Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Trudeau blew kisses at Hitler

What! Every Canadian's favourite national socialist Pierre Trudeau, an admirer of Hitler and Mussolini? HT Neale.

A new biography of the former prime minister, whom Canadians have long been taught to regard as a great liberal politician, reveals that as a youth and young man, Mr. Trudeau was an anti-Semite, admired fascist dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini, promoted revolution and longed for an independent and Catholic Quebec that would be home only to francophones...

"Between 1941 and 1944 the young Trudeau espoused with conviction and enthusiasm the very ideological commitments that the post-1950 Trudeau would despise," they write.
So don't feel bad for voting for him, Gramps. He later saw the error of his mass-murdering-dictator-loving ways, maturing into fellating Fidel Castro and speaking of the Soviet slave state as the place where "the future is being built". Canadians haven't been "taught to regard" those as evil, so he can still be your hero.

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Environmental alcohol damage

In Europe, smokers are getting rather boring, as I expect they will be here soon too, now that public smoking bans are reaching near universal status. Not quite prepared to ban the outright sale of cigarettes and lose all that tax money, "concerned" Europeans are once again turning their radar on the drinkers and this time around they are emphasizing the effects of "Passive Drinking", the apparent equivalent to the harmful effects of 'second-hand smoke.' This report should really come as no surprise, as the health lobbyists are constantly seeking to control individual behaviour, and what better way to enact bans than by filling people's heads with lies and exagerrated truths. I must admit, it hadn't really occurred to me that the health lobby gangs would couch the "problem" in such terms, but then, we've been hearing for years about the harmful effects of obesity on "society". Let the healthy and happy race propagate under the tutelage of the state and their favoured minions!

From Spiked Online:

The campaigns to combat the effects of ‘passive smoking’ are widely credited for Europe’s growing number of smoking bans. Now alcohol is in the sights of the public health lobbyists, and they have invented the concept of ‘passive drinking’ as their killer argument.

I have seen a leaked draft report for the European Commission, which is due to be published some time in June. It makes claims about the high environmental or social toll of alcohol, the ‘harm done by someone else’s drinking’. The report is likely to inform proposals for a European Union alcohol strategy later this year.

Dr Peter Anderson, the report’s lead author, who has a background in the World Health Organisation (WHO) and plays a leading role in Tobacco Free Initiative Europe, tells me that the concept of social harm takes the alcohol debate beyond the traditional limits of individual choice and addiction. ‘You can make the argument that what an individual drinks is up to them, provided they understand what they are doing and bearing in mind that alcohol is a dependency-producing drug…. But when you talk about harm to others then that is a societal concern and justification for doing something about it. I think that is an important argument. If there was not harm to others then the argument gets a little less powerful’
HT: Radley Balko of the Agitator.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

You're being watched through sepia lenses

London's $139,000 downtown surveillance cameras are once again a topic of discussion at city hall. The spy-cams are watched for only a portion of the day, have done nothing to prevent or fight crime, produce foggy images that cannot be used as evidence in court, and continually fail to identify vandals and violent insurgents. And although a downtown shooting over the weekend occurred in the monitored area, police have no suspects.

Despite all of these reasons and many others to scrap the cameras, including the fact that crime occurs throughout the city and the questionable "right" of the city and police to spy on downtown citizens in the first place, some members of council are recommending yet more money be designated to the project, as usual ignoring all arguments to the contrary.

Sixteen hours each day London's downtown cameras send images to city hall that go unwatched, a hole in surveillance that can be plugged -- at a cost of $130,000.

The future of the surveillance program, inspired by a tragic killing seven years ago on Richmond Street, will be debated tonight by city politicians.

For Coun. Bernie MacDonald, the solution is simple -- spend the extra money.

"You start putting money before people's lives, you're going in the wrong direction," MacDonald said.
MacDonald forgets that it's not his money that is under discussion here and he completely disregards evidence which illustrates that the cameras have not saved lives nor reduced instances of crime in the downtown core. None of that matters to MacDonald however, who believes around the clock monitoring will magically clean up downtown London.
A staff report shows no one at city hall monitors the cameras from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

During the remaining eight hours, a single commissionaire watches the monitor while performing other duties such as looking after security at city hall and responding to alarms at city facilities.
Presently, the system costs around $139.000, and yet MacDonald estimates that another $130,000 is needed to cover the commissionaire's absences. He wants more staff, but is silent on the quality of the images the cameras capture, although it's likely he's planning on asking for money to replace the cameras next year, if he's around that is.
Not everyone is keen to spend the extra money. Coun. David Winninger notes staff say cameras haven't reduced the prevalence of crime since they were put in place in 2001.

Staff do say police probing crime have used cameras to further their investigations, but even that benefit has limits, Winninger said.

"A Crown attorney told me they're not much use in courts because of their (low) resolution. They get grainy footage," said Winninger, a lawyer.

If the police find the cameras aid investigations, they should pick up the tab, he said.

"Let it come out of their budget."

That move is opposed by police Chief Murray Faulkner, who said it would be costly to move monitoring equipment and costlier still to have police watch the monitors.

Having police monitor the streets by camera may run afoul of privacy laws, he said.
Currently, an appointed commissionaire watches the cameras, when he's not snoozing that is. If the commissionaire sees something suspicious, he sends the video footage to the police for viewing. If having police watch the monitors violates privacy, by extension, privacy is violated when the commissionaire watches the citizens. In addition, it is unclear why the cameras would have to be moved if the police took over the monitors. And if Faulkner is worried about using money from the police budget, he can simply ask for more at budget time. Council is always happy to produce pots of money for the police. But Faulkner probably understands how useless the cameras really are, although he's not about to admit it at this point - better the city take the blame than the police.

The above quoted article is from Monday's edition of The People's Press. The end result of last night's meeting was a call for "public" input. Council have been arguing and kicking their feet over the spy-cams since the system was implemented in November 2001. Five years later taxpayers are still paying for the costly and useless cameras, in addition to the food these "decision makers" eat at the city cafeteria in between closed door meetings.
The vote for a public meeting came after tense exchanges between MacDonald and the chairperson on the community and protective services committee, Coun. Susan Eagle.

Eagle questioned debating the program's future when staff had not done so in a report that merely mentioned the lack of monitoring and the cost of 24/7 coverage. She resisted, then relented, when MacDonald asked to have the committee listen to the man without delegation status, David Tennant, who had led the fundraising drive to purchase the cameras.

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Insurgent uprisings reported throughout the city of London Ontario

It's hotter than Hell in London today.

And considerably hotter than Hades.

LFpress May 29th, 2006
Londoners in the know understand the extreme heat in the city is not the result of global warming, but rather a response to recent insurgent uprisings occuring over the weekend.

The bandits are everywhere in camouflage because they suffer discrimination if they reveal their true colours:
TA police hunt is on for a man suspected of robbing three Shell gas bars and a bank in and around London in the space of only four days.

He was described as a white male, about 25, with a red goatee and moustache, about five-foot-eight and between 230 and 250 pounds.

He may have changed his appearance since the robberies by altering his facial hair, said Pfeffer.

During the robberies, he wore a beige coat and light-coloured brown pants or a black coat.
And on Friday, a local 7-eleven was robbed at knifepoint by an insurgent bearing a similar description:
The suspect, a white man in his early 30s, with light brown hair and a goatee, was wearing a yellow coat with black sleeves, police said.
And there's also the weekend robbery of a London CIBC branch and a duo stabbing at a Adelaide street Hasty Market.

But the highlight of the weekend was more gun violence in front of Rum Runners bar:
A St. Catharines man was injured when shots were fired in two locations early yesterday in downtown London.

Gunshots were fired on Dundas Street between Richmond and Clarence streets and on Clarence between Dundas and King streets about 3:15 a.m., police said.

The two incidents were related, police said.

[..] A man who walked through downtown about 4 a.m. said police had blocked off streets and officers were searching in front of Rum Runners Music Hall at 176 Dundas St.

The bar had hosted a party for players in the Gus Macker three-on-three basketball tournament at Victoria Park.
The last article I read in our not so free press led me to believe last year's beating of two of Councillor Ab Chahbar's sons at the dribbling event, occuring at the same time that the councillor was driving in a funeral procession, would result in a relocation of the testosterone driven event. Not so, and although I read our local press everyday, I missed any mention of the Gus Macker Tournment, once again taking place at Victoria Park. A weekend walk through the war-zone elightened me otherwise and my impressions were similiar to previous years:
The three-on-three battle of testosterone which also attracts people from outside of the city, spills out into a few streets running alongside the park, which are closed to motorists for the duration of the two or three day tournament. As a motorist and former close occupant of the park, I've always found this dribble fest annoying. For days people wearing the most ridiculous clothes are bouncing balls on the sidewalks, strutting around like peacocks because they can throw a ball through a hoop in London Ontario.
Although the shooting occured within range of the downtown surveillance cameras installed to prevent and fight crime, the police do not have any suspects. Militant groups across the region have remained silent, so far failing to claim responsibility for the violence.

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Carnival of Liberty #47

Now available for viewing at New World Man.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Thugs support terrorists… naturally

Couple the predispostion of blinkered socialist-schooled power-seekers to form in the hierarchies of public union leadership with their inherent sympathy for ruthless authoritarian techniques, it is no surprise that they are practising the facile progressive political bigotry of general advocacy causes. Their own methods are so validated to themselves and by the purchase of powerful media and internal propaganda at the expense of their complicit or usually otherwise members whose workplace issues are not availed in the least. And so, CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Ontario, representing 200,000 unfortunate public sector employees in the province, has passed a resolution supporting an international campaign of boycott, divestment and economic sanctions against Israel (HT Dust my Broom). Benefits of union membership will now include — surprise, you innocent proletarian! — CUPE Ontario's obligations to:

  1. With Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.
  2. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution194.
  3. Call on CUPE National to commit to research into Canadian involvement in the occupation and call on the CLC to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.
Why this promised meddling with foreign affairs, domestic and global economies, and the wallets of members by an organization whose purpose is ostensibly simply to protect and improve working conditions of its own constituents? As it turns out, the ruse of labour protection must remain generally to maintain a favourable disposition to existing labour laws from legislators and a lax tolerance from the media and general public. While adopting the rhetorical style of those who reduce argument to emotive reactionarianism in defense of an untenable proposition simply by invoking Hitler against it, the resolution cites no other reasons than a scurrilously vindictive verdict under the international law by Israel's enemies, and the behest of similarly self-serving organizations:
  • The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law.
  • Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;
  • CUPE BC has firmly and vocally condemned the occupation of Palestine and have initiated an education campaign about the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state.
It would be laughable except for the propaganda resources that CUPE Ontario has at its disposal and the encouragement other large unions will receive from the device to follow suit. Notably,
CUPE Ontario's next step, [president Sid Ryan] said, is to try to get other unions such as the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress to join the campaign of "boycott, divestment and sanctions."
The Last Amazon, who knows more about Israel than a dozen dressed-up academics put together, is disgusted:
But if CUPE cannot see the security value of the Israeli fence I suggest that every CUPE member and their families need to stand unarmed in the place of the wall/fence to understand the very real threat to Jewish life and limbs. Perhaps when the cost becomes painful to CUPE members they will finally be able to comprehend that Jews are human and have an innate right to their limbs and lives too.
Read the rest here.

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London Fog to seek local arts grant

When London city council announced its aspiration to become a creative city, it wouldn't have taken a political scientist to figure out that the designation could not succeed for throwing any amount of money at the idea but that appropriating any amount of money for the idea would succeed indefinitely for the very unachievability of it. Unfortunately, it wouldn't have taken very many councillors and bureaucrats to realize the same thing. From the London Free Press:

Forty-one arts organizations and individuals split a city hall annual grant of $189,800 to support the local arts community. The funds, announced Monday, come through London’s Community Arts Investment Program.

[…] A first-time recipient is the Imadon Street Painting Performance Group, which will hold Expressions in Chalk, a street festival Aug. 5, 6 and 7 in the downtown area, including at St. Peter’s Cathedral. They received $3,500, which will help pay for supplies, operating costs, prize money and food and drink for the artists.
Those who collude in the public sphere with bureaucrats must assume such a self-prescribed abasement of artistic sensibility and appreciation that such a primitive display of juvenilia, suggestive at the same time of vandalism, could merit the standard of state-funded arts in London. It does remind me of this comment by Mike on a previous post on the subject:
Ooga booga! Me tax you to pay cousin to draw painting of deer on cave wall. This bring big herd of deer for us to hunt, move us forward, and make cave world-class. Ooga booga booga! First though me tax you to hire nephew to make study of which kind of charcoal work best to bring deer to community. Booga booga!
Of course, city management needs to toss a token bone to the self-appointed representatives of the uncultivated masses to sell what is essentially a redistributive scheme for the middle and upper sycophantic voting classes of London:
Receiving the most funding was the Amabile Choirs of London, which was given $19,000. Amabile is one of six core groups that receive money every year from the city.

The other five organizations are Fanshawe Chorus London, Forest City Gallery, London Community Players and the Kiwanis Music Festival.
Ooga booga, and pass the wine and cheese, please.

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Gord Hume does not care about Londoners

Gord Hume, the same councillor who is an advocate for a proposed multi-million dollar performing arts centre, is worried about the extra $10 dollars a year that city staff estimates residents will have to pay for a return to regularly scheduled, weekly garbage pickups. The warrior of fiscal responsibility also recently strongly supported repaving a stretch of Oxford street - scheduled to be torn up in a few years time - because visitors coming from out of town might get a bad impression of London as they bump their way towards the upcoming Canadian Women's Open this summer. In a rare victory for the people, his evil plan was rejected by council.

Garbage discussions continue and the free meals keep the public cafeteria poor:
"Frankly, I put a calendar on the wall and manage to get (my garbage) out on time," Controller Gord Hume said.

In a tight budget year Hume said he's not enthusiastic about increasing the cost to taxpayers. He notes he only gets "an occasional complaint."

Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell agreed: "It's a question of cost containment," he said.

[..] - The city would have to buy four garbage trucks, which if new, would cost about $700,000 in total.

- Weekly pickup would cost $1.7 million more while 50 pickups (there's now 42) would cost $1.4 million.

- The added operating costs for a weekly pickup would add $10.60 to the property-tax tab of a typical homeowner, while 50 weeks would add $8.80.

[..] If council adopts weekly pickup, it would take nine to 12 months to put it in place, in part to buy trucks, said Jay Stanford, the city's manager of environmental services.
Any legitimate service provider worth their salt would not take nine months to purchase equipment essential to their enterprise. But we aren't speaking of legitimate service providers, but rather the municipality of London Ontario who holds the unjust monopoly on garbage collection in the city. The wheels of the current garbage trucks are falling off and more trucks are required to pick up the accumulated garbage on Mondays, so the city needs new trucks anyways, and the garbage wouldn't be piling up on Mondays, because garbage collection would occur each week, on the same day of the week and there would no longer be any need to print and distribute the multi-page blue box filler now referred to as the Waste Reduction and Conservation Calendar.

Apart from the annoyance of trying to remember when garbage day is each week, if it occurs at all that is, it is especially irksome to read the same excuse used to justify the change from a regular pickup date to a rotating one now recycled as a reason to go back to the previous system. When the rotating confusion was mandated, citizens were assured this would help them to act in their own best interests as they would be "encouraged" to cut down on the amount of trash they produced. Likewise with the four container limit. And now, certain members of council are saying that in order for the bag limit to be successful here, trash collection should occur more frequently.
There are problems with the existing system that could be solved with a switch to weekly pickup, staff say:

- Residents are more apt now to put out trash the wrong day, particularly in more transient neighbourhoods such as downtown and student areas.

- Extra trucks and crews are needed to cope with extra big loads Mondays.

- Residents may be less willing to abide by bag limits on garbage when they have to wait as long as 13 days between pickups.

That last factor is important, said Baechler, to meet the provincial goal to divert 60 per cent of waste for recycling. "If we are to meet waste diversion targets our (existing) cycle is very problematic."
You are all idiots and people merely store their garbage for a few days longer - or smuggle it onto their neighbours lawn or into the local mall's dumpster - which results in extra long days for garbage collectors, complete with overtime pay coming out of the same taxpayers pockets, and there is no reduction in waste. Junk the JLC, scrap the creative cities project and I'll willingly pay ten bucks more for reliable garbage pickup and a few dollars more besides to fill the potholes. It's hard to be cultured when the raccoons are taking over in cahoots with provincial and local politicians.

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The Mean Streets of Gundon

It is dusk in London. A grey fog, a haze, a miasma of ineluctable failure has descended over the city. Out of this mist emerge two figures from an alley near Clarence and King Streets. They are indistinct at first, wielding flashlights that they are shining carefully along the filthy pavement before them. We soon realize that these are London Police officers investigating the latest shootings in Downtown London.

Det. Const. Smith: Whaddya make of all these shootin's, Paul?

Det. Jones: It ain't right. It just ain't right.

Det. Const. Smith: Whaddya mean?

Det. Jones: I mean it just don't add up. Nothing fits together. I mean, Gus Macker basketball, hip hop, Rum Runner's Bar, random shootings... nobody talkin' to us... it's like somebody took this crazy old world and scrambled a bunch of totally unrelated, random things together, and... it just don't add up. It's like some googly eyed egghead mad scientist decided to go around committing crimes that nobody could predict, just for the sake of watching us scratch our heads.

Det. Const. Smith: I know... this is just like the time those opera singing double-reverse-transsexual Siamese twins were stabbed with golden knitting needles in a portable geodesic dome outside of the Palasad as the planets converged during Home County, back in '97. Right out of the blue. Where do you even start tyin' that together?

Det. Jones: It's stuff like this makes me wonder whether I'm still cut out for this job. You know, all the training in the world doesn't help you when you add two plus two a thousand times and it keeps comin up five.

The radio crackles to life.

Dispatch: Five-oh-one-niner, we have a seventy-six twenty in progress at the Cracky's Place pub on Glebe Street.

Det. Jones: For christ's sake, when are people going to learn that smoking is illegal in bars?

Det. Const. Smith: We're never going to crack this case here. Maybe we can do some good for the lungs of the wait staff down at Cracky's. Let's roll.

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The trains run on time

Never mind all that TTC stuff, people who should have been shot years ago are starving themselves in the gulags of Amerikka!

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Trying to anaesthetize the way that you feel

Everyone agrees that London's 94.9 CHRW holds the title of the greatest campus'n'community radio station in Canada. Canadians from across all ethnoculturogenderosexualpreferentialeconomicological divides, who normally stare across cultural boundaries with a hostility muted only by the unforgiving application of hate laws and generous spending on awareness programs, agree that it would be hard to imagine a better use for the 94.9 frequency band.

And now, they've implemented a great new feature! You can go here to listen to podcasts of the latest episode of each show.

Finding terrible music online is even more difficult than finding porn, so you'll be relieved to know you can check out my show BIAS INCIDENT by searching there, or hear the first hour here and the second hour here. There's a new show every Thursday morning at 9 AM.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sympathy withheld from the devil

Paul Wells in 2003:

We have decided — and by "we," I mean every large news organization in Canada without exception — that nobody in Canada needs information about how we are governed any more. In a shockingly short time, we have shrunk the moral distance between the Sunday political shows and the weeknight reality shows to zero. Both shows are about who gets voted off the island.
It's apparent that nothing has changed for the better in 2006. Read the rest here, via BumfOnline.

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The unbearable lightness of electing London's mayor

In most elections, reluctant participants and spectators weight lesser evils and greater ones and correspondingly hold their breath or nose in anticipation of one or the other being elected. Sadly, in London's mayoral race, Londoners don't even have that consolation…

As reported twice in the London Free Press, or one-and-a-half times more than journalistically necessary, the news that London North-Centre Liberal MP Joe Fontana may run for mayor against incumbent Anne Marie DeCicco was greeted by a smattering of twittering from London's twittering class. Unless there are a few Londoners excited by the idea of elaborating on imaginary and imperceptible differences in talent in a local political version of American Idol, the mayor's race in November for the rest of us would only expand from a ceremonial choice of one self-serving, arrogant, pragmatically unprincipled and partisan Liberal to a pyrrhic choice between two. Heck, they can't even compete for the base tribal-buying of ethnic factionalism because they're both Italian (sorry, Italian-Canadian).
Meanwhile, Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco said yesterday it doesn't matter who challenges her bid for a third term in November, she's ready to roll. "Our strategy isn't based on who's running," she said.
No, it's based on the bored resignation of Londoners to increased taxes for reduced services as long as it's in the predictable and methodical fashion of the incumbents… that, and the vapid fealty of hangers-on of the special interest lobby groups that she's been sucking up to for the past six years.

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Don't take any chances - throw the coin in the garbage

Radley Balko of the Agitator, writing for Fox:

Nanny Statism is commonly thought to be the province of the left. And with good reason. The public health movement that has taken on obesity and alcohol and given us seat belt laws and smoking bans has always carried with it whiffs of socialism. But the right is no better. If leftists don't trust Americans to make our own decisions about what we eat, what we drink, or whether or not to smoke tobacco, conservatives don't trust us to make up our own minds about what transpires in our bedrooms, what music we listen to, what television we watch, what we consume from the Internet, and whether or not we should smoke marijuana.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Special interest stew

According to the London Free Press, about forty demonstrators protested for protests outside Stephen Harper's appearance at the London Convention Centre Wednesday. The People's Alternative Lunch not only appropriated the vicarious rhetorical device of every totalitarian regime but also served up vegan stew to add the flavour of planned-economy rationing to the event.

Serving vegan stew, bread and vegetables, about 40 protesters, including several local New Democrats, held signs that read "Affordable housing now," "Not another Ipperwash" and "Support our troops, bring them home." Others shouted slogans in defence of public health care, child care and same-sex marriage.
There always being too much of a good thing in a vegan stew, the protesters abstemiously left out baby seals, Kyoto and abortion rights, as tempting as the addition of those grievance ingredients to the broth must have been. The first law of left-wing protests is that every grievance has equal rights and is accorded free love amongst the grievances, thereby spawning more little injustices to grow up into grievances. The indiscriminate carnal familiarity, however, has left some protesters unaware of the parentage of even their own particular truculence:
"There are a lot of different groups here coming out for different reasons," said one protester, Dan Hilton, who was with the London Solidary for Six Nations group. "As a non-native from London, I felt like I need to support (native protesters in Caledonia)."
Still, enough special interests were trotted out to have allowed the protesters to have assembled themselves into appropriate little People's Advisory Committees where they could be officiously as well as popularly ignored.
London-Fanshawe NDP MP Irene Mathyssen was also at the protest, calling on the Conservative government to listen to ordinary Canadians.

"Just because I became an MP doesn't mean I'm not a community activist anymore," the rookie MP said. "This is where I should be. I'm here to support the whole list of issues, and to object to the lack of consultation of this government."
This is precisely where the People's Advisory Committees could come in handy, because when Irene Mathyssen says "ordinary Canadians" she's not talking about the hundreds of thousands of Londoners who didn't show up for the protest, but rather the People, as self-servingly abstract and arbitrary concept that only similarly self-serving and self-appointed representatives would have the audacity to speak for. Don't bother saving any lentils for me.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Violence: Our Common Future / La violence, on y va ensemble

Hot diggity! Transport on the TTC is now free to members of the Scary-Canadian community. The price of a subway or streetcar ride in Toronto is now either $2.75 or an intimidating glare.

For too long the Scary-Canadian community has been prevented by the monoculture from exercising the talents of dominating the weak given to them by Nature. Those who ride the TTC for free are our vanguard, reminding us and calling us back to a more honest and direct world, where the good things in life are enjoyed by those bold enough to seize them.

It is time for Canada to come into line with the world community, which recognizes that violence, power, and intimidation is the most direct path to personal fulfillment and liberation for the disadvantaged. From the torn-up roads of Caledonia to the passengers on the Toronto underground, we must embrace these changes together, not fear them. Fear is weakness, and the weak pay to ride.

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Marie Osmond hates freedom and she has bad hair too

Yet more hysterical cries over the dangers of a free forum. Luckily, only the National Enquirer has so far paid attention to yet another celebrity who believes their cause is more important than everyone else's.

Once an entertainer, always an entertainer I guess.

Pop star-turned-doll maker MARIE OSMOND has launched a personal crusade to clean up the Internet after learning her two teenage daughters have been posting sexually explicit correspondence on their websites. The PAPER ROSES singer felt compelled to give a statement to US tabloid National Enquirer after the publication uncovered outrageous content on her daughters JESSICA and RACHAEL's blogs.

[..] In her statement, shocked Marie, a devout Mormon, says, "I am saddened by some of the choices that two of our children have made. "The insidious potential for harm from adolescent Internet sites like only exacerbates these kinds of problems. "If my being a celebrity figure is good for anything, let it be as a voice of warning to other parents that no matter how protective we think we may have been with our children in the past, we need to become more knowledgeable and even more vigilant now in order to protect them."
Actually, protecting and educating is your job Marie, which apparently you didn't do so well as your sixteen year old is fantasizing about 59 year old David Bowie and posting the sort of material that you claim to object to. If it wasn't for myspace, your daughters might be out whoring themselves on the street corner.

HT: Nealenews

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Let it coagulate

Well, that's too bad.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Smokers must die - if they are still alive that is

Today, via google news, I read that prominent anti-cigarette activist Heather Crowe has died of lung cancer, although she never smoked cigarettes. In 2002, this same waitress, who worked for 40 years, voluntarily, "in smoky conditions", was the first person to win "full compensation" for lung cancer "caused by occupational exposure to cigarette smoke":
"If I'd lost my hand at work they'd have paid me,'' she once said of the claim. "So if they're going to take chunks out of my lungs, why wouldn't I be entitled (to benefits)?''
And are "they" going to pay "me" if I get hit by some drunk headed home from the rub and tug as I'm headed off to work? And when global warming disease is a "recognized" disorder by the "they", can I claim "full" benefits for breathing "bad" air because I cannot work?

If you stick your finger in an electrical outlet at work, and suffer brain damage as a result (although clearly your action was evidence of sluggish neuron firing in the first place ) why should your employer, and yet further the government, be held responsible for your negligent behaviour. Failure to cover all electrial sockets with protective iron bars, complete with password and key protection, is no crime and no reason for compensation.

Not meaning to sound insensitive here, as mortality is not exactly fun, but there are more than a few relevant considerations that are, as to be expected, conspiculously absent in current articles reporting on her death. To begin with, for centuries (well over 40 years), reports of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking have been WIDELY and AGRESSIVELY publicized. Yet Ms. Crowe continued to work as a waitress. Caste system advocates aside, ignorance is no excuse, as the responsiblilty for understanding and learning necessarily begins and ends with the individual. Even granted that tobacco companies are marketing a product which is "bad" for you, the responsiblity does not lie with the restaurant for allowing people to induldge in desired vices in their space and providing wages to people in exchange for labour voluntarily untaken.

And maybe your lung cancer was not a result of second hand smoke.

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Don't Feed The Trolls

Good for Harper. (HT Nealenews). The Canadian media has collaborated with the Liberal Party against Canada and Canadians for many years. There is no reason to play pretend games with them.

Would Elliot Ness consent to being interviewed by a Capone-friendly newspaper? I think not.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased against him so he will avoid them from now on.

The prime minister says the Ottawa press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government. He told a London, Ont., TV station Wednesday that he is having problems with the media that a Liberal prime minister would never have to face. So Harper says he will take his message out on the road and deal with the less hostile local media.
This is a good first step, but Canada needs more. The next logical step: Silence the CBC.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Imagine if tire manufacturers lobbied against filling potholes so they could sell more tires"

So begins Lawrence Lessig in an article for Wired magazine. In California, a pilot program designed by the government to make the annual plunder fest "easier" on taxpayers has been stopped in response to lobbying efforts by the tax-preparation industry:

The state already had the payroll information some taxpayers needed to file their returns, so it filled out 50,000 of those forms for them. Way in advance of the filing deadline, the state mailed the taxpayers their completed ReadyReturns. Like a Visa statement, the ReadyReturn itemized the taxes due, making the process easier for the taxpayer and more accurate for the government. People could either file the ReadyReturn or use the information to fill out forms on their own.

[..] Soon after ReadyReturn was launched, lobbyists from the tax-preparation industry began to pressure California lawmakers to abandon the innovation. Their opposition was not surprising: If figuring out your taxes were easy, why would anyone bother to hire H&R Block? If the government sends you a completed form, why buy TurboTax?

But what is surprising is that their "arguments" are having an effect. In February, the California Republican caucus released a report highlighting its "concerns" about the program - for example, that an effort to make taxes more efficient "violates the proper role of government." Soon thereafter, a Republican state senator introduced a bill to stop the ReadyReturn program.
The program is no great loss to taxpayers, as they would end up absorbing the cost to pay the newly hired bureaucrats in charge of the scheme.

HT: Radley Balko, who examines the story further:
What we all need to realize is that so long Congress continues to spend at a clip equal to 20 percent of the GDP, and so long as politicians use the tax code as a behavior modifier, they'll continue to subject themselves to corrupting influences. With that kind of money being handed out, it's only natural that everyone and his brother would hire a lobbyist to help procure himself a piece.
And Billy Beck links to Balko's post and as usual, gets to the root of the evil.
Look: everything is wrapped-up -- necessarily implicit -- in the first clause of that first sentence, and that first clause, itself, requires analysis to uncover the fact that this ability to "spend" stands on the power to steal. Not one of you reading these words is authorized to go to your neighbors and take from them what is theirs in order for you to transform it into something that you think is good for them. There is no such moral right. And you know it. You would not have any of them do that to you. There is no way that any such right comes to existence by numbers of you gathering to say it does. You cannot delegate to "representatives" a right that is not yours, and this includes the authority to take anyone's goods without their explicit individual consent. That is the very essence of theft, and there is no sleight-of-logic able to make this fact go away, whether you like it or not. And if you don't like it, then you have a problem with facts, and you still have no right to chain me to your psychosis.

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The Insurgency Will Win.

As Ontario moves ever closer to civil war, heroic insurgents are proving the racist character of Canadian public life. By showing that their racial privileges allow them to feel the ecstacy of tearing up roads without being shot like members of lesser races, these militants in the anti-racist struggle have demonstrated that there is one law for White-Canadians, and one law for Bandanna-Canadians. Much as sympathetic White-Americans once went to the back of the bus to show solidarity with their Negro-American brothers, the Bandanna-Canadians destroy fundamental transportation infrastructure to illustrate the inequality of a system that still denies White-Canadians the same freedom.

I'm grateful to my Bandanna-Canadian brothers. The pain of racial discrimination is real, and it lingers like the slavemaster's whip across my back, like the sting of a peace pipe knocked from between my lips.

Not one week ago, Basil and I were out with a pick, a sledgehammer, tweezers, two buckets of water, and a tape measure, performing scientific experiments on the two well-known Oxford Street potholes named "Theseus" and "Minotaur" by the locals. The aim was to settle an argument about the relative ages of these potholes.

Basil's hypothesis was that Theseus had formed before Minotaur. We were attempting to investigate this by comparing the car-paint flecks embedded at each pothole stratum against the relative popularities of car colourings over the past twenty-five years. By so doing we planned to discover which pothole was the elder "inverse heritage monument". (And, truth be told, feel a little frisson of the sheer joy of tearing up pavement.)

Only a small amount of excavation with pick and hammer would have been needed to get enough samples from each stratum. But we hadn't counted on the lingering effects of discrimination against the ethnically challenged. We were stopped almost immediately, pick in the air, by two London police officers. They informed us in a "polite" voice that we were about to commit a crime. "You fucking pigs," I answered, "you're standing in the way of science! Fuck you!"

The officers didn't see fit to respond, and instead stood with arms folded until we slunk off into the night, burning with shame. But the shame would have been that much greater if we'd known that we'd been stopped because of racism. Kudos to the Caledonia Bandanna-Canadians for bringing this double standard into the light where it belongs.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Organized Plunder

From "Why Do We Need Government" by Joseph Sobran:

. . . for most of my life, I believed that social order depended on government. That is, I believed that freedom depended on force, and ultimately that a great good depended on a great evil. I’m afraid most people believe such things, and accept armed men in uniforms as their benefactors.
HT: Jomama of To Herd or not to Herd

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Her Majesty The Queen, F. Winterhalter, 1847

Today is the official celebration in Canada of the birthday of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). As the eponym of an occasion that has degenerated into a colloquial "May 2-4" rendering, it is worth remembering something of why this one monarch's birthday is celebrated above all others in Canada. As the sovereign of the British Empire at its apogee, Queen Victoria remains to this day the emblem of its greatest achievements and its confidence in the virtue of its endowments to the world. This confidence was exhibited in Queen Victoria's assent to the British North America Act of 1867 that granted a great measure of independence to one of its mature colonies (the passage of which, it should be noted, was also a political strategy to counter threats of expansionism from some quarters in the United States of America at the time). The British Empire imparted to the new nation the requisites of lasting freedom and success as a nation — its parliamentary democracy and associated legislative, executive and judicial traditions, a strong independent mettle and a mercantile spirit, the English enlightenment values of liberalism, and, perhaps most importantly, a tradition of restraint in the exercise of power through deference to enduring and abiding institutions that Queen Victoria herself represented in person. These bequeathments served to sustain and strengthen the young nation until well after World War II, even as it went through the construction of the CPR, the introduction of the income tax, and conscription in the First World War. To this day, those values that have not yet been abandoned continue to at least check the declines of our fortunes, as evidenced by comparison with too many other democracies. So by all means, take the occasion of Victoria Day to enjoy yourself, but remember to raise a glass to the memory of the fine old lady.

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Afternoon matinee fails to result in mass carnage

Mitchieville reviews the Da Vinci Code:

The Little Danish Girl and I saw The Da Vinci code yesterday afternoon, and truth be told, we were most impressed. We were not so much impressed by the movie, but by the lack of death and carnage that didn't take place because of the movie. We both figured that if innocent cartoons of the prophet Mohammad (pbuh) caused upwards of 600 deaths worldwide, then The Da Vinci code would set all sorts of records, maybe 1 or 2 million dead and tens of millions injured. But there was nothing, not a single death at the theatre. Boring.

[..] If you want real excitement, turn on the CBC and watch 5 pin bowling, or stare at a mustard stain on your filthy shirt, because you're not gong to find excitement watching The Da Vinci Code.

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We are all subnormals, now

Celestial Junk analyzes The Greatest Canadian's thesis, "The Problem of the Subnormal Family."

It is, without doubt, a document that the Socialist Utopian movement within Canada wishes never existed as it explodes much of the mythology that has carefully gone into building the demigod named Tommy Douglas.

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An Islamofascist Man Of Letters Writes

A wise man once defined a "journalist" as "one who shines the boots eternally stamping on a human face". Now Toronto Star editor and apologist for fascism (but I repeat myself) Haroon Suqadiqqi is supposedly threatening to sue somebody at LittleGreenFootballs for libel.

Libel? I am sure you are filling in your own blanks there. But, let me reassure you, no one has accused Haroon of longing to see our women in burkas. Nobody ever claimed that Haroon wishes to see our children's minds turned to mush by eighth century Koranic gibberish, or institute beheadings of homosexualists in Nathan Phillips Square. It wasn't as if the respondent claimed Haroon goes to bed with a smile every night with the thought that the final solution will be one day closer when he awakens the next morning. No one could claim such a thing because we have absolutely no concrete proof.

The funny thing is that this empty threat is over the incontestably obvious, something for which we do have concrete proof in the form of ink on newsprint: that Haroon is just an ordinary, transparent apologist for the worst people on earth. For example, it's not hard to recognize the regular phenomenon of expulsion/flight from Europe for what it is and what it portends. But here, Harooon actually celebrates the expulsion of the lying Jew Albert Einstein the son of monkeys Sigmund Freud the gold-grubbing Karl Popper former Dutch citizen Hirsi Ali from the continent formerly known as Europe.

The jig is up for Hirsi Ali in Holland. She may move to the U.S., as a fellow at the neo-con American Enterprise Institute...

She wrote and narrated the Theo Van Gogh documentary Submission about the subjugation of Muslim women that led to his murder and to death threats against her, placing her under 24-hour guard...

She would be welcomed in certain circles, which, Klausen warned, “want to see in American politics the development of a kind of Islam-bashing we’ve seen in Europe for a while.”
Ungläubige raus!

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Celebrating the rainbow of cultural diversity in Iran

From an as-yet unsubstantiated story in the National Post:

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

[…] Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."

The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.
At this time, no other news article anywhere appears to cite any source other than the National Post's. While the story has been met with comparisons to 1938 and with querulous demands that the story must be a hoax without reflecting that its very plausibility cannot possibly be debunked to complete the willfully blind effect, the Mayor of Mitchieville recognizes instead that Iran is in fact pointing the way for Western nations to the full culmination of Multiculturalism in all its glorious tokenism:
When you were a child, did you ever play cowboys and Indians rednecks and First Nation Peoples? Sure you did. And what was the best part of playing rednecks and First Nations Peoples? Wearing a badge. Let's face it, everyone loves wearing badges, it distinguishes you, it makes you look like a somebody. That's all the president of Iran wants to accomplish, he wants to make Jews and Christians feel special.
Read the rest here…

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Quotes for the long weekend

The state structure is of secondary significance. That this is so Christ himself teaches us. 'Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's' -- not because every Caesar deserves it, but because Caesar's concern is not with the most important thing in our lives.
— Alexander Solzhenitsyn in As Breathing and Consciousness, from From Under the Rubble (via Paul Tuns)

In a way, the basic urge towards socialism is in all of us, since every one of us is inclined to impose our set of values on others; we seek to 'improve' the other fellow up to our own particular standards. But, most of us will try to 'elevate' the other fellow, and, meeting resistance will give it up as a hopeless job. The socialist, however, has an intuitive urgency for power, power over other people, and he proceeds to bolster this urgency with an ethic: he seeks power for a humanitarian purpose. He would 'elevate' all mankind to his ideal. Since the individual does not wish to be 'elevated', and lays claim to something called rights, the socialist undertakes to prove that the individual does not exist, that an amorphous thing called 'society' is the only fact of reality, and proceeds to impose his set of values on this thing.
— Frank Chodorov, About Socialism and Socialists

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There's Anne Maries everywhere

From the Daily Telegraph, What can you expect from men on the make? (via The Ambler):

But then, of course, most of today's politicians lack the sense of honour and regard for public life that distinguished their predecessors. They go into politics not to serve, but to get a job. They need the salary because they are otherwise unemployable.
One could say that there must be a small few honourable politicians left out there, but given that the defense of all the others would be indistinguishable in content and only perhaps slightly in volume from the few, the safe bet for anyone living in contemporary democracies would be to assume the worst of the whole lot of them. Otherwise one might compound the long list of politically-created obstacles with the delusion that they are here to help.

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"Well, yeah. That's kind of how socialism works…"

What to say when the Ontario government complains about fiscal imbalance:

So the provincial government is upset that the federal government is taking money from it to do things that it doesn't necessarily agree with … because it makes more than the other provinces? Does Ontario wish that it could benefit from its own prosperity rather than divvying up its earnings?

[…] I find it a little bit strange that they advocate doing the exact same thing they're complaining about to higher-income earners within the province when they obviously see the downside to such practises.
From Liberty is Good.

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Red Ensign Brigade, vol. 42

Ruth at Rootleweb has hoisted the 42nd edition of the Red Ensign Standard — the Victoria Day issue. Check out the Douglas Adams-inspired roundup of the best of the best of the past two weeks from that diverse group of bloggers who fly versions of the historical flag of Canada — the Red Ensign.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Useless and annoying positions available

According to the London Free Press, the province-wide smoking ban, taking effect on May 31 in Ontario, turns out to be an employment opportunity — but not, as it happens, for people working in the restaurant and bar industry that had formerly benefited from mutually agreed-upon exchanges in the peaceable pursuits of pleasure or profit in private spaces. Instead, a few more handfuls of bureaucratic underlings accountable neither to taxpayers nor to their unwilling clients will be hired to perform no economic function whatsoever at the cost of wealth extracted from the economy in the form of taxes. Of course, this is what happens when you put people who are a net drag on the economy in the first place in charge of the economy.

Ontario's public health units are getting an additional $5.5 million from the province to help pay for the enforcement of a provincewide ban on smoking in public places that kicks in at month's end.

[…] Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson said the $5.5 million will pay for more than 100 enforcement officers, who will fan out across the province to enforce the new law.

[…] The funding proves the province is serious about making sure the Smoke-Free Ontario Act is followed, he added.
How much would it cost us for the province to appear really serious then?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

White supremacy in reverse

As Radley Balko says, "We're all racists, now":

Apparently, stressing the importance of saving, planning, and critical thinking is now a form of racism. As is rugged individualism.
Public education in action in Seattle:
Cultural Racism:

Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No refunds to be expected from thieves

Sheila Fraser's 2006 report on government mismanagement and corruption also unearths the following "information":

On the financial side, she said the government is owed $18 billion in unpaid taxes.
In other words, the legislators who mismanaged your money they had no right to appropriate in the first place, are seeking still more to fund their various schemes.
Among the few positive notes in her report was her applause for the better management of federal grants.

Public Works Minister Michael Fortier ordered parts of the work on the gun registry contract to be stopped late last month, perhaps as a prelude to the new government's plans for the program.

Many of the revelations included in the audit have since been corrected by a new management team that took over the program in 2003.

"There are problems remaining," Fraser said. "There are problems with the second computer system that is being developed. There are problems with the quality of the information in the database. There are a few performance measures that need to be developed to show the outcomes, but quite frankly those sorts of problems are not atypical of the problems that exist in many government departments."
And so government departments should be slowly dismantled until they no longer exist at all, which is the unspoken logical conclusion of Ms. Fraser's report.

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Golf tournament visitors forced to manoeuvre around potholes:
Welcome to London!

From the London Free Press:

There will be no $200,000 welcome mat for visitors to this summer's CN Canadian Women's Open in London.

City council last night rejected a proposal to spend the money to repave a section of Oxford Street West already slated to be torn up in a few years for sewer replacement and widening.

[…] Board of control backed the project for a second time last week, despite opposition from taxpayers who complained city politicians were more worried about providing a smooth ride for Open visitors than spending money wisely.
Controller Gord Hume, who had stumped for the repaving in magnificently inconsistent fashion ("This is a major route for the people going to the tournament"… oops, I mean "It's not and never has been (about the Open) and staff said that."), shrugged off the defeat with the "don't come running back to me" grace of a failed grade school class president candidate:
Controller Gord Hume, who raised the issue, shrugged off the vote and reiterated his concern the road is in bad shape.

"The road is drivable, that's not the issue," Hume said.

"We'll continue over the next few years repairing and patching it and keep it up the best we can."
As an aside, Free Press reporter Joe Belanger commits a gross error in factual reporting near the end of the article that almost escaped my attention:
The city is operating under a $30-million capital spending restriction, which limits spending on major projects.
In fact, the current council is operating under a self-imposed cap of $30 million in new debt for capital spending. Capital spending for 2006 is budgeted at $78.39 million. Another demonstration of the quality journalism to be found in the Free Press.

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One small step for London city council, one giant leap for entitlement programs

Buried in the depreciatingly abbreviated "Councilbriefs" section of today's London Free Press is an illuminating example of how government programs entrench themselves. Even when political demand from the general public is limited, as evidenced by the electorate's short response to the federal Liberal government's universal childcare program overtures, the process of entrenchment is actively facilitated by mutually agreeable objectives and understandings between different jurisdictional layers of the mandarin classes of politicians and bureaucrats. If these demonstrations are not recognized as indictments of the failure to clearly resolve jurisdictional powers and responsibilities among governments in Canada, the failure will have become unfortunately but irrevocably institutionalized.

London will go ahead with a new federally funded child-care plan without guarantees the funding will continue beyond 2010. City council unanimously approved the Best Start program and said it will lobby the provincial and federal governments to continue funding once the existing $20 million is spent to build new spaces, augment worker salaries and create up to 346 new spaces. Once the federal cash stops, it would cost $3.1 million a year to keep the new spaces open. Best Start funding was stopped by the new Conservative government in favour of a plan to pay a taxable $1,200 baby bonus directly to parents of each child younger than six.
The process will be seen to unfold in its last-half-century-honoured and entirely foreseeable manner: six years of artificially stimulating subsidized spaces and worker salaries will encourage those few who actually benefit from the program — social workers and their activist licensors, a selectively "representative" substrate of parent beneficiaries, and a sympathetic media — to loudly protest against the damage the removal of the program would cause, their benefits morphing into birthrights, as though they would have been impoverished by a Dickensian blight of societal neglect only a few years prior to the introduction of the program. One or more levels of government will then just as surely capitulate to the political expediency of being seen to be sympathetic to the plight of necessity of those who, whatever the rhetoric, are really nothing other than factioners in the welfare state grand old party. The manufacturing of the necessity will have long been forgotten by that time, or regretfully subsumed under the category of "current reality." With hundreds of thousands, or millions, of other Canadians similarly comforted by the Conservatives' $1200 per annum child tax credit in the meantime, Londoners will have found themselves after 2010 bequeathed with not one but two perpetual entitlements and indentures where none had existed before. By such trifling little "councilbriefs" are such penuries produced.

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Census 2006 - Sealing our fate for the next five years

Today is May 16th, the deadline to "count yourself in". I've decided to count myself out, with the possible repercussion of three months in jail or a fine of up to $500.00 for failing to provide the government with personal information used to prop up their regime.

The reminder notice has twice arrived in my monthly visa bill, I've seen the flashy and expensive ads on city buses and in local public libraries, read countless newspaper stories reminding me of "the value" of the survey, which is MANDATORY to complete, and I've received my forms via Canada State Post twice over so far. I lied on the first form, decided not to send it in, and promptly sent the second reminder form into the recycle bin.

Now I am expecting the government's appointed trolls to arrive at my doorstep. The London Fog will provide updates as the story unfolds.

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Carnival of Liberty - XLV

Now available for viewing at Below the Beltway.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

In appreciation for the Atlantic Ocean…

The English now appear to surviving entirely on the remnants of the resiliency of human decency now that their institutions have entirely abandoned them. From the Daily Telegraph:

The "human rights" of foreign ex-prisoners on the run from police are being put before public safety. Detectives across the country are refusing to issue "wanted" posters for the missing criminals because they do not want to breach human rights laws.

Forces said that the offenders had a right to privacy and might sue for defamation if their names and photographs were released.

[…] The Metropolitan Police said: "Anyone who is wanted on any offence has the right to privacy." Greater Manchester Police said: "We could not be sure about putting out information now without possibly defaming somebody." The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says in its guidance to forces: "Article 8 of the Human Rights Act gives everyone the right to respect for their private and family life... and publication of photographs could be a breach of that."
HT: Daily Ablution. If my reading of our transatlantic friend, Owls Aren't Wise, is correct, however, those remnants shall not sustain the English for too much longer. Pity…

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Waiting for the man?

Justzumgai is the man.

It is not "lax laws" which promote gangsterism, but the opposite. A crackdown on meth labs is just what the gangsters need. That way the government will get rid of the amateur and semi-pro competition, leaving the field open to large, well-funded and well organized groups who can afford the accountants, lawyers, front companies, warehouses, political and judicial bribes, muscles, etc.

You have to apply the AHT - someone who takes crystal meth does no harm to anyone except possibly themselves. But if you take money away from hardworking citizens to fight against meth addiction, then you are doing those citizens actual harm. Consider what would happen if you didn't outlaw meth, and you didn't build a high-tax, highly-regulated state. Some people would try meth, but there would be a strong motiviation to stay straight because: (1) Lots of jobs available if you stay on the wagon, because low taxes means lots of investment and lots of entrepreneurial activity; (2) No welfare, so no sitting around all day getting high with rent and groceries paid for by taxpayers; (3) The non-addicts would shoot anyone who tried to rob them to get money to buy drugs.

It is not the Libranos who have turned Canada into such a gangster-friendly republic, it's the Socialists. Any government who thinks that they can fight drug gangs without dismantling the legalized gangsterism of medicare, welfare, native reserves, provincial transfers, equalization, and narcotics laws is dreaming.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Universal entitlement program

Despite the technical failure of the outgoing Liberal government's universal childcare gambit, the desperate electoral ploy has apparently already bequeathed its most important legacy despite having never been really implemented: that is, a powerful and enduring sense of entitlement, one that is interestingly not so much to the general public who instead elected a Conservative government that had promised to do away with it, but to the professionally media-savvy cohorts of politicians, bureaucrats and social activists that would benefit from encouraging senses of entitlement at large for their services. This, despite the fact that the sudden "need" for a universal childcare program is an astonishing admission of an appalling failure of all previous entitlements when parents are suddenly no longer able to provide for their own children's upbringing after centuries without government assistance in the matter. The pressing costs of all such entitlements have rendered the situation now where more entitlements are required, and London city council is prepared to discuss the opportunity to augment the viciousness in the circle. From the London Free Press:

London taxpayers could be on the hook to pick up a $3-million federal child-care program -- or leave hundreds of little kids in the lurch -- when funding is scheduled to run out in 2010. Some members of city council wonder if it's worth the risk to implement the Best Start program without a guarantee of permanent funding.

"I'm pretty hesitant to implement a program designed to be funded with federal dollars that creates huge expectations in the community and when the funding dries up, it falls on the backs of local taxpayers," said budget chief Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell.

Council will vote tomorrow on whether to go ahead with the Best Start program with $20 million received in federal funding.

The money will be used to build as many as 346 new child-care spaces, make wage improvements for workers and give subsidies to parents. But once the federal cash stops, it would cost $3.1 million a year to keep the new spaces open.
Free Press staff reporter Joe Belanger's palpable bias is as always a breath of foetid journalistic air — his "leave hundreds of little kids in the lurch" is a hysterical and contestable bit of editorial propaganda in a "news" article that is meant to insinuate a callous if not almost murderous intent behind any opposition to the program. Nevertheless, the dramatics are an important part of the protocol behind the drive to make the universal childcare program succeed. And it has partly succeeded already — the Conservatives at the least felt compelled by the advancement of the agenda to have some sort of redistributive and utilitarian policy for childcare themselves, even if the $1200 per annum tax credit has the advantage of not entrenching the bureaucrats' and activists' demands. But if council goes ahead with implementing the Best Start program — a neat bit of nomenclative doublethink that is! — they will have succeeded in politically entrenching their interests at a local and possibly provincial level where they have only so far failed at the federal level, which for taxpayers and parents will amount to the same indenture. Councillor Susan Eagle frankly acknowledges the manipulation of the country's political agenda:
Council's community and protective services committee says the city should go ahead.

"I don't see any risk," said committee chair Coun. Susan Eagle. "I'm sure within three years, we'll have a federal government -- regardless of their ideological stripe -- that understands the importance of keeping this program.
Emphasis mine. By "importance," Eagle means that you should read "political importance" — which is the critical framework to establish for the politicians. Eagle continues with a few economic-sounding banalities uninformed by actual economics:
"To me, there's a far greater risk with not going ahead with this. People won't want to move to this community and our young people won't stay because they'll look for employment where they can get adequate child care."

Eagle said the city has a financial stake in the issue since the lack of adequate child care is a barrier to employment that can ultimately see taxpayers shell out more for social services.
Only if the politicians continue to subsidize unemployment, my dear councillor. But she and her kind have already established the political importance of that, so she need not fear any close examination of the economic incentives and disincentives that the politicians have already created to drive the scenario.
Controller Russ Monteith said there's no doubt about the need for child care and is confident council will support the program.

"It's a risk, because at the end of the funding it will be hard to close down those spaces," Monteith said.

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100 billion dollar butter knife registry next on the Liberal's agenda

As the current federal regime slowly begins the long process of dismantling the billion dollar gun registry, advocacy groups continue to ignore reality as the media continues to distort it. Real criminals don't register their guns but they do try to force you to give up your means of self-defence:
Lobbyists opposed to the gun registry are descending on Ottawa in anticipation of Tuesday's report from federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser, a gun-control group says.

The Coalition for Gun Control said Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives may try to use recent leaks about the report to bolster their case for dismantling parts of the registry, which was brought in under previous Liberal governments.

The coalition said information leaked to the media over the past week suggest there are more examples of mismanagement than previously disclosed.

But the organization added that it "is confident there are no major criticisms of the current system operations."

[..] "The ongoing costs are modest. Dismantling the system now, after all the money has been spent, makes no sense," she said in a release.
Don't hire Wendy Cukier as your financial advisor or security guard.

Blogging Party of Canada counters such fools with facts.

HT: Catprint in the Mash

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The Tree of Liberty, James Gillray

James Gillray, The Tree of Liberty, May 1798 (click on image to enlarge; source, Lancaster University's "Age of Reason, Age of Revolution" coursepage). Cited in Gillray's Ungloomy Morality by Theodore Dalyrymple in City Journal, 2002:
Of two trees, the one in the background, called Justice, has abundant green foliage; its two main branches, labeled Laws and Religion, bear healthy fruit called Happiness, Freedom, and Security. The tree in the foreground, called Opposition, is dead and without foliage, as if blasted by lightning; its two main branches are Rights of Man and Profligacy. From its lesser branches hang rotten, reddish-golden apples, each with a bite taken out of it, labeled with such temptations as Democracy, Conspiracy, and Revolution. Down the tree slithers a green snake ending in the jowly head, with its Nixonian stubble, of the radical Whig leader, Charles James Fox, holding out to the figure of John Bull an apple labeled Reform. “Nice apple, Johnny—nice apple!” says Fox. But the real meaning of the temptation is evident from the red revolutionary bonnet of liberty, from which the Fox-serpent’s tail emerges, and from the difference in the roots of the two trees: those of the Tree of Justice being the Commons, King, and Lords of the established British constitution, those of the Tree of Opposition being Envy, Ambition, and Disappointment, the discreditable emotions that are, by implication, the true motives behind French revolutionary radicalism, rather than supposed love of the beautiful abstractions with which the rotten fruit of the Tree of Opposition is marked.

John Bull is a fat and slow-witted country bumpkin, with a certain shrewdness nonetheless: he is wise enough to resist the siren song of beautiful abstractions. “Very nice N’apple indeeed!” he replies to Fox, in the kind of rural dialect that is still to be heard in Norfolk and Gloucestershire. “But my Pokes [pockets] are all full of Pippins from off t’other Tree: and besides, I hates Medlars, they’re so damn’d rotten that I’se afraid they’ll gee me Guts-ach for all their vine looks!” The flashy intellectual brilliance of Fox is no match for the wisdom of ages, the common sense of the freeborn Englishman. I was reminded of an encounter I had with a Salvadoran peasant during the guerrilla insurgency there in the 1980s. He acknowledged that, man for man, the insurgents were probably better people than their opponents on the government side: but still he did not want them to win, for he saw in their abstractions not promises, but threats. His house and farm might have been poor things, but they were his own.
Read the rest here. Reprinted in Our Culture, What's Left of It

The inclusion of The Rights of Man on the discreditable branches of the Tree of Liberty, along with Profligacy, are explained by the utility to which the two are enjoined to wantonly propagate the bastard children of "rights" in a common assault upon the enjoyment of natural rights and the decency of human beings. See From stiff upper lip to clenched jaws from Dalrymple in The Australian, May 6, 2006:
WHAT a human catastrophe is the doctrine of human rights! Not only does it give officialdom an excuse to insinuate itself into the fabric of our lives but it has a profoundly corrupting effect on youth, who have been indoctrinated into believing that until such rights were granted (or is it discovered?) there was no freedom.

Worse still, it persuades each young person that they are uniquely precious, which is to say more precious than anyone else; and that, moreover, the world is a giant conspiracy to deprive them of their rightful entitlements. Once someone is convinced of their rights, it becomes impossible to reason with them; and thus the reason of the Enlightenment is swiftly transformed into the unreason of the psychopath.
Read the rest here.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Housewives seek email ban

The problem with "public" property:
If a housewife has the corners of her cupboards clean, and last night's dishes washed, there is no great trouble in the letting police "look through" any more than prospective buyers or inspectors from the gas company.

Emily Murphy - A Canadian Statist
Everyone owns the space, so nobody in particular does, except the government and its officials, who hold the monopoly on the use of force.

Alex Halperin writing for Business Week online:
The campaign to crowd out predators from is gathering steam in Washington. House of Representatives lawmakers proposed a bill on May 9 that would block access to social networks and Internet chat rooms in most federally funded schools and libraries.

Social networks such as MySpace (NWS) and Facebook let users to create an online profile, often including photos and blogs, for sharing and making friends. Phenomenally popular, these sites have attracted criticism for making it easier for predators to contact teens and children.

[..] The Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) defines the restricted areas as those that allow "users to create Web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users" and offer "a mechanism of communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, e-mail, or instant messenger."
HT: Slashdot

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

What's the email address of "The People"?

Lee Harris asks, "Why Isn't Socialism Dead?"

Billy Beck responds with a quote from H.L. Mencken:

"The believing mind reaches its perihelion in the so-called Liberals. They believe each and every quack who sets up his booth on the fairgrounds, including the Communists. The Communists have some talents too, but they always stop short of believing in the Liberals."

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21st century headline…

…in San Francisco: Heterosexual elected Episcopal Bishop of Calif

HT: Paul Tuns

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The "business" of government

William Watson on the absurdity of legislatively-protected monopolies providing staple commodities and inevitably answering more to political considerations than to real-world supply and demand:

Something I've never, ever understood is why our big hydroelectric companies run ad campaigns trying to get us to use less energy. … How many other companies run ad campaigns discouraging the sale of their principal product? It's as if McDonald's tried to talk people out of buying hamburgers: "Billions and billions served and that's just about enough."
Read the rest here.

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Diverting attention

"Lobbying" is the activity of attempting to influence legislation by privately influencing the legislators. It is the result and creation of a mixed economy—of government by pressure groups. Its methods range from mere social courtesies and cocktail-party or luncheon "friendships" to favors, threats, bribes, blackmail.
— Ayn Rand, The Pull Peddlers
The effect of restrictions on lobbying is to restrain the opportunity for people and organizations to contribute financially to their interests in the political process. This abridgement of free speech has been generally regarded — meaning reflexively and stupidly believed as a result of constant iteration — as a reasonable limit to ensure that the political process is not captured by wealthy special interests and to reduce the appearance of corruption in politics. Indeed, both were cited in 2004 by the Supreme Court of Canada as plausible excuses for abridging the right to free speech which is enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in favour of an incontestably vague concept of "electoral fairness" which is, of course, nowhere in the Charter. It's odd then, when the Supreme Court decision was brought to bear against Stephen Harper as a respondent in a challenge against Liberal campaign finance laws in his previous incarnation as president of the National Citizens Coalition, that it is the same Stephen Harper who, as Prime Minister of Canada, is promoting a Federal Accountability Act that, among other things, includes a Lobbying Act that is meant to severely curtail the ability of individuals and organizations to influence bureaucrats and politicians.

Of course, for political purposes, the appearance of corruption is and must be the only problem, and the only thing that politicians will really aspire to address. Corruption is nothing more than an exchange of commodities, of course, not in the free market or in the approximation of the free market that is generally understood to be as such, but rather in a centrally-run and highly regulated economy, because the commodities exchanged are political favours for financial partisan favours. By going after the lobbyists, politicians are simultaneously protecting their privileges of granting those favours and at the same time exempting from blame themselves as the cause of the problem and ascribing it instead to the symptom. As Terence Corcoran writes in an excellent piece in today's Financial Post:
Why so many lobbyists? Because there isn't a nook or cranny of the Canadian economy that isn't the target of some bureaucrat or politician looking to score some populist points or ride some wild policy bandwagon.
I don't mean to exonerate the buyers in dishonourable transactions, but the demand in this kind of exchange is artificially stimulated by the penalties for failing to purchase attached by a monopolistic seller. What is meant by a lobbyist's special interest is often simply that he must bribe bureacrats and politicians to return to him what ought to have been his in the first place, in opposition to others trying to bribe bureaucrats and politicians against him. Even when that is not the case, that lobbyists often conspire with and bend the hazards of arbitrary regulations and legislation to place themselves at a competitive advantage is less an indictment of lobbyists than of the ridiculous market in political and financial favours that government has sponsored and which ultimately is designed to serve its own corrupt interests by exerting control over what is not rightfully its own.

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Potholes are part of London's heritage, unless there is a sporting event going on

The $200,000 concrete carpet will likely go forth as planned just in time for the Canadian Women's Open, despite widespread opposition from the people who reside and pay taxes in this city. Council continues to call for public input, only to ignore the preferences of Londoners in favour of their own schemes. We can expect nothing less from a system where individuals are at the mercy of officials elected by a minority of voters, for a fixed duration, and their favoured special interest groups. Council of course wants to convince visitors - clearly not Londoners, who are well acquainted with the continuing mismanagement of this city - that they are doing a fine job determining the preferences of the masses. Don't be deceived folks - this city is a mess and under no circumstances should anyone relocate here.

Readers may recall the proposal put forth by Gord Hume to the Board of Control last month to repave a portion of Oxford Street leading to the London Hunt and Country Club, which is hosting the upcoming golf tournament. Although the section in question is slated to be torn up in a few years for widening and sewer replacement, the Board of control has for a second time recommended that the crumbling section of Oxford street should be repaired, right away! because "suddenly" that pothole-ridden stretch is more important than the other crumbling streets in London. Western Road and King Street, to mention only two streets out of hundreds needing repair, have been voted among the worst roads in Ontario for the last few years, but if Hume has his way this coming Monday, Oxford street will be "jumping the queue."

From today's London Free Press:

A public outcry over the city's plans to spend $200,000 to repave a section of Oxford Street West slated to be torn up in a few years appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Board of control backed the project for a second time yesterday, despite opposition from taxpayers who complained city politicians were more worried about providing a smooth ride for visitors to the Canadian Women's Open than spending money wisely.

Controller Gord Hume, who raised the issue last month, said his concern has always been the condition of the road, not the ride for Open visitors.

"It's a lousy road and staff are saying it's got to be done," Hume said.

"It's not and never has been (about the Open) and staff said that."
And this is what Gord Hume said when the project was proposed early last month:
The issue was raised by Controller Gord Hume, who worried the road's poor condition would leave a bad impression with the thousands of visitors -- including media -- expected for the golf event.

"I was on that road last week on a bus and you really get bounced around," he said. "This is a major route for the people going to the tournament."
And it goes without saying that city staff shouldn't be listened to anyway:
London should bid to hold the 2007 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, the city's community and protective services committee recommended yesterday. If council approves the bid Monday and the city secures the event, there would be an upfront cost of $50,000. But staff assured politicians the tournament would make money as previous tournaments have.

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