (50% of the violence against
males) as by nonstrangers (48%), while females were
most often victimized by nonstrangers (64%).
* Between 2001-02 and 2003-04 violent crime
decreased 17% in the West, from 31 to 26
victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or
* Violent victimizations in urban areas fell
14% from 2001-02 to 2003-04.
* Based on preliminary 2004 data from the FBI,
the number of persons murdered in the United
States decreased 3.6% between 2003 and 2004.
Why conservatives are more reliable defenders of free speech, the university, and "difference"
A Matter Of Timing
Fraser isn't doing interviews about the audit, which has been underway for months.
The last time her office attempted to look into gun registry spending was 2002 and the results were explosive. In fact, her team was forced to abandon its attempts to follow the spending on the gun registry because of the absence of records.
If the Libranos don't orchestrate their own fall in the coming weeks, (they're working hard at weakening the uber-fundraiser Harper for a reason, people) it's a safe bet that they'll pull out all the stops to dissolve parliament before she gets the chance.
A further tightening of the screw: VOA: China Again Tightens Control of Online News and Information or MSNBC: China toughens restrictions on Internet
Why is this? you might ask. Isn't China booming? Isn't everyone happy? As the VOA story explains;
Social unrest in China has increased in recent years, with tens-of-thousands of protests occurring annually. The protests are political, economic, religious and social.
The number of Internet users in China has also increased to more than 100-million.
Ho ho! Those sanctimonious Liberals who said there was nothing inappropriate about Michaelle Jean's dual citizenship have now been proven to be hot air bags by no less an authority than Jean herself. The GG-designate has announced that, in recognition that she is to be Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces, she is renouncing her French citizenship. Now, if only she'll answer the question, "Have you now or have you ever been a supporter of the FLQ?....."
An interesting report on statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice on Criminal Victimization for last year. Dalton McGuinty, David Miller and the rest of us judgemental Canadians would do well to take a good look at it. Here are the highlights (all emphasis added):
* Though the downward trend in crime rates has
Not the dire predictions you hear from our fearless leaders, in Canadian politics -- and you certainly won't see this on the front page of the Globe and Mail (or anywhere within it, for that matter) Why? Because they are all too busy telling us that our gun violence problems and the climbing murder rate in the GTA, is all the fault of those nasty Americans and their embrace of the Second Amendment (The right to bear arms). Even though there is no prevailing evidence that gun possession can be definitively linked to violent crime.
To be sure, a gun may make an attack more lethal, and certainly easier to accomplish from an escapable distance - but it no longer seems to be the weapon of choice, for violent assault. Hence, continuing to flail about, begging for stiffer regulation of gun ownership and ignoring any real solutions,will only serve to perpetuate the culture of victimization that we are becoming.
A child gets shot on the street in Toronto and immediately there are calls for a further clamp-down on guns, but no mention of actually stiffening the punishment for those who use guns to kill. Some may argue that without the gun, no one gets killed. But to believe that, would require a complete negation of the reality that those who have the desire and motivation to kill will do so, no matter the weapon. Being determined enough, a new law to restrict gun possession will not deter them from finding or stealing one -- or simply resorting to another weapon or their own 2 hands.
A friend of mine - who adamantly disagrees with me, about gun possession - sent me a link to the Smith & Wesson Gun Cam. It caused uproarious laughter at my house, but when the snorts abated, it became clear that the guy who runs the site makes a very good point: A gun is not capable of initiating any violence. It must be wielded as a tool, by someone who is willing to kill. But a crime is much like a home renovation -- If I need a screwdriver and none is at hand, I will improvise and use a butter knife, or a quarter, or anything else I can get my hot little hands on, that will suffice. With my determination, nothing is going to stop me from turning that screw!
However, regardless of how many statistics come out that prove how wrong they are; And no matter how many times the victims are denied the right to defend themselves, while the criminals continue to arm themselves -- Don't expect that the gun-babies are going to change their tune, any time soon. They're too busy trying to find a way to relate -on an emotional level- with the criminals and find someone else to blame for crime, while an honest farmer in the backwoods of Saskatchewan languishes in jail, for failing to register his hunting rifle.
Harvard professor of government Harvey Mansfield rehearses, here, the imposition and abolition of "speech codes" in North American universities that enforced "political correctness" and proscription -- elimination, even -- of certain kinds of speech on university campuses against students and faculty. After taking us through the liberal squelching of free speech, Mansfield observes that while conservatives are quietly excluded from university faculties, they are the more reliable defenders of both free speech and a university open to free inquiry . . . for more, go to Burkean Canuck.
The AG report on the "Canadian Firearms Program" audit is scheduled to be released in February - the same month Gomery is due to hand down his election-triggering report. Though Fraser isn't talking, the Winnipeg Sun suspects it will be blistering;
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Will Subsidized Universal Daycare Solve Canada's Economic Problems?Brian Ferguson, who writes A Canadian Econoview, is back, and his first posting upon his return is brilliant, witty, biting sarcasm about Paul Martin's recent pronouncement, (quoting from the New Brunswick Telegraph),
Canada's competitive edge in the looming economic showdown with China and India must be honed soon after its toddlers leave the crib, Prime Minister Paul Mr. Martin said Tuesday. The prime minister said his proposed national child-care plan will help Canadian tots get a head start in a global economy where only the smartest countries will thrive.Brian Ferguson's reaction?
Well, that makes sense. Everyone knows that the reason the Indian economy is finally taking off is because they decided to put all their kids into daycare. State regulated, unionized daycare, of course. Certainly it had nothing to do with India's undoing decades of socialist regulation and letting entrepreneurs make profits in open markets.He is relentless in is attack. Read the whole thing for sarcastic comments on how subsidized universal daycare will solve all of Canada's economic and educational problems.
My little blog is a Conservative Party plot to "jam" CPAC phone lines...
... at least according to Carol Jamieson. No Carol, I'm just a regular member with my own blog. However, I'm working to help the party get elected, while you're working against it.
I called in, but was put on hold through a significant portion of the show. "We have too many callers from Ontario."
Oh well. Maybe I should have followed my own advice to call before the show. Or maybe I should have told them I was calling from Nunavut.
There were some familiar callers that made it through and Powers, Kenney and Ivison had their turns turning down Carol Jamieson's delusions. I think that the main point was vocalized was that Stephen Harper was elected democratically and that Jamieson is following her own undemocratic agenda.
I would have liked to see more questions about Paul Martin's leadership and the lack of attention focused on the Prime Minister (he does deserve the scrutiny, doesn't he?).
Stephen Harper's leadership is being questioned by Jamieson and a handful of members? Didn't The Economist question Paul Martin's ability to lead and didn't they name him "Mr. Dithers"?
Georgia Schools Close to Save Gas;
Really Dumb Economic Policy
Most of Georgia's public schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, taking two "early snow days," in an effort to conserve fuel in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Gov. Sonny Perdue asked for the closings on Friday, estimating that closing all of the state's schools would save about 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel by idling buses, plus an undetermined amount of gasoline by allowing teachers, staff members and some parents to stay home. Electricity also would be conserved by keeping the schools closed, he said.
... As he did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Perdue also asked residents — and ordered government agencies — to limit nonessential travel and use commuting alternatives including telecommuting, car pooling and four-day work weeks.
This is a ridiculous response to expected reductions in gasoline supplies. If the state is concerned about line-ups and shortages, they should increase the state gasoline tax. Higher prices, even in the short-run, work wonders at reducing the quantity demanded, and a higher gasoline tax would have the desired effect.
Carol Jamieson on CTV
Carol Jamieson appeared on CTV this afternoon against Conservative strategist Goldy Hyder. Goldie asks the 'why are we even here?' question as CTV continues to manufacture a crisis.
Global warming will save lives
CO2 Science points to studies in China, Israel, Japan, Korea and Russia that indicate cooler climates are corelated to increased (early) deaths and concludes:
"In conclusion, the results of these several Asian studies suggest that low temperatures tend to foster a number of life-threatening maladies that could be considerably reduced by a good dose of global warming everywhere, but especially in (1) cold climates, during (2) the cold season of the year, and at (3) the coldest time of the day, which is precisely when and where most real-world warming typically occurs. Clearly, therefore, global warming must be acknowledged to be good for our health, and for our prospects of living long and productive lives, which is exactly the opposite of what climate alarmists continually preach."
The Japanese study, for example, found that "deaths due to infectious and parasitic diseases including tuberculosis, respiratory diseases including pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, digestive diseases and cerebrovascular and heart diseases rose during the most "bitterly cold" time of year.
So the question is: doesn't Prime Minister Paul Martin and his ilk who push Kyoto and other anti-global warming schemes care about the lives of Canadians?
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Carol Jamieson, longtime Conservative Party member
Jason Kenney, Conservative MP (Calgary Southeast)
Tim Powers, Conservative consultant
Jamey Heath, NDP Strategist
John Ivison, National Post
Okay. Of course Jamieson will be there and I understand Kenney and Powers -- they're Conservatives - and maybe even Ivison, a journalist. But doesn't it seem odd that Heath, an NDP strategist is there? And if the NDP is represented, shouldn't the Liberals? Or are they, with Jamieson?
An Unusual Survey
My friend, BenS, wonders what would happen if you could do a public opinion survey in France, Sweden, Germany, et al., with this question:
Would you prefer that we urge Jews to leave our country to be replaced by Muslims? Would you approve or disapprove this trade?
While I think I understand why he posed the question, I'm not sure I want to know the answer. Keep in mind that the crowd chose Barabas....
Cross-posted from The Eclectic Econoclast.
Global Warming and Hurricane Rita
I have not heard that the BBC is much better at objective reporting than the CBC, but this report on global warming and the formation of tropical storms seems very fair to me. If the CBC and the rest of our MSM could be so open and fair our politicians might be better informed. Read the report here: http://tinyurl.com/9xco9
Carol Jamieson to appear on CPAC call-in show
Carol Jamieson will be appearing on Goldhawk Live, a CPAC current affairs call-in television show to harp about Harper. Get the details and talking points!
And maybe UFOs caused Rita
(A tip of the hat to Drudge for the Stevens link.)
A Tale of Two Parties
An interesting comparisson has commanded my attention. With an election looming in the near future, the Liberals and Conservatives are beginning to sharpen their focus on the issues. I am deliberately excluding the NDP because they really make very little difference and to be honest, listening to anything Jack Layton says tends to give me a rash.
The Liberals want to jump-start the economy by throwing the doors wide open, and increasing immigration...
Prime Minister Paul Martin described immigration in a speech this week as key to Canada's economic success in an era defined by low birth rates, an aging population and an ever-deepening shortage of skilled workers [...]
Volpe declined to provide specifics but said something needs to be done to ramp up the country's immigration levels.
"We've got to have more,"
There is nothing wrong with immigration, and there's nothing wrong with increasing the availability of skilled employment, to immigrants that meet those needs. But for all their talk about skilled workers and incentives for skilled immigrants willing to reside outside of major centers, it's kind of like sticking your fingers in the wholes of a sinking ship. They are so concerned with immigration, but seem to be completely unconcerned with the many economic barriers faced by those of us who are already here. It's obvious why, though. I'm not afraid to be indelicate and say, I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that immigrants often vote, overwhelmingly, for the Liberals. And what better way to increase your voter base, than to import more?
This is also telling...
"We will keep -- indeed we must keep -- our doors open to immigrants of all classes and refugees from around the world. But as the numbers increase we also must be more active in recruiting immigrants who meet Canada's evolving needs."
I thought we were trying to focus on the skilled workers? Those who had something to offer Canada, to help enrich the country? I'll admit it -- I don't want refugees and immigrants who will come to this country with little or nothing to offer, and have no choice but to sponge off the welfare system. If they are skilled workers, with a prospect for finding a job, post-haste, let 'em in! If they are immigrants with a means to support themselves and their families in the transition, let 'em in! But if they arrive on the doorstep with nothing to offer but the promise of diversifying the welfare lines, they will never have anything to contribute. And the 'ramping up' of immigration will have the common Liberal distinction of costing us greatly and benefiting us not at all.
Which brings me to an example of what the Conservatives have in mind, to help alleviate the financial burdons on existing Canadians. It's important to note that the Conservatives are not against immigration. They do however, recognize that opening the floodgates to increase population volume, does absolutely nothing to improve economic stability. Especially when you don't screen out applicants who will only be a drain on it.
Rick Fuschi, Conservative for Windsor-Tecumseh mentions in his blog, where the real solutions to economic stagnation lie...
[..] if we vowed emergency market measures - sharp tax cuts at personal and retail level - to counteract the gasoline price shocks, the whole country would understand us far more clearly than they understand Goodale’s bafflegab about gas taxes.
I bet if we heeded the CD Howe Institute’s dire warnings about our poor corporate competitiveness, and stated clearly: We will do shock therapy on our declining manufacturing sector, ( are you listening Buzz) by slashing total corporate levies, and personal overtaxation, opening Canada up for business, and realigning the cash from Liberal boondoggles, to create a new infrastructure and training fund for greenfield industrial ventures. I bet investors throughout the world would hear us, and the 165,000 workers in the Ontario auto industry, would see new promise in the Conservative party.
All this will stimulate more economic growth, by ensuring more of your money is in your hands to spend and business will have more of their money to spend on their employees and innovation.
He also takes on one very large money-sucker...
When I hammer at Liberal incompetence on the gun registry, and our soft justice system, and tie that to the enfeebled enforcement on the streets of Toronto, is it that hard to see what alternatives I am proposing?
Lock them up! Make them do the time for their gun crime! Stop chasing innocent duck hunters and aim that money wherever enforcement is required! Is that plain enough for a Liberal to understand? I bet the people of Toronto would get it. (emphasis added)
So, looking back over these 2 initiatives, we have one party who wants to open the doors of opportunity to immigrants, and one party who would prefer to open those doors of opportunity to Canadians. It's as simple as that!
When looked at this way, is there any doubt who has the best interests of this country in mind? And is there any doubt who has lost sight of their priorities?
I know who I'll vote for.
[ Crossposted from A North American Patriot ]