Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time's Person of the Year.


**EXCLUSIVE** 7:38 PM ET... YOU were named TIME magazine 'Person of the Year' Saturday for the explosive growth and influence of user-generated Internet content such as 'blogs', video-file sharing site YouTube and social network MySpace... You -- YES, YOU -- beat out candidates including Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China's President Hu Jintao, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi... YOU, YOU, YOU.... IT'S YOU!

Cool. I knew I'd be famous one day.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Ephemeral security.

I rent a basement suite where I live, and will be moving to a new one in a few days. My impending move has got me thinking that private property rights are meaningless if you can't own land.

Living in our consumer driven society, I have acquired much stuff over the past seven years. However, I found myself looking at the prospect of not being able to find comparable space at a price I could afford. Thus, I must divest myself of some of my possessions in order to fit into a new location. That's why the acquisition of wealth will not motivate a homeless person. What you can't fit on your back (or, if you're lucky, in your car), you can't possess. Of course property values and rent can change. Living in the city "on the grid" so to speak, you are at the mercy of a utility company to provide heat, power and water. So you work. You work to live, to hold onto that which you have.

In Canada, our Constitution does not contain any rights to private property. Some may say that those rights exist in practice anyway. However, even if you "own" property, the government has the right to tax it based on its value.

So the widowed grandmother must sell her property to pay the tax on it. Its not like there is a little spigot in her house she can turn to cash in on the speculative real estate market she's become a victim of. That why property tax is an oxymoron. It isn't your property if you have to keep paying somebody else for the right to keep it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

On voting.

I am frequently frustrated with how often we are required to make important decisions without all the facts. A prime example is in politics. When you vote for a candidate, frequently you know less about who they are than you know about an actor from the role they play in a movie. (I suppose that's how a guy like Arnold Schwartzenegger gets elected.) Information you are likely to get about "major" (i.e. media anointed) candidates is manufactured and packaged to fit polls and focus groups. Other candidates lucky enough to be mentioned by the media, are made to fit a two dimensional caricature that allows you to dismiss them as "not credible." The most credible and sincere politicians I've met prefer to sidestep the P.R. machine (often because they can't afford one), and will try to communicate with you as directly as possible. Blogs are good for that. If you must vote for someone you don't know, look beyond the image.

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” -John Quincy Adams

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Al-truism kickoff

Discernment of truth is one of the most coveted of spiritual gifts. The morally-relativistic mind is "driven with the wind and tossed", has no rudder, and no stars or compass to navigate by.

Rest assured, I am convinced absolute truths exist. The challenge is in their recognition. I dedicate this blog to the the discernment of truth from error.