Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Support Free-D Petition is UP!!!

I wasn't sure this morning, but as it turns out the Free Dominion Declaration of Support/Petition is indeed up and running here. There are about 18 signatures on the petition, including that of my pal Galactus, who seems quite enthusiastic. Everyone is invited to visit the site and express their support. Let's see if we can't get a few Marvel Superheros, and maybe one of the Spice Girls, to sign up before the end of the week.

As a more serious aside, this will be a good opportunity to gauge how many people actually post to Free-D. their Facebook site has 179 members.

Pielke and Surface Stations: What Is The Connection?

Anthony Watts is a retired meteorologist and climate change skeptic who maintains a blog here. He is also the man behind the Surface Stations project, an attempt to provide physical site survey data for the entire United States Historical Climatological Network (USHCN). Or, to put it less sympathetically, a cheap stunt to stir up muck and provide ammo to the forces of the Climate Change Denial movement.

In any case, last week Dick Little from the Paradise Post wrote as follows re the Surface Stations project:

[Watts is] challenging allegations from NOAA that temperatures are rising. He reports a number of weather stations he checked had thermometers in places that would record higher temperatures than the actual ground temperature. He has a Web site with pictures to back up his research.

Working with Penn State climatologist Dr. Michael Mann, Watts found most of the problems were in urban areas where temperatures are allegedly on the rise. He said rural temperatures appear to be about the same as in past years.

The first thing to note here is that, while Watts cast the goals of his project in neutral terms on his website, every right-wing columnist that comes within 100 feet of him (Hannity and Limbaugh, for example) winds up reporting that Watts is "challenging" the science behind global warming, and pretty darned effectively too.

The second thing to note is the claim in the second paragraph that Watts is collaborating with Michael Mann. I alerted Mr. Watts to this clearly erroneous statement about a week ago, and today Dick Little issued a correction:

One thing more: In my article last week on climate change I wrongfully attributed Anthony Watts working with Professor Michael Mann of Ohio University. He is working with Prof. Roger Pielke of Colorado State.

I e-mailed an apology to Professor Mann who graciously accepted it.

However, the correction itself raises a couple of issues, because although Roger Pielke Sr. has expressed his support for the Surface Stations project, he is a legitimate scientist, a respected climatologist who is probably uninterested in seeing his reputation suffer by being observed in close proximity to what seems to be fast becoming a Climate Denialist tar-baby.

So lets examine the claim Mr. Watts has put forward "working" with Dr. Pielke: temperatures are only rising at problematic "urban" stations, while "rural temperatures appear to be about the same as in past years. "

I wonder if Dr. Pielke would like to through his weight behind these claims, especially in light of the criticism raised against them here and here.

PS. It occurs to me that columnist Dick Little's name will appear in the Paradise, CA phonebook as "Little, Richard" or, even worse, "Little, Dick". But I guess we all have our cross to bear.

Flanders Gets Uppity

The guy at SoCon Or Bust has some harsh words for me because I won't participate in his online petition (which looks like it might be up here tonight) in support of Free D. I wrote:

Flanders is planning an on-line petition, and though I don't sign such things,my good buddy Galactus, Eater of Worlds, will probably show up and put his name to it. When details become available, I will let everyone know. I'm sure "Heywood J. Blome" will want to show his support for Free Speech, Liberty, and etc.

Flanders read this and lashed out as follows:

How so predictably liberal. Let someone else fight (and pay for) something you enjoy. Isn't that always the case with a socialist? It's always someone else's problem, and if a problem is to be addressed, let the government (i.e. somebody else) take on the problem. Rarely do you see a liberal taking on any sort of individual sacrifice or personal responsibility.

Dude, I would not sign your free Free Dominion on-line petition for the same reason I wouldn't sign an on-line petition for any cause, whether I support it or not, and for the same reason I wouldn't Freep a poll for a cause I support. Because online polls and petitions are cheap gimmicks and the results they give are totally meaningless. Pouring your soul into one these things is, frankly, childish, and a sign that you have too much time on your hands. What did your pro-abortion "victory" on facebook buy you? Doodley Squat! Abortion is still legal and CBC still a bastion of Communism!

So, since I don't want to appear childish online, I usually use one of my sock puppets when I want to participate in one of these games. In this case, Galactus, Eater of Worlds, will be happy to sign your petition the very minute it appears. And if you've got Galactus on your side, you don't need me.

Back Off, Flanders!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Scruton On Conservative Environmentalism

Ignore the fairly standard "Left bashing" and philosopher Roger Scruton's A Righter Shade of Green is a fairly compelling read, offering a "Conservative" solution to environmental concerns. Apparently, it all comes down to the concept of a "trust":

It is here that I think we Anglophone conservatives can show our relevance. The common law of England developed, through the branch known as equity, a concept that has no real equivalent in Napoleonic or Roman legal systems: the concept of the trust. Trusteeship is a form of property in which the legal owner has only duties, and all rights are transferred to, and “held in trust for,” the beneficiary. Through the device of the trust, English and American law has been able to protect the interests of absent generations by compelling the current owners of property to set their own interests aside. The trustees of a bequest must respect the wishes of the testator and in so doing—by holding their own desires and present emergencies in abeyance— will serve the interests of future generations. This form of ownership, and the moral idea contained in it, ought to be regarded as defining the conservative approach. We don’t solve environmental problems by abandoning our attachment to private property or free enterprise, but we can make sure that these notions are shaped by the spirit of trusteeship.


What then is the conservative solution, if there is one? A revival of trusteeship is the only hope for the future, and this attitude is natural to human beings. They enter the world through no choice of their own, to be greeted, as a rule, by the love of parents and the security of home. The trustee is the one who recognizes that his home, and all that it means, are inherited things, things to be safeguarded and passed on. This attitude exercises itself at the local level in the voluntary associations and small institutions of civil society. It is the core component in that associational genius that Tocqueville discerned in the American people. It is the legacy of a political order that regards people, not rulers, as the source of authority and the fount of responsible decision-making.

All well and good. There are, however, a couple of interlinked problems with this line of reasoning. On the one hand, if Scruton is suggesting (but I think he is not) that the concept of trusteeship become central to environmental Law, then there is no sense in which his solution is not Statist. Indeed, several examples he gives of successful Environmental initiatives could only be described as State solutions--the English Town and Country Planning Act of 1946, for example. Who enforces that act?

On the other hand, if he is suggesting (as I think he is) that environmental initiatives be created entirely through the acts of voluntary associations then, well, I'm not sure he understands what these kinds of organizations typically do. Rate payers groups, Industry associations, exist at least partly to lobby the state for this or that favorable outcome. Lobby, that is, for State solutions favorable to their interests.

So there is nothing distinctively Conservative about these ideas.

h/t to the EcoLibertarian.

FreeD Weekend Roundup: Whatcott Emerges

You would think that the FreeD owners would want to put as much distance between themselves and far right nutter Bill Whatcott as possible, but no, he's back and posting on the "Support Free Dominion" facebook site. Not only that, he's flogging the same anti-Muslim pamphlet that got them all in trouble in the first place:

Mind you the Christians at FD have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit on our side. I would suggest God is mightier then the effiminate, anti-Christian state called Canada.

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."2 Corinthians 10:3-5

To see the flyer at the center of this censorship scandal go here.... feel free to copy this flyer and distribute far and wide. I have been blessed to disseminate this worthwhile truth in 2 provinces, 2 university campuses and 3 cities.

I still don't feel like linking directly to the offending pamphlet, but Bill's own website is here if anyone wants a look.

Note: Reality Bites tells me that Whatcott has been banned from the FD main site, though I have been unable to locate the exact thread where this occurs. We'll see how long he lasts on Facebook.

And something I missed a few days ago. The following is the text of the CHRC instructions to Free Dominion Ms. Connie Wilkins:

June 08 2007
c/o Free Dominion
2033 Unity Rd.

Elginburg, Ontario K0H 1M0

Dear Ms. Wilkins:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has received a complaint from Ms. Gentes alleging that your website Free Dominion, located at http://www.freedominion.ca,/ is discriminating against persons or groups of persons by communicating messages on the Internet that are likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt on the basis of religion, race, national or ethnic origin and sexual orientation, contrary to section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act (“CHRA”).

Under Part III of the CHRA, the Commission is required to address any complaint that alleges a violation of the Act. An Investigator will be designated to gather evidence in relation to the complainant’s allegations and, once the investigation is complete, to report on the findings to the Members of the Commission.

The report to the Commission will include a recommendation for the disposition of the complaint. The Investigator can recommend that a conciliator or a Human Rights Tribunal be appointed, if the evidence supports the allegations in the complaint, or that the complaint be dismissed, if the allegations are not supported by the evidence. The Investigator can also recommend to the Commission that a settlement be approved if the parties reach an agreement during the course of the investigation.

At this time, I would appreciate receiving by July 18, 2007, your position regarding the allegations including, but not limited to, the following:

1. Do you own and/or control the Free Dominion website? If not, who owns and/or controls this website?

2. What is the purpose of the website?

3. What is the intent of the information /documentation posted on the website?

4. Who is responsible for editing and/or posting the content of the information/documentation on the website?

5. How are the documents being posted on the website?

6. Who is your present Internet Service Provider (ISP)? Where is it located? Please provide a copy of the ISP’s arrangement and/or copy of the agreement with the ISP.

If someone other than yourself will be representing your organisation in this matter, please let the Commission know at your earliest opportunity by calling 1-888-214-1090 and speaking to John Chamberlain, Manager, Investigations. Also, please be advised that you are required to preserve any material related to the complaint, including information in electronic formats, until final disposition of the matter.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Tardif
Deputy Secretary General

As "Buckets" pointed out at Saturday's ProgBlog get together, all very basic stuff that the CHRC would need to determine who bears responsibility for what at the site. Of course Free D regs are screaming "kangaroo court", "commie commisars", and the like.

Until something major happens with this case, I will probably be writing about Free D less frequently over the next couple of weeks. So here are a few last hits on the topic.

Flanders is planning an on-line petition, and though I don't sign such things, my good buddy Galactus, Eater of Worlds, will probably show up and put his name to it. When details become available, I will let everyone know. I'm sure "Heywood J. Blome" will want to show his support for Free Speech, Liberty, and etc.

The Winnipeg Sun's Joe Quesnel did a short column re FreeD on Friday. He is also a member of their Facebook group.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The ProgBloggers BBQ

...was held on Saturday, July 28th, at the good Vijay Sappani's place. A great time was had by all. I left with my sobriety intact, and didn't try that joke with the lampshade.

It was fun putting faces and voices to the people you meet on-line. For example, Cherniak was there, and was disarmingly normal...actually charming. The whole "elfin" thing is overblown, or at least I saw no overtly elfin behavior. Had great conversations with "Buckets" and Steve V that will no doubt advance the cause of the revolution, and Vijay whomped up some impressive chicken wings.

A most pleasant way to spend a (mostly) sunny Saturday


Recently, Google designed a black version of its search page called Blackle in hopes that the color switch would save energy, the theory being that a black page uses less power to display. This theory has since been debunked, but the page does look very cool. For those nights when you're up late doing "research" and want to feel all sexxxy and dangerous. Better than sitting around in the dark in a leather jacket and mirror shades.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bourque Crashes Out!

From the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park:

There were several minor incidents throughout the evening. Pierre Bourque [71] and Chad McCumbee were involved in the first caution of the night, which ended both of their nights.

Bourque's performance at this his first truck race can be seen as a metaphor for the financial performance of his sponsor, CanWest Global Communications, whose flag-ship publication, the National Post, appears to be doing a slow-motion endo into the snow fence of Bankruptcy as its circulation plunges like an old pick-up truck flying off a cliff.

Bourque, needless to say, came out of his accident all right. Will the Natty Post?

PS. This is not the series in which Bourque races under the Tory banner. That's the CASCAR stock car series. Just to be clear.

Politics, Boobies, And Hair

Last week WAPO fashion writer Robin Givhan sparked a mini-scandal when she wrote a column dedicated to the quick flash of cleavage Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton displayed during one of her speeches on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Now the issue has come up again, as Howard Kurtz discusses the fallout from the original article.

Weirdly enough, this is a case of life imitating art. As I reported almost a year ago, sculpture Danial Edwards has created a topless vision of Hillary, "A Presidential Bust", which the artist hopes will instigate "a discussion about sex, politics and celebrity". Furthermore the question of "Hillary's hotness" was raised even earlier by actress Sharon Stone, who claimed that Hillary might simply be "too sexxxy" for the Whitehouse.

Nor should Canadians be complacent, for our own politics are not above such trivial concerns. I have argued in the past, and indeed correctly, I think, that Gerard Kennedy was denied the Liberal Leadership, not over matters of policy, but because of his hair. He simply possessed too much of it, and it was too soft and too lustrous, for the Liberal Party establishment. They feared his hair, and what the effect might be were Gerard to go before the people of Canada with hair that was, on the whole, so much better than average. Would Canadians connect with a hair God, or would Gerard seem elitist and out of touch?
Sadly, and for the same reason, Quebec MP Pablo Rodriguez will never lead the Liberal Party. He is simply too hot, and his hair too extraordinary, for the position.

Too Sexxxy To Lead

Friday, July 27, 2007

Your Free D Daily

A couple of quick notes:

1) Connie Wilkins and Mark Fourier, co-owners of Free Dominion, get married tomorrow. Good luck, and I hope the weather holds.

2) Bill Whatcott has taken a break from posting to Free D. He's got "a lot of work" on his hands and is, after all, running for mayor of Edmonton and so on and so forth.

Or somebody told him to shaddup. An informal ban, as it were. Free D doesn't sound half as loopy with him gone from the scene.

Because Racing Stock Cars Wasn't Rednecked Enough...

Tonight Pierre Bourque will be making his first appearance in the NASCAR Craftsman (Pickup) Truck Series at O’Reilly Raceway Park, Indianapolis, driving truck number 71.

Bourque's sponsors for this event include CanWest news, but any party looking to outflank the Tories on the Right, to appeal to the "sub-NASCAR" portion of the Canadian Demographic (they don't vote and they don't bathe), might consider paying Pierre a few bucks and having their logo slapped on the hood.

Mike Colle: Not Crooked, Not Competent

The good news from Auditor-General Jim McCarter's report on the Liberal "slush fund":

Mr. McCarter said he found no evidence that any organization received a grant because it had ties to the Liberal Party.

The bad news, of course, is that Mike Colle's Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration was handing out millions of dollars without asking for any kind of paperwork from the groups requesting the cash. In many cases (according to Mr. McCarter's interview on CBC yesterday evening) the grants arrived after group representatives met Mr. Colle at events, and in several instances it was two or three times the amount they had originally asked for. For example, the Ontario cricket club has invested $500,000 of the $1,000,000 they received (after requesting a mere $150,000) in a GIC until they can figure out how to spend it.

Unfortunately, this is a new variety of bad news for the McGuinty Libs. Previously, there had been no real question, no matter what you might have thought of the promises made and broken, that they were able to maneuver the levers of government in a relatively forthright and transparent fashion. That the administration was, at least, competent. Now...?

Overall a pretty bad week for the Ontario government, what with the "ghetto dude" incident, Kinsella's "intervention", and now this. Luckily, folks are probably more interested in BBQing than politics, and luckily the opposition Conservatives have been far less than inspiring. But the Libs better get their election machine cranked up pretty quickly.

Personally, I smell a minority in the works.

Update: Because it has come up in the comments, here is the section from the report re connections between the Ontario Liberal Party and the grant recipients:

One question we asked was whether political donations made by individuals or organizations
might have played a role in the receipt by certain organizations of a year-end grant. To help address that question, we asked the Office of the Chief Election Officer to provide us with a list of the donations that the 29 grant recipients we selected for review and/or selected directors and key staff members had made to any of the three major political parties
in the previous four years. We found that, in the last four years, only two of the 29 selected organizationsm that received funding had made donations. These were all to the Ontario Liberal Party and totalled only $1,034. The largest single amount of a donation was $280. We also found that, within the last four years, 43 of approximately 140 recipient-organization board members and key staff we selected for review had made political donations totalling $23,326, of which $16,814 went to the Ontario Liberal Party or one of its constitutency associations. The remaining $6,512 went to the other two major provincial parties.

The connections are pretty minimal, in other words. And here is a link to the entire report.

SouthWestern Ontario Liberal has a good post on this today (and is hot).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Best One I've Heard

If climate change skeptics are "Deniers", which deftly conjures up the Holocaust and the class of people who would be willing to ignore historical fact to defend the Nazi regime, what do you call those who believe in the science behind AGW? "Warmers" makes them sound like a set of mittens, and "alarmists" is, lets face it, boring. The editorial in today's Investor's Business Daily provides the best answer I've heard to that question so far: their term is "Greenshirts", which also plays up the Nazi angle.

The rest of the editorial is crap, mind you, but I like to give credit where credit is due.

Will Free Dominion Target ProgBloggers?

I was going to let this subject lie for a few days, but then I came across a Free Dominion thread entitled "Evidence Collecting in Support of FD's Defence", and felt I must warn my blogging brethren! Essentially, it appears the folks at FD will be trolling the Net for examples of left-wing extremism, which they will then post somewhere on the FD forum, and employ (in a manner to be figured out later, I suppose) in Connie's formal defense:

By doing this FD will be able to demonstrate that Bill W's comments do not in any way reach the level of "hatred or contempt" contemplated in s. 13 of the CHRA, as interpreted in the 1990 SCC "Taylor" decision.

They're really after the poo flinging monkeys at rabble (an effort Connie, who seems to have a decent working relationship with the rabble moderators, does not particularly support), but I also came across a reference to myself:

Gee, HERE's a guy who skates on the EDGE....

...followed by the entire Progblog link list, these being the folks I am apparently "in thick" with. So if you get an unfamiliar retard threatening to fink you out to the CHRC, or linking you back to FD, that's how they found you. I, personally, am shaking in my boots. I sure hope they don't find posts like this one, where I express my love for Saddam Hussein.

PS. Why doesn't anyone on ProgBlogs say cool shit about me like that? "Ooooh! BCL, you skate sooo close to the very edge!"

Update: The first pundit chimes in, some guy from WorldNetDaily that I've never heard of named Tristan Emmanuel. And I am not impressed:

Students of history will have heard of SMERSH. It was a forerunner of the KGB, a Communist Party commissariat under Josef Stalin.

Well, Canada has its own commissariats, in the form of Human Rights Commissions.

Some people refer to them as "kangaroo courts," but that is misleading because they really are dangerous.

Kangaroos not dangerous? This clown has obviously never had to box with one of them. Fool! They only look cuddly.

Update: They've found McLelland. Oh My!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Go Green, Bill Casey!

From hfxnews:

After being unable to woo former Conservative now Liberal MP Garth Turner to join the Green Party fold earlier this year, May said Tuesday she's a big fan of the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP and his stance against his former party.

Let me just recycle something I wrote last year about Garth Turner, but with the name "Bill Casey" subbed in for Garth:

Casey's joining The Green Party would constitute a historical moment in Canadian politics. Polling at about 10%, the Greens still do not have a seat in parliament and, given the de-centralized nature of their support, will be hard pressed to win one in the next Federal election, especially since Elizabeth May will probably not have a place on stage during the leadership debates. However, if Mr. Casey joins up, his seat comes along with him, and when an election is called Elizabeth gets her crack at addressing a national audience with the other contenders.

If you doubt how much influence a single good debate performance can have, remember the B.C. Liberals of the
early 1990s'. Gorden Wilson's performance in the 1991 CBC debate propelled the Libs from zero seats in the legislature to Official Opposition status. Elizabeth May has been quite impressive in her televised appearances, and giving a good account of herself in the debates could be the shot that realigns Canadian politics.

And realigns it in God knows what manner? Many Tories would apparently pick the Green Party as their second choice in an election. Surely the NDP could lose support to the Greens. And I would not be surprised if a good portion of Liberal supporters would be happy to embrace a Left-wing party not so enamored with the Working Class Hero bullshit of the New Democrats.

In short, Bill Casey has a chance to to something of historic significance. I hope he takes it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Banned From Free Dominon!

Visited you know where this morning and received the following message:

You have been banned from this forum.Please contact the webmaster or board administrator for more information.

And yet "wild" Bill Whatcott, with his pictures of anal warts and decapitated teenagers, is still considered "family friendly" enough for Free Dominion.

The CHRC complaint will of course be settled on its legal merits, but it hardly makes FDs broader case that their "voice" ought to be cherished in the name of political diversity when they are so thin-skinned that they can't handle one lonely Liberal venturing onto their site and confronting them single-handed. Or is the move even more calculated than that? Are they afraid of having someone examine the site and report on its activities who is not (like Michael Coren) associated with the fringier elements of talk radio?

Do they want the story out in the mainstream, or will they cower in the shadows?

Update: The Story makes the Washington Times. Surprisingly non-committal given the media outlet. Gosh, maybe we'll get some U.S. pundits involved and I can debate Rush himself (or at least his less-famous brother David).

Free Dominion On Coren: Gay Men Like To Walk Around Naked, And Free Dominion Is Family Friendly

After several tries, I was able to download the Sunday Night interview of Connie Wilkins from Free Dominion by CFRB's Michael Coren. It can be found here. My overall impression is that Coren, a hard right Conservative himself, tries desperately to make the content of Free Dominion, and especially the content of Bill Whatcott's pamphlets, seem much milder than they really are. A few things noted along the way:

1) You can tell how eager Coren is to soft-soap the whole FD situation by the fact that, if you pay attention, you can catch him in a fib. Specifically, during the first couple of minutes of the interview Coren claims that, while he knows who the subject of the complaint is (Bill Whatcott), he will not name the man. He doesn't really say why. And then, towards the very end of the interview (lets say the 35 minute mark) a caller phones in and asks if the subject of the complaint is "the same guy who ran for mayor of Edmonton". Connie replies that the man is indeed Bill Whatcott, and Coren FEIGNS SURPRISE. "Oh My God THAT guy?" etc. etc. What I take from this behavior is that Coren wanted to keep the interview on the level of abstraction--are you for Liberty and Free Speech or not?--rather than bring it down to particulars: do you support this freak Bill Whatcott and the contents of his pamphlets.

2) The big WTF? moment occurs at around the same time in the interview, when Coren is expressing a certain mild disapproval of Mr. Whatcott, and Connie says that Bill is "just expressing himself" the same way those homosexuals who walked around naked during Pride Week were expressing themselves. Coren clearly sees that things are sliding off the rails, and gets them back on track by noting that only very few homosexual men actually went naked during the event in question, a statement with which Connie finally agrees.

3) About midway through the interview, Connie made a claim which I found quite strange, asserting (roughly) that FD moderators make efforts to keep the site "family friendly". Wondering how they could justify this statement, while linking to material by Whatcott that is just short of snuff literature--which shows (for example) graphic images of decapitated bodies--I asked the people at FD yesterday. Mark Fourier, Connies' partner and FD administrator, responded as follows (writing as Entropy Squared):

Family friendly at Free Dominion means exactly what Mark Fournier and Connie Wilkins determines it to be, just as it means what you determine it means on your own site. Family friendly is a subjective term and we treat it as such. If we don't think it's family friendly, it goes. We have no obligation to justify or explain to anyone the decisions we make in this area.

Which is fascinating when you think of it. Connie goes on the Coren show and claims that Free Dominion is "family friendly" and you naturally think of phrases like "fun for the whole family", "kid friendly", and the like. But that's not what they mean at all. In fact, when used at FD the term is defined "on the fly"--it is whatever Connie and Mark say it is at the moment they utter the words. Link to pictures of severed heads and, if Connie and Mark approve, you're "family friendly". Bill Whatcott is, therefore, "family friendly", although you probably wouldn't want your kids reading his pamphlets, and you probably wouldn't want the family dog to get close enough to pee on him in. Protest the presence of Alberta separatists on the list (for example) and boom, your ass might just get fired out the door!

Family friendly, in other words, but not towards actual empirical families.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tiny Brain No Obstacle To French Civil Servant

Some jokes just write themselves, which is good, because I can't think of any at the moment.

The Ballad Of Free Dominion, And Other News

Suzanne has an MP3 of the Coren/Connie Wilkins interview from last night. I was bathing my pet hamster and listening to Satanic heavy metal music at the time, so I missed it. But I will download and write up before the day is out.

Over at FD itself the case has inspired bad poetry (A tyranny has been growing these past few years we all can plainly see,/ to attack our families, Jesus, you, and me.) , a few shaky stabs at introspection ("Is FD Christian?") , and mutterings about "taking down" the CRHC via...you guessed it...Alberta Separatism. Meanwhile folks over at SDA continue to harass Ms. Gentes with nasty emails explaining why Muslims are not worth being offended over.

And anyone for who wants some back story, check out here and here.

God this is fun! I'm making popcorn even now! The only question I have is: where's Kinsella? Shouldn't he have denounced somebody by this time?

Update: A story on this issue in the Kingston Whig-Standard. It is not just Whatcott's comments on the site, but the fact FD links to his discriminatory fliers and therefore helps in "disseminating hate literature ", that drew the complaint.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Journalistic Standards At Can West

From Canada.com:

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing eight decisions made under the U.S. Endangered Species Act -- one of which involves the protection and status of the Canada lynx, a fox-like animal known as the grey ghost of the north.

I suppose its as "fox-like" as any wild-cat can possibly be. In fact, I think I can see fox-like cunning in its yellow, cat-like eyes. Can't you?

From the people who publish the National Post.

Conservative Car At Back Of Pack

Pierre Bourque and his Conservative Party of Canada sponsored Car 29 finished a dismal 17th at the Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton yesterday, winning a grand total of $640:

15. (24) Doug Brown, Brantford, Ontario, Dodge, 32, $665.
16. (17) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ontario, Dodge, 32, $650.
17. (25) Pierre Bourque, Ottawa, Ontario, Dodge, 32, $640.
18. (22) James Van Domselaar, Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta, Chevrolet, 32, $625.

Don't worry Pierre, you'll get your coveted top ten one of these days (Maybe if were to you enter a hot-dog eating contest or something). In fact, I hope the CPoC itself manages to place in the top 10 during during our next federal election but, given recent polling trends, that is NOT likely.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Sad Story Of Free Dominion Continues To Sadly Unfold

Okay, this won't be too well ref'd, as Big Blue Wave hasn't updated and I am stuck with what I can glean from the FD message boards. But there have been a few new bits come to light re the human rights complaint against Free Dominion:

1) Marie-Line Gentes, the woman bringing the complaint, is a wildlife biologist who studied at the University of Saskatchewan and now teaches at Vanier College in Quebec. While the post she complains about contains slurs directed at Muslims, she is not herself Muslim. Furthermore, her complaint concerns a thread launched over a year ago, though she makes nods towards other more recent material on the board that might also constitute "hate literature". I have some sympathy with the FD charge that being offended on the behalf of somebody else is a bit of a sham. On the other hand, its not about "right" or "wrong" so much it is about legal or illegal.

2) Bill Whatcott, the pamphleteer and gay-basher that is the target of the complaint, is trying to raise money on Free Dominion's behalf. Some doubts have been expressed on the Board as to whether having a known distributor of Hate Lit hustle funds for your defense in a case involving the hosting of Hate Literature (Bill's) on your website is such a great idea.

3) The owners of the Free Dominion website will be on Michael Coren on Sunday at 7:30 pm (CFRB). The story will then spread to the MSM, as will the name "Bill Whatcott" and the contents of his fliers. A bit of Fear and Loathing on FD about the prospect.

4) As to the question, should Conservatives harass Ms. Gentes (publish photos of her, her phone number, etc.), opinion on FD has probably tilted about three to one against. Yesterday it was about 50/50.

5) Fellow Libloggers/Progbloggers: some perspective, please. Doesn't this make the whole incident with MyBlahg look trivial?

Update: reading the Babble thread where Mr. Whatcott went to raise cash, it is no longer clear to me whether he meant to raise it on behalf of FD or to cover his own expenses. I will leave point 2) above as is, however, because its funnier that way, and the more general point--that many on FD would like Whatcott to STFU--still holds.

Weekend Blogging: Random Observations

On Friday, I watched an International HotDog Eating competition on The Sports Network. Disgusting. When it was over, the winner (Chipmunk Joey, I think he called himself) waved an American flag to celebrate his first victory over a Japanese challenger. It's the End Times, brothers and sisters. May God send that comet crashing down NOW, so FIRE can make it all good again!

Also, I've noticed they've been showing alot of professional Paintball on the sports channels. Who knew that watching people shoot one another could provide so little entertainment?

Finally, my neighbor Tom has taken a fancy to BlueGrass music lately. He invited me over to listen to a couple of sides the other night, and while we were doing this his phone kept ringing. He would look at the name on the LED, lift up the receiver, and then let it drop. He said: "You know, I used to have hobbies. Then they invented call display and I had to stop."

Friday, July 20, 2007

More On Free Dominion Human Rights Complaint

Suzanne has the story at Big Blue Wave. The complainant is Mary Lynn Gentes (spelling?) , and the subject of the complaint some really nasty anti-Muslim stuff written by a "christian activist" named Bill Whatcott (which you can link to it from her site, not here). Mr. Whatcott has a history of this kind of thing He:

was fined $17 500 for by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal for distributing flyers denouncing homosexual behaviour.

Actually, looking at his material (this and earlier stuff), I am inclined to think that it does meet the criteria of a hate-crime. Apparently, Connie intends to fight this battle to the last dog, but I think she's talking crazy talk. I can't see how any of the culture warriors at Free Dominion would be able to stand up and say they're proud of Mr. Whatcott's contribution to their forum. But I guess they may have that chance.

Who the Heck Is Mary Lynne Gentes?

My favorite Conservative website, FreeDominion, has been hit with a Canada's Human Rights Commission complaint for allegedly promoting "hate speech". Presently, which of the threads on the site drew the complaint is unclear, but Flanders over at SoCon Or Bust thinks it was this one, entitled, appropriately enough, "Big Fat Racist Thread!". Furthermore, while "leftist bloggers" are being blamed for raising the complaint, the name on the documentation is apparently "Mary Lynne Gentes," who I for one have never heard of and who keeps a very low Internet profile, at least under her own name.

And a couple of things. Firstly, open sewer of opinion that the blogosphere may be, I disapprove in principle of trying to restrict it in this fashion. IMHO You fight words with words. However, after having read portions of the thread in question (where, among other things, one poster argues that "Jews and Nazis are equally bad"), it would surprise me if it was NOT in violation of the relevant legislation.

Connie (FreeDominion's owner) should probably have seen this one coming and shut the thread down. It ran for over a week, after all.

The Monster Of Kanasi Lake

Kanasi Lake is in Western China. For many hundreds of years, local residents have claimed that a monster or monsters live in the lake, and now they've got it on film. Local scientists theorize that the animal is a type of gigantic salmon (taimen salmon, which can allegedly reach four tonnes). Sushi for everyone, if they are right.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More Fun With Tory And Hillier

Randy Hillier, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party nomination in Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, has "a history of police confrontations". For example, in May of last year he disrupted a NavCanada conference where participants were discussing the new clean water Bill:

May 17, 2006 CORNWALL - Unrest among rural landowners boiled over Tuesday as protesters burst through a police barricade, forcing their way into the Nav Canada main lobby.

Leading the charge was Randy Hillier, president of the Ontario and Lanark landowners associations.

Hillier forced his way into the conference and demanded to speak. Conference host Jeff Ridal consented, and Hillier vowed "destruction" should the bill be passed. Merle Bowes, Vice President of the Lanarck Landowners Association (Hillier was President at the time) threatened to "detain government officials who tread their property while carrying out government regulations."

Despite their harsh rhetoric, Ontario PC Leader John Tory appears to have a soft spot for these rural revolutionaries. In early March of 2006, during a Queen's park protest, Randy Hillier "was escorted by the opposition into the Legislature" to present LLA demands. Maybe they wanted to help him pick out what seat he preferred when he became an MPP.

And, during a protest later that month, John Tory commented:

"American farmers, farmers in Quebec, get a big check at the beginning of the year," Tory said. "Our farmers, from the McGuinty Liberals, get a little bit here and there..."

Appeasement, anyone?
PS. What is it with these Rural Revolution types and their red suspenders? Symbolism, or something?

John Tory: Soft On Rural Separatists?

Credit the evil bald one, he's found his shot of John Tory and rural separatist/Ontario PC candidate Randy Hillier in the same place at once.

In the past Randy has advocated, through his position as President of the OLA (Ontario Land Owners, whose banner you see here), that rural Ontario separate from the rest of the province:
For rural Ontario to breathe freely once again the urban political noose must be cut from its neck, and a new province formed, liberated from the tyranny of the silent mob majority.

Especially interesting in this regard are John Tory's remarks on Shawn Brant and the June 29th Aboriginal day of protests:

"People have to understand that if they take the law into their own hands, there are going to be consequences for that,'' Tory said following his speech to the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police in Waterloo, Ont. "We cannot allow a precedent to be established for anybody.''

Contrast these with his more nuanced take on Mr. Hillier's shutting down the 401 for three hours in 2005 in support of his separatist goals:

Quite different, no? For what were identical acts. Perhaps its time to ask Mr. Tory what he intends to call Hillier's new province.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lafta In Canada

Dr. Riyahd Lafta is an Iraqi researcher who had collaborated on the recent Lancet study that put the Iraqi death toll at about 655,000 since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Earlier this year his attempt to visit the U.S.A. and present this research, as well as new material on rising childhood cancer rates in southern Iraq, was stymied by the U.S. state department. Furthermore, his attempts to visit Canada (Simon Fraser University) failed when the British government refused to offer him a transit visa through that country. Talk about attacking the messenger!

Luckily, however, an airline was found that flies direct from Jordan to Canada, and Dr. Lafta is now in Vancouver. Details of his story, and his Friday (Jul. 20th) web-cast can be found here.

h/t to Deltoid.

Stockwell Day Promotes Rural Bacchanal

In his latest weekly column (this link will change), Stockwell defends the reputation of The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, which is apparently the biggest C&W festival in Canada. It also sounds like a time for the locals to get smashed, ride around on the family hoss, and shoot heads off chickens. This year, according to The Province:

Police had 34 people in custody on Saturday night, including three women. Most arrests, but not all, were related to the festival.

Complaints ranged from causing a disturbance, disorderly conduct, assault and brawling but "nothing major."

"It's regular stuff we deal with with intoxicated people," said Linteau.

Two men were arrested for rolling a trailer over and setting it on fire.

Holy shit, sounds like a night at Jane/Finch! But one difference is when bad things go down in the City, you hear about them endlessly on the television. When they happen up in the mountains, your MP just tells a few fibs and nobody says nothin':

And how many crimes against rural humanity took place? A grand total of three. That’s right, trois, tres. And they were not exactly capital offences.

Off by a factor of ten, Stockwell! But I imagine any outsiders, like back-packers and college kids that could report any different, were killed and eaten to the sound of banjo music before they could get past the town line.

But it is true that crime at the festival was down from '06, when 150 people were arrested. In Toronto, they would call that a "gang bust", and Stockwell would be screaming that we should deport 'em all to Jamaica.

Our man in Kelowna ends by waxing philosophic on the significance of C&W:

It's long overdue for the cultured minds of centralized federalism to understand that the lore and tradition of our rural 'routes' are often transmitted through the channels of country music. Wish us luck in getting that message through.

Firstly, Stockwell, you don't have a urban centralizer to hate cowboy music. I know many rock-ribbed conservatives who puke at the sound of a steel-guitar. And as for getting the rural message out, well, we have enough wife-beating in Toronto, and don't need to reify it as some kind of cultural tradition.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Strip Conrad Black! Strip Him!

No, I am not echoing the thoughts of Conrad's future cell-mates. I am talking about NDP Heritage critic Charlie Angus' suggestion that Conrad Black be stripped of his Order of Canada, with which I agree 100 per cent. The two other Canadians stripped of their medal were:

Former hockey czar Alan Eagleson lost his in 1998, shortly after he was jailed on fraud charges connected to his leadership at the National Hockey League Players Association. He had worn the insignia on his lapel during court appearances in the United States and Canada.

Aboriginal leader David Ahenakew, once the chief of the Assembly of First Nations, had his appointment terminated in 2005 after he was found guilty of wilfully promoting hatred by a Saskatoon court. He had referred to Jews as a “disease.”

Certainly Conrad's crimes are as serious as Eagleson's, maybe more serious than Ahenakew's, who only spoke evil, and at least that pair didn't abandon the country to become English Lords.

And, really, the target here is not Mr. Black qua Mr. Black. It is the Canadian Conservative Establishment. The message is: you worshipped a crook. Therefore it is right that your God should be systematically defiled.

PS. The procedure for terminating an appointment to the Order of Canada can be found here.
It can be initiated by "any person in writing to the Deputy Secretary".

Go Green Or Go Without (Frilly Underwear)

From CNN:

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Alberta's resource companies are hearing a familiar pitch from an unfamiliar source this week as the U.S. publisher of the Victoria's Secret catalog tries to persuade Alberta's politicians and resource industry that green business can be good business.


Last year, after an intensive campaign by U.S. environmental groups, Limited Brands [which publishes Victoria's Secret] decided to stop buying wood pulp from several western Canadian plants, including the West Fraser (TSX:WFT) plant in Alberta. The decision also affected pulp plants in British Columbia.

As people have been predicting, Alberta has become ground-zero for international environmentalists. And while the Harpers and Stelmachs of this world may be content to blow off Canadians, you can bet they will play ball with the first New York slick that walks through the door. A bit depressing in that we require foreigners to drive our social evolution in the right direction. But whatever works...

Tim Ball: He Was Denying Stuff Years Ago

From the Climate Audit comments section (Number 10):

When Environment Canada replaced most weather stations with Automatic Weather Observing Stations (AWOS) the results were so unreliable they hired retired former employees and others to go out with hand held instruments to check. I have no idea what data was actually placed in the ‘official’ record. The stations were so unreliable that NAVCANADA, a government agency set up to run airports, refused to accept the AWOS instruments. This led to a government inquiry chaired by Senator Pat Carney, which as usual went nowhere, despite evidence there was a problem. Sadly and ironically, one of the motivations for closing weather stations was the advent of satellite data. Typically, they found out after the fact that the satellites were very limited in what they could detect, for example, precipitation type and amount. Then they decided that the temperature data from the satellite which was better than their surface data was unacceptable because the record wasn’t long enough. At the same time they were using similar length Total Ozone Measuring Satellite (TOMS) data to introduce draconian and totally unnecessary CFC policies. These issues quickly become juggernauts, especially in governments, that it becomes the unwritten policy to continue the lie rather than determine the truth.

Mr. Timothy F. Ball, probably Canada's best known climate change skeptic, once published a letter to the editor (in the June 12th, 1996 edition of the Globe and Mail) in which he bitched about global warming and, more to the point, referred to the "so-called" ozone hole and the "Draconian policies" it had inspired.

Mr. Ball has been on the conspicuously wrong side of the great scientific debates of the late 20th century and, as the above makes clear, has been content to remain on the wrong side for decades after the science has been decided.

Ozone depletion denial competes with anti-Darwinism for the title of the "fringiest of the fringy" science award, so it is interesting to point out that not only Mr. Ball, but several of his "friends" at the Friends of Science (like Sallie Baliunas), Canada's best-known climate change denial organization, were also out fighting against the Montreal Protocol in the mid-1990s.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Myth Of SUV Safety

From The Straight Dope:

Ban small cars? Don't be ridiculous, CAFE advocates say. We'd all be safer and use less gas to boot if we banned SUVs. A 2002 study of 84 cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that SUVs and pickup trucks had the highest combined risk of any vehicles — that is, risk to both their occupants and occupants of other cars. True, the average SUV protected its occupants better than the average small car. However, some midsize cars protected their occupants just as well as SUVs without unduly endangering the occupants of other vehicles. The study also found that the safest compact and subcompact cars were as safe for their drivers as the average SUV, and safer from a combined-risk standpoint.

Research I had read about several years ago, but have never been able to track down again when I needed it until now. Tell your SUV driving friends.

And there is also the issue of higher insurance rates, partly due to the fact that if, for example, you strike a little old lady in a sub-compact you might break a few of their bones. Whereas if you hit them with an SUV, they tend to squash.

Chinese Out, Gateway Pipeline (Hopefully) Dead

From Interfax China:

Shanghai. July 16. INTERFAX-CHINA - The China National Petroleum Corp. will bail out of a landmark oil pipeline project in Canada as well as reduce investment in other oil sand projects in the country due to insufficient support from the conservative Canadian government, a senior company official said during an industry conference held in Canada's resource-rich city of Calgary late last week.

This is actually good news, because all good Canadians should want the Gateway Pipeline project dead as a doornail. Forget about the environmental problems that arise when you run an oil pipeline through a bunch of mountains, and think of the larger issues around the "greening" of the tar sands. Right now the best hope for that lies not in Ottawa, but South of the border.
California, for example, has passed a clean gas law that requires cuts in carbon emissions through the entire life cycle of the product, from extraction to transportation to final combustion. In May, Ontario and B.C. got on board with this concept, signing agreements with Governor Schwarzenegger to only consider oil purchases from low emitting sources. Furthermore, national (U.S.) legislation with a similar intent may be as little as two years down the road.

Since so much energy goes into producing gas from the tar sands, this kind of legislation will pressure the players in the Alberta Oil Industry to get their act together. If they don't clean up their processes, they won't be able to sell their product.

Unless of course they have a pipeline to the Pacific that lets them sell dirty oil to the less finicky Chinese. No pipeline, no escape hatch. See?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Andrew Coyne: Soft On (Conservative) Crime

Andrew lamenting Native lawlessness:

And while all of this is going on, native protesters are blocking railways, barricading roads, seizing provincial parks, and occupying towns, in most cases with absolute impunity, to back up land claims that can add up to 100% or more of a province’s territory.

Andrew lamenting Conrad Black's sentence:

But I had far rather live in a country with a Conrad Black than without him, and now that he has been found guilty -- pending appeal -- I confess I will be one of those hoping for a light sentence.

Typical Conservative. Kiss up, kick down.

And just a note on Mr. Black's "four dollar words" and "1000-page biographies", which Andrew seems so much to admire. Imagine being stuck behind Mr. Black at a McDonalds while he fishes around for a nine syllable term meaning cheesebugga. Imagine actually reading one of his books, rather than flipping through to the last chapter to see how it ends. (And imagine the "revision" of Mr. Black's literary reputation that will likely take place now that a bad review no longer attracts lawsuits!)

I'm afraid Mr. Black's English was the literary equivalent of a lumbering brontosaur, requiring ten minutes and a half mile to turn completely around. There is nothing to admire in it. The character of modern Canada, of indeed the modern world, is all Strunk and White; the cool, crisp lines of a Bunyan or a Swift. Mr. Black's prose was an attempt to reverse the clock to an era when ostentatious displays of linguistic bling could frighten those less rich with pointless verbiage into compliance. It was the stylistic reflection of his Ideology. That Mr. Black will be supping at Club Fed for the next decade or so is just one indication that the time for such language has long faded into the depths of history.

PS. And, no, Andrew, people do not regard the National Post with something "approaching affection". It is, on the contrary, universally and sincerely reviled. You can't even use it to wrap dead fish in. The dead fish complain too much.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Did Lyndon LaRouche Choose Lib Leader?

So I'm Googling around trying to dig up more information on Lyndon LaRouche, and discover that the Canadian headquarters of his youth movement is situated in Montreal. Furthermore, his followers used last November's Liberal Leadership convention as an opportunity to:

...determine whether or not partakers of the Liberal Leadership Convention shall partake in pushing the American puppets through the impeachment processor.

Six MLYM members, with the help of three "contacts" (whatever that might mean) infiltrated the convention and engaged in a number of "interventions".

The LaRouchians spent most of their time trying to get to the perceived front runners, Michael Ignatieff ("an asset of the currently dominant financier-oligarchy") and Bob Rae (backed by Power Corps, which has connections to the "Synarchist faction in France"). Iggy seems to have been especially put upon:

...LYM organizer Valerie Trudel marched straight through the ring of bodyguards protecting Ignatieff, grabbed his hand, drew his face close to her own, looked him squarely in the eyes, and demanded, "Do you think a broken nation can survive the financial collapse?"

Ignatieff, who had been all smiles, recoiled in shock. Trudel repeated, but this time with a powerful bel canto projection, "Do you think a broken nation can survive the financial collapse?" Ignatieff looked stunned, as did a great number of the sycophants who were ranged about him. At this point, the bodyguards converged on Trudel, grabbing her scarf and goonishly dragging her away from the still speechless candidate while she began calling out repeatedly, "The U.S. economy is collapsing!"

And later:

...the favored candidate, Ignatieff, became a distributor of the [MLYM] pamphlets when an unguarded table of self-promotion folders had inserted into them about twenty pamphlets.

However, it looks like these guys got through to most of the candidates at one point or another:

Candidate Stéphane Dion was also given a leaflet by Luc and told that his green agenda would not work. Dion said he would read the leaflet and that he would speak more with us in the future.

And it sounds like Bill Graham might have run a bit of interference:

Bill Graham, the interim leader of the party, was briefed several times by LYM members, receiving both the leaflet and Lyndon LaRouche's latest webcast pamphlet.

The young Larouchians claim to have distributed around 700 pamphlets by midweek. But the big wind-up was on the convention's final day:

On the final day of the convention, we brought our chorus into a crowded hallway through which all the attendees had to pass. For at least half an hour, and just after Dion had pulled slightly ahead of Ignatieff on the penultimate ballot, we sang several canons we had prepared such as the following, to the tune of "I should be envious?" by Haydn: "Goodbye, Mike Ignatieff: You're a nut, Your policies suck, You financier slut! Your lips are glued to Cheney's ass! Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, you puppet of the right! Goodbye!"

So does anyone who was there recall these guys?

PS. the "secret document" (linked to at the word "Later:") comes from the website of the Jewish Defense Organization. I can't totally vouch for it; nevertheless, it does look like something from within the LaRouche movement in that the antics described are quite similar to the first, "official" document, and the names mentioned match up with the names of Montreal chapter members.

PPS. The bel canto noted above refers to the voice technique ("beautiful singing"), which LaRouche thinks is the only rational method of singing. It is just possible, therefore, that his activists might have sang their complaints to the Liberal candidates.

Lyndon LaRouche Becomes A Player In The Denialist Movement

On July 11th, to great fanfare, ABC (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation) broadcast Martin Durkin's fakeumentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle". Afterwards, a studio audience asked some very strange questions of host Tony Jones and his guests. And one of them wore a t-shirt that read "Anthropogenic Global Warming is a bigger fraud than your girlfriend's orgasm!"

As it turns out, the audience had been infiltrated by about 15 members of the ALYM, or Australian LaRouche Youth Movement: followers, that is, of Lyndon LaRouche.

I have written about Lyndon LaRouche before. To characterize him briefly, I'd call him an extremely rich, tax evading anti-Semite who thinks the Queen of England sells drugs and the aliens are coming, among other things. He has also managed to somehow connect Nazi Eugenics, Al Gore, Global Warming, and (once again) the Queen of England.

And, whats interesting is that, as I noted here, and others have pointed out elsewhere, this is not La Rouche's first foray into the Warming Wars. His magazine, Executive Intelligence Review, seems to be one of the few places left where water witch and climate skeptic Nils-Axel Mörner or, as I like to call him, the dowsing denier, can still air his views. In fact, there seems to be a whole section on EIR permanently devoted to "debunking" climate change theory. Furthermore, this is not the first time the ALYM has used these kinds of tactics. In April, for example:

The LaRouche Youth Movement strongly intervened in a meeting hosted by the Australian Fabian Society (a "pro-worker" arm of British imperial policy, which runs the Australian Labor Party) entitled, "A New Socio-Economic Framework: Progressive Responses to Globalisation".


We blanketed the audience of 50 or so as they were going in with the CEC's latest New Citizen, with the banner headline "Global Warming is a Fraud!" LYM members Aaron Isherwood and Doug Mitchell identified themselves and intervened in question time, Aaron to Liddle on the necessity for LaRouche's New Bretton Woods (NBW), and Doug to Norris on the global warming swindle, including whether the Blair government would fire Al Gore for pushing this hoax.

On the other hand, not much activity on this front from the Canadian wing of the LaRouche Youth movement. While there have been several classes held in Montreal on environmental issues, these don't seem to have inspired anything in the way of an "intervention". However, in May the Montreal LYM organized a Town Hall meeting :

...using as the invitation a cartoon of Al Gore stepping on Africa in the Cecil Rhodes colossus-pose. The flyer read: "Al Gore's Plan to Solve 'Over-population': Kill Africans."

It is a pity that LaRouche's gang doesn't seem to be well integrated into the broader Denialist movement. It would be truly wonderful to get a picture of Tim Ball, for example, presenting to a room full of LaRouchians.

Update: According to this, the Montreal youth movement did indeed attempt to disrupt Gore's speech in Montreal when he came to town.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Guilty, Guilty, Four Times GUILTY!

According to CTV:

The jury at the fraud trial for Conrad Black has found the former media baron guilty on four of 13 counts in his fraud and racketeering trial, including the serious charge of obstruction of justice.

Break out the bubbly!

And you know, from where I'm sitting now I am looking South on the Southam Building, the home of the National Post and Barad-dûr of Mr Black's evil empire(before it all went for shit and was taken away from him).

And I have to admit I have never heard a building scream before! It is though its spirit has been torn from the very brick! The structure itself appears to have sagged, as in Death!

And there's a helicopter landed in the rear parking lot, taking Andrew Coyne back to Winnipeg! And there's a UFO hovering over the roof, taking Jonathon Kay back to wherever the fuck he comes from! And whose that wheeling a chairload of computers and office supplies out to his car? Hey, Kinsella, put that stuff back! You can't do that!

It's over! The Lord Of Blackness is going to the pokey, where he will either have to learn to fight, or marry the convict with the most cigarettes! Its over! A great shadow has been lifted from the land!

The Battleground Shifts...

These days, yet another screed from the NRSP's Tom Harris wouldn't normally be worth the effort of a post. He is merely a faux scientist, a low grade Denier, and his Natural Resources Stewardship Group a discredited front for the Canadian wing of Big Oil. (Unfortunately, I think that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May's decision to take him on in this set of battling Op Eds is likely to do more to maintain his profile than her own). However, in amongst the same-old same-old there are signals as to where the Denialist industry will next attempt to take the debate:

Activists maintain that “the consensus of world scientists agree” that our CO2 emissions are causing a climate crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Climate science is an immature discipline in which intense debate rages among experts about the causes of climate change. Variations in the brightness of the sun and “land use change” are the leading contenders believed to be responsible for most of the past century’s modest warming

Note the two "leading contenders": solar cycles...and a new one..."land use change" (or at least a quick search of the NRSP website and a buzz through Google shows that this term begins turning up more often in June of this year). Since the "Blame the Sun" crowd has suffered a major set-back in recent days, expect to start hearing more about "land use changes": about Urban Heat Islands, and how the instruments cannot be trusted to give accurate readings due to (incompetence, cover-ups, and) the ever increasing amount of paved space around our cities. In other words, "Land Use Change" will become what "Solar Cycles" has been: a vague theory to invoke as an alternative to the conventional science so it doesn't look like the Denialists are merely engaged in "negative campaigning".

And expect to hear the names Roger Pielke Sr. and Anthony Watts come up more frequently. Pielke Sr. is a real, honest-to-God meteorologist from Colorado State University, and I would probably call him the Alan Feduccia of climate science. His website is a mix of legitimate cautionary tales re climate change research (some glaciers aren't retreating!), and the center of a kind of personality cult where Deniers with some facility in math come to pray to his courage in the face of the "great swindle". As for Anthony Watts, he leads a gang of rogue "citizen scientists" who have currently fanned out across the lower 48 with their digital cameras in an effort to embarrass the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) with pictures of Al Gore BBQing in close proximity to temperature sensors, thus single-handedly creating an upward bias in instrument readings of the climate record. These pictures as they emerge are then posted on far-right websites where people who haven't a clue as to what they mean nevertheless comment knowingly on the failures of mainstream Climatology.

Unfortunately, this end of the science tends to be the "mathiest", and meeting or even understanding the arguments likely to come up will likely require boning up on some of the crap you slept through during college. But this is where I see the focus shifting over the course of the next six months. Get out your spreadsheets and your old stats textbooks, people!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Judeoscope Shuts Down, Blames Jihadis! (Plus: You Can't Put "Jerusalem, Israel" On Your Passport)

Judeoscope always offered an interesting take on "Jewish" affairs, both nationally and internationally, even if it was one I seldom agreed with. This morning, while researching information for a brief post (see below) I visited the site and found the following message:

Judéoscope shuts down

Since its creation in 2004, Judeoscope exceeded the original mandate it had set for itself, e.g., to ensure a web presence in Quebec and Canada to deal with the issues of the day from a Jewish perspective. With the passage of the last three years, Judeoscope established itself as a reliable source of information on Islamist activity in Canada to which Canadian and foreign media and authorities did not hesitate to resort. With the rise of homegrown Islamist terrorism, the political convergence of the radical left with global jihad, organizations infeodated to the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabism undermining the national security and fundamental values of Western nations, and the upsurge of Tehran’s extremist regime in the process of nuclearization, it is no longer suitable to address the Islamist threat to democratic societies from a particular perspective such as ours. For this reason, we decided to shut down Judeoscope and explore new ways to proceed with our work.

We thank all our loyal readers and collaborators for their support.


I don't quite know what to make of this. They're worried that their web presence will serve as a pretext for anti-Semitic violence? Anyway, this appears to have happened in the last week, as I'm pretty sure I visited over the weekend.

In somewhat related news, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that you can't record your birthplace as "Jerusalem, Israel" on your passport:

A federal policy that bans Canadians from listing Jerusalem, Israel, as their birthplace on their passport does not violate the Charter of Rights, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has ruled.


The decision maintains that the ban on listing Israel as the birth country alongside Jerusalem is not discriminatory, despite the fact that Israel is the only country that is banned from being listed when cities in disputed territories are concerned.

Weird that there are so many laws to govern the trivial, or that anyone would be so hung up on their ethnic identity as to want to complain about the matter

Weirdest thing is that this case might go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Janke On African Aid: Send Them Urologists!

It's the silly season in the political blogosphere, I guess, but at least I'm not the only one fishing around for material. In this truly bizarre column, Janke gets behind CJU (Canadian Journal of Urology) efforts to send a representative to a big prostrate cancer wing-ding in Cape Town, South Africa. I suppose the point is that Canada's delegate will spend Canadian taxpayer's money on his Cape Town Hotel, on eating food at the local restaurants, maybe on getting laid in a Capetown brothel, and this infusion of funds will help pump up the local economy. Better than the alternative, which apparently is to funnel the dough through some rock-star jerk like Bono.

The real question to me is: why does Janke know so much about Urology? Is he perhaps a Urologist? Has he had unnatural dealings with Urologists? Or is he strangely obsessed with Urology? Should I employ my own investigative skills and start trolling those "Golden Shower" websites people tell me about, asking after an angry beaver, and after six months of intensive research file an exclusive with National News Watch: "Steve Janke: Is It His Cup Of Pee?"

Stay tuned!

Update: RT has also been chronicling the result of Janke's staring into the Existential abyss of summertime blogging-about-nothing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Tiniest Denier

Meet 15 year-old Kristen Byrnes of Portland, Maine, the Denialist Industry's latest sweetheart. Kristen forecast the end of the Australian drought in late May, so she's zero for one in predictions, but this hasn't stopped high level climate change skeptics like Steve McIntyre and Richard Tol, whose hair must be seen to be believed, from praising her website and in particular her attack on "An Inconvenient Truth", at least until the many errors in it have been pointed out. Mr. Tol:

I never said that Kristen Byrnes's piece is "more accurate" than An Inconvenient Truth or the Stern Review. All three contain basic and unnecessary errors, but I did not count them and I did not compare them.

Now, why this post? A couple of reasons. Firstly, the fact that Kristen's is being used by the "bigs" in the climate skeptic business to in effect launder their attacks on figures like Al Gore and James Hansen is an indication of the extent of their desperation. Secondly, there has been some speculation that Kristen was a fictional character along the lines of Andura Smetacek, and I would suggest the photo from the newsbusters site should put that line of inquiry to rest. Thirdly, I have been looking for an excuse to post a picture of Mr. Tol and his freaky hair, and now I have one.

One Of Kristen's
Many Fans!