Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have A Nice Vacation, Mr. Prime Minister

...but some of us have to work this winter. These guys, for example.

I'm Not Outraged, I'm Overjoyed... all the dead and delayed Tory Legislation, for the only way to to reintroduce these bills at the same stage they were at before prorogation is through the unanimous approval in the House of Commons, and we can assume that this will not be given. Now, Kady notes
But why bring down the government when it is so thin on new ideas that it has to repeatedly sabotage its own agenda so as to campaign on the old ones over and over? I mean, governing becomes a pointless exercise but at least no harm is being done.

PS. More on the dead bills here. The CN strike will go on, and don't even try suing Khadafi in a Canadian court! All so Dean Del Maestro won't have to watch figure-skating and legislate at the same time!

What Happens With The Long-Gun Registry?

According to Cowboys, given how prorogation resets all the clocks, its probably still alive into 2011. His conclusion: The Harper government doesn't really want it to pass. This is something I've suspected about many of the govs.' bills--they're there to keep the faithful agitated, not to actually become law. This one? Well, I don't know anymore. You can't keep promising the same thing forever, can you? If you keep ringing the bell, but don't ever provide the doggy snacks, doesn't the conditioning eventually wear off?

PS. No, Bill C-391 does not die. I know that. The various delays it is now subject to now put passage either at way the end of next year or into 2011.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Smell Wafts Through The Blogosphere

It's Ezra Levant, and he's calling Irwin Cotler a "porch Jew", 1st on twitter, and then on his blog. Now, Jason Cherniak thinks Kotler is being compared to a lazy black slave that gets on by pleasing his white master (the most obvious definition of the term, given its historical antecedents); Levant is employing ethnic slurs, in other words. And Cherniak's right. Ezra is 1) comparing Kotler to black slaves that might have chosen to serve their white masters as domestics rather than risk a more difficult life in the fields, and 2) implying by analogy with the origonal term that Kotler is not Jewish enough. He makes his commitment to 1) quite clear:

I used the phrase "porch Jew", an anology to the dichotomy between field slaves and house slaves. Cherniak read that as code for a racist anti-black epithet ("p0rch m0nkey") that I have never used in my life.


Sort of like Uncle Tom, really -- they liked being porch slaves a lot better than being field slaves, so why cause a fuss?

But another thing is, "porch monkey"--the term Cherniak thinks (correctly) that Ezra is riffing on-- is really just a nicer term for the more common "porch nigger", and when you realize that you realize what a dark ugly place Ezra's mind really is. I'm with WK here. Why are the Tories treating this guy as a legitimate spokesperson? Why does the MSM even deal with him? He should be Shaidled off the airwaves.

Prorogation Nation

Yeah Baby! Its been confirmed. Cue 3 months of "not working on behalf on Canadians" jokes. Or maybe Harper will finally finish his book on hockey...reading it, that is.
PS. Or, as Kady suggests, is everyone working off the same QMI/Sun Media story from earlier this morning?

Our Government Of Eternal Return

Here's a list of government bills that will die when the Harper Tories suspend Parliament, only to be introduced under slightly different names when it is recalled after The Olympics. Of course, by that time they'll have a plurality in the Senate, so they'll have to think of new ways to prevent their "red flag bills"--those (mostly "tough on crime") bills they know are bad law but which, while passing through the legislative process, keep their base in a state of constant agitation, cheque-books at the ready--from passing.
PS. Why, you might ask, is that dragon licking its own balls? Find out here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Canada Has Enviro Canada Parody Pages Shut Down

The government of Canada has used strong-arm tactics to shut down two parody websites criticizing Canada's poor environmental policy, taking down 4500 other websites in the process.

Pretty typical of the Harper Tories. The response of the IP in question, Germany's Serverloft, is more than a little disappointing, however:

In response to Environment Canada's request, Serverloft immediately turned off a whole block of IP addresses, knocking out more than 4500 websites that had nothing to do with the parody sites or the activists who created them. Serverloft was shown no warrant, and never called the web hosting company about the shutdown.

I have sent them a bitchy email.


I Don't Know What This Is, But I LIke It

...and they link to me, so what the hell.

Monday, December 28, 2009

And One Day I Shall Be A Man...

I agree with Imp on this one.

More generally, Iggy has to stop making the narrative about himself. Yes "leadership" remains an important issue, but I don't think he can make much headway with it by going all meta and detailing the steps by which he is transforming himself into an effective politician. Is this supposed to lead to a statement two/six/ten months down the road to the effect that "I, Iggy, have arrived!"?

I also don't like the implication that Liberal policy under Iggy is still, still in process. For one thing, a few solid planks have already been laid out, at least on environmental issues (my personal hobby-horse) and maybe pension reform. For another, it seems unwise to rely on a "think-fest" to produce some shiny new idea that's not a fat target for ridicule and attack ads. Especially when a more likely result will be a repackaging of some old Lib stand-bys. Not that re-packaged policies are necessarily bad (although a few of them are hard to take seriously anymore), but to have so much hinge on a single confab seems like a build-up to a let-down.


Desmond Tutu on KAIROS:

'The Church in Southern Africa is deeply indebted to the churches in Canada for their prayers, ecumenical actions and solidarity in overcoming the scourge of apartheid. The initiatives of the Canadian churches through KAIROS have inspired continued faithful ecumenical action not only in Africa but around the world to uphold human rights. The world needs more of KAIROS Canada. It would be an unparalleled setback for the poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised if the voice and work of KAIROS in the global South is muted.'

It isn't that I'm obsessed with the KAIROS debacle; its just that there's not much else in the way of news out there as '09 winds down. Furthermore, given the number of churches associated with KAIROS, reactions like this one seem likely to bubble along for awhile. The story may have legs into the new year.

Interesting, incidentally, that the Archbishop's statement was made way back on the 8th, and only made an MSM outlet (the Star) on the 26th.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Is There Hope For Alberta?

So far I can't find anything on this in the papers. It would have been during this game on the 23rd, I think.

PS. Feeling a bit better this morning. Hopefully I can get into the walk-in clinic down the road when they open. Tamiful rocks.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I Have H1N1

So does the wife; she was mostly recovered when the doctor told her. I haven't been confirmed but pretty clearly I've got what she's got. Will be stealing some of her Tammiflu.

Merry Xmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Selley On KAIROS

Heaven only knows what went on here. Maybe it's just general hamhandedness. Maybe they [Kenney et al] hoped the benefits reaped whilst people assumed they'd taken a stand against anti-Semitism and/or for Israel would outweigh the damage reaped by disavowing the idea on a day when everyone's shopping instead of reading the Star. Maybe Ms. Oda really did make the decision on her own, and Mr. Kenney decided he'd try to score some disingenuous points with it in Israel. Whatever happened, it's a complete insult to Canadians' intelligence — and Israelis', come to think of it. And it's proof positive, as if any was needed, that nobody should put any stock in what any Canadian politician says. Ever. About anything.

Well, not Jason Kenney, anyway.

Jason Kenney: I Didn't Say What I Just Said...

...and anyone who says I did is lying. From today's Star:

I did not accuse KAIROS of being anti-Semitic. What I said was that KAIROS has taken "a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (against Israel)."

From the origonal speech (which I have not seen reproduced in its entirety anywhere else). the bolding is mine:

Almost at the same time that Prime Minister Harper was visiting Chabad House in Mumbai, anti-Semitic fanatics in his home city, my home city of Calgary, Alberta were spray painting anti-Semitic graffiti on the Jewish Community Centre, Jewish homes, on public transit installations and indeed, spray painting swastikas on our city’s Holocaust memorial. Some of this graffiti called for the end to the Israeli genocide in Gaza -- "Stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza.

What Prime Minister Harper witnessed in Mumbai, what happened at the same time in Calgary, were practical expressions of the new anti-Semitism. Even though Canada is celebrated around the world as being a successful model of mutual coexistence and tolerance, we too have seen a troubling increase in incidents of anti-Semitism. B’Nai Brith Canada publishes the authoritative registry of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada. In 2008, they received reports of 1,135 incidents of anti-Semitic instances, the highest number recorded in 28 years of the study, an increase of 8.9% over 2007.


So how have we addressed these growing incidents of anti-Semitism? Well first of all, on the domestic level, our government has worked with the Jewish community to begin a program of recognizing our own history of official anti-Semitism.


We have articulated and implemented a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. What does this mean? It means that we eliminated the government funding relationship with organizations like for example, the Canadian Arab Federation, whose leadership apologized for terrorism or extremism, or who promote hatred, in particular anti-Semitism.

We have ended government contact with like-minded organizations like the Canadian Islamic Congress, whose President notoriously said that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets for assassination. We have defunded organizations, most recently like KAIROS, who are taking a leadership role in the boycott. And we’re receiving a lot of criticism for these decisions. I can’t recall how many times I’ve been sued for some of the decisions that we have taken, but we believe that we’ve done these things for the right reasons and we stand by these decisions.

Sounds pretty clear to me.

Incidentally, I don't think any of the Calgary hate messages that Kenney mentions rose to the level of eloquence of "Stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza." Too many words. ARC has a good post on this.

PS. MP Rick Dykstra also has a copy of the entire speech at his website.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Racist Computers?

My favorite line: "I welcome responses to why the HP webcam does not pick up Negros."

Possible explanation here.

He's Done It Before

In 2003, Jim Flaherty was head axe wielder (ie finance minister) for the Ernie Eves government. Late that year, Eves was defeated and Dalton McGuinty's Liberals took over. The end result of years of cuts?
Now Jim wants to do it again. Gawd help us all.

Ezra Goes A Smearing

One nice thing about Ezra's attempts at on-line sleuthing: you usually just have to click through a few links to figure out he's bullshitting (which implies, incidentally, that he's counting on his regular readers to be too stupid to click through the links). Anyway, here's Ezra smearing KAIROS:

If KAIROS aren't a bunch of anti-Israel bigots, then why...

are they furiously editing their website to add disclaimers to links, or remove links outright, to virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups?


But... there was the small problem of their website, rife with calls for political war against Israel, and links to groups who lacked KAIROS's Canadian sophistication about how to phrase their bigotry in the soothing tones of diplomatic gibberish. About a week ago, one of their more sober friends obviously told them, "maybe you should lose the kauft nicht bei Juden business. Mark Holland isn't the CIDA minister, you know." So down the memory hole went page after page of their propaganda -- and up went new disclaimers that their anti-Semitic allies were just being highlighted for informational purposes. Nothing to see here!

As a bit of an aside, note how The Ez can't seem to decide if being anti-Israel is the same thing as being anti-semitic or not. But in any case, here's the allegedly altered page of Israel-Palestine links:

...and here's the google-cache of that page from 2 Oct 2009 19:59:49 GMT:

The formatting is a bit different, but the disclaimer is still there, and all the links appear and are in the same order as the more recent version of the page.

Something those folks who are getting sued for taking Mr. Levant at his word should take note of.

PS. Looks like Ezra has abandoned the speechy Jihad. I eagerly await his next project--a book on the Tar Sands tentatively entitled "Oiled Up".

Update: Welcome Wells readers.

You'll notice if you click through my first link above, the text has changed. I think Ezra read my origonal post and did a bit of redacting of his own. He now writes:

...are they furiously editing their website to delete pages of links to virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups?

Now, if you click through this link, you go to a really ugly looking URL that gives you a "404 error"; Ezra claims this page used to be on the KAIROS site, and has been pulled since. True, if you link from one of the pages in the google cache version of the KAIROS site you hit this page. However, if you go to the current site, and click on Human Rights and Trade -> Countries of Concern ->Palestine & Israel, you go here, which is the page Ezra claims is missing. So it looks like he's calling KAIROS anti-Semitic based on his own inability to maneuver around a standard issue website.

Later, Ezra "evidence" mutates further. It appears that he has found the one Palestine-Israel page that previously (in October) lacked a disclaimer as noted above, and uses the fact that one was added later to argue that the site is "rife" with "after the fact editing" and link deletions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CRU Emails Prove Darwin Wrong!

I've been waiting for this. Science hijacked by the left and etc., authored by the dude from The Discovery Institute.

Mr. Meyer isn't the first to make a connection between the ID vs. Darwin and Climate Scientists vs. Deniers debate. Tim Ball and Tom Harris have already appealed to the Intelligent Design crowd in the name of AGW denial.

Ontario News Watch National News Watch, but smaller, and with all the boring non-Ontario stuff left out.

Its Xmas Time

That means I republish my standard "War On Xmas" post, 1st written in December, 2006. I intend to repost it every year until it becomes an acknowledged seasonal Classic, like that thing by Dickens with the crippled kid and the hallucinating pedophile.

No Virginia, Its All Bullshit!
In December of 1897, sad little Virgnia O'Hanlon wrote to The New York Sun as follows:
Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
To which chief editor Francis P. Church replied with a now very famous editorial called, "Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus". In the spirit of the season, I will reproduce that editorial here, with some of my own comments to little Miss O'Hanlon interspersed:
Virginia, your little friends are wrong.
They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Virginia, your letter wound-up on the desk of a gouty old fart desperately nostalgic for The Good Old Days which, believe me, existed only in his mind. You think kids back in 1897 were bad? You should see 'em now! A more useless gang of pimple face punks has never afflicted this Earth's surface! They've all got green hair, rings through their noses, and they shave their chests and carry 9 mms and smoke crystal meth! Frankly, you and Mr. Church had it easy! He should quit bitching.
Also, Mr. Church works for The Sun, so he's what your father would probably have called a soak, and what in my day we call a lush bucket. This piece of drivel probably got hacked out between shots of cheap whiskey. Rot-gut liquor has been the source of more bad rhetoric than War and Love combined.
And furthermore, what is this "intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth" supposed to be? Looks like your dear editor was using his newspaper to proselytize some version of the Christian Religion at you. These days things such a thing wouldn't fly. A word to the Feds and we could have God-Boy's ass fired so hard out the door that he wouldn't land until next Xmas.
Anyway, Mr. Church keeps on editorializing:
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
What are these... THREATS? If Santa isn't real, Poetry will disappear? The Lights will go out? Holy shit, in my day if some old drunk started feeding a little girl like you such a dose of baloney, they'd slap a restraining order on him!
And what's this about there being no Virginias if kids don't believe in Santa? There wouldn't be a North or South Virginia in the first place if Whitey assholes like Mr. Church hadn't come ashore at Plymouth and slaughtered the peaceful Kis'muk'ti-tuk Indians who were already living there! And what's Santa Claus got to do with any of that? Is Mr. Church insinuating that Santa was leading the charge against the Indian villages in his sleigh, innocent Abo kids impaled on the steel-edged antlers of his android rain-deer?
This guy kills me! But he's just warming up:
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies.... The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
Kid, you've hooked a nutter. Believe me, you can take full pleasure in your lawn without worrying about inadvertently trampling dancing fairies. And if by any chance you do manage to squash one, I hear they're damn good eating.
But seriously, there are many unseen and unseeable things in the world, like Debt and Remorse and Poison Gases and cancer-causing Gamma Radiation from The Sun. However, Fairies ARE NOT AMONG THEM!
If this Church fellow has any knowledge of Fairies, its because there's one fluttering in and out of that booze bottle he's been sucking out of. Yeah, Virginia, these days we've got a word for his kind of fairies: delirious tremblins, we call 'em.
But wait...There's more!
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart.
Kid, don't tear apart any baby rattles. That would be cruel. Besides, there's just this little plastic bean thing that bounces around inside making the sound. It's no big mystery. Leave your little brother's toys alone. He'll cry.
Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.
Magic mushrooms do the same trick. They can also convince you that jam bands like Phish or the Grateful Dead don't suck. But that wears off.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Okay, little sister, here's how Xmas really works. Capitalist society has trained your parents to drool like Pavlov's dog at the sight of a fat guy in a red suit. So, believe The Hype or not, you're going to get piles of gifts at exactly the same time every year. Your folks can't help it, and you couldn't stop them if you wanted to.
And the gift getting part is all that should really matter, for deep down Xmas a time of getting, getting all you can when the getting's good. When you become older and start buying gifts of your own, you'll realize the truth of what I'm saying. Then you'll understand that if the total amount of money you spend on gifts is less than the total amount of the gifts you receive, you've WON Xmas!
...and that is a terrific feeling. And Santa's got nothing to do with it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Help Keep Monument To SoCon Moral Recidivism Out Of Kapukasing

....scroll down and freep the poll on right. Normally, I don't encourage such games, but this sucker's already been freeped by Lifesite Readers.

Sun Photographers Roughed Up At Olympic Run

Not by native protesters, no, by grey suited security officers.

Photographer Dave Thomas was repeatedly shoved as he tried to take pictures but was not injured. But photographer Ian Robertson, who is about 60 years old and was laden with camera gear so he was unable to defend himself, required hospital treatment for an apparent head injury after he was shoved to the ground by security officers wearing the grey Olympic uniforms.

And who are they using for security at these things? RCMP! Lucky these T.O. Sun staffers didn't get their balls tasered off. The Sun story also notes that four other employees, as well as CP photog Frank Gun, were muscled by security as well


Alberta Government On KAIROS

Background on the KARIOS cuts and the Harper government's justification for them can be found here. And below, bumped up from the comments to that earlier post, is David Sands , with the Gov. of Alta's Public Affairs bureau (who I have mentioned on this site before). He's talking about when KAIROS representatives went out to Calgary to investigate the state of the Alberta oil sands (which I am calling "oil" rather than "tar" sands so as to be polite to Mr. Sands):

For what it's worth, when KAIROS came to Alberta on its oil sands inquiry, we asked some of our best (and busiest) people to brief them and take questions on impacts on air, land and water, and on health and social issues. These were people involved directly in monitoring and investigating the impacts, not flacks like myself.

I have been told that most of the delegates were open-minded and interested, had done some prior research and had probing, relevant questions. There were one or two who, we inferred, had already reached their conclusions and were suspicious, even hostile. But overall, not a group of NGO delegates with an entirely closed agenda.

We have no stake in or opinion on whether the group should receive federal funding or not. As with any group that takes the time to travel here to see the impacts of oil sands development first hand, we gave KAIROS the best access to the best people we could offer. And, we'd do it again.

- David Sands, for the Government of Alberta

As a rabidly Toronto-Centric, The West Hating BigCityLiberal, it terrifies me that reps from the Gov. Of Alberta should be making more sense on this issue than the Feds.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our PM In Copenhagen

Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived at the Bella Center, where the summit is being held, at around 9:30 a.m. local time with bloodshot eyes after attending a gala dinner hosted by the Danish Queen that stretched until two o'clock Friday morning.

Reports say the gala would have gone even later, but Harper insisted on playing piano.

Quick Notes On The KAIROS Funding Cuts

The Star article mentions "anti-Semitism"--code here for criticizing Israel--as Minister Kenney's justification for the cuts. Note that the main charge:

"We have de-funded organizations, most recently, like KAIROS who are taking a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign" against Israel, [Kenney] told the Global Forum for combatting anti-Semitism. denied by KAIROS executive director Mary Corkery here:

Corkery, who said she was shocked by Kenney’s comment, said her group has been critical of some of Israel’s actions but has not supported a boycott.

Furthermore, the notion that KAIROS might have had questionable unacceptable political leanings is rather belied by the very good reviews that Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), its funding body, has given it over the years, including February of this year.

The 2nd article above from the T.O. Sun hints at who the Tories might be pandering to with this decision: B'nai Brith and Charles McVety's gang at the Canadian Christian College. Both organizations have targeted KAIROS for years now. Here's a recent clip of McVety denouncing the group as "leftist ideologues".

This, plus KAIROS criticism of Alberta tar sands development, probably left them cruisin for a bruisin.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Things Require No Translation

This accusation of climate science malfeasance comes from here---the Moscow Based Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA), led by this Russian Libertarian and senior fellow at the CATO Institute. Though the site is in Russian, note the banner links down the left side of the page: Fraser Institute, Cato Institute, Hayek Institute, Freedom House. That's how you know its all crap.

More by Mr. Lambert.

Warman Vs. White

Ottawa human rights lawyer Richard Warman is down in Roanoke, VA, testifying in the trial of Neo-Nazi leader William A. White. There's even a nifty blog devoted to the trial. One of the interesting things about this case is that Ezra Levant, lost in the furious foaminess of his own mind, once questioned the very existence of Mr. White, suggesting that he might be a CHRC plant. This inspired a nasty reply from the man (White) himself:

... I assure you, I am not merely an ethereal apparition of the God of the Light and Order, opposed eternally to your race of demons, but I have material form as well.

Dunno whether Ezra's updated his theories on White's material form etc. He seems pretty bummed out these days from the collapse of the Speechy Jihad.

Yeah They're Bullet Holes

Stephen Taylor makes a desperate attempt to avoid assassination joke equivalency by producing the very "paper holes" istock file used by the Tories in their ill-advised "Dion surrounded by bullet holes picture".

Except he doesn't reproduce the entire page from istock (screenshot above).
Note the keywords for the file, esp. where I've placed the black arrow: Tiro al blanco. Hmmm! Wonder what that means. Click click click! Say, it means "target shooting"! Booyah! Just as suspected, the holes are the holes shot in a paper target!
So lets wheel out the apologies, Taylor, starting with PM Harper's mama and working its way down. One from Harper himself and, for me personally, one from Stockwell Day. Because Stockwell Day just annoys me. Remember, Stephen, its always best to apologize upfront. The scandal fades quicker that way.
And pull the offending pic from the CPoC website. And, oh yeah, you're getting creamed in my poll.
PS. Just to be clear, here's a shot of the file's keywords in English: not the English expression "target shooting".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yowza! Iggy Should Force An Election!

The survey by The Canadian Press Harris-Decima, indicates support for the Conservatives stands at 34 per cent nationally, compared to 28 per cent for the Liberals, 14 for the NDP and 13 for the Greens.


Given the margin of error, the results are essentially no different than the 36-27 split garnered by the two parties earlier this fall when the government appeared to be on a roll and the Liberals in free-fall.

Just kidding. Do anything like that and Der Volk apparently get pissed off. But on the other hand, opposing a little harder--sandbagging C-15 and other bullshit Tory "law and order bills" in the Senate--doesn't seem to have done any harm so far. So why not do more of it, in the HOC? Why are a bunch of unelected geezers in the upper chamber the sole receptacle of the gonads of the LPoC? Huh, Iggy? Any genitalia available for display?

A "Blast" From The Tory Past

Don't remember anyone apologizing for the drawing of Iggy pointing a gun at Dion, from the Tory website during last year's election campaign.



I got an email yesterday afternoon from CBCs Ryan Hicks: would I be willing to appear on a bloggers panel with none other than Stephen Taylor to discuss the Libs photo contest gone awry ? The result is here, You have to scroll to the start of hour number two (that is, about 1:10 in), as we got bumped from the five fifteen spot by (frankly) more important events--rumours of prorogation and the like. Weird thing: I promised Ryan Hicks that I wouldn't trash Kady O'Malley on air for not reporting endlessly on ClimateGate, and then she didn't even show up!

The highlight is probably at the end where Taylor claims that "ad hominom attacks never work", these words intoned with well-faked sincerity.

Afterwards, stuck downtown, I tried taking myself out for a victory dinner. But Reillys, with the City's best wings, is gone, and everything along Yonge Street was packed. I finally settled on a Firken pub off Queen. I considered telling them that I shouldn't really have to pay because I had been on CBC, but didn't. They fucked up my order anyway.

In any case, the video segment begs the question: when seen together on the same television screen, who is hotter, me or Stephen Taylor? Readers may feel free to watch it and then take the following poll:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gone Already: Libs Pull Controversial Cartoon

Before and After. It was above the picture of, I think, Madonna, and below the "Warming, what warming?". You can see it in the cache copy.

Anyway, a one day story remains a one day story (especially if an apology follows).

Kim Campbell Strikes Back!

Copenhagen, Dec. 15, 2009 – Mikhail Gorbachev and The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell have joined prominent business leaders, scientists and artists calling on Prime Minister Harper to “dispel perceptions of defeatism” and to “rally the Canadian people” toward a clean energy economy in a joint letter delivered today.

Incidentally, yesterday's Copenhagen stunt was pulled by the Yes Men and, as was reported here first, one of the victims was talk jock Dave Rutherford of "The Dave Rutherford Show". Booyah!

Assassination Jokes Are Never Funny

Bloviating aside, Jago's got a point. Not that the Tories haven't done something similar, but they pulled that picture down...eventually.

The rest of the Stephen Harper Anywhere But Copenhagen Photo Challenge are here. Most are quite good, although one or two stretch the boundaries of good taste where the context is the website of a major political party.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Edmonton Radio Station Pranked By Climate Hoaxers?

As you probably know by now, Canada was subject this morning to a very elaborate (and quite wonderful) hoax in Copenhagen, wherein a fake press release from Environment Canada went out saying that Canada would be making much stronger commitments than originally claimed. This was followed by a fake news conference by the (fake) Ugandon delegation, and links to a fake online Wall Street Journal with a fake story by a fake journalist named Gustav Rainer.

Did I say these were all fake? Well, it looks like 880 AM out of Edmonton got rooked particularly hard, for it appears that they contacted/were contacted by "Mr. Rainer" and did an interview with him:

Gustav Rainer is a freelance journalist with the Wall Street Journal. He was the writer in Copenhagen who penned the story that Ottawa was prepared to meet new emission reduction targets, and provide billions in aid to help poor countries in this regard. The email Rainer says he received even quoted Environment Minister Jim Prentice.

It turns out the information Rainer received was a hoax. He put up a brave front, while a guest of 630 CHED's Dave Rutherford Monday morning.

"Yes I wrote it," said Rainer. "I've been freelancing for the Wall Street Journal, but unfortunately, I think it'll be the last time I do."

Rainer says he is, however, disappointed the information was fake, adding a number of reporters in Copenhagen have been hoping for an announcement like this to happen.

Suckered out in the oil patch! Interviewing one of the hoaxers and not catching on! But on the other hand, whoever is behind this stunt gets a 10 for technical excellence.

Whose Behind The Enviro Canada Fake Press Reliease?

...that Kady writes about here. I'm betting its the folks (whoever they might be) behind the Canadian Tourism Federation. Both this and the fake release website seem quite official looking. Even if not, their intro video is more than worth a look.

Pray For Me

I have the day off and will be attempting to assemble a Walmart table with these weird things called tools. A lot of them look kind of sharp.

Also, is there anything out there that works the same way as a hammer but doesn't make so much noise? I just find them very noisy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Henrik Svensmark Has Heart Attack During Climate Change Debate?

So says this report from Copenhagen. Mr. Svensmark was engaged in a live debate when he collapsed on stage. Presumably, he was pushing the solar/global warming connection, of which he is the main proponent. Not too many people buy his theories re. climate change and the sun, but they apparently have inspired in some interesting discoveries re cosmic rays and atmospheric chemistry. Here are a couple of earlier posts I've written on the man.

Sarah Palin In Hamilton!

The Good News: she's coming up here to help kill a few babies and raise funds to keep our death panels running smooth! I guess $200,000 for a couple hours of free-form babbling can do a lot to make your principles a more flexible.

National Citizens Coalition Caves To Tories

The NCC published a booklet entitled "Tales From The Tax Trough" in which they claimed that

MP Tony Clement and two political staffers spent $30 000 to fly to Kenya to deliver a $150,000 cheque.

In response, Tony Clement wrote the NCC a letter demanding that--even though the claim was factually accurate--all reference to his trip be dropped from NCC publications.


Gerry Nichols, who once worked at the NCC, is right pissed-off at them.

And, by the way, even if Clement, as claimed, flew economy-class both ways, that's still only about $3,000 return per each of his two staffers and himself. Where did the other $20,000 go?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oddly Appropriate

...that an old mining/petroleum industry guy turned fake scientist should be covered in The Star by someone whose regular beat is the state of kid's hockey.

3 Out Of 9 Kind Of Sucks: 2/3rds Of Morgentaler Protesters Kept Their Snowflakes!

Last week we discovered that Frank Chauvin, the fellow who launched a court-challenge against Henry Morgentaler's Order of Canada back in 2008, and who had threatened to return his own snow-flake in protest, eventually decided to hang onto the thing.

One of the articles that discussed his decision also mentioned that: least eight other recipients had [returned their Order of Canada], in order to pursue the judicial review.

And in another article on the same topic, it was stated that:

On Wednesday, former New Brunswick lieutenant-governor Gilbert Finn returned his Order of Canada in protest.

So I thought: hmmm! I wonder how many of the original nine protesting recipients actually followed through. And I wrote the following email to the GG's office:

Mr. Gilbert Finn claimed in 2008 that he had returned his Order of Canada to protest the awarding of the same medal to Dr. Henry Morgentaler. However, when I check Mr. Finn's entry there is nothing there to indicate that the award was actually returned. Can this be confirmed somehow? Also, there were 8 other recipients who claim to have returned their medal for the same reason. Would it be possible to confirm if there were any actual returns made in 2008?

M.J. Murphy
Toronto, Ontario

And yesterday the GG's office finally responded:

Dear Mr. Murphy:

Thank you for your email. Mr. René Racine, Ms. Jacqueline Richard and Cardinal Jean Claude Turcotte resigned from the Order of Canada in 2008. The Honourable Gilbert Finn has not resigned.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Yours sincerely,

Denis Poirier
Assistant Director / Directeur adjoint
Chancellery of Honours / Chancellerie des distinctions honorifiques
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
Bureau du secrétaire du gouverneur général1
, promenade Sussex Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0A1
t: 613.991.5845
t: 1.800.465.6890

So three out of nine actually walked the talk, while the other six (often after having received much fawning media attention from right-wing columnists for their "bravery" in confronting the "culture of death" and etc.) had second thoughts. Sucked out, as a matter of fact.

Now, one happy sub-story here is the fact that Alphonse Gerwing's name is missing from the list above. Mr. Gerwing had passed away in 2007, and in fact it was his brother and sister who were contemplating sending back the snowflake in his name. This caused a rift within the family--Ralph Gerwing spoke to the matter here--and so in the end I think it a good thing that calmer heads prevailed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Attawapiskat School Confirmed... both Charlie Angus and INAC itself. Doesn't sound like it will get done in a hurry, though:

"INAC has dedicated an amount of $200,000 to assist the First Nation in updating its school capital planning study," said Susan Bertrand, manager of communications for INAC.

"Funding is also planned for the design and construction phases for subsequent years."

In fact, it is somewhat unclear to me how much this moves actual construction forward from the 2012 date bandied about previously.

A start at least, though: nobody should have to go to school in a trailer, esp. around Timmins in the winter.

More background here.

Jason Kenney And The Case Of Gay Romeo

From the date-stamp, it seems that the tweet was first composed at about 4am, December 11, 2009. Early morning, then--one of those dead, quiet times in which the mind is flooded with late-night thoughts. Who am I? What have I become now that Youth has fled me?

And then it is retweeted, as though after a moment of profound consideration: "Gay Romeo. Yes! Gay Romeo indeed!"

And then it is scrubbed from the official Jason Kenney twitter site: "Too Soon! Too Soon!".

Perhaps. I am of course speculating wildly. But it would be interesting to ask Mr. Kenney: who is Gay Romeo? And why this morning did you tweet his name?

PS. In fact I suspect a "twitter hack". It's happened before.

They'll Always Have Sexxxy

Partly its the craggy good looks, partly the look of steely arrogance that says "I conquered with Chretien while you sucked left hind titty with Paul Martin"--but for the most part I'd say its the awesome trench-coat that makes Peter Donolo look so sexxxy. That trench coat is worth more than my car. I asked my wife for a trench coat like that for Xmas and she said the only way we could afford it is if I died and she collected the insurance. So apparently I'm getting a George Foreman grill, and that's that. In any case, use the picture below for comparison purposes. It reeks of total non-sexxxiness:

How can the LPoC keep losing to these guys?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


THUNDER BAY - There are reports coming out from Attawapiskat that the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) will be moving to build a new school for the community. INAC Minister Chuck Strahl has been under fire over problems with the existing school which is housed in temporary trailers.

Good news, if late in coming. Congrats to Charlie Angus, who has been plugging away at this for a long time. Although Dawg may have a bit of trouble letting go.

Elaine McCoy On The RCMP and The CPoC

The Globe's editorial writers spoke for many Canadians today when they said the 'loss of public trust is no mystery.' I am not reassured, then, when I consider that our government consistently and persistently parades its 'tough on crime' platform. If we can't trust the RCMP to carry out that mandate fairly and conscientiously, how can we have faith in any law and order agenda? This is a sad day indeed for the RCMP … and an even sadder one for Canada.

Faux Math From Fox News

Because in America, some people are allowed to have more than one opinion...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

If It Were Done When 'Tis Done

...then 'twere well It were done quickly.

CRU Hacked From The Eastern U.S.?

This comment appeared on Hans Von Storch's Climate Onion blog (yeah he called it that):

Particularly interesting is the remark about the numeric IDs which identify the emails in the zipfile. The headers of the emails contain the date and time on which they were sent. If I understand the comment correctly, the numeric IDs are Unix timestamps for those sending times, but moved by 4 or 5 hours from UK to eastern US time. This suggests that the emails were given their current identifiers on a computer in North America, or one that was running on North American time - which in turn suggests a hack rather than a leak.

It references a rather more in-depth discussion at Climate Audit, of which the most pertinant comment seems to be:

So, if I understand this. Each CRU email is named (given a numeric label, like "0826209667" in the above) based on the date/time it is sent. If you know UNIX you can translate the label back into the date. That's what the "->" indicates; the label 0826209667 = 7/03/1996 14:41:07. But if you match that to the date line you see they are off by 4/5 hours, which suggests that--given the emails were taken from a U.K. server--they passed through a computer in the Eastern U.S.

Which would indicate that the hack was indeed a hack and not a leak.

PS. Or, as TiGuy points out, they might have gone through a computer in Eastern Canada.

Stephen Toulmin Has Died

Stephen Toulmin, one of the greats of 20th century English philosophy, and one of the few to bring Ludwig Wittgenstein's ideas to bear on the philosophy of science, died on December 4th after a brief illness.

The time is interesting. Much of Toulmin's work in the field was in part a reaction to Popper and the logical positivists, who saw scientific inquiry as an ahistorical, relatively bloodless unfolding of logical argument and counter-argument. In his Human Understanding (1972), Toulmin attempted to apply evolutionary concepts to the history of knowledge in an attempt to "save" the Rationality of science in the messy post-Popperian world he helped to create.

So it would be have been interesting to hear what Toulmin thought of the CRU Hack. I suspect he would have regarded the emails revealed therein to be part of the usual "hurly-burly" of scientific inquiry.

In any case, a great loss.

Gruending On The KAIROS Cuts

KAIROS (the Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives) is a Toronto-based alliance of social justice coalitions. Within the past couple of days, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)--Bev Oda's department-- has cut all funding to KAIROS.

In his latest, Dennis Gruending speculates as to why:

Minister Oda did not communicate with KAIROS about its fate — she rarely communicates publicly with anyone about her portfolio except in the most controlled of circumstances. But the “trouble at the top” may well have had more to do with the work of KAIROS within Canada than with its overseas projects. KAIROS has questioned, on environmental and hence ethical grounds, the rapid development of the tar sands in Western Canada. KAIROS hosted a forum in Calgary in October 2008 and organized a delegation of Canadian church leaders to visit the tar sands in May 2009. The Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance, prior to their takeover of the Progressive Conservative Party, were beneficiaries of generous support from the oil and gas industry. The Harper Conservatives exist on similarly friendly terms with the carbon industry and will not hear of any proposal that would scale back rapid development – despite the environmental problems such development is causing. The implied criticism from KAIROS may have excited the ire of Conservatives at the top, even though most of the KAIROS budget is provided by the organization’s own donors and not by CIDA.

Just by co-incidence, within hours of defunding KAIROS which, among other things, helps women in the Congo who have been brutalized (often raped) by local militias, the Harper government indicated that it wanted an extra 1.7 mill set aside so that the PM can shoot video of him getting on and off military helicopters, and riding on navy vessels, and pass that off as news.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NDP Calls For Mackay's Resignation

And I don't know why the Libs aren't doing more of this kind of shit--agitating, opposing, and etc. You can't win if you don't play. What is it? Beneath the party's dignity to kick out once in awhile? It isn't like nobody's thought of the idea. But Noooo! And therefore any of the glory that might result (in the way of headlines: its not like MacKay would actually step down) will accrue to the NDP.

Although the Anywhere But Copenhagen thing is quite clever, and the results have been most entertaining.


...for "reality based" news stories on the CRU Hack pseudo-scandal. Which now, incidentally, includes death threats against several of the CRU scientists involved.

Looks Like We've Got A Floor Crosser

Andrew Coyne is appalled, and his pain gives me wings. From the LPoC website, word of an International Round Table on trade being held in the runup to the Canada at 150 thinkfest.

Featuring an impressive list of distinguished speakers and presenters, this day-long conference will address the important trade relationships between Canada and the United States, China, and India as well as free trade negotiations with the European Union. Former Prime Minister Joe Clark and Canadian Council on Africa President Lucien Bradet will also co-host a special discussion on trade with Africa.

How about Joe Clark for Keith Martin? That would be a decent swap.

Monday, December 07, 2009

NDP Launch Anti-HST Radio Ads

Listen to one of 'em here. They are being run in "10 key Conservative ridings – ridings that New Democrats can win in the next election", according to Brad Lavigne. Prersumably in Ont. and B.C. All a bit tired "bail out big business stuff" to my ears, but what the hell?

Thunder From Down Under

Lasty week, Aussie MP Malcolm Turnbull was ousted by Tony Abbot as leader of the Australian Liberal Party (equivalent ot our Conservatives) and head of the official opposition. The issue that did it was his support of the government's emissions trading scheme (ETS), and indeed his ouster has put this scheme on ice for the time being.

Yesterday, a blog post appeared on Mr. Turnbull's website. I have excerpted my favorite bits:

While a shadow minister, Tony Abbott was never afraid of speaking bluntly in a manner that was at odds with Coalition policy.

So as I am a humble backbencher I am sure he won't complain if I tell a few home truths about the farce that the Coalition's policy, or lack of policy, on climate change has descended into.


So any suggestion that you can dramatically cut emissions without any cost is, to use a favourite term of Mr Abbott, "bullshit." Moreover he knows it.


It is not possible to criticise the new Coalition policy on climate change because it does not exist. Mr Abbott apparently knows what he is against, but not what he is for.


Now politics is about conviction and a commitment to carry out those convictions. The Liberal Party is currently led by people whose conviction on climate change is that it is "crap" and you don't need to do anything about it. Any policy that is announced will simply be a con, an environmental figleaf to cover a determination to do nothing.


Tony himself has, in just four or five months, publicly advocated the blocking of the ETS, the passing of the ETS, the amending of the ETS and, if the amendments were satisfactory, passing it, and now the blocking of it.


Not that anyone would doubt it, but I will be voting for the ETS legislation when it returns in February and if my colleagues have any sense they will do so as well. If the legislation is passed, incorporating as it does the amendments Ian MacFarlane negotiated with Penny Wong, then the issue will be settled. It is manifestly in the national interest and in the interest of the Liberal Party that it be so.

To put what has happened in Australia in a North American context--there has been a battle within the Australian political Right, and the teabaggers have won. For the time being. For, as a result, the movement has split into its adult vs. whackjob wings, with people like Turnbull pleading for reason and threatening to cross the floor on the next ETS vote if his party continues down the road to self-immolation.

Similar fault lines exist within the ranks of Canadian Conservatives, and can be exploited, which is why "Iggy's epiphany" on green issues is good news.

PS. Someone should show this to Angelo Persichilli--this is what an intra-party insurrection looks like.


At first I thought the hacked e-mails would damage the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, but now I think these outrageous crimes may serve to bring world leaders and negotiators closer together.

Obama, K. Rudd, et. al would not show up for a failure, so you can be sure that something in the way of an agreement will come out of Copenhagen, and the world will call it a victory. Mind, alot of what was promised and what is needed will not be in this agreement, and there will stuff in the agreement that nobody promised and that really isn't needed. Everyone will get less than they think they deserve. Like marriage, in other words, and really just a first step towards something, hopefully, a wee bit better.

Meanwhile, here's a clip of head denier Marc Morano in action. For about two minutes, the tv host and guest professor Andrew Watson vainly try to stop him from babbling like a kid on a sugar high, and at the very end an exasperated Watson bestows the richly deserved epithet of "asshole" upon him.

Only in America (and, to be fair, only in certain parts) would this be called debating.

And damned if the guy doesn't remind me of a slightly less dorky-looking Ezra Levant.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

On "Tricks" In Math And Science

Central to the debate over the significance of emails hacked from CRU's Servers back in late November is one from Phil Jones discussing the divergence problem--the divergence from instrumental temperature readings seen in Keith Briffa's tree ring chronologies after 1960. He writes:

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Of course the denialists jumped on this email, at first assuming that Jones was discussing a decline in temperatures, and then modifying their charges when it became clear that this was not the case. In any case, Jones defense was to argue that the term "trick" was "used here colloquially, as in a clever thing to do...". Well, can this defense be justified or, to put it another way, is the term "trick" used as a colloquialism in the statistical/mathematical/scientific literature?

Well, yeah. Here's what you get when you run inurl:pdf "computational trick" through google:

And here's is what you get when you run "inurl:pdf "mathematical trick"" through the same source.In fact, if you look at the first link, you will note that was "invented in the context" of theoretical physics, so if there is a conspiracy, it goes much deeper than anyone has currently suggested.

PS. Just reading Desmog, I notice that someone else thought of running these searches before me.

Pull My Finger...NOW!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

10%ers/Householders From That Flat, Rectangular Province Out West

...that I forget the name of: ...the top five big spenders are all Tories: Vellacott, Lukiwski, Scheer, Fitzpatrick, and Trost. Buncha SoCons in there too, plus Lukiswiski, whose alphabet consists entirely of As and Bs.

PS. Can someone confirm that Lukiwski's 10%ers all focus on the topic of fingernail maintenance.

Harper Booed At Montreal Canadians Memorial

From a reader who may or may not wish to identify himself in the comments:

Les Glorieux were on fire tonight. The fans were pumped. By mid-period, people were already going hoarse form the cheering. They killed a 2 minute 5 on 3 and took it down the length of the ice and scored. Carey was a wall, a reinforced concrete wall.

And then...

The Prime Minister of our beloved country, Stephen Harper, appeared on the giant screen.

Instantly, the raucus crowd turned their deafening cheers to deadening boos like someone had flicked a switch. You could not hear a single word he said from the moment his face showed itself. Loud and sustained for the whole 60-90 seconds of his English message and then his French message and his obligatory nerdy thumbs up.

This seemed to me a very surprisingly angry booing. I was really taken aback. The anger was quite palpable. I've never been a part of something like that. I don't think your ordinary Montrealer likes our Prime Minister all that much.

Booing confirmed here.

More On The UVIC Break In

...when hackers apparently attempted to steal data from the Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis:

According to sources at the University of Victoria, two people claiming to be network computer technicians presented themselves at the headquarters of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis and tried to gain access to the data servers. When challenged by an employee, the two individuals hastily left. The timing of this attempted break-in is very suspicious given that it occurred so closely on the heels of the release of hacked emails and data from a similar facility housed at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

...which is to say that the CRU hack is starting to look like one in a coordinated series.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Does The HST Detract From Provincial Autonomy?

Ontario First Nations are losing their point of sale PST tax exemption under the new harmonized federal/provincial sales tax (or it will become more difficult to apply for; I'm not quite sure which). Dalton McGuinty is, basically, pleading with the Harper government to rig things up as per the status quo when the new tax comes into effect(ie the FNs remain exempt), and Harper et al are basically saying "no".

Since the provincial portion of the HST is redistributed from the Federal bureaucracy to Ontario under the terms agreed to in the legislation,what happens if Ontario decides to make changes to their sales tax--drop or raise it a point, add to or withdraw exemptions? Does this now require federal approval--that is, a negotiated change to the legislation? In other words, is the province handing control of this particular tax policy lever over to the Federal government?

I dunno. Not sure I like the idea, though.