Friday, February 23, 2007

Quick links

"all the facts, all the time, all the...umm...something or other"The London Freak Press

A new blog in town, The London Freak Press, replicates the tone and substance of local stories and their reporting in London's only news rag in an only slightly exaggerated manner, fulfilling the requirement of satire that its targets must be recognizable to succeed. The Freak Press' take on the most recent city budget is a good example:

In a shocking move that has sent most of London into catatonic shock, City Council has announced a 6,000 percent increase in municipal taxes for 2007-2008.

"Londoners have been telling us that they want a bold municipal government," said the mayor, sipping champagne after the announcement. "How's that for bold?" she asked. Then, after a moment's pause, added, "You motherfuckers."
Read the rest here. Also worth checking out to get a flavour of living and newspaper reading in London: Family driven from home by Wortley Village feel good vigilantes and Son of famous dead guy visits London.

Local Catholic theo-sophists

A letter to the editor in today's Free Press neatly rebuts the pre-Galilean Stationary Earth claims of two Sisters of St. Joseph of London and its the Office for Systemic Justice in their Feb. 15 letter, Minimum-wage hike needn't hurt businesses.
Contrary to the claims of the Office for Systemic Justice, the prevailing economic view that increases in minimum wage result in unemployment has not been discredited for being "based only on theoretical models of the labour market." It has not been discredited for the very reason that you can not discredit one of the basic economic laws, namely, the law of demand. Taking short-term statistics of isolated areas and ignoring the long-term consequences of price controls (wages) does not alter the fact that imposing minimum wages decreases the demand for low-skilled workers and reduces their ability to compete with others in the economic system, therefore forcing some into unemployment.

The good Sisters of St. Joseph of London should consider that "justice" consists of equality of opportunity, not of outcome. Imposing minimum wages actually works against those who seek the opportunity to better themselves by working for wage rates that suit them.
The Office for Systemic Justice is clearly a local relic of the formerly-rampant heterodox liberation theology that once propped up Marxist demagogues and regimes in the 70s and 80s in its quest to substitute scripture with subjective historical theological interpretations and politics. One of the sisters, Joan Atkinson, even once signed a petition of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty — as brown-shirted a gang of thieves and robbers as can be found in the province. It is not given whether the author of the rebuttal letter, Glenn Howlett of Corunna, is the same former London general manager of community services who was driven from his job three years ago by stress, but it would not be surprising that a man of such concise and thorough sense as given above should suffer stress in extremis in the profoundly anti-rational corridors of city hall.

Ontario government set on dimmer

According to CTV, the Ontario Liberal government is considering banning incandescent light bulbs to reduce carbon emissions and because…
by Premier Dalton McGuinty's estimate, replacing every old-fashioned bulb with an energy-efficient one would allow the province to shut down one coal-fired power plant.
McGuinty's credentials as an energy analyst may be confused with his authority as a climate change expert because they're both preposterous and purely secondary to his capacity as a third-rate demagogic hack. It's an illusory claim for one thing — any gains in energy efficiency will inevitably be offset by other uses for that energy — but, as Paul McKeever of the Freedom Party of Ontario correctly points out in a media release, the actual intent behind the idea is a vain attempt to ration a commodity that McGuinty's government-led energy system cannot produce efficiently:
The simple and obvious fact is that both Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Tory are proponents of electricity rationing as a response to the power shortage caused by the Progressive Conservatives' de facto nationalization of the formerly privately-owned electricity system, and decades of price controls and subsidies for electricity. Having scared-off any interest in investment by the private sector, we're now facing years of electricity rationing. And, because the PCs, Liberals, and NDP are all as guilty as hell for the predicament we're now in, they're now resorting to trendy green lies about why they are imposing rationing measures. Banning the light bulb would have been proposed even if climate change palm-readings were not enjoying such good ticket sales.

Here are some sobering facts. Banning 50 cent incandescent bulbs will relieve $4 fluorescent bulb manufacturers of price competition: the price of flourescent bulbs will most certainly be higher than they would have been but for the ban on incandescents. Banning incandescents will also relieve bulb manufacturers from competition on light quality: the currently harsh quality of the light provided by non-incandescent bulbs will not improve as quickly as it would have but for the ban on incandescents.

This ban is a bad and harmful idea. We need more competition and private-sector involvement in power generation and delivery, not less competition and more government involvement in light-bulbs.

We need more power, not more rationing.