Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tom Flanagan Child Porn Comments Update

The PMO takes him out to the woodshed:

MacDougall is this guy. Wow!  That blew up bigger than I expected!  Who says Idle No More is washed up?

Wow x 2!  Wildrose condemns and, essentially, fires Flanagan.  Did INM take down Tom Flanagan?

Wow x 3!  Fired by CBC.

Idle No More Strikes Back!

So Chris Slothouber notes that someone one is mucking with twitter to get that Flanagan video to trend. I think its this fellow, who uploaded the footage.  Interestingly enough, he claims to have a connection to the folks at Idle No More, who have good reason to be unhappy with Mr. Flanagan. In fact, the question that triggered Flanagan's unfortunate response seems to have been a deliberate attempt to catch the man out.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Tom Flanagan On Child Pornography

I'm still trying to decide if this is shocking or not.  To be a bit less cryptic: is he making that "interesting argument" or just presenting it?

Warman On Whatcott

More through the links below.  I've discussed the Warman/Lemire case, referenced in point six, here and here:

2. This unanimous 6-judge decision upholds the 20+ year old majority decision from the Supreme Court in Canadian Human Rights Commission v. Taylor that Canadian human rights laws on hate propaganda are constitutional. The unanimous Whatcott decision now includes Chief Justice McLachlin who had previously led the minority 4 judge dissent in Taylor arguing the parallel federal human rights restriction on hate propaganda was unconstitutional. This is a tectonic judicial shift.

3. The Supreme Court’s decision confirms that existing hate speech case law has been following the earlier guidance from then Chief Justice Dickson in the Taylor case to deal only with the most extreme examples of hate speech. The SCC’s decision cites 4 of my cases with a particular emphasis on the ‘Hallmarks of Hate’ from the crackerjack Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Member Karen Jensen in the Warman v. Kouba decision which brought together a cogent analysis of the indicia that will demarcate legal expression from illegal hate speech.

An interesting point, here.  Now both the SCC and Richard Moon have exonerated the behavior of HRC employees.  That is to say, they have not pursued frivolous cases, only the worst examples.

4. The Supreme Court has affirmed the social destruction caused by hate speech & emphasizes “the added impact of the Internet”.

5. The decision largely cements the legal test in the Taylor case as the governing law for the indefinite future and I believe confirms the current de facto state of the law.

6. Warman & CHRC v. Lemire – Justice Mosley of the Federal Court ruled in October of 2012 that he was obliged to follow the Supreme Court’s guidance in Taylor and uphold the constitutionality of s. 13 (the federal human rights act provision prohibiting Internet hate speech in Canada). Marc Lemire’s frivolous appeal of that decision is done.

Marc Lemire: obscurity is calling you.  Time to return to it.

PS.  Bernie Farber has weighed-in.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Whatcott Decision, Condensed

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code is mostly constitutional:

 For the same reasons set out in the s. 1 analysis in the case of freedom of expression, the words “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of” are not rationally connected to the legislative purpose of addressing systemic discrimination of protected groups, nor tailored to minimally impair freedom of religion.  The remaining prohibition of any representation “that exposes or tends to expose to hatred” any person or class of persons on the basis of a prohibited ground is a reasonable limit on freedom of religion and is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Woth noting that in testimony, reps from the Sask. Tribunal said that, in looking at a case, the real weight fell on the clause judge to be constitutional.  So no great loss.

And two of four of Whatcott's pamphlets constituted hate speech; two were merely offensive:

The tribunal’s conclusions with respect to the first two flyers were reasonable.  Passages of these flyers combine many of the hallmarks of hatred identified in the case law.  The expression portrays the targeted group as a menace that threatens the safety and well‑being of others, makes reference to respected sources in an effort to lend credibility to the negative generalizations, and uses vilifying and derogatory representations to create a tone of hatred.  The flyers also expressly call for discriminatory treatment of those of same‑sex orientation.  It was not unreasonable for the tribunal to conclude that this expression was more likely than not to expose homosexuals to hatred.

                    The tribunal’s decision with respect to the other two flyers was unreasonable and cannot be upheld.  The tribunal erred by failing to apply s. 14(1)(b) to the facts before it in accordance with the proper legal test.  It cannot reasonably be found that those flyers contain expression that a reasonable person, aware of the relevant context and circumstances, would find as exposing or likely to expose persons of same‑sex orientation to detestation and vilification.  The expression, while offensive, does not demonstrate the hatred required by the prohibition.

Suck on it Bill!  Suck on it Speechys!

PS.  Also, Bill is out $7,500 and a whole whack for costs.

PPS.  Another good bit, re the issue of whether the speech in question reflects a sincerely held belief:

[143]                      Apart from that concern, the fact that a person circulates a hate publication in the furtherance of a sincere religious belief goes to the question of the subjective view of the publisher, which is irrelevant to the objective application of the definition of hatred. Allowing the dissemination of hate speech to be excused by a sincerely held belief would, in effect, provide an absolute defence and would gut the prohibition of effectiveness.

Being A Quebecer Means Looking Sexxxy When The Cops Bust You

From the Que. student protests, which I don't know what they're even about anymore but who cares really?  Awesome on white like the whole issue is about metaphysics.  Very aesthetic looking.  Did Mitsou show up for this protest thing?  Because I would think it would be her kind of thing.  And why is it when people protest in Ontario they all look like this or, god help us, this?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kathleen Wynne Should Bring Bill 55 Into The Light

FWIW, I've read the relevant sections of Bill 55, the Strong Action for Ontario Act, and I don't see anything in it near as egregious as what the federal Tories did with their the Navigable Waters Protection Act.  Certainly, it does not seem to be a nefarious scheme to hand the province over to wind-farm developers, as a few of the more paranoid have suggested.  But its hard for someone like me to understand the real-world consequences of the bill's legalese.  That's why a good public bashing out between expert and counter-expert would be a useful exercise, and why burying what are possibly substantive changes to the province's environmental laws in a big omnibus bill, as the Ontario government has done, is a bad idea.  That is all. 

If You Haven't Written Off Martha Hall Findlay For LPoC Leader is the time:

It’s time for the Liberal Party of Canada to stop ignoring Alberta. That was the message leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay brought to Fort McMurray during a Friday tour of the oilsands, where she reaffirmed her support of the oilsands, as well as the Northern Gateway, Keystone XL and west-to-east pipelines.

She trashes the old NEP, endorses the new, Alberta-centric one.  If chosen LPoC leader, she wouldn't get a single vote in B.C.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Law Repealing Hate Speech Provision Stuck in Senate

This story tallies with what I've been hearing.  A number of senate Tories aren't down with the repeal of S-13,  the hate speech provision in Canada's Human Rights Act.  After 2nd reading, it may disappear for months in committee.  It may never re-emerge.   Just maybe the notion that "limitations on expression should be subject to the built-in protections of real courts through libel and slander laws and hate speech provisions in the Criminal Code" is looking less persuasive after this and this.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Andrea Horwath Will Scream Coverup

...but not bring down the OLP government over the discovery of more gas-plant cancellation related docs, because, she claims, she's so damn straight.  Her party has also fallen into 3rd place in the polls. Make of all this what you will.

On Hair, Ancient And More Ancient

Janet Stephens, the "hair dressing archaeologist", has been much in the news of late for having successfully recreated the hair-style worn by ancient Rome's Vestal Virgin priestesses.

Here's how she got her start:

 “One day, I was killing time at the Walters Museum in Baltimore while my daughter was at a music lesson and I ended up in the Ancient Roman collection,” says Stephens. “They were making changes in the gallery and they had set some of the portrait statues in the middle of the gallery and I got to see the back of the head and that is where all the hairdressing happens.  Usually, they are pushed up against a wall because they expect you to be most interested the face but I’m a hairdresser--I don’t care about her face, I want to see the hair.  I looked at the back of these heads and mentally started dissecting the style.”

Once home, Stephens pulled out a long hair mannequin and got braiding and weaving, using reverse engineering and her hairdresser smarts to recreate the shape.

Since then she has managed to recreate many ancient styles, and debunk many previous theories about how these elaborate dos were put together. It turns out, for example, that many them really were the result of styling and not, as previously thought, wigs.  The one below is "classical Greek" (5th c. BC Athenian)

Some of Stephen's more elaborate recreations can be seen at her youtube channel here.  More on the archaeological significance of her research can be found here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is Sun News TV Canada's REAL State Broadcaster?

So if you watch this story on Sun News enough times (and believe me I'm not recommending you do it) the ads that introduce it
...are this one for Immigration Canada, or this one for Canada's Economic Action Plan...
...or this one for Canada's Economic Action Plan
...or a third one for Canada's Economic Action Plan that I haven't bothered to screen cap, or
...this ad for the Dodge Journey...but only very occasionally.  You also will see a shout-out to the Sun Facebook Page.

Of course CEAP plugs are everywhere, but recently it looks as though they account for well over half of the adverts on the Sun TV website.  Does this amount to a government subsidy...the Harper Gov. throwing money to a message friendly news service?  And if so, does that make Sun TV Canada's REAL state broadcaster?

Wind Power And Hair

If anyone was wondering why the feds have decided to delay and revise their study on the health effects of wind turbines, it is to collect hair samples, the chemical composition of which can be used as a biological marker of chronic stress.  Why this din't do this first go round is beyond me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jason Kenney Is Being Lied To

From Canadian Jewish News:

A recent Canadian billboard campaign in Hungary targeting would-be Roma asylum-seekers to Canada with the message that new immigration laws severely limit their ability to seek refuge from persecution here led [Hungarian film-maker Adam] Csillag to contact The CJN to alert Canada’s Jewish community to the situation in his country.


“Hungary is lying to Canadian politicians when it says it is democratic,” he said. “Jobbik and its paramilitary [groups] are doing terrible things to Roma. I witnessed serial killings of Roma in 2008. The police are against the Roma.”

In a recent phone interview from his home in Budapest, with his daughter Anna translating, he said public discourse in Hungary has reached the point where “a disturbing amount” of people are unabashed about insulting minorities, particularly Jews and Roma.

He said he’s now advising his daughter and all Jewish youth in Hungary to leave for their own safety and a better future.

Anna, who is half-Jewish on her father’s side, confirmed that for the past few years while attending university, her friends and classmates have never been shy about telling her how much they like her “despite” her heritage.

Pumped Storage To Back Up Wind

The graphic shows it all, but the accompanying story is here.  The Provincial Liberals have been talking about projects like this before the last election.  In fact, I think one got a mention in their 2011 election platform. Which is to say that they haven't been totally winging it on Green Energy initiatives over year or so.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Parsing The Martha Hall Findlay Apology

Dear Justin,

 My campaign for LPoC leader is so fucking doomed right now that its pathetic, and  afterwards I'll have nothing to show for it but debt.  Debt, debt, and more debt. And just when I'd managed to shovel my way out the first time, too.  Not that you'd know about what that's like, you pampered little...  

But anyway.  I beg you to forgive my harsh words of the other night, and also to consider me for a position in some future government.  A small thing.  Minister of String, Cans and Jars might be suitable.  Or a Senate appointment. Now that would be sweet.  I could sell my principal residence and pay off the angriest of my money men.  I would eat for free in the Senate cafeteria, and sleep in my seat, the way the other Senators do.  Otherwise I fear that when you next see me I will be pushing a shopping cart up Yonge Street, speaking into a toy telephone and living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. 

Again, I cannot tell you how very, very... very sorry I am, Justin.  Sweet, beautiful, glorious Justin.  If you can see your way clear to forgiving this silly gal, and offering me some small but decently compensated post in what will surely be  a reign of historic greatness, I would be eternally grateful.

Martha Hall Findlay

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tar Sands Contaminated Ground Water Headed For Athabasca River!

...though it hasn't got there yet.  No good way to sugar-coat this (though the shill from CAPP makes a good attempt in the linked article):

Two unsurprising facts noted in Mike DeSouza's twitter feed.  The Harper government knew about this last year, and they've told the scientists who reported it to STFU.  Give it up for Mike DeSouza, the only enviro reporter in Canada worth reading.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kathleen Wynne Reaffirms Support For Green Energy Act

Wind turbines for the willing could be part of Ontario's new premier's approach to green energy.

Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters Thursday her government would not step back from green energy. But she said the voices of towns and residents must be heard as new projects go forward.

"I have made a commitment that, as we go forward, the procurement processes need to take municipal and community input into greater account," she said.

Don't quite know what "community input" amounts to.  You can never appease NIMBYs.  But good to hear nonetheless.

Shale Gas Boom Going Bust In Bakken?

Shale gas will power the future.  Or it won't.  There has been much back and forth over whether or fracked gas is the next big thing, or whether the nature of fracked wells is such that the recoverable volumes from them are being wildly  overestimated.  Basically, the individual wells don't produce for very long, and  "sweet spots" get pumped out first.  So you wind up having to drill like heck for lower quality returns, which of course drives up production costs.

Meanwhile, recent economic numbers from North Dakota, home of the famed Bakken Formation, suggest that the jobs boom created by exploration/exploitation of Bakken gas may be coming to an end:

Let's begin at the left, with mining. The rig count across North Dakota, and particularly in the rich Bakken shale, dropped sharply in September and hiring has slowed since the summer, as drilling companies have turned their focus to efficiency as capital costs (and concerns of regulation) rise in the Bakken. That's probably had spill-over effects in transportation hiring... 

Time will tell the story, but there are many who think that shale gas is already yesterday's news, and that what is happening in the Bakken  will repeat itself across the U.S. and globally.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Truth Won't Be A Defense In Any Arthur Topham Hate Speech Trial?

The hate-speech case against Arthur Topham, which I have written about on occasion, moves slowly forward.  Topham has been discussing it at length on his website.  His website's cuckoo land, but there is an interesting bit reproduced below.  Its some correspondence from a B.C. Ministry of Justice representative to Topham's lawyer, Doug Christie:

You have also asked me to specify which of Mr. Topham’s comments the Crown believes to be true and which the Crown considers false. You should be prepared for the Crown to put all of Mr. Topham’s postings and comments, as given to you in disclosure before the court. The Crown declines to limit their theory of the case at this juncture.

Now, the way I read the above passage (and I know a few lawyers, though IANAL) is that the Crown is refusing to argue Topham's many, many anti-Semitic contentions.  This way, if the thing goes to trial, lawyer Christie won't be able to bring forward a whole series of crack-pot witnesses willing to deny the Holocaust or claim that Jews control Hollywood or whatever.  The Crown is trying to avoid the freak-show that Zundel's trial became, in other words.  Which is what the tribunal process did by disallowing truth as a defense, and why so many people argued for using the criminal code in such circumstances.  Ah well.

Christian Crossroads Communications: A Bash From The Past

From the CBC archives:

Crossroads Christian Communications founder David Mainse speaking at an anti-gay rights rally in 1979.  Ken Campbell also shows up, suggesting that gays are prone to child molestation.  Not much changes with these guys, does it?

Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipient

...innocent until found guilty.  Jesus.  Pretty soon they'll be giving me one.

PS. If anyone is considering, they go for about $30 on E-Bay.  I'd be just as happy with a gift-card from Walmart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Christian Crossroads Previously Dinged By CBSC For Gay-Bashing Show

Christian Crossroads Communications has been in the news recently over this:

A Canadian Christian communications group that does taxpayer-funded development work in Uganda has rejected allegations that it is anti-gay and shares the east African nation's widely-condemned views on homosexuality.

And though they deny being anti-gay, they are the same folks that produce Its Your Call.  This show got taken to the CANADIAN BROADCAST STANDARDS COUNCIL for, well, here's a bit of the media release:

The CBSC’s Ontario Regional Panel examined the complaints under the Human Rights clauses of the CAB Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code which prohibit abusive or unduly discriminatory commentary on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as the Religious Programming clause of the CAB Code of Ethics which states that programs shall not convey attacks on identifiable groups.  The Panel noted that religious programs are allowed to declare homosexuality a sin, but that It’s Your Call crossed the line by allowing program participants to accuse homosexuals of a malicious “agenda” to “recruit” and “brainwash” children and of having a propensity to commit violent crimes such as rape targeting straight people.

The Panel also concluded that the program contained inaccurate information about various related issues, such as details about Toronto’s school curriculum.  Those inaccuracies violated the Full, Fair and Proper Presentation clause of the CAB Code of Ethics.

And the decision is here.So I am not sure I believe CCC's denials.

More Threats From The Anti-Wind Camp

An anonymous letter sent to The London Free Press threatening every farmer who works on land with wind turbines is sparking alarm on both sides of the debate and prompted an OPP investigation.

With the heading, "Notice to all Farmers and Custom Farming Operators," the single-page letter reads: "Any field that has an industrial wind turbine will be subject to having foreign materials placed in the crops which will result in very serious damage to any harvesting equipment." The letter is signed, "Regards, Your neighbors."

As the story goes onto note, there have been death threats made against wind turbine workers, and vandalism committed against one turbine facility.  This is what happens when you take a bunch of wealthy retirees and impede their cottage's view of the lake.

A Victory For Local Environmentalists

One of the reasons I can never get too arsed about some of the environmental arguments against putting up wind turbines is that, basically, everything kills birds.  Any man-made structure with a window in it is likely to take out or two over the years.  And, of course, T.O. office towers kill lots and lots of the feathery buggers:

Toronto has long been viewed as one of the world’s most perilous cities for migratory birds. FLAP [The Fatal Light Awareness Programas estimated that up to nine million birds perish each year after crashing into tall buildings in Greater Toronto, and numerous others are injured.

So it is nice to see that, under threat of legal sanction, downtown developers are starting to take mitigating actions:

In a court judgment that seemed to please everyone, a major land developer and landlord accused of violating animal-welfare laws because countless migrating birds were killed or injured when they crashed into its reflective, glass-sheathed towers in Toronto was acquitted Monday on all charges.


But the company, Cadillac Fairview, has been diligent in rectifying the situation, the judge found, and the lawyer for the group that initiated the action was pleased with the outcome, calling it a landmark decision that will compel other building owners to take similar remedial action.


The solution Cadillac Fairview is currently implementing entails placing a film over top of the glass, as a kind of marker, so the birds can see there is an obstacle up ahead.

Of course, a stitch in time saves nine, and lawyer's fees, and the City of Toronto has a set of Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines that developers can put in place, some of which (changing how a building is illuminated at night, for example) can be implemented at a minimal cost. 

As for bird-proofing your house, especially the windows around any bird feeders, this might work.  And my family used to use strips of white tape on the inside of  our kitchen windows by the hummingbird feeders.  That too seemed to do the trick.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Still Betting Against A Spring Election

The Tories came in with 33% support of decided voters while NDP's attracted 31% and the Liberal's 30%. The poll of 1,020 people -- conducted Feb. 6-8 -- found 16% of respondents were undecided.

I can't see anyone wanting to jump with these numbers.  Muddle along, OLP, and pray for 3% growth.

PS.  There's this at the end: Because the sample was not random, a margin of error could not be calculated.  If  we're talking an on-line poll where respondents self-selected, ignore it.

Ezra Levant's Freedom Cruise: I Sense A Disaster Of Hysteric Proportions

Last year,  the Sun News Network managed to con a few pathetic souls into forking out $1,050 for a $400 weekend up in Muskoka, the extra cash bestowing the privilege of hanging with the likes of Ezra and Brian Lilley.  Here's a picture from Sunday morning, as the guests attempted to escape into the surrounding forest:
Apparently none of them got out alive, or at least nobody has been willing to speak of  this "Freedom Weekend" in the months since.

Now Ezra and the gang have dreamed up a sequel that is even more fiendishly evil--a whole week on a boat with Ezra, Brian Lilley, and Pam Geller who, lets face it, is not as hot as she once was.  Imagine seven days in a dentist's chair, and then throw in sea-sickness to boot.

Personally, I can see no strategy that would get me through such a week.  Drinking every night until the darkness claims you--like you do with the in-laws at Xmas--might work, but a lot of those cruise companies make it hard to smuggle booze to you cabin, and charge 7$ or 8$ for a rum and coke.  So achieving the peace of unconsciousness each night would be an expensive proposition.  This being Alaska, I suppose you could end it all by throwing yourself on the horn of a passing Narwhal...

In any case, the date is early August, and if the CRTC refuses to give Sun News mandatory carriage in April, it may be all over by then.  Your ticket money might wind up paying for Ezra's bus back to Lethbridge.  I sense, therefore, that this "Freedom Cruise" will eventually disappear beneath waves of misadventure, and sink to the very bottom of the Flop Sea.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Big Or Small, Ezra Smears 'Em All

Intervention, observation ou réponse de l'intimé / Intervention, comment or answer by respondent

Date reçu / Date Arrived: 2013-02-06

Numéro de processus public / Public Process Number: 2013-19
Numéro d'intervention / Intervention Number: 2552
Demande(s) / Application(s): 2012-0687-1
Cas / Case: 179106

Demande à comparaître à l'audience publique / Request to appear at the public hearing: Non/No
Intimé / Respondent: Non/No

Commentaire / Comment

Sun News Network repeatedly aired false and libelous information about me and my husband, even after being told that the information was false.

On Ezra Levant's show "The faces of Idle No More" on
January 24, 2013 (see: Ezra Levant erroneously stated that me and my husband were at a Sun media protest, then accusing us of being professional protesters. In this newscast, Ezra clearly intends to demean me and my husband and ridicule us on air. 

Neither me nor my husband was even in the country when that protest took place, nor have we been anywhere near Toronto since Jan. 1 of this year. After writing Sun to tell them that the information that they aired was false, demanding an apology, Sun actually aired the program again!

There has to be some accountability. This is the just tip of the iceberg in terms of their racist, misleading, and at times outright false programming. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Sakura Saunders

Raisons pour comparaitre / Reasons for appearance

I do not need to appear at the hearing, but I can present evidence that I was out of the country (from Jan 1 until Feb 28) and I can also attest to other programming that I have seen that is blatantly racist.

Sakura Saunders is this lady, and the original of the above can be found here. If you compare pictures of her to the video below, its pretty clear Ezra is talking about the wrong gal.

I am told she is considering legal action.  Get in line, young lady.

Latest Poll On Northern Gateway

A new poll has found 61 per cent of B.C. residents oppose Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, while support is at 35 per cent.

And the Insights West online survey found opponents of the project are more entrenched – 38 per cent are strongly opposed, compared to just 11 per cent who strongly support the new route for crude oil across northwestern B.C. to Kitimat.

The full results can be found here. Meanwhile Alberta separatist Ted Morton ponders measures that, if taken, could lead to a civil war in this country. So, yeah, to say they could "backfire" is one way of putting it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The State Of Levant

Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen has some new viewer numbers for the Sun News Network.  They are very sad:

Who is the Monkey King, you ask?

In any case it looks like Brian Lilley is out-pointing Ezra these days. ratings wise.  Gotta be the hair.

Canadian Newspaper Day Gets One Thing Right

From here.  Like the picture too. A kind of dazed, deer in the headlights, what will I do when this gig goes down the crapper? look in her eyes.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Jonathon Kay On Junk Science

Jonathon laments:

On Jan. 29, Windsor city council voted 8 to 3 to end the addition of fluoride to the city’s water supply. Local dentists are appalled. And with good reason: Water fluoridation (typically at the rate of 0.5 to 1.0 mg/L) is a safe and cost-effective practice that is supported by six decades of epidemiological data.

And winds up with:

The episode is also a wake-up call for ordinary Canadians who get their health news from reputable sources — such as their own conventionally accredited dentists and doctors, and from peer-reviewed medical literature. In Windsor, this silent majority is now waking up to a city in which a beneficial trace additive now will be absent from the water supply, all because of a small but committed cadre of Internet-educated activists and the naive municipal politicians they co-opted.

In Windsor, and in cities all across Canada, this silent majority will have to become less silent. Otherwise, public health increasingly will fall under the sway of scientifically ignorant individuals.

Fair enough.  But there's a real lack of self-awareness here.  Jonathon, after all,  is comment pages editor at the National Post, and under his watch it has for years entertained  junk science from Global Warming deniers.  Sometimes this nonsense has been confined to the OpEd pages; sometimes its made the news, and sometimes the claims have been so egregiously false that defamation suits have been the result.

And as I have written on several occasions, you can't open the floodgates a little way.  You can't set teh crazy just a little bit free. When you start smearing a particular scientific field, you get mud over the whole edifice. A small but committed group of Internet-educated activists have managed to hold sway over the public in the case of the global warming issue as well as with fluoridation. And they have educated themselves reading, among other things,  Mr. Kay's own newspaper.  If he wants to start laying blame on "scientifically ignorant individuals", he should be looking in the mirror and at the people around him.

By the way, a  detailed discussion of arguments against fluoridation can be found here; they don't strike me as very good, but they are not all obviously insane either.

Monday, February 04, 2013

A Profound Difference

Applies generally--not just to science blogs--I would say.  Journalistic logic is always concluding "It sucks, but its there".

 From here.

The Media Is Owed Nothing

Its worth remembering that the last "exciting" race the LPoC ran provided fodder for attack ads against both the leader who emerged that year and in '08.  Star columnist Tim Harper naturally wants more.  Cooler heads should not tell him no.  And of course Harper undermines his own point pretty effectively when he says:

The New Democrats may have sleepwalked their way through a leadership contest, but emerged having chosen wisely with their election of Tom Mulcair and the party profile jumped, at least in the immediate aftermath of his victory.

....which is to say that in Canadian politics, boring works.  Let the Tories do their own opposition research this time, shall we?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Flash! Margaret Wente Makes Error In Column!

I'm shocked!  shocked!  And I'd forgotten she's on the BOD of Energy Probe, which is probably where she picks up most of of anti-renewable nonsense in the first place.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

More On Obama Delaying Keystone

This story has not had much pickup, esp. in the Canuck Media.  But the Omaha World-Herald seems convinced of its provenance:

An Obama administration official indicated Friday that no decision will be made on the [Keystone XL Gateway] pipeline until at least June.

If true, its probably the most important story in the Canadian news last, this, or next week.  Why your standard MSM types are obsessing over the LPoC beauty contest  re   at the expense of it is beyond me.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Obama Delays Keystone XL Decision

"We're talking the beginning of summer at the earliest," said the source, who did not want to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the TransCanada Corp project, which has been pending for more than four and a half years. "It's not weeks until the final decision. It's months."

Here's the most important bit from the piece:

"The fact the administration is taking its time suggests ... that it wants to succeed with an airtight story that pleases the primary concerns of both sides," said Kevin Book, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners in Washington.

...which is to say that, whatever he decides in the end, Obama has no reason to short-circuit the process; deciding before the game has been played out would, in the case of a yes decision, inflame environmentalists, who will say that he has caved to the oil industry.

In fact I would not bet on a decision this year.  Finding a new route that is empirically safer than the old is not as easy as it sounds.

Marni Soupcoff Leaves National Post

There's been rumors of axe sharpening over at the National Post in advance of their move to new quarters.  It looks as though Marni Soupcoff maybe decided to jump before she was pushed:

Don't know quite when this happened, but her twitter feed only goes back a week and they still have her listed on the NP website, with her last piece dates from a little under two months old.

An Oil Spill Will... Pt II

“We had four deaths in first year –two died within two months.” I now have said goodbye to 17 people who I met since the oil spill..." 

Remember The Kalamazoo.

And ANOTHER Sun Media Publication Bites The Dust

Just got the word that Shopping News in Niagara is done as of today.

And indeed the URL either dead-ends or redirects to the Niagara Falls Review. This is all happening too fast.  I'm running out of anti-Sun Media jokes!

PS.  I noted this a couple of days ago.  Now its been confirmed.