Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Power vs. authority. What do the Conservatives want?

Sound familiar?

[T]he Conservatives were in the process of […] looking around for a new philosophy — or rather any philosophy, having subsisted to that point without one.
Roger Scruton, conservative philosopher, foxhunter and author of The Meaning of Conservatism, is apparently no friend of Ayn Rand-style libertarians. In this interview with Right Reason, however, he might serve to remind Conservatives in this country of the values of many Canadians who are otherwise disinterested in their acquisition of power:
To describe an obligation as transcendent in my sense is not to endow it with some kind of oppressive force. On the contrary, it is to recognize the spontaneous disposition of people to acknowledge obligations that they never contracted. There are other words that might be used in this context: gratitude, piety, obedience — all of them virtues, and all of them naturally offered to the thing we love.

What I try to make clear in my writings is that, while the left-liberal view of politics is founded in antagonism towards existing things and resentment at power in the hands of others, conservatism is founded in the love of existing things, imperfections included, and a willing acceptance of authority, provided it is not blatantly illegitimate. Hence there is nothing oppressive in the conservative attitude to authority.

It is part of the blindness of the left-wing worldview that it cannot perceive authority but only power. People who think of conservatism as oppressive and dictatorial have some deviant example in mind, such as fascism, or Tsarist autocracy. I would offer in the place of such examples the ordinary life of European and American communities as described by 19th century novelists. In those communities all kinds of people had authority — teachers, pastors, judges, heads of local societies, and so on. But only some of them had power, and almost none of them were either able or willing to oppress their fellows.
Hat tip to ¡No Pasarán!.

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Riches of embarassment for council…
more taxes for the rest of us

From the London Free Press:

A freeze on development that's cost London city hall about $220,000 to defend has been quashed by Ontario's top court because council pushed it through in secret.

In a unanimous ruling this week, the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down a bylaw that froze development on Richmond Street near the university and ordered the city to pay the legal costs of the developer that challenged it.
In January 2004, city council met behind closed doors to discuss a hastily contrived bylaw preventing development along Richmond Street between Huron and Grosvenor streets, a four block stretch, in response to RSJ Holdings Inc's plans to build a four-plex rental unit at the corner of Richmond and Cheapside, prompting complaints by local residents. The purpose of zoning bylaws, rightly or wrongly, is the general management of land use, not the targeting of specific projects for promotion or prevention. Not failing to recognize the litigious potential of an arbitrary decision to subvert this legal purpose for political reasons, council received its staff land use report in a secret session.
When they later resumed in public, there was no debate about the freeze. The bylaw, along with 31 others, passed in eight minutes.
As it was later discovered, a vote on the bylaw had already taken place behind closed doors according to affidavits signed by Coun. Roger Caranci and Controller Bud Polhill, a potential violation of provincial law.
Those circumstances led the appeal court to reject the city claim it had met in-camera to get advice from the city solicitor about potential litigation. Even if the developer was certain to go to court, that didn't justify shielding a report about land use rather than litigation.

[…] The city has so far paid $108,000 for Siskind-Cromarty lawyer Jim Caskey, $40,000 in legal costs to the developer and $17,500 for the legal costs of Controller Bud Polhill and Coun. Roger Caranci, who signed affidavits for Patton. The final tab for Patton will also be paid by the city, an amount he estimated at $50,000 to $60,000. Those expenses don't include the drain on city lawyers, who told the courts they invested time equivalent to $53,400, some of that part of Caskey's bill.
The developer's case rests on greater merit than the city's decision to conduct public business in secret, but a victory over arbitrary authority is difficult enough to come by these days by any means. Failing to recognize that council already possesses riches of embarassment over the issue, city staff may be recommending that it acquire more:
The price tag might grow further still. Lawyer Alan Patton, who represented the developer who challenged the bylaw, says city solicitor Jim Barber told him he'll ask council to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
What principles can the city invoke in appealing this decision? The right of council to decide public issues in secrecy? The right of taxpayers to be gouged for council's misguided decisions? We can only hope that council has some sense of when it's had enough.

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London's Ryugyong

Asked if borrowing for the JLC and other projects had put the city into a hole, Coun. Fred Tranquilli, said: "There's no sense having good roads if you have nowhere to go."
Apparently traveling to work, the garage and the grocery store means you are headed nowhere.

When giant potholes prevent Londoners from reaching the designated worship zones such as the JLC by car, the planned multi-million dollar subway system will ease the burden. All foreigners will be accompanied by guides at all times, along the only maintained, multiple lane road in town.

LFP:
Drivers already rattled by London's moonscape streets better brace themselves -- rougher roads are ahead.

London is falling farther and farther behind in the battle against potholes and snarled traffic, the city's staff warn.

A recent online survey of Ontario drivers placed two London roads -- Western Road and King Street -- among the worst 14 in the province.

Overall, London streets garnered more nominations than Hamilton, Windsor and Kitchener combined.

"I'm in a losing battle. We'll always be on Ontario's worst roads," city transportation director David Leckie told the city's environment and transportation committee yesterday.
Well, planned paradises cost money and taxpayers should stop complaining. It is not fiscally responsible to maintain the roads or the sewers when the reputation of the city is at stake! The JLC is more important than your car.
But the ability of council to do more is severely constrained, staff say, by a self-imposed $30-million cap on borrowing for capital projects.

That cap, in turn, was put in place to brake an explosive growth of debt that came after city council borrowed large sums from 1999 to 2003 for projects that included those to revitalize downtown.

One upshot is this: The city has been spending 61 per cent more to pay off debt on the John Labatt Centre than it has to maintain roads -- $4.5 million compared with $2.8 million.

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In space, nobody can hear you scream for positive community-based solutions moving forward

RIPLEY
Garneau let it on board. Garneau let it grow inside Canada. Garneau blew the warning signal.

LAMBERT
Why.

RIPLEY
Special Order 937.

PARKER
What's that.

RIPLEY
That's what I want to know.

    GARNEAU's head is placed on the table.

    His eyes flicker into consciousness.
RIPLEY
What is Special Order 937.

GARNEAU
You know I can't tell you that.

RIPLEY
Then there's no point in talking to you. Pull the plug.

GARNEAU
Special Order 937 in essence asked me to direct the ship to the planet, help get the Party re-elected, and keep the Cartel in power. With discretion, of course.

RIPLEY
Why. Why not tell us.

GARNEAU
Would you have voted for Mafia-based kickbacks and money laundering under the pretext of a national child care system?

PARKER
It wasn't in the platform.

GARNEAU
My very point.

RIPLEY
They wanted to siphon off Canada's wealth into the pockets of the Cartel. No matter what happened to us.

GARNEAU
That's unfair. Actually, you weren't mentioned in the order.

LAMBERT
Those bastards.

GARNEAU
See it from their point of view. They didn't know what social justice truly means to committed community activists.

RIPLEY
How do we kill it.

GARNEAU
I don't think you can. Not in this country, given its complete lack of checks and balances. But I might be able to.

RIPLEY
How.

GARNEAU
I don't know quite yet. I'm not exactly at my best at the moment. If you would reconnect...

RIPLEY
No way.

GARNEAU
Don't be so hasty. You'll never kill it without my help.

RIPLEY
We've had enough of your help.

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What's the point in being poor if you can get to do everything the rich kids can?

A poll of students about the Ontario Liberal government's plan to lift the freeze on tuition was conducted the other week at the University of Western Ontario. The results of the poll were predictably informative and representative,

with 94.7 per cent of Western students voting for lower tuition fees, and 94.3 per cent saying they would support a continuation of the current tuition freeze.
The referendum was held by the Canadian Federation of Students, the Society of Graduate Students, the Women's Issues Network, and the Ontario Public Interest Research Group1 — all proponents of lowering tuition or continuing the tuition freeze. What they will not go out of their way to tell you is that each of these groups is funded by mandatory student levies — in other words, the financial interests of their paid employees and directors benefit directly from increased post-secondary enrolment. [For more "disinterested" groups on the subject of tuition, see also You know who's paying for this study….]

Student activist groups such as these would like us all to pretend not only that these results are meaningful in any way but also that governmental subsidization of their constituents is not a matter of redistribution for their own exclusive benefit, although they count on the short-term pecuniary self-interest of university students to muster the soldiery. Instead, inadequate tuition welfare, the misdirection goes, would result in the diminution of "equal access to education" — as though the diminution of an unmeasureable and ultimately meaningless concept results in a demonstrable effect. The measureable and much less arbitrary effect these groups are refering to in the guise of social caring is the profit they stand to make from "unrestrained access to education."

The overwhelming response of students voting "yes" to the extension of their subsidized benefits is in one way as comical as asking welfare recipients if they think their disbursements should be increased. Yet it's equally frightening. If the question were posed to thieves whether laws protecting private property ought to be abolished, I doubt you'd find such an enthusiastically one-sided response. But students appear to consider it perfectly correct, even progressive, to appropriate money from all taxpayers for their own exclusive benefit as long as they can hide behind some meaningless socialist slogan. Do the students who vote "yes" consider the irony of crying out for "equal access to education" at the same time that they are actually attending these institutions? Their own access to education has apparently not been compromised — enrolment at Ontario universities increases every year. Low income is demonstrably not a barrier to post-secondary education — it's not even close — for anyone determined to obtain its benefits. But is access equal? As long as universities charge the same price to people without regard to their income, it most certainly is equal.

Of course, this is not what the student groups and socialists mean by "equal." "Equal" means instead unbridled opportunity to grab funds from a faceless public treasury. "Access" means instead that the only criterion for taking this opportunity is simply the desire to go to school. Like health care, education has long been considered one of those Motherland commodities that are supposed to benefit society at large. Education in particular supposes an economic benefit that justifies taking disposable income that would otherwise be spent according to the free preferences of its owners — education apparently "creates" additional wealth, regardless of the wealth it drains institutionalizing itself, a fictitious argument based on another supposition that wealth itself is a collective commodity acquired and measured by political means. Unlike health care, however, education is also understood as an investment towards future economic benefits for individuals — even to those who individuals who in the meantime obtain the benefits of collective investment in their education. This contradiction — this hypocrisy — of students can only be reconciled if they acquiesce to having their wealth appropriated for future generations when they become full-time taxpayers… which they all too often do, a perfect example of the perpetual rationalization of planned economies.

If post-secondary education access should be universal, the simple desire to attend university becomes the overriding admission criterion. In fact, with the Ontario government subsidizing 73% of university operating revenue on average, post-secondary education has almost become universal — an effect that is observed not only through increasing enrolment but also bald declarations of entitlement. Potential students recognize the financial benefits to themselves of acquiring a degree in a competitive economy, of course. When they demand access to the degree, however, when they require that admissions do not discriminate on any other criteria, they fail to realize is that they are generally competing against the standards of universal access — mediocrity. Mitchell Day put it well in a comment on a previous post:
Notice how nobody mentions that the government subsidzation of post-secondary education has resulted in a glut of university educated people, in the sense that most of these graduates are not taking degrees for disciplines in demand. This is part of the reason that a university degree is now as useless as a high school diploma. This glut now leads to people requiring post-graduate degrees for work that should only require a bachelors. It is also why you see so many university graduates waiting tables. Perhaps reducing the supply of superfluous degrees in the market by making people responsible for the costs will address this issue.
When there are no discriminating criteria for admission to post-secondary education, the relative benefits of a degree in the job market deteriorate. Moreover, the absolute benefits of the degree must suffer as well. Post-secondary degrees, like high school diplomas, become in themselves an expectation — a right — and educational expectations must be lowered to appease the more intellectually diverse student population and the graduation rates. No one must be left behind! In my experience both taking and teaching undergraduate courses at Western, they have been dumbed down to the extent that they are little better than high school subjects, especially in the first couple of years. This is yet another reason that "a university degree is now as useless as a high school diploma." It makes one wonder what kind of "additional wealth" is being created.

The traditional criteria for university admission were merit and the ability to pay. Neither compromised the relative and absolute benefits of obtaining a degree. Nor did they compromise access to post-secondary education. Interested individuals and groups have always, and still do, endow universities with scholarships to encourage the meritous to attend, regardless of personal income. Higher tuition fees would also, if they do indeed have the effect of reducing demand for disciplines that do not "pay off," would restore the relative and absolute benefits of a university degree, offsetting the costs of debt repayment. And, I might add, increased debt from higher tuitions would be easier to pay off without the added burden of subsidizing future students through taxation.

Inadvertently, one author of a letter to the UWO Gazette makes the case that there is already far too much access to education in Ontario:
Many of us don’t have time to consider the debt we are accruing during our post-secondary studies. For some of us, especially those studying a skilled and technical field or one preferential to capitalist economy, there is a certain level of certainty that the initial cost of education is an investment on an eventual financial return.

But what about the individuals working for social equity, awareness, environmental stability, justice, and the moral concepts our society claims to uphold?

[…] Only focusing on immediate gratification of the capitalist system, namely through science and business, disregards the challenges facing our working class. The social sciences, arts and humanities are not currently viewed as viable outputs towards economics. Students studying social issues tend to be critically involved in the moral implications of political issues. These tend to be the people working for lower wages post-degree, but they are the very individuals striving for the justice outlined in declarations of “Rights and Freedoms.”

Tuition costs and post-degree debt influence the progress these social ‘activists’ are able to make. If you want a just society, cast your vote in Western’s tuition referendum […]. Get involved in your future.

— Wojtek Sikorski, Anthropology and Health Science III
Imagine that — it's not just the poor who lives and ambitions will be thwarted by the government's collusion with greedy capitalists, it's the "individuals working for social equity, awareness, environmental stability, justice, and the moral concepts our society claims to uphold" who will somehow be disadvantaged by the government's plans to remove the freeze. Are those individuals' access imperiled because they are "social sciences, arts and humanities" students or because they are more likely to come from "the lower income bracket," or both?

The argument then is in effect for gratuitous subsidization by taxpayers of the educations of a particular class of people, the social activists. Of course, their future expectations include gratuitous subsidization of their employment opportunities, but there is no need to encourage them at this stage of their lives. The author already fails to see the irony of demanding a share of the proceeds from our capitalist economy to fund its academic demonization — what more can he hope to gain from this sort of subsidized education? Unless the social activists can come up with a university in which physical infrastructure and faculty's and staff's wages can sustain themselves by any means except for money, the social activist class might just show a little gratitude for the "social equity, awareness, environmental stability, justice, and the moral concepts" of the capitalism that generates the wealth that provides them with the opportunity to exercise their idle critiques.
1Fun facts: The Ontario Public Interest Research Group, co-sponsor of Western's tuition referendum, doesn't even have a chapter on the UWO campus. What were they doing here?

Another co-sponsor, the Women's Issues Network, is funded by the University Students Council, which in turn receives its funding from mandatory student levies. Their mission statement:
WIN is committed to providing a racist, sexist, and heterosexist [?] free space and also to provide an educational resource centre on issues that are important to women.
What their mission has to do with tuition fees is inexplicable — presumably women are more likely to be denied access to eduction, despite the fact that there are more female undergraduate students at Western than male?

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Carnival of Liberty XXII


Below the Beltway has hosted the Carnival of Liberty.

. . . for those of who might be wondering just what the Carnival of Liberty is all about, this post by Eric Cowperthwaite sums it up nicely.

It's simple really. It's a forum to showcase writing on individual liberty. Whether your writing focuses on how it has been restricted, or how it is growing, or some other facet of individual liberty, it's something we want to showcase and expose to a wider audience. On a weekly basis, the host of the Carnival gathers submissions from around the web and then formats the whole into a single entry on their blog. The host decides how to organize the entries, whether there is a theme or not, and makes sure that the contributors get credit for their work.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

And then there is The London Free Press

Global warming activists accuse outdoor pool operators of discrimination:

Many Canadians go to their local outdoor hockey rink to skate and live the dream of scoring that winning Stanley Cup goal.

But this quintessential slice of Canadian life in wintertime is slowly melting away because of global warming, says a collection of young environmentalists.

"A bunch of us are fairly avid hockey fans and hockey players and we noticed that we were waiting longer and longer every year to play, and then we started phoning rink operators and were told the same story," said Mike Hudema of Global Exchange.

[..] Hudema said volunteers "frustrated with having to play hockey games on slush" have already started to hand out postcards at NHL games urging people to pressure Ottawa to take action.

They are also organizing a series of protest outdoor hockey games. One game scheduled for Whitehorse was cancelled last week because of warm weather.

They also plan to stage a mock funeral for shinny hockey outside the Montreal conference on climate change that opens today.

Hudema said his hockey campaign needs science to back up anecdotal evidence that Canadians are enjoying fewer days of outdoor hockey each winter.

[..] "The science is definitely there for other winter sports, but it's not there for hockey yet," Hudema said.

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The Terrible Applause

Every time when they read the name of Stalin, all representatives would rise immediately, and yell "Ula!" At the end of the meeting, they approved the letter pledging allegiance to Stalin. All stood up and the sounds of applauding thundered the auditorium. It then turned into a long lasting cheer. Three minutes later, four minutes later, five minutes later, the sounds of clapping kept roaring, and the cheering remained enthusiastic. People's hands were hurting. Their arms were numb. The elderly were out of breath. But no one dared to stop first. The clapping kept on. Six minutes, seven minutes, eight minutes, all representatives looked at one another, pretending to be full of joy. Nine minutes, ten minutes, and at the eleventh minute, a member of the chairing group -- the president of the paper factory-- returned to his normal look, and sat down on his seat. Then a miracle happened. The unstoppable clapping stopped. That night, the president of the paper factory was arrested, and sentenced to ten years in prison. When he signed his name on the record of investigation, the investigator said to him: "Never be the first to stop clapping."
Alright. Alright. Okay. Alright. Thank You. Alright. Thank You. Alright. Alright. Okay. Alright. Let's get started here. Alright. Hey we have a campaign to run. Come on. Alright. Okay. Alright! ALRIGHT!


Paul Martin's 'celebration speech' after his government was shamed out of parliament in an unprecedented motion of non-confidence can be viewed here.

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Fundraising, Liberal-style

Sleazy.

What percentage of profits from this insider trading do you figure is supposed to go to CREEP (The Committee To Re-Elect The Party?)

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

EXCLUSIVE: Community outrage over leaked page from London redistricting "Plan B" draft

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The stupidity of evil… or is it the other way around?

Freegans, Fuglies, Muppies… I'd never heard the precise terms before, but I recognized the tendency of so many people, disgusted by western culture, to ascribe the causes to exactly the wrong thing. Meaghan Walker-Williams breaks a brief blogging silence to show us the people who, prompted by their revulsion, are actively making everything even worse:

[I]t's one thing to understand on an intellectual level that western culture is rotting slowly from the inside out, so horribly that the stench makes it unbearable to live with, unless one is willing to consume either large amounts of wine, or perhaps pop a xanax or two, or pray on a nearly hourly basis......and thereby have a good laugh about it all...

But it’s quite another to celebrate Western Civilization’s long march on towards the Endarkenment[…]

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Something to read over a cigarette

Be sure to print off the entire article so you can read it as you shiver outside having your smoke:

Science suffered from a mass hypnosis. Studies over-estimated statistical co-relations. They diligently studied not what they claimed but something more accessible. Sugar-substitutes for humans were banned—based on white mice analogies. Theories on married couples arose—from studying college students. Systems of mass Darwinian behavior and forced altruism were propounded—from territorial behavior of monkeys and Professors. Many social science and medical studies had real confusions about basic statistical definitions. Did growing smoking studies have serious technical defects?

"You have no idea," he said." For there's no evidence that smoking causes anything in moderate doses but researcher's salaries. None. It may even extend life as part of a complex of healthy behaviors. It may be dangerous but life-style factors, e.g., poor diet, set it off. But no one wants to hear. Moderate smoking may harm, but evidence, statistically, is the reverse."
HT: Jomama of To herd or not to herd

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Bono - The problem that just won't go away

According to the mouthpiece himself, Bono wants to be remembered for his musical bleatings rather than his political ones. If this is true, then why does he spend his days with politicians, acting as an advisor to any Leader stupid enough to listen to him? The title of activist does not explain why Bono, a rock star with crazed ideals, is received so cordially.

And there is no pleasing Bono, who wants nothing less than a miracle to occur. If Canadians are so generous, why is it necessary to force taxpayers to fund Bono's fantasies? Because the quotas have not been met, nor the desired sum intended for Third world dictators.

As news of an election is out, Bono latest target is Canada. Paul Martin is once again scolded for not taking more money from Canadians:

Irish rocker Bono is "mystified" and "crushed" by Prime Minister Paul Martin's failure to pledge more aid for the world's poor and predicted he will be punished for it at the polls.

Comparing the growing battle to lift global poverty to the fight to end apartheid, the U2 frontman said Martin could suffer a ballot-box backlash if he refuses to commit to meeting the target of 0.7 per cent of GDP adopted by other wealthy nations.

[..] Bono said the Make Poverty History campaign is growing in momentum and urged Canadians to press politicians on the issue as they come knocking at doors during the election campaign. Calling himself a "fan" of Canada, the activist praised results of a recent poll that showed 45 per cent of Canadians support giving more money to end world hunger and disease.

"There's something about Canada that sets it apart. It's this kind of leadership, this sense of decency and a kind of awareness to what's going on in the wider world that's what sets Canada apart," he said.

But Bono blasted Martin for failing to deliver the goods while the nation's economy flourishes.

"I'm personally not just disappointed; I'm crushed, actually, because I believed the prime minister would do that," he said.
And now for the most absurd and inappropriate adjective ever used by a reporter when speaking of one of the worst megalomaniacs of our times:
U2 frontman Bono wants [sic] be remembered for his contribution to rock music instead of his political activism.

[..] the modest 14-time Grammy-winner would prefer to be recognised for [sic] role in his Irish rock band, because he hopes the global issues he has campaigned against will be solved by the time he passes away.

He says: "I think my work - the activism - will be forgotten. And I hope it will. Because I hope those problems will have gone away."

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Fenris Badwulf School for Incompitints

As a white heteronormative male, I have long been oppressing myself by insisting that I develop my talents and abilities in order to work for a living. I'd often thought, if only there were a way to get money just for telling people what a racist asshole I am. Now, thanks to subsidized progressive elitist institutions in Mitchieville, there's hope for me — and maybe for you, too!

The Fenris Badwulf School of Telemarketing Excellence is proud to announce the beginning of its Department of Racism Industry Studies. We now offer a two year certificate in Racism Industry Studies. This qualifies you to be an Activist and shows you how to get social assistance, grants, free goodies, and a six figure job for neither work nor ability!
Call now! Operatives are standing by — if they're not out for a smoke break or taking the day off, or don't accidentally hang up on you.

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And they stuffed their ears with cotton

Michael Crichton, speaking on September 15, 2003:

The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda.

[..] I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.
Read the whole speech.

HT: Catallarchy

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The Liberal Party is one big family

Err... this is "controversial" "mudslinging"?

Leaving aside the empirical truth that socialist government in and of itself is a vast protection racket and confidence game subverting entire societies: how naive would a person of otherwise normal intelligence have to be to imagine that millions, billions of dollars of crooked cash -- in cash -- can be thrown around illegally without the mob being or becoming heavily involved?

Now I'm not accusing anybody or any Party of anything specific, so you Liberal lawyers can crawl back under your comfy rocks. But without the mob and serious criminal deeds yet uncovered, it seems to me like there's a big puzzle piece of motivation missing. How else to explain the unhinged, ridiculous, infra dignitatem determination of these people to hold on to power?

Deposing the Liberals will give Canadians the opportunity to find out what that is all about -- above and beyond stopping it. Will that happen, or will these people escape punishment like their spiritual forebears of the Eastern bloc?

From Thursday's almost hope-inspiring debate in the House of Commons on the non-confidence motion.

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.):...
In his speech the member referred to corruption and he ascribed it to the Liberal Party, but did not once ascribe it to the Liberal government. He was very careful to do that. Since Gomery cannot find criminal liability, will the member confirm to the House that he intends to support the charter, the rule of law, the presumption of innocence and the right to due process, which all parties involved in the Gomery commission have not had as yet?

Hon. Stephen Harper: Madam Speaker, I almost like that question.

...

After Justice Gomery spent all this money and heard all these witnesses, he determined that the Liberal Party played a central role in the sponsorship scandal and that in fact the Liberal Party was the linchpin of the sponsorship scandal. It was the only entity or agent that conceived the program, ran the program and benefited from the program. Is the member seriously suggesting that the people of Canada would wait to remove the government from office only when its leading officials are carted off to jail in handcuffs? Surely we all believe that the people of Canada have higher standards of political accountability than that.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

". . . the side streets resemble Siberia"

Thanks to cuts made to the snow removal budget, London now finds itself buried in snow:

Swirling snow and slippery streets caused chaos in and around London yesterday as motorists struggled to adjust to the region's first blast of winter.

Multi-vehicle collisions, jackknifed trucks and cars sliding into ditches tied up emergency services workers through the day and night.
Funding crumbling relics and the JLC is much more important than removing the snow from the sidewalks and roads. City engineer Peter Steblin, speaking during last years 'divide the spoils' competition:
He argued the department has made significant cuts in the last two years and defended the addition of $650,000 to this year's budget for snow removal, noting the city came up $1 million short in snow removal costs last year and $2 million in the red the year before.

A motion to return $200,000 to the budget for sidewalk snow removal -- a cut approved last year -- was defeated by an 11-7 vote.


Ian Gillespie:
Have you heard about the city's new plan to clear snow off local roads?

It's called "spring."
As the Santa Claus parade takes place tomorrow night, and because the temperature is predicted to rise early next week, Londoners might get some relief a little earlier. As for the remaining 5 months of winter, we must place our hopes on important events at the JLC planned for out of province dignitaries.
Is it possible that the city's 120-piece team of plowers, salters and sanders all decided to take a simultaneous coffee break?

Is it possible they all took the day off because it's "national snowplow-driver appreciation day?"

Is it possible they're attending a week-long retreat in Phoenix, Ariz., where they're learning to empathize with angry motorists by role-playing with hand puppets...

[..] So I called Scott Stafford, operations manager with the city's roads and transportation department for the past five years and a snowplow driver and supervisor for 14 years before that.

So did yesterday's snowfall catch his department by surprise?

"It didn't catch us by surprise, other than the timing is bad," he said.
And the timing never did get better, 24 hours later, well after 'rush hour' traffic disappeared - the roads were still in terrible shape this morning, despite little snow fall last night.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tolerance and Diversity

Occam:

We’re building a country based on something everybody should master before entering kindergarten – you’re not supposed to hate people who aren’t exactly the same as you. Right. Got it. Moving right along, we have diversity. The problem is, diversity isn’t a value or a virtue, it’s a mere set of facts. Merriam Webster defines “diverse” as “being composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities”. Put whole wheat bread in the same box as white.

[..] Tolerance? I expect that from my dog. Diversity? I get that when he’s in the same room as the cats.

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The Government will take care of us

Tomorrow is "Buy Nothing Day." Rather like a holiday to some "anti-consumers", except that it is not a paid day off. Until "Buy Nothing Day" is legislated as a Statutory holiday, the line ups will always be longer on Boxing Day.

Wired News caught up with Kalle Lasn, the anti-holiday's founder, who acknowledged the internet's role in making BND a global protest movement, but decried the laziness of many bloggers and the digital generation's disengagement from the real world.

Lasn: Over-consumption in the so-called First World has ecological implications. It's one of the root causes of the ecological crisis we are in. I think it has psychological consequences because we have become consumer drones who live lives of consumption, suffering from mood disorders.

See also
Eat, Sleep, Work, Consume, Die
You Better Shop Around -- Not!
On Friday, Stop 'Til You Drop
See Our Film, Join Our Cause
Discover more Net Culture
Hang Up and Drive
Space Pioneers' DIY Thanksgiving
A Torrent or a Trickle?
E. Coli Can Take Your Picture

[..] And since Sept. 11, many people have realized that over-consumption has political dimensions. Many people are angry at us because of how we control the global economy. So there is an ecological, psychological and political dimension to BND, and people who don't get it should look a little bit deeper.

[..] When I was in my 20s, a few years after I graduated from a university, I started my own market-research company in Tokyo, Japan. For five years I lived in that world of advertising. Even though I was making a hell of a lot of money, I got sick of it because of those advertising guys. They were sort of apolitical, ethically neutral-type people. After a while I got sick of these small-minded, ethically neutral people who figured they were just in the business of selling, and eventually I said, "That's it," and became a different kind of a person.

[..] This is a fascinating, 24-hour experiment that you can conduct with yourself. You can make a personal pact with yourself not to buy anything for 24 hours and you can see what it feels like.

I have talked to hundreds if not thousands of people over the years about how they have negotiated this consumer fast for 24 hours, and it's amazing how many people, a huge percentage, who go on this personal experiment, how they have a very profound day. Some who do make it through, by the end of the day they say, "Wow, what an incredible experience that was."

[..] After a while, many participants become activists. They participate in a bicycle rally on BND or congregate in Union Square and march around the city to some corporate headquarters they don't like. Many people like to pull off pranks -- wear masks and go through malls.

In past years, we have unveiled huge banners in the malls of America. Some edgy activists who love walking that civil-disobedience line do weird things like walk into stores and fill up carts and leave them lying around, or just keep on whirling around stores with BND messages on their backs. And many shops who don't want to shut for BND, they actually turn their shops into bartering stations.
HT: Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

Excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, © Copyright, 1957, Ayn Rand

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Melba Toast

Arguments that using London's $8.7 million budget "surplus" for debt reduction will help lower taxes in the long term by reducing interest charges are predicated on the assumption that city hall will suddenly begin practicing fiscal restraint and refrain from incurring new debt. Is there any reason to believe this will start happening now?

The London Free Press reports that

[a] proposed 2006 capital budget of nearly $90 million was cut by $12 million at board of control yesterday but another $2 million will have to be chopped if the city is to stay within its self-imposed cap of $30 million on borrowing for capital projects.
All the talk lately about the importance of debt reduction vs. tax reduction by some councillors sounds pretty thin when board of control struggles to cap new debt at $30 million. This is an example of the leadership of board of control on the issue of spending restraint:
Meanwhile, the board approved the budgets of boards and commissions with only a $25,000 cut.

[…] Controllers were asked to rank capital projects on a scale of one to five with one being the top priority. Three hours later, almost all projects had been ranked No. 1 or 2.

Eager to whittle the dollar figure down, controllers voted to eliminate all projects ranked No. 2, with the exception of a few they upgraded to No. 1.
Apparently a category higher than No. 1 is needed.

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I just can't quit smoking!






What the hell ever happened to self control?

In a study sure to spark controversy, behavioural researchers have determined sexual arousal in college males has a "striking" impact on their willingness to engage in risky or morally objectionable activity.

For the same reason average people can turn into monsters behind the wheel of a car, the new study -- which appears in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making -- shows erotic stimulation increases a young man's propensity to engage in uncharacteristic sexual acts or crimes of passion.

In addition, arousal was found by the study to increase the attractiveness of everyday situations and objects, including cigarette smoke, animals, older women, other men and women's shoes.

And here's some good news for perverts in a position of trust in the UK:
Swansea Crown Court yesterday heard that a guard, a complete stranger, had sex with a 21-year-old woman while she was lying unconscious in a corridor outside her flat in a university hall of residence.

She was adamant she had not consented, telling the court: "If I had wanted to sleep with him, I would have taken the few steps to my bedroom."

But because she had lost consciousness and could not even remember having intercourse, prosecutor Huw Rees said the case against 20-year- old Ryairi Dougal had to be halted.
. . .

[The apparent victim] told the jury: "My dress was in a state and I wanted to leave. I went on to a patio for some fresh air. I was losing focus and very dizzy."

A female member of staff said she would find someone to walk her the short distance home and came back with Dougal, also a student who was working as a guard.

"But your Honour, it's not break and enter if the household is asleep and has not refused to allow me to enter. And if the daughter is asleep and I hop into bed with her, how can I be blamed for going through with the deed after she is awake and screaming when she has already aroused me in her sleep?"

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"...Or whatever that means these days."

Canadian propagandist for Kim Jong Il Walter Oostindie gives on the spot guidance to host George Strombopolous on CBC's "The Hour". (Video) (Hat tip to dr_dog in comments at Shotgun.) Our state broadcaster made an infomercial for these guys, with the scary music synchronized to scary pictures of Bush and Rumsfeld.


"Check it out, dudes. Back in the day, the In-min-bo-an-seong jail at Onsong held about 130 detainees, forty to fifty of whom were women. Former Detainee #21’s husband was put in a men’s cell, and she was put in one of the women’s cells. Her husband was beaten so badly that he confessed their desire to go to South Korea, after which time he died in detention from paratyphoid, a lice-borne disease that results in acute diarrhea, leading, if not treated, to dehydration and death. Her husband was left medically unattended for three days in men’s Cell Block No. 8. She was beaten with sticks, and the police agents beat her head against cement walls until she screamed at them to get it over and kill her too. And that was probably some pretty harsh heaviness there for, uh, for everybody concerned. Word."
" OK, coming up next we totally got the story of a baby born to a twenty-eight-year-old woman named Lim, who had been happily married to a Chinese man. Everything was cool and the baby boy was born healthy and unusually large, owing to the mother’s ability to eat well during pregnancy in China. Former Detainee #24 assisted in holding the baby’s head during delivery and then cut the umbilical cord. But check it out, when she started to hold the baby and wrap him in a blanket, a guard totally grabbed the newborn by one leg and threw it in a large, plastic-lined box. A doctor explained that since North Korea was short on food, the country should not have to feed the children of foreign fathers. When the box was full of babies, Former Detainee #24 later learned, it was taken outside and totally buried."
"Comin at ya, so there were these 4 guys, Kang, Lee, An, and Kim, and like the places they were imprisoned, Knup-ri and Daesuk-ri, had public executions by hanging and shootings — and sometimes worse — for prisoners who had tried to escape or who had been caught "stealing” food. Lee witnessed one public killing of an attempted escapee, Hahn Seung Chul, who was tied and dragged behind a car in front of the assembled prisoners until dead, after which time the other prisoners were required to pass by and place their hands on his bloodied corpse. Another prisoner, AHN Sung Eun, shouted out against this atrocity, and he was immediately shot to death. Kim witnessed a public execution by firing squad after which the assembled prisoners were required to pass by and throw a stone at the corpse still slumped and hanging from the post to which the victim had been tied. Freaky!"

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Poundmaker First Nations on the National tonight

Break your self-imposed exile from the CBC to watch a documentary on the Poundmaker First Nations on The National tonight — more info at Dust My Broom.



This is a special exception — don't let it happen again!

Update: Apologies to our readers who wasted countless brain cells watching The National last night looking for the Poundmaker story — the Poundmaker documentary didn't make it on to that airing. Dust My Broom is looking into the situation and will report back, I hope. I don't blame him directly, but he's still got a lot of brain damage on his hands.

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Don't trust council with a "surplus"

[Public service announcement: Londoners should note that any reference to property tax cuts, reduction or relief, in the London Free Press should be qualified as cuts or reductions in the proposed 5% property tax increase.]

After two consecutive years of $12 million budget "surpluses," senior administrators at city hall are recommending to council that a miserly $600,000 of an expected $8.7-million budget surplus should be used to "reduce property taxes" — in effect, a few dollars per property owner. The newfound interest in property tax reduction, no matter how meagre, coincides with an upcoming election year, oddly enough. Nevertheless, the idea of representing the interests of constituents who have been hit with two years of 5.9 and 6.6 per cent increase in property taxes is apparently confounding the usual tax-and-spend groupthink at city hall. From the London Free Press:

A debate that wasn't supposed to begin yet exploded yesterday on the floor of London city council, with some demanding that a surplus be used for tax relief and others calling that a foolish grab at popularity.

[…] others argued residents would be better off in the long run if council reduces its debt — an approach favored by senior administration.

"You can be a hero for five minutes, you can be a hero for a year (by cutting taxes) … (but) in the long run we all know that's the wrong thing to do," Coun. Roger Caranci said.

"(Tax cuts) to me are dishonest," Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell added, saying council can already deliver a reasonable tax increase of two or three per cent.
Cutting taxes is the wrong thing to do? dishonest? Caranci and Gosnell need to learn something about right and wrong and honesty…

The City of London press release of November 16 announcing the $8.7 million surplus is called Budget Surplus Result of Fiscal Restraint. City council has been voting for extravagant social welfare programs and colossal capital projects for years now with the result that, at the end of the 2004 fiscal year, London's debt stood at $335.4 million, roughly $1000 for every man, woman and child. "Surplus" may be the correct technical term to describe a condition in which revenue exceeds expenditure in a given year, but the short-term attention given to the circumstance exceeds the recognition of council's long-term financial mismanagement.

I have argued in the past that debt reduction is the only valid use of taxpayer money, given that debt is a contractual responsibility that — unfortunately — can only be honoured by taxpayers who are at least complicit in its incurrence, the "surplus" is not budgeted revenue that councillors can even pretend is legitimately municipal assets. Jim Chapman put it well the other day:
This supposedly "surplus" money isn't really surplus at all. It is tax money that we paid to the city beyond what it had to spend to meet its obligations. It may look like a bonus on the city's books, but every dollar of it represents money plucked from the pockets of hard-working Londoners.
Councillors who argue that it is irresponsible to give that money back to taxpayers are in effect saying that it's their money now. Gosnell and Caranci suggest that debt reduction is in the long-term interests of taxpayers — however, even if that were true, making that decision for those taxpayers against their stated preference is contemptuous and condescending.

Nor is it necessarily true that using the "surplus" to reduce debt will be in the best interests of taxpayers. Debt reduction is of course one of the city's obligations — as such, it ought to be a line item in each budget. If debt reduction proponents were as principled at budget time as they are now, debt reduction would receive much more attention at budget time. Unfortunately for them, planned debt reduction is regarded suspiciously by socialists and community activist groups as "discretionary" or, in other words, better spent on their pet welfare schemes. The airing these groups receive from the London Free Press ensures that the most important principle of councillors is avoidance of unpopular initiatives. But city council has learned from its federal Liberal counterparts that citizens can be overtaxed each year to produce a "surplus" that can then be marketed as the product of sound fiscal management and earmarked for debt reduction, a ruse to practice a financially necessary policy.

In the case of London, this ruse is practiced to even less effect than an actual reduction in overall debt. Council currently has a self-imposed $30 million debt cap in place for each year's budget — this means that they can add $30 million in debt each budget above and beyond any debt retirement made. Last year the city incurred $69 million in new debt after retiring $29.8 million. "Surplus" money used for debt reduction could then presumably be applied to this debt retirement, allowing an additional $8.7 million to be incurred as debt in the next budget, as long as total new debt does not exceed $30 million. "Debt reduction" then would not result, and has not in the past resulted, in reduced debt.

Despite the condescension and arrogance of Gosnell and Caranci,
[Coun. Paul] Van Meerbergen said there's a legitimate long-term gain to cutting taxes — it puts pressure on council and staff to cut spending.
The noblest sentiment expressed at city hall for many a year. The hopes and fears of all our years' budgets are with us in this article by Jim Chapman:
There are sound fiscal reasons to reduce our debt. Every dollar it decreases also reduces the interest we have to pay. In the long run, we are told, that will help keep taxes down.

Perhaps, if future councils are careful in their spending and don't overextend themselves again.

But there is absolutely no guarantee of that, and past experience suggests just the opposite.

And while paying down the debt with money earmarked for operational funds may be handy, it also helps obscure the fact that previous councils took on higher debt loads than was prudent. Do we really want to bail them out without holding them accountable?

The alternative is tax reduction now. If the city didn't need as much as it collected, give the excess back to the people whose money it actually is, the taxpayers.

Critics of this approach say it is only a short-term answer, but they offer little proof that reducing the debt will actually reduce future tax burdens.

Promises of future fiscal prudence on the part of council are just that — promises.

If you were to ask London taxpayers which they prefer, guaranteed lower taxes now or the possibility of lower taxes later if council gets its act together, I think the answer would be pretty clear.
Update: Better take the reduction in the property tax increase while you can get it, it might make up a little for this:
Board of control sits down today to wrestle with its 2006 budget, but Londoners have already been hit with the equivalent of a 2.5-per-cent property tax hike.

That's how much more Londoners will pay for sewer and water rates this year. […] Late Monday, council approved a 9.6-per-cent, or $34 hike in sewer rates and a five-per-cent, or $16 increase in water rates.

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The London Coalition Against Pesticides — sanctimony beats reality

The London Free Press reports that council has rejected the pesticide bylaw it came up with earlier this year that purported to discourage people from using pesticides without outright banning them.

The bylaw before council […] would have allowed spraying of pesticides up to a maximum of 20 per cent of a property owner's lawn, with the amount reduced to 10 per cent by 2010. As well, all lawn-care companies would have had to register with the city and warning signs would have had to be issued before and after spraying.

[…] "Everybody wants their own way, so nothing's happened," said Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell following the vote.
This outcome is the logical and correct response to a competition between individual and interventionist interests instead of a gratuitous attempt to placate both sides. Politics is the art of compromise, it is said, but what use is a compromise between right and wrong to anyone but politicians? Nothing is being done now, but don't regard this as any more than a temporary reprieve — council agreed to leave the issue with the environment and transportation committee for next year, when amateur authoritarians will try to get council to wield the hammer again:
"City council has chosen toxins over health again," said Sean Hurley of the London Coalition Against Pesticides.

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The NHS discriminates against the obese

At least private health clinics are allowed in Britain. When this happens in Canada, the smokers and the fatties will have to cross the border - if they can afford it after paying for the needs of the fit and healthy - or suffer:

FAT people will no longer be given hip and knee replacements on the NHS in East Suffolk. GPs and consultants have agreed not to refer anyone classed as obese to a specialist until they have lost weight to help to save the area’s primary care trusts £47.9 million.

A team of GPs and senior consultants from Ipswich Hospital spent nine months investigating ways to address the trusts’ financial problems and drew up a list of criteria that must be met before treatment for conditions such as varicose veins and glue ear.

The team agreed that patients with a body mass index of 30 or more — recognised by the World Health Organisation as obese — should not be referred to surgeons for hip and knee replacements.
HT: Nealenews

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The difference is only 1,798,200,000


A minor correction, published in today's People's Press:
In a story published yesterday, CP erroneously reported that a 2002 education review in Ontario recommended injecting $1.8 million into the system over three years. In fact, the review recommended injecting roughly $1.8 billion over three years. The Free Press regrets the error.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Red flag on a poll

This is so funny -- the Government of Saskatchewan has a poll on their website where you can "raise a (red) flag for fairness". The poll asks "Do you think Saskatchewan deserves a fair Energy Accord?"

It seems that there is a fairness bug in their computer since the poll is stuck at 90% YES, 10% NO no matter how many NOs vote.

Make a choice for the future of Saskatchewan and see for yourself!

(Hat tip SDA, who would like you to record the fact of your vote in comments)

Try it out!

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Bureaucrats expose bureaucrats

Yet the ban was passed, and will be once again as the purges gain momentum:

From the Red Star:

Public Works Minister Scott Brison has overturned a short-lived ban on the hiring of white men by the federal department.

Last week, the department's top bureaucrat sent a memo requiring all new hires from now until April to be "persons who are visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and women."

Bureaucrats quickly leaked the memo to the media and the subject was taken up by talk radio stations.

[..] Deputy minister David Marshall issued a new memo yesterday.

"While the measure proposed last week was short term and not intended to be a ban on hiring individuals from non-designated groups, it could well lead to this impression," he said.

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"I think he was making a statement about creativity and the city a little bit"

I don't like Christmas, I don't like publically funded circuses and I don't like London. While reading this article, keep in mind the Santa Claus parade here will once again take place in the evening, beginning at 6:30pm, in the dark. Maybe the colossal waste of electricity emanating from the trees in Victoria Park will illuminate the usually dark and windy haven for panhandlers, punks and gangs:

London police officers and volunteers cleaning up downtown for Saturday's Santa Claus parade whitewashed two murals by a London artist.

MainStreet London paid James Kirkpatrick $10,000 to create seven murals to make the core more appealing for last May's Memorial Cup.

Two of the murals beside the Arts Project at 206 Dundas St. were painted over by London police and Westervelt College students Saturday.

John White, executive director of the Arts Project, described the murals as "artistic sentinels."

White compared the figures in the murals to the icons used to represent comedy and tragedy.

[..] A spokesperson for London police defended the whitewashing, saying the mural had been tampered with.

"There was graffiti on top of the art work, foul language, other tagging and even a swastika,'' Amy Phillipo said.

"They had to paint over portions (of the art) to block it out."

"We realized it was art work, but the words on top of that were not art,'' Phillipo said.

[..] Officials will determine if the murals can be salvaged.

"We will probably try to see if we can remove the whitewash paint," White said.
No doubt it would be cheaper for taxpayers if the city commissioned James Kirkpatrick to paint new murals glorifying Santa Claus and the JLC. In addition, council should offer taxpayer funded art appreciation classes to all police officers. It is important that the officers of the law be able to see the difference between state approved, vs. non-state approved creativity.

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Join the Pavlik Morozov fanclub!

"Since your daddy is teaching you the wrong lessons about right and wrong, you should teach him that fishing is killing and killing is wrong."

If you're a fisherman, PETA wants your children to think that you're a deranged bloodthirsty killer. From Fishing Hurts:

[…] starting on September 24, Fish Amnesty Day, activists will take to the water with their sights on dads who are teaching their kids to abuse animals.

PETA’s pro-fish leaflet reminds fishers and their families that fish feel pain and fear when they are impaled in the mouth and ripped from their underwater homes and that they deserve to be treated with kindness, just like all animals.

Before they are desensitized to the suffering of animals, PETA aims to help kids see the violent bloody truth behind their fathers’ outdoor pastime.
[Emphasis not in the original.]
Consistent with established 20thC authoritarian techniques, PETA would reverse the traditional hierarchy of parenting — ideologically cultivated children assuming authority over their reactionary parents (cf. Pavlik Morozov). Fisherman daddies are first given the opportunity to be re-educated. Presumably if you're a fisherwoman, you're just a victim of patriarchal brainwashing and you're let off the hook, figuratively speaking of course.

HT: NealeNews

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Monday, November 21, 2005

"You're all demons trying to kill me like I'm trying to kill myself."

Basil's recent explosive contribution to the London Fog has resulted in an increase of arrogance and righteousness. Although I have been absent for but a few days, my "relaxation of vigilance" has been exposed as "collusion with the enemy."

Redemption is impossible, confession futile, so what do I have to lose? I am a marked dissenter.


A city of botched suicide attempts, alcoholics and Suzuki science:

Party studies in Middlesex County indicate you likely have a problem with booze if you live in the region.
A study that found Middlesex had more people engaging in hazardous drinking than the rest of Ontario has led to a push for policies to control drinking.

Middlesex County was singled out in a study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health as the only county in Ontario to exceed the provincial average in all of the group's four categories measuring problem drinking.

[..] Sixteen counties were excluded from the study, including Huron, Perth and Elgin, because the sample size was fewer than 100 people. The study was done with an anonymous telephone survey of people 18 years of age.

If saving lives isn't reason enough for local municipal officials to act on this data, they should do it to avoid multimillion-dollar lawsuits, which have been dramatically increasing in Ontario, Robert Solomon, a law professor at the University of Western Ontario, said yesterday.

If a young person ends up a quadriplegic, the legal settlement can be in the range of $7 million to $8 million. If they are a paraplegic, the payout can be $2 million to $3 million, he said.

"By changing we can save lives," said Solomon, who is national director of legal policy for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Solomon will be one of the speakers Wednesday at a Middlesex-London Health Unit workshop set up to encourage officials from London, Middlesex, Elgin and Huron to adopt policies for the safe use of alcohol at municipal facilities.

Many Middlesex communities don't have comprehensive alcohol policies and are having problems with "stag and doe" functions, including property damage and underage drinking, according to the health unit.

Solomon said municipalities will all eventually have alcohol policies for their facilities.

"The only question is: Will they implement the policy before or after they have a multimillion-dollar suit? My preference is do it now, save the life," he said.

Solomon said municipal alcohol policies need to consider, among other things:

- Including in-hall rental agreement limits on the amount of alcohol sold;

- Requiring staff serving drinks to be trained in spotting intoxication and have minimum ratios of staff to patrons;

- Requiring trained security;

- Limiting how long alcohol is served.

Solomon said municipalities should also ensure groups holding alcohol-related events have a transportation policy to handle people who are intoxicated.

"The idea that you can serve as much alcohol as you want to as many people as you want as long as you have a phone to dial a cab is not good enough."
The authorities are there to help though. Publishing your plight in the People's Press is in no way meant to be understood as ridicule:
"Bill?" Const. Ryan Scrivens says.

Nine seconds of silence pass.

"Bill?"

Five seconds of silence.

"Bill?"

Four seconds of silence.

"Bill, keep talking to us, OK Bill? We want to help you, OK? We're here to help you, OK? We're here to help you through it, OK?"

Finally, Bill speaks.

"You're not. . . . You're all demons trying to kill me like I'm trying to kill myself."
In London Ontario, thinly disguised good intentions masquerade as rational solutions:
London is using one scourge of the Great Lakes, the zebra mussel, to eliminate another -- phosphorous.

And the groundbreaking pilot project could save cities millions of dollars in effluent treatment costs.

"It's a beautiful idea, a very exciting area of research and development because it's a very cheap material," said Argyrios Margaritis, a UWO professor of engineering.

"It's a very practical approach, it's very cheap and very effective," Margaritis said.

Zebra mussels are small, shelled creatures introduced accidentally to the Great Lakes in the late 1980s. They spread like wildfire, wreaking havoc by clogging water intake systems and disrupting ecosystems.

[..] "If it works, it could make treatment cheaper for everyone." Van Rossum said.
And if it doesn't work, oh well .... the eventual goal of universal equality and prosperity justifies the means.

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MolochCare, Pt. 2

In the MolochCare post below, Mike indicates the dominant theoretical rationales for universal child care — communism and fascism. Intellectual rationalizing of elitist ownership of individuals has always abounded; the pillar on which these theories claim authority is the appearance of disinterested objectivity. In Canada, at least, that pillar is supported on another pillar — that of cynical Liberal governance. The paper cited for its reference to the promotion of Early Childhood Education and Care is An Integrated Approach to Early Childhood Education and Care: A Preliminary Study, prepared by Lenira Haddad of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Centre for Urban and Community Studies at the University of Toronto — a "lobbying organization[…] funded federally by HRDC (now SDC), Status of Women (funded by SDC) and through university budgets".


The Honourable Ken Dryden, Minister of Social Development Canada, at the Canadian Council on Social Development’s national early learning and child care conference entitled Child Care for a Change!, November 12, 2004:
To get them excited, to hook them, to get them involved, to get them to take on some of the load as well. And all the time, it is important to approach the development of this system as an "of course." It will happen. It is a matter of when, not if. Go on the offensive. Put the other guy on the defensive. You have earned the "of course," so use it.

We also need to make what we are doing as irreversible as possible. There will hard moments, moments when it will be much easier to go back than to go ahead. We need to make going back as painful as possible. With each step we all take in these next five years, it will be harder to go back. More spaces, higher quality, higher expectations and ambitions, a bigger and growing public appetite, building the pressure on each level of government, to reinforce the commitment implicit in building a system. We need to paint ourselves into a corner because it's a corner we want to be in and need to be in.

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Ain't nothing a smoke in a speed boat won't fix!

Our intrepid hero's ministry is making headlines once again, but be forewarned: don't get sick until 2008.

In the meantime, why not stand outside the hospital and enjoy a Camel while you wait?

From LFP:

The stability of Ontario's health-care system is "at risk" due to the shortage of physicians -- especially family doctors -- according to a new study prepared for the Ontario Medical Association.

CP obtained a copy of the report, prepared by the OMA's human resources committee, which said the doctor shortage in Ontario had become much worse since it first warned the problem represented a "looming crisis" in 1999.

"The year 2005 finds the province in the midst of a deepening physician resources crisis," it concludes.

"Family medicine in particular has deteriorated into a dying specialty and requires urgent resuscitation."

Last Thursday, Health Minister George Slitherman announced an additional $33 million in government funding for medical schools to create 141 new family residency positions in the province next year. Smitherman said that means there will be 337 more family doctors ready to practise by 2008.
. . .

"Unfortunately there remains more to do before we will see real improvements in the ability of patients to access the necessary care that doctors provide in our communities."

'Guess Slitherman hasn't been able to pick up any new doctors and bring 'em home to Ontario.

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MolochCare

The first impulse is to tax you and get your money and make you dependent on one more junkie program that only one Party will fully fund. But once you have them, you can ensure the uniform conditioning of voters/consumers/workers.

As this scam goes health-care style, and taxes go up, more and more people will be forced to send their children to these places.

No normal non-rich working person should be compelled by tax rates to either a) remain childless or b) send their children for conditioned Pavlovian training in whatever empty buzzword "values" are being parroted by the establishment during this or that decade. Instead of, taken altogether, experiencing a huge variety of early influences that contribute to making them very different (and diverse) adults, generations of toddlers will ALL be conditioned with guilt trip original-sin-esque notions such as "diversity" -- or whatever other doctrines will take diversity's place in generations to come.

No way would I want a potentially bright and inquisitive new brain spending every weekday under the supervision of authority figures so troubled as to take global warming seriously enough to want to scare defenceless young minds with it and punish those yet wise enough to disbelieve in their ideology. Would you want snake handling Christians taxing you and all your potential customers so that they can tell toddlers all about the Devil and the great work the missionary David Suzuki^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HRev. Jim Smith is doing?

Moreover if diversity is such a great value and we're all so accepting of each other's differences and varying life experiences, why on earth would we want to REDUCE the diversity of how children are raised, by institutionalizing them? It's almost as if the whole thing were designed to create identically conditioned Liberal worker/consumers.

In that same paper mentioned by Darcey, we are introduced to the two dominant theoretical brands of Early Childhood Education and Care, known in a more straightforward era as fascism and communism. As the researcher puts it, "One regards childhood as a special period calling for care; the other sees it as preparation for the future."

First, the fascist argument:

In countries that share the view that children need to be prepared to learn or to start school so that they can eventually take their places as workers in a globalized economy, provision may emphasise the importance of good quality early childhood experiences to prepare children to succeed in formal schooling, the labour force, and society. Within that perspective, countries may either target programmes to specific groups — as a way to compensate for the disadvantage experienced by children from home environments that are deemed deficient in some way — or make it a policy priority for all children to have the right to high qualityeducation from an early age, regardless of socio-economic status or ethnic origin. In both cases, there is a similar focus on children as a human capital investment, which shapes the purposes of the provision of ECEC.
We are then introduced to the communist school of ECEC thought:
Thanks to developments in this field including the UN Convention on the Rightsof the Child and research on the sociology of childhood, a new view of childhood as an important phase of life in its own right is gaining ground. Children are valued as individuals, groups and communities, as having their own culture, rights and voice. In this view, they are able to take part in the choice and planning of activities or to participate according to their maturity in the evaluation of the institutions they attend. For this view, ECEC does not seek to influence later school or workforce performance, or to prepare children for the future. Rather, ECEC institutions are viewed as places for children to live out their lives in the “here and now”. The adoption of this view of childhood has moved the teaching and learning approach of ECEC and school away from the dominant tradition.
More here.

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Hail SSSatan

What the Devil! My favourite freaky fund-a-mental-ist is playing the Devil's hand.














PHOTO: Robertson pretends to be "praying" even as he says "Hail Satan" with his hand.
Conspiracy Planet reports:
"Pat Robertson, the so-called voice of Christian America, has again been caught flashing occult satanic hand signals during his show. During Thursday morning's 700 Club program Robertson could clearly be seen displaying the El Diablo hand gesture towards the end of the broadcast."

This hand signal, known arond the world as shorthand for "Hail Satan" confirms the allegiance of Covert Satanist Pat Robertson, also known as a 33rd degree Mason and notorious proponent of the Satanic agenda for Planet Earth.

Robertson, who masqerades as a "Christian" on his show the "700 Club" is a notorious proponent of the exploitation of African "Blood Diamonds" in West Africa as well as other world-wide frauds.
The Prison Planet.com article also mentions Robertson's views on each of us being required to have the mark of the Beast in order to buy or sell:

Even if you disbelieve all the evidence about hand gestures and occultism, Robertson's advocacy of a high tech slave grid should have everyone worried.

Robertson is asked for his response to a mother who is concerned about her child's school instituting biometric finger scanners. Robertson states,

"Like it or not big brother is on your case all the time and we're gonna have our eyes, the iris scanned, all kinds of things these days for identification to make sure you're not some bad guy with a bomb."

"I really don't think that that's terribly intrusive to have somebody have a scan of their finger anymore than it is to ask for fingerprints."

"I don't think you'd have much success in convincing anybody that was too much intrusion."
HT: Cyberian

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Drug addiction treatment provides side effects of drug use without use of drugs

China has resumed controversial brain surgery intended to cure drug users of their addiction, just a year after it was suspended.

It claims that the "hole in the head" operations are now being performed as part of a controlled experiment.

More than 500 of the operations, in which parts of a patient's brain are destroyed using a heated needle, were performed across China between 2000 and the end of last year - when the health ministry, faced with growing criticism, said their outcome was too uncertain for them to continue.

Side effects included loss of memory, weakened sex drive and extreme mood swings. Critics complained that there had been no proper scientific research into the treatment.
With side effects like that, who needs drugs?

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Class War!

Who knew?

The London Free Press reports that a new 226 telephone area code will be introduced into the existing Southwestern Ontario 519 area next year. Local calls within Southwestern Ontario will require dialing the area code.

If you think that's the end of the story, you've forgotten a couple of things, including the Free Press' policy of filling in newsprint with gratuitous interviews of UWO professors just in case readers are incapable of thinking for themselves. Ideally these will be humanities or social science professors — a privileged class paid to substitute abstraction for reality and dream up scenarios to justify the premises they use in their funding proposals. As well, the Free Press is just a really ridiculous newpaper…

Class war and the 226
Sun, November 20, 2005
By PATRICK MALONEY, FREE PRESS REPORTER

[…] But beyond simple inconvenience, the conjoined area codes may also cause broad social complications.

"It's another form of inclusion or exclusion," said Tim Blackmore, a pop culture professor at the University of Western Ontario. "You can refer to a whole band of people by referring to … numbers on the dial, making assumptions on who are members of the community. That's a worrisome thing."

To Blackmore, the concern is simple: A 519 or 226 number could denote broad generalizations — socio-economic, for example — about the person who holds it.

[…] "It encourages people to think about groups in an abstract way that doesn't bear any resemblance to reality," he said. "It (potentially) indicates a newer community as opposed to an older community.

"We hold a myth that Canada or North America is a class-free society. Couldn't be further from the truth."
Gosh! Who would have guessed? Well, if the telecommunications industry is going to start a class war, all I can say is, let the best class win!

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The Red Ensign Standard no.32



Gen X at 40 has raised the 32nd edition of the Red Ensign Standard.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Going out with a bang...

Hey, I said "Bang!" Did anybody miss the sexual innuendo? No? I see you rolling your eyes, not as in the original meaning of "rock and roll," which has to do with sex, in which I certainly like to engage regardless of your opinion of that particular pastime, la di da. Oh, did I shock you? Let your hair down man! Did you ever stop to think maybe you're the one projecting irrationally onto the rationality of reason and premises? Maybe if you "opened yourself up" to the world of ideas you too would be able to transcend the application of context to the processes of cogitation and abstraction.

Am I ever horny! Anybody want to share their sexual fantasies with a hundred billion people living and as yet unborn?

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