Friday, November 30, 2012

Who Is Behind Next Week's Pro-Ford Demo

...the "Stop the bullying:  it will get better for Rob Ford" thingy?  It's Dharminder Kumar, who is either the other member of Ron Banerjee's group  Canadian Hindu Advocacy, or, as some believe, a sock puppet for Ron Banerjee himself.  So you know the event, like so many CHA protests, will be a big...big success.

To get an idea of the kind of folks who might show up, its useful to note the CHA's endorsement of CIR (the Canadian Immigration Report).  CIR were the folks  invited to speak, and then booted from, a recent meeting of  the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, basically because they called the Nazis a great bunch of fellows.

Might be worth showing up at this thing with a camera, to see if one of the Ford's appears and gives everybody a hug.

PS.  In regards to CIR.  The Lussiers, who run the website, keep a very low profile.  One thing that seems clear, though,is that Julien Lussier is not, as he has claimed to be, a lawyer.  Or at least he's not the Que. lawyer with a similar sounding name.

Scott Tribe On Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention

Scott's been doing God's work asking the Ontario Liberals how they will be treating bloggers during the upcoming leadership convention.  And here's my suggestion: gong-show that it degenerated into aside, the recent  federal NDP convention  set a  high bar when it came to bloggers.  We got in free, got a press pass,  got a couple of tables with decent views of the floor with plugins for our computers.  We didn't, like the MSM, get a "filing room" to sit and think and suck our thumbs in before hacking out our crap.  We had to compete with the sound of Paul Dewar rapping.  And we didn't get free food, although I was snuck some and I'm not sure it was a great loss.

The Ontario Liberals should emulate this formula, generally speaking.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life On Mars?

UPDATE:  Slashdot says its a hoax.  But a good one.

Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars.

This looks like a fairly credible claim.  It also seems to be a followup on stories like this.  So maybe not quite sealing the deal, but strongly suggesting, that our solar neighbor once harbored enough life for it to turn into an oil deposit.

Sometimes A Witch Hunt Helps The Witch

If the Torys want to haul Justin Trudeau before House Natural Resources Committee to explain his Alberta statements, then let 'em.  Give the guy hours of looking handsome and acting human to lay out his leadership platform before a national audience.  Because, believe me, this will get covered wall-to-wall.  The One, getting nagged by the one with two chins.  Although I suspect Stephen Harper will find a means to  make this stupid idea go away.  As for us Liberals, of course we should all bust out a can of fake outrage.  But, really-- pray for this to come to pass.

The Curious Case Of The Disappearing Quote

So, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, T.O. Sun reporter Kevin Connor wrote up a short piece re last week's protest outside of the Israeli consulate on Bloor Street.  Probably the most notable thing about it was the apology that soon appeared above its first paragraph:

A version of this story that briefly appeared on contained quotes wrongly attributed to Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The Sun regrets the error and apologizes to Mr. Farber.

I've emailed both the reporter and his boss (James Wallace) for clarification, but have received no response.  However,  here's the thing.  There are not many ways the fake quote (which can be seen here) could have made its way into the story.

1) Connor might have invented it, which is a firing offence.  Its also difficult to believe.

2) It could have originated with someone at the protest who decided to impersonate Farber as a means of embarrassing him/damaging his reputation.  This appears to be the opinion of blogger Arnie Lemaire, who also attended--ie The Sun got punk'd.  But in this instance, such a prank would have amounted to an illegal act.

And I would point out that someone has recently been impersonating the various players in the small circle of activists/culture warriors that involve themselves in the issues that Bernie also cares about.  For example, here . Furthermore, among this small circle at least one person has already developed a reputation for getting up to this kind of silliness.

Here's hoping The Sun lives up to its responsibility and at least gives some kind of explanation.  One of their reporters has either done something quite unethical or inadvertently aided a lawbreaker.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Canuck Climate Change Denier Tom Harris Up To More No Good

Tom Harris is one of Canada's better known climate change deniers.  I've written about him plenty  Now one of his emails to fellow deniers has got loose.  I've reproduced it below.  Basically, he's scouring the anti-AGW Internet forums looking for signatures to stick on another open letter addressed to the U.N., this time contesting the AGW=Freak Weather connection.   The most interesting bit:

Because we have an agreement with a major media outlet to publish the open letter on Thursday, I will need to know of your support in the next day if possible, please.  Endorsers may be added later for Web versions of the letter but only those who have notified me of their support by then are guaranteed to be included in the list of endorsers published by the major newspaper in question.

Harris has been on Sun News TV a number of times this year, so I'd bet the T.O Sun is his "major newspaper".  It might also be the National Post, perhaps via Terence Corcoran.  Anyone has other ideas, please share them in the comments.

Dear friends,

I apologize for addressing you so impersonally but time is short if we are to mount a significant counterpoint to the scientifically invalid assertions already being broadcast by the 1,500 journalists and 7,000 environmentalists attending the UN climate conference now underway in Qatar. 

Please find below our "Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations" to which we are inviting your endorsement. 

Because we have an agreement with a major media outlet to publish the open letter on Thursday, I will need to know of your support in the next day if possible, please.  Endorsers may be added later for Web versions of the letter but only those who have notified me of their support by then are guaranteed to be included in the list of endorsers published by the major newspaper in question.

The open letter and the list of endorsers will also be submitted to the Secretary General with a brief cover letter from myself by e-mail and by courier. Your endorsement of the open letter would be clearly indicated as only applying to the “Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations” below, not to the cover letter or any supporting material we may provide.
Here is the text of the open letter (underlined phrases are active Web links) that we request that you allow us to list you as endorsing (for those of you who signed any past open letters organized by ICSC, I already have your complete credentials and affiliations. For others, I request that you let me know how you would like to be identified in the endorser list):
Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
First Avenue and East 44th Street, New York, New York, U.S.A.
November 29, 2012
Mr Secretary-General:
On November 9 this year you told the General Assembly: “Extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal ... Our challenge remains, clear and urgent: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to strengthen adaptation to … even larger climate shocks … and to reach a legally binding climate agreement by 2015 … This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy.”


On November 13 you said at Yale: “The science is clear; we should waste no more time on that debate.”

 The following day, in Al Gore’s “Dirty Weather" Webcast, you spoke of “more severe storms, harsher droughts, greater floods”, concluding: “Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States. A nation saw the reality of climate change. The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars. The cost of inaction will be even higher. We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.”

We the undersigned, qualified in climate-related matters, wish to state that current scientific knowledge does not substantiate your assertions.

The U.K. Met Office recently released data showing that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years. During this period, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), carbon dioxide (CO2concentrations rose by nearly 9% to now constitute 0.039% of the atmosphere. Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years. Whether, when and how warming will resume is unknown. The science is unclear. Some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is also a distinct possibility.

The “even larger climate shocks” you have mentioned would be worse if the world cooled than if it warmed. Climate changes naturally all the time, sometimes dramatically. The hypothesis that our emissions of CO2 have caused, or will cause, dangerous warming is not supported by the evidence.
The incidence and severity of extreme weather has not increased. There is little evidence that dangerous weather-related events will occur more often in the future. The U.N.’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its Special Report on Extreme Weather (2012) that there is “an absence of an attributable climate change signal” in trends in extreme weather losses to date. The funds currently dedicated to trying to stop extreme weather should therefore be diverted to strengthening our infrastructure so as to be able to withstand these inevitable, natural events, and to helping communities rebuild after natural catastrophes such as tropical storm Sandy.
There is no sound reason for the costly, restrictive public policy decisions proposed at the U.N. climate conference in Qatar. Rigorous analysis of unbiased observational data does not support the projections of future global warming predicted by computer models now proven to exaggerate warming and its effects.

The NOAA “State of the Climate in 2008” report asserted that 15 years or more without any statistically-significant warming would indicate a discrepancy between observation and prediction. Sixteen years without warming have therefore now proven that the models are wrong by their creators’ own criterion.

Based upon these considerations, we ask that you desist from exploiting the misery of the families of those who lost their lives or properties in tropical storm Sandy by making unsupportable claims that human influences caused that storm. They did not. We also ask that you acknowledge that policy actions by the U.N., or by the signatory nations to the UNFCCC, that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to exercise any significant influence on future climate. Climate policies therefore need to focus on preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climatic events however caused.
Signed by:

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to others who you think may also sign the open letter with the request that they keep it as confidential as possible until published by media (I’ll let you all know as soon as that happens).

I hope to hear from you very soon!


Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
P.O. Box 23013
Ottawa, Ontario
K2A 4E2

Pro Ford Protest Flops

In the eye of the storm, a clearly shaken Ford pin-balled Tuesday from twitchy forelock-tugging in front of the cameras to civic boosting at the Grey Cup championship parade — some cheers, some jeers, several smooches on the cheek from Toronto Argonauts defensive tackle Adriano Belli — to semaphoring in front of a different kind of bench as his beloved Eagles were dumped by Newmarket’s Huron Heights Warriors; cheerleaders pompom-ing and upwards of 600 fans in the stands, a decent crowd for a high school event, perhaps some of them responding to urgings from Doug Ford to show his brother the love. Anyway, there were no boos, not even from the Warriors side of the seating.

Hardly the stuff of populist revolt, and hardly as billed:

“Not hundreds, but thousands and thousands of e-mails, thousands of texts and phone calls of support asking for rallies,” [Doug] Ford said. “

And so Doug Ford called for one at yesterday's game, and hardly anybody showed.   Ford Nation appears more than a little bit dead.

PS: Another interesting factoid, although Forum is the pollster FWIW:

The poll also found that 60 per cent of Torontonians agreed with the decision to turf Ford from the mayor’s chair for breaking provincial conflict of interest law, even as support among his core base remained unshakeable.

So maybe Ford Nation isn't dead.  Maybe it was too busy bathing its pet hamster to show up at the game yesterday.

I've Been Trying My Whole Life To Destroy the MSM...

...and now they're committing suicide right in front of me.  From Sun media's paywall Q&A:

 In Canada, media companies are also looking to digital monetization to grow their revenue. Sun Media was a leader in the market,launching a freemium model on Journal de Montreal and Quebec in September,followed by PostMedia`s Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen launch of metered access in October, and the Globe & Mail`s on November 1st. Our five SUN sites will launch metered access on Tuesday, December 4th. The Toronto Star has announced they will follow suit with the introduction of a paid content model sometime in 2013.

Sun Media will be tracking IP addresses, so I don't know whether dodging their wall will be as trivial an exercise as it apparently is with the G&M and NY Times.  In the case of the Globe, there has literally been nothing behind the wall that I've been willing to clear my browser cache over.  The folks at Huffpo Canada must be thrilled at these developments.  Their competition is  abandoning the field.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mammoliti Speaks More

endorses Doug Holyday, presumably for caretaker mayor.  Something I would be OK with, personally.

Nobody Loves The Mayor

Calling the situation a “crisis” for city hall, Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, a Ford ally, said he would not support a byelection because he thinks it would be a waste of money with two years left in the current four-year term.

Instead, he would prefer council to appoint a “caretaker” mayor if Ford’s appeal fails.

I am beginning to think the mayor is done, politically, given this, Mammoliti's quitting the executive, and similar sentiments expressed by Ford ally Doug Holyday a day ago.  If Ford can't run again for two years, the city will get used to boring council politics again and decide they like it.  Center right money-men will find another candidate with a similar political agenda but without the penchant for stepping on rakes.  And if Ford runs, he just splits the vote that candidate.  Presto!  Mayor Chow!

The Globe And Mail Exits The Propertied Class

If only they'd launched that pay-wall a month earlier!  They would surely have been saved!  Now they have to scope-out an alternative site for their new HQ.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Catholic Bishops Cave To Tories!

A couple of posts by Gruending give the best run-down of a story I've been following out of the corner of my eye for awhile now: the suspension of Development's And Peace's fall post card campaign after it was judged "too political" by the  Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).  The upshot seems to be that the Bishops value their relationship with the current federal government over the good works their church has historically been associated with.  Its like what happened with Canadian Mennonite Magazine, except the Bishops skipped that part where they are threatened by an agent of the Harper Torys and went straight to self-abasement.  Thank God--as it were--that a few members of the D&P youth wing are kicking up a fuss.

Gruending sums up as follows:

The same newspaper article suggests that the bishops are concerned that D and P’s fall campaign might interfere with the CCCB’s relationship with the government. Ronald Breau, president of D and P’s national council, which acceded to the bishops’ request to pull the postcard campaign, says this: “The bishops are concerned that ongoing dialogue between the Catholic church and the government of Canada on some important, timely and sensitive issues might be compromised by our [D and P] approach at this time.”

One is left to wonder what those sensitive issues might be. It is clear that the Harper government wants to embed conservative Catholics, along with certain evangelicals and Jewish people into its permanent electoral coalition. Hence the overtures to the CCCB. It is less clear how the bishops and the church will benefit from this dalliance with the Conservatives. That is an issue worth our continuing scrutiny.

What's the bishops' payoff look like, in other words.

PS.  Apparently,  Flanders of all people has something to do with this.  That unholy rascal!  I thought he'd retired.

Another Sun Bung-Up

In a story about the weekend's pro-Palestinian rally on Bloor St.:

A version of this story that briefly appeared on contained quotes wrongly attributed to Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The Sun regrets the error and apologizes to Mr. Farber.

Most interesting thing here is: since Mr. Farber didn't supply the quotes in question (which can be found here), did someone identifying themselves as Bernie Farber offer them?  An impersonator, in other words.

I've emailed the reporter for clarification.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jose Canseco Getting Head Punched In

Most people don't know that a few years ago Jose Canseco had a very brief MMA career, during which  he fought and lost to this guy:

Normally, I would find this kind of thing barbaric, but given its Canseco....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Who Said This About The Government Changes To The Interim Federal Health Program

...that have resulted in a refugee from the Mid-East being denied his chemo?

 ...unbelievable that some of the decisions that have been taken federally are having this impact on people who are clearly the most vulnerable, refugees who are obviously fleeing something quite terrible — that’s why they’re refugees...” 


“On the face of it, you just consider the case of this particular gentleman or others who, for example, as it was pointed out … might need prenatal care, this is just common sense. You just do this.

“This is the kind of country we are. You cover it.”


“This country is rich. We are rich beyond measure compared to the countries where these folks are fleeing from and so it’s our view that we should just be there to help.

“That’s kind of a basic Canadian value, I think...” 

Was it a bunch of crazy Liberal Jews?  A bunch of less Liberal Jews?  No, it was right-wing Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall, who apparently has at least one compassionate bone in his body. Unlike  Immigration Minister Jason Kenney or his PM Stephen Harper.

And the refugee in question fled his home country because "he was persecuted for being Christian". Does Stephen Harper suddenly hate Christians?  Probably not.  But then what can we learn from this?  Simple: its actually very difficult to craft your laws re refugees so that they fuck over the Roma exclusively.  Discriminate against one group, and there will always be collateral damage to other groups not on your shit list.

Bloop No More

This is terribly disappointing:

The broad spectrum sounds recorded in the summer of 1997 are consistent with icequakes generated by large icebergs as they crack and fracture. NOAA hydrophones deployed in the Scotia Sea detected numerous icequakes with spectrograms very similar to “Bloop”. The icequakes were used to acoustically track iceberg A53a as it disintegrated near South Georgia Island in early 2008. Icequakes are of sufficient amplitude to be detected on multiple sensors at a range of over 5000 km. Based on the arrival azimuth, the iceberg(s) generating “Bloop” most likely were between Bransfield Straits and the Ross Sea, or possibly at Cape Adare, a well know source of cryogenic signals.

The original, far more Romantic theory ran as follows:

...the sound nicknamed Bloop is the most likely to come from some sort of animal, because its signature is a rapid variation in frequency similar to that of sounds known to be made by marine beasts. There's one crucial difference, however: in 1997 Bloop was detected by sensors up to 4800 kilometres apart. That means it must be far louder than any whale noise, or any other animal noise for that matter. Is it even remotely possible that some creature bigger than any whale is lurking in the ocean depths? 

Apparently, the answer to this last question is a soul-deadening "no".

The State Of Sun Media

Former Toronto Sun editorial page editor Rob Granatstein laments:

When the latest victims of downsizing are gone, Toronto will be down to three general assignment news reporters, according to people in that newsroom, unless staff is reassigned. That’s flat out ridiculous. The Sun will rely even more on its columnists to generate the news going forward. The editors have no idea how they will fill their weekend papers.


The heart of local newspapers used to be the “local” part. The Sun seems to be ceding any advantage it used to have to its competitors.


A realist also looks at it through a business prism. The papers are still profitable, but like all of us from the newspaper world, the loss of advertising, classifieds, plus giving the content away for free on the Internet, it’s hurt us all. The Sun continues to hold on to The daily freebie, 24 Hours, and dump money into TV with the Sun News Network – ventures that baffle the staff as people and spending gets cut everywhere else.

Apparently I'm not the only that wonders what's up with the Sun News Network.  I can't see it ever making money.  Does anyone still advertise there anymore?  So why keep the thing afloat?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Poor Wording David McGuinty sacked.  And indeed we must not begrudge Alberta MPs their championing of local tar mines to the exclusion of all other methods of powering the national economy.  That's all the ruling current federal government sees when they imagine  the future of the West or, indeed, the future of the country itself.  No making; no refining even. Extraction all the way.   Its an ideological divide: the East creates (cars, art, and etc).; the West, or at least Alberta, pumps.  That's it; that's all. And though they're just 11% of the population, they amount to almost 14% of the national economy.  About what you get when, thinking in Ontario terms, you add the GDP of North Tillsonburg to the GDP of Etobicoke.  And all this economic clout fueling an uppity attitude that's bigger than Texas. 

So, yes Mr. McGuinty should be censured, but on the other hand we as a nation must respectfully remind Albertans that if the Harper feds ever approve The Northern Gateway pipeline over the will of BCers, who thought they were part of the West until they were betrayed by Calgary politicians, then BCers will declare independence, slaughter your cowboy hordes at Kicking Horse Pass, and then march on Calgary, where we will proceed to burn down the Saddledome, which is the your emperor's seat of government.

That is all.

I Snuck In Through The Globe Pay-wall...

...and found this:

The first thing you’ll want to do on checking in at the new Four Seasons Toronto spa is get wet. Urban hotel pools that don’t look like public rec centres are few and far between in this town.


With treatment names like Bye Bye, Puffy Eyes and the Snowbird Ruby Red Grapefruit Scrub, spa director Todd Hewitt caters well to his pamper-savvy audience. 

I quickly snuck back out again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Saskatchiban...

...banning inappropriate female footwear in the name of ancient law.

America Finally GETS IT!

Some 45 percent of those polled said the holiday season brings so much financial pressure, they would prefer to skip it altogether.

In other results from the same poll:

- 76% of those polled thought hucking rocks at Xmas Carolers should be legal.

- 63% suspect that their local mall Santa is either a drunk of a pedophile.

- 54% feel that Jimi's version of Little Drummer Boy is the only Xmas Carol worth listening to.  2nd is Run Run Rudolph, at 23%.  Nothing by Burl Ives clears 2%.

- 42% think that Xmas basically means you must become a bloated alchie in the name of Jesus.

- 97% felt that the dressing is the best part and who really cares about the turkey, and frankly the sweet potatoes can go fuck themselves.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Full Nissenbaum

So the Nissenbaum , Aramini, and Hanning paper, that purported to show a connection between proximity to wind turbines and a decline in sleep quality, has been given a working working over by a number of experts in a short report commissioned by (full disclosure) the Canadian and American Wind Energy Associations.  The result is here; the general conclusion:

Overall, in our opinion the authors extend their conclusions and discussion beyond the statistical findings of their study. We believe that they have not demonstrated a statistical link between wind turbines – distance – sleep quality – sleepiness and health. In fact, their own values suggest that although scores may be statistically different between near and far groups for sleep quality and sleepiness, they are no different than those reported in the general population. The claims of causation by the authors (i.e., wind turbine noise) are not supported by their 

This document is referenced heavily in the report.  Its chronicles an appeal by one Katie Brenda Erickson and Chatham-Kent Wind Action the Ontario  Ministry of the Environment over a decision to build a series of wind turbines outside of Camden township.  It contains an extensive discussion of a preliminary version of the Nissenbaum paper.  Its particularly interesting in that one of the issues around the paper is whether its authors are  "disinterested scientists" or "anti-wind activists", with detractors and defenders splitting on this issue (for example see Jim Cummings relatively positive assessment of the paper here).   The study involved a survey distributed to Maine residents living around a pair of U.S. wind farms.  In the years leading up to it Nissenbaum visited  a good proportion of the respondents around one of the sites (Mars Hill) and elicited responses using similar but far less rigorously designed surveys.  For this reason, it can be argued that some of the responses he got in his formal study were preconditioned by the earlier visits conducted in a less scientific setting.  So its interesting to find this passage in the Environmental Review Tribunal document:

The Director argues that Drs. Hanning, McMurtry and Nissenbaum conceded that they only became involved and acquired expertise in the issue of noise and wind farms when they thought wind farms would be located near their residences.

"McMurtry", incidentally,  refers to Robert McMurtry, a paediatric surgeon  who is not one of the paper's authors, but who has also been floating around the wind power debate in Ontario for the past few years and has been instrumental in promoting Nissenbaum's research in this province.

In any case, a glance through Nissebaum's original 2009 first study--rendered into a power-point presentation--makes the slant of his sympathies even clearer.  This slide compares the noise generated by wind turbines to the kind of sleep deprivation techniques used to  interrogate prisoners of war:

So I would argue that the paper answers a question that had already been decided in the authors minds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Watch Roy Eappen Grovel

On November 10, 2012 I wrote a blog entry about a comment on's website purporting to be written by Richard Warman. Mr. Warman has since advised me that comment was not in fact written by him, and so I have removed my blog entry about it."

Roy, just because somebody says they're somebody on the Internet doesn't make them them.

Wayne Gretzky, Hollywood

Lorrie Goldstein Out At T.O. Sun

The Toronto Sun Family Blog comes out of retirement to give us the gory details.  Jim Thomson is the other name on their list that I recognize.

The business strategy seems to be to centralize content production, so the small town publications become pale reflections of The Sun, as it were.  Local news coverage suffers under this model.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fox News North Financial Update: Still Losing

...but less.  May Ezra Levant soon face the axe.

Let Trillium Build Offshore Turbines

This project should really be a slam-dunk; that its in the state of legal limbo its in is testament to the sheer, crap-flying-out-the-end-of-the-pantlegs panic that gripped the Ontario Liberal Party in the run-up to the last election.  There was never a significant Toronto-based anti-wind faction.  LaForet  never got traction until he took his act to the sticks.  Polls from as  late as 2009 showed general support for a turbine just off Scarborough, and the ones Trillium is talking about now are "located in the centre of Lake Ontario, beside the international border with the United States".  So, no NIMBYS for miles and miles.

Monday, November 12, 2012

All Canada Agrees: Alberta Is Bent On Screwing B.C.

Last month, B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government announced five conditions – including a larger chunk of revenue – would have to be met for Northern Gateway to proceed.

The poll found 71 per cent of Canadians believed Ms. Clark was right in making the revenue demand, since B.C. is assuming most of the risk for oil spills and environmental damage.

If the feds keep pushing Northern Gateway we will have a  war in this country,  pitting Alberta and "The West" against The ROC and B.C.  Out there in Calgary they should realize that they will lose this war.  The ravines of the Rocky Mountains will fill with the  gold-plated cowboy hats of  dead blue-eyed sheiks.
Nobody wants that.

Gruending On Remembrance Day

One might be tempted to consign T.T. Shields and his demagoguery to the past but it is not so different from a recent program that I saw on CTS Television. Preacher Jack Van Impe was fulminating about Iran and its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, describing them as evil and calling Ahmadinejad “a Hitler.” Van Impe talked almost longingly about war with Iran and of how it would fulfill a prophecy about End Times.

What is it with these people, always trying to trigger the end times?  Like kids on a roller coaster screaming that they want off.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dennis Gruending On The Oppression Of Canadian Mennonite Magazine

Quite a bit more detail here than in the CBC piece.  The most interesting bit, though, is not even about the magazine per se.  Its about the financial costs associated with running afoul of the CRA:

[David] Suzuki...said that his foundation had been audited three times prior to 2012. “It’s very demoralizing,” he said in a media interview. “The last time we were audited I think it cost over $100,000 of our money to do that, so it’s a very expensive, punitive thing that can be done.

In news that is related when you think about it, our department of fisheries is now at the service of Enbridge in the cause of ramming Northern Gateway through.

Friday, November 09, 2012

A "Comeback" Crappy Tire shop-talk for a customer who gets home and finds out the car problem he or she just spent $100s on is still not fixed.  And so here I sit outside of Crappy Tire, a hard-won day off in ruins.

A "run right back" is a customer who realizes even before he gets out of the lot--maybe his engine catches fire--that he's still leaking gas or whatever.  These can be especially embarrassing for service centre staff when its closing time and the mechanic has gone home.

So there you have it.

Slow Death Of Sun Media Continues Slowly

Sun Media, which owned the [Amherstburg] Echo, also operates Windsor This Week. Mike Power, publisher of the Toronto Sun and vice-president of sales and advertising for Ontario, said Amherstburg will still be served with news in Windsor This Week, which is delivered to homes for free. In the region, Sun Media also owns the Leamington Post and Tri Tour News.

More news on the most recent round of blood-letting here.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Thing With Sandra Pupatello Is:

At this point, I like the plain-speaking Sandra Pupatello for the job, and I’m guessing she’s entering the race as the favourite. Should she win, she would, of course, make history as Ontario’s first female premier. I am somewhat perplexed, however, that Ms. Pupatello decided not to run for re-election last year, saying it was time for a change. Yet here she is competing for more of the same. Let’s hope this is not more of the usual Liberal duplicity or mendacity we’ve come to expect from this edition of the Ontario Grits.

Not necessarily a killer thing, and of course all the other potentials have their things too.  But this one is one of hers: opportunism would be the accusation, I suppose.

By the way, the link is to Russ Campbell, who is Tory but relatively sane.  And he isn't the only one pushing this line.  But what do I know anyway?  Apparently the Ontario Liberals need to promote somebody from outside of Toronto.  Why is that?  Why do people hate Toronto?  Is it because we are so beautiful?
At this point, I like the plain-speaking Sandra Pupatello for the job, and I’m guessing she’s entering the race as the favourite. Should she win, she would, of course, make history as Ontario’s first female premier. I am somewhat perplexed, however, that Ms. Pupatello decided not to run for re-election last year, saying it was time for a change. Yet here she is competing for more of the same. Let’s hope this is not more of the usual Liberal duplicity or mendacity we’ve come to expect from this edition of the Ontario Grits.

Keystone XL: Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Not just because the U.S. ambassador says not too.  But because deciding on the "safest route" in an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) is just a matter of counting how many streams must be crossed, properties expropriated, and etc, and assigning a score..  I would argue, and have argued, that by this measure the route already rejected was the safest one available (had the best score), and that any rejig:

...simply transfers the environmental risk to some place other than Sandhills, and increases it overall.  If the Obama administration can't get behind the current route, it would be even more difficult to get behind any of its major competitors.  And note too that Nebraska lawmakers themselves are only talking about moves that would increase the pipe length by 30 or 40 miles, which doesn't sound like any of the possibilities considered in the EIS and which, therefore, will almost certainly not solve the problem of the pipe's crossing Nebraska's environmentally sensitive areas in the first place.  

Plus the oil companies just spend $1,000,000,000s to defeat Obama.  He owes them dick.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

China: Canada Like Infertile Old Bag If We Don't Cough Up Bitumen REAL SOON

Chicomm PR offensive re  Northern Gateway Pipeline  in full swing.  Talking points contracted out to  Ethical Oil.

Go Get Em Lisa

TORONTO - A former employee of Ornge who raised concerns about business dealings at Ontario's scandal-plagued air ambulance service is suing for wrongful dismissal.

Lisa Kirbie was hired in March 2010 as the director of government and regulatory affairs and says she was fired in July without cause.

Lisa blogs here.

The Aftermath

Paul Wells diagnoses the state of the GOP.  I would note also that the Republican nominating process has historically been a pretty orderly affair: typically, the guy that came second last time gets the job next time around. McCain and Romney, for example. But since the runner-ups in 2012 were all whack-jobs,  2016 will have no natural front-runner.  Expect an even more spectacular gong show, especially since the party's response to Obama's re-election will be to double-down on crazy.

Monday, November 05, 2012

T.O. Sun: the Never Ending Restructuring

A rumor at T.O. Sun Family:

Halloween tricks at the Sun...a few more terminations. Unclear as to how many, but one long time manager. Anyone shed any light?

Will update when more info becomes available.

A Vet, A Radiologist, And An Anaesthetist Walk Into A Scientific Controversy...

A new "peer reviewed" paper, purporting to show that living in proximity to wind turbines has a negative effect on sleeping habits, has received some attention both locally and internationally.  Its crap.  An effective rebuttal has already appeared here.  What follows will reference the piece from Quora heavily with a few of my own notes added.

Firstly, all three authors, Jeffery Aramini, Michael Nissenbaum and Christopher Hanning, are long-time anti-wind activists.  Furthermore, the three reviewers mentioned in the paper are all paid anti-wind 'experts' who have a long history of directly testifying against wind energy in various court cases.  One of them, Carl Phillips, lost his position at the University of Alberta several years ago for taking money from the tobacco industry.

I would further note that Aramini's training is as a veterinarian; Michael Nissenbaum is a radiologist; and Christopher Hanning is an Anaesthetist.  So, really none has any experience that would be relevant doing a study like this with the possible exception of Hanning, who claims to have some knowledge of sleep disorders.  Certainly, designing surveys is not one of their areas of expertise.

The rebuttal continues:

This is not Nissenbaum's first study of the Mars Hill or the Vinalhaven wind farms.  He ran 'studies' there in 2010 and 2011 as well, using a format pioneered by anti-wind folks in the UK and then by Nina Pierpont, creator of Wind Turbine Syndrome. [3], [9] The a-scientific studies are so poorly constructed that they are guaranteed to make people ascribe new symptoms to wind turbines, and to take completely ignored minor symptoms and turn them into major complaints. These studies have pre-loaded the biases of these study groups, making it difficult to accept the the conclusions of this better structured study.  

Indeed, below is the questionnaire Nussbaum used in one of his earlier studies, and perhaps in this newest one as well, because the new work is simply a reiteration of the old.  The survey is available through first link here.

Its easier to read if you click on the image but, speaking generally, it looks like an invitation to bitch, whine, and complain more than an attempt to elicit useful information.  Finally, a recent post to the Climate Sceptic mailing list brings out some of the authors' preconceptions:

I was fortunate to attend a meeting with the two noise acoustic engineers that helped write the paper.  They told me an very interesting story.

They were in a house working on equipment, then on about the third day they began feeling ill.  They had headaches and lose of alertness.  Then on the 4th day they had to travel elsewhere for a week.  They immediately felt better after leaving the house.  When they returned, their symptoms got much worse.  After awhile it dawned on them that a large wind turbine sat not very far from the house.  They theorized that the noise eddies from the turbine was a low frequency noise which humans cannot hear.  The noise eddies enter the house an actually vibrate everything at a low frequency, which they thought caused motion sickness. 

They said that turbines near noisy areas such as cities did not cause this problem, likely due to other noises disrupting the noise eddies.  It took one of the engineers about 3 months to return to normal health, and when I talked to them the other engineer was still having symptoms.

Hard to tell who among  the research team is being referred to in this note, as none of the three main authors come anything close to being acoustic engineers.  Nevertheless, these kinds of sentiment suggests that the results of their study are a product of confirmation bias rather than the measuring of an actual phenomenon. 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Have A Royally Shitty Xmas

Vehicle just cost me $700, and I won't be getting the old dog back for another four hours.  Lotta folks I know will be getting lumps of coal this year.  Meanwhile, Shopper's Drug Mart finally listened to my endless 'plaints.  They're good corporate citizens.  They get it.  My next effort will be to convince the management at Walmart to replace their Mall Santa with an in-store C'thulu.
Tonight I think I'll watch the original Grinch That Stole Xmas.  I always cry at that.  Especially the part where The Grinch gives all the toys back.  What on earth was he thinking?  

Friday, November 02, 2012

Back to Court For Lemire/Warman

Ex-Heritage Front leader Marc Lemire is appealing Judge Mosley's decision re his constitutional challenge of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (the now repealed hate speech provision).  I have no idea on what grounds, as Lemire hasn't mentioned the appeal yet on his own blog.  In any case, here are the relevant court docs.

Michael Sona Vs. Brian Lilley: The Tale Of The Tape

According to Brian Lilley from Sun News, he is the guy who first broke the Mike Sona = Robocaller story back in February, 2012.  Mr. Sona has recently stated that Brian Lilley did not attempt to contact him before making the Sona = Robocaller accusation.  He has further suggested that Lilley admitted on air that he had indeed not attempted to contact Sona before making the accusation. Lilley has denied this, but his denials have been vague and a bit cagey.  That is, he's not making clear just when Sun TV first attempted to make contact with Sona.

Well here's the video of the show in question, on at about noon, Feb 23, 2012:

So, forward to about the 5:35 mark and you will hear Brian Lilley say that (in paraphrase) Sun News is still waiting for Sona to make a statement and will be reaching out to him later in the day.  Which implies that the network had not yet attempted to make contact with him, just as Mr. Sona has claimed.  Shame on Brian Lilley and Sun News.  If I were Mr. Sona, I would have sued your balls off.

Who Has Sponsored The Shaidle's Latest Israel Trip Redux

It's Meir Weinstein and JDL Canada--background here.

That is all.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

How Sandy Affected The Nerds Of New York City

From here. The "21st Century campfire", they're calling it.  I'd laugh but I probably would have killed to get a spot.