From your article of March 31 (Canadian warship seizes $100M of heroin in ‘massive’ high seas bust), it’s difficult to appreciate how much is involved in making such success stories possible. Consider all the Canadians sailors who have volunteered to serve on HMCS Toronto, and all the taxpayers working and sacrificing to fund the massive expense of such an endeavor. Add in the activists, bureaucrats, and politicians who have laboured long and hard to prosecute the War on Drugs. This sacrifice of manpower and wealth should not go unappreciated, and I thank all participants on behalf of those who will benefit the most, yet cannot speak for themselves – other drug dealers.
Having no recourse to all the legal mechanisms available to vendors and consumers of candy, tobacco, alcohol, and other such goods, drug dealers must rely on violence to police each other and to take market share. Surely, no one is happier than they that one of their competitors has been dealt a crippling blow at no expense to themselves. Because Canadians have done the dirty work, remaining dealers are saved the trouble, and, even better for them, can now increase the price of their products in response to the reduction in supply relative to demand. More money for less effort. Let us all bask in the warm glow of our accomplishment.
Happy news in the U.S., as anti-rights Senators were unable to assemble enough votes to attain the super-majority required to pass gun-control legislation. This led to some very emotional responses by supporters of the legislation, in which opponents of the proposal have been attacked with every sort of ad hominem. This is nothing new. For example, consider this passage from a recent article -
“You won’t find anyone willing to dare say it much in the media, but a good percentage of the white men who oppose gun control of any sort – and who back measures that would even allow alleged terrorists and straw purchases for drug dealers to buy guns – are just afraid that without their guns, their phallic power will be reduced to size.
You can feel at least temporarily reassured when a long-barreled assault weapon compensates for just another average manhood; it’s an irresistable testosterone high to the beleaguered white male.”
I am a white male, and there are a few very kind, generous women in this world who can confirm that it is only my visible appendages that are larger than average. Does this count as beleaguered? One is uncertain. This much I know: although I have a couple of long guns that would certainly bolster my sense of phallic power (were it lacking), I also have a couple pieces so weak-kneed that I would hesitate to shoot anybody with them for fear they might notice, became angry, and kick my ass.
More importantly, I’ve heard variations on this argument long enough to know they always come from a predictable type, and that type is always waaaay more concerned with the size of my genitalia than I am. Instead of wasting time accusing decent people of compensating, I think they would be better served examining their own tendencies toward projection and penis envy.
“B.C. Premier Christy Clark has asked Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon to dissolve parliament, marking the start of the provincial 28-day election campaign”… “While the official start to the campaign has just begun, party volunteers were already out in full force Tuesday morning working to pick up voter support for the May 14 vote.”
So, voters who are tired of the horse crap they’ve had to tolerate from the Liberals the past years now have the opportunity to switch to bull crap from the New Democrats, and even to increase the amount of chicken crap from the Green Party. No matter the result, it is guaranteed that after the election, BC residents will continue to eat shit.
For those who don’t know him, this is Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist. Dr. Tyson spends a lot of time presenting science-related material to laypersons; think Bill Nye the Science Guy, but more serious. As a result of his success and popularity in that pursuit, Dr. Tyson is often treated as an authority on non-science matters, such as government. The result, well, you see above; inane rhetoric treated as serious and profound. Obviously, no one studies science or engineering because they want to run for office, and when voters are evaluating a candidate’s background, I doubt they consider degrees in mathematics or technology to be assets. And from the nonsense I’ve heard from the mouths of scientists who comment on public policy, the less of their statist foolishness, the better.
That said, although those from STEM fields might not make good contenders for congress or parliament, I don’t doubt the political field could be much improved by some diversity. Replace some of those lawyers with historians or economists, and we might be all the better for it. Until then, though, I suggest one consider political advice given by celebrities carefully before embracing it, even when that celebrity is a scientist.
The Canadian identity, depending so much as it does on being ‘not-American’, means that any American living in Canada (as I do) will be repeatedly subject to stories intended to demonstrate the overall inferiority of the U.S. and Americans to Canada and Canadians. Having lived about 25 years each in both Canada and the U.S., I can assure anyone who believes otherwise that the difference between the groups is much less than that within the groups. But when people want to believe something, we often will too readily accept whatever feeds our biases.
A good example are anecdotes concerning the practice of some Americans traveling abroad of sewing a Canadian flag to their backpacks, in an effort to elicit better treatment. Canadians like this story, because Canadians like being preferred over Americans. But on another level, it conveys something lovely about America, and that is that although some Americans may feel they need to disguise their identities to evade prejudice in other countries, one never hears of foreigners needing to travel under false flags while in the U.S. If there is such a thing as national character, Americans can certainly claim open-heartedness and tolerance as part of theirs.
On the 104th day after the winter solstice (April 3,4,5), there is a traditional Chinese holiday; the Qingming Festival. In it’s origins we find a warning against self-sacrifice on behalf of the politically ambitious -
“The festival originated from Hanshi Day (寒食节, literally, Day with cold food only), a memorial day for Jie Zitui (介子推). Jie Zitui died in 636 BC in the Spring and Autumn Period. He was one of many followers of Duke Wen of Jin(晉文公) before he became a duke. Once, during Wen’s 19 years of exile, they had no food and Jie prepared some meat soup for Wen. Wen enjoyed it a lot and wondered where Jie had obtained the soup. It turned out Jie had cut a piece of meat from his own thigh to make the soup. Wen was so moved he promised to reward him one day. However, Jie was not the type of person who sought rewards. Instead, he just wanted to help Wen to return to Jin to become king. Once Wen became duke, Jie resigned and stayed away from him. Duke Wen rewarded the people who helped him in the decades, but for some reason he forgot to reward Jie, who by then had moved into the forest with his mother. Duke Wen went to the forest, but could not find Jie. Heeding suggestions from his officials, Duke Wen ordered men to set the forest on fire to force out Jie. However, Jie died in the fire. Feeling remorseful, Duke Wen ordered three days without fire to honour Jie’s memory. The city where Jie died is still calledJiexiu (介休, literally “the place Jie rests forever”).”
Oops! Didn’t mean to kill you in my determination to demonstrate my gratitude to you… my bad.
The preceding quote came from Wikipedia, a source to which I turn constantly in my effort to spread . It is a bottomless trove (try starting with libertarian, or liberty), and worthy of support. In keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, I am sending them $50 this month.
One often hears city planning defended as the means by which citizens are protected from having a slaughterhouse built next door to them. In fact, it is quite the opposite -
“The CRD announced last week it had purchased a $17-million industrial property on Viewfield Road, just metres from the Ashes’ home, as a possible site for a sewage processing facility”… “CRD spokesman Andy Orr sympathized with the couple, but said government land deals tend to be done in secret to avoid price speculation”… “While truck traffic is already heavy in the area, (there are) worries about the likelihood of falling property values.”
In situations like this, residents who oppose attempts to force certain projects into their neighbourhoods are frequently derided as NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), and criticized for defending their narrow self-interests against the greater good. But consider how different matters would be if this conflict was to be resolved by actors regulated by market forces, rather than a coercive state.
In the latter case, local residents bear a disproportionate burden from the noise, smell, traffic, unsightly buildings, and reduced property values, while the benefits are widely dispersed to others far removed from the project. It is perfectly rational for them to resist. But if those same residents had control over the land use for their immediate area, they would be in a position to receive direct compensation from the operators of the proposed facility. In a case like that, rather than facing local opposition at every possible location, it is likely several communities would actively encourage service providers to consider their neighbourhood. Get the state out of land-use regulation, and you will replace conflict with cooperation.
Your article concerning the determination of Canadian cattle and hog producers to fight against new U.S. regulations for labelling meat (March 12) fails to note that this is a battle not only on behalf of Canadians, but also for American consumers and American workers whose occupations benefit from lower-priced Canadian meat products. Indeed, aside from a few U.S. politicians and the special interests that support them, it is a battle on behalf of all Americans.
It’s true that some of the least competitive U.S. cattle and hog producers will lose business, and some may even have to close down and lay off their employees. But in Canada, every resource that goes into producing meat is a resource that can’t be used to grow cotton or oranges, build wooden boats or furniture, or cater to Canadian tourists traveling abroad. Likely, Canada will turn to the U.S. for help in acquiring these goods and services, and the market will quickly find mutually profitable use for all the resources recently freed from U.S. meat production. Consumers on both sides of the border will benefit from less-expensive goods and services. This is the nature of trade; that the elimination of any barrier is not a zero-sum game, but rather, a win-win proposition.
At “The Bright Pink Libertarian”, Chris Murphy shares some of Stephan Kinsella’s opinion concerning ‘Left Libertarianism’ -
“ They want libertarians to stop saying capitalism because they want us to adopt their substantive unlibertarian, Marxian agenda. Yet they pretend it’s just for strategical or lexical concerns–which it’s not. This is yet another reason I think we should dig our heels in and not give in: they will then count it as a substantive victory for unlibertarian, leftist ideas.”
At the risk of gilding the lily, let me add this: if you claim to be either a left libertarian or a right libertarian, and by that claim you mean that you support some level of coercive governance, then you are no libertarian at all. Progressives can lean libertarian. Conservatives can lean libertarian. But libertarians do not lean. We are upright.