Friday, December 30, 2011

"CTV News, Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife crossed the line "

From HonestReportingCanada:

Good grief! CTV is morphing into the CBC!

Looking forward to the Sun News crew doing a job on this one.


White-knuckle landing

"... only eight pilots are qualified to fly into Paro ...the world's number 1 most dangerous airport"



BC's radical sex-ed agenda

We've heard a lot lately about Ontario's controversial sex-ed program.  Now BlazingCatFur highlights a similarly radical agenda being pushed in BC. (See also.)

It's part of a broader program of social engineering/indoctrination in public schools and beyond as is made obvious by the BCTF's "Social Justice" web page:
... an organization of professionals, we accept and act on our broad responsibility to be involved in the social development of the communities and the province we live in, and we do this in the interests of the children we teach. ["... broad responsibility ..."? According to who?]
... The social justice initiatives of the Federation focus on poverty, child and youth issues, race relations, gender equity, homophobia and heterosexism, bullying, environmental issues, globalization, and violence prevention. In addition, the Federation has an advisory committee on Aboriginal education. [They haven't left out many of the social activists' favourite buzz words.]
This can lead nowhere good. Parents - Rise Up!

Dumb-assed Post editorial trashed by readers

Today's National Post editorial "Don’t help drunk drivers get away with it" was, deservedly, given a big thumbs down by readers. What's with the Post these days? Too much Jonathan Kay?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Obama a foreign policy flop - Ron Paul even weaker

ForestEthics running a protection racket

Peter Foster's Conflict bananas:
The oil sands has become the main target ... for radical green groups. The recent decision ... to hold up approval of the ... Keystone XL pipeline was a major coup, and has encouraged radical NGOs to up their campaigns of lies and intimidation.

Last year, ForestEthics, a veteran of anti-corporate thuggery, sent a demand to Chiquita. ... a grovelling response committing “to directing our transportation providers to avoid, where possible, fuels from tar sands refineries ...”

... California-based ForestEthics, an anti-capitalist organization that is ...  has run roughshod over truth and jobs for too long. Its previous corporate victims included U.S. clothing giant Limited Brands... Rather than attempt to refute ForestEthics misrepresentations, Limited Brands paid to “work with” the NGO, thus setting a precedent for green extortion. ... Trader Joe’s ... Walmart and Safeway...

... British bath products company Lush, which gets its scientific objectivity from ForestEthics’ fellows Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network. ...

... another enormous symbolic victory last year ... an agreement with the Forest Products Association of Canada ...

... ForestEthics used Chiquita’s letter to bolster its attack on rival fruit company Dole. “Dole Bananas: Brought to you by dirty Tar Sands oil,” claims the ForestEthics website ... Dole’s response? To grovel.

... let’s have a full accounting from ForestEthics of all the money they have received from the corporations who have been bullied into “working with them.”

... green-cloaked shakedown artists dictating corporate policy on the basis of misinformation and intimidation.

Four years ago, Chiquita paid a stiff fine for buying mafia-style “protection” from South American thugs masquerading as freedom fighters. Is trying to buy protection from the mendacious green lobby any different?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Canadians want their military to do

Pace my last post on the Harper government’s approach to defence and foreign policy comes an Ipsos poll that says Canadians may not be quite in tune with their government:
... Disaster relief in Canadian communities selected the top priority mission by 73 per cent
... followed by search and rescue, selected by 68 per cent,
... patrolling Canada's air space, land and maritime areas by 66 per cent.
... Enforcing sovereignty in the Arctic ... 52 per cent while
... fighting the war o[n] terrorism came last at 51 per cent.
That’s back-asswards to the military’s actual set of priorities which are defence and sovereignty followed by peacekeeping, search and rescue and lastly aid-to-the-civil-power (eg. disaster relief and riot control).

But hey, let’s look on the bright side. Maybe the Canadian penchant for “disaster relief in Canadian communities” can be turned to military advantage. If we’re going to do it properly (Canada’s a big country) a doubling of uniformed personnel is called for. Also whatever equipment is bought should be dual-roled for disaster relief and defence operations. That calls for a lot more tanks fitted to accept a snowplow blade and more APC’s fitted to accept street-sweepers (cleanup after riots) and even a Zamboni kit for special hockey emergencies. And we’ll need a much bigger fleet of CC-177 Globemasters to get the snowplows and cleanup equipment to where it’s needed. That’s just my back-of-the-envelope estimate of equipment possibilities - think what real military planners could come up with.

John Baird: “... undoing years of damage wreaked by Liberals”

There is a long list of things to congratulate the Conservative gov’t for and foreign policy and defence are two that top my list:
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird knows some of his government's positions on the world stage are unpopular....
... "We don't develop foreign policy to be popular around the world," he said ...
... Gone is the so-called "soft power" and "human security agenda" of the previous Liberal government ...
... The Canadian military has emerged as a major player in Canadian foreign policy in recent years, bolstered by the fact the Defence Department budget has increased nearly $5.6 billion to $20.3 billion since the Conservative government came into power. [$20B is about double what it was when I left the military.]
... Baird said the government is simply undoing years of damage wreaked by Liberal governments in the 1990s and early 2000s. "The military was gutted for 13 years," he said. ... the government is pre-paring to spend billions on new F-35 fighter jets..
... Baird indicates those who are most critical of Canada's stances aren't likely to be friends anyway. ... "We've taken a tough stand on human rights in some parts of the world, and that makes some people feel very uncomfortable," he said. ...
As always it takes a Conservative government to clean up after years of Liberal weakness, neglect and folly. The last time there was any serious boost to defence was under Brian Mulroney and the Harper government has easily surpassed that.

Kudos to Harper, Baird, MacKay, et al.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Warm, fuzzy conservatism

Speaking of "altruism", Joanne at BLY hits on an example of Conservative warm-heartedness:
... the prime minister's government is also quietly bankrolling one of the largest social pilot projects ever seen in Canada, paying generously for cutting-edge research that is changing the lives of hundreds of homeless people.
... taking their cue from Harper, officials decided to zero in on a sub-group: the mentally ill.
... Then they narrowed their focus further. In five cities across the country, they targeted a particularly vulnerable sector of the mentally ill homeless population.
Interesting story, but I have trepidations. As long as this is research oriented, limited in scope and under Conservative watch I don’t mind the feds taking the lead. The targeted group is certainly the most deserving of help. And it beats the hell out of “safe injection sites”. However, how long will it be before this morphs into an unsustainable “national strategy” to fulfill the peoples’ bogus “right to housing”. A Lib/Dipper coalition would certainly attempt to turn it into that in a heartbeat - shades of their National Daycare Plan.

... When governments, both federal and provincial, see the final results, he is convinced they will see the need to take housing-first to a national scale and someone will step up with funding.
And don’t proponents of these schemes always promise that they will be saving a pile of money? Sure they do:

"Once it's finished, we're going to make sure that every government in the country knows we saved them a whole pile of money,"
Be afraid.

"... leftism is a form of moral poison"

Dennis Prager:
... [leftismcauses otherwise decent and kind people ... to say and/or do cruel and sometimes evil things.
...a major new scholarly book, "Pathological Altruism" (Oxford University Press), explores this phenomenon of people wanting to do good things yet ending up doing bad. It applies to The New York Times ... columnist Thomas L. Friedman, who has a deep altruistic urge to bring peace to the Middle East. But because he sees the world through the liberal/left prism, he says morally reprehensible things ...
... Leftism poisons everything it influences -- from journalism to the arts to universities to religion to government to male-female relations. And ultimately leftism poisons character. This does not mean that everyone with left-wing views becomes a bad person [or] that everyone with conservative views is a good person....
... But it does mean that leftism leads to pathologic altruism, ...  Just as Mahatma Gandhi's hatred of violence led him to tell the Jews of Europe not to resist Hitler, so too has leftism led decent people who would weep at Israel's destruction to mouth the very same lies about Israel as those who seek its annihilation.
Ok, that sort of fits with the idea that much, if not most, of what passes for "altruism" is narcissistic do-goodism, mainly a trait of the left. Perhaps that (plus the malign sentiments and consequences) is what makes it "pathological" (and leftist).

Monday, December 26, 2011

U of M climbs aboard the apology bandwagon

The December issue of my alumni journal included the University of Manitoba’s statement of apology for its supposed role in the Indian residential school system. Some excerpts [subtext in brackets added]:
The University of Manitoba wishes to take a leadership role in helping expose the national shame of the Indian Residential Schools system and the consequences of such a system. [The back of the line is over there.]
... For over 130 years, the University of Manitoba has worked to create, preserve and communicate knowledge. Moreover, our academic institution has a long history of encouraging debate, building excellence and fostering innovation. [Admittedly, back in the day, the residential schools and assimilation innovations were all the rage in academia].
... it is clear that we did not live up to our goals, our ideals, our hard-earned reputation or our mandate. [Even though our predecessors’ goals and ideals included residential schools.]
... That was a grave mistake [with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and currently fashionable political correctness]. It is our responsibility [No it isn’t]. We are sorry. [Boo hoo!]
...Instead of being positive influences on Aboriginal peoples, education and religion became tools of assimilation, thus undermining the rich diversities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures, communities and families. [If only our crude and ignorant ancestors had known better.]
... Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized ... The next day, then Manitoba Premier Gary Doer ... and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson ... Churches that operated schools – Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and United – have also issued statements of apology and reconciliation. 
[And we thought: “We’ll look really bad if we don’t climb on this bandwagon!”. And so,]
 ... Today the University of Manitoba adds our voice to the apologies ...
... We apologize to our students.
... We apologize to our Indigenous faculty and staff.
... We apologize to First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders and Elders. ...
[We, the uninvolved, apologize to everyone.]

[There, that feels much better!!]

David T. Barnard,
President and Vice-Chancellor 
There's something weird and unseemly about people who had little or no role apologizing for the decisions and actions of well intentioned predecessors who operated under different assumptions and knowledge. I wonder if they give any thought at all to the possibility that what they are doing today their distant future successors might feel obliged to apologize for - eg: suppression of free speech on campus; rampant political correctness, and; the indoctrination of students in highly dubious theories of multiculturalism, radical feminism and postmodernism (and that's the short list)? I think not.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Senator Grant Mitchell's closed mind - Part III

Further to my two previous posts here's a video of Grant Mitchell bloviating on climate change:

Mitchell is a closed-minded true believer.  I left these comments at YouTube where Grant's approval is required.  Will he approve?

There is no scientific debate about AGW? Really? If Mitchell believes this it's because he keeps his head buried in the sand, listening only to proponents of the AGW hypothesis and catastrophic AGW alarmists. The scientific literature is replete with peer reviewed work that is at odds with that hypothesis. Open your closed mind Senator Mitchell, and learn to think for yourself.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Liberal Senator calls skeptical scientists conspiracy flakes

See the previous post re the Senate Energy and Environment committee hearings (video at the 1hr 50min mark) for the remarks of committee Deputy Chair, Senator Grant Mitchell (Liberal, Alberta). Note that earlier he had declined to ask the first question (as is his normal routine) stating he preferred to go last. From his remarks it's easy to see why.  The man is a complete asshole!

Senator Mitchell (a political 'scientist' and smirking full time), said that while he didn't doubt the sincerity of the four contrarian scientists, there was an "overwhelming concensus" [there we go again!] of equally sincere scientists who subscribe wholeheartedly to AGW as a serious problem requiring action. He referred to the IPCC as "the strawman that's been raised here") [Uh oh!] adding that many scientists who hold the opposing view are not IPCC scientists but "independent scientists all over the world". To believe these (skeptical) arguments is "to believe some kind of strange conspiracy theory" and to believe that "the Harper government is clamping down on scientists to enforce elite climate science concensus" ... "it's the last government that would enforce concensus". Before ending Mitchell claims that "there is devastating science that confronts and overwhelms what you are saying" and it's "the same as saying that vaccines are dangerous ... that cell phones cause cancer or that evolution is not true.... If humans aren't causing this we have to be very, very afraid ... then we can't fix it." 
[Wow! Just wow! Them's fighting words! Mitchell is a closed minded twit and an asshat!! Is he alone on the committee in this line of thinking? Perhaps not but he's the only one to show his true colours here.  And note that he gave a speech with no intention of asking questions and getting a response he clearly isn't interested in hearing.  He pretty much ran out the clock.]  Prof Veizer asked whether he could speak off the record to address Mitchell's remarks.  I think given the chance Veizer would have clocked the pr*ck (verbally of course).  

Now we're getting to the nub of the problem. That there is "scientific concensus" is widely accepted dogma.  Senator Mitchell certainly has no doubts.

Climate realists testify before the Canadian Senate

Excellent presentations by very credible people - Ross McKitrick, Ian Clark, Jan Veizer and Tim Patterson. There was a goofy event during Ian Clark's (U of Ottawa) briefing on CO2 and the paleoclimate record in which he used several graphs which unfortunately were not being displayed.  The chair, Senator Angus interrupted Prof Clark (at about the 27 min mark) to explain that the graphs were not being broadcast to TV and web audiences because they were not bilingual.  Idiotic but, hey, this is Canada.  Happily, this lead to a good discussion by Clark of greenhouse gases and the dishonesty exposed by the Climategate emails.

Professor Patterson hit one of my favourite contentions - that global cooling is a much greater threat than warming, especially to Canada.  If we were properly looking out for our own interests we'd be promoting anything that might lead to warming not trying to suppress it.

Senator Paul Massicotte (Liberal) brought up the "concensus" issue.  He asked why should he, a non-technical political decision maker, believe the skeptics when the vast majority of scientists including government scientists believe in AGW?  Tim Patterson attempted an answer but Massicotte wasn't impressed.

Senator Banks (Liberal) believes that we should be following the precautionary principle.  Gaaakk! He laid out four extreme but uncertain scenarios and asked: Where should we place our bet? McKitrick responded that Banks had set up an impossibly difficult decision-making problem and suggested that rather than betting on one of a set of bad options a carbon tax based on global temperature could be set up (McKitrick's T3 Tax).

Senator Richard Neufeld (Conservative) said he agreed with Massicotte.  They hear from scientists on one side that it that it's so simple, AGW is happening [probably that's all that they've heard until this session] and from the other side not so or not necessarily so. He said he's not sold either way and asked how many scientists would be "on the same wave length" as the four presenters.  "Are there a lot of them? Are they just quiet? Why are they quiet? Because the other side is very loud."  [Good point! Thank you Senator!] The chair, Sen Angus, then spoke up to confirm that the committee had heard much, much more from AGW true-believers (not his words) than from skeptics.  Good answer from Prof. Veiser starting with a bandwagon analogy and his experience with bandwagon thinking in communist Czekoslovakia.  He moved on to the corruption in the UN IPCC process, including suppression of contrary views and intimidation tactics.

Senator Robert Peterson (Liberal) brought up the tipping point ("break point" or catastrophic AGW) scare. Clark said these "break points" are based on speculation about the predictability of how climate will behave. Climate is too complex to reliably predict. He referred to such talk as "alarmist" and "wild speculation" (giving as an example the prediction by the scientific advisor to the British government that "in 100 years the only habitable place on the planet will be Antartica").

More to follow (next post) re idiot Senator Grant Mitchell's disgraceful, insulting remarks (see video at 1hr 50 min mark).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christopher Hitchens - mixed feelings

John Derbyshire

... Hitch was a court jester for the liberal elites. He took care never to violate their most sacred taboos. Like Stephen Jay Gould, who also died too young, also of cancer, Hitch carried the banner of soft Marxism forward into the post-Soviet era. ...

Raymond De Souza
... For many of Hitchens’ fellow journalists, the virtuosity of his brilliant writing and bracing conversation earned him a pass on the hatred. But hatred it remained. His commercial genius was to harbour hatreds sufficiently vast and varied that a lucrative constituency could be found to relish all of them....
Jonah Goldberg
... He was no conservative. You can’t really be a conservative in the Anglo-American tradition and hate religion. You can be a non-believer, I think. But you have to at least have respect for the role of religion and maybe a little reverence for the role of transcendence in people’s lives. Hitch had nothing but contempt. It was one of the last truly asinine Marxist things about him.
... I’m not inclined to sugarcoat my take on the man given how he could be absolutely cruel when spouting off about the deaths of others. He could be mean, pigheaded, and insensitive (though never dull!). He could also be generous and kind. He was a brilliant and gifted polemicist who sometimes took the easiest way out by going after his opponents’ weakest arguments rather than their strongest. He defied easy categorization while having a gift for categorizing others. He’ll be missed because he was so damn good at being Christopher Hitchens.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The niqab (aka 'the vile veil') - a Post Media puff-piece

A Post Media column ("We are not a threat") (Minna Ella in the photo) appeared in yesterday's The Vancouver Sun.  I left the following comment at the digital edition:

This column is a puff-piece (by and for gullible Westerners) promoting Islamist ideology.
Very few Muslim women residing in the West wear the niqab or burka. With the exception of the most repressive nations (eg Saudi Arabia) many Muslim women elsewhere don’t wear it either. Some are forced to do so by radical Muslim patriarchal authority figures for cultural/religious reasons. Others, the most radicalized of Muslim women, claim to choose to do so also for religious/cultural reasons. Either way it is the most radical of Muslim women who wear the niqab or burka in Western countries. Tarik Fatah has said that it is a deliberate flashing of a middle finger to Western infidels.
Radical Islam makes no bones about its hostility to Westerners and to Western values (including gender equality among other personal freedoms). It seeks to propagate its hostile ideology in the West through propaganda and subversive legal tactics. It also poses a serious direct threat to security and safety (remember 9/11 and the Toronto 18).
Is Minna Ella a radical Muslim? Some evidence (from least to most significant):
(1) her claim of theological justification for wearing the niqab is highly debatable. It’s a point of contention even among Islamic scholars. Most Muslim women don’t wear it.
(2) she chooses to wear a niqab knowing full-well that most of her fellow citizens are intimidated by it or, at best, uncomfortable with it. This is not what you’d call sociable behaviour.
(3) she works as an administrator for a school sponsored by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). According to one report (Ref below) "The MAC are adherents to the teachings of Hassan Al Banna, an admirer of Hitler, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a preacher of genocidal jihad against Kuffars [infidels]."
You be the judge.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Speaking of pieces of sh*t

A close resemblance:

Supplemental update - Ezra Levant on the Kyoto brouhaha:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

UNFCCC: "We won't let Canada out of Kyoto"

From Anthony Watts quoting UNFCCC email:
... I regret that Canada has announced it will withdraw and am surprised over its timing. Whether or not Canada is a Party to the Kyoto Protocol, it has a legal obligation under the Convention to reduce its emissions, and a moral obligation to itself and future generations to lead in the global effort....
Canada to UNFCCC: "Blow it!"

CBC's Kyoto Poll

And check out this CBC video (at the 1 hr mark) with Evan Solomon's flabbergasted sputtering when Tom Flanagan and John Ivison say they're AGW skeptics. It seems never to have occurred to him that some of his carefully selected pundits might not be true believers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

No!! to the niqab

Jason Kenney says no niqabs at citizenship ceremonies:

And Tarek Fatah on the vile veil:


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The dopey push for legalized pot

Brian Hutchinson asks some pertinent questions:
What is it about Vancouver and its determination to make pot smoking a regular activity, like drinking coffee?
... four former Vancouver mayors [Mike Harcourt, Philip Owen, Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan] ... waded into matters well beyond any local jurisdiction, penning an open letter last month that demanded the end of marijuana prohibition in Canada.
... Last week, sitting Mayor Gregor Robertson chipped in with a tweet: "Good to see 4 Vancouver ex-mayors calling for end of cannabis prohibition. I agree, we need to be smart and tax/ regulate."
... A key flaw in the legalization and regulation argument, what proponents such as the four ex-mayors and Mr. Robertson ignore, is the assumption that underground markets would just disappear. In fact, they would continue to thrive. [True. In my hometown in Manitoba the RCMP spent most of their time chasing bootleggers. Also the drug gangs who peddle marijuana also peddle just about every other illegal and dangerous substance. They’ll continue to sell it all.]
... What damage, one must ask? The mayors weren't talking about physical and mental health, which would seem paramount.
... The facts are: Cannabis products are laden with harmful chemicals; marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and damages respiratory systems; consumption impairs cognitive functions, especially among youth, who are susceptible to more serious psychological and physiological effects than adults.
... What about long-term health and productivity effects? Have those been punched into any cost-benefit analysis? ... work-related intoxication, and certainly impaired driving .... Would a bus driver be free to smoke a joint - or three, or five - before or during his shift? How could anyone detect if he had?
All good questions.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia - the slippery slope

What always begins as a campaign for legalization of physician-assisted suicide in strictly defined circumstances quickly morphs into easily acquired suicide and euthanasia. There were a couple of examples in today’s Vancouver Sun.

From Oregon, a letter from a doctor:
... my 76-year-old patient had a sore on his arm which turned out to be cancer. I referred him to a cancer specialist for evaluation and therapy.
... he became ... depressed, which was documented in his chart.
... He expressed a wish for assisted suicide to the cancer specialist, but rather than taking the time and effort to address his depression, ... she asked me to be the "second opinion" for his suicide.
I told her that I did not concur ... two weeks later he was dead from an overdose prescribed by this doctor.
In most jurisdictions, suicidal ideation is interpreted as a cry for help. In Oregon, the only help my patient got was a lethal prescription intended to kill him. Don't make Oregon's mistake.
In Holland, mobile clinics for euthanasia home-delivery:
Mobile medical teams able to euthanize people in their own homes are being considered by the Dutch government. The teams of doctors and nurses would be sent out from a clinic following a referral from the patient's doctor.
... Dutch medics have been accused of practising euthanasia on demand.
... Twenty-one people diagnosed with early-stage dementia died with the help of their doctors last year, according to a 2010 report on euthanasia.
The figures showed another year-on-year rise in cases with about 2,700 people choosing death by injection compared to 2,636 the previous year. ..

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Attawapiskat - "a disgrace not a surprise" says Blatchford

Maybe it's a disgrace, but  like Ezra (below) I don't feel guilty. If it's a problem that has a solution, only the Indians themselves can figure out how to solve it.

Christie seems to think we can, and should, do it for them.  For example:

Christie: "... I’d dispatch the Canadian army, with its fabulous engineer corps, up to Attawapiskat pronto. ... I’d have them repair or throw up housing sufficient for the 2,300 residents ..."
['Giving' them stuff, doing it for them, solves nothing. Among the biggest problems on the reserve is that the residents have no employment and, worse, have no skills. If crappy housing is the problem wouldn't it be better to train the locals and get them to build their own houses? A bonus would be that they'd be more able and likely to maintain them later (and to build new ones when needed). A further bonus would be that they'd have skills they could take south with them should they choose to escape the reserve.]

Christie: "... The longer term one would see some of the big brains in Canada (that would necessarily also include some strategic thinkers from the military) locked in a small room until they figure out something better than the infantilizing Indian Act and the paralysis engendered by the reserve system. ..."
[Here we go again, the "big brains" in the south figuring out how to solve the Indians' problems. Infantalizing them further. The Indians need to figure out for themselves what they want, and what it is practical to do. Christie gives the Indian so-called "leaders" too easy a ride. They've been a giant flop up to now. Make them get their act together. And perpetual welfare subsidizies (throwing more money at it) isn't a solution.]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Attawapiskat - everything you need to know

Via Five Feet of Fury where you'll find the rest ot the show.

Peter MacKay’s helicopter trip - a tempest (and a couple of dumb-ass colonels) in a tea-pot

My initial reaction to the press generated ‘furor’ over Peter MacKay’s ride in a Cormorant SAR chopper was near complete indifference. It’s much ado about bugger-all. I don’t see the scandal in the MND commandeering a ride in a military aircraft once in a blue-moon. Big deal!

Having read the latest story about the "scandalous emails" I’m still indifferent about MacKay’s helicopter trip, but disappointed in some of the military officers involved. If there’s any embarrassment in this situation it will be mostly because of stupid, indiscreet comments and speculation in emails that have been leaked [or FOI’d] to the press:
... At one point during the discussion, a different officer, Col. Bruce Ploughman of One Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg, raised concerns about the optics of picking the minister up from a fishing trip with a military helicopter.

"When the guy who's fishing at the fishing hole next to the minister sees the big yellow helicopter arrive and decides to use his cellphone to video the minister getting on board and post it on YouTube," Ploughman wrote, "who will be answering the mail on that one?" [And he puts this in writing?! Good grief!]

Ploughman expressed reluctance to have the military accept the mission. [If true, Ploughman is truly an idiot. A tasking coming from high up the chain, in support of the MINISTER of Defence, isn’t something you’d expect a mere colonel to“express reluctance” about “accepting”.]

"If we are tasked to do this we, of course, will comply," he wrote. "Given the potential for negative press though, I would likely recommend against it, especially in view of the fact that the Air Force receives regular [freedom-of-information requests] specifically targeting travel on [military] aircraft by ministers." [Oh the irony! It doesn’t seem to have crossed Ploughman’s pea-brain that his own email musings might be even more damaging should they be made public.]

The next day, July 7, 2010, Lt.-Col. Chris Bulls wrote that the "mission will be under the guise" of search-and-rescue training. [“ ... under the guise of ...”!!? Kee-ryste - how about (at least) “... the mission is search-and-rescue training”??]
What a couple of dumb-asses! My bet is that those colonels’ careers will be suffering a severe set-back. Their bosses, right up to the CDS, will be livid.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stanley Cup riot charges

Finally! But it's only the first 25 names and 61 charges:

No Nathan Kotylak or Camille Cacnio in that list - maybe in the next batch.

It's a long overdue beginning but I suppose slow justice is better than none.  However, given our hug-a-thug system, the outcome is far from sure.

Climategate 2.0

Some fascinating looks at what's in latest Climategate emails [via]:

Interview with Marc Morano:

Gavin Schmidt (NASA 'scientist', purveyor of and winner of a climate science communication award):

Gavin: Frankly, I would simply put the whole CRU database (in an as-impenetrable-as-possible form) up on the web site along with a brief history of it's provenance (and the role of the NMSs) and be done with it.
James Delingpole:

... This is the real significance of the climategate emails. They show that major scientists who inform the IPCC can't be trusted to stick to the science and avoid political activism. This, in turn, has very worrying implications for the major international policy decisions adopted on the basis of their research....

Monday, November 28, 2011

What is social justice? - Part II

Charles Kadlec's "Social Justice, Greed And The Occupy Wall Street Movement":

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has provided a rare up-close and personal look at a social system animated by the desire for political power that disrespects, if not completely disregards, fundamental property rights. What we can see is a society that fosters squalor, theft, rape and pillage and a political movement based on the very greed it claims to abhor.
... Finally, the OWS movement demonstrates that “social justice” is based on unjust policies similar to those they condemn. The protestors rightfully assail the bailouts of banks and Wall Street executives, but their solution is more of the same including bailouts for student loans and individuals who took out mortgages on houses they could not afford.
In truth, the OWS protestors are only skirmishing over the distribution of the spoils system they claim to abhor. Their demands for higher tax rates on the “1%” shows their desire to join those who pillage through the power of government. They call it social justice. But its credo is the same as the crony capitalists who exploit the American people through government handouts: Both seek to use political power to satisfy their needs by taking the income of others rather than through voluntary exchanges. In each case, its true name is “greed.” ...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What is social justice?

Dennis Prager cuts right to it:

"Social justice has nothing to do with justice."

[h/t  Blazing Cat Fur]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Muslim misogyny

"In Arab Spring, a Young Man’s Fancy Turns to… sexual assault."

To which a commenter responds:
Ok, I guess I am starting to see the reason why muslim men want their women covered. ... Christianity teaches men to be self-sacrificial and to restrain their animal impulses. Islam teaches men to cover their women.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The trouble with Canada

In a post yesterday I wrote that there was little appreciation in Canada of the British origins of of our liberty.
I realize I should acknowledge that a few do have such an appreciation - as proved (in spades) by William D. Gairdner in his recent book "The Trouble With Canada - Still!":

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Insurance industry hyping global warming

It was front page news last Thursday:
... Canadians renewing their home insurance are likely to find their premiums have risen sharply from last year, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada says the main culprit is climate change.
... Henry Blumenthal, the chief underwriter for TD insurance, left no doubt he is a firm believer in global warming. “Not only do we believe, it’s a proven fact,” he said in an interview, adding premiums for his customers are rising 10% to 15% because of the issue. “It’s the number one headache issue the property and casualty industry is facing.” ...
Headache” my arse, unless that’s insurance-speak for “excuse to jack up rates”. Only a complete naif could believe such hype from an industry that stands to gain billion$ from it.  On Saturday Lawrence Solomon nailed it:

... home insurance premiums — and the insurance industry’s profits — depend largely on the industry’s skill in making two types of investments: in the stock market and in marketing that scares the bejesus out of its customers.
... The insurance industry wants more money to cover its poor stock picks. And more money again to cover future global warming risks. With the government’s blessing, insurers will now jack up your home insurance premiums by 10% to 15% in the coming year.
... The insurance industry earned every dollar that it makes from global warming — its sharp-eyed marketers spotted the potential before anyone else. In 1973, Munich Re, one of the world’s largest insurers, warned that rising temperatures could result in receding glaciers and polar caps, shrinking lakes, and rising ocean temperatures, with carbon dioxide as the culprit.
... Canadian insurers like TD Insurance claim “it’s a proven fact” that climate change is driving rate increases. This is true, not because the science justifies rate increases but because government regulators and many in the public accept the claim as valid. The actual facts, from those not associated with the IPCC, say quite the opposite, and emphatically so.
... Last year, the American Meteorological Society published a peer-reviewed study that investigated insurance claims from extreme weather events. ... The conclusion: “The studies show no trends in losses … that could be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Therefore it can be concluded that anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters.” ...
Thank you, Larry! Now, if only the insurance regulators read FP Comment and weren't in bed with insurers.

Our 800 years of British inheritance

We owe our liberty, legal system and democracy to 800+ years of British legal inheritance dating back to Magna Carta in 1225 (first edition 1215). While "we" encompasses principally nations that were once part of the British Empire, it also includes those whose politics and laws have been heavily influenced by British notions of liberty and democracy (eg. France, Germany, Japan) - in other words it’s pretty much everyone on the planet who currently lives in a functioning free and democratic society.

A couple of books

The British struggle was enormous and it was not by any means a sure thing that it would be successful. To get a feel for the magnitude and significance of that struggle John Robson recommended two books:
"The Magna Carta: A Brief History of" by Geoffrey Hindley sets the scene with descriptions of British society circa 1200, the system of governance (mainly feudal tyranny) and the main players (the king and the barony) leading to Magna Carta in which the King John I recognized, in writing, the natural rights of the barons (and all freemen) and limitations on the royal prerogative.
"The Lion and the Throne" by Catherine Drinker Bowen. Magna Carta being just the documented beginning, there was inevitable push-back by subsequent monarchs. This book picks up the story 400 years later and covers the life and times of Edward Coke during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. Along with his perilous run-ins with the monarchy (once imprisoned on charges of treason) fighting to keep hard won liberties, Coke is famous for the 1628 Petition of Right (reaffirming and updating rights recognized by the Magna Carta) and for his meticulous documentation of case-law (he was the most cited source for another 200 years). It’s a fascinating story including tales of Francis Bacon (a Coke rival and foe), Walter Raleigh (beheaded) and Guy Fawkes (his gunpowder plot, trial and gruesome execution).
Both books together drive home the significance of the monumental, centuries long effort to achieve the liberties we enjoy today. It’s history that should be a mandatory part of high school curriculum - but probably isn't. My recollection of my own high school ‘education’ on this subject is that it consisted of a few short sentences about Magna Carta from a text on British history; and, the answer to the exam question, if there were one, would have been the name of the event and its date.

Who cares?

The British contribution to liberty is appreciated to varying degrees around the world. Based on explicitly and publicly expressed reverence for it the list would run, in order of appreciation: Great Britain (though it has apparently slipped in recent decades), America followed by a few Commonwealth countries.

Of the 17 copies of the Magna Carta surviving from the 13th century only two are held outside England - one in Washington DC and one in Canberra, Australia. British concepts of liberty figure prominently in the creation of American constitution and legal system and Americans readily acknowledge and honour their significance (eg. the American Bar Association erected The Magna Carta Memorial at Runnymede, England).

Canada ... not so much. Except perhaps in the legal profession there seems to be little more than lip-service paid to the origins of our liberties. We got ours in 1982, from Pierre Trudeau, in his Charter of Rights and Freedoms, didn’t you know?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who's bankrolling the Vancouver mayor?? - Part II

Brian Hutchinson in the National Post:
... the mayor’s lead in polls is narrowing over challenger Suzanne Anton, a moderately right-of-centre city councillor.
But there’s a far more important matter in front of Mr. Robertson and his municipal slate, Vision Vancouver. It’s a campaign funding story, first raised a year ago by local researcher and writer Vivian Krause but ignored by most media, and avoided by the mayor himself. ...
... Ms. Anton waited until this last week of the municipal election campaign to raise the issue. In a press release Tuesday morning, the NPA [presented the facts rooted out by Vivian Krause and ended with] ... “Anton says these are important questions, not only because it is illegal for charities to donate to political parties, but also because it gives the appearance of foreign-funded charities trying to influence public policy. ‘This is a serious issue and the Mayor needs to come clean on his knowledge and involvement,’ says Anton.”
It's odd that there's been so little about this in the local media. And Suzanne Anton should have been hyping it for weeks.

See also this Straight article about the story and their interview with Vivian Krause where she answered an attempted smear by a Robertson supporter related to Tides executive Joel Solomon:

... Krause told the Straight over the phone that she's not making much money doing this research.
... "I'm not on anyone's dime," Krause claimed. "But I will say this. I am fighting for something here. It's not the big oil companies. It's not the NPA, and it's definitely not the Norwegian salmon-farming companies. It's the poor people in towns like Port Hardy on the north coast of Vancouver Island—which is the poorest part of our country—where there is up to 20 percent unemployment in those little towns. It's not boomtown Vancouver, like it has been here because of the Olympics. There are places that are hurting. They're the places where these billion-dollar foundations are shutting down what are actually fairly well-run industries. Yes, they have environmental impacts, but they're not the monsters that they're made out to be."

Who is bankrolling the Vancouver mayor??

Vivian Krause asks fair questions in the National Post and Vancouver Sun:

... Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is no stranger to Tides Canada. In fact, he was a Tides Canada director from 2002 until 2004 when he entered politics with the NDP. The treasurer of Vision Vancouver, the political party that Mr. Robertson rode to power, is Martha Burton, who has been a senior advisor to Tides Canada. Mike Magee, the Chief of Staff at Vancouver City Hall, was also a senior advisor to Tides Canada (2002 to 2007).

... according to my calculations, during the course of five years of politics with both the NDP and Vision Vancouver, Gregor Robertson has received $400,000, including $340,000 in campaign finance for Vision Vancouver, from sources that are affiliated in various ways with two registered charities: the Endswell Foundation and Tides Canada.
There's lots more, including info on Robertson's real estate holdings on Cortes Island:
... Tides USA announced that it had purchased Hank's Beach, a 150-acre ocean-front property on Cortes Island. [which is happily (for Robertson) located right next to] ... 82 acres of ocean front that is owned or co-owned by one of Mayor Robertson's companies, Treedom Ventures Inc.
See also, Terence Corcoran's "mystery Mayor".

Veeerrrry interesting!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rubin: "Obama Administration Promotes Islamist Regimes"

From The Rubin Report:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech justifying Obama Administration Middle East policy changes everything. ... It isn't a reluctant acceptance that Islamists might win elections and take over coutries. It is an enthusiastic endorsement of that idea. ...

Economics 101 for "Occupiers"

"... One of Barack Obama's great gifts is the ability to say things that are absolutely absurd and make them sound not only plausible but inspiring… it's ludicrous but it's very clever ludicrousness."



Friday, November 11, 2011

"The season of negative celebrations"

Naomi Lakritz:
With Halloween behind us, the season of negative celebrations is in full swing
... In fact, the actual holidays, from Halloween through Christmas, seem to mean less in and of themselves ... We mark these days by focusing on whom the holiday damages ( usually children or minorities) than on the day itself.
Once upon a time, we kids went trick- or- treating. We dressed up in costumes that appealed to us, ... We didn’t have to wear “caring” costumes, or suffer the indignity of adults putting toothbrushes instead of Tootsie Rolls in our treat bags ... Our lack of “caring” costumes did not prevent us from growing up to be caring adults.
...You know why all this was? Because common sense was in much greater supply in those days. ... There was no such phrase as “teachable moment”
... Remembrance Day. Instead of turning our full attention to honouring the war dead and the veterans, we will mark Remembrance Day with more disputes. ... There will be the white-poppy faction clamouring about its opposition to what it perceives to be the day’s militaristic focus.
... Once Remembrance Day is over, it’ll be time for that mother of all supposedly offensive holidays — Christmas. ...  ceaseless bickering about “Merry Christmas” versus “Season’s Greetings,” and Christmas trees versus holiday trees, and whether a fat Santa sends a dangerous message about overeating and heart attacks, and all the other nonsense.
... The idea that children must be sheltered from the heritage, traditions and holidays of their society, their faiths and their country is ludicrous, especially when you consider the alternative is to consign them to the soul-destroying prison of political correctness.

Remembrance Day, Vancouver

Vancouver Sun: Russian guests moved by Vancouver's Remembrance Day ceremonies

Vancouver riot: "Justice" for first defendant

After pleading guilty the first defendant in the Vancouver riot gets his comeuppance:
An 18-year-old who was arrested by Surrey RCMP and pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property linked to the Stanley Cup riot has received an absolute discharge ...
Now that will send a strong message, won't it? A sign of things to come? Probably.  Bleeding heart judges, useless police, incompetent prosecutors, gutless politicians - we've got it all!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Donny Cherry defended, again

Donna Laframboise strikes a nerve

Peter Foster: WWF’s tainted ‘witnesses’:

... Ms. Laframboise’s book claims that the WWF — along with other environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace — has “infiltrated” the IPCC. The WWF subsequently issued a press release describing the assertion as “ludicrous.” Her “sole evidence” was “some overlap between some of the thousands of scientists who have worked for the IPCC and members of a scientific advisory panel to WWF’s climate witness scheme.”

Funny how even the most tenuous link between any individual skeptic and Big Oil or Big Coal is considered to taint all skepticism, and yet to point out the implications of the very significant “overlap” between a radical activist organization and the IPCC is “ludicrous.” ...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Herman Cain's woes: "It's unfair ... "

Andrew Klavan On the Culture:
Conservatives have been expressing genuine anguish at the recent treatment of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

... It isn’t fair, they say.

... And yes, it’s unfair. But there’s a reason it’s unfair—a reason it should be unfair. There’s a reason we right wingers vet our candidates while the left adulates theirs, a reason we condemn our miscreants while the left elevates theirs, a reason our news outlets cover stories that the left covers up.
... The reason is: we’re the good guys. We have to do what’s right. The left doesn’t. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. It’s the price you pay for defending what’s true and good, the price of holding yourself to a high moral standard. Our politicians have to be better than their politicians. Our journalists have to be more honest. Even our protesters have to behave with decorum and decency—and still suffer being slandered—while theirs can act like animals and commit acts of violence and lawlessness and spew anti-semitic filth and still find themselves excused and glorified.

... Herman Cain is going to have to run the gauntlet, not just of a racist and dishonest left that wants to destroy him but of a fair-minded and decency-loving right that wants him to come fully clean and let the voters decide how we should proceed. The fight for truth, liberty and morality requires sacrifice and self-examination. The self-righteous quest for power over others does not.

The world is just as unfair as you think it is. You’ll never catch the devil hanging on a cross.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Calgary's breath-taking hypocrisy

Kevin Libin on Calgary street minister, Artur Pawlowski:

For the past six years the city has hit him with injunctions, fines and arrests. ... Police have confiscated his signs and his Bibles.

... He’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, mortgaging his home twice in the process, in legal battles over what he believes is his constitutional right to preach the gospel, and help the needful, on city streets. The city, too, has spent a fortune prosecuting him. He’s long believed the city had a bias against Christians. The fact that the anti-capitalist occupiers have been left to openly flout, for two weeks, many of the same bylaws that he’s been routinely ticketed and arrested for, he says, is proof of it. ...

On The Source today, Ezra Levant asked that we email Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to express our disgust, dismay and disappointment.

Don Cherry defended

[video via blazingcatfur]

See also Chris Selley's column:
... I think he’s actually a rather good reflection of a Canada that exists despite the fondest wishes of people like Ms. Lord. But he’s certainly no more insufferable than your loud, least-favourite uncle — and he comes with a mute button.
Good column - Selley is honest - even though, as is typical of many snotty liberal elitists, he doesn't like Cherry or, by extension, the Canada he reflects. While I appreciate Selley's honesty, I don't share his antipathy.  Don Cherry would be one of my most-favourite uncles.