Thursday, November 23, 2006

economic update

What the hell is a "Working Income Tax Benefit?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman

I was very sorry to read about the passing of Milton Friedman this afternoon as a result of heart failure.

It's sad to see the life of such a great freedom-fighter and economist come to an end. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet him.

Jason Talley at Bureaucrash did a very nice post on Friedman. So did the Cato Institute.

I won't try to top them.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

bloggers as lobbyists?

Bloggers should have to register as lobbyists!

No, they shouldn't. And it sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it? Yet it's not that big a stretch, using the logic the Senate must have to think that the National Citizens' Coalition should have to register as lobbyists for conducting the same business they always have - informing the public and expressing opinions on the policy the government should be putting in place.

I first caught wind of this from Gerry Nicholls, who links to a copy of the original Hill Times article on the subject on his blog.

For those of you who don't know what the NCC does, the group basically spends its (privately donated) money fighting for "more freedom through less government" by (shock!) blogging, writing op-eds for newspapers, doing interviews, sending out newsletters and taking out ads.

The NCC doesn't directly persuade the government or influence its opinion on policy any more than Andrew Coyne, Ezra Levant, or, hell, Garth Turner do when they write or say something that brings a topic into the public's focus and compels people to ask questions about how things are being done.

Forcing someone to go through the process of registering as a lobbyist for distributing information about a political issue, specifically information that contradicts the status quo, (and, by extention, not allowing former government employees to express an opinion about political issues in any meaningful way for years after the conclusion of their employment) is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
The idea of putting up road blocks to the free dissemination of information (that's free speech, folks) is downright offensive to me, and I hope it is to you, too.

If you love freedom, and/or you think the senate is full of crap on this one, you can support the NCC and send a great big "screw you!" to the senate by joining the NCC, like I did a few years ago.

Garth Turner and my cat.

I don't care about Garth Turner. I really don't.

Well, I try not to care. I try really hard. But it's kind of hard to avoid. A little tricky to explain, too.

Let's just say that Garth reminds me of my cat, Daisy.

I would like to ignore Daisy while I'm studying for a midterm, but she forces me to deal with her by repeatedly positioning herself between my eyes and the textbook, (or, even better, my pencil and the paper), and so I have to go to the trouble of picking her up off the table and dropping her on the floor over and over (and over and over) again.

The saddest part of all this is that I wanted to care about Garth. I can sympathise with Garth. I know what it's like to be stabbed in the back by people who are supposed to be your political allies, and to not get support to the extent you'd like from the people who you thought were supposed to supply it.

But the solution isn't the course of action Garth has devoted himself to (bitching, posting personal information and generally glorifying himself even more than he did when he was a CPC MP). Rather than demonstrating his ability to be an asset to the party, he's showing exactly how he can be classified as a liability.

I originally thought booting Garth from the party was a very bad idea. I still think it was probably a bad idea, but I definitely understand why it was done now - after all, actions in response to an extreme situation are merely an amplification of standard reactions. Garth is obviously a loose canon capable of and willing to dispense confidential information if he thinks it will further his agenda.

A disservice is being done to Garth's admirably loyal EDA, who deserve to have the party membership standing with them in indignation over their nominated candidate being removed and banned from running, especially so shortly after the nomination meeting.

Unfortunately for his EDA, that's not the case. Every day Garth perpetuates this soap opera it becomes easier for those who aren't directly involved to knock the cat off the table without a second thought.

Friday, November 10, 2006

for remembrance day

Tomorrow's going to be awfully busy for me, so I wanted to post this today.
Lest we forget.



The soldier stood and faced God,
which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
just as brightly as his brass.

"Step Forward Now, You Soldier.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek
to the Church have you been true?

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No Lord, I guess I ain't,
because those of us who carry guns
can't always be a Saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was tough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
because the world is awfully rough.

But I never took a penny
that wasn't mine to keep,
though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear,
and sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
among the people here,
they never wanted me around
except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
but if you don't I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the Throne
where the Saints had often trod,
as the soldier waited quietly
for the Judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
you've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
you've done your time in Hell."

(Author unknown)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

something to celebrate in america

So among all the excitement (or lack thereof from me) about what's going to happen in the Senate and the House in the states, people may have missed out on something to celebrate in Michigan.

You see, in Michigan two very interesting (and exciting) proposals were passed on Tuesday:
Proposal 2: A proposal to amend the State Constitution to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.
and, even more exciting:
Proposal 4: A proposal to amend the State Constitution to prohibit government from taking private property by eminent domain for certain private purposes.
There are a lot of people freaking out over Proposal 2, but I think they might be forgetting that laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin still exist. (Whether or not that's a freedom-friendly policy is a topic for another day.)

There is no such thing as "reverse discrimination." It's all just plain ol' discrimination. People should be chosen to do a job based on merit. Any other system is just entrenching and perpetuating the discrimination opposition to this proposal are so afraid of.

Proposal 4 is where the real excitement comes in, though. Nine states voted to ban this kind of nonsense by the government, which became a real concern after the Kelo decision last year.

Protection of property rights is eroding all over and not even constitutionally entrenched in Canada. It's great to see Americans standing up to the government on this one... hopefully we can see some movement on formalizing these rights in Canada someday soon.

american politics

This video from our friends at Bureaucrash does a fairly good job of explaining why I don't get too worked up one way or another about American politics most of the time.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

superkids!


Now you might be thinking to yourself, "Where the hell did she find this? This comic is full of crap!" Well, you'd be right, but that's not the comic's fault - it's because it's from the government. Government isn't good at very many things, but it is fantastic at being absolutely full of crap.

Superkids is a comic from 1976 that was created by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. It seems to be some bizarre form of state propaganda that you would think would be confined to crazy fringe groups like PeTA and governments in books like 1984. I guess Orwell got the year wrong.

Anyway, their powers come from a magical rock, complete with instructions. The wonderful irony is that if the rock actually did exist the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources would totally regulate it and those kids would not be allowed to use it. Then we'd all end up homeless and poor by 1996 because they couldn't divide our garbage for us.

There's also this one, which is just downright creepy, in my humble opinion:



You can see the rest of the comics here... they get more ridiculous (but harder to make into a quick post before supper) as time goes on. Unfortunately the guy whose site they're on has some wacky opinions of his own, but at least he provided us with tonight's amusement.

So if you were alive in 1976 and paying taxes, sucks to be you.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Wednesday.