Thursday, March 31, 2011

More CBC Liberal bias exposed

Big deal, you say. Anybody with half a clue knows that the CBC has a hopelessly blatant left bias. 
Maybe, but that doesn't mean every new instance shouldn't be exposed.  So, here's another one.

CBC's "Vote Compass", an on-line voter preference tool, is deliberately skewed in favour of Liberals.

Here's a National Post story.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Election fatigue

Only a couple of days in and already I'm sick to death of this election. Whenever the news channels go to election coverage it's the same tired lines from the politicians and the commentators - so I switch back to Fox.

It's entirely unnecessary - so much for fixed election dates!  I hope most voters feel the same and severely punish the opposition parties for foisting it upon us.

That said, I also hope PMSH et al aren't feeling the same fatigue, and if so they don't show it.  The media sharks will smell it like blood in the water.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Here for Canada Rally in Burnaby

The Harper Rally starts in less than 2 hours.  I had best be on my way.

Update: Good rally of about 500-700 enthusiastic folks.  Harper's speech was excellent, as usual.  Two main themes: "coalition" and "unnecessary, foolish election" - though Canada's done relatively well compared with the rest of the developed world - this is no time to waste time and money playing political games.

Radiation hysteria based on flawed assumptions

Lawrence Solomon wants everyone to "turn down the dial" on Chernobyl-style Fukushima radiation fears:

Next to Chernobyl, the Fukushima accident is the worst nuclear power calamity in history. To minimize damage in Fukushima’s aftermath, the Japanese — and all of us — need first learn the lessons of Chernobyl, whose casualties number[ing] in the hundreds of thousands ... came not from the radiation it spewed but from fear of radiation.

... Should scientists assume that there’s a threshold dose, below which radiation is held to be harmless? Or is it more prudent to assume that any dose of radiation could be harmful?
... The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation acknowledged its puzzlement in a 1958 report: “There may or may not be a threshold dose,” it wrote, explaining: “Linearity has been assumed primarily for purposes of simplicity.”
... “There is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality or in non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure,” the UN reported after examining the actual mortality and morbidity statistics.
... One example involves 34,000 Swedes downwind of Chernobyl whose thyroids absorbed large doses of radioactive iodine-131. Instead of being afflicted with excess thyroid cancers, as would have been expected, they experienced a 38% decline. Another example: Epidemiological studies in Russia demonstrated that the population of the most contaminated region near Chernobyl contracted fewer cancers than Russia’s general population.
It seems there is growing evidence that low/moderate levels of radiation exposure have beneficial health/mortality effects. But it'll take a lot of effort over a long time to overcome the biases fostered by the media and others who prefer alarmism based on junk science and the flawed logic of the "precautionary principle".  Other examples of this include the Bispenol-A (Rubber Ducky) scare (and ban) and the absolute  nonsense of "no safe level" of second-hand smoke promoted by every government and cancer society on the planet.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Screw "Earth Hour" - celebrate electricity!

Ross McKitrick:

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity. Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing ....

... Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction ...
... Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. ...
... No thanks. I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

"Liberals join the coalition of the unwilling-to-admit-it"

Matt Gurney:

... evidence of the 2008 coalition agreement between the Liberals, NPD and the Bloc, has disappeared from the Liberals’ website. This comes shortly after Mr. Ignatieff, when asked whether he would again back a coalition if the Liberals fail to win the upcoming election, forcefully answered a different question. No one’s sure exactly what the question he was answering was, but it had something to do with multi-coloured doors. Maybe it was like Parliamentary Jeopardy ...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The key election question for Iggy

Roy Green today:
Answer the question Mr. Ignatieff. In the event of a minority Conservative Party election result might Canadians be treated to a rebirth of the Liberal, NDP, BQ coalition?
An on the record “yes” or “no” would be preferred. “Maybe” would be acceptable.
Good question. That has to be the top consideration for voters this time around. A coalition of losers needing BQ support cannot be a very appealing prospect.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glenn Beck, a likeable Joe McCarthy

If you ask me, Senator Joe McCarthy gets a bad rap. In pursuing his anti-communist crusade he performed a valuable service.  While he may have been ham-handed, hyper-zealous and mean at times  he did achieve a certain degree of success.

Glenn Beck is doing a similar service in rooting out evil leftists who have an overtly anti-capitalist (anti-American) agenda. For instance, he got Van Jones fired from his White House 'Green Jobs Czar' appointment when he exposed him as a 9/11 Truther and an avowed communist.

Now Glenn has his sights set on Stephen Lerner for plotting to bring chaos to the US economic system.  Lerner is a high-roller with the SEIU (Obama's favorite union) and has White House access (at least 4 visits so far).  Beck has Lerner on tape at a recent meeting, plotting what can easily be characterized as sedition (Beck calls it "economic terrorism" and so does the DOJ in an arguably much more benign case).

See also, Rush Limbaugh, and a congressman's letter to AG Eric Holder.

If Bernard Von Nothaus' crime of minting Liberty Dollars is worth 15 years in the slammer, Stephen Lerner ought to get life.  Think that'll happen?

Glenn exhorts his audience to seek and find the bad guys in their unions and their governments and to "RAT 'EM OUT!"

Go, Glenn!

Google promoting AGW hypothesis

Google is in a great position to promote indoctrination on any given subject.  In an open letter to Google Willis Eschenbach accuses it of creating a PR campaign favouring the alarmist AGW hypothesis. Eschenbach also notes that Al Gore is on the Google board of directors. 
... Your pimping for the CO2 hypothesis is unseemly and unpleasant. Your clumsy attempt to influence the politics of climate science, on the other hand, is very frightening and way out of line....
This could be a booster for Bing.

[via FOS]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leftist indoctrination in engineering

We know that leftists have thoroughly infiltrated academia in the humanities, education and the soft sciences with their destructive pc, PoMo, multiculti ideologies;  and we know that they have been, for decades, making similar inroads in our schools brainwashing children from K thru 12.

Lubos Motl gives us an example of how it's also happening even in engineering faculties

The left-wing indoctrination that has overtaken a significant portion of the Western college education is often being discussed but every new example of this phenomenon disappoints us again. It's really bad.
Penn State University is the place that openly harbors the father of the infamous hockey stick graph. And you bet that it's not just one defective researcher who happens to be employed by a random school: the whole atmosphere at that college has been rebuilt to match Michael Mann.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pushing sales taxes

Yesterday, the Fin Post published the authors' (Dahlby's and Ferede's) summary of their recent CD Howe Report which concludes that:
"... we should be taxing consumption spending rather than income."
Today, William Watson praises their report suggesting:

"... a special forces team ... kidnap the country’s finance ministers, lock them up in a mountain hideaway and not let them out again until they proved by written or oral examination that they understood the message ..."
And highlights Ontario and other Laffer-ing-stock provinces (the majority):
Besides Ontario, the other guilty parties — “bonehead provinces” would be an equally apt term — were Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. If they had reduced corporate tax rates, they would have made more corporate tax revenue.

It gets better — or worse, depending how you look at it. Even in those provinces that weren’t on the wrong side of the Laffer curve, the cost of raising an extra dollar of tax revenue using corporate taxes was ridiculously high. In Alberta, it was $40.83.
Then there's the feds:
If you’re not already depressed enough, consider this: The federal government subsidizes all this inefficiency by compensating the provinces for the loss in tax capacity that their own fool taxes bring about. Even when the marginal economic cost of a tax is sky-high, provinces may not actually suffer very much, at least revenue-wise, as a result. Equalization bails them out.
Anyway, the bottom line - corporate taxes are worst, personal taxes next worse and consumption taxes the least harmful. All very interesting and enlightening. And I might be in favour of higher sales taxes if personal and corporate taxes were reduced accordingly. Well, that and if the governments were chopped in size and spending and equalization killed. But what are the odds of any of that happening?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Iggy weasels-in on Justin's fiasco

Michael Ignatieff adds more Lib weasel-speak to Justin Trudeau's dopey comments on certain barbaric cultural practices, saying:

"... There's no such thing as an honour killing, there's only killing and it's a crime everywhere,"
And Mark Steyn points out:
Unfortunately, in wacky Pakistan, “moderate” Jordan and many places in between, the law distinguishes between “killing” (which is a crime) and killing a woman because she’s dishonored your family (which often gets reported as a suicide or accident or, if brought to court at all, results in acquittal or desultory six-month sentences). Indeed, failing to commit an honor killing is itself a form of dishonor ...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coming soon to a grade school near you

'The Three Little Pigs Revisited' complete with vegetarian wolf, CPR trained pigs, housing shortages and houses built from adobe and recycled paper and aluminum.

The Brothers Grimm James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps must be rolling over in their his graves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Liberal Weeniepants-speak"

Mark Steyn critiques Justin Trudeau's fatuous pc nit-picking of the new immigration study guide.  Justin (aka "Sh&t for Brains") thinks the word "barbaric" is too harsh, that "absolutely unacceptable" would suffice.  However, as Mark explains:

The trouble is, as your average honor killer or clitoridectomist around the planet well understands, “absolutely unacceptable” is Liberal Weeniepants-speak for “we entirely accept it”.
M. Trudeau also said "... in an official Government of Canada publication, there needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality...." That explicitly jibes with Steyn's take - it's Lib-speak for "it's absolutely unacceptable but we don't intend to actually do anything about it".

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Japan is not Haiti - nor New Orleans"

From Mark Steyn's mailbox:

Japan is not Haiti, and how do I know? Well, I was living just outside of Kobe when the monstrous jishin (earthquake) hit in January 1995 and virtually destroyed the center of a major Japanese city, killing 6,600 people covering a 20-mile swath. I was right in the middle. Down the street from where I lived, a seven-story apartment building ended up being four stories. My next door neighbor died from a collapsed roof. When the quake hit, I thought it was a bomb going off.
Here's what didn't happen:

~There was no looting or breaking into food stores.
~There was no time for trying to blame anyone.
~There was no one cutting in the front of the line to get water.
~There were no calls to lawyers.
Here is what did happen:
~The people in the Kobe area were not waiting around for a US aircraft carrier.
~The military was deployed immediately to dig and search.
~The Yakuza (Japanese mafia) were the early suppliers of medical supplies and food (they had the connections and the means to get the materials to the folks).
~Within days, temporary housing was being constructed all over the area.
~Within days, portable showers and toilet facilities were set up all over the area.
~Within days, supermarkets were opened, and the queues stretched endlessly as they could only let a few people in the stores at a time. There was no anger, yelling, blaming, looting, or cutting-in-front.
~Within hours, clean-up began by everyone— students, teachers, seniors, Yakuza, politicians. Everyone seemed to be contributing in some way.
So like I said, Japan is not Haiti— nor New Orleans. They don't need us…That is not to say they would not be unappreciative of any assistance, but probably the best thing we can do is provide portable medical facilities, staffing (if requested), and search-sniffing dogs.  
As a foreigner, I was treated like everyone else, and by the time I left Japan four years later, I would say 90% of the entire city of Kobe had been rebuilt (and consider that New York has been unable to erect a couple of building at Ground Zero now for going on 10 years).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A bulwark against authoritarianism

Agay libertarian's excellent defence of free speech:

Jonathan Rauch - FIRE's CFN 2010 from FIRE on Vimeo.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Political correctness - a blight on liberty

Here's Dr. Srdja Trifkovic comparing Western postmodern politically correct society with the post-Stalin Soviet bloc and Yugo under Tito.  It doesn't compare well:

[Shamelessly ripped off from Xanthippa]

Friday, March 4, 2011

What makes regulators tick?

Peter Foster takes a look at the regulator mentality:

Psychologist Abraham Maslow is famous for formulating a personal “hierarchy of needs” that stretches from breathing and eating at one end to conspicuous commitments to Save Africa at the other. He is also credited with the insight that if you are a hammer, the world looks like a nail. Regulators are perhaps more like another implement: a shovel. When they find themselves in a hole, they are inclined to keep digging (intriguingly, just like proponents of using aid to save Africa).
A recent paper by the University of Kiev’s Slavisa Tasic, Are Regulators Rational?, analyzes this mental peculiarity of regulators via the burgeoning field of cognitive science. He suggests that if regulators appear congenitally incapable of grasping that regulation creates more problems than it solves, it’s because they are congenitally incapable.
... we — and they — are (among many other cognitive shortcomings) as dumb as doorknobs when it comes to comprehending how economies work. Worse, regulators, by definition, have no idea how dumb they are. They suffer from “illusions of competence.”
... Their fundamental problem is not that they are trying to use a shovel to craft a chronometer. What they are attempting is even more impossible. The economy isn’t a machine built by humans, even though it builds lots of machines. It is an organic “natural order” that we mess with at our peril. In fact, Mr. Tasic’s paper barely skims the surface of that vast ocean of what Friedrich Hayek called the “fatal conceit” of interventionists.
... Regulators may look to cognitive science to make “smarter regulation,” but don’t expect them to express too much interest in being told they are on a fool’s errand. They aren’t fools. They’re shovels.
Alongside Peter's excellent column is a fascinating tale of escape from Canuckistan's hyper-regulated dairy industry:
... Money and freedom were the reasons for our decision. We moved our dairy cattle and machinery south of the border, but sold all Canadian immovable assets. The land, quota and farm buildings came to $45,000 per cow, while 20 miles away we purchased a more modern state-of-the-art operation for $5,200 a cow.
... If one simply Googles Census Canada and the Canadian Dairy Commission they will find that Canada’s population has more than doubled since supply management started in 1967 and that — shockingly — the Canadian actual total milk production per year has not changed, other than slightly dipping, over those four and a half ­decades.
... Diversity, because of freedom, is prevalent in New York’s Franklin county’s dairy sector. Farmers range from a 2,100-cow producer to the Old Order Amish man who milks 17 and is raising nine children. Or the legal, small raw-milk producer and retailer making incredible profits, who would be arrested if living two miles to the north.
Knowing your farming operation is in a nation where, unlike Ontario, some semblance of property rights is installed in law, gives one the freedom to invest for the future. ...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Honesty from an AGW true-believer

Dr. Richard A. Muller of UC Berkeley presents his assessment of the global warming situation, including comments on Al Gore, James Hansen and Climategate ("hide the decline" @ around the 30 minute mark).  A very interesting and  refreshingly honest presentation:

Dr. Muller also mentions his project to develop a new surface temperature data-base.  See WUWT here,  here and here.