Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hurricane Irene stimulus?

Will they never learn that the destruction of property makes everyone poorer?  It seems that even some "economists" including University of Maryland professor Peter Morici haven't:
... after the damage is tallied up, repair efforts could give the country an economic boon.
After infrastructure is destroyed in natural disasters, Morici told MSNBC, "we generally rebuild better than before." Morici said that spending on new roads, bridges, and other infrastructure could total as much as $20 billion. "We'll not only rebuild, but we'll get a multiplier effect, and we'll get more capital," the Maryland professor said.
Maybe Morici would think differently if a tornado leveled his home and someone told him that fairy tale:

And here's Milton Friedman:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Settling science

Results for CERN's CLOUD experiment have just been published.  Lawrence Solomon reports and reviews the backstory:
... The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from ├╝ber-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research...

... The hypothesis that cosmic rays and the sun hold the key to the global warming debate has been Enemy No. 1 to the global warming establishment ever since it was first proposed by two scientists from the Danish Space Research Institute, at a 1996 scientific conference in the U.K. Within one day, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Bert Bolin, denounced the theory, saying, “I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible.” He then set about discrediting the theory, any journalist that gave the theory credence, and most of all the Danes presenting the theory — they soon found themselves vilified, marginalized and starved of funding, despite their impeccable scientific credentials. [ie. the all too predictable "official" denial and efforts to suppress contrary evidence].
Lots more at WUWT.

See also [via FOS]:
GWPF Science News;; Naturenews;  Paper abstractRealClimate blog post.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mark Steyn on the BBC

And the OC Register.

The NDP and its socialist delusions

Robert Fulford:

Jack Layton led the NDP more successfully than anyone else but what he led was as much a fantasy as a political party. ...
...the central function of the NDP is to help members and supporters pretend that they are not living in a society built on capitalism. Democratic socialism is a fairy tale that they tell themselves as consolation for having to exist in a distressingly grubby, money-driven world. ...
... In their dreams they can inhabit the country they believe they deserve, a place run by nice people, as nice as themselves, from which unfairness is banished. New Democrats all believe in social justice. (Do they assume Liberals and Tories believe in social injustice? Probably.) Above all, they can depend on the NDP to keep alive the most influential delusion of the 19th century, the belief that societies can be planned by idealists without the messy chaos of buying and selling....

Saint Jack?

Then again maybe not.  A darker side of Jack:
"... At that time, smiling Jack forgot to smile...."

Friday, August 26, 2011

The BC HST is gone

Good outcome!  I don't know if the HST is an economically superior taxation system or not.  Most economists think so - but given the extremely shaky state of the global ecomomy, how far can they be trusted? 

Either way the bottom line for me was always the arrogantly dishonest way the Campbell government foisted the HST on us with no debate whatever.   We just can't have our elected representatives telling us bald-faced lies and getting away with it.  Gordon Campbell is gone and good riddance to him.  But his replacement and many other Liberal pols are not much better.  A real downside now is that the NDP will likely be elected.  We need better choices. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Celebrity farewell to Jack Layton

Christie Blatchford penned an excellent column about the celebrity treatment Jack Layton's untimely death is receiving.  Naturally, as can be seen in the comments, Jack's fans are not pleased with Christie's take :)

Jack Layton was a likeable, upbeat guy who lived and breathed socialist politics and died too young. But he deserves honest appraisal not the fawning, over-the-top sentimentality served up by most of the media. Jack's final "letter to Canadians" was the first thing I read after learning of his death and I was disappointed to find it full of NDP talking points and concluded with meaningless platitudes. It sounded as if it had been written by party hacks, which, as Christie points out, it had. They didn't do him any favours.

Whatever. R.I.P. Jack Layton.

Update (from the comments):
dmorris: "I heard the Taliban was sending a squad to do the 19 gun salute,hope they restrain themselves and use blank cartridges." :)
Calgary Junkie: Christie on the Bill Good Show yesterday (10:00 am).
Upperdate: Paul Tuns [via].

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Foster: "Michael Lewis’s ship of euro fools"

For insight into BoC Governor Mark Carney's recent comments on Canada's prospects given what's happening in Europe, Peter Foster recommends reading Michael Lewis' Vanity Fair pieces:

Following his eviscerations of those who perpetrated the head-shaking folly that led to the debacles in Iceland, Ireland and Greece, he turns his attention — in the September Vanity Fair — to Germany. His piece — It’s the economy, Dummkopf! — makes for great, if hardly comforting, reading.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Glavin on Afstan

From Terry Glavin's excellent essay on Afghanistan:

...The pall that has fallen over Afghan democrats has nothing to do with American guns or American money. What has changed are the reasons the United States is giving for having soldiers in Afghanistan in the first place, and the fire-sale price the White House is now willing to offer to pack everything in....
It's a long read but well worth it. 

[Via GayandRight]

AGW? Not!

"I Pencil": the video

A video supplement to Leonard E. Read's famous essay:


Dog-spit Fatwa

This Friday's Fatwa comes via Blazing Cat Fur and the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America:
Question. ... if I had wudu then a dog touched me can I pray or are all these just matters of Ijtihaad? ...

Fatwa. ...  it [dog-spit] is impure because of the hadeeth of the Prophet: “If the dog licks in your vessel then wash it seven times; one of which should be with soil.” ...
And if a Muslim licks your vessel ... sick your dog on him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Useful idiot of Omaha

Peter Foster on Warren Buffet's "tax-the-rich" bullcrap:
... The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen More has pointed out that Mr. Buffett misrepresents the U.S. tax system, which is still sharply progressive, even if monstrously convoluted. The median-income household in 2008 paid just 4% federal tax on its US$35,000. Those with more than US$2-million paid 32% in 2005, the last year for which data is available.
Warren Buffett is just one more useful idiot helping Obama push his class warfare re-election platform.  The fix for the current economic mess is to starve the government of revenue and force it to cut spending, not give it more money to waste on entitlements.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Joke judiciary

The CBA, responding to Jason Kenney’s critque of the judiciary,
... said in a letter [hissy fit] to Kenney. "Judges cannot enter the public arena to respond to criticism." ...
As if to prove the CBA was full of crap, Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin went public:

... Chief Justice McLachlin, in a speech to the CBA governing council ... said:
I was certainly — and I think all judges were — very pleased when an issue arose earlier this year when a minister of the Crown seemed to suggest that some judges were insufficiently solicitous to government policy. We were very, very gratified to see your president writing a powerful public letter to the minister in question, reminding the minister of the importance of public confidence in an impartial judiciary, that bases its decisions on the law and not on government policy.”
Thanks, Beverley. Glad to see you’re staying away from politics. But, while judges may follow the law, "the law" often allows for a fairly wide range of options for judges. And they frequently select an application of the law that is the most lenient possible. It’s as if their decisions were intended to thwart government policy, just as Kenney said. The courts’ failure to deport accused war criminals is just one example.

In today’s NatPo, Bruce Hutcheson has a good column on the lower mainland drug wars and how thugs are given kid glove treatment by the courts. The Bacon brothers have for years been in nearly constant conflict with the law, involved with drugs, prohibited weapons, attempted murder and murder. Yet:
... They benefitted from ... a legal system that spat them back into society.
... James (Jamie) Bacon, 25, the youngest of the three brothers, took a bullet outside the same suburban house [in 2007]. ... fired back at his unnamed assailants with a Glock handgun, a prohibited weapon in Canada. [What? In Canada? Isn’t there a gun registry?] ... in a "secret compartment" installed inside the family SUV... Police discovered the gun, and three other prohibited semi-automatic weapons...
... Not two weeks prior, Jamie Bacon was sentenced to three years in prison, on an earlier drugs-related robbery conviction. Why was he not locked behind bars, but instead free to drive around in a Corvette? Because the court had determined he'd already served an "equivalent sentence" of 14 months for the robbery, in pre-trial custody. So he walked ...
... arrested again in 2008, this time with Jarrod, the middle Bacon brother, now 28. The pair were accused of dozens of firearms offences. Jamie was eventually convicted on some of those charges; Jarrod's charges were stayed.
... In 2009, Jamie was charged with first-degree murder, and conspiracy to commit murder, for his alleged role in the 2007 massacre of six people in Surrey...He was delivered to a Surrey remand centre and eventually was placed in solitary confinement. He complained [ and ...] took the remand centre to court and won. A B.C. Supreme Court judge found that Bacon's Charter rights had been breached. ...
But, what the courts won’t do to keep these thugs off the streets, other thugs will:
... [Jonathan] Bacon was shot dead Sunday afternoon after leaving the Delta Grand Okanagan, a conspicuous hotel and casino complex in downtown Kelowna.
Good riddance, but this is no way to keep law and order. Weak laws, weaker judges.

"Royal" restored!

At long last!  Forty-three years of campaigning, petitioning  (and waiting) has finally resulted in the restoral of the name "Royal" to the Canadian Navy and Air Force:
... The announcement comes 100 years, to the day, after King George granted Royal Consent to call the Naval Service of Canada the Royal Canadian Navy...
In 1968, six years after I joined the RCAF, defence minister Paul Hellyer did away with the single services and "unified" them as the Canadian Forces.  Our unit held an emotional wake to mark the event.  [Hellyer was a flake then and remains a flake.]  It's a wonder it took this long to undo (some of) the damage he did.

A valuable part of our heritage has been restored. It doesn't happen often.

CBC poll [via].

David Warren.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The micro-nanny state

Good grief!

Not having fitted sheets on hotel beds would now be a crime in California. This is not a joke. . .
Actually, it is a joke.  One of California's many sick nanny-state jokes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Steyn on the riots and the debt downgrade

It's all in his just released book, "After America":

... Anyone who's read it will fully understand what's happening on the streets of London. The downgrade and the riots are part of the same story: Big Government debauches not only a nation's finances but its human capital, too....

... Anyone who has so much as glanced at British policing policy over the past two decades would be hard pressed to argue which party on the streets of London, the thugs or the cops, is more irredeemably stupid....
... As I write in my book: "Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity."
... "The evil of such a system is not the waste of money but the waste of people."
Update: Radio interview with Mark.

Retribution for rioters: Vancouver v. Britain

Despite all the tough talk early on:
... two months after the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver, not a single rioter has been charged, despite dozens of people who turned themselves in and confessed after photos and videos were posted on the Internet.
In the UK:

The riots that swept across London and other British cities this week have already resulted in more than 1,700 arrests, with some rioters already convicted and serving jail time.

Hatred and contempt

Those were the emotions I felt on watching Ezra Levant’s show this week covering the 1998 conviction of Mark Harding (see also) for his "hate" crime. I felt visceral hatred and contempt towards:
- politicians responsible for Canada’s laws criminalizing ideas and emotions;
- Muslims who took offence and had Mark Harding charged under these “hate” laws;
- the “justice” system (especially the judges) that enforced these laws, and;
- the mainstream media who ignored Mark Harding’s persecution (until SunTV arrived).
Each of these groups is “identifiable” and the events surrounding Mark Harding’s persecution has “incited my hatred against” them. And while I may not be so inclined, who knows how “likely” it might be for other hot-heads to “breach the peace” in response.  I suspect no less likely than was Mark Harding’s “hate” crime.

So, if I read the “publicly communicated” criminal code correctly (at least the politically correct courts’ interpretation of it), we have an absurd situation where the “hate” crime laws have themselves incited hatred and charges should be lain - and lending new feasibility to the expression “go f**k yourself”.

Until now I thought that the “human rights” bureaucracy was the threat - that the criminal code would not be used to abuse freedom of speech. Live and learn.

A recent update on Mark Harding.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ann Coulter Goes Proud

From the NatPo today:
... Ann Coulter ... : “If you’re born gay, why would you be liberal?
... This week, she joined GOProud’s Advisory Council as honorary chair. (Before that, she had performed as a keynote speaker at GOProud’s — unfortunately titled — 2010 HOMOCON fund-raising event.) Her official title will be “Gay Icon.”...
Heh, I don't know, I kind of like "HOMOCON" :)

Roots of the global debt crisis - Kay vs Gunter

The National Post’s resident leftist amateur social psychologist and editorial page editor, Jonathan Kay, has recently been treating us to his pet theories (eg. here and here) on how the US has come to the brink of insolvency and who is most to blame. The Tea Party figures large as a culprit [we mighta’ known]:
... the Tea Party ... is the product of an America that never really got over the fear and anxiety produced by 9/11, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the real estate crash.
... all societies instinctively revert to romantic, backward-looking notions. ... This is why at Tea Party events, there is such a strong correlation between religious Christianity and fiscal conservatism...
... keeping taxes low isn't just smart policy: It's become the central dogma in what can only be described as a quasi-spiritual policy cult.
The noisiest tribe these days is the Tea Party, which embraces the cult-like mantra that cutting taxes can solve all of America's problems. The quasi-theological mentality was captured nicely by Tim Pawlenty ...[“noisiest tribe”? When ninety-plus percent of the media outlets, led by the New York Times, are bent on non-stop demonizing of the Tea Party?]
Kay’s presumed claim to balance is covered by a mild critique of the far left and conflicted views on Keynes and Hayek:
... The less noisy, but equally magically inclined, tribe is the Democratic left ...
... Keynes or Hayek? I'd prefer not to put all my money on one or the other. The U.S. fiscal meltdown shows what happens when economic advocacy gets turned into sloganeering. [Actually, politics always results in “sloganeering”. This is no different.]
All in all, Kay’s effort amounts to useless, left-leaning pedantry - a complete waste of time.
Better to read Lorne Gunter’s much more clear-headed take:
What do Obamacare, the London riots and a possible French debt crisis have in common? They are all proof that Western governments have grown beyond all reasonable, sensible limits.
...So to with the French debt crisis (and the Greek, Irish, Icelandic, Spanish and Italian debt crises - even the American one). In each case, the culprit is a state grown so large it has over-promised benefits, oversold citizens on what they have a "right" to but can no longer expect.
Unless and until we get over our belief that government can and should try to solve every social ill, and tax away productive money to pay for its experiments, the debt crises and riots and failed social programs will continue to pile up.
In short - Lorne Gunter’s views are very close to the Tea Party’s.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Distortion, misuse and abuse of poverty statistics

PJTV’s Bill Whittle with a very interesting presentation [via]:

From the Heritage Foundation research report:

... The overwhelming majority of the public do not regard a family living in these conditions as poor. [....] A full 80 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats agreed that a family living in those living conditions should not be considered poor.
One of the most regrettable aspects of official U.S. government poverty statistics is the misleading negative image that they project around the world. U.S. government poverty numbers are like a Potemkin village in reverse, suggesting to the rest of the globe that living conditions in the U.S. are much worse than they actually are.
For example:
Al Jazeera ...tells a global audience: “37 million people—that is one in eight Americans—live below the official poverty line. That means these people are often homeless, hungry, and have no health insurance.”
The Teheran Times “... [O]ne in five children in the United States live in poverty, with almost half of them living in extreme poverty.”
... the Chinese government uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s misleading poverty reports to condemn the U.S. government for human rights violations.
Russia Today (RT) is a multilingual television news network funded by the Russian government. RT broadcasts news in English, Spanish, and Arabic to over 100 nations .... informs audiences that “one in seven Americans [are] living in poverty.”
What? No mention of the CBC and BBC?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

When Muslims attack, Part II

From the horse's mouth, via Blazing Catfur:

Steyn with Levant

Looking forward to reading "After America" - God and the post office willing.

Also, see Steyn with Hugh Hewitt for more dark humour.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Punched in the face, but fat chance charges will be laid

In the Toronto Sun yesterday a story about a Toronto Muslim woman's assault on a photographer:
... Suddenly, a woman wearing a hijab ran toward me. She was part of a group that included two women wearing full face-covering burkas. She was screaming: “We are Muslim! You do not take pictures of us!” (Odd. I can’t find the “no photos” rule in the Qur’an.)
... And then: Ka-pow! Her fist collided with my face. Worse, she almost knocked my new camera from my hands.
You guessed it:
... The cop walked back to me. No charges would be laid, he said, because he believed the woman’s story — namely, she was merely trying to knock the camera out of my hands.
[Via Blazing Cat Fur]

Congrats to Ezra

National Post today:
The votes are in and Ezra Levant’s 2009 book Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights won the Writers’ Trust of Canada and Samara Best Political Book of the last 25 Years competition.
I bet that will cheeze-off most of the literary set.  Congratulations Ezra!