Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tim Hudak: The Hits Keep Coming

Hudak not good for rural Ontario
County council cringes at Hudak claim

I would say Tim Hudak's promise to through $500,000,000 worth of costs back onto the municipalities is the John Tory moment of campaign 2011.  Except there's still time for more flub-ups.

Why I Stopped Voting NDP

Because the NDP, both federally and provincially, has always been an alliance between labor and green groups.  In my experience, whenever the values of these two wings came into conflict, the green wing got unceremoniously hosed.

Its happening again.

CASMO In Dutch Again

This story is a bit long in the tooth now, but it does give you a good notion of who the Ford regime at City Hall listen and respond to.  CASMO, if you don't remember them, are the Canadian Shia Muslims Organization, and their greatest claim to fame thus far is to have hosted a number of videos of ex KKK head David Duke criticizing the state of Israel.  They eventually removed the clips, but only after a couple of days, entreaties from The American Muslim organization, and threats from the CJC and York Region police.  Given this, one might question the sincerity of such declarations as the one below, which CASMO slapped up on their website after the incident:
...and somebody did question them.  Last week, when one of the bloggers in Shaidle's orbit noted that CASMO was renting city property for a al Quds Day dinner and seminar, they launched a phone and email campaign.  What I find striking is the prompt and  response they got:

 This week, upon learning that the event was to take place on city property and was a potential violation of the City's Anti-Discrimination Policy, Mayor Rob Ford's Office and a number of City Councillors including Councilors Doug Ford and James Pasternak, wanted to put a stop to it. For that to happen, a ruling on compliance with the City's anti-Discrimination Policy was required and that was initially left to Uzma Shakir, the Director of the City's Office of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights.

Councillor Pasternak said "There is no way that this group (CASMO) should be allowed to hold an event on City Property. The nature of the group indicates that they could not possibly comply with the City's values of respect and tolerance. I'm dismayed that a City facility would consider allowing this event to take place and am doing what I can to stop it happening."

However the event will indeed take place. The Mayor and Councillor Doug Ford have expressed their deep disappointment in the ruling made late Thursday afternoon by the City Manager; that CASMO's evening of deploring the middle east's only liberal democracy can go ahead at the Centennial Centre. Councillor Ford's office voiced disgust with the ruling and made the statement that, "We don't believe City facilities should be allowed to be used by one community to denounce another."

Sources at City Hall have said that Ms Shakir's initial notes suggested that she felt that the CASMO al QudsShakir and other staff.


For now, CASMO's evening of anti-Israel rhetoric will go ahead as scheduled. However the group was given a stern warning from City officials that if anything resembling hate speech occurs during their al Quds Day program on City property, they will be not receive any such approval for any event in the future. In an unprecedented move, the City is going to send a Supervisor to monitor CASMO's al Quds Day Seminar at the Centennial Centre to ensure that they comply with City policies.

Now, I was skeptical, but via emails from Doug Ford and James Pasternak's office, can confirm that events played out more or less as described above.  In fact, Doug Ford's Admin office even confirmed that, while the event went ahead, the group was given a warning and the city sent along an observer.

Now, I wouldn't normally approve of a community group being hassled like this, especially as a result of action by Shaidle and Co., but given CASMO's past behavior I would make an exception here.  Sometimes folks gotta be schooled, and sometimes that process is a bit like teaching a donkey.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Change We Can All Believe In

I give you the PCPO's new campaign slogan: "Change Tim Hudak".
Works for me.

PS.  Its from the front of their new bus.

Tim Horton's Orders You To Drink More Plonk!

Reminds me of this movie.  Anyway, no thanks; I'll stick with the gay coffee from Satanbucks.  Or go to Coffee Crime, where the toilets are revolting but they have free wifi.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dalton McGuinty, You Magnificent Bastard: Part III

 I do a "Dalton McGuinty: You Magnificent Bastard" post whenever Dalton unveils a policy I think is  maudlin, stupid, chintzy, cheesy, or entirely unrealizable--but also a honkin' huge vote getter.  His plan to reinstate the house call, to spend more taxpayers' money coddling greedy geezers, is one such policy. 

On the other hand, this week Tim Hudak went before the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) and told them that, if elected, he was going to download $500,000,000 worth of costs onto them!  Every mayor in the land was there, and they all went home and told their local newspapers that property taxes would go up under a Hudak government.  That's like scoring a three-pointer in basketball...on your own team.

We also recently found out that Tim Hudak used to get small with MaryJane back in University.  But given these other events my theory is that he's still puffing, and that Liberal War Roomer Kinsella is his supply, and that Warren's cutting it with something harsh and dissonant. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On Jim Karygiannis

 I don't really know much about the Jim Karygiannis thing.  It seems a co-ordinated smear-job.  He is accused of questioning former Tory candidate Harry Tsai's competence in the English language, and this is being interpreted as a racial slur:

Harry Tsai told The Huffington Post Canada that Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis called him Friday afternoon to tell him that he had seen a press release from his organization calling for Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae to fire him from his critic’s post.

“I don’t think he was very pleased,” Tsai said. “(Karygiannis) said, ‘ I don’t care what you guys write. It won’t affect me. And I’m glad you can write.’ He kept saying, ‘I’m glad you can write English,’” Tsai said.

Now, Mr Karygiannis claims he never said that.  But, just for fun, here's a sample of Mr. Tsai's English:

You can save $$ on car insurance premium !!

The insurance companies increase everyone’s insurance premium even if you have a perfect and long driving record. Why!? It’s simply because everyone is paying for others’ high claim from car theft and accidents. In Manitoba, the province has successfully lowered car theft rate by 75% since the implemention of ULC-S338/98 qualified immobilizers equipped in vehicles. If the Ontario government is paying attention to the solutions which can bring overall car theft rate, so can everyone’s car insurance rate.

That's from one of the comment threads Mr. Tsai has spammed in the past to promote his business. Yes, Mr. Tsai is a comment spammer.

And actually, here's a Tory blogger from the riding complaining about the quality of Mr. Tsai's campaign literature.

So, is it racist to tell somebody their writing sucks if their writing sucks? 

Free Dominion Loses For Good And All

 Some background here.

Ottawa human rights lawyer Richard Warman had already won on this issue, but the Fourniers requested leave to make yet another appeal, which was turned down yesterday.  The upshot is that they will have to cough up IP addresses and other information on the anonymous posters who, Warman alleges, defamed him on the Free D Forum.  And of course the defamation lawsuit against them and other FreeD participants will now go forward, presumably. 

More generally, the four-part legal test noted above seems to have become the strandard in Canadian law for determining where the balance between protecting on-line privacy and applying defamation laws lies in particular instances.

Finally, the Fourniers will need to cough up costs, probably in the low five digits. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And Barbara Kay Is A Bitch

 That is all.

Ah, but not quite all: BK invokes "rules" for deciding who gets a state funeral, and says giving Jack one wouldn't be according to Hoyle.  But that's bullshit. In the end its all up to the PM.

Blatchford's Column

The Naylor tweet, incidentally, is degrees worse that Blatchford's now infamous column, which in comparison seems merely stupid and insensitive. Her argument, as I read it, is that Mr. Layton's final  letter to Canadians was a political rather than personal document, and this therefore cheapens the occasion of his death.

But of course Mr Layton was a politician and, contrary to common belief, this is not a character flaw. For some, at least, it is a job. And in reality the letter shows Jack Layton fulfilling his duties as leader of the nation's official opposition right up to the very  end. Faced with his own eminent death, Layton systematically considered how news of it would play out in various corners of the public space, and tried his best to craft words that would send events in a slightly more positive direction. Hence his remarks specifically directed to other cancer patients,  to Quebecers, to fellow party members, and so forth. 

And of course the result is a political document, with all the flaws such things are heir to.  How could it not be?  The man didn't write it for kicks.  He was working at the time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dave Naylor Forgiven

Mr. Naylor, whose tweet re Jack Layton's death probably marks the lowest point of the last 24 hours, will not be losing his job.  From Bourque (who I assume has picked it up from somewhere solid, though he doesn't provide a link):

"... the sentiments expressed by Mr. Naylor on his personal twitter account are not those of the Sun. I would ask that you judge us by our 10 pages of coverage on Mr. Layton's passing. As for Mr. Naylor, I have spoken to him at length today and he couldn't feel worse about his tweet yesterday. He deleted the comment shortly after it was posted and apologized. He has also volunteered to make a donation in Jack Layton's name to the Alberta Cancer Society. We don't condone the type of tone in Mr. Naylor's tweet but any further reprimands coming to Mr. Naylor are obviously an internal issue and not one I would be comfortable sharing beyond our immediate company. I assure you we don't take cancer lightly nor do we condone this type of tasteless social media commentary." - Jose Rodriguez, Edtor-in-Chief.

PS. An interesting thing.  Naylor does appear to have deep-sixed the relevant tweet, but he's still talking tough a day later ("haven't deleted a thing") .  Mr. Rodriguez might want to ask to find out just who is being bullshitted.

Trembler In T.O.?

Not as strong as last year's.  But pretty definitely one.  Anyone else notice?

Update:  Yuppers.  Deets here.  5.2. Located somewhere near Richmond, Virginia, it seems.

Some pics of damage (Warning! Disaster Porn!)

Very Large Loopholes

UBC climate scientist Simon Donner looks at the Tory govs' new regulations on carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants, and spots a couple of "get out of jail free cards" for polluters hidden within them:

1. Any coal plants built before July, 2015 are exempt. Given the expected shift towards natural gas in the next few years, it is entirely possible that the regulations will not end up applying to any coal-burning plants, as all the coal-burning plants will be "grandfathered" in.

2. Any coal plants built after July, 2015 are exempt until 2025 so long as it is technologically possible to install a CCS system [Carbon Capture System] by 2025. Therefore, CCS systems are unlikely to be operating at any large scale coal plants in Canada for another 15 years. This delay may reflect the technological challenge of CCS or the values of the current government, or both.

As for point 2), this is probably an admission on the part of the CDN government that they don't expect a functional CCS to be available for over a decade, if ever.  I am reminded of the words of Richard Courtney, PR guy for British Coal, who once wrote:

There is opposition to power generation systems that emit CO2 as waste (this is similar to opposition to nuclear power systems that emit radioactive waste). A response to the opposition is neeeded until the AGW scare is ended. And claims of carbon sequestration (cs) provide that needed response although everybody knows cs would be too expensive for it to be used.

It doesn't have to work; it just has to be.

Actually, Simon has updated the first paragraph a bit:

1. Any coal plants built before July, 2015 which have not reached the end of their useful life [ed - see comment #1] are exempt. Given the expected shift towards natural gas in the next few years, it is entirely possible that the regulations will not end up applying to any coal-burning plants unless they are old units, as all the other coal-burning plants will be "grandfathered" in. [ed - fair?]

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Bye Jack


Warrent Still Required?

 Imp notes an important aside in Julian Fantino's speech to the Association of Chiefs of Police

The [lawful access] legislation will require internet service providers to share subscriber information under warrant.

If this has been reported correctly, its an important (and sensible) step-back.  Not that there isn't still probably stuff to complain about in the new bill (which, admittedly, has not been introduced yet).   For example, it would still presumably require ISPs build up an expensive tech infrastructure to comply with police requests.  You'll still be paying through fees to your ISP for them to spy on you on the gov's behalf. 

On the other hand, the clause that clarifies how hate speech laws apply to the Internet seems fairly innocuous.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One Good Tern Deserves Another

...and indeed the wifey and me saw a pair of Sterna hirundo fishing in the storm water pond near our apartment this morning.  They were after the pond's teeming population of feral goldfish.  They'd do semi circular-passes over the pond surface at about 15 meters up, and when they saw something, stall out and plunge face-first into the water to emerge with orange wriggly thing in their beak. 

Environment Canada and my old Peterson's Field Guide say they've almost been driven out of Ontario by gulls of various sorts, and certainly I've never seen them locally before.  I can't imagine them nesting this far inland either; be interesting to know what they're up to.  Seems a bit too early to migrate.

Anyway, a much finer bird than your standard shit-hawk.  Leaner and more elegant in outline.  Also more intelligent, I would imagine.  The eyes point forward  and you can see them scanning the water intently as they fly overhead.  Whereas gulls typically have a stunned and sated look, like they just ate a day old pizza slice from a garbage bin in one gulp.

Of course I left my camera at home.  You'll have to take my word for it all.

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Remains Fabulously Hot

My initial impression of Canada's very first Tamil MP was that she was fabulously hot.  I am happy to note that time has borne out that impression.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

NDP Potential Diana Andrews Not Banned From Running Cuz She's Gay

The title of the piece--Lesbian teacher barred from running for Ontario NDP--implies otherwise, but the source is Xtra, so really the slant in the hedder shouldn't be too surprising.  In any case, from the article and comments that follow, the reason Diana got the heave-ho seems quite different:

It is a serious concern here that the NDP seems to be proactively judging Andrews on the basis of her complaint against the NDP friendly Elementary School Teachers of Toronto. NDP candidates are not allowed to sue unions? Is that the point? I bet things would be different if she were suing Rob Ford. It might be somewhat different, had the suit gone forward, and it was discovered in court that complaint was spurious. But as it is, it seems like the NDP is taking a side directly in a legal complaint for purely political reasons.

Sacked for biting the hand that feeds (the NDP)?

By the way, Andrea Horwath seems intent on squandering whatever momentum the federal "orange wave" gave her party.  I mean, all the leaders thus far have  reeled out some loopy policy--Dalton's 15 minutes late and your Go Train is Free proposal, for example.  What inspired that?  Pizza Pizza?  But the NDP's one meter exclusion zone around bikes takes the prize.  Unenforceable, and won't play outside of downtown T.O., if there.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Heartily Endorse This Column By Gerald Caplan

 ...and wish it had been written three years ago.  My favorite bit:

Similarly, it would be interesting to know why the Canadian Christian College and the International Free Press Society Canada (IFPSC) thought it was helpful to bring extreme right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders to Canada to spread his venom against Muslims. The CCC is headed by the radical social conservative Charles McVety, whose website associates itself with Billy Graham’s Muslim-hating son Franklin and the late Jerry Falwell, a prominent American evangelist who believed that “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.” The IFPSC is an offshoot of a European group by the same name which, in the name of free speech, freely spreads hatred against Muslims.

The IFPSC’s website prominently features both Geert Wilders and conservative bloviator Ezra Levant. Both the National Post and the Sun newspapers gave Mr. Wilders tons of space when he was in Canada, including the Sun’s entire front page, while Mr. Levant – a prince in the Empire of the Sun – devoted a column to him and a cringe-worthy 44-minute interview on his nightly show on Sun TV, must viewing for several Canadians.

Incidentally, I haven't been writing as much recently becaue majority government politics is boring, especially in summer, and I have found it more engaging lately to lounge about in the sun doing nothing.  Should anything even slightly interesting occur before Labor day I will attempt to rise to the occasion.  No promises, obviously.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tim Hudak Will Abandon Free Trade With The Rest Of Canada!

Let me repeat what James Morton said:

Hudak would ‘suspend’ $122M GO Transit deal going to Quebec

Errh, I though we had more or less concluded Quebec is part of Canada.

Seriously, who is doing policy for the Conservatives? Warren Kinsella? Mr. Hudak seems hell-bent on making sure there is a Liberal majority:

Original story here.

Seriously.  You used to be able to trust the PCPO to be business friendly.  In fact, folks like me used to complain that maybe they were a bit  too business friendly.  But no more!  Tim Hudak wants to pay millions extra to refurbish GO Trains in Ontario rather than Quebec!  And that doesn't include the paying of penalties to whatever Quebec company he intends to break contracts with. Who cares about trading with the Asians or the Europeans, Tim Hudak is willing  to start a trade-war within Canada itself! 

I mean you know the PCPO has gone nuts when their economic policies are 2nded by the NDP (same link: scroll down.  This policy plank just sings to Andrea Horwath).

A Quick Note On E-Voting

 I see that Election Canada is considering a few experiments in that direction, so here's an old piece of mine on the topic from a couple of years ago.  It looks more credible as it appeared in The Mark magazine, so I've linked to that version.  In it I suggest a rule of thumb: if the subject of the plebiscite isn't important enough for anyone to spend the money required to attempt a hack, then e-voting is a viable solution.  Otherwise not.

Jeff Jedras makes a number of similar points, plus a few I haven't thought of, here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Case You ARE Wondering

Sue Ann Levy, having taken all sorts of flack for her horrible T.O. Sun column re the Toronto Fire Service, tweets angrily:
The TPFF is the Toronto Professional Firefighters Association (their Union).  And while I don't know how the shot made twitter I can say how I got it, which was from here--the Sue-Ann Levy Campaign Photostream on Flickr.  So, no, Sue Ann, the union hasn't been keeping a file on you.  Turns out you were keeping one on yourself.

By the way, if you want to theorize on why Sue Ann has gone out of her way to trash T.O. firefighters, well, consider this: their union took her to the Ontario Press Council in 2007 and hosed her down

PS.  Oh my!  Now Sue is tweeting that a hotdog eating fireman asked her to pose in his truck.  Except that's not how she captioned the original pic:

A special thanks to the brave men and women of the Toronto Fire department for letting me try out the drivers seat.

The Truth About Hudak's Hooligans

...gate-crashing ex Premier Bill Davis' speech in praise of the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness.  WK mentioned this yesterday, but the perps--Tory candidates Pam Hundal (Brampton-Springdale), Sanjeev Maingi (Bramalea-Gore-Malton), Amarjeet Gill (Mississauga-Brampton South)-- disputed a few details.  Its nice, therefore, to have the story from an imparital source:

Also present was Brampton native Bill Davis, 82, who served as Ontario’s Progressive Conservative premier from 1971 until 1985. “This hospital will be a guidepost for other hospitals not only in this province but in the country,” Davis said, jokingly referring to the city as a “small rural town,” which it was when he grew up there.

Three Progressive Conservative candidates in the upcoming election showed up, but it was evident from the reaction of Matthews and event staff that they were not invited. Amarjeet Gill, Sanjeev Maingi and Pam Hundal stood in front of the dignitaries with a sign that read, in part: “When was the last time the Liberals made this promise? Five days before the last election.”

At one point, Anderson asked the three to move further to the side so as not to obstruct the view of the invited guests.

So, in short, Hudak sent three of  his candidates to stomp all over a speech given by one of Ontario's best-known, best-loved Conservative politicians.  Guy's got a lot of class.  All of it 3rd.

Theo Caldwell Is Not Dead

If anyone cares, Fox News North's most recent castoff still gets the occasional gig on...wait for it... the Irish news broadcaster RTÉ News.  Bit like being a star in Moncton, I suppose.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sue Ann Levy Fights Firefighters And Their Female Fans

In the midst of a rant suggesting that Rob Ford aim his cost-cutting axe at Toronto Fire Services, The Sun's Sue Ann Levy opines:

As I happened by the Yorkville fire hall around 10 p.m., I noticed a couple of beefy firefighters posing for a picture with a bevy of beauties in what looked to be skintight, glittery dresses. They were all draped around a shiny fire truck.

First: a bad writing alert.  It isn't exactly clear from the above sentence who is wearing the "skintight, glittery dresses".  Probably not the firefighters, but hey, its a brave new world out there.  It is also unclear what was draped over the shiny firetruck: the girls, or the firefighters, or both, or maybe even their skintight glittery dresses.  If it was their dresses, then that means the firefighters and the girls were, well, nekkid.  Which begs the question: why was Sue Ann Levy watching?  My guess is she wasn't invited.

But moving on...

No...no... before that, another bad writing alert:

Now I could say something about the scene giving a whole new meaning to the expression fighting fire with fire. But I’ll resist.

Actually, if I had written those lines it would mean I was up late with a bottle of cheap wine trying to honk out 500 words of hoo-hah for a deadline, and couldn't think of anything clever to write about "the scene giving a whole new meaning...etc. etc." 

Just sayin.

But moving on...for real this time:

But the point is, this is not the first time I’ve seen firefighters on active duty posing with a bevy of nubile sycophants. I’ve observed the same scene at the Adelaide St. station, in the heart of the Entertainment District.

It’s just one more reason to tackle the very untouchable — up to now — Toronto Fire Services.

If they have time to pose for pictures with fawning females in between calls (instead of cleaning their brass poles, or their equipment, for example), perhaps there are too many firefighters at too many stations with too little to do.

Reading this, it suddenly occurs to me where Ms. Levy found the inspiration for her column:
In this picture, from 2009, a TFC fire-crew appears to have let Sue Ann Levy render their fire-engine temporarily out of commission to stage a cheap photo-op for her rage-filled, epically unsuccessful run at the provincial seat of  St. Pauls.  Those lazy buggers!

Now, there are significant differences between this scene and one Ms. Levy describes in her column.  For example, there is not a shred of "nubile" to be found in the picture.  In fact, we can safely say that any ambient nubility in the area either ran away screaming or took a shit and died when Ms. Levy showed up.  Also, note the complete absence of fire-fighters with her in the shot.  I suspect they were invited, and declined.

But this is all from long ago, when Sue Ann found it convenient to ingratiate herself with the TFC so as to scare up votes from those who found such gestures appealing. Now, her interests appear to have shifted.

And, to conclude on a slightly more serious note, her argument, if you want to call it that, is ridiculous.  Fire-fighters aren't allowed to go home on slow days.  They are required to turn up even when there's nothing to do, just the way you keep an army during peacetime.  A kind of precautionary measure, you know?  If there is a good reason for cutting back at the TFC, Sue Ann hasn't found it yet.

A Facility Named Ezra

I'm pretty sure that this is a hoax, because this--well, this, more precisely--is the original source.   But perhaps, though not literally true, it speaks to a deeper truth--you know, with a capital "T".

Note: probably inspired by this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

FreeD Proves Useful: New Hate Speech Provisions Clarified

The veritable "penny in the poop"--a genuine contribution to political discourse from Free Dominion.   Because Rob Nicholson will tell the wing-nuts there what he won't tell us normal folk.  Not that what's he saying is crazy in this case, its just the first official explication of Clause 5 of Bill 51 that I've seen.  That's the gov's update to Canadian hate-speech laws that talks about how they apply to the Internet, in particular addressing the question: can linking to defamation be defamation?

I would like to take this opportunity to address a few of your concerns. This former clause proposed amending section 319 of the Criminal Code, which creates two offences under the heading of hate propaganda that involve the act of communicating. Specifically, subsection 319(1) makes it an offence to communicate statements that incite hatred against any identifiable group in any public place, where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace. Subsection 319(2) makes it an offence to communicate statements, other than in a private conversation, which wilfully promote hatred against any identifiable group. Identifiable group is defined by subsection 318(4) to mean any section of the public distinguishable by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation. Subsection 319(7) currently defines communicating for the purposes of these sections as communicating by telephone, broadcasting, or other audible or visible means.

Clause 5 proposed to update this definition to state that communicating means communicating by any means and includes making available. While it is true that providing a hyperlink would fall under this definition in certain circumstances—as it would under the current definition of communicating in subsection 319(7)—providing a hyperlink alone is not enough to commit either of these two hate propaganda offences. As the previous paragraph shows, many other elements must be proven before a person can be found guilty. The amendment merely described the manner in which a prohibited statement could have been made. It would not have determined whether a statement was of a prohibited nature, or whether a communicator had the necessary guilty mind to commit the offence. The necessity to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of a guilty mind for these crimes is an important safeguard that protects freedom of expression. For example, in the case of R. v. Keegstra, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the crime of “wilfully” promoting hatred against an identifiable group means “intentionally” promoting hatred. This excludes the reckless or negligent promotion of hatred from the scope of this crime. These stringent requirements already exist in the Criminal Code and would not have been changed by the amendments proposed in former Bill C-51.

Short answer to the question posed above.  Sometimes linking to defamation can be defamation, but sometimes not, depending on a whole lotta other shit.  IMHO, its all just the Crookes case generalized from defamation to hate speech, but IANAL. Also interesting to note that Nicholson thinks all of this is already derivable from the legislation pre clause 5.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Slightly Shorter Farber

...on Hudak's promise to put crooks in your parks:

Ontario has long been a province of tough, practical people. The Ontario way is to ask: "what works?" and make decisions based on reality, not ideology. But ideology, rather than reality, is behind Peter Shurman’s shortsighted campaign promise to have convicted criminals work near our homes, parks and schools. It is designed to score cheap political points and brings real safety risks to our community of Thornhill and, indeed in communities across Ontario.


As I write this, there are reports of criminals escaping from manual labour programs in Georgia, Alabama and West Virginia. Is this a program that we want in place at Bishop’s Cross Park, or behind Thornhill Woods Public School? Everyone agrees that criminals have a debt to repay to society, but that debt has to be repaid responsibly and, above all, safely for law-abiding families. Criminals belong behind high walls and steel bars – where current work programs keep them out of our community...


...because the plan involves placing criminals in residential settings, there are significant costs: Such criminals must be supervised by guards to prevent the much-higher chance of escapes, and the people of Thornhill living near where these criminals are working need extra policing around their homes, parks and schools so that they can feel secure. The PCs already have a $14 billion hole in their platform and they have not provided enough funding to ensure the safety of our community.

Similarly, Peter Shurman’s support for the creation of a new bureaucracy within the police services to install and supervise GPS monitors is not only baffling, but will cost a fortune. Apart from being costly, the plan isn’t well thought out. A 2007 report by Correctional Services of Canada found that false alarms and technological problems impeded the safe implementation of this plan. Stephen Harper’s own Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, is on record saying GPS technology was unreliable, causing the federal Conservatives to re-examine its use.

Yeah, Bernie's running for the Libs up in Thornhill, so he isn't 100% impartial, but if anyone wants to discuss these proposals rationally, this is about as good a presentation of the argument against that I've seen.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quebecor Destaffing Newspapers To Keep Fox News North Afloat?

 After the T.O. Sun's last round of layoffs, I speculated wildly that the point of it all might be to keep Ezra in grease-paint.  Turns out I might have been not so far off the mark:

Another insider says the cuts were made to add funds to the Sun News side of the ledger, which is trying to keep afloat in its infancy.

Alright!  Everyone redouble your efforts in not watching it and we will see the whole thing fizzle between now and mid-2012.

Gruending On The Breivik Killings And "The Right"

 Dennis Gruending weighs in elegantly here.

My view: if right-wing pundits like Steyn, and Tarrek Fatah, and Pam Geller aren't nuts, then Brevik's actions are sane.  If dark-skinned Islamo-fascists really have infiltrated all levels of society--the police, the armed forces, the various political parties, the media, the public school system--then why wouldn't staging some sort of armed revolt be perfectly in order?  If "leftists" like those kids on that island, or folks like myself, really are covering up for such terrorists, then isn't a bullet pretty much what we deserve (as indeed Michael Coren suggested)?

Now, of course these "thinkers" are nuts.  And, at some level, Mark Steyn (for example)  probably realizes he's spooning up boob-bait for the yokels that purchase his books.  But I suppose the coin is good.  The problem is with readers--like Breivik--who take Steyn's various theories more seriously than he does, and have the "courage" to act from Mr. Steyn's apparent convictions. 

Steyn, Fatah, Geller, Coren, Mansur--these people "set the table" for folks like Brevik.  That is their measure of responsibility.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quebecor 2nd Qtr: Profits Sucked Less Than They Thought-- But Sun TV Didn't Help

Lots of stories out re Quebecor's 2nd quarter results.  Short version: their profits were down, but not as much as they could have been.  Interesting to know how the pluses and minuses within the company were distributed, however:

The media and cable company said growth in wireless subscribers more than compensated second-quarter losses in cable....

Yeah: Cable--meaning (among other things) Sun TV, meaning (among other things) Ezra--was a drag on the business. 

Now there's been some play about this story where Sun Media claims that Ezra beat out some CTV reruns in the ratings game, for the first time in history, apparently.  But even if true, to brag about outdrawing a news loop is pathetic.

 If you want to know the real state of Sun TV, dig this:

Yeah.  Its Dr. Ho, the shoe insert guy, advertising on Ezra's show at about the 8 minute mark.  Not a 30 second spot either: over two minutes of this guy telling you how he can stop your feet from smelling.

When Dr. Ho is the the only guy buying ads on you TV station, it ain't making any money.  (Though there is apparently also a guy that paints himself silver and flogs junk jewellery, but I haven't seen him appear yet).

Monday, August 08, 2011

Why Sun Media Quit The Ontario Press Council

Some speculation from John Miller (several weeks old, but not reported elsewhere as far as I know):

Sun Media's stated reasons for pulling out are as misleading and full of holes as some of its breezy tabloid news stories. I'm told the breaking point came earlier this month when Sun executives showed up bristling with anger at a press council hearing into a complaint from the Canadian Labour Congress about this story written by Brian Lilley, its chief parliamentary correspondent.

Yup.  If its not Brian Lilley getting them  into Dutch, its Ezra.  And it its not Ezra its Krista Erickson

Actually, its pretty much all of them, but for Akin.

Tim Hudak Gets The Wedge

Ontario Libs always seem to fight a little harder than their Federal counterparts.

A Poll That Means Nothing

The honeymoon may be over, but they still have a majority in the HOC, and one soft poll this early in their term won't do a thing to impede whatever legislative action they choose to take.  Excuse me for not cheering. 

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Acarpolypse Now: The Real Asian Menace!

Webber describes the fish as about four feet long, 50 lbs and silver in color.

He was in the area of the Lorain lighthouse in shallow vegetated water when he saw it.

In all the years he's been on the lake, he says he's never seen an Asian Carp.

"It's a pretty big deal," Webber said.

Asian Carp appearing in one of the Great Lakes is indeed a "pretty big deal".  They are the ultimate invasive species.  They don't look like us.  They don't think like us.  Obviously, because they're fish.  But they don't even look or think like indigenous fish, which we have studied and understand and are therefore capable of slaughtering in great numbers, and so have rendered pretty docile.  These suckers are like fish terrorists.   They can eat anything and breed like foreigners. Furthermore, they can crawl across land, leap long distances, and eat children, which might be OK if they stopped at the bad kids, but they are usually not so discerning.

(Note: I have not been able to confirm the content of this last link).

Seriously!  Its bad shit!  The end times are coming, and I'm just hoping they resemble one of those bush parties from back in my high-school days.

PS. More evidence of  the Asian invasion!

PPS.  Looks like Mark Steyn got it right about the decline of civilisation, although he got the causes wrong.  I don't think he mentions Carp even once, or any kind of fish.  With him it seems to be Muslims Muslims Muslims, 24/7.  But to prove all this I would have to read one of his books.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

On That Samara and the Writer’s Trust of Canada Contest

...to anoint the best Canadian political book of the past 25 years, which wound up anointing Ezra Levant's Shakedown.  Discussions of the significance of this choice, such as the one John Geddes attempts  here, are pointless.  The contest winner was determined by an on-line poll, and the poll got Freeped.  Tory forums directed readers to the contest website, and true believers who never read the book voted for it 10 times.  Word later went out that the contest organizers were approaching progressive blogs to popularize the contest and hopefully scare up anti-Ezra voters, and indeed I received an email from them about a week before the contest deadline.

Which I promptly ignored.  You organize a contest in this manner, this is the kind of result you deserve.  Eat it, Samara.

PS. Here's an account of the contest  that mentions the Levant Vs. Vigna lawsuit.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The NDP Mole

 A Liberal that's fled for greener pastures, maybe?  Anyone know what Herle's up to these days?

Further Notes In Advance Of The Economic Apocalypse

Just a quick note and I'm off to Walmart to stock up on canned items.  Lucky for me, TD (my financial institution) has such shitty service its actually impossible to have a "run" on the bank. 


1) Never point the shotgun at your own foot.

2) All the half-decent savage deities require blood (preferably the blood of virgins, but pretty hard to come by in T.O. these days unless a comic book convention is in town).

3) As mentioned previously, you can always eat your leather belt.  Doesn't matter what brand; they all taste awful.

4) And when it comes down to it, eat the old first.  The young, though far tastier, are supposed to be our future.  You can always eat them later.

PS. This is actually a crap report, but previous reports have been so crap that it looks good in comparison.  I think you need about double to even keep up with population growth.

Invest In Leather

 ...because you can always boil your leather gear for its nutritional value, and I predict that by next year such considerations will be top-of -mind for most people.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Valley Park Middle School Update: Canadian Hindu Advocacy Vows More Protests!

 And their leader, Ron Banerjee, doesn't care whose prayers get interrupted:

We’ll picket in front of the school when they begin praying. Let’s see how much praying they can do with our loudspeakers and hundreds of people there. We want to make it clear we don’t approve of prayer and gender apartheid inside the school. If our loudness disrupts their prayers, then so be it.”

Firstly, since Banerjee managed to scare up all of a single elderly hindi at the last protest, I question his noise making abilities (although not his ability to blow smoke).  Secondly, you would think that, whatever your opinion of the school's attempts at religious accommodation, actually disrupting the prayers of 10 year old kids would be considered dirty pool.  But Ron Banerjeee doesn't think that, because Ron Banerjee is a dick.

On a more civilized note:

The Toronto wing of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) issued a statement supporting the accommodation of Muslim prayers. “School space for prayer on a voluntary, extra-curricular basis, is included in the principle of religious accommodation which Ontario school boards are required to honour under Ministry of Education guidelines,” CIJA stated. “Reasonable religious accommodation, which is enshrined in human rights legislation across the country, benefits all faith communities, including the Jewish community. The absence of reasonable religious accommodation would negatively affect Jewish students and those of other faiths. School boards should closely monitor religious accommodation activities taking place on their property and all such activities should be consistent with the values of the board.”

Expanding on that position, Howard English, vice-president of the Greater Toronto region of CIJA, said reasonable religious accommodation “benefits the Jewish community tremendously. It allows for absences on religious holidays and for voluntary extra-curricular Jewish heritage programs in schools as well.”

However, English added the TDSB “has the responsibility to monitor any kind of extra-curricular activities.” He suggested that it might require having an Arabic-speaker observe the prayers.

I am told the CIJA is what the now defunct CJC has become.  Nice to see that the new org. has some of the same progressive tendencies as the old.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Saint Turmel

The new talking points: she joined  all those Que. separatist groups to draw them into the Cdn. mainstream.  Not a bad alibi, actually: like joining the Hell's Angels so as to bring them to Jesus. 

We'll see how it works.

Enlightenment Is Less Than 48 Hours Away!

As Imp notes, it will take the form of a T.O. bloggers get-together at 6:30 tomorrow night at a West End Pub with, I am informed, a humongous patio. 

There, all your questions shall be answered, and all that is wrong put right.

No, I will not be buying drinks.

For location, email me at bigcitylib@hotmail.com.

So, My Little NDP Brothers: Official Opposition Is Harder Than You Thought! HUH? HUH?

 Here's the official talking points from the NDP website.  And they're not all wrong.  Connections are rife between the Harper government and Quebec separatists, as they are between the Harper government and Tamil Militants.  Nevertheless, when the NDP picked Nycole Turmel they bolted a squeaky wheel to their party machine, which is now getting greased

You are not 3rd party anymore, folks.  Amateur hour is supposed to be over.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

In Which I Get All Literary

While waiting for a discerning agent/publisher to pick up one of my many, many novel-length manuscripts, I thought I would shop around some old short stories to various Lit Mags.  Lo and behold, yesterday evening I find that a new start-up,  Indigo Rising U.K., has accepted Harold Of The Rocks, which I wrote several years ago.  It's on the website, and hopefully will make their first print edition. 

Harold of the Rocks

Echo Mountain

On Wednesday, June 14th, 1994, I accompanied Roy, Sandra, and Harold Medaugh on a trip to one of their big resort properties, this one onPotashLake inNorthern Ontario. I was there in my capacity as nurse to Harold, the oldest Medaugh brother, who was schizophrenic and could not be left unattended. About fifty miles East of the complex, our Cessna developed engine problems and plunged into the Wabakimi Forest. Harold and I, some tinned food, and not much else came out of the flaming wreck, and even I came out damaged, having sprained an ankle and broken two fingers.

(word count: 5,000 approx)
Warning: Don't read it after dark!

Charles Monnett And The Polar Bears

Back in 2006, US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation biologist Charles Monnett published a brief paper in which he described a number of drowned polar bears spotted during an aerial marine-mammals survey. This observation was the first of its kind: nobody had ever seen floating corpses of Ursus maritimus before, apparently.

Although scientists had already concluded that polar bears would have difficulty in an ice-free arctic, and might be more prone to drowning as they attempted to access the disappearing ice-platforms they needed for hunting, Dr. Monnett's observations added a nice little exclamation point to this conclusion. 

Since about February of this year, however, Mr. Monnett has been the subject of an "integrity inquiry" by the U.S. government, and the deniosphere has gone wild with the notion that this inquiry might be related to the '06 paper, and might therefore cast doubt on that paper.  Well, as was previously implied here, it is not and does not.  More precisely:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: The US government suspended an Arctic biologist over how he awarded a polar bear research project to the University of Alberta and its management, not for his earlier scientific work detailing drowned polar bears, a watchdog group said Monday.

Now, as some have noted previously, this whole investigation has the stench of a witch-hunt about it: the Bureau hands out drilling permits, after all, and Dr. Monnett's paper did not make them happy.  Furthermore, the transcript of Mr. Monnett's original interrogation contains page after page of questions related to his work on polar bears and, frankly, the investigators come off as barely numerate and aggressively stupid.  Monnett's notes and computer were seized afterwards, and it is fair to suggest that new grounds were found for his suspension from these sources after the old grounds did not pan out.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Craig Chandler Goes Liberal!

 There's this story in the G&M, so you know it isn't a joke.  Nevertheless, the email from Craig Chandler at the PGIB (Progressive Group for Independent Business) wants you to know:

Craig Chandler, the "don't move to Alta. if you ain't conservative", proto-Western separatist guy, wants PGIB members to take a good look at "dark horse" candidate for leader of the Alberta Liberal Party Bill Harvey.  Not as weird as it sounds.  From what I know about Alberta politics, everyone involved joins the Tories, just because they always win, and then moonlights for the party they really support.  Indeed, Chandler's bunch has been involved in the leadership selection process for both the Wildrose Alliance and provincial Conservative Party, in both cases throwing in with the candidate too crazy to win.  So maybe this in itself tells you something about Bill Harvey.  However, here's a bit more from the email:
Bill Harvey is a long time PGIB member and his views are Classical Liberal in flavour or as what we refer to in the modern day as small 'c' conservative. Bill Harvey's policies of less government, lower taxes and political accountability are of the fiscally responsible Laurence Decore era. His view on eliminating Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Commission show that he values freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Bill Harvey's policies on putting Alberta first with an Alberta Provincial Police force, controlling our own immigration to his promotion of a Triple E Senate and defense of our oil & gas industry show that he will be a defender of the west.
What is also refreshing about Bill Harvey is that he is NOT a federal Liberal! How anyone could be supporter of a party that is the enemy of this province is beyond me?
The Alberta Liberal Party has opened up the leadership race to all Albertans and you do NOT, I repeat do NOT have to become a member to vote in this race.

A lesson in the dangers of openness for the LPoC, I suppose, as they consider how to go about choosing their new leader.  Although the federal party seems much less easily subject to takeover as its Alberta equivalent, which has always seemed the very definition of futility.

PS. Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Code (not section 3 of the Commission) is the hate-speech provision.  Chandler's a buddy of Stephen  Boission, whose troubles with section 3 due to gay-bashing have made much news in recent years.  Good luck Mr. Harvey, with these guys in your corner you will need it.