Saturday, August 31, 2013

Common sense education - how to fix an education system ruined by "romantic progressives"

Brian Lilley at Sun News' Byline has been running Michael Zwaagstra's excellent series of videos on Canada's totally botched public education system.  Some of the main culprits in the education debacle are the university faculties of education which Zwaagstra exposes in video number IX (of X):

Here are all ten videos in the series.

Last year Mr. Zwaagstra gave a comprehensive talk covering the whole problem (an education system that has been ruined by "romantic progressivism").   It's a hour long but well worth the time. 

Zwaagstra's website - all good stuff.

Related, from David Thompson:
Slate’s Allison Benedikt stands at the altar and demands sacrifice
You are a bad person if you send your children to private school… I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental… If every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

Obama, the reluctant warmonger, punts

Obama Will Seek Syria Vote in Congress:
President Obama stunned the capital and paused his march to war by asking lawmakers, who are not due to return to town for more than a week, to give him authorization before he launches a limited military strike against Syria. ...
 George W. Bush on Syria:
... when Fox's Brian Kilmeade tried to elicit any semblance of an opinion from Bush on intervention in Syria, the former president laughed and brushed him off.

"The president has to make a tough call, Brian," he said. "I know you're trying to subtly rope me into the issues of the day. I refuse to be roped in."
Mark Steyn:  An Accidental War
Perfunctory and ineffectual war-making in Syria is worse than nothing.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Evolution vs. God" video upsets atheists

Ray Comfort's video:

has sparked some angry reaction:
As for those who are angry over the film, Comfort was candid. Non-believers, he claims, are simply frustrated that their worldview is being eroded by what’s exposed in “Evolution vs. God.”
Comfort's video is reminiscent of agnostic David Berlinski's "The Devil's Delusion" in which he pokes holes in militant atheists' arguments from science.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Skepticism about Syrian gas attacks

... story has whiff of Saudi war propaganda:
... Al Arabiya, the origin of the story, is not a neutral in the Syrian conflict. It was set up in 2002 by the Saudi Royal Family in Dubai.

... Saudi-owned media reporting such an inflammatory anti-Assad allegation might be taken with a dose of salt.  
,,, When we examine the printed content of their story, it gets more suspicious still. ...

... The other aspect of the suspicious reports is the “convenient” fact they coincide with the arrival two days earlier of an official UN weapons inspection team, ...  It begs the most obvious question: What conceivably would Bashar al Assad stand to gain from using banned chemical weapons just at the time he has agreed to let a UN chemical weapons team into Syria?
  The Telegraph: attack is real, but the timing is questionable:
...even if the pictures are genuine, when did the chemical weapons attack actually take place?

... Mr Assad has been advancing recently, beating back the rebels and recapturing territory. Using chemical weapons might make sense when he is losing, but why launch gas attacks when he is winning anyway?

Moreover, United Nations inspectors charged with discovering the truth about chemical weapons in Syria arrived in Damascus on Sunday. Superficially, it would seem strange for the regime to gas its enemies within 72 hours of letting these experts into the country.
The rebels certainly stand to gain from getting the USA and others more deeply involved against Assad.  John McCain has been making a lot of noise favoring US intervention on the rebel side.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trudeau and Islam - "making a mockery of piety and politics"

Tarek Fatah contrasts Justin Trudeau's recent participation in a prayer ritual at a BC mosque with an "ugly incident" there nine years ago:
On Friday, June 11, 2004, Itrath Syed, the NDP candidate in the riding of Delta-Richmond East requested permission to speak to the BCMA mosque congregation and introduce herself as well as her party.

...  instead of an opportunity to address the other Muslims attending the Friday congregation, Syed was not allowed to even approach the front of the mosque, let alone sit in the front row. Instead she had to take a back seat and endure what the website (MWU) described as a scorching sermon.

Her fault?  Itrath Syed was a woman and she supported the NDP platform on same-sex marriage. ...

... Fast forward to August 2013. The same British Columbia Muslim Association that shut out a young Muslim women politician because she supported same-sex rights, rolls out the red carpet for a non-Muslim Justin Trudeau, who as it happens, also supports same-sex marriage.

Neither the BCMA nor Trudeau found this double standard a problem.  ...
The fact that Wahhabi mosques preach the most dangerous form of Islam and anti-West hatred seemed to be of no concern to the Liberal leader. 
What was equally bizarre at this mosque was that while Trudeau dressed up as a fake Pakistani, his hosts who were of Pakistani ancestry dressed up as fake Arabs. 
What a mockery of piety and politics. As if God was being entertained at a fancy-dress competition.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Canadian radicals in Egypt

Ezra Levant, unlike most mainstream "journalists", exposes the radical connections and agendas of the Canadians who have been killed and arrested in Egypt:

Is Justin Trudeau a convert to Islam?

An equal opportunity panderer:
... He went to the mosque to participate in a religious ritual, called the Maghrib salah.

It's a daily prayer service with a particular meaning. Part of the prayer is called the shahada, which in Arabic means to testify. As in, to testify to the Truth that Allah is the one true God, and Mohammed is his one true Prophet.

To say the shahada, in the presence of two or more Muslim males, is the sole requirement in Islamic law to convert to Islam. ...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mark Steyn for US Senate?

Daily Caller.
On his radio show on Thursday night, conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt lobbied National Review columnist and occasional fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh to make a run for a New Hampshire U.S. Senate seat against the current incumbent, Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nova Scotia's awful cyber abuse law

The Nova Scotia law defines cyberbullying:
3(1)(b) "cyberbullying" means any electronic communication through the use of technology including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, computers, other electronic devices, social networks, text messaging, instant messaging, websites and electronic mail, typically repeated or with continuing effect, that is intended or ought reasonably be expected to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other damage or harm to another person's health, emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation, and includes assisting or encouraging such communication in any way;
Jesse Brown summarizes the law and his objections:
... Ultimately, bullying is in the eye of the bullied. For many, cyberbullying is equal to a negative thing said about them on the Internet. I’ve met restaurant owners who feel they’re being cyberbullied by Chowhound critics. 
... [Referring to the above definition] If this is the standard, I don’t know a person who isn’t a cyberbully. 
Nova Scotia’s Cyber Safety Act is in clear conflict with our Charter rights to free expression, and I can’t imagine it withstanding a legal challenge on those grounds. But that will take time. 
Until then, watch what you say in Nova Scotia, and be very careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings. [And no doubt coming soon in your province.]
It looks like Human Rights Commission/Tribunal kangaroo justice Mark II.

Jerry Agar with Anthony Furey:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The marijuana industry after legalization by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

PM Justin Trudeau
William Watson predicts what a Canadian marijuana industry would look like if Justin should become PM.  For starters, complete takeover by governments and unions:
... Provincial and territorial Cannabis Control Boards
... Board stores, naturally, will be unionized
... The Boards may engage in advertising campaigns
... Sales outside Board stores will be illegal
... GST, PST and/or HST
... Canadian Cannabis Marketing Board
... interprovincial sales of marijuana will be strictly prohibited
... Canadian Cannabis Exporting Agency ... 

... with prices to match.  And, on top of all that, pot will be subjected to the same health and safety regulations that apply to tobacco (eg. for control of second-hand smoke in public places).

Potheads had best be careful what they wish for.

Leftist envy hustlers set to compete for Toronto Centre riding (home to Rosedale)

Peter Foster - Whiner-take-all in Toronto Centre:
The riding is set to be a battleground between the left and the farther left, in the shape of two leading journalistic peddlers of envy: Chrystia Freeland, who is reportedly a shoo-in for the Liberal nomination, and Linda McQuaig, who is vying for the candidacy of the NDP.

... It is no coincidence that Ms. Freeland’s reflexive assumptions of ever increasing wealth gaps, immiseration of the poor and the disappearance of the middle class first appeared in The Communist Manifesto.

... Envious demonization of the capitalist rich amounts to demonization of those who drive the wealth and welfare of us all.
More by Peter Foster on Chrystia Freeland and her book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's for the Pope's children

Pope Declares That Geocentricism Is A Security Issue

Pope Hussein I

Ninety-seven percent of experts believe that the sun and stars revolve around the Earth. It is basic physics ...

... Vatican security has determined that people who question this are a global security threat, because if the Earth started rotating, great floods would occur and our seaports would drown.

I take this issue personally, because my children’s future depends on having everyone thinking the same way that I do.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Climate lunacy

Peter Foster:
The Royal Society, the U.K.’s once-venerable academy of science, has arguably lost its collective mind over the theory of projected catastrophic man-made global warming. ...

... An ... egregious example of the Royal Society’s support for treating skepticism as the result of ignorance or psychiatric disorder came with the granting earlier this year of a Wolfson Research Merit award — designed to attract and keep academic talent in Britain — to Stephan Lewandowsky, an Australian “cognitive scientist,” who recently moved to Bristol University. ...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The CRTC rules against Sun News' application for mandatory distribution

Sun News announced this morning that the CRTC has ruled against its application for mandatory distribution.  Sun's email announcement tried to put an happy face on things with this:
... The CRTC clearly heard the call of more than 50,000 great Canadians like yourself who spoke up in support of Canadian TV. In their ruling, the CRTC accepted the main arguments put forward by Sun News and has launched a swift process address them. ...
The fight for Sun News isn't over yet. 
Given the list of who had and now has mandatory distribution, Sun News doesn't fit at all (so why'd they apply for it?)  Maybe a re-jigging of the system as CRTC promises will produce a better solution for Sun.

Meanwhile the reaction of Toronto Star readers (99.9% of whom never watch Sun) is, predictably, glee, gloating and insults to Sun TV.

More from Sun News.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The CBC and The Economist promote green huxster's "report" on BC carbon tax

University of Ottawa professor Stewart Elgie founded an organization called "Sustainable Prosperity",  "a national green economy think tank/do tank ... in the pursuit of a greener, more competitive Canadian economy."   [Note that Preston Manning is listed as a steering committee member.]

Sustainable Prosperity recently published Prof Elgie's upbeat "report" on BC's carbon tax - "An Environmental (and Economic)Success Story" promoted first by the CBC and yesterday by The Economist.

Given Elgie's green activist orientation it behooves one to read his report with some skepticism as it is likely to be tainted with substantial confirmation bias (and worse).  Both Elgie and his report are critiqued by Hilary:
Ottawa based Stewart Elgie – not unlike IPCC-nik and recently elected British Columbia Green Party MLA, Andrew Weaver – has a history of putting advocacy carts ahead of evidence horses. ...
And here's a commenter on The Economist piece:
... BC per capita energy use has been declining since 1978. The post CTax rate of decline is actually been SLOWER than the 2000-2007 trend (the CTax was announced and introduced in 2008)for the package of CTaxed goods, and most of the individual commodities in the package. ...

... BC's economy has always been less carbon-intensive than the rest of Canada's (due to its large hydro resource and two of the most densly populated major urban areas in the country) But comparisons of BC's fossil carbon energy usage and the rest of Canada's show that BC's relative advantage was much better every year from 2002 through 2007 than any year after the CTax was introduced.  ...

... Second, over 85% of the post-Ctax reduction in BC energy use was reductions in industrial energy use. This reflected the historically unprecedented shrinkage of BC's forest products and paper manufacturing sectors ...

... the driver of post-2007 energy demand reduction in BC has been de-industrialization. Manufacturing employment in BC has fallen 26% since the CTax was introduced, while the Cdn national average has been a 15% decline.  ... etc.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Former particle physicist switches to climatology, commits "hardcore blasphemy"

Or, as Lubos Motl writes - "Ex HEP climate scientist urged to get arrested, hesitates":
This article in the Guardian offers us quite an amusing combination of climate science and particle physics: 'Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies'

... It's hard to imagine that Dr Edwards won't learn how distorted her new discipline has become. She will and even if she does believe – for irrational reasons – that CO2 is dangerous in any sense, she is bound to become a skeptic of her own sort. You can't avoid becoming a skeptic of a sort after you publish a hardcore blasphemy in the Guardian and she hasn't done anything less than that.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bernie Farber - despicable race hustler

Bernie Farber's new role has him playing Al Sharpton to Canadian Aboriginals:

Update: Ezra's column.

Men are over-represented in our prisons, so ....

... shouldn't they get special consideration and lighter sentences? Jerry Agar discusses institutional racism in our "justice" system:

Naturally, according to the "experts", we need an explicitly racist justice system to overcome a racist justice system ( "... [aboriginals] are the victims of a discriminatory justice system.") Huh?  This is another case of social "justice" taking precedence over real justice.

Al Sharpton - race demagogue and hate monger

Michelle Malkin with Sean Hannity: "Al Sharpton has blood on his hands... He’s ruined lives. He’s been one of the worst purveyors of racial divisiveness and hate in my lifetime. ..."