Saturday, January 31, 2009

Palate Cleanser: Radar Love

It's been a rough week in the conservative blogosphere. As demoralizing as the budget controversy has been, I'm about ready to move on. I can hardly wait to see what the second month of 2009 holds in store for us.

As a little palate cleanser, I thought I'd link a classic 1973 hit from the Dutch rock band Golden Earring. This little ditty has been playing in my head for the past few days so I figured I'd share the pain with my readers.

"Radar Love"

A little info on the band, courtesy of wikipedia:

Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called The Tornados, the name was changed to Golden Earrings when they discovered that The Tornados was already in use by another group. The name Golden Earrings was taken from a song, originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947 and a hit for Peggy Lee in 1948, with which they opened their concerts. Initially a pop rock band with Frans Krassenburg as lead singer, Golden Earrings had their first chart success with their debut single "Please Go", recorded in 1965. It reached number 9 on the music charts in The Netherlands. Unsatisfied with Dutch recording studios, the band's manager and co-discoverer Fred Haayen arranged for the next single to be recorded at the Pye Records studios in London. The record cut at Pye, "That Day", reached number two on the Dutch charts, prevented from reaching number one by The Beatles' "Michelle".

In 1968, the band earned their first number one hit in the Netherlands with the pop song "Dong Dong Diki Diki Dong". This was followed by a successful psychedelic album Eight Miles High, which featured an eighteen-minute version of the title track, itself a cover of the 1966 hit song by The Byrds. The live version, which could last 45 minutes, was considered by some to be a highlight in their first and second American tours, in the middle of the hippie and flower power era in the same year Woodstock was organised: 1969.

The band enjoyed brief international superstar status in the Seventies when the single version of "Radar Love", from the Gold-certified album Moontan became a hit in both Europe and the USA. Golden Earring embarked on their first major US tour in 1969 - 1970, and were among the first European bands to do so. Due to American influences, their music evolved towards hard rock, and they performed along with Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed thirteen US tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, The Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special. In the early seventies, when "Radar Love" was a hit, they had KISS and Aerosmith as their opening act.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Do We Have Your Attention Yet, Mr. Prime Minister?

“All these 100,000-plus donors are writing their little cheques because they believe in a cause and – I don't know what's going to happen – but when Stockwell Day got into trouble that was the first really big sign. The money stopped coming in.”(*)

You are a realpolitik kung-fu master, Mr. Harper, and don't think that Canadians don't appreciate a man with a Machiavellian mind. For three years we have amused ourselves with watching you walk the tight-rope so deftly, compromising with your ideological enemies with one side of your mouth while promising the world to your supporters with the other side.

However, a word of caution: we'll only wait so long before we begin to take a hard look at your record and demand that you make good on a promise or two.

Remember upon whom you depend for funding and passionate advocacy come election time, Mr. Harper. Please start delivering on some of those beautiful words that you've spoken over the years lest you find the money well runs dry and you become (*shudder*) the Stockwell Day of 2009.

Do we have your attention yet, Mr. Prime Minister?

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A Word To The Pragmatists From A "So-Called Conservative"

The right-wing blogosphere has witnessed a massive polarization over the question of the proper assessment of Stephen Harper's recent budget. In response to the dissent that many tories have shown over the complete capitulation of the right to the demands of the socialists, many bloggers are meeting dissent with condemnation.

The following entry, found at the Conservative Reporter's blog, provides an excellent example of this trend:

I don’t know about everyone else but I am getting very disgusted with all the so called conservatives who are giving the PM and this budget a hard time. It doesn’t have this, it has too much of that.

Wake up and smell the facts.

What do you think the coalition would have done. The media was on their side, they love iggy, he can do no wrong.

Give this budget a chance to get some results. It is a use it or lose it budget. There are strings attached.

As sorry as I am to 'disgust' you, I cannot help but take issue with the alleged factiness of your position.

The welfare state is built on the assumption of a constantly expanding population, a model which is currently in the process of breaking down in a big way. This means that, within the next however many years, the Baby Boomers will begin to retire and expect the next generation to pay off their debts. But the population has stopped expanding. Add to this the measly little $85 billion deficit that Harper has so bravely incurred to keep himself in the seat of power and we have what is referred to in crass circles as a 'serious fucking problem'.

We are condemning ourselves to financial crisis on a large scale with the short-term thinking that is evident in Harper's 'pragmatic' approach. The Prime Minister has the luxury to do this because he doesn't expect to remain in power long enough to catch the brunt of the long-term consequences. It is, in fact, the citizens of Canada at large who will have to deal with the implications of this budget. And those implications will be profoundly unpleasant.

The global economy's current state of crisis was caused by similar short-term thinking and left-wing economics. "Government intervention in the economy," exclaimed defenders of Bill Clinton who supported increases in subprime lending in the late 1990s, "is the safest bet. Capitalism is fine but it needs a little help from the government to stay on track." Today's defenders of the budget and the bailout economics that it represents assume, even if only implicitly, a similar kind of reasoning.

The root of this problem seems to be the way that many conservatives look at the very purpose of politics. We are told to stand by our Prime Minister while he sells us down the river because it's only temporary. Allow me to remind you that nothing about the government is ever 'just temporary'. Most programs that are touted as nonpermanent stick around for years after their intended sunset and those that do expire on time leave trails of consequences that reverberate for decades down the road. This is especially true of deficits.

Harper is playing clever politics with money that doesn't belong to him. I don't recognize Harper's right - nor anybody else's right - to a minute of my life or a cent of my money. I have supported the Prime Minister in the past because I believed that he had the good sense to fight for economic freedom. This was not an unreasonable belief to hold given the statements that he had made before becoming Prime Minister, particularly regarding the importance of property rights in a free society, the limited role of the government, and the deleterious effects of welfarism on the economy and the state's citizens. But, instead of living by his words, Harper has confirmed the old bromide that politics attracts the power-luster and repels the man of principle.

The budget's conservative defenders have gone out of their way to cite the pragmatic political sense of Harper's decision but they have conspicuously failed to mention or defend the pragmatic financial sense that all budgets should be expected to make. This is because, were they to take their support to its logical extension, they would find themselves defending Keynesianism. As little as many conservatives may know about the economy, they are aware of enough to recognize that this is a bad thing. (Don't believe me? Ask Henry Hazlitt: 'The Failure of the "New Economics": An Analysis of the Keynesian Fallacies' - PDF)

In a recent article, Andrew Coyne pronounced the Canadian conservative movement dead and I disagreed - to a certain extent, anyway. However, the conservative movement truly is dead if we fail to reclaim the principles that we once defended, foremost among them capitalism. Defending man's inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property and, accordingly, defending the only economic system that is consonant with those rights (i.e. capitalism), should be what makes a person 'conservative'; these are, in fact, the very principles that we ought to be focused on 'conserving'.

By cowing to the threats of the coalition, Harper has taken capitalism completely off the table as an option for Canada - there is nobody left in power to defend it. So, before sneeringly labeling all of those who reject Harper's pragmatism as "so-called conservatives", please ask yourself precisely what ideas you are effectively preserving in the process of defending the budget.

The answer to that question may surprise you.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Debunking Bailout Economics: Burn, Baby, Burn

It's interesting to note just how many of the recent reactions to announcements that the Big Three could be going under have been limited to wide-eyed 'too big to fail' expressions of Keynesian corporate welfarist sentiment. Advocates of this business-on-a-government-leash model have been waxing apocalyptic on the subject of a future without General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler for months now. They insist that the only responsible decision politicians could make would be to increase the money flow from the unwilling pockets of taxpayers to the gaping maw of the struggling auto industry. Take money from the productive, they insist, and give part of it back to the productive and part of it to the chronically unproductive. We can call it a 'stimulus package'!

Bradley Doucet of the Western Standard proposes a slightly different response to the failure of inefficient businesses: burn, baby, burn.


Is it bad for the economy if inefficient, badly run businesses go under? That seems to be the thinking behind fears that the Big Three American automakers, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, might go bankrupt if governments do not bail them out. Millions of jobs would be lost, it is argued, including some half a million here in Canada. The effects would ripple through the economy and depress spending all around. Like the major financial institutions before them, interested parties argue that the Big Three are simply "too big to fail." It would be closer to the truth to say that these dinosaurs are too big and clumsy to survive.

In a free market, if a business goes bankrupt, it is because it was badly run, and competitors were able to be more efficient -- that is to say, those competitors were able to produce the same product or service and offer it at a lower price by keeping their costs in check. Alternately, they were able to offer a better product or service for the same price, or again, some combination of a better product or service and a lower price. When in the worst case scenario, a poorly run business is allowed to go bankrupt and liquidate, the capital and labour that were trapped in the inefficient enterprise are freed up to be reallocated to more efficient uses. More successful competitors can expand, purchasing plants and equipment and also hiring laid off workers.

The transition is never painless, of course. Stockholders take a hit as assets are sold off at a discount. Some assets may be of no real use, representing excess capacity or being out of date or run down, leading to further loss. Not all employees will be able to find work in the same fields, as they may have been superfluous; or they will have to take a pay cut, as their wages may have been inflated by decades of legally-sanctioned union extortion. The thing to notice is that, painful as it is, bankruptcy is just the market's way of correcting itself. Economic players have been acting in disregard of reality, and this has consequences. Bankruptcy is a serious form of market correction, but like all market corrections, when it is necessary, it is necessary.

Bailing out an enterprise that should by all rights be allowed to fail is just an attempt to deny reality. It punishes hardworking taxpayers and efficiently-run businesses for the sins of overpaid union members and inefficiently-run businesses. It also sets up an unhealthy spiral, in which those who act recklessly are not held to account, encouraging them to continue to act recklessly in the future. It is corporate welfare at its worst, even though some of the benefits redound to privileged union members at the expense of all other workers.

This is a truly excellent article, a clear look at the way businesses should work in a capitalist economy as well as the effects that governments have on the economy when they bail out inefficient companies. There's much more of the article than what I quoted so it's definitely worth following the link.

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Darcey's "Automatic Blogging Machine"

This is more of a tip for bloggers than readers (although it's going to be helpful for both) but Darcey over at the always excellent Dust My Broom has put together what he terms the "automatic blogging machine" which boasts "over 200 sources of information hauled into specific categories every single damn day, fully searchable and has images." I've been wandering around the database and I've found it very useful and easy to navigate.

I figured y'all might find it handy too. To access the database, please follow the link.

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The End of Canadian Conservatism?

Who can save us?

Andrew Coyne paints a rather bleak picture of the prospects for Canadian conservatism moving forward:

With this week’s historic budget, the Conservatives’ already headlong retreat from principle has become a rout — a great final leap into the void. Understand: there will be no going back from this, for the party or for the country.

Mr. Coyne is perfectly correct on one count: Harper's 'retreat from principle' in the recent budget seems to sound the death knell for the Conservative Party's present momentum towards their much-desired majority government. The man who has been branded a tyrant by his political opponents has allowed himself to be bullied into submission by the weakest Liberal Party that we have seen in decades.

If Harper had stood his ground, would Ignatieff have called him on it? Perhaps. From all accounts, he is nowhere near the anorchid bureaucrat that was his predecessor. But, so what? Ignatieff hasn't had the chance to sell himself to Canadians yet. Harper would have come off as strong and unflinching by standing up to the coalition and the LPC's new leader. If the governor general had allowed the coalition to take over (unlikely), the electorate would have punished the Liberals in the following election. If the governor general had called an election, Harper would have been returned to power with a strengthened mandate and a shot at a majority.

The main thrust of Coyne's argument can be found in the following warning:

We are on course toward a massive and permanent increase in the size and scope of government: record spending, sky-high borrowing, and — ultimately, inevitably — higher taxes. And all this before the first of the baby boomers have had a chance to retire.

What is it about twenty-first century 'conservatives' and expanding the size of government?

But what of Coyne's prediction that this budget marks the death of the Canadian conservative movement? Is it truly as dead in the water as he suggests? The answer to that question depends entirely on us: its constituent parts. Many on the right have appropriately chosen to reject Harper's budget. Many have called for a return to economic conservatism - i.e. a return to the capitalism that has allowed the western world to achieve the unprecedented level of wealth and wellbeing that we currently enjoy. This is the key to the future health of our movement. There is nothing to be gained from the compassionate-conservatism of the George Bushes or the pragmatic-conservatism of the Stephen Harpers or the red toryism of the Jim Prentices.

So who does that leave us with in the CPC?


Rona Ambrose?

Not too many tories seem to fit the bill. If you have any better ideas please put them in the comments.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Response To Stephen Taylor On The Budget

In light of the conservative base's sense of betrayal over the new more or less Liberal budget, Stephen Taylor has replied thusly:

A political party’s first and last job is to get elected. If you thought that the Conservative Party should have held its ground, flipped off the opposition, delivered $30 billion in tax cuts and went out in a blaze of glory then you have the benefit of layering fantasy on a wholly incongruent political landscape where the pragmatists thrive. A political party, in practice, is not much more than a marketing machine to sell ideas to an electorate looking to buy them. However, elections span a meager 36 days and unless a voter is conditioned to think conservatively, they won’t vote Conservative. If a Conservative party does form government — especially a minority government — the long term goal is the same: keep the upper hand, survive when strategically beneficial, and win elections.

Mr. Taylor, a political party's first and last job is to do what is right. What benefit is there in the Conservative Party forming government if their primary concern will always be retaining power at the expense of representing the values that they were elected to defend? The good politician takes chances and defends his principles to the bitter end. The good politician never surrenders his values to the mewing of his critics nor does he sacrifice the liberty of his constituents to keep himself politically viable.

A politician's ability to be 'pragmatic' may win a few converts come election time but it will likely cost him the votes of many former faithfuls who decide to stay home rather than vote for a man who will refuse to represent his views when his back is against the wall. Pragmatism does not win elections, Mr. Taylor, principles do.

We must remember that the goal of politics is not, in fact, to permit competing political parties to jockey for power while trampling over the rights of Canadian citizens who, in turn, prefer to dismiss it all as inevitable given the nature of the system. The goal of politics must be to preserve and protect the rights of Canadian citizens. This budget fails to do that. Hell, it isn't even a step in the right direction.

And that is no fantasy, sir, that is principle.

Mr. Taylor continues:

We can lament the budget delivered by our Conservative Party and complain that it goes against our instincts as conservatives. But yesterday, the Conservative government did it’s [sic] job, it presented a survivable budget in the current political climate. However, the conservative movement failed because it was unsuccessful in creating the conditions of ideological survivability for what should have been a sincerely conservative budget.

I see that we're exempting Stephen Harper and his government from the 'conservative movement' now. As appropriate as that may be after this budget, I will admit that it seems like an odd thing to do. We as citizens are responsible for creating a political climate that is conducive to conservatism but the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is not? We must follow our principles and act according to our standard of the good but the Prime Minister of our country ought to be lauded for represented Liberal principles rather than Conservative ones?

In every walk of life, Mr. Taylor, it is my sincere conviction that one can compromise on price but never on principle. Harper has repeatedly demonstrated that he lives by the very opposite maxim. I will never support a man's actions simply because they are strategically effective.


Searching For Liberty - "... And I always thought the idea of politics was to have an honest plan, and let the voters decide if they approve."

Small Dead Animals - These poll results show where Canadian conservatives stand on the matter.

Catprint In The Mash - Faithful Iggy

Gerry Nicholls - "Coalition Dead But Victorious"

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The Difference Between Republicanism & Democracy

I am none too fond of democracy.

I understand that this qualifies as an unusual statement to make in the twenty-first century now that conservatives and liberals alike are so enthusiastic about invoking 'democratic rights' or the best interests of the democratic state to justify their domestic and foreign policy decisions and actions. One can hear them proclaiming from mountain tops that democracy is the root of all good in a political system. Why should the United States invade Iraq, Mr. Bush? Why, to bring them democracy, of course!

The root of all good in a political system - nay, the only proper function of the state - is the protection of individual rights. These individual rights have very little to do with the logically indefensible 'democratic rights' that were invented by the social democrats (I'm thinking here of the right to an education, the right to health care, or the newly discovered right not to be offended, among countless others). Rather, individual rights are the logical corollaries and consequences of the one basic right of every human being: the right to one's own life.

So what does holding this position make me if not a democrat? As the title of this blog suggests - and I know that a lot of my readers have inquired about this - it makes me a constitutional republican. In a Canadian republic, the legislature would still operate democratically but politicians would possess no power to violate the rights of their state's citizens under any circumstances. In Canada, that would mean no Human Rights Commissions violating the right to free expression, no federal confiscation of private property, no coercive taxation, and no compulsory unionism.

I stumbled across this video the other day which does, I believe, an excellent job of distilling the difference between a democracy and a republic down into an easily accessible and relatively concise presentation. Although the video is far from perfect, I hope that it will function as something of an introduction to the idea of a constitutional republic to freedom-loving Canadians.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

McGuinty Wrong To Force CUPE 3903 Back To Work

In a recent article published at The Gods of the Copybook Headings, Publius provides Canadian conservatives with a timely reminder that our principled rejection of compulsory unionism does not, in fact, oblige us to support Dalton McGuinty's plan to force the members of CUPE 3903 back to work at York University. In reality, McGuinty's plan to end the 'deadlock' would set a dangerous precedent in terms of the government's ability to impose itself upon strikes in industries deemed to be 'essential' (a constantly shifting standard, invented and defined by the politicians citing it for their causes).

The following is a rather lengthy excerpt from Publius's article:

In an ideal society the right to strike - an extension of the right of voluntary association - would not need to be curtailed. Even, if by some strange happenstance, a private company were able to obtain a monopoly over public transit in Toronto - something which never happened before the creation of the TTC nearly ninety years ago - they would risk having their market position undercut by competitors. While no one can throw up a parallel subway system overnight, the city's rail lines (currently used for freight and commuter rail) might be put into use in a matter of months. Bus service could probably be established even more quickly. The mere threat of a competitor can make both management and labour think twice about the costs of a strike, a reality private companies must confront daily. The TTC doesn't have to worry about a drop in fares as does a private company, for thousands of commuters there is really no alternative and much of any potential shortfall is covered by the City of Toronto or Provincial Government. Union workers cannot be laid off, and their employer is not in the business of turning a profit.

How then has Dalton McGuinty extended the logic of "essential services" to a university? There are no private universities in Ontario, all receive some degree of government funding, but all collect tuition from students. There are some 22 in the province, three in Toronto alone (with another two with campus in the city). Southern Ontario has one of the most dense concentrations of post-secondary institutions in North America. There are plenty of alternatives to a York University degree. Nor does York provide any type of specialized training not available elsewhere, as say does the University of Toronto. There is nothing life or death about getting a university degree. Many students may lose their year because of this strike. This is no doubt a great inconvenience but it is also a hazard of everyday life. It would be legally doubtful that the students could sue York for the financial loss incurred by the strike. In the marketplace, such as it exists, for post-secondary education a student, seeing that York is an unreliable service provider, can switch to a different institution going forward. If a year is lost, having not provided the service as promised, York should be compelled to refund tuition, at the very least.

The danger of the Dalt's unwarranted extension of government power, fully supported by the political zombie that is John Tory, is the precedent being established. Before an essential service was a government monopoly in a life or death industry, or essential to living in an urban environment. Now it is anything deemed important enough by the provincial government.
As provincial funds flow freely into the coffers of GM and Chrysler, watch for the first attempt by the UAW or CAW at a strike, or even a minor job action. How long before the automotive industry is declared an essential service? The logic of "essential service" is driven by a related concept, "public service." Government monopolies deny first the right of competitors to challenge their market position, they then deny their workers' right to strike. The contagion, as we are seeing with the case of York University, soon spreads to other sectors of the economy. This is a bleak precedent that deserves to be condemned.

I whole-heartedly approve of the author's reasoning on this question. Although I am certainly no friend of CUPE 3903 or the thuggish practice of compulsory unionism, it is not the government's role to force a resolution in disputes between employees and employers.

This situation at York University, however, is an object lesson demonstrating the price of making deals with the devil or the government. CUPE 3903 is a perfectly despicable collection of thugs and bureaucrats and their tactic of using the state as leverage against the evil overlords of the administration at York University has back-fired here. By allowing the government a role in unionization, they have invited the state to impose itself upon both sides of the arrangement: employees and employers.

So, although I cannot say that I feel sorry for CUPE 3903, I do agree that Dalton McGuinty's proposed actions are unacceptable. Yesterday, Publius cross-posted his article at Dust My Broom and I made the point another way in the comments section:

It's a dangerous precedent to set to permit the provincial government to deem a university an 'essential service' and force the strikers back to work. However, I see two factors that complicate the issue: (1) the union is itself coercive (CUPE 3903 is a prime example of compulsory unionism, which is to say that contract faculty, tenured professors, and teaching assistants are given no option but to join CUPE 3903 upon accepting a position with the university - evidently, this is a violation of the freedom of association's corollary, to wit, the freedom not to associate which is encompassed by the practice of voluntary unionization), and (2) York accepts government money, blurring the line between public and private. As a consequence of these issues, the relationship between CUPE 3903 and the government of Ontario is not as clear-cut as it would be were the union private and voluntary.

Although I stand by this assessment, I concede that there can be no benefit to the cause of freedom in allowing Premier McGuinty to arrogate to himself the power to end a strike of a non-governmental and evidently non-essential service.

It behooves Canadian conservatives to think on these points before advocating for a knee-jerk reactionary anti-union position and, in so doing, allowing Dalton McGuinty to violate the rights of Canadian citizens.

ALSO: For more information about the evils of coercive unionism, please follow the link below:

The Myth of Voluntary Unions

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Fry Me Up A Sea Kitten, Boys

You know what really sucks about the world right now? Nope, I'm not talking about terrorism in the Middle East or the genocide in Darfur. Sorry, I'm not referring to our vanishing civil liberties or the dismal state of the global economy either. No, my friends. The real problem with the world today is the plight of the fish.


People don't seem to like fish. They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads—which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you're swimming, and the big ones—well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone. You've done enough damage, buddy. We've got it from here. And we're going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it's time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?

Consider yourselves educated.

The following are some delightfully informative excepts found on the new campaign website from which PETA is leading the charge to save the poor oppressed kittens of the sea.

Fun Fact #1:

A University of Edinburgh study found that sea kittens can retain information that they learned up to 11 months earlier, which makes them cuter and smarter than the president of the United States!

Gasp! But ... but ... the President of the United States is Barack friggin' Obama. These PETA folks must be racist conservatives!

Fun Fact #2:

Some sea kittens tend well-kept gardens. They encourage the growth of tasty algae and weed out the types that they don't like. It is particularly tragic when people eat these sea kittens, as their precious little gardens become wild and overgrown in their absence.

Yes, we can certainly count that among the great tragedies of the world.

Fun Facts #3 & #4:

Many male sea kittens woo potential partners by singing to them. While this is not particularly easy to do underwater coherently, female sea kittens don't generally seem to mind.


Sea kittens talk to each other through squeaks, squeals, and other low-frequency sounds that humans can only hear through special instruments. Most ichthyologists — scientists who specialize in sea kitten biology — agree that this is just about the cutest thing ever.

It must feel great to know they're making a difference on the really important issues. Are we still allowed to use terms like 'functionally retarded' to describe these people or is that a P.C. no-no?

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Memo From The Prime Minister's Office: No Principles Allowed!

In a recent interview, Kenneth Whyte of Maclean's Magazine sits Stephen Harper down to ask some questions related to the coalition crisis, the recent auto industry bailout, and even freedom of expression in Canada. Unsurprisingly, answer after answer from the Prime Minister touted the importance of the "pragmatic" approach.

Whyte asks:

We have Stephen Harper now embracing targeted bailouts and large deficits. Is conservativism dead at the federal level in Canada?

A chilling question, and one most Canadian conservatives haven't thought to ask since the right was united. But Harper's slow march to the center and the expansion of value-compromise within the Tory ranks makes it a perfectly pertinent issue.

Harper's response:

No, we’re just dealing with the times and the realities we have.


We have to be pragmatic. We have to handle each problem according to the reality we’re in.

And how about you tell us about the government's inaction on section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, a section that has been used by quasi-judicial bodies to restrict the freedom of expression of Canadian citizens?

The government has no plans to do [anything about 13.1] ... And it is a very tricky issue of public policy because obviously, as we’ve seen, some of these powers can be abused. But they do exist for valid reasons, which is obviously to prevent public airwaves from being used to disseminate hate against vulnerable members of our society. That’s a valid objective. It’s probably the case that we haven’t got the balance right, but I’m not sure the government today has any answer on what an appropriate balance would be.

Great. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Prime Minister.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Death To All Juice

In the wake of a recent pro-Palestinian protest, a wonderful meme has swept the conservative blogosphere surrounding the following picture:

(I found the photo at Hot Air but it was originally posted by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs)

Ed Morrissey ponders what this young man meant by his sign and offers a few possible takes on the issue:

1. He’s unhappy with the sentence OJ Simpson received in Las Vegas.
2. Tropicana was really behind the 9/11 attacks.
3. Got Milk?

I'm a soda man myself but do I wish death to all juice? Certainly not. I'm no crazy food radical like the members of that hard-line Palestinian group. What are they called again? Hummus?

PLUS: Juice Icons Band Together To Fight Juicephobia

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“Sustainable & Durable" Ceasefire In Gaza Impossible Until Hamas Is Eradicated

Recently, Canada's Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon expressed grave concern over the newest and bloodiest chapter in the story of the Gaza conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. In response to the conflict’s recent escalation, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement encouraging both parties to reach a “sustainable and durable ceasefire”.

Despite the UN’s noises to the contrary, however, no such ceasefire will be possible so long as agents of radical Islam remain in control of the Palestinian enclave.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, President Bush declared that the Western world was at war with terrorism. This label obfuscates the reality of our struggle. Make no mistake: the current conflict is no more a war on “terrorism” than World War II was a war on panzer tanks. Although it is true that terrorism is the means that our enemies employ, the real enemy is the ideology that inspires its use: radical Islamism.

Lawrence Cannon’s plea for a “sustainable and durable ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip will forever remain a pipe dream so long as the area is controlled by Hamas or any other like-minded Palestinian terrorist group. If the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs truly wishes to encourage the achievement of peace in Gaza, it will support its great ally Israel in the exercise of its self-defense and help eradicate the threat that radical Islamism poses to the free people of the Western world.

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Teh Fred Speaks: Common Sense Conservatism's Last American Defender Explains The Economic Crisis

Fred Thompson turns his acerbic wit against the spend-spend-spend liberals currently petitioning for stimulus packages in Washington.

Tip of the hat to WLMR (aka Willie the Lyon) at the Broom.

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