Friday, June 30, 2006

God burped and it made no difference

Billy Beck on rights:

That moral sanction to exercise full authority (with commensurate responsibility) over one's own life in a social context including other human beings -- that thing is what's called a "right". Nobody who is forcibly constrained by someone else's judgement can be said to be able to conduct his own life. That violates the nature of the entity that we're talking about: the one that doesn't have wings, speed, claws, etc., but only a mind.

Please keep in mind that this is a bi-lateral concept running to and from all human beings to all others: "full authority over one's own life" does not imply a moral sanction to dispose of others' lives, because -- by their nature -- they have the very same requirement for survival and flourishing.

That's why we require rights. It is because of what we are. There is nothing more or less to it.

[..] Nobody seriously asks, "Well, who made it so that two plus two equals four, or that things fall down instead of up, or that birds gotta fly? Hmm?" There is a good reason why no one asks questions like that, and it's because that's just the way the universe is laid out. It's the way it is. That, right there, is The Whole Rule of The Game. "Ready, set, go!" We're talking about the nature of things, to begin with, and then because of all of the given facts of that -- whether they fell out of the sky or got burped up out of the primeval glow of whatever you wannafuck -- many of those crucial facts line up in a distinct heirarchy of fact (the way things are) and truth (the fact that we can know the way things are) to arrive at the nature of an entity -- having a nature of its own just like everything else in the universe must have a nature, an identity, of its own -- this entity being a human being, as I thumbnailed at the top of the class.

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London Fog to market garbage juice from Southwestern Ontario landfill site

Londoners need not fear the juices oozing from their uncollected bags of trash. In fact, some find it rather tasty, like Bob McCaig for instance:

The boss of Southwestern Ontario's newest mega-landfill, poised to possibly take Toronto's trash, insists his dump is environmentally safe.

How safe?

So safe, McCaig had no problem yesterday downing a glass of the juices that ooze from the Green Lane landfill in Southwold Township.

"(It's) a tiny bit sweet," he said, after swallowing the treated sample of so-called leachate that pours out of landfills like his own.

"I've drunk it many times," McCaig said, to prove his point the 130-hectare site is environmentally sound. "I don't recommend people drink it as a habit, but a little bit never hurt anyone."

Though the leachate wasn't "unpleasant," McCaig said, "a single malt (Scotch) would go better with it."
No matter whether the citizens are sorting their wet and dry and recycling religiously, the garbage has to go somewhere for processing. London seems an appropriate sacrifice. Half the distance, half the emissions.

Let us all bury our heads in the sand.

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Sacred cow inflation

[An] important source of tyranny and absolutism in the school system is the fact that the teachers are under Civil Service. As a result, once a formal examination is passed — and this has little relation to actual teaching competence — and a little time elapses, the teacher is on the public payroll, and foisted on the children for the rest of his working life. The government bureaucracy has fostered Civil Service as an extraordinarily powerful tool of entrenchment and permanent domination. Tyranny by majority vote may be unpleasant enough, but at least if the rulers are subject to democratic checks, they have to please the majority of the voters. But government officials who cannot be voted out at the next election are not subject to any democratic check whatever. They are permanent tyrants. "Taking something out of politics" by putting it under Civil Service certainly does "increase the morale" of the bureaucracy. It elevates them into near-perpetual absolute rulers in their sphere of activity. The fact that teachers are under Civil Service is one of the most damning indictments against the American compulsory system of today.
— Murray Rothbard, Education: Free and Compulsory
As civil servants, public school teachers relinquish parents as clients — an arrangement most conducive to tending to the individual educational demands of children — and substitute for them the government. Teachers thus enter into a reciprocal tyranny with the government such that, while they suffer themselves from the arbitrary policies and restraints of a centralized authority, they reap the benefits of a monopoly political influence over elected politicians sensitive to the damaging popular effects of disruptions to their manufactured sacred cow. In either case, however, each side is compensated by the other either with money or control — commodities which both covet — but it is the taxpayer and the parent who formerly owned both that suffer the most without any compensation. Terence Corcoran provides a shining example of this in today's Financial Post:
The same crises that plague private pensions — brought on by the same wonky assumptions, unfavourable laws and mounting deficits — is ripping through government-run plans. The big difference is that while private sector plans such as Nortel's must face funding realities, governments and their unions are looking at limitless supplies of taxpayer cash to bail them out.

To illustrate, we have the latest grotesque news out of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. The funding shortfall at OTPP, last estimated at $32-billion, would sink the average corporation. At OTPP, such numbers are no big deal. The two "partners" in the plan — the teachers' union and the provincial government — got together to "negotiate" out from under the $32-billion and, in a matter of months, came up with an "agreement." They had no problem finding the money, and not one gilded edge on the gold-plated teachers pension benefits had to be trimmed. Even indexing to inflation remains untouched.

Full details are to be released tomorrow, but it looks nothing short of an amazing feat. The partners, after tough talks, decided to reach over and grab fistfuls of cash out the pocket of taxpayers.
Read the rest here. They've got your children and your taxes… so what are you going to negotiate with?

Crossposted at Dust my Broom

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Get the hell off my property

Hurray to Norfolk County council for refusing to take $350,000 in provincial funding from the trough to implement the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Better yet, the reason the funding was rejected is because the county is refusing to enforce the province-wide ban. If only London City council were so principled!

But the Lords lording over the lords are determined to force that funding, and with it, enforcement of the ban. The UN is monitoring the situation closely:

Ontario's chief medical officer of health is weighing her options now that Norfolk County, the heart of Ontario's tobacco-growing region, has refused to enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

Dr. Sheela Basrur has legislative remedies at her disposal that would force Norfolk to accept funding for a full-time enforcement officer. This includes the Health Protection and Promotion Act, which details the responsibilities local boards of health have toward the public.

Basrur also has the option of appointing an enforcement officer that answers to her office.

"My first preference would be that Norfolk, as the local board of health, perform its responsibilities directly," Basrur said yesterday. "I don't want to go around council. But at the end of the day, we will ensure that these responsibilities are carried out properly."
Step forward if you remember electing Sheela Basrur to police your emissions.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Smokers identified as major cause of global warming

A reader of "The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter" comments on the US Surgeon General's report on evil second-hand smoke. Soon, your neighbour ten floors above will claim your second-hand emissions are to blame for his health problems. The proceeds of his successful lawsuit will be used to purchase treatment in the US.

In essence what the latest fear and loathing propaganda unleashed by the U.S. S.G. is doing is painting smokers as bad, selfish humans who are now willfully endangering the lives of "innocent" non-smokers and children by continuing to smoke tobacco.

Smoking around innocent non-smokers and children even in outdoor areas will now constitute assault and attempted murder in the eyes of some anti-smoking radicals.

There will be violence committed by both sides against one another in regards to the issue of smoking and second-hand smoke. The pros and the cons will end up declaring war on one another.

The intolerant, anti-smoking radicals will attempt to seize the S.G.'s report as a form of intolerance and use it as a means to empower the bigotry and hatred.
In Canada, the Comrades are hard at work empowering bigotry and hatred against obese people. The more trans fats consummed, the longer the lean have to wait in line for treatment.
A federal task force is proposing new regulations that would limit levels of trans fats. If followed, they would decrease the average trans fat intake of Canadians by at least 55 per cent.

The Trans Fat Task Force is recommending a two per cent limit of total fat content for vegetable oils and soft spreadable tub-type margarines; and a five per cent limit on all other foods containing industrially produced trans fats.

This five per cent limit does not apply to food products for which the fat originates exclusively from ruminant meat or dairy products.

[..] "In setting the recommended limits, the task force recognized that we will never completely get rid of trans fats. We strove for the lowest levels that would be feasible and would achieve the desired health benefits," said task force co-chair Dr. Mary L'Abbé, of Health Canada.

The task force limits apply to trans fat levels of finished manufactured foods as well as the content of ingredients in foods prepared at retail and food service establishments.
Home meal inspectors are next. Gotta make sure you wash that carrot properly.

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A Private Property Issue

Billy Beck on burning flags:

Try it like this: a person could be said to be making the same sort of political statement in burning a swastika on a lawn, except that they'd better be burning it on their own lawn instead of someone else's. That's the very first thing.

Anyone could burn a flag if they wanted to, as a matter of rejecting the value that you posit here, but they can't burn someone else's flag. If they want to do that, they have to acquire their own. First. And if it's theirs, then that means that they can do what they want to with it.

As for the political value we're talking about: even if we agree on it -- which I don't have too much of a problem with -- if we're talking about freedom, then we're necessarily talking about the leave to use one's own mind in judging that value. (Always remember: "Of what value, to whom?") And you and I might say that someone who rejects it is being stupid, but if freedom means anything at all, it means that people have the right to be stupid -- with their own property (first thing) -- whether we like it or not.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"They aren't engineering society to anybody's benefit" but their own

The UN has released their annual World Drug Report, "a comprehensive overview" of the drug consumption and production habits of people across the world. According to the findings designed to support the agenda, marijuana is the drug of choice across the planet. The report restricts its scope to "illicit" drug users and traffickers, but does not fail to mention the "licit" use of tobacco far exceeds the "illicit" use of weed, thus justifying in advance the existence of the UN and its orchestration of a "multilateral drug control system."

Frustrated and fearful tobacco smokers worldwide are begging the UN to pressure nation states to outlaw the recreational use of tobacco for the good of society, although the native population will most likely be exempt from the new rules.

From the Vancouver Sun, via Nealenews:

The increasing potency of marijuana -- spurred on by hydroponic growers in places such as B.C. -- means the world should no longer consider pot a "soft" drug, according to a report released Monday by the United Nations.

"Today, the harmful characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin," Antonio Maria Costa, director of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crimes, said in a written statement.

[..] While this year's report covers everything from opium production in Afghanistan to cocaine consumption in Europe, it takes specific aim at marijuana in a section titled, "Cannabis: Why We Should Care."

The report argues that marijuana is by far the most popular drug in the world, with about 162 million users every year compared to just 16 million for opiates and 13 million for cocaine.

And the number of marijuana users worldwide has jumped by more than 10 per cent since the late 1990s -- a larger increase than for any other illicit drug.
Marijuana is bound to be more popular than crack, precisely because its effects are milder, more pleasureable and less harmful to the user. Individuals generally concerned with their own preservation don't typically choose the most destructive substances around and even if cocaine was classified as a "licit" drug, most people would probably choose coffee instead. And so what if they don't, except:
Criminals love the drug war for driving up the profits on simple plant substances that would otherwise be cheaper than wheat. Their counterparts in the law enforcement business love the drug war for providing a never ending excuse for increasing budgets to accomplish the impossible, and the opportunity to go after easy targets like pot growers instead of tackling more dangerous and difficult problems like the actual violent criminals we are supposedly paying them to pursue in the first place.

When it goes beyond its proper role of protecting life, liberty, and property, government gets into the business of taking money to create problems that then must be solved by taking more money. The further problems caused by those "solutions" only provide further profit opportunities.
But let us not digress. Bird flu might not be the more pressing pandemic of our time if "we" are to believe the United Nations of Collective Bullshit. Global warming is responsible for increased cannabis use. Stop growing food and save the planet:
"The cannabis pandemic, like other challenges to public health, requires . . . a consistent commitment across the political spectrum and by society at large," Costa said in his statement.

[..] The UN report acknowledges that marijuana is different from heroin and cocaine -- noting it is almost impossible to overdose on it and, because it is so cheap, its users are far less likely to commit crimes to feed their habits.

But the report argues marijuana is still a dangerous substance that requires attention.
Tell that to the chemotherapy patient seeking relief from their afflictions.

Sorehead on Social Engineering:
Engineering is the application of force to physical objects in ways that produce actively useful products-mechanisms, machines and other items.

There are various level of indirection in engineering; we can force materials into shapes which can be used to apply superior force to superior materials and so on down to the final products, which defy hand-tooling techniques and pricing.

Then along came Social Engineering.
The reasoning went,"We can 'change' people to make them 'better'."
The reasoning was specious.
The reasoning hid a multiplicity of evils.
The reasoning contained no real reasoning.

Engineering is the application of force.
This was fully understood by the proponents of social engineering, but supported by people who believed in the 'miraculous' production of undisputable goods by the magic of engineering as they (didn't) understand it.

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New truth replaces the old truth, again

What people will believe these days…

There is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke — and the only way to protect nonsmokers is to ban smoking completely in office buildings and public places, concludes a report by the U.S. Surgeon-General released Tuesday.
No risk-free level? Good lord! The inescapable conclusion from the Surgeon-General's report is that, despite increasing longevity and standards of living, we are all doomed! It is clearly too late for current generations who must have been exposed to second-hand smoke at some time during their life, but future generations benefiting from overbearing government legislation may at least be spared having to die someday.

No risk-free level? Can one really be expected to credit this statement as an incontestable fact? If there is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke, there ought to be no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand car exhaust, factory pollution, agricultural pesticides, flouridated water, carbohydrates, guns, clowns, etc. When governments engage in this sort of hyperbole it is when its authority over those commodities and exchanges can be safely expanded with minimal risk to its own revenues.

The only people who flout their belief in this sort of hogwash are the activists who share a vicarious interest with the government in confining individual behaviour to circumscribed bounds. Where governments do it for the sake of exercising authority, activists do it for the sake of claiming moral authority, by legal default if necessary. But both are utterly self-serving in all their pronouncements.

But wait… according to StatsCan, Canadians are smoking less already but are getting fatter. One cannot expect, however, any compensatory balancing of the government's claims upon the incidents of individuals' health. As proprietor, the government will simply add to the benefits it can claim from its human resources. "There is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand carbohydrates," anyone?

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Londoners have opinion on fiscal imbalance… no reason cited

The London Free Press asks its readers:

[Image captured 7:45pm June 27, 2006. Poll results not archived by the Free Press.]

Not to impugn the wisdom, received or otherwise, of those Free Press readers bold enough to venture an authority to their opinion on the question, but how can it be properly answered at all? Transfers of taxpayer wealth between municipal, provincial and federal jurisdictions, agencies and special interest clients are so pandemic, convoluted and underreported that specific monetary claims of fiscal imbalance by various governments cannot be substantiated by even a meticulous researcher and must only be taken at faith by the rest of us. So who's responding to this poll? There can be no meaning attached to the results. There may be, and probably are, some genuine grievances of fiscal imbalance, but one could no longer possibly tell the difference between those and self-serving claims by governments that cry foul when they cannot balance expenditures with revenues without raising taxes or running a deficit. It does not take a political scientist to understand that an elaborate ultra-Constitutional system of confusing jurisdictional and taxation responsibilites serve eventually the political interests of all levels of government involved. One can either scapegoat or download almost at will these days. So it is that the Ontario government, dedicated to its fiscal imbalance proposition, committed in its most recent budget to increase spending above and beyond higher-than-anticipated revenue increases in order to maintain the politically advantageous position of a deficit. Is it any wonder that London's Anne Marie DeCicco and other Canadian mayors are now pleading the same excuse for their own lack of spending restraint?

The media's continued attention to the subject of fiscal imbalance without any real scrutiny of the claims serves to absolve premiers and mayors of their own policies. The Free Press' blithe poll question meets the same absolutely minimum requirement of deliberation. For example, the Free Press could have easily posed to its readers these other non-questions, at the gain of no more insight or understanding than the one it did pose:

  • Do the provinces give enough money to Ottawa?
  • Does Ottawa give enough money to cities?
  • Do cities give enough money to the provinces?
  • Do the provinces give enough money to cities?
  • Doe cities give enough money to Ottawa?
The actual poll and the other ones I have suggested in reality boil down to the same question:
  • Does [insert level of government here] give enough money to me and my interests?
The question that is never asked, however, and should be is simply,
  • Haven't taxpayers given enough money to all these clowns?
It's bad enough when governments waste your money, it's worse when they play political games with it.

Also, see Paul McKeever's Financial Post article from January on "gap-osis" and a fair and simple solution to the problem. McKeever is the leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario.

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Carnival of Liberty LI

Carnival of Liberty #51 is up and now available for viewing at Below the Beltway.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Assessment growth: stealth taxation

Local politicians frequently like to remind Londoners of their achievements in expanding the city's assessment base. On the face of it, this would appear to be a credit to sound financial management, but consider that those revenues from assessment growth have actually mitigated property tax rate increases of 5.9, 6.63 and 2.95 per cent from 2004 to 2006 respectively, well above the rate of inflation. For example, the city's budgeted property tax revenue for 2006 is actually five per cent higher than in 2005, of which 2.08 per cent is the result of assessment growth and 2.95 per cent comes from the rate increase. In other words, municipal spending has increased at higher rates than the property tax rate hikes would themselves suggest. Residents might be surprised, then, to credit the municipal government with sound financial management when they consider that, without assessment growth, property tax rates would have risen further still.

Yet despite the deterrent effect of preposterously increased taxes in the past few years, London still does boast of expansion in the assessment base. But contrary to the suggestion of local politicians, who by citing the fact insinuate credit for it, the growth has been no achievement of theirs — it has occurred in spite of their policies. Credit for the growth in the assessment base in London is owed mostly to:

  • the prohibitory expense of and artificial legal restrictions on development in the Toronto area;
  • the large surrounding area of annexed land around London that the city does not service but from which collects disproportionate taxes — a method of stealth taxation that will continue to be expedited through annexations and amalgamations in Ontario; and
  • a monetary policy that has created low interest rates fuelling an artificial boom in property investment, development and speculation.
Should Londoners then continue to expect an expansion of the assessment base to blunt the effects of the city's spending on their own taxes? The province may continue to step in with more artificial devices to subsidize the urban beneficiaries of promiscuous municipal program growth at the expense of rural taxpayers, but a politically acceptable limit to this strategy will eventually be met in an inevitable downturn in economic and real estate fortunes. In this event, residents must hope that the city will curtail and reduce its spending to avoid even larger future increases in property tax. How likely is this? Inevitably, government programs once begun or funded at certain levels are almost irrevocably entrenched. Councillors are hounded either by their own conscience or by an army of program dependents not to rob people of their new inheritances. When the economy slows down or the real estate boom ends, taxpayers will find both the programs and the municipal debt obligations in place, leading to demands for even higher property tax increases, in turn damaging local economic prospects even more.

The political solution to woes that the city already anticipates without telling you is found in municipal demands for greater and more diverse taxation powers and for redistributions of cash between various levels of government for the purpose of evening out the flow of blame. Looks good to one candidate or another at any given election time, but it's still an outflow of tax dollars from London residents in one form or another or redirected through different jurisdictions. The only demonstrable solution for the taxpayer is for the city to cut spending immediately.

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Famine predicted in Mitchieville Ontario

Insurgents in London are strongly encourging insurgents in Mitchieville to force democratic elections. According to homeless crackheads in East London, the collective members of London Fog are planning to infiltrate the central bureaucratic holding power over the town. Soon to be appointed Minister of Government Services, (adjust your blogroll Mayor and Fenris), London Fog will effectively rule over all of the cabinet ministers in Mitchieville and achieve world peace, Bono-style.

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Contemporary Government

Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips is considering drafting legislation to protect consumers from making potentially stupid purchases. Now if only there was proper legislation in place to prevent the ruling party from spending $219,000 on a new logo for the province.

Gift cards are presently under scrutiny by the red shirts in Ontario:

Some consider gift cards a handy gift idea for hard-to-buy-for loved ones. Others, particularly anyone who's tried to use one, only to be told it was expired -- might well consider them a scam.

Politicians in Ontario are starting to hear cries of foul from consumers burned by gift cards with expiry dates, and are considering imposing some rules about it.

Gerry Phillips, the minister responsible for consumer affairs, said he's listening to the public's cries for action.

"There's some merit in taking a good look at it," Phillips said. "A lot of people end up with gift certificates that are expired and find they can't use it and wonder why. There's a legitimate consumer concern out there."
Most of the gift cards that expire allow the gift receiver to use the funds within one to two years. Now, if the gift recipient held a high value on the purchasing power of that card, it's not likely it would sit in his wallet or desk drawer for some 26 months or more.

But hurt feelings and dashed expectations of entitlement won't do, and if you declined to read the fine print on the back of the card, Peter Kormos, consumer critic for the New Democrats, feels for you and plans to introduce a private members bill in the fall to prevent gift recipients from suffering the effects of the poor consumer choices of their benefactors.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

The line at the food bank grows longer still

Like their federal counterparts, the Ontario Liberals freely distribute money to their pals for expensive advertising work. Word is out that McGuimpy and his gang have paid Bensimon Byrne, a Liberal-friendly advertising firm, $219,000 to design a new Ontario trillium logo. Liberal-friendly sign and stationary makers are applauding the change.

Comrades, the ruling party is spending your entitlement on government awareness. Don't complain.
Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips defended the logo revamp, saying it wouldn't cost taxpayers much since stationery, government documents and signs will be replaced gradually over the course of years.

"As we do something new, we're going to bring it in. We won't be going out taking old signs down. It's just as we redo any sign, we'll start," Phillips told the Toronto Star.

"It'll be a long evolutionary period," he said, adding the new logo first appeared in little-noticed ads in March.

"This is the fourth time the trillium has changed since it came in. You look at it and say, `Is it still contemporary or not, can we refresh the thing?'" he said, noting the 1964 design was modified slightly in 1972, 1994 and 2002.

[..] "The feeling was, we want to retain the trillium: Is there a way to modernize it a little bit? That's the purpose of it. It's just making sure that the government looks like a contemporary government," he said.

Phillips, the architect of legislation banning partisan political advertising by governments, insisted it's just coincidental that it resembles the Liberal rendition of Ontario's official flower.

"It's more like the NDP logo," he said.
Mack the Plain Little Turtle has the inside story:

Word has it that the estate of the late Colonel Sanders is about to sue for trademark infringement by the government of Ontario (Canada). Ontario, which announced yesterday that it has spent $219,000.00 for a redesign of the provincial government's trillium flower label, is alleged to have simply cut and paste it from a special part of the the stylized artwork of the Colonel's face, found on the side of the Colonel's chicken packaging: his facial hair.

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The Volksreich needs healthy children

According to the London Free Press, the government agency Health Council of Canada has issued a report calling for re-allocation and expansion of government programs to promote child health and welfare in Canada. Apart from the typical incontestable and inscrutable bromides included to cover the authors' self-serving suggestions with an over-arching generic sentimental authority, the report's recommendations include renewed government commitments to early childhood learning, the creation of a new Mental Health bureaucracy to complement its own and provide employment for its friends, and expanded income redistribution programs.

The report repeatedly implores community involvement in the plan to keep children healthy, which, as is well known, is government-speak for increased funding for special interest groups friendly to the authors' agenda. The uniquely Canadian aspect of the report is that the authors take for granted that the consent of the governed is obtained simply by proclaiming it in a government document:

"I think in this report what we've done is propose a Canadian kind of model that emphasizes the importance not just of communities and families being strengthened and supported, but their taking initiatives in concert with all levels of government. [Emphasis added.]
Couldn't do it for ourselves, say the authors… The word "collective" is employed eight times in the document.

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The London Fog district soviet

Nothin' says progressive polynormative lovin' like an endorsement from First Comrade Fenris Badwulf from Mitchieville, the illustrious persynage for whom Orwell was obliged to qualify "all animals are equal" with "…but some animals are more equal than others."

I never really realized what a socialist paradise London Ontario had become until I began reading [the London Fog]. Do check them out to catch up on the latest madcap hilarity that is collectivist rule untainted by ability. Certainly, London is the place that Robert Mugabe would retire to as Mayor for Life, if only Curly, Larry, and Moe would step down as city councilors.

London Ontario is a shining beacon of what lies ahead for the lesser urban communities of Erin, Orton, Brisbane, Ballinifad, and Cedar Valley as they grow towards a multicultural utopia, oozing with diversity and crawling with activists.
The London Fog forwards a cheque to Fenris and refutes all Trotsky-ite heresies. Fenris knows our inmost thoughts; all his life he has cared for us.

As Fenris fructifies the earth, restores the centuries and makes the spring bloom, etc., he is sacrificing for the unbearable supreme love he holds for us all, and takes on all the troubles of our times entirely upon himself. For example, what to do when politically correct, activist-friendly victim groups collide?
Which group in a given situation has the greater claim to victimization? The Greater Victim gets our sympathy, grief counseling, the book deal with Oprah, front of the line access to health care, and a handout; the Lesser Victim gets jail.

[…] This is the defining question for philosopher-activists of situational ethics of the twenty-first century. Who gets arrested? Who gets the handout?
Challenging questions, yes? Who but Fenris, or a lesser activist who has received the proper training from the Ministry of Handouts, could come up with the correct response:
I suggest that a research group be formed to study the definition of the problem and report back to the steering sub-committee with a request for funds to initiate planning of an action plan.
Oops, another cheque on the way…

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Public Eating Tyrants Afoot

These people give vegetarians a bad name.

According to a recent news release on PETA's website, the organization that cares more about insects than human beings is urging a provincial fire inspector in Nova Scotia to investigate the cause of a fire that prematurely took the lives of 6200 chickens. I would have thought PETA would have been happy a good portion of the farmer's investment went up in smoke, thus ending the miserable lives of the enslaved chickens destined to end up on human dinner plates.

Although fire department officials have stated that the cause of the fire was electrical in nature, PETA is asking for an investigation to determine whether the barn’s owner, ACC Cooperative, failed to properly maintain the equipment that sparked the blaze. This and other possible forms of negligence leading to the birds’ death could constitute a violation of local or federal cruelty-to-animals laws. PETA is calling for a safety inspection of all ACA chicken barns before the cooperative is allowed to resume normal operations.

PETA points out that because chickens are sensitive, highly intelligent animals—who, according to scientists, display cognitive abilities on par with mammals, including primates—they were fully aware of the threat that the fire posed, adding the elements of panic and terror to their suffering. The fact that the birds were jam-packed into a dark, barren, enclosed metal structure—never allowed to so much as feel the sun on their backs or the grass beneath their feet—was the primary reason that so many died.
HT: Wolfvillewatch

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Friday, June 23, 2006

How Soviet-era housing blocks came to Ontario

[I]t may be concluded, that a pure Democracy, by which I mean, a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.
— James Madison, The Federalist No. 10

Or so we can hope. When property rights are not equally protected, the consequences are corrupt laws that benefit one group of influential property holders at the expense of other groups, or those who do not hold property at all. Anti-development fashions give government the excuse to reward themselves with more authority over private property, and to reward the established urban property owners who voted for them and who stand to benefit greatly from the distortion of property values that result of the various restrictions upon development in and outside of cities. So Dalton McGuinty's government would have you know that if you live in Ontario you are going to live where it wants and how it wants… suckers. From The New Feudalism by Peter Shawn Taylor in the Financial Post:
Last Friday, David Caplan, Ontario's Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, unveiled the Greater Horseshoe Area Growth Plan, the final component in his government's designs for stopping the organic expansion of most cities in Southern Ontario. By 2031, 40% of new residences must be built in existing downtown areas in 25 designated communities ranging from Waterloo to Barrie to Peterborough and all Toronto environs. There are also strict density targets of up to 400 people or jobs per hectare for urban areas…
If the promise of revenue from artificially inflated property assessments wasn't enough inducement for municipal governments to endorse the plan, the progressive anti-development activist clique that inhabits so many councils will be encouraged to imagine newer and expansive restrictions on the same under-propertied classes they pretend to represent, already having half their agenda implemented for them by provincial fiat. Hypocrites that they are, most of them are already homeowners anyway, and while one hand is waving blood-red banners for equality and justice for the downtrodden, the other is demanding tithes in the form of artificially inflated property prices and rents. Oh, yeah, it's the capitalists fomenting class war, right?

Update: Read Canada's John Galt on social traffic engineering:
Remember: car friendly = people friendly as a rule of thumb.

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London Ontario UnDeciphered

Uncyclopedia puts London on the map:

London, Ontario is a city created in an early attempt of city cloning. The plan had been to Build exact duplicate of London in the middle of southwestern Ontario, why they decided to do this is beyond me... But the plan was later abandoned when English and Canadian guys were all pissed off when they found out that the government was doing this, supposedly the ethical issues it raised were overwhelming or something...

So when the project was canceled only 'bout 5% of what london should've become was there and oddly enough the cloning plan had called for the creation of all shopping facilities first. Leaving London, Ontario with an incomprehensibly large excess of malls which still plague the city to this day.

London's bus transportation system is world renowned for it's efficiency, routes and exquisite stop locations, which is very complementary alongside the revolutionary stop light network.

London has a big fat ball of tin foil that stinks like rotten garbage due to the Thames River. Another popular tourist trap is Victoria Park, which has plenty of rabid squirrels. They run around eating garbage and from time to time bite little Children's toes off. Watch Out!!!

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Making victims of us all

You know, it's discriminatory that anti-bullying conditioning receives more support than the anti-sexual harrassment movement. Even the gays get their own week. Rest assured your representatives are hard at work to amend the imbalance:

Ten years after Theresa Vince was shot to death by her boss in 1996, a member of the Ontario legislature is trying to mark her memory by establishing Sexual Harassment Awareness Week.

Legislation from Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Pat Hoy that would dedicate the first week of June to raising awareness of sexual harassment passed second reading yesterday in the legislature.

[..] Michelle Schryer of the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre said the bill is important because it would increase the political will to further protect women from sexual harassment.

Until society can "genuinely recognize" sexual harassment and take it seriously, "it will be extremely difficult to have any other work accomplished," Schryer said.

[..] Hoy said work is being done to raise awareness on other issues such as bullying in schools, and it's time sexual harassment was raised as well.

The public needs "to understand that this is not tolerable, that it should not happen," he said.
London Fog challenge: In 150 words or less, explain how Sexual Harassment Week, complete with government issued posters and flags, will deter deranged individuals from stalking their desired prey?

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Tax Ahead and you'll gain when you're dead

So, Stephen Harper apologizes for what he didn't do and provides money that isn't his in compensation.

Chinese-Canadians who expressed satisfaction yesterday over Prime Minister Stephen Harper's apology for a racist head tax once imposed on Chinese immigrants.

Harper also offered financial compensation for the head tax -- which ranged from $50 to $500 -- imposed on Chinese immigrants from 1885 until 1923.

[..] About 81,000 people are believed to have paid the tax, although only a handful are still alive.

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"Through the power of conjecture"

Canada's greatest Menippean satirist, vise grip on the zeitgeist, writes of the hidden persecution of Insect-Canadians.

The Insect-Killer was spraying unnatural chemicals made from petrochemicals all over some bedding at the homeless shelter. He murders millions of Insect Family groups, billions of insect village elders and healers, every other Tuesday, when the homeless shelter gets its Bed Bug spray. Scientific research yet to be done shows that chemicals are bad and causes global warming, encourages childhood obesity, and exposes Harp seals to third hand tobacco smoke.

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Let them eat regulations

The London Free Press reports that the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health is urging the Ontario government to back down from exemptions in its food rules that would allow "religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations serving food at special events and bake sales, as well as farmers' markets food vendors" to go unmolested by food inspectors from Ontario Medical Health Units. Uncoincidentally, these same units are headed by the Ontario Medical Officers of Health.

Graham Pollett, Middlesex Health Unit Officer of Health and advocate of every suggested regulatory or legislative prohibition that could be put under the oversight of his unit had this to say:

"This weakening of basic public health protection puts the public at greater risk of food-borne illness."
Either Pollett is completely self-serving or he is a giant rube… or possibly both. The "public" is certainly not at any risk, only those individuals who choose to go to bake sales or farmers's markets — a risk that is commensurate with the bake sale or market vendors' interests in poisoning their clientele. In other words, hardly worth the expense of an aggressive and over-sized bureaucracy. Pollett is arbitrarily entrenched and protected in his position as a government official by the same government that he is lobbying — yet elected politicians are expected to recuse themselves in matters in which they have a conflict of interest. Not less, but even more should be expected from unelected bureaucrats. Better yet, Officers of Health and every such supervisory government post should be an elected position.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gina Barber wants control

While the tireless social activist aspiring to political power finds that he cannot depend on the relatively small consituency of sympathetic moonbats for electoral success, the simple name recognition acquired from repeatedly sticking his face in public might generate a larger consituency of careless and idiotic voters. It finally worked for Irene Mathyssen in the last federal election, and now, according to the London Free Press, one of the city's most tireless and chronically unsuccessful aspirants to political power is running for board of control. Gina Barber, pictured at right participating in an anti-war rally in Victoria Park last year (see below), is a member of the Ontario NDP executive, a two-time failed NDP candidate in the last two federal elections, an environmentalist and pesticide ban proponent, and anti-development activist — in short, an unrequited communist.

Just as importantly to Jane Bigelow, former mayor of London ('72-'78) and once Ontario vice-president of the NDP, Gina Barber is a woman, exclusionary politics being the divide-and-conquer mainstay of modern socialists.

"She'll be supportive of family and women's issues…"

Women tend to be more involved than men at the community level, so their representation on council is important, Bigelow said.

"We need a voice that will stand up for women."
Women's issues must have become a municipal responsibility around the time Bigelow was mayor, women being a separate class of citizens for use in political manipulation. The implication of Bigelow's assertion on behalf of women is that men tend more to want the community level to leave them the hell alone, so their representation on council is superfluous.

The rapacious ego of the social activist despises the community that does not think like him and unerringly tempts him to take community involvement to mean involving the community in his own nihilistic schemes whether they like it or not. A council made up of Gina Barbers could be expected to expand its authority in issues not generally understood to be or barely tolerated as municipal jurisdictions. The London Fog wishes Gina Barber the least of luck in the upcoming election and a speedy return to the unpaid moonbat parade.

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Log Palaces

At least they are keeping the Plasma TVs:

MORE THAN $50,000 worth of designer office furniture purchased by the federal government, shipped to Turin for the Winter Olympics and shipped back to Toronto at a premium, was sold off for just over $4,000 last week.

The Herman Miller desks, chairs, filing cabinets and other equipment was among a shipment of items used to furnish a hospitality log cabin for Canada's Olympic presence called B.C. House.

According to a detailed list of the items obtained from the Public Works Department, the equipment was worth $52,161.45, including GST.

It was sold on the department's auction website last week for $4,152.

The lot was advertised with no mention the furniture was designed by Michigan-based company Herman Miller and contained only pictures of non-descript filing cabinets and storage towers.
HT: Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Now's a good time to play smash the office desk. It's much more fun if you imagine the desks belong to government bureaucrats. Hat tip to Blog Quebecois for the crushingly good time.

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Holes and Gaps

The mismanagement continues in London Ontario:

City hall will take a second crack at a botched sewage job that left a borer stuck in a hole and burned a hole in taxpayers' pockets.

The first attempt to bore under 22 sets of tracks at the CN rail yard in east London ended with a borer stuck, an adjacent intersection closed for 20 months and a legal battle that ended with the city paying nearly a million dollars to patch the road, redirect the sewer and extract the borer.

Now city staff and a city committee want to pay a new engineer $343,000 to design the work.

Their recommendation goes to city council on Monday.

Until the design work is completed, there's no way to know how much it will cost or if the work will again disrupt traffic at the intersection of Pine and Oak streets, said Ron Standish, the city's director of wastewater treatment.

"It depends on the design," he said yesterday.
In the meantime, the raw sewage flows into the Thames.

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And they wouldn't let Whitehouse into the country to play in Toronto in March. Maybe Whitehouse needs to add some appropriately multicultural antisemitism and supernatural bafflegab to their act.

A charismatic British imam who has been accused of publicly vilifying Hindus, Jews and liberal Muslims is making a return visit to Toronto this month at the invitation of a Scarborough mosque...

For instance, in a speech posted on an Islamic website he quotes a Qur’an passage that says, “Of the whole of mankind, you shall find the most intense in their hatred and enmity towards the believers, al-Yahood (Jews) and the mushrikeen, the idolators.” Then he paraphrases, saying that “the ones who are bitterest in their enmity towards Muslims, the most unrelenting, unforgiving, are the Jews and the mushrikeen, idolators in all their forms. And lest someone say that’s provocative or that is anti-Semitic, Allah, the creator of the Semite, says that.” And, he adds, the “chief idolators” today are the Hindus.
I trust that discreet people in and out of uniform will be photographing, identifying, and investigating the people and license plates who attend this meeting, and that they will continue to monitor this mosque's activities in the months to come. Surely this mountebank is only being allowed to walk on Canadian soil for the "flytrap effect".

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Legal and moral plunder

Where it had once been understood that to abide in society one must accommodate one's own judgment of society to the diversity of individual preferences and choices contained therein, the past century has seen an inversion of that accord — one is now invited to understand that individual preferences and choices can be compelled to accommodate to a monopolistic judgment of society. The art of arguing the merits of one's moral judgment to others is only desultorily practiced now in lip service to democratic notions of government by consent, but a government bloated with unelected officials and undemocratic institutions finds that it obliges the reach of its own monopoly of legal authority by obliging the moral monopolist — the objectives of both parties are mutually sympathetic and reinforcing. So it comes about that the activist reformer has so many democratic-in-name-only and outright undemocratic methods at his disposal that the reward of appropriating moral authority as a legally enforced default makes their use much more tempting and profitable than any attempt at moral persuasion.

For example, the London Free Press reports that anti-smoking advocates in Ontario are pushing the provincial government to sue tobacco companies for smoking-related health costs. London area activists are among those who signed a letter agitating for the action, including Graham Pollett, medical officer of health for Middlesex-London, UWO law professor Robert Solomon, and Perth County medical officer of health Rosanna Pellizzari who said:

"It's a matter of justice."
Litigation has become one such popular technique of subverting democracy to enforce moral claims on society. But while litigation has a positive role and a proper place in common law as an instrument of obtaining justice and protecting individual property and liberty, the procedural and conventional restraints that once bound it to those goals have been abandoned. Contrary to Pellizzari's claim, anti-smoking advocates are pursuing anything but justice. Garfield Mahood, spokesman for the Non-Smokers' Rights Association, is at least inadvertently honest about it:
"This is not a legal problem. It's a problem involving the need for political leadership."
…by "political leadership" he means political agendas pursued through the courts because the legal problem has already been worked out in advance in favour of the agenda. Mahood demonstrates that the activists serve their political masters, in return for dominion in the pronunciation of public morality.

Jurisprudence in common law, descended from the Magna Carta, strived to protect liberties while pursuing justice by removing accused parties from the hands of legislative powers into the hands of peers of the accused — trial by peers — who determine whether conviction under the legislative power is an article of consent rather than of arbitrary tyranny. First, what justice can be recovered if the legislative powers are themselves a litigant in a process under which they control the laws of evidence and instruction, effectively requiring a jury or panel to decide conviction on whatever evidence it pleases to give or withhold? Second, while this right to a trial by peers under common law has been procedurally weakened for everyone, corporations are particularly not afforded the least opportunity to one. If corporations are to be regarded as single entities for the purpose of litigation, consent to the law must be abetted and tyranny hindered by a trial by similar entities, and if this seems an absurd proposition, a reasonable facsimile can be provided by entrusting individual representatives of similar entities with the task. Juries or panels composed of anyone else cannot consent to legislative powers that do not compel themselves as well if consent is to have any meaning. Otherwise, the exercise invites — purposefully, in most instances — deliberation founded on sentimentality or anti-corporate prejudices rather than reason. Third, the legislative powers have facilitated the prosecution of third parties in disputes, contesting of course any notion that the exercise was founded on reason in the first place. Spurious associations between cause and effect are encouraged by legislation and courts to permit third parties like tobacco companies to absorb and absolve responsibility for the actions of others, like smokers. No amount of propaganda can attribute the choices of smokers to the actions of tobacco companies without suggesting that individuals are possessed of no will or rational judgment of their own — which would make them incapable of deciding the question of consent to legislative powers anywhere else but the modern courtroom.

These corruptions of justice lend tobacco company lawsuits the same air of farce about them as Soviet showtrials. The inevitable outcomes of these lawsuits serve to legitimize the government's role in spheres outside its proper function, public morality and public health care. A monopoly interest in the health of its citizens becomes the rationalization for acting as a litigant on behalf of its interest in an exercise set up in advance to decide in its favour, which in vicious turn rationalizes the monopoly interest in the first place. There is no place for debate on the place of legislative powers in public morality or public health care in these venues, and there is no escape from it either.

In addition, the government responds to and perpetuates its own incentives by using these lawsuits to cover the costs of its interests. Mahood continues:
"We have to say, 'You have our money, and we want it back.'"
Tobacco companies have their own money, and using a corrupted legal system over which the government has no small measure of authority to lay claim to that money is nothing less than an attempt at legal plunder. One thing is certain: we will never see any of that money.

In related news, Kentucky Fried Chicken is being sued in the United States for using partially hydrogenated oil.

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Bend over Sweetheart

A fundamental problem with governments providing and subsidizing goods and services is the indirect connection between the desirability, necessity and quality of the service and the pocketbooks of individuals who are paying for it. The collective wallet is controlled by a small group of goons, supported by people who believe they are unfit to make their own choices but who also believe the super hero they elect will make the trains come in on time. The result is that unwilling citizens are forced to subsidize their neighbour's entertainment as they bleed to death waiting for medical treatment.

A profligate spender suffers the consequences of his own irresponsible choices, unless he chooses to pass off some of that responsibility by joining the welfare line. And frugal citizens suffer the consequences of their profligate governors who walk away from the crumbling mess they've helped create with their larders full and their special interests satisfied.


Battle lines are being drawn over a move to extend the Western Fair Association's "sweetheart" rent deal with the city by 13 years.

After spending $47 million on expansions and improvements in the last five years, fair officials say cash is tight and revenues lag projections.

So they've asked the city to extend a lease that pays the city about $200,000 a year -- less than half the fair market rent estimated in 2004 at $470,000 a year for 18 hectares of city land -- to 2019.

A staff report recommending the extension goes to board of control today.

"They're swimming in debt and therefore they're not able to pay fair market rent," said Ward 7 Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen. "Frankly, it's the taxpayers of London taking the hit. We have an asset and we expect to have a proper return. We should not be subsidizing the Western Fair operation."
The number of pothole related injuries is on the rise, and sections of the city are drowning in raw sewage, yet council adds the Western Fair Association's plea to the wishlist. Sounds like the Fair runs their business much like the City of London:
Western Fair Association general manager Gary McRae said the organization doesn't have the money to increase lease payments.

"Yes, we're successful and making money, but we've taken on some large debt commitments," he said.

McRae explained the fair is paying $3.2 million of its annual surplus -- last year, it was $3.8 million -- to repay a $28-million debt to build a new race paddock, Agriplex and larger grandstand, expand parking and add more slot machines.

As well, McRae said the fair needs about $1 million a year to maintain its properties.

Meanwhile, slot revenues are $2 million less than projected when the number of machines was increased to 750 from 300.

The debts will be paid within nine years, which McRae conceded could be spread over a longer period to reduce payments.

"We'd like to gain some cost certainty," he said.
A grasp of basic economics is what you need buddy. McRae and his supporters go on about the value they contribute to the community, but the reality is taxpayers are assisting a business that cannot balance a budget and manage a debt.

I've never been to the Western Fair, because I hate crowds and circuses, so why should I help pay for it? Frankly, I'd rather clean my cat box with a toothbrush than give the Fair even more cash to piss away. Why doesn't the city give me a rent subsidy so I can purchase more wine? That's good for the community too, because I'm happy and more productive in direct proportion to the amount of wine consumed.

Update: The Board of Control has rejected the Fair Associations initial proposal. This does not however mean that they won't get something as a result of their whining.
In a later interview, McRae hinted at resentment on the fair board.

"We have many people on the board who don't feel we should be paying rent," McRae said. "It seems like a back-door way of collecting property taxes."

Ontario's Agricultural Act exempts fair associations from paying property taxes. Without the exemption, city staff estimate the fair would be paying upwards of $900,000 a year to the city.

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Double Dipping Thrice Over

Police Chief Murray Faulkner wants the city to pass a bylaw holding landlords responsible for the "costs" of busting "grow-ops" run by tenants, even if they have no idea the tenants are using the property for such purposes. If a grow-op is found within a public housing complex, is the city responsible, or are all Londoners to be blamed for not spying on and reporting their neighbours? Either way, it's the citizens that see little return for their efforts.

If the suggestion by London police is adopted by city council, a property owner — even if they’re in no way connected to the pot growing — would cover the costs police run up while razing a grow-op.

“You can’t just say ‘I rent it but I don’t know what goes on,’” said Faulkner, who broached the subject with the police services board last week.

“I think a lot of people, as long as the cheques come in, they don’t care. But that does nothing for our community, that’s for sure.”
Evil Capitalist Landlords should be held responsible for the costs of their tenants poor nutritional choices too. The second hand smoke inhaled on their premises is a significant burden on the health care system and that's bad and we must recover the costs by stealing their money. Landlords, your tenant's bad habits deprive the collective of power.

. Substitute the words 'the City of London Ontario' for the words "a country."

When a country directs a portion of its law to guaranteeing its own precedence in the defense of its citizens, it most readily does so by subverting the authority of individuals to guarantee their own.
While the police are busy busting people for growing plants, the real criminals, those that disregard the property rights of other people, roam the streets virtually unchecked. The police should be kicking the crackheads off people's porches rather than arresting peaceable people for possessing and growing marijuana. A landlord has every right to enforce his rights in respect to his tenants, so if he finds the practices of the tenant are damaging his property and in violation of the mutually originally agreed upon contract, the landlord is totally within his rights to evict the tenants. However, the landlord is under no obligation to ensure the well being of "the community", whatever that could coherently mean, and neither is the landlord "obligated" to exercise his own rights in regards to his own property and is free to allow tenants to make use of the property in any way they so choose, even though it may devalue his investment. Stupid, yes, but it's the landlord's choice.

The police force in London receive $66.86 million annually from the taxpayers to enforce the law. That money is to cover the cost of their salaries AND investigations. But when you're fighting the spirits contained within the leaves, no amount of money is enough.

"With responsibilities do not necessarily come rights."

Go read Mike's post:
So in effect, the police would get paid double to waste everybody's time ripping up harmless plants. This reduces the incentive to spend time going after car thieves and insurgents. Those people are worth less money and on top of that are more likely to defend themselves with violence.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Associated Propaganda

In my head, I read AP and Reuters in a "Lord Haw Haw" voice.

The discovery of the bodies dealt a new setback to U.S. efforts to seize the momentum against al-Qaida in Iraq after killing its leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in a June 7 airstrike.
Emphasis mine; you were just supposed to absorb it passively in the original.

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The drug war is a business and business is good

Nothing says PROFIT to the savvy and ruthless entrepreneur -- on either side of the law -- quite so much as prohibition laws. The prohibition of intoxicants creates a tremendous win-win situation for crooks and cops alike. In the wide pantheon of phony laws that bring the law itself into disrepute, not even "hate crime" can compare in its cynical benefits to all concerned. Sure, "hate crime" provides the otherwise unemployable with phony jobs in the racism industry, and gives lots of free publicity to racist creeps, but the drug war is pure gold for all concerned.

Criminals love the drug war for driving up the profits on simple plant substances that would otherwise be cheaper than wheat. Their counterparts in the law enforcement business love the drug war for providing a never ending excuse for increasing budgets to accomplish the impossible, and the opportunity to go after easy targets like pot growers instead of tackling more dangerous and difficult problems like the actual violent criminals we are supposedly paying them to pursue in the first place.

When it goes beyond its proper role of protecting life, liberty, and property, government gets into the business of taking money to create problems that then must be solved by taking more money. The further problems caused by those "solutions" only provide further profit opportunities. (It's a mystery to me why opponents of the drug war scam tend to be communists, the drug war being a textbook example of the destructive effects of trying to save people from themselves with the force of law -- just as it's a mystery to me why many normally clear thinking conservatives who generally understand this principle turn into utopians when it comes to this issue.)

So, this comes as no surprise.

London landlords whose rental properties are turned into marijuana grow operations by tenants could be on the hook when the drug dens are busted, police Chief Murray Faulkner warns.

If the suggestion by police is adopted by city council, property owners -- even if they're not connected to the pot growing -- would have to cover the costs, among them salaries, police run up while razing a grow-op.
So in effect, the police would get paid double to waste everybody's time ripping up harmless plants. This reduces the incentive to spend time going after car thieves and insurgents. Those people are worth less money and on top of that are more likely to defend themselves with violence.

As for the landlords, with responsibilities do not necessarily come rights.
"The landlord has a right . . . to do inspections after they give notice," he said. "If the landlord finds what he believes to be a grow-op and notifies (police), he is off the hook."

But it's not quite so simple, Paul Cappa of the London Property Management Association said, noting an owner needs a specific reason to search a home they've rented.
As with the equally phony anti-smoking laws, the obligation of enforcing opportunistic laws is thus put onto a third party. So too would be the cost of defending themselves against human rights/landlord-tenant harassment cases brought by tenants in response to unwelcome repeated demands to search their premises.

Which would the police prefer to encourage -- selling drugs for a living, or getting into the property management business? It's hard to tell.

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Carnival of Liberty - The 50th Edition

Carnival of Liberty #50 is up and now available for viewing at TuCents.

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The UN loves your children more than you do

Canada's Parliament should expect to be forgiven for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991. Only a really mean tyranny or the American government, if there is could be said to be any difference that is, could fail to recognize the license for arbitrary benevolent-sounding authority that accrues from publicly genuflecting to the fuzzy warm-hearted sentimentality behind a 54-article long codification of a particular set of special rights that expire at the age of eighteen.

For example, Articles 28 and 29 in particular address the special rights of the State … oops, I mean, children of course, ha ha … to education, an area in which, curiously enough, the State in its peaceable pursuit of free love has failed to exercise the full thrust of its jurisdiction. But here's the UN to the rescue!

Article 28

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b), (c), (d), (e) Blah, blah, blah, redistribution and legal implentation of force, blah, blah, blah…

Article 29

1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a), (b), (c), (d), (e) Blah, blah, blah, assorted nods to various progressive multi-culti-normative levelling activist agendas made for the good of us all, whether you know it or not, you evil parent…

2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.

[Emphases added]
It's in the UN, dammit! and if the Ontario Liberals need to keep your kids in school until they're eighteen to wipe out your right-wing heteronormative parenting from the little snot-nosed proletariat's brain with anti-bullying, anti-racist social justice curricula, you'd better not complain. Paul Belein of the Brussels Journal found out for himself the full force of the UN's enlightenment — don't let this happen to you! Remember, no matter how smart you think you are, you're way stupider than Kofi Annan.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

The unbearable lightness of the law

When a country directs a portion of its law to guaranteeing its own precedence in the defense of its citizens, it most readily does so by subverting the authority of individuals to guarantee their own. The gun registry, heavy-handed and arbitrary prohibitions of peaceful activities, and the conciliatory sentencing of violent criminals together deprecate the efforts of individuals to seek justice for themselves and consitute an inevitable legal accommodation with crime. So much so that, in Manitoba, the criminals are comfortable enough with the law to seek it out. From CJOB News via Dust my Broom:

Two suspects in a weekend home invasion went straight to the police after the incident... because the homeowner shot at them. According to police, it happened about 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon, 45 kilometres north of Roblin.

Two men kicked in the front door of the home, and the property owner grabbed a firearm. At that point the invaders left... but as they were going, a shot was fired at their vehicle and hit the driver.

The culprits drove to Russell to complain to the RCMP.

[…] Now, 28 year old Harvey Joseph Young is charged with Attempted Murder, along with eight other weapons and firearm-related charges.

Fifty- year- old Terry Eldred Curle of Russell and 37 year old Darren Norman Lindsay of Roblin face several charges each in connection with the home invastion attempt.
It would come as no surprise if the list of charges against the property owner should prove more legally severe than those against the invaders. One hopes that the penalties, when they have been announced, will be more proportionate with justice.

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2+2=5, but at least little Billy isn't fat

Last night, three of the London Fog members had the pleasure to meet up with our most faithful commenter, Sorehead from the UK, right here in London Ontario. At the end of the evening, we offered Sorehead a lift to his hotel. As we bumped along the streets, dodging the most threatening craters, we were amazed to find King Street, one of Ontario's worst roads, nearly completely torn up for resurfacing. Only one bumpy paved lane remained for many blocks. Heritage advocates across the city are trying to imagine a way to convince council to order the restoration of the road to its original pothole-ridden condition.

As it was late, we only had time to drive by a few London landmarks, such as the Temple of Expensive Hockey Hair, otherwise known as the JLC, and the Palace of Diversity, Multiculturalism and Bad Ecomonics, euphemistically known as City Hall.

Our friend still hopes to live and work in Canada someday and it was not our intent to discourage his escape from the Nanny State Capital of the World. From the UK:

In South Tyneside school, children will soon be required to provide a scan of their fingerprint in exchange for their lunchtime ration.

Teachers at a South Tyneside school are hoping to stop pupils spending their dinner money on junk food by introducing a high-tech fingerprint scanner.

Instead of paying for their school meals in cash, children at Brinkburn School in South Shields will have their fingerprints scanned into a computer.

Parents will pay for meals in advance and the price will be debited from their accounts everytime a fingerprint is recorded.

Education bosses believe the system will prevent pupils buying food from outside the school.

Councillor Jim Foreman of South Tyneside Borough Council said: "We are the first authority in the region to introduce this amazing high-tech method of paying for school meals, and we believe it will go a long way towards contributing to peace of mind for the borough's parents and carers.

"It will give them an element of control when it comes to the food and drink their young people consume. There will be an in-built daily spending limit, and they can be sure that only food and drink provided in school is consumed by the pupils.

[..] Head teacher Dr Phil Ingram, said: "Behind all this new technology, there is a really important purpose. We will be better able to address diet and health issues of our pupils, as well as keep them more secure by keeping more of them under supervision on site at lunchtime."
It is expected that the school will hire enforcement officers to ensure dissidents don't smuggle in unapproved snacks.

HT: Nobody's Business

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I saw my head laughing, rolling on the ground

Gates of Vienna has an essay up entitled Political Correctness — The Revenge of Marxism. (HT LGF)

Leftist ideas about Multiculturalism and de-facto open borders have achieved a virtual hegemony in public discourse, their critics vilified and demonized. By hiding their intentions under labels such as “anti-racism” and “tolerance,” Leftists have achieved a degree of censorship of public discourse they could never have dreamt of had they openly stated that their intention was to radically transform Western civilization and destroy its foundations.

The Left have become ideological orphans after the Cold War, or perhaps we should call them ideological mercenaries. Although the viable economic alternative to capitalism didn’t work out, their hatred for this system never subsided, it merely transformed into other forms. Multiculturalism is just a different word for “divide and conquer,” pitting various ethnic and cultural groups against each other and destroying the coherence of Western society from within....

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Buying political peace

If you want peace, work for justice.
— H.L. Mencken

Or, if justice is politically inexpedient or simply incomprehensible, you can try to buy peace with other people's money. From the Toronto Star:

The provincial government has agreed to purchase a tract of land that has been the subject of a long-standing and sometimes-violent land dispute in Caledonia.

A lawyer for the provincial attorney general’s office announced the deal at a special court hearing this morning. The lawyer, Dennis Brown, would not say how much the province will pay for the land, which developers say has a market value of $45 million.

[…] The province intends to hold the land in trust while talks aimed at ending the occupation continue between representatives of the Six Nations, the province and Ottawa.
In trust… for what? For a bit of outside-the-media-spotlight accommodation of a spot of casino land a few months down the line in reward for a mutually satisfactory end to the thuggery? Nah, couldn't be, these are Liberals we're talking about, after all…

Update, June 19: Dalton McGuinty, the Man Who Surrendered, per Gods of the Copybook Headings:
In a stand-off it's the weakest party that blinks. True to form Dalton McGuinty blinked.
Continue reading here…

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Friday, June 16, 2006

First they came for the vending machines…

… then they came for my fridge and there was no Twinkie left for me.

"It's all about behaviour change…"
"We need to change some mindsets…"

— from comments by Dr. Stephanie Atkinson, a McMaster pediatrics professor who specializes in nutrition, and Bill Fenwick, director of culture and recreation in Hamilton, for this article in the Hamilton Spectator:

The same week that Statistics Canada reported Hamiltonians are 20 per cent more likely to be obese than other Canadians, city council made it mandatory for one-quarter of all food offered in vending machines and concession stands [at its recreation centres] to follow Canada's food guide by next year.

The goal is to get to half and sell the healthy choices for the same price or less than the junk food.

[…] To promote the healthier food, the city will have a $5,000 marketing campaign including signs, banners, taste tests and graphic menus.
Here's a question: wouldn't the social engineering of nutrition be more efficient if the government just took over altogether and issued rations?

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The black car could be parked in your driveway next

Don't emit that sigh of relief yet. Remember the 997 signatures, and the unelected board member who imposed new and improved electoral boundaries in favour of London soothsayers?

Over 40 people jammed into a downtown Hamilton hangout to watch a screening of the film, Venezuela Bolivarina: People and struggle of the 4th World War. The event was put on by Hands Off Venezuela, the November 16 Coalition, and the Skydragon Centre.

The film brought about an enthusiastic response from the audience, especially the significance of Venezuela’s fight for socialism for the rest of the Americas. Activists from Hands Off Venezuela and the November 16 Coalition answered a slew of questions on the events in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America. More importantly, people were concerned about how Canadians can best help the Venezuelan Revolution. Camilo Cahis from HOV answered that Chávez has said in the past that the best way to help Venezuela is to build our own revolutions; the response drew great applause. A common theme through the evening was how the Canadian working class has much to learn from their Venezuelan counterparts, especially in an area that has suffered huge job losses in manufacturing.

The evening ended with a very healthy collection and merchandise sales that are helping to build the Hands Off Venezuela campaign across Canada.
Polite Bow to Darcey of Dust My Broom.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Your landfill needs YOU!

Despite tens of billions of dollars allocated to education and enforcement of London's waste diversion program, and the unquestionably selfless vigilance of the much anticipated 10,000-strong force of unionized garbage stormtroopers, scraps of officially designated recyclables will continue to make their clandestine way into landfills from the households of uncaring and heartless right-wingers, thus exposing innocent London children to the imminent threats of global warming and tepid holistic beverages at Storybook Gardens. Even with all the city's official watchful eyes hard at work, they need your help to snoop on your un-Gaia-ly heteronormative neighbours.

Fortunately, Fenris Badwulf at Mitchieville constantly sacrifices his time for the common good and has produced a primer for the aspiring tattletale. To cite just one inspiring example:

7) Paper, cardboard, and cellulose materials must be sorted by size, shape, color and density. Seperate piles arranged in mass sequence, bundled with hemp twine and labelled with an approved Paper-Cardboard-Cellulose Label using an approved Vegetarian-Ink marker, should be aligned with respect to all known religious beliefs concerning Paper-Cardboard-Cellulose recycling.
Get started on your training today and get to know the friendly caring bureaucrats at your local Garbage Central Authority.

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A piece of the action

A thoughtful commenter leaves a gentle reminder from the OPP to make sure to leave enough money in the kitty to pay for the bail:

THE OPP HAS issuing a warning to would-be hosts that certain poker events are illegal under the Criminal Code. Canadian law prohibits directly or indirectly charging players a fee to participate in poker, even if the fees are returned to the players.
Wouldn't want any those rogue gambling events that don't return a cut to the government, now, would we?

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Know your place

David Warren on the great divide between liberals and conservatives:

The constant ambition is to deprive the individual of the freedom and security that only the state can assure, while making him a ward of the state in his private behaviour. To do this effectively, the entire moral order of a society must be systematically destroyed. In particular, the seemingly impregnable institution of the family must be undermined and subverted, and likewise religious and independent social institutions -- for it is from these a society acquires its moral backbone. Break them, and the citizen becomes a kind of jelly to be fit into any desired new mould.

In this regard, I’m thinking less of the theatrical affronts to our inherited freedoms that are performed with increasing confidence by “human rights” tribunals, or other kangaroo courts from which due process has been extracted. These are propaganda venues; the decisions are only meant as pedagogic. They remind the citizen that his ancient freedoms no longer count.

By comparison, such apparently indifferent things as the legal attacks on the right to smoke in a bar, are of larger social significance. Apart from destroying the businesses of independent publicans, the proliferation of petty and unreasonable by-laws help to reduce the citizen to a condition of puerility, constantly looking around to see what the governing puritans will and won’t permit.
Read the rest here. Via SDA.

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Since the pesticide ban pot-bangers are bringing polls into the debate, it is clear to everyone else that the bylaw is without any real popular legitimacy:

Image taken at 4pm. The characterization of "popular legitimacy" was suggested in private correspondance.

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The War on Parody-ability

HT Billy Beck: this is hilarious.

When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, "Daddy" she said, "why are the Republicans doing this to the country?" Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.

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Social justice, the green eyed monster

Found in comments at Belmont Club, this interesting essay from Jack Wheeler on the strange phenomenon of liberal auto-racism and distaste for Western culture.

The primitive atavism of left-wing bromides like "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is best illustrated by arguing that one can be healthy only at the expense of others. That in order to be in superior health, bursting with energy and vitality, one has to make someone else sick or in poor health -- just as in order to be rich you have to make others poor.

The healthy are healthy because they unjustly exploited and ripped off the sick, spiriting away the sick's fair share of health with black magic. In fact, the sick are sick because the healthy are healthy. If this is absurd, then claiming the poor are poor because they have been exploited by the rich is equally absurd.
(Unfortunately, in Canada, this may not be the best analogy to illustrate this principle. My friend, the witch doctor, he told me about the zero sum juju of two tier magic.)
The three great political pathologies of the 20th century are all religions of envy: Nazism, preaching race envy toward "rich, exploitative Jews"; Communism, preaching class envy toward the "rich, exploitative bourgeoisie"; and Moslem terrorism, preaching culture envy toward the "rich, exploitative West."

...So here we discover the secret fear at the source of the suicidal liberal mind. It is envy that makes a Nazi, a Communist or a terrorist. It is the fear of being envied that makes a liberal and is the source of "liberal guilt."
Read more.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

So much for the checks and balances in our fine democracy

Dalton McGuinty just got a lot scarier, thanks to the efforts of Comrade Kwinter and his gang of safety goons. Bill 56 is now a reality:

Ontario's premier will be able to take advantage of extra powers granted through a "catastrophic" emergencies bill passed yesterday.

"This legislation gives us the tools that we need," Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter said.

The emergency management legislation, known as Bill 56, was prompted partly over fears of a possible bird flu pandemic but would cover such things as a terrorist attack or blackout.

[..] The province's shortcomings were first noticed in 2003 when Toronto was hit with SARS and the government didn't have the political power to quarantine people.

[..] The government would be able to grant health care workers coming in from other jurisdictions, such as nearby Manitoba or Pennsylvania, temporary licenses in order to treat Ontarians.

It would have the authority to tell office buildings to turn off their lights in the event of another blackout.

The law also fixes pricing on necessary goods to prevent gouging by retailers. As well, travel could be restricted should Ontario find itself in a dire situation, such as being hit by the avian flu virus.
Take note that this new bill applies to any "catastrophic" emergency, as determined and defined by the central authorities. Recall Paul McKeever's observations on the meaning of "emergency" as defined within the bill:
. . . under this bill, an "emergency" is given a special meaning:

"emergency" means a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise;"

In other words, (a) the "situation" need not even have happened yet (i.e., it can just be thought to be about to happen...i.e., "impending"), and (b) it is not necessary to be sure that "serious harm" will result. In other words, these powers are triggered by the mere possibility of harm, from an event that hasn't even happened yet. Therefore, this bill, if made law, gives virtually unlimited powers to cabinet to make orders requiring people to take "actions" and to "implement measures", even if it is only precautionary.
It should also be recalled that this bill "authorizes" anyone deemed "reasonably qualified" to provide health care services in a "declared" emergency. If health care workers refuse to put themselves at risk, their incentive are fines of up to $100,000 and a year in jail for each day they refuse to provide service.

Next stop: In response to Global Warming, Dalton declares a permanent state of emergency.

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