Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking back at 2009

The year is drawing to a close

And except for the wars, the world-wide economic recession and the never-ending Tiger Woods saga, 2009 was pretty good.

It was an especially amazing year when it came to Canadian politics.

Don’t believe me?

Well here’s a brief recap of 2009’s top political highlights:

* A Constitutional crisis nearly occurs when it’s found no one in Parliament knows how to pronounce the word “prorogue.”

* A Health Canada campaign instructed Canadians on the proper way to cough into their arms. This helped stop an H1N1 flu epidemic; unfortunately it triggered an epidemic of infected elbows.

* The Queen awarded former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien with the prestigious “Order of Merit.” An ecstatic Chrétien celebrated by throttling a nearby protestor.

* To battle the recession, the Conservative government implemented a bold and exciting plan, which mainly entailed spending millions of tax dollars on TV ads telling Canadians the government had a bold and exciting plan.

* A photo op went tragically wrong when a giant cardboard novelty “economic stimulus” cheque government MPs were handing over to local politicians in South Porcupine, Ontario suddenly collapsed destroying several buildings and injuring dozens of onlookers.

* After wowing the nation with his singing performance at the National Arts Centre Gala, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he will appear as a contestant on American Idol. In unrelated news, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson were both appointed to the Senate.

* The Canadian government’s budgetary deficit soared to a record-setting $56 billion. However, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised the budget will soon be balanced thanks to the expected royalties from Prime Minister Harper’s newest CD, which includes the hit single “What Afghan detainees?”

* A new political star emerged in 2009: the Conservative Party logo. The logo showed up on Canada’s Olympic sweaters, on government “economic stimulus” cheques and most amazingly of all, on the forehead of CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge.

* Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff announced Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “time was up” and declared he was ready to force a Fall election. Later, Ignatieff explained to reporters that he really meant the Fall of 2016.

* Beleaguered Liberal MPs desperate to reverse their sagging poll numbers reportedly plotted the overthrow of their leader Michael Ignatieff. Mentioned as possible replacements for Ignatieff were Bob Rae, Justin Trudeau and the Conservative Party logo.

* Hacked emails from a global warming research institute revealed a startling fact: former Liberal leader Stephen Dion’s dog, Kyoto, is actually named “Coal Burning Plant.”

* To protest a planned re-enactment of the Battle on the Plains of Abraham, Bloc Quebecois Bloc MPs donned 18th century military uniforms and stormed Parliament Hill. The stunt backfired, however, when the Bloc MPs were captured by Canadian military personal and handed over to the Afghan army.

* Governor-General Michaëlle Jean made headlines when she ate a raw seal’s heart. To gain similar publicity, NDP leader Jack Layton ate a pound of raw tofu shaped to look like a seal’s heart.

So you see 2009 was politically speaking a banner year.

And 2010 promises more of the same.

But try and have a Happy New Year anyway.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Chrissy Snow

Merry Christmas!!
And I have posted this picture simply because Suzanne Somers played the part of "Christmas Snow" in that wonderful old TV series Three's Company.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have yourself an Eco-Christmas -- that's an order

It didn’t get a lot of press, but the recent Copenhagen Climate Change summit issued a series decrees concerning the Holiday Season.

These decrees have essentially established new environmental Christmas traditions.

If you want to legally enjoy Christmas you must now adhere to the following rules:

All festive sing-alongs must include the song “I’m dreaming of a non-globally warmed Winter season.”

Santa Claus must now wear green instead of red and he must look like Al Gore.

Instead of reindeer, Santa’s sleigh must be portrayed as powered by solar panels. (The same goes for Rudolph’s nose.)

Burning of yule logs or any other non-renewable resources is strictly prohibited, unless the burners have first paid a carbon tax.

“Christmas” lights are banned unless they draw their energy from windmills.

On Christmas Eve, all parents are now required to read their children a poem which begins, “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except for David Suzuki, who was snooping about looking for illegal beer fridges.”

Instead of receiving a lump of coal, naughty children will now receive recycling bins stuffed with environmentally friendly products.

Christmas trees are now forbidden; instead families will now decorate a pesticide-free “Christmas tree seed”, which must be planted the following spring.

All food served at festive gatherings must be “organic” and “grown locally”. Since this is Canada and since nothing grows here in the dead of winter, all meals will therefore consist of whatever walnuts, fruitcakes and candy canes are left over from last Christmas.

Instead of hanging up stockings, Canadians must now hang up reusable canvas bags, the uglier the better.

So those are the new Eco-Christmas rules and regulations.

Happy Holidays!

(Please note these rules do not apply to any Third World Dictatorships)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Carbon Copy Tax

The Afghan detainee issue will not hurt the Conservative government, the prorogation of Parliament will not hurt the Conservative government, the fallout from the Copenhagen Climate Change summit will not hurt the Conservative government, but a flip flop on carbon taxes -- that definitely would hurt the Conservative government.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Conservatism in Canada

Is Canada moving to the Right?

Interesting CP article on that topic (and it's not interesting just because it happens to include a quote from me!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New OLA site

The Ontario Landowners Association has just come out with a revamped website.

It's all part of the OLA's increased efforts to promote and protect property rights.

Property rights, of course, is one of those issues we don't hear a lot about. And that's too bad, because the right to own and enjoy property is crucial for a truly free society.

That's why the OLA's mission is so important. And it does a truly great job in exposing and opposing attempts by politicians and bureaucrats to infringe on our freedoms.

So check out their site and consider offering your support.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Debating Canada's reputation

Had a fun time yesterday debating former Liberal/Bloc Quebecois MP Jean Lapierre.
Our topic was Canada's reputation on the world scene when it comes to climate change.
Lapierre thought it was important that Al Gore like us.
I disagreed.
(Note my Christmas tie doesn't show up very well.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to appear on the CTV news program Power Play today at about 5:30 PM EST.

Be sure and watch because I will be wearing my special Christmas tie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stop the dopey stunts

Both the Liberals and Conservatives really need to tighten up their security.

After all, it seems drunken frat boys are somehow breaking into their party headquarters late at night and causing all sorts of juvenile mischief.

These delinquents, for instance, posted a tasteless doctored photo on the Liberal website of Prime Minister Stephen Harper getting assassinated a la Lee Harvey Oswald.

It must have taken quite a few beers for the kids to do something that outrageously stupid.

Meanwhile, these same mindless pranksters also managed to insert a “pooping puffin” into a Conservative Party ad. Then there's this.

If something is not done soon to stop the sophomoric punks responsible for this sort of inane activity, it’s going to reflect poorly on our political process.

Canadians might start to think the Liberals and Conservatives actually condone such childish stunts.

McGuinty deserves credit

A couple of weeks ago, I had some nice words on this blog concerning Liberal MP Bob Rae.

Well as if that's not strange enough, I know find myself congratulating Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

It seems the premier is considering the idea of privatizing certain provincial assets as a way to raise money for his cash-strapped government.

The fact that a lefty-Liberal like McGuinty is even considering privatization is pretty newsworthy and he deserves credit for putting it on the table.

Of course, only time will tell if he actually does place government agencies on the auction block.

I hope he does.

Then I hope he rolls back his plethora of nanny-state decrees.

Hey a guy can dream, can't he?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's be the bad boy

According to news media reports, Canada is a “pariah” when it comes to fighting global warming.

And I think that’s just great.

After all, when it comes to everything else we are such upstanding international citizens: we are never late for UN meetings; we are always polite to all the other countries, we hang out with the nice Alliances.

In other words, we are goody-two-shoes – the global equivalent of boy scouts.

Nice, but boring.

However, when it comes to the environment, or at least when it comes to “climate change,” Canada is the bad boy, the outsider.

We are dangerous, we are edgy, we play by our own rules.

When Al Gore sees Canada strutting down the sidewalk, he meekly crosses the street.

Rather than bemoan this state of affairs, as so many in the media do, I say let’s revel in it.

Sometimes it's cool to be bad.

So let's play it for all it's worth.

For instance, here’s what we should do at Copenhagen climate summit:

* Leave a couple of tons of fresh Alberta tar sands on Denmark’s doorstep and ring the doorbell.

* Announce we plan to increase our greenhouse gas emissions, “just because we can”.

* Spice up the environmentalist protests in the streets of Copenhagen by unleashing a dozen or so hungry polar bears.

* During all meetings we should drink out of plastic bottles labelled “Melted Glacier Water.”

* Continually ask the question: “If global warming is such a problem how come it’s so darn cold outside?”

Of course, none of this will actually impact on the climate. But then again, nothing done at the Copenhagen summit will actually impact the climate.

At least we can have a little fun.

Crossposted at Libertas Post.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Speaking out on gag laws

The reaction to my speech on election gag laws, which I recently delivered at a Free Speech and Liberty Symposium, has generated an extremely positive reaction.

And that's gratifying.

However, my real goal in delivering this talk was to help re-spark interest in the whole issue of free-election speech.

Sad to say, this issue has fallen off the radar lately, which is unfortunate because election gag laws deny all Canadians the right to free expression, not just those who wish to advertise. After all, free speech is a two way street; it means having the opportunity to speak and the opportunity to listen.

Simply put, gag laws prevent Canadians from getting all sides of a story.

So I am glad to see that writer/author Paul Tuns is blogging about how gag laws negatively impact on the Right to Life movement.

Similarly, Rightchik is urging Canadians on her blog to contact Prime Minister Harper and demand he scrap the gag law.

I hope other bloggers follow their lead.

Anyway, I would like to thank Joseph Ben-Ami of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, which organized the symposium, for giving me the chance to speak out on this matter.

It was a great event.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NCC now a pussycat

It's painful for me to say this, but the National Citizens Coalition once a lion, is now a pussycat.

Just check out this recent blog from the NCC website, where the group apologizes to a Tory cabinet minister.

Industry Minister Tony Clement was angry because the NCC has posted in its "Tales from the Tax Trough" booklet that he had spent $30,000 on a trip to Kenya.

And it was true, he had.

But Clement called up NCC president Peter Coleman to complain and amazingly Peter agreed to apologize and to delete the Kenya reference from the booklet!!

And the NCC didn't do anything to warrant an apology.

The NCC even posted a message from Clement on their site (Note they refer to him as "Peter" Clement).

All I can say is that when I worked at the NCC we never would have let a politician bully us like this.

Somewhere NCC founder Colin M. Brown is rolling in his grave.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gag laws and free speech

On Monday December 7th, I gave a speech on the dangers of election gag laws at a Liberty and Free Speech Symposium organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.

I have posted the text of my talk here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blogging friends

Been getting some good comments around the blogosphere these days.

Gay and Right has some kind words to say about Libertas Post and notes that a visit is "well worth your time."

Kerry Forrest, who I had the pleasure to meet recently at the MacDonald-Cartier Society meeting in Ottawa, says my speech on conservatism has him "stoked to get out there and show the path to others."

And finally Rightchik gives a good review of a speech I gave on gag laws at the Liberty and Free Speech seminar.

Media Alert

I am scheduled to appear on CTV's Power Play this afternoon at about 5:30 PM.

One of the topics will be the Afghan detainee issue.

Speaking of which, I have just posted a poll on this matter over at Libertas Post.

Let me know what you think of this issue.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Talking about conservatism

On Monday night I gave a speech at a MacDonald-Cartier Society meeting on the topic: The conservative movement at the crossroads.

You can read the text of my talk here.

By the way, it was a fun event, the place was packed and I had a chance to meet many old friends and also to make some new ones.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

China and Harper

Lots of debate is taking place over Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to China.

Should he bring up human rights issues or should he focus exclusively on trade?

And that happens to be the focus of this week's Libertas Post survey.

Check it out and cast your vote.

Harper a Neo-Con?

I recently sent the following letter to the Toronto Star in response to this column.

Dear Sir/Madam:

Eugene Lang and Philip DeMont argue Prime Minister Stephen Harper has an “overriding objective to cut taxes.” (“Big-spender Harper true to his neoconservative roots” November 30)

If that were true, of course, it would also mean the Prime Minister would have an equally overriding objective to refrain from deficit spending.

After all, big deficits today inevitably mean higher taxes tomorrow.

Yet, the Prime Minister has, thanks to his economic “stimulus package”, plunged the country into a sea of red ink.

In other words, the supposedly tax hating Prime Minister is actually imposing a "future tax" on Canadians.

Lang and DeMont call this “neo-conservatism.”

I call it bad economics.

Talking conservatism

On the evening of December 7th, I will be in Ottawa to address the following topic: "The conservative movement at a crossroads: Lessons from the past, directions for the future."

The MacDonald-Cartier Society is organizing the event.

And it won't be just me yakking either, I will be a part of a panel that will include columnist John Robson, who will talk about "Reclaiming Canada’s conservative tradition" and Joseph Ben-Ami of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies who will offer his opinions on "Building a small-c conservative movement" and Don Lenihan of the Public Policy Forum who will speak on “Governing in a Multi-Stakeholder World: are conservatives ready, willing and able?"

Sounds like an interesting evening.

So if you are in Ottawa next week drop on by.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rae and Black Ribbon Day

Never thought I would ever write this, but here goes: Congratulations to Liberal MP Bob Rae.

Rae introduced a motion in the House of Commons yesterday to declare August 23rd "Black Ribbon Day" as a way to commemorate victims of totalitarian Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.

As Rae himself put it, "We must unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members' sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering."

The motion, I am happy to report, passed unanimously.

August 23rd, by the way, was chosen as "Black Ribbon Day" because that's the day in 1939 when Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia signed their infamous non-aggression pact.

Of course, people have been marking Black Ribbon Day for years.

In fact, back in the mid-1980s when I was working at the National Citizens Coalition we helped to set up and organize "Black Ribbon Day" rallies.

Those were the days when the Soviets were still oppressing much of Eastern Europe and our goal was to remind Canadians that Soviet totalitarianism was just as evil as Nazi totalitarianism.

Anyway, I am glad to see Rae take this principled stand for freedom. The Soviet Union may be gone, but its evil legacy will live on forever.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The old double standard trick

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is taking a lot of criticism because he recently suggested that anyone questioning our prisoner transfer policy in Afghanistan was really maligning Canada’s soldiers.

Lawrence Martin calls this tactic “intellectually infantile”; Andrew Coyne, using less elegant language, calls it “trash” and Liberal MP Bob Rae stated “To argue that some are stronger supporters of our soldiers than others I think is frankly reprehensible ... to label what we are doing as somehow unpatriotic is quite frankly beyond the pale."

And to be sure, Prime Minister Harper is using an emotion-laden charge to make his point.

But isn’t that politics?

Indeed isn’t this exactly the sort of ploy the Left routinely uses when attacking conservatives?

Consider, for instance, this typical exchange between a conservative and a liberal:

Conservative: I think we need to cut taxes and make government smaller.

Liberal: Aha, your true agenda exposed! All you care about is helping the rich. You’re a heartless monster with no compassion for the poor or downtrodden. You want to close down our public schools, throw orphans into the streets and condemn our seniors to lives of poverty and misery. Oh and you probably want to bring back slavery, since you are also clearly a racist.

Conservative: We also need to increase funding for our military and help our allies in the war against terror.

Liberal: War monger!

Conservative: In my view it's time to inject some sort of free market principles into our costly and inefficient health care system.

Liberal: Oh I get it. You want to transform our hospitals into profit making factories which will heal only the rich and which will use poor people in diabolical medical experiments designed to help the rich live longer. And furthermore: rich, rich rich.

Conservative: I am sceptical about some of the global warming hysteria going on.

Liberal: OK you are clearly a pawn of the big oil companies. Why else would you want to murder those cute polar bears?

Conservative: The long-gun registry was a bad idea.

Liberal: Shut up you stupid redneck. You’re responsible for every murder in the past 100 years. In fact, you probably have all sorts of guns hidden in your basement and are just waiting to go on a mindless shooting spree. Umm … please don’t shoot me!!!

Of course, when left wingers make these sorts of arguments nobody calls them “infantile” or “trash.”

It’s what you call a double standard.

And by the way, if you don’t like this posting, then it means you must be some sort of Marxist.

Crossposted at Libertas Post