The “Soldier Card”, and Voting

October 13, 2015 by · Comments Off 

In the coming days, the newspapers and others will start publishing the standard editorials about how if you don’t exercise your right to vote, you’re disrespecting the soldiers who fought for this country. Here’s my advice to you. Read more

Is the universe finite?

June 21, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-06-21.universeF asked: “Why is the universe finite”. I replied as follows.

Your question suggests an error (i.e., an error that you’re seeking to identify as an error). Your question (or, if you prefer, the claim that the universe is finite) suggests that “the universe” is an entity. You are asking for an explanation of the claim that the size or duration of that entity is limited. The short answer is: If, by “the universe”, you are referring to an entity, then “the universe” is neither finite nor infinite because “the universe” is not an entity. Read more

Punching the other cheek: An open letter to a thief

June 20, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-06-20.punching-cheekA friend of mine, who has a popular radio show, reports that somebody smashed the door window of his parked car and stole a number of items, including his passport and a Tim Horton’s pre-paid card. Worse though, the thief stole my friend’s sense of security. He wrote an open letter to the thief, expressing his hurt. He told the thief that the thief could never steal his faith in Christ, that he would pray for the thief, and that the thief should try the Nutella doughnut at Tim Hortons. I have a different message for the thief: Read more

The Phony

June 13, 2015 by · Comments Off 

The phony is befriended by people who are his enemies, and is loved by people who hate him. The phony not only sacrifices the possibility of friendship and love, but deliberately subjects himself to what only he knows to be exclusion and loathing. He is, in truth, a self-hater, and his own worst enemy.

What is the Lowest Form of Humour?

June 12, 2015 by · Comments Off 

A friend of mine asked “What is the lowest form of humour?”. I replied as follows:

The lowest form is any alleged humour that begs a laugh founded not upon humour, but upon loyalty to the pack. Such is the most common kind of “humour” on late night political comedy shows these days. A joke the punchline of which is based upon the idea that capitalists enjoy eating babies is the prototype. It’s not funny, but commies will laugh out of duty to the proletariat, believing that it serves the cause…of stealing from the alleged baby-eater with impunity.

Against School Vouchers: Choice Can Be the Enemy of Freedom

June 2, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-06-02.mouse-trapProponents of freedom in education beware: choice can be the enemy of freedom. On June 1, 2015, Investor’s Business Daily reported that:

“Nevada has enacted what might be the most sweeping school-choice program yet — a path-breaking win for educational freedom that has left teachers unions wondering what hit them.

The law, signed Friday, gives 450,000 public school kids the option of using taxpayer funds — through what are called “education savings accounts” or ESAs — to help pay the tuition for private schools. Families can use funds in these accounts to also pay for textbooks and tutoring.

Students from families with incomes under 185% of the federal poverty level may receive tuition aid of 100% of the statewide average of public school per-pupil costs. Kids in families with incomes above 185% of the poverty level, roughly $45,000 for a family of four, will qualify for up to 90% of the public school per-student cost.”

The news has been well-received by many people, including parents frustrated with the consequences of being forced to pay for government owned-and-operated schools that are in one way or another thought to be failing or abusing their children. Forced to pay for the government system, many parents find it hard to afford or to justify the additional cost of sending their children to a private school. And, precisely because of those frustrations, advocates of voucher systems have long found a receptive audience.

A receptive audience is a rare and precious thing that an advocate of freedom should never squander. Yet, the advocacy of a voucher system is just such a squandering. Read more

False Pretences: For and Against the Singing of Canada’s Anthem in Government Proceedings

May 23, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-05-23.god-keep-our-landRebel Media reports that “On May 11th, Richmond Hill’s town council voted 5 to 4 against singing [Canada’s national anthem] O Canada to start council meetings.” Apparently, council says it was responding to a lawyer’s opinion that the line “God keep our land glorious and free”, in the anthem, makes it a violation of our constitution to sing the anthem as part of the official council meeting. Rebel Media has started an online petition that reads: “We the undersigned Canadians demand that the town council of Richmond Hill reverse their outrageous decision, passed by a 5 to 4 vote on May 11, 2015, against singing O Canada to start council meetings.”

I’m happy to be Canadian, and I’ve got nothing against singing a country’s anthem within its official ceremonies (e.g., lawmaking institutions). However, I’m not as upset about this as some, and I won’t be signing the petition. Read more

Ontario’s Teacher Strike Blame Game Masks Real Problem: Funding Education with Taxes

May 21, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-05-21.Hobbes-Leviathan{A letter I sent to Toronto Sun columnist Christina Blizzard on May 20, 2015 in response to one of her columns about a teacher strike in Ontario that – where I live – is now in its fifth week.}


Re: Vulnerable students hurt most in teacher-government struggle (Toronto Sun online, May 20, 2015)

You write “While it’s easy to wrangle over who’s to blame in this strike — teachers or government…”

I invite you to consider that that’s a distinction without a difference. Read more

Sticks and Stones: A Short Note on Verbally Baiting Theocratic Murderers

May 9, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-05-09.draw-muhammadOn May 3, 2015, a group of people assembled at the Curtis Culwell Centre in Garland, Texas to watch the announcement of the winner of a “Draw Muhammad” Contest. The organizers knew that some if not all Muslims believe that no person ever should draw Muhammad, and knew that some Muslims have murdered cartoonists in the past who have drawn or otherwise depicted Muhammad (see here, and here, as examples). Accordingly, the organizers spent something in the order of $10,000.00 on security for he event, which was closed to the public. Two men from out-of-state approached the Centre, shot a security guard in the ankle, and were promptly shot dead by a police officer. In the days that followed, most of the media thought the event to be an irresponsible, provocative, “baiting” of Muslims, and they actually expected the organizers of the event to be repentant for what happened. Read more

Against Cannabis Prohibition?: Why You Should Oppose Minimum Wage Laws Too

May 3, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015-05-03.minimum-wage-laws-signRecently, on, I quipped that “Behind every minimum wage increase, there’s an overpaid, uncompetitive (probably government-funded) venture looking to eliminate (private sector) price competitors.” One of my acquaintances, who I know to be an active opponent of cannabis prohibition, replied by posting an article titled “The 3 Biggest Myths About Raising the Minimum Wage“. The three alleged myths were that:

1. Minimum wage jobs are primarily for teenagers or part-time workers who are just trying to score some extra cash.

2. Raising the minimum wage will raise prices.

3. Raising the wage kills jobs.

The reader will notice that each of these arguments is an argument about economic effects, not about ethics (i.e., not about right and wrong). Yet, as with every question about the use of government force, one cannot judge minimum wages simply by the facts – whatever the facts might be. One also has to take the next step: determining whether minimum wage laws are politically right or wrong (i.e., whether they are consistent with the goal of ensuring that no person takes your life, liberty, or property without your consent). Accordingly, I replied to my fellow anti-prohibitionist as follows: Read more

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