Knowledge is not necessarily power. However, Edward Snowden’s disclosure that the U.S. National Security Agency (“NSA”) monitors the electronic communications of private citizens without a warrant has led many to conclude that the U.S. government is approaching the point of omnipotence, and to express fear and anger that the U.S. government will use that power to control them. That outrage stands in stark contrast to the support or resignation one finds in respect of substantive laws that allow the government to violate lives, liberty, and property. The contrast unveils both a bleak truth about the governed’s desire for individual freedom, and a requirement for its achievement. Read more
Imagine a golden memorial to the victims of concentration camps being built buy those who ran the camps, and made by melting down the gold teeth of the victims. Such a memorial would not be possible but for the theft, imprisonment and murder involved in its creation. Such a grotesque and pain-invoking memorial would, in fact, stand not for the wrongfulness of letting people starve in concentration camps, but for the fact that the oppressors got away with their evil deeds. If you share my view of this, I can only hope you regard today’s news as being a stunning example of the same sort of perversion (though less graphic): today, the federal government of Canada announced that up to $1.5M taxpayer dollars will be given to a private group astonishingly titled “Tribute to Liberty”, so that it can erect a “Memorial to Victims of Totalitarian Communism” on crown land near the Supreme Court of Canada. Read more
The ballots have been counted in Ontario’s five provincial by-elections: London West, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Scarborough-Guildwood, Windsor-Tecumseh, and Ottawa South. Pundits are telling the public what they think the 2013 by-election results – considered in isolation – mean, but I have a different analysis for you which, I think, reveals what is actually happening to the parties in Ontario. Below, I compare the results from the 2013 by-elections to the results from those ridings in 2011, each adjusted for the riding’s change in voter turnout.
The big conclusions – described in more detail after the data from the five ridings are broken down below – are these: Read more