The Quran, Peaceniks, and the Intellectual H-Bomb

September 9, 2010 by · 17 Comments 

I am, and will always be, an outspoken defender of an individual’s freedom to speak his mind, and I will remain a person who condemns censorship. I know nothing at all about Christian Reverend Terry Jones’ past statements, and little about his beliefs. However, as a person who values reason and individual freedom, I can only say “Bravo!” with respect to Jones’ now widely known plan to burn copies of the Quran on the 9th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 murders. And I cannot denounce strenuously enough those who are condemning Jones for his plan, and who are asking or threatening him not to proceed with his plans. Whatever his motives might be – to express anger or frustration; to promote his own religion as somehow being true; etc – his plan, and the angry response of many individuals to his plan, should say almost everything that needs to be learned about defending individual freedom from Islam. Read more

You're in for a Shock: Disturbing New Facts About Ontario's Green Energy Act

September 7, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is telling everyone that his decision to increase the price of electricity is “responsible” because it will force consumers to pay for the power they consume.  It will end an irresponsible old subsidy, he implies, but that implication is false.  In reality, his price hike is designed to pay for an irresponsible new subsidy. Read more

WordPress, Preview, Edit, Comments…problems solved!

August 25, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

This post has nothing at all to do with my usual topics. However, having discovered a SINGLE change to my WordPress settings that simultaneously fixed MULTIPLE problems I was having, I have decided to post it here (because it was so difficult to find an answer via google).

I started to experience technical problems with my blog when I changed ISPs. They included:

1. If I tried to Preview a post that I was writing, before publishing the post, I would get a 404 error message.

2. When things are working properly, if you hit the “View Post” button on any post you have published, you will see your post. Just under the title, you will see a link titled “edit”: if you click it, it takes you to an edit page for the post. Also, if – after hitting the “View Post” button, you want to add a comment to the post, WordPress recognizes that you are the person trying to make the post, so it does not require you to type in your name, blog address, and e-mail address. Yet, I was having a problem with the new installation. When I clicked on the “View Post” button, it took me to the post, but it did not recognize me as a person logged-in. As a result:

(a) there was no “edit” link near the title of the post; and

(b) if I wanted to enter a comment, I had to type-in my name, blog address, e-mail address and message. Read more

McGuinty's MMA Flip-flop a Way of Securing Pan Am Stadium for Hamilton?

August 23, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

I’m asking, not telling, but here are the dots.  You can connect them yourself.  

The Pan Am Games is an international sporting event.  The location for such events is chosen years in advance, in a contest.  Entering the contest happens as follows.  A number of good ole boys get together, smoke some cigars (literally), and dream up a scheme in which they will fill their city with new stadiums, track and field facilities, pools…and fresh new transportation infrastructure, like new roads and mass transit.  They are a mixed lot: politicians or former politicians who want to be praised and remembered for what they brought to their city, hotel owners and, of course, construction companies.  They call themselves a “bid committee”. 

Read more

Shedding Light on Day: "Unreported Crimes" Code for "Cannabis Offences"

August 4, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

There is a perfectly logical – if disgraceful – reason why Canadian Treasury President Stockwell Day (a Conservative MP) yesterday cited “unreported crimes” as the reason for spending $9B on the building of more prisons.  I submit that, with the phrase “unreported crimes”, Day is implicitly referring to cannabis offenses and other consensual drug-related offenses for which minimum prison sentences will be imposed if Bill S-10 becomes law.  The Conservative government’s announcement today that it has expanded the range of things constituting “serious crimes” provides additional evidence to that effect. Read more

Accountability, Tyranny and Democracy

August 2, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Proponents of the collectivist status quo do not like a recent decision that appears to have been made by the Prime Minister of Canada. As a result, some of them are now telling us that this can mean only one thing: the PM is a tyrant, democracy is under attack, and Canada is being turned into a totalitarian state. Given the gravity of their remarks, the reader will be forgiven if he is baffled upon discovering that the decision in question was the decision to eliminate penalties for choosing not to complete the long form of the 2011 census. Given the form and content of a column by Ottawa University law professor Errol Mendes in today’s Ottawa Citizen newspaper, we are apparently meant to conclude that an elected officials’ failure to follow, or to release to the public, the advice of an unelected public servant is tantamount both to an assault on democracy and to a drift into totalitarianism. Such a conclusion is utter nonsense and, when written by a law professor, for public consumption, it is worse than nonsense. Read more

Bullshit, and the Ironic Invalidity of the Census Debate

July 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.” – Professor Harry G. Frankfurt, “On Bullshit”, pp. 55-56.

The ironic truth is that a debate focusing largely upon the validity of census data is comprised of so much bullshit as to make the debate itself invalid. Witnesses and Parliamentary Members at committee hearings, columnists, and even those who write letters to the editors of our vestigial newspapers have decided that the this issue – more than most others – demands that all concern over truth and falsehood must be abandoned if the debate is to be resolved favourably.  The debate has turned even serially honest thinkers, writers and speakers into at least second-class bullshitters for the purposes of either backing or opposing the Conservative government’s decision to make completion of the long form census voluntary; to repeal laws that impose penalties of fine or imprisonment for failing or refusing to fill out the long form census and remit it to government. Read more

Optional Long Form Census a Blow to Racism

July 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Canada’s Conservative government has announced that completion of Canada’s “long form” census will cease to be mandatory in 2011. Shrieks of condemnation can now be heard from a wide range of interests. None of them are justified. To the contrary, this is one step the Harper government has announced in recent history that is actually praiseworthy. Read more

Run from the Rahn Curve

July 13, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Recently, Shotgun blogger PUBLIUS featured a video made by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity concerning a graph of the so-called “Rahn curve”. The video serves as a good example of what is wrong with the idea of founding upon quantitative economic arguments ones advocacy of individual freedom. And, given the political orientation of those telling us about the Rahn curve, an explanation of why libertarians are prone to making the aforementioned error is warranted. Read more

Identity, Blatchford, Journalism, and Oz

July 5, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Christie Blatchford is a writer whose writings currently are printed in the Globe and Mail Newspaper. She is probably most widely recognized as a writer who reports the facts as they relate to court proceedings. She is well respected in that role and, in my view, such respect is warranted.

However, Blatchford writes (or, on radio, speaks) her opinions on non-legal matters (e.g., matters of politics or culture) at times and, in that capacity, she is decidedly weak. Those of her opinions I have heard or read are of the Joe six-pack “it just seems to me” or “I feel” variety, rather than being the result of a applying any consistent and coherent set of philosophical principles to the facts of a matter.

That weakness did not stop her from flashing her press credentials to take an unwarranted swipe at unpaid blog writers who attended and reported upon G20 protests and who think that they deserved to be treated with the same dignity and respect as paid reporters. Read more

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