... Over and over again I hear how "wonderful" Obama's rhetoric is; how much everyone responds to it and how it makes them hopeful about the future etc. etc. etc.
Frankly, I can barely stand to listen to the man. I have to read transcripts of most of his speeches because my reaction to his style is so negative. I don't like the sensation of being manipulated; nor do I like being lectured to by someone who instinctively believes they are far more virtuous than I am-- and intends to show me the error of my ways. Understand that I listen to people for a living. I hear various degrees of honesty, sincerity, and real emotional pain being expressed on a regular basis. I also hear some of the most self-serving, dishonest and completely irresponsible utterings that it is possible to imagine. Yet, in my professional career, I have to freely admit that I have heard nothing like the deceitful and self-aggrandizing utterings of Barack Obama, which seem to get more and more pathological with every speech he gives.
... Next time you listen to the Obamessiah's speeches, listen to what he doesn't say. Listen to the vagueness, the vacuity. Listen to the lack of specifics and the blatant emotional manipulation. Listen to the cognitive dissonance between what he is saying in his seductive, sedating style; and what he is doing with his deliberate, statist national policies and his foreign policy that not only demeans America by apologizing for her very existence; but severly handicaps her ability to act in the future. Watch how he badmouths the previous Administration, then surrepticiously implements the same policies that kept us safe over the last 8 years.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
This is nuts. Pierre Poilievere referred to the Liberal carbon tax policy as a "tar baby". Ralph Goodale (no doubt after deep consultation with the Liberal brainless trust) called his remark "racist" and demanded an apology. And naturally the Libs had black MP Marlene Jennings reinforce the phony outrage.
In contemporary usage, "tar baby" refers to any "sticky situation" that is
only aggravated by additional contact.
While it’s true that some usages of the term "tar baby" can be racist, given the context in this case it’s impossible to find any "racist" meaning in Poilievre’s comment. Goodale and Jennings are a couple of trouble-making morons digging for a non-existent racial slur to hang on a conservative.
If any apologies are owed in this affair it’s Goodale and Jennings who owe them to Poilievre and to Parliament. And CTV News (Lisa La Phlegm, anchor) needs a smack up-side the head for highlighting this idiocy as a "top story".
Pierre Poilievre certainly has nothing to apologize for.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The game is over. We have had 15 years of negotiations under three administrations, the Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. Not just are they a failure, but they are a humiliation.
I think it's time to recognize that it's over. North Korea is a nuclear power. It's not going to be stopped. The only issue is what do we actually do?
I would say forget about U.N. resolutions. Forget about the six- party talks, and forget about even bilateral negotiations. What we need is action.
Action number one, a nuclear Japan. Japan is a country that is directly threatened. I think we ought to have intensive negotiations with the Japanese to encourage them to declare themselves a nuclear power.
The only way in which we're going to have any progress in the area is if we reshuffle the interest of the parties here. A nuclear in Japan will send a message to China, especially, to recalculate its interests.
Up until now, it had zero interest in curbing its client. It is a thorn in our side. It is an ally in the area. It is a threat to South Korea. It supports its hegemony in the region.
A nuclear Japan will reshuffle the deck on its recalculations. It may send a message which would encourage China to change its policy.
Otherwise, nothing happens.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
From the self-parody file:A foolish, sexist, racist judge - just what’s needed in Obama’s post-racial America.
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life." -Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in her Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law in 2001
See also more Goldberg, Goldberg and Charles Krauthammer.
And scaramouche [via].
Monday, May 25, 2009
Victoria city council and the media spend more time worrying about and enabling the bad behaviour of the city’s dysfunctional underclass, than anything else. Parking for stolen shopping carts is one of the loonier examples. Then there’s free crack pipes, needle exchanges and camping in the city’s parks.
... I opened my beloved Times Colonist to read that city hall will build parking spots for shopping carts used by the homeless to prevent cluttering up the avenues ...
... To sum up: The only free parking spots in Victoria will be for stolen shopping carts due to the large number of them ... er, stolen.
... A dear friend of mine owns several up-scale markets carrying such items as the rare outflow mushroom or organic-bunny key chains.
He, at great cost, had special shopping carts built that allowed for giant cups of coffee to be held safely, with a small passenger seat for the heir apparent to swaddle in.
To walk with him through the streets is to hear the sound of castanets as his teeth begin to chatter at the sight of one of his carts being pushed through traffic by someone whose eyes are spinning like a fruit machine whilst carrying a small but equally perturbed friend.
Each cart cost $400 and much to his chagrin, his insurance company has long stopped taking his calls.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Nonstop Thermageddon coverage risks ridicule
Award-winning author and journalist David Whitehouse says the corporation risks public ridicule - or worse - with what he calls "an evangelical, inconsistent climate change reporting and its narrow, shallow and sparse reporting on other scientific issues."Listen up CBC, CTV, CNN, ...........!
... the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy.
... Victor Davis Hanson (National Review) offers a partial list: "The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq (i.e., slowing the withdrawal), Afghanistan (i.e., the surge) -- and now Guantanamo."
... Jack Goldsmith (The New Republic) adds: rendition -- turning over terrorists seized abroad to foreign countries; state secrets -- claiming them in court to quash legal proceedings on rendition and other erstwhile barbarisms; and the denial of habeas corpus -- to detainees in Afghanistan's Bagram prison, indistinguishable logically and morally from Guantanamo.
... The Bush policies in the war on terror won't have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.
Plus, some thoughts on U.N. peacekeeping from Mark at the Torch.
... One of the wonders of the world is the reputation of the United Nations. ... Year after year it embarrasses itself through everything from deep bureaucratic corruption to utter failure in dealing with global crises like the genocide in Darfur. Yet somehow its opinions and "facts" still carry weight.
... When the UN was founded in 1945, only a deep-dyed pessimist would have guessed that it would decay over 64 years into a vast international embarrassment.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Excellent points. It’s too bad more politicians don’t show some balls and speak up for reform.
Contrary to public opinion, Canada does not have "the best health-care system in the world." We actually rank 26th, and yet have the fifth-highest expenditures for health care.
... Of the world's top 20 national health-care systems, 17 are European.
... in Europe patients are placed at the centre of the health-care system. European hospitals are not paid solely by block funding. ... The medical system therefore treats patients as an asset, because resources are provided for treating each person.
... When Europeans hear that Canadians tolerate atrocious waiting lists of nine to twelve months or more for care, and endure the pain, suffering and loss of function that accompanies these wait times, they are shocked.
... Unfortunately, since the debate around health-care reform remains mired in the false assumption that changes to our current system would result in a "U.S.-style system," policy-makers stick their heads in the sand hoping no one will notice.
... The Canada Health Act, and its five principles that govern health care in Canada (public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility), is broken in every province, every day.
Friday, May 22, 2009
No thanks to the "system" this story had a relatively happy ending. But there are many more who put up with the disgraceful neglect and indifference, waiting in pain for years for treatment, or die waiting. And this is what Obama wants for America?
Five years ago, at age 80, after waiting eight months for an appointment, I saw an orthopedic surgeon at Victoria Orthopedic Clinic. I was wearing a leg brace, used a cane and had had several cortisone injections to keep going and to get some relief from pain. The surgeon never looked at me or read my summary of volunteer activities I was still trying to do.
He only said: "You are 80 years old, what do you expect me to do for you? Come back in six months we might consider a partial knee replacement."
I was so upset I asked the receptionist to take my name off their list. I was prepared to ask my husband to take out a mortgage on our house and make arrangement to go to the U.S. for the surgery. From there I went to an appointment to have my knee brace adjusted and she told me about an orthopedic surgeon who had just arrived from South Africa in Duncan and that he had a short waiting list.
I rushed to my doctor, got a referral and saw this surgeon the next week and had the surgery two weeks later. It was successful and the followup care was outstanding. Today I received a call from the orthopedic clinic saying my name had come up as wanting knee surgery and did I still want it done -- this after five years.
This is a story of ageism, the sad state of our health-care system and the treatment of senior citizens who have paid taxes for more than 60 years.
So, with sanctimonious moralizing and empty generalizations Obama publicly condemned the previous administration’s genuine, lawful efforts to keep America safe. It’s as if Obama were still campaigning for the presidency employing the loopiest rhetoric from the Democratic extreme left.
BHO: All too often, our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight. But all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us, Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists and citizens, fell silent.
HH: Mark Steyn, this is a deeply dishonest statement. It lacks the specificity that would allow people to rebut it, and it is an attempt to give himself credit for that which he does not deserve, the national security success of the last eight years, and to diminish that success.....
If he keeps this up Obama will easily overtake Jimmy Carter as "worst president".
And here’s Dick Cheney’s much better national security speech.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Whether people like it or not, the monarchy is still an important part of our identity. But, based on the result and the comments, apparently that’s not the question the readers answered. These two morons for example:
JohnNada at 11:45 AM Monday, May 18 2009: Kings and Queens deserve no respect from free people. Why should I venerate or even respect a person because their ancestors were ruthless murderers who ruled people with an iron fist and gained their opulence off the backs of peasants and working men and women throughout the centuries. The idea that a family can rule over others because of "divine right" is abhorrent and disgusting.
rustie at 11:18 AM Monday, May 18 2009: What a shame these guys aren't fighting for Darfur or protect the endangered manatees because these are actual important things going on in today's world. Our queen and GG is costing Canadians millions in needless tax dollars and needs to go.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
There’s an interesting debate at the Corner about the value of Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s contributions to the conservative cause. It goes like this:
Victor Davis Hanson rips Wanda Sykes' tasteless jokes about Rush;
Jerry Taylor sets off the debate with a response to Hanson and a follow-up post.
Kathryn Jean Lopez takes exception;
Mark Steyn weighs in;
Kathryn responds to Jerry and to Mark;
Jerry responds at length to Mark and Kathryn;
Someone should inform the university that race-based treatment of aboriginals is official government policy. Perhaps the UoS should launch a human rights complaint against the federal and provincial governments.
The University of Saskatchewan has turned down a $500,000 endowment from an alumnus who requested the money be awarded to "non-aboriginal students" only.
The university said the race-based bursary proposal would violate university policy and provincial human rights law.
And what about all those government subsidies aimed exclusively at funding aboriginal secondary education?
The alumnus argued that native students have several awards designated for them, so she should have the right to allot the donation to someone who is not of aboriginal ancestry. Many First Nations students have their tuition covered by their bands, she said.To which the U of S replied:
There's a lot of misconceptions regarding funding for aboriginal students ... Funding for aboriginal students is not as robust as people assume it to be ...Well, since it seems no U of S endowment funding can exclude Indians but special funding is available to Indians only, it follows that funding for aboriginals will be a lot more "robust" than it is for non-aboriginals - which is kinda' the wannabe donor’s original point.
Update: The proof of the pudding -> is in sda's juxtaposition.
FPTP 61.2%The other threshold was at least 51 of 85 ridings had to vote more than 50% in favour of STV. Only 7 ridings did so and these were all urban ridings in Vancouver and Victoria.
STV 38.8% (60% required)
Anyway, good riddance!
That should put and end to it, but the pro-STV crowd is riddled with righteous fanatics who will no doubt keep pushing.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Sounds encouraging - now if only those politicians could get busy and actually do something concrete, like kill Section 13.
Update: by Mark Steyn.
Friday, May 8, 2009
On May 12th, the voters in the province of British Columbia will be asked if they would like to change the way they elect their provincial government.
They will be offered two choices: to remain with the current system or to adopt a system based on a single transferrable vote, commonly called the STV.
While people may not like the existing system, the STV will be much worse for the province. Do not confuse a dislike for the current system with a preference for the STV.
1 More Minority Governments – The STV is a form of proportional representation which attempts to ensure that the percentage of MLAs elected from each party matches the percentage of the total popular vote received by that party. Therefore it will be harder for any one party to elect more than half of the MLAs. The effect of this is that more minority governments will be produced, making it harder to govern the province. Minority governments will also lead to more frequent elections and the formation of unusual coalitions as we have seen in recent federal politics.
2 Less Popular Parties Holding the Balance of Power – Minority governments will need to build coalitions among different parties to get the support of a majority of MLAs in order to form government and to pass legislation. With proportional representation, we are more likely to see parties with only a small percent of the vote, like the Marijuana Party, win seats. Concessions will need to be made to these small parties to get important legislation passed. Will we have to stop enforcing federal drug laws in order to get a provincial budget passed? We may see a lot more “pork” in British Columbia, similar to what happens in the United States, where one small group can require that the rest of the province give them what they want in order for the legislature to do its job.
3 Ridings Too Large – The ridings in rural British Columbia will be very large, making it even harder for the MLAs to connect with their constituents.
4 Unequal Treatment– The number of MLAs elected from each of the new 20 ridings will not be the same. Some ridings will have two MLAs and others will have seven MLAs and all the others will be somewhere in between. With the proportionality of the STV, the ridings with two MLAs are very likely to elect MLAs from only the two most popular parties, currently the BC Liberal Party and the NDP. There is very little chance in those ridings of electing MLAs from any other party. However, in ridings with more MLAs there is a much greater chance of electing MLAs from other parties. This is consistent with the proportional nature of the STV; however, not all ridings are treated equally. Those in ridings with a larger number of MLAs will have a greater chance of electing MLAs from parties who traditionally receive a smaller percentage of the vote, like the Marijuana Party. That may be good or bad, depending on your perspective, but it is not equal treatment for all voters in the Province. All citizens of British Columbia have a right to equal treatment, especially in electing a government. This unequal treatment, combined with the balance of power, will result in those ridings with a larger number of MLAs being more likely to elect the MLAs who will hold the balance of power. Ridings with only two or three MLAs will almost certainly elect only MLAs from the two largest parties, but ridings with five, six or seven MLAs are much more likely to elect MLAs from other parties. So if you really want your vote to count, and you want to elect MLAs that will hold the balance of power, you are out of luck in if you are in Fort Nelson or Dawson Creek – Victoria is the place to be!
5 Different results in By-Elections – The unequal treatment continues in by-elections. The procedure for voting and counting the ballots in a by-election is the same as a general election, but usually one MLA is to be elected. Therefore it is extremely likely that the MLA will be from one of the most popular parties in BC, currently the BC Liberal Party and the NDP. It is much less likely in a by-election than in a general election that winner of the election will be from a party that traditionally receives a smaller percentage of the vote. So if an MLA from a party that received a small percentage of the votes resigns, it is very unlikely that they will be replaced by a member of their own party.
6 Complicated Counting System – The STV system is a very complicated, very hard to understand and very hard to explain. Any system for electing a government in a free and democratic society should be understood by all voters. Do you know if it is better for a party’s supporters to mark the same person as their number one choice or to split their number one choice among each of their party’s candidates in a particular riding? To find the answer takes some work. Should it?
7 Who won? – Sometimes no one will win - the STV does not fill all of the seats in the legislature in all circumstance. This is because there is no rule to adjust the “Quota” required in the event that there are not sufficient votes remaining to elect all MLAs in a riding after the “Exhausted Ballots” are removed. The result is that in certain circumstances, not enough MLAs will be elected to fill all the seats. An extreme example would be if not all the MLAs are elected on the first count and no one marks a second or subsequent choice. There is a rule dealing with the situation where all but one of the candidates to be elected have been elected, but it does not deal with the situation where more than one of the candidates to be elected have not been elected. Not only is the STV flawed, it is so complex that even those who created the system do not understand it well enough to know that it does not always work. Clearly the STV is not the way to go, even for those who not like the current system.
Vote NO to STV!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We voted "NO to STV" four years ago but our miserable weasel of a Premier, Gordon Campbell, decided not to take "NO" for an answer - so we’re voting again.
Today a National Post editorial reviews the many reasons our "NO to STV" vote was the correct one [my emphasis]:
Then there's discussion of the complexities of the STV system:
One sign that a society is running out of real problems is that bored upper-middle-class types start inventing phony ones. Thus do we periodically get initiatives aimed at replacing our perfectly functional first-past-the-post electoral system with some hybrid alternative that few understand or support.
The STV system ostensibly was developed by B.C.’s Citizens’ Assembly, "an independent, non-partisan assembly of 160 randomly selected British Columbians,..." But the idea that ordinary citizens could spontaneously have come up with such a complicated scheme defies belief. Like all hybrid electoral systems, this one seems to have been engineered by theoreticians burrowed deep in the recesses of the local university political science department. [These "random" 160 people were, to a large extent, self-selected and who but those with a strong bias towards changing the current system would volunteer for such onerous ‘duty’?]
And then there’s:
...the "wasted" votes from marginal also-rans and the "surplus" votes from clear victors get shuffled to the middle of the pack in a manner that is algorithmically determinate, but — from a dazed voter’s point of view — effectively random. [The ridiculous notion of "wasted" votes is a favourite of PR proponents. As if a vote for any candidate is somehow "wasted". It’s a sure thing that candidates don’t think the votes they receive are wasted. This is somewhat like suggesting to a losing team in a soccer match that they had wasted their time and effort - that they might as well have stayed home and not bothered competing.]
... The effect is to arbitrarily reward voters who picked loony-toon candidates from the extreme left or right, while mainstream voters get their punching weight chopped down dramatically.
... At this point, let us ask our readers: Did you understand the preceding paragraph? Probably not ... And this gets to the heart of why STV is so misguided. The system’s architects have become so obsessed with the single, narrow goal of eliminating "wasted" votes that they have lost sight of a basic truth: No matter how many eggheads put their stamp of approval on STV, ordinary voters inevitably are going to be alienated by a system they don’t understand, and which produces unpredictable local results.
...the other flaws that inevitably arise from any bastardizations of FPTP. Most notably: (1) The link between a single political representative and his or her riding his compromised. (2) Majorities give way to ineffectual "coalition" minorities — such as the motley Green/NDP monster that would likely arise out of any implementation of the STV under current political circumstances in B.C.Most of these reasons and a few more were covered in a number of previous posts.
And there's much, much more at this site.
Update: Jack's Newswatch picked up this post - there's some heated debate.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Now the Campbell government has proposed the Recognition and Reconciliation Act which the BC Conservative Party says:
Campbell's new Act reverses many of the principles espoused in his 2002 referendum.
... sets up 30 unelected Aboriginal Governments with veto power over any decision the democratically elected Provincial Government makes regarding land use or resource development, ever. It may also call into question the ownership of private property in British Columbia.
...will give title to up to 100% of British Columbia to the 3% of our
fellow citizens who are Aboriginal.
The BC Conservatives would have my vote but there's no candidate in my riding.
The list includes a half-dozen Muslim radicals, a neo-Nazi German, a Jewish extremist, a couple of murderous Russian skin-heads and four Americans (conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, former KKK leader Stephen Black and anti-gay hate-mongers Fred and daughter Shirley Phelps).
That so many Americans are on the blacklist should be taken as a compliment by America. Compared to the U.S.A. Britain is a relative economic and social basket case drifting towards fascistic politically correct authoritarianism (a Canadian "human rights" regime on steroids). A much freer, wealthier and more tolerant America suffers far less social turbulence.
No doubt there is good reason to ban those who advocate or have committed violence. If so, as Michael Savage asks, why isn't Kim Jong Il's name on the list; why not Hugo Chavez's or Fidel Castro's or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's or ....?)
Michael Savage is pissed and promises to sue Jacqui Smith for defamation.
Mark Steyn. Jonah Goldberg. John Derbyshire.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Now a marketing firm is advising eco-hypsters on how to fine tune the spin:
From the WUWT comments [E.M.Smith (09:22:26)]:
... extensive polling and focus group sessions [were] conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.
Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about "our deteriorating atmosphere." Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up "moving away from the dirty fuels of the past." Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like "cap and cash back" or "pollution reduction refund."
EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. ...
Lies, damn lies, and marketing …
Thanks to the ubiquity of TV, more and more folks are not deflected by ‘new speak’ and manipulation.
The good news is that this tells me exactly where to push:
ANY time and attempt is made to talk about CO2 as evil is phrased as ANYTHING other than AGW, I’m going to be pushing the term GLOBAL WARMING front and center. Any Cap & Tirade is going to be rephrased as Tax and Charade. Two can play the marketing game…
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Black wonders whether this might be part of some subtle strategy (my bold):
... disapproving of the use of the atomic bomb by one of his party's most admired presidents, Harry S Truman, was an astonishing (and unjust) open goal to offer to America's enemies.
... not clear what possessed him to refer to America's economic performance, which carried much of the world on its back for the last 25 years, with apology if not shame on his visit to Europe last month, while praising Europe for its social democracy.
... sat as mute as a suet pudding while Venezuela's Chavez, Bolivia's Morales, Cuba's Raul Castro and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, ... flayed the United States as the source of all Latin America's problems. ... the practice of blaming everything on the United States is now confined to the far left [including the far left of the Democratic Party, so why would Obama contradict the commie thugs?].
... while in Europe, President Obama has indicted his country and his predecessors for arrogance, dismissive-ness, genocide, torture and insufficient respect for the Muslim world. Does the poor old U. S. A. really deserve this, and deserve the message to be delivered by its leader in the continent that gave the world totalitarian Communism, Nazism, Robespierre's Reign of Terror and all the pogroms and massacres of Russia, Armenia and Bulgaria?
Then again it’s more likely just a sign that the Democratic far left influence is holding sway in the Obama administration. Obama’s many ‘apologies’ are strongly reminiscent of the anti-American rhetoric that has long been standard fare from that quarter (or half) of the Democratic Party (the part Anne Coulter refers to as the "traitor wing").
... confusing America's enemies and tuning up the atmospherics as only a non-white president could do, flying trial balloons and reconnoitring ...
And speaking of a "non-white president", his apologetics bring to mind Obama’s former ‘spiritual advisor’. Perhaps Obama was listening more closely than he claims to Black liberationist Jeremiah ("God damn America!") Wright during those twenty years.
Friday, May 1, 2009
If Mr. Borovoy has been keeping up with all the activities of "Human Rights" Commmissions (e.g. if he’s read Ezra Levant’s book, "Shakedown") he will be aware that they’re abusing more than our freedom of speech. In retirement he should take up advocacy for reforming what he helped create while on the job.
... Freedom of expression in Canada still needs protection. When human-rights laws and commissions first were established, the idea, Borovoy said, was to combat rampant discrimination in the workforce and housing market.
No one dreamed the legislation and commissions would be used against legitimate free speech, yet in the case of Maclean's magazine, for example, they were. In 2008, the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, in response to a complaint by the Canadian Islamic Congress, ruled that a 2006 Maclean's article did not violate the province's hate-speech law.
Borovoy, an opponent of Canada's hate-speech laws, said he does not believe that we have to choose between accepting vile statements, between doing nothing, and enforcing a law like the hate law. There are other responses that we're capable of."
There is, as Alan Borovoy says, work still to do. The biggest threat to that work, to the cause of civil liberties in Canada, said Borovoy, is public apathy.
[H/t: Blazing Cat Fur]