Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Sad, Sad NDP: A Twitter Debate

The good Dr. Dawg has quit, or is at least thinking of quitting, the Federal/Ontario NDP.  Debate ensues.

Friday, June 27, 2014

BCLSB Exclusive: Draft Version Of Peter Mackay's Facebook Statement On Women!

Peter Mackay recently issued a Facebook statement on that whole "women issue".  I have been able to access, via secret backdoor channels and a mole within the CPC establishment, an early version of that statement, before government spin-doctors got to it and, as they say, "softened the message".

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Section 13 Is Officially Dead...

Long Live Section 13.  But during its death spiral the whole notion of having a hate speech provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act was judged perfectly constitutional.  And  with a LPC government in power, S13 or something similar could be reinserted without having to sweat the constitutional issues.  It would be a vote getter, and it would be something that could be done on the cheap.

So we shall see.

Welcome Glen Murray, Ontario's New Minister Of The Environment

Monday, June 23, 2014

Joe Cressy, The NDP, And Keystone XL

NDP candidate Joe Cressy is yakking it up at the #trinspa debate:

You know we all hate Keystone here in T.O. but I don't see what making it front-and-center in their campaign is going to do for the NDP.  What practical effect does opposing a pipeline the fate of which will be decided by the government of another country have?  The entire party might as well drop its pants are fart in the direction of Washington.  It'll do as much good.  What victory can be claimed if the decision goes against Keystone?  Could they not settle on  issues that apply to Trinity-Spadina  specifically?

Federal Libs On Northern Gateway, Keystone XL

Den Tandt's pro-Keystone sentiments are standard issue,  but his bit on Liberal strategy seems sound:

All of which leads us back to the Liberals: They oppose the Northern Gateway project, because it lacks local community support and because its proposed route envisions sending hundreds of oil tankers down the narrow and pristine Douglas Channel, in B.C. But they support Keystone, because it has passed every local environmental and national governmental hurdle, and because of its strategic importance to Canada’s economy.

On a symbolic level, that bifurcation bridges the gap between Tories and New Democrats. It makes the Liberals look like grownups, and the other two parties implicitly like ideological outriders. And it places the Grits squarely in the sweet spot of Canadian politics, which is the pragmatic centre, heading into the 2015 election. 

I'd add a few other points as well.  Keystone XL is probably the easiest pipeline to support because, well, any spills from it  will wreck somebody else's country.  And of course it is the decision over which Canadian's have least leverage, so there is not much credit or blame to take whichever way it goes.  Note the LPC rationale, " support", can be applied to Trans-Mountain or (Energy East) should the public relations ball get dropped there the way Enbridge did with Gateway.   The LPC positioning here: supporting a pipeline to the West Coast in general but without getting behind any particular project  seems similarly clever.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Justin Trudeau Makes Men Standing Next To Him Look Sexxxier

Here is a shot of Scarborough-Agincourt candidate Arnold Chan with Justin Trudeau:

And here is one without:

An obvious increase in sexxxiness in the first shot vs. the second..  Although I will admit the guy was not bad to start with.

Friday, June 20, 2014

David Akin, Yuk Yuk Yuk

David Akin has finally made the Conservative  big time.  He's got a link from RealClearEnergy on RealClearPolitics:
Something you're not telling, David?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Randy Hillier Speaks! Points Finger Of Blame!

Guy's definitely got class.  All of it 3rd.
From his facebook page; he's referring to this article.  Worth noting that, when Hudak was an advocate fior ditching the Rand formula, Randy was behind him 100%.  Randy's usually just right of Attila The Hun, but in the wake of the PCPO ass-whupp'n he's gone all soft and sensitive.

And its funny that today we learn that Tim Hudak considered naming the civil servants he intended to fire.  Randy talked him out of it but, apparently, he's willing to name a few names of his own:
This guy's the new PCPO leader.  Mark my words.

Dennis Gruending On Canadian Doctors For Refugee Care

It's another good piece.  This little bit of it lets you see some of the logic at work on the government side:

Several members of the audience identified themselves as belonging to groups who have privately sponsored refugees. They described the chill that has set in: groups now fear having to pay expensive medical bills if the people they sponsor become ill.

Keeping 'em out without keeping 'em out.  Clever.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Northern Gateway: Welcome To Our Next National Unity Crisis

Depending how hard The Feds and Alberta push, it could get very ugly.  "The West" fragmented; B.C. NEP-ed; West-Coat  independence movements galore; The ROC forced to choose between beautiful B.C. and Alberta sludge miners.  I suspect that the Harper government won't push too hard, but they are betting the eventual construction date is so far beyond 2015 that this decision won't cost them.  I think it will, out in B.C. especially if the folks out there can swing a (non-binding) referendum.  You betcha this will be top-line news on election day 2015.  And Den Tandt is a kook if he thinks this decision will work to Harper's advantage in Ontario.  The polls out here side with B.C. over Alta. about three-to-one, and I doubt Jim Prentice has the rhetorical skills to change that ratio much.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Anti-Wind Battle Moves To Municipalities

Wind Concerns Ontario has a statement on the election  here.  They blame "urban voters" for the loss, although oddly enough their contact address is still  a ritzy address down in The Guild.  The next step is to run, or at least support, candidates in this October's municipal elections.  So, basically, stick a fork in 'em; they're done.  As for the wind industry's reaction, to Friday's result, it's basically a big sigh of relief.  Best story I've read on it so far is here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

First Steps For New Wynne Majority

Things We Learned During Ontario Election 2014: Conservative Ideologues Should Be Convulsed With Doubt And Self-Loathing

Take Andrew Coyne, for example. This guy is known among Canada's literati as "the journalist who knows math".  He's always saying "Well, the iron laws of Economics will prevent that!" and so forth. And when he says it what he means is that your figgers don't add up.  So what happened when he realized that Tim Hudak's 1,000,000 jobs plan made no sense unless you divided all his numbers by 8?  He endorsed the guy anyway!  He essentially abandoned mathematical Platonism, implicitly denied the reality of the number line, turned all Constructivist or, god help us,  into some kind of  late Wittgensteinian.  He claimed, in effect: "Whatever! Numbers do what I tell them to!

He's certainly not the only person to exhibit the same hubris.  Anyone who endorsed the "Hudak Plan" in spite of the innumeracy at its heart falls into the same boat. And it was these guys, who were willing to offer the PCPO an intellectual version of affirmative action for conservatives--They're morons, but their heart is in the right place!  PASS!--who actually cost team Tory the election.

Because you can't run on an austerity platform with bad math in it!  Because austerity brings pain, and you have to be able to demonstrate to people that if you put all the minuses together the right way you get a big plus at the end. Eat your spinach now, and you will get pie later! If you can't demonstrate this, your austerity platform starts to look like gratuitous cruelty, and you like a jerk who can't add.  Eat your spinach now!  And that's all your getting!  Spinach!  Nothing but spinach!  Yea for spinach!

And in the end that is how Tim Hudak will be remembered.: as an innumerate jerk bearing spinach. And the Conservative movement as a whole has been revealed as punishment loving folk who fetishize certain numbers (that Debt to GDP ratio sure is huge!)  but have no real idea how to manipulate them correctly according to the eternal laws of rational thought.

And that's not a good place to be.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jim Keegstra Has Apparently Died

It's all from one source, but there has been some follow-up:
Update: Confirmed here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Does Forum Poll Herald Liberal Majority?

This Ontario election may have recent precedents in Alberta and B.C.  There very tired governments were up against challengers who the governing party attempted to portray as "radical" during the course of the election campaign.  With some justification, in Alberta at least, as the Wildrose party of the time was indeed filled with kooks.  And successfully too.  In both cases it seems a late wave broke for the incumbents.  In Alberta a few polls seemed to pick up the first hints of this.  In B.C. everyone missed it.  Is this new Forum poll the first signs of a similar movement here in Ontario?

PS.  It is only Forum, I realize, though all the polls have been hovering in the same neighborhood lately.

Will The Government's New Prostitution Legislation Make Strip Clubs Illegal?

Past President of the Ontario Bar Association James Morton thinks so:

Most people do see a difference between going to a strip club and hiring a prostitute.  Strip clubs, while perhaps not the most elevated form of entertainment have long been accepted in Canada.  Some readers may remember the litigation over Pandora’s Box in Ottawa in the early 1970s -- since then strip clubs have been part of the Canadian landscape much like adult video and magazines.  


Note that "sexual services" is not defined.  Based on the preamble's description of objectification of the human body is a harm to be avoided, "sexual services" must be defined broadly. It could, on a simple reading of the legislation, include paying someone to take off their clothes so that the viewer can obtain sexual gratification. Certainly a "lap dance" where a naked stripper sits of the lap of a customer - who has paid for the dance - is caught by the legislation.

Is it likely that charges under the proposed legislation will be laid against someone getting a lap dance at a strip club?  From my own experience if a section in the Criminal Code can be made to apply to activity some police officer somewhere will lay a charge and some Crown somewhere will prosecute.  In fairness, it does seem that the legislation could apply so why would charges not be laid? 

Some have argued that the same legislation will make publishing the kind of want-ads offering escort services that you see in The Sun and Now Magazine illegal.  As I write here, and as others have suggested, the Tories don't likely care.  The purpose of the legislation is to serve as a device for fundraising after it is inevitably shot down by the courts.

Monday, June 09, 2014

New Oracle Poll Has Ontario Race In Dead Heat

Near identical numbers for PC and Liberal Party: The province-wide results show no movement from the PC and NDP since the May 26th data was released. There is slow upward growth by the Liberal Party from 31% to 35% (May 5th data and this poll). The PC had 42% in the first poll, dipping to 36% in the current poll. The NDP remain almost unchanged at 24%. 

The other important bit from this poll:

PC and liberals have almost equal support in "seat rich" GTA Region: PC 's have a sizeable lead in public support in three regions of the Province (Central, Eastern and Southwest). The NDP’s dominate the North Region and the Liberal's have healthy leads in Niagara/Hamilton and Metro region. The area where the NDP’s dominate have 10 seats. The area where Liberal's are most popular cover 32 Ridings or seats. The PC lead in areas accounting for 42 seats and the GTA Region where the Liberals and PC have similar support accounts for 23 seats. 

Though no seat projects are provided.  And of course the NDP, as they have this entire election cycle, just sit there like a dead fish at the bottom of a lake.

Innovative hasn't reported in awhile.  Wonder if they'll get one in before its all over.

Northern Gateway To Be Delayed?

“We've heard through the grapevine that the Harper government is going to announce a delay," said the Chief Phillip said to the hundreds of people gathered to protest the bitumen pipeline proposal.

"This is the rumour -- that it’s going to be a delay to allow for more consultation with First Nations communities. We know that if we take this matter to the court today, the Harper government will lose.” 

Delay pretty much means post-2015.  Otherwise it becomes an issue in the 2015 federal election.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Life In Scarborough: Scarborough Youth Discuss Their Social Media Presence

So I'm sitting in a bar in Scarborough (I'm always sitting in a bar in Scarborough), and this young couple a few booths down start arguing.  She starts giving him the third degree about what he's up to on Facebook. She starts talking about all the women he's "liked" recently, and about how he hasn't deleted women he once liked but apparently promised he would delete.  So why the hell hasn't he?  He keeps saying no man it isn't true but she says she's contacted some of these new women, and they don't know him from Adam, so why is he liking them like he's some kind of stalker?  He says no again but she says she's seen his "activity logs".  I don't know if there even is such a thing on Facebook but she sure has got him by the nads.  She reams him out for a good half-hour.   He's gotta sit and take it.

I've always said social media is civilizational poison.  Twitter is what you use when you want to destroy your career with a couple of tossed-off sentiments.  And I used to think that Facebook was where the white working class went to destroy their marriages and other intimate relationships.  But this was a mixed-race couple, so the bad effect obviously goes far beyond what I had previously imagined.

Friday, June 06, 2014

New Ipsos, Not Bad

This was their last one. Jeez, I was looking forward to being depressed this evening.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Your Daily Nazi: Robert Mccorkill Can't Give His Estate To Nazis

He was the Canadian chemist who wanted to will his collection of ancient coins and other artifacts to The National Alliance, an american Neo-Nazi group.  Richard Warman,  B'nai Brith, and Isabelle Rose Mccorkill teamed up to see if they could put a stop to it.  Today, the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench issued their ruling.  Richard writes of it:

 At paragraph 76, Justice Grant continues his condemnation of the National Alliance in no uncertain terms – “The evidence before the court convinces me that in the case of the NA [National Alliance] the purpose for which it exists is to promote white supremacy through the dissemination of propaganda which incites hatred of various identifiable groups which they deem to be non-white and therefore unworthy. These purposes and the means they advocate to achieve them are criminal in Canada and that is what makes this bequest repugnant.”

I think that Justice Grant’s collective use of provincial human rights law, federal criminal law, and Canada’s obligations under numerous international treaties to block the bequest to the National Alliance shows on how many levels it was contrary to public policy. The welcome intervention of the Attorney-General of New Brunswick through counsel Richard Williams to stop the bequest cleary carried great weight with the court on this issue and they deserve a great vote of thanks for their efforts to defend the public interest.

The full decision, which I have not read yet, can be found here.  When I have I might do another post. Congrats to Richard and everyone else involved.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Will New Prostitution Bill Shut Down Toronto SUN???

You can see it through the link.  The exciting bit is here:
Justin Ling gets to the nub of the issue:
But its not just the Gay & Lesbian news that would suffer.  Its been awhile since I've flipped through the personals in The T.O  Sun, but they used to run tons of ads for escort services. The new law means them forgoing a pretty lucrative revenue stream.  News folks everywhere are going to shit.

So its probably a head fake; this bit gets amended out in order to let the other probably unconstitutional stuff go through (until the whole thing gets struck down).

New Ontario Poll: What Did I Say?

Before the Tuesday telecast, voters who tuned in said they preferred the Liberals over the Conservatives by 37 per cent to 31 per cent. Afterward, the Liberals were at 40 per cent and the Conservatives at 35 per cent.

I said this, if you're wondering.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Ontario Debate: BCLSB Analysis

Sat in a pub watching old MMA clips during the whole thing, waiting for my wife to do her physio.  Drank a couple of  pints, kept an eye on twitter as the poli-nerds fought it out.  It was almost like I was watching the Ontario election debate, except I wasn't so bored I wanted to pull my eyes out.  Final  analysis: I spent my time wisely, cradled over a beer.  And tomorrow, most polls will still show the OLP up by 5 or 6.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Message To Millenials: Until You Are Ready To Kill Your Folks, You'll Never Amount To Anything

The charts tell the story.  Your entire generation is being screwed, and your only hope is to launch a violent, possibly cannibalistic uprising against your elders.  Otherwise they'll figure out a way to take it all with them, to fly off with the loot on the back of their jet-powered mobility scooters.

Like reverse mortgages, for example.  I should never have told my own parents about those.  Now every time we get into an argument they threaten to "reverse the mortgage" so I wind up with squat.

Finally, not all old people are for eating.  I'm getting old, but I'm pretty cool and also sympathetic to your plight.   I'll be the balding guy wearing a hoody with Bob Marley on front, so you'll know to leave me alone.

Life In Scarborough: Scarborough Youths Reject The Lure Of Tar-Sands $

Overheard a young couple yesterday in one of Scarborough's relatively upscale pubs.   He had taken her out for dinner. They were both Millennials, sporting elaborate tattoos.  He said that he had considered leaving for Fort Mac to shovel bitumen outta the tar-sands, but decided that doing so would mean selling out his values, betraying the good Mother Earth, and etc.  He didn't care about money.  Life was so much more.  Good lad. I'm pretty sure he was trying to get laid, but whatever. Back in my day, if you wanted to advertise your sensitivity creds you just threw on a VHS of any movie starring the young Matthew Modine, Birdy comes to mind, and then made sure your gal saw you tearing up  the appropriate moment.  The bar has got a little higher since the 1980s, which is a good thing.