Friday, December 31, 2010

Intellect, intelligence and wisdom

"The capacity to grasp and manipulate complex ideas is enough to define intellect but not enough to encompass intelligence, which involves combining intellect with judgment and care in selecting relevant explanatory factors and in establishing empirical tests of any theory that emerges. Intelligence minus judgment equals intellect. Wisdom is the rarest quality of all — the ability to combine intellect, knowledge, experience, and judgment in a way to produce a coherent understanding." (Thomas Sowell, "Intellectuals and Society")
A must read for the New Year. "Intellectuals and Society", by Thomas Sowell.

From Barbara Kay's recommendation:

... Illumination on what makes intellectuals commit to ideas too stupid for ordinary people to believe, and the effect of these ideas on our culture, can be found in the pellucid prose and crisply coherent analysis of conservative sage Thomas Sowell in his book...

The New Year is near

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What makes Obama tick?

In his recent book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” Dinesh D’Souza proposes a theory that explains Barack Obama’s often perplexing behaviour. Based on Obama’s own words as published in his books, mainly “Dreams from My Father”, and his public speeches as well as the writings of his father and mentors, D’Souza concludes that what drives Obama is an anti-colonial ideology derived from his socialist, anti-colonial Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr.

...Think about what this means. The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s ...
D’Souza shows how Obama’s anti-colonialism accounts for his many apologies for America’s past foreign policies, his Muslim outreach, his bowing and scraping before Saudi royalty, his rudeness towards allies like Britain and France, his deference to America haters like Hugo Chavez, and ........

Mr. D’Souza argues that on balance colonialism has benefitted the world, particularly British colonialism. Furthermore, contrary to Obama’s apparent beliefs, anti-colonialism solves nothing and worse, it is counterproductive - it has been a near complete disaster for most African nations that are indulging in it.

He maintains that Obama, driven by his anti-colonial mentality, is intent on weakening America as a world power and that if he succeeds, America and the world will be much the worse for it:
... I understand Obama, but I don’t sympathize with him. In fact his warped ideology really scares me. His vision for America may be therapeutic for his psyche, but it is a ridiculous one for America in the twenty-first century. The dream of the two Obamas .... is actually an American nightmare.
It’s a highly compelling read.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"... challenging times for climate jihadists"

Gerald Warner: Weathering the true lies of global warming Newspeak:

... The ex cathedra dogma that weather is not climate has the authoritative resonance of similar Orwellian Newspeak maxims such as "War is peace".

... These are challenging times for climate jihadists. Last week the Met Office was forced to issue a press release stating it "categorically denies forecasting a 'mild winter' ". In fact, in October, its long-range probability map predicted an 80 per cent probability of warmer than average temperatures from November to January in Scotland. It claimed Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, the eastern half of England and Cornwall, would experience temperatures above the 3.7°C average, more than 2°C higher than last winter.

... The notorious 2007 [IPCC] report ... claimed up to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could be drastically reduced by even a slight decrease in rainfall caused by global warming, replacing trees with tropical grassland. This year a study funded, ironically, by Nasa completely discredited that theory.
... The suggestion of a connection between "man-made" global warming and hurricanes has now been rejected by the scientist who first advanced it,...
... When Lewis Pugh tried to paddle a kayak to the "ice-free" North Pole he had to stop 600 miles south of his destination and 100 miles short of where a canoeist had reached a century before.
Even the IPCC has been forced to revise its forecasts of rises in sea level dramatically downwards.
Our MSPs - mostly people who give cretinism a bad name - have gone overboard for a world-leading role in climate crusading. How much energy did Scotland's ice-bound wind turbines generate this month? The regulation director at ScottishPower Renewables has stated: "Thirty gigawatts of wind maybe requires 25 GW of backup." Few Scottish windfarms attain even 28 per cent of capacity. Cutting-edge technology, eh?

But who cares? Hey, this isn't about science - it's about cash. Specifically, $130bn from Western taxpayers ... It will take more than a few tax hikes and power cuts to deflect Civic Scotland from embracing the latest leftist fantasy.

The science is done, the debate is over

Nope and nope ...

Recent paper: On the recovery from the Little Ice Age
Author: Syun-Ichi Akasofu - International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

... published papers and openly available data on sea level changes, glacier retreat, freezing/break-up dates of rivers, sea ice retreat, tree-ring observations, ice cores and changes of the cosmic-ray intensity, from the year 1000 to the present, are studied ...
... the recovery from the LIA has proceeded continuously, roughly in a linear manner, from 1800-1850 to the present.
... the Earth is still in the process of recovery from the LIA; there is no sign to indicate the end of the recovery before 1900.
... The multi-decadal oscillation of a period of 50 to 60 years was superposed on the linear change; it peaked in 1940 and 2000, causing the halting of warming temporarily after 2000.
... These changes are natural changes, and in order to determine the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect, there is an urgent need to identify them correctly and accurately and re-move them from the present global warming/cooling trend.
Sea level data, for example:

[Via FOS]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Tis the season ... to pity non-believers

Ian Hunter penned a column this week that was full of pity for those unhappy agnostics:

... Many such people will describe themselves as "religious" or, better, "spiritual"; they are, they will say, "seekers", pilgrims who journey hopefully but somehow never arrive.

...By and large, the appeal of agnosticism is to the spiritually timid. Its attraction is that it gives the illusion of a safe harbour in a roiling sea when, in fact, it offers no harbour, only more seasickness.
... etc.
And today Chris Selley replied ... bollocks.  I'm with Selley on this one, a happy "seeker".

Response to ClimateGate Inquiries

From Friends of Science a summary of Ross McKitrick's report "Understanding The ClimateGate Inquiries":
None of these inquiries were independent and none investigated the allegations or interviewed critics of the CRU or the IPCC. In summarizing, McKitrick says that the evidence shows that scientists manipulated IPCC reports with the effect of misleading readers, deleted emails to prevent disclosure of information in apparent violation of freedom of information laws, privately expressed doubts about the science, and took steps to block access to data or methodologies. 
One of the most notorious email revelations was the trick to hide the decline of proxy temperature data presented in WMO and IPCC reports for policy makers. The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee concluded that this trick was not dishonest because Phil Jones of the CRU had discussed the decline relative to instrument data (the divergence problem) in a journal article. McKitrick writes “The fact that Jones had acknowledged the divergence in journal articles makes it worse that he hid the decline in official reports, as it proves that the deception was not inadvertent.” The divergence of proxy data from instrument data would prove to reasonable readers that the proxy data are not good temperature proxies, so the claim that the 20th century temperature increase is unprecedented cannot be supported. This destroys the foundation of the IPCC climate science.
Donate to Friends of Science.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

‘Tis the season ... to be sanctimonious

It’s Christmas and Peter Foster reflects on those annoying, self-righteous scolds intent on sucking the joy out of the season:

It is a time for tolerance. I have to confess, however, that I have a problem being tolerant with one group that tends to surface around Christmas: the no-cakes-and-ale brigade, who invariably castigate shallow materialism and berate us for daring to be happy amidst so much global wretchedness.
Two groaning examples have appeared recently — ... I shall not use the full names of the authors. Let’s just call them Jerry and Larry.
Jerry and Larry want to take all the joy out of Christmas, not just by nagging us for buying too much “stuff,” and for the fact that there are poor people about, but by thrusting their own conspicuous virtue down our chimneys.

Jerry wrote a piece with the product warning headline “Consumer Overload,” in which he bemoaned the volume of product fliers in his mailbox, but also let us know that he sponsors a 12-year-old Nicaraguan boy.
... instead of seriously examining the roots of poverty, Jerry wants to indulge his lack of understanding by guilt-tripping the rest of us....
[But] Jerry’s moral self-inflation is as a mere balloon when set against Larry’s towering blimp.
... Larry wants a lot more Communist Manifesto in our lives, or, as it is now called, “social justice.”
One cannot argue with Larry that charity is a great way to feel “valued and connected,” but he doesn’t seem to have grasped that there is a big difference between giving of your own time and money, and extorting the time and money of others.
Good one, Peter! Made my day :-)

Jokers incarnate


(No makeup needed)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blundering along with the UK Met

The UK Met Office gets it wrong, YET AGAIN. Peter Foster reviews the litany of blunders:

The British deep freeze of recent weeks (which has also immobilized much of continental Europe) is profoundly embarrassing for the official forecaster. Just two months ago it projected a milder than usual winter. ... the price tag on the country’s unpreparedness for this winter could reach $15-billion.

... Significantly, the Met Office is closely associated with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, home of Climategate. Both organizations are deeply involved with the IPCC. When it comes to the CRU’s crystal ball, one of its official declared a decade ago: “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” No danger of that for little Britons this year.
... The Met’s blunder follows similar cockups last year and the year before. In February, Met Office scientist Peter Stott declared that 2009 was an anomaly, and that milder and wetter winters were now — for sure — to be expected. He suggested that exceptionally cold British winters such as the one that occurred in 1962-63 were now expected to occur “about once every 1,000 years or more, compared with approximately every 100 to 200 years before 1850.” Now, the Met Office is admitting that the current December may be the coldest in Britain in the past 100 years.
Also, significantly:

... Yesterday, the British-based Global Warming Policy Foundation has called on the U.K. government to set up an independent inquiry into the Met Office’s failures. It also wants an examination of the institution’s politicization. [FYI: Peter's column has been posted at the GWPF web-site.]
Noted also are the predictable reactions of AGW true believers:

... No doubt the warmist crowd will be quick to express outrage at this blatant confusion of global climate with local weather, but that won’t wash. The Met makes its short-term forecasts on the basis of the same brand of massive computer power and Rube Goldberg modelling used to project the global climate. ...
With their usual contradictions:

... Confusing weather with climate isn’t always condemned by alarmists. In March, Al Gore deemed it disgraceful that “deniers” dared to suggest that North America’s East Coast Snowmageddon in any way undermined the Inconvenient Truth of man-made global warming. More snow was obviously due to man. The very next day, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell declared that the lack of snow at the Vancouver Olympics was due to … man-made global warming.
Update: An excellent video via a reader at FPComment:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nicholas Kristof: Sanctimonious NYT dhimmi liberal Islamo-enabler

Nicholas Kristof’s column, “Heroic, Female and Muslim” appeared in today’s National Post. His piece is full of the usual sanctimonious NYT dhimmi liberal Islamo-enabler pap (“Islamophobia in the United States” and sentiments of the “not all Muslims are bad people” variety). Along with this nonsense (which seems to be his main point) he gives an account of Somali MD Hawa Abdi’s excellent work and enormous courage in the face of intimidation by local Islamothugs. There’s little doubt she deserves great praise. However, Kristof presents her as “another side of Islam”, the side that proves, naturally, not all Muslims are horrible.

But Hawa Abdi is not “another side of Islam”. In fact, nearly everything of merit she does flies in the face of Islam and Sharia law in large parts of the Muslim world not to mention the local interpretation of Islam (ie. “... generally not favourable to women's rights, and include the almost universal practice of female genital mutilation”). Kristof might want to consult Ayan Hirsi Ali for his next column. Like Hirsi Ali’s her accomplishments are in spite of Islam. But while Hirsi Ali had to run from Somalia to escape a life of Hell, Hawa Abdi apparently gets away with it because she’s connected. She’s “a member of Somalia’s elite”.

So, Hawa Abdi is not “another side of Islam”, she’s an exception and pretty much the opposite. In many, if not most, Islamic nations she’s be stoned to death for what she does and says. While she may claim to be Muslim there's little evidence that Islam motivates her - in fact she works in direct opposition to the local interpretation of Islam. And good for her. But Kristof’s partisan blinkered Islamo-apologetics only encourage more obfuscation and whining from the so-called Muslim “moderates”.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Global warming scare over? Don't bet on it.

Harris and Leyland: Global warming ideology still on top

There have been many recent setbacks suffered by the “climate change” alarmists:

... Climategate. ... the [failure of] the Copenhagen conference... followed quickly by Glaciergate, Amazongate, Kiwigate and serious challenges to the credibility of Rajendra K. Pachauri, [IPCC] chairman....
... some say that the climate scare is over:

... Some commentators tell us that this is the beginning of the end of the climate scare. More likely, it is just the end of the beginning.
It would be foolhardy to relax:

... While it is appropriate for realists to revel in their late-period success, it is vastly premature to celebrate.
The alarmists are solidly entrenched, well funded and their propaganda machine runs full-time:
... Through the tireless work of hundreds of thousands of mostly unpaid activists, aided by unquestioning journalists, grant-seeking scientists, pandering politicians, opportunistic or naive industries and well-meaning but misinformed citizens, climate campaigners made "stopping global warming" a cause celebre....
... As a result, massive donations from left-wing foundations poured in to groups focused on promoting alarm.

... climate alarmism is de rigueur "science" in virtually all public schools, colleges and universities.
Most mainstream media, corporations, even churches and essentially all environmental organizations promote the now politically correct view of human-caused climate change.

There simply is too much money and political capital, and too many reputations are at stake for alarmists to back down. ...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A socialist's memoir

Peter Foster has reviewed former Brit PM Gordon Brown's new book.  It's "a fairy tale":

... a memoir of the recent crisis and modest proposals about What Is To Be Done.

... What Mr. Brown brought to those myriad meetings in 2008 and 2009 was three mental traits essential to good socialists: moral superiority, historical amnesia and economic fantasy.

... I can absolutely guarantee that this book will not reach even the lowest rung of bestsellerdom.
Peter Foster, doing the hard work of reading crappy books so that we don't have to.  We owe him a debt of gratitude.

A book bloggers will appreciate

Scott Rosenberg’s recent book, “say everything” is a fine read that most bloggers will greatly appreciate. Rosenberg, a cofounder of, has written an engaging, entertaining account of how blogging got started, it’s rapid rise, where it’s been and where he believes it’s headed.  He provides many, many interesting insights.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Liberals duped into backing American agenda?

Another excellent article by Vivian Krause posits the thesis that American charitable foundations have been donating funds, under the guise of environmentalism, towards activities which, if successful, will effectively shut down the shipment of Canadian oil via the West coast to Asia.  The effect will be to landlock Alberta oil thereby ensuring it can only be sold to the U.S.A.

A short synopsis of Krause's article from FOS:
US foundations, including the Tides Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, have spent more than $300 million since 2000 on "reform" of resource industries in Canada. Since 2004 foundations have spent $18 million specifically for "demarketing" (reducing demand for or shifting demand away from) Alberta oil.

Their current campaign, supported by the Liberal opposition in Ottawa, is to legislate a ban on tanker traffic along the British Columbia coast to prevent construction of a new pipeline to export Alberta's oil to Asian markets. Though marine conservation is an ostensible issue in the campaign, the foundations have no apparent objection to tanker traffic along the coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and the Gulf of Mexico.
Krause notes that the US Foundations have been routing funding to Canadian agitators such as the Suzuki Foundation and key Indian bands:
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund granted $105,000 specifically to the First Nations at the Kitimat village, which is right at the mouth of the Douglas Channel. That's precisely where export-bound oil tankers would need to load. That included $70,000 for an anniversary celebration in 2004 and $35,000 for a ceremonial event in 2006. Of all the aboriginal people in the world, why is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund giving money to the First Nations at Kitimat Village?
Good question.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cancun was a bust

Lorne Gunter:
...there was no overall emissions target set, no worldwide quota on how much CO2 humans can pump into the atmosphere. Each country will be allowed to set its own limit and there will be no determination of whether or not any country’s emission targets are adequate to stop climate change. All talk of legally binding limits was punted until at least next year’s summit in South Africa....
...The new focus all but abandons any meaningful effort to restrict human activity in the name of saving the planet. So it surprises me that enviro activists seem to have bought into the new approach with such joyous satisfaction. But I guess it lets them keep jetting around the world to lavish conferences, so it’s all good.

Peter Foster zaps Mark Carney

Peter Foster:

On Monday, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney issued another “stern warning” about record levels of household debt. But isn’t that a bit like Eliot Spitzer giving a stern warning about public morality?

... Mr. Carney did a nice job ... of trying to slough off the blame. “The responsibility,” he said, “obviously starts with the individual, it extends to the financial institutions, and then we as policymakers need to ensure that a suite of policies are appropriate to ensure sustainable growth.”

... That has it upside down. What actually happens is that government policy interferes with markets and imposes regulations that control the behaviour of the financial institutions, which in turn influence the conditions under which borrowers act.

... with all due respect to Mr. Carney, while he likes to talk as if he is an aspiring coach of Economic Team Canada, his actual job equates neither to coaching nor managing, nor dashing down the ice scoring goals, nor even being ... goalie ... . Although the economy is not a game of hockey, if it were, Mr. Carney would be the Zamboni -driver. His official job of keeping inflation in check equates to keeping the ice flat so the economic players can do their thing. Leave the economic policy to Don Cherry.
Ouch! I bet that smarts!

Hilarious, but too true. Read it all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

US Congress to investigate Climategate


Ralph Hall is poised to become the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee after fending off a challenge from California Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

... Hall told POLITICO in a recent interview he’s not a climate skeptic. “... [but].. I want some proof,” he said. “If I get the chair and have the gavel, I'm going to subpoena people from both sides and try to put them under oath and try to find out what the real facts are.”

But he said he does want to question all sides of the issue, including the scientists at the center of the so-called “Climategate” ...

Climate Deal in Cancún

From FOS:
At 4:00 am on December 11, delegates adopted the Cancún Agreements ... ... Under these agreements: (1) rich countries "shall aim to complete" further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012; (2) parties set a goal to hold global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels; (3) parties will "work towards identifying a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050" for consideration at the next meeting in Durban; (4) parties dropped the shared vision that global greenhouse gases should peak by 2015; (5) parties set up a process for accounting and monitoring of greenhouse gases; (6) developing countries undertaking mitigation actions supported by outside money will be subject to international auditing; (7) parties will establish a Green Climate Fund with a 24-member board of directors, half from developed and half from developing countries.

Environment Minister John Baird refused to commit Canada to taking on new obligations under Kyoto, preferring the more flexible Copenhagen approach.
More from UNFCC and G&M.

Glenn Beck demands apology from Forbes Magazine

Just watched Glenn's show today where he demanded an apology from Forbes for saying Glenn "falsely vilified George Soros".   Glenn was at his funny (but serious) best.

More from Glenn here and here.

Banned by Boing Boing

My previous post, on the death of Richard Dawkins' father, credits the blog Boing Boing.  I had signed up for commenting privileges at Boing Boing where I wrote the "... May God rest [his] soul ..." remark. Within half an hour my comment had been deleted and attempts to sign-in again were greeted with "You do not have permission to leave comments on this blog":).  Man! That's pretty fierce gate-keeping. OK, I admit there was an element of snark in my comment. But it was pretty mild snark given that (1) Mr. Dawkins senior was an Anglican, and (2) it was, mostly, a sincere wish on my part (and Boing Boing's comment Nazis couldn't have known otherwise.)

Conclusion: The Boing Boing comments section is an echo chamber run by some apparently extremely thin-skinned people, whose idea of intolerable commentary, like many lefty scolds, is anything that doesn't precisely fit their idea of how the world should be.

Who/what is Boing Boing? I hadn't heard of it until recently while reading a book on the history of blogging, "say everything" by Scott Rosenberg.  Rosenberg presents Boing Boing's story as an example of blogging pioneers who have become wildly successful.  It's kitschy, a little kinky with a taste that runs to the oddball in stories, graphics and videos posted mostly by four individuals. There's some interesting stuff. 
[By the way, Rosenberg also holds up Daily Kos as another leading example (which maybe says something about Rosenberg). Full disclosure: A few years ago, I lasted longer (a couple of days) at Daily Kos before being banned for some comments surrounding Lloyd Axworthy's anti-Americanism.]

Anyway, Boing Boing is a top rated blog with, according to Rosenberg, millions of 'customers' and revenues in the multi-millions.   Given their success presumably they know what they're doing.  And if a comments policy requiring milquetoast pc blandness attractive to products of the schools of self-esteem is part of that success then I suppose good for Boing Boing.  But in the long run ....?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Richard Dawkins' father passes

Obituary written by Richard:

My father, (Clinton) John Dawkins, who has died peacefully of old age, packed an enormous amount into his 95 years. ...
Condolences, Richard and may God rest your father's soul.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ted Turner = Idiot + hypocrite

Peter Foster:

Ted Turner, the billionaire philanthropist ...  urged world leaders to institute a Chinese-style global one-child policy to save the Earth from catastrophic climate change.

... Previously, Mr. Turner, who has five children and owns two million acres of land on which he raises bison, has recommended tax penalties for those having more than one child.

... Like his old buddy Maurice Strong, a key advisor on setting up the UN Foundation, Mr. Turner appears to see people as a blight on the earth. In 1996 he suggested that his “ideal” population would involve 95% of humanity disappearing. Since then he has opined that population might be chopped by a more modest five billion....
Another billionaire squandering his time and cash on dumb, if not dangerous, ideas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Canuckistani marketing boards in a nutshell

Everything you need to know:


Sea levels rising ... and falling

A complex phenomenon:
Climate change is expected to cause sea levels to rise -- at least in some parts of the world. Elsewhere, the level of the ocean will actually fall. Scientists are trying to get a better picture of the complex phenomenon, which also depends on a host of natural factors.

... "In reality, the water in the oceans wobbles all over the place," says oceanographer Detlef Stammer. He isn't talking about waves, but large-scale bulges and bumps in the sea level.

... the simple message of rising waters is greatly oversimplified. The process behind it is highly complex, and one that will produce winners and losers. Scientists are only gradually beginning to understand [just as for climate in general] ...

... If the Greenland ice sheet  ... were to melt completely, sea levels would rise by 7 meters on average. It would take many centuries .... But people living near Germany's North Sea coast would hardly even notice, because the sea level there would remain virtually unchanged. The water would even subside off the coast of Norway. "And, purely theoretically, the sea level would actually fall by several meters off the coast of Greenland," Stammer explains. ...
... Because the massive weight of the Ice Age glaciers is no longer pushing down on Scandinavia, the land there is rising. Farther south -- just like on the opposite end of a child's seesaw -- the land is sinking.

Cancún: Japan, Canada, Russia, Australia reject Kyoto extension

The Hindu:
With Japan's forthright statement on Monday and reluctance on the part of the other countries such as Russia, Canada and Australia to commit to a second phase, the entire negotiation is fraught with uncertainty....
Globe & Mail:
... The chair of the Cancun summit, Christiana Figueres, named Canada and Russia as other countries that are resisting making new commitments under the Kyoto agreement. Canada is on track to dramatically miss its 2012 Kyoto target of cutting GHGs by 6 per cent below 1990 levels.
... As the first week of talks ended Saturday, Canada was voted "fossil of the day" by 500 international environmental groups for its stand on Kyoto.... [Yay, Canada!]
All good news!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bill Gates' "dangerous pile of cash"

Peter Foster, on the mark, as usual:

Milton Friedman once noted that most businessmen are anti-capitalists. However, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are moving into a category all their own, putting their vast fortunes behind support for everything from philanthro­statism to just plain statism.

... Mr. Gates has in the meantime become a full-blown Global Salvationist, dedicated to solving the problems of the world’s poor by not merely doling out his own money but by “leveraging” that of hapless taxpayers, muscling pharmaceutical companies, and bugging the entire corporate sector to divert its attention from making money to solving social problems. Indeed, there is a danger that the Saviour from Seattle may do as much damage in the process of giving away his fortune (and that of Mr. Buffett) as he did good in building it.

'Tis the season ...

... for people of faith to squabble.  Kelly McParland complains about proselytizing, faithful atheists, while atheist John Moore complains about McParland and all God's faithful ... and the debate spills over into the comments.

... Fa la la la lah la la .. la.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Uncle Sam Sucker

Warren Buffett wrote a letter thanking Uncle Sam for saving America (and Warren) from financial disaster:

... all of corporate America’s dominoes were lined up, ready to topple at lightning speed. My own company, Berkshire Hathaway, might have been the last to fall, ...
... So, again, Uncle Sam, thanks to you and your aides. ... you came through — and the world would look far different now if you had not.  Your grateful nephew, Warren
Today, Peter Foster responded to "Dear Uncle Warren":
... if you were to follow the collapsed dominoes back to the person who pushed the first one, wouldn’t it be Uncle Sam?

... I liked the Cinderella reference. It fitted nicely with your economic fairy-tale theme, but, again, the question is: Who unleashed that destructive force?

... How much courage does it take to dispatch hundreds of billions of other peoples’ dollars? And isn’t it a bit embarrassing that all this “courage” saved your own investment bacon when it came to Goldman Sachs and Moody’s?

Your skeptical Canadian nephew, Peter
And here's a much more caustic revision - "Dear Uncle Sam Sucker":

I was about to send you a thank you note for bailing out the economy . . . but then some nice men dressed in Ninja outfits came in and shot me full of truth serum.

... I suddenly recalled who it was who allowed the banks to run wild in the first place: You.

... Before I get to the bailouts, I have to remind you: ... [the litany of government flops]
... You were the grand enabler of the finance sector’s misbehavior. Hence, you helped create the mess
... I would be remiss if I failed to mention my personal positions in this: I made a killing in Goldman Sachs and GE. My investments in Wells Fargo would have been a disaster if not for you. Don’t even get me started with me being the largest shareholder in Moody’s – that was some clusterf#*k.
... So I must say thanks to you, Uncle Sam, and your aides. In this extraordinary emergency, you came through for me — and my world looks far different than if you had not.  Your grateful but wide-eyed nephew, Warren

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cancun: Ration the rich, save the world!!

Some hysterical loons at Cancun have called for WWII-style rationing of the rich to combat global warming.

Small dead animals suggests we start with universities.

Maybe a better place to start would be shutting down the UN and with it the IPCC and boondoggles like Cancun.

Free speech - what's happn'in?

Kathy Shaidle at FFoF reminds us of an event to raise funds for hubby BCF's legal defense (donate) against a lawsuit from Richard Warman.  As a reminder she points to a segment of Mark Steyn's and Ezra Levant's testimony before the Parliamnetary Standing Committee on Justice and "Human Rights" on the subject of  abolishing Section 13 of the HRA.

I wound up watching the whole thing, again.  Part 1:

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

Ezra and Mark were brilliant! The Committee, not so much.  You can see why little of any real value gets done in that place.  A year later, where are we with this?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dumb and dumber carbon tax

The dumb BC son-of-a-bitch who advised dumber BC son-of-a-bitch, Gordon Campbell, is now advising the feds on carbon tax policy:

... In a new report released Thursday, the [CD Howe Institute] says there is no excuse for Ottawa’s foot-dragging on pricing carbon.
... Mark Jaccard, a Simon Fraser University professor who co-wrote the report, said it is time Ottawa set out its carbon-reduction policies.
... Mr. Jaccard, who advised the British Columbia government on the implementation of its carbon tax [said]:

... the longer the government waits to clarify the carbon-pricing rules, the more difficult it will be for Canada to meet any targets ... [and!?]
Here's a thought - since the Republicans won the House the USA won't be taxing carbon anytime soon, Europe is going bust and cutting climate policy nonsense, China and India are growing their economies (emissions) and, hardly least, since AGW is a non-problem - let's not be global Boy Scouts!!

[via FOS]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bye, bye Danny (Bigmouth Chavez) Williams

For Newfs, like Rex Murphy, he's a great Newfoundlander, but for the rest of us, like Kelly McParland and Peter Foster, he's a lousy Canadian and "bully boy" shakedown artist.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cancún set to fizzle

Copenhagen was a bust, Cancún is headed the same way:

The two-week  2010 United Nations  Climate Change Conference  starts next week in Cancún, Mexico, without much hope of any real success  with some commentators even saying that the climate change scare is dying.
"... The global consensus that at one point a year of so ago seemed unstoppable, that man can influence the fact of, or the speed of climate change and agreement on how to go about the task, seems to be disintegrating.”


Ontario's Green Energy Act has created "a muddled mess"

Climate of confusion:

... what started as a program with a goal of weaning the province off coal power while rebuilding Ontario's floundering manufacturing sector has quickly become a muddled mess.
... has sparked a World Trade Organization challenge from abroad and a political battlefield here at home as Ontario enters an election year. 
... mounting outrage over bills that are set to rise 46% over the same period anyway -- a big chunk of which is to pay for the green conversion.
... the Opposition Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario has vowed to scrap the program if elected next October.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic is putting the brakes on solar energy:
... A change in the law with radical implications for solar energy investors is stirring controversy in the Czech Republic.  While the world is trying to increase the share of renewable energy, the Czech Republic is increasingly concerned about renewable energy, especially with regards expensive solar power. A solar boom has raised fears that electricity prices could explode and networks could become unstable.
... President Vaclav Klaus makes no secret of his support for the new law: "Everyone knows that we all are going to pay for decades for the nonsense to promote photovoltaics." The opposition is largely supportive of the government’s action ...
And, Spain's solar power sector falls into the abyss:

The Spanish government has launched a new regulatory framework that will result in subsidized tariffs for ground-mounted solar energy projects drop 45% this year ...
... [Proving that the Spanish are moving in the right direction] - Greenpeace is highly critical of the government.
Is the McGuinty government paying attention?  Who knows, but let's hope Ontario voters are.

[via FOS]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Resolved: Israel is a rogue state

Here's someone who really knows how to shatter the opposition in a debate.
...“the most brilliantly audacious defence of Israel since Moses parted the Red Sea.”

The decline of freedom in Eurabia

Via Xanthippa:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Truth and lies about Palestine

Terry Glavin exposes it all. First ...

It would probably come as a surprise to most people to learn that Canada deserves credit for being one of the world’s leading financial contributors to the cause of Palestinian freedom and a functioning Palestinian state. You’d never know it from reading the newspapers or all the posters on campus, but the sinister Zionist bogeyman otherwise known as Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to have arranged for more money and aid to find its way to the oppressed and downtrodden people of Gaza than all the George Galloway fundraisers, “Viva Palestina” crusades and Gaza Flotilla spectacles combined, by several orders of magnitude.
And far from least ...

The truth is that you don’t have to give bags of money to Hamas to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza.  ... Hamas is not the elected government of Gaza, and it is not true that humanitarian agencies have to give over to Hamas in order to operate in Gaza. ... ...You will also want to ignore the fact that Hamas then led a putsch that smothered Palestinian democracy in its crad[l]e by seizing Gaza and turning it into a statelet sponsored mainly by the Khomeinist police-state run from Tehran. Ignore as well ... [a] poll undertaken last month which shows that Hamas enjoys the support of 12.8 per cent of the people of Gaza
And there's lots, lots more ... All outstanding stuff - a great read!

[H/t Blazing Cat Fur]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Duty calls

President Clinton volunteers:


[H/t Vinney]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cancun "climate" boondoggle - it's all about wealth redistribution

From GWPF IPCC news report:

Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated.

... The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.
No surprise here. It’s what the whole “climate change” scam has been about from the beginning - “social justice”.


Senate kills "irresponsible" climate bill

Thanks to the Senate it's bye-bye to Bill C-311:
The defeat by unelected senators of the bill known as the Climate Change Accountability Act, which was introduced in the House by New Democrat MP Bruce Hyer, prompted cries of indignation from NDP Leader Jack Layton and the Liberals who sponsored it in the Senate.
... Mr. Harper replied that his Conservative Party has been consistent in its opposition to Bill C-311, which, he said, was a “completely irresponsible” piece of legislation.
“It sets irresponsible targets, does not lay out any measure of achieving them, other than by shutting down sections of the Canadian economy and throwing hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people out of work,” Mr. Harper said....
Good riddance.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Post readers defend Glenn Beck's take on Soros

Jonathan Kay, National Post editor and lame lib/left representative, recently attacked Glenn Beck for attacking George Soros.

And the reader response, predictably, hugely favoured Beck.  Well done, Post readers, Kay deserved the smack-down.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Potash Corp - politics over principle

William Watson:
There may be a Tory justification for blocking the sale of Potash Corp ...

... There may be a Conservative justification for blocking the sale. ... with the Premier going Danny Williams about the takeover, blocking it may have been politically expedient.

... But there is no conservative case for blocking the sale, despite the best efforts of Adam Daifallah and Dov Zigler to invent one ...

... As so often, principle lost out to politics. But let’s not compound the error by pretending conservatism had anything to do with it.
Right on, Mr. Watson! Politicians, unfortunately, often resort to lying, obfuscation and hypocrisy to avoid or combat attacks from the opposition. It would have been better, if the Conservatives couldn't stick to free market principles, had they at least been able to admit they were selectively compromising them to chase votes in Saskatchewan (ahem, I mean "honouring the preferences of the great people of Saskatchewan", or something). It would be more honest and then supposedly conservative commentators wouldn't feel they had to twist themselves into pretzels trying to justify an unconservative position.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Canadian CEOs for central planning

Terence Corcoran mocks the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) calling them the "Canadian Council of Central Planning Executives (CCCPE?)".  The council of corporatists has just published a report calling for:
... national energy strategy, a nationwide carbon tax, subsidized investment in technology, mass government indoctrination to force lifestyle changes ...
Ie. NEP on stilts, all predicated on "climate change". Gaakkk!

Update: Peter Foster weighs in with "Yellow brick road to green serfdom":
... What we have here is further evidence of the CEO2 crisis, the fact that the Canadian corporate community has folded en masse before the quite possibly bogus threat of catastrophic man-made climate change....
... The problem is that we are talking about the Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek’s magnificent metaphor for state planning....
...when you realize the CCCE’s supine stance toward climate activism and its fatalism about bad policy — not only does this new report fail to reflect the crumbling politics of climate change, it fails to record the bubbling controversy over the science. No mention of Climategate here.
According to the CCCE, Canada would be better off with one grand, co-ordinated bad policy rather than lots of disjointed ones. ...
... This whole document is a refutation of Prof. Hayek’s insight that the key to successful markets and prosperity is the dispersion of decision-making to those with the knowledge and ideas. Such people can’t be expected to turn up at endless wonkish town hall meetings to justify themselves and explain how their efforts fit into The Plan. But that’s the idea. Only activists ever turn up for “dialogues.” Meanwhile the whole “sustainable” thrust represents just the latest and most virulent political attack on freedom. You might expect that the CCCE would have something good to say about free markets. You'd be wrong....
The CCCE needs new leadership, preferably someone commited to economic freedom and freedom from grandiose corporatist state planning. FOSTER FOR PRESIDENT!

Friday, November 5, 2010

SDA posts a clanger on Potash

It's a rarity but small dead animals posted a clanger congratulating Industry Minister Tony Clements' on his decision to kibosh the BHP bid to take over Potash Corp.

Let's face it, this is all about politics - votes, pure and simple.  Wall is pandering to Sask voter socialist/nationalist sentiment and Harper is afraid of losing 13 Conservative seats.  It's embarassing watching conservatives attempting to rationalize it as something more

Peter Foster observes how Tory Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz (like sda and others) twists himself into a ridiculous pretzel trying to defend the decision, concluding:

... This is a bad deal for Saskatchewan and a bad deal for Canada. Potash shares have been robbed of any takeover premium since they have effectively been declared off limits to foreign buyers. Investment Canada rules now appear more opaque — or irrelevant — than ever. As usual, the most significant losses will be the invisible ones: the investments not made, the jobs not created.
And, moreover:

One knowledgeable observer to whom I spoke yesterday said that it was difficult to get worked up over the notion of Canada as a banana republic because other jurisdictions do similar things. But the fact that other countries practice destructive economic policies to court populist electorates and mercantilist executives should hardly be a source of comfort. Mr. Harper understands that. Within 30 days his government is going to have to pretend that it doesn’t.
Danny Williams must be smiling.

Bill Maher channeling Mark Steyn?

Bill Maher, rancid leftist, channeling Mark Steyn
Nah - he's just been following ABC News.
Whatever. You know what they say about stopped clocks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Liberal scientific atheism - Part II

Part I - Sam Harris's science fantasy.

Part II - Peter Foster's assessment of Harris's new book:

Sam Harris is one of the “New Atheists,” joining Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as a bold slayer of mental viruses that prevent people from thinking straight. That is, like him.

... Like Richard Dawkins, himself a reflexive socialist, Mr. Harris believes that man can transcend himself (Mr. Hitchens is much less naïve). It doesn’t occur to him that the notion of self-transcendence might be the most dangerous, moralistic self-delusion of all. Meanwhile he fails to register that the greatest horrors of the past century have all been perpetrated in the name of “scientific” socialism, whose root is the “moral” rejection of capitalism. 

... Meanwhile it’s not just a mental illness, it’s a plot. “Because there are no easy remedies for social inequality, many scientists and public intellectuals also believe that the great masses of humanity are best kept sedated by pious delusions.” This is pure Marxist “opiate of the masses.” Meanwhile nowhere are these “scientists and public intellectuals” named.

... Mr. Harris makes only the most tangential reference to the mass murder and poverty brought about by the secular religion of Communism.

By contrast, his anti-business and anti-“conservative” bias is blatant, indeed sometimes hilarious.

... Science may help us better examine moral values, but only if attached to historical knowledge and philosophical wisdom. Mr. Harris might consider removing the beam from his own liberal eye before he pretends to deal with the conservative mote that he finds so annoying in the eyes of others.
Great stuff.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The great media climate climb-down has begun

Harold Ambler at WUWT:
Climbing down is seldom anything less than complicated.

... With regard to global warming, the major purveyors of news in the industrialized world will be climbing down from their various versions of frenzied alarmism. ... the climb-down will be sneaky. ...when the series of editorial re-positionings is visible to casual members of the public at all, it will be beyond awkward.

How do I know? Because the process has already begun....
... The rest ...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Science fantasy

Militant atheist Sam Harris has a new book out: "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values".  An excerpt was published in today's Post.  I haven't read the book yet but from the excerpt, it appears that Harris has been engaging in some fanciful speculation that "science", neuro-science in particular, will someday be capable of producing objective answers to ethical and moral questions. Apparently the "correctness" of these answers would be produced based on their utility in improving (or otherwise) our "well-being". This sounds at least as dubious as the notion socialists fervently cling to, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that it is possible for governments to comprehend all the variables necessary to control ecomomic systems to the net benefit of human "well-being".

An atheist and Harris fan provides a particularly thoughtful review.  There's a good debate in the comments to his review too.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Of birds, oilsands and windmills

Environmentalists, the media, politicians and government agencies flocked to decry the accidental deaths of 1600 ducks in a Syncrude tailings pond.  Syncrude was vilified and fined $3.2 million.

Wind turbines, on the other hand, kill far, far more birds every year than were killed in the Syncrude event.  But the wind power lobby (along with the same crowd that protested against Syncrude) goes out of its way to defend wind turbines:

... [wind power] proponents such as the Canadian Wind Energy Association stress that far more birds — tens of millions annually — are felled by cats, cars, and collisions with skyscrapers. But if that is a sufficient defence, should not the wind farm lobby have flocked to defend Syncrude Canada Ltd. against prosecution for far fewer deaths than routinely occur at wind farms across the country?
Good question. It wasn't about birds, it was about oil sands.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brad Wall's Saskatchewan: a new Banana Republic

Terence Corcoran:
Did we miss the constitutional change — the one that created the Peoples’ Republic of Saskatchewan, with Brad Wall as el presidente?
Sounding ever so much like the head of some mosquito-ridden developing country squeezing dollars out of a multinational mining giant, Mr. Wall has been running an aggressive campaign against BHP Billiton’s $38.6-billion plan to take over Potash Corp.
... Mr. Wall seems to think Potash is still a Crown corporation of some sort, and he’s the new socialist head of state.
... The banana republic comparison may seem a little harsh, but the idea comes from the widely reported news that Mr. Wall or his negotiating minions actually asked BHP to pay a billion dollars up front into government coffers.

... trying to get a multinational to pay a billion dollars in taxes in advance smacks of a Third World shakedown by a political leader looking for cash to distribute to voters.

... If all this is true —and there has been no government denial to date —it paints a dark picture of the political culture in Saskatchewan —and Canada....
So much for Wall's strong support of free markets.  Populist politics trump principles, again. 

Update (or maybe it's backdate): Here are some interesting thoughts from Norm Park of the Estevan Mercury (The People's Paper Since 1903) last September:
... Why doesn't Potash Corp team up with Agrium and Mosaic and buy out BHP?

Certainly they've heard of reverse takeovers, haven't they? Maybe they're not interested in staying in business though.
Or maybe the head of Potash Corp, Mr. Doyle, really does want to cash out his $500,000,000 in shares and severance payments and head home to Chicago. This is where he is apparently running Potash Corp from anyway.
... And as far as protecting the province's resource interests … didn't we once have an oil company known as SaskOil that begot Wascana that begot Nexen that kinda got dismantled and moved to Calgary? What happened there?

Anybody heard of Ipsco? Something called Evraz now owns it and no Saskatchewan-based corporate presence of note can be found there, at least not since Roger Phillips retired.
If we can't build a head office base here in Saskatchewan after 120 years of trying, then maybe we just have to accept our fate and be happy with royalty payments, decent payrolls and strong employment figures while the profits and decision making head elsewhere.
... Sherritt Coal and oil companies like Penn West and many others don't sweat the fact that their major administrative decisions are made in places other than Saskatchewan. SaskPower doesn't mind shifting management decisions to an Ontario corporation … it's all part of the never-ending game, especially in the resource sector....
Meanwhile, Stephen Harper backs up Norm Park saying Potash Corp is 'American-controlled' anyway.

Upperdate: Brad Wall responds to Corcoran.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Free speech versus cowardice and political correctness

An interesting week, so far:

(1) The people who run the London (Ontario) Conference Centre pulled their venue for an event featuring a talk by Mark Steyn.  An organizer at Strictly Right, said:
On Tuesday, I received a phone call from the LCC telling us that our venue had been pulled, and that Mark Steyn would not be permitted to speak there. The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. 

In another report it is claimed the cancellation was because of security risks and fears of rowdy protesters. Either way the LCC are a bunch of pc wimps. Blazing Cat Fur says it's War! But, whatever, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Update: Blazing Cat Fur: "Who’s telling the truth about Mark Steyn cancellation at London Convention Centre?"

(2) Meanwhile south of the border liberal National Public Radio news analyst and Fox News contributor, Juan Williams was fired by NPR for saying (on the O'Reilly Factor):
"... when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Which should be contrasted with with the non-firing of NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu after this:
[He] reported that some Christians believe in a "rapture" and 4 million believers will ascend to Heaven immediately. He continued, "The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another poster-boy for the death penalty

The video confessions of serial killer Col Russell Williams were replayed in the media today.

Last summer in a CP story (via CTV) it was suggested “... allegations ... could only heap more tarnish on the military, which also faced heavy criticism last winter for not spotting, among the myriad of psychological tests, potential problems with Col. Russ Williams.” And Mark at small dead animals opined on similar hare-brained musings from various experts and pundits like the Rideau Institute’s Steven Staples and the Globe’s John Ibbitson.

Today in the National Post letters page one William Perry echoed the same tripe:
There is much to be learnt here, not just for psychiatrists, profilers and criminologists. The Canadian Forces can use the data to ensure the checks and balances are there.

... So as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) moves to assure Canadians by stripping Williams of his rank and throwing him out of the military as a dishonoured civilian, the CDS must also take some level of responsibility for the overall failing. Someone must have seen signs.
All utter bullcrap. The Williams case is the most bizarre case ever in the CF (or anywhere else for that matter) and will likely never happen again. So what useful lessons can the military possibly learn?

The main lesson from this case is one the justice system should have learned by now. Williams is one more poster-boy for putting the death penalty back on the books.

Monday, October 18, 2010

With courts like this who needs terrorism?

Ezra Levant on the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision on wearing the niqab while testifying in court:
... a unanimous ruling last week by the Ontario Court of Appeal says it’s just fine for [a] woman to give testimony in court with her face covered.

... Ontario’s highest court says veiled women can ask for an order to clear men out of the courtroom — any men in the public gallery, any male court staff, even her opponent’s lawyer, even the judge himself — in return for taking off her veil. It’s paragraph 85 of the ruling.

Shariah law has come to Canada.....
... the Canadian Civil Liberties Association intervened to support this.
... And LEAF, the feminist law organization ... argued for the niqab, too.

Our courts will be the death of us. Stupid bastards!

Update: My reply to a reader's comment on Ezra's blog:
Redmeat: "ratio and obiter ... Charter balancing-act ... M. (A.) v. Ryan, [1997] ... balancing of the competing interests ..."

Legalistic bafflegab and multi-culti bullsh*t that illustrates why things are so f**ked up here. Lawyers over-think everything. The court’s ruling should have been a simple "in Canada no one is permitted to participate in court proceedings while wearing a face covering or other disguise."

Shakespeare: "Let’s kill all the lawyers" (excepting Ezra).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wikipedia climate censor booted

Lawrence Solomon:
William Connolley, arguably the world’s most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore, has lost his bully pulpit ... his administrative position at Wikipedia, the most popular reference source on the planet.

... Connolley for years kept dissenting views on global warming out of Wikipedia ... a leading source of global warming propaganda, with Connolley its chief propagandist.

... following a unanimous verdict that came down today through an arbitration proceeding conducted by Wikipedia. ... he has been barred from participating in any article, discussion or forum dealing with global warming. In addition ... Wikipedia barred him — again unanimously — from editing biographies of those in the climate change field.
Long overdue. Good riddance to Connolley.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Harpie Caught Ordering Cheeseburger and Fries

One of Michelle Obama's adopted pet causes is harping at the food industry to offer healthier eating alternatives.  Alternatives to, you know, cheeseburgers and fries. Ha! Gotcha!

Enough to make your blood boil and your skin crawl

Aoutstanding article by Vivian Krause in today's Post is a definite 'must-read'.  She shows how giant American 'charitable' foundations are bankrolling agitprop against the Canadian energy industry.  She details how a rat's nest of supposedly Canadian environmental activist organizations are funded by these U.S. foundations often with money from from unknown donors laundered to hide their identies:
... My research into the filings of U.S. charities active in funding activists against Canadian and Alberta energy development shows that the anti-oil sands movement is the product of American charities with unknown or certainly unclear motives.

... Like most protests, the one against oil tankers has all the look and feel of a Canadian grassroots movement. The campaign against Alberta’s oil sands also seems to rise out of the people, but the interesting thing is that there are very few roots under that grass. Money comes in from a small core of U.S. charitable groups. One of those groups — the U.S. Tides Foundation of California (Tides U.S.) and its Canadian counterpart have paid millions to at least 36 campaign organizations.

... All the money, at least US$6-million, comes from a single, foreign charity. The Tides U.S. campaign against Alberta oil is a campaign against one of Canada’s most important industries.  It’s fair for Canadians to inquire about who’s funding this campaign and why. The trouble is, nobody knows.

 ... the vice-chairman of Tides Canada ... Joel Solomon ... an interesting figure in his own right, also backed the election campaign of Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson to the tune of about US$330,000. But that’s another story. [However, similarly funding Indian chiefs and councils to agitate against energy projects is part of this story.]

... Unlike many charitable foundations, Tides U.S. doesn’t have a large endowment. “In practice, Tides behaves less like a philanthropy than a money-laundering enterprise, taking money from other foundations and spending it as the donor requires,” ...
... U.S. tax returns show that the David Suzuki Foundation has been paid at least US$10-million from American foundations. This hasn’t exactly been out in the open.
There's lots more in the article and still more at Vivian Krause's website. The whole thing is enough to make your blood boil and your skin crawl. There oughta' be a law.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ontario's insane green energy policy - Part II

Margaret Wente:

What could bring down Ontario’s Liberals? It’s not e-Health ... not even the hated HST, a huge tax increase .... No, it’s their power bills.
... the Green Energy Act, a policy so bad, so expensive, so ideologically driven and so perverse that any normal person should be seeing red.
[According to] power expert Tom Adams ... Ontario’s rates ... have already surpassed the U.S. average and are headed for European levels – “just because of public policy.”

... energy policy has been entirely decoupled from economic policy and attached to the runaway train of environmental policy.

... “The Green Energy Act is unsustainable,” says Mr. Adams. ... [Gee, I bet that smarts!]
Great column!

[Via FOS]

Part I

How to save the airlines

A modest proposal:
Dump the male flight attendants.
No one wanted them in the first place.
Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers!

What the hell!! They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss?

The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a "party atmosphere" going in the cabin.

And, of course, every businessman in this country would start flying again hoping to see naked women.

Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn't need a salary, thus saving even more money.

Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women.

Hijackings would come to a screeching halt, and the airline industry would see record revenues.

This is definitely a win-win situation if we handle it right -- a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an asset.

Why didn't Bush or Obama think of this? Why do I still have to do everything myself?

Bill Clinton
[H/t Vinney]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Physicist Hal Lewis resigns APS - Science corrupted by flood of money from climate politics

WUWT reports on a physicist’s resignation from the American Physical Society [my emphasis]:

Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis
From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010 
Dear Curt:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).

Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Anthony says:
"What I would really like to see though, is this public resignation letter given the same editorial space as Michael Mann in today’s Washington Post."
The Mann Wa-Po article states, in essence, that he wants "anti-science" views on climate (ie views which differ from his own) out of politics. Such views he says are "pseudo-science" (unlike his own hockey stick science which is arguably not only "pseudo-" but fraudulent to boot.)

Update (Oct 12): Rep Joe Barton responds in the Washington Post.

Update (Oct 14): APS responds to Hal Lewis and Hal counters.