Monday, December 31, 2012

Go Away Michael Ignatieff

That is all.

PS. You don't have to read this piece on Iggy's latest brainstorm. In fact, I'm linking to it so that you can positively decide not to read it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Leaked Coren! Most People At Sun News Network Are Gay!

See here for more.

Is A Sun News Network Insider Trying To Screw The Sun News Network?

...or are they just trying to screw Michael Coren?

This is the second bit of embarrassing Michael  Coren footage to have appeared within the last couple of days.

The first can be found here (although, truth be told, the audio looks to have been fiddled with--and there's an edit at the 7 second mark--but the gestures are all real).

Perhaps not coincidentally, Sun News is making a 2nd  attempt at getting mandatory carriage.  The decision on this, I hear from company insiders from the management layer, could come down sometime in the new year.  And, I am told, the station is done like dinner if the ruling goes against them.  Presumably, video of their on-air personalities giving what look very much like fascist salutes will exert a negative influence on the CRTC when they finally rule.

But where did all this stuff originate?  It looks like program outtakes, and why would anyone at Sun  News  leak outtakes?  Who can say, really? But the parent company has laid off and is still laying off 100s of people.  Is somebody inside trying to strike back?

Best Comment In Response To "Jim Flaherty Wears Makeup" Story

When I worked as a civil servant I bought my own makeup.

More On Birds, Bats,Turtles, And Wind Farms

From Today's London Free Press:

As Conservative Senator Bob Runciman pointed out in a news release, that approval [for a complex at Ostrander Point], like so many others, was granted against local wishes. The project also “threatens migratory birds and bats and it makes no sense from an energy standpoint,” the senator said.

Runciman points out that another wind farm in a designated important bird area, Wolfe Island, has a kill rate for birds and bats “that is seven times the industry average in Canada, primarily because it is located in the wrong spot.”

The actual number counted between July and December of 2009 at Wolfe Island was 602 birds, which may or may not be higher than the industry standard.  Nevertheless, ornithologists tend to be unmoved by such figures.  To keep things in perspective (from a news release):

An Estimated 14,000 Migratory Birds Die Every Day in Toronto


“One to ten birds die per building, per year in Toronto alone,” says Michael Mesure, Executive Director of FLAP. “Currently, over 940,000 registered buildings in this region pose this threat.”

Here's a collection of just a few of them:

Now, in regards to the project at Ostrander Point: you can see what Gilead Power (the project developer) has to do to ameliorate the effect of their turbine farm here.  Furthermore, I've written earlier about the set of requirements that Grand Valley Wind Farms Inc. was made to follow to build nine wind turbines in the Township of East Luther Grand Valley, and the situation with Ostrander Point strikes me as similar:

The restrictions seem quite elaborate, and involve "more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost", for example providing and maintaining....habitat on nearby [project developer] owned land and timing construction activity to avoid the...nesting season. 

I would note additionally that some anti-wind folk appear to believe that the turbines at Ostrander Point will have a negative impact on the local population of Blanding's Turtle.  Of course they won't; it's the roads that must be built to service them that are the problem.  Turtles like roads; they like to sun themselves on them, to cross them, and to lay their eggs in the loose gravel alongside of them.  Hence the speed bumps and signage noted in the regs, and the limitations on when construction and road maintenance can take place.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Bit Of Childhood Lost

A lot of good folk have passed this Xmas. I didn't even know this guy's name before today, though I owned, when I was very young, a two pound metal model of Thunderbird 2
...given to me for Xmas , which I played with diligently for a couple of years before it fell apart under the constant pounding.   Not like the crappy gifts they give the youth of today (or, as I like to call them The YOT), which wind up in the landfill after 48 hours.

PS.  And if you are too young to know who Captain Scarlett or the Mysterons were , then you are deprived:

...and of course the song they inspired:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Another Early Xmas Gift: Patrick Ross Is Bankrupt

Patrick Ross, who defamed and was successfully sued by Canadian Cynic, has declared personal bankruptcy (scroll to bottom).  Since notice of personal bankruptcy only remains on your credit record for six years, it will now be up to the Internet to ensure that the unrepentant Mr. Ross remains penniless after that time period is up.  Thanks to Connie and Mark and the folks at FreeD for their efforts in this regard.  Now, and forever, whenever someone googles Mr. Ross's name, the facts of his case, and the facts regarding his credit history, will be the first thing anyone sees.  Which is ironic because that's the same method Patrick Ross used to spread his defamation around the Net.  Have a pleasant holiday, Patrick Ross.  Living in your parents basement is probably bad enough at 31.  By your 40th its really going to suck.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pfizer Abandons Heartland Institute

From one of the very few media outlets that has bothered to pick up the story, an early Xmas gift:

A major pharmaceutical company has opted to sever ties with a libertarian think tank that provides arguments critical of global warming and the effects of tobacco smoking.

Pfizer Inc., a New York City-based business that boasts of being the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, decided to cut financial support from the Heartland Institute.

Pfizer's decision came about after lot of hard-work that started this Spring after the leak of HI's financial statements and their short-lived and yet now infamous billboard campaign.  As Brad Johnson of Forecast the Facts put it:

This was the result of a sustained campaign by a lot of people. We at Forecast the Facts applied pressure on lots of fronts -- getting customers to complain on Facebook and phone calls, flyering Pfizer employees at their NY headquarters, flyering participants of medical conferences sponsored by Pfizer, writing blog posts and putting out media statements and working with other bloggers and writers at the New York Times and specialty health publications, coordinating with the American Thoracic Society, American Cancer Society, and numerous other health groups (many of which take funding from Pfizer). We also worked with Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, shareholder groups, SumOfUs, and other great organizations who also applied invaluable pressure on Pfizer's board.

And, just to blow my own horn a little, one of  2012's few concrete accomplishments here at BCLSB was my campaign to convince of number of "experts" associated with HI to cut their ties to the organization after the aforementioned billboard campaign.  Nice to see their gradual ostracization within the lobbying community and, more importantly, their gradual de-funding has continued apace.  Its probably safe to say that HI has lost $100,000s in industry support since May.

PS.  More here.

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Rules Against Rob and Doug Ford

From when they had David "The Menzoid" Menzies from Sun TV On:

Menzies went on to talk about coverage Mayor Ford has received in the Toronto Star newspaper.  He made the following statement, referring to the 2010 campaign for mayorship of the City of Toronto:

I remember an incident that happened in the campaign, which I think speaks so much of the double standard and the kind of personal brutality you have gone through.  I remember, I believe it was a retired doctor, at one of the all-candidates meetings, who got up and he said words to the effect, Mayor, “Well, you know, I’m lookin’ at you and you’re obviously very overweight and I see sweat patches under your arms and your face is red and beads of perspiration.  How do we know that, when you get the stressful mayor, er, stressful job of being the mayor of Toronto this won’t, you know, stress you out to such a degree you’ll have a heart attack?”  Right?  You know, so, the idea, yeah, see, folks?  He, he, he’s too chubby a guy.  We’re doin’ this for his own health, to keep him away, you know, from, from dying while he’s in office.  Could you imagine, Mayor Ford and Councillor Ford, could you imagine if I was at that all-candidates meeting and I went to George Smitherman.  And I said “You know what?  You know, George, being a practising homosexual and being the fact that you’ve been involved with all kinds of illicit drug use, how do we know you won’t engage in high-risk sex and drug use that will bring about, uh, HIV leading to AIDS and you’ll die in office?”  I would be run out of town on a rail, right?!  You know, oh no, we can’t say that!  But you know what?  The mayor, fat guy?  Let’s heap it on.  Let’s bully this guy to death.  And it is despicable and it speaks of the double standard with the left-wing media in this city, Mayor Ford.

Doug Ford responded by saying that he and his brother have been complimented for standing up to the Toronto Star and Menzies made negative comments about other city councillors who he said were “hostile” toward Mayor Ford.  Mayor Ford’s response was “David, that’s, uh, phenomenal.”

You can hear the tape of that show here.  I should say that I'm not a big George Smitherman fan; in fact, I'm a big non-fan of George Smitherman.  But David Menzies is a 0 class boob and in this case the Fords were his enablers.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Campaign Buttons For LPoC Leadership Contenders

I'm thinking I might give the old political consultant business a try, figuring that if LaForet can pull it off how hard can it be?  So I've had several buttons made up as a kind of "proof of concept", and if these are successful, more will follow.  The two buttons are shown below, accompanied by some notes as to the thinking that went into them, and a few ideas for future projects:

Button #1:
And Button #2:

So, one closely guarded trade secret among us consultant types is that excitement can be added to pretty much any political talking point just by using exclamation marks.  Note the three exclamation marks  I have employed in the very exciting button #1.  The same principle can be imagined in extremis by means of the following example: say we are running a candidate for some office who is young and charismatic.  We might create a pin for this candidate with lettering that read simply:


But--and this is where the real excitement would get added--every letter of the text, including the exclamation point...would be composed of tiny little exclamation points!  As though to say that this guy is made of so full of the stuff that he might just go off any second.

Obviously, attempting such an approach with Marc Garneau would strain credulity.  These are only tin buttons we're talking about, not some kind of magical ring.  And indeed, my Button #2 dials back the number of exclamation points to evoke a quieter, more contemplative mood.  A thinking man's button, as it were.

In any case, if these two items sell big, I have plans for several additional Garneau campaign pins ready to implement.  For example:

Marc Garneau: He Is THE OTHER ONE


Garneau: He'll Put His Finger On It, Not Stick His Foot In It

...but I'm afraid this latter message is a bit long and might have to be stretched across two buttons, which would drive up my production costs.

Furthermore, my so far unnamed consulting business (and, by the way, if anyone wants to help with that, let 'er rip in the comments) won't just be about buttons.  I will also be offering more traditional political advise, ranging from don't insult Alberta because they're a bunch of vindictive pricks all the way to when speechifying in a restaurant/banquet-hall setting, do NOT quench your thirst from from the finger bowl.  (Technically, you can--its just a bit soapy, is all--but people find it gauche.)

My advice may not be the absolute best you can find out there, but it will be cheap and the portions, as it were, will be ample.

So I'm just going to sit back and let my buttons go viral.  You may place orders in the comments.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ezra In The (Jewish) News

I would just note that this piece in the Canadian Jewish News almost entirely ignores the ongoing hate-speech investigation of Ezra Levant, preferring instead to focus on an address he gave to the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO’s Hatikvah chapter, which is a Jewish women's group.  Ezra's spiel, not surprisingly, was yet another tired rehash of his time with the Western Standard, his publication of the Danish cartoons, and yada yada yada.  The closest CJN staff writer Frances Kraf gets to reporting on the only new news about Levant is:

More recently, Levant’s Sept. 5 on-air rant on Sun News against Canada’s Roma community prompted the Toronto Roma Community Centre to launch a hate speech complaint with Toronto police that is currently under investigation.

Since the paragraphs before and after this contain nothing but Levant blithering on about Freedom and etc., I can only assume he refused to speak of his latest difficulties.  But you know, journalists aren't supposed to let that kind of thing go.  What ever happened to asking the hard questions and demanding straight answers?

When You Watch This Video Spare A Thought For The Eagle

It probably has kids of its own.  And this morning they are going unfed.

PS. Not sure if its fake or not.  Though this guy thinks it is.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ethical Oil Makes A Move

From John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada:

Tuesday the pressure further escalated when a thick 65 page fax arrived from lawyers (JSS Barristers Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP) representing Ethical Oil. It was a copy of a complaint Ethical Oil filed with the Canadian Revenue Agency the previous week alleging the Sierra Club Canada Foundation was in violation of tax rules.

So, quiet as things may have seemed on the surface lately, Ezra's gang--which may be down to Ezra himself these days--have still been collecting money from someone.

Sun Media To Sell Off Alberta Papers In 2013?

The question: why did Quebecor close one paper in Ontario with 6 employees and circulation of about 18k, but keep a couple of papers in Alberta with ten employees and less than 3k in circulation?

The answer, perhaps: even though the rural Alberta papers have low circulation, they were likely not closed because arrangements were made to sell them, and these days a closed paper has no value but one still running has some resale value.  You will see a lot of Alberta SunMedia papers change hands in January.

We'll check back in the new year.

You Don't Have To Read This Story

Its Xmas and, with pages and pages to fill, even what a banker does on his holidays is occasion for a few 100 words. But believe me, when millions of Canadians open their newspapers this morning they will skip this story on their way to the sports section.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Doug Ford May Be Getting An Idea

Time to run.  Follow the whole unfolding tragedy here.

Irfan Canada Pulls Out Of Reviving The Islamic Spirit (RIS) Conference

Reviving the Islamic Spirit is the conference Justin Trudeau will be speaking at next weekend, and Irfan Canada is the "controversial" group that caused this week's media dust-up.  My favorite bit from the release:

Over the years speakers have included the late Jack Layton, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Robert Fisk, Pamela Paul, Ambassador Atalla Shabazz, Chris Hedges, Dr. John Ralston Saul, Prof. Syed Hosein Nasr, former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli and former Toronto Chief of Police Julian Fantino.


“On the tenth anniversary (2011), The Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent a congratulatory statement and the government of Canada issued certificates to each of the speakers,” said Ahmed.

So the Tory government gets a free pass from the conservative media when they have truck with these groups; the NDP gets a free pass when they have truck with these groups.  But when the Liberals do it, everyone cries "soft on terror".  Credit to the Justin Trudeau campaign, though; they at least were willing to stand their ground.  Iggy would have gone into his full-Hamlet routine, and spent a month wringing his hands in public.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kenney Defends The Government Re The Roma

An excerpt from a Jason Kenney interview, where he justifies the Canadian gov's  stance re Hungary's treatment of the Roma:

 I have repeatedly condemned those voices of intolerance and xenophobia and continue to so as I did when I was in Hungary, in part expressing my solidarity with those in the Roma community who face discrimination and who are targeted by this kind of xenophobic rhetoric... That's why I ... went out to a small Roma village and met with people, went to a Roma school ... met with grassroots from community leaders in Miskolz ... I would point out that the designation of a country of origin in our asylum system is not, as you suggest, some kind of a -- it doesn't offer a country bragging rights. 

We continue to say that Hungary and the central European countries must do much more to integrate and protect the Roma and other vulnerable minority communities. That doesn’t change. 

At the end of the day, the designation is not that a country is 100% safe for 100% of its citizens 100% of the time.  

Well, shit, I've condemned all sorts of people in my time.  I've even denounced them.  For example:
(Yeah that's me.  With my hair long Donald Sutherland looks a lot like me)

...but the point being, once I did all this denouncing nothing changed

So Kenney did a bunch of denouncing.  What if nothing changes in Hungary?  That country still gets 100% of the benefits of being a "safe country" whether of not they do anything to make their country safer for their Roma (or Jewish for that matter) minority.  Maybe they don't get "bragging rights", but they still get Canadian $ in any Canada/EU Free Trade Deal.

CIJA On Designated Countries Of Origin

In response to Kenney's list, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs remains relatively mush-mouthed, but notes the following points of concern:

However, we believe there are two key deficiencies in the DCO regulations that should be addressed. First, there are no clear provisions for how a designated country could be removed from the list should the situation there merit a re-evaluation. Second, DCO applicants awaiting a ruling by the IRB only have access to the same basic healthcare coverage extended to failed claimants awaiting deportation. We propose that DCO refugee applicants receive the same health coverage as non-DCO applicants awaiting adjudication of their claims, especially given their expedited evaluation process.

As others have pointed out previously, the CBC story says that giving the EU a clan bill of health, whatever the conditions on the ground in countries like Hungary "...removes a major irritant in the process of negotiating a Canadian trade agreement with the EU".  Interestingly enough, CIJA is "encouraged by" this latter country's recent attempts to protect its Roma and Jewish populations.  I suppose they're thinking  about stuff like this.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gerard Kennedy Event In Ottawa

This is a public service announcement, not an endorsement.  Very not an endorsement, in fact:

Dear Gerard Kennedy enthusiast,

We continue to work together to help Gerard Kennedy earn the position of leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and our next Premier.

We are pleased to have the Honourable Terry M. Mercer, Senator, will lend support to the cause. 

If you are in the Ottawa area, I hope you can join us and bring a friend. It will be a great chance to meet up new friends who care about Ontario as much as you do. You'll also get to know some members of Gerard's Ottawa team.

Gerard Kennedy’s Ottawa Cocktail Fundraiser
Monday December 17
5-7 PM
Grounded: 100 Gloucester street at O'Connor. Downtown Ottawa.

Suggested contribution is $25. We are looking forward to seeing you.

Thank you!
- Gerard Kennedy Campaign -- Ottawa Branch
Facebook invite:

Not an endorsement.  Just a public service announcement.  Remember that.

Glen Murray's Good Idea

Frankly, everyone in the OLP's leadership race ought to get behind the idea of abandoning delegated conventions, because:

“Liberals from everywhere in Ontario should be able to participate fully in all aspects of leadership selection — not just those who are able to serve as delegates and can afford the trip to the convention...”

Exactly: I paid for my membership; I should be able to vote.  I shouldn't have to face the indignity of getting approved as a delegate for candidate whoever and, should that candidate drop out, get traded to someone else.

Its also, frankly, a dirt cheap way for the potentials to signal that they are for party renewal and party transparency.  Right now, the debates, the tv appearances; these are a charade that goes on in public while the real work (selling memberships and etc.) goes on backstage.

Finally, Scott Tribe says OLP has been discussing what they will do/not do with bloggers at the convention.  Anyone hear what the outcome was?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Brief Note On Justin's Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Of course the chatterers will chatter, but if the Harper gov. wants to make something of Mr. Trudeau's speaking at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference next week, one might point out that the Tories have not only appeared with people "linked" to terrorist organizations, they ran one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who Killed Conservative Ideologue Jonathon Kay...

...and replaced him with this bag of compassionate centrist mush?  The column is factually correct, but Jeezuz talk about no fun anymore.  Can someone get his momma to smack a spine into him?   I dunno what happened to the guy.  I figure he must have got a glimpse of The Reaper, and is now trying to get straight with Jesus.  Or maybe the wheels of the law gradually ground him down.  But his "new direction" doesn't do me any good at all.  With Conservative media outlets firing people left right and center and him gone soft, I'm running out of people to yell at.

Police Hate Speech investigation Against Ezra Levant "Ongoing"

... and police have referred it to the Crown attorney’s office.

Not much to report on this front, but more than I had previously heard, which is that the police were sitting on the file.

So there you have it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Error Upon Error

Rumor has it that cut-backs at Sun Media means staff have been forced to buy word processing software without a spell-check function.

From here.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Carry On Roma

With all the to-do about these folks lately, I thought the following might be apropos:

Dec. 6, 2012 — Despite their modern-day diversity of language, lifestyle, and religion, Europe's widespread Romani population shares a common, if complex, past. It all began in northwestern India about 1,500 years ago...


The genome-wide evidence specified the geographic origin toward the north or northwestern parts of India and provided a date of origin of about 1,500 years ago. While the Middle East and Caucasus regions are known to have had an important influence on Romani language, the researchers saw limited evidence for shared genetic ancestry between the European Romani and those who live in those regions of the world today. Once in Europe, Romani people began settling in various locations, likely spreading across Europe via the Balkan region about 900 years ago.

You can read abstract here.

More Sun Media Newspapers Close Their Doors

From the "That Didn't Take Long, Did It?" department: 

The Windsor This Week and Leamington Post websites are already down and folks who try and access those sites are automatically redirected to the Toronto Sun.

The Amherstburg Echo, whose site was taken down a few weeks ago resulting in people being redirected to Windsor This Week, also now has web surfers redirected to Toronto Sun.

Guelph Review site was still active (as of roughly 6:40 p.m. EST Friday evening Dec. 7) and those trying to find the K-W Review online are redirected to the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Dunnville Chronicle's website is no more with people redirected now to the Simcoe Reformer.

West Niagara News is offline with people redirected to the St. Catharines Standard website.

The Capital City News website has also vanished with the Ottawa Sun's website popping up instead.

More on this story here.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Ethical Oil Update: Jamie Ellerton Demoted?

I emailed Jamie Ellerton, who until recently was listed as Executive Director of the Ethical Oil Institute, and he was kind enough to respond as follows:

I remain with Ethical Oil as the part-time spokesperson. Stay tuned for what's to come in the new year.

Now that's interesting, as it implies he no longer holds the above-noted title.  And, more specifically,  "part-time spokesperson" is what Kathryn Marshall became after her epic on-air meltdown in late 2011 (or was it early 2012?).  So...a demotion for Jamie?  I asked him also if he was behind the resurgent EO twitter-feed, but he has not yet responded.  I strongly suspect he is not, just based on the fact that Kathryn has had very little to do with the organization since the shake-up that saw her, as it were,  busted down to private.

So, is EO back to being a one man operation until Ezra Levant finds himself another shill?

Friday, December 07, 2012

Study In Place Of Action

From MERX:

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses (LFZ) has developed preliminary predictive modelling tools to quantify the public health impacts to Canadian residents from biological hazards with emphasis on the expected direct and indirect impacts of climate change. LFZ requires a Contractor with expertise in predictive modelling of microbial hazards, climate change impacts, population health, and food and water safety to provide technical services to develop risk models. An existing risk modelling framework and database architecture will be expanded upon to include consideration of additional pathogen/product combinations. Additional modules will be added to the framework with the long-term goal of expressing the impacts of climate change on food and water safety in various public health (e.g., Disability Adjusted Life Years) and economic measures.

More generally, it looks like, for the foreseeable future, "action" on the environment amounts to doing what the Americans do, if and only if they do anything at all.  As I've said once or twice before, if you really want to effect change on this file in Canada, you lobby the yanks.

Ethical Oil Comes Alive

After almost three months of dead air, a single  story in the Fort Mc newspaper of record (and a post from some crazy left-wing blogger) triggers a frenzy of activity on  the Ethical Oil Twitter feed:
What you want to ask here is...who is driving the feed?  It does not seem to be their executive director Jamie Ellerton, because his recent (last 48 hours) activity is concerned more with very much other things, whereas previously he would tout EO 24/7 on his personal feed whenever they were pumping out content.  I've emailed JE asking if he's still involved in the project, but have thus far received no response.

So all of these tweets could be generated by a desperate Ezra from the home office of his rental.  He may be trying to convince potential donors that he's still worth giving their lobbying $s to.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ezra Levant Forced To Deny Rumors Of EO Shutdown

Rumours surrounding the death of Ethical Oil, arguably Canada’s most vocal and controversial pro-oilsands lobbying group, are greatly exaggerated, says movement founder and Sun Media personality Ezra Levant.


Murmurs that Levant’s brainchild [Ethical Oil] was shutting down have been swirling on social media and in online forums since early September, when the group’s Twitter account, blog and Facebook page ceased being active.

However, the hiatus appears to be temporary. Levant says the website is currently being redesigned and the group will be launching a “grassroots recruitment project in the new year,” which he hopes will become active in January 2013.

Its always good to have hope.  But, with Joe Oliver abandoning EO-style rhetoric as counter-productive, its hard to know what possible use these guys might be.

PS.  I'd like to think I help spread some of those rumors.

Mathys Get Punked

A quick update to this post from April 2012, which is about a paper withdrawn from the journal Applied Mathematics Letters because it had "no mathematical content".  Now we have second paper retracted from the same journal because it made "no sense mathematically".  A summary:

There’s nothing new in this paper, so it’s consistent with something, we’re not sure what. But we have raised a very serious question! OK, people have been raising that question for centuries, but this is important, dammit. The fact that we haven’t actually added anything to the discussion of that question? Please move along, nothing to see here.

At the time, Dr. Dawg compared the situation around paper #1 to The Sokal Affair.  Since here many of the same people are involved (the journal editor, now replaced, and a co-author), I think his argument still holds good: the hard sciences are just as prone to being pranked as the soft.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Western University's CHRW Radio To Give Platform To Well Known Racist

Yeah, somebody thinks Kathy Shaidle is a valid representative of some legitimate political philosophy.  In this case its CHRW, a campus radio station who are probably so desperately in need of content that they'll throw anything on the air without bothering to do a background check.  In case anyone needs reminding, here's  just a few of her greatest hits.  To repeat myself: she's not a Conservative, she's a Racist and, for the folks at CHRW, there's a precedent for people who have offered her a platform actually doing some research, learning about her, recoiling in disgust, and denying her that platform after some sober 2nd thought.

Its probably too late, but if anyone wants to email the station, you might try:

Grant Stein, Station Manager

It probably won't work.  In fact I bet Mr. Stein climbs aboard the portable crucifix all would-be newsies get when they attend j-school and claims to be oppressed.  Might be wise to remind him that the only other thing Western is famous for is Jean Philippe Rushton.

Update:  As of this morning, Shaidle was still scheduled to appear.

Chris Of Arabia

Climate change denier Christopher Monckton, adding to the gaiety of nations.

Trudeau and Garneau On Guns

I have been pondering the recent policy reverals on the long-gun registry from LPoC leadership candidates Justin Trudeau and, now, Marc Garneau.  I actually don't find Justin's response that hard to parse: if there was a registry left to defend, he would defend it, but now that its gone resurrecting the thing would come at too great a political cost. And  I accept that walking away from the registry at this time may be an unfortunate political necessity.

But I also whole-heartedly agree with The Cowboy: in rural Canada, where opposition to the registry has been strongest (in fact I would say: the only part of Canada where opposition to it is particularly marked) a long gun is the murderer's weapon of choice.  I would also point out that most violent per capita municipalities  in Canada are out in Toryland, and suggest that at least some of the overblown reaction to the registry was the same kind of defensiveness you get from Scarberians when you mention gang violence.

So as policy the gun registry was clearly defensible, and given the way our healthcare system is structured, without it taxpayers in urban Canada will see a larger proportion of their hard-earned money funneled away to pay for the prosthetic feet of Alta. oil-rig workers who get drunk and try to kill one another with rifles but accidentally blow their own toes off instead. But I just don't see the registry as an achievable goal at the moment.  So leave it be.  Eventually demographics will solve the problem for us.  The registry's most vocal critics are, demographically, angry old men who yell at passing clouds, and as time goes by there will be fewer and fewer of them.  Then... a private member's bill late in the night and ....Ptonk!  The West is civilized again.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


From Pierre Poilievre:

Ms. Jane Wilson’s [diamond jubilee] medal recognized her work, both locally and across Ontario, in raising awareness of health and safety concerns for those living near industrial wind turbines. She has been a powerful advocate for rural residents and is currently the President of Wind Concerns Ontario.

I've written about Jane on occasion.  She took over from John LaForet when he moved on after the last provincial election.  My opinion of her and WCO is that they are engaged in the worst sort of NIMBYISM; therefore my opinion of this award is that it is the worst kind of pandering.


There's No App For That

As part of the changes, News Corp. said it will cease publication of The Daily, its iPad news application, on Dec. 15.

“From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation,” Murdoch said in a statement. “Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.”

Meanwhile I am now getting messages from Sun Media web pages telling me these stories are reserved for VIP Members.  Imagine, me not VIP-py enough for Sun Media!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Problems With "Ethical Oil" (The Book)

Suncor Energy engineer Sanjay Patel:

The other side of the debate is whether or not oil, including Canadian oil, is ethical. A lot of activists point to the objections from many aboriginal groups in northern Alberta. How is that addressed in the book?

I don’t like to use terms like blood oil, dirty oil or ethical oil.

I look at the practical side of things, whether it is an issue of First Nations or environmental issues, you need to look at the overall picture and the macroeconomic impact of the oilsands. You can’t look at one particular problem in isolation.

For instance, I know that the Northern Gateway pipeline is objected to by First Nations in British Columbia. But you also have to understand the huge benefits it will bring.

I do look at ethical oil a little bit in the ethics chapter. I know about the book from Ezra Levant and I think it’s a nice book, a nice read. He makes a strong case for the Canadian oilsands.

At the same time, the language he has used in his book has angered a lot of people and polarized Canadian oil. Justifying the Canadian oilsands by comparing Canada’s human rights record to Saudi Arabia and Iran, well, I agree that Canada is better, it’s true.

But it has polarized the debate and I personally don’t like the terms that have arisen from the debate.

So even though the intentions were good, it has done more harm than good?

Definitely, yes definitely. It’s made people angry, particularly those who care about the environment.

Well, I'm not sure about the "good intentions" bit.  I think the purpose of the book just was to polarize the debate, then bully those on the anti-side of it into submission  The problem is that Ezra and the people who finance him didn't realize that a healthy majority of Canadians already opposed (for example) Northern Gateway, and the book just hardened them in their opinion, as well as increased their number.  As a result we've seen the government backing away from EO-style rhetoric in recent days.  And as for Ethical Oil, the NGO, its website has seen no activity in almost three months, and the guy running it, Jamie Ellerton, has been tweeting more about The Raptors than the oil sands these days.

Garneau Campaign Suffers Fatal Setback... endorsed by Toronto Sun!!!  Time to pack up the space capsule and go home, dude.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Fomentin' Revolution...

...with Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler and the Shiller brothers;
Can't really go into detail what we were talking a mayor you don't like?  These guys tour in March.

From here.

Roma Sacrificed To Free Trade

Ex CBCer Karl Nerenberg talks  Bill C-31, and how it will allow countries like Hungary--where a far right drift in national politics threatens the local Roma community*--to be labelled  a safe “Designated Country of Origin” when it comes to evaluating refugees landed in Canada:

The government has already telegraphed that it wants to name all European Union countries as safe. To do otherwise would put a major spanner in the works of the current Canada-Europe Trade Agreement negotiations.

In fact, Kenney said on Friday that when the new measures come into play, Canada will be able to lift the visa requirements on the Czech Republic, a requirement which was imposed to stem the tide of Roma from that country seeking refugee status in Canada.

Lifting that visa will make Europe very happy, and eliminate one serious irritant in the trade agreement talks.

See?  And everyone thought Jason Kenney was just being a jerk.  In reality, its all so Canadians can get access to cheap clothing from the old East Block.  Anyway, the Nerenberg piece is a longish read, but a good one.

* The Jewish community too, although this fact hasn't made  the news reports as often.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Who Is Behind Next Week's Pro-Ford Demo

...the "Stop the bullying:  it will get better for Rob Ford" thingy?  It's Dharminder Kumar, who is either the other member of Ron Banerjee's group  Canadian Hindu Advocacy, or, as some believe, a sock puppet for Ron Banerjee himself.  So you know the event, like so many CHA protests, will be a big...big success.

To get an idea of the kind of folks who might show up, its useful to note the CHA's endorsement of CIR (the Canadian Immigration Report).  CIR were the folks  invited to speak, and then booted from, a recent meeting of  the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, basically because they called the Nazis a great bunch of fellows.

Might be worth showing up at this thing with a camera, to see if one of the Ford's appears and gives everybody a hug.

PS.  In regards to CIR.  The Lussiers, who run the website, keep a very low profile.  One thing that seems clear, though,is that Julien Lussier is not, as he has claimed to be, a lawyer.  Or at least he's not the Que. lawyer with a similar sounding name.

Scott Tribe On Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention

Scott's been doing God's work asking the Ontario Liberals how they will be treating bloggers during the upcoming leadership convention.  And here's my suggestion: gong-show that it degenerated into aside, the recent  federal NDP convention  set a  high bar when it came to bloggers.  We got in free, got a press pass,  got a couple of tables with decent views of the floor with plugins for our computers.  We didn't, like the MSM, get a "filing room" to sit and think and suck our thumbs in before hacking out our crap.  We had to compete with the sound of Paul Dewar rapping.  And we didn't get free food, although I was snuck some and I'm not sure it was a great loss.

The Ontario Liberals should emulate this formula, generally speaking.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life On Mars?

UPDATE:  Slashdot says its a hoax.  But a good one.

Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars.

This looks like a fairly credible claim.  It also seems to be a followup on stories like this.  So maybe not quite sealing the deal, but strongly suggesting, that our solar neighbor once harbored enough life for it to turn into an oil deposit.

Sometimes A Witch Hunt Helps The Witch

If the Torys want to haul Justin Trudeau before House Natural Resources Committee to explain his Alberta statements, then let 'em.  Give the guy hours of looking handsome and acting human to lay out his leadership platform before a national audience.  Because, believe me, this will get covered wall-to-wall.  The One, getting nagged by the one with two chins.  Although I suspect Stephen Harper will find a means to  make this stupid idea go away.  As for us Liberals, of course we should all bust out a can of fake outrage.  But, really-- pray for this to come to pass.

The Curious Case Of The Disappearing Quote

So, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, T.O. Sun reporter Kevin Connor wrote up a short piece re last week's protest outside of the Israeli consulate on Bloor Street.  Probably the most notable thing about it was the apology that soon appeared above its first paragraph:

A version of this story that briefly appeared on contained quotes wrongly attributed to Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The Sun regrets the error and apologizes to Mr. Farber.

I've emailed both the reporter and his boss (James Wallace) for clarification, but have received no response.  However,  here's the thing.  There are not many ways the fake quote (which can be seen here) could have made its way into the story.

1) Connor might have invented it, which is a firing offence.  Its also difficult to believe.

2) It could have originated with someone at the protest who decided to impersonate Farber as a means of embarrassing him/damaging his reputation.  This appears to be the opinion of blogger Arnie Lemaire, who also attended--ie The Sun got punk'd.  But in this instance, such a prank would have amounted to an illegal act.

And I would point out that someone has recently been impersonating the various players in the small circle of activists/culture warriors that involve themselves in the issues that Bernie also cares about.  For example, here . Furthermore, among this small circle at least one person has already developed a reputation for getting up to this kind of silliness.

Here's hoping The Sun lives up to its responsibility and at least gives some kind of explanation.  One of their reporters has either done something quite unethical or inadvertently aided a lawbreaker.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Canuck Climate Change Denier Tom Harris Up To More No Good

Tom Harris is one of Canada's better known climate change deniers.  I've written about him plenty  Now one of his emails to fellow deniers has got loose.  I've reproduced it below.  Basically, he's scouring the anti-AGW Internet forums looking for signatures to stick on another open letter addressed to the U.N., this time contesting the AGW=Freak Weather connection.   The most interesting bit:

Because we have an agreement with a major media outlet to publish the open letter on Thursday, I will need to know of your support in the next day if possible, please.  Endorsers may be added later for Web versions of the letter but only those who have notified me of their support by then are guaranteed to be included in the list of endorsers published by the major newspaper in question.

Harris has been on Sun News TV a number of times this year, so I'd bet the T.O Sun is his "major newspaper".  It might also be the National Post, perhaps via Terence Corcoran.  Anyone has other ideas, please share them in the comments.

Dear friends,

I apologize for addressing you so impersonally but time is short if we are to mount a significant counterpoint to the scientifically invalid assertions already being broadcast by the 1,500 journalists and 7,000 environmentalists attending the UN climate conference now underway in Qatar. 

Please find below our "Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations" to which we are inviting your endorsement. 

Because we have an agreement with a major media outlet to publish the open letter on Thursday, I will need to know of your support in the next day if possible, please.  Endorsers may be added later for Web versions of the letter but only those who have notified me of their support by then are guaranteed to be included in the list of endorsers published by the major newspaper in question.

The open letter and the list of endorsers will also be submitted to the Secretary General with a brief cover letter from myself by e-mail and by courier. Your endorsement of the open letter would be clearly indicated as only applying to the “Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations” below, not to the cover letter or any supporting material we may provide.
Here is the text of the open letter (underlined phrases are active Web links) that we request that you allow us to list you as endorsing (for those of you who signed any past open letters organized by ICSC, I already have your complete credentials and affiliations. For others, I request that you let me know how you would like to be identified in the endorser list):
Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
First Avenue and East 44th Street, New York, New York, U.S.A.
November 29, 2012
Mr Secretary-General:
On November 9 this year you told the General Assembly: “Extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal ... Our challenge remains, clear and urgent: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to strengthen adaptation to … even larger climate shocks … and to reach a legally binding climate agreement by 2015 … This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy.”


On November 13 you said at Yale: “The science is clear; we should waste no more time on that debate.”

 The following day, in Al Gore’s “Dirty Weather" Webcast, you spoke of “more severe storms, harsher droughts, greater floods”, concluding: “Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States. A nation saw the reality of climate change. The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars. The cost of inaction will be even higher. We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.”

We the undersigned, qualified in climate-related matters, wish to state that current scientific knowledge does not substantiate your assertions.

The U.K. Met Office recently released data showing that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years. During this period, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), carbon dioxide (CO2concentrations rose by nearly 9% to now constitute 0.039% of the atmosphere. Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years. Whether, when and how warming will resume is unknown. The science is unclear. Some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is also a distinct possibility.

The “even larger climate shocks” you have mentioned would be worse if the world cooled than if it warmed. Climate changes naturally all the time, sometimes dramatically. The hypothesis that our emissions of CO2 have caused, or will cause, dangerous warming is not supported by the evidence.
The incidence and severity of extreme weather has not increased. There is little evidence that dangerous weather-related events will occur more often in the future. The U.N.’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its Special Report on Extreme Weather (2012) that there is “an absence of an attributable climate change signal” in trends in extreme weather losses to date. The funds currently dedicated to trying to stop extreme weather should therefore be diverted to strengthening our infrastructure so as to be able to withstand these inevitable, natural events, and to helping communities rebuild after natural catastrophes such as tropical storm Sandy.
There is no sound reason for the costly, restrictive public policy decisions proposed at the U.N. climate conference in Qatar. Rigorous analysis of unbiased observational data does not support the projections of future global warming predicted by computer models now proven to exaggerate warming and its effects.

The NOAA “State of the Climate in 2008” report asserted that 15 years or more without any statistically-significant warming would indicate a discrepancy between observation and prediction. Sixteen years without warming have therefore now proven that the models are wrong by their creators’ own criterion.

Based upon these considerations, we ask that you desist from exploiting the misery of the families of those who lost their lives or properties in tropical storm Sandy by making unsupportable claims that human influences caused that storm. They did not. We also ask that you acknowledge that policy actions by the U.N., or by the signatory nations to the UNFCCC, that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to exercise any significant influence on future climate. Climate policies therefore need to focus on preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climatic events however caused.
Signed by:

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to others who you think may also sign the open letter with the request that they keep it as confidential as possible until published by media (I’ll let you all know as soon as that happens).

I hope to hear from you very soon!


Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
P.O. Box 23013
Ottawa, Ontario
K2A 4E2