You know who is just like Hitler? Hitler!

In the early years of internet discussion, a wise fellow named Mike Godwin coined “Godwin’s Law” which stated:

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving
Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

I have seen the inevitability of such hyperbolic comparisons on every kind of discussion forum whether about cars, kittens or politics.  This occurs in political discussion outside of the internet as well as we see with recent foolishness from Conservative MP Larry Miller in Owen Sound.

The flippant use of comparisons of contemporary actions or figures to Hitler, Nazi’s, Fascists and the Holocaust is not only offensive, but it desensitizes us all to one of the most horrific periods of human history.

Below I will list pictures to indicate where the use of terms such as Hitler, Nazi, Fascist and Holocaust may be appropriate in discussion. Please review these before considering using any of the aforementioned terms.

Above is a picture of Adolf Hitler. There is no other Adolf Hitler, there has been no other Adolf Hitler and there will not be another Adolf Hitler. There are other dictators and nasty people out there but none of them are Adolf Hitler so don’t compare the two.


Above is a picture of Benito Mussolini. Mussolini was a fascist leading a fascist party. There are currently no fascist parties nor fascist leaders in existence so do not try to compare such to current parties, their leaders or their supporters.


Above we see a picture of a bunch of Nazis. They are the only Nazis in human history. There are no Nazi parties or leaders in existence so don’t bother comparing current leaders, parties and supporters to such.

Yes, there are indeed some who identify as Nazi’s right now. They are neo-Nazis and really are loose collections of idiots that can’t be realistically compared to the true Nazi movement of the early 20th century.

Above is a picture from the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a large scale organized effort to eradicate an entire people based on their religion (as well as gays and Gypsies). That was genocide of which indeed there are unfortunately multiple examples of in human history.

Let’s get something straight however, poultry farms raising chickens for KFC are not committing a “holocaust” and any animal activist continuing to use that comparison should be soundly kicked in the reproductive organs. Ongoing land-claim settlements in Canada do not represent “genocide” of Canadian natives either and I am sick as hell of people using that term. There is not even a sniff of genocide in Canada right now and please tell people who claim such to GFT.

Political discussion can be and often is heated. Hyperbole and cheap shots are often utilized (I use those methods myself) to varying effect. The use of the above comparisons though is simply lazy debate and is offensive.

Save a link to this page and forward it to the next person who uses any of the above terms in discussion. Sadly the chances of your needing to use that link are pretty close to 100% if you participate in political (or many other kinds) debate.

I am a full supporter of free speech. People are certainly free to use the above terms without legal intervention and they should be. We should call them out for the fools they are when they do so though.

City council is considering wasting your tax dollars in order to stunt business development.

It is hard to tell which does more damage to Calgary’s business environment; city council’s indecision when it comes to zoning decisions or when city council actually makes a decision on something and intervenes in projects. They both are damaging in general.

There clearly is a great deal of money to be made in generating studies and reports while our cowardly city council tries their hardest to avoid making a simple decision on anything. Despite pretty clear evidence that a bike share program in Calgary is totally unviable and likely would turn into a terribly expensive taxpayer boondoggle, our council of cowards has turned away from completely shelving the program. $24,000 has been wasted on one biased bike-share study and our council has decided to throw more good money after bad in order to study the issue further.

Last year I went to a meeting at my community association where an exasperated lawyer was trying to build his case to get the city to give him the green light to build a small office complex on Center street near 41 ave. He had bought some houses there under the assurances that he would have no trouble in getting his offices approved and he would be able to construct and move into his new facility. This was not to be so and the poor man was jerked around by the city system for a couple years. He has since put all those houses up for sale and one can see the line of realtor signs on Center north of the Tim Hortons there.

You see, there is an element of the hard left who have this long-term utopia in mind where Calgary would have LRT access to all portions of the city and that includes a proposal to run a train right up Center street.  While there is no official plan on the books for this extension and certainly there is no money to build it, there are some members of city council who want to see this happen. What is happening now is that they are stalling all development on Centre Street North as they know that new development on Centre would hinder plans and expropriation of property should the city decide in a decade or so to put a line there. This is similar to the provincial legislation that essentially seizes and devalues private property in anticipation of expropriation rather than just buying it.

The outcome of this unofficial policy on Centre Street North is stark, ugly and obvious. Houses are run down and worthless as owners will not put in any dollars to maintain a place that they expect to be expropriated. Crack houses, massage parlours and general slums are blossoming along this stretch of zoning uncertainty and things will only get worse. Who in their right mind would buy property on Centre right now?

I can’t imagine how much that poor lawyer lost in his attempt to develop something nice and new in good faith. He still hasnt managed to sell those dumps that he purchased.

The impact spreads beyond Centre as well. We have seen a marked increase in general crime and vandalism in our neighborhood as the unsavory element drawn to the run-down houses walks to neighboring communities in hopes of stealing something for their next fix. This devalues houses for blocks around Centre and it is soley due to instability and indecision on the part of our ineffective city council.

Not simply content to meddle with development through their inaction though, our city council is now looking to stop development through direct action. Council decided yesterday to study (surprise surprise) an idea to purchase 19 hectares of land along Highway 1 in order to stop potential development of retail business.  This is getting outright insane people. This is not some rare natural area and it is not an area lacking in open space. Have a look at the picture below to see the massive volume of undeveloped and protected space already set aside in that area.

What we have in city hall these days is an almost religious-like fervour against the concept of what some pejoratively call “sprawl”. This anti-business gang will stop at nothing to try and hinder city growth and this idiotic notion of buying land to stop retail development is a clear indicator of it.

Lets assume that the city wastes millions and millions of our dollars to buy this land in a gross dispay of market intervention. What will the consequences be? Well, our reputation as a good place to do business will sink further as instability in zoning is assured and the anti-development attitude of our council is more clearly exposed. The retail businesses that were considering that site will not simply vanish. What will be more likely to happen is that a larger new retail center will simply be developed farther West this causing people to commute even farther for their purchases. How green. Residential development will push even farther as it chases retail services and the dreaded “sprawl” will have expanded more.

Get real you fools! Calgary is a thriving and growing city. We are blessed with the open space surrounding us that allows us to grow and build good neighborhoods for our families. To those who really want to see the outcome of high density planning may I suggest a trip to Manhattan. There you will see obscenely expensive real-estate values due to lack of supply. That leads in turn of course to neighboring slums and ghettos that are totally unimaginable in cities like Calgary. Homeless and crime levels in densely packed cities are worlds worse than ours and much of the reason is density.

People are welcome to pursue whatever unrealistic utopia they like I guess. What is concerning though is that these blinded idealists have found their way onto city council.

Airdrie, Okotoks, Cochrane and Strathmore will continue to thrive and people will continue to develop outwards to avoid the congestion and discomfort that anti-“sprawl” measures will bring about. We will continue to grow as a city but our development will be an odd hybrid of sattelite cities and a dysfunctional downtown crowded with discarded rental bikes and empty busses.

Please Calgary can we elect a city council with a grain of common sense in 2013? We really need to break the trend.

Bring on the geeks! Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo shows us how to draw people to Calgary.

One of the defenses often spat out by our illuminated proponents of all things tax-funded is claiming that every crackpot project from city hall will somehow help promote tourism to our city. It is rather hard to believe that there is a subculture of globetrotters out there who will come to Calgary to see the art work at our water treatment plant, to walk on a closed major city artery on a hot summer day, to look at our hideously ugly and massively overpriced bridge that is under permanent construction or to ride some smelly bike in a tax funded foolish bike share program. I don’t see planes becoming overbooked in the future as people scramble to hear a live reading from our future official Poet Laureate either.

There is a small but clearly influential subset of people who unfortunately and clearly have a strong impact in Calgary’s city council in that these endless, stupid, tax-funded ventures keep surfacing and actually getting approved. Step back a few feet folks and look at some of the aforementioned initiatives and try to think of how much positive impact they have on our tourist economy.

Even if those idiotic things do manage to draw a few people to Calgary, what kind of people are these and what kind of spending are we talking?

How much will we get out of a bunch of bike riding hippies who likely will try to squat in our parks anyway? Set aside an acre downwind of the city with a hotel built from hemp if they really need a destination. The smell of patchouli will drive away good tourists if we keep them around.

Calgary draws many visitors on it’s own merit as a city. I am sick and tired of these self-loathing fools who feel we must somehow try to transform Calgary into some sort of arts utopia while using models like Paris and Venice for a comparison.

It must be kept in mind that European cities have existed for millennia which has allowed them to slowly build and acquire their stunning architecture and art pieces. Calgary is barely over 100 years old.

It is Calgary’s youth as a city that is her strength. We have untouched prairie and mountain environments on our very doorstep and we have the energy and vigour that only a modern and fast growing city can demonstrate. Yes, our downtown is full of modern skyscrapers. Instead of whining about them, admire them. The Bow building is a striking building that represents our city and will remain in the memory of visitors. The river-spanning fingertrap while perhaps memorable is out of place and only detracts from our city.

We should be embracing what what we have and what we are as a city while ignoring the detractors who think we should be something else. Let’s celebrate our ambition and free market ways. Those who really despise this should consider moving to Toronto where entitlement and laziness is more appreciated.

Now, on to the Calgary Expo. This non-profit group worked hard and pulled off a coup in landing the entire principle cast from Star Trek the Next Generation at their coming show.  In the world of Trekkies this is huge. Never has the cast of that entire show been reunited like this and I can assure you fanatical Star Trek fans are booking flights and hotels right now so they can participate in what will be an historical event in their fandom. The event will draw countless people and our city will gain prominent coverage in areas that we had not been very visible in before. The benefits from this event will last for years and we didn’t need to spend a pile of tax dollars or build any ugly new structures.

Now what kind of people will this event draw? As opposed to the Druh Farrell/Brian Pincott sort of affairs that draw hippies who draw tax dollars, the Calgary Expo will draw self-funding dorks and geeks.


Lets face it though, nerds are in these days. Look at the success of shows such as the Big Bang Theory and look at the status that folks such as Bill Gates have. Nerds make money and they spend money. When the dorks descend on Calgary motels will be packed, comic sales will explode, hypo-allergenic products will experience a run and escort agencies will not be able to get enough Wonder Woman outfits for their staff. From the exhibitors at the event itself to pretty much every other service industry in the city we will see a hike in business that weekend.

The Calgary Expo has happened every year and it has always been a benefit to the city. They have worked hard to build their profile and have earned the credibility required to draw the celebrities that they have for their show this year. They should be applauded and emulated.

Again, let’s quit pretending that Calgary is something that it is not and work on our strengths. We can and do draw other conventions and events and should focus on more of them. We have the service infrastructure and increased demand will only help it grow. People will come to Calgary for the event and will come back to Calgary in the future for everything else the city has to offer. Honesty and celebrating what we are is what will keep our tourism growing and yes I am speaking of the Calgary Stampede that the arts crowd bitches about every year too.

And hey, if I seem to be a little too hard on geeks let me state that I am one as well though not as stuck on comic books and fandom. I believe that the video of dueling economists below was robbed in not being nominated for a Grammy and would cross the world to see a live debate between Keynes and Hayek were they to be somehow raised from the grave. It is Superbowl Sunday and I am blogging. Geeks come in many forms.