Monday, October 31, 2011

Once Again, Words Fail

...I'm just going to post this sequence of shocking pics of Rob Ford and Ezra Levant without comment, because I am quite defeated by their apparent depravity:

Have we just witnessed an act of mayoral sodomy?  I hope not, but I can only say that Sun TV can hardly be described as a "family friendly" organization these days. 

And if that's really Mayor Ford in these photographs-- well, I feel, sir, that you are diminished.  If its an actor playing Rob Ford, then I guess it pays better than waiting on tables.  But lay off the cheesy puffs.

Don't Look At This Picture

Words fail me.  Although, just to get the obvious out of the way: he's taken, fellas.  Or gals.  Or whatever.

Baby Bullshit

The world's 7,000,000,000th baby was not born this morning in Ottawa. Or rather, there's no way to tell which of the baby's delivered on October 31st, 2011 is the 7,000,000,000th, because nobody is, for example, peeking into all the yerts in Mongolia to see what baby's are being born over there when.

But of course, the Ottawa Citizen has some money and prizes to give out, so give them out they must. Good luck to young Caiden Lewis, but thumbs down to the Citizen: this is not news.  Its a self-serving stunt.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Like Mike DeSouza

This PostMedia reporter did bang-up work on the PWU's (Power Worker's Union) astroturf campaign against Ontario's Green Energy Act.  And this article, chronicling how Enviro Canada scientists have been trying to defend the science of AGW in the face of their Evil Tory Overlords, is similarly good work.  As PostMedia lurches towards its deservedly bloody, hideous, and inevitable demise, we can only hope that Mr. DeSouza finds continued employment with a more deserving employer.  But if you ever see this guy flipping burgers at McDonalds, please tip him well.  And if Jonathon Kay is standing beside him, also flipping burgers, tell Jonathon Kay to go suck rocks, and make sure you tip him inadequately.

Gun Registry Data, 2007

 ...presumably the last year before the feds suspended it. Get it before the feds pull it down.  Good on Glen McGregor from the Ottawa Citizen.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Suck On It, Ez too, PKP.


Our National Symbol: Alternatives To Beaver

Tory Senator Nicole Eaton suggests the polar bear, which is alright.  I mean, the beaver is alright too--it isn't like Canadians don't have better things to argue about.  But as long as Ms. Eaton has taken us down this road, I would like to offer a few other suggestions for the role:

1) Bigfoot:

 Like the polar bear in some ways--a big, burly, he-manly beast (even the female bigfoots--note the pendulous breasts in pic above).  Capable of primitive vocalizations, but prone to running off into the woods when approached by media, and giving straight yes or no answers when interviewed for a government photo op.  Like talking with hockey players, in other words.  Not like some other indigenous types I could mention.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  But a national mascot should probably keep its mouth shut, and not be constantly protesting its rights and shit.  Despite their size, in other words, Bigfoots seem to be pretty docile.

There's also the fact that Bigfoot has been a huge tourist draw for this nation over the years.  I mean, if you weren't searching for Bigfoot, why else would you visit Prince Albert?

Now, if we are actively seeking some kind of compromise between Polar Bear and Beaver, I might suggest:

 2) Senator Mike Duffy
Almost as pale as a polar bear, he could definitely give one a tussle in a belly bump contest.  Nevertheless Duffy also resembles the industrious beaver in that if he ever stopped eating, his teeth would continue to grow until they popped out through the top of his skull.

On the other hand, if pure elegance of form, sheer sexxxiness, were what we wanted from our national symbol, I would propose:

3) The Noble Fox Snake

I am almost without words.  Its threatened.  It's snakey.  It's soooo damned sexxxy.

But if you want to go with sexxxy, and lose the snakey, I would probably put forward as my last and preferred choice:

4) Mitsou
Now, you can't have a single person as your national mascot, because they'll just get old and die on you.  But we might designate "Mitsous = little blond sex-bombs from Quebec" as an honorary species, which we could then officially adopt.

 Afterwards we could enact a program to preserve and enhance their population, which would almost certainly involve handing out candy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Die Postmedia Die!

 TORONTO Postmedia Network Canada Corp. will roll out a plan to charge readers for online content to more of its newspapers as it struggles with lower advertising and print circulation income.

Seriously.  Bye bye.  I'm hearing rumours Jonathon Kay and his momma are already brushing up on their burger flipping skills.  Unless mom can get a job as a professional harridan.

By Day He Denies, Part III

Whenever U.S. pundit Victor Davis Hanson reels off one his tired diatribes against the "AGW Hoax"--Climategate, Al Gore is Fat, and etc.--I like to point out that he is on the advisory board of CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization), a fringe right  group that exists to trash immigrants for bringing their humongous carbon footprints into the good ole U.S. of A.  So while he denies the science on one hand, on the other Mr. Hanson trumpets it in order to help facilitate what folks have referred to as the "greening of Hate"--a position so  hypocritical and self-contradictory that its almost admirable, in the same way someone who can juggle chainsaws and play the ukulele at the same time is admirable.

F$@rd Really F#@?!!ked Now?

 As Dawg notes, at least one of the 911 operators at the other end of Ford's ranting has filed a grievance.  And he points points to this:

There are now also reports the city's 911 operators are filing a grievance with their union after saying the mayor was abusive to them while waiting what he felt was too long for police help to arrive.

One way or another, that tape is coming out.

And by the way, this is what happens when you spend your first year as boss telling the world your employees are all crap, and then they get a chance for some pay-back. 

Unf&@king Believable!

Mayor Ford was so terrified of being attacked by the lady with the camera crew that he indeed buggered off to work before police responded to his 911 call.  Release the tape, mayor f#@!king candyass.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rob Fu&%$king Ford UnF%#$king Cut! Did He Leave Before 911 Showed Up?

He's now saying the "assault" took place at 8:00 AM, rather than early morning in the dark.  And it SOUNDS LIKE THE MAYOR LEFT BEFORE 911 SHOWED UP.  Listen to the last 30 seconds or so.  It sounds like, despite his fears, he buggered off before the cops arrived.  "I left, I left." he says.  He had to get to council.  Very damaging, if that's how things played out.


Should Rob Ford F@*&&%king Apologize?

Vote here.

Meanwhile, Kinsella is offering $100 for the tape, no questions asked.  I too want the tape.  $100, however, is a bit rich for my blood.  I am offering the satisfaction of knowing that you will be helping free Canada's shining city on the hill from its barbarian usurper, which is better than money. 

The Best Mayor In The Whole F@$#ing Land

 I give it 24 hours before  the recording of Rob Ford's 911 rant goes public.  Its already making the rounds at Police Services.  And I think media types ought to make sure it gets out.  If publishing the distress call of a dying cop is ethical, surely this is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Storseth "Free Speech" Bill Unlikely To Pass

 The story's claim of all-party criticism of the bill is overblown, as the only Tory they could find to speak out was Senator Nancy Ruth.  Nevertheless, I think Joe Comartin is correct when he says:

“The Prime Minister, on more than one occasion, seemed to indicate to the media that he was not in favour of doing away with it,” Comartin says. “There are a number of different communities – the Jewish community, the Islamic community in Canada – are very opposed to that being done away with.”

Certainly the gov's official response to the bill thus far is to pretend that it doesn't exist.

Sun News Network May Face Investigation For Trans Bashing Ad

 Queer Ontario’s Casey Oraa says the group plans to respond to the ad and may request an investigation by Advertising Standards Canada. He says the fact that queers did not notice the ad during its first two weeks of airing “shows you how many people watch Sun TV.”

“They have no qualms with printing it as long as no one’s watching it who shouldn’t be,” Oraa says. “So obviously they don’t really care. They only care when they think they should care because people are giving them flak.”

Meanwhile, J-Source compares Ezra's account of meeting Occupy Toronto protesters with unedited footage shot by the protesters themselves.  I haven't watched the clip and, frankly, I'm not sure its worth writing about the station anymore.  Its starting to feel like beating up some guy in a wheelchair.  What's the point?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sun TV: It Doesn't Get Better

They've been running that gay/trans-bashing commercial again from McVety and Co.  Classy Bunch.  Although I suppose it would be more of an issue if anyone was watching the stuff.

Selley On The Tory's Anti-Gay Bullying Vid: The Short Version

 If you see an pig that is trying to dance, don't criticize it for dancing poorly. The attempt should be enough.

And there's something to that.

But, again, if this had been one of the Torys usual video productions--an attack ad smearing somebody--they would have hired an orchestra, got the effects guy from The Matrix, thrown in an exploding blimp, and run the whole thing 90 times on Hockey Night In Canada.  Instead, its four minutes of lousy sound and a guy filming with his cell-phone.

Doing a thing on the cheap says something about your intentions.

Life Under Quebecornation

An ex-staffer reminices about working for Pierre Karl Peladeau:

Under the abysmal direction of Quebecor, all who have been encapsulated have felt the brute force of economic centralism that regards query as malfeasance. Think Qaddafi.


This is not Afghanistan. But it could be.


Mandy Martin
Former Editorial Director
Northumberland Today

Monday, October 24, 2011

Valhalla Awaits!

Its seems to be Final Conflict time re the gun registry, brothers & sisters.  Lets have the argument one more time, because whenever we do the polls eventually tip 2-to-1 against a repeal, and the government winds siding against the will of the vast majority of Canadians.  Sure, its a long time to the next election, but the people should extract  what vengeance we may

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jim Flaherty: We Are The 1%

No, taxing the wealthy can't generate enough $ to kill the deficit and fund all the social programs we might like.  Everyone's going to have cut back and put their shoulder to the grind-stone and etc.  if we as a nation want to do all that stuff.  The point is: from the moral point of view have the rich done enough, and should they do more in the future to help we folk, who mow their lawns and do their taxes and administer their Botox treatments, out of the Financial Crisis they created.    Flaherty and Co. are on the wrong side of that argument.  The NDP gets it; hopefully the LPoC does too, and will offer up some economic populism in the very near future.

Global Warming Confirmed: Urban Heat Islands, Surface Station Quality Have Little Effect On Temperature Readings

After the CRU-Hack and other pseudo-scandals of 2009, Berkeley physicist Richard Muller assembled a team of scientists and statisticians whose goal was to reanalyze land temperature records and determine once and for all whether factors such as the Urban Heat Island effect or the poor siting of surface stations had any discernible effect the long-term temperature increases that scientists have recorded in the U.S. and around the globe.  In other words, they set out to determine whether the Earth was warming, or just our thermometers.  Guess what?  Its the Earth.

From their paper, Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average Using Rural Sites Identified from MODIS Classifications:

As the captions indicate, this figure shows temperature readings for all stations versus a rural subset where the UHI effect should be absent.  Had these two lines diverged significantly, this might have indicated scientists were mistakenly attributing temperature increases caused by UHIs to Global Warming.  But they are almost identical.

From their paper, Earth Atmospheric Land Surface Temperature and Station Quality in the United States:
So there you have it.  Now, its worth pointing out that these studies were in effect funded by the infamous Koch brothers, and that Mr. Muller has made some rather sceptical, indeed intemperate remarks about Climate Science while at the same time displaying a very imperfect grasp of its tenets.  But all that can be forgiven.  In fact may add to the credibility of his project, at least in the eyes of the media.  What is somewhat more disturbing is that Mr. Muller is getting tons of headlines for work that really just confirms what climatologists already knew years ago.  For example, Anthony Watt's complaints about poorly placed (next to heat sources, for example) surface stations were answered back in 2007.

A Petition Worth Signing

In a few short weeks, the Conservative government will end 45 years of internationally recognized Canadian-based research into ozone depletion – unless you raise your voice to stop them.

I actually used my real name for this one.  Although I must say I don't like this bit from their on-line pitch letter:

Each year, larger holes are appearing and we still don’t know why.

Well, the Antarctic hole has apparently stabilized; the arctic hole is kind of a new thing. 

Nevertheless, the federal Tories are, as per usual, dealing with environmental issues by literally destroying our means of understanding them.  Once again, ideology wins out over science.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Torys Anti-bullying Message Is Cheap-Assed Crap

So, when Kady O'Malley made note of this a few hours ago, I was prepared to be impressed.  In fact, I originally meant to title this post something like "Tories Show Some Class".  But, see, I first saw it with  sound off (Long story why).  Listening to it, I am far less impressed.  It resembles Stephane Dion's infamous hostage tape more than anything else, the problem in this case the fact that it seems to have been filmed on a cell phone during a hurricane.  And there's no excuse.  Mr. Harper and Co. have more money than God.  So they'll hire the CGI guys from Lord Of The Rings if they want to slime Michael Ignatieff, but anti-gay bullying efforts get the $1.99 treatment?  And could they not have got something a little more genuine out of Mr. Baird? 

Actually, this is far more like it from Mr. Baird.  Formal statement --full weight of the gov. behind it.  Doesn't look like amateur hour.

Quebecor To CBC: Yeah We're Corporate Welfare Bums, But...

Quebecor lashes back against CBC's various allegations.  Here they defend the various subsidies they receive for their various magazines and other print publications:

CBC/Radio-Canada mentions subsidies received by various magazines of Publications TVA, a Quebecor Media subsidiary. Quebecor Media wishes to make it clear that it had nothing to do with the creation of these magazine subsidy programs. However, as a publicly-traded company accountable to its stockholders, Quebecor Media cannot let its competitors such as Rogers or Transcontinental be the sole beneficiaries of these programs, as doing so would place it at an untenable competitive disadvantage.

Yeah.  Heart on the right, wallet on the left.  And even Sun TV superstar Ezra Levant has been know to solicit government money-- $63,366 worth of postal subsidies back in 2005, in a desperate and finally failed attempt to keep The Western Standard going.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Does Supreme Court Decision On Hyperlinks Make Stealing Copyrighted Material Way Past Easy?

"If a link or hyperlink by itself does not constitute “publication” for defamation purposes, it is difficult to see how it could, by itself, constitute publication or reproduction or any other activity covered by the Copyright Act."

So just quietly linking to a site that lets you download copyrighted material, or running P2P software,  may be OK according to the Supreme Court Of Canada.  Although, if you rig things right, you can slander the ass off anyone you want.  BOOYAH! Communism and random smear jobs rule the virtual world!

Crookes Case...Gone Badly Wrong?

First thing, the entire decision is here.  It isn't too long nor hard to follow.

Second thing,  its pretty clear that Crookes v. Newton deserved to fail.

Third thing, this bit of reasoning for the majority position strikes me as rather badly done, and extremely ominous:

A hyperlink, by itself, should never be seen as “publication” of the content to which it refers. When a person follows a hyperlink to a secondary source that contains defamatory words, the actual creator or poster of the defamatory words in the secondary material is the person who is publishing the libel. Only when a hyperlinker presents content from the hyperlinked material in a way that actually repeats the defamatory content, should that content be considered to be “published” by the hyperlinker.

I'm afraid this sounds like a blanket exemption for linking to defamatory material.  So, imagine the following.

I publish a post which says:

John Doe is a murderer.

I am soon approached by Mr. Doe's lawyers.  But then Bob writes a post which says

BCL finally tells the truth about John Doe.

Not having repeated any of the defamatory content, the SCC ruling lets Bob off Scot free.  Now, you might argue that's fine.  Bob doesn't control what's at the other end of the link.  Maybe it's been changed in the meantime.  Why should he be responsible? And etc.

Okay, but lets assume that Bob knows exactly at the other end of the link and is in clearly endorsing the defamatory content. And lets assume that in context it is absolutely clear that Bob's intent is to ruin the reputation  of John Doe, as much as mine was.

The defamatory content was not repeated in his post, so he suffers no consequence.  Period.  End of story.  Several justices dissented on this point, suggesting that context should be taken into consideration, and endorsing defamation should be considered defamation.  The majority seems to have said NO.

The downside to this ought to be obvious.  As Dan Grice notes in the comments over at Geist's place:

This ruling opens the door for abuse by publishers, and those with popular sites to readily direct readers to defamation and ruin reputations with no recourse to the person whose reputation is ruined. The person writing to exact words could be judgement proof, out of jurisdiction or sufficiently hidden. (I could write a defamatory article using a proxy site to ensure I would never be found, link to it myself, and be practically untouchable).

Exactly right. To give another example, a well known journalist links to a nobody blogger who is literally not worth suing.  A reputation gets damaged, and the perps get away clear.

 So what should have been a slam dunk for the SCC--just follow the reasoning of the B.C. judge--appears to have gone a bit sideways.

PS. The decision might also allow you to link to sites hosting copyright infringing music and movies.  Hmm.  Glass half-full?

Still Bleeding Money

...Postmedia sells the Victoria Times Colonist, to help pay off debt and focus on its "core properties". 

As it happens, my very first job was delivering The Victoria Colonist, the TC's predecessor before this paper merged with the Daily Times back in 1980.  I have fond memoriess.  I used to transport my papers on the back of a two-wheel golf-bag carrier, and I'd bring a pocket full of dog-biscuits for the local mutts.  That part of Vancouver Island was semi-rural back in the day, and most people let their dogs run loose through the subby.  By the time I crossed the wooden bridge over Millstream Creek, I'd usually have a small pack following me, including Riel, our poodle, Duke, our neighbor's black lab, and Sherlock, the Basset Hound who used to sleep right in the middle of Bellamy Road (and was, alas, run over one night while so doing).

Good times.  Nevertheless, die media die.

PS. I think the wiki article is wrong; when the merger happened in 1980, it was called the Victoria Colonist, not the British Colonist.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gruending In the Hill Times

A nice interview occasioned by the publication of his new book , Pulpit and Politics (which doesn't seem to be up on Amazon with his other stuff yet). The Hill Times interview is fairly substantive. In my favorite bit, he talks about the influence of the Religious Right in Canadian politics:

Well, they believe they have much more traction with the Harper government than they had with the Liberals. I have seen a number of statements to this effect. But they win some and they lose some on the issues. The Institute of Marriage and the Family provides research and strategic advice for conservative causes and lobbied hard on the issue of same sex marriage, but they lost that one.

“They did win, however, on having the Conservatives ditch the public childcare initiative negotiated by Paul Martin with the provinces and territories, replacing it with a tax credit to middle class and wealthier families. REAL Women lobbied the Conservatives to have the Court Challenges Program eliminated and it was. They also wanted the Status of Women offices shut down. The Conservatives did not eliminate Status of Women entirely but they did cut them back severely and weakened their mandate. Religious conservatives seem to be getting pretty well everything they want on crime and Canadian support for Israel.

“But they should be careful. They have cast their lot with the Mr. Harper but he is playing a game with them. He wants them to think he is solidly on their side but he can’t give them everything that they want because that would turn off a majority of Canadians who want nothing to do with religious conservatives or with their agenda. Mr. Harper has disappointed religious conservatives on both the same-sex marriage and abortion issues. Some of them are beginning to believe that he is taking them for granted.”

Which is pretty much in line with my own thinking on the matter, and perhaps less in line with the more alarmist views expressed by Marci McDonald in her  The Armageddon Factor.

News Flash! Print Media Still Dying

From the WAN-IFRA, the World Press Trends Survey brings news to gladden the heart, if in your heart you feel the MSM should be crushed, skinned, and its bones fed to wild pigs.  The trend-lines are still pointing down!  Circulation in North America is down 17% over the past five years!  Digital readership is up, but those folks don't pay: the business model still ain't there to make 'em!  The "Free Daily", which seemed to be a way forward several years ago, is over, baby!  Too many were launched too soon!  Jonathon Kay, David Warren, Mark Steyn, and Ezra Levant are headed to the scrap-heap of history.  More specifically, to the McD's check-out counter.

Well, it doesn't actually say that.  I'm reading between the lines.  Great news though, unless you are in the business, in which case suck on it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ProgBlogs Meetup 2011

...went off yesterday at Cafe Du Lac on LakeShore.  It was a small but ebullient group, including Imp, James Morton (thanks for the pen, dude!), Gritchik, Carey Miller, Scott Tribe (a few pics through the link), and  Ricky from Queer Thoughts, among others.  Particularly nice to see Ricky again, who seems to be a chronic for these blogger get togethers.  He's also in deep with the Federal NDP, and afterwards I made my standard pitch to him for a Senate appointment for me and the wife should the NDP ever achieve government.  I mean, my heart's with the LPoC, but if they can't come through then whatever.  Brian Topp's already been emailed my CV.

 I also wound-up between Nancy and Gritchik, which was the best seat in the house.

As for the food at Cafe Du Lac, after a pretty good salad the real magic happened.  I have actually never eaten poutine before and, since my heart and arteries have already sent me a cease and desist notice, probably won't again for awhile.  But it was quite wonderful.  Amidst the pile of fries, curds and cheese, lay chunks of braised short ribs, and although you might think a sweet meat might not work in this context, it did in the most awesome fashion imaginable. 

Dessert was a Quebecois Sugar Pie, which looks like a withered pumpkin pie, but is almost orgasmic in its sugary intensity.

Time well wasted, in other words.

Globe vs. Geller?

From Media Culpa:

It’s a sad day when Atlas Shrugs looks like better journalism than the Globe and Mail.

Indeed.  Interesting too is that this article appears to mark climate-change denier and all round corporate shill Lawrence Solomon's return to the Globe after many years of writing for the National Post.  It would be interesting to know the back-story behind that move.  In any case, its sad news that anyone in the MSM would see fit to publish the man.  As MC demonstrates, he's already starting to drag the G&M down.

Whoops!  Looks like Solomen is writing for both papers!  I didn't know that was allowed.  In any case, he is back at the Globe after a long absence.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Kun' Lun

Super-Rich Super-Heroes respond to the Occupy Wall Street protests, including Rand Corporation CEO and Kung Fu Master Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist:

Does Alykhan Velshi Work For TAF

 ...or does TAF work for him?  After several hundred words of the same old, same old, ex Tar Sands shill Alykhan Velshi slaps this at the end of his Huff Post piece:

Alykhan Velshi is on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, a City of Toronto agency. The views expressed are his own.

The fox proudly announcing that he's been given keys to the hen house.

You know, Velshi might prove a useful addition at TAF.  I'm sure he's got an idea of what goes on behind the curtains at some of these right-wing astroturf groups.  But so far it looks like the TAF appointment does nothing but give him enviro creds he has no right to.

Interesting Timing

 The PWU winds up its stealth social media campaign--employing Flogs and fake citizens--against the Green Energy Act, and a week later John LaForet resigns as president of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Flaherty Is Right

Canadian banks were insulated from the worst of the 2008 financial crisis because they were better regulated, with these regulations put in place long before the current regime came into power.

If you want your protest to be about some specific corporate wrong-doing, then what an Occupy Toronto event would be about is a mystery.

How the Canadian Identity Was REALLY Forged: The Pig War Of San Juan Island

The Harper Government's sudden glorification of  the War of 1812 is propagandist bunk, though for the most part harmless, I suppose.  The problem with turning 1812 into an integral part of the Canadian brand is that, by all measures, it was a boring war.  There were no Ninjas, and most of the soldiers who died, died of dysentery.  It is hard to elevate a conflict which has as its iconic image John Constable's "Three Infantrymen Fighting For Spot On Latrine".  It just is.

Not that there weren't a few glorious moments.  For instance, during the Battle Of Fort York, a heavily outnumbered English force lured their American opponents into the apparently abandoned fort by leaving a BBQ full of cheese burgers in plain sight.  As the hungry yankees applied condiments, the brits fired the base magazine, thus blowing their enemy into smithereens.  One of the casualties was U.S. commander Zebulon Pike, whose right big toe was discovered years later atop the Colorado mountain that now bears his name.

But, for the most part, a 3rd rate war all around.

I think that a conflict much more illustrative of the Canuck national character is the  San Juan Boundary Dispute or, as we West Coasters call it--who have tales of the dispute drilled into us at a young age, and so carry these legends as part of our cultural DNA--The Pig War of 1859

From Wiki:

On June 15, 1859, exactly thirteen years after the adoption of the Oregon Treaty, the ambiguity [in the treaty terms] led to direct conflict. Lyman Cutlar, an American farmer who had moved onto the island claiming rights to live there under the Donation Land Claim Act, found a large black pig rooting in his garden.[2][5][7] He had found the pig eating his tubers. This was not the first occurrence. Cutlar was so upset that he took aim and shot the pig, killing it. It turned out that the pig was owned by an Irishman, Charles Griffin, who was employed by the Hudson's Bay Company to run the sheep ranch.[2][5][7] He also owned several pigs which he allowed to roam freely. The two had lived in peace until this incident. Cutlar offered $10 to Griffin to compensate for the pig, but Griffin was unsatisfied with this offer and demanded $100. Following this reply, Cutlar believed he should not have to pay for the pig because the pig had been trespassing on his land. (A possibly apocryphal story claims Cutlar said to Griffin, "It was eating my potatoes". Griffin replied, "It is up to you to keep your potatoes out of my pig"[7]). When British authorities threatened to arrest Cutlar, American settlers called for military protection.

As any B.C. boy can tell you, this "official" story contains several inaccuracies.  For one thing, the "tubers" were not potatoes, they were hallucinogenic mushrooms of the kind that grow throughout the Gulf islands.  And it was the little Irishman (they're all little) Charles Cutler who was caught in the process of harvesting them.  In fact the pig, "Alfie", heroically threw himself in front of the musket shot so as to spare his master.  Hence the $100 demand.  This was clearly one damn fine pig.

In any case, American and English garrisons arrived, took up positions on opposite sides of the island, and perpared for battle.  After several days, however, a steady diet of Psilocybe semilanceata drove them all to the realization that getting killed over a pig, no matter how heroic the pig might have been, was stupid.  So they gave over the task of solving this particular U.S./BNA border dispute to their respective diplomats.  In the years that followed, as they waited for the results of a negotiated settlement, the two garrisons spent their days "dropping baldies", running around naked, and swimming with Orcas.  If that sounds like it might get a bit repetitive, remember that the Grateful Dead hadn't been invented yet.

And, over a decade later when The Treaty of Washington was finally signed, America was granted the whole of San Juan Island.  Our side acquiesced politely, after some muffled whining, thus establishing the Canadian tradition for excessive politeness and muffled whining.

In any case, The Pig War seems infinitely more commemerable than 1812 and, if we need another war monument in Ottawa, surely a bronze of Alfie the pig would be a suitable addition.  I may launch a Facebook petition promoting the idea, or not.  Depends what I'm up to on the weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Your Daily Nazi, Part II: Storseth's Bill To Empower The Nazis

...due up for a vote in February 2012 or so. So says Kady O'Malley, who writes:

...Storseth's bid to repeal the clause of the CHRA that governs the transmission of "hate messages" by telephone or online is likely to be one of the more contentious private members' bill to go before the House during the life of the 41st Parliament, with the most crucial - and as yet unanswered - question whether he will be able to count on garnering the support of the government. If he does, it will likely pass easily; if he does not, he may be able to count on many of his fellow Conservative backbenchers -- a dozen of whom rose to be officially recorded as seconders of the bill -- but most cabinet ministers would likely remain seated when it comes down to a vote.

Presumably, the LPoC, NDP, a Lizzy May fill be firmly against.  Or at least, I have no idea who the "pro" standard bearer might be with Keith Martin out of the way.

Your Daily Nazi: A Regular Plethora Of Nazis

When discussing hate speech legislation, Section 13, and so on and so forth, its important to get a handle on the kind of people these tools are typically used against. ARC has compiled an extensive list of violent acts committed by Canadian Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. I'm not sure its quite exhaustive; I was about half certain white supremacists were behind some of stuff during the Oka Crisis. But pretty impressive nevertheless.

Not Yeti (At Least Not Yet)

Loren Coleman debunks news from Siberia claiming "indisputable proof" of the Abominable Snowman:

No DNA analysis has been conducted. No results have been confirmed or published.

One footprint, allegedly.

One clump of moss said to be a bed, supposedly.

Meanwhile, another boring day in Canuck politics.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Andrew Coyne Booted Out Of Conservative Movement!

...Coyne lost his “right” to be the defender of conservatism with his choice of being tight within the liberal media establishment and should stop trying to give advice to us who would never support a Liberal.

B.C. Blue (author of the above) is one of the thuggier Blogging Tories, spending much of his time harassing journalists over the Internet.  He also projects as a dork in a dorky suit--so that's strike two-- and is in tight with the B.C. Conservative Party.  Yes, I know what you're thinking--who the fuck are the B.C. Conservative Party?  Didn't they die off long ago?

As for Mr. Coyne, if he's looking to defect, to floor cross as it were, I know people who can help.  There are still dorky suit issues that will have to be dealt with.  But if Mr. Coyne wants to email me his shoe size, I can have a decent pair of sandals ready for him when he jumps the fence.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Dalton McGuinty For LPoC Leader?

Steve V has a interesting--if perhaps premature--post up today suggesting that Dalton McGuinty should be thinking about about who will succeed him as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.  And of course, at his place and elsewhere, a few have suggested that Dalton might want to consider a move into Federal politics-- into, specifically, the race for leader of the national Liberals.  I too hope he considers such a move.  A few possible issues:

1) His French appears to be passable--better than Hudak and Horwath's--but still not great.  On the other hand, given the LPoC's stated time-frame for choosing another leader, he has plenty of time to bone up.

2) He's in his mid-50s, so could probably stick around for a 2nd federal election if the first one didn't pan out.  And of course my long-standing belief is that, if your leader's 1st campaign isn't an absolute disaster, your party owes him a 2nd crack.  You can't keep dumping your front-man. 

3) One thing Steve notes correctly is that McGuinty did not perform well in Ontario's rural areas (which mirrors the federal parties performance nationally).  The LPoC needs to either absolutely clean up in the cities or reach out to the countryside, and this is the one area where Dalton has come up (in this last election at least) short. 

So, maybe, one strike against.

Cadborosaurus Update: Baby Version Of Canada's Best Cryptid Finally I.D.?

When I say that Caddy is the nation's best cryptid, I don't necessarily mean that its the best known (that would probably be  Bigfoot, although Ogopogo might give our big monkey man a run for his money).  What I mean is that its existence has been best established.  You see, back in 1937,  on a flensing platform at the whaling station in Naden harbour, Haida Gwaii, a large serpentine carcass was pulled from the belly of a sperm whale.  Several pictures were taken of it, including the one below:
Although the carcass was lost, these photos have inspired a fair bit of rigorous scientific thinking about the nature of the animal pictured for, while there have been recent alleged sightings, the video "evidence" produced in support of these have been disappointing at best.  This old post from Darren Naish summarizes the available research, and includes the wonderful speculative sketch of the beast below:
Now, a word about Darren Naish.  Along with Loren Coleman, he is modern Cryptozoology's best friend--a real paleontologist who has stooped to take an interest in the unidentified animals that swim in our oceans and roam our forests.  For instance, he has argued that the existence of "sea monsters" is really quite likely, if this term is interpreted to mean some hitherto unknown species of long-necked pinniped.  He has even pointed out that descriptions of such an animal exist in the scientific literature from several centuries ago ( Parsons: A dissertation upon the Class of the Phocae Marinae):
Well, a key piece of the Caddy legend is the 1968 report by one Captain William Hagelundto the effect that he had captured (and then released) a baby cadborosaur.  Darren thinks he has I.D.ed the baby Caddy, and is publishing paper on the topic entitled ‘A baby sea-serpent no more: reinterpreting Hagelund’s juvenile “cadborosaur” report’.  Alas!  I fear he is right.  You can read the whole argument through the link, but the picture below kind of sums it up:

A bay pipefish?  Its kind of like a sea-horse.  Now, it doesn't explain the adult Caddy, though a few have argued for the existance of some unknown species of gigantic pipefish as being the best explanation, generically speaking, for a number of sea serpents report.  But it does seem a good explanation of this particular incident.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Would you Like Pommes De Frites With That, Monsieur?

Pierre Peladeau, owner of Quebecor, the T.O. Sun, and Sun TV...that is, most of what is evil about the Canadian MSM...lost 9.1% of his value last year.  He's not even a billionaire anymore!  Booyah!

Quick Notes

...on the Ontario Election results.

1) Folks weren't that angry after all.  The opposition here--as opposed to B.C.--to the HST was never more than muted.  That was the first sign to those who were looking.  The cost of Hydro as an election issue?  That always struck me as a bit of a snore.  And Hudak's attempts at wedge politics failed miserably.

2) A week is a long time in politics.  Just eyeballing recent poll numbers,  it looks to me like the NDP peaked about two weeks back.  Part of their decline stemmed from the Liberal attack machine training their guns on their left flank; part is, maybe, that people are moving beyond Jack Layton's passing.

3) While I'm thrilled Rocco Rossi is out, I'm sad that Bernie Farber isn't in.  Good luck in whatever you do with the rest of your life, Bernie.

4) Hudak should stay on as PCPO leader.  I doubt there is any real move to replace him, but if so, leaders usually need at least one campaign before they find their feet as politicians and decide where they want to take their party.  You can't keep swapping front-men after a poor result.  Or, you can, but then you become the Federal Liberals.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Fox News North Gets Unionized?

 The Ez won't like it:

CEP Local 87M launched a public organizing drive at Sun News Network in Toronto on Wednesday, hoping to add to Sun-related SONG membership.

I'm too tired to write a joke about it.  Make up your own if you like.

Campaign To Repeal Section 13 of Human Rights Act Off To Blistering Start!

After nearly a week, FreeD's petition on behalf of  MP Brian Storseth's Bill C-304 (to repeal the Hate Speech clause of the Canadian Human Rights Act) has gathered a whopping 19 signatures.  But numbers don't tell the whole story. Galactus, Eater of Worlds, has thrown in with the Speechies.  Also Marc Lemire.  August company indeed.

(Note: click on image above for better view)

Lets just Call Bullshit Now, Shall We?

 Mama Kay cites a study sponsored by

...the Drug Prevention Network of Canada and Real Women of Canada... challenge research in The Lancet which purported to demonstrate that the Insite Clinic in Vancouver saves lives.  That's  REAL women, Gwen Landolt's old gang.  Tomorrow somebody will produce actual evidence demonstrating that this counter-study is bullshit, but we can deploy some inductive logic right now. REAL Women have always dealt in bullshit.  Based on past experience, they are likely dealing in bullshit now. 

There.  You don't have to read the study or Kay's column.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

PWU (Power Workers Union) Winds Down Social Networking Campaign

 ...kills their Flogs, fires their Facebook pseuds.  Congrats to Mike De Souza from PostMedia for doing the digging on this story.  I'd visited Enviralment years ago and figured it was too clean and corporate to be a real blog, but had never figured out just who was behind it.   Good on Mike D for finding out.

I've also been informed that links to the fake enviro blogs are coming down from ProgBlogs.

Just slightly OT: If McGuinty gets in, esp. with a majority, I bet Wind Concerns Ontario disappears quietly into the night.  For reasons I've mentioned previously.

MTHIRTY Pulls Down Another Fake Enviro-Blog

MTHIRTY is the marketing firm behind the PWU's (Power Workers Union) social media campaign against the McGuinty Green Energy Act.  Part of this campaign involved creating a number of fake blogs touting the PWU's stance on AGW and sustainable energy.  Yesterday evening, two of these, Enviralment and Envirogy, went down for "maintenance" and have not come back up again.  This morning, Mike De Souza, who authored the original exposé, tells me that a third flog, Environauts, which is also licensed to MTHIRTY, has restricted access to its contents. 

JDL-Canada Members Questioned In Alleged Bomb Plot

...against Palestine House.   Meir Weinstein says the JDL is innocent; that its a setup.  There.  Now you don't have to watch the youtube clip of his interview with Coren.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Power Workers Union Rethinking "Social Media" Campaign?

Both their fake blogs, Enviralment and Envirogy are "undergoing scheduled maintenance".  We'll see for how long, and what comes out the other side.

Background here.

h/t Scott in the comments.

Enviralment is a Flog For PWU (Power Workers Union)

That is, a fake Blog used as a sales tool, in this case  by the Ontario Power Workers Union to trash Dalton McGuinty's Green Energy Act:

A bold labour union offensive targeting the environmental policies of the Ontario government is being driven largely by a sophisticated marketing campaign that has planted comments to "create online conversations" promoting coal, nuclear and other power options.

The marketing has involved professional bloggers working for M THIRTY, a Toronto-based communications firm, who actively use social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter to simulate or kick-start online conversations with a consistent message promoting the views of their clients.

In this case, the Ontario Power Workers' Union bankrolled the campaign...

A little further down the article mentions the blog Enviralment as being part of the campaign:

She also posted a link to a blog called "Enviralment" — also produced by M THIRTY — that cast
doubts about the actions of the McGuinty government in Ontario. "What's the deal with this?" she asked, posting a link to the blog post: "McGuinty Scraps Offshore Wind Projects in Ontario."

And then a little later down:

[The messages] were spread on social media and shared on M THIRTY blogs with green-sounding names such as "Enviralment" and "Envirogy."

Enviralment can be found here.  Unfortunately, it can also be found here, on the Progressive Bloggers blogroll.  I would humbly suggest that ProgBlog owners have it removed: the folks behind it are shills for the PWU.

Secondly, I've written a couple of  times about my suspicions re John LaForet's Wind Concerns Ontario group and its possible ties to the power workers.  Well, there are numerous connections between WCO and the astroturf campaign described above: a quick look at the Enviralment page, for example,  shows how heavily it has promoted WCO over the past couple of years, for example here and here.  And Envirogy, another flog associated with the PWU effort, is on the WCO blogroll.  Also, the marketing group behind the PWU campaign, M Thirty, employs a gentleman/woman employing the pseud "Vic De Zen" who occasionally posts to the Wind Concerns Facebook page.

In any case, a real scuzzy effort by the PWU.  It would be nice to know if Andrea Horwath supports it.

Your Daily Nazi: Support Rises For Storseth Private Member's Bill Among Canadian Neo-Nazis!

 From here:
Yeah, its that Paul Fromm.  And of course Heritage Front leader Marc Lemire is down with the repeal as well:
Mr. Storseth, you must be so proud.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Sun Bows Out

Won't apologize for those trans bashing ads-- that the Natty Post already grovelled over--but won 't run them again either.

Can anyone who actually watches the channel tell me if they're still running the Ethical Oil ads that the Saudis threatened to sue over?  I suspect not. 

Ontario Progressive Conservatives Go Gay Bashing

The article from Xtra is fairly in-depth. The most interesting bit:

Liberal spokesperson Alicia Johnston says the flyers were distributed in English and Punjabi in a Brampton grocery store...

...which reminds me of this incident from the Toronto mayoral race, in which somebody ran ads on Tamil Radio bashing (gay) candidate George Smitherman.  Clearly, there are some elements of Ontario's South Asian community that will respond to this kind of false material (check out these twitter feeds for just some of the inaccuracies in the flyer), and it looks like Hudak and Co. have decided to target their vote.

Monday Morning Notes

 Junk-mail: this piece of homophobic drivel is circulating in a number of Brampton ridings.  It has been officially sanctioned the the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (note the boilerplate text at the bottom).  It is bullshit: parents are informed at the start of every semester re the "equity topics " that will be covered during the term (see page 14 of this document).  They are not informed in advance of each lesson that, for example, homosexuality will be dealt with during that lesson.

A truly ugly piece of campaign literature.

Meanwhile, Tory MPP Randy Hillier ends this campaign as he began it: in dutch with the law.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Paul Dewar On Faith And Politics

...from Gruending:

You cannot be a person of faith without being political, says Paul Dewar, the New Democratic Party MP for Ottawa Centre. In early 2009, Dewar spoke to my Faith and Public Life class at the Ottawa School of Theology and Spirituality. “Faith and politics are congruent and we have no option but to be political if we are going to live the gospel,” Dewar said. “We have to constantly question what the Christian message is, and we can never stop trying to change the way things are in society.”

Not an endorsement on my part, obviously.  Although I also have nothing against such sentiments.  I'm a damned empiric, so religious inclinations all strike me as a bit silly.  But if your irrational beliefs inspire you to attempt to do good in the world, rather than, say, bash immigrants, than I will support you accordingly.

Newspaper Circ Figures

Note that most people still prefer holding a piece of dead tree in their hands.  On-line is still a relatively small share of the pie, and I imagine its even smaller among the older demographic that's most likely to vote.  the best route for a blogger/activist looking to push a story is still by convincing a columnist/reporter with space in the print edition to write about it. 


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Bell Fibe Dumps Sun TV: The Beginning Of The End Of Fox News North?

Got this tweet from Ezra:

Now, from the FNN wiki article, Fibe TV's original deal with Sun TV was scheduled to end at the end of this month, so presumably what really happened is they could not come to an agreement with Ezra and Kory and the rest of the gang as to the terms of an extension.  I doubt the Saudis had much to do with it.

Who's Endorsing Rocco Rossi?

...actually, they've gone PCPO down the line, it looks like.  That's JDL-Canada--the guys that made allies of Stephen Lennon, leader of that gang of neo-Nazis, pedophiles, and crack heads that is the English Defense League, who is now looking at slammer time for assault.

My Bad

 Storseth's private Member's bill to repeal section 13 of the Human Rights Act (C-304) was indeed introduced Friday.  And it looks like an act, not a mere motion.  I was looking at the wrong order papers.  Here's a newspaper account.  Several other sections are being mucked about with, but I haven't had time to figure out the implications yet. 

Ah well, victory is sweeter if they struggle a bit.