Tuesday, June 30, 2009

XXXtraordinarily Sexxxy For A Couple Of Straight Guys

Iggy and Gerard at the Pride Day Parade.

Gerard's almost making me go blind. The hair...! The hair...!

E-Voting Article In The Mark, And Twitter Sucking Harder

Same as what I wrote Saturday, but the new setting gives it credibility you can just feel.

And, reading this again, it occurs to me that the Toronto Local 416 twitter feed is being hijacked in exactly the same manner as the Blogging Tory twitter feed was previously. Which means twitter "security" is non-existant and twitter spam cannot be far behind.

O wait, its already here.

Climate Change Denier Denies Natural Sciences

Ian Plimer: I think the natural sciences have now been corrupted. I think they've been totally politicized. I think the natural sciences now are driven by two groups. One group who go outdoors, collect the new evidence, who try to integrate a new interdisciplinary science to try to understand how the planet works. There's another group who don't collect this information, they sit next to their computer, model someone else's data and come up with a conclusion, and then they go outside and find it doesn't work. That's what we're up against now. The modelers are dominating the natural sciences, and the models they create are totally unrelated to reality.

Its not just Climate Scientists. They've all gone commie. Might as well build that Chlorotriplic Litholater according to biblical principles.

TO Garbage Strike Semi-Exclusive!!!!!!!!

Stuff I haven't read elsewhere, at least:

1) Union 416 wants to shift some of its troops to the entrances of the temporary garbage dumps. They figure these are just about full and The City is looking to bring in contractors to haul it all away. 416 wants to make that task more difficult.

2) Unions 416/79 are looking at the City's operations and thinking that The City has planned out this strike for awhile. Believe it or not, the unions think garbage removal is going relatively smoothly. Hence the strike length is now looking like 3-4 weeks, and perhaps until the end of summer. Get used to the smell, folks; it will be here for awhile.

3) Many 416 members are not happy with their picket signs, and want something with a more aggressive message: "Mayor Miller Sucks Ass" is popular on the line.

4) Meanwhile, someone is twittering personal attacks against union reps and Hymi the Islamic banker has become the strike's official chronicler.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Triumph Of The Blogosphere

...is what I was thinking when I read this requiem for the Tory's veiled voter legislation. The fact is, when this story first broke, all of Canada was headed for a six day bender of capital "X" xenophobia. Then, in a terrific series of posts back in 2007 that seem to have entirely disappeared, Red Tory did what, apparently, no-one else in Canada, and certainly no-one else in the MSM or HOC, had done--which was read the recently passed changes to the Elections Act and point out that they did NOT require that voters provide photo ID, something that (for example) Canwest News had not figured out at the time (and still seems a bit confused about).

Afterwards, the fake outrage died off relatively quickly.

The kind of story to mention when someone tells you we need the MSM for their standards.

My origonal take on the controversy here.

Ready For Martyrdom

I recognize me speaking out on this likely makes the threat of Liberal Caucus Services Bureau’s illegal use of public resources against me, should I seek public office, all the more likely...

But one day you'll show them, John. You'll show them all.

(By the way, I like jokes about hair-gel)

Global Warming Comes To Toronto Island?

HWWD has a nifty little post re the possible effects of AGW on Toronto Island's foliage. Nice pictures of TO from the air.

Where HWWD does foliage, I do birds. Here's an old post on how Calypte anna or Anna's Hummingbird has been gradually expanding its range into the interior of Vancouver Island. And here's another on how the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) has been pushing North into the GTA, its numbers, if you go by the Toronto Ornithological Club's Xmas bird count, having tripled in the past ten years.

"Look carefully at nature and you'll be able to pick out the signs of global warming."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

On-line Voting In Canadians Future?

In Election Canada's post-mortem on our 40th general election, a number of recommendations have been made pertaining to the concept of e-voting. In short, our electoral watchdog is moving swiftly to allow the on-line registration of Canadian voters, more slowly to allow the actual casting of ballots over the Internet. Having done a fair bit of research several years ago on how e-voting works (or doesn't) in a corporate setting, I'd say this is a prudent approach. The actual move to full-blown e-voting on a national scale is still fraught with difficulties, a few of which may never be adequately resolved.

While paper ballots have issues of their own, methods have been developed (scrutineering) that make traditional elections fairly difficult to steal, at least in a 1st world country such as Canada. This cannot be said for a vote conducted electronically (either on site through voting machines or over the Internet).

For example, DOS (Denial Of Service) attacks are always a worry. If candidate bent on stealing an election knew that most of "their" constituency would have exercised their franchise by a certain time, they could attempt to crash or otherwise overwhelm the computer system collating ballots after that time, thus tilting the vote count in their favor. Mind you, there are ways of getting around this: extending the voting period over several days is one such method.

But more importantly, virtual reality is, well, not really real. No matter how you might think you voted--you matter what your eyes tell you when you look that the computer screen:

...wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to . . . make bad things happen.

There are literally a dozen different ways that a hacker might use to tamper with vote tallies that would be undetectable to the average voter. For an account of just a few of them, read about Ed Felton's exploits with the Sequoia and Diebold systems. The only schemes that may counter the possibility of behind the screen tampering involve generating a paper record which the voter can use later to match against the online tally of their vote but, as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez recently demonstrated, that doesn't always work either.

But the news can't be all bad. Unions use e-voting to choose their leaders, and the fairly decent sized city of Markham Ontario has employed the process on a number of occasions; the 2nd time out they even got the higher turnout they were looking for.

Well, when I was doing my e-voting research back in the early 2000s, I came across a rule of thumb that might explain where and when the process can work. At the time, I was pondering a claim made by David Dill, another well-known e-voting skeptic. He argued that:

"Someone sufficiently unscrupulous, with an investment of $50,000 [U.S.], could put together a team of people who could very easily subvert all of the security mechanisms that we've heard about on these [voting] machines," he said.

...and I was discussing this claim with some of the other people involved in my research. One of them asked: "Who would risk that kind of money (and a possible jail sentence, if things didn't go as planned) for this?" This being the presidency of a fairly decent sized trade association, which involves receiving a stipend in the low five-figures, a certain amount of fame locally, and a few trips to the U.S. or overseas. The answer, of course, was: nobody in their right mind. We were dealing with business-men and, if they had that kind of money lying around, there would surely find more useful ways to invest it.

And so there is your rule of thumb: where the prize for stealing an election is is not worth the cost, e-voting can work fine! So: for union or campus elections, why not? The Mayor of Markham makes about $150,000 per year so, again, is trying to hack the vote there worth the candle?

On the other hand, a national election where the prize is control of a small (but very ferocious, mind you) army and a budget in the billions...

Well, in that case I would be worried.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

John Tory Will Run For TO Mayor

Word was let loose last night during the opening hours of the 2009 Ontario PC Leadership Convention in Markham that failed Ontario PC leader John Tory will be announcing his intention to run for mayor of Toronto in next year’s municipal election. The source, a party operative from Etobicoke attending the Randy Hillier hospitality suite, indicated that all the pieces of Tory’s campaign are in place and that we should be seeing a formal announcement as July rolls in.

I've heard this claim from two very disparate sources in the past three days, the other being a lobbyist not attached in any way to any of the provincial parties or connected to the blogosphere.

Liberals Make It Federal

This is the kind of thing that makes me happy that Iggy's keeping Kinsella around:

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper must assure Canadians that he does not favour scrapping the Canadian Human Rights Commission in light of the fact that 20 of his MPs have endorsed plans to eliminate the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Liberal MP Bob Rae said today.

Just a reminder. There's two human rights radicals in the Tory race--Tim Hudak and Randy Hillier--and two purported moderates--Frank Klees and Red Tory no-hoper Christine Elliot. Its a testament to how far the PCPO has drifted right that the kind of OHRC "reform" suggested by one of these moderates, Klees, would involve lifting the prohibition signs advertising "Whites Only Served" and "No Irish Need Apply".

So far:

Eugene McDermott, Candidate of Record, Conservative party of Canada Don Valley East
Kevin Nguyen, 2008 Conservative candidate, York West
Lois Brown, MP Newmarket-Aurora

...are down with that lovely idea.

After Dirty Gong-Show Of A Leadership Race

...PCPO Members promise to make all lovey-dovey at convention. Guns, pitchforks banned from convention floor. Hillier asked to remove "shit-kickers".

PS. I notice several twitter feeds.

Friday, June 26, 2009

An Important Moment Tonight

...in the history of our beloved planet. Long, tough road ahead. 219-212 in the house means an uphill battle in the Senate. This is how hard it is when the adults are in charge. Greenpeace and the other groups that opposed Wasman-Markey ought to really consider shaving their freak-flags and taking a stab at intellectual maturity. Siding with the Deniers because a bill is imperfect is a disastrous strategy.

Your Daily Nazi: Nazi Mom Busted For Impersonating Mom

WINNIPEG - A Manitoba woman whose daughter went to school with racist markings on her body has been arrested.

I would suggest that the N-Mom, who've I've written about here, and who ARC has covered extensively, will probably not be getting custody of her child now. There's usually more wrong with these people than just an odd fondness for leather and swastikas.

Some People Never Learn, Or: Ezra Levant And Defamation Law

Apology to the Honourable Ron Ghitter

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I should like to read to you a statement that will be published in the Calgary Herald, The Calgary Sun and The Edmonton Journal on Friday, April 14. It will be entitled, "Apology to Senator Ghitter from Rob Anders, M.P., and Ezra Levant."

In September of 1998, we unfairly and inaccurately described the character, statements, commitment and work of Senator Ghitter in a fundraising letter circulated to 31,000 Albertans in connection with the Alberta Senatorial Election. The letter was prepared by Ezra Levant and signed by Rob Anders on behalf of the Reform Party of Alberta.

The letter was insulting and demeaning of Senator Ghitter who has dedicated over 30 years of his life to public service both as an elected member of the Legislature of Alberta, a member of the Senate of Canada, a spokesman for minorities, and a volunteer in many capacities.

On September 25, 1998, Senator Ghitter requested that we retract our statements and donate $2,500.00 to the Alberta Cancer Society. We refused to do so, and instead made further inaccurate and demeaning public statements about Senator Ghitter through various media outlets. On October 21, 1998, Senator Ghitter commenced a defamation action against us.

Our attack on Senator Ghitter was unfounded and we now admit having defamed Senator Ghitter. We further acknowledge that some of our statements were based on facts that were false and on out of context interpretations.

We regret preparing and sending the letter and wish to apologize to Senator Ghitter and his family for our lack of civility and our inappropriate actions and comments.

Rob Anders, M.P.
Ezra Levant

Some background here.

C-15 Stalled In The Senate; IP21C Looms

C-15 is the law imposing mandatory minimum penalties on drug dealers that the Liberals got behind a few weeks ago in an attempt to dodge the "Soft on Crime" (SoC) label, thus triggering a certain amount of angst among loyal supporters and more generally anyone blessed with a lick of common sense.

I've argued many times during Dion's tenure that, given the LPoC's position of weakness, it was okay to play a bit of political jujitsu and let stuff pass in the HOC knowing it would expire "in the process" behind the scenes somewhere. However, I thought that those days of weakness were all behind us now and it would be possible to fight some of these battles in broad daylight.

It appears I was mistaken.

IP21C is the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act (read Geist for background). This is another bill that I have assumed will go nowhere. However, Roblaw (a decent Libertarian-type dude who visits occasionally and argues with Ti-Guy) tells me it resembles previous, LPoC introduced legislation, and so perhaps there will be discussions re "How do we weasel out of this one without looking SoC?" in LPoC backrooms over the summer.

Frankly, this looks to me like the kind of legislation (like C-15) more likely to split the Tory constituency rather than progressives, and therefore something LPoC could safely stand tall against, but what do I know?

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Lifesite

...can be found right here in Dennis Gruending's latest. Concentrating mostly on the "scandal" surrounding The Canadian Catholic aid agency Development and Peace (D&P), which I admit to not having followed closely, the piece has all kinds of interesting background on everyone's favorite militant Catholic website: the Campaign Life Coalition, as does Alphonse de Valk of the notorious Catholic Insight magazine.

Best one-line characterization of Lifesite I've read: One might describe such a mindset as that of a Catholic Taliban.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our International Nightmare Is Over

I loved The Jackson Five. The last, what, 20 years have been kind of a scar on Western civilization. Explained here:

And of course there's the whole Paedophilia thing.

Your Totally Toxic Tory Moment For Thurs June 25

In which Mohammed Hudak calls around soliciting support for his brother Tim.

I am beginning to understand the Tory position on firearms, because if I were going to their convention this weekend, I'd probably want to be packing one.

Liberal MPP Shows TO The Love

At a news conference promoting a cabinet shuffle yesterday morning, [Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra] Pupatello, who hails from Windsor, was asked what she thinks about the reaction of Toronto resident to the city's strike.

When leaving the room, she said to one reporter, "bunch of babies."

Of course this begs the question: when Windsor's 11 week garbage strike comes to an end, will anyone notice?

Quite a comment outta someone from a city whose main economic claim to fame are a few casinos and their accompanying sex trade workers.

PS. Apparently, Pupatello is a LIBERAL MPP!!! OMG! This is appalling. Does no-one love Toronto? Its not like for we're Calgary, for chrissakes. We got an opera house! The streets go both ways!

BCL In The Mark

After receiving a kind invitation from Jeff Anders, I decided that I would try my luck writing for The Mark, one of those nifty on-line media outlets that have been springing up recently. Its particularly interesting for the way in which Anders and Co. are trying to reach beyond "the usual suspects" for content. As an example, here's Lib MP Keith Martin writing on marijuana decriminalization, and Tory MP Garry Breitkreuz mewling pathetically about the gun registry.
What I hope to accomplish is to have the people I am trying to contact for various pieces I'm writing respond to my emails. Saying I'm with The Mark will presumably carry more weight than telling them I'm, like, some guy with a blog. We shall see.

Anyway, my first piece is here, and my bio/photo here.

Now, a couple of things. I will be writing as M.J. Murphy, my "real" world pseud. But don't worry; it's still me. Also, in my picture I was going for the disheveled, "he got this hot by accident" look. The unkempt part comes through A-OK, but the "sexxxiness" appears to have been replaced by a dorky/pervy plus extra chin quality that has become my lot as I grow older.

And before I submitted it, I actually took that photo to one of the graphic designers at my firm. They told me that while photoshop was a wonderful program it was incapable of miracles. They also suggested that I consider liposuction.

"Art Girl" won't be getting her Xmas bonus this year.

Anyway, soon it won't matter. This blog will monetize and I'll be famous. So...Monetize, baby! Monetize NOW!!!

(PS. I hope I haven't given the impression that The Mark actually pays me. It doesn't. Its just that now...book deals...endorsements...hot chicks. Presumably they'll all be coming my way. Real soon.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There On Worse Things Than Being A Federal Liberal

Macko on the PCPO leadership race:

Hey gang, Macko here. Gang I just wanted to say that I have not seen this much hate in a confined space since the third night of my first honeymoon.

And although there are many who wish to see us unite as a party I for one am in no hurry to see this festering wound heal anytime soon. I worked at Queen's Park for 9 years and with the exception of some 4th floor blonde I woke up with beside the west doors in the fall of 97 I hated each and every one of you.

The over representation of highschool yearbook editors amongst Tory staffers is mindboggling and as far as I'm concerned you can all go straight to hell.

Otherwise, I think all of the campaigns are doing a wonderful job of entertaining me and helping me escape the harsh realities of my otherwise vapid existence.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing those of you who have yet to get on with their lives on the weekend.

You know, the MSM has done a royally crap job of covering the PCPO race. This PerezHudak guy has really picked up the ball. If I were to guess he's a laid-off journo, but who knows?

I Can Do No Better This Fine Summer Day...

...then refer you to a spot-on rant from Gerald Caplan:

The government has lost any inclination to actually introduce policies, beyond satisfying its base with regular law-and-order bollocks.


The NDP will hold a big national convention where the only faux-excitement will be an elite-led attempt to change the name to the Democratic Party. To this fine state has the party of Tommy Douglas and David Lewis descended, at a time of multiple crises with the democratic left virtually moribund. No new public policy ideas will be introduced.

And on Iggy, he states clearly what I am gradually starting to think myself--the gaffes are coming back:

As for the Liberals, they must rein in their virginal leader or see their potential for growth dissolve in smoke and mirrors. It's sad to see a man aspire to high office before he has successfully learned to fake sincerity. And it's mind-blowing that a man with no experience whatever of the political game has been given so much unilateral power to make crucial decisions for his party. He is not equipped.

If you're at a picnic with Iggy this summer, keep him away from the BBQ. I don't want to see pictures of him on CTV with his tie on fire.

(PS. Don't let him near the salad table either: he will mess with it until he's done.)

No Discernable Bias

In this document, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) discuss the effect of poor station siting on the U.S. temperature record. Employing information gathered by Anthony Watts and Co. at Surface Stations, they conducted the following experiment:

Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique. One analysis was for the full data set. The other used only the 70 stations that Surfacestations.org classified as good or best. We would expect some differences simply due to the different area covered: the 70 stations only covered 43% of the country with no stations in, for example, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee or North Carolina. Yet the two time series, shown below as both annual data and smooth data, are remarkably similar. Clearly there is no indication for this analysis that poor current siting is imparting a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.

Now, Anthony and McIntyre are bitching about Anthony's not being cited by name, but Mr. Watt's report...

Watts, A. (2009). Is The U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? Downloadable from here,

...does not contain any of the kind of analysis performed by the NOAA. So it would have been of no use to such an analysis. It looks as though the material used was pulled directly off the SS site. Note the ref. to "70% of the 1221 stations " having been surveyed. This is from the yet to be updated homepage to the site.

In any case, you can't blame the NOAA for performing an analysis Anthony Watts has been unprepared to go forward with. At this moment, accroding to his Watts Up With That website, 80% of the U.S stations have been surveyed; he promised to start work on his own time series analysis at 75%. And yet there's still nothing been done. Why, Anthony, why?

(Hint: He knows he'll get the same answer as the NOAA.)

U.S. Climate Change Bill Set To Pass House

As legislation, Waxman-Markey is a terrible mess. Hansen hates its, for example. Credits will be given away rather than auctioned; lots of special deals have been cut for the farm states. By itself it won't accomplish a lot. Nor is its passage assured in the Senate, where folks like Inhofe are looking to delay the thing to death. Nevertheless, getting a bill out of The House is an enormously important symbol; its as far as a piece of major climate change legislation has ever gone in the U.S. And if the U.S. negotiating team walks into Copenhagen with nothing, then the odds of the rest of the planet committing to significant action dwindle. So here's hoping this crappy bill passes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Your Daily Nazi: Because You Needed More

...more on Ezra's allegations re the CJC and the Canadian Nazi Party circa 1964. Just when was the 1964 CJC Plenary held? How was the food? Why didn't the CJC continue counter-demonstrations against William John Beattie in 1966 through 1970, when the Cohen Commission recommendations finally became law? What the hell were they thinking? Who are The N3, and how many Jewish community groups are out there? Does every Jew in Canada belong to multiple groups, the way there are in reality only 100 heavy metal musicians and each plays in 20 bands?

Bottom line: Ezra's allegations still don't really hold up.

Plus! Jews spied on Jews:

The Canadian Jewish Congress wasn't only spying on Nazi leader John Beattie in 1965, it was also spying on N3, its own most active critic in the Jewish community. Historian Frank Bialystok, in his book Delayed Impact, quoted a leader of N3 who said that N3 figured this out: "We went to New York to buy a bugging device[to infiltrate the neo-Nazis]... and the equipment picked up Congress's bugging device, so we knew."

You know, every community group I've every been associated with...we did stuff like holding picnics. Now I feel I've missed out.

PS. Oh yeah Ezra's got a new kid so I shall be non-rude to him for 1 (one) day.

Kelly McParland On The Ontario Tories: Yeah, They're Doomed

So there's the campaign line: Tim Hudak is a bigot. A vote for the Tories is a vote for hate. It's no more accurate than was the scaremongering over faith-based schools, but voters aren't any more likely to notice than they did last time.

Interesting in that McParland concedes that the PR war over this issue has already been lost, meaning he has come to realize that his own paper's efforts in that war (should the NP still exist in 2011) will come to nothing.

Instrospection from a journalist? If so, we have the Ed Stelmach to thank. A Tory majority in Alberta looked at its human rights law and decided the code needed to be tweaked to better serve the interests of Gays and young earth Creationists. Journalists, who had promised the government a free ride over any section 3 repeal, got stiffed. Mr. McParland I think has looked at that decision, and despaired. Good for him!

Bend Over, Torontonians, And Smell The Stink

Things I've learned about the ongoing city workers strike.

Firstly, contra the the conventional wisdom, a city "victory" over the inside/outside workers is not insured. As one unionista I overheard yesterday said, the garbagemen can "win it for the rest of them". As crap piles up in the street, pressure builds on Miller and Co.

Now here's the thing: if the union can hang on for two or three weeks without caving, until the province legislates them back to work, the dispute goes to arbitration and the union wins. All the city's hard and fast demands are suddenly subject to negotiation with the arbitrator, and any deal that emerges from that process will be far better than what the city is offering now. So that's the goal: get to arbitration.

Also, I don't buy the notion that Miller might come out of this a hero: a lefty that stood up to the unions. The more likely scenario is Rae days redux, where the mayor ends up pissing off his union allies and making no corporate friends.

Finally, I ran into some poor sucker who splits his work day between city and LCBO. The word there from the union leadership to their members is no strike. Negotiations are going relatively well. I'm still stocking up, but thank goodness for small mercies if that one settles.

Update: what I just said.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ontario Tories Have More Fun

In which anonymous Tories re purpose a "Notice of Criminal Investigation" issued during the Sask. NDP leadership race and send it around to ethnic Tories in an attempt to put them off voting.

Note the cop who wrote the letter; he's definitely Sask. RCMP. Although it looks like some local (Ontario) content has been added.

Man this leadership campaign rocks!

Here Comes El Nino

Further to my Sunday morning post:
Don't quote me on this, but I believe the broader El Nino effects occur about six months after it kicks in on the regional level, so we Canucks should start seeing them in 2010.

Brean On The CHRC

Not a bad piece by Joseph Brean in this morning's National Post. A few minor complaints. For example, contra Brean, the CHRC report does in fact address forum shopping, though not via suggested changes in the legislation:

Section 27(c) of the CHRA already provides that the Commission:

… shall maintain close liaison with similar bodies or authorities in the provinces in order to foster common policies and practices and to avoid conflicts respecting the handling of complaints in cases of overlapping jurisdiction;

Pursuant to this mandate, the Commission has initiated discussions with our counterpart provincial and territorial agencies through our collective organization, the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies. The purpose of this initiative is to work toward avoiding duplication of proceedings in the future

...and I am afraid I would not call any of the criticisms levelled against the agency by Canada's editorial board's as "sober". Witness this piece of shit from the Calgary Herald.

Richard Moon's comments from later in the story are especially interesting:

"This is my larger concern," he said. "That they [the CHRC] continue to call for what they describe as a dual approach to the regulation of hate speech, that is to say the criminal code and the human rights act. And of course, in order to kind of justify that, they have to define a distinct sphere, and a distinct role for the human rights act and the commission and the tribunal. It's unclear what that is. The only thing that really gets emphasized is that the criminal code prohibitions are about wrongful behaviour and intent is a necessary element, whereas the human rights act is not about whether there was wrongful intent or motive, it's simply about the effects or the impact of this expression on members of the community."

The problem is that, as a matter of actual practice, intent already is a requirement. The hate speech cases that have actually been pursued are "all so extreme in character that it is impossible to imagine that there is not wrongful or hateful intent," Prof. Moon said.


This is an emerging irony of Canada's messy hate speech debate. As Prof. Moon describes it, the more the CHRC emphasizes the seriousness of the hate speech it fights, "the more it looks like that should already be dealt with by criminal law, and not through the kind of process that's designed to deal with human rights complaints."

A couple of points here:

1) Moon essentially (and for about the 2nd or 3rd time) validates the CHRC's judgement in those cases it has forwarded to the CHRT (the Tribunal). In particular, he implies that the Warman cases would have, for the most part, met the CC requirement.

2) The response to the Moon report by the profoundly non-sober MSM has been to highlight his recommendation to repeal Section 13 and forget everything else. In fact, Moon suggests there (as here) that the powers now possessed by the CHRC/CHRT get redistributed to other agencies, particularly to police forces with beefed-up hate-crime squads(1). So, as I wrote earlier, while nowadays an Ezra Levant or a Marc Lemire

... might get a letter from a government bureaucrat, under the [proposed] regime they would most likely get a call from a nice policeman, and this would occur just as their websites (via section 320.1 of the CC) disappeared until said policeman could decide whether its contents met the standard .

And in so doing, Moon was anticipating Jessica Lynch's complaint from earlier in the piece that:

...when we look at the statistics, we find that there aren't a lot of specialized [police] hate teams across the country," Ms. Lynch said. "To cede, to remove our jurisdiction, would leave a gap that might persist for years or a lifetime because it would require numerous jurisdictions to step into a gap, and they may or may not be willing to resource that, etcetera, etcetera.

(1) And lets not forget his recommendation to establish a mandatory national press council.

All of which I've written a zillion times before. Is there any new news out there?

Wiki Debates

...Canada's worst kept political secret. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Interesting though if, as the article speculates, the lawyers were called in.

Link here:


...only way I could get it to work.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Would The Globe Be Demanding Concessions From Their Editorial Staff?

...which it says they're doing here.

Well, when I look at the NP Full Comment page I see 1...2...3...maybe 4 bloggers there and Conrad Black writing from his prison cell. Cranking out words for nothing, in other words. Look at the Macleans page and you see, I think, a couple more willing word slaves over there.

As for the quality: at the Post at least, arguably no worse.

As someone who thinks the blogs have played very little role in the dire straits the newspapers find themselves in, here is one effect I think they will have going forward: suppressing the market value of professional wordsters. No more escargot for Paul Wells; its nothing but Kraft Dinner as far as the eye can see.

Global Warming...Its Not Back Because It Never Went Away!!!

AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) is a long-term upward trend in global temperatures overlain upon natural climatic shifts. So, for example, one of these natural shifts is La Nina,

...the name for the cold phase of ENSO, during which the cold pool in the eastern Pacific intensifies and the trade winds strengthen. The name La Niña originates from Spanish, meaning "the little girl", analogous to El Niño meaning "the little boy". It has also in the past been called anti-El Niño.

Now, one of the more pernicious myths spread by the AGW Denialist movement has been that climate scientists did not anticipate the relatively cooler temperatures of the past two years (but only relatively cooler--even 2008 was one of the 10 warmest years on record, and '09 is tracking to be somewhat warmer than '08).

This is not the case. As far back as August, 2007, scientists at Hadley Centre in Exeter (U.K.) were forecasting chillier times ahead, and sourced La Nina as cause:

[Their] forecast...reveals that natural shifts in climate will cancel out warming produced by greenhouse gas emissions and other human activity until 2009...


Climate scientists say the new high-precision forecast predicts temperatures will stall because of natural climate effects that have seen the Southern Ocean and tropical Pacific cool over the past couple of years.

The "tropical Pacific cool" noted in the last paragraph above is our La Nina.

So far so good. But that's not the end of the story. The flip-side to La Nina is the more familiar El Niño, La Nina's warm water counterpart. The effects of El Niño on global temperatures are well known to scientists. For example, in 1998 an extremely intense El Niño gave us

...the spike on right side of the above graph which, depending on your data source, indicates the warmest or 2nd warmest year on record.

Now here comes the good part. Several months ago, talk of the next El Niño event began perculating on some of the climate science blogs, because there hasn't been one in awhile and they tend to follow La Nina events.

And, from today's Fiji News:

THE signs of a developing El Nino have strengthened in the past two weeks, says Meteorology Department director Rajendra Prasad.

As of June 17, Mr Prasad said rainfall was well below average at all observation sites, except Rotuma and Ono-i-Lau.

So lets do a full circle and return to the Hadley Center forecast from 2007:

...but from [2009 on], temperatures will rise steadily. Temperatures are set to rise over the 10-year period by 0.3C. Beyond 2014, the odds of breaking the temperature record rise even further, the scientists added.

Some have wondered whether the momentum towards action on the AGW issue could be sustained over a short stretch of less steamy weather, and indeed a few polls have shown less public support (esp. in the U.S) for the kind of actions scientists have called for.

You can't help but wonder if the negotiations leading up to Copenhagen could have come at a less fortuitous time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Libs Take A Hit

Iggy got buffeted in the press this week, and it looks like its shown up in the latest polling numbers (although its all within the margin):

But if an election were to be held tomorrow, it would be a very tight race. The Liberals (35%, down 1 point) and the Conservatives (34%, up 1 point) are in a statistical tie among decided voters, while the NDP (13%, up 1 point), and Green Party (8%, down 1 point) trail. The Bloc is at 10% support nationally (up 1 point), while 6% of voters remain undecided.

I suppose the problem with convincing everyone that the timing of the election is in your hands, is that you might get blamed for (almost) precipitating an unpopular election. That's my 1st take on these numbers, if it isn't a matter of interpreting twitches. Again, once in a campaign, I doubt anyone will care who started it, esp. if its a more conventional fall election.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

B'nai Brith's efforts to shut down the "Israel/Palestine: mapping models of statehood and prospects for peace" conference seem to have hit a rough patch. Lawyers might have become involved:

Statement regarding the Conference at York University Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace

On June 12, 2009, B'nai Brith Canada issued a community alert through its listserv Jewish Canada regarding the conference. The alert set out a list of concerns including a claim that the conference would be hosting Holocaust deniers. This particular concern arose from a quote regarding Holocaust denial attributed to Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, one of the presenters and a member of the conference’s advisory committee. The quote was found by our student intern on current live websites.

It has since come to our attention that this quote was and continues to be erroneously attributed to Mr. Abunimah by such websites. The quote that we attributed to Mr. Abunimah appears in an article written by somebody wholly different than him and in no way associated with him. On learning this, we immediately corrected our records and documents, removed the mistaken information from our website and notified the universities involved. This statement is also being sent over JewishCanada.

B'nai Brith Canada regrets this specific error and apologizes to Mr. Abunimah, the conference organizers, York University, Queen’s University, and the other sponsors and funders for any confusion or distress that this mistaken attribution may have caused.

In our June 12 alert we also state that the conference was hosting presenters who “advocate for the destruction of the Jewish state,” “reject compromise” and “justify terrorism” as well as raising concern of the conference’s overall anti-Israel thrust. These concerns still stand. We arrived at these concerns as a result of quotations taken from statements made by conference presenters. The conference organizers have raised concern that these quotations were taken out of context. We will be posting links to the full text of the articles containing the quotations cited therein on our website
http://www.bnaibrith.ca/files/action_alert.htm so that the public can judge the full context of the quotations and the statements from which they were taken for themselves.

If you follow the links, which our student intern apparently did not do, the original quote was almost certainly discovered here, which attributes this piece to Mr. Abunimah. But the piece in question is pretty clearly labelled "By Khalid Amayreh".
Always clicky the linky, as they say.
Incidentally, the "Discover the Networks: A Guide to the Political Left" website also has this entry for Barack Obama in which the whole "Obama is a Muslim" myth is rehashed.
Ahh, the marvelous intertubes! I hope BB employed a few other data sources.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Those Poor, Poor Children, Redux

New Brunswick students will soon be hearing "O Canada" at the start of studies each day.

Not the Hendrix version. Not the rap version. Just the old bullshit version of the most boring song on the planet with those incomprehensible verses in French. Those poor kids will probably grow up to be crackheads and ride around on motorcycles killing people as a result of the trauma.

And, believe it or not, this is supposed to have something to do with turning it all around in Afghanistan. Punishing our kids is supposed to frighten the Taliban. Might as well drop your pants and fart in the general direction of the Mid-East.

An Election Now...In September...It Doesn't Matter

...because the economy, the issue that trumps all others, is still going to suck in the Fall. Everyone go enjoy the summer, except for Iggy and his circle, who should be huddled somewhere creating policy. Any policy, really, I don't even have to like it. Just so Iggy has something to say when they stick a Mic in his face.

Me On The CHRC

Some twerp at Western Standard has been talking trash about the stuff I have written re the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Ezra Levant, Nazis...etc. etc.

He writes:

Academic and blogger Marc Bourrie had a good post recently on the Orwellian tactics of Commissar Lynch and the CHRC. Given that he has done doctoral research on the history of state censorship in Canada, his opinions on this matter carry some weight.

But there's another reason why his post is worth reading, for if you take a look at the comments section you will discover everything you need to know about the intellectual bankruptcy of the port side of the Canadian blogosphere. In response to Bourrie's reasoned criticisms of the HRCs, the luminaries of Canada's nutroots - Dawgie and BCL in particular - have nothing to say. They evince no concern about due process, the rule of law, free speech rights, Warman's internet shenanigans, etc. No, for them the real issue is Ezra Levant's honesty (Robert McClelland calls him a "lying douchebag" in the first comment.

Nothing to say?

Well, indeed I have written alot on Ezra's varous allegations. Because most of the ensuing debate hinges on their accuracy. Here's just a few wherein I believe I have managed to establish that one or another of his claims are false, either through original research or by citing the work of others:

On his false allegations re the creation of the Canadian Nazi Party by the CJC: here, here, and here.

On his false allegations (recycled from White Nationalist sources) re the "hacked wifi" controversy: here, here, here, here, here, and here. And that's probably not all of them.

On his false allegations re the Cools post (also recycled from White Nationalist sources): here, here, here, here, here, here. And these are just the more important ones.

On Ezra's tenuous grasp of the complexities of the various provincial and federal human rights codes/laws etc: here, here, here, and esp. here (wherein I realized Ezra didn't understand what section of the B.C. code was actually at issue).

On Ezra's doubts re the existence of Bill White (American Neo-Nazi, now bound for the BigHouse thanks in part to Richard Warmen).

On Ezra's claim that Section 13 has been suspended (due to the brave work of himself, Ezra Levant).

And that's not half the stuff I've written. Anything I have said about Mr. Levant's accuracy has been sourced up the wazoo from multiple places.

But wait! Its not just about Ezra here at BCLSB, not even when it comes to the issues surrounding Canadian HRCs/HRTs (including the "problems" with the way they operate! For example:

On Warman's "shenanigans": here.

And on the Moon reports recommendations: here, here, here, here, and here.

On the Topham case (which is an example of "Left" anti-semitism and therefore, come to think of it, a refutation of Ezra's charge that HRCs/HRTs only target Conservatives).

On B'nai Brith's recommendations re the CHRC/CHRT.

Anyway, that is a small selection. I would just add that whenever I have made an error in writing about any of these matters, I have corrected it as quickly and openly as possible. That is what you do when you are concerned with facts. On the other hand, I doubt Ezra has every acknowledged error in any of the cases above, and others involved in the debate (Mark Steyn) have refused to pull false and in fact defamatory material from their websites when asked.

I would put this up against anything Mr. Yirush has attempted on the issue. Or anything Mr. Bourrie as done, come to think of it, Mr. Bourrie being a generally intelligent person who gets all tribal when he sees real or imaginary threats to the journalistic profession. In fact I would suggest that both men read some of the material before suggesting that I have been conducting an empty smear campaign.

One Issue Leadership Campaign => One Issue Election

Fate of Human Rights Tribunal dominates Tory leadership debate
Hudak's rights plan called 'toxic' politics

Meanwhile, the Natty Post says lick that 3rd rail--but carefully! PS. They still haven't figured out Klees' position yet.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My New Hero

Parker Donham deserves all the attention he is getting. Go blogosphere! MSM sucks! Natty Post, TO Sun, G&M...quit squealing while we club you to death!

Man That's Cold

P.C. Leadership Candidate Tim Hudak was building his leadership campaign website even as John Tory was in the process of flaming out.

When Da Union Tells You To March

...you march, no matter what the pundits opine. And it looks like the City of T.O. staffers are being ordered off to war. Lots of rumors circulating: next week? the week after? out three days? out three weeks? rotating strikes (that's one I've heard from a couple of places)?

Bottom line is, the poor dear wifey has had to cancel her upcoming dental appointment (the claim might not get processed in time), and will be looking for ways to make a few bucks if things stretch out over a week. Anyone need to have their kid taught figure-skating?

By the way: she hates the idea. Most of them do. But you don't have a lot of choice in these matters.

Whites Only Signs: Catholic Insight Is Cool With 'Em

From their website:

In what he describes as “an essential first step to refocusing the Ontario Human Rights Commission on its original mandate,” Klees introduced a private member’s bill into the Legislature on June 4 to repeal Section 13 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

However, this is a relatively innocuous provision of the code that prohibits the display of “any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other similar representation” that indicates an intention to violate or incite others to violate a ban on discrimination in the code. Unlike human rights legislation in Alberta and British Columbia, neither Section 13 nor any other provision of the Ontario code authorizes the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal to censor newspaper and magazine articles.

Repealing Section 13 is a good idea, but it would do little to safeguard freedom of expression in Ontario and nothing at all to stop the OHRT from suppressing the freedoms of conscience, religion and association for the benefit of feminists, gay rights activists, racial minorities and other groups designated for preferred treatment in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

You know, the folks at Catholic Insight want you to think they're nothing but good Christians suffering under the government jackboot, but in reality--and as I think this kind of response demonstrates--they're a far right freak-show whose primary use for The Bible is as a mud-flap to deflect criticism when they go off a gay-bashing. No wonder they keep getting in trouble with the law.

Meanwhile, the light continues to dawn! Bashing HRCs is a vote evaporator! Too late, suckah's! Take it off the agenda, and next election McGuinty will just argue its on the hidden agenda!

(By the way, a quick explanation for the headline is here.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hitler Banned!

Can't see how this isn't a violation of somebody's copyright, but it is funny.

Iggy's Face Shines With Transplendent Glory

He wins an opposition day in late Sept....another chance to bring down the gov. if his advisers give him the election go call.

All joking and expressions of misplaced idealism aside, this looks like a fine outcome to me. Iggy comes across looking serious and, at times, damned sexxxy. Meanwhile Jack Layton has been observed talking to animals. Not too Prime Ministerial, Jack.

Comes The Dawn

I wanted to take another crack at the results of an Ipsos poll that came out yesterday. It asked Ontario voters:

Would you consider voting for the Ontario PC Party in the next election if its newly elected leader supported scrapping Ontario's human rights tribunal?

...and they basically responded (75%) with a hearty "Hell no!". Some PCPO supporters are just coming to realize what's happening with their leadership race. From the BT forum:

Its a very stuipid political plan. While the plan may resonate with an element of the base, and make you party leader, its something the Liberals will beat you over the head iwth in a general election.


Promising to `scrap`them is a huge strategic mistake which gives our opposition a huge target in the next election. I would question the leadership ability of anybody who promises to scrap them.

From Christian Conservative:

It's still bothering me, I thought it had been all sorted out, but I heard Tim talking about the HRC issue again. To me, it's the third rail of this race... you touch it and you're dead.

And (just to sum up) what has happened is that two of the four leadership candidates (alleged front runner Tom Hudak and rural seperatist Randy Hillier), who have vowed to abolish the tribunal, have rendered themselves unelectable in Ontario. I would further argue that Frank Klees' more modest proposal, to allow "Whites Only" signs and "No Irish Need Apply" want ads back in the province, would prove similarly unpalatable to Ontario voters should he become PCPO leader.

That leaves us with Christine Elliot--moderate, female--the McGuinty government's worst nightmare (and Warren Kinsella's!). But, no! She may be among the front runner's at this point, but Christine is too damn Liberal and incorrectly gendered for the PCPO base. Watch an "anyone but Christine" movement to appear between now and the convention. Whispers of rebellion are already in the air!

So in the end we will wind up with the Ontario Conservative Party embracing a totally toxic policy, making Kinsella's job in the McGuinty war-room next time out trivially easy, and a Liberal government in Ontario from now until the cows come home.

I remember a case on our side of the fence, when the federal libs ran on a "tax on everything". We knuckled down and maintained a brave face and prayed that the whole damn thing wouldn't go nuclear. Fun stuff! Soon it will be the turn of my Ontario conservative brothers to learn what happens when you walk up to one of the third rails of Canadian politics and start licking it.

PS. A bit of a mini-kerfuffle blew up last when it was revealed that he Elliot campaign paid for the poll in question. Mind you, IPSOS has a rep to maintain and probably wouldn't juice its questions too severely, and in any case (see 1st link above), Elliot's people have released the poll. Other than the use of the term "scrap", which Hudak and Hillier have employed on several occasions, nothing seems too untoward about it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So Go Ahead Make My Day

Asked if they'd consider the Ontario PC Party as an alternative to Dalton McGuinty's Liberals in the next election, 42.6% of respondents said yes, 38.8% no.

Asked whether they'd consider voting the same way if the PC party's new leader wanted to scrap the [Ontario Human Rights] tribunal, that support plunged to 25.2%. In that scenario, 44.5% said they wouldn't vote for the PCs.

Hope they're listening on Parliament Hill.

Harper: An American Perspective

Harper makes Colbert, is ridiculed for shopping at Talbot's.

(PS. I haven't seen the lead-up to this but I am assuming Colbert was talking about Khadafi's dress habits.)

Their Next Target?

A late-term abortionist [LeRoy Carhart] has said he will perform limited late-term abortions in Nebraska and plans to open a Kansas facility, too. His announcement comes on the heels of the murder of Wichita abortionist George Tiller.

By the way: what's the difference between Abdulhakim Muhammad and Scott Roeder? Answer: only one is facing terrorism charges.
Guess which one.

Johnny Come Home

Absent a run by Pinball, John Tory is probably the best crack at removing Mayor Miller from the TO Mayor's office. An interesting tid-bit rom the NP article; the other potential candidates so far include:

Within council, Karen Stintz (Eglinton Lawrence), Denzil Minnan-Wong (Don Valley East) and Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre) have all been contemplating a run.

Although I must say Denzil's office has occasionally done me a good turn, he does not possess the necessary maturity for the mayor's office. Some of his stunts--not rising to congratulate Miller on his victory--are sophomoric, and he's a Johnny one-note on taxes (he's against them...always).

My wife--who works for the City on some of their youth programs--loves Michael Thompson. He's an Afro-Canadian, associated with the Liberal party (so says the wife), and to the right on council. Apparently, he has been able to pursue a fairly independent agenda without making too many enemies.

Ms. Stintz I don't know much about.

In any case, the conventional wisdom in the article is correct: you want a candidate not associated with the NDP in the Toronto mayor's office, you settle on one guy/gal and convince everyone else to stay out of the race. Probably that one guy in this case is John Tory.

Our Guy Is Way More Handsomer

How can anyone look at this picture and think otherwise? I mean, Harper has barely any neck. And, what, is that a haircut or did somebody mow his head?

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Stockwell Day Spent His Weekend

I got handcuffed once and harassed twice, forcing me to avoid arrest by coughing up a quick bribe. That was nothing compared to our new MLA, Minister Ben Stewart who came with $1500 to get out of jail. Good work Ben!

He's talking about one of these. Nice he can still crack wise with this still going on.

Gary Goodyear: Master Of All Sciency Stuff

Looks like Federal science minister Gary Goodyear has managed, as it were, to put the fear of God into the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC):

In January, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) gave $17,815 to York University in Toronto and Queen's University in Kingston to host a conference 22–25 June entitled 'Israel/Palestine: Mapping models of statehood and prospects for peace.' On 5 June, Goodyear asked the council to conduct a “second peer review” of the grant on the grounds that “several individuals and organizations have expressed their grave concerns that some of the speakers have, in the past, made comments that have been seen to be anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic.” In March, the minister infamously ducked an inquiry about his belief in evolution by saying: “I am a Christian, and I don't think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate.”

Yesterday the funding council took a small step toward mollifying one of its political masters by announcing that it is “looking into the matter in the context of its policies and procedures.” But SSHRC spokesperson Trevor Lynn noted that, 'to my knowledge,” the council has never conducted a second peer review of an approved grant. SSHRC program guidelines state that minor changes to a conference, such as the addition of a topic or replacement of speakers, do not require the agency's approval, whereas organizers are expected to tell the council of any major alterations in the use of the grant, such as “changing the theme or focus of the event.”

Mr. Goodyear's kibitzing has also managed to drive off two of the conference speakers. More details at Prometheus. Dave Bruggeman notes:

My take is that the pressure on the minister is to shut down the event, denying that it could possibly be about reasoned inquiry.

PS. Here's the conference program. Feel free to examine it for signs of anti-semitism.

...With A Whimper

Dhallagate sputters to its final conclusion, though The CRC is still ragin' against it.

Tories Court Media

[Stephen Maher] said that he's heard that 'vicious, scandalous rumours' are being spread about him, and he believes the source is a Tory staffer. Mr. Maher said he doesn't think the rumours, which he declined to elaborate on, only saying they were in reference to his 'personal conduct,' have attained wide currency, though he was obviously rattled by them.

I'd make a wager on the staffer in question but, given the nature of the Tory beast, I suppose it could almost be any of them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Christine Elliott Attacked By Far Right Freak For Her Mainstream Views

Mark (resemblin' hate speech) Steyn tees off on Ontartio PC Leadership Candiate Christine Elliot:

In Ontario, Christine Elliott, a candidate for the leadership of the so-called "Conservative" party, is praised by the media for offering a more emollient conservatism predicated on "the need to take care of vulnerable people."

Look, by historical standards, we're loaded: We have TVs and iPods and machines to wash our clothes and our dishes. We're the first society in which a symptom of poverty is obesity: Every man his own William Howard Taft. Of course we're "vulnerable": By definition, we always are. But to demand a government organized on the principle of preemptively "taking care" of potential "vulnerabilities" is to make all of us, in the long run, far more vulnerable. A society of children cannot survive, no matter how all-embracing the government nanny.

Mark sees an ideal society as a scene from 300, where suppressed homosexual beefcakes run around in their briefs culling the herd waving very large, very sharp swords.

Meanwhile, Frank Klees is promising more magic--A CHARTER OF ONTARIO PROPERTY RIGHTS, no less--to appease the rural separatists out in Lanark. Next he'll repeal the law of gravity.

h/t Perez Hudak, who dishes all the dirt daily.

How Broke Is CanWest?

Too broke to pay their own lawyers.

So can I start defaming ferret face now?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Western Standard On C-15

See, we are told by Liberal insiders that Liberal support for C-15 makes a certain amount of twisted sense if it is considered in the light of some cold political calculus: we want a crack at the Tory "tough on crime" voter. But, on this issue, how many votes does that amount to? There is a whole swath of the Conservaverse--ably represented by the lads at Western Standard--that demand some measure of effectiveness as well as "toughness" out of our drug laws. For them, C-15 is a load of crap, for reasons your typical progressive is likely to be familiar with.

It sounds to me like the Libs are selling their souls for a terribly thin slice of the electorate. (Otherwise somebody show me some polls demonstrating otherwise)

His Legacy Is Secure

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has received the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations' highest honour for expanding the country's network of national trails.


The extension of the trail system was part of the government's stimulus plan.

Snow-shovel ready projects, I guess you'd call them.

I Don't Care

...if Iggy pulls the trigger or not, inasmuch as it is really up to him.

1) If he does, the odds are very much against anyone's blaming him for a "summer election" for more than three days into the resultant campaign. Nobody blamed Harper last time, if you recall.

2) If Iggy doesn't, the economy will suck this fall and well into next year, and therefore so too will Harper's polling numbers. Even if, and its a big if, the recession technically ends, it will "feel" as though things are lousy for several years afterwards. Last time around, the recovery might have begun in 1991-1992, but my company (for example) was still down-sizing in 1998.

And even though, technically speaking, the Great Depression ended in 1933, people look back on the '30s as being pretty uniformly miserable. So no worries on that front.

While from one perspective--the political junkie's--I would love to see an election every three months, from another I would prefer to drink beer and hang around the BB all summer. So either way I'm cool with it.

Black Liquor Takes Down Skookumchuck

Tembec said Thursday it is shutting down its Skookumchuck mill, citing the U.S. black liquor subsidy as a prime cause.

I've written about the U.S. "black liquor" subsidy on a number of occasions. It is apparently starting to bite (although, if you run a mill or any other kind of business, and there is an excuse to blame the shutdown of that business of some piece of regulation rather than poor business practices, you will inevitably use it, won't you?).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CHRC Recommendations

From their "Special Report to Parliament: Freedom of Expressionand Freedom from Hate in the Internet Age":

1) Keep Section 13.

2) Amend CHRA so def. of "hate" is in accordance with Tayler.

3) Lack on intent provision is no big deal, as Commission "routinely considers the context of an alleged hate message."

4) No statutory requirement for legal representation (a point Ezra never acknowledges), but costs can be awarded "in exceptional circumstances where the Tribunal finds that a party has abused the Tribunal process." As has already been done at least once in B.C.

5) Amend CHRA to more swiftly dismiss "section 13 complaints when messages do not meet the narrow definition of hatred or contempt."

6) Continue to let individuals (in addition to the commission) file complaints.

7) Move to end "forum shopping", which in any event is a rare occurrence.

8) Repeal section allowing fines against section 13 complaints. Keep penalties (paid to complainant).

Here's the full .pdf.

British National Party (BNP) Also Anti-Science

It isn't particularly surprising that the BNP (British National Party), given its overall position on the English political dial, is "skeptical" of the science behind AGW. But you can tell much about a Conservative by the quality of their denialism. And in the case of the BNP, its pretty low. Here's an excerpt from the first edition of "The Comet", their newsletter for British youth:

Admittedly, it is a very nice graph:
...but if you've followed this blog for any length of time you will have seen it before, because I've written about Cliff & Randy Mann's Long Range Weather before.

Not to repeat myself, but here's the short version; their long-range weather predictions are based upon biblical exegesis.

Good luck to my English readers (assuming I have any, that is).

Dhallapalooza: The End Is Near

Most likely, with the release of yesterday's "minority report" on Ruby Dhalla's nanny problems, you will see the issue fade from the public eye. Just a few final comments, then.

Having spent about two months following the issue (on English language Sikh forums, Filipino Canadian media outlets, and Brampton-area message boards), it seems clear that not everyone in the relevant communities is enamored with either Ms. Dhalla or her family's business practices. And I probably would not want to work for them as a domestic (although that basement apartment does look rather sweet).

But never did that old saying "Let's not make a federal case of it" ring so true. A couple of workers have trouble with their employer, quit after less than a month's service, and turn parliament into a monkey show. You can't but agree with the minority report's main conclusion: that this was an exercise in partisan politics designed to damage Ms. Dhalla's standing in the community and wreck her re-election hopes.

Given what the latest Ekos polls show about the Libs standing in Ontario, these efforts have apparently failed.

Your Daily Nazi: Holocaust Museum Shooter's Canadian Connections!

In 1996, long before he became a Speechy warrior, and pre-Heritage Front, Marc Lemire, who Connie Fournier now regrets banning from Free Dominion, and who Mark Steyn once described as having done "sterling work" in his Section 13 constitutional challenge, was flogging audio-tapes of Ernst Zundel's Zundel Radio broadcasts over Toronto FreeNet, a kind of clumsy pre-Internet BBs service that I remember well (they also had a writer's forum).

In any case, several of the interviews Ernst recorded (and Marc presumably profited from the sale of) were:

# 57 and # 58. James von Brunn, American artist and businessman, talks with EZ about his failed attempt to arrest, at gun point, the Board Members ofthe Federal Reserve in Washington. Von Brunn was arrested, tried andconvicted to 8 years' imprisonment in a federal penitentiary byquestionable legal maneuvers.

(Note: if you click through the link to Nizkor, scroll way down, as its a big file.)

And, yeah, its our guy--"artist", Holocaust denier, and murderer James W. von Brunn; the incident he is talking about is described in greater detail here. In that piece, Michael Tomasky asks:

So this is the second act of right-wing terror, the first being the murder of Dr. Tiller, in a mere three weeks. These are terrorists, as surely as Zawahiri is. Will Rush Limbaugh and the other demagogues like him call them that?

And I would just add: does that mean that all the folks above--Connie, Mark, Marc, and so forth-- have (admittedly tentative) connections to right-wing terror?

We'll just let that question hang in the air, and hum some ominous music.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When The NDP Wants To Do Something, Anything

...they write-up up a whack of by-laws and form a commission, because more bureaucracy is always the answer.

Actually, another great piece by Dennis Gruending on the federal New Democrats attempt to reach out to faith-based groups and religiously motivated individuals through its recently created Faith and Social Justice Commission. Mr. Gruending deserves more readers, although I think sometimes his material is too calm and meticulously reasoned for the blogosphere. I'd suggest he throw in the occasional "boobies" gag, but I get the impression that just isn't where his head is at.

In any case, from the article:

[NDP MP] Comartin says that he has seen a change occurring among faith-based groups in the past four or five years. “We are witnessing a shift from the primary focus of these groups being right wing and based upon what they call family values back to a more left of centre position. These people are increasingly concerned about peace, poverty and the environment and they are coming at it from a more progressive perspective.”

Ducasse and Comartin agree that Barrack Obama’s effective outreach to faith-based groups during his presidential campaign in 2008 was an important development. Comartin says, “Faith groups in the U.S. became active on behalf of the Democrats in the way that they had been for the Republicans in earlier times. This arose from pastors and others seeing the problems that people in their congregations and their communities were facing, and they became involved in politics because of their faith and their desire to create change. Political leaders are recognizing this.”

Interesting that, down in the States, both Republicans and Dems. are fighting over the "less religious" vote.