On July 1, 2010, consumers began seeing a new fee on the receipts they received when they purchased any of a number of products designated by the government to be on a “Phase 2” list of “municipal hazardous and special waste” (MHSW): such things as thermostats, fire extinguishers, aerosol cans, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, pharmaceuticals, syringes, and mercury switches. The media widely reported that some consumers were upset or confused by what they were seeing on their receipts. Hoping to gain electorally, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak jumped right in and commenced a months-long campaign of lies and hypocrisy that must not go unaccounted for. And so, I begin. Read more
One can only shake ones head in disbelief. As Ontario’s Liberal and Progressive Conservative MPPs began a 10 week winter vacation they each proposed spending cuts to “fight” the deficit: the government currently adds more than 18 billion to the provincial debt every year.
The Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives proposed essentially the same thing: reviewing Ontario’s agencies, boards, and commissions (the so called “ABCs”), looking for inefficiencies, and then deciding what to do to reduce them (e.g., cuts, mergers of agencies, etc). In the case of the Liberals, they’ve come out with an actual target: a 5% cut. As is the apparent habit of PC leader Tim Hudak, the Progressive Conservatives have not even said how much they would cut, never mind disclosing what they would cut.
That the specifics are entirely missing does not really matter though, because announcing that one is going to “fight” the deficit by making single-digit cuts to ABCs is like announcing that the government will clear over six feet of snow from the streets of Lucan using a window scraper. It can’t be done. Read more
On the discussion board solopassion.com, Frediano asks “What is freedom?”. He was looking for a concise description. I answered Frediano’s question thusly. Read more
Pretense is the heart of evil.
Now, on a completely different subject, I received an e-mail today from a friend. It was a report by CBS. Though news to me, it was actually published in 2004. CBS reported, in 2004, that the council of the city of Hamtramck, Michigan was expected to make a noise ordinance amendment so that a mosque in that town could play the Islamic call to prayer five times per day over loudspeakers. The secretary of the mosque in question stated “We are not [proselytizing]…We are calling our Muslim people, reminding them they are obligated to come to pray.” Some defending the request for the ordinance amendment argued that the call to prayer is no different in nature and purpose than the ringing of church bells. Read more
There is a growing sentiment in Europe and North America that governments should “ban the burqa”. Usually, what they are referring to is a ban of the niqab: a face covering used by some Islamic women.
There are certainly times at which the administration of justice or government requires that a person’s face be visually identified. For example, a recent Court of Appeal decision in Ontario notwithstanding, my view is that it is never any more right for a female witness to wear a religious face covering on the stand than it is for a biker to wear his headscarf on his face while giving testimony on the stand. Government-issued photo identification ought to make no exceptions: no face coverings, period, because the purpose of such identification is to ensure that the right person is identified properly with respect to compliance with our laws. We must ensure that we all can visually identify the faces of the government employees who serve us.
Private property extends the same rule-making powers to the property holder. Consequently, one should be free to set the terms pursuant to which any person enters onto or uses ones own private property: if I require you to wear lederhosen before stepping into the brewhouse I own, your choices are (a) wear lederhosen, or (b) stay out of my brew house.
However, there is at least one argument in favour of the ‘burqa ban’ that I find wholly indefensible: the argument that we must ban the burqa so that women can be freed of the oppression it represents or causes. Read more
Apart from the unbeatable “Just Right” weekly radio program hosted by Robert Metz and Robert Vaughan, I would argue that John Oakley’s daily broadcast on AM640 (Toronto) is the best radio has to offer. Every morning, just after the 9:00 AM news, John has a themed debate. Every Tuesday, the debate is called “Culture War”, and it normally involves two Christian ministers: one a liberal atheist who seeks to spread Christian morality sans Christ, and one a conservative theist, obedient to the word of his or her god. Normally, both believe that government – to one extent or another – should be influenced by Christian views concerning morality.
This morning, the topic was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech last Saturday, in which she declared multiculturalism a failure. The panelists agreed that multiculturalism is inherently morally subjectivist. John then identified what he believed might be the fundamental question: is it time for government and society to end its attachment to “secular humanism” and to instead adopt “Judeo-Christian values”. The phone lines were jammed. I wrote, instead, the following. Read more
” Leonard Cohen – did I tell you about this already? – Leonard Cohen wrote something to the effect that “Long after I’m dead, I’ll be making love to the women who read my books”. That pretty much captures my view of life. All we produce – especially the words we commit to writing, to audio, or to video – if it is not destroyed, remains as our eternal soul on earth. Plato and Aristotle, by that view, are alive today. Imagine the voyages I could obviate, and the fortunes I could save, if I could convince Man that the fountain of youth flows from the end of a pen!” – excerpt from a letter to Marc Emery (September 29, 2010).
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability that someone will cite Godwin’s Law approaches 1. – McKeever’s Corollary
Still asleep, but on your feet?
Don’t know what to wear?
Pull some brown socks o’er your toes,
and carry on from there.
Sky pulls the wool over our eyes.
Wind pierces warm flesh with cold wet needles.
Spurned Sun takes other lovers as mischievous Earth introduces celestial siblings.
Good gravy! I’m ready to Fall.
For the last several days, the spam screening software used by this blog has not been working well. Rather than immediately detecting and eliminating spam Comments, it is adding the comments into a queue for moderator approval.
The spam software says “Akismet has detected a problem. A server or network problem is preventing Akismet from working correctly”. The network problem, it says, is that one of Akismet’s 4 servers is being blocked by NetworkSolutions.com. I called NetworkSolutions.com – the the Internet service provider for the Paul McKeever blog – and was told that NetworkSolutions knows of the Akismet problem, and that it is a problem with NetworkSolutions.com. Of course, I was given the stock phrase: “…and our engineers are working on it”. Read more
It’s the story that won’t just go away. Just two weeks ago, Tara Jones, an attractive young woman, issued a press release. It said that, on the anniversary of the gunning down of over a dozen women in Royalton, she would walk the streets near strip clubs in the city’s east side, wearing only a string bikini and pumps. Jones declared the evening to be “International Take Back the Night Day”, and said she would carry a sign saying “No Means No”. Read more
Tomorrow, anti-prohibitionists will hold “Free Marc” rallies around the globe. They will call for the release from prison of publisher and political activist Marc Emery, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment last week in a Seattle court for operating a mail-order cannabis seed business that served Americans – among others – from his store in Vancouver Canada. However, Emery’s written submissions to a sentencing judge last week have left some anti-prohibition activists thinking that Emery now condemns law-breaking and the civil disobedience that landed him in jail. Read more