What’s the Big Idea?

The most significant development of 2010 was a life-affirming idea demonstrating the concept of spontaneous order and implying the cardinal virtue of independence of the individual. One frustrated individual, Rick Santelli, ranted on-air at CNBC on February 19, 2009 about certain oppressive interventionist actions of government and called for a new Tea Party. Some credit this rant as the start of the movement. Whether Mr. Santelli was the catalyst or not doesn’t matter. Despite broad media and political efforts to trivialize the phenomenon, Tea Partiers collected support across party lines, social classes and cultural subgroups. The influence of the Tea … Continue reading What’s the Big Idea?

Pork Them

The low calibre of the United States’ educational system has consequences. Too many people can’t read, write or do simple arithmetic at a level adequate to function effectively in modern society. Even these undesirable consequences are secondary to the fact that many never really learned how to think. Today we see evidence of all of this in Alaska. Lisa Murkowski is a Republican Senator from the state, or at least she is fighting to retain that status in a ballot-counting exercise reminiscent of the lunacy over “hanging ‘chads’” in a Florida ballot recount during the 2000 Presidential Elections. During the … Continue reading Pork Them

‘Cane in a Cave

What should have been—in a rational culture—little more than a storm in a teacup, has unfortunately morphed from an insignificant symbolic gesture to an event possibly requiring tactical changes in the so-called War on Terror. Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida wants to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 act of war by Islamic jihadists by burning a few hundred copies of the jihadists’ military manual—the Koran. Stormy events emanating from Florida usually involve natural hurricanes or at least tropical storms, but the Cable News Network (CNN) and the rest of the … Continue reading ‘Cane in a Cave

On Location

“Location”, “location” and “location” are said to be the three most important attributes of real estate properties in terms of desirability. The proposal to build Cordoba House, now called the Park 51 Islamic Community Center, within two blocks of the former World Trade Center site affords much opportunity to speculate about the three most important attributes of this particular development; they are not self-evident. There might be more lucrative commercial alternatives to building a mosque and related facilities at 51 Park in New York City. Supposedly, Soho Properties originally planned to develop a condominium project before partnering with Imam Faisal … Continue reading On Location

Eruptions in the News

Volcano The volcano in Iceland that belched enough concentrated emissions over Europe to ground air travel to a degree not seen since September 11, 2001 must be the envy of climate-change prognosticator Al Gore. His own eructations about carbon emissions have not enjoyed such an impact for a while. Of course, with the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change record for fraud and data manipulation, how long will it be before human intervention in Iceland is blamed for this natural occurrence? Opening Salvo The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Goldman Sachs & Company of defrauding … Continue reading Eruptions in the News

Points North

If you’ve been hiding in a cave you may not be aware that the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, hosted in Vancouver, British Columbia were generally rated a success, particularly for the host country. Of course, Canadians being Canadians, or rather Canadian journalists and other intellectuals, both foreign and domestic, being what they are cannot leave well enough alone. So much has been said about how, given their reputation for affable quirkiness and self-deprecation, the Canadians could possibly put on such a show as they did. The boisterous, chauvinistic or perhaps patriotic display of emotions could not be restrained for long, … Continue reading Points North

Free Haiti!

The catastrophic earthquake centered in Haiti on January 12 directly affected tens or hundreds of thousands of people and indirectly affects humanity in the millions. Regardless of the actual numbers of casualties and fatalities to be more accurately settled as the rescue, relief and recovery efforts continue, this emergency, like all others, has the effect of bringing out the best, and the worst among us, domestically in Haiti but internationally as well. There is a particular poignancy to this tragedy because the Haitian diaspora extends throughout North America. Canada, for example, has a significant population of Haitian expatriates including its … Continue reading Free Haiti!

Going Prorogue

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been subjected to a great deal of criticism for exercising a strategic prerogative to suspend the current Parliamentary session. Parliament would normally resume in January following the Christmas holiday recess, but will now open in early March. This suspension, initiated by the Prime Minister, is a legacy of British style Parliamentary systems and is formally known as proroguing. There are certain procedural consequences associated with proroguing, such as the suspension of Parliamentary Bills in process, or those waiting to be considered by the Senate. Such proposed legislation will need to be reintroduced and debated … Continue reading Going Prorogue

The “Aught” Knot

The decade of the “aught”—as the years 2000 to 2009 have been referred to by many Canadian journalists—has invited much comment, ranging from the banality of various “top ten” lists to more serious analysis by such luminaries as Conrad Black, who derogates the aforementioned years as that “rather dismal decade”. I think the “aught” decade may be even more seriously characterized by a fundamental political sea change, particularly in the West, which sets an ominous trend for the remainder of the twenty-first century. I am an advocate of rights and individual liberty. In historical terms, these values have been under … Continue reading The “Aught” Knot

Score Another for Reality

Thursday, 12 November 2009 As most of North American media representatives, politicians, and senior military brass (yes, even them,) publicly trip over each other in their efforts to appear inoffensive to Muslims when commenting on the terrorist-style attack at Fort Hood by “alleged” killer Major Nidal Malik Hasan, it’s refreshing to hear of a political figure who advances a different approach. Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has just issued a new guide for immigrants wishing to become Canadian citizens. It is available today. The primary purpose of the new study guide is to lend some substance to the … Continue reading Score Another for Reality