Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

In The Event of An Oil Spill, Enbridge Will Pay

...as little as possible.  Then:

 ....Enbridge representatives went door to door promising that they would pay for spill damages, Mayhall said.


“The statements at issue, that were made in Defendants’ [Enbridge's] press releases and brochure, were mere expressions of intention, not offers.”

This post writ Because there's talk going about  that an oil-spill wouldn't cost the B.C. government a penny.

Friday, July 27, 2012

How Much They Worry About First Nation's Rights, The Environment, And Stuff In Calgary

CALGARY - A public hearing on a proposal to build a pipeline to ship oilsands bitumen from Alberta to the British Columbia coast has been cancelled in Calgary due to a lack of interest.

Kudos to Christy Clark, no matter how late she is to the game or how equivocal her position.  I actually disagree a bit with Rafe Mair on this latest development. The B.C. Libs, NDP, Greens, and Conservatives are all aligned  against the Northern Gateway pipeline as currently conceived.  Since Ms. Redford seems unbending, this amounts to them all being (for the moment at least) aligned against the pipeline.  The future has yet to unfold and we cannot anticipate it.  Nor is there a need to.

And, as an x-BCer, it wouldn't bother me too much if  the folks there did sell out for filthy lucre, even though my personal preference would be for the pipeline to die.  If Enbridge and the blue-eyed sheikhs from Alberta can sweeten the pot enough--with money or safety assurances-- to win over the various First Nations and everyone else affected along the route, then it is really their decision for me to respect.  Most likely though, this will not transpire, in which case I will happily chain myself to the tree  one down from Mr. Mair when the time comes.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Daily Nazi: Mayor Rob Ford

...with Nazi.

On an unrelated note, WK is totally fucked up in the head re Christy Clark and Northern Gateway.  B.C. for B.C.ers!  Down with the blue eyed sheikhs!  Through these mountains and verdant fields, no oil shall pass.

I'll Be Playing Mini-Golf That Day

For a Libertarian, failing once is not enough.

 By the way, I found the pic here, a story about the latest failed attempted at corporate sock-puppeting.    That may or may not be ironic.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Is A. Raoul Nembhard The New Patrick Brazeau?

Jason Kenney appoints him to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF).  The day of the CRRF's first meeting, he phones it in after dancing it up in Spain.

Boogey down Raoul!  Whatever it is you do with the CRRF apparently doesn't require your physical presence.

Who's In That Burka?

David Menzies says he convinced a 14 year old kid to dress in a Burka and buy booze at an LCBO.  David Menzies has brought his own son into his stories before.  Here and here.  Mind you, if it is Menzies Jr. this latest story has his age wrong, Menzies' kid being about 10 or 11 (according to the dates on the earlier pieces).  But then, this is Menzies:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

David Akin Indeed Out At Sun TV

...replaced by more Krista Ericksonas was rumored earlier this month.  Confirmed here, though it sounds like he might still be writing for the chain.

Tim Ball's Balls Burned?

It looks like Tim Ball's legal defense in the defamation suit brought against him by climate scientist Michael Mann has gone entirely off the rails. Its a long story, and one that I must admit fell off the radar for me to the point where I didn't realize how weird it was all getting.

It began back in March of 2011, when Ball accused Mann of scientific misconduct for his role in what has come to be known as "Climategate".  Mann launched a defamation suit, and Ball turned for legal advice to one John O'Sullivan, co-author and driving force behind Slaying The Sky Dragon, a book purporting to "expose the climate fraud".  You've heard it all before; the only thing distinguishing Sky Dragon from other similar titles was its sheer awfulness; not even the skeptic friendly Judith Curry could get behind its theories.

In any case, O'Sullivan went about his duties with great enthusiasm.  Here he is, for example, soliciting funds for Tim Ball's defense at Anthony Watts blog.  Similar pleas for cash dating from the same time-frame can be found elsewhere.  More recently, O'Sullivan joined the chorus of people who have compared Mann to fellow Penn State luminary  Jerry Sandusky.

However, a couple of days ago, science journalist Andrew A. Skolnick left the following comment on Michael Mann's facebook page:

It's depressingly hilarious that one of the loudest-mouthed crackpots "linking" Prof. Mann to "pedophiles" is a former school teacher whose career ended in scandal almost a decade ago following his arrest and trial for sending dozens of obscene text messages to a 16-y-o school girl. Former high school art teacher John O'Sullivan was acquitted after his step-daughter testified she had sent the obscene messages -- testimony that the judge said he did not find fully credible. O'Sullivan then published an autobiographical novel (titled "Vanilla Girl") in which he defends what he called "kiddie fiddling" -- I kid you not.*

Now, the thing with it is, he's not kidding.  Every point in the above has been thoroughly documented, even the last bit.  For example, this series of emails traces the laborious process by which Mr. Skolnick confirmed that O'Sullivan purchased his law degree  from "Hill University", an on-line diploma mill that sells any degree in any field with a "promised delivery in just 14 days!"  Here is a brief account of O'Sullivan's trial, and if you are so inclined, Vanilla Girl can be found through Google.

But wait!  There's more!  And it gets even weirder!  Skolnick next took O'Sullivan to The Law Society of British Columbia for representing himself as a consultant with Pearlman Lindholm, Tim Ball's real lawyers.  The society then opened an investigation into Michael Scherr of Pearlman Lindholm for allowing  an unauthorized person to practice law.  Here's the result of that investigation;  the society accepted Scherr's contention that O'Sullivan worked for Ball, not the firm and, well, Scherr just assumed the guy was a lawyer.  I'll give Mr. Skolnick the last word:

 I should point out how funny I find Mr. Scherr's explanation to the Law Society. He admits to having handed out money from Ball's legal defense fund to O'Sullivan for his "consulting" services, but states that O'Sullivan was working for Ball, not for his law firm and that he "took no steps to investigate Mr. O'Sullivan's professional status." 

So here he was paying someone who didn't know the name of the court that is hearing the case (in his published comments O'Sullivan kept calling it the "Vancouver Supreme Court"), someone who didn't know where the law firm he was helping is located (he repeatedly claimed it's in Vancouver, a two-hour drive from Victoria, where it's actually located), and someone who didn't seem to know that the name of the PLAINTIFF ALWAYS comes first in the title of a law suit (O'Sullivan called it "Tim Ball vs. Michael Mann). And Mr. Scherr never thought to inquire about Mr. O'Sullivan's credentials? How very funny.

So what's the take-away message?  I dunno.  That within denier circles they bullshit one another as thoroughly as they do the general public?  That anyone can practice this law thingy in B.C.?  We can definitely conclude that Tim Ball's legal fees have been going up a bit recently.

PS. A quick note. As several people have noted, you can't actually drive from Vancouver to Victoria, as it is located on Vancouver Island.  The car ferry you take over does take about two hours to get there (1 hour 40 minutes to be more precise).  I'm not sure if that's what Skolnick meant to say or not.

Another Arthur Topham Update

The fight against hate continues, section 13 or not.
h/t.  Some background here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Northern Gateway: B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins Speaks Out Re Northern Gateway

...sounds alot like Christy Clark.  So now all the major parties are on the same side of the issue.  So far, Alberta Premier Alison Redford is committed to despoiling the province next door without incurring any kind of cost.  Good luck with that, cowgirl.

B.C.'s "Requirements" For Approving The Northern Gateway Pipeline--What They Really Mean

B.C. and indeed all of Canada, have Alberta by the balls.  Now its time to squeeze.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Noted Climate Scientist Michael Mann Threatens Legal Action Against Far Right Scuzzbag With Fake English Accent Mark Steyn

The facebook entry is here, screen-capped below:
I'm not going to link to the defamatory stuff; it compares Mike Mann to Jerry Sandusky.  You can find it through the link.  Its about time somebody sued Mark Steyn.  He's an evil shit, and his writings served as a philosophical foundation for mass murderer  Anders Behring Breivik.  

Warman Vs. Lemaire Update

From Richard's website:

- Warman v. Arnie Lemaire (aka Blazingcatfur) libel action – the pre-trial was recently held and trial of the action is now scheduled for February, 2013 in Ottawa.

Take him for everything down to his last pair of underwear, Richard.

Will Hudak's Anti Union Legislation Weaken Abortion Rights?

Chris Vander Doelen of the Windsor Star thinks that's what  Tim Hudak's  recently released white paper, Paths To Prosperity: Flexible Labour Markets, will accomplish:

Unions have no moral right and should have no legal right to impose their political or anti-religious views on their members — especially without asking democratically, as has been the case with the CAW’s decision to start proselytizing about abortion without first asking permission from the rank and file.

Obviously, some pastors have urged their flocks to fight back against the recent CAW campaign, which ironically began as an attempt to prevent a national debate about abortion access from taking place at the federal level, in the House of Commons.

The Conservative paper suggests that union membership be a choice. That way, anyone opposed to a union’s stance on abortion – or on immigration, or the war on terror or a hundred other issues – would be able to withhold their dues simply by quitting. Nobody’s job should depend on forced union membership, the Tories now say.

Lifesite quotes Mr. Vander Doelin approvingly.

I can't imagine that Hudak's primary purpose in the white paper is to cripple the pro-choice movement in Ontario.  It's to cripple unions. But of course, weaken them and you weaken the position of anyone who benefits from the good work they do. To the point where, if you substitute your favorite right wing cause for abortion in the above article, Hudak's proposals give you a mechanism by which a small minority within the union can prevent it from doing pretty much anything.  Sneaky fellow.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Brief Note

A pop tin exploding in your freezer sounds a lot like a gunshot these days to a jumpy Scarberian.  I thought I had a gangster in my fridge, but it turned out to be a frozen can of my wife's cherry cola.

Got the day off to an exciting start, though.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thomas Lukaszuk Apologizes

...for tasteless FB Post:

From here.

And really that should be the end of it.  Everyone says stuff that's dumb, esp. on The Internet.  Usually, just admitting that what you've said is dumb and saying sorry is the cure.  Always worked for me, anyhow.

Mr. Lukaszuk, the blogosphere forgives you...this time.

Landslide Jokes, Like Jokes About Assassinating Politicians, Tend Not To Be Funny

Maybe he is one after all.  This post was, incidentally, totally ripped off from here.

PS.  To be clear, this is not the slide that killed those people.  Its the one that stranded all these people (now, thankfully, set loose again).

Enbridge Cleans Up

The fellow in the vid is John Bolenbaugh, a one-time employee of SET Environmental, a company Enbridge hired to clean up their Kalamazoo spill.  He sued  them for wrongful dismissal, and won, and is now going after Enbridge itself.  Note that the story was written before the NTSB report that's been in the news so much this week.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Signs Of The Apocalypse Appear In T.O.

These have been appearing everywhere in my end of the city. I mean everywhere, not just on the Scarborough side of Vic Park.  When my wife sees them she'll shit and tell me we have to move.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wegmania: The Denouement

The longer version can be found here, but, essentially the serial plagiarism of Ed Wegman and his protege Yasmin Said has begun to catch up with them.  They are both off the editorial board at Computatoonal Statistics, and Said seems to be out entirely at George Mason University.  Congrats to DC and John Mashey, who ferreted out the pair's dirty deeds.

More Wegmania  from this site can be found here.  And on Desmogblog, here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

NDP Still Ahead, Even In "The West"

...but narrowly:

The Ekos survey put support for the center-left NewDemocrats at 32.3 percent with the Conservatives on 30.2 percent. The Conservatives won a majority of seats in the House of Commons with 39.6 percent of the vote in May 2011.

The regionals are interesting.  If you define "The West" as including stuff other than Alberta, the Dippers are doing great.  In BC:

That's all based on their opposition to Northern Gateway, I'd wager.  And, somewhat more surprisingly (perhaps), they're ahead in  in Saskatoba:
My theory here: The West is fragmenting culturally and politically, as everyone not living  in Alberta begins to realize that the levers of power in Alta. are all controlled by a bunch of oily dicks, and their values are not B.C. values or Manitoba values or Sask. values (here again, Northern Gateway overwhelms all other issues).

Nice to see that the Libs are leading again somewhere, though.  Fredericton is as good a power base as any, I suppose.
PS.  The other story is the rise in the Green vote, which was also noted in the last EKOS poll.

On Rob Anders Hair

This was the hair Rob Anders was wearing when he trashed the Harper Government for honoring humanist and Mao sympathizer Norman Bethune as a means of getting in tight with the ChiComms so as to sell them more bitumen:
I don't think this is intentionally mussed, "I'm sexy when I'm not even trying" hair.  I think this is "I just woke up and didn't look in the mirror" hair.  The kind of hair you get when you've been demoted and relegated to the back bench nearest the men's room and don't give a crap any more.  It is not the hair of a man at peace within himself. This is  "man on the edge of despair" hair.  I hope Mr. Anders' friends are keeping an eye on him.

That is all.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hitler On John Cage

A different scene from the movie, just as funny:

And if you have never heard 4:33, here it is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mulcair Makes Play For B.C. Vote

A damning report on Enbridge Inc.’s inept handling of the 2010 crude oil spill in Michigan should kill the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said Tuesday in Victoria.

He said it right in the provincial capital, too, so everyone in B.C. will read about it or see it on the television.  I suspect the NDP have polls telling them how the issue plays out there.

Meanwhile LPoC interim  leader Bob Rae's latest intervention re the tar sands was watery mush served with decaf coffee.  Everyone is going to say that they are for the responsible development of our unconventional oil supplies, so Rae's remarks do nothing to distinguish the federal Liberals from its rivals.  I understand that he doesn't want to bind the hands of his permanent replacement, but only particular stands for or against particular projects (Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan, Keystone XL) will count with B.C. voters come election 2015.

When Whitchurch-Stouffville Was New York

Carved woodpecker head
Apparently, they've been working on the Mantle Site the largest and most complex ancestral Wendat-Huron village to be excavated in the Lower Great Lakes region, for a decade now and I've only just heard of it.  This Global Toronto piece is the best account.  The biggest recent news out of the site is the discovery of "an iron axe head of European origin":

It...[came]... from the east coast of Canada from the Strait of Belle Isle from a Basque whaling station. The film also explores the ways in which we think the tool made its way from there into the interior continent.


The object dates to a period of well known visitation and seasonal sites by Basque whalers in the late 1400s through the 1500s

Something else I was previously unaware of.

T.O is not without its own archaeological treasures, mind you.  Back in '07 city council spent millions to purchase this Iroquois site in Scarborough.  They didn't have the cash at the time, however,  to excavate the place and build a visitor's center, and so it sits until happier days should arrive.

Leave Ron Jeremy Alone

If you'd were asked  to dangle your wiggler to hook a murdering cannibal  you might think twice too.   Isn't it enough that the man loves animals?  And when it comes down to tabulating history's great Jews, I suspect that  Ron Jeremy will be at the top of  the list with Freud, Jesus, Bob Rae, and Wittgenstein.  For many years, "The Warthog" truly was the king  of the adult film industry, during which time he was  immortalized in both  poetry and song by, among many others, the famous ska/punk outfit Sublime.

And I remember an interview with him in Now Magazine (I think)  when he was asked if his parents were down on him because he was a porn star.  He said (and I am paraphrasing, obviously):  Hell, no, they're liberal jews.  That's probably the last time in my life that I wept aloud with  joyful tears.  It confirmed me in my Liberalness.

So I've always had a soft spot for his little tribe.  Though they have disappointed me terribly in recent years.  Harry!  Meir!

But one keeps one's head down and tries to carry on.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Refugee Health Cutbacks: Canadian Jewish Groups Respond (Or Not)

Since the negative consequences of Bill C-31 have become apparent over the last month or so--for example,  many refugee claimants will lose access to life-saving drugs such as insulin, and to preventive care--several Jewish organizations have expressed concerns with the law.  They have been especially troubled by those sections of it relating to the prevention of illegitimate refugee claims.  Designating countries like Hungary as "safe" would  make it near impossible for  claims from Hungarian Roma to succeed, even though the country is far from safe for this particular minority group.  And due to their common experiences of persecution during the 2nd World War, the Jewish and Roma communities have often been thought to share an historical bond.

The Toronto Board of Rabbis has spoken out in an open letter to the PM.  The Montreal Holocaust Centre has also gone public with its objections.  Even noble Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel has  stepped into the fray.  But what of those groups typically seen as speaking for the Canadian Jewish diaspora as a whole?  

Well, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has issued a statement that comes across as both minimalist and mush-mouthed.  From the Globe article linked above:

Shimon Fogel, the CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said his organization agrees with many of the changes the Conservative government has made to refugee policy and with the goal of preventing bogus claims. But, with regard to the health benefits, “we have some concerns, and we have registered some of them with the government.”

So, in other words, kiss the Roma good-by.  And CIJA's other objections will apparently be  whispered to the relevant government minister behind closed doors where they can be noted and then safely ignored.

B'nai Brith's position on the legislation, on the other hand, is a complete mystery.  They've said nothing in the newspapers or on their website that I can find, and have not (yet) responded to the email I sent them.  Perhaps, however, this story from June 26th offers a clue.  In it, a human rights lawyer named David Matas is quoted at length, as he is representing a number of church groups who have challenged C-31 in court.  And good on him for that.  But not mentioned anywhere in the piece is the fact that Mr. Matas is senior legal counsel to B'nai Brith Canada.  Now, Mr. Matas has done considerable  good work outside of BB, but it nevertheless seems significant to me that in the case of Bill C-31 he has been forced to act without the imprimatur of the organization he is most closely associated with

So why the silence/near-silence from Canada's two most important Jewish organizations?  Well, one can only speculate, and so I would speculate  that they have already been courted by the Harper government in the form of its unrelenting support for Israel.  Here, as in the case of Bill C-304, the government has asked for their silence as a quid pro quo.  To me that sounds like a crummy deal, but it seems one that they have been willing to make.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Sun TV Swaps Akin For Extra Krista

David Akin is apparently out At Sun TV.  Instead we'll be getting three hours of:
...which, frankly, is still not enough to make me watch.  Good luck to David Akin, who is one of the marginally not awful ones.  FWIW I figure Menzies is next off the island.

Update: Akin says he's just taking a holiday.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Hard At Work?

If your intention is to stage a photo-op showing Mayor Ford working hard for the tax payers, it's not a good idea to take a shot of him with a bottle of McIlhenny's tobasco sauce on his desk.  There's a steak hidden just off-camera somewhere.  Count on it.

Bernie Farber On The History Of Pride

Mostly an historical overview of the history of the LGBTQ movement in T.O..  But this little bit:

Even the politics seemed more subdued. While this year a Disputes Resolutions panel agreed that QiAIA (Queers against Israeli Apartheid) could march in the parade, its numbers as reported by the Jewish Tribune were half that of the Kulanu revelers and their message muted with apparently no mentioning of "apartheid" other than in their name. 

...I've heard elsewhere as well.  The "pride wars" appear to be over.

Far Right Head Exploding Device

Richard Warman watching Warren Kinsella's band play for the troops at Camp Pendleton‏.  I have warned Warren about playing that kind of music in front of men with guns, but its not my problem.  Also, congrats to Richard on his recent promotion.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

NDP Courts B.C.

...comes out against Northern Gateway.  Do the federal Liberals have a position on this issue?  I mean, I know we're Pro-reefer, and since the recent B.C. ruling, many have suggested that the party come out as in favor of euthanasia, so maybe the LPoC is set to position itself as the "get high and kill grandma" party.  Which actually kind of works for me.  But on issues re resource extraction, unceded First Nation's land, and economic development...is there anything to be said?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Canada Day Poll!

Esp. if you vote NDP or Green.  Frank Graves suggests that the Green numbers are due to Elizabeth May's personal positives.  If you look at the B.C. breakdown, I would suggest the Northern Gateway fight has something to do with it as well.