Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cannabis Health reprints Rockwell piece

Michael Cust and I wrote a piece for a little while ago entitled "Block the Extradition of a Hero for Liberty." The piece is about Marc Emery, and chronicles some of his heroic battles for liberty in Canada. It then goes on to argue that Canada ought not to extradite Emery to the U.S.

That piece is reprinted in the most recent edition of Cannabis Health magazine, which you can view here.

Monday, August 29, 2005

DJ Dad MC Mom love Canada

That's the conclusion they've reached after coming to the Liberty Summer Seminar this year.

While they did yell, "we are leaving Canada. We suggest you do the same," on their departure from the property, it appears the entire thing was in jest.

At least, it must have been. Because, well, they said they were fans of Canada in this article for the Iowa State Daily entitled "'Creepy' band rocks Ames with quirkiness: Group loves drinking, music, and Canada."

The article reads:

"Recently in Canada, we were pretty crazy 'cause we were with some Polish immigrants," he says. "We drank a drink called Old Krupnik.

"It's Polish honey-liquor. It goes down like water. Basically, in short, I ended up drinking about an entire bottle by myself."

DeSousa says David's indisposed state that night led to some "equipment mishaps."

"He ended up naked in the tent," DeSousa says.

"We also broke a snare drum stand at that show and we left all of our stuff out in the rain, including stuff that didn't belong to us."

Yeah, that's my family--the Polish immigrants--and David did end up buck in his tent as subsequent trips to ensure he wasn't still ill from the drinking confirmed (Ben Talley was the responsible chap who patrolled the area to ensure everyone who wasn't sober--which was basically everyone--was fine and having a good time. Good on you, Ben!)

Here's where they mention the Seminar (I've made it bold because I'm so glad they did it):

Tim says the main reason the band recently visited Canada was to promote, an activist group that he and brother David are involved in.

"We are the state coordinators and we were asked to play at an event called Liberty Summer Seminar," Tim says.

"And it's one of the many liberty-minded events we're going to be playing at shortly.

"We're kind of the staple band for them.

"It's primarily made up of, at least in America, libertarians -- people who support social and economic freedom. For instance, we are capitalists, we're against the drug war ... just minimal government."

If you want more DJ Dad and MC Mom (and how could you not?) you can download my two favourite songs here and here, or go to their MYSpace website and listen to some more tunes.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Take my home

National Public Radio has an interesting piece on the Lost Liberty Hotel, a story I wrote about for the Western Standard. You can read that story, entitled Check your Property Rights at the door, to get a good sense of what that project is about. Then you can get some t-shirts (H/t Jamie T. for the link). Here's how my story starts:

How many of you would want to spend the night at a place called the Lost Liberty Hotel? With a name like that, you'd think the accommodations might be a bit, well, restrictive. But Logan Darrow Clements, the man behind the plan to build the Lost Liberty, insists the hotel will be a big tourist draw--as a monument to the loss of property rights in America.

Once it's built, that is. Before that can happen, Clements will have to get the town of Weare, N.H., to expropriate the house that sits on his planned location--34 Cilley Hill Road, the home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. That shouldn't be too hard, thanks to a little help from Souter himself. On June 23, he was one of five judges who ruled in a landmark decision that destroyed the constitutional guarantee of property rights. Now, if Clements demonstrates that Weare is better off with a hotel at 34 Cilley Hill than a house, there's no longer anything stopping them from tossing Souter out. And with plans for amenities, such as the Just Desserts Café and a museum dedicated to the loss of liberty in America, how could they resist.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Podcast: Tasha Kheiriddin

Here is Tasha Kheiriddin, Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, giving a talk on the infrastructure necessary to build a conservative/libertarian future. She gives the U.S. as an example of investing in the movement to build a future with a plethora of various groups and institutions that push for economic liberty.

To listen to the talk, go here and follow the instructions.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Podcast: Gerry Nicholls

Gerry Nicholls is awesome. (And he's pretty funny, too. His emails always manage to make me laugh a little, so he kicks a bit more ass in my book on account of his ability to not take things too seriously).

At any rate, Nicholls fights gag laws. And he talked about it at this year's Liberty Summer Seminar, and Stephen Taylor has posted here.

Liberty Summer Seminar

The Seminar went very well. In the next little while, I will be putting up photos of the event on our website, and going through a number of other things as well to get a nice one-stop shop for all LSS-related news. (Actually, I'm trying to figure out how to make a blog go up on the website, and I can't seem to do it. I'd appreciate help...)

Here's a little roundup to keep you busy.

Jason Talley blogs the breakdown of M.A.R.V. (literally about a kilometre from the site) here, then discusses day one, and day two. (Excellent posts.)

Heather Talley complements that Bureaucrash blog with one of her own, emphasizing her speech given at the Seminar about Bureaucrash. Damn--Bureaucrash truly rocks.

Stephen Taylor offers us a really good overview of the Seminar as well. He is also busy putting up podcasts of the event, which are well worth downloading and listening to. (Nice work, Stephen!)

Janet Neilson has a short overview of her impressions of the event.

Meanwhile, for your viewing pleasure, you can have a look at these pictures. They are both the pictures that Ollivia and I took, as well as Jamie Tronnes' pics. Bureaucrash also has 91 pictures available for your perusal. There's plenty there, so sit back, throw on some DJ Dad and MC Mom tunes, and make it go through a slideshow.

What's that you say? You have no DJ Dad and MC Mom tunes? Well, let me help you out! You can either take a look at their MYSpace website, or download two of their songs by clicking here, and here. These two songs are easily my favourite from the album, especially the first. I've sort of become obsessed with it the last few days... I do one of those constant repeat things.

Hey: Do you have a blog post or some pictures of the LSS that I don't know about? Won't you share that with me, so that I can share it with everyone else? And if you haven't blogged about the Seminar and were there, won't you consider throwing something up so we can get a sense of what you thought of the event?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Podcast: Jan Narveson

What's a Liberty Summer Seminar without Jan Narveson? Five years of the Seminar, and five years of Jan coming to give us a good lesson on libertarianism.

To listen to this podcast, just click here and follow the instructions.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Podcast: Ezra Levant

Now you can also listen to Ezra Levant, Publisher of the Western Standard. This is the talk he gave Saturday evening on the role of the media, particularly the Western Standard, in liberty.

Follow this link to Stephen Taylor's blog on this issue, and download the audio file.

Podcast: Media Panel

In collaboration with Stephen Taylor (of the Blogging Tories), we'll be rolling out a podcast of the speeches at this year's Liberty Summer Seminar.

The first one is a media panel moderated by Ezra Levant, Publisher of the Western Standard. On the panel are Marni Soupcoff, American Enterprise Online columnist and editorial board member of the National Post, Karen Selick, columnist for Canadian Lawyer magazine and the Western Standard, as well as Michael Taube, a freelance columnist with the Toronto Sun.

To get the podcast, or just an audio version of it, visit this link.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Uncle Jaworski

Two days ago, My cousin Szymon and his lovely wife Ania had a young daughter. That makes me an uncle, and him a dad. He's the first of us kids to have a child. Her name is Teresa, and her official birth time is 21:40.

I'm an uncle everybody. Uncle Jaworski. (Now where are my cigars?...)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ralph on Health

Ralph Klein has signalled his willingness to go with a private parallel system of care. I like what he says right at the end: "The Alberta government is moving swiftly to remove those barriers to accessing health care, not just because it is a legal requirement, but because it is a moral responsibility."

Today's Toronto Star prints his op-ed:

Alberta moving ahead on private health care Supreme Court ruling shows that province has a moral responsibility to act, says Ralph Klein

A few years ago, a man from Quebec asked a very sensible question: "Why can't I buy the health care I need when I am in pain?" It was a question many defenders of the status quo didn't want him to ask and, indeed, fought him every step of the way as his question meandered through Canada's justice system.

Last month, Canada's Supreme Court answered his question. They said, in effect, if you are in pain or suffering, and your right to a healthy life is in jeopardy, you should be able to buy the health care you need and prohibitions on doing so violate your fundamental rights as a Canadian.

In rendering its judgment, the Supreme Court also took special care to demolish the myths that the defenders of the status quo have been telling Canadians for years. The people resistant to change in Canada's health-care system have maintained for years that an increase in the choice Canadians have in getting their health care would destroy our health-care system.

Said the court: "for each threat mentioned, no study was produced ..." And further "witnesses ... should be able to cite specific facts in support of their conclusions." Finally, "The experts ... do not appear to be very convincing."

In other words, the hollow rhetoric and pointless scaremongering are over.

An Alberta Justice analysis of the court's decision found: "The evidence demonstrates that a monopoly is not necessary — or even related — to the provision of quality public health care." Case closed.

So, with the myths destroyed, where do we go from here? That is what the 62 Progressive Conservative members of the legislature met to debate recently in Edmonton.

There can be little doubt that the Supreme Court decision has forever changed our ealth-care landscape. The challenge is to embrace the change — not to run from it —and look at the ruling as an opportunity, not a threat.

Let me be blunt. We have unacceptable waiting lists in our publicly funded, rationed health-care system, and all the money in the world is not going to eliminate them.

We spend more than $9 billion a year in Alberta on health care, and it increases year after year, and the waiting lists remain. Rationing creates waiting lists, whether it is bread, gasoline or health care. The answer is not more money; the answer is more choice.

Choice can be found in a supplementary insurance plan to privately fund non-emergency medical services, with the exception of mental health and clinical psychology.

In simple terms, it means that if you are in pain or suffering and cannot wait in line, you should be able to buy the health care you need.

The Supreme Court has ruled that governments cannot deny you this right. Not jump the line, but move out of the line. Move out of the publicly funded health-care system and into an expanded parallel system that has more capacity to end your pain and suffering, but to do so at your own cost.

After all, our outstanding public education system works in tandem with a parallel private education system, and we have the smartest kids in Canada. The publicly funded health-care system will always be there for those who need quality health care when they need it, but it will operate under far less pressure, and will be a better system because of it.

(Alberta) Minister of Health and Wellness Iris Evans and her outstanding team are working on the details, but the premise is simple: You have a constitutional right to be, and stay, healthy.

As the court so aptly noted, access to a waiting list is not access to health care.

I know change is not easy. But I also know the status quo can be far more dangerous. My government has often not agreed with the rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada, but we have accepted them and adapted to whatever changes they created. So it is with health care.

The Supreme Court has confirmed that the delivery of health care is a provincial responsibility and that barriers to access, whatever they may be, deny Canadians a fundamental right.

The Alberta government is moving swiftly to remove those barriers to accessing health care, not just because it is a legal requirement, but because it is a moral responsibility.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Western Standard Radio on Emery

I was on Western Standard Radio today with John Collison and Ezra Levant talking about the Marc Emery affair.

You can listen to the radio program by clicking here (MP3 file).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Supremes say they'll re-hear

The Supreme Court of Canada may end up having second thoughts about their interpretation of the Charter in the Dr. Chaoulli and Zeliotis case.

That case, my Western Standard story from last October entitled "Freedom Fighter" (PDF / WEB) is good on details, looked like it might introduce a second, private parallel system to Canada's current not-exactly-so-good one. With Justice Major's retirement, this could get ugly.

According to a press release:



29272 Jacques Chaoulli et George Zeliotis c. Procureur général du Québec et Procureur général du Canada (Qc) Coram: McLachlin C.J. and Major,
Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps and Fish JJ.

The motion for a partial rehearing is granted. The Court’s judgment is stayed for a period of 12 months from the date such judgment was issued, namely June 9, 2005.

Over on Lew Rockwell dot com

My friend, Mike Cust, and I penned a piece for about Emery. It's entitled "Block the extradition of a hero for liberty." For more from me on the Emery affair, you can read this blog:, or follow Here is an excerpt:

It is because of his long career of activism that the DEA is targeting him. Unlike other seed merchants who quietly conduct their affairs, Emery puts the brunt of his efforts into the movement to end the prohibition of marijuana and to legitimate the culture that has emerged surrounding the plant.

Since the prohibition of drugs is a multi-billion dollar affair, we shouldn't be surprised. Drug cops, prosecutors, judges, politicians, prison construction contractors, companies that use cheap prison labour, and military firms that sell weapons and surveillance equipment to drug law enforcement are all significantly enriched by the continuation of the war on drugs.

Further, those participating in the drug war share a common assumption about members of the marijuana culture. They all believe that marijuana people are second-class citizens who deserve to be vilified. Their views are best expressed in U.S. Drug Czar John Walter's statement that Vancouver's marijuana scene is "moral pollution."

In the public policy sphere, the assumptions of the drug warriors are the rule. With very few exceptions, all politicians operate on the assumption that there is something inherently wrong with using and growing marijuana.

But such views are in direct contradiction with society's values. Consider Cheech and Chong movies, the Simpsons, South Park, late-night talk shows, and the stories most of us have about our own experiences with marijuana. These all involve the implicit understanding that smoking marijuana is innocent, largely harmless, and fun.

We're right to think that.