Archive for the ‘freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy’ Category

The End of the West

November 8th, 2012

No, this is not going to be an Obama won, draw the curtain on liberty kind of post. While it is shocking how many people think free contraception equals some kind of freedom, I happen to think the United States is more resilient than that.

No, today’s example of the decline in Western Liberal tradition comes from a more usual suspect, Britain:

Under-used holiday homes should be compulsorily purchased by councils in areas with an acute shortage of properties, a leading union suggested today.

As others are want to suggest, the real story is in the comments. It’s not that some union leader has no faith in people to own their own homes and do with them as they want, it’s the number of people who agree. Not all, not even most, but that any number of people are quite happy to sign on, to justify this obvious abridgement of property rights .

As Mark Steyn says, “ the lamps are going out on liberty all over the western world in a… subtle and elusive and profound way.” And, it’s worth adding, in more ways than one.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy

“When Government Runs Things, This is What You Get…”

March 13th, 2012
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(14:51)”And remember… these guys were rocket scientists. This was the smartest geeks around and it and the Yugo where the best they could do.”

h/t to the flaming kitty

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Freedom Forum

June 23rd, 2011

My man, Gerry Nicholls (and I mean in the most 70’s, Huggy Bearish kind of way) has started a new website, Freedom Forum.  It is, says the welcome message, “an online sanctuary where the focus is on ideas not partisan political spin.”

Here’s more from the welcome:

It’s a site I’ve put together with some friends with one goal in mind: to promote economic and political freedom.


Because as Ronald Reagan once put it,

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

So this site will be a forum for those who wish to stand up for the ideals of limited government, free enterprise and individual freedom.

After all, a “war of ideas” is raging in this country and it’s a war those of us who cherish freedom simply can’t afford to lose.

We need to effectively communicate to Canadians, especially to younger Canadians, why freedom is important, and why only the free market system can ensure continuing prosperity and why big government isn’t the answer to all our problems.

Previously, Gerry launched Libertas Post, which I was honoured to be involved with. Unfortunately, he got called away by the need to earn a living just as it was getting going, and Libertas Post never regained it’s momentum.

Now, if only I could figure out how to get an article under the door at Freedom Forum…

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U of Waterloo Redeems Itself

December 8th, 2010
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I was disappointed in my alma mater, the University of Waterloo (UW), after the Christie Blatchford debacle last month. Et tu, Waterloo I mumbled to no one in particular.blatchford-helpless2

However, unlike other Ontario Universities in Premier Dad’s Paradise, UW stepped up with an immediate, and unequivocal apology:

The university considers Friday’s events as an attack on its presence as a place where issues are explored, discussed and at times debated. The freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental to the institution.

Yesterday, the university had Blatchford back:

flanked by dozens of police,” to give her speech. Agitator Dan Kellar was nowhere to be found, having been banned from the campus….

“God bless Dan Kellar. Driving up book sales wherever he goes,” Blatchford said afterward.

Good on Christeie Blatchford, and good on UW for making sure this event went off safely.

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How Do They Ticket Those Cyclists Without Licenses?

October 4th, 2009

Just over two weeks ago I wrote a couple of posts suggesting that the move afoot to license cyclists had more to do with restricting peoples freedom than than any benefit that may incur. Oh no, I heard, and heard… How can you give tickets to people that don’t have licenses?

How indeed?

overkill-bicycle-chopperOf that 184 tickets police issued to cyclists, 49 went to bikers whose bikes didn’t have a working bell. Forty of the tickets were issued because the cyclist didn’t have proper working lights, and 38 were issued to cyclists who were riding on the sidewalk. Other citations were given to cyclists who didn’t stop at red lights or who made improper lane changes.

Handing out tickets has never been the issue, police have been doing so to cyclists for years, just as they do to pedestrians. And therefore, it is not what the licensing issue is about.
And note to all the people who claim this is about lousy bicycle drivers  being unsafe on the road, the most tickets handed out where for… not having a bell.

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Do You Have Ze Papers II

September 17th, 2009

Was it two whole days ago I was complaining about licencing of cyclists? My how time flies. One of my comments in that post was that we are already licenced for boating:

Car, motorcycle, boat, sitting beside a pond fishing, all require a licence. Now Michael Walker thinks cycling should require a licence…

guitar-boatMy old pal Ron, who used to blog here, commented on getting his boat licence:

Perhaps it will be like the boaters so-called licence. I took the test at a booth at a flea market. It took me twenty minutes, with no studying, and I hadn’t driven a boat in years.

But what could be so wrong with licencing bicycles? asked everyone else who commented. The boat licence provides a nice background. As  noted by Chris Selley in today’s National Post there’s lots wrong with  the boat licensing system: no boating experience is necessary, private licencing without proper oversight, licence not required if your renting the boat or if your just visiting. One thing the licence is not about is improved safety.

Here in Ontario (I can’t vouch for elsewhere), the boat licence comes with one other minor problem, it authorizes otherwise illegal searches. The OPP can, and advertise heavily that they do, stop your vessel and board it, at which time they can, and do, demand the pleasure craft operating card of the driver. It matters not at all that you are operating safely and legally, it matters not at all that they have no grounds or reason. As they will tell everyone through media sources, they hit every lake, big or small, they stop any boater on those lakes. You will, they assure us, be asked to provide your boaters card if you go out on you boat. Now that they have stopped you to check that your paperwork is in order, they can do a quick look around make sure everything is up to standard.

To provide a little perspective on this, the OPP can absolutely not pull you over while driving down the highway for no other reason than to see your licence. Having done so, they can not search around to see what they see. Even when they perform the RIDE program, stopping people to check if they have been drinking, they do not ask for your licence. But on your boat, that kind of police state tactics is fine.

When I see politicians talking about licencing bicycles because “there is no requirement for a cyclist to carry personal identification,” I imagine a world where cyclists are stopped riding down the road, for the reason of proving they have the appropriate papers. Am I paranoid? No, it is the exact same regimen that is occuring on the lakes and rivers all across the province: you cannot go to your cottage and take a simple boat ride without having to answer for it, and that is incompatible with living in a free society.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Do you have ze Papers?

September 15th, 2009

Toronto Councillor Michael Walker wants to force Toronto cyclists to get licences for riding of said bikes. Adults, as well, should have to wear helmets, lest they crack their pretty heads open. Free choice? Not in Michael Walker’s city!

3579129846_b784d25038It is, however, the licence issue that’s most troubling. It may be an excusable request if the problem was rampant bikers who don’t know how to ride their bikes. A course, plus a test for every body’s safety, perhaps. But listen to Walkers reason for wanting licensing:

Currently, there is no requirement for a cyclist to carry personal identification…

Micheal Walker doesn’t want you riding around in his city if he can’t tell who you are and, we presume, if you belong.

Car, motorcycle, boat, sitting beside a pond fishing, all require a licence. Now Michael Walker thinks cycling should require a licence, at the same time as the City of Toronto is trying to get more people to ride bikes – a conflict of priorities if ever there was one. However, Walker’s stated reason, because you should have to carry identification, is chilling. If he gets his way there will be one method you can go to leave the house that wouldn’t require handy identification: walking. How long before the likes of Michael Walker decide that’s not safe enough, and identification is required, so it is not “difficult for police?”

At that stage, you can no longer go under the mantle of free citizen.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, pimply minions of bureaucracy, Toronto: Not in a Death Spiral , , ,

“I Have a File”

June 22nd, 2009

J. Edgar Hoover had a file too. Here’s a hard and fast rule of 1930-60’s America, don’t piss of J. Edgar or you’ll find yourself with a file. Fast forward to Canada, 2009, and discover another bureaucrat who keeps files: Canadian Human Rights commissioner Jennifer Lynch:

Please, please, look. We have experienced 16 months of invective hurled at us, and at any time when anybody has tried to speak up and correct misinformation, gross distortions, caricaturizations,[sic] then the very next day there’s been some full-frontal assault through the blogs, through mainstream media. I have a file. I’m sure I have 1,200, certainly several hundred of these things.

Twelve-hundred files. On whom? may we ask. Bloggers who speak ill of your institution? Ezra Levant? Mark Steyn? No doubt all of the above, but here’s a question for you Jennifer, do you have a file on Warren Kinsella, defender of the HRC’s? But of course, they’re her files, and she being a mere public servant, none of my business.

Of course, Ms. Lynch says so much more, including defending her job:

I’m a public servant responsible for giving effect to the principle that ‘individuals should have the right equal to others to make for themselves a life they are able and wish to have,’ and I’m going to do it.

I always like to pull out the old UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, when people like Jennifer Lynch want to debate these things always seems like a good place to start. Oh, and speaking of starting, here’s something from the second paragraph of the Preamble, you don’t get much more basic human rights than that which appears in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human rights:

…the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief

I searched in vain, by the way, for any reference to the “right equal to others to make for themselves a life they are able and wish to have,” whatever that actually means.

At the end of the day, that’s what this fight is about, everybody’s right to speak and think freely, without intimidation from some government lackey, whether in the form of hauling your sorry self before a tribunal, or just keeping a file on you.

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Endorsing Tim Hudak

June 20th, 2009

I have been watching the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race with some interest the past few months, and slowly but surely made my call on who I think should become the next PC leader. This weekend it all comes to a head, as Progressive Conservatives in Ontario vote for a replacement for John Tory (side note: really, you people want John Tory to run for Mayor of Toronto? You like David Miller that much?). I have at different times written off every candidate in this race for one reason or another, but the time has come to endorse somebody, anybody.

picphpFirst, lets do away with the caveats: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of any political party. I did consider taking out a membership for this race, but never did.  I do, however, tend to vote Conservative (not so much Progressive), although my vote has to be earned. I refuse to just give it to the guy who’s the least left wing.

To start with, lets eliminate a few candidates. Frank Klees is a throwback, a seventies Progressive Conservative who belongs to another time, another ballot. He was, in my opinion, un-vote-able in much the same way John Tory was un-vote-able. Memo to Frank Klees: Dalton McGuinty will probably step down in a few years, you would be very comfortable in the Liberal party.

Randy Hillier I liked, and agreed with him on most issues. I hope the next leader has a seat at the table for Hiller. He is, however, not ready for prime time. He has nowhere near the professionalism and polish needed to run a major political party, and may never develop it. It makes him refreshing, but not an appropriate choice.

And then there were two. How can I not choose Tim Hudak over Christine Elliot. Christine Elliot presented one policy that I was big on, flat taxes. This is possibly the best policy option out there, simplifying the tax system, balancing the tax load between private individuals and corporate, yet at the same time lowering taxes for lower income workers. Sadly, I don’t get the impression Christine Elliot is as committed to a flat tax as I am, I get the impression she can speak it with a straight face, but that it is disposable policy. What your left with is Red Tory Liberal lite policies. Thanks, but no.

tph-launchTim Hudak, on the other hand, comes in with one big plus, the human rights issue. This isn’t a minor issue, in my mind, this is the issue. Frankly put, if you can’t see what is so wrong with these speech tribunals, then you don’t have appropriate conservative credentials. This may never make it to an election platform, Christine Elliot may be right and it may be too dangerous an issue (I disagree, but lets run with it). However, her un willingness to fight for it, to talk of these judge/jury joint ventures in a negative way indicates she doesn’t get what is wrong with undemocratic, un-judicial beaurocrats passing judgement on the speaking habits of the citizenry.  It’s not so much a major policy issue as it is a litmus test: if you won’t talk about disbanding these kangaroo courts, then you’re not my kind of conservative.

On almost all talking points and policy issues, Tim Hudak passes my sniff test. His conservative credentials are strong. He gives the impression that he has conservative values, not because they are a good career decision, but because he believes in the core tenant that freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.

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Finally, Some Recognition in the Economics World

May 31st, 2009
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I sit here, week after week, month after month, yes year after year, economics degree in hand blogging about freedom, politics, carbon taxes and so forth.  I even have a Friedrich Hayek quote (…a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy…) as my tag-line. Then one day, finally, a pretty big economics blog links to me, and it’s because I wrote out the lyrics to a one hit wonder song.

Just  – sigh – .

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London Mayhem: The Photographic Evidence

April 15th, 2009
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The posts are all in from Monday Nights FreeSpeechApalooza in London with Kathy Shaidle, Salim Mansur and Ezra Levant. Mark Steyn has been discussing it, as has Ezra himself and KathyRight Girl, Dr. Roy, Winston, Wonder Woman, Josephine and Strictly Right have all weighed in.  Blazing Cat Fur has a transcript of Kathy’s speech and Lumpy, Grumpy and Frumpy has video.

As for me, I have pictures:

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Losing the Fredom of Speech Fight

February 12th, 2009

We sit here and pontificate on the Human Rights Commissions in this country,  fighting the forces of censorship, of state controlled speech, and some days,it feels like progress is being made. Ezra Levant goes off the deep end on Michael Coren, and we cheer. Mark Steyn fights with high profile and a high margin of victory, and hooray! Baby steps forward. But it is clear, the fight against censorship is being lost,and lost badly.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is calling for Parliament to force all Canadian magazines, newspapers and “media services” Web sites to join a national press council with the power to adjudicate breaches of professional standards and complaints of discrimination.

Barbara Hall, who claimed a lack of jurisdiction in the Steyn complaint last year and then pronounced on the complaint anyway, thinks all media, including blogs, should be subject to a national press council.

The implications for this are massive, and they affect every current event blogger. Doesn’t this mean that anonymous bloggers must register their blogs? Won’t they have to unanonymousize? What about reptilian kitten eaters? Must they register? Would a press council even allow us to call Gilligan that, or would we be forced to post, on our own blogs, paid for with real after tax day job dollars, an I’ve been a very naughty boy judgements against us?

No, we may be winning the debate, but we are losing the war. When the pimply minions of bureaucracy feel quite at liberty to make such suggestion, we not only aren’t making progress, we are going backwards.

And what Gilligan Kinsella and the rest of the apologists need to realize in a hurry is, either we all have free speech, or none of us do.

free speech, freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, human rights, Jacobian Piece of Impertinence, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Resolution P-203 Part II

November 13th, 2008
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The resolution is available in .pdf version, or .doc version.

More available from Richard at No Libs! dot com.
If your sitting MP is a member of the CPC, e-mail them and let them know you support P-203.

free speech, freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Diefenbaker Blogburst

October 14th, 2008
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Freedom. This blog has always been about freedom. That’s why the top quote has for a couple of years now been the F.A. Hayek quote:

…a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy…

I believe in freedom of Canadians to act in accordance to their will and beliefs, so long as it doesn’t impose on others freedoms, or cause harm to others. I believe in freedom from government, not freedom as granted by government. And I believe the Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker got this one right:

I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship God in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold
for myself and for all mankind.

Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker
July 1, 1960.

Five Feet of Fury
Covenant Zone
et al.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy

Why Can’t I Buy Beer With My Groceries

August 22nd, 2008

It’s done everywhere else in North America that I have ever been to. It’s done in Europe. In Paris you can buy vintage wine in the corner store. Stop at the corner store for a few quick items, grab a six pack of Guinness while I’m at it. Beer at the grocery store is hardly some new, untried concept. It is used, and has worked in hundreds of jurisdictions in the world, and there’s no reason it can’t work here.

I’ve posted before on this, back during the Ontario election where John Tory was tentatively prepared to study the idea:

Now granted, nothing drastic from our man Tory. Just a few trial locations, study the question: as if Quebec, Alberta and B.C., the U.S.A. and Europe are not test location enough. Really, the data exists, the idea works. But from baby steps like this comes full fledged working policy, so I’ll take what I can get.

Now, Halton Conservative MP, Ted Chudleigh, has a petition to allow beer to be sold in grocery stores, and is prepared to present it at Queens Park. There is an on-line petition, however according to MP Chudleigh’s blog: “Actual paper signatures are necessary to ensure authenticity.”

Ending the Soviet style marketing approach would lower prices, increase convenience of both purchase and bottle return, increase accessibility to the market for small brewers especially in local markets, and would bring Ontario into the 21st century.

The petition is here, print it off, sign it (and get others to), and mail it to:

Derek Forward, 2000 Appleby Line, Suite232, Burlington, ON L7L 7H7

It’s time that Ontario joined every other jurisdiction in the 21st century.

Of course a petition from an opposition MP is hardly the stuff of government policy, but if enough people sign the petition, it becomes harder to ignore. It may not be policy, but maybe it’s the start of something.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, pimply minions of bureaucracy