Sunday, October 31, 2010

Liberal scientific atheism - Part II

Part I - Sam Harris's science fantasy.

Part II - Peter Foster's assessment of Harris's new book:

Sam Harris is one of the “New Atheists,” joining Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as a bold slayer of mental viruses that prevent people from thinking straight. That is, like him.

... Like Richard Dawkins, himself a reflexive socialist, Mr. Harris believes that man can transcend himself (Mr. Hitchens is much less naïve). It doesn’t occur to him that the notion of self-transcendence might be the most dangerous, moralistic self-delusion of all. Meanwhile he fails to register that the greatest horrors of the past century have all been perpetrated in the name of “scientific” socialism, whose root is the “moral” rejection of capitalism. 

... Meanwhile it’s not just a mental illness, it’s a plot. “Because there are no easy remedies for social inequality, many scientists and public intellectuals also believe that the great masses of humanity are best kept sedated by pious delusions.” This is pure Marxist “opiate of the masses.” Meanwhile nowhere are these “scientists and public intellectuals” named.

... Mr. Harris makes only the most tangential reference to the mass murder and poverty brought about by the secular religion of Communism.

By contrast, his anti-business and anti-“conservative” bias is blatant, indeed sometimes hilarious.

... Science may help us better examine moral values, but only if attached to historical knowledge and philosophical wisdom. Mr. Harris might consider removing the beam from his own liberal eye before he pretends to deal with the conservative mote that he finds so annoying in the eyes of others.
Great stuff.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The great media climate climb-down has begun

Harold Ambler at WUWT:
Climbing down is seldom anything less than complicated.

... With regard to global warming, the major purveyors of news in the industrialized world will be climbing down from their various versions of frenzied alarmism. ... the climb-down will be sneaky. ...when the series of editorial re-positionings is visible to casual members of the public at all, it will be beyond awkward.

How do I know? Because the process has already begun....
... The rest ...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Science fantasy

Militant atheist Sam Harris has a new book out: "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values".  An excerpt was published in today's Post.  I haven't read the book yet but from the excerpt, it appears that Harris has been engaging in some fanciful speculation that "science", neuro-science in particular, will someday be capable of producing objective answers to ethical and moral questions. Apparently the "correctness" of these answers would be produced based on their utility in improving (or otherwise) our "well-being". This sounds at least as dubious as the notion socialists fervently cling to, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that it is possible for governments to comprehend all the variables necessary to control ecomomic systems to the net benefit of human "well-being".

An atheist and Harris fan provides a particularly thoughtful review.  There's a good debate in the comments to his review too.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Of birds, oilsands and windmills

Environmentalists, the media, politicians and government agencies flocked to decry the accidental deaths of 1600 ducks in a Syncrude tailings pond.  Syncrude was vilified and fined $3.2 million.

Wind turbines, on the other hand, kill far, far more birds every year than were killed in the Syncrude event.  But the wind power lobby (along with the same crowd that protested against Syncrude) goes out of its way to defend wind turbines:

... [wind power] proponents such as the Canadian Wind Energy Association stress that far more birds — tens of millions annually — are felled by cats, cars, and collisions with skyscrapers. But if that is a sufficient defence, should not the wind farm lobby have flocked to defend Syncrude Canada Ltd. against prosecution for far fewer deaths than routinely occur at wind farms across the country?
Good question. It wasn't about birds, it was about oil sands.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brad Wall's Saskatchewan: a new Banana Republic

Terence Corcoran:
Did we miss the constitutional change — the one that created the Peoples’ Republic of Saskatchewan, with Brad Wall as el presidente?
Sounding ever so much like the head of some mosquito-ridden developing country squeezing dollars out of a multinational mining giant, Mr. Wall has been running an aggressive campaign against BHP Billiton’s $38.6-billion plan to take over Potash Corp.
... Mr. Wall seems to think Potash is still a Crown corporation of some sort, and he’s the new socialist head of state.
... The banana republic comparison may seem a little harsh, but the idea comes from the widely reported news that Mr. Wall or his negotiating minions actually asked BHP to pay a billion dollars up front into government coffers.

... trying to get a multinational to pay a billion dollars in taxes in advance smacks of a Third World shakedown by a political leader looking for cash to distribute to voters.

... If all this is true —and there has been no government denial to date —it paints a dark picture of the political culture in Saskatchewan —and Canada....
So much for Wall's strong support of free markets.  Populist politics trump principles, again. 

Update (or maybe it's backdate): Here are some interesting thoughts from Norm Park of the Estevan Mercury (The People's Paper Since 1903) last September:
... Why doesn't Potash Corp team up with Agrium and Mosaic and buy out BHP?

Certainly they've heard of reverse takeovers, haven't they? Maybe they're not interested in staying in business though.
Or maybe the head of Potash Corp, Mr. Doyle, really does want to cash out his $500,000,000 in shares and severance payments and head home to Chicago. This is where he is apparently running Potash Corp from anyway.
... And as far as protecting the province's resource interests … didn't we once have an oil company known as SaskOil that begot Wascana that begot Nexen that kinda got dismantled and moved to Calgary? What happened there?

Anybody heard of Ipsco? Something called Evraz now owns it and no Saskatchewan-based corporate presence of note can be found there, at least not since Roger Phillips retired.
If we can't build a head office base here in Saskatchewan after 120 years of trying, then maybe we just have to accept our fate and be happy with royalty payments, decent payrolls and strong employment figures while the profits and decision making head elsewhere.
... Sherritt Coal and oil companies like Penn West and many others don't sweat the fact that their major administrative decisions are made in places other than Saskatchewan. SaskPower doesn't mind shifting management decisions to an Ontario corporation … it's all part of the never-ending game, especially in the resource sector....
Meanwhile, Stephen Harper backs up Norm Park saying Potash Corp is 'American-controlled' anyway.

Upperdate: Brad Wall responds to Corcoran.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Free speech versus cowardice and political correctness

An interesting week, so far:

(1) The people who run the London (Ontario) Conference Centre pulled their venue for an event featuring a talk by Mark Steyn.  An organizer at Strictly Right, said:
On Tuesday, I received a phone call from the LCC telling us that our venue had been pulled, and that Mark Steyn would not be permitted to speak there. The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. 

In another report it is claimed the cancellation was because of security risks and fears of rowdy protesters. Either way the LCC are a bunch of pc wimps. Blazing Cat Fur says it's War! But, whatever, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Update: Blazing Cat Fur: "Who’s telling the truth about Mark Steyn cancellation at London Convention Centre?"

(2) Meanwhile south of the border liberal National Public Radio news analyst and Fox News contributor, Juan Williams was fired by NPR for saying (on the O'Reilly Factor):
"... when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Which should be contrasted with with the non-firing of NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu after this:
[He] reported that some Christians believe in a "rapture" and 4 million believers will ascend to Heaven immediately. He continued, "The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another poster-boy for the death penalty

The video confessions of serial killer Col Russell Williams were replayed in the media today.

Last summer in a CP story (via CTV) it was suggested “... allegations ... could only heap more tarnish on the military, which also faced heavy criticism last winter for not spotting, among the myriad of psychological tests, potential problems with Col. Russ Williams.” And Mark at small dead animals opined on similar hare-brained musings from various experts and pundits like the Rideau Institute’s Steven Staples and the Globe’s John Ibbitson.

Today in the National Post letters page one William Perry echoed the same tripe:
There is much to be learnt here, not just for psychiatrists, profilers and criminologists. The Canadian Forces can use the data to ensure the checks and balances are there.

... So as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) moves to assure Canadians by stripping Williams of his rank and throwing him out of the military as a dishonoured civilian, the CDS must also take some level of responsibility for the overall failing. Someone must have seen signs.
All utter bullcrap. The Williams case is the most bizarre case ever in the CF (or anywhere else for that matter) and will likely never happen again. So what useful lessons can the military possibly learn?

The main lesson from this case is one the justice system should have learned by now. Williams is one more poster-boy for putting the death penalty back on the books.

Monday, October 18, 2010

With courts like this who needs terrorism?

Ezra Levant on the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision on wearing the niqab while testifying in court:
... a unanimous ruling last week by the Ontario Court of Appeal says it’s just fine for [a] woman to give testimony in court with her face covered.

... Ontario’s highest court says veiled women can ask for an order to clear men out of the courtroom — any men in the public gallery, any male court staff, even her opponent’s lawyer, even the judge himself — in return for taking off her veil. It’s paragraph 85 of the ruling.

Shariah law has come to Canada.....
... the Canadian Civil Liberties Association intervened to support this.
... And LEAF, the feminist law organization ... argued for the niqab, too.

Our courts will be the death of us. Stupid bastards!

Update: My reply to a reader's comment on Ezra's blog:
Redmeat: "ratio and obiter ... Charter balancing-act ... M. (A.) v. Ryan, [1997] ... balancing of the competing interests ..."

Legalistic bafflegab and multi-culti bullsh*t that illustrates why things are so f**ked up here. Lawyers over-think everything. The court’s ruling should have been a simple "in Canada no one is permitted to participate in court proceedings while wearing a face covering or other disguise."

Shakespeare: "Let’s kill all the lawyers" (excepting Ezra).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wikipedia climate censor booted

Lawrence Solomon:
William Connolley, arguably the world’s most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore, has lost his bully pulpit ... his administrative position at Wikipedia, the most popular reference source on the planet.

... Connolley for years kept dissenting views on global warming out of Wikipedia ... a leading source of global warming propaganda, with Connolley its chief propagandist.

... following a unanimous verdict that came down today through an arbitration proceeding conducted by Wikipedia. ... he has been barred from participating in any article, discussion or forum dealing with global warming. In addition ... Wikipedia barred him — again unanimously — from editing biographies of those in the climate change field.
Long overdue. Good riddance to Connolley.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Harpie Caught Ordering Cheeseburger and Fries

One of Michelle Obama's adopted pet causes is harping at the food industry to offer healthier eating alternatives.  Alternatives to, you know, cheeseburgers and fries. Ha! Gotcha!

Enough to make your blood boil and your skin crawl

Aoutstanding article by Vivian Krause in today's Post is a definite 'must-read'.  She shows how giant American 'charitable' foundations are bankrolling agitprop against the Canadian energy industry.  She details how a rat's nest of supposedly Canadian environmental activist organizations are funded by these U.S. foundations often with money from from unknown donors laundered to hide their identies:
... My research into the filings of U.S. charities active in funding activists against Canadian and Alberta energy development shows that the anti-oil sands movement is the product of American charities with unknown or certainly unclear motives.

... Like most protests, the one against oil tankers has all the look and feel of a Canadian grassroots movement. The campaign against Alberta’s oil sands also seems to rise out of the people, but the interesting thing is that there are very few roots under that grass. Money comes in from a small core of U.S. charitable groups. One of those groups — the U.S. Tides Foundation of California (Tides U.S.) and its Canadian counterpart have paid millions to at least 36 campaign organizations.

... All the money, at least US$6-million, comes from a single, foreign charity. The Tides U.S. campaign against Alberta oil is a campaign against one of Canada’s most important industries.  It’s fair for Canadians to inquire about who’s funding this campaign and why. The trouble is, nobody knows.

 ... the vice-chairman of Tides Canada ... Joel Solomon ... an interesting figure in his own right, also backed the election campaign of Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson to the tune of about US$330,000. But that’s another story. [However, similarly funding Indian chiefs and councils to agitate against energy projects is part of this story.]

... Unlike many charitable foundations, Tides U.S. doesn’t have a large endowment. “In practice, Tides behaves less like a philanthropy than a money-laundering enterprise, taking money from other foundations and spending it as the donor requires,” ...
... U.S. tax returns show that the David Suzuki Foundation has been paid at least US$10-million from American foundations. This hasn’t exactly been out in the open.
There's lots more in the article and still more at Vivian Krause's website. The whole thing is enough to make your blood boil and your skin crawl. There oughta' be a law.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ontario's insane green energy policy - Part II

Margaret Wente:

What could bring down Ontario’s Liberals? It’s not e-Health ... not even the hated HST, a huge tax increase .... No, it’s their power bills.
... the Green Energy Act, a policy so bad, so expensive, so ideologically driven and so perverse that any normal person should be seeing red.
[According to] power expert Tom Adams ... Ontario’s rates ... have already surpassed the U.S. average and are headed for European levels – “just because of public policy.”

... energy policy has been entirely decoupled from economic policy and attached to the runaway train of environmental policy.

... “The Green Energy Act is unsustainable,” says Mr. Adams. ... [Gee, I bet that smarts!]
Great column!

[Via FOS]

Part I

How to save the airlines

A modest proposal:
Dump the male flight attendants.
No one wanted them in the first place.
Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers!

What the hell!! They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss?

The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a "party atmosphere" going in the cabin.

And, of course, every businessman in this country would start flying again hoping to see naked women.

Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn't need a salary, thus saving even more money.

Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women.

Hijackings would come to a screeching halt, and the airline industry would see record revenues.

This is definitely a win-win situation if we handle it right -- a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an asset.

Why didn't Bush or Obama think of this? Why do I still have to do everything myself?

Bill Clinton
[H/t Vinney]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Physicist Hal Lewis resigns APS - Science corrupted by flood of money from climate politics

WUWT reports on a physicist’s resignation from the American Physical Society [my emphasis]:

Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis
From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010 
Dear Curt:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).

Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Anthony says:
"What I would really like to see though, is this public resignation letter given the same editorial space as Michael Mann in today’s Washington Post."
The Mann Wa-Po article states, in essence, that he wants "anti-science" views on climate (ie views which differ from his own) out of politics. Such views he says are "pseudo-science" (unlike his own hockey stick science which is arguably not only "pseudo-" but fraudulent to boot.)

Update (Oct 12): Rep Joe Barton responds in the Washington Post.

Update (Oct 14): APS responds to Hal Lewis and Hal counters.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Muslim advisory panels at DND

I missed the item last week in which the Kays (mother and son) debate the wisdom of having paid full-time Muslim advisory panels at DND.

Barbara Kay:

The cancellation of [Imam Delic's] speech by Defence Minister MacKay raises the question of why any government ministry would fund any religious consulting group. Why is there a paid “Muslim Working Group” permanently embedded at Foreign Affairs, whose job it is to advise the government on their foreign policy wherever it touches on areas of Muslim density? Why not a “Christian Working Group” or a “Sikh Working Group”? Can you imagine if there were a “Jewish Working Group” to advise on the Middle East? Don’t make me laugh. To me this is a scandal, and I don’t understand why it has not been addressed. Some of the people in this group hold very insalubrious views or are attached to groups with discomfiting agendas.
Amen! But Barbara's squishy liberal sonny boy, Jonathan Kay, thinks mom is all wet and that Muslim outreach is just what's needed at DND. He argues it was done with Germans and Italians in WWII to help win the war.

Barbara responds:
It’s more likely that Defence or Foreign Affairs invited the Muslims in as an appeasing gesture rather than a step towards victory, and that the motives for the Working Group are not to defeat radical Islam, but to spin it and promote the idea that radical Islam is not our enemy at all. You don’t need an embedded working group to help the military reach out to Muslims. The Israeli government doesn’t hire Arabic leaders to advise the Mossad.
... We’ve had a Communist party for generations, but the military never formed a panel to think about how best to reach out to them.
Jonathan might have a point if the so-called "advisory" panel weren't self-appointed representatives of the most radical and outspoken Muslim group (the CIC) in the country.  I seriously doubt that the CIC will be helping DND figure out how to more effectively kill our Islamist enemies.  Barbara is correct - this effort is more politically correct "community" outreach than anything. In other words, totally irrelevant to defence.

Meanwhile, Blazing Cat Fur asks: "What the hell is going on at DFAIT?"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ontario's insane green energy policy

Terence Corcoran outlines how Ontario's Green Energy Act (courtesy of George Smitherman) is causing  power prices to skyrocket:
... IKEA announced yesterday it will invest $4.6-million to install 3,790 solar panels on three Toronto area stores, ...  enough electricity to power 100 homes.

IKEA will receive 71.3¢ for each kilowatt of power produced, which works out to about $6,800 a year for each of the 100 hypothetical homes. ...  overpaid by $5,400 per home equivalent.

... will recoup $4.6-million in less than seven years — not bad for an investment that can be amortized over 20.

... The government’s schemes suggest that reducing Ontario carbon emissions by say 20% to 12 tonnes would cost $5,000 per person or upwards of $15,000 per household per year.
Meanwhile, China's annual increase in energy consumption is nearly as high as Canada's (and 2.5 times Ontario's) total consumption. I hope Ontarians realize how much their sacrifices are helping to heal the planet.

Lawrence Solomon: Brits to pay $3200 per year for power bill. Ontarians take note

Who is backing the 10:10 eco-fascists?

Peter Foster provides new details about who's supporting the 10:10 Campaign organization that produced that now infamous "eco-snuff" video:

[10:10] is virtually a propaganda arm of the U.K. government. Moreover, thousands of corporations, local councils and schools have signed on to the group’s Orwellian “pledge” to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by the end of 2010.

... the entire British Cabinet had soon signed on, along with a raft of corporations, soccer clubs (such as Tottheham Hotspur, whose players appear in the movie) and miscellaneous trendies and publicity hounds.

Since coming to power, Tory leader David Cameron’s new coalition government has also signed on. Presumably now he wishes it hadn’t.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The perfect man

A man walks out to the street and catches a taxi just going by. He gets into the taxi, and the cabbie says, “Perfect timing. You're just like Frank.”

Passenger: “Who?”

Cabbie: “Frank Feldman. He's a guy who did everything right all the time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happened like that to Frank Feldman every single time.”

Passenger: “There are always a few clouds over everybody.”

Cabbie: “Not Frank Feldman. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand-Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano. He was an amazing guy.”

Passenger: “Sounds like he was something really special.”

Cabbie: “There's more. He had a memory like a computer. He remembered everybody's birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out. But Frank Feldman, could do everything right.”

Passenger: “Wow, some guy then.”

Cabbie: “He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams. Not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them. But Frank, he never made a mistake, and he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good. He would never answer her back even if she was in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished too - He was the perfect man! He never made a mistake. No one could ever measure up to Frank Feldman.”

Passenger: “An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?”

Cabbie: "Well, I never actually met Frank. He died and I married his fuckin' wife.”

[H/t: Vinney]

Monday, October 4, 2010

DND and Islamic History Month

Playing catch-up for the record.
For some dim reason the Department of National Defence got involved in celebrating Islamic History Month.  A top Canadian Islamic Congress exec, Imam Zijad Delic, was scheduled to speak.  The CIC has a notorious history of its own involving, inter alia, radical anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic hate speech and  complaints to HRC's against Mark Steyn, Macleans Magazine and Ezra Levant.

Everything about DND's involvement in this begs serious questions.  MND Peter Mackay, to his everlasting credit, decided to cancel  Imam Delic's appearance. Naturally Delic and the CIC were not happy.

The MSM including CBC, CTV and major newspapers including the National Post have all provided coverage of the controversy, most of it lame, incomplete and/or sympathetic to the CIC and Delic with explicit or implied criticism of Peter Mackay.  There were exceptions. One that stands out is by Brian Lilley at Eye on the Hill.

And, today, Binks at Free Canuckistan provides some more needed insight.

Much earlier (years ago) Daniel Pipes wrote an interesting background on the inroads Muslim organizations were making into the Cdn government, DFAIT in particular.

One Nation rally in DC a big flop

Glenn Beck's hugely successful 8/28 Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial in DC freaked out the left so badly they decided they needed to hold their own rally.  They called it One Nation and it was organized by unions and a variety of radical left organizations.  Unlike Glenn's strictly voluntary, on their own dime and time, rally unions ordered their members to attend One Nation. It was held on Saturday. 

Michael Graham provides a comparison of 8/28 and One Nation attendance:

"The most embarrassing part?  Not even buses, paid SEIU attendees and grade-seeking students could turn out a decent crowd."
For comic relief, One Nation featured aboriginal comedian Charlie Hill with songs and hilarious jokes like:
“This land is my land, this land ain’t your land, so get the hell off of my–”, and;

“immigration problems started at Plymouth Rock,“ and ”we’ve been fighting terrorism since 1492.”
And, unlike Beck's 8/28 rally, the One Nation crowd wasn't exactly tidy:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Green campaign promo video backfires

If the reaction of Anthony Watts and his WUWT readers is any measure, this green campaign video from has backfired, big time:

My first thought was that it was a spoof mocking humanity-hating eco-freaks - not a video by eco-freaks.

Update: Predictably, many eco-nutter Guardian readers think the video is just great. Though there are lots in the opposite camp.  One of my favourite comments is from 'Monbiot's TinyBrain':
This video encapsulates all that is wrong with modern environmentalism. Fascism, bullying, pathological hatred of humans and what they do. It's simply a masturbatory fantasy for all warmists, comply or die.