Sunday, March 30, 2014

Joseph Howe Institute Update: Its Ezra All The Way Down

To update this post, here's Ezra announcing the creation of the Joseph Howe Institute at the Canadian University Press NASH76:
Pretty ambitious sounding, but looks so far its just him an his trusty web-master, Amanda Achtman:
Although the kind of ambitions Ezra has are not matched by his financial resources, unless some larger entity is kicking in some money.  Worth keeping an eye on.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A New Fun Project: Who Is The Joseph Howe Institute?

The reason I ask is, they're holding a Communicating Energy Conference, somewhere in Toronto, the first weekend of June.  The advert is below:

Of Ezra Levant and Marc Morano have shilled for many causes in the past.  They currently shill for Big Oil, denying climate change and the like. Alex Epstein runs the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), which also shills for big oil.  Phelim McAlee made the movie Fracknation. And in the midst of all these climate change deniers sits Janet Annesley, VP Communications for The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

Well, in one sense who they are is obvious: an industry front group who want to attract young journos/journo students, who are already of a similar mindset, and feed them the company line.  Plant the seed of the news industry of tomorrow.   Successful participants get occasional unpaid guest shots on Ezra's show, The Source, and so forth.

But a few things about the Institute's web-page stand out.  Firstly, other than than section on the conference, it is put together most shabbily.  For example, all the Institute's blog posts contain the same block of dummy text:

And if you look at the application form, it requires that you basically pass a test for ideological purity:

...which is why you would assume the event is meant to attract young conservative-types.

In any case, the site appears to have been slapped together (there is a prominent typo on the main-page) merely to serve as a sign-up page for the conference. And of course there is no clue as to who the institute actually consists of, people-wise.  That would be nice to know.  It might be another one man outfit, cranked up by Ezra himself to promote the conference.  Or there might be more to it than that.

Finally, the whois  result is not particularly enlightening.

So there you have it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ezra Levant: Three More Defamation Suits

...coming down the pipe.  A couple of lawyers from the Alberta Human Rights Commission, and the press secretary for the Alberta Justice Minister.   Presumably, Ezra will use this as an opportunity to campaign against the AHRC, and in particular section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act, which is the hate speech clause.  The Alberta government has just reaffirmed its support for section 3, so it will be interesting to see if Ezra's army of kooks is large enough to sway them in their thinking.  Given that Ezra typically loses these suits, it will also be interesting to see if/when Sun News backs down on his behalf.

PS.  Through the first link is a video of Ezra yakking.  I've tried to summarize it above.  You don't have to watch.

A Few More Notes on 1st Toronto Mayoral Debate

Rob Ford cradles imaginary crack pipe, and sweats:
This is not John Tory's real hair:
Too sleek.  Too ample.  Too beautiful.  Rumour is he borrowed a lock of Justin's for the occasion--which will keep growing for weeks if properly watered--and glued it down over what's left of the original.  I have no evidence of this rumour, but intend to spread  it through the blogosphere.

UPDATE:  OMG!  OMG!!  OMG!!!  That's NOT John Tory, its moderator Gord Martineau, who looks astonishingly like a young John Tory with terrific hair.  My bad.  Obviously the above no longer applies.  My apologies to both John and Gord.  And especially my apologies to Mr. Martineau's hair, which I have absolutely no reason to think is not 100% natural.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The First T.O. Mayor's Debate: The Definitive Analysis

I didn't watch it; I was crawling East on the 401 the whole time, listening to a rock station out of...Hamilton...I think.  They played "All Apologies" by Nirvana, and then "Hot Child In The City" By Nick Gilder.  For a moment I was in heaven.

In any case, I didn't watch it and either did anyone else.  Except maybe some of my readers.  But if you did you don't have to tell people.  In fact you probably shouldn't.  They'll  think you're a loser with no life.

In any case, looking at twitter afterwards I'd say that nobody who watched it changed their mind, so what was the fucking point? Kill brain cells for 2 hours?  And there's only, what, six months of this? Root Canal is less painful, and its over same day.  By September, I predict a wave of suicides from T.O. political junkies.

Me, I'm just gonna watch old UFC fights on youtube.

Bottom line is the odds still favor Olivia Chow, with Doug Ford a strong possibility and everybody else a joke.  Speaking of which, Olivia apparently let off a good one:

So there you have it.  The definitive analysis.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ontario Election...Or No? Which is it?

The Star is bullish on an election call:

The minority Liberal government doesn’t intend to negotiate with the New Democrats in order to get their support for the spring budget, a senior Liberal insider says.

That could set the stage for a provincial election in June and also puts the spotlight on NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who has seemed far less bullish about joining the eager Tories in pulling the plug on the Liberals’ 10-year-plus reign.

Mind you, Sun-Ann Levy over at The Sun reports that:

“The most likely scenario right now is that they (the Liberals) hold the NDP at bay, they go for a year and there’s a spring [2015] election...

The fact that the NDPers still need more money in their election campaign kitty and aren’t exactly a “shoo-in” based on the latest Nanos poll, will likely lend credence to their decision to wait another year, [retired PCPO MPP Peter Shurma]says.

That Nanos poll, based on a telephone survey of 500 Ontarians between Feb. 28 and March 3, shows the Liberals leading with 36% support, the PCs at 33% and the NDP at 25%.

As for me, how the hell should I know?  I'm just a lowly blogger without any inside connections whatsoever.  But if you must ask I'm leaning towards the latter view.  The upcoming Wynne budget will be more clearly branded OLP, but contain enough measures that Andrea Horwath--and, as importantly, folks behind the scene like Sid Ryan who fear a 2nd War On Labour if Tim Hudak comes to power--can sign-off on it, albeit with much grumbling.  I wouldn't bet the farm on this outcome, but the idea of starting an election campaign 11% out of first place can't be particularly appetizing to the provincial NDP.  As to retiring PCPO MPP Frank Klees idea that, should the NDP and OLP come to a budget deal, they should officially declare themselves a "coalition government".  Yeah.  Good luck with that, idiot stick.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Things That Have Gone Wrong With The Arab Spring

Dennis Gruending covers a talk by Nahlah Ayed, London-based foreign correspondent for CBC Television.  These things that have gone wrong are many, and not terribly surprising if you were paying a attention.  A couple of them, as teasers:

Absence of political choices

No matter what upheavals occur, the same old regimes that come back as new ones. For example, when President Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office in Egypt, the only well-organized political opposition was the Muslim Brotherhood, which had existed for many years but had been suppressed by the regime. The Brotherhood had experience as an opposition but not in governing and things went badly once they were elected. The army then deposed the elected president Mohamed Morsi and is in control once again. Ayed said that in Egypt there “was no third way” that would represent the young people who had been instrumental in the protests that deposed Mubarak.


Continued exclusion of women

Even in Middle Eastern countries where women are well represented in the workforce, Ayed said, they are not allowed to “step up” politically. Women were active in some of the Arab Spring protests, but there appears to be no place for them in the structured political systems of government or opposition.

There are a few positive signs as well, which you can read about through the link.

Life In Scarborough: Olivia Chow On Better Bus Service

Olivia Chow will take downtown, but she has to do OK in the burbs if she wants to win the T.O. mayor's race.  In fact, I would argue that she has to win Scarborough.  And she can  if she plays her cards right.  Her pitch for better bus service is a pretty clever attempt to attract Scarborough votes while estabishing her fiscally conservative credentials at the same time.

The thing with Scarborough is that most of what what passes for the main drags out here (VP, Kennedy, Markham Road)  run North to South, and a huge portion of its sprawls East beyond Kennedy Station, the last subway stop.  So if you are using the TTC, you are mostly going to be using buses.  For example, when I go to work in the morning (around Don Mills and Ellsemere), that's all by bus.  If I go looking for used books on the weekend, that's all by bus.  Kennedy Station is a fifteen minute bus trip away and I don't go into town much anymore,  so practically speaking,  a new subway or an expanded LRT mean nothing to me.  Or, I would wager, for most of the people out here who choose  to use the better way, or do so from financial necessity.  And for us, the reality of the Ford years has been service cuts.  For instance, the 34 Eglinton rush hour bus, which took you all the way from Eglinton Station on the Yonge Line to Kingston Road, was cut this year.  Now you have to change buses at Kennedy Station.  When I called Councillor Crawford's office (a staunch Ford ally), his staff knew nothing, could do nothing, and etc.  Getting that route back would mean more to me and my wife, who will be hobbling around on a gimpy ankle for the next couples of months, than an expanded subway that starts miles away and goes no place we need to get to.  And I would guess this holds true for many Scarborough residents.

I particularly liked Olivia's reference to baby strollers (in her speech but not in the presser).  These are a real issue here in the burbs.   Its always a thing when someone boards a crowded bus pushing one of them.  Because these days they're about the size of an SUV, and if there's more than one, they block the aisle so that passengers pile up in front of them.  You could probably make an argument for banning them as a safety hazard, but of course that in itself would be unfair to the mothers of one (or zero) car families who have no other way of going out shopping.  Olivia Chow gets that.  John Tory, and the other candidates touting big ticket, way down the road projects like a Downtown Relief Line, haven't demonstrated to me that they do.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thomas Mulcair's Problem

Best known for his role as "Screamin' Tom" on the Parliamentary Channel hit "Question Period".

From here.

OLP Leads In Real Poll!

One from NANOS, that is:

The Liberals are at 36 percent support followed by the PCs at 33 percent and the NDP at 25 percent. The Green Party had 7 percent in Ontario. 

I freely admit to commenting on Forum polls, especially when they give a result I approve up.  "They suck, but they're there," is my attitude, I guess.  NANOS, on the other hand, is usually solid, although a survey sample of 500 over four days is not terribly impressive.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cease And Desist: Zig-Zag Puts Kibosh on Justin Trudeau Rollies

CANNABIS CULTURE - So I received a cease and desist order via registered mail today from ZIG ZAG. It's 3 pages of their request, followed by 50 pages of their copyrights they own. In one part their letter mentions "Even though your use of our client's copyrighted works make a political spoof of Mr. Justin Trudeau, these activities can hardly be characterized as "fair" and would constitute copyright infringement." Although, they are not requesting costs, or damages, they are requesting I cease and desist manufacturing, advertising and selling them by March 21st 2014, if not they want costs and damages.

They will no longer be available after March 21st.

John Tory, Man Of The People (The Rich People)

Appearances like this aren't going to win him many votes out in Etobicoke or, as we Scarberians call it, "The Coke".

Godzilla Preview/Review: Godzilla Vs. Pacific Rim

It can't POSSIBLY be as good as Pacific Rim!  Pacific Rim had Giant Monsters in the plural AND GIANT ROBOTS!!!  This has just one (1) monster, even though he's a good one (unless that's Rodan in that shot near the end, which would be even gooder).  And no hot Oriental chick with blue hair that knows kung-fu.  So it's limited to a possible 7 out of 10 stars, or nine if there's both sex and foul language, where there frankly hardly ever is in this kind of movie.  Pacific Rim was able to transcend that limitation with GIANT ROBOTS!!! but unless I'm missing the GIANT ROBOTS!!!, there are no giant robots!!! in the new Godzilla.  So I'm giving it a likely eight out of ten stars, up or down 1/2 star depending on the presence of absence of Rodan.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New ROFO Video Coming Down The Pipe

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Another Poll: Chow Ahead

Olivia Chow led the field of mayoral candidates in a poll conducted the day of her official campaign launch event.

Chow had the support of 36 per cent of respondents, incumbent Rob Ford 28 per cent, John Tory 22 per cent. They all held wide leads over Karen Stintz at 5 per cent and David Soknacki at 2 per cent. Seven per cent were undecided.

Of course, as the story notes, this poll ran the day of her launch, so it comes in the midst of a wave of positive publicity.  Also worth commenting upon is how awful things have gone for Karen Stintz, who was willing to put the city 100-mil in the hole to fuel her base mayoral ambitions.  BURN IN HELL EVIL WOMAN!

And Dave Soknacki is holding strong at 2 per cent.

Nice Poll From Real Pollster

Thus speaks Abacus:

Particularly like those Ontario numbers.  10 points up translates into a lotta lotta seats.  At least that's my analysis.  Clearly, I am not Nate Silver. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Ukrainian Far Right: Gruending On Ukraine

Dennis Gruending has a piece on some of the propaganda being employed by both sides in the standoff over Ukraine.  I found this bit particularly interesting:

... the Russians suspect, with some justification, that demonstrations in Ukraine were partly the work of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists assisted by the West. This claim strikes a deep chord among Russians because of the great sacrifices that were made fighting fascists in the Second World War. And if the West indeed orchestrated the ouster of an elected president based on his own corruption, it is certainly on thin ice. After all, it has supported its fair share of corrupt dictators in the past. 

This is rather too nice to the Russians, I think.  There is indeed a far-right element involved in the Ukrainian protests.  The Globe's Doug Saunders has written about them here, and others have written about them elsewhere.  But for the Russians to single out these people as a reason for their intervention is a bit rich. Russia has its own far-right, just as ugly as the Ukranian version.  If they are demonizing Pravy Sektor  it is certainly not over the contents of that group's beliefs, because that same kind of stuff flies OK back home.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Olivia Chow On Scarborough LRT Vs. Subway

I am happy now.

And here's what a Leger poll back in February revealed about this issue:

An independent survey conducted by Leger found that 61 per cent of voters preferred a seven-stop LRT line over a three-stop subway extension that would lead to a $1-billion tax increase over 30 years. Thirty-nine per cent of those polled preferred a subway.


The Leger survey found that voters in Scarborough prefer an LRT over a subway for their own part of the city by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

This latter figure has changed over the past year or two.  That's because, I think, Scarberians thought they were getting their subway for free.  Now it turns out we have to pay more in property taxes for transit most of us will never use.  Scaroborough is a big place.  That subway would serve just a tiny little sliver of it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Did Calgary Herald Disappear Editorial Re Ezra Levant?

It looked like it might be mildly Ezra-critical:
But now, not two hours after it appeared, all you get is a 404 error.  Someone send in their army of lawyers?

Olivia Chow For Mayor

That's a little premature, because I haven't decided 100% yet.  But I can't see who else it could be. Soknaki's stance on the LRT vs. Subway debate is refreshing, and his ad campaign clever, but he has all the charisma of a pair of used gym socks.  Stintz is an evil witch whose policy reversal on that same file cost this town $100 million, and all so she could buy a few votes out here  in Scarborough.  I wouldn't pee on her if her heart was on fire.   John Tory so far comes across as a rich, slightly dotty old fart...the GOP candidate from 1980 something.  And Rob Ford of course is a crackhead who must be stopped.  Thus we arrive at Olivia.   As for policy, I hope she puts forward something concrete on transit.  In particular, I hope she takes up Soknacki's anti-Scarborough-subway stance because, as I've said previously, I think that will prove surprisingly popular now that the price of the Ford/Stintz line has become apparent.  And lets just say it again: the Scarborough subway will be an absolute boondoggle--during off-peak hours, it will be empty cars stopping at a scrap yard and recycling plant before they deliver nobody to Scarborough Town Centert.  I've heard rumors to the effect that Olivia will stress greater federal involvement on this file.  Which is fine, but a little like praying to the corn gods.  They are fickle, and prone to not appearing when you need them most.  So she needs to talk concrete doables.  And finally, for people who are in general tired of arguing transit issues, well it's the biggest chunk of change in the municipal budget.  If you want to be progressive in T.O, you do it by expanding the TTC.  No other policy proposal amounts to a hill of beans in comparison.  So there you have it.  Olivia, probably, or perhaps Norm Gardner.  He called me up and gave me shit once once back in the 1990s (long story), so I still have fond memories. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

A Brief Note: The Dogs Of Bayview Village

Spent the afternoon  wandering around Bayview Village while the wife shopped for useless female gewgaws. The place was filled with richy-rich assholes and their fancy dogs.  Apparently, management lets them into the mall (the dogs) if you can produce two pieces of ID: documentation showing they're a pure-bred and a pay-stub that demonstrates you make at least six figures a year.

True fact: many of the dogs were dressed better than I was.

Friday, March 07, 2014

How's Ezra's Defamation Trial Going?

Well, yesterday he brought forward a gentleman named Greg Felton to contest some of the statements made by complainant Khurrum Awan.  Former CJC head Bernie Farber is familiar with Greg:
So how did his testimony go?  Christie Blatchford gives us a relatively g-rated account:

Felton, a blogger and freelance journalist, sounded for all the world like a 9/11 “truther.” For instance, he said he’s quite sure no planes ever flew into the World Trade Center and that the buildings’ collapse was due rather to the planting of mini hydrogen bombs in the towers, probably by, you guessed it, the Jews — and who also refers to Israel and the United States as “Isramerica” because in his view “Israel has so thoroughly bought off the Congress” the countries are essentially one.


Amusingly, Felton was also called by MacKinnon, because in all his prolific writing over the years, he allegedly may have accidentally written a purely factual paragraph, which is to say, one that may favour Levant in this trial.


In the piece, Felton quoted Awan saying that despite the fact that his side lost, “we attained our strategic objective — to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.”

However, during cross-examination by Awan’s lawyer, Brian Shiller, who read gleefully aloud from some of Felton’s other efforts, Felton’s views were sufficiently on the table that it’s dubious how much weight his evidence can be given by Ontario Superior Court Judge Wendy Matheson.

On the other hand, Ezra fan-boy Arnie Lemaire, best known for being once almost-famous far-right blogger Kathy Shaidle's husband, used  stronger language to describe the testimony:

Ezra's lawyer cross examined Felton and it went reasonably well, Felton seemed sane during the exercise as he explained the history of the article and his association with Awan. Despite having misplaced the notes he made for the piece he came across as a reasonable human being.

Then he was cross-examined by Awan's counsel and  Rocketship Batshit Crazy left the launch pad.

Shiller had a field day having Felton describe the locus of his work as a "journalist" starting with "Kennedy’s assassination is the coup d’état that dare not speak its name".

"JFK abhorred nuclear weapons, and wanted to rid the world of them. He was determined to conclude a peace treaty with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, with whom he had been keeping a secret correspondence, and to implement a unilateral test ban. Most significantly, JFK refused to sell Israel nuclear weapons and demanded that Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona be completely open for inspection. On July 5, 1963, Kennedy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (né Shkol’nik) to that effect.

The request was contemptuously ignored; four months later Kennedy was dead. Johnson proceeded to turn Kennedy’s rational policy on its head and put the U.S. on the long humiliating road to becoming Israel’s bitch."

So I think we can safely say that this bit didn't go very well.

Ezra's due up today to testify on his own behalf.  According to his latest fundraising email, he's going to talk about "freedom".  I've said this before, but its a fact that judges really, really don't like it when you use their courtroom to play to the press.

Update:  Mark Steyn thinks Ezra's doomed.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

It's Upside Down

Media preview
From here.  Looks better if you open it in a new tab.  Also:

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Tim Hudak's Energy Policy, Such As It Is

Tom Adams, who occasionally achieves sanity when writing about energy issues, gets about half-way there in his piece yesterday, in particular when he touches on the pumped-storage project up in Marmora:

[PCPO MPP Todd ] Smith has ...hounded the Minister of Energy over why he has “delayed in arriving at a contract to produce power” for the pumped energy storage project in the Municipality of Marmora and Lake. Proposed by Toronto-based Northland Power, the project is designed to counter the grid problems caused by fickle wind and solar output – which Northland also develops...

After having visited the site for that pumped storage proposal in January, Mr. [Tim] Hudak labelled it “environmentally friendly” and complained that the Liberal government was “dragging its heels” on the project. Without the benefit of any publicly disclosed cost/benefit studies or public consultations with anyone other than proponents, he declared that the project “makes sense.”

Here's the kicker.  Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak's energy plan would kill Ontario's green energy sector, but go forward with an expensive ancillary project explicitly designed to store green energy.  That is very much like keeping your car battery manufacturer running after you've closed the auto-plant.

And this is regardless of whether Hudak's plan will break existing contracts, costing the province bazillions, as argued here, or not. He has said on a number of occasions that projects far enough down the pipeline will be allowed to go through; some of his MPPS have claimed a PCPO government will shut done everything, no matter what the cost.

Monday, March 03, 2014

I, Ezra, Again

Ezra Levant has sent out an email soliciting donations to fund yet another defamation case he's caught up in.  I recieved a secret first draft of this email by a mole within the Sun News Network. I am reproducing it here:

Mann Vs. Steyn: Steve McIntyre Weighs In

I've written fairly extensively on the topic of Michael Mann's defamation case against Mark Steyn. Earlier this month, having fired, or been fired by, his lawyers, Mark Steyn appealed to the Internet to help build a case for claiming that, when he described Michael Mann's work as "fraudulent", he was not accusing him of scientific misconduct.  

Canadian climate change denier Steve McIntyre has now stepped up to make that case.  It's not going to help.

As usual, reading through McI's writing at Climate Audit is a joyless experience.  There's veiled accusations, insinuations, quote-mining, tortured semantics ...the works.  It's a hard job to boil it down to some at-bottom essence.  I am going to focus on this post, mostly because it's been reproduced uncritically at The Volokh Conspiracy blog, a right-wing legal blog which the Washington Post has, for some reason, decided to carry, and where it may therefore be seen by a larger audience.  The end-point of McI's argument  is that Michael Mann was not exonerated by the many, many panels, boards, and etc. which investigated him.  Therefore Steyn's claim, that Mann's results were "fraudulent", can somehow be supported.  That's what I gather, at least, having read through his original piece and its regurgitation at the VC site twice now.

McI's analysis of the Oxburgh Panel's report lean quite heavily on a few tossed-off comments made by statistician David Hand at a press-conference announcing the panel's findings.  These remarks were widely reported at the time.  McI quotes three or four press outlets, but I will reference just The Daily Telegraph, which seems to have reproduced them most extensively:

Professor David Hand said that the research – led by US scientist Michael Mann – would have shown less dramatic results if more reliable techniques had been used to analyse the data… But the reviewers found that the scientists could have used better statistical methods in analysing some of their data, although it was unlikely to have made much difference to their results.
That was not the case with some previous climate change reports, where “inappropriate methods” had exaggerated the global warming phenomenon. Prof Hand singled out a 1998 paper by Prof Mann of Pennsylvania State University, a constant target for climate change sceptics, as an example of this. He said the graph, that showed global temperature records going back 1,000 years, was exaggerated – although any reproduction using improved techniques is likely to also show a sharp rise in global warming. He agreed the graph would be more like a field hockey stick than the ice hockey blade it was originally compared to. “The particular technique they used exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick. Had they used an appropriate technique the size of the blade of the hockey stick would have been smaller,” he said. “The change in temperature is not as great over the 20th century compared to the past as suggested by the Mann paper.”

So, to begin with, let's assume that David Hand is strictly speaking correct here.  Mann's research team could have used more appropriate statistical techniques, and these would have given less "exaggerated" results.  Although the results obtained were not greatly exaggerated, because as Hand notes better techniques would also have shown "a sharp rise in global warming".  The work might have been done more carefully, in other words, but the fact it wasn't doesn't matter much.

This a long, long way from an accusation of scientific misconduct.  And remember, previous judges have already concluded that in this particular setting Steyn's use of "fraudulent" = "scientific misconduct. There is no colloquial sense of the term where it means something less serious.  So how this is suppose to help Steyn's case is a little bit mysterious.

But, of course, it's pretty clear that Hand has got his facts bungled.  Mann's team was interested in a paleoclimatic reconstruction--in an attempt to determine temperature changes before the instrumental record.  This work took the 20th century instrumental record, which shows rapid increases in temperature,  as a given, and did nothing to transform it in either an exaggerated or any other manner.  Therefore Hand's criticism seems to have little merit.

And it is significant that shortly after the Panel published its findings, it added the following addendum to them:

Addendum to report, 19 April 2010

For the avoidance of misunderstanding in the light of various press stories, it is important to be clear that the neither the panel report nor the press briefing intended to imply that any research group in the field of climate change had been deliberately misleading in any of their analyses or intentionally exaggerated their findings. Rather, the aim was to draw attention to the complexity of statistics in this field, and the need to use the best possible methods. 

As I argued at the time, this sounds pretty close to a grovelling apology.  Oddly enough, McI and the folks at the VC blog interpret it differently:

Note that this statement doesn’t actually offer an opinion on whether the (criticized) findings were “deliberately misleading” or “intentionally exaggerated,” merely stating that their comments were not intended to imply this accusation.

This strikes me as semantic noodling, but if we are going to engage in such things, note that the addendum references not just Mann's team but "any research group in the field of climate change".  So if it is refusing to offer an opinion of Mann's work, it is also refusing to offer one on the work of the CRU scientists who were the subject of its investigation in the first place.  And such a stance would be ridiculous given the reason for the panel's existence.

Finally, McI seems to be claiming that, since the panel was not investigating Mann directly, it cannot "exonerate" him.  Indeed, the Oxburgh Panel had other concerns, and if I remember events correctly, it was only when a small group of deniers within the  U.K. Institute of Physics hijacked a sub-committee and used it to spread the accusations of misconduct more broadly, that Mann and his team were dragged into this mess.  But insofar as the panel touched on Mann's work, it cleared him of wrong-doing.  Other investigations, more directly focused, cleared him in a more decisive fashion.  And it's more than a little silly that McI would lean on a non-existent colloquial sense of "fraudulent" while insisting on a legalistic reading of "exonerate".

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Advice To Federal Tories: Run On Income Splitting

Tax breaks for couples wealthy enough to live their lives in the Biblical manner.  Forget any silly economic "principle" used to justify the move; follow the money.  The same people who 15 years ago were pushing for a repeal of the metric system are now going to get favorable tax treatment because they are better than the rest of us.  They're making society a more stable place.  Families with two working parents, single parent families, childless couples...we're all  apparently just dicking around.  And of course we know where The Select are geographically concentrated, don't we?   Money from our cities and towns will be diverted to places like Big Valley, Alberta.  Shoveled out of the backs of pick-up trucks with pitch-forks.

Sure, run on that.