Tuesday, November 30, 2010
What He Must Have Gone Through!
The Most Important Political Numbers You Will Read Today
Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.3% in the third quarter, following a 0.6% gain in the previous quarter.... On a monthly basis, real GDP by industry declined 0.1% in September.
And, in short, they stink: under-performing both for the month and the quarter. This is the kind of drip-drip of bad economic news that eventually sinks a government. Eventually being the operative word.
Wha Happened, and Whas It All Mean?
The governing Conservatives and opposition Liberals each narrowly picked up a seat from their next weakest opponent in Monday's by-elections, in a set of results that confounded many pundits, took the pressure off Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, and will be sending NDP strategists back to the drawing board.
There's more there, but nothing I can really contest. Most confounded among the pundits was clearly John Ibbotson, whose piece on the topic sounds like it was written days ago and then hastily revised as last night's results came in. But, make no mistake, while the quantity of Michael Ignatieff's "woes" didn't change much in either direction with these by-elections, they certainly did not--as per Mr. Ibbotson-- increase. And the results are neither a sign of an impending, GTA based Tory majority or a Western breakthrough by the Libs. They are, more or less, random shit that happened.
The Vaughan story is probably the most interesting. PG offers these thoughts on that unusually close race:
Mr. Fantino was not as « imbattabile » as first thought, or was limited in his growth potential by the controversies surrounding Caledonia, his non-participation in an all-candidates meeting, and his refusal to grant media interviews to the CBC and Toronto Star...
Probably a bit of all those things accounted for Fantino's relatively poor performance. It was certainly an interesting fact that the Tories ran a guy that many Tory partisans were uncomfortable with. For example, this Conservative blogger demanded they be pulled from the BT blogroll to protest the Fantino candidacy.
It was also interesting that they were able to win without the support of their hard-cores.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I Spank You, Ezra Levant, I Spank You Spank You Spank You Very Much!
Ontario's Superior Court of Justice ruled on Nov. 18 that Giacomo Vigna, a lawyer for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, had been defamed by blogger Ezra Levant. According to the Court, Levant was on a campaign to discredit human rights commissions.
While that was in itself not inherently problematic from the perspective of the libel case, seeking to achieve that goal by defaming others was not a lawful objective. The court said that Levant showed "reckless disregard" for the truth in publishing the posts in question.
This does not make the Superior Court of Justice a "censor." What it does is to remove the "rights-shield" from defamatory speech, thus protecting Vigna's rights and, for that matter, the rights of anyone similarly situated. The point, to borrow a phrase, is that people's reputations and rights should not become roadkill on the path to free speech.
It is completely unacceptable that commission staff in Canada and human rights defenders here or anywhere else should be harassed, defamed and threatened simply for doing their jobs. Having worked in and with commissions before (and, by the way, having also represented respondents), I am acutely aware of the foibles and limitations of these institutions. But this does not justify the inaccuracy and lack of fairness to which they and their staffs have been subjected.
And lets just repeat: the Vigna defamation case was triggered as a result of White Nationalists leaving him phone threats and following tribunal security staff to their homes after a Warman V. Lemire-related hearing. This was something that none of the reporters who covered the defamation case that followed even bothered to mention until the judge's ruling made it impossible to ignore.
There's a pattern here, also illustrated in NP's coverage of the "hacked wifi" incident. Any allegation against the CHRC, however ridiculous, was treated seriously. Any news that cast the HRC staffers in a better light was judiciously ignored.
Christian Activist Group Goes TU
And so Canada's far-right loses its sexxxiest pair of side-burns. Farewell, Tristan, may Neil Young never find out that you swiped 'em.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Bad News For Sun Chain Employees
Another Year, Another War On Xmas
See if I can't score myself a free gift-card or two.
By Day They Deny, Part II
The “greening of hate” is a phrase coined by Betsy Hartmann, director of the US-based Population and Development Program. In her 2010 essay, "The Greening of Hate: An Environmentalist's Essay," she writes about the anti-immigration lobby's growing tendency toward “the scapegoating of immigrants for environmental degradation.”
The first time I read about this kind of thing, the group referenced was Californians for Population Stabilization. By digging around, I was able to find that one of the members of their advisory Board was the well-known Conservative pundit and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution Victor David Hanson. So while by day Mr. Hanson was trashing the science of AGW, by night he was using that same science to argue for a more restrictive immigration policy--damn those Mexicans and their outsized carbon foot-prints!
So I thought I would do the same thing with the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, a Canadian group mentioned in the Dominion article. And low and behold , NP columnist Barbara Kay and occasional Sun writer Salim Manusr are on their advisory board. Given the tendency of Kay and Mansur to trot out denialist talking points, it is the height of hypocrisy that these two should turn around and suggest that we keep out immigrants because they "inhibit efforts to reduce the extraordinary size of our ecological footprint."
Why would anyone possibly imagine, given their previous writings on the topic, that these two gave a shit?
That is all.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Canadian Tea-Baggers Go For Own Jugular
MacLaren said he has signed up 700 members to the party, which if true would virtually ensure he wins the nomination for next fall’s provincial election. Sterling is privy to the numbers and said MacLaren has about 350. Sterling won’t say how many he has signed.
And, yeah, MacLaren does indeed specifically compare himself to the U.S. Tea-Party movement.
Bad news for PCPO leader Tim Hudak; he can either snuff out the dissidents and leave himself open to the charge of ignoring the grassroots (a very popular accusation these days), or he can saddle himself with a candidate that wants to pull the PCPO even further right and whose greatest hope for his leader is that he is indeed harboring a secret agenda:
...MacLaren also called PC leader Tim Hudak a “good leader” who is keeping his cards close to his chest. He looks forward to Hudak defending conservative principles as the race grows near.
Also bad news for PCPO MPP Randy Hillier, who MaClaren views as his spiritual leader. Should Hudak move to squash the insurgents, whose side will Hillier be on? Hudak's...the leader of a party that still has some claim to the mainstream? Or MacLaren's, a prominent figure in the rural death cult Hillier founded so many years ago? Its decision time for Ontario`s best known rural separatist.
2010 Hurricane Season
And here's Judith Curry (before she went loopy) on what it all means:
We conclude that global data indicate a 30-year trend toward more frequent and intense hurricanes, corroborated by the results of the recent regional assessment (29). This trend is not inconsistent with recent climate model simulations that a doubling of CO2 may increase the frequency of the most intense cyclones (18, 30)...
Sarah Palin Is Hot In Leather
That is all.
Friday, November 26, 2010
In Vaughan, Its That 70s Show
Fox News North: Coming Soon (And Leaving Soon After)
The Commission approves an application by TVA Group Inc., on behalf of itself and Sun Media Corporation, partners in a general partnership to be constituted and to carry on business as Sun TV News General Partnership, for a broadcasting licence to operate Sun TV News, a national, English-language Category 2 specialty service that will be subject to the standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragement for competitive mainstream national news services set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562-1.
Now I get to use some of my Ezra Levant jokes! Hopefully, he doesn't get sacked or the whole thing go TU before I reach the 400 series. They're especially cutting.
Hudak Promises To Have A Plan
First, a PC Government will deliver a plan to govern.... It’s clear, Ontario families need relief.
However, Hudak does not currently have such a plan. It's in development. He's getting "feedback":
…. In the months ahead, we will use the feedback we are getting to develop our plan to govern.
Well, hang on, it's not quite true to say that Hudak is entirely bereft of vision. He's revealed at least one of the arrows in his quiver:
To help reign in spending and get government focused on the basics families need most, I am calling for a mandatory Sunset Review process....
Yeah. You got it. He's going to initiate a process. That got my heart beating a little faster. What's he got to do about the HST, though, other than bitch about it?
Which is to say that his position is unchanged.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Here's a hint: they promised they'd do things differently!
The Cynic Triumphant
Coyotes On The Town
The coyote to the right was caught on video running loose in the middle of Chicago at 3:00 am on Monday morning. The police didn’t seem to know what it was doing there, but Brad Block, a supervisor for the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control told Chicago Breaking News that the coyote is let loose in the city to monitor the rodent population:
The animal has the run of the Loop to help deal with rats and mice. He said no one has called today to complain. “He’s not a threat…. He’s not going to pick up your children,” Block said. “His job is to deal with all of the nuisance problems, like mice, rats and rabbits.”For the record, I have seen exactly one coyote within the City of T.O. (as well as a bunch running around small-town Arizona). It was trotting along some rail-tracks that run under Don Mills road, at about mid-day, as bold as you please. I've been told, though, that you can hear them howling at night near the Leslie Street Spit.
The picture at left demonstrates that they are at least as cute as any chihuahua of yours that they might eat. In any case, get used to them; they are almost impossible to eradicate in an urban setting.
PS. Note that in the clip our coyote is referred to as "the newest city employee". I hear Rob Ford is looking for cheap labour; this fellow works for rats.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tarek Fatah Won't Like It
In this ongoing effort, it is also seeking to enlist its first hijab-wearing officer, Superintendent Cyril Fernandes had told Focus this summer.
The message is: Toronto Police allows hijabs, as it does turbans.
Actually, I am assuming this is a bit of hyperbole on Superintendent Fernandes part.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Christian Paradis: I Dub Thee Elitist
Renogate Scandal Update: Christian Paradis Owns a $5,000 Coat?
Senator Elaine McCoy: Tories Spiked Senate Vote On C-311
Thanks for your email. I too regret that Bill C-311 was defeated at second reading last week. I find it particularly disappointing because the Senate did not honour its long standing custom to debate the principle of all bills and to ensure they all go to committee (i.e., pass second reading) so we can hear from Canadians on the subject matter. However, that is a custom, not a rule. Unfortunately, a snap vote was called and the Conservatives took advantage of the fact they had more members in the Chamber that day.
Just in case you were inclined to fall for the Tory spin.
Wegmania: The Links
We have never intended that our Congressional testimony was intended to take intellectual credit" for other scholars' work.
Of the lot, this story is the funniest and while, generally speaking, there isn't a whole lot of new information in any of them, there is a change of focus away from Wegman himself and towards Republican Rep. Joe Barton, who commissioned the original report, who may once again become chair or the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and who has a thing for witch-hunts against climate scientists.
Monday, November 22, 2010
This Argument Is Not Lost
Do it, Iggy.
As I hear the details of our new training mission explained, it seems to me that its a definite improvement on the old in that:
1) It gets Canadian troops out of Kandahar and into a relatively quiet part of the country--around Kabul, if I remember correctly. And if you recall the state of this debate even a year ago, it looked like our guys were going to be stuck in Kandahar forever or, if we did leave, it would be marching out without any assistance from our NATO allies.
2) It cuts Canadian troops from about 3,000 to 1,000.
Speaking personally, I could probably live with something along these lines. And I suspect there is a fair chunk of the population whose concerns are with the process by which the decision was made rather than the content of thatdecision. They too could probably be swayed. We just have to be sold on it.
So come out and sell it to us, Iggy.
What Steve V says.
Wegmania: Experts Say Its Plagiarism
• "Actually fairly shocking," says Cornell physicist Paul Ginsparg by e-mail. "My own preliminary appraisal would be 'guilty as charged.' "
•"If I was a peer reviewer of this report and I was to observe the paragraphs they have taken, then I would be obligated to report them," says Garner of Virginia Tech, who heads a copying detection effort. "There are a lot of things in the report that rise to the level of inappropriate."
•"The plagiarism is fairly obvious when you compare things side-by-side," says Ohio State's Robert Coleman, who chairs OSU's misconduct committee.
While the plagiarism does not negate some of the methodological criticisms of Mann's work make in the Wegman report (and first levelled by Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit), a more recent analysis by DC here suggests that even these criticisms were overstated.
PS. For background, I've written a number pieces on the Wegman controversy here. And take a glance below for an instance of the alleged plagiarism. That's Wegman on the left, De Nooy, Mrvar and Batagelj on social networks on the right. Blue indicates direct lifts of D, M and B's work.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
In Which My Fame Achieves More Famousness
In any case, here's the post WK's talking about.
In Which I Break The Heart Of A Child
...exceptionally large leaves may attain widths of 61 cm (24 in) (2).
In fact, the width of Joseph's leaf (34.6 cm across) is so far off the accepted maple-leaf maximum size that I have to doubt Guinness really contacted him or his parents. I hope there isn't a scandal brewing.
And by-the-way, the pic above is an absolutely unexceptional specimen of a big-leaf maple maple-leaf. The wife and I collected it at on Vancouver Island several years ago. Note that its almost the same size as the ones these children (and I call them that only because I can't prove they're not children) are claiming as records. Such claims are not harmless; they sully the big-leaf maple brand.
There. That felt kind of good.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Ezra Hears He Owes Human Rights Commission Employee $25,000
PS. Although I must say I like the tie.
A Reckless Indifference To The Truth
You know, this would be the kind of article to wave in front of Ezra at one of his book signings. Maybe he'd actually autograph the thing.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Fox News North Delays Launch
Ezra Vs. Vigna: Picking Through The Ruins
So a number of white nationalists, we may assume, associated with the Lemire camp, we may assume, threatened Vigna and thugged it up with some of the hearing's security staff. That would be enough to upset anyone, I should think. And, just as a aside, these facts came up during the trial but, oddly enough, Terrence Watson didn't mention them in his article on the topic. That must have been one the places where Terrence lost interest.
And another interesting thing. Take a look at this:
As truewest pointed out, Vigna represented himself, and Ezra still lost. That's gotta sting. And not good news for any of his co-defendents in the other cases.
And so that is what you tend to get.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Ezra Vs. Vigna: Ezra Loses Ass
Toronto Sun Staff Exit The Propertied Class, Part II
"No Frills" grocery store on the ground floor of 333 King Street East. I guess No Frills suits the Sun perfectly. No Frills will (more-or-less) occupy the mail room area and a bit more.
The press room will be converted into four(?) larger stores or businesses.
West of the front doors, Red's will be partitioned into 4 (?) smaller retail shops.
East of the front doors, the old barbershop, courier desk and circulation office will be converted into 3 (?) stores.
Mural on Front Street was supposed to stay, but the plans show the mural gone, replaced by windows.
Will Sun staff be happy when a wine shop opens one floor below them?
It gets worse too. My secret sources tell me that other businesses in the building will include a laundromat and paint-ball combat facility. There is also a rumor that a mosque/sharia bank will take up three entire floors. Giant loudspeakers mounted outside of 333 King will be used for the thrice-daily call to prayer.
Everyone Hates Julian Fantino
Now, here's the interesting thing: Blatchford was touring behind her new book, Helpless, in which she among other things slags off CPoC candidate for Vaughan Julian Fantino for creating a two tiered justice system during the Caledonia native occupation, where First Nations lawbreakers were set free, and white protesters arrested for legal acts.
So does this mean that provincial Tories Hillier and Barrett support Blatchford's charges against the Conservative candidate for the federal riding of Vaughan?
Interesting that you should ask, because one of the twists and turns in the Caledonia saga involved criminal charges laid against Fantino of attempting to influence a municipal official --Fantino allegedly warned the Mayor of Caledonian and other local officials against supporting activist Gary McHale (now involved in the newly renamed group Against Fantino).
When these charges were dropped, MPP Barrett complained vociferously:
As you may know, we in the Ontario PC Caucus, and people from across Haldimand, have criticized the fact that the Crown has seen fit to drop charges against Julian Fantino.
In fact, this was only one in a series of complaints by Barrett--back in 2008, for example, he wrote of Fantino's failed attempts at intimidation.
Nor was Barrett's ill-feeling towards the then OPP chief an isolated case. As hinted at in the release above, Tim Hudak, head of the PCPO (Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario) and the leader of the province's official opposition, spoke out on behalf of his party about the charges against Fantino:
What we have called for as a PC caucus is for a prosecutor from outside the province to take a look at the evidence and that way people in Caledonia and across our province know that it was done with objectivity.
There is even some suggestion that anti-Fantino emotions existed among federal Conservatives. MP. Diane Finley allegedly signed this anti-Fantino petition back in 2009 (although if you look here you'll see that attempts to confirm her signature failed)
Now, my own take on Caledonia is that Fantino was in tough and did the best he could in a difficult situation. With two excerpts from Helpless now having appeared in the NP (here and here), the worst examples of native law-breaking Blatch seems to have discovered are driving without a seat-belt and riding an ATV without the appropriate license. Not being a Conservative, however, that isn't my problem. If you are a Conservative, you probably hated Julian Fantino's guts...until about a month ago, when the Prime Minister appointed him to your team. And now your trying to pretend that everything is ice-cream.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Ah! BC Politics
PS. I wrote the header before I read through the 2nd link. That the phrasing there is identical to my own is a sign that all we left-coasters are attuned to the same cosmic vibe.
Fox News North: TV El Cheapo
But while their goal is to replicate Fox News, I think the more likely scenario is that Sun TV News will be an experiment in cheap newsgathering that will quickly become a laughing stock because of its horribly small budget. According to the CRTC application, the channel plans to have a budget of about $25 million, of which $15 million would go to programming and technical costs. Though it's hard to directly compare this to CBC and CTV, since they take advantage of their local stations and national newscasts (I'm trying hard not to use the word "synergies" here), it's still very little money. We're looking at a staff of maybe 100 people, including journalists, anchors, producers and technicians, advertising salespeople, marketers, etc. Anyone who thinks he can run a national news network on that kind of budget is probably kidding himself.
The feared scenario, that they'll spend little money on news budget and focus all their efforts on opinion, makes more sense considering how little they have to spend. But even then, the big-name blowhards come at a high price, and a $25 million total budget isn't enough to get a Canadian Glenn Beck on the air if you want anything more than a webcam and laptop in front of him.
The post is a bit dated--Teneycke was still in charge--but presumably the financial details haven't changed much. In any case, evidence that FNN will be running a Walmart-grade operation hasn't been difficult to come by.
Also, its interesting to note that SunTV explicitly compares itself to Fox in its CRTC application:
The most comparable channel to STN is located in the USA, Fox News. Both channels’ strategy is to focus hard news and commentary that raise public debates and reactions on different topics. Fox News has been USA’s most watched All News channel for years and still is. In 2008-2009, Fox News’s audience was as high as CNN’s and MSNBC’s combined. Fox News does not have extensive distribution in Canada. Therefore, this represents a true opportunity for STN.
Anyway, I'm out most of today so this may be all you get out of me.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Abandoning Human Rights Tribunals: Costly Or No?
"The government's intent -- outlined in its recent throne speech -- is that the system will work almost exactly the same for individuals, including cost.
"The only difference will be is that they are going to be in front of a Court of Queen's Bench judge rather than a tribunal member. So everything else will be exactly the same as it was. So the people that are the applicants that are before the court ... will bear no cost, as they do under the existing system."
I think its a given that the cost of processing and resolving complaints will go up. What the provincial government is quite clearly saying is that it will bear these costs rather than slough them off on the complainants. Such "reforms" would hardly be a win for the Speechys, it would seem to me. And that's a good thing.
Talk Jocks Against Fantino
Hmm. By far the most interesting of the by-elections, and an interesting experiment in how much influence the Tory base can have actually moving voters against a candidate that is politically "impure". In other words, Julian Fantino might become the Canadian tea-party's first victim.
Or he might just sail on through unscathed, forcing political nerds to once again contemplate their abject powerlessness.
PS. I keep hearing this claim that Fantino spent a good part of his career making Ontario day-care centers safe from Satanism. What is that about, exactly?
CRU Hack Not A Leak
...the hack of the server was a sophisticated attack. Although the police and the university say only that the investigation is continuing, Nature understands that evidence has emerged effectively ruling out a leak from inside the CRU, as some have claimed. And other climate-research organizations are believed to have told police that their systems survived hack attempts at the same time.
Not that this is a particularly surprising conclusion; Frank Bi has been investigating the CRU hack since the story broke, almost exactly a year ago. The whole notion that it was an inside job by some dissident CRu employee never had much credibility among those not wearing tin-foil hats.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The Liberal-Conservative elite accommodation extends to Canada’s corporate media as well, even though polls have shown that an overwhelming number of Canadians want the Afghan mission ended. In October, The Globe and Mail carried a series of articles regarding the future of Canada’s armed forces. The Globe admitted that the series was meant to oppose a strong public mood in favour of pulling back from overseas military interventions. The Afghan war, the paper conceded, has not gone well. But the newspaper believes that the war has been a testing ground creating a battle hardened Canadian military which can now use its muscle elsewhere.
The Globe op-ed, here, really is quite appalling: we've got a war machine, lets take it on the road.
And another good bit:
The common argument is that Canada cannot leave now because the job is not done. The same people may well be making the same argument in 2014.
A Coalition, If You Will
But I don't believe it. Or, at least, I don't believe that an arena is on the table. Quebec City can't have its arena unless Saskatchewan gets a domed stadium. But Saskatchewan can't have a domed stadium unless some other province gets some other expensive bauble.
This article is the sound of Monday morning gum-flapping from the depths of our current political wasteland.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Peter Kent's Brother Speaks Out On Our New Mission In Afghanistan
Harper's aides indicate that 1,000 military trainers and support staff will remain in Afghanistan when Canadian troops leave their front line positions in Kandahar in the spring. To avoid unpleasant questions, Harper insists that he needn’t bother discussing his volte-face with Canada’s elected parliamentarians.
With good reason.
No doubt some enterprising MP would ponder aloud why Canadian taxpayers should tip still more treasure into the pockets of the Karzai regime’s shady ministers, not least those of the incompetent drunkard who heads the ANA, Defence Minister Rahim Wardak.
Far from helping the Afghan people, Stephen Harper’s consolation strategy will further debilitate Afghanistan’s weakest flank: the illegitimate regime that persists in enriching itself behind the walls of Kabul’s Presidential Palace.
You can tell which parties feel they can win the argument over an extension of our Afghanistan mission: the NDP and Bloc, who are calling for a resolution in the HOC. You can tell which ones don't: the Liberals and the Tories, who are willing to cut deals in the backrooms. Come on, Bob and Steve and Iggy. You want a mission extension; step into the sunlight and sell me one.
The Tories "Controversial" Candidate For Vaughan
In other words, we have a Tory candidate that alot of Tories dislike.
Whether Joe and Jane voter care is another story. I doubt they will, but certainly its clear that Mr. Fantino's campaign is off to something of a rough start.
In related news (related because she is clearly one of Julian Fantino's right-wing non-fans) the ARA managed to get three activists on stage before Christie Blatchford was to address a handful of geezers re her new book on the Caledonia Crisis, and prevent her from speaking.
Maybe not worth the candle, given the number of empty seats.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The Future Of Sun TV
Note that the participants get a "coupon for free food", which (I am told) has a map with directions to the local food-bank printed on the back. Also, sources say that the "gift certificate" is in fact a free 5-year subscription to Northumberland Today. Note too that the article is already trying to reach out to the students using that crazy "teen speak" they employ on their cell-phones, where "LOL" means "laugh out loud" and "savvy" is spelled with a single "v" to save key-strokes.
Friday, November 12, 2010
A Backroom Deal
And what astounds me, after so many years of his "Liberal Hawk" instincts proving so utterly disastrous, after humping a University degree in basket-weaving courses into a career as a TV talking head (in some little island country across the ocean that was relevant a century ago)... after being installed as LPoC leader because the party was too broke to oppose him...what astounds me is that after all this, Iggy still thinks he's smarter than the people and the party that elevated him.
Frankly, I think if Iggy wants to support an extension of Canada's Afghanistan mission to 2014, he should have to get up in the HOC, hold hands with Prime Minister Harper, and explain the whys and wherefores behind this Lib./Tory coalition. Lets face it, he's been a crap leader of the opposition. If Dion couldn't explain himself in English, then with Iggy the problem is that when he explains himself it just makes you think he's an enormous dick. Nobody owes him any deference. And he owes the country a better performance.
So, lets have a debate in the HOC. And remember the debate around the Long Gun Registry; the LPoC brain trust eventually came around. This argument isn't lost. Iggy has shown that he will bend the right way when pressure is applied. It's just that he's a stubborn as an ass, and can only be convinced if you apply the political equivalent of a 2 by 4 to the side of his head.
Somebody Finally Does Something Useful On The Internet
...an application that allowed people and communities to more clearly see who is polluting, and how much, in their communities...
Specifically, you type in your city and Emitter comes back with a map with the polluters represented graphically. For every polluting facility, there is a link to substance info from Env. Canada--for example.
Oh my! I can see any number of uses for such an app. When your driving around in your car looking to buy a new house, for example (once it goes mobile). The only sad part is I'm pretty sure the States beat us to this idea by a good decade, as I recall seeing a U.S. website back in the mid-1990s that offered comparable info from the EPA. Better late than never, though.
Vaughan By-Election Poll
As for SFH, they're not bad at all. WK sells them short a bit, I think. Also, he was playing a pretty violin shaped bass like the one McCartney used...you know, the cute Beatle. Also: nice t-shirts.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Danielle Smith On Twitter
EKOS Says Its Tied
Anyway, I'm sure Steve V will be along to explain it all, and of course Kady gives it a stab through the link.
MacKay's New Babe
Anyway, the practical question is: what will Max Bernier do now? Because, lets face it, this one is far hotter.
More pics here.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The Protocols Of The Old Guys In Ottawa
In any case, the stuff about Israel is copped almost word-for-word (I think) from the EUMC working definition of anti-semitism, and I suppose bringing Canadian hate laws more closely into line with that working definition would be the most problematic course hinted at (but no more than hinted at) in the document. Mind you, when I read the working definition, its reference to "overall context" softens the impact of much that follows. For example, in context, a comparison of Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany might well be justified (ie not anti-semitic). In addition, countries are routinely compared to Nazi Germany, so I'm not sure how criticizing Israel in like terms would count as dissimilar. Also, you would still get to compare Israel to South Africa (for example: Israel Apartheid Week), and that is the wounding metaphor that folks seem most eager to deploy.
As to actions directed at Canadian campuses, the document commits parliamentarians to:
Working with universities to encourage them to combat antisemitism with the same seriousness with which they confront other forms of hate. Specifically, universities should be invited to define antisemitism clearly, provide specific examples, and enforce conduct codes firmly, while ensuring compliance with freedom of speech and the principle of academic freedom. Universities should use the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism as a basis for education, training and orientation. Indeed, there should be zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind against anyone in the university community on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or political position...
Well, its always nice to get encouragement from your MP, and I personally love invitations, but the document doesn't seem to be demanding much, at least not much that's specific. Which is fine, because I think reports of on-campus anti-semitism have, generally speaking, been overblown in this country.
So, a nothing burger, or no?
PS. Nobody here is talking new legislation, as far as I can tell.
On Poppies, Red And White
I wish the makers of the poppies would do what is apparently done in Britain. They do not have a single needle in the back of the poppy that you try to stick into your shirt/coat etc as best as you can and hope it stays there (and it often doesn’t). They have apparently put a safety pin in the back of their poppies, which makes for a lot less (if at all) loss of those flowers.
I implore the Royal Canadian Legion or whoever it is who makes those poppies here to do the same. It can’t cost that much extra to put in a safety pin.
And if it does cost a little more, I'd be happy to pay. Unless the point is to bond with the soldiers by inadvertantly inflicting a chest wound upon yourself.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
A Girl And Her Snake...Reunited!
And yeah,once again, that is a picture of the snake's owner. No, she isn't the one that ate the mouse.
Machetegate: The Final Chapter?
Just a few months ago, for example, two Carleton University students reported being attacked by fellow students wielding a machete at an off-campus bar; the attackers berated them as “Jews” and “Zionists.”
I've written about this story on numerous occasions. If you recall, back in April several Carlton students, one Jewish and the other a proclaimed non-Jewish Zionist, claimed to have been attacked outside the Le Volt night-club in Gatineau Quebec by machete-wielding Arabs. Back then, I pointed out a number of inconsistencies in their claims; for example, the alleged victims, Mark Klibanov and Nick Bergamini, had told the media that they faced these Arabs alone while at the same time revealing on their various Facebook pages that they had been accompanied by a third person, this third companion's existence confirmed later via police reports.
In any event, Carleton wound-up for the summer and, since one of the alleged attackers was supposedly a student, the case fell by the wayside, with the Mark and Nick hoping they might be able to identify the perp(s) when school resumed this Fall.
But apparently not. After reading the Globe story, I fired off an email to Isabelle Poirier, PR person for the Gatineau Police, and was informed earlier this morning:
There is no more information in this file. The victim was met by the investigator but we don’t have enough proof for make an arrest and put accusations. The file is closed for now. If we have more information in the future, we’ll open it again.
Have a good day!
A rather unsatisfactory ending, and one that does nothing to mitigate my origional suspicions that the claims made by Klibanov and Bergamini were trumped up or imaginary.
Donna Laframboise Slays The Unicorn
With the promise of more to come, I'm afraid. Personally, I'm waiting for her 5-parter on spanking the monkey.
Monday, November 08, 2010
More On Strange Endorsements Of Tory Human Smuggling Bill
Also interesting is the reference to Balan Ratnarajah and the Peel Tamil Community Centre, a group that came out on October 22nd to endorse the bill, whose endorsement was widely retweeted by the likes of Jason Kenney and Alyknan Velshi.
For one thing, after googling around a bit, I can't find any sign of the community center's existence on-line previous to...you guessed it...October 22nd, and then suddenly their endorsement was everywhere. For another, a fellow named Balan Ranarajah ran and was elected to the first Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam for district 3 (Western Ontario). Now:
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTGTE) is an organization formed by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora which aims to achieve independence for Tamil Eelam, the state which Sri Lankan Tamils aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The PTGTE and Tamil Eelam have no official status or recognition by any state or authority. The PTGTE has been called a "ploy to perpetuate terrorism" by the government of Sri Lanka.
I don't know how much credence should be given to allegations that the PTGTE was formed by remnants of the LTTE (the Tamil Tigers). Probably not much. But if the Tories are looking for endorsements from Tamil separatists, then that's something to think about as well.
PS. And the PTGTE Ratnarajah is described here as a "business consultant"; the guy behind the Peel Tamil Community Center (the phone numbers match) runs a company called Blr Management Services, who are located in Mississauga and described as accountants. Furthermore, the PTGTE definition of "Western Ontario" = Etobicoke, Rexdale, Brampton, and Mississauga. So I'm pretty sure but not 100% certain that these two are the same guy.
And The Hits Keep Coming...
Makes you wonder if our papers bungle UK news quite this thoroughly.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Toronto Star's Layton And Chow Story Truly Seinfeldian
PS. $2,000 per month gets you a below average 2-bedroom in the old City of T.O. (See the Central districts)
The Future That Might Have Been, Or: How Fox News North Planned To Target David Suzuki
It comes in two parts--part 1 and part 2-- which I will excerpt with comments. It begins with Donna describing one of the bogus CRU Hack related pseudo-scandals she "researched" back in April:
Among the avalanche of e-mail that followed was one from a person of indeterminate gender whose first name was Kory. A third party (also a stranger to me), thought perhaps I could recommend clear-thinking journalists for a project Kory was working on. Was I available for coffee?
My last journalism job had been as an editorial writer and columnist for the National Post. Laid off back in 2001 along with 130 others, I’d called it quits. The Canadian media landscape is small and cliquish. Newsrooms are miserably managed workplaces where people hate their lives. I said sayonara.
In the end, however, Donna met with this "brash young man with a pinstripe suit". At a Starbucks, no less. Which tells you something right there, doesn't it? With these Conservative Muckety-Mucks, its always "heart on the right, coffee mug on the left." Because who really wants to drink the plonk that passes for coffee at Tim's if they've ever lived somewhere that serves something better? Hmm? If Tim's coffee were wine, it would be the kind of wine rummies drink under the bridge. Better by far is the gay coffee you can buy downtown in any decent sized Canadian Metropolis.
But in any case, Kory wanted Donna to function as an in-house climate change denier for Fox News North, writing a column every week for the Sun Chain of newspapers and discussing that column on one of FNN's talk shows.
Kory responded to my really, I’m not a television person protestations with assurances that it would be OK. At the beginning, few people would be watching anyway, he insisted. He was sure that, with a bit of practice, I’d do fine.
Interesting timing here: this discussion takes place in early (the first Friday of) May, 2010, while Kory is still working at CBC (which he didn't leave until June).
[Teneycke's]one firm directive was that I should challenge David Suzuki. I hadn’t thought much about Suzuki before that conversation, but Kory’s instinct was correct. Although Suzuki tells us constantly that he’s a scientist, he’s actually a preacher who espouses environmentalist views with religious fervour.
Now that's revealing: Fox News North was to have a reporter on staff who was specifically tasked with hassling Canada's best-known environmentalist. There are shades of Marc Morano and the U.S. denialist movement, who have concentrated their fire so largely upon Michael Mann, in this; and shades of the UK movement too, who went after Phil Jones almost exclusively during CRU Hack. But of course it all goes back to Alinsky: personalize, demonize. Anyway:
The conversation touched briefly on our respective backgrounds. He’s a prairie boy from Saskatchewan. I’m the daughter of a Northern Ontario auto mechanic. Neither of us has ever moved in private-school, trust-fund circles. But thanks to our rural roots, we both possess a restricted firearms license.
Just a note: if you ever run into Kory Teneycke, he may be packing heat. If I'd known that earlier, I might have been nicer to him. Also, it sounds like Canadian newspapers these days are paying somewhere around $500 per column. No wonder journalists hate their lives. (Although, note to anyone suing, or planning to sue, Ezra Levant: Kory was in the end willing to cut Donna a check for $4,200 per month)
Anyway, Donna signs on with FNN, and spends the summer losing weight for TV and boning up on Suzuki. Then, in September, it all turns to crap:
A few moments later I was advised that, well, global warming had been a personal interest of Kory’s but things have now changed. The news director told me I could perhaps write for Quebecor occasionally. He didn’t explain what would possess me to imagine that this offer is genuine when the previous one evidently was not.
Let us just say it looks like I’ll be seeing Quebecor in small claims court. (Stayed tuned.)
Donna is promising a part 3 in which she explains why Quebecor "lost its nerve". She mentions Atwood, but I think I should get at least a brief shout out. We shall see.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Alberta Does Not Speak With One Voice On The Tar Sands
“The European Union should be designating tar sands as dirty fuel as part of its fuel emissions regulations.” says Chief Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation of Northern British Columbia on the EU Fuel Quality Directive. “Tar sands production is speeding up climate change, destroying land, forests and water, and it is subjecting Indigenous peoples to incalculable long-term harm. If Europe cares about climate change, is true to its commitment to Indigenous rights, they should take action to stop the tar sands and stop growth of tar sands infrastructure like the Enbridge pipelines and oil tankers.
Luckily, the Gateway pipeline is going nowhere.
Missing Snake Update!
PS. Yeah, that's actually a picture of the owner.
Friday, November 05, 2010
Macleans To Bonhomme
A wiggly worm, sir, is the lowest lump of whale blubber in the ocean depth
My favorite bit from The Flintstones, for those of you old enough to remember it.
And, oh by the way--Coyne, Wells, Whyte: they're all commies, sucking from the gov. titty.
There's Never A Dead Mouse Around When You Need One
Brad Trost: No Infrastructure Project Deadline Extension
Exactly What You Need HRCs For
Randy Dickinson, chairman of the commission, confirmed Tuesday that the human rights organization received a complaint relating to New Brunswick's Medical Services Payment Act, which sets out the conditions under which the province will pay for abortions.
As for what's going on in Saskatchewan, where the Tribunal may be dissolved and cases that can't be settled via mediation sent to court, I'm not sure what to think of it yet. For one thing, the hate speech provisions in the provincial legislation would remain as per the status quo: in fact, in other Sask. human rights news, Bill Whatcott's case is being taken to the Supreme Court. And in situations where mediation fails, the province will still take up complainant's costs. I suppose the issue here would be costs--its difficult to see this new process being cheaper than going before a tribunal. And while Chief Commissioner David Arnot is clearly sincere in his attempts to reform the human rights situation in that province, can Premier Brad Wall and his gang be trusted to produce legislation in accord with Mr. Arnot's intentions?
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Should Shimon Fogel Head Up The CIJA?
It turns out that the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) is undergoing a reorg, and part of the reorg involves bringing in new leadership, possibly in the form of Shimon Fogel, currently CEO of the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC).
But how suitable is Mr. Fogel for this position?
Well, as part of the CIC's PR efforts, they've organized several blogger excursions to Israel. The bloggers they have chosen have come from various points on the political spectrum: for example, Jeff Jedras went on one such trip back in May. The problem is, the CIC have also been willing to cavort with the Canadian blogosphere's far-right lunatic fringe: Five Foot, her husband, and Kate from Delisle.
Five Foot (Kathy Shaidle), for example, has been the proud author of such remarks as:
[Sikhs are]Backward foreigners [who] shit on hand that feeds them...Unable to invent their own iconic product due to too much time spent worshipping monkeys and cows, setting women on fire and obsessing over imperceptible differences in each other's skin colour...
And the weird thing is, it seems as though the CIC were a little bit ashamed of being connected with these clearly very zealous supporters of Israel. For one thing, their trip was organized "semi-secretly". For another, while in a personal communication to me it was explained that the CIC was not an official sponsor of the event, Sara Saber-Freedman, their Montreal EVP, went along. Even more mysteriously, a picture of her on the flight over, appeared, and then disappeared, from the website of Shaidle's hubby. In fact, it was buried so deep that it can't even be found on google-cache anymore. (Here's a tip: you want something to disappear from google cache? It only archives the previous version. Keep overwriting with new text and the old stuff eventually falls off). It was as though the CIC wanted to court the fringe right of the Canadian blogosphere, but at the same time wanted to keep it on the down-low.
And now their leader wants to move on to bigger and better things. I suppose the issue is: once he's installed in his new position, will the CIJA begin courting the nation's lunatic fringe on the grounds that, although they hate everyone else, they're solidly behind Israel?
What Kory Teneycke Is Up To
It would be cruel of me to mock him at this low point in his career. You, however, may do so in the comments.
Yeah, Those Are Goats
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Rathgeber Plays Dress Up
419. Every one who without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on him,
(a) wears a uniform of the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force or a uniform that is so similar to the
uniform of any of those forces that it is likely to be mistaken therefor,
(b) wears a distinctive mark relating to wounds received or service performed in war, or a military medal, ribbon, badge, chevron or any decoration or order that is awarded for war services, or any imitation thereof, or any mark or device or thing that is likely to be mistaken for any such mark, medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, decoration or order,
(c) has in his possession a certificate of discharge, certificate of release, statement of service or identity card from the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force that has not been issued to and does not belong to him, or
(d) has in his possession a commission or warrant or a certificate of discharge, certificate of release, statement of service or identity card, issued to an officer or a person in or who has been in the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force, that contains any alteration that is not verified by the initials of the officer who issued it, or by the initials of an officer thereto lawfully authorized,
is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction