Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gruending On Christians In Syria

Former MP and Politics & Pulpit author takes a look at the dilemma facing Syrian Christians:

The Scottish writer William Dalrymple says that Syria has been a kind of oasis for Christians in the Middle East. But Syrian Christians are now faced with a painful choice. They can offer support to a brutal dictatorship that, generally, has protected them but has killed 5,000 of its citizens since calls for change and demonstrations began in the spring of 2011. Or Christians can participate in the opposition, which, if it topples the regime, may bring to power a Sunni-led government that could be ultra-conservative and anti-Christian.


The New York Times reports that there are Christians represented in the opposition to the regime, and that among those who support it “loyalty to the government is often driven more by fear than fervor.” The newspaper continues: “For many Syrian Christians, Mr. Assad remains predictable in a region where unpredictability has driven their brethren from war-racked places like Iraq and Lebanon, and where others have felt threatened in post-revolutionary Egypt.”

The Times story raises an unpleasant question. Does it take a strongman to protect the community (in this case the Christians) from the more dangerous, more intolerant currents in society? Clearly, the Maronite Catholic patriarch believes so. In September, Patriarch Bishara Boutros al-Rai urged Maronites to offer Assad another chance. Those comments prompted a rebuttal from Syrian Christians involved in the opposition. But the patriarch stood firm. “We do not stand by the regime, but we fear the transition that could follow,” he said. “We must defend the Christian community."

This strategic support of the regime may well have been overtaken by events. The killing has continued and the call for international action has grown louder. Former allies, including Turkey and Russia, have become critical. The Arab League has sent in a team of observers and imposed limited sanctions. Assad’s days appear to be numbered but Christians fear that they might suffer a savage backlash when the dynasty falls.

There's more well worth reading through the links.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Last Event And The Holiday Season Is Over

Actually, the wife and I are thinking of staying in, ordering pizza, and watching West Wing episodes (only the ones by Sorkin, mind you).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Philosopher Sir Michael Dummett Is Dead

I've read a fair bit of his stuff, and never got what he was talking about, even though I was trained in the shit and sympathetic to some of the broader thrusts of his thinking (truth value gaps and etc.).  Probably the worst writer among 20th Century English Analytics.  Nevertheless, he is definitely dead, and I suppose we should note the fact.

Fire Everyone!

 Quebecois mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau loses poll done by company he owns!  He won last year, but against much weaker competition.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Whither Wind Concerns?

The day after I noted that Wind Concerns Ontario had shut down their blog, citing a threat of legal action, John Spears did a short piece on the same topic in the T.O. Star.  The most interesting bit:

But Jane Wilson, the president of Wind Concerns, says there are no imminent legal threats hanging over the organization.

Wilson said in an interview that the website is run by a volunteer, who may have misunderstood some discussion at the recent Wind Concerns annual meeting.

Wind Concerns had been considering a more professional approach for its website in any case, she said.

“We’ll be going off air for a brief, brief time while we get a new platform going,” she said.

Wilson said she hasn’t spoken to the volunteer who runs the website: “I don’t even have her phone number.”

“I don’t know why she put on ‘the threat of legal action,’ because no one’s suing us,” Wilson said. “We’re not having any problems that way.”

The website volunteer had not attended the annual meeting, and had some questions about financial matters, Wilson said.

“It was suggested to her that questions about what had gone on at the annual general meeting was not something that should be on the website,” Wilson said.

“It was suggested that rather than making these questions more dramatic than they needed to be, she could discuss it with someone else.”

Wilson said the questions involved the cost of certain items, but wouldn’t elaborate.

Now, according to netinfo, the Wind Concerns website is registered to Moe Anderson from Amherst, Ontario.  In this posting to the WCO Facebook Page, Moe says the name change is a result of her leaving the group:

To speculate on what's happened, I would suggest that Moe was the volunteer who raised issues re spending and, not getting a response to her satisfaction, parted with the group, taking the rights to the website with her.  She may also have suggested that the WCO website disappear, or else, and the domain-name change is a result.  I am trying to confirm this via email.  Interestingly enough, this comment on Wind Resistance Ontario suggests that there still exists a WCO rump group that is working apart from the Wind Resistance folks:

This is no longer the “Wind Concerns Ontario” website. Please don’t discuss their business or board members here.

Perhaps Moe Anderson is still involved with these folk.  In any case, we all know where its all going to end.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bob Rae If Necessary, But Not Necessarily Bob Rae

 For example, this guy might work.  Everyone loves an astronaut.

Journalism, Real And Fake

 Still another day's worth of eating and over-consuming left to get through, so don't expect anything too coherent until that's all been accomplished.  Until then, here's a piece on how U.S. think-tanks are setting up fake news services to feed depleted news rooms with content pushing Libertarian policies.  A step beyond what, for example, what The Fraser Institute is up to (ie spewing industry-tilted content) in that the American groups have actually hired unemployed(?) journos to cover state legislatures.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Xmas Day Off To A Lucrative Start!

Highlights so far are a nice new coat from Columbia Sports Wear and a wool duffle-coat thingy from T. Hilfiger.  Still a few gift cards to come!  May my readers similarly clean up this season.

PS. The Pope can kiss my butt.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Help Me Defeat Xmas!

...but, as the article goes on to note, it looks like this year, for the very first time, Christmas will fall short vs. porn.  And you, dear reader, can help make it happen, by simply doing what you normally do  11 months of the year, but with a bit more gusto.  Together, we can make Santa cry!

Friday, December 23, 2011

How's That "Ethical Oil" Thing Working For You?

A Match Made In Heaven

 One of the very last products still advertising on Fox News North, it seems.  Otherwise, they drone on endlessly; one yearns for the appearance of Dr. Ho.

LPoC Stuff

1) At the LPoC whoop-up a few weeks back (actually a meet-&-greet with party President wannabes), I was able to speak briefly with Paul Summerville, a candidate for National Policy Chair.  Paul has "recently put forth a constitutional amendment proposal to the party to democratize a number of policy related elements in the party's constitution.".  Imp has her own take on these proposals through the preceding link; I find myself most interested in this one:
One of the themes that came up repeatedly at the meet-&-greet was: once you've enticed your spanking new Liberal to sign up, what do you do with them?  This idea--crowd-sourcing policy research/development--seems a good means of engaging the Membership beyond hitting them up for money every couple of weeks.  It also seems a possible means of overcoming some of the financial disadvantage inherent in third-party status.  The LPoC  rank and file contains a fairly high level of expertise, and volunteering to share esoteric knowledge is just as legitimate a means of giving back as distributing leaflets.

2) Cherniak has a piece up on his Facebook site re The LPoC decision refusing accreditation to citizen journalists at the upcoming convention in Ottawa.  God knows I've fought with Jason over the years, but as one of the very first wave of Canadian political bloggers, and as someone who had a hand in how the LPoC developed its online strategy over the last decade, he has earned at least a small spot in the history books.  So when he says the current policy is a step in the wrong direction, he should know. 

Not that too much should be made of the issue.  This truly is "inside baseball" stuff of little importance to the broader population.  Nevertheless, its a stupid move.  Why, for example, would you want to keep the Stephen Taylor's (CPoC) and Dr. Dawg's of the world off the convention floor?  Partisan or no, these people can get your message through to a crowd that may not otherwise get a chance to hear it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kicking Ass In Canadian Politics

Alright, I'm a bit late to this.  Warren K carves Brian Lilley a new one in this Sun TV interview.  Notice though how hard it is to cut through an ignorant asshole's (Lilley's) stream of bullshit.  Many progressives think it can be done via elegant erudition.  It can't .  WK knows you gotta be there for the whole 15 rounds, or six plus minutes or so, and keep pounding them.  Politics isn't like chess, where you check-mate 'em.  It's like WWI, where you slowly crush their will to resist.

Too bad this interview didn't happen on CBC or CTV or the yuletide log channel where people might see it.  Kudos to WK nevertheless.

CIJA Struggles For Cred

I've written about  the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) a number of times, mostly in regards to their backing away from the fight against organized hate speech in Canada for an "Israel, Israel, let's talk Israel 24/7" approach to human rights issues.  It appears I'm not the only one who views them skeptically:

“It is not clear to me who CIJA represents. Unlike [Canadian Jewish] Congress, whose officers were elected by a body representing organizations and communities across Canada, CIJA seems to be a self-appointed body, beholden only to a very small group of extremely influential backers. This transformation is a major defeat for democracy in the Canadian Jewish community,” Rabbi Scheim [, spiritual leader of Toronto’s Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am Synagogue] said.

Interesting too that Stockwell Day is on CIJA's BOD, given his past.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RUMOUR: Trojan Brand Will Avoid Tar Sands Fuel When Shipping Condoms an attempt to reduce company's carbon foot-print!  What will the folks at Ethical Oil do about this latest outrage?
PS.  Real easy to find pictures of prophylactic wrapped bananas on Google Image.  Almost too easy.

Abortion BACK On The (Hidden) Agenda!

From Stephen Woodworth this morning:

A recent poll disclosed that 80% of Canadians believe that Canadian law protects the fundamental human rights of children before birth in the later stages of gestation.

In fact, the opposite is true.  Canadian law provides no human rights protection whatsoever for children before the moment of complete birth. 


The important question is whether this 400 year old Canadian law is supported by 21st century medical science and principles of human rights.  Perhaps Canadians should at least examine this question.  MP Stephen Woodworth proposes that Parliament has a responsibility to lead that examination.

I love it when Tories examine this question!  Their polling numbers imitate a WWII dive-bomber!  You start, Stephen.  Put a private member's bill on the table in regards to...I don't know...banning late term abortions; see who rallies to your side.

Only If Its A Hippy

...and only they are allowed to bludgeon him to death themselves.

h/t Bourque, who's never afraid to ask the questions that matter.  Here is the source story. The fact that this kind of thing is achieving MSM status, even if its mostly in Europe, makes me wonder about the fragility of the world economy.  Why would you worry about what a co-worker tasted like if you weren't also worried about where your next meal was coming from? 

On the other hand, whack Santa as he comes down the chimney and you can probably feed your family until summer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Read Jeff the LPoC's decision to charge non-MSM affiliated bloggers $1,100 to attend their lame, non-newsworthy convention in January.  Its all well-argued, but here's his take on the only argument in favour of the LPoC decision that I have occasionally considered defensible:

Why are they ending blogger accreditation? I can only speculate. I believe part of it is money, but that’s foolish. First of all, admitting bloggers isn’t an out of pocket expense for the party. We don’t need a filing room or a supply of soft drinks, just let us in the door and maybe give us a table and chairs at the back of the hall. You could argue lost revenue, but let’s be serious. No independent or third-party blogger is going to pay $1100 to come to our little conference, so you were never getting that revenue anyway. Maybe a few Liberals would opt to go the free blogger route instead of being a paying delegate, but with delegate fees at $400 for Victory Fund members you’re talking a few grand in foregone revenue at the most. As is that really worth the bad publicity we’re getting?

Another excuse I’ve heard is that they could be inundated with a flood of bloggers seeking to cover the conference. First of all, so what? I’d think more coverage would be a good thing. Second, I doubt it. Maybe 10 were accredited in 2006, and probably a little less in 2009. I was the only non-Conservative blogger I know of accredited to their convention this year; if there were Conservative non-delegate bloggers they (unsurprisingly) weren’t hanging-out in the press area.

And third, that’s a simple enough issue to deal with. Put a cap on the number of bloggers you can accommodate and set up an application process. The Conservatives, for example, asked me about my posting frequency and traffic statistics. Screening of this sort is normal and expected; it’s part of the job of a media relations staffer. “It’s too hard” is frankly a pretty weak cop-out for not doing what should be a basic part of the job.

I should just note that, unlike their MSM counterparts, bloggers tend to have real, well-paying jobs that aren't about to be stolen by the Internet, and so there shouldn't be a noticeable drain from them on the convention's booze/finger-food resources, due to scarfing out of raw hunger.  I know that I personally have considered hitting up a LPoC convention under the "journalist" banner to get free drinks, but that's because I am cheap the way Libertarians are Libertarians.  It's my philosophy.  Most people aren't like that.

Do Bananas Have Libel Lawyers?

I can't find it anywhere


Sunday, December 18, 2011

!dekciK ssA steG doG


Farber And Kurz On Section 13

Opponents of Section 13 argue that it is an assault on free speech. They claim that it targets speech that may merely offend those with thin skins. If the target of the law were merely “offensive” statements, we would wholeheartedly agree. But this is not the case. The law aims at expression that causes members of our society to be treated as less worthy than their neighbours merely because of who they are, rather than what they have done. The small number of cases that have made it to the act’s tribunal stage have been among the worst of the worst: hateful, malicious propaganda.

Another argument against Section 13 is that, unlike libel law, truth is no defence. But can it ever be “true” that victims of hate speech deserve hatred and contempt? Should someone be entitled to use a tribunal hearing to “prove” that, say African Canadians are inferior, that Jews are rapacious, or that all gays are pedophiles?

Section 13 tells us that we must find civil ways to prevent bigotry. That is the Canadian way. But if Storseth’s bill is passed, the state will rely exclusively on criminal prosecution to deter those who wilfully engage in promoting hatred. By ridding ourselves of Section 13, we diminish the hope that we can change attitudes through education and dialogue. We may very well unleash the blunt force of the criminal law on those who are guilty of nothing but ignorance.

Just a comment on this last bit.  Folks in favour of Storseth's Bill often, perhaps typically, think that removing section 13 will solve their problems.  Journalists typically believe that with S13 gone their industry will be free of  a bothersome level of regulation, that all they will need to worry about is the possibility of defamation suits brought through the court system. 

Haters believe that they shall be able to hate at leisure.

But this is not really so.  For example, Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, has stated quite clearly that in a post 13 world his organization will shift its efforts to working against hate speech through whatever enhanced criminal code provisions are given to it.  Nobody is going to pack up their toys and go home in absence of the provision, in other words.  And, as I've said before, there's quite a difference between receiving a letter from a commission bureaucrat and getting a visit from a police officer.  I imagine the second is a bit more traumatic than the first.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On Justin Trudeau

Love the passion, hate the beard.  Like my stylist used to say: you're gorgeous; you shouldn't be covering that face with hair.  I went to that guy for years.

Remember The Western Standard's "Conservative Cruise"?

I thought not.  It was cancelled when guests realized it meant being trapped on a boat with Ezra Levant and Colby Cosh.  Well, Erzra's trying again.  This might work a bit better.  At least, it will be easier to escape when the urge to kill comes on.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Most Important Thing To Happen Today In Canada...

Canada eliminated mandatory retirement Friday after the government repealed sections of the labor code that had enabled employers to force workers to retire once they reached the age of 65.

 ...and the Harper gov. deserves some rare kudos for getting it done.  An event undeservedly ignored by the youth/twitter/facebook obsessed set that run the MSM.  But more important to us oldsters who will never really have enough money to retire on and will have to work until we drop.  For us, this means we can still tell the youth of today, with their green hair and nose rings and shitty rap metal music, to go fuck themselves.  I can still keep my job; you little screwups get to flip burgers until you're 70!  Or until you get the guts to rebel and melt us all down into soylent green!  Which will be never...PUNKS!!!   Booyah!!!

PS.  Even the CHRC approves.  So it must be good.

LPoC Doesn't Want Bloggers

...covering its convention.  Its Taylor, so he could be bullshitting...I mean, exercising his right to free speech...but if not then this doesn't really sing out "renewal" to me.

Update: So Taylor has posted a letter from the LPoC.  At first blush I think he's fiddling with semantics (gone the Campaign Research route): You can't get media accreditation as a blogger, but you can still come as an observer and, presumably, blog about the convention while observing.  I suppose Taylor might have a small beef if you get something with media accreditation that you don't get as an observer.

A Toronto Sun Xmas

With the continuing economic downturn newspaper organizations are experiencing, there is significant pressure on both the advertising and circulation revenues. Sun Media is no exception and we continue to deal with these very difficult issues by looking at creative and innovative revenue generating ideas.

We have also been forced to look at reducing our operating costs in light of the economic climate. We have made some very difficult decisions and one such decision is to announce that Sun Media will be implementing a salary freeze for 2012.

I suppose one should try to be nice during the holiday season, but with my wife trying to dodge layoffs at The City and the Sun's op-ed writers screaming for inside worker's heads to roll, let me just say to everyone who works at that rag: may you all drown slowly in a sea of boiling blood.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Your Daily Nazi: Life After Section 13

 A bit of a miscellany this morning.  Firstly, stating the obvious:

Vancouver-based Alan Dutton helped lobby for the 1996 creation of the B.C. Hate Crime Team that brings together law enforcement, Crown prosecutors and provincial bureaucrats to combat hate crimes.

Dutton argues abolishing the law will embolden hatemongers to re-organize and strengthen the white nationalist movement in Canada.

"The danger here is that they're going to believe that they have fertile ground now," said Dutton, who chairs the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society.

Speaking with B'nai Brith folks at the Lemire hearing, it is pretty clear they think Section 13 is dead via bill C-304 and are trying to work out how to protect the CDN Jewish community through whatever criminal code provisions remain available.  BB CEO Frank Dimant has said as much here.  The problem is that it has been historically difficult to get the police to lay charges, and that (as I understand it) any changes to the code will themselves be vulnerable to a constitutional challenge (more vulnerable than S13, perhaps).

On a slightly different topic, Joe Brean buries the lede in this story:

Neither the analysis by Digital Wyzdom, nor a subsequent one, turned up any evidence that Mr. Warman had written the message at the heart of the [Levant] libel suit.

Levant's defense, and the defense of the other bloggers in the various lawsuits that Richard Warman has brought against them, turned on Warman's having written "The Cools Post".  It was already pretty obvious that he had not; now it is even more so.  These various legal actions are all effectively done, but for the paying out of damages.

Climate Change Denier Raided By Cops

 Tallbloke is one of the denialist bloggers who was gifted the latest batch of "Climategate" emails.  I don't think he was near the center of the first release.  In any case, the U.K. police want a closer look at his computers.  Although Anthony Watts says he isn't a suspect.  But if they do a cavity search, who knows what it will turn up.

PS.  Horner is mostly crap, but this suggests that two other bloggers have been given "search-and-seizure" letters.

PPS. From this, it looks like Jeff Id and McI also got letters.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Your Daily Nazi: My Day Among The Nazis

So yesterday I went off to visit room 4D at 180 Queen West for the denouement of Warman Vs. Lemire.  I wound up sitting two seats over from Lemire, who once threatened to sue me, and right in front of the Fourniers (Connie and Mark), who once tried to get me fired.  The guy who threatened to kill me didn't show up this time, which frankly made the bathroom breaks a little more comfortable.

As for Lemire, let's just say that he's gotten big.  Though he's twitchy: sighing, eye-rolling, consulting his notes and passing notes to his supporters.  Indeed there was a lot of sighing and eye-rolling during the government side of the presentation. A lot of German accents too, a lot of gray hair.  Connie's still hot, but Mark is looking positively dessicated these days.  During the break I had lunch with Richard Warman and the gang from B'nai Brith; somebody joked that I was the only person in the court that wasn't a lawyer or a Nazi.  Someone else noted that this looked like a sequel to the Zundel trial, with all the players 15 years older.

As to the presentations, they generally went according to plan, with the pro-HRC side arguing that all that should be on the table is the  severing of Section 13's penalty provisions.  But there were a few interesting twists, or at least arguments I haven't heard before.  The young gal from the African Canadian Legal clinic (Moya Teklu) argued that there has been so little analysis of the CHRC's actual behavior that it would have been impossible for Athanasios D. Hadjis (the tribunal chair that had ruled for Lemire last go-round) to know whether this behavior had changed over time--and thus whether it had become less conciliatory, more litigious. She also has a tattoo on the back of her neck, so they clearly aren't barriers to success anymore.   Richard Warman argued from the transcripts of the earlier hearing that in fact he had been open to the possibility of settling with Lemire, contra Hadjis' opinion.

Barbara Kulaszka was a rambling disaster, and the judge was quite short with her.  The fellow from the CCLA seemed more coherent, arguing that Hadjis did have authority to make a constitutional ruling (something the CHRC contested).  Though I don't think anyone made a convincing case that either the Internet or the addition of penalty provisions has changed things so much that a Section 13 repeal was the only available option.  But that could be just me.  I missed Doug Christie's performance, but did see him parading about outside the court-room in his black cowboy hat, so that is maybe the important thing.

Most of my day was spent staring at the backs of heads suffering varying degrees of hair-loss, so Judge Mosley was by far the most entertaining thing in the room.  He is possessed of an excellent poker face, and didn't speak much.  You could tell when he was going to, though, because he would start moving his facial muscles, making faces, in effect, several seconds in advance as a kind of warm-up.  To me, he appeared to grind far more heavily upon the Lemire side, and criticized the AG's non-appearance and some of Hadjis more obscure lines of reasoning. 

To end off, here's a shot of Richard Warman and me in front of the court-house (from the NP story):

Richard is the guy on the right.  I'm wearing my dad's old barn jacket (you can just barely see the sleeve).

Cracks Appear In Multi-Faith Coalition

"Multi-Faith Coalition" are what the folks protesting Friday prayers at Valley Park Middle School.  Looks like they have already started to come unravelled, or at least some elements within the coalition are having Ron Bannerjee Problems:
No word on whether the CHP has disassociated itself from the CHA (Canadian Hindu Advocacy), because the latter group is really just Bannerjee and some old guy.  No word either on whether they also want to dissociate themselves from any Bannerjee sock-puppets. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gruending On Canadian Churches, Climate Change, And Durban

Its all good, but my favorite bit is about how The National Post felt it necessary to spike Rex Murphy's geriatric rage at the fact a mere African might dare to criticize Canada's environmental record:

The advertisement generated a torrent of exaggerated invective from some of the usual suspects – including CBC Television’s Rex Murphy. The National Post newspaper said, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu should shut his trap when it comes to the oilsands.” The newspaper later removed that sentence — but not before the boorish comment was widely read and re-posted by many news organizations and NGOs.

PS. Progressives are criticizing the Durban Agreement because it accomplished so little; Deniers like Rex Murphy are criticizing its very existence.  Believe it or not, Progressives won this round, if just by a little bit.

No Rice For Ezra: Uncle Ben's Pulls Advertising From Sun TV!

Dear Mr. Murphy,

Based on feedback from consumers such as yourself, UNCLE BEN'S will not be advertising on Sun TV in 2012.

We thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns and for your loyalty towards the UNCLE BEN'S brand.

If you wish to post a statement to your blog, please only post the above statement.

We thank you for your interest in our products.


Your Friends at MARS Canada Inc.

Background here.  BOOYAH!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wind Concerns Ontario Shuts Down Blog

Due to a threat of legal action, this site will no longer be updated... about all it says.  No response yet from the "For more info" email given, the comments section has been closed, and no info on either the twitter feed or Facebook page.

For those wondering, Wind Concerns was the grassroots, or perhaps astroturf, group that so fiercely opposed McGuinty's Green Energy Act, and more generally the installation of wind turbines in rural Ontario.  I've written about them before, in particular their shady funding arrangements.

Since the provincial election, however, and not long after Mike De Souza discovered that the PWU (Power Worker's Union) was funding an secret astroturf  campaign against the Act, WCO has experienced a series of reversals.  Firstly, their President John LaForet quit the group.  Now they are knuckling under to a legal threat from who knows who? 

Has somebody lost their funding?  Seems like these guys had plenty of legal help up until the election.

They're Going To Do WHAT???

 The McGuinty Liberals are going to allow mining in Temagami, by a company from freakin' CALGARY?  That's sacred ground up there, where Bob Rae put it all on the line back in 1989

We shall assume this is some kind of cock up on the Ministerial front, and that a clarification shall be issued immediately claiming it was all a bad dream.

Birds And Wind Turbines

 An interesting study in PLoS ONE: Collision Mortality Has No Discernible Effect on Population Trends of North American Birds.  The authors essentially conclude that, while

"...millions of North American birds are killed annually by collisions with manmade structures, this source of mortality has no discernible effect on populations.

Naturally, I wanted to specify where wind-turbines fit into this picture, so I emailed one of the authors,  Robert M. Zink from the Bell Museum of Natural History.  He was kind enough to respond last evening, explaining that turbines constituted a relatively small component of man-induced avian mortality, in fact a trivial component when considered next to the effects of windows or even house-cats.

Mind you, this isn't an excuse not to make structures as bird-proof as possible.  The City of Toronto, for example has guidelines re how to do that here.  Zink's study is also fairly broad-brushed, and I don't know that it accounts for possible effects upon species at risk such as the Bobolinks of Grand Valley, where Grand Valley Wind Farms wants to build nine turbines.  In such instances, there might well be reason to oppose the developer's efforts.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Michael Coren, Your Tears Sustain Me

Michael speculates as to who the aggressors in The Liberal War On Xmas might actually be--those shadowy folk who are always trying have it cancelled, or trying to replace "Merry Xmas!  with "Happy Holiday!", or trying to have the whole thing renamed "STFU Day", or who go to the mall and tell all the kids in line that its not really Santa, and he probably drinks.

Well, Michael Coren,  I am those people.  And  you do  get some stuff right in your column: its not a strictly anti-christian thing--I hate Santa even more than Jesus.  But it isn't a crusade against "The West" by any means. Its something at once deeper and more idealistic than that.

Put simply, we militant secularists are against Joy.  Life is boiled potatoes, offered on a plate without even margarine as a condiment.  Xmas just makes people think that life is boiled potatoes with a bunch of gross sticky syrupy stuff added, that seems good for a bit and then tastes nauseating in its sweetness, which makes you lie around on the couch and fart like a pig for two weeks as your stomach reels from the excess!  And which all just disguises the fact that once February comes around its back to boiled potatoes again, straight-up. 

And as Joy breeds Hope, and Hope is never justified, we militant secularists eschew both.  And if we don't need Joy and Hope, neither does anyone else.  Quod erat demonstrandum.

Our philosophy is best articulated in that Xmas Classic cartoon How The Grinch Stole Xmas!  Except you have to ignore the last five minutes of it, where The Grinch, on the very cusp of victory, cracks at the sound of music (there's a reason the Taliban hate music!) and gives those freaks in Whoville all their Xmas Crap back!  Which, I might add, mostly winds up in a landfill before New Years Day!

I hear the studio insisted thay add that bit, but it totally spoils the story-line.  My heart is broken every time I watch.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Anyone Ever Heard of Newstex?

They've asked me a couple of times to syndicate BCLSB.  Anyone tried this?  Will riches be mine?  The process, as they describe it, seems pretty painless at my end.  Any other up/downside?

Their website is here.

Still No Digital Goldmine For National Post

 This article is several hundred words of Paul Godfrey whistling past the grave-yard.  Meanwhile, PostMedia stocks take a familiar course:

Meanwhile, they've turned out the lights to trim their power bills in the PostMedia HQ just down the road from me.  Jonathon Kay and his mom huddle in the darkness, burning unsold newspapers to keep warm.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Media Culpa On Margaret Wente's General Crappiness

Migrating quotes, improper attribution, possible borderline plagiarism. Margaret Wente columns have it all.

LPOC Approaches The Singularity

Or something. 

PS. It just came in the mail yesterday.  I am of course sooo proud.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

On Mark Steyn's Latest T.O. Appearance

The crowed loved Mark, but I wish the audience wasn't so damned geriatric.

Throwaway lines
Often ring true

Jewish Defence League Crashes Vigil

Many anti Israel bloggers defamed the JDL.  The JDL according to these bloggers are worst than evil.  The JDL according to these bloggers should be sent to jail and have all their rights taken away.  However, despite all the efforts from these anti Israel bloggers, the JDL did attend the candlelight vigil.

They don't seem to have gotten any press coverage.  Anyone that attended and saw them (or didn't) please make a note in comments.

Background here.

Tory Crazy Passes From Federal To Provincial Level

These three men are part of a multi-faith coalition that think McGuinty's anti-bullying bill is a "front" for a “radical sex education” agenda.

I don't know anything about Rabbi Mendel Kaplan; Jack Fonsesca (far left) is with the Campaign Life Coalition, so we can assume he's a few cans short of a six pack.  But the guy in the middle is Rondo Thomas (name inverted in the original story).  He's a pal of Charles McVety, and if you remember (I do!) he ran for the federal Tories back in 2006 against Mark Holland in Ajax-Pickering.  Got into a little trouble, he did, when a video of him exhorting his followers against same sex marriage came to light.  That video seems gone now--at least all the old links to it dead-end. but a few highlights of his remarks have been preserved for posterity (bolding is mine):
OTTAWA—A Conservative candidate who believes Adam and Eve set the standard for marriage in the Garden of Eden 6,000 years ago is being criticized for controversial remarks about gay unions.

And my favorite:
There is going to be a clash of morality views between those who believe in righteousness and those who believe in immorality and when we collide there is going to be conflict…It doesn’t matter what the media says, it doesn’t matter what the government says — the facts don’t count. We are going to win this conflict.
So, not only anti-gay, but against facts as well.  Now, wisely, Tim Hudak stayed away from this presser, but Frank Klees hosted, and MPPs Lisa MacLeod and Peter Shurman apparently showed up.  So, in short, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives are still courting the nutbar vote.  Definitely not ready to rule.

Update: Some more information on Mendel "gays are an abomination" Kaplan.  He's rabbi for York Region police.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Yo Andrew Cash!

Your robo-call last evening, forwarding me to Joe Daniel's constit office when I pressed 1 so I could bitch about the long-gun registry repeal, would have worked better if I had received it during office hours.  Nevertheless, I left a message on Joe's answering machine: "Hey! Joe Daniel: keep those crazy guns off our streets!" Don't know if that helped or not.

 Don't worry, Andrew.  You guys will  figure it out eventually.  Hopefully soon.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Jewish Defense League Plans To Crash "Women Won't Forget" Vigil a little Muzzie bashing.  Why?  From their website:

 Marc Lepine’s father Liess Gharbi was an Algerian immigrant, a Muslim Extremist  who taught his boy how to hate women...

Dawg's  unpacked this formulation ages ago, so I'm not going to bother.  More to the point, the University of Toronto has discovered JDL's plan and asked them to nix it:

Dear JDL Canada,

It has come to our attention that your website indicates you are planning to host an event next Tuesday, December 6th in Philosopher's Walk. The property in question is owned by the University and is not available for groups to book. As well, Philosopher's Walk will be the site of the annual Women Won't Forget candlelight vigil on the same date at the memorial location.

I would kindly insist that you relocate your event and not use Philosopher's Walk.

Steve Bailey

Steven Bailey
Director, Office of Space Management
University of Toronto
McMurrich Building, 4th Floor
12 Queen's Park Crescent West
Toronto, ON
M5S 1S8

But, last I looked, Meir Weinstein still intends to go ahead with the JDL demonstration, which decision can only be characterized as depraved:

Dear Steve Bailey,

The Women Won't Forget candlelight vigil is a public event. I believe it is important for the public to attend. JDL is part of a multi faith coalition that respects and supports events for Dec 6th. The victims of Marc Lepine should be remembered. We are asking our supporters to attend and light a candle.


Meir Weinstein
National Director Jewish Defence League of Canada

Given the JDL's penchant for confrontation, though, what happens if one of the WWF people, quite justifiably outraged by the fact that their event is being used as a platform for race-baiting, tries to jam one of those candles up Meir Weinstein's ass.  Will we see that patented spin & kick move of his, that he hasn't used much lately since his hip went?  After all, he can't rely on the "security detail" from Canadian Hindu Advocacy; those two skinny hindi don't weigh 98 lbs together in a sack.

Toronto Sun Get Is Right!

 Clearly, one of last week's layoffs was their copy editor.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Now That's More Like It!

 In an earlier post, I worried that the LPoC might be losing its edge.  Clearly I spoke too soon.  Because Jason Cherniak wants some party functionary I've never heard of to resign, and James Curran wants Jason to resign for wanting that functionary to resign. All over an email asking what LPoC Members might want to discuss at that January convention thingy I'm not going to. 

Yes!  Go Team!  Because if you don't practice on one another, you won't be in shape for 2015.

Me, Uncle Ben's, And Fox News North: Will Uncle Ben's Pull Its Advertising?

As a few people have noted elsewhere, Sun TV has been running gay-bashing/transphobic ads from McVety's gang at the Institute for Canadian Values, and this has spawned a campaign on to boycott Fox News North advertisers.  Having watched the ads a couple of times (sorry, though, no link--SDMatt, the source of most Sun TV youtube clips, has apparently had his account hacked), I noticed that the ad always seemed to appear in combination with an ad for Alarm Force and an ad for Uncle Ben's rice.  Glancing through our cupboard--Lo and Behold!--I found tons of Uncle Ben's.  So, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted their marketing department.  This is my latest missive to them, from last week:

I emailed you about this topic several weeks ago, but have not kept the file number you assigned me.

Specifically, one of the stations you advertise on in Canada (Sun TV) has been pairing your commercials with a gay-bashing ad from the Institute of Canadian Values (see below).

When I first emailed, I was told that it was difficult to predict where and when Uncle Ben's ads would turn up on Sun TV, but if you compare the video below to the earlier link I sent it is fairly clear they are running the gay bashing ad, plus a commercial from Alarm Force, plus your commercial, as a package.

Now, it isn't as though I would ever stop eating Uncle Ben's products over something like this. My wife and I had a package of your brown rice with braised ribs and asparagus tonight, and it was quite wonderful. I would only suggest that Sun TV is not an appropriate venue for your rice products. In addition to inapprorpriately postioning your brand, they have interviewed any number of convicted racists and Neo-Nazis, and have attracted a number of product petitions as a result (see link below). I hope you will reconsider advertising with these people.

Yesterday, I recieved a rather promising reply:

Dear Mr. Murphy,

Thank you for your follow-up email regarding our UNCLE BEN's® advertising.

We had forwarded your comments to our marketing team for review. Advertising is usually purchased in advance so our marketing team may not be able to remove ads from Sun TV at the present time. That being said, we will be evaluating our advertising strategies for the coming year, and your comments will assist in determining future activities with our brand.

We appreciate your concern and will certainly share your additional comments with our marketing team.


Your Friends at MARS Canada Inc.

So, if anyone reading this is involved in the SunSet campaign, it might be worthwhile dropping a line to the good uncle.  After all, if you like the product (as I certainly do), why not politely informed its maker that they are putting their brand in some peril.

An Anonymous Conservative Speaks Out Re Peter Mackay

If it was one of Chretien's lackeys caught doing this BS on the public dime, I doubt very much that any one of us would cut them any slack for it, so why should we do so when it happens to be someone that we voted for? The overwhelming reason that most of us voted for Harper was because we expect him to be responsible with the public purse, and everytime that nonsense like this comes to light, the more it reinforces the perception that the only difference between political parties is the colour of the posters they stand in front of when they lie to us.


Mind you, the more often expressed view among CPoC supporters is that MacKay is entitled to his entitlements:

As a Minister of the Crown, private or commercial transportation should be used whenever reasonable to do so. That being said, MacKay's record as a Minister has earned him the right for us to cut him a little slack on this one even if it may have been inappropriate.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tories Make Play For Anti-Xmas Vote

So close. If they had banned celebrating they would have earned my vote forever. Meanwhile, its time once again for the annual Liberal War on Xmas. I will fight alone if I must, but I thought for a moment I had the Harper gov. on-side.
In any case, have a miserable holiday. Remember, when you are overconsuming in the most grotesque fashion imaginable, that there are kids starving in China.

CIJA Goes Soft On Section 13!

Asked if the Jewish community would benefit from the retention of Section 13, [CIJA CEO Shimon] Fogel stated: “What was intended as a shield against hate has become a sword. Certainly in its day, it was helpful in confronting the challenges related to the likes of [Holocaust denier] Ernst Zundel… What it has really done is create difficulties for those who might legitimately want to raise questions about groups or ideas that in fact are a threat to the Jewish community or Israel. In effect, the act has become an instrument to chill critical debate about important issues like radical Islam.”

CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, is not yet advocating a repeal.  Instead they will hold "consultations" with the Jewish community in order to help determine their position going forward.

In a personal communication, JDL-Canada's Meir Weinstein tells me that he supports Fogel's position on Section 13; I would assume then that this is the official position of the JDL.

In more JDL-related news, that alleged bomb plot of a couple of months back, in which several JDL members were accused of trying to plant a bomb near Palestine House, turns out to be been based on a hoax phone call to the RCMP.  So says the JDL wiki page, at least.

PS. CIJA, as WK intimates, is the group that the old Canadian  Jewish Congress was "folded into".  They are a...bit different...than the old CJC, however.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Freak Scene: Man Returns To Sinking Ship!

Not something you see everyday.  And, yes, Andrew, when your career change finally comes, I do want fries with that.

The Globe & Mail Takes Steps To Remove Itself From National Conversation

 The Globe and Mail has announced it will move some of its digital content behind a paywall in the summer of 2012.

More details here:

The Globe and Mail will still feature a robust business-news site for non-subscribers, and that news will be available on mobile devices. Deeper analysis pieces, some feature columnists, and other exclusive features will be provided to paying subscribers. The subscription-based site, which offers personalized stock charts, e-mailed stock alerts and archived news reports, will be folded into the new paid product. It will be expanded with more personalized features for readers.

Do a thought experiment: one columnist is gassing off about something for free; another is gassing off on the same topic but wants you to pay to go behind a pay-wall to witness.  Which will you read and link to?

PS.  Looks like the Irvings don't get it either.  Or maybe they do and this is just a desperate Hail Mary before the final dirt-nap.