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.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cherry declines RMC honorary degree

Concerned controversy may take away from "a special day," Don Cherry has declined an honorary degree from the Royal Military College.

"I can't accept the degree and I won't attend the convocation," Cherry said in an interview Friday about the Nov. 17 ceremony in Kingston. "I am sad because I was really looking forward to spending time with the 800 cadets."

Perhaps instead they can line up to get their picture taken with French Professor Catherine Lord.

It is because of her bizarre and vitriolic complaints that the legendary hockey coach and commentator wont be there. ...
Too bad Cherry bowed to the loony objections of one pc nitwit. I hope RMC faculty and cadets don't let Lord forget what a fruitcake they think she is.

P.S. "Catherine Lord" is listed among RMC faculty not as a "Professor" but as "Teacher, Second-Language".

Update: Hunter at 'Climbing Out Of The Dark' notes that RMC Language Centre Director, one JEJ Lord (LCol retired), is related to his underling language teacher.   (Thanks to Sean in the comments.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Greeks despair

Greeks watched the latest political drama unfolding in their capital with a mixture of despair and disbelief.

... "What happened this week was a disgrace. We looked bad and Europeans are already sick of paying for us."
"Looks bad"? "This week"? What's happening in Greece is bad. It's a disgrace, and has been for a lot longer than a week.

But we shouldn't be too smug. Peter Foster says we're all headed that way:

... Greece is the result of mixing fundamentally Marxist principles with democratic governance (which the philosopher Karl Popper pointed out had happened by the middle of the last century in all Western countries), and then giving it a credit card with no limit. The anti-principle of “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” inevitably deteriorated into “From each productive sucker to each unionized public servant and policy wonk.”

This is a crisis not just of Greece, not just of the eurozone, but of nothing less than the dominant version of modern democracy itself. As Joseph Schumpeter pointed out 60 years ago, this is not the rule of “the people” but of politicians who compete to buy votes in order to wield power. Milton Friedman noted after the fall of the Berlin Wall that the collapse of Communism did not represent some kind of victory for Western forms of democratic economic management. It was just that, since they had capitalism to feed on, they were collapsing more slowly. Prof. Friedman also noted the shift in power from politicians to bureaucrats. “The government has become a self-generating monstrosity,” he said. “We don’t have government of the people, by the people, for the people. We have government of the people, by the bureaucracy, for the bureaucracy.” ...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Disgusting: David Suzuki and NFB indoctrinating school kids

Yesterday and today the National Film Board and David Suzuki were given exclusive access to thousands of school kids across Canada to spread Suzuki's radical environmental and political propaganda:
As many as 12,000 Canadian high school students and their teachers will have real-time access to renowned scientist Dr. David Suzuki on November 1 and 2 through a new virtual classroom experience. The virtual program is being delivered through a partnership between the National Film Board of Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation....
Ezra Levant featured video clips of the Suzuki 'education' session on The Source today.  Suzuki openly stated that he is deliberately targeting impressionable young students because (paraphrasing) 'their dimwitted, dinosaur parents aren't getting the message'.

This is a disgusting travesty!  The schools that permitted this one-sided, dishonest, hypocritical indoctrination should be ashamed of themselves.  They should be raked over the coals and forced to apologize to parents and students alike, not to mention to taxpayers who fund the NFB.

Privatize the CBC!

Today's Vancouver Sun ran an editorial (lefty rant), The CBC at 75, by Janice Kennedy:
Poor Rob Ford. ...
... it’s an article of faith among red-blooded Canadian neo-cons everywhere that the CBC is an instrument of the liberal devil, one you must never, ever watch, listen to or in any way support.
... The CBC, long — and unfairly — viewed as a mouthpiece for the left, has become one of the Canadian right’s favourite bugbears.
... For the life of me, I don’t understand it.
... we should be celebrating. Canadians across the spectrum — yes, even Rob Ford — have countless reasons to be thankful for the CBC. Let’s honour 75 rich years by demanding many more to come.
I couldn't resist sending in my comments (to the digital edition):
Privatize the CBC! It has become a fat, lazy, sloppy, unaccountable behemoth with an overblown sense of entitlement. That’s what its $1.16 billion dollar annual subsidy from taxpayers, more than 2/3 of its revenue, has done for it. If that isn’t bad enough it is also insular and arrogant in refusing to comply with legal orders to obey access to information laws. Instead, it wastes taxpayer subsidies paying its lawyers to fight these orders in court.
As for Janice Kennedy’s dopey claim that the CBC is politically unbiased and "bends over backward to provide balance", maybe she can explain why it is that the vast majority of complaints about its bias come from right-wingers while its apologists, defenders and enthusiasts are all left-wingers. If the left loves the CBC so much they should put their money where their politics are and pay for it themselves - like I pay for my SunTV and Fox News subscriptions.
The CBC is by far the largest media corporation in the country, and it competes directly against smaller companies who receive no taxpayer subsidies. Clearly this is just wrong. There is nothing in the CBC mandate that can’t be accomplished more effectively and efficiently by the private sector. So, again, privatize the CBC. And if there’s a need to subsidize any part of its current mandate then outsource it on a competitive basis to all private media companies. The product would be better and less costly to taxpayers.