Monday, January 30, 2012

The Iron Lady - Part II

Part I referenced Peter Foster's review of The Iron Lady.  He hated it.

Now that I've seen it, I can say that it was disappointing.  Generally, it was an annoying movie.  The first half hour had Maggie being portrayed mostly in her elderly, shaky mental state - which is completely irrelevant to the life I expected to see portrayed. I felt the urge to walk out but had a large popcorn to finish.  It got better, though there was still too much time spent with Thatcher in her dementia - and those parts of her political career she is best known for were given relatively short shrift.

The screen writer and director deserve low marks.  Meryl Streep does a decent job, but then she always does. Best actress?  I don't think so but maybe that's what they were shooting for.

The professional reviewer I trust most, James Berardinelli, comes closest to what I thought about it:

... The most disappointing aspect of The Iron Lady is that some of the most memorable hallmarks of Thatcher's time in power are glossed over. The Falklands War is covered at warp speed. An IRA attempt on her life gets a couple of minutes. Her relationship with U.S. President Ronald Reagan is confined to a brief scene of them dancing at an official function. By spending so much time with Thatcher in her dotage, the movie becomes limited in its ability to tell the story of her earlier years in a convincing, compelling fashion. One can get a better sense of her importance to recent history by reading her Wikipedia entry.
The pace is dreadfully slow; on those occasions when the flashback scenes generate some forward momentum, we are inevitably yanked back to the "present" so everything can slow down again. This approach can work when a movie features rich dialogue and impeccable performances, but The Iron Lady has neither. The screenplay is pedestrian and the acting, including that of star Meryl Streep, is unmemorable.
Other reviews - mixed:  from lousy to over-rated.

Update: Two more views - two Barbaras: Amiel and Kay.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A setback for Obama's class warfare campaign

Never mind Warren Buffett's secretary:

How embarrassing this must be for President Obama ...
... A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama's executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven't paid any share, let alone their fair share. ...

A very short SOTU address

Mark Steyn:
Had I been asked to deliver the State of the Union address, it would not have delayed your dinner plans:
"The State of our Union is broke, heading for bankrupt, and total collapse shortly thereafter. Thank you and goodnight! You've been a terrific crowd!"

Obama iconography

That video was made in 2009.  The logo is still here:

And so are these:

Subverting the "education" system

This story in today's Post is yet another indicator of how widely and deeply radical social and political thinking has infiltrated the education system:
... an alternative public school ... “based on the principles of participatory democracy and social equity,” as the school advertised itself.  ... Eitan, then 17 years old ...  said, ‘Ima [Hebrew for mother], the walls of the school are plastered with posters saying Israel: Apartheid State,’ ” ... referring to flyers mounted by a pro-Palestinian student club.

... In one of its teaching guides, the B.C. Department of Education says social justice “extends beyond the protection of rights” and aims for a “just and equitable society.”
... In its 2010 Social Justice Action Plan, the Toronto District School Board defines social justice ...
... In New Brunswick, one Grade 4 teacher drew ire ...
... In Ontario, one school sent Grade 1 students home with day-planners that highlighted an “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” and “International Day of Zero-Tolerance on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.”
... another Ontario school sent Grade 7 students to a protest hosted by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, a notoriously confrontational activist group that advocates militantly for economic equality.
... In Quebec, one eco-friendly elementary school excluded a six-year-old boy from a teddy-bear contest because his lunch box contained a plastic bag rather than a reusable container.
This guy has it right:
“That’s an illegitimate use of the school’s authority,” said British sociologist Frank Furedi. “It’s not up to the schools to determine the behaviour and values of the family. A child’s education should not be confused with politicization, nor is it about internalizing the values of their teachers.”
This story should set off alarm bells for parents who haven’t been paying attention. It’s clear that the "education" system has become saturated with the highly dubious, radically toxic ideologies of postmodernist moral and cultural relativism, multiculturalism and so-called "social justice".  Check out the web-sites of the teachers’ unions and university departments of education and see how far they’ve gone and plan to go to perpetuate these claptrap social(ist) theories by brazenly indoctrinating children and students from K through U.

Parents, should be loudly protesting! Schools are failing at their primary job which is to educate, to provide children with the basic tools and competence needed to advance and to prepare them to think for themselves. Instead, they are wasting valuable time doing the opposite - indoctrinating impressionable kids in dubious social and political thinking while neglecting their primary responsibilities. It leads nowhere good.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stephen Harper speaks at Davos

Interesting opening acknowledements:
... My greetings to Ambassador Santi,
To the governor of the Bank of Canada, known internationally as chair of the Financial Stability Board, Mark Carney,
To our hard-working minister of international trade, Ed Fast.
And to the best finance minister on the planet, Jim Flaherty....
The rest of it was good. He did an excellent job of blowing Canada's horn, saying in effect "...we're in good shape.  Look and learn." I just wish he wouldn't encourage the megalomaniacal WEF globalists by appearing at Davos.

More commentary.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Northern Gateway - depressing opinion poll

Claudia Cattaneo:

... According to the poll of 1,211 randomly selected adult Canadians conducted on Jan. 13, right after the high-profile start of community hearings by federal regulators on Northern Gateway, more Canadians (43%) said they are opposed to the proposed pipeline than they are in favour (37%).

According to Mr. Bozinoff, environmental organizations enjoy higher credibility than the oil industry because they are perceived to be fighting for the environment and not gaining monetarily.

This is nonsense and Canadians should know better.
... Great play for U.S. greens and Mr. Obama’s re-election machine. Poor outcome for Canada and those Canadians who don’t see how they are being played.
Between the massive anti-oil, anti-corporate propganda campaign being waged by foreign lobbyists, and the Indians in the middle I see Northern Gateway going the way of the MacKenzie Valley pipeline.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oil sands - following the money

Lawrence Solomon:

... Big Philanthropy is the greatest environmental advocacy effort in history, of which the controversies involving Northern Gateway pipeline, the Keystone XL Pipleline, and the Tar Sands form a small part. ...
... no issue holds a candle to the #1 priority for the U.S. funders: global warming.
... If we don’t act boldly in the next decade to prevent carbon lock-in, we could lose the fight against global warming,” explains Design to Win, a major report commissioned by six funders, including the $7-billion William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (the Hewlett of the Hewlett-Packard Corp.), the $6-billion David and Lucile Packard Foundation (the Packard of the Hewlett-Packard corporation), the $1.6-billion Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (heiress to the American Tobacco Co. fortune), and the $900-million Joyce Foundation (lumber).
... When Americans tell us what is good for us, we rightly take the source of the advice into consideration. We should do no less when the advice comes from Canadians in the pay of Americans.
Vivian Krause: Oil sands money trail
... The thinking behind the U.S. funding of the campaign against Canadian oil is explained in a 2007 strategy paper titled Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming...

... As I see it, the campaign against Canadian oil, put on steroids by U.S. foundations, has created a negative foil, a background of bad press and fear ...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Class warfare

Class warfare is the Dem strategy for getting Obama re-elected. It's all they've got.
Adam Carolla analyzes:


Child abuse

Another shocking case of parents abusing their child to test radical social theory:

A couple who concealed the sex of their child and raised it as ‘gender neutral’ for five years have finally revealed - it’s a boy. ...
It's not as if there isn't plenty of evidence of  huge biological differences between the sexes
... Reflecting the fashionable idea that male and female roles have been "socially constructed," most commentators speak of gender instead of sex. ...
... There's only one problem with this beguiling vision of androgyny. Whatever we might like to believe ... sex distinctions remain a deeply rooted part of human nature. ... a wealth of scientific evidence showing that these differences are "hardwired" into our biology.
What are the odds that "Sasha" won't be deeply psychologically scarred? There oughta' be a law.

[Via Blazingcatfur]

Next ice age deferred by human CO2 emissions

Finally, people are starting to seriously consider the upside of AGW:

In the journal Nature Geoscience, they write that the next Ice Age would begin within 1,500 years - but emissions have been so high that it will not.
... The broad conclusions of the team were endorsed by Lawrence Mysak, emeritus professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who has also investigated the transitions between Ice Ages and warm interglacials.
... UK lobby group the Global Warming Policy Foundation [states]: "We must look to a sustained greenhouse effect to maintain the present advantageous world climate. This implies the ability to inject effective greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the opposite of what environmentalists are erroneously advocating."
Assuming that CO2 has as great an effect on climate as AGW hysterics claim then it's a no-brainer - we should be doing nothing to curb emissions.  In fact we should be promoting emissions.

Our governments must get off the insane, economy destroying AGW bandwagon and reverse all "climate change" policies and programs.  It's in Canada's long term interests to grow economically and to avoid being obliterated by another ice age!

More here and here.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The new Marijuana Party

The Iron Lady” - another liberal hit-piece

Peter Foster wasn’t impressed:

... looks an awful lot like revenge on a figure the lefty liberal arts community has not merely never understood, but actively hated. Ms. Streep’s thanking the English for allowing her to come and “trample all over their history” was also telling.

... one can’t help concluding that this movie was at best misconceived and at worst a hatchet job on one of the most significant political figures in the past 50 years.

... In the movie ... her principles are portrayed as the tedious platitudes recalled by a demented old woman. This is not merely mediocre art and bad history, it is shameful.
Damn, I was looking forward to seeing that movie!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The myth of settled science

Watts Up With That:
... the same mantra used in efforts to silence critics of AGW is now being deployed in defense of climate change or AGW light: The science of climate change is settled. In reality, the assertion that any science is settled is essentially a political slogan that misrepresents the nature of science....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pissing on the Taliban

This just about sums up my feeelings on the issue:
... I have to say I can’t seem to work up any outrage. ...
And Jerry Agar's take is fine too.

Ezra Levant notes the Media Party's phony outrage and the media/Dem/Obama double standard.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Armed thugs bully 82 year-old

In today’s Vancouver Sun:
An 82-year-old Cranbrook ... stone-cold-sober pensioner with poor lung capacity was unable to blow hard enough to activate the roadside screening device, Margaret MacDonald was cited for failing to blow, her licence was suspended, she was fined $500 and her car was towed.
Old but no fool, she quickly went to the local hospital where she had her blood tested for alcohol and obtained a medical certificate that said there was none — zero, nada — in her system.
... the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles adjudicator still found her guilty under the province’s controversial drunk-driving laws.
... MacDonald estimated she was forced to stand for nearly an hour in the middle of the cul-de-sac in the glare of the cruiser’s headlights, her neighbours watching from their windows.
... she maintained [a senior RCMP officer] roughly grabbed the roadside screening unit, inserted it in her mouth and sharply ordered her to blow.
“I could not blow at all,” she said. “... the senior RCMP banged his fist on the squad car and shouted at me:Blow, blow … Your tongue is in the tube. You are doing this on purpose. You are slurring your words. You are drunk. I can smell alcohol on you.’ I said, ‘I don’t drink.’ He barked: ‘They all say that!’”
.... Her attempt to seek redress in B.C. Supreme Court was put on hold late last year because the drunk-driving provisions were already under review.
This is an example of what happens when you combine draconian laws with poor police judgement and an insular state bureaucracy. But Bravo! to Margaret MacDonald for standing her ground and fighting back.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The caring, compassionate, empathetic left

Mark Steyn on Alan Colmes mocking Rick Santorum on the death of his baby:

... In 2008, the Left gleefully mocked Sarah Palin's live baby. It was only a matter of time before they moved on to a dead one. ...

Santorum accepts Colmes' apology:

What we don't know about climate

From a comment by Robert Brown at WattsUpWithThat:
... What is the temperature that it would be outside right now, if CO_2 were still at its pre-industrial level?

I don’t think we can begin to answer this question based on what we know right now. We can’t explain why the MWP happened (without CO_2 modulation). We can’t explain why the LIA happened (without CO_2 modulation). We can’t explain all of the other significant climate changes all the way back to the Holocene Optimum (much warmer than today) or the Younger Dryas (much colder than today) even in just the Holocene. We can’t explain why there are ice ages 90,000 years out of every 100,000, why it was much warmer 15 million years ago, why geological time hot and cold periods come along and last for millions to hundreds of millions of years. We don’t know when the Holocene will end, or why it will end when it ends, or how long it will take to go from warm to cold conditions. We are pretty sure the Sun has a lot to do with all of this but we don’t know how, or whether or not it involves more than just the Sun. We cannot predict solar state decades in advance, let alone centuries, and don’t do that well predicting it on a timescale of merely years in advance. We cannot predict when or how strong the decadal oscillations will occur. We don’t know when continental drift will alter e.g. oceanic or atmospheric circulation patterns “enough” for new modes to emerge (modes which could lead to abrupt and violent changes in climate all over the world).

Finally, we don’t know how to build a faithful global climate model, in part because we need answers to many of these questions before we can do so! Until we can, we’re just building nonlinear function fitters that do OK at interpolation, and are lousy at extrapolation.
Yet many scientists, most mainstream journalists, most politicians and government bureaucrats, many millions of  ordinary people, Al Gore and many other flakes remain utterly convinced that AGW is a proven threat to the planet.  And there's a much longer list of things we don't understand about climate.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Social justice indoctrination at UBC

Just came across this article about the UBC Faculty of Education's new program for "infusing" students with politically correct thinking:
Social justice, diversity and aboriginal perspectives will be dominant themes in all courses offered by the University of B.C. education faculty starting next fall as a result of a program overhaul that’s been in the works for several years.
The subjects won’t be taught as separate courses but will be infused throughout the curriculum, Associate Dean Rita Irwin said in an interview this week. “The program will have a very different look and feel,” she noted.
Good grief! This isn't "education" it's Orwellian indoctrination in leftist group think.

Northern Gateway poll: Glass half empty?

CTV News:
Nearly half of British Columbians support Enbridge Inc. ’s proposed Northern Gateway project, according to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of company.
That's it? Less than half! That means more than half have their heads up their asses.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kill the Indian Act

Gerry Agar has solid advice for Indians:

[h/t blazingcatfur]

Monday, January 2, 2012

UN Agenda 21 - global, totalitarian “sustainability”

A Democrat speaks to a Tea Party meeting about how UN Agenda 21 is being foisted on a largely unsuspecting public and subverting individual rights:

From the UN web page for Agenda 21:
Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. ... [Agenda 21 originated from the 1992 Rio Conference, thanks to Maurice Strong.]
Canada and Agenda 21:
Canada has signed or ratified at least 45 multilateral environmental conventions and agreements and is signatory to numerous agendas for action (e.g., Agenda 21, the Habitat Agenda, the World Summit on Sustainable Development [WSSD] Plan of Implementation, and the Kyoto Protocol) ...
Local community involvement:
Originally known as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), today the group simply calls itself “ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability.
In 1992, ICLEI was one of the groups instrumental in creating Agenda 21. The group’s mission is to push local communities to regulate the environment—and it’s having tremendous success. [Note that 30 Canadian member communities are listed]
British Columbia is using its carbon tax to bribe communities to get on its "Climate Action" programme:
“The Climate Action Revenue Incentive program will be a new conditional grant equal to what local governments pay in the carbon tax, with only one string attached – to be eligible, communities must sign onto the Climate Action Charter and commit to becoming carbon-neutral by 2012,” said Premier Campbell. “If communities do that, and publicly report on their plan and progress in meeting that goal, they will be eligible to receive a grant equal to 100 per cent of their carbon tax costs.” [Big surprise: all 176 BC communities signed on.]

Ann Coulter says Romney's the best choice

Ann Coulter:

In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently. ...
... All current Republican presidential candidates say they will overturn Obamacare. The question for Republican primary voters should be: Who is most likely to win?
... That leaves us with Romney and Bachmann as the candidates with the strongest, most conservative positions on illegal immigration. As wonderful as Michele Bachmann is, 2012 isn't the year to be trying to make a congresswoman the first woman president.
Update: Dick Morris agrees: "Only Mitt beats Obama"
In a Rasmussen Poll among all likely voters in the U.S., taken on December 27-28, 2011, Romney leads Obama by 45-39. [All other candidates trail Obama.]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Stephen Harper "worshipped Pierre Elliot Trudeau"

From the Edmonton Journal - David Staples' article with some interesting anecdotes about the young Stephen Harper:
... That's how Frank Glenfield remembered Prime Minister Stephen Harper ... Glenfield was his boss. The two formed a lasting bond.

... This past weekend, Harper fulfilled a promise and delivered a eulogy at Glenfield's funeral, telling many stories of Glenfield ...

Harper's appearance at the funeral reminded me of an interview I had done in 2008 with Frank and his actress wife, Mary ... At that time, they related the story of their relationship with Harper and his formative time in Edmonton....