Saturday, March 29, 2014

Human Achievement Hour

Musn't forget, celebrate human achievement:

Obama's musings on Ukraine - "what you expect from a Miss America contestant"

Charles Krauthammer:
“The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.” - Barack Obama, March 24
'Should'. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”
That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy.
The East Europeans know they inhabit the battleground between the West and a Russia that wants to return them to its sphere of influence. Ukrainians see tens of thousands of Russian troops across their border and know they are looking down the barrel of quite a zero-sum game. ...
... Obama’s dismissal of Russia as a regional power makes his own leadership of the one superpower all the more embarrassing. For seven decades since the Japanese surrender, our role under 11 presidents had been as offshore balancer protecting smaller allies from potential regional hegemons.

... Even Ukrainians are expressing regret at having given up their nukes in return for paper guarantees of territorial integrity. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum was ahead of its time — the perfect example of the kind of advanced 21st-century thinking so cherished by our president. ...
Ezra Levant reminded us recently of how, during a debate, Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney for stating that Russia was a great geopolitical threat, saying mockingly: "... the 1980's are now calling asking for their [cold war] policy back".  Ezra's excellent, updated reply on Mitt's behalf: "Hey Obama, Neville Chamberlain and Jimmy Carter called - they want their 1930's appeasement policy back".

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jim Balsillie at the Vancouver Globe conference

Fittingly, on the eve of Earth Hour, Vancouver hosted the 2014 Globe Series conference which featured such liberal luminaries as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and former BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie.

Peter Foster reports:
... on Wednesday, Mr. Balsillie brought some of sustainability’s cloudcuckooland notions down to Vancouver’s Globe, which is itself traditionally a combination of eco guiltfest and sustainability huckstering. ... 

... the former co-head of Blackberry Ltd., gave an example of how green policy could be good for business.... Just look at how well South Korea’s Samsung had done out of Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

... Balsillie's bizarre suggestions wouldn’t be quite so frightening if the Conservatives had not last year appointed Mr. Balsillie to chair Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a boondoggle created by the Liberals to invest in clean tech. ... The Conservatives’ choice of Mr. Balsillie appeared a little strange, even by the standards of Byzantium on the Rideau. He is not only a dyed-in the-wool liberal, but founder of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, CIGI, a think tank that supports UN dreams of global governance. ...
One would think that Balsillie, whose governance of BlackBerry led that company into oblivion, would show less enthusiasm for global governance. On the other hand that's one of those things that helps define him as a "died-in-the-wool liberal".

Thanks for attending, Peter, so that I didn't have to (I went to the International Auto Show next door instead).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

EU climate policy enabled Russian blackmail

Peter Foster:
... Russia’s strategic strength in Europe springs (apart from its willingness to use force) from the fact that the EU has been asleep at the energy policy switch, blinded by its climate obsessions.

... Europe’s commitment to green energy has been not merely expensive and disruptive – without measurable impact on climate – it has left the EU comprehensively exposed to Russian blackmail.

...While Russia was flexing its muscles, Europe was fretting about controlling the weather a century hence....
On the bright side, maybe Canadian energy exports will help rescue the EU: 
... Europeans realize that the Canadian government is more than eager to promote exports of both oil and gas, ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Harper is at his finest in standing up to Moscow"

It's rare that I agree with Michael den Tandt, but with this excellent column he's dead on!
... on the Ukraine file, since Russia’s illegal, duplicitous and reckless invasion of Crimea, the Prime Minister has been at his best. Both he and Foreign Minister John Baird deserve credit for the clear, principled and authoritative position they have taken, up to and including championing Russia’s indefinite suspension from the G8, now again the G7.
 Most of the critics of Stephen Harper's tough stand on Putin and Ukraine come off sounding like cheerleaders for the Chamberlain school of foreign policy.

It should quite obvious to everyone, as it most certainly is to Stephen Harper, that Canada alone does not carry a stick big enough (either economic or military) to threaten Vladimir Putin.  But that does not mean it is inappropriate for Harper to advocate for strong measures by members of our military and economic alliances. And many of them need all the help they can get to stiffen their spines. Tough talk (and action) aimed at constraining an obvious aggressor like Putin is exactly what is called for.

Supreme absurdity

In ruling (six to one) that Stephen Harper's appointee to the Supreme Court is  not qualified, the Supreme Court has, once again, embarrassed itself.

Christie Blatchford nailed it last Friday:
"It is a disgraceful decision, the final howl of which is this: How dare the executive branch, the government, have gone and picked a judge and amended a law?" ...
So did Brian Lilley:

Today Andrew Coyne agreed that the Supremes' ruling is absurd:
... "this is just the sort of flaky decision the Court is capable of ..." [although Coyne wanders off into irrelevant territory and ridiculous and gratuitous insults to Judge Nadon.]
 As did  Constitutional Law Professor, Grant Huscroft:
The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Nadon Reference is as bad a decision as the Court has made in recent memory.
... The result is absurd, according to Justice Moldaver, because Judge Nadon would become eligible for appointment to the Supreme Court if he were to rejoin the Quebec bar for as little as a single day.
This supremely absurd decision is a result either of gross over-thinking of the problem or of a conspiracy by activist judges to disqualify someone they don't like. Both possibilities cast serious doubt on the "wisdom" of their previous rulings.

In any case, dissenting Justice Moldaver offered a simple remedy. Nadon should immediately rejoin the Quebec bar. All Stephen Harper has to do is reappoint him.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Steyn and Levant

Nortel's "culture of arrogance" led to its demise

Globe and Mail:
The collapse of telecommunications giant Nortel Networks Corp. was caused by “a culture of arrogance and even hubris”...

... A University of Ottawa team of professors, led by lead researcher Jonathan Calof, released a detailed analysis Monday of Nortel’s failure ...

... The roots of Nortel’s collapse stretched back into the 1990s, the report said ... From the era of John Roth’s leadership as CEO ["cashed in his own stock options for a personal gain of $135 million in 2000 alone"] in the late 1990s onward, “it was felt by many R&D staff that management rarely listened to the engineers and that, when they did, they did not appear to understand.”
John Roth, CEO of the year for 2000.

The end is nigh! Repent!

The National Post's Ian Hunter gets sucked in by the latest doom-monger:
... Elizabeth Kolbert — a staff writer at The New Yorker whose new book 'The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History' is likely to be one of the most-talked-about non-fiction books of the year.

... A mass extinction that’s already underway and likely to be the most devastating since an asteroid struck the Earth and brought an end to dinosaurs. The difference this time is that we, humanity, are the asteroid....

... it is not just climate change: We are cutting down the rain forests, acidifying the oceans, moving species around the world at breakneck speed and pumping out more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere can handle. ... [Actually, most of that is about climate change.]’s difficult to be sanguine in the face of the evidence she presents.

Hunter, a lawyer and journalist, is enthralled by the apocalyptic speculations of another journalist.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Leftist "think tank" urges Obama to reject Keysone XL

Globe and Mail:
... the Center for American Progress (CAP) challenged the assumption that the project would have little impact on the amount of future investment or production from Alberta’s carbon-intensive oil sector ...

... CAP plays on the left side of Democratic Party policy making. Its founder and former chair is John Podesta, who is now serving as senior environmental adviser to President Obama

... CAP’s director of climate strategy, Daniel Weiss, said Canadian optimism about a pending approval may be misplaced. He noted Secretary of State John Kerry will play a major role in the decision-making, and Mr. Kerry has ratcheted up his department’s activism on climate change since taking office.
Also on the CAP Board of Directors - climate alarmist billionaire and Obama cheerleader, Tom Steyer.  CAP is a big climate catastrophe booster that regularly produces junk science based propaganda like this

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Income splitting helps the poor, too

Lawrence Solomon:
Many left-leaning advocacy groups and some on the right criticize the federal government’s income-splitting proposal as sops for the rich that offer nothing to 85% of Canadian households.  To the contrary, the middle class and especially the poor would be profound beneficiaries of income splitting, along with society as a whole. ...

The family should be recognized for its fundamental role in wealth creation ...