Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The beauty of Bergman's work was that he was able to explore the most complex of ideas through the simplest of stories and images. Many Bergman films can be broken down into very simplistic plot descriptions, but the dialogue and subtext was everything.

My favourite is The Virgin Spring, but even his misses such as The Serpent's Egg could give you something to contemplate for days. I remember renting Cries and Whispers when I was very young based on a review from Roger Ebert. It was unlike anything I had seen and made me want more, even though I did not fully comprehend it in my early teens.

Bergman's gift was that he was genuinely inquisitive, genuinely thoughtful and genuinely made you think because he was a thinker.
His films gave the impressions of dialogues. You could hear what he was saying but never feel he was preaching to you.

Though he constantly worked, his key period from the late fifties to the early seventies is one of the most productive in film history with regards to output vs. quality.

He raised the bar very high.

If you have not seen an Ingmar Bergman film ever, I suggest The Virgin Spring or Wild Strawberries as a good place to start although his most famous is The Seventh Seal.

One could make a very real argument that he was one of, if not the greatest filmmaker who has yet lived and contributed to the artform.

May he rest in peace.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I am happy that the Federal Conservatives, at least at this juncture in time, are not allowing themselves to be bullied on this issue. The permanently outraged left, as always seem to be a bit confused.

First, they flat out denied that there was any hand gun issue in Toronto. Any mention of handguns or gangs led to accusations of fearmongering and racism. Now that the issue is undeniable, they want to blame everyone but the culprits themselves.


"...Ontario's Attorney-General Michael Bryant said a ban would eliminate 30% to 50% of guns on the street that are stolen from Canadian households.

"If there's no gun, then there's no funeral," said Mr. Bryant. "It's the law of supply and demand, and one of the major sources of illegal guns is the 5,000 guns stolen from Canadians from their homes every single year. They don't end up, those guns, in recycling bins. They end up in the hands of people who use guns to wreak havoc on communities and obviously to cause terrible tragedies.""

Quite frankly, I do not believe this stat. Yes, I believe Bryant is either making things up or conciously lying through his teeth. Can this stat of FIFTY PERCENT be proven. I'll gladly acknowledge my error if this is so but until then, I do not believe it. Why won't someone ask him to source this stat?

As a matter of fact, if the number can be proven to be this high I might change my mind on this issue. But it sounds like liberal spin to me.

Gun collecting is a very expensive hobby. It is very elitist. The majority of weapons found in gun collectors homes tend to be antiques; WWI rifles, WWII weapons, pirate guns, rifles with bayonets etc. The types of guns that no longer fire or guns where it would be near impossible to find ammunition for.

The types of collectors that own these weapons by and large are wealthy and do not have homes you can casually break into before you go out to engage in some good ol'fashioned, North American street violence. They tend to live in gated communities and have complex alarm systems. When their homes get broken into, it gets reported.

Michael Coren addresses the issue brilliantly in his current column.

"Such drivel does not, however, explain how Norway, with one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, manages to have one of the lowest crime rates.

Or how Israel, a society where guns are extraordinarily common, has so few criminal shootings.

Or how Britain with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world has a violent crime rate that is virtually out of control.

It's too late to play silly games any more. If handguns are the cause of all this we have to ask why there are so few shootings in, for example, the Dutch, Ukrainian, Irish, Portuguese, Korean, Hindu or African communities. Why, in fact, there are so few shootings in any community outside of the West Indian and specifically Jamaican. "

The fact is, the real root causes for this complicated issue entails all of the issues the left does not want to deal with and has been running away from for years:

1. Moral relativism

2. Anti-family culture of nihilism

3. Racial cultural issues

Toronto it seems will be willing to have a lot more shootings before it can deal with this issue. Whether it is taxes, guns or gangs, Torontonians seem unwilling to accept any other solution other than the most facile of left wing pronouncments. Then they complain, elect another socialist politician and rinse, wash, repeat.

Hard to have sympathy for that. I do have sympathy for the families whose lives are affected by this violence. My future wife and I were accosted by a gang member at Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto on New Year's Eve, five years ago.

Sadly, when I take stock of the people I know in Toronto, I do not see Torontonians becoming more moderate or open to new ideas. Instead, I see them getting more aggresive and militant in their views.

Stephen Harper is right to have written off The Big Smoke in the next election. As I've said before, if Karla Homolka could run as a Liberal in the next election Torontonians would gladly vote for her. 'Well at least she is not in the party of Stockwell Day', they would rationalize.

I feel sorry for the people in Toronto who have to live and deal with the effects of violence in their everyday lives. But my sympathy is wearing thin for people who do not want to even acknowledge personal responsibility and the truth that some behaviour is not justified.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


By now, virtually everyone is familiar with the Warren Kinsella sexism incident and the, in my opinion, kinda, maybe, half-assed, sorta make light of it, could be an apology but maybe not as strong as wished, that he issued.

Is Warren Kinsella really a sexist? I have no idea. I do not know the man.

But then again it depends on how one defines sexism? Based on the very public image Warren has crafted for himself, I'd have to guess that Warren is, a throwback to the ideology of the 60's and 70's. He seems to be the poster boy for the modern, politically correct, white, secular, urban liberal. In his writing, he appears to wear it on his sleeve. Right down to his proudly uninformed 70's era Catholicism and obsession over bad and dated rock n' roll to give him an 'edge', and keep him young. In other words, his public persona is the typical boomer. At least that is how I perceive the image without knowing the man in reality. I could be wrong.

And that is what I would really like to use this incident as a spring board for.

Kinsella aside, baby boomer progressives are actually the ones stuck in the past, not a conservative woman like Lisa MacLeod. The 'feminists' of the boomer generation (male or female) said they wanted 'choice'. But the word 'choice' infers that there is at least more than one option. Yet these individuals defined choice as being anything - other - than what they perceived as the stifling patriarchy of the '50's - hence the 'baking cookies' reference. They say they wanted to give women choice and equality, yet any woman who made the 'wrong' choice was seen as stupid, vapid and not a true 'woman'. Hence the contempt for any woman that is not a liberal or progressive - why they are so quick to mock, damn or villify a conservative woman at any turn yet not see how they themselves are the new sexists.

Which , is not truly feminist at all.

And yet people always make mistakes. But the judgement...that is why these incidents stick out. Because this generation of progressives are so quick to be intolerant and judgemental of anyone who disagrees with their increasingly narrow minded, stagnant, irrational world view that is rooted in a utopia that not only never existed...but could never exist.

Whether it is the increasingly hysterical assertions and lies of Michael Moore; the racist and sexist incidents of the past week involving the Ontario Liberals; or the Nobel Peace Prize Winner who said she could kill George Bush, this is a generation that is coming apart at the seams. Their value system was based on desire, not truth; juvenile rebellion, not mature stability; hedonism, not wisdom; emotion, not reason. Even feminist icon Erica Jong's daughter has said she was sold a bad bill of goods.

They see the world changing but lament they are slowly losing control of it. Bill Clinton achieved little to nothing but teenage scandal as a president; Trudeau created a confused and divisive Canada; the sexual revolution led us to HIV; materialism led us to greed.

Imagine, the anthem for this generation, was not a complex song about how to achieve utopia. It was a facile dirge that made trite of the complex nature of reality. Indeed, for this generation, that finally will have to realize that John Lennon is dead, that is a true shock to the system.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I am not at all surprised at how a dictator like Hugo Chavez would hold Catholic bishops, cardinals and priests in utter contempt.

Stories like this, where we find out that,

President Hugo Chavez called a cardinal from Honduras an "imperialist clown" after the Roman Catholic prelate warned of increasing authoritarianism under the Venezuelan leader.


"Catholic leaders in this South American country have warned of alleged threats to individual freedoms under Chavez's administration and criticized his plans for a sweeping constitutional reform to transform Venezuela into a socialist state."

Of course Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga is considered a moderate in the Catholic Church but the contempt with which Chavez holds him is not surprising. In the past few months we have witnessed increasing personal freedoms being curtailed by Chavez. Whether it is the

shutting down of TV stations critical of him;

lying about political opponents;

putting up a Che Guevara monument in a formerly Catholic hospital;

economic reforms that hurt prosperity of the individual;

or saying he will kick out foreigners who question him, Chavez is a true monster in the making.

I write this post to again show the philosophical link between atheism and a Marxist dictatorship. At this point in history, atheism is very fashionable. Books by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and many others are on the best seller lists and atheism is even becoming a trendy beleif among many conservatives, even here on the Blogging Tories.

Am I saying atheists are bad people? Of course not.

What I am saying is that philosophically, communism is the economic system of atheism. Equality is something that most human beings desire. But we all have different philosophies and define it differently. Once one eliminates the existance of God as the measure against which equality is determined, all one has is the rules and law of man.

But the rules and laws of man are not constant. They always change. What is considered a right by one culture is a heresy in another. What is a right for one generation is considered illegal and immoral by the next. If all one has is the rule of man there is no 'truth'. That is when tyranny can enter the door.

It is no coincidence that the most democratic nation on the face of the earth is arguably the one most influenced by the existence of God.

That is not to say all higher power influenced states are good or desirable. Obviously, parts of the middle east are a testament to that.

But, atheists need to be reminded that the philosophy of atheistic inspired communism has led to more death, horror, and genocide on the planet earth in the past 100 years than Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, capitalism and America combined in 2000. That's not a track record to be particulary proud of and that is why the Hitchens and Dawkins arguments are sophistry at best and child-like at worst.

Again, does that mean atheists are bad people. No. But we should never allow atheists to allow their vision of equality to superceed that of one based on the existence of God. That is where we are perilously close to in the West.

But what of the libertarian, socially liberal but fiscally conservative atheist?

Your system is inadequate. Libertarianism is worthy in small select doses (ie. free speech) but as a complete philosophy, it is equally as flawed as socialism and ususally opens the door to it. It assumes all people's belief systems are the same and everyone has everyone else's best interests at heart. That is the only way it works. Which is to say it does not work at all and is little better than socialism. The atheist libertarian fails to consider that one persons 'right to do something' will inevitably interfere with someone else's 'right from' doing something.

Libertarian atheists rarely address issues of culture, persuasion and cause and effect. Indeed, one could very well argue that it was the lack of faith in a higher power and belief in the rule of man's ever changing philosophy of secular equality that allowed Canada and the Conservative Party to drift so far left in the past two decades.

Libertarians will argue that they are all about responsibility. Really? I can find many libertarian atheists who will argue for complete freedom in terms of market and sexuality. I rarely if ever find one who will defend freedom of religion on a cases per case basis or the right of someone not to be exploited by a corporation.

And please, spare me the 'we are people of science' routine. A person who is employed as a scientist is a person of science. Other than that, you are following fashion, ideology and trend. In order for an atheist to say for certain there is no God, they would have to read every argument in favour of God that has ever existed. Beyond that, they are equally motivated by faith and guilty of lazy thinking.

If you know any atheists that have read as much, please let me know. I'd love to meet them.

Monday, July 23, 2007


This story in the Toronto Star quite frankly disgusts me.

Not because I think Dalton McGuinty is a racist. Although I do not know for sure.

Not because I think the majority of people in his cabinet are racists. Although I do not know for sure.

Not because I think the people running his re-election campaign are racists. Although I do not know for sure.

But because come fall, Dalton McGuinty, his cabinet and virtually everyone running McGuinty's re-election campaign will most likely do everything they can to portray John Tory and/or his team, who I am not even a fan of, as racist, misogynist, homophobic right-wingers ready to cut social programs and destroy Ontario.

For all of my adult life, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Ontario and the people who run their election campaigns have done everything they can to foster racial tensions in Canada/Ontario. It is disgusting. They are far worse for this than the NDP.

They find out our differences, exploit them, foster fear based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation and say they are the only solution regardless of the cost.

If this incident, where,

"Premier Dalton McGuinty...apologized to University of Toronto honours student Evon Reid for the email from his cabinet office that used the term "ghetto dude";

had occurred in the federal Conservative or Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario it would never be lived down. Period.

It would cost them the campaign. The mainstream media would play it up whenever they could. It would be mentioned in every debate. It would tarnish the reputation of the entire party. No excuses would be allowed. Period.

The Liberal Party at all tiers, the mainstream media, the people who run the Liberal campaigns and their supporters would run with it at all costs.

I have said that I am not the biggest fan of John Tory. But I believe he is a decent man. I hope he runs with this. Do not let it die.

Because the Ontario Liberals sure as hell won't let it get in the way of how they run what will most likely be a divisive, exploitative, smear campaign.

From personal experience I can tell you that the only people I know who make racist, misogynist or homophobic jokes are my progressive acquaintances. They judge others as hateful one minute and lay into a litany of rancor the next, right before they judge others again.

What kind of culture currently exists inside the Liberal Party of Ontario and Canada that might foster this sort of bias, bigotry and attitude? The gross hypocrisy and arrogance is staggering.

I hope Evon Reid can get over this incident. It is not just a small thing. If he is a progressive, I hope he gives his vote to the NDP.

As for myself, a few weeks ago I asked why I should vote for John Tory. I think I may have just found my answer.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


A few weeks ago I was downtown in the market district of Toronto. An older woman was handing out flyers for proportional representation which will be voted on in Ontario on October 10th. She asked me if I had educated myself on the issue. Here is a rough transcript of the conversation.

WOMAN: Have you educated yourself on proportional representation?


WOMAN: So you understand and have educated yourself as to what it is about?

NICOL: Yes. I am educated enough to know I will not be voting for it?

WOMAN: But a citizens coalition of your peers decided it was best for Ontario to take this route.

NICOL: Citizens coalition? No, maam. It was a coalition of judges, lawyers and academics. Hardly a 'citizens coalition'.

WOMAN: That's not true. I have the list.

NICOL: Yes it is. It was actually quite elitist. Were there any, say, houswives on the coalition?

WOMAN: I...I think there was one I know.

NICOL: What was her name?

WOMAN: There definitely was one.

NICOL: What was her name? You said you have the list.

WOMAN: Well, there were students.

NICOL: Exactly. Sounds pretty elitist to me. And very left wing.

WOMAN: What! What are you talking about?

NICOL: Do you know about the German concept of realpolitik?


NICOL: It's the politics of how things play out in the real world. You and your friends just want to tilt the province irrevocably hard-left. It will give the fringe left-wing parties like the NDP the constant balance of power and make the government always tilt ideologically to the left. 15% of the hard left will hold more power than say 36% moderate or right. In Italy it allowed communists to have immense power in governement and now they can never vote to them out.

WOMAN: But we need more women in government.

NICOL: What kind of women?

WOMAN: Well...women.

NICOL: So you would be fine with a pro-life, evangelical woman in government?

WOMAN: Well, we need all views.

NICOL: So you would be fine with a pro-life evangelical woman in government?

WOMAN: Well...

NICOL: You can't say it can you. You are a hard leftist and are not being up front with people about this issue.

WOMAN: I have not at all told you what party I vote for.

NICOL: You're NDP.

WOMAN: How do you know that?

NICOL: Tell me I'm wrong. You're NDP.

WOMAN: I....I...how do you...I never said...

NICOL: Be honest with people maam.

On October 10th vote NO to proportional representation.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I regret that I have not been able to post as much in the past few weeks. Assignments that involve much writing have taken over.

Nevertheless, I thought I should bring this to your attention.

Manufacturing Dissent, the documentary by progressive Toronto film-makers Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk is playing Toronto this week at the newly renovated classic Royal Cinema one screen theatre on College Street. They serve real ol' fashioned butter there. None of this Becel or Golden Topping crap.

Caine and Melnyk were liberal followers of Moore who wanted to make a fan type doc about him and proceeded to get in touch with the man. Yet the more of him they experienced, the more they questioned and the more static they got from Moore and his team.

This film documents this and is very critical of Moore and the methods he uses.

The impression I get is that many Blogging Tories or conservatives in general don't really care about film, the arts or its impact on society in general. I think that is unfortunate because that is a huge part of why we lose so many battles.

If you live in Toronto, I suggest you make the effort to see this film and support these courageous progressive film-makers (did I just write that!) for their effort. I give credit where credit is due and I can tell you that when you are in the film industry, it takes a hell of a lot of courage to critique Moore at a party and these filmmakers claim to have already been blacklisted from some festivals and distributors for it.

If you want to change the culture this is how it starts. Especially given that nominal Republicans in the film industry such as Bruce Willis, Adam Sander, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Jerry Bruckheimer, Clint Eastwood, Vince Vaughn and some others seem about as agressively conservative these days as Avi Lewis during a hissy fit. I'm just sayin'.

I will certainly be going to one of the screenings this week.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Many people have talked about the troubles surrounding Al Gore's Live Earth concerts happening this week-end. Cancelled concerts, poor ticket sales in some areas, questioning the green motivation of the stars have all come into question. It seems more like Dead Earth, or at least Getting by on Life Support Earth.

Finally, about a week ago, I went onto the Live Earth website to see who was actually playing.

I was actually surprised. There really is a shortage of top tier new talent tent-poling these things. It seems like most of the concerts are made up of old fogey acts like The Police, Genesis, Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roger Waters headlining, followed by a second tier of newer artists who are trying to get noticed. Acts like Bloc Party, Pussy Cat Dolls or Snow Patrol.

I was surprised at who did - NOT - show up.

Where is U2, REM, a big splashy Pink Foyd reunion, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney. Why are activists like Springsteen, Green Day, Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails all MIA?

Where is an eco star diva like La Babs Streisand?

I am sure that no matter this thing does it will be spun as a success, but I have to say, the line up seems rather sad. They also seem very inconsistant, which also shows how fractured the music scene is today. Live Aid in '85 had predominantly pop/rock acts. Yet Live Earth in '07 is a bizarre amalgam of rap, hip hop, pop, rock, classic, folk etc.

Who could watch this thing for more than 2 or 3 acts in a row?

Increasingly, I am glad that more people are tired of the fear mongering surrounding the environmental movement. I do not think Al Gore an evil or bad man but I do think that there is great capacity for really bad things to happen with the fear he is spreading.

If you really believe the earth is dying, what WON'T you do to stop it? What do you do to people who question you?

I hope more true scientists question this movement and they are loud enough before things get too far on.