Freedom and the Proper Regulation of Speech

September 24, 2008 by · 9 Comments 

Freedom of speech. Ironically, it is a political subject about which most people talk without saying anything.

“Freedom of speech has limits”, some say, just before, reflexively, they trot out the inevitable “for example, you can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theatre”. I always imagine them silent, feeling legally bound not to tell anyone in the theatre that the snack bar is on fire. Read more

Beer, Gas & Leviathan

September 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

My September 13th article and video “Canada’s 2008 Election: Green? Shift?” led one of my FaceBook friends, Alex, to make the following comment: Read more

Reason versus "Self-Ownership"

September 16, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

There are those who believe that the mind cannot exist independently of the activities of the brain; that the mind and the brain are one; that the mind and the body are one. There are also those who believe that the mind and the body are separable or separate – for example those who believe that there is a soul which inhabits the body at birth, or perhaps at baptism, and which leaves the body when the mind dies. Your position on the separability of mind and body has a logical implication for your position on “self-ownership”. The reverse is also true: your position on the validity of the concept “self-ownership” implies your agreement with, or disagreement with, an underlying assumption concerning the separability or non-separability of mind and body. Read more

Elizabeth May: You're Stupid, So Vote Green

September 15, 2008 by · 7 Comments 

History teems with philosophers – still highly regarded by many – who proposed that the universe is entirely different than how it appears to human beings; that it is a chaotic flux; that time and space really do not exist; that reality is full of irresolvable contradictions. They tried to make room for mysticism in an increasingly scientific era by telling us that our sensations and perceptions of the world do not accurately describe the universe as it really exists; that our senses, in effect, lie to us. Of course, it is not reality that is rife with contradictions, but the philosophies themselves, but their authors were careful to ensure that they presented their philosophies as wordy Gordian knots, which makes them capable of passing that test of truth most highly honoured among morons and swindlers alike: if you cannot understand it, it must be true, especially if it was read in university or in church. Read more

"Green Shift": Not Green, No Shift

September 13, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

September 13, 2008, Oshawa, Ontario – Paul McKeever, an employment lawyer in the auto-industry City of Oshawa, today released a video that uses a simple demonstration to help Canadians understand Stephane Dion’s Liberal “Green Shift” carbon tax plan: Read more

On Inclusion in Televised Leaders' Debates

September 11, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday, the “consortium” of government-owned or government-licenced television companies that host one televised debate per election among the leaders of some political parties reversed a decision to exclude Green Party leader Elizabeth May from the debate. Explaining that the leaders of the Conservative and New Democratic parties had threatened not to attend were Ms. May to be invited to the debates, they had announced earlier this week a list of invitees that included only the leaders of parties that won seats in the Canadian Parliament back in 2006. May played the “sexism” card – because the consortium decision makers and the other parties leaders are all male. Within hours, the Conservative and NDP parties – clearly not wanting unjustly to be smeared as sexists – dropped their opposition to May’s inclusion. That deprived the consortium of its excuse du jour for excluding other parties. As a result, it announced that – due to the change of the two parties’ minds – they were happy to have her join the stage (i.e., they effectively pretended that they would have had her on the stage all-along had it not been for the bad bad mean old Conservative and NDP parties). Read more

Freedom versus Freedumb

September 10, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Over on the National Post’s Full Comment blog, Gerry Nicholls has published what he wishes to be the “hidden agenda” of the Conservative Party of Canada, post election (should they win a majority). One of his wish list items is to “introduce free market principles into [Canada’s socialist health care] system”. He seeks a contradiction, of course (i.e., a “free market” in a state-imposed monopoly), but the mere mention of the term “free market” spurred individualist and collectivist readers to start into the old “debate” about the meaning of words like “liberty” and “freedom”. Read more

John Obama and Barack McCain: Two Very Different Men

September 5, 2008 by · 9 Comments 

For those who did not have a chance, or the inclination, to watch the coverage for the Democratic and Republican conventions over the last couple of weeks, I am happy to provide this comparison of each party’s nominee for the office of President of the United States of America, based upon each man’s acceptance speech. I am not here providing a comparison of their proposed government policies: you can find those everywhere else. What I provide here is a comparison of the candidates’ philosophies, to the extent express statements allow me to perform one. The reason is simple: many of the decisions a president will make are not foreseen years, months, weeks, or even days in advance. By knowing their respective philosophical commitments, one can at least determine the general nature of policies which are, or are not, likely to be adopted in the future. Read more

Aboriginal Claims: Litigate Land, Squash Secession

September 4, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday, the National Post published an editorial saying that that “…it would be nice to see our federal government infused with a fresh set of purpose in regard to a whole host of important issues.” Among the priorities suggested was one suggesting that “It would be nice if at least one of the political parties had a plan for decisively resolving the underlying claims.” Read more

Teacher's Pay: Merit versus Market

September 4, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

The National Post published an editorial today reporting that: Read more