Sunday, November 30, 2008
CBC Still Running Craptacular Poll On Subsidies To Political Parties
Honestly? Why would CBC want to run such an easily manipulated survey? Sure, you claim you did a poll and its cheap, but you get what you pay for.
Easier to see why, as has happened here, a gang of young Tories might want to spend the day drumming up fake votes. CBC will, if they announce the results at all, include some caveat such as "this is not a scientific survey". Writers from other media outlets may not be so scrupulous, and it will get printed and broadcast as though it were actually news.
Does Bourque Paint Better Than He Drives?
Meanwhile, In More Important News
...which has got Gen. Walt Natynczyk a little bit worried.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tory Talking Points Same For MPs And Yokels!
They're the same list! Or, more specifically, many of the talking points are the same word-for-word in both lists. Its gonna feel like deja vu all over again in radio land by the end of the weekend.
This struggle is really going down-market, but how will the Torys communicate with those who don't follow talk radio? High school graduates, for example.
Another CanWest Columnist, Another Apology
"I recently published a column where I mentioned the name of a local Ottawa reader who, being concerned with the contents of certain of my past columns, filed, as is her right, complaints with the Ontario Press Council (OPC). Although I do not agree with her allegations as set out in her complaints, she has expressed that her allegations are founded and she was acting in good faith. I used words to describe her complaint which may have been misconstrued to be a personal slight against her. I did not intend to offend her personally and regret if I did so."
Naming someone who launched an OPC complaint against you? That smacks of intimidation. Here's the column with the name pulled, from Warren's website.
Why A Coalition Government Might Last Longer Than You Might Think
Because the Tories might be in the midst of a leadership race of their own.
What The Polls Tell Us About An NDP/Liberal Coalition
Friday, November 28, 2008
Climate Change Denier Says NDP/Liberal Coalition Can't Work
When you read his remarks on a potential NDP/Liberal coalition, keep that in mind. This guy is ready to sling bullshit.
Harper And Flaherty Tank Canadian $
"When you've got a government which is basically, when they talk about the opposition parties, that there's been a declaration of war in parliament, it's not necessarily a good thing for the currency right now," said David Watt, a senior currency strategist at RBC Capital markets.
"A lot of investors are rewarding governments that are showing strong leadership on the financial crisis and it looks like we're (Canada) going to be thrown into disarray."
Not much question whose getting the blame here, is there?
From Wells comments (Jeff Jedras, I think):
Harper will back down. He’s not leaving 24 Sussex any time soon. He’ll carve the party financing stuff out into a separate, non-confidence bill, throw in a little earlier stimulus to mollify one of the opposition parties, and live to fight another day, his bluff having been called.
Some Liberals catch a flu:
Liberal finance critic Scott Brison said it would be "premature" to discuss the prospect of a coalition or even to firmly state that all Liberals will vote against the update on Monday. He was happy, though, to attack the Conservatives.
As I argued yesterday, if the point is to kill the subsidy cuts, this might work. There has to be legislation introduced, it has to go through various committees, to the Senate, etc. At some point it could all die in the night. And, as Kadey notes, there is no sign of this legislation in the update or elsewhere:
According to the Man in the Striped Tie who is in charge of explaining stuff to confused journalists, the legislation will be introduced “soon”. How soon? Well, before the House rises for Christmas, although he admitted that it was unlikely that it would make it through Parliament before the break — which means that we may not have an election showdown until the New Year. Oh, and remember all that stuff about belt (or, depending on your perspective, noose) tightening beginning at home for all political parties? The specifics of those cuts/freezes/whatever to MP and ministerial salaries are also left to the imagination; presumably that, too, will be in the magical mystery Bill C-2. (I’m assuming it will be C-2, since there’s no indication that the government plans to break its perfect record of not introducing legislation between now and whenever the bill is finally tabled.)
Now, I am not one of those who thought the Lib's abstaining did them much harm last election. At least it did less harm than Dion's trying to explain the Green Shift in garbled English. And with respect to any number of contentious bills (C-6, C-10, C-484), the process worked. In this case, however, the optics may be too awful to contemplate.
Weird Shit Happens
If the Liberals do the right thing and oppose these cuts, along with the rest of the opposition, I suspect we are more likely to see an outcome such as this:
Canada’s constitutional law dealing with minority governments was altered in 1968 when Pearson’s government was unexpectedly defeated on a matter of confidence. While this should have led to an immediate dissolution of parliament, none of the parties were ready, and Pearson was in the process of being replaced as leader of the Liberals. By mutual agreement among the party leaders, a new motion was passed that retroactively declared that the budgetary matter on which the government was defeated was not a matter of confidence, setting a new precedent.
As a final note, if these sudden events inspire the Liberal Party to get a new leader in place on the cheap and before May '09, then some good will have come of it. At this point I don't give a crap who it is. If its Iggy, hopefully Kinsella will make a man out of him (teach him to drink beer and say eh), and I will always be around to provide character building ridicule on occasions when he says things like "The Spotted Boa is a noble animal, which consumes its prey head-first and eats it whole, later excreting it in compact pellets and thereby reminding me of me."
Update: Tories take option number 1--They Cave!
Interviews With Our Heroine
Ezra Strikes Back Again!
When will these guys learn?
PS. Please note once again that linking to defamatory material can itself be defamatory.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
But How Will It Play In Quebec?
I guess The Tories only have 8 or 9 seats there to lose, right?
A Somewhat Credible Rumour?
Anyone else heard this?
PS. On the other hand, this smells vaguely of surrender.
Or maybe its all a ploy.
For example, if you wanted to cut this subsidy, floating a rumour that you were going to kill it outright might make whatever you actually do seem reasonable
Your Daily Nazi: The Nazis Don't Like It!
Tom Wappel: Even Catholics Don't Give A Shit!
As long as I live, I will never forget being in Yellow Knife North West Territories in February of 1990. I was running for the leadership of the Liberal party of Canada in those days, there were 5 candidates - Jean Chretien, Sheila Copps, Paul Martin, Tom Wappel, and Jean Chretien. We were in North West Territories.
I was invited by a local Catholic superintendent of schools who was a supporter of mine in the leadership - to attend a Catholic high school question and answer period. I went. This is a Catholic high school, and remember, I was talking about things like respect for life. I wasn't really talking about marriage in those days because 18 years ago, that hadn't really come up yet. But I was talking about abortion and euthanasia and things of that nature.
To this day, 18 years later, one of my greatest regrets and tragedies - that, that was my worst experience as a politician in any school that I ever went to across this great country - and it was a Catholic high school. I felt, and I still feel in my recollections today, I felt like a piece of meat that was dangled over a pool of sharks and that is how I was treated by students and staff alike on these issues.
OK, if I was in a public high school, I might have expected it but not at a Catholic high school. I could not believe the vitriol that came from these students and their teachers at a Catholic high school. I was shocked, and I might say, so was the superintendant of schools that invited me. Not only was he shocked but he was embarrassed to the point of speechlessness. That sort of things should not be happening.
Why is it that Catholic high schools - and I hope I am not making a generalization - certainly, in that one, have that kind of an atmosphere.
Lack of sex, maybe?
Actually, it reminds me when I was back in highschool and one of the prominent SoCred ministers showed up. All she got was three questions about legalizing marijuana.
Flaherty Stiffs The Green Party
Under the new proposal [to cut party budgets], this is how much the parties stand to lose:
Conservatives: $10 million
Liberals: $7.7 million
NDP: $4.9 million
Bloc Quebecois: $2.6 million
Green Party: $1.8 million
A burgeoning political organization like the Green Party depends heavily on taxpayers' money. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was able to greatly increase her profile in the recent election through cross-country advertising.
It's unclear how the Greens would be able to stage an effective campaign without that money, especially since they were unable to elect a single MP to Parliament.
I'm not quite sure how worried to be about this. I don't really follow the procedural niceties of parliament, but one of CG's commentors writes:
An economic update that would require changes to legislation?
It's hot air. Can't go forward without a ways & means motion, can't go forward without passing the senate.
And if this is really the case, if the move is "merely symbolic", then frankly I don't see it as being particularly clever symbolism either. I can already hear the cries of "Its an attack on our culture!" in Quebec, and you can make the case that it is a raw and ugly attempt to kill the environmental movement in the ROC.
It should also be pretty obvious to everyone that its an attempt to turn the channel on a possible 46 Billion dollar deficit, though it will do absolutely nothing to stem the red ink tide. Opportunism this rank is never good politics.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Steyn Gets Punked By 28 Year Old Literary Hoax
Dr. Miller further suggested that this publication was probably some kind of hoax. Well, it turns out the LGB was debunked way back in 1980! Here's a scan of the first paragraph of a NY Times Book Review entitled "Bantam's Khomeini Book Stirs Dispute":
And here are Dr. Marvin Zonis remarks re the particular passage in question:
Guess we'll be getting an apology out of Mr. Steyn real soon now, hmm?
H/t the Law is Cool gang, who know how to do research.
Jonathon Kay: The Moon Report Is A Smorgasbord, And We May Pick And Choose Among Its Recommendations As We Please
Jonathon's Kay's response has been typical. Lets, he suggests, just reject all those aspects of the report we don't like:
Final upshot: Moon's basic idea to get rid of Section 13 is admirable. But one wishes that he had stopped there, instead of adding in all sorts of unfortunate ands, buts and howevers.
Presumably Mr. Kay would have The Moon Report land in Parliament 95% redacted.
But this will not fly as a political solution. For while the report advocates a repeal of Section 13, these "ands, buts, and howevers" have been added so that there would, theoretically at least, be no net increase in extreme hateful speech because of that repeal. In other words, they were added so that the groups that might be targeted even more extensively by bigots and hatemongers in the wake of a straight repeal, would not be so targeted.
Of course the Speechys don't give a crap about that but the government of the day which, as Kinsella notes, needs at least some support among the targeted groups to craft its coveted majority, has to at least pretend to.
Harry Abrams Strikes Back! More Notes On The Moon Report
...questioned the Holocaust and denounced "Schindler's List" as propaganda.
Earlier this week I was able to contact Mr. Abrams, and he commented as follows on The Moon Report (I have made a few minor stylistic edits to the following):
...if Dr. Moon's recommendations were taken at face value, that would make it open season on the re-publishing of the Protocols of [the Elders of] Zion and more which doesn't specifically call for violence, but has nevertheless been widely recognized as a warrant for genocide.
Similarly, the Nazi era newspaper Der Sturmer, the most infamous newspaper in history did not specifically call for violence, but contained grotesquely hateful material, ALL OF WHICH would according to Dr. Moon be untouchable if his suggestions were to be accepted at face value, because were merely offensive ..
"..the paper had been filled with charges that Jews were about nefarious deeds everywhere in Germany, posing an immediate threat to each reader..."
Dr. Moon's suggestions also make it fair game for wide distribution of The Turner Diaries and The Hunter, Pierce's novels of violent race war that [influenced white supremacist] Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. I doubt these books specifically said, after you've read this book, go out and kill black people!" But that's what Pierce intended them for. And that's how they were used.
These books deserve to be studied, and understood, like Hitler's Mein Kampf and other classics of hate literature, but the distribution should be controlled in some way, or at least they should be labelled as classics of hate literature.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Michael Coren Exercises His Free Speechydom
Caller: Why is that relevant?
Coren: I’m asking you the question … it’s just courtesy … what do you teach?
Caller: I teach … um … health, science course
Coren: OK … I just got the impression … I’m not trying to be rude … but maybe English wasn’t your first language.
Caller: No … it’s not … but why is that relevant?
Coren: Because I think your English should be fluent if you’re teaching kids in the English language.
Yeah, Michael, and baldy headed pricks with fake English accents shouldn't be on the radio either.
You May, If You Are So Inclined
I'm nominated in the overall best blog category, which seems pretty ambitious, as well as Best Political Blog. So go vote.
A Last Word On The Moon Report
Moon essentially endorses the CHRC's choices in selecting and pursuing section 13 cases. In fact, he suggests tweaking criminal code provisions such that all of the cases successfully prosecuted under section 13 would also be captured under the new regime that he has proposed. So while you can argue that using the CC for such work is inefficient, and you can argue that the odds of provincial police forces actually setting up "hate teams" is Nil, nothing in Moon's proposals would, in theory, let anyone who has already had a run-in with the CHRC off the hook.
What would happen is that complaints dealing with the kind of material now handled by the CHRC under section 13 would go to the various police hate crimes units (whose workload, Moon suggests, would almost certainly increase). So, while nowadays Connie and Mark, or Mr. Boisson, might get a letter from a government bureaucrat, under the new regime they would most likely get a call from a nice policeman, and this would occur just as their websites (via section 320.1 of the CC) disappeared until said policeman could decide whether its contents met the standard. Since Freedominion occasionally hosts calls for Muslim genocide in its forums, it is almost certain that they would be getting such phone-calls, and might wind up looking at jail-time rather than a fine and rebuke.
How that is supposed to be an improvement, I do not know.
Justice Minister: Moon Report A Formula For Inaction
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson told Canwest News Service he has no plans to introduce legislation to strip the human rights commission of its online mandate, but he described the report as a "step in the right direction" for a House of Commons review.
From Deb Gyapong's blog:
[Darren] Eke said the Justice Minister had indicated he wanted to have the justice committee look at Section 13 and was hoping that Conservative MP Rick Dyskstra would again make a motion to that effect.
Perhaps the justice committee could also review the Moon report, he said.
Except, Deb discovers:
Well, I just scrummed Dystra on his way into Question Period. He said he's not even sure he's going to be on the Justice Committee as he is now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Citizenship and Immigration Minister.
By far the best coverage of developments at Ms. Gyapong's site. As the day progressed, it is as though you could actually hear her spirit being crushed.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Will The National Post Do The Right Thing And Join A National Press Council?
Will the government now do the right thing and get the CHRC out of the censorship business?
Richard Moon's report recommends repealing or, if not repealing, amending section 13 of the CHRA. It also recommends , in the case of repeal, revitalized press councils to deal with remarks appearing in the MSM which are "unfair or discriminatory" while not reaching the level of hate-speech. It would grant these press councils special powers:
To advance this end, all major print publications should belong to a provincial or regional press council that has the authority to receive a complaint that the publication has depicted an identifiable group in an unfair or discriminatory manner and, if it decides that the complaint is well-founded, to order the publication to print its decision.89 A decision by the council that its code of conduct has been breached results not in censorship but in "more speech" – the publication of a statement that the newspaper breached the code and, more particularly in this context, that it published material that unfairly represented the members of an identifiable group.
If the major publications in the country are not all willing to join a press council, then the establishment of a national press council with statutory authority and compulsory membership should once again be given serious consideration. A newspaper is not simply a private participant in public discourse; it is an important part of the public sphere where discussion about the affairs of the community takes place. As such, it carries a responsibility not to defame or stereotype identifiable groups within the Canadian community.90
Note that in, for example, the Macleans case, had Dr. Moon's recommendations been law Macleans may well have been ordered to print a decision finding Mark Steyn's article to be discriminatory. But this is exactly the point--editorial control-- over which Maclean's claims to have fought the HRC complaint against them. In other words, where they "won" their HRT case, they might well have "lost" a press council case and been forced to forgo editorial control anyway.
So the report does not just call for the repeal of section 13. As far as I can tell, it calls for a redistribution of some of the penalties the CHRC is allowed to impose in section 13 cases to other bodies, which would then be able to dole out punishment in situations where, were a complaint brought under section 13, that case would have been dismissed.
Once the Speechies get passed the news release, some of their enthusiasm will wane.
More on this later, obviously. Fascinating stuff.
Update: the waning process has already begun.
Canadian Islamic Congress Steps Into The Future
He will be joining the board of The Canadian Charger, a newly established mainstream multi-media online magazine using the latest in communications technology. Its public launch is planned for late spring of 2009.
Activists of any stripe tend to be crusty bastards, but at some point you start hindering rather than helping your cause. Mo Elmasry reached that point some time ago.
h/t Five Feet of Fat Chick, who has her uses.
PS. Although Google has no information on any magazine with that title. So, a hoax email?
Buckets On The CHRC Wifi Case
I, on the other hand, would speculate that Stormfront owner Don Black, who was instrumental in filing the original complaint, could have simply handed over this technical data--presumably logs--to the RCMP (as was done with the original IP address) but, for whatever reason, chose not to, and the jurisdictional issues that arose were the kind that would have been involved in compelling an American website to provide material to Canadian authorities.
Black would not want to hand over his logs to the RCMP, of course, since this would expose many of their Canadian members to prosecution for hate crimes.
And it is far from clear what shape the logs themselves were in. Or, indeed, whether Black ever consulted them. (It is likelier that he merely used his bulletin board software's lookup feature.)
How true how true.
Gwyn Dyer On AGW Geo-Politics: We Should Give The Yankees All The Water They Need
"...the Americans are losing large chunks of agricultural production. They're going to have to evacuate parts of coastline. There are parts where you can't get insurance already.
"So they're going to be moving people around. And they're going to be very short of water. They're already short of water everywhere west of the Mississippi. They have built very large cities in effectively desert. I mean, even now it's really a desert, 40 million people. This is not a good plan.
"And they're going to need the water. And when they get seriously crippled by this, I don't think they're going to take no for an answer from Canada if it doesn't want to sell its water.
"In fact, I would go this far: We need to start selling the Americans water in the near future as soon as they want it and are willing to pay some nominal price for it because you want to put this exchange on a commercial basis before it becomes a strategic issue. And there are ways of doing it that don't harm us.
"But you sell them water now or soon they'll kick the door in. And actually, I would show them where the door is because they'd be right, they'd be within their rights. You cannot let your neighbours go short when you have a surplus. But there are ways of doing this that don't hurt our interests.
Also interesting are the comments re getting access to Canadian climate scientists. Short version: the gov wouldn't let him. He doesn't mention the arctic, however, which strikes me as an oversight. There are huge possibilities for armed conflict up there as the ice melts.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
NDP Shadow Cabinet
Slow news day, obviously. Ah well, I'm sure someone cares.
Bob Rae: Don't Want No White Men Around Here
The competition [for this position] is limited to the following employment equity designated groups: aboriginal peoples, francophones, persons with disabilities, racial minorities and women.
By the way, I am only picking on Bob today because Iggy's campaign strategy appears to be "you can't do anything stupid if you don't do anything at all". If someone spots the guy moving, please let me know.
But the point is: the attacks on Bob Rae, should he become Liberal Party leader, will not only concern Ontario's economic performance when he was premier. They will also tee-off on some of the weird, doctrinaire Lefty stuff that came out of his government.
PS. I also vaguely remember Bob Rae's taxes on "YouBrew" outfits, and I am working on a post in which I characterize Bob as "anti-beer".
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Because Assholes All Look The Same To Me
Shaidle has the more impressive mustache.
A Sign O' The (Bad) Times? Dollarama Hiking Prices
You heard it here first.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Keith Martin Strikes Back!
M-153 — November 19, 2008 — Mr. Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca) — That, in the opinion of the House, subsection 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act should be deleted from the Act.
PS. M-153, like M-446, is still pretty pointless, a statement of opinion, not a change in the law. Still...
More On Those Mississauga Exotic Dancers
Here, for example, is the website for the club where Kimberlee and the other dancers involved in the Human Rights complaint used to work, including a map and some clips of the current employees plying their trade. (Tell yourself: "I am here because I am interested in Human Rights law...I am here because I am interested in Human Rights law...")
And here are some old T.O. Star stories about the legal trouble this club has suffered in the past, although it should be noted that club-owner John Sit was never in the clubs when they were raided and never charged.
h/t Kimberlee, and happy birthday!
Update: in a last bit of Human Rights news, a "real court" backs an HRC.
CHRC Off The Hook
This one has been a foregone conclusion ever since Marc Lemire pulled similar claims from his constitutional challenge a couple of months ago. If the man behind the criminal complaint didn't believe his own allegations, why should anyone else? Nevertheless, the decision has been a long time coming.
Furthermore, the charges were ridiculous in the first place. As I have argued repeatedly, at about 350 metres distance, Nelly Hechme's wifi network was out of range of CHRC computers. Nor would it have been necessary for the CHRC to hack her connection, as a wifi scan of the street in front of CHRC HQ shows any number of wireless access points within range.
Furthermore, as some excellent work by Bucket's demonstrated (well, I helped a little), the IP address that Stormfront owner Don Black and Marc Lemire handed over to the tribunal was originally used by CHRC investigator Dean Steacey to access Stormfront in September of 2006. Given the highly dynamic nature of Bell's wireless network, it is wildly unlikely that Streacey's computer should have been given the same IP address in December, when he accessed the site on a 2nd occasion.
I wrote at the time:
Hint One: Most likely nobody visited Stormfront from 126.96.36.199 on December 8, 2006. Not Steacy, not Hechme--nobody. Lemire's criminal complaint, which refs that IP number, will therefore come to nought.
Hint Two: Given the search tools employed by Stormfront, a thorough search of IPs related to Jadewarr should have returned more than a single address. And the address used by CHRC staff in December, 2006 is almost certainly sitting undiscovered in Stormfront records.
This is interesting in the light of this bit from Brean's National Post story:
...to investigate further would involve [the RCMP] going after technical data from a website based in the United States, stormfront.org, which they said is not possible.
Mark Lemire elaborates unhelpfully:
...the RCMP will not criminally charge the CHRC with theft of an innocent woman’s internet connection because the evidence leads to an American website, which is outside the jurisdiction of the RCMP.
Well, wait a minute, if Don Black handed over technical information to Lemire, why could he not do the same for the RCMP? It is quite possible that he in fact refused to hand over this information, and that he is hiding the presence of the 2nd address mentioned above in his records. In other words, the information turned over to the Tribunal and RCMP may have been intentionally left incomplete.
Found Orbiting The Sun
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Global Warming Pushes Bigfoot North
Ezra Dodges Debate
Recently, John Miller challenged Ezra to an e-mail debate on the J-source website, the topic being "freedom of speech vs. responsibility ". Ezra's response has been, naturally, to smear the professor and dodge debate. I suppose for the Ez, it is easier to hide behind the small army of sycophants that cluster around his blog than to actually have to make and defend arguments in a 3rd party forum.
So lets be clear about what's going on here, Ezra. This chicken's for you.
Speechy Warriers Get Sweet FA Outta Throne Speech!
So, while we appreciate the polite efforts and advice of the adults, excuse us while we play a winning game. And, yo, adults, the fact is that a fair number of us speechers have a fair bit of experience in politics, journalism, publishing, marketing, organization and public relations. Possibly more than you do.
Here's more Jay Currie, on what it would take to finally win the Speechy Wars:
All Nicholson has to do is insert one line into the throne speech and introduce a three line bill [striking down section 13 of the CHA] which already has a measure of bi-partisan support. And do it in the face of an entirely disorganized Opposition which is terrified of an election. How hard can that be?
And here's what the throne speech said about section 13:
All quiet over in the Speechysphere. Its as though they don't yet realize, after all the work they put into passing p-203 at the Tory convention, that they've been sodomized again.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your awesome genius with us, Jay.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Vic Toews Speaks Out On Upcoming Session
Back in the summer, Minister Nicholson announced our Government’s intention to introduce legislation this fall to strengthen the criminal law response to violence against pregnant women.
This new Bill would expand the list of aggravating factors to be considered by a sentencing judge to include the fact of a woman's pregnancy. While this Bill will not reopen the debate on abortion, our Government has made it very clear that we will protect pregnant women from violence.
Meanwhile, after speaking the party line on Section 13, Toews ends with some vacuous mush.
Our government is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights. We are also committed to ensuring that legitimate expressions of opinion, including religious free speech, are protected.
Sounds like a prescription for inactivity, but I guess we'll see.
Natty Post Claims False Scoop On Stripper Pics, Gives Liberal Blogger The Stiff!
Your coverage of Canadian Human Rights cases continues to be dismal. If you can't tell the truth about exotic dancers, how can you guys be trusted with anything???
No wonder your stock is under a buck!!!!
Ban Bandwidth Shaping
In the coming days the federal communications regulator will issue a landmark ruling that has huge implications for Canadians' access to the Internet. The CRTC decision will determine whether Bell, Rogers and other big telecoms can continue to "throttle" Internet service.
Saveournet wants you to take action by going here. Not a bad idea. There's a petition you can sign.
The Future Of Journalism?
Meet Voices of San Diego, MinnPost, and the St. Louis Beacon.
Mind you, the N.Y. Times piece also points out the short-comings of these endeavours. For example, how healthy is it to rely on funding from one or two wealthy patrons? Do we need hundreds of little Natty Posts, run by tiny Lord Black's, soiling our computer screens?
In any case, a far more likely way forward for the business, as opposed to assuming that bloggers will somehow step in as the traditional news-paper industry fails.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Maybe There Is A God
Dancing naked around all those bon-fires and sacrificing that chicken must have worked! Yo, Santa!!! You're next, FATBOY!!!
H/T JJ, who has come out of retirement for this year's war on Xmas.
Why Libs Shouldn't Walk Away From Green Issues
...which is why Iggy's answer here isn't bad, if a bit rote (from James Curran's notes):
Iggy: proud of Stephane's leadership on it. (Should be he wanted a carbon tax shift). Must remain faithful about enviromental sustainability. Gotta get the retail politics of this issue. Gotta figure out how to sell it. Has to work in the air, on the land on the sea where deisel fuels are used. We have to listen to cdns.
I have only vague memories of Ignatieff's 2006 green plan, but I recall it as involving a fairly aggressive cap & trade system. More generally, I think it was a good exercise for all the 2006 candidates to have been required to produce a fairly extensive statement of their environmental principles, and I hope that the same expectation applies this time around (although of course nobody expects them to lean as extensively on their environmental creds as Dion did).
Alberta To Become Have-Not Province?
The Sturgeon County upgrader portion of the Fort Hills project has been 'put on hold".
I will refrain from gleeful cackling, but....
A blue-eyed sheik in Calgary somewhere is gonna be hawking their gold plated beer mugs!
Because an economic collapse is a kind of natural carbon tax.
Sorry, I cackled.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Score: Iggy 0, Bob Rae -1
...Mr. Rae succeeded in putting front-runner Michael Ignatieff on the defensive. In a populist and 'inclusive' age, no one wants to be seen to be engaged in, much less defending, meetings 'behind closed doors.'
The problem with this analysis is, while Rae's stunt might have looked good to a TV audience, the folks at home aren't electing the next Liberal leader. That job falls to party insiders, and I suspect that many of them might be a wee bit ticked-off. As one of Spectors commenters says:
First [Rae] has to win back all the Ontario riding association presidents and others he alienated yesterday. It is one thing to make a point and another thing to boycott all the volunteers who would typically be there to help.
Your Morning Giggle
Didn't someone hand this guy his gold watch already?
Totally unsourced. Authored by Sheila Copps. Hmm. I sense somebody struggling with a slow news cycle.
U.N. Sets Itself Up For A Freeping
I got this email from the U.N. the other day, asking me to visit their website (blanked out in the above) and complete their survey on what must be done to combat climate change. "Your views on which approaches to climate change will succeed and what key barriers are most slowing progress are important [enough(?)]to be widely heard." Thanks for the vote of confidence, fellows, but I have issues (beyond your poor grammar).
For example, how are you selecting your experts? My only thin claim to AGW expertise is the fact that I write this blog. Now, I note that you are making use of Globescan. I wrote about a previous Globescan AGW poll here, done by them on behalf of the European Climate Foundation. I was able to pick up the URL and complete the previous survey because it was widely circulated on a denialist mailing list. If I received your invitation because I participated in that survey, then it is likely that any number low-grade pseudo-scientists have received the same material, and your results are already in jeopardy.
In short, the security measures you have taken are dismal. I have redacted the URL to your survey in the above, but had I been so inclined I could have distributed it to any number of forums and lists with the tag "FREEP this poll!", and a 1,000 assholes with computers would have turned up at the site and essentially defaced the thing. Now, there are any number of methods by which this kind of result can be avoided, but your survey employs none of them. Pretty poor quality control for the U.N.
PS. Eli thinks the FREEPERS have already been on this one, but I have found no evidence for that yet. Probably just a matter of time, however.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Bob Rae's First Sleazy Political Manouver Scores Big!
Well scored, Bob! All that civility stuff was just chin music anyway, right? Meanwhile, James Curran will be at the debate to let us know if hair gets pulled or specs broken.
Gawd this is exciting!
Iggy's First Gaffe!
Sorry folks, you want a coronation? The rest of us want to at least see how your guy performs a few times before signing up.
What RT said.
Update: Read Wells for an alternative take on this. Thanks Sandi.
I Got One Of Them Cheap
Some of the fossils in the Museum of Nature that are potentially up on the chopping block include a specimen of Megacerops,
...an extinct genus of North American brontotheriid mammal. All of the species had a pair of blunt horns on their snout (the size varying between species), with the horns of males being much larger than those of the females. This could indicate that they were social animals which butted heads for breeding privileges.
In fact, the museum includes a life sized model of a Megacerops family. They will look good in your drive-way for the low, low price of $64.95.
And this, Ambulocetus, was, believe it or not
...an early cetacean from Pakistan that could walk as well as swim. It lived during early Eocene some 50-49 million years ago. It is a transitional fossil that shows how whales evolved from land-living mammals. Having the appearance of a 3 metre long mammalian crocodile, it was clearly amphibious, as its back legs are better adapted for swimming than for walking on land, and it probably swam by undulating its back vertically, as otters and whales do.
Hey! You got $2? Sold for $2. Hand it from the ceiling in your living room. The kids will love it.
Conventional wisdom has it that you build up fat during the good years, and live on it when times are lean. On the other hand, when you cut taxes during the good years, you're stuck selling off the family jewels when things get a little bit rough. That seems to be the predicament we are in today.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Now That's A Nice Snake
Your Daily Nazi: Nazis Press For Passage Of Lemire Resolution (P-203)
I Didn't THINK I Was That Popular In High School
But once he'd parted with the $15, Michaels learned the shocking truth: No one he knew was trying to contact him at all. Classmates.com's come-on was a lie, and he'd been scammed.
I signed up for their basic service ages ago, and every week I get a similar message. I've never bothered forking out the extra $15 to find out who it was from because, well, there are very few people from that time in my life that I want to run into again.
But this makes it official: that girl who wouldn't dance with me at the prom ISN'T trying to apologize and ask me to take her back. Good to know.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Accused Bomber's Publication Ban To Be Challenged
Sources tell me that Edith Cody-Rice, counsel for the CBC, has indicated CBC will challenge the publication ban.
Guess Its Time To Rev Up The Ole Liberal War On Xmas
By the way I have it on good authority that not only was Santa black, he was morbidly obese.
Alternative Energy & Grid Reliability
1) Coal is not the future. Natural gas is.
Natural gas has increasingly been viewed as the “fuel of choice” by the electric industry as natural gas-fired generating plants are typically easier to site, have shorter construction times, and have lower carbon emissions than coal plants. Coal plants, on the other hand, have been facing increasing opposition and delays over the past several years, with over 30,000 MW of coal fired generation canceled or deferred between 2002 to 2007 (see figure) and an additional 3,500 MW cancelled or deferred in the first six months of 2008 (Figure 2).8
With that in mind, here is some rather important news you can file under "resistance to coal". Although Eli says its a little early to celebrate.
2) Clean coal is not out of the question, but not a slam dunk either.
The technology in its present form, however, requires further development before it can be relied upon as a significant portion of North America’s fuel mix. These technologies must become commercial before 2025 in order to become a viable option.
One big obstacle is, apparently, generating the extra electricity to run the carbon sequestratin' machines!
3) Cap and Trade Schemes are tricky.
Looking ahead to a potential cap-and-trade environment, managing carbon credits and allowances to permit critical coal (and gas) facilities to run will be essential to maintaining reliability. In specific reference to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the Northeast, Peter Carney, Lead Environmental Engineer at New York ISO in Rensselaer, NY commented: “Without sufficient allowances, generators cannot operate to meet bulk power system electricity needs and also comply with the RGGI program.” While it may seem to be only a matter of setting reasonable annual targets, Carney continues by explaining: “The minimum level of allowances needed in New York State will vary from year to year, depending upon a number of factors including, but not limited to, weather conditions and the availability of hydroelectric and nuclear generation. Several situations can be postulated that can result in an insufficient supply of allowances. For example, a loss of a major nuclear plant could translate into a need for an additional 10 million tons per year of CO2 allowances.”
4) Transmission, Transmission, Transmission
Existing transmission infrastructure is inadequate to reliably integrate new renewable resources to demand centers.15 Evidence of this exists today, as “transmission limitations are already imposing significant constraints on wind development, with massive interconnection queue backlogs and forced curtailments of wind.”16 Further, the transmission grid was not designed for the long distance continental transport of power, and will require enormous study to ascertain the best plan to meet potential requirements of climate change initiatives.
“areas that are rich in renewables … do not correspond with areas where the transmission system is the strongest.
And if anyone is suggesting a nuclear renaisance, the last statement applies in that case as well.
As an aside, all sorts of opportunities for NIMBYism here. You can't consistently be in favor of green power but against the power lines that are supposed to carry it.
5) The grid can be made smarter.
Lots of talk of Demand Side Management, Energy Efficiency, and the like.
6) National policies on climate change are needed
Some (Nordhaus I think) have argued that any over-arching climate change agreement should be the sum of local/regional initiatives. NERC stake-holders don't buy it.
One thing is made clear by the responses to NERC’s request for comments: legislative and regulatory uncertainty is problematic: “This uncertainty makes it difficult to determine the potential impact and risks associated with GHG emissions; to make effective, strategic capital investment decisions; and to project our costs, revenues, and profits. A clear national policy on global climate change is needed for our industry to plan for the future,” as Dan Steen, VP Environmental, FirstEnergy Service Company of Akron, OH comments. For, “while deliberations on climate change must consider economic and reliability factors, the uncertainty associated with the outcome of protracted deliberations is the most problematic issue,” as Bob Kahn, President and CEO of ERCOT in Austin, TX stated.
Because its not just about boobies here at BCLSB.
Ezra Endorses "Lemire Resolution"
But when it comes up for debate, man, he's gonna be miles away. Unbreakable commitments. Bathing the pet hamster, and so forth. Playing mini-golf with an important business partner. That kind of thing. You're on your own, Speechies!
But keep those pay-pal donations coming!
CanWest Unionists Can't Ride Well
CanWest, Canada's largest media company, now has its stocks trading forpennies not dollars. As with financial institutions south of the border, it isa victim of its own greed. There will be no bail-out, it needs to sell [media holdings] to haveany hope of riding the ship.
CNW charges $2.30 for each of those words, fellas. Don't go wrecking any of them.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Rachel Marsden On The Plight Of The National Post
And biting it they apparently are.
PS. Click through the first link to read Rachel Marsden talking dirty. I mean real dirty.
What's Wrong With Two Toronto Guys
After all, the demographic/ethnic makeup of the Greater Toronto Area mirror's that of Canada as a whole. For example, out West we have a lot of stupid people.
Ezra Levant Strangely Silent On Resolution P-203
He went silent at election time, too. When he could have actually influenced the debate, Ezra disappeared into the Tory War Room for a month where, apparently, you get three square meals a day. As a result, the Speechy Agenda languished. In fact, whenever the CPoC's pitch-fork wielding peasants get a little to close to the village walls, Ezra absconds from the battle-field.
But, true believers, keep those pay-pal donations coming!
Oh, and this little bit of advice of Ezra's...
...remove that filthy wreath from the cenotaph, and place it where it belongs: in the garbage.
...is probably illegal.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Ignatieff Makes Leadership Aspirations Official! Gets Bucket Stuck On Head!
But will the future resemble the past? Will "gaffe prone" become Iggy's middle name? It would certainly be more entertaining that way although, I suppose, bad for democracy.
PS. From same article, Kennedy is officially out!
Marc Lemire Supports Conservative Party Resolution P-203
So far Marc hasn't weighed in on the whole polygamy debate. We'll have the exclusive here at BCLSB when he does.
Ezra Pisses Away $500
He is roundly ignored, both in the press and on the ground! The wreath gets placed! The world goes on!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Toronto Life On Aqsa Parvez
Was her murder an honour killing or simply a gruesome case of domestic violence? Worldwide, an estimated 5,000 women die every year in honour killings—murders deemed excusable to protect a family’s reputation—many of them in Pakistan, where the Parvez family had emigrated from.
Aqsa’s death got to the heart of a heated debate about women in Islam. Some progressive Muslims, such as Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan of the Muslim Canadian Congress, saw her murder as evidence of rising Islamic fundamentalism in Canada. The majority of Muslim leaders, however, insisted that Aqsa’s murder was not an honour killing. Mohamed Elmasry, who heads the Canadian Islamic Congress, and Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association, described the death as a teen issue and a case of domestic abuse.
Should it be revealed in court that the death of Aqsa Parvez indeed an honour killing, then arguments like those raised here might be seen as a deliberate attempt to evade the issue.
But, hey, if you're not going to prove it, then you shouldn't splash it across your cover.
Tues. Morning Human Rights Pot Pourri
This is a surprisingly tough one. It’s as easy to dismiss Kristy with an eye-roll, as it is to argue for the other side. It will be interesting to see how the tribunal rules.
Meanwhile Werner Patels has a nice piece explaining why, among other things, the Stephen Harper gov. won't get within five miles of the Speechy cause. Hint: the Speechy leader is an enormous dick.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Jay Hill: Expect Cuts
Not too surprising, I guess. But, given the new rhetoric of moderation out of Hill and the CPoC I don't expect these will be large enough to 1) stir up any more than modest outrage, or 2) do much good.
If Only Gays Could Be Satisfied, Like Pigs And Cows And Other Barnyard Animals
...Proposition 2 is as follows:
- Requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.
-Exceptions made for transportation, rodeos, fairs, 4-H programs, lawful slaughter, research and veterinary purposes.
-Provides misdemeanor penalties, including a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for up to 180 days.
They didn't go about protesting in the streets and now they've got rights to about the same level as Gays did back in California in the 1970s. I bet, in the end, they get the right to marry before gays do! Pigs and cows lying down together! Oh my!
Why We Fight...
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Kinsella's Going With Iggy
This is weird, man. Its like when Captain Picard joined The Borg.
Its Always More Fun In Quebec
Getting busted for ripping down ADQ posters?
The most exciting thing that happened during the Ontario campaign is some guy fell asleep listening to Dalton McGuinty and busted his nose when he did a face-plant on a hard-wood floor.
And I might have dreamed that.
Tarek Fatah's Name Disappears From Silly Article
What the real story behind the cock-up is I have no idea, but I would note that "The Islamist Role...":
1) suggests a "Taliban-style overthrow" of North America is "unlikely, in the short term". Good news, that.
2) suggests that Rahim Jaffer lost out among Muslim voters because he was not ugly enough.
I wouldn't want my name attached to such a piece of crap either.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Taliban Credited With Bringing Down Rahim Jaffer!
So says Raheel Raza , at any rate:
In two districts (ridings as they are called in Canada) the Muslim candidates who lost were openly hostile to the Islamist agenda. Wajid Khan in Toronto and Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton. It is rumored that the full force of the Islamist establishment and the mosque structure came out to defeat these two Muslims because they were seen, in the words of one cynic 'too good looking to be considered authentic Muslims'.
I'm not buying it. Wajid Khan is plenty ugly.
A Second Stripper Emerges
Denier On Denier Action! Lorne Gunter Burned By Climate Change Crazy!
Perhaps, then, the National Post's Lorne' Gunter will be thrilled to know that his Feb. 25th, 2008 column "Welcome to the new ice age" was given a 2nd life by one F. William Engdahl of the Centre For Research on Globalization.
From Lorne Gunter's "Welcome...":
China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.
From F. William Engdahl's "Global Warming gets the Cold Freeze ":
China is surviving its most brutal winter in one hundred years. Temperatures in the normally mild south were low for so long that some middle-sized cities went weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.
From Lorne Gunter:
There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.
From F. William:
There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has been hurt as home buyers have stayed home. In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, breaking the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in 1950.
The ice is back.
Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.
From F. William:
Now, as a result of the recent record cold weather, the ice is back. According to Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.
Lorne (a long one this time):
According to Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona -- two prominent climate modellers -- the computer models that show polar ice-melt cooling the oceans, stopping the circulation of warm equatorial water to northern latitudes and triggering another Ice Age (a la the movie The Day After Tomorrow) are all wrong.
"We missed what was right in front of our eyes," says Prof. Russell. It's not ice melt but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind's effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt.
Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats."
He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.
The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.
There is also admission by several intellectually honest climatologists that their predictive models are flawed. Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona, two very prominent climate modellers, recently admitted that the computer models that show polar ice-melt cooling the oceans, stopping the circulation of warm equatorial water to northern latitudes and triggering another Ice Age (as in the fictional movie The Day After Tomorrow) are wrong.
In a recent interview Russell said, “It's not ice melt, but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind's effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of man-made warming on polar ice melt.” Now that’s very interesting.
When professors Toggweiler and Russell reprogrammed their model to include the 40-year cycle of winds away from the equator, then back towards it again, the role of ocean currents bringing warm southern waters to the north was obvious in the recent Arctic warming.
Russian climatologists believe recent weather changes around the globe are results of solar activity and not man-made emissions. Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, calls the argument for man-made climate change "a drop in the bucket." His research shows that now the recent very active solar activity has entered an inactive phase. He advised people to "stock up on fur coats."
Kenneth Tapping of Canada’s National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon. The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.
Now, the stuff in this last paragraph is a load of baloney, and only demonstrates the maxim that a lie can get all the way around the world before the Truth gets its boots on. What Kenneth Tapping actually said can be found here. The original source of the bullshit version was the Feb. 9, 2008, Investors Business Daily, retailed uncritically by Gunter later in February, and then by Engdahl in April.
As for F. William Engdahl, he is known for (among other things) his theories re the Abiogenic origin of petroleum. An ex-peak oiler, he now believes that oil and gas supplies will never run out.
H/T CW, who did most of the legwork.