Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Political science

In today’s ‘Post’, Peter Foster is outraged by the political bias in a ‘science’ journal Nature’ editorial criticizing Canada and the Harper government: could easily have been written by David "Off with their heads" Suzuki. Maybe it was.

As evidence, the magazine cites the closing down of the office of science advisor Arthur Carty. Who knew it existed?

Climate change is in fact the real focus for Nature's attack, which also castigates Prime Minister Stephen Harper for backing away from Kyoto. Nature's implication that the Harper government is somehow resisting "settled" science is nonsensical.

When it comes to Kyoto, Nature is not being the least scientific.

Mr. Foster also goes after Victoria’s own .0005 Nobel laureate, Andrew Weaver. Weaver (or ‘Weasel’ as I prefer to call him) is a UVic climate modeller and pet political scientist for the uniformly alarmist local media:
Sounding suspiciously like Nature, [Weaver] suggested: "It's almost like a war on science is going on in government, which is very sad."

He also unleashed a diatribe against the research of Ross McKitrick and Stephen McIntyre, who inconveniently exploded the IPCC's alarmist "hockey stick" graph of temperatures soaring in the past century after a millennium of stability. Mr. Weaver has even suggested that it is dangerous to allow skeptics a voice in scientific debate.

That isn't science. And neither is Nature's editorial.

It’s truly a sad time for physical science when it’s so routinely subverted by political ‘scientists’.

Tag - Six unimportant things

Having been tagged, I’ll follow the meme: Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself:

I love peanut butter and lettuce sandwiches.

I once voted Liberal.

My wife thinks I’m a grouch - but she’s wrong, as usual.

I occasionally walk in my sleep.

Ed Schreyer was my high school geography teacher. My biggest recollection from his classes was a discussion of the meaning of the word "copacetic".

I once owned a B.S.A. 250 Starfire.

Tagging six:
A Dog Named Kyoto
Half Wisdom Half Wit
Canadian Blue Lemons
Grey Canada
Canadian Sentinel
Exactly Right

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A short history of Canadian HRCs

Kathy Shaidle's excellent FrontPageMag piece provides a concise history of Canada's shameful Human Rights Commissions.

Stop the HRC


Monday, February 25, 2008

Carbon taxes are here!

Last week the BC government brought down its ‘green theme’ budget implementing one of Canada’s first carbon taxes. Finance minister Carole Taylor showed up for the cameras in a cutesy green outfit with green shaded visuals as a backdrop. Bleecchh!

The tax starts small at 2.4 cents/liter of gas (starting in a couple of months) and equivalent taxes on heating fuel. Aside from mild annoyance, there was very little adverse reaction from John Q Public; and a day or so later there was a market-forced bump of about 6 cents at the pumps which all but swamped the announced carbon tax.

Should we be blasé? Here’s Terence Corcoran’s take: B.C. launches CO2 planning nightmare:

Very neat, aside from one slight problem. When will we know if it works? B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor had a lot to say about her new carbon tax -- who pays, how it's "recycled," who gets it back, how much is collected, details about its impact on Toyota Matrix drivers -- but nothing to say about what the tax might be expected to accomplish in terms of, well, cutting emissions.
This is planning without having to set targets or prove they work. The only test will be to try to figure out whether carbon emissions go down in future. And if they don't, as is likely, the only option will be to ratchet up the taxes and regulations to a new level. It's a planner's paradise.
This is just the beginning and it’s a sign that the government has completely swallowed the global warming kool-aid. It will only get worse from here. In a couple of years the gas tax is slated to go to about 7+ cents/liter and who knows what other draconian, economically destructive anti-carbon tax measures they’ll dream up.

Over at Blue Like You, Joanne tells us that Kooky Suzuki thinks carbon taxes will bring, wait for it ... lower taxes. Aside from being a fruit-fly and climate expert, Kooky is now a master economist.

See also: this poll; and Lorrie Goldstein's "Green fever madness".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Taliban Top Ten

You Might Be Taliban if.....

1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon "unclean."
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8. You've felt the "urge" after seeing a woman's exposed ankle.
9. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
10. You've ever uttered the phrase, "I love what you've done with your cave."

[h/t: Vinney Di]

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Warren Kinsella’s strange hobby

Mark Steyn’s recent column in Maclean’s was about the reception his book has received from mainstream media outlets such as The Economist in the wake of Maclean’s being dragged into the infamous "human rights" kangaroo court system: defending free speech in general, they usually feel obliged to deplore my exercise of it in particular... "alarmist screed...", "alarmist", "alarmist", etc
By "alarmist," The Economist and Co. really mean "raising the subject."

Whether or not it's "alarmist" to ponder what those consequences might be, under Canada's "human rights" kangaroo courts it might soon be illegal.

After a thorough review of recent alarming events, Steyn gets round to dedicated defender of kangaroo courts and intrepid Nazi hunter, Warren Kinsella:

Warren Kinsella posted on his website a photograph he'd taken in a men's room stall showing the words "WHITE POWER" and a swastika scrawled on the wall at knee height. Why Mr. Kinsella is photographing public toilets on his knees I don't know, but every guy needs a hobby. At any rate, Warren sees this loser's graffiti as critical evidence of the imminent Nazi threat to the peaceable kingdom.

Our heroes pursue phantoms as the world transforms. Is sharia, polygamy, routine first-cousin marriage in the interests of Canada or Britain or Europe? Oh, dear, even to raise the subject is to tiptoe into all kinds of uncomfortable terrain for the multicultural mindset. It's easier just to look the other way, or go Nazi-hunting in the men's room. Nobody wants to be unpleasant, or judgmental, do they? What was it they said in the Cold War? Better dead than red. We're not like that anymore. Better screwed than rude.
It’s a great column and that image of Warren is priceless.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The ice is back!

As everyone knows, the Arctic is warming, sea ice is disappearing, polar bears are threatened,... Now, Terence Corcoran wants to alert the CBC that there’s a new story to tell:

In recent months, as anchor of CBC Television's The National, Mr. Mansbridge has taken camera crew and staff to record first hand the disappearing sea ice in Canada's North.

Thanks to really cold weather -- gee, where did that come from?--winter sea ice has been growing across the North.

There goes a good story. And if you doubt me on this, the source is as biased on climate change as sources get: The CBC.

"It's nice to know that the ice is recovering," Josefino Comiso, a senior research scientist ...told CBC News on Thursday.

"The ice is about 10 to 20 centimetres thicker than last year, so that's a significant increase," he said.

If temperatures remain cold this winter,... winter sea ice coverage will continue to expand.

Interesting how they seem to think this is good news. I wonder if they’ll be singing the same tune when it’s clear that a new ice age has begun. And speaking of polar bears - what happens to them when the ice in southern Canada is a few thousand feet thick?

Update (Feb 17): Following up on the comments re polar bears and the ice pack, these articles are relevant: Ice level highest in 15 years and Greenland polar bear invasion. The photo of Greenland brought back memories of a trip I made back in 1982 to a DEW site on top of the ice-cap (about 10,000 ft asl.) Transportation was a ski-equipped C-130D courtesy of 109 TAG Schenectady, NY Air National Guard. What a ride!

Also: Inuit rap US greens on polar bears and Global warming decision on polar bears delayed and the real truth about polar bears.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Charter rights for the Taliban? (Part II)

This excellent ‘Post’ editorial comments on the recent federal court ruling on the Amnesty and BCCLU attempt to have the Canadian Charter apply to Afghan detainees:

The good news is that federal court Justice Anne Mactavish refused to order our soldiers to stop transferring enemy prisoners into the custody of the Afghan government.

The bad news is that she based her judgment not on the merits of the case ... [leaving] the door open for judicial intervention if circumstances require our soldiers to resume prisoner transfers at some future date.

Judge Mactavish -- and whoever else hears such cases going forward -- should realize that Kandahar is not Kitchener; and it is ridiculous to think that the residents of both places should be able to avail themselves of the same Charter rights and due process.

... the legal suit really seems more like a means of advancing the unstated third alternative: pulling out our troops altogether and washing our hands of the imperfect Afghan regime...

If Amnesty and the BCCLA get their way, then whole nations will be abandoned to their suffering for the sake of protecting Canadian moral purity in regard to a handful of suspects. Like so many pious defenders of human rights who have raised their voices since 9/11, these NGOs have lost the forest for the trees. It is a shame that Judge Mactavish found basis in her law books to provide them encouragement.

This is where mindless pacifism and legal idiocy lead.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh, no! Kinsella is leaving the National Post

And here I thought he was long gone.

Nevertheless, as might be expected, there are various scenarios circulating as to why this might be happening.

From the horse’s mouth:

I don't mind being a minority voice - my views on human rights hopefully made that clear enough, in recent weeks - but, sometimes, you can only stomach so much. Being the father to an aboriginal child, for example, I have been appalled by the paper's positions on First Nations issues; they were horrible. On racism, on human rights, on a lot of things. It gets to you, after a while.

Sniff - hand me a Kleenex.

Puhleeez! The author of "Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics" is just too saintly and sensitive a soul to be associated with a paper that publishes something other than the stock socialist, multi-culti pap and pieties one might expect from, say, the ‘Star’? Bullcrap!

Ezra Levant has another theory.

Whatever. Just let me say, as a devoted reader of the ‘Post’, good riddance, Warren.


Update: From the comments, The Progressive Indian tells "Windbag" Warren to take a hike.

Union of Bloggers

A couple of days ago Ezra Levant announced he was launching a 'Union of Bloggers' with this mission statement:

To provide Canadian bloggers with the legal, financial and political resources to resist baseless attacks on their freedom of expression.

Fine idea. And, screw you Kinsella!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Craven Liberals proposing a retreat

The Liberal position on Afghanistan, deliberately vague as it is, does not stand up to serious scrutiny.

In his post ‘Those craven Liberals’ Mark Collins attempts to analyze Dion’s ‘logic’ and comes to a most realistic conclusion:
In reality, as we all know, the current Liberal demand is based almost solely on the calculation that it is politically popular and will win votes--especially in Quebec and the Greater Toronto Area. What short-sighted, crass cynicism. Mike Pearson may well indeed be rolling in his grave.
Dion Proposing a Retreat’ by Marcus Gee, similarly, tries to follow the Liberal position to it’s logical conclusion under various assumed rules of engagement, arriving at similar conclusions:

Saying you want to deliver aid without engaging in combat sounds fine on Parliament Hill, but you can't deliver aid without security. And to maintain security, you sometimes have to engage in combat with those who are trying to shatter it.

And that ... is what Mr. Dion is proposing: a retreat. Without the ability to engage in combat when needed, Canadian soldiers would be reduced to impotence - gentle shepherds in a countryside overrun with wolves. ... It is like asking cops to prevent muggings without arresting muggers.

Both Collins and Gee have it right. The Liberal proposition is unworkable in any practical sense, so the only remaining ‘rationale’ is cynical political posturing. And the Taliban must be watching this with glee.

Indian follies - the Tsawwassen agreement

Institutionalized racial discrimination

Mark Milke writes that Bill C-34 enacting the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement negotiated between British Columbia and the Tsawwassen Indian tribe will legalize race based discrimination.

The Tsawwassen "First Nation" is a tiny reservation near Vancouver occupied by about 270 Indians and 500 non-Indians. Milke says passing Bill C-34 will mean:

...federal and provincial laws will be trumped by Tsawwassen law ... in a variety of areas ...

[special tax revenue arrangements] No other municipal entity in the country is given such generous financing arrangements. ([even though] ...Ottawa and various B.C. governments long claimed that First Nations governments would be akin to municipal governments...)

...[a strong likelihood of] much taxation without much (if any) representation [for the 500 non-Indian residents].

... special access to fish stocks to Tsawwassen fishermen.

And on the federal political front,

In July, 2006, Stephen Harper wrote the Calgary Herald to declare that he would oppose racially divided fisheries programs."

...John Cummins, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East — where the Tsawwassen land is located — will no doubt oppose it, even if he is ejected from the Tory caucus...

Despite majority public sentiment, Bill C-34 will likely pass because of the politically correct and (ironically) illiberal reflex endemic among many Liberals, and probably all New Democrats and Bloc Québécois Members of Parliament.

At the very least, [Harper] should offer up a free vote, an action that might even pry a few Liberals away from the politically correct plantation.

Provincially, Campbell’s government has consistently said one thing about treaty negotiations and done the opposite.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Applaud your principles, deplore your logic

In response to a BC NDP candidate’s letter comes this gem:

Re: Would-Be MP Takes Up The Challenge, letter to the editor, Feb. 2.

Letter-writer and federal candidate Teresa Townsley states, "Afghan families need disarmament, development and aid" -- and she's right. But I have a question for Ms. Townsley -- a question informed by military service in Afghanistan, Croatia, Serbia, Iran, Iraq and other odd and sundry places. Just how do you propose to provide "disarmament, development and aid" without fighting? All the folks I ever met -- I was with many units, the last one being 3 Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry in Kandahar in 2002 -- who needed to be "disarmed" weren't exactly voluntarily compliant with my request that they disarm, even when that request was made on behalf of the United Nations. Those folks, as I recall, took some serious convincing to see the error of their ways; some of them even needed killing before they complied.

I applaud your principles, Ms. Townsley --but I deplore your logic.

Roy Harding, Warrant Officer (ret'd), Terrace, B.C.

Well said, Warrant! Just don’t expect a socialist to accept reality.

Monday, February 4, 2008

David Suzuki - enviro-fascist

What do Warren Kinsella, Richard Warman and David Suzuki have in common?

Kinsella and Warman want the Human Rights Commissions to do their dirty work.
David Suzuki, like his ideological pal Chairman Mao before him, wants his green brigades to take action:

He urged today’s youth to speak out against politicians complicit in climate change, even suggesting they look for a legal way to throw our current political leaders in jail for ignoring science – drawing rounds of cheering and applause. Suzuki said that politicians, who never see beyond the next election, are committing a criminal act by ignoring science.

But I'm late to this story. It's covered, in spades, here:

Small Dead Animals
Joanne's Journey
Five Feet of Fury
A Dog Named Kyoto

Globe and Mail comes out against the thought police

Given that the Western Standard/Levant and Maclean’s/Steyn human rights "cases" have been before the HRCs for weeks you’d have thought that by now all of the major media players (excepting the CBC of course) would have come out swinging in favour of freedom of expression. After all, it’s their freedom to publish that’s being directly attacked in both instances.

Maybe now they've really started to wake up. Here’s a Globe and Mail editorial today :

... perhaps even understandable that Muslim organizations.... would file complaints with human-rights commissions, if only for the publicity. Less clear is why those commissions would take seriously, even for a moment, the notion that privately owned publications do not have the right to offend or that they are required to give equal space to both sides of every issue.

Neither Maclean's nor the Western Standard published materials that incited violence or other injustices against Muslims. They did not violate anyone's human rights. Recognizing this, the commissions should have immediately identified the cases brought to them as nuisance complaints and dismissed them. That they have not done so suggests a change in their mandates is much needed.

Better late than never. The much needed change in mandate suggested by Keith Martin last week could use some strong editorial support too.


The victimology of Tanya Gold

David Thompson remarks on Guardian columnist Tanya Gold’s claim of victimhood for her alcoholism and other dysfunctional impulses. Ms. Gold blames "society's constant assault on female self-esteem" for her bad habits and related woes. In typically leftist fashion, she never gets around to the possibility of her own personal responsibility for the choices she makes.

There’s some excellent discussion and many additional insights in the comments:

At no point does Ms Gold pause to ask why it is she chooses to care about - and be so influenced by - Heat magazine, MTV, thin fashion models, pubic waxing, etc.

...Ms Gold seems a fairly good example of the mindset Thatcher was talking about, whereby "society" is forever to blame, while adults fail to discipline their children or simply act like children themselves.

Society is a perfect scapegoat since it is completely nebulous and is completely incapable of taking any responsibility. Only individuals can take responsibility.

This isn’t to suggest that there are no legitimate grievances to consider, but Ms Gold doesn’t mention any that I can see. And if the notion of "constant assaults on self esteem" gains popular currency, and to some extent it has, the effects appear disabling rather than liberating.

... when you subtract the pretentious radicalism that often goes with it. You’re basically left with someone who’s whiny, confused and morally incontinent.

...the victimhood meme has greatest currency among lefties, not least because it "reveals" an apparently inexhaustible menu of "injustices" to be corrected, generally with some collectivist and authoritarian measure.

Thompson’s post brought to mind the series currently running in the ‘National Post’, "Rethinking the Reserve". There’s a similar pathology at work among native Indians and it’s the Indian ‘leadership’ that pushes it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Free speech - where’s the MSM?

Since Keith Martin put forward his free speech motion (M-446) in the house there’s been little coverage in the media. I’ve seen and heard nothing in any newscast on TV or radio.

In the ‘National Post’ the only coverage was in the on-line forum ‘Full Comment’ featuring Warren Kinsella’s loopy objections (if the neo-Nazis support free speech then outlawing free speech makes sense). I liked wallyj's comment (2:51 PM):
"Why is it that the fact that a neo-nazi group agree with Martin getting so
much play? I'm sure that NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association)
strongly supported the liberals refusal to change the age of consent from 14 to
16. Should one lump the liberals in with pedophiles also?

A search of the Globe and Mail and CBC web sites turned up stories taking up Kinsella’s point of view and focusing on white supremacists’ support for the motion:

Globe and Mail: 'White pride' website hails Victoria MP as hero

CBC: Liberal MP wins unwelcome praise from white supremacists for free speech stand and Liberal MP lauded by white supremacists :

The extreme right adherents at the stormfront were clearly thrilled to find a member of the Liberal party, which introduced the act and prides itself as the party of the Charter of Rights, joining their crusade.
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's office disavowed the motion and suggested Martin will be asked to withdraw it.

"This is not the position of the Liberal Party of Canada or the Liberal caucus or Mr. Dion," said spokeswoman Leslie Swartman.

"We support the Canadian Human Rights Act and will not entertain changes to it such as this."
NDP MP Wayne Marston said he was "deeply troubled that any Liberal" would try to weaken human rights legislation.

Bah! This ain't going to be easy.

Martin is sticking to his guns, as expected. Good for him. But he'll need all the help he can get. Though, based on coverage so far, it seems the MSM won't be of much use (what else is new?)

More: Open letter to Warren, Joan Bryden (CP) [via Mark Steyn], Ezra Levant (and see Mike Brock's comments), Joanne's Journey

Friday, February 1, 2008

Billary's new dog

I know, I know! It's mean (and maybe a tad raunchy).
[H/t to Vinney Di]