Sunday, July 31, 2011

Individualism vs collectivism

Xanthippa has posted a five part series of videos that neatly explain key concepts (and misconceptions) relating the various political philosophies - individualism vs collectivism, right vs left, rights, liberty, anarchy, socialsim, communism, fascism, Naziism, etc.  The series is topped off with a presentation by John Robson on the Magna Carta.  Excellent.

Dedicated libertarians know this stuff inside out and do a great job of explaining it.  But what they haven't been able to do very successfully is to get a sufficiently large following to attain political power based on libertarian principles.  The Libertarian Party has been unable to do even what the Green Party has done. Not even close. Canucks are too well indoctrinated, from birth to death, in collectivism.  As the videos warn: "The evidence presented here was not part of your education".  All that "greedy", "selfish", "uncaring", libertarian individualism is just too scary.  Though it could be argued that the libertarian philosophy does enjoy some measure of representation within the Conservative Party.  Maybe that's the most they can reasonably expect for now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama's blame and scare tactics

President Obama addressed the nation yesterday on the US debt crisis. Two main themes were "Hope and change".  Nope, sorry, that's wrong! They were:

1) Finger pointing: (a) Bush did it! (b) Republicans are intransigent, and;
2) Scare-mongering: Raise the debt ceiling (on my terms) or granny’s gonna die
Even Lorne Gunter today buys into at least part of the Obama scare rhetoric. He seems to believe it's possible that the government could default:
...Yet if U.S. political gamesmanship leads to a credit downgrade on U.S. debt, or even a default, the consequences could be serious....
"Hardly" says former Clinton adviser, Dick Morris:

“There’s no way the United States is going to default on it’s debt. There’s no way we’re going to miss 5 minutes of payments.”

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Carnage in Norway - "right-wing militants" suggests Reuters

A report from Reuters:

A bomb ripped through Oslo's central government district on Friday and a gunman dressed as a policeman then opened fire at a youth camp on a nearby island, killing at least 17 people altogether.
... The gunman, a 32-year-old Norwegian citizen, was held by police. The double attack bore some hallmarks of al Qaeda but analysts suggested right-wing militants might also be responsible.
The media profiling that damned "right-wing" again. Predictable. But I think I'll hang in there for confirmation from a reliable source like, say, Blazing Cat Fur.

McGuinty's Ontario entitled to it's entitlements

Have-not province Ontario's premier Dalton McGuinty has been at a premiers' meeting in Vancouver this week bragging about his costly green energy plan and justifying equalization payments to help pay for it:
...It started with a stroll through Stanley Park with David Suzuki, who warmly endorsed his government’s green plan...
...McGuinty claims that green plan has vaulted Ontario past British Columbia to the forefront of action against climate change...
...despite having the second-highest average wages in Canada, Ontario is now officially a have-not province. This year — its third on the dole — it will get $ 2.2 billion, more than any other province except Quebec...
... Three years ago... McGuinty argued that the program should be scrapped. “ To speak of ‘ have’ and ‘ havenot’ provinces in 2008 makes no sense....
... He still doesn’t like the term, but he has come to like the way equalization works, threatening to “ flex our elbows and assert ourselves” if anyone tries to mess with Ontario’s entitlement....
Exactly, McGuinty wants federal pogey to pay for an insane green energy plan that is costing $billions:
...Billions are wasted buying subsidized wind and solar power that ends up being exported [dumped] at fire-sale prices.
More in the National Post editorial today:
...If the Ontario Liberal party truly had the courage of Dwight Duncan's anti-equalization convictions, it would refuse to accept the transfer payments, adding moral weight to claims that the system is broken and obsolete. ...
Come October let's hope that Ontarians come to their senses. Ontario's "vaulting past BC" in plans to save the world from global warming is nuts - and BC Liberals having put us near the forefront of the same messianic nitwittery are no less nuts.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why the Post publishes Conrad Black

Jonathan Kay explains.  The print version included a large type eye-catcher box that read:
I run an op-ed page, not a church newsletter.  My contributors have included sex-trade workers, drug addicts and conspiracy theorists.
I'm sure Conrad will appreciate the association. :D

Monday, July 18, 2011

Demarketing Canadian oil

Vivian Krause was in New York last week briefing journalists about ENGOs', funded by American foundations, working to "demarket" Canadian oil:

... At the present rate, American foundations are on track to spend half a billion dollars (roughly $50 million per year) funding the environmental movement in Canada, over the next ten years. ...

The wheat mob's new chairman

... is blogging and, of course, pushing the wheat monopoly.  As suggested at sda, I left comments, apparently unsuccessfully - so here they are:

If all you say about the wonders of the CWB is true then farmers will flock to it in the absence of a coercive government mandate.
But, regardless of whether or not the CWB is a net benefit, in a free society the very idea of having government force a monopoly on anyone is an obscenity.
If that sounds ideological, it is.

Liberals fantasize raping conservatives

A new low from a Bill Maher guest panel fantasizing about Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum:

... To give you an idea how vile this was, even the perilously liberal Mediaite - run by ex-MSNBCer Dan Abrams - was displeased....
It's good fodder for a sequel to Ann Coulter's new book on the liberal mob mentality.

[Via sda]

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Climate: the science is settled

Then again, maybe not

Just the Facts' preliminary listing of factors that influence Earth's climate is enormous and growing. The people who build computer climate models will be kept busy for a very long time before they get around to incorporating them.

Meanwhile, it's fairly certain that we'll continue to get predictions of impending global climate catastrophe based on the alarmists' current list of important factors.  Here it is:  CO2

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Indians' "Dysfunctional governance"

It's nice to see Christie Blatchford redeem herself today after her article last Wednesday:

I said once this week that the competition for seats on the Samson council (a dozen people ran for Chief, 92 for 12 council positions) was surely a sign of a healthy community, I was dead wrong.
... on reserves, it usually means just the opposite: The reason such jobs as so hotly contested is because residents are desperate to get a piece of a highly politicized pie, not to mention the jobs for family members.
She goes on to identify the real problem on reserves, namely:

... the degree of dysfunction in First Nations governance ... "unmatched in any other jurisdiction in Canada."
And the "dysfunction" is primarily due to corruption and incompetence. It's something that everyone, including most Indians, have known for decades but have been unable to change. It's a wonder that rank and file Indians haven't haven't taken matters into their own hands and, like certain Arabs with their "Arab Spring", set about "dealing with" their crooked, incompetent so-called leaders.

Update: There's a decent comment thread at Christie's article in the Digital Post.  This comment from one Robert Reynolds makes a a good point in response to an aboriginal commenter.  I've not seen it made in a long while:
Weird, you say your people are denied the resources. How is that? Look behind the curtains and what you see is that Native peoples receive money and special status at the expense of everyone else in the country and have otherwise exactly the same rights as everyone else. There is absolutely nothing stopping any of you from integrating into the mainstream (and many have). This isn't apartheid with walls keeping you in as so many would like us to believe. All this business about treaties and ownership and rent are just a fiction. Unless a band member is politically connected and able to plug into the gravy train at the top, it's a hopeless grind of substance abuse and poverty with a small monthly cheque. No future in that for the individual band member struggling to make something of his life. Welfare dependency comes in many forms but they all boil down to the same thing in the end.
Despair.
In life you get out what you put in and there is no free lunch.
Very true.  Not counting special treatment and benefits paid for by taxpayers, Aboriginals have exactly the same rights and opportunities, including access to off-reserve resources, as every other Canadian.  If they want to live on-reserve with all its limitations - decrepit housing, unemployment, gangs, violence and crappy, corrupt government - then it's strictly up to them.  No one's FORCING them into this  life. If it's "apartheid" as so many loony-leftists (and Indians) like to claim, then it's self-inflicted "apartheid".  But I won't deny that Indian industry players, including (especially?) Chiefs and Councils, have gone out of their way to induce Indians to remain in a state of welfare dependency to keep the gravy flowing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My wife's secret to a long, happy marriage

A woman was sipping on a glass of wine, while sitting on the patio with her husband,
and she says, "I love you so much, I don't know how I could ever live without you"
... Her husband asks, "Is that you, or the wine talking?"
... She replies, "It's me... talking to the wine."

[h/t Vinney]

And from Hunter, a real load of Friday laffs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sun ditches "politically correct" Press Council

Sun has parted company with the Ontario Press Council:

'The editorial direction of our newspapers, especially our urban tabloids, is incompatible with a politically correct mentality that informs OPC thinking, in the selection of cases it hears, and the rulings it renders.'
—Glenn Garnett, Sun Media spokesman
Good for Sun.

Interestingly, the reaction in many of The Star readers' comments is supportive. Unlike the CBC's where the hate is predominant.

[Via]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CCCE - Canadian corporate eco-dupes and rent-seekers

Peter Foster: "Harper faces green caliphate":
Next week, Canadian federal and provincial energy and mines ministers will convene in Kananaskis, Alta., to discuss, among other issues, a “national energy strategy.”

... with the 1980 National Energy Program ... the main threat to the petroleum industry was economic nationalism; now it’s radical environmentalism.
... the Conservatives have more ideological backbone than the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the CCCE, which this week released its pre-Kananaskis submission.
Here is the CCCE’s version of Energy Superpower: “Canada is very well placed to be a leader in the global transition to cleaner energy and advanced technologies that can deliver superior energy services with much less environmental impact.”
... Sounds more like a ringing endorsement for Dalton McGuinty’s disastrous Green Energy Act... falling into the trendy moralistic trap of talking about “cleaner” energy, the CEOs are supporting the notion that oil, and particularly oil sands oil, is “dirty.” They are also demonstrating how far their thinking has been infiltrated by subversive notions of green “social licence.”
The CCCE submission ... waffles on about all the ways that government can “help” via loan guarantees, subsidies and channelling money from carbon taxes to public-private partnerships dedicated to fuels of the future.
... A Canadian national energy strategy should attempt to create a coherent framework to exploit the country’s bountiful fossil-fuel resources, adopting a balanced environmental policy that isn’t driven by hysteria ...
... If Mr. Harper wanted to make a really bold move, part of his national energy strategy would be to hold hearings on the state of climate science ... [However] While Mr. Harper has a majority, he is also... a pragmatist, and knows that there is just so much inconvenient truth that any politician can afford to promote.

The Indian Saga - Part MCMXVIII

Christie Blatchford on the shooting death of five year old Ethan Yellowbird on an Alberta Indian reserve:

“... overflowing garbage bins and ramshackle homes and as many people as rez dogs wandering the rutted roads ... homes on the Samson town site are still sad shacks behind their paint...
“... a half-dozen gangs operating now on the Samson reserve and the three others also near Hobbema. ... slaying of a dear little boy as he lay sleeping in his bed ...”
Nevertheless:
“... he [RCMP Sgt Jim Lank] believes the band is well-governed....”
Sgt Lank is either being exceedingly diplomatic or he’s got his head up where the sun don’t shine.

Christie Blatchford suggests a sign of good-governance is that “92 people ran for 12 council positions, a dozen for the chief ’s job ...”.   It’s more likely a “sign” that the chief and council, as on most reserves, get to control how the mountains of cash from Ottawa and/or oil royalties are spread around.

I hope Christie is being ironic in this column because, otherwise, it’s little more than sentimental drivel. The only ray of light is the news that AFN Chief Shawn Atleo is calling for the scrapping of the Indian Act along with the Ottawa Indian bureaucracy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why a loony leftoid "journalist" quit CTV

A young, wet-behind-the-ears, lad by the name of Kai Nagata explains (at length and with mondo self-aggrandizement) why he quit CTV as Quebec City Bureau Chief. In doing so he spouts every dearly held leftist belief, shiboleth and rumour in the book - Fox News, Sun News, CBC, Stephen Harper, Jon Stewart, global warming, prisons ... It's a riot! One tiny example:
... even though I had the disposable income, I never bought a television. I was raised without one, and once I moved out on my own I decided I didn’t want one in the house.

... Consider Fox News. What the Murdoch model demonstrated was that facts and truth could be replaced by ideology, with viewership and revenue going up. ... Well, Canada now has its Fox News. Krista Erickson, Brian Lilley, and Ezra Levant each do a wonderful send-up of the TV anchor character.
[So there we have it.  He doesn't own a TV but knows all about Fox News and Sun News. I guess he watched a lot of that on the job whilst covering the Quebec political beat.]
Also, aside from the laughs, what that did for me was lower my opinion of CTV yet another couple of notches.  How the heck did that young twit ever get appointed as CTV's (biggest private network in the country) Quebec City Bureau Chief!?

[Hats off to Robert at sda where there's also a great comment thread.]

Selective outrage

Mark Steyn: “It’s time to re-aim our pitchforks” The News of the World hacking scandal versus the corrupt Atlanta Public School System (and the ATF guns-for-Mexican-drug-cartels) scandal:

The News Of The World, a populist, tabloid, low-life newspaper ... last Monday, it emerged ... hacked into the telephone of a missing schoolgirl subsequently found dead, as well as those of family members of the July 7 Tube bombing victims and of British servicemen killed in Afghanistan. On Thursday, Rupert Murdoch's son and heir announced the entire newspaper would be closed down. The whole thing. Gone.
... In the week of the News Of The World revelations, it was reported that the Atlanta Public Schools system has spent the last decade systemically cheating on its tests. Not the students, but the Superintendent, and the union, and 38 principals, and at least 178 teachers – whoops, pardon me, "educators," and some 44 of the 56 school districts ... in order to improve overall scores and qualify for "No Child Left Behind" federal funding that could be sluiced into maintaining their lavish remuneration. ... The whole rotten stinking school system is systemically corrupt from the superintendent down. But what are the chances of APS being closed down? How many of those fraudulent non-teachers will waft on within the system until their lucrative retirements.
Brian Lilley asks "where's the outrage?" over deadly hospital C. difficile superbug outbreaks compared, say, with the huge reaction to the relatively minor Maple Leaf Foods listeriosis outbreak:
... deadly outbreaks of C. difficile in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and several other cities and towns. Thousands of people have died, more than 2,000 in Quebec alone, as well as hundreds in Ontario, 91 at one Burlington hospital. Canadian hospitals have been dealing with this problem since 2002 but there has been very little public anger over these thousands of deaths.
... bad deli meat from a Maple Leaf Foods plant was linked to 57 people falling ill and 23 people dying from a listeriosis outbreak, the outrage was fast and furious. Investigations were launched, a class-action lawsuit was filed. Maple Leaf issued an apology, pledged to do better, changed its practices and settled the lawsuit within a few months for $27 million.
Terence Corcoran hilariously satirizes the Competition Bureau, with Commissioner Melanie Aitken proudly reviewing her mandate and record of successes (Bell Canada’s misleading advertising fine-print, CREA’s “abuse of dominance” and a VISA, Master Card “price maintenance” investigation) - all conveniently annotated in footnotes with Competition Bureau “fine print”. Footnote 1 reads:
1. Competition Bureau promises and commitments are limited to certain sectors of the economy and may not apply to you as a consumer or corporation. The Bureau’s claims to be a fearless champion of competition are invalid for regulated industries, government monopolies, liquor boards, electricity pricing, industries under foreign and national ownership limits and restrictions, farm marketing boards, chickens, eggs, milk, ethanol, advertising by political parties, governments and political institutions, subsidies that create uncompetitive advantages for individual companies or industry sectors. All of the above, and many other sectors and behaviours, are technically exempt from bureau rules and enforcement. Competition is not subject to definition and should not be seen as synonymous with free markets. Many restrictions apply. All statements and policies are subject to situational adjustment, reversals and arbitrariness. But the pay is good. 2. ......
Seems to be a pattern there.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Intellectuals and Society

Thomas Sowell’s recent book, “Intellectuals and Society”, is a solid indictment of intellectuals and their enablers throughout history. In an earlier book, “A Conflict of Visions”, Sowell defined two contrasting visions of human nature (1) “the tragic vision” (humans are morally and intellectually imperfect) which is typically held by the political right, and; (2) the Utopian vision or “vision of the anointed” (man is perfectible and wiser social policies are the solution) held primarily by the political left. “Intellectuals and Society” focuses on those who promote the latter vision.

Sowell defines “intellectual” as “an occupational category.” Intellectuals are “people whose occupations deal primarily with ideas - writers, academics and the like....An intellectual’s work begins and ends with ideas.” This is in contrast with others whose occupations involve working with highly complex ideas but whose end results are measureable products and services. Medical doctors and engineers, for example, are not thought of as intellectuals. Two additional distinctions between intellectuals and other professions are: (1) intellectuals’ ideas are rarely verifiable. Intellectuals get their only validation from the approval of their peers; and (2) intellectuals are completely unaccountable for the effects of their ideas. If their ideas are wrong they pay no price (in fact they rarely, if ever, no matter how damning the evidence, even admit to error) - unlike doctors and engineers who are liable for and can and do pay a heavy price for their errors.

He also defines the intelligentsia which includes both intellectuals and “a penumbra of those whose role is the use and dissemination of ideas” produced by intellectuals. This “penumbra” includes “... those teachers, journalists, social activists, political aides, judges’ clerks, and others who base their beliefs or actions on the ideas of intellectuals.”

After spending eight chapters building a compelling case against the leftist intelligentsia, Sowell's concluding chapter provides a summary of some of the more prominent adverse effects of their efforts:
... changed the high achievements and rewards of some members of society from an inspiration to others into a source of resentment and grievance for others.
... have largely ignored or downplayed the things in which Americans lead the world - ... - and treated the errors, flaws and shortcomings that Americans share with human beings around the world as special defects of “our society.”
... encourage people who are contributing nothing to the world to complain, and even organize protests, because others are not doing enough for them.
... rationalized the breaking of laws by those who choose to picture themselves as underdogs fighting an oppressive “system”, even when these are college students from affluent homes.
... verbally turned military heroes who put their lives on the line for their country into victims of war, people whom one might pity but never want to emulate.
... changed the role of education from equipping students with knowledge and intellectual skills to weigh issues and make up their own minds into a process of indoctrination with the conclusions already reached by the anointed.
... put the people whose work creates the goods and services that sustain a rising standard of living on the same plane as people who refuse to work, but who are depicted as nevertheless entitled to their “fair share” ...
... treated the conclusions of their vision as axioms to be followed, rather than hypotheses to be tested.
... some ... have treated reality itself as subjective or illusory, thereby putting current intellectual fashions and fads on the same plane as verified knowledge and the cultural wisdom distilled from generations of experience.
... give people who have the handicap of poverty the further handicap of a sense of victimhood.
... romanticized cultures that have left people mired in poverty, violence, disease and chaos, while trashing cultures that have led the world in prosperity, medical advances and law and order.
... have been quick to find excuses for crime and equally quick to attribute wrong-doing to police, even when discussing things for which they have neither expertise or experience...
... encouraged the poor to to believe their poverty is caused by the rich ...
... acted as if their ignorance of why some people earn unusually high incomes is a reason why those incomes are either suspect or ought not be permitted.
... filtered information in the media, in the schools, and in academia, to leave out things that threaten their vision of the world.
... Above all, they exalt themselves by denigrating the society in which they live and turning its members against each other.
It’s a must read, especially for those who hold “the vision of the anointed”.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Vimy, Vichy, what's the diff?"

I belatedly note this excellent piece from Mark Steyn regarding left/libtard, goofball Hill Times columnist Tim Naumetz channeling the historically challenged John McCallum.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lowell Green on the TDSB's Mosqueteria

Via Blazing Cat Fur a must-listen-to piece from Lowell Green:


Lowell Green on the Toronto Mosqueteria from Vlad Tepes on Vimeo.

There are some excellent callers-in. Green comes on strong but seems to be a bit of a naif when he says that he has no problem with Muslims having these priveleges as long as other faiths do also.  That seriously underestimates Islamic aggressiveness.  One caller suggests (~22 min) that our local culture will gradually be "annihilated" by creeping Islam. Green responds that "... this is what Canadians want. Canadians very clearly by their agreement to this are quite prepared to see the traditional culture here totally subjugated ...".  I don't believe that for a minute.  Canadians are just beginning to see what's going on here and what's at stake. No doubt the lib/left 'intelligentsia' with its pc/multi-culti agenda has seriously weakened Canadians' resistance and subverted their thinking but it's ridiculous to suggest that Canadians would knowingly consent to be "subjugated" by Islam.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More biased climate ‘reporting’ from The Vancouver Sun

An article in today’s Vancouver Sun, “Sulfur from coal offsets warming, for now:study”, is typical of The Sun’s ‘reporting’on climate change which is, as is most of the MSM, in-the-tank for climate alarmism.

The article by AFP reporter Shaun Tandon is introduced by a prejudicial sub-headline, “Finding debunks argument of climate skeptics” implying that the skeptical argument referred to is “bunk” to begin with.

The article goes on to uncritically report an interview with the study‘s author (Robert K. Kaufmann, Boston U.) Well, maybe that’s a bit hasty. Tandon did seek an outside expert opinion for his story - from an even more radical AGW proponent who is unhappy that the study admits that global temperature increases have stalled.

Although The Sun wouldn’t have published the article if he had, Tandon could have and, arguably, should have consulted someone with a more open-minded (scientific?) perspective, for example Dr. David Whitehouse:

It is good news that the authors recognise that there has been no global temperature increase since 1998. Even after the standstill appears time and again in peer-reviewed scientific studies, many commentators still deny its reality. ...
... The researchers tweak an out-of-date climate computer model and cherry-pick the outcome to get their desired result. They do not use the latest data on the sun’s influence on the Earth, rendering their results of academic interest only.
... Either man-made and natural climatic effects have conspired to completely offset the warming that should have occurred due to greenhouse gasses in the past decade, or our estimation of the ‘climate sensitivity’ to greenhouse gasses is too large.
This is not an extreme or ‘sceptic’ position but represents part of the diversity of scientific opinion presented to the IPCC that is seldom reported.
Also, Tandon’s story confuses “the study’s co-author...”, Michael L Mann, with “Michael [E] Mann, a prominent member of the UN scientific panel whose landmark 2007 report ...”.

[via WUWT] which concludes with:
My take on it from the paper – “We don’t know what’s going on, but we aren’t going to admit that” – Anthony

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Say what!!??

A Toronto public school is being used as a Mosque??!

Update: Multicultural Discontent in Toronto :
... University of Toronto law professor Ed Morgan believes the Valley Park situation may exceed legal boundaries. “I think this looks like a school practising religion,” Morgan said. ...

The loony left coast

A Pembina Institute poll has provided more evidence that a high percentage of BC residents are gullible leftoid loons.  A summary from FOS:

British Columbia is the sole North American jurisdiction with a carbon tax, which went from $25/tonne to $30/tonne on July 1. A poll conducted for the Pembina Institute of 830 BC residents showed that 74% believe that the tax has been positive for the environment or are neutral. A 69% majority are worried about climate change and 70% want BC to continue showing leadership without waiting for other jurisdictions to take similar steps.
The only glimmer of optimism in this is that the poll was done by the Pembina Institute which is hardly an unbiased pollster.

Meanwhile:
EU Parliament Votes Down Tougher Emissions Cuts [h/t]. Could it be that BC lags even the EU in the supply of common sense? Good grief!
Plus,
Climate Scientists Confirm Global Warming Standstill (but insist that it does not contradict AGW doctrine).
.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Dominion Day!


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Watched Canada Day coverage on SNN.
Switched to CBC to check out the taxpayer funded "entertainment".
Watched for 6 minutes, so, let's see, that's 2 X $1.1B/33million = $66.67 for 6 minutes of CBC viewing over the last year. [Note to self: Send snotgram to James Moore.]
Switched back to SNN.

And here's Mark Steyn reflecting on our Trudeaupian Dominion.