Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tolerance: putting up with other people’s crap

Yesterday Blazing Cat Fur highlighted an article by a prickly anti-Christian academic intolerantly belly-aching about having to put up with all the symbols of Christmas.

Today Lorne Gunter addresses the phenomenon:

Every year at about this time, there is a new batch of news stories detailing how the forces of political correctness and atheism are attempting to stamp out all public references to Christmas.

... The culprits are most often anti-Christians -- people of little or no faith who have grown tired of all the jollity and goodwill this time of year.

... A lot of modern rights advocates have convinced themselves that tolerance means agreement and affirmation, not merely acceptance.

... Tolerance means exactly putting up with all the Christmas crap and Hanukkah crap and Kwanza crap and even atheist crap, so that others will put up with whatever crap is your crap, too.

... The notion that these campaigns are altruistic efforts to shelter sensitive non-Christians from the theological imperialism of the dominant culture around them is just the latest excuse the intolerant minority is using to impose its own secular theology on the rest of us.

The rest.

“Human rights” a Ponzi racket

George Jonas:

... Freedom is the only human right. The rest -- to be housed, hired, admitted to a club -- are human ambitions. In the Ponzi scheme of "human rights" the state feeds A's ambition by trading some of B's freedom for it, then pays for C's ambition in the coin of A's freedom, until the gold of freedom is exchanged for the inflationary paper of ambitions and privileges renamed "rights," printed and doled out by the authorities.

Lip service to liberty, power to the government: That's the deal. Oppression has the bad press; freedom has the rough ride.

... Note to the armed forces of the Canadian-U. S. coalition: After you've liberated Afghanistan, would you consider doing the same for North America?

The rest.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why the Big 3 should be bankrupted

Bankruptcy is the only effective way to get rid of the UAW/CAW.

Ever wondered what a UAW contract looks like? Here is all 22 pounds of it (in this case, Ford’s 2,215 page 2007 master contract...)

I’ll tell you this much, those 2,215 pages don’t include much regarding efficiency and competitiveness. What you’ll find are hundreds of rules, regulations, and letters of understanding that have hamstrung the auto companies for years.


Update: Some relevant links from Brian in the comments -> Slate and Pajamas Media on Detroit's work rules and a Brazillian exception.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Macro-meddler Mark Carney

This story in yesterday’s Post had Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney putting "politicians, regulators and chief executives on notice ... that he plans to be a more forceful advocate in influencing public policy and market behaviour ...". In a lunch-time address to a Toronto audience last Wednesday, Carney outlined how he planned to expand his role as BoC governor into meddling with how the financial sector does business.

The story had ‘Peter Foster rebuttal’ written all over it:

...What he appears to be advocating is a brand of populist Keynesianism that suggests that banks are "hoarding" money, combined with the much less saleable notion that individuals are doing damage by being similarly prudent.

... Mr. Carney acknowledged the abject failure of central banks, ministries of finance and international financial institutions in predicting current problems, but drew analogies designed to indicate that valuable lessons had been learned.

... said Mr. Carney, "we must develop early-warning systems with precision and with teeth." So much better than aimless gummy gnawing.

... How? By being more macroprudent. Which means? "Put simply," said Mr. Carney, "a macroprudential approach focuses on the forest, not the trees."

... But could it be that the forest-not-the-trees approach is actually a big part of the problem? Could the very Keynesian conceit that policy wonks can work with stratospheric "aggregates" and get above those messy individuals and companies who actually create wealth be a dangerous delusion? Certainly history suggests so.

... the last thing we want is for governments to tell banks where to lend money.

... Keynesian wonks always speak as if they are delivering advice to benevolent despots and philosopher kings, not terminally-expedient and economically-challenged stimulators such as Danny Williams.

... Mr. Carney, typically, wants "more tools." Monetary policy, he admits, is a "blunt instrument," presumably because it has been unsuccessful in promoting imprudent lending and borrowing. So his new tool is … "advocacy!"

... The Bank’s latest Rube Goldberg-ian tool is a Financial Stress Indicator, FSI, which "is now showing record levels of stress." We would never have guessed.

... a forecasting tool, a bit like those wooden balls that spotted future murderers in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. This will presumably spot upcoming "thriftcrime."

... Call me a macro-denier, but I can’t help thinking that just as looking after the pennies means that the pounds look after themselves, so micro-prudence is the only genuine form of that modest virtue. But then Keynesianism perpetually seeks to turn common sense on its head.

See also Mr. Foster’s The ugly spectre of ‘new Keynsianism’.

Peter Foster for governor of the BoC!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

“Packing” the Senate - academic hyperbole

An article in today’s Post signed by ten constitutional ‘experts’ from Ontario and Quebec law schools criticized Stephen Harper’s plan to fill 18 vacant Senate seats before Christmas. In it they use weasel-worded bafflegab like "illegitimate context", "dangerously close to being unconstitutional" and "in clear violation of the Canadian constitutional ideals of the rule of law and parliamentary democracy".

While it’s obvious that the circumstances are unusual, what’s "illegitimate" about the "context"? OK, so maybe they don’t like the prorogation but it’s not unconstitutional - at worst, in their own over-heated opinions, just "dangerously close" to it. And what is meant by "constitutional ideals"? Where are these "ideals" articulated such that the eggheads can conclude there’s been a "clear violation"?

It comes off like partisan hyperbolic whinging from a bunch of card-carrying-Liberal academics.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The MSM seems just so thrilled to see Michael Ignatieff crowned as leader of the LPC. And some Libs are bubbling over with praise for that "classy" "statesman", Bob Rae for dropping out of the race to clear the way for his best pal Iggy. ("It was really tough to keep a dry eye," MP Martha Hall Findlay told reporters ...).

Though not everyone is quite as enthusiastic.

Mr. Ignatieff, for his part, in a spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness "... blasts Harper’s ‘divisive politics’" and warns Harper to "Change or I’ll take you down". It’s really very heart warming.

Anyhow, thank God for the National Post:

Editorial "Ignatieff, Navel-gazer-in-chief"
Lorne Gunter: "The divine right to govern party"
George Jonas: "Ignatieff’s misguided dream"

Free markets and morality

Peter Foster points us to a John Templeton Foundation "conversation" where prominent anti-capitalists debate pro-capitalists on the question: Does the free market corrode moral character?

Peter Foster:

The question is front and centre in the avalanche of claims that the ongoing financial crisis is rooted in the greed of fat cat Wall Street bankers, and that Wall Street is typical of capitalism more generally. But markets are far broader and more pervasive than Wall Street...

... Particularly intriguing among the Templeton presentations is how the old left/liberals in the group -- notably Robert Reich, John Gray and Michael Walzer --bristle with righteous condemnation of their demonic enemy, having, like the Bourbon monarchs, apparently "learned nothing and forgotten nothing."

... Fortunately, these three Rorschach inkblots of the left are counterbalanced by the far more balanced and nuanced contributions of the likes of Jagdish Bhagwati, Tyler Cowen, Qinglian He, Garry Kasparov, Michael Novak, Bernard-Henri Levy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and John Bogle. None of them seeks to whitewash markets, but they make a cast-iron case that free markets promote morality way better than any alternative. Or, as the French philosopher Mr. Levy puts it: "[I]f the market corrupts, the various negations of the market corrupt absolutely."

Excellent stuff.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Taboo terms: “Quebec separatism”, “Islamic terrorism”

All through this week’s "crisis", the Anglo and Quebec media punditry, the Lib/NDP/BQ coalition, the BQ, the PQ and other sensitive souls have been waxing alarmed about the use of the word "separatist" inflaming Quebec separatism. Here are some sensible responses to that loopy line of thinking:

Ezra Levant: Separatists aren't the separatist threat. People who point out they're separatist are

...the new line is that it's "divisive" to point out that the coalition contains 49 avowed Quebec separatists.

...The separatists are divisive by definition -- they literally want to divide Canada.

Robert Fulford: The Normalization Of Separatism

Jeffrey Simpson wrote in The Globe and Mail yesterday that Harper, under threat of defeat, "whipped up anti-Quebec sentiments outside the province."

No, he didn't. He whipped up anti-separatist sentiments, a quite different matter -- though for some people, the new eminence of the Bloc has made the distinction hard to remember.

This is reminiscent of media "sensitivity" to Mohammedan hyper-sensitivities to references to "Islamic terrorism" and the consequent p-c sanitizing of the term by the media - as in Mark Steyn’s "Jews get killed, but Muslims feel vulnerable" in yesterday’s OC Register.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Talking to Americans - Part II

In this interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show Mark Steyn continues his efforts to explain the intricacies of Canadian politics to Americans - a monumental task. I liked these bits:

On Quebec:

...the secessionist party in Quebec is essentially a giant shakedown operation just to empty English Canada’s wallet and dump it in the socialist basket case province of Quebec...
On the Governor General:

This woman, by the way, is an affirmative action appointment. She’s a very attractive woman, who used to host pro-Castro documentaries on the CBC. ... And it’s because she’s an attractive black woman, as she herself said shortly after her appointment, let’s face it, I’m hot.
On Steyn for GG:

Hugh Hewitt: ... when is the current governor general’s term up, because I wish to begin a Steyn for Governor General movement?
Steyn: ...when she was appointed, she’s a very pleasant woman, a Montreal journalist, and somebody said if we have to have a mediocre hack, mediocre Montreal hack as acting head of state, why can’t we have Mark Steyn? ... And I was rather hurt. That was one reason, you know, because I thought why is the idea of me as governor general so self-evidently risible, the idea of this affirmative action, Castro documentary maker apparently perfectly routine. I think that tells you a lot about Canada.
Hugh Hewitt: Should we really care what happens up there?
Steyn: Oh, yes you should, because every single bad Canadian idea, socialized health care, confiscatory taxation, eventually works its way south of the border. That’s why you should, you look at Canada and that’s what’s going to be happening here in twenty year’s time.

Hillier and Bolton win the Munk Debate

Rick Hillier and John Bolton won the Dec 1st Munk Debate on humanitarian interventions. This was Bolton's article on the subject a month ago.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An Australian precedent?

Mark Steyn is keeping his American colleagues up to speed on what's happening here in the wilds of Canuckistan. He cites an interesting example from Australia back in 1975 where the Aussie PM considered having the Queen fire the GG before the GG could fire him. The PM was too late - the GG got to the Queen first.

I doubt that Harper is seriously contemplating anything along those lines - the people and media would go ballistic. Nevertheless, Steyn's concerns about the potential for lasting damage to the Canadian system seem real.

Harper’s stupid blunder? I don’t think so.

There seems to be near universal acceptance by media pundits that the Harper/Flaherty economic update was pure blundering folly. The inclusion of cuts to party financing was, supposedly, a stupid error, a "toxic gambit" that precipitated the present crisis. This view has been repeated endlessly in MSM commentary and news and is taken pretty much as incontrovertible truth by nearly everyone including many loyal Tories who are supposedly angry with Harper. But is it true?

Stephen Harper has been called a master political strategist and tactician. He doesn’t do anything without thinking it through. Would he make such an apparently careless blunder? I don’t think so.

Consider the possibility, if not strong likelihood, that the opposition had planned to make their takeover bid no matter what was in the economic update. Based on what we heard in Layton’s conference call this hardly seems unlikely. Consider further that the Conservatives, professionals that they are, had their ears to the ground and knew or strongly suspected what was coming. This is not unlikely either.

So, assuming this scenario, what could the Conservatives have done to protect themselves? They could have sought consensus with the opposition before tabling their update. The Tories claim to have done so. But with a takeover plot in the works, the opposition would certainly not co-operate in helping the Tories create their economic plan. They’d do the opposite, if anything. So, given the Tory expectation of an opposition bid to defeat them following their economic update, no matter what, would it not make sense for them to try to poison the opposition’s apparent motives? One way to do that would be to make them appear to be the lazy, grasping incompetents that they are - that they are motivated by their addiction to the public trough for party financing.

I don’t find this scenario at all far fetched. Is it provable? Not directly. Would the Tories admit to it sans proof. Not likely.

I rest my case, your honour.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Secret backroom dealing! This feels like banana republic politics!

Ho-lee shit! Via Blue Like You I just learned of the CTV news item with Robert Fife exposing the secret NDP/Bloc deal to initiate an overthrow of the Tories. Jack Layton is heard admitting the deal was cooked up long before Tory fiscal update last Thursday.

This puts the absolute lie to any claim that the on-going coup d'etat attempt has anything at all to do with the economy and the Conservative fiscal stimulus plan.

There's nothing particularly wrong with plotting to bring down minority governments. It's part of the game. Hell, oppositions have always hatched these plots, but the goal is normally to force an election not form coalition governments.

In this case the opposition has been lying to the public about its motives while secretly plotting to form a coalition government a few short weeks after the electorate put the Tories in power.

These are creepy banana republic tactics. They're a disgrace and if the government should be defeated there must be a new vote not a phony rag-tag 'coalition' cooked up on the fly.

PR anyone?

Bumped: My response to comments on the previous post on polls:

"Yeah, these on-line media polls do lack the credibility of the supposedly unbiased ones done by the professional polsters (and as Alberta Girl notes where are they on this crisis?). But in this case there's reasonable consistency (as Reid points out) with other similar polls. Also, in a small town like Victoria 300 responses (I note it's now up to almost 500) to a radio station's on-line poll is a pretty good sample - and it's against the natural local political grain.

So people are clearly seeing through the opposition BS. Even if they had reasonable justification for ousting a six week old 143 seat minority government(and they don't) there's no way that they can form a more credible or stable minority government with a mixed bag of leaderless Libs and NDP with 113 (76+37) seats between them backed up by a bunch of (50) commie separatists.

Though the opposition can't admit it, it's blatantly obvious that the driving motivation for this attempted coup d'etat is the threatened cancellation of taxpayer funded 'entitlements' for political parties - and for the NDP maybe the no-strike provision for gov't unions.

But as far as I know the opposition doesn't really need a good argument to defeat a minority government. They can do it any time they see an opportunity. However, ordinarily, they have to risk going to the polls. I can't see the GG and/or the Supremes allowing this "coalition" of idiots to form a government on such a thin pretext without a new vote . But it's possible and, as Ted says, "downright scary."

And people actually want Proportional Representation?! Permanent instability and elections every year or so? Nuts to that!"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Poll - No coalition!

Somewhat surprisingly, should it come to that, it appears that even here in lib/left Victoria there's little enthusiasm for a Lib/NDP coalition:
See also: Globe poll, NewsTalk650.

And, should it come to that, here are some catchy names for the coalition.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Push for the repeal of HRA Section 13

Ezra is pumped about the prospects for getting rid of Section 13 of the Human Rights Act. He urges his readers to write to the Prime Minister. So, I just now sent this off to the PM:

Dear Prime Minister,

The abuse of a basic human right to free expression by so-called "Human Rights" Commissions is an obvious contradiction that cannot be allowed to stand in a free society.

At their recent policy convention in Winnipeg, Conservatives voted nearly unanimously to repeal Section 13 of the Human Rights Act. Professor Richard Moon just finished his report on the Canadian Human Rights Commission and recommended the repeal of Section 13. Nearly every newspaper in the country has written stories and editorials (see recent examples below) condemning "Human Rights" Commissions' use of Section 13 to censor free expression supposedly guaranteed by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of funadamental rights that all parties can and will get behind. It is time for the government to take action to repeal Section 13 and you are urged to move this to the top of your agenda.

Respectfully yours,

Press stories and editorials
Toronto Star editorial.
Op-Ed in the National Post.
The Globe and Mail's
third editorial this year.
tenth editorial or column in the Calgary Herald.
Montreal Gazette for the second or third time.
Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Sun, the Edmonton Sun, the London Free Press, the Windsor Star, the Metro paper – the daily free newspaper in seven Canadian cities from Vancouver to Halifax.
Brockville Recorder and Times and the Portage Daily Graphic

A similar letter, modified to praise Keith Martin, went to Liberal leadership frontrunner Michael Ignatieff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Moon: "Repeal Section 13 of the Human Rights Act"

Unexpected good news: Professor Richard Moon released his report on the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission and, surprise-surprise, recommended that Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act be repealed.

There's lots of good commentary by Ezra Levant (also, and), Mark Steyn, Blazing Cat Fur, Kathy Shaidle, Jay Currie and others.

That's another step in the right direction. What more will it take to get the Conservative government to finish the job?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama's auntie

John Derbyshire relates, on Radio Derb, the hilarious lowdown on Barack Obama's Kenyan (and US illegal alien) Aunt Zeituni.... and much more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bail out the Big 3?

While the current global economic crisis isn't helping, the Detroit Big 3's problems are much deeper. Here are the 2007 performance figures for the Big 6:

"And of course GM’s CEO just got a 64% raise this year, presumably for the excellent performance."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Conservatives vote to defang the CHRC

Good news! Dr. Roy reports from the Conservative policy convention about resolution P-203 to defang the CHRC. Stephen Taylor reported that it passed in the plenary vote with Justice Minister Rob Nicholson voting in favour. The resolution reads:

iii) The Conservative Party supports legislation to remove authority from the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal to regulate, receive, investigate or adjudicate complaints related to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Ezra Levant says that 99% of nearly 2000 delegates voted in favour. Only ten voted against.

That's a big step in the right direction. I wonder how Jennifer Lynch is enjoying her weekend.

In my local rag the CHRC issue is buried in a mid-section article under the headline: "Tories pushed to the right as convention wraps up". Even that's an improvement - it's the first time it's ever been mentioned at all.

Over-the-top environmentalism

If yesterday’s BC civic elections proved anything it’s that the "green" fad has gone from tedious to downright irritating. I don’t think there was a single candidate out of the 150 or so running for mayor and council in greater Victoria who didn’t use the words sustainable, the environment, green or global warming in campaign literature and/or winners’ acceptance speeches:

The new Victoria mayor, in a CTV interview last night, named his top priorities as "homelessness, transportation and global warming".

My own city’s newly elected mayor declared that his was a "green-friendly" win.

This is nuts! We live in one of the cleanest natural environments on the planet - surrounded by the sea and rain forests. We get three feet of rain dumped on us every year and cleansing winds blow constantly off the ocean. We have abundant hydro electricity and little or no heavy industrial activity. And there’s absolutely no credible sign of "global warming".

The environment can safely go to the bottom of the priority list. There’s no need, beyond pure politics, to have it at the top.

Friday, November 14, 2008

“The Audacity of Solace ... A Quantum Of Hope”

Daniel Craig, when asked which presidential candidate would make the best 007, replied like any typical show-biz kneejerk lefty:

... ‘Obama would be the better Bond .... McCain ... would probably be a better M, ...‘There is, come to think of it, a kind of Judi Dench quality to McCain.’

And, as usual, Mark Steyn zeros right in on reality:

Oh, great. John McCain has survived plane crashes, just like Roger Moore in 'Octopussy’. He has escaped death in shipboard infernos, just like Sean Connery in ‘Thunderball’. He has endured torture day after day, month after month, without end, just like Pierce Brosnan in the title sequence of ‘Die Another Day’. He has done everything 007 has done except get lowered into a shark tank and (as far as we know) bed Britt Ekland and Jill St John.

And yet Daniel Craig gives him the desk job.

On the other hand, Barack Obama has spent his entire adult life chit-chatting with "community organizers" and campus lefties – and he’s the last action hero?....

Read the whole thing.

"Free" healthcare in Canada

$5,170 per Canadian in 2008. For a family of four that's $20,680 per year.

... with governments accounting for 70% of total spending and the private
sector (including privately insured and out-of-pocket expenses) for

... in 2006 Canada was in the top fifth of [OECD] countries in terms of per
person spending on health.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CHRC lays its wreath

Unfortunately the campaign led by Ezra Levant failed to prevent the CHRC from laying a wreath on Nov 11th.
And speaking of unwanted small-p politics at Remembrance Day ceremonies it's hard to miss Jack Layton's effort to promote his cult of personality.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Steyn to J-school professor: "heal thyself"

Mark Steyn responds to criticism an accusation from Ryerson J-school Professor John Miller - ending with:
PS I see you bill yourself as "The Journalism Doctor". One hesitates to say "Journalism physician, heal thyself", but that strange leaking coming from your ass is your credibility.

Oh, gee! I just noticed. The above link has "The Journalism Doctor" ranting against Ezra Levant the "sawed-off, ultra-right-wing "Sultan of Shout" and lists yours truly among Ezra's "army of imitators", "Ezra -Lites". I take that as a compliment:) But I'm really not so much an Ezra imitator as I am an admirer, promoter and occasional financial contributor. Go Ezra!

Update (Nov 16): The professor responds. Also.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The next outrage: Human rights abuser to commemorate Canadians’ sacrifices for freedom

The Canadian "Human Rights" Commission has issued the following press release:

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Nov 10, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- This year, for the first time, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has the honour of laying a wreath at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony. The wreath will be placed by Chief Commissioner Jennifer Lynch, Q.C, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Throughout our history, Canadian soldiers have served to promote and protect human rights and freedoms and to uphold universal values of dignity and justice. The Commission will pay special tribute to honour the men and women who have served so valiantly to uphold Canada's commitment to universal dignity and justice - values that transcend cultures and traditions.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

That the CHRC, notorious for its abuses of Canadians’ freedoms, should pretend to honour the men and women who gave up their lives to protect our freedom is clearly outrageous.

Having said that it’s not hard to see why the CHRC flatters itself so. Its bureaucrats are caught up in their own self-perpetuated mythology of phantom threats and multi-culti grievance while they remain stupidly ignorant of basic concepts of freedom and the harms they themselves perpetrate. And they have had lots of cheerleaders including the current minister of "justice".

I'd like to know: Who was the misguided fool that made this decision "for the first time?"

[kudos to Blazing Cat Fur]

Update (Nov 11): Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant. Ezra answers my above question. Jennifer Lynch was uninvited - apparently she just intended to crash the ceremony.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Food: Buy global!

Food activists have been haranguing us for a long time with their Buy Local, 100-Mile Diet, and food-mile Save-the-Planet bullcrap. It's all part of global warming hysteria and it’s working.

Dinky little local produce markets have been springing up on mall parking lots everywhere. And my grocery stores have been steadily climbing further onto the "green" bandwagon - pushing fabric shopping bags, flogging ever more organic produce (mostly at significantly higher prices) and offering fewer choices and lower quality.

For example, my favourite grocer used to carry a wide variety of potatoes including local, Island, and B.C. grown as well as from Idaho and P.E.I. Then the high quality Idaho and P.E.I. spuds started getting crowded out by lower quality (soggy, starchy) B.C. and ‘Island’ grown - and to add insult to injury the local ones were often priced higher than spuds shipped all the way from Idaho and P.E.I. Go figure! Recently all the grocery stocked were BC and ‘Island grown’ varieties. Now, to get good Idaho or P.E.I. spuds I’m forced to chase across town (saving the planet?) to find a grocer that carries them.

All I want out of my food supply system is convenience, choice and quality at a reasonable price. But the locavore / 100-mile-diet idiots are doing their level best to make sure that doesn’t happen. And I have had serious doubts that buying local would save much, if any, energy.

I’ve been meaning to complain to the grocery management about this but without hard data the only answer I expected from them was a spiel on "it’s-what-the-customer-wants" and their stock saving-the-planet lecture - though I have to admit, thanks to the green bullshit machine, there’s little doubt that "it’s-what-the-customer-wants".

Now, thanks to Peter Foster's column "Just plain bananas" and an accompanying article "Buy global" by researchers Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu we now have good evidence debunking the ‘buy local’, food mile mythology. A sampling from Peter Foster’s summary:

... Food mile thinking is crude and ignores productivity differences between different growing locations.

... This simplistic approach completely ignores the rationale for the evolution of a dispersed and globalized commercial agriculture...

... Food mile lunacy has been taken farthest in the U.K. .... [But a British study showed] The biggest carbon offender was automobile trips to the supermarket! ... [The study also showed] Spanish tomatoes are responsible for one quarter of the CO2 emissions of greenhouse-grown tomatoes in the U.K. Importing fruit from the antipodes is cheaper (and less environmentally costly) than storing domestic fruit for use in the off-season.

... The [Desrochers & Shimizu] study notes the hypocrisy of many campaigners, who are simply domestic protectionists trying to guard their expensive "organic" products. It also points out that fads such as the "100-mile diet" reduce choice, increase costs and take up lots of precious time to pursue.

... the economic and environmental costs of food miles are almost irrelevant when compared with the horrendous costs of farm subsidies and food-trade barriers. ... This corrupted system is at the root of many current trade frictions.

... "The evidence presented suggests that food miles are, at best, a marketing fad... ."

... Food-mile mysticism involves lower incomes for Third World farmers and higher prices for First World consumers.

... Indeed, one can’t help concluding that only the wealthy, who live in underappreciated capitalist societies, could have the time and resources to engage in calculations of such moralistic, self-indulgent stupidity. What is most depressing is the willingness of corporations to waste billions of dollars dancing to their tune.

OK. Now I’m ready to complain to my grocery store managers - and my provincial government. Do I think it will have any effect? Not a snowball’s chance in Hades - they’re all part of the racket. But I’ll feel righteous.

[The full paper by Desrochers & Shimizu.]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Poll - Obama jokes

CTV seems to have found it too politically incorrect to even mention an obvious possibility.

The meaning of Obama’s victory

It’s only four days since Obama's "historic" election, so it's small wonder people are still trying to come to grips with the meaning of it all.

Today the National Post published the views of two New York Times columnists.
Thomas L. Friedman figures that it’s a historic event symbolizing the end of the American Civil War:
And so it came to pass that on Nov. 4, 2008, shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern time, the American Civil War ended, as a black man — Barack Hussein Obama — won enough electoral votes to become president of the United States. [Notice now that he’s been elected it’s OK to include Obama’s middle name. Or is that only permitted for liberals?]
And then there’s the gonzo Maureen Dowd who has a wide range of expectations:

Obama may be in over his head. Or he may be heading for his own
[Or, one has to assume, anything in between.]

Thankfully, on the opposite page of the Post, classical liberal George Jonas provides a more reasonable assessment:

... to those who may be upset about Barack Obama’s victory because he’s black ... consult your shrink. [You’re a racist.]

... To those who are elated about Obama’s victory because he’s black ... Talk with your physician. [You’re a racist but a good racist with a "better prognosis" than the first.]

... To those who are elated about Barack Obama’s victory because it’s a historic first, I’d say: Sorry, it isn’t. .... When a candidate’s skin colour passes unnoticed, that will be a historic first. [Thomas L. Friedman take note.]

... What about those who are upset about Obama’s victory not for reasons of racism but statism? Those who consider his ideas statist, his executive experience meager and his associations dubious - in short, who are upset for the right reasons? To them I suggest: Democracy isn’t for sissies. [Suck it up and "abide not grudgingly but cheerfully" and work to throw the bum out next time around.]

... To those who think who think an Obama victory is going to be a disaster, I suggest: Relax. Take a stiff drink....Yes it may be a disaster ... America survived disasters.

... to those ready to jump on the Obama-presidency’s bandwagon, I suggest: Put on you crash helmet. It’s going to be a rough ride.

...Finally, to those who are happy because they like Obama’s politics and would have voted for him if he had been white and his opponent black ... Congratulations. You may be wrong about your politics, but at least you’re happy for the right reasons.

Excellent advice, George!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Assassinating Sarah

Last night CTV "News" anchor Lloyd Robertson ran with a story about Sarah Palin being attacked slandered by McCain campaign aides:

Months of bubbling frustration with Sarah Palin from within the McCain campaign finally exploded in the wake of their ticket's crushing defeat as Republican insiders began making embarrassing allegations about the Alaskan Governor.

Unnamed McCain aides have told the media that Palin ... [I decline
to repeat the slander]

"Months" of frustration? Palin was nominated on August 29th. She had a brief honeymoon of a couple of weeks before the hatchet job began in earnest. So make that ‘a month and a half’.

And these "unnamed McCain ‘aides’" - would they be the ones responsible for screening Palin’s incoming calls and letting those two moronic so-called "comedians" from Montreal spoof a call from French president Nicolas Sarkozy? The same ones who set up her interview with Katie Couric?

To have this kind of crap repeated on CTV national "news" is a disgrace. "Unnamed" sources can say anything. For example: Lloyd Robertson, here’s a couple of ‘stories’ you might want to consider running in your upcoming "news" casts:

... highly placed but unnamed sources within the Obama campaign allege that Obama’s father was a cannibal; and
... unnamed sources within CTV have alleged that news anchor Lloyd Robertson is a pedophile with a huge kiddy porn collection;
Sarah Palin has had a real job done on her. First by the Dems, backed up by a ruthless Obama cheering MSM that didn’t hesitate to repeat every rumour/slur/lie - the same media that virtually ignored Obama’s many serious political liabilities but swarmed Alaska to dig for dirt on Palin. Now Sarah Palin is being targeted, apparently by campaign aides who continue the slanderous rumour mongering, again backed by a scummy MSM.

Wasn’t Palin picked by McCain and his top aides? Wasn’t the McCAin campaign stalled and unable to bring in the Republican base? Didn’t Sarah Palin energize that base? To now scapegoat her for McCain’s loss (McCain's incompetent campaign), assuming media reports are anywhere near true, is beyond despicable. This is mean, nasty stuff. If McCain’s aides are behind it then the scum-bags should be rooted out and crucified. As for the media, repeating slander about conservatives is even worse but, sadly, par for the course.

And one last question. Where’s McCain? Isn’t he going to defend his running mate? C’mon, John, let’s see some of that vaunted honour and courage.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton dies of cancer

Michael Crichton died of cancer yesterday at age 66. The famous novelist and movie and TV creator/writer/director had a fascination for scientific and medical subjects. This was no doubt closely connected with his formal training in medicine and biology:

He graduated from Harvard Medical School, obtaining an M.D. in 1969, and did post-doctoral fellowship study at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970.
He will be remembered by me, for one, for his valuable contributions to fighting anti-scientific global warming hysteria.

R.I.P. Michael.

Update: Obituary (and review of 'Next') by Mark Steyn.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh, crap!

I just got back from the movies (Clint Eastwood's Changeling - excellent movie, by the way) and turn to CNN and see that Obama has won. So much for my Hope! Now we have to Hope that Obama and the Dems won’t Change too much for the worse.

Next I switched to CTV News and there’s Bob Fife telling us that:
"the Conservatives are actually quite excited about having Obama in power because they see a breakthrough on the environment."
Oh, crap! CTV’s worse than CNN! And if what that twit Fife said is anywhere near accurate then my own party is out to lunch.

I’m hitting the sack. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and find that this was all just a bad dream. Otherwise it's a nightmare!

Election day - what an Obama victory would mean

I like this from Mark Steyn:

Earlier I wrote that "If you don't want an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank-Acorn supermajority, there's only one way to stop it: Vote." A reader responds:

Okay, but if Obama and the Democrats win, can we at least acknowledge that it's what people do want?

In democratic systems, the people are free to screw up their own societies. An Obama victory would be a tragedy for this country and for the world. It would be a flight to fantasy and delusion, and a repudiation of the animating principles of America. It would also be profoundly unbecoming for the citizenry of a mature republic to vote for therapeutic fatuities like "hope" and "change".

But that is the people's prerogative. The way to forestall such discussions is to get out and run up the numbers.

Don't screw it up, America!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election eve

On the eve of the U.S. election comes this very effective presentation via Blazing Cat Fur reminding us of the Dem's role in the financial crisis and of the socialist Obama's background, role and agenda.

One frame of many:

Black reviews Atwood

I never doubted that Conrad Black would make good use of his time in jail. It’s hard to imagine the author of biographies of Roosevelt, Nixon and Duplessis whiling away the hours wallowing in self pity or otherwise wasting his time. Aside from being highly intelligent, educated, industrious and intellectually energetic the guy is well connected with the publishing field. All he needs is a library, a pencil and paper (even the roll in his cell would do) and he’s in business as a serious writer.

The latest example of his time well spent is his review of Margaret Atwood’s recent CBC Massey Lectures Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. As is fashionable in leftist circles Atwood attempts to justify an anti-capitalist line of thinking that links the world’s moral and material woes to financial culprits. Conrad admires Atwood’s talent:
Payback is well written, even by Margaret Atwood’s very high standards, and is an etymological tour de force, ... a stimulating, learned and stylish read from an eminent author writing from a heartfelt perspective.
But he isn’t buying her "heartfelt" thesis. Atwood’s references to Faustian pacts with the Devil, Ebenezer Scrooge, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VIII and many others are skillfully rebutted with Black concluding:
I don’t really see a straight line from the Egyptian Crocodile God to the Cockroach Spirit, and the economic-terrorists have oversold the green scare.
Excellent stuff [via the Post]. Now wait for the letters of praise along with more futile calls for the Post to keep ‘the criminal Black’ out of its pages.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Obamamania - Trudeaumania or Meech/Charlettowne

The polls all say it’s Obama. There’s hardly an MSM news anchor, political pundit or late-night comic who isn’t enthusiastically cheering Obama on. Almost all of the ‘elites’ are in the tank for Obama. That’s not just in the U.S. - Europeans and Canadians are every bit as enthusiastic, if not more so. Every Canadian poll shows a much bigger margin favouring Obama than the American polls. Hell, even al-Qaeda likes him.

So it looks like Obama can’t lose. He’s a shoo-in. It's like Tudeaumania in 60's when Trudeau got a big thumbs-up from the voters. On the other hand, more recently, the elites, the pundits, the media, politicians were nearly unanimously in favour of the Charlettowne Accord - which the voters gave a thumbs-down.

I’m betting Obama’s been over-hyped and the voters aren’t buying it. McCain will win.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

HRC speech censorship - Harper responds

Ezra Levant is encouraged by Stephen Harper’s response to CFRB’s Brian Lilley who asked the PM if his government would be addressing the issue of HRC's censorship of the press.

Lilley’s question:

... the issue of the human rights commission, we have seen both federal and provincial human rights commissions taking media organizations, journalists eforbe them to justify what they have written and I was wondering if your government will be touching that topic?

and Harper’s answer:

In terms of the free speech issues and some of the activities of human rights commissions, I think that everyone has had some concerns about this. This is a complicated area of law, balancing what most people understand to mean by free speech with obvious desire to not have speech that would be intended to incite hatred towards particular groups or individuals. I think some of the most egregious cases, if you actually look at this, are in provincial human rights commission and obviously, you know I can't control or comment on that. I think there has been some - I think the Canadian human rights commission has been moderating some of what - some of its practices a little bit recently to respond to some of these concerns and I hope that will continue.
That sounds a bit limp to me. Here’s Harper’s position in 1999 (from Kathy Shaidle’s "The Tyranny of Nice"):

"Human Rights Commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and basic existence of a democratic society...It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this very scary stuff."
PM Harper’s response was certainly hyper-cautious compared to citizen Harper’s. To some extent I suppose that’s understandable. Staying in power is a tricky business , especially for conservatives in these ultra-sensitive, politically correct times. You have to know which fights to pick and when to fight them. Though surely at some point defending "fundamental freedoms" has to rise to the top of the priority list.

Ezra suggested that now might be a good time to e-mail the Prime Minister and encourage him to take action. Done.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Banning driver distractions - Part II

In my previous post I favoured the banning cell phones and other driver distractions. Yesterday a National Post editorial came out against the new Ontario law. The Post thinks we should just be trusted to be responsible citizens. It would be nice if that were a realistic expectation - we could apply it to drinking and driving as well.

Today, Kelly McParland’s column in the Post, "Silencing the tools of stupidity" , is much more to my liking. The only quibble I might have with Mr. McParland's argument is that he doesn’t go quite far enough. He seems to suggest that "drinking coffee and eating jelly donuts or putting on lipstick while driving" shouldn’t or can’t also be banned. I don’t see why not. They all constitute "driving without due care and attention", they’re just as great a distraction and it’s no more difficult to enforce a ban than for cell phones.

If the Post editorial board wants to come out against laws that fly in the face of individual freedom and personal responsibility they ought to write an editorial that calls for the repeal of seatbelt and cycle helmet laws. These paternalistic laws only 'protect' people from themselves and they distract police from real safety issues. For example, in Victoria I regularly see cops harassing citizens by handing out seatbelt tickets. But I’ve NEVER, not once, seen them enforcing the law requiring drivers to stop at pedestrian crosswalks. Violations at crosswalks are frequent and result in many deaths and injuries each year. If that isn’t clear evidence of skewed priorities I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ban distractions in the driver’s seat

Ontario is set to ban cell phone use (and other distractions) by drivers. Normally I’m against government interference with private activities like, for example, wearing seatbelts and cycle helmets. It’s none of their damn business and such bans grease the slope.

But I make exceptions where other people’s activities may endanger my life and property. So I support banning the use of cell phones and other portable distractions (including wolfing down Big Macs and juggling hot coffee) by drivers whilst driving. Since so many people do these things banning them often meets with resistance. For example, a popular local radio host once opined (quoting from memory): "anyone who can’t handle a car while using a cell phone shouldn’t be on the road." Now there’s a certain logic to that and I tend to agree - any licensed driver should be capable of driving and phoning under most normal circumstances.

But there’s the problem. Under most normal, benign circumstances people get away with all sorts of behaviour. Ninety-nine-point-nine-nine percent of the time careless driving habits don’t result in a crash. It’s that .001% that gets you. In a quickly evolving, hazardous situation a tiny difference in a driver’s attention and reaction time can make a huge difference. Within the last two months I experienced two such incidents. It was obviously a bad couple of months:

(1) driving home on a city street, nearing my turnoff I started signaling a left turn about a block ahead of the turn and a short time later started braking. There was an oncoming car so I had to wait - foot on the brake. Then I heard a horrible screeching of tires behind me and in my rear-view mirror was this big black pickup truck sliding towards me with his trailer whip-sawing side-to-side behind him. I thought that was it. All I could do was floor the gas pedal and try to avoid being rear-ended. Luckily, I did, but not by much. Now, that idiot truck driver had to have been distracted. My tail-lights and brake-lights were functioning (I checked later) and he had lots of time to see them so he’d have had no excuse. Perhaps he was on his cell-phone, I don’t know, but that kind of distraction would easily have been enough to explain his last-second panic braking and locked-wheel slide.

(2) on a city street again, the traffic light turned yellow and, as I often do, I proceeded through the intersection. A car in the intersection, in the on-coming turn lane, was signaling a left turn. I wasn’t quite half way through the intersection when the oncoming driver decided she had to beat the yellow light and, like a squirrel, turned right across my path. Only because I was fast enough to hit my brakes, tires screeching, did I avoid hitting her. All I can say is that if I’d been the slightest bit distracted, by anything, there’d have been a crash.

So go ahead, Ontario, ban the use of all those electronic do-dads in the driver’s seat. And I hope BC soon follows suit.

Update: Blue Like You has lots of commentary on this subject.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In a judicial 'recount' what do they 'count'?

In my riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca the Conservative candidate Troy DeSouza lost the election to Liberal Keith Martin by 68 votes. DeSouza requested a judicial recount which is to be held tomorrow and Tuesday.

I've always assumed that every ballot was checked and re-tallied. Not so, apparently.

Joanne at True Blue was aghast to discover that in the "recount" done in Vancouver South (Dosanjh vs Wei Young) the presiding judge decided not to open all the poll boxes:

... Tory candidate Wai Young said she was disappointed because Associate Chief Justice Partrick [sic] Dohm, who was in charge of the recount, elected not to open all the ballot boxes .

Joanne notes that it seems "sampling is allowed." Quoting a Canadian Press report:

…The Canada Elections Act gives the judge presiding over a recount the option of recounting votes from some or all of the ballot boxes, along with spoiled and rejected ballots - 259 of them in the case of Vancouver South. The results of the recount are considered final …

If true, this sucks, big-time! It's not a 'recount', but a somewhat arbitrary 'estimate' that's possibly less accurate than the original count. With contests this close (22 votes) unless they check and recount all the ballots there's no way to know with a certainty that satisfies the losing candidate. Not much wonder Wai Young says she is "disappointed".

There have already been suggestions of Elections Canada bias. This non-counting 'recount' can only further diminish voters' confidence in the process. Inevitably questions arise as to a judge's integrity, party affiliation, etc.

I'll be watching to see how the 'recount' goes in my riding tomorrow.

More at Climbing Out of the Dark, Crux of the Matter, Unambiguous and elsewhere.

Update (Oct 27): Blue Like You, sda, DAWG, Jack's Newswatch, Maclean's. Sda commenter Oz provides a relevant quote from a great champion of freedom:

"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." ~Joseph Stalin
Upperdate(27 Oct) EJDF Recount confirms Martin win:

... Conservative challenger Troy DeSouza called off the recount after it became
apparent that the number of disputed ballots would not bridge the gap between
him and Martin.

... The Times Colonist won a precedent-setting decision to attend and report on the judicial recount. It's believed to be the first time a media organization has been allowed to witness the Elections Canada proceedings, which have previously been held in secret.

And there's a little more here.

UpperUpperdate (Oct 28): The Times Colonist provides the anatomy of the EJDF Martin/DeSouza recount. I still don't understand why DeSouza terminated the recount. According to the story: "Around 5:20 PM, with all the votes counted...". So why not let the the hard work of the 100 or so volunteers "count" as the final result?
More at Blue Like You.

Tory “attack” ads “poisoned” the election!

"Research" by Angus Reid pollsters Andrew Grenville and Mario Canseco proves that Conservative TV ads "poisoned" the election. (Canseco also appeared on CBC’s Politics (Friday, Oct 24 - about 17 minutes in) where he held Don Newman’s rapt attention.) This has to be some of the lamest, most idiotic drivel I’ve ever seen. According to their "research" the "attack" ads:

... persuaded 11 per cent of Canadian respondents not to vote for any candidate at all.

... were key to producing the lowest voter turnout in Canadian electoral history...

... were part of a disturbing trend that is "poisoning the well" of Canadian politics.

It’s hard to imagine people being this stupid. If I was otherwise neutral but extremely offended by one party’s ‘vicious’ "attack" ads I’d make damn sure I voted for someone else. One can’t help wondering whether the Angus Reid "researchers" controlled for the possibility that their poll questions might have suggested yet another lame excuse for respondents’ not bothering to vote - which they wouldn’t have anyway.

And oh, those ultra-sensitive lefty souls:

... Many supporters of Canada's centre-left parties tend to be more idealistic than Conservatives, said Grenville. Idealists, people who dream of a better world, are prone to drop out of the electoral process if they believe it has become corrupt or unethical, Grenville said.
What a load of unmitigated hooey! "Idealists" who "dream of a better world" and "drop out". Are they serious?! Also, these "idealistic" lefties are well known for their tendency to be violent should they happen to ‘disagree’ with their political opponents. For example, (and) they firebombed BC Premier Gordon Campbell’s wife’s school office, firebombed his constituency office and harassed him during a commercial flight ("So! He’s in a democracy.") The Angus Reid "researchers" are based in Vancouver so they have no excuse for not being aware of these events.

"More idealist than conservatives"? Methinks that’s the "researchers" nuanced way of keeping the "Conservatives are meanies" meme alive and well. Then, for good measure, they add the blatant insinuations - "corrupt or unethical".

And didn’t Grenville and Canseco watch the leaders’ debates? Never mind a few seconds of TV commercials, Stephen Harper was subjected to two full hours of sustained attacks from four of his "idealistic" rivals. They called him a "fraud" (May), uncaring and incompetent (Layton), a liar (Dion), a Bush stooge (many times, all of them). And these debates were replayed several times in full and segments were repeated in TV news stories.

This is all reminiscent of the loopy sympathy many media pundits developed for poor, sad Stephane Dion. Dion’s thrice restarted interview exposed his obvious ineptitude. Instead of keying on the obvious they turned it into an attack on that meany, Harper. And let’s not forget that moronic Andrew Coyne’s weeping over the "disgraceful" treatment of Dion - that "kind and decent man". What is this, election politics or the Oprah f***ing Winfry Show?

The ridiculous whining from a severely biased MSM peanut gallery has gotten way beyond tiresome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jennifer Lynch - how'd she get her CHRC appointment?

Ezra Levant finds it "hard to believe" that Jennifer Lynch, Chief of the scandal plagued Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, is a Conservative appointee. Delving deeper into her background Ezra notes that she's had a long association with the Progressive Conservatives; for example she was once Joe Clark's chief of staff. That's bad enough but Ezra has lot's more to say, reasonably concluding with: "Fire. Them. All. Starting with Lynch."

So, it's not really surprising that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson appointed her in 2007 and that he'd be reluctant to get rid of her.

Now let's hope that when PM Harper forms his new cabinet: (1) Nicholson will no longer be Justice Minister, and (2) the new Minister is a lot more inclined to clean house at the CHRC.

It's rumoured that Nicholson is being considered for the Foreign Affairs portfolio.

Denny Crane on gun control

Thank God for guns!

[H/t: Vinney]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What global warming?

Lawrence Solomon believes environmentalism is on the wane:
Stock market indexes have plummeted from their inflated peaks. Oil and other commodities have likewise plummeted. The next commodity to tumble from unsustainable peak levels: environmentalism.
Three reasons:

... For the same reason that clothes go out of fashion after the masses embrace them, mass-marketed environmentalism will come to be disdained. That won’t sell for long.

... Much of [environmentalism] is misguided, based on misunderstanding and vacuity. Global warming is by far the biggest such example.

... A third reason for my prediction that environmentalism has peaked is the instinct for self-preservation among the political leadership.

And Lorne Gunter’s column amplifies the global warming case:
"It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there
just isn't any global warming
." Eg:

... Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2."

... An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, "Man-made global warming
is junk science,"
explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ? This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."

... Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ? cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."

Bongo the lion

I really loved this shot of Bongo, star of George of the Jungle, and his trainer at the Bowmanville Zoo.
According to the Post it was taken in 1998 which was about 3 years before Bongo died of lung cancer.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stephane Dion is no quitter

Stubbornly clinging to his beloved Green Shift™ plan and blaming his defeat on the "low" Conservative propaganda campaign that "cemented a distorted image" of him in Canadians’ minds, Stephane Dion has vowed to stay on as leader of the Liberal Party until a new leader is selected next spring.

It remains to be seen whether the LPC will accept his decision. But let's hope he stays - his yapping in the House is easier to take than Ralph Goodale's or Ken Dryden's.

MSM reaction: Star, Post, Globe.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama not a natural born citizen of the U.S.A.?

Obama’s eligibility to serve as POTUS is being challenged in a lawsuit filed by Democrat Philip J. Berg (former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania.)

Berg summarizes his case in "October Surprise":

[H/t: Vinney]

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election - Bah!

Well, it's a better situation than before the election, but only slightly. So we're in for more of the same-old-same-old.

As it now stands, before the recounts, the Conservative minority is 143 seats or 46% of the total. A few more numbers:

- subtracting the two separatist provinces (Nfld and Quebec) the Tories hold about 59% of the remaining seats;

- west of Quebec they hold 62% of seats, and;

- west of Ontario 75%.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I am a free Canadian

"I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship God in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold
for myself and for all mankind."
House of Common Debates, July 1, 1960*
Vote Conservative
Stop the HRC

Monday, October 13, 2008

Barack's ad

Meanwhile, in Presidential politics:

Barack Obama has put out an ad that simple minded John McCain cannot use a computer.

Well, guess what? Barack Obama can't land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier at night.

[h/t: Vinney Di]

Election: "The Red-Green Show"

The Dion/May collusion story is heating up. Here's Joanne at Blue Like You:

The question has now become: What exactly was the deal between Stephane Dion and Elizabeth May? Was it merely a simple pact agreeing not to run an opposing candidate from each of their parties in their respective ridings?

... The interesting thing here is that Stephane Dion has never come right out and denied this rumour. He’s talked around them, but never directly said that it didn’t happen. Just yesterday, Jane Taber challenged him on CTV’s QP. He evaded the question.

... My question is, why isn’t this situation being investigated by Elections Canada?

Good question, Joanne!

More at A Dog Named Kyoto who points to Bourque Newswatch (Oct 12th):

Meanwhile, Grit insider Ray Heard, perhaps the first Liberal to demand publicly many months ago that Dion should resign for sheer incompetence, is telling friends tonight that this news on Bourque of the May-orchestrated Green Shift to the Liberals comes as no surprise. "Its all part of a secret deal between Dion and May. But what maddens me is that, when I publicly endorsed my friend, Peter Kent, the Conservative in Thornhill because he deserves a seat in Ottawa, I was denounced as a traitor and worse by fellow-Liberals. Surely, if Dion can endorse May and persuade her to get her voters to defect to the Liberals at the eleventh hour, I have the same right to ask Grits to vote for Kent....This, friends, is another Liberal farce that will end in tragedy. I shall be the first (admittedly sorely jaundiced) Liberal to call for Dion's head when the votes are in late Tuesday."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The deep roots of the meltdown

It goes all the way back to 1977! Back to Jimmy Carter's affirmative action policies. And check out "community organizer" Barack Obama's role as radical left political action organization (ACORN) advocate and lawyer.

Whenever things go to hell look for socialists and socialism as inevitable root causes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Media spin - Mr. Mean versus Mr. Bean

Stephen Harper has endured more nasty insults than all of the other leaders combined during this election. The leaders' debates were a prime example of the nasty attacks - to which Mr. Harper responded calmly, reasonably and without complaint.

But the minute Mr. Harper dares take advantage of Stephane Dion's bumbling ineptitude out comes the idiotic charge, not that Dion's a bumbler, but that Harper is unfairly picking on the poor handicapped Dion. And during an election! My God, the nerve! What a meany! Of course Harper's "mean-spiritedness" is a stereotypical image that the liberal media has long cultivated and perpetuates at the tiniest of opportunities. It's now taken as a given in the MSM.

Joanne, at Blue Like You says it all: "MSM pundits seem to be framing this election as a choice between ...
________ Mr. Mean_______________and Mr. Bean."________

Friday, October 10, 2008

Globe endorsement - a curse or a blessing?

The Globe and Mail endorses Harper and the Tories. The front end of the editorial is packed full of Mr. Harper’s many perceived ideological and personality faults - ie. he’s insufficiently Liberal. However, having considered the alternatives the Globe has concluded:

... On balance, Mr. Harper remains the best man for the job in the tough times now upon us. He deserves if not four more years, at least two more years. By all logic, he should be cruising to an easy majority.

... If you want to meet the most inflexible head of a major political party, Mr. Dion takes it in a cakewalk....He's had a relatively strong week to be sure, but has never been much inclined to make the kind of mid-course corrections required in uncharted waters. He is a priest not a proselytizer, better at righteousness than salesmanship.

... Meanwhile, the supposedly obstinate Mr. Harper has been nothing if not open to adjusting as circumstances change. He was masterful in building a "big tent" centre-right alternative to the "natural governing" Liberals. His vision, determination and adroitness restored political competition to Canada, not an insignificant accomplishment.

... Indeed, the most important characteristic Mr. Harper has shown over 33 months in office is a capacity to grow.

The Globe then goes on to advise Mr. Harper on how he needs to "grow" and change and govern once/if re-elected:

... Instead of carping about a dysfunctional Parliament, for which he holds much responsibility, Mr. Harper should throw out his previous playbook and try making the institution work.

... use his political skills to wring real meaning out of last spring's apology to aboriginals.

... revisit his wholly inadequate climate-change plan.

... His attitude toward China, which thankfully looks to be in transition, has been rooted in old-fashioned, missionary-driven zeal.

... His instincts to play as small a role as possible, other than for electoral gain, are perhaps not as wrong-headed as those who would have the state play too big a role, given the excesses of past interventions.

Some of that is OK and some is typical Liberal hooey. I like the last one best - "as small a role as possible" for the state. If taken seriously that would require Harper to dump large chunks of his own "modest" platform. Of course what is actually possible depends on the size of his minority/majority.

Overall, at this point in the election, I’ll take the Globe’s position as more a blessing than a curse.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A majority for Mr. Cool?

Yesterday my wife and I participated in a rally at the Victoria airport to boost Stephen Harper who was on his way from Victoria to Richmond. It was a big, enthusiastic crowd and there were rousing warm-up speeches from all the local candidates.

We shook hands and exchanged a few words with the PM as he worked the crowd and made his way to the microphone. He was in excellent spirits and in his usually fine speaking form. That guy is one cool customer.

Which brings me to my point. I’ve previously noted my own lack of enthusiasm for this campaign and my disappointment with the debates. I often found myself wishing Mr. Harper would take the gloves off and go after his opponents with a little, no - a lot, more fire. But that seems to be the strategy. Stay cool and leave the fire to others - like Dianne Ablonczy and Jeff Norquay yesterday on Mike Duffy Live. Both of them did an admirable job of aggressively hammering their Lib and Dipper counterparts for their irresponsible, over-the-top, economic fear-mongering.

George Jonas has an optimistic take on the Harper ‘stay cool’ approach:
... Yes, I still think we'll have a majority Conservative government. The latest polls suggest otherwise, but I'll go out on a limb.

... Exhibiting generalship Prince Mikhail Kutuzov would have envied, Harper lured his hubris-ridden opponents to their doom ...

... In fact -- never mind Kutuzov -- Harper showed himself to be the political equivalent of the legendary George Chuvalo. It's not that opponents couldn't lay a glove on the Canadian heavyweight; it's just that it made no difference.

... Why did Canada's opposition leaders do this to themselves? You'll have to ask them ... because I don't know. Possibly it's central to their belief system that Canadians regard any lapse from a state-centred, quasi-socialist credo a sin if not a felony.

... Anyway, did his imitation of frozen-fish-unjustly-maligned-of-being-alive get Harper a majority? I think so. By this week, even emerging with an ever-so-cautious platform seemed safe enough for the Conservatives.

Thanks George - that large dose of optimism is welcome when the chips seem so down. And today, on the TSE, they’re down another big notch.

More optimism here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Taliban Jack is back!

In response to news of a British commander’s assessment that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won, Jack Layton expresses his happiness:

"I'm heartened by the words of this senior military commander ..."
Good news for the Taliban is good news for Jack. That really ought to boost troop morale.

Detailed analysis at The Torch where the bottom line is:
The one thing Brigadier Carleton-Smith did not say was that the Taliban would win. But that is certainly not the impression most readers would get from those headlines, which seem to say the glass is plain empty--if not entirely broken. Most people think if you don't win, you lose. I really do think the Western media are increasingly taking sides: the wrong one. Fie on them.

The great debates - Part II

Stephen Taylor put together this excellent video from the English debate showing Harper's opponents "shadowboxing" George Bush:

Predictable -- and sad.

[via Blue Like You]

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The great debates

I watched the French language leaders debate last night. It sucked! The format was awful - three opposition leaders and the Green leader beating up on Stephen Harper. And Harper, when he could get a word in (in the voice of a high pitched, lithping interpretor), came off flat.

So, tonight, having had enough Canuck-style aggravation for one week, I skipped the English language debate and watched the U.S. VP debate. It was excellent. Sarah Palin did very well - she held her own against the much more experienced Joe Biden who also did very well. Maybe the McCain ticket has been revived - once again.

Update (Oct 3): Couldn't help myself. I've now seen the playback of last night's English language debate. Luckily I could fast forward through large chunks of it. Compared to the Palin/Biden debate it came across as uncivil and juvenile - someone said it was a little like a two hour episode of Question Period only with the opposition all shouting simultaneously. I don't know how Harper mangaged to keep his cool through it all. That Jack Layton is sure an aggressive, nasty, insulting piece of work. If Harper had said some of those things there'd be no end of the MSM's piling on about what an angry, mean-spirited right-winger he was.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Enough is enough. “I’m outta here!”

Victoria has become a city (like many I’m sure) run by scolds and control freaks. Regional "Authorities" (they do seem to love ‘authority’ around here) police everything from the cleanliness of recycled cans to water restrictions (needed or not) and draconian anti-smoking bylaws.

Recently, a privately owned and operated sports and entertainment centre, encouraged by the health Nazis' attitude, decided to take things a step further and conduct searches and seizures of patrons’ tobacco products ...

Which prompted this excellent letter:

Re: Save-On centre butting out, News, Sept. 17, 2008.

Has the Capital Regional District and Save-On-Foods centre gone completely insane?

You will not be confiscating any of my tobacco products or infringing on my rights, as I never plan to return to the land of the over-regulated and bylaw-saturated non-personally responsible hell that is being created in Victoria region and Canada as a whole by silly self-serving bureaucrats trying to justify their existence by telling me how to live.

Anarchy works for me. That is why I moved to Mexico. I write you as I enjoy a beer and a smoke in a public shopping mall, just ahead of commute back home in my vehicle, while not wearing a seat belt, watching smiling families riding in the back of pick-up trucks whiz by me at 110 kilometres per hour.

Guess what will happen if I crash? They will say it was my own fault. No one to blame but myself. How liberating. Adios!

Sean Randall
Formerly of Langford

Great letter, Sean! I know exactly where you’re coming from.