Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ford Drug Scandal Engulfs Hudak Tories?

Well, maybe just a little

Blogging Tory Bites The Dust

The Canadian Forces has ordered a member of the military who is also president of the Ottawa South Conservative Association to resign immediately from that position and cease his political activities.

The move comes a day after the Citizen reported on the growing anger among former soldiers who accused Daniel Dickin of branding a prominent veterans advocate and his organization as “extreme” and a threat to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Some veterans and Citizen readers also questioned why Dickin was being allowed to post highly controversial and politically partisan writings while he is a serving military member. Dickin’s writings have attacked the NDP as well as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who he called a “criminal” while praising Harper as “the Best PM we’ve ever had.”

Dicken has now made his blog invite only.  You can still take a look inside at the older stuff if you use google cache. Meanwhile, he is still on the BT blog-roll.  Stephen Taylor must be so proud.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jonathan Chait's Puzzling Defense Of Keystone XL

He writes:

Keystone is at best marginally relevant to the cause of stopping global warming. The whole crusade increasingly looks like a bizarre misallocation of political attention.

My view, which I laid out in a long feature story last spring, is that the central environmental issue of Obama’s presidency is not Keystone at all but using the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate existing power plants. That’s a tool Obama has that can bring American greenhouse gas emissions in line with international standards, and thus open the door to lead an international climate treaty in 2015. The amount of carbon emissions at stake in the EPA fight dwarf the stakes of the Keystone decision.

This is bizarre.  The Obama administration has already committed to having the EPA regulate new and exiting power plants (starting with the easier and less controversial situation re new plants).   Chait is asking the environmental movement to focus its attention on a battle that, for the time-being at least, they seem to have already won.  What is the point of that?  Why not look for new victories?  Why not aim and for Keystone dead AND coal regulated into obsolescence?

Ontarions On Nuclear

Forum's poll on nuclear energy, especially the bit that asks about the planned refurbishment of the Darlington reactors, is hardly surprising.  All of the work done will take place on property already owned by the facility. When you talk about new plants on new sites...that's when folks go ape-shit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The State Of Stand With Ezra

The site Ezra is using to raise money for his latest defamation suit has been hacked.  Don't know what issue B3Yaz has with him, but there's some nice gypsy-like music playing on the site now, so maybe it's in solidarity with The Roma (who Ezra slimed).

Update: In the comments, Dawg says the music is Turkish.

It's Just A Forum Poll, But...

TORONTO, OCTOBER 23, 2013 ‐ In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1859 Canadians 18 years of age and older, almost 4‐in‐10 would vote Liberal if an election were held today (39%), compared to just 3‐in‐10 who would support the Conservatives (30%). Fewer than a fifth would vote NDP (19%), and fewer than a tenth would opt for the Bloc Quebecois (7%), the Green Party (4%) or any other party (1%). These findings represent a widening of the gap between the two leading parties, from 5 points last month to 9 points this month. The Liberals are favoured by older voters (55 to 64 ‐ 45%), the least wealthy (43%) and the wealthy ($80K to $100K ‐ 43%), in the Atlantic provinces (56%), among the best educated (post grad ‐ 47%), non‐Christians (47%) and among those of non‐European  ethnicity (48%). Of note, one third of those who voted NDP in the last election will vote Liberal this time (33%), as will just fewer than one fifth of past Conservative voters (17%)

Note that Justin pulls a lot from the 2011 NDP, and some from the 2011 CPC vote.  SO he is able to fish in both ponds.  Not sure how previous Forum polls chopped the numbers, but it also looks like the LPC might own the largest chunk of the "not born in Canada" vote, which they've been fighting for with the CPC over the past couple of years.

PS.  This poll may have come out last week, but since I got nothin' else this morning, I will leave the post up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Can't Argue With It

OTTAWA ― The Canadian Labour Congress says that a study released by the Fraser Institute, which attacks the pensions paid to men and women who provide public services to Canadians, is hypocritical.

“The Fraser Institute claims to be independent and non-partisan,” says CLC President Ken Georgetti. “But the Institute is well known for taking millions of dollars in contributions from right wing American think tanks and multinational corporations then producing studies that conveniently push their agenda. Who paid for this one, big oil, big pharmaceutical companies, tobacco companies, or the business leaders in Canada who regularly donate to the Conservative Party?”

Georgetti says that in 2011 Michael Walker, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, was paid $424,000 funded by tax deductible, charitable donations. “At the same time, the Institute says that we can’t afford to pay a pension of $18,000 a year to retired public servants.”

My favorite fact about The Fraser Insitute is that until 2011 their editorial advisory board, which peer reviews their reports, was mostly dead.

On The Occasion Of The Death Of Mr. Lou Reed

I spent my teenage years lugging The Velvet's 1969  from house party to house party, trying to get someone to play it, but with little luck.  Then in 1980 I met my buddy Dave.  He was a few years older, and known as something of an intellectual; or at least he'd swiped The Anarchist's Cookbook from UVIC's library and was using it to make smoke bombs and home-brewed chloroform.

Dave had lucked out.  He had managed to rent a small cabin on an acre of land right in the middle of down-town Langford.  The previous owner had died, and Dave was promised the place until the developer finally decided what would happen to it.  The property bordered a couple of strip-malls, so after closing you could play your stereo as loud as you wanted without attracting complaints or police attention.  It was a great  place to hang out.  But the previous owner, an old eccentric, had killed himself by sealing up the windows and running his lawnmower in the living room until he passed out from the gas and asphyxiated.  When Dave wanted you to know he was tired of you and it was time to leave, he'd bring out the same lawn-mower and fire it up until  the last kid was off his property.

Anyway, one day I had him throw on this song from the album...

...and got him to open all the doors and windows, and then I herded everyone onto the roof, where we lay on our backs and stared up at a clear, moonless night.  Pretty soon his house began vibrating in time with the guitars, and for ten minutes it seemed as though we were riding a giant space-ship, sailing just under the stars.

Later Dave decided that his life needed structure, and joined the armed forces.  Last I heard (mid 80s) he was off to Kingston to work on computers for them.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Justin On Keystone

People may have been surprised, but shouldn't have been.  Justin's position on Keystone XL has been on record for awhile know.  And though I personally oppose Keystone and all other pipelines out of Mordor, that is not a tenable stance for a politician looking to win seats in Alta. or Sask. Indeed, of the three pipelines currently under consideration, Keystone is the easiest to get behind because its fate is entirely out of Canadian hands.  There's nothing that need to be done, or can be done at this point, but add a few cheers from the side-line.  More bothersome to me is Justin's apparent support for the Trans Mountain line (through 2nd link above).  But since there's no regulatory application even on the table yet for that one, presumably he will have time to change his mind.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Andrew Leach Lays Out The Odds

"We see Northern Gateway as the most vulnerable," Samir Kayande, vice-president at ITG Investments, said during a panel discussion on the Financial Post website this week. "[TransCanada's Corp.'s] Energy East and TMX [Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain] are most likely [with TMX benefiting from having built the loop through Jasper before the opposition to pipelines really built]," said Andrew Leach, associate professor at the University of Alberta, who participated in the discussion.

"Both have [at least partial] existing rights-of-way and so are starting from a better place....

This sounds about right to me.  Note the modifier "at least partial" in front of rights-of-way. Particularly in the case of Trans Mountain, the ultimate odds of the line gong through depend heavily on how partial is partial. At the moment this is impossible to know, but there is some evidence that the line will breach the current right of way in more places than originally advertised.  This means more land to be purchased, expropriated, or otherwise gained-access to so new pipe can be laid.  More landowners to piss off, in other words.  More legal difficulties, more potential blockades, more bad stuff in general if you are betting on the line.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Dings Ezra Levant Again!

From the release:

The host of The Source, Ezra Levant, showed videoclips of a protest that had occurred outside the Sun’s Toronto office.  The protestors objected to Sun Media’s coverage of the Idle No More movement.  A few days later, Levant replayed the clips, saying that, following their initial broadcast, he had received information from viewers about who some of the protestors were.  He identified one couple by their names, stating that they were “professional protestors” who had engaged in other protest activity.

The CBSC received a complaint from the identified woman, who asserted that she was not the person in the clip as she had not attended the Sun Media protest and had not even been in Toronto at the time.  She also complained that Levant had tarnished her reputation and that of her husband by accusing them of being professional protestors and using the Aboriginal movement to cause a “ruckus”.

The CBSC’s National Specialty Services Panel concluded that Sun News Network breached Clause 6 of the CAB Code of Ethics for including inaccurate information in the talk show.  Levant had acknowledged his error on the February 8 episode of The Source.

The actual decision can be found here.  Its worth noting that Ezra didn't bother correcting himself until after the complaint was filed (not when the error was first pointed out).

I wrote about this one previously.  From the original complaint:

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. 

At the time, I contacted the complainant via email.  They were considering legal action at the time, which I think meant another defamation suit; I don't know what has happened with that.

PS.  I have an theory about who fed Ezra the false names in this case.  Ez, baby, you shouldn't trust that pair with anything.

For Mac Mayor Talks Global Warming: B.C. Is Sinking And Alta. Real Estate Is Going UP UP UP

 Three-time mayor Melissa Blake on AGW:

“I’m a big believer that, yes, the climate is changing. If the climate goes up by two, three, four degrees in the future, we’re lucky to be here in Fort McMurray. We’re lucky not to be in California or BC. They’re going to fall in the ocean. In a place like this, we’re going to survive a lot better.”

You mean digging up bitumen is a good thing, because it will make Fort McMurray’s winters milder?

With a nervous laugh, she assents: “And that means my real estate becomes a very important asset in the future, so I’m not selling my house anytime soon.”

What sweet sentiments.  I am sure the folks in B.C., though which Alberta oil must flow, will be very happy.

Who Will Replace Stephen Harper?

When the history of Duffygate is written, I wonder if  people will say look back and say Oh!  So that's why Industry Minister James Moore's website looked so much like a campaign-for-leader site.  Others have already speculated that he might be the Tory's next one, although no-one really saw the transition occurring before 2015.  But now there's a real possibility that PM Harper may ride off into the sunset in the back of a police vehicle, and who knows maybe Mr. Moore saw it all coming?  In any case, if Harper pulls a McGuinty, watching Moore and Kenney fight it out for the soul of the party would be terrifically entertaining.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Facebook More Crap Than Usual Today

"Some of the functionality is missing from Facebook this morning. You can't post, comment or like anything today."

The link is to \., which which now experience the BCLSB Effect, during which time they will receive a barely perceptible bump in traffic that will put no strain on their servers whatsoever.

Life In Scarborough Part Whatever +1: The State Of Coffee In Scarborough

Noticed today that the Coffee Time outlet next to Kennedy Avenue subway station had gone TU.  It was obviously too upscale for this neighborhood.  It's been replaced by a pimply white kid in a mesh-back cap sporting an LA Raiders logo on it who sells 8-balls of crack out his car window.  I asked him for a double-double, and he offered to pop a cap in my ass.  Somewhat confused, I declined the
offer. (*)

Such is life in Scarborough, sometimes.

(*) Based on a true story.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Victory Or Valhalla!

The race is on in the federal ridings of Toronto-Centre, Provencher, Brandon-Souris and Bourassa.

A special shout-out to Rolf Dinsdale, once lead guitarist for SFH and a guy with what might only be described as a thing for hats.  Good luck as LPC candidate out in  Brandon-Souris, dude, because I don't think they'll let you back into town if you lose.  Or even if you win, come to think of it.

And, just as a note to the LPC as an organization: throw it all at these by-elections, even where there is, based on recent trends, no hope.  That's how you break through, by showing up and putting out even if you know you won't win.  People take note, and appreciate.  And next time maybe you do win.

PS.  I've met Rolf a couple of times, and seen him play.  He's a decent guy, and a decent guitar-player.  As an MP, he would rule OK.

Anti-Wind Protest Attracts 300 People

That is all (in more ways than one. Bah hah!)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

BOOM!!! Part II

A CN Rail train carrying liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil has derailed and exploded about 80 kilometres west of Edmonton, prompting an evacuation in the tiny community of Gainford.

More On The Piraha (My Favorite Folk)

The Piraha are a small tribe living along the Amazon with an extremely peculiar...simple, primitive...language:

Among Pirahã's many peculiarities is an almost complete lack of numeracy, an extremely rare linguistic trait of which there are only a few documented cases. The language contains no words at all for discrete numbers and only three that approximate some notion of quantity—hói, a "small size or amount," hoí, a "somewhat larger size or amount," and baágiso, which can mean either to "cause to come together" or "a bunch."

I've written about the implications such a language has for certain theories of Chomsky and other linguist/philosophers here: challenges Chomsky's ideas of a "Universal Grammar" and a "Language Organ". Essentially, in this idea the Language Organ is seen as an inference machine, a computer that is loaded with some version of First Order Logic elaborate enough to give you simple mathematics (as, for example, in Russel's Principia Mathematica). Thus, "number" should be present in all human languages.

And yet Piraha lacks this supposedly "universal design feature" (as I believe Everett calls it). Hence no Universal Grammar. And since a UG and, according to some (Fodor at one time), a universal lexicon are supposedly our heritage as a species, perhaps no Human Nature either.

Anyway, run off and read the Internet.  I've away most of today, and this may be all you see in this place.

Friday, October 18, 2013

More On Free Speech Warrior Ezra Levant Oppressing People's Free Speechiness (IE. Suing Them For Defamation, Or Threatening To)

Following up on this, stuff from about ten years ago.  Shit our hero has been willing to sue people for defamation! (Bolding is mine)

After Harper became Canadian Alliance leader that year, he participated, along with current Conservative election chair John Reynolds, in a very public campaign to pressure the nominated candidate in the riding, Ezra Levant, to step aside so he could run for a seat in an upcoming by-election.

At the time Reynolds said that the party would assist with any debts [Levant] may have had which media reports claimed were at least $120,000. (Calgary Herald, March 22, 2003, National Post, April 8, 2002)

The incident deeply divided party members in Harper's riding association resulting in Levant and three other Calgary party members filing a $5.8-million lawsuit against other party members and executives over alleged defamation related to the nomination battle.  (Calgary Herald, November 22, 2003)

There's more on the same set of incidents (I think) from this old FreeD post from back in 2003.  I won't describe the contents through the link, just point to them, because doing more might itself count as defamatory these days.

And more shit from WK's old site.  Ezra tried to sue Chuck Strahl?

PS.  Thanks to Holly Stick in the comments!

Nina Pierpont "Expert" Testimony Disallowed At Adelaide ERT Hearing

Nina,  a New York pediatrician, is the author of "Wind Turbine Syndrome" and in the eyes of most scientists, the inventor of the an imaginary syndrome allegedly caused by the presence of nearby wind-farms.  Her work is probably the major piece of pseudo-science invoked by anti-wind-power activists in their efforts to have wind-farms kept out of their communities.

Interesting, then, that the Ontario ERT (Environmental Review Tribunal) has disallowed her testimony in the appeal  of Nextera Energy's Adelaide Wind Project (see paragraph 19 of the material through this sentence's first link).  Basically, the material she provided the ERT was an impenetrable mess.

Nor is Pierpont the only anti-wind faction witness rejected by the tribunal; a long and fairly complete list, compiled by Ontario Wind Resistance's  Esther Wrightman, who has been quarter-backing the appeal, can be found here.  Of particular interest is Ben Lansink, a London area appraiser who's work has been central in the attempt to establish that the presence of wind-farms has a deleterious effect on Ontario property values.  If the ERT doesn't think his material makes the cut, then it will be almost impossible for the anti-wind folk to mount a serious argument on this point.

PS.  As a special bonus, here is Dennis Gruending on Climate Change and Canadian Churches.

Suzuki [Foundation] Strikes Back!

My favorite bit (naturally):

Those not familiar with Sun News host Ezra Levant — who also founded a propaganda organization and website to promote the fossil fuel industry and target environmental groups — might be interested to know he has been proven in court to be less than credible, with a judge in one case ruling that he spoke in "reckless disregard of the truth." In fact, he's currently facing another in a string of libel charges. He's also had to apologize publicly for rants and comments that were deemed racist and has been found in violation of the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council's ethical guidelines. He doesn't believe in the science of climate change, thinks recycling is "pointless" and believes Canada should put all its economic eggs in the oil sands basket. Many of his attacks are ad hominem — that is, they are aimed at perceived flaws in an individual's character rather than his arguments — and most are blatantly false.

Incidentally, his latest libel case, which I expect to end as all the others (with Ezra, or whoever finances Ezra, paying up), has been delayed until January.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Latest Federal Poll: LPC Up By 10

CPC flirting with 3rd

The State Of The LPC

Last evening Jeff Jedras was good enough to organize a call between LPC poohbahs, ably represented in this case by MP Dominic Leblanc, and a number of Lib friendly bloggers.  The idea was to discuss the state of the game on the eve of today's throne speech.  This is my take on that call.

First, as to the measures that have been leaked to the media (cable channels  à la carte, closing the price gap between U.S. and Canadian retail goods), these show that the Harper government has been picking up the same signals from Canadians over the summer as their  Liberal counterparts: many feel we are still in recession, and are particularly aggrieved by the "nickle and diming" they face from the corporate world (credit card companies gouging small businesses being another example Mr. Leblanc noted).  Not having any ideas to deal with the larger economic problems faced by the country, the CPC will be content to play some populist small ball with these issues in the new session.

As to their position re the measures that might eventually come forward, the LPC will adopt a wait-and-see attitude.  Some of the stuff leaked so far does not sound practically doable, and some of it will pit the CPC against their usual small business allies, so in the end we might see insubstantial "consumer friendly" gestures--appointing panels and the like.  In that case, the party is not likely to play  along.  Should something workable come forward, then there may be opportunities for cooperation between the LPC and the government.

As an aside, I think one short-coming of the Libs "no policy" approach has now become apparent. While the government has stolen many themes that Justin Trudeau spent the summer articulating, they will be able to put flesh to them in a away the LPC cannot, at least not until February's policy convention.  It would have been useful to have a few concrete counter-proposals on hand at the start of the new session.

Finally, as of this morning (it may change) there will not be a debate over the throne speech itself. The practical effect of this will be disproportionately stop CPC back-benchers from speaking.   The Conservative government tendency to not trust its own foot-soldiers with their own mouths seems alive and well.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fontaine And Farber On First Nations Genocide

Our conviction is that Canadian policy over more than 100 years can be defined as a genocide of First Nations under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.

Read it all if you can dodge the pay-wall.  I have nothing particularly interesting to add except that under such circumstances it is generally good politics and good policy to own-up and move on.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Anyone Up For A Liberal War On Thanksgiving?

Recently I'm noticing a lot of fake happiness of the same kind that makes me hate Xmas.  People smiling at one another on the buses, and so forth.  But its an even chintzier version.  While at Xmas you can generally count on people to act semi-decent between the 24th and 27th, on Thanksgiving the mask usually comes off about 7 pm, and folks are at one another's throat again.  God knows my Liberal war on Xmas has not been a great success.  Nevertheless, I am willing to put myself out there in an attempt to undermine a 2nd Christian holiday.  WHO IS WITH ME?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fighting Dragons

Not exactly, but...  Click on pic for full effect.

I used to own a couple of Greens, which are not quite as spectacular.  They would fight, but a bit less energetically than these two.

Lenore Zann For NS/Federal NDP Leader

I'm happy to note that Nova Scotia MLA Lenore Zann was one of the few NDP-ers to survive the Crimson Tide earlier this week.  In an previous career, Lenore acted in 1980's horror movies, playing such roles as Maggie in Happy Birthday To Me and Nun #3 in Return of the Nun Munchers: Back For Breakfast! For these if no other reasons I think  Lenore should throw her hat in the ring when NS NDP leader Darrel Dexter steps down, and perhaps even consider going federal in the post-Tom Mulcair era after 2015. She obviously has experience living through blood-baths.

PS.  Here is a picture of Lenore.  Yeah she's a babe.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Birds And Turbines, Part Bazillion

A new study, "Canadian Estimate of Bird Mortality Due to Collisions and Direct Habitat Loss Associated with Wind Turbine Developments” came out earlier this month.  Its conclusion should be entirely unsurprising: on  average a Canadian turbine will kill about 8.2 birds per year, or about 23,200 in total. That's a largish sounding number, but its trivial when compared to the  100 and 350 million birds killed by feral/house-cats every year, or the 25 million killed by colliding with Canadian windows.  Or, really compared to any major source of bird mortality you can name.  Which is why anti-wind forces have essentially struck out when playing the "bird blender" card before the ERT (Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal). See, for example, here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

LPC Western Resurgence?

Interesting poll result.  Federal Libs are at 32% in Manitoba.  That's still 10% back of the Tories, but I would imagine its enough to pick up a few seats hear and there, especially around Winnipeg.

For my T.O. readers, Manitoba is the one to the left of Ontario on the map.  I lived there briefly back in the late 60s, and remember snow, and getting towed on a toboggan around Lake Winnipeg behind a snow-mobile that look a bit like a riding mower.  And I've flown over it since.  So it does exist. The name is an Inuit word meaning "frozen tundra".

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

On Distributing Religious Literature In Ontario Schools

About a recent ORHT case where an atheist demanded that the practice of allowing  Gideons International in Canada to distribute their version of the New Testament to grade 5 students be stopped, and that the tribunal should rule against the practice of allowing any religious literature to be distributed in Ontario schools:

The Tribunal had no trouble finding that the Board’s original policy of allowing only one religious group to distribute materials to students amounted to discrimination.  However, the Applicant asked that the Tribunal order that no religious literature of any kind be distributed in schools. 

The Tribunal held that while the Code ensures equality because of creed, it does not ban creed from all public spaces.  A public school board may decide not to distribute religious material of any kind.  However, if a school board’s policy is to allow for optional religious activities outside the instructional day, such a policy would be allowable under the Code, provided that:

Student participation is optional;
All creeds are treated equally; and
There is no subtle or formal coercion of students to participate.

The Tribunal went on to say that if a school board is going to allow for the distribution of religious material in its schools, it needs to do more than just ensure that its policy facilitates the access of groups other than the Gideons.   To ensure compliance with the Code, the school board must make some effort to encourage a diversity of literature, and promote awareness of its willingness to allow for the distribution of materials by all interested groups. 

The extent of the effort necessary to comply with this requirement is unclear. However, the principles outlined in this decision provide a useful guideline for public school boards intending to review their policies and practices with a view to allowing after-school religious activities in schools.

Very little in the MSM on this.  Lifesite has a realtively sane (for them) story on the case here.  The ruling (which I haven't read yet) can be found here.  It looks as though, for the time being, nobody gets to hand out pamphlets until a compliant policy has been formulated.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

On The Gasplant Thing

Ouch.  Dumbest thing the OLP ever did, was cancel those plants.  Cost a fortune, as everyone can plainly see, and really gave the anti-Green Energy Act opponents their only half-decent argument: money is obviously not a problem, and you were willing to listen to NIMBYs down in the GTA, so why won't you listen to us? As an issue going forward--who knows?  I'd say it helps Horwath more than Hudak, because Hudak is sad and his platform is a tea-party style attack on Canadian values that won't resonate.  But who can say?  This one has been in the news forever.  The story was told long ago: a former Premier blew a lot of money to win a couple of ridings he would have won anyway; the new Premier has apologized and vowed to move forward.  That may just be enough.

Ezra Speaks Out On Latest Defamation Case

Thus far Ezra Levant said nothing re the latest defamation case brought against him.  However, I have it on good authority that he will be issuing an official statement on his blog and Sun News show very soon.  In fact, I have acquired what I believe to be a rough draft of this statement:

Well, I sure am back in the shit!  Dad's gonna kill me.  He's told me: one more lawsuit and boom! no more allowance.  And then what?  My Sun News  gig is going T.U. on me. Pretty soon I'll be on a bus back to the tar patch.

But back to what?  Dad's said: "Fuck up one more time and you're out the door!  A road map and an apple is all you get, and then I rent your apartment!"  Right now I'm seeing a room at a Motel 6 in my future, eating off the hot-plate, and waiting tables 16 hours a day up in Lethbridge to pay my lawyers' bill.  Would you like fries with that, sir?  No?  How about a muffin?  Oh how far to fall!

I don't think I can hack it.  I've grown used to the soft Toronto living, to the two-way streets and  the sweet city coffee they make out here.  I don't think I can go back to Tim Horton's...big dumb, Tim Horton's. the coffee equivalent of the missionary position.

Maybe I can try an apology this time, and get in front of the issue.  YO AWAN!  I'M SORRY!!! I'M SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY!  I'M SOOO SORRRRRYYYYY!!!! you swarthy little prick.  Didn't mean that!  DIDN"T MEAN THAT!

I wonder if anyone heard me.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Toronto Teens Talk Urban Form

Two girls on the bus this morning:

"My family rented a cottage in ______ this summer.  _______ was pretty, but scary."

"Scary how?"

"It was like in those movies..."

"Perfect, but..."

"Yeah.  I can't imagine anyone actually living there.  The downtown was, like, one block."

"That's weird how all these other places have down-towns.  I thought only we had a down-town.  But there are all these  other places that have them.  All these little...towns."

"Yeah...  Towns."

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Mulcair Sells Out...

...abandons a millionaire's tax when such revenue generation devices are going down well or at least proving not toxic in a number of jurisdictions.  Are Liberals these days the only ones who can successfully incorporate "soak the rich" policies into their policy mix?

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Wynne's Libs Still Ahead

A Nanos Research poll, published Saturday, shows Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are still ahead, though not on pace for a majority government, pollster Nik Nanos said. The Liberals sit at 36.0 per cent, ahead of the PCs at 31.3 per cent, the NDP at 26.1 per cent and the Greens at 6.3 per cent.

What can you say other than that her rivals make her look pretty damn good in comparison.

Warman Vs. FreeD: Warman Speaks

Richard has his own brief account of his case and its outcome here.  The most interesting bit is his interpretation of the fact that punitive damages were awarded.  He quotes  Justice Peter Cory of the Supreme Court:

“Punitive damages may be awarded in situations where the defendant’s misconduct is so malicious, oppressive and high‑handed that it offends the court’s sense of decency. Punitive damages bear no relation to what the plaintiff should receive by way of compensation. Their aim is not to compensate the plaintiff, but rather to punish the defendant. It is the means by which the jury or judge expresses its outrage at the egregious conduct of the defendant. They are in the nature of a fine which is meant to act as a deterrent to the defendant and to others from acting in this manner.”

Over at FreeD and elsewhere they are still claiming they're victims, or well-intentioned critics of a human rights system gone bad, or whatever.  The jury did not see it this way.  The jury thought they were assholes, and sought to punish them for the fact.

Friday, October 04, 2013

A Blast From The Past? Ontario Wind Resistance Moves Content To Icelandic Servers

...for free speech reasons.  Essentially they're worried that wind companies like Nextera might sue them for defamation/trade-mark infringement, and think that having their content out of country will somehow prevent this from happening.

If the move sounds familiar, that's because it is:

Conn Esq Web Design was originally intended to be a corporation offering internet design and programming services, holding Free Dominion as an example of its production. But in the past year the corporation has begun to see ownership of Free Dominion as too much of a potential liability because the website has become a target for individuals and government organizations determined to attack freedom of speech, using a variety of methods at their disposal. 

Considering the political climate in Canada today, Conn Esq Web Design Ltd. has made the corporate decision to sell Free Dominion to Liberty News Service Inc. of Panama City, Panama.Liberty News Service’s corporate mission is to buy websites from individuals and corporations living in countries where free speech is under attack, and protect those websites from being shut down or seized by oppressive governments. 

And we all know how that worked out.  Essentially, if the OWR owners or any of their readers use the site to defame a wind company and get sued for it, they're hooped if they're living in Canada.

But let them find out the hard way.

What Anti-Wind Activists Talk About When They're Alone

From the comments at Ontario Wind Resistance:

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Canadians Are "Concerned" About A Lotta Stuff

If "a majority of Canadians say they are “concerned” about potential negative financial impacts on their families if proposed pipeline projects fail to get the go-ahead" is the best they can suck out of the results of the latest Ipsos-Reid poll, then I imagine the details are even worse news for team tar-sands.  I wonder if Ipsos asked a straight up-or-down question re approval/disapproval of the individual projects under consideration?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Warman Vs. Free Dominion: Warman Triumphant

From an observer partial to The Fourniers:

I’ll be brief.

Today is a sad, sad day for all Canadians – and a tragic one for all freedom loving people.

The jury foreperson giggled as she said: “The answer is 42!”

As in, $42,000 awarded to Mr. Warman in damages…

In addition, Mr. Warman is seeking an injunction against Free Dominion – a gag order – that would see the Fourniers thrown into jail if anyone even mentions his name on FD, no matter how quickly it would be taken down.  If that happens, Free Dominion will cease to exist…

I’ll have some details later – am too upset to write more now.

That this would be the result really should have been obvious.  You won't convince anyone that you're fighting for free speech rights, or even that you're sane, by bringing in Paul Fromm and David Icke as character witnesses.  Congratulations Richard on the end of a long fight.  Now go drink beer.

Update:   They're considering an appeal over at FreeD.  Also considering a shutdown.

If You Haven't Noticed Yet

...the economy is under-performing:

The Bank of Canada signalled Tuesday that it's lowering its forecasts for economic growth in the second half of 2013 and possibly for next year, citing a more prudent consumer and an export sector that has yet to fully recover.

Senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem said the central bank no longer expects the July-September period to grow at a rate of 3.8 per cent as previously forecast.

Instead, the bank says the third quarter will likely show an economy that advanced at a more moderate pace of 2.0 per cent to 2.5 per cent, the same speed it now expects will continue in the fourth quarter. Previously, it had penciled in a 2.5 per cent expansion for the last three months of the year.

That's why you feel bummed-out and shitty when you look at your pay-cheque.  As for the political consequences, well, bad for Darrel Dexter and, you would think, Kathleen Wynne, though that is not obvious from any polling I've seen.  Good news for Justin Trudeau: the Harper government can't keep saying its steak when its spam forever.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Kingston Pen: Closed Too Soon?


Well, this, this, and maybe even this:

We shall see.  Ah!  Seems so.