Archive for August, 2006

Mortonian vinegar — we like it

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Curiously, we haven’t written much about our old friend F.L. (Ted) Morton, arch-conservative political scientist, prominent member of the “Calgary School” of political thought, Senator-elect (still unappointed), Conservative MLA and candidate to replace premier Ralph Klein. Morton’s website is here. Acquaintance and Morton activist Henry Lyatsky has circulated an excellent column on the Conservative leadership race [...]

Climate change rhetoric, politics and smear (I)

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Charles MacKay wrote a seminal book 165 years ago, called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, describing several examples of wacky mass-behaviour like the South Sea Bubble (a huge investment scam) and the Tulip Mania (where the 17th century Dutch paid small fortunes for a single flower bulb). It is a classic because [...]

What makes a terrorist?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Just a quick note for non-Calgary Herald subscribers. Our latest column, conceived by the Doc and co-written with me, has been posted. Click on the Latest Article icon above left.

Home-grown terrorists have a long pedigree

Monday, August 28th, 2006

From the op-ed pages of the Calgary Herald, Friday, August 25, 2006 (originaltext version): The realization that Canada could produce native-born terrorists in the 21st century triggered bewilderment and confusion. Canadians are so nice. How could anyone, especially someone born here, want to blow us up? In seeking answers, some commentators have compared today’s Canadian [...]

All Ignatieff, all the time

Monday, August 28th, 2006

No there is no bias in the mainstream media. Breathe deeply and repeat that 10 times. Clearly Solzhenitsyn was wrong when he declared, after being exiled from the Soviet Union, that there was no censorship in the West per se, but rather certain things were simply not said or published. The flip side is that other [...]

Are we forgetting that life has always had risks?

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Some recent research into an article for a business magazine about a Canadian oil company launching an oil exploration project in the Kurdish part of Iraq, coupled with some “lite” bedtime reading of Stephen Pressfield’s latest book, The Afghan Campaign, got me thinking about the post-modern West’s views on risk. In Pressfield’s fictional account of Alexander the Great’s [...]

Are journo-bots generating today’s media stories?

Friday, August 25th, 2006

It’s a fair guess many of our readers share our observation of a predictable cyclicality to many types of news events. The coverage of terror arrests has become particularly annoying. The media and political classes’ craven political correctness results in many of these stories adding little that’s new conceptually. Only the names, dates and locations change. [...]

Couple quick updates from a rural fatso

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Just a couple of notes. Calgary-based readers might be interested to know that our latest opinion piece for the Calgary Herald is scheduled to run tomorrow. There’s a new Stupidism of the Week item posted by Dr.J., for those who forget to click the button periodically. I’m out at the RRC today, working on a lengthy magazine article, [...]

Apologists for genocide planners, Part I

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

At what point does naïvete descend into psychosis? Two naifs of the Opposition parties, Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj and NDPer Peggy Nash, went on a “fact-finding” tour of Lebanon, viewed the area’s busted-up buildings with the requisite horror and declared that Canada ought to play a role in promoting “negotiations” with Hezbollah. To facilitate that, they [...]

Pregnant prose from the CBC

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

“Now that the UN agreement has been reached, we just have to wait to see if there’ll be a cestation of hostilities”. – Neil Herland, CBC Radio One Reporting from the war zone in Lebanon, it’s somewhat understandable that Mr. Herland could have a slip of the tongue. Perhaps, because the ceasefire agreement was gestating [...]