Friday, February 29, 2008

Wildrose Alliance Endorses HRCs!

Lost in yesterday's "Daily Nazi" post was a mildly interesting tid-bit. John Murdoch, campaign chair of Alberta's Wildrose Alliance, which is polling at about 7 per cent and might just maybe possibly win a seat in next week's provincial election, has endorsed the existence of Human Rights Commissions:

Further to this, whomever was saying we do not support Human rights commissions is obviously speaking out of turn as there is no such policy and certainly no such prevailing sentiment in the party.

Obviously trying to take a few steps towards the mainstream.

Yo Mark, Ezra...suck on that, Speechy boyzz! You can't even count on The Alliance! Not even Alberta's Conservative fringe! Boo-yah! Boo-yah! Your revolution is down the toilet! Boo-yah!

Compared To This, Afghanistan Is A Side-Show

PARIS -- The fast-warming Arctic could be plunged into "armed conflict" unless the U.S. takes the lead in resolving rival claims by the U.S., Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway over a region that could create billions of dollars in new wealth as the ice cap melts, according to new analysis.

Which is why I 100% support Tory efforts to "bulk up" our military and surveillance capabilities in the North, and why it is especially tragic that we are pissing away $1,000,000s that could be used for this effort in the deserts of Central Asia.

Here is the original article. In it, author Scott G Borgerson minces no words when describing "The Coming Anarchy":

The situation is especially dangerous because there are currently no overarching political or legal structures that can provide for the orderly development of the region or mediate political disagreements over Arctic resources or sea-lanes. The Arctic has always been frozen; as ice turns to water, it is not clear which rules should apply. The rapid melt is also rekindling numerous interstate rivalries and attracting energy-hungry newcomers, such as China, to the region. The Arctic powers are fast approaching diplomatic gridlock, and that could eventually lead to the sort of armed brinkmanship that plagues other territories, such as the desolate but resource-rich Spratly Islands, where multiple states claim sovereignty but no clear picture of ownership exists.


Until such a solution is found, the Arctic countries are likely to unilaterally grab as much territory as possible and exert sovereign control over opening sea-lanes wherever they can.

While it is certainly possible to maintain that the Afghanistan mission is in Canada's national interest, the arguments tend to be indirect and circuitous: we must maintain our alliances and so forth. The argument for keeping the Russkie's grubby mitts off Baffin Island, for example, is much more direct.

But we can't do that if our guys are running around in circles outside of Kandahar.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kinsella And Warman Tag Team Free-D

Connie says:

We just got two notices of intent to sue. One from Lucy over the Cools thing, and another one - a joint one - from Lucy Woman and Woman Kinsella.

She means Richard Warman and Warren Kinsella. She's being funny.

Details, as they say, to follow.

Nope. No Nazis Around Here

City arson detectives are looking into a possible white supremacist link to a pair of firebombings in the city.


"They're getting stronger, they're showing their flags," [said Anti-racism activist Bonnie Collins, who lives in one of the targetted houses] . "There's a lot of kids drawn to it -- they're looking for something and they find acceptance with these groups."

On this particular case the Anti-Racist Canada Blog writes:

While we aren't certain that the firebombing is as a result of Ms. Collins' anti-racist activism, we are probably 99.5% in agreement that this was a legitimate act of intimidation and perhaps attempted murder. At least on[e] Aryan Guard member is closely associated with a neo-Nazi originally from Kitchener, Ontario who is believed to have been involved in some assaults and a firebombing in Edmonton. These two were roommates in Kitchener and moved to Calgary together, however the one eventually returned to Ontario, then moved to Edmonton. It was during his time in Edmonton when the assaults and firebombing took place; similar incidents in Edmonton declined when this individual left the city again. This all speculation, but it's based on some precedent.

For what its worth, the Aryan Guard has denied responsibility on Stormfront.

But, in any case, something to keep in mind when you read one of Jonathon Kay's columns.

Update: The Anti-Racist Canada Blog is fascinating. They report that the Aryan Guard has endorsed the Wildrose Alliance due to their alleged stand against the CHRT/CHRC. However, the Alliance doesn't want their endorsement, and begs to differ:

Further to this, whomever was saying we do not support Human rights commissions is obviously speaking out of turn as there is no such policy and certainly no such prevailing sentiment in the party.

Honestly, you know Ezra's crusade is headed for the tank when he can't even win over Alberta's right-wing fringe.

Meet Al Gore In Montreal

Al Gore will be personally training 200 Canadians from April April 4 to 6, 2008 in Montreal to present the live version of the slide show that is featured in the movie [An Incovenient Truth].

The Climate Project Canada is taking applications until March 7 through the site linked above if you want to be a presenter. Meals are provided and accomodations can be got at a reduced rate.

And I hear they got the best hookers in Canada out in Montreal. There's a girl there that'll take out her glass eye and wink you off for $1.00.

Margaret Wente Vs. The Truth

Ms. Wente foams up over a recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision:

But rights slice both ways. Mr. Lane applied for a job for which he clearly wasn't suited, and misstated facts to get it. Now he stands to collect nearly $80,000, and he was only on the job for eight days.

From Donna M. Seale's "Human Rights in the Workplace" Blog:

The tribunal concluded that Mr. Lane had been fired as a result of his disability and the perceptions as to the impact of his disability on the workplace. The adjudicator rejected ADGA's argument that it terminated Mr. Lane simply for failing to live up to the essential requirements of his job during his 90 day probationary period. A further argument by ADGA that it had the right to fire Mr. Lane once it found out he had failed to reveal his disability during the hiring process was also rejected. On this point, the adjudicator pointed to expert evidence adduced at the hearing which detailed that persons with bipolar disorder are very reluctant to reveal their conditions to prospective employers due to the stigmatization of mental illness in the workplace and society in general.

And further:

None of the managers who made the actual decision to terminate Mr. Lane took any steps to assess whether ADGA could accommodate Mr. Lane's disability. In fact, the adjudicator pointed out that the key managers who decided to terminate Mr. Lane were completely ignorant of their legal obligations when dealing with a disabled employee. Given that Mr. Lane had specifically revealed his disability to Ms. Corbett and suggested ways he could be accommodated, the adjudicator was astonished that management had seemingly not contacted its human resource department or legal counsel to determine what it should do to carefully manage the situation. Instead, the ADGA manager principally responsible for the termination believed that the information Ms. Corbett had relayed to him about Mr. Lane's bipolar disorder was irrelevant. He based his determination to dismiss Mr. Lane solely on his personal assessment of whether Mr. Lane was capable of performing the job for which he was hired.

Ezra riffs on Ms. Wente in his post "The "human right" to have manic episodes while testing artillery". Its software, Ezra, artillery software. The guy wasn't tapping live shells with a little red hammer.

As an aside, Ezra severely bungs up the facts of this case as well:

Light up a cigarette in an Ontario restaurant, and you're breaking the law. Light up a marijuana joint, and the restaurateur is breaking the law if he tries to stop you.

But, as The Sun story Ezra links to clearly states in the 2nd line, the customer in question stepped outside to spark up his J of medical mary-jane.

There are none so blind as those who cannot read, I guess.

Incidentally, I have to disagree with the Prince of Pot here:

"I don't see people with insulin bringing their syringes out in the middle of restaurants and giving themselves injections," [Marc] Emery, who is facing a 10-year jail sentence at the U.S.'s behest for selling marijuana seeds, said from his home in B.C., noting that since Gibson was drinking alcohol at the time of the Burlington incident in 2005, he could have ingested the cannabis via an alcoholic tincture that would have been just as effective and more discreet.

More discreet, but not nearly as fast acting. That is why these people are provided with the weed itself rather than some orally administered THC compound. (That and, in the case of cancer patients, the issue of trying to relieve nausea with a medicine that must be swallowed).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Denialist Website (CO2 Science) Hacked

A week ago we experienced a terrorist-like Denial of Service Attack on our website that rendered it inaccessible to patrons. Unfortunately, the company that managed our website was unable to stop the attack, and we had to make the decision to host our website elsewhere. Moving our website to another server is not a simple task and must take place in stages. For now, only the current weekly issue of CO2 Science will be accessible, followed by a gradual return to full website access and functionality in the coming days and weeks.

Tsk tsk.

Luckily, since there was very little in the way of legitimate information at the site in the first place, none was lost in the DOS attack.

To whit: this little piece that explains cheerily how, while cute little wood frogs and certain bugs and other fast breeding species might evolve their way through Global Warming in as little as 40 years, your children and their childrens' children and their childrens' childrens' children are still pretty much fucked.

I'm Okay. You're Not So Hot.

Stay Outta The Water!!

Another huge Pliosaur fossil found in the arctic, topping out at about 50 feet in length,

...big enough to pick up a small car in its jaws and bite it in half.
Unnamed yet, but generally similar to Kronosaurus, although about an extra five metres long.

Free Dominion Auctions Crap Found In Garage To Raise Money!!

Beset by mounting legal expenses, FreeDominion is auctioning off blobs of melted scrap as Art in a desperate attempt to raise money. The suggested retail value of this piece, helpfully entitled "Family With 1 Child" is $200". If you pay in cash they're happy to throw in another kid or two, and the successful bidder will also be entitled to a free soup-in-a-cup.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Exxon Misleads On Funding Denialists

From The Environmental Law Prof:

This time last year ExxonMobil waged a campaign with bloggers to convince us that they recognized the reality of anthropogenic global warming and were serious about solutions.


I looked up ExxonMobil's contributions to 'Public Information and Policy Research' for 2006, when supposed ExxonMobil was not in the business of funding denialist nonsense. Well, there it is, $180,000 to Frontiers of Freedom and its CSPP. That's more than they gave to Brookings ($135,000), Asia Society ($90,000), Council on Foreign Relations ($110,000) or most of the legitimate organizations to which they contribute. I can't say they lied last year, but I can say they deliberately misled me.

Take a look at the CSPP website. If that's not denialist nonsense, I don't know what is!

Here is a link to the CSPP website, and indeed it is denialist nonsense.

Is Rural Seperatist Behind Tory Rebs?

John Tory should look to a controversial rural rights group with close ties to one of his MPPs if he's lying awake at night wondering why his support at a weekend leadership review convention was lower than expected.

I knew Randy Hillier would come in handy one day.

Ladies and gentlemen, the next Provincial Conservative Party leader, red suspenders and all.

Paul Wells:The French Are Insufficiently Elegant

...for me to blog about.

Frankly, I think eating snails has driven our boy insane. They're okay for awhile, and then one gets stuck way back in the shell and you think "Damn! that's two bucks worth of escargot!" and start hacking at the slick, butter covered snail carapace with those funny looking long forks they give you in a desperate attempt to smash your way in, or you puncture the back of the shell and try to blo the thing out and peg the lady at the next table with a snail projectile.

And then the waiter looks at you funny...

Come home, Paul, you're wasted on the Gauls.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Richard Warman Does Not Sleep, Richard Warman Waits

...and then Richard Warman strikes.

And so the other shoe finally drops on Ezra Levant, with Warman threatening a lawsuit against him. Meanwhile, Ezra's still standing behind his Nazi re those racists posts on Senator Cools, betting that the attribution of the posts to Warman by Ezra will not make it into the final lawsuit, although they figure prominently in this letter to Ezra written by Warman's lawyer..

Not that I would want to help Ezra out, but this point deserves comment:

I started poking around a little bit about those disparaging comments about Sen. Anne Cools, because they’re obviously a source of embarrassment to Warman – he seems to have complained to the National Post when they attributed those words to him. The Post decided to cut bait and move on – they’ve been Canada’s best champions of free speech, so they deserve a little slack for not digging in. But, unless I’ve missed it, in at least two other legal actions – his defamation suit against Free Dominion, and his human rights complaint against Marc Lemire – Warman has conspicuously omitted any reference to their claims that he made the Anne Cools remarks.

In the case of Free Dominion, Warman's first complaint was filed on September 20th of 2007, well before the Anne Coosl material surfaced on that forum. I am not a legal expert, but have been informed that it would simply be a matter of broadening the suit to add this particular allegation to the original list of defamatory material. We may see this happen within the next few days or weeks.

In any case, an important development. It will now come to be revealed how much of the Speechynista case against Human Rights Tribunals has been founded upon the word of Nazis.

Tory Turmoil In Mississauga!

The Mississauga East-Cooksville Conservative Party executive have a problem. Bi-lingual, well-travelled, tv host Melissa Bhagat is willing to run for them, but they're not sure they want her:

February 22, 2008 12:28 PM - Nine directors of the Mississauga East-Cooksville Conservative Party executive have resigned in protest over the hasty process used by party leaders to select their riding's candidate in the next federal election.

One of the nine party Rebs, Charles W. Conn, has gone public with his issues re Ms. Bhagat, and frankly they seem to run a bit deeper than mere process:

Inflicting us with a Party-selected candidate who has been rejected by the Liberals, both provincially in Brampton Centre and federally in Brampton Springdale, and who was not welcomed by the PC's provincially, is an invitation to disaster. Doing so, so soon after the Tory rape of Mississauga South in the recent provo election, where the PC's inflicted Liberal-reject Peterson on the EDA, will confirm that the Tory brand stands for top-down dictatorship and callous contempt for members and citizens in Mississauga. It will also ensure continued victories for Liberals in Mississauga for years to come.

MEC members deserve a better candidate than a Liberal reject, from Brampton.

Whoa there, Charles! Grab some couth!
Reminds me of this, except that since here its an ex-Lib rather than an ex-Tory, I find it easier to see the humorous aspect.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flip Flopping Into The History Books

Christina Blizzard in today's T.O. Sun:

"LONDON, Ont. -- In a stunning late-night about-face, John Tory apparently outmanoeuvred his political opponents by announcing he was hanging in as leader.

It was one of the most stunning flip-flops in recent political history. Earlier yesterday, he had said he would consult with family and caucus about his future."

For what its worth, the Ontario Conservatives would do well to keep John Tory.

Essentially, the 2/3s of delegates who voted status quo want to move the party towards the center, where it can win a few votes in the cities and where, once in power, it won't sacrifice the economy on the alter of free market theory.

The last 1/3, the party Rebs, think they can win with a hard right freak that will somehow get Toronto to vote for him via displays of rural machismo.

What this bunch doesn't understand is that Mike Harris was a fluke. When he got in in 1995 he was running against a deficit ridden NDP government and a female midget (can't remember her name at the moment). The Libs were up by ten percent until people saw them all together on stage during the debates and decided that times were tough and if they really wanted "small and cuddly" they would just vote for Yoda.

So ponk! Harris becomes Premier and proceeds to trash the place--a public sector strike every twenty minutes! the air filled with smoke from burning dumps! poverty in the streets! dysentery out in Walkerton (in the streets)!

But Harris goes into retirement just when the whole province goes into the toilet and escapes the voters wrath, leaving Ernie Eves here to get tagged with the cleanup and, eventually, defeat at the polls.

But people still remember what Harris did, especially how, after all the cutting and slashing, Ontario's finances were in the same awful shape they were in the day he stepped into office. Hence the extreme negative reaction Flaherty gets when he dares to open his mouth re the Ontario Liberals' spending priorities. What does this guy know about balancing a budget? Nothing, if you judge by his performance as finance minister in the Harris/Eves regime.

In any case, a "strong horse" ideologue from the back woods will not win in Ontario for a long time. Best keep the moderate you've got.

A Quick Sunday Morning Gloat

Does this sound like a government ready to abolish or "denormalize" the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal?

OTTAWA, February 20, 2008 - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the appointment of Edward Peter Lustig as a part-time Board Member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Didn't think so. Harper's attempt to reach out to the Canadian center would be good and spoiled were he to get tagged with a label like "the man who freed the Nazis".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Climate Modelling Breakthrough?

From the .pdf to a Science magazine article behind their fire-wall:

Clouds have always given climate modelers fits. The clouds in their models are crude at best, and in the real world, researchers struggle to understand how clouds are responding to—and perhaps magnifying—greenhouse warming. As a result, cloud behavior is the biggest single source of uncertainty in climate prediction. But two new studies now show that much of the worry about clouds’ role in the warming has been misdirected. Clouds’ response to global temperature changes may be much quicker and more direct—and thus easier to study—than experts have thought.


“It’s a little bit of good news,” says climate researcher Brian Soden of the University of Miami in Florida. “People have been working on [the cloud problem] for 2 decades or more, and we haven’t done a lot to decrease the uncertainty. I’m a little more optimistic now about making progress on this problem.”

Researchers have always considered the cloud problem a matter of feedbacks. In a positive feedback, increasing greenhouse gases warm the surface, and the warmer surface then feeds back somehow to overlying clouds. The nature of the feedback remains mysterious, but if it’s positive, it would decrease global cloud cover. With fewer clouds reflecting solar energy back into space, more energy would reach Earth, amplifying the initial warming. But Earth’s surface and especially its oceans are slow to warm, so cloud feedbacks operate over decades—or so scientists assumed.

That's what they assumed. So what did they find?

Two groups have recently looked at just how quickly model clouds actually respond to an increase in greenhouse gases. Climate researchers Jonathan Gregory and Mark Webb, both of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter, U.K., report in the January Journal of Climate (issue 1) that model clouds, at least, can respond quickly to added carbon dioxide—in months, not decades. In most of the models examined, the classic cloud feedback driven by change at the surface played only a minor role. The real action took place where the clouds themselves were, up in the air. Added carbon dioxide absorbs more long-wave energy radiating from the surface; the air holding that carbon dioxide warms, and clouds evaporate, letting more solar radiation in.

These new studies, alongside of this result, will make it hard to be a Warmocaust Collusionist in 2008.

PS. I've got the .pdf of the Science article. If anyone wants the whole thing, leave a comment with an e-mail.

Tories Use Porn Star In Youth Advertising

Here's the Tory Ad:

And here's where they found their girl:

Wonder what she's looking at? It seems terrifyingly huge, and its frankly hard to imagine something like that belonging to a Conservative. (Except maybe to Stockwell Day who, I am told, is hung like a horse).

h/t to Jason, who never visits porn sites but apparently knows someone who does.

Update: Contrary to some of my commentors, there is no contradiction between being a girl in a stock photo and being a porn star. You might say our girl became a porn star the moment she appeared on the porn site. The definition of the term "porn star" is very loose. Girls have said to me, "Jesus, BCL, you're a regular porn star. I should be paying YOU."

I would never correct them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Records Are Gone

A bit of minutia from the ongoing Warman vs. The Nazis saga, of interest perhaps in that it confirms things I've read elsewhere. Written by FreeD's Mark Fournier:

"Yesterday evening I had a telephone conversation with Marc Lemire, who was at the center of this case until the antics of Richard Warman stole his limelight. The information about the Anne Cools post first surfaced during the Lemire case, which is still pending before the CHRT.

Richard Warman did everything he could to keep this information out of the tribunal records. When the Lemire camp wanted to subpoena the Rogers records Warman fought them every step of the way. He even tried to invoke Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act, thinking he could hide behind it. In the end the Rogers records were subpoenaed but Rogers no longer had the information from that far back."

So the only documents that might conclusively tie Warman to the infamous Anne Cools post no longer exist. Everything else is probabilities, and the most elaborate attempt to calculate these put the odds that Warman made the post in question at about 1 in 300 against.

Speaking of numbers, Mark, the important thing is that the PM is on our side.

Angus Reid Says: You Fail, Stephen Harper

I know I've criticized the methodology of their on-line polls before, but if they're pumping out numbers like this they've obviously fixed those problems and deserve another chance.

The online poll shows the Conservatives with 34 per cent of the decided vote, the Liberals with 31 per cent, the New Democrats with 17, the Bloc Québécois with 9, and the Green party with 8.

I'll let Steve do the heavy analytic stuff, but here's a few quick remarks.

The poll shows that the Liberals continue to hold a healthy lead in Ontario, with 40 per cent of the decided vote, compared to the Conservatives' 34 per cent. The NDP is at 14 per cent in Ontario and the Green party at 10 per cent.

This looks far more likely than the Ontario result from the last couple of polls. And if Jim Flaherty wants to remind Ontarions on why we boooted him and his Mike Harris cronies out of office the first time around, then I say let him keep at it. Why anyone would want to go out of their way to attack a Premier who has just won re-election with a pretty solid majority is beyond me. Not that they love McGuinty around here, but he is pretty unsuitable as a designated punching bag for the Federal Tories. No, the Tories see Ontario manufacturing going South and they are looking for someone to blame. Perhaps, in their attempts to shift responsibility, they're willing to write the province off.

According to the survey, the top issue for Canadians is the environment at 23 per cent, followed by health care at 20 per cent. Only 6 per cent listed the Afghan war as the most important issue today.

Quite reassuring in that a bit of snow and cold weather has NOT apparently dulled Canadian's commitment to the climate change issue.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another Grovelling Apology In The Works?

Looks like The Natty Post has been frantically trying to erase all evidence of Jonathon Kay's now infamous blog post retailing Canadian Nazi Bernard Klatt's allegations against Richard Warman. They have asked Ezra to pull the material in question from where it was reposted here, and our free speech warrier has folded like a cheap suitcase:

UPDATE 3, Feb. 21: My friends at the National Post have asked me to take down the column which was posted here, so I have. I'll have more news on this matter shortly.

Love to hear it, Ezra.

They're So Cute When They Grovel

The Natty Post comes to the belated realization that you can't trust them white supremacists:

On Monday, the National Post posted on its web blog a column by Jonathan Kay that repeated allegations made by Bernard Klatt in a 2006 sworn affidavit against lawyer and Canadian human rights activist Richard Warman. Mr. Klatt has alleged that a racist posting on Freedomsite about Senator Anne Cools was made by Mr. Warman in 2003. The National Post has no evidence to support Mr. Klatt's allegation against Mr. Warman and it hereby retracts any suggestion that Mr. Warman manufactured any statement about Senator Cools. The National Post apologizes for any embarassment this has caused Mr. Warman.

Meanwhile, at FreeDominion they're standing behind their Nazi.

h/t Kinsella.

A Canadian Carbon Sequestration Scheme

Of the "pitch it overboard and let it sink" variety:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 19, 2008) — Imagine a gigantic, inflatable, sausage-like bag capable of storing 160 million tonnes of CO2 -- the equivalent of 2.2 days of current global emissions. Now try to picture that container, measuring up to 100 metres in radius and several kilometres long, resting benignly on the seabed more than 3 kilometres below the ocean's surface.

At first blush, this might appear like science fiction, but it's an idea that gets serious attention from Dr. David Keith, one of Canada's foremost experts on carbon capture and sequestration.

Well, actually, you would pump it through long pipes way out into the middle of the ocean past the steep slopes of the continental shelves and fill up a whack of these long bags on the flat ocean floor and...

Apparently, one of the more workable carbon sequestraion schemes. Dr. Keith's homepage is here.

Funny, nobody has taken up my Carbopult(TM) idea

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Forty More Years! Calgary Herald Bungles Election Poll Report!

Progressive Conservatives (49%) Hold Huge Lead Over Liberals (28%), NDP (14%), Wildrose Alliance (5%) and Greens (4%)

Only Three-in-Ten (28%) Voters Feel Good About Their Choice
Progressive Conservative Support Also Most Firm

Call this one over.

Most interesting thing is that it looks like the Calgary Herald messed-up:

An Ipsos Reid survey of 804 Albertans, conducted for Global TV, found 39 per cent of respondents across the province support the Progressive Conservatives, compared to 22 per cent for the Liberals and 11 per cent for the NDP.

It is clearly the same poll, taken over the same time-frame (Feb. 14 to Feb 17) with the same number of respondents. Ah but who cares? CanWest has never been about decent journalism.

Update: Josh in the comments has figured out the reason for the discrepancy. CanWest still sucks, but for independent reasons.

Domestic Terrorism Fun Facts

Tuesday is the most common day for an attack.... Right-wing extremists tend to be early risers, striking in the morning...while left-wing activists wait until evening and environmentalists wait until after midnight.

...because if you set your bomb off after midnight, most of the cute little animals are already asleep and you're not likely to injure any.

Other interesting conclusions from the American Association for the Advancement of Science panel on domestic terrorism.

[Kelly R. Damphousse of the University of Oklahoma] said right-wing extremists spend the most time meeting, preparing and planning before committing a violent act — some 480 "events," whether that is a telephone call or some other form of plotting.

They like the planning aspect, the speechifying. To a right-wing extremist, all that's like foreplay.

While some domestic extremists travel long distances, most strike within 30 miles of where they live, Damphousse said]. Environmental extremists tend to strike within 10 miles of home.

Right-wing extremists tend to stick close to home because they're afraid if they go too far they'll fall off the edge of the world. Left-wing extremists know better, but how far can you go on a bicycle?

And, oh yeah, here's the most important bit:

When it comes to fears about a terrorist attack, people in the U.S. usually focus on Osama bin Laden and foreign-based radical groups. Yet researchers say domestic extremists who commit violence in the name of their cause — abortion or the environment, for example — account for most of the damage from such incidents in this country.

The article also contains a link to the MIPT Terrorism database, where you can track terrorism attacks by group, country, target, and etc. Holy crap!

Canada had Armenian troubles back in the 1980s?

Environmentalist Discovers That Economists Are Callous, Is Shocked And Appalled

On the one hand, George Monbiot's complaint re. the expansion of London's Heathrow airport, and its justification in terms of The Stern Review, gives a good quickie outline of the thinking that went into that report. On the other hand, his apparent surprise at the fact that an economist should "put a price on human life" makes it sound like he fell off the back of a turnip truck driven by hippies:

What I cannot accept is that it should be scrambled up with the price of eggs and prefixed with a dollar sign. Human life is not a commodity. It cannot be traded against profits or exchanged for convenience. We have no right to decide that others should die to make us richer.

Welcome to planet Earth, George. Human lives are traded commodities, and such decisions are made every day. Furthermore, the notion of pricing a life is hardly unique to Dr. Stern. It is hardly his montrous invention, as Monbiot implies. And it is a common argument against Stern's review that he values future lives too highly ; his report only comes out in favor of acting against climate change now because he isn't callous enough in regards to the worth of unborn human beings.

Not that some of Monbiot's arguments aren't makeable. The difference economists concerned with AGW have often placed on 1st vs. 3rd world lives in well-known (see the wiki link above) and often criticized.

Its Monbiot's naivety, false or real, that weakens his case.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mark Holland: Tories Tied To Denier Group?

Mark Holland has been persuing the connection between Denialist astro-turf group The Friends of Science (FOS) and the Federal Tories for a long time now. Now he's back in the news:

OTTAWA - The federal Liberals are calling for an investigation to determine who paid for a radio ad campaign in Ontario that attacked the federal government's action to fight climate change in the 2006 election.

Liberal MP Mark Holland Monday said he would push for parliamentary hearings into the matter -raised in weekend reports by Canwest News Service - about a complaint to Elections Canada against a group of global warming skeptics.

How come this sudden burst of activity on both the media and parliamentary front? Because research from the folks at DeSmogBlog has convinced Elections Canada to investigate

who funnelled money into Barry Cooper's University of Calgary FOS slush fund .

Go get 'em Mark! Go get 'em Desmoggers!

Jonathon Kay: Conned By Nazis?

Yesterday, comment pages editor and columnist for the Natty Post Jonathon Kay posted a blog entry entitled "Jonathan Kay on Richard Warman and Canada's phony-racism industry". Less than an hour later and poof! it was gone! replaced by this hastily written and truly crappy piece re Family Day. What happened? Well, as you can see from the entry, which FreeDominon was kind enough to publish here, Jonathon was parroting Canadian Nazi Mark LeMire's fantasy re Richard Warman, his wandering IP address, and postings re Senator Anne Cools. Who knows for sure, but it may have been that a former employee contacted Mr. Kay and quietly informed him that the "computer expert" referred to in his piece was in fact renowned Canadian Nazi Bernard Klatt, and that you really don't want to make potentially libelous statements on the basis of a Nazi's word!

But whatever the case, this really tells you how low journalistic standards have sunk at The Post. They've essentially let themselves get played by Nazis! What's next? Successfully burgled by a gang of retarded chipmunks?

Meanwhile the lads at Stormfront are conflicted! For Kay said:

As I’ve written before, this would not be so much a problem if their various speech codes were used merely to prosecute men such as David Ahenakew, Ernst Zundel, Jim Keegstra and the like. But in the post-9/11 era, radical anti-racists are also agitating to shut up sensible people saying sensible things about the war against militant Islam, the defining global struggle of our era.

Canadian Nazi Paul Fromm doesn't like that. Why are Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn considered sensible, while he is not? Nevertheless, overall he approves of Kay's sentiments, writing: Well, we take our allies where we can find them.

They'll want to hear that over at the Natty Post!

Update: At Ezra's place, Kay writes:

Ezra -- I took the post down when a more intelligent colleague of mine gave me some background about who Bernard Klatt is. Whatever Klatt may know about electronic sleuthing and the like, I didn't feel comfortable citing his affidavit as a source, even if all of the technical details in it are correct.

There you have it, folks! The Post's comments editor doesn't know how to employ teh Googles!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is Stephen Harper THAT Bad Assed?

Last week when I was on the Hill mingling with some MPs from both the Liberal and the Tory parties, I asked an MP for an opinion on the freedom of speech/ Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn human rights complaints. This particular MP was appalled by it. I asked this individual for a public comment. After a few moments thought, the MP decided not to. Then this person mused--alas, I did not have a notebook or my recorder out so I can't recall the exact words--that some MPs might be afraid to speak out on this issue, afraid their families might be targeted.

We know Harper has issued his boys their talking points, and we know what the price of dissent is in the Tory caucus. But going after someone's mama? I can't see it.

On the other hand, who else could Ms. Gyapong be talking about? Nobody's afraid of Dion.

The Power Of Ridicule

All that's left of Peter "The Castrater" Csillag's post advocating the sterilization of prisoners:

Posting removed, for the time being.

I feel all giggly inside.

Ezra Levant: Repealing Section 13 Is Only The First Step!!! Bwahahahaha!!!

Mr Levant:

Some people think the only reform necessary to Canada's human rights commissions is to remove the "thought crime" provisions that have ensnared the likes of Mark Steyn and me. Some people think that the rest of the work of these commissions is important for the truly downtrodden in our society.

They have no idea what they're talking about.

I've already written about two absurd cases in Alberta that have nothing to do with "hate messages" -- the restaurant that was convicted and fined $4,900 for daring to fire a kitchen manager who contracted Hepatitis...

The lads from Law is Cool have discussed this case in relation to Ezra's earlier column:

...the medical evidence, known to Alberta Family Restaurant at the time, was that the manager did not present a risk so long as standard kitchen hygiene was followed.

And point out that:

It is fortunate for the Restaurant (and the other employers mentioned in that paragraph) that human rights tribunals have exclusive jurisdiction to deal with employment matters involving discrimination. Had the cases been treated as standard wrongful dismissal cases before a court the awards would likely be greater and they would have been on the hook for costs. $4,900 would have been $ 49,000 or more. It is much cheaper for a defendant to defeat a frivolous claim and cheaper for a losing defendant to have the matter come before a tribunal than a court.

I would also note that for years I worked alongside a women with Hep C and while, when this was first revealed, some of her fellow employees (myself included) felt a bit icky, we were assured by medical staff that she was no danger to us in a white-collar, office environment. People gradually forgot about the matter.

Furthermore, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman was also afflicted with Hep C. Nobody argued that he "could not do his job" because of it. Maybe Ezra was out in Calgary at the time

Saturday, February 16, 2008

No More Flakey White Stuff!

Ex-NBA star Charles Barkley calls Conservatives "fake Christians" and vows to run for Governer of Alabama in 2014 when he's met the state residency requirement.

That's Hhhutzpah! Go Charles

Pro-Castration Tory Blogger Worked For Federal Conservatives!

From his interview with Craig Chandler, Peter "the peter whacker" Csillag:

At the call centre for the federal Conservatives during the 2006 election campaign, where I volunteered with you, you seemed like one of the most passionate and dedicated guys there. Would you be just as dedicated if you volunteered in the next election campaign? What is your evaluation of the Harper government after two years now?"

Hmm. Maybe that's where all the "Vote Harper or your balls are ours!" messages were coming from.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Canadian Blogger Advocates Forced Sterilization

Peter Csillag, a member of the Blogging Tories, the "central hub for national conservative NGOs including the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the National Citizens Coalition", has suggested that Alberta's crime problems could be solved by reinstating the Sexual Sterilization Act :

The problem with the original act was that it was based on the biologically questionable concept of eugenics. A newer act would be based on making a long-term social investment. The system was not conducted fairly and sterilized a lot of people that shouldn't have been. IQ tests failed those who weren't proficient in the English language.

Rumour has it Peter will be debuting his National Post column in the space made vacant by Warren Kinsella's departure. Good luck Peter! And congratulations also to ex-Alberta Tory candidate Craig Chandler and Ezra Levant for recognising Peter's talent and agreeing to interviews with him.

h/t CC.

Just In Case You're Thinking

Damn there's alot of snow outside. Sure looks like those Climate Science types have fucked up grandly. Well, no. Check out this August 2007 10-year forecast from Hadley Centre in Exeter

"The forecast...reveals that natural shifts in climate will cancel out warming produced by greenhouse gas emissions and other human activity until 2009, but from then on, temperatures will rise steadily. Temperatures are set to rise over the 10-year period by 0.3C. Beyond 2014, the odds of breaking the temperature record rise even further, the scientists added.


Climate scientists say the new high-precision forecast predicts temperatures will stall because of natural climate effects that have seen the Southern Ocean and tropical Pacific cool over the past couple of years."

What the folks at the Hadley Center are attempting with this forecast and the new forecasting method that gave rise to it is to be able to predict:

...droughts and other extreme conditions a year or two ahead. Previously, the models have been used to show that global temperatures may rise 6C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

"If you look ahead on a 50- to 100 year time frame, then global warming is the big thing for the climate, but if you're working on a project that is only designed to last for the next few years, that information doesn't make much difference to you," said Doug Smith, a climate scientist at the Hadley Centre.

And one of the ways they are trying to make their decade-scale forecasts more useful is by working in the effects of relatively mid-term ocean-atmosphere phenomenon like the current La Niña episode (that Pacific cooling noted above), which began mid-way through last year and has been fingered as the likely culprit behind the shitty weather we've been having lately.

So in fact what we've experienced is more or less what was predicted. And it is notable that even with a gathering La Niña, 2007 turned out to be, depending on the source you use, the 2nd hottest year recorded.

A Shorter L. Ian

Those leadership numbers mean squat. Ignore 'em

A point with which I heartily agree.

You're Looking In The Wrong Place

Not a bad little stunt by Greenpeace last night in front of the Parliament buildings. I'm surprised, though, that security didn't come out and roust them off the grounds.
On a happier note, the best news re. fighting AGW these days seems to be coming from the private sector:
“It’s not some sort of peripheral, marginal phenomenon,” he said. “It’s a fundamental economic restructuring driver, in the same way that the railroads were.”
According to Kiernan, most of the investor focus in this realm is on the potential for carbon trading or investing in clean tech companies. He says this is far too narrow a view. “You’re catching about 5% of the opportunity bandwidth as an investor,” he says. “How companies do or don’t deal with these issues is very clearly correlated with their financial performance.”
Somebody in a dark blue suit gets it. But then this is how its supposed to work in a Capitalist society, no? Science brings their case to the Market, and the Market responds. The judgement of Government, slow and stupid as it is, always lags that of the Markets. All hail the Market, and etc.
Meanwhile, a not entirely useless article from the Western Standard on how regulation can stifle green innovation.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Make 'em Sing "Louie Louie"

Because reciting the Lord's Prayer is squaresville, dude, and the thing with "Louie Louie" is you can't tell what they're singing about anyway so if you just kind of mumble the verses nobody will really notice. (Whereas they tend to with the LP).

(PS. Use The Kingsmen's version, because you can almost tell what they're talking about when The Kinks sing it.)

If Not On Afghanistan, Then Maybe Wait

"'What would we go on?' asked one senior Liberal legislator, saying there would have to be 'something egregious' in the budget not to support it.

Other parties mock the Liberals for having kept the Conservatives in power through a series of supporting votes or abstentions over the past year, but the legislator said there was no sign that voters were angry."

Unlike those of us in the blogging nerdosphere who chafe at every insult Harper hurls at Dion, the "people" seem to be neither fazed, nor impressed, nor even paying attention. And while personally I could summon up the energy to fight over the Afghanistan mission, I'm not sure what the point is of going to electoral war over a budget that will probably just hold the line.

Meanwhile, the air goes slowly out of the Tory balloon as the economy goes South. So why not, as some have counselled, wait a bit longer, and let it head all the way down to Mexico?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Complaints Dropped Against Ezra

And Ezra, sensing a return to obscurity and darkness , decides to sue. Start flipping those burgers Ezra, or maybe learn to sing & dance & juggle a bit and see how far youtube can take you.

Ezra's rant on the issue can be found here. Compare it to the Imam's statement in the Post. The Imam is a class act; Ezra a no-class ass.

Trouble In The Kingdom?

A litte Deity on Diety violence? God Lashing out at his long-haired, new testament, no good hippy son?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

But Would They Have Made Good Pets?

The Liaoning fossil beds in North East China have produced another amazing specimen:

A beautifully preserved fossil of a tiny pterosaur suggests that the giant pterodactyls that roamed the skies during the late Cretaceous period may have come from much smaller, tree-dwelling ancestors.

Interesting if this little critter really was arboreal (a few on the Dinosaur mailing list have expressed doubt), as on some accounts these beasts were the ancient equivalent of shore-birds, and one theory of their relative decline re. birds says that the simplicity and "two-dimensionality" of a shore-line environment gave them a brain too simply wired to compete effectively with their feathery brethren.

Why, Ezra? Because The Alberta Liberals Are Courting Nutters, The Federal Tories Trying To Avoid Them.

Ezra is wondering why The Alberta Liberal Party is making nice free-speechy noises about him and his AHRC case, even mentioning him "by name", while the Federal Tories are issuing "empty banalities".

That's because, Ezra, the Alberta Liberal Party couldn't draw flies to a pile of dog poop. They'll take your vote, his vote, any vote, and worry about the consequences later. Whereas Mr. Harper's Federal Tories have made a few tentative stabs at reaching out to Canada's various ethnic communities. They see you and an election coming at the same time, and have stomach spasms.

For them, Ezra Levant at the head of a passel of Neo Nazis and people who employ their Freedom of Speech to crack wise about the holocaust is just too much a blast from the Reform Party past, a return to the bad old days when white extremists and Western Seperatists were in, and the Charter of Rights and the Metric system on their way out.

They're not gonna touch you guys with a ten foot pole, Ezra.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blogging Tories Should Give SDA The Boot

Progblogs kicked out MyBlagh for far less than this. Raphael seems a relatively decent sort, and makes claims to centrism. He should get the ball rolling.

The French Waffle

PARIS, Feb 11 (KUNA) -- France denied here on Monday any firm decision to reinforce its military deployment in Afghanistan, saying that discussions on this were ongoing with it partners in the NATO alliance.

Their Englishy is not too superb over at Indian Muslim news, but if you read further down it sounds like the best we might expect from France is 250 troops. It also sounds like French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Pascale Andreani is calling Peter MacKay a liar.

So That's Why They Sent Paul Wells To France

"One shouldn't put too much stock in online comment boards (says the guy who's never had one) but reading the comments accompanying this posting on the smart, leftish (but not monolithically leftist) news site rue89 is like sticking your arm into a coffee grinder. Readers are not pleased about the prospect of French soldiers joining Canadians in Kandahar."

Mind you he could have done the same thing from home, and he wouldn't be the answer to a trivia question: who used to be the best political writer in Canada?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Mad Bishop of Canterbury on Sharia Law

Comments from climate scientist William M. Connolley on "The Mad Bish" and his speech which has caused such a commotion and even accusations of treason:

"Oh dear, now I've got to the bottom of his speech and failed to find the assertion that Sharia law is unavoidable in the UK. Because... he didn't say it. What he said was... the rather unsatisfactory stuff above about choosing juristiction, followed by But if what we want socially is a pattern of relations in which a plurality of divers and overlapping affiliations work for a common good, and in which groups of serious and profound conviction are not systematically faced with the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty, it seems unavoidable. It seems weak stuff to hang such a controversy on - but then it was a thin news day, pontificationg about religion is always fun, and stirring up Islamophobia sells papers."

Love how the Brits spell "divers", unless its a typo. Love the way they spell "connexion" also.

Actually, Mark Steyn DID Argue That Muslims Breed Like Mosquitoes

And considerations like Deborah Gyapong's are not particularly relevant:

If Mark Steyn wrote about Muslims breeding like mosquitos rather than quoting an Imam who used that phrase, I would shun him. Human beings do not "breed like mosquitos" or "infest like vermin" as some anti-Semites have said about Jews. Yet the mosquito quote, magically removed from its quotation marks and attributed to Steyn, forms one of the complaints against him and Maclean's.

Lets say I was arguing that all Jews and blacks should be deported or sterilized, and then quoted Canadian Nazi Terry Tremaine saying something like "All Jews and blacks should be deported or sterilized." (Tremaine has indeed argued similarly, although the above is not a direct quote. Pretend it is). Were someone to then argue that I was being racist, it would not be a refutation to say that I was merely quoting a racist, because it is a standard use of quotation marks to "support the arguments of the work in which [the quote] is being quoted".

And indeed, the quotation at issue occurs at the very end of "The Future Belongs to Islam". It sums up and concludes the argument that goes before:

"We're the ones who will change you," the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. "Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children." As he summed it up: "Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours."

...which argument is indeed that Muslims are a threat because they are out-breeding whites. Nor does the fact that its an Imam being quoted get Steyn off the hook, any more than finding a Jewish Nazi to deny the Holocaust for me would make me any less a Holocaust denier.

Quit hiding behind your quotes, Mark!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Canadian Scientist Denies Denying

Friday's Investors Business Daily, a regular purveyor of warmocaust collusionist crap science, quoted Canadian scientist Kenneth Tapping as follows:

Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.


Tapping reports no change in the sun's magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.

Well, of course when it comes to most science/politics issues IBD publishes mostly nonsense. This fellow contacted Dr. Tapping about the real words behind this indirect quotation, and here is Mr. Tapping's response:

Thanks for the message. The stuff on the web came from a casual chat with someone who managed to misunderstand what I said and then put the result on the web, which is probably a big caution for me regarding the future.

It is true that the beginning of the next solar cycle is late, but not so late that we are getting worried, merely curious.

It is the opinion of scientists, including me, that global warming is a major issue, and that it might be too late to do anything about it already. If there is a cooling due to the solar activity cycle laying off for a bit, then the a period of solar cooling could be a much-needed respite giving us more time to attack the problem of greenhouse gases, with the caveat that if we do not, things will be far worse when things turn on again after a few decades. However, once again it is early days and we cannot at the moment conclude there is another minimum started.

Don't wait for a retraction from IBD, though. And the "someone who managed to misunderstand" sounds like well known Canadian Denier Tim Patterson.

Conservatives Drink The HRC Koolaid!

Craig Chandler and now Alberta pastor Ron Leech are threatening to file complaints with the AHRC against the Alberta PC party. Their beef? PC ALBERTA CHRISTIAN BIAS REARS HEAD AGAIN

And why not?

Meanwhile, one of Warren's ex-employees pens a wonderful take down of Ezra and Mark and the whole Speechynista gang. I don't think you can link directly to the blog post, but go there and read the entry "The "Right to Offend" Movement". In my favorite bit, Mr. Omar Soliman points out Mr. Levant's rather tortured relationship to the Canadian Charter of Rights. From Ezra's remarks to the AHRC:

In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed, quote: 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: a) freedom of conscience and religion; b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
Those were even called “fundamental freedoms” – to give them extra importance.

But here's Ezra from 2005. I guess Freedom of Speech means freedom to contradict yourself whenever convenient.

Friday, February 08, 2008

And Then Along Came Eric Harris And Dylan Klebold

Journalism Prof Stephen Kimber laments the treatment of Brendan Jones, a grade 12 student at Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton, Ont.

Jones wrote an essay as part of his final exam for his creative-writing class. The five-page, handwritten essay was titled Schools (sic) Out.

His equally unnamed protagonist is a 16-year-old girl who, at the end of the story, traps her science teacher in the basement of her house, picks up a baseball bat and says, "Sorry, Mr. Adams, but schools (sic) out."

Brendan did not get into serious trouble for mixing up his plurals and his possessives, or even - as his teacher was careful to note in her teacherly way in the margins - for using cliches and violating the inviolate "show-don't-tell" rule of composition.

No, Brendan's real crime, as it turned out, wasn't literary. It was that he'd chosen "inappropriate subject matter."

Sure its too bad that Mr. Jones suffered through a visit from the local police for nothing more than the crime of writing bad fiction. Sure the odds are that he's a fine kid working out a bit of teenage angst through creative writing.

But the world changed when the two above-named kids walked into Columbine High School and murdered a dozen or so of their classmates, and it was later discovered that the massacre had been prefigured in some of their high-school creative writing projects.

Similarly, Seung-Hui Cho's propensity to violence was apparent from his writing projects a year before 2007's Virginia Tech Massacre. If the school had acted on these signals, who knows what might have turned out differently?

Given events such as these, the people at Heart Lake Secondary School would have been crazy to act in any manner other than the way they did. You don't play around with this kind of stuff anymore.

On Divas

A nice editorial from the Victoria Times Colonist re. Keith Martin and Section 13 of the Civil Rights Act. It argues that, whether or not you agree with his stand on the issue, the need is not so pressing as to justify Martin's dispute with his own party, especially in the run-up to a possible Spring election which is (according to the latest polls) starting to look quite winnable.

A similar logic applies even more urgently to the debate over our Afghanistan mission. It is good to see that Roy Cullen has decided to rejoin the team, but there are rumors now that Robert Thibault might attempt some improvised free-thinking. I would remind Mr. Thibault that the current Liberal policy is already a compromise between the greater portion of the party's MPs and your small group of "Liberal hawks". The tail, in other words, has already wagged the dog once. Why should it be allowed to do so again?

Doom, Baby! Doom

That, according to Canwest and Canoe columnists, is what will happen to the LPC if Dion doesn't buckle and commit Canada to a war without end in Afghanistan. Because Harper plays Chess when everyone else is playing checkers! Because the notion that Canada should play the NATO game by its rules, and demand that our allies do the same and stand up when the time comes for Canada to step down has "no credibility" with the 23 people who actually read the Manley report from end to end! And because...get this, its rich! election over the mission will result in more Canadian casualties and that blood will be on Dion's hands!

Earlier this week, the Canadian military was reluctant to reveal how many bullets it has used in Afghanistan because it knows the Taliban reads the Canadian press. An election that centred on this issue would re-energize the Taliban's fanatical zeal, if they figured out that with a rush and push they could help elect a Liberal Party that is campaigning to exchange swords for ploughshares.

Well, for one thing, Mr. Ivison, I doubt they read the National Post, because nobody reads the National Post. You can't wrap dead fish in the National Post--the dead fish complain to much! You can't use it to line a bird cage--parrots refuse to crap on it!

And for another thing, thanks for the free advice, fellas, but no thanks. We learn this morning that France is "hinting" at providing a few handfuls of troops, but not enough and in any case no final decision will be made until after the March HOC vote on the mission extension. These will probably melt away like a french pastry on your tongue the day after that vote is taken.

So lets have an election over Afghanistan and see what shakes out. I would suggest that the collective weight of Canada's Conservative punditocracy will have the same ability to move the public on this issue that it has had for the past couple of!

Because, remember, if it had been up to this bunch our guys would be dying in Iraq. They like quagmires! The Canadian people know that, and ignore them accordingly.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Roy Cullen Onside With Afghanistan Mission

Through a spokesperson:

“Your source has given you misinformation. Mr. Cullen has respected party loyalty and party discipline for the 12 years that he has been an MP. As such he is not going to discuss what occurred at caucus. It is unfortunate that your source does not have the same basic respect for their party or their colleagues.

“However, for the record, Mr. Cullen did at no point ever say that he would vote against the leader, or use the language that you are reporting.”

If Dion says no Afghanistan combat mission after Feb. 09, then Mr. Cullen will toe the line. Good for him. This one act has the potential to concretely effect the result of any Spring vote. Now if Dion can whip a few of the party other Divas into line, things will be looking good.

Rejoice! The Transparent Fish!

Scientists intend to use it to study the spread of cancer. Nevertheless, the one pictured above is smiling.

More McKeever On Human Rights Legislation

Yesterday, Freedom Party of Canada/Ontario leader Paul McKeever wrote this Op Ed for the Western Standard (registration may be required) in which he attacked Ezra Levant's case against HRCs from what I would describe (though Mr McKeever might not) as a Libertarian perspective. I wrote about his piece here, and noted:

[this] raises an interesting point. If I was, for example, renting a room and did not want to rent to a Black, the safest course would be to simply not rent them the room and keep my mouth shut over the reasons

Mr. McKeever has been kind enough to respond in my comments section, and his remarks were extensive enough and coherent enough (unusual for this blog) to merit a post of their own. Opinions expressed etc. are not those of the blog owner. Take it away Mr. McKeever

BCL: I saw your post and noted your last paragraph. Your insight is sound on this. Racists, sexists, and others who are landlords or employers can and do deny accommodation/jobs to people all of the time, with impunity, by keeping their views to themselves (or, at least, by trying not to let the would-be tenant/employee know the reason for the refusal of accommodation/employment).

This is why, in effect, human rights legislation is not really legislation that effectively forces racists/sexists (etc) to rent/hire those they dislike/hate. The actual effect of the legislation is that it censors the expression of racist/sexist or other irrational views.

I would not go so far as to suggest that those who drafted the legislation intended it to censor speech. Rather, I would argue that the effect (not the intention, but the effect) has been censorship.

Having worked as a human rights lawyer for almost 11 years now, I can tell you this: the act is largely ineffective for most instances of racism/sexism. However, its ineffectiveness is not due to the subject matter (i.e., irrational discrimination). Rather its ineffectiveness is due to the fact that force cannot effectively change a person's beliefs/thoughts. Physical force/coercion can govern action, but it cannot govern thought (i.e., it is physically, hence philosophically, impossible).

At the end of the day, human rights legislation has functioned - more than anything else - as an official state rejection of the ideologies that prevail in racist, sexist, anti-homosexual (etc.) jurisdictions.

The money would be better spent, in my view, on doing a much better job teaching children that a person's genetic make-up has nothing to do with the value of the person; that the irrational person - including racists, sexists, and other such tribalist - are morally inferior to those who judge each individual's value rationally (hence, without regard to race, sex, etc.).

Cheers, PM

BCL again. If the spelling in any of this is a bit shaky, its because I am still having Blogger problems and can't get spell-check to work.

Our Pleas Shall Go Unanswered

According to the U.K. Times:

Nato defence ministers meeting today are not expected to offer any more troops for Afghanistan, despite a plea from military commanders for another 7,500 soldiers, alliance sources said yesterday.

...And this is why Harper and co. want the HOC vote before April, when our dear NATO allies tell us to get stuffed. Also interesting is that the motion will be "Manley Minus"

meaning that it will call for an extension of the combat role, without mentioning some of the recommendations made by the Manley panel on humanitarian aid, diplomacy, and more open communications by the federal government.

You can interpret this as being a gesture to the Liberals--some of Manley's stuff can get added to the motion via LPC amendments--or (more likely) you can interpret it to mean that diplomacy and humanitarian aid are so much chin music to the Tories and they really are willing to commit to a war without end.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ezra's Crappy Argument

According to The Freedom Party's Paul McKeever:

"Ezra says censorship is wrong for this reason: we have (he submits) a long history of laws that disallow it. In other words: our laws (allegedly) against censorship are just because they are old. Yet the argument that 'old law is just law' implies that we should still have laws that facilitate slavery in Canada, that give only propertied men the vote, and that make it illegal to open your store on Sunday."

This thought occured to me as well; to argue that something, a set of laws or otherwise, is "800 years old" is not necessarily to recommend it. (Nor is to refer to it as "English", which Ezra also does. Remember, these people gave us The Spice Girls and mushy peas)

As to the rest of the McKeever piece, its early and I haven't absorbed alot of caffeine yet but it sounds to me he's arguing that HRCs shouldn't be allowed to regulate anything:

Ezra condemns the addition of speech to the original list of things regulated by human rights commissions. He thereby implies that he has no objection to human rights laws concerning employment and housing. Our human rights laws typically cannot prevent someone from denying a person a job or an apartment so long as the reason for the denial is not known to be one prohibited by human rights legislation. Thus, in effect, Ezra's position is this: nobody should prevent Ezra from saying that another man's religious beliefs are dangerous but, if Ezra utters such an opinion, he should lose the freedom to deny that man a job or an apartment. In short: shut up, or put up. That is clearly a self-defeating defence of "free speech."

An argument that I don't agree with, but which raises an interesting point. If I was, for example, renting a room and did not want to rent to a Black, the safest course would be to simply not rent them the room and keep my mouth shut over the reasons.

Come Get Some

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned Liberal Leader Stephane Dion that the Conservative government is prepared to go to the electorate as early as next week to seek a mandate to extend the military mission in Afghanistan, CTV News has learned.

Harper is bluffing. And if he's not bluffing, and he wants to go to the electorate on this issue without having secured even The Manley Minimum 1,000 extra NATO bodies, then he's got a death wish.

(Mind you, if more allies pony up along these lines, then there might be room for compromise, esp. if most Libs are as ambivalent as I am. But right now, sorry, no deal)

Update: Harper wants the vote (maybe a confidence vote, maybe not) in March, before the April NATO meeting where we find out if we get our extra 1000 guys, before we find out if NATO even meets the requirements of the Manley Report. He wants the oppo parties to approve a pig in a poke, in other words. Two words: Blo...Me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Now That's Something Outside Of The Normal Order Of Nature

The Toronto Board Of Trade wants City Council to raise taxes more? When did they get taken over by hippies? Sure, there are potholes extending down to the center of the Earth in this town, but shouldn't the Right stay on the Right and the Left on the Left? Carole Wilding (head of the TBOT) is making me feel all weird inside.

Ezra's Next Crusade?

From free speech to trans fats? From upholding the right to bash Muslims to upholding the right to mash taters? Man what a come down that's gotta be.

But wait, where's the inevitable Nazi angle? My God, it's right here!!

Ezra Levant: tough on food Nazis, soft on the regular kind.

Book Me In!

As a kid I used to dream of airships that could fly me around the planet, and submarines that would bear me to the bottom of the sea. So naturally I would be thrilled if this development ever "got off the ground":

700-foot floating hotel, which resembles the Thunderbird 2 from the 1960s television series, "Thunderbirds", has been set for development, a report said.

The Manned Cloud is a flying hotel that is intended to carry 40 guests around the world while floating at an altitude of 18,000 feet, the Daily Mail reported Saturday.

I'm apparently not the only one who fancies a new golden era of the dirigible. Many more pictures as well as schematics of "The Manned Cloud" can be found here , as well as reference to the "Lifestyle Zeppelin", another "cruise airship " design by Tino Schaedler and Michael J. Brown that doesn't look so much like a giant manatee.

Of course the reality of the airship is quite a bit less romantic. For example, Blackwater Security's plan to spend $100,000,000 building a fleet of blimps for patrolling the skies over Iraq seems to be a couple of years behind schedule (although they have recently tested an unmanned blimp for the Arizona/Mexico border where such things are already fairly common).