Tuesday, July 31, 2007

World climate predictors right only half the time

"The open admission by a climate scientist of the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Dr Jim Renwick, that his organisation achieves only 50 per cent accuracy in its climate forecasts, and that this is as good as any other forecaster around the world, should be a wake-up call for world political leaders,” said Rear Admiral Jack Welch, chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

Dr. Jim Renwick, a lead author of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, admitted to the New Zealand Herald in June 2007, “Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don't expect to do terrifically well."

Does anyone smell a smoking gun?

Cross posted at Blue Marble Climate

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Hate crimes cause global warming

The shallow, fascionable notion of "hate crime" just keeps getting more and more embarrassing for its adherents. There's no shortage of nuance and exceptions for one to invent as one goes along. Watch the lip service paid to this incoherent concept -- even though no one can agree on what it is supposed to signify or what qualifies, beyond a certain vague solidarity with this month's fashions in victimology and oppressor theory.

The law having abandoned the simple and fair notion of equal protection and punishment, a rational person will then use the law to make sure that his -- to use the duckspeak word -- "group" -- comes out on the left-hand side of the > sign. The confusion (mistaken for "complexity" by the confused and the confusing) introduced by the anti-concept of "hate crime" helps accelerate the unraveling of the rule of law. That's what it's for.

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London's solution for empty Downtown Storefronts: Fill them with Bureaucrats

With more than $100 million of public investment in downtown in the last 5 years, the promises of a vibrant and safer Downtown have yet to materialized. The Free Press has reported that a prominent Downtown landlord has hired private security officers to keep an eye on his properties due to chronic vandalism and break and enters from vagrants.

These factors seem as no surprise, as the numerous empty storefronts within Downtown are growing. However, the city's solution to these problems is never the private sector, but more public funds:

The city is now looking at moving more city services -- not social services -- out of city hall on Dufferin Avenue and into vacant Dundas Street storefronts, creating more business traffic in the core.
The use of government jobs to create an illusion of a vibrant Downtown is a huge waste of money and resources. It is also a way for city council to cover-up the fact that the $100 million already spent on Downtown revitalization hasn't worked to expectations. Basically, it's fooling taxpayers with their own money.

Controller Gord Hume--who has never found a civic pork project he hasn't liked--has an even more elaborate idea than just a few city offices:
"We are also aggressively going after the province and federal governments to locate more offices downtown."
Not only will London taxpayers be footing the bill for this bad idea, but all of Ontario's and Canada's if Hume gets his way. According to Hume's logic, trying to lure private investment to the Downtown area is waste of time and that turning Downtown into a huge government "make work" project is the solution. He has nothing but excitement of the thought:
"When they go for a walk, or a coffee, or an evening on a patio, it will change the environment of downtown and that will be nothing but great," said Hume.
In a related story, London's planning committee have derailed plans for a $80 million private industrial park in south London. This move was likely done to protect the city's monopoly on industrial land in the area.

This decision comes just a day after nearby St. Thomas announced that a new Toyota auto parts plant will locate there--likely to avoid our city's taxes and bureaucracy.

I guess if London goal is trying to scare private investment from town, they are getting warmer!

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Yesterday's news:

Legendary film-maker Ingmar Bergman, one of the key figures in modern cinema, has died at the age of 89.
. . .

"He could hardly bear to watch his own movies, apparently they made him so miserable . . . To have done 50 films with such a variety of misery is quite an achievement."

Adieu . . .

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

What a Mess

Blog Quebecois stumbled across an article written in 2003 entitled "The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science". It's not about climate change, but careful consideration of the seven signs could potentially increase the number of climate change deniers. Gatekeepers wanted - only neutral bodies need apply.

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Are we proud now?

This year's Pride London Festival, the subject of a passively congratulatory article in the London Free Press, received not only the implicit endorsement of Londoners from city council's decision to fly the pride flag at City Hall but also a $2,500 donation from city taxpayers that the festival's organizers didn't even ask for.

Coun. Nancy Branscombe, who urged her council colleagues to let the pride flag be flown for this year's festival, said she didn't see the need for a debate about it.
I'd suggest that maybe if the rest of us didn't ask hard enough, Branscombe wouldn't see the need to debate about throwing other people's money our way either. But I suppose that non-debate wouldn't do anything to burnish her progressive credentials…

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Please make up your mind...

Mr Ake Nilson asks the Financial Times Online to "clarify."

"Sir, In your editorial "It's time to plan for the next deluge" (July 25) you say that "it is now scientifically incontrovertible that global warming is making heavy rain fall more frequently across the world's temperate latitudes". But less than a year ago, on August 10 2006, you reported: "This year's hot, dry summer will be repeated many times in the future and will become normal in the next 40 to 50 years if climate scientists are correct."

"Please could you make up your mind as to the effect of global warming?"

Ake Nilson, London, UK, July 26, 2007

h/t Bishop Hill Blog

Cross posted at Blue Marble

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

CNN/YouTube Questions For Republicans

Hugh Hewitt's show today featured tons of these YouTube debate/reality show questions. The Republican sequel to the recent Democrat event is scheduled for September, but so far only Ron Paul and John McCain have agreed to participate.

Lots more, and even those less masochistic than myself shouldn't miss the next one... "I am from Sri Lanka, one of the poorest countries of the world. Health care and university is free there, yet here in the United States, one of the richest countries, it is not."

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Building Blocs

Anyone who draws inferences of a "class-based, capitalist society" from the behaviours of children is someone who is trying to invent a class-based society of children. Of course, if you're looking through the prism of class-based rhetoric, then you're already there.

Earlier this year, a private(!) school in Seattle banned Lego because children were incorporating "their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys" in their play, assumptions that "mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive."

Luckily, the kids are getting a second chance at the Lego — this time to teach them about rationing and progressive authoritarianism:

  • All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
  • Lego people can be saved only by a "team" of kids, not by individuals.
  • All structures will be standard sizes.
With these three agreements - which distilled months of social justice exploration into a few simple tenets of community use of resources - we returned the Legos to their place of honor in the classroom.
And there's so much more. With any luck, the kids will eventually notice the incongruity between their education and the "upper-middle class and socially liberal" families around the school that could afford to pay for it.

Link from Maggie's Farm

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Parts replaced, machine still going

Mike Colle, the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the beneficiary of a made-up sinecure ministry if there ever was one, resigned yesterday after Auditor General Jim McCarter found that $32.5 million in grants were awarded to various ethnic and cultural associations from a ministry slush fund that "was not open, transparent or accountable."

"Many organizations received grants simply because the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or his staff had some knowledge of their needs, or because a member of the organization had had a discussion with, or had made verbal request to, the Minister or his staff," Mr. McCarter said in his report.
No sympathy is lost on this one political dilettante among many, who will in any case suffer no real consequences for his ineconomy with tax dollars, but it's this and every other grants program that should be resigned for good. Spending in government departments is barely "open, transparent or accountable" as it is — spending of tax dollars by outside organizations can hardly be at all. These programs cannot be anything but political slush funds, no matter what rules are put into place, since any criteria for distribution of their windfalls could only be strictly arbitrary — a void where politics will have to step in sooner or later. And what are Citizenship and Immigration Ministry grants expected to accomplish, unless to teach immigrants that citizenship means getting other people to pay your way.

Of note, London-Fanshawe MPP Khalil Ramal, pictured above at right, was the Parliamentary Assistant to Mr. Colle. Feel free to ask him about the slush fund the next time you come across him at another glad-handing photo-op function.

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"Many worried about…"

…making the news, apparently. How many are "many" and why they are worried aren't the the pertinent questions in the school of anxiety journalism — just as long as there are "many" and they're worried, someone out there might at least take it into their head that they should be worried enough to read the damned story.

Former Ontario NDP MPP Marilyn Churley warns that "a gender-balanced legislature is unlikely unless Ontario residents vote to change the system" to a mixed-member proportional representation system that will be put to voters this fall.

A growing number of prominent women have said they aren't running again in the coming election, including two Liberal cabinet ministers and NDP veteran Shelley Martel. That's left many worried about gender balance in provincial politics.
If women must be sneaked into parliament under party lists instead of being chosen by voters, who will they be representing? Proportions or people? And why is the Canadian Press even reporting what Churley, who isn't acting as a representative of anyone these days, has to say?

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Ask not for whom the law tolls, it tolls for thee

WorldNetDaily: IRS loses challenge to prove tax liability

Spokesman Robert Marvin in Washington's IRS office told WND the Internal Revenue Code provides for taxation on salaries or wages, but when pressed for a specific citation, or constitutional provision, he said, "I can't comment."
While it's not Marvin's job as a bureaucratic advocate to know where the authority he cites comes from, neither do many Americans or any other country's citizenry know as much or even care for that matter. It's this general disinterest that allows authority to make itself up as it goes along without reference to any abiding principles, but the alarming thing is that that disinterest is generated by the interest of so many people who just want authority to act as they wish it to… without reference to any abiding principles of their own.

Link via Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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Reefer Madness 2007

Yet another bogus study employing researchers to come up with solutions to insolvable preferences. I'd plead boredom, but that's just not fair to the rest of us who seek to mind our own business. It's always more profitable for government employees and the special interest groups that help them get elected - paid with our sweat and tears - to blame blame the substance, rather than the user. Something must be done! Ban it! Tax it! So long as the revenue continues to flow in. Diversity Workshop is yet to come up with an anthem to protest this latest assault on the senses.

A single joint of cannabis raises the risk of schizophrenia by more than 40 per cent, a disturbing study warns.

The Government-commissioned report has also found that taking the drug regularly more than doubles the risk of serious mental illness.

Overall, cannabis could be to blame for one in seven cases of schizophrenia and other life-shattering mental illness, the Lancet reports.

The grim statistics - the latest to link teenage cannabis use with mental illness in later life - come only days after Gordon Brown ordered a review of the decision to downgrade cannabis to class C, the least serious category.

The Prime Minister is said to have a 'personal instinct' that the change should be reversed, with more arrests and stiffer penalties for users.

Cannabis has been implicated in a string of vicious killings, including the recent stabbing of fashion designer Lucy Braham.
See also Don Boudreaux. Thanks again to Jay for the tip.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

We make policy because we care

When it comes to news programming, satire is more real than the real thing

Would it be mean to tell Africa about the world economy?

"The main thing is, we don't want to rob them of their culture… we don't want to introduce plumbing, and electricity, and housing, and doorknobs, because that's going to take away from what it means to be inherently African."

Via Billy Beck. Cross-posted to Mitchieville in exchange for the t-shirt.

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"Just Wear a Jumper" and Blame the Smokers and the evil Capitalist System they Represent

"In politics there's this kind of feeling that some of the things we have to do to stop global warming are unpopular so they are difficult for politicians to carry out," said Tony Juniper. "But if they can invade Iraq in the face of the opposition there was to that, surely they can ban patio heaters.
That's the executive director of Friends of the Earth responding to the increased use of outdoor patio heaters since the smoking ban in pubs was implemented in Britain. Such a shame the almighty hand of government is restrained by the nuisance of keeping the voters happy. How dare people privilege their own pleasure over the fate of the planet! I know Fenris will weep a keyboard destructing torrent of tears when he reads this. Until such time as the green regime establishes its total dictatorship over the ignorant and selfish masses, maybe the government can at least force manufactures to affix carbon labels to their yet unbanned products.
"We are calling for responsible retailers to reconsider the sale of patio heaters in light of the substantial amount of carbon emissions they produce," said Philip Sellwood, the Chief Executive [of the Energy Saving Trust]. "People are also influencing the larger more damaging commercial sector with a third of pubgoers choosing pubs where there is a patio heater. Landlords are helping to make patio heaters desirable - which they are not."

And then, in words which may long be remembered, he added: "Why don't people just wear a jumper?"

[..] Many of us like to think of ourselves as educated consumers, and we often take a careful look at the labels on products before we buy them. How much salt does this contain? How many additives, E-numbers, artificial colouring or preservatives? But marketing specialists and environmentalists both are realising that consumers are starting to look out for another potentially dodgy ingredient: carbon.

What if the product's label also tells you how much carbon dioxide its manufacture, distribution, and/or use, entails? You can work this out with many things, even with a packet of crisps. What if a comparison of labels showed you that X Crisps were responsible for fewer emissions of CO2 than Y Crisps? Would it not affect your buying decision - and would not X Crisps get your vote?

A lot of people are starting to think this would be the case, and that we are witnessing the beginnings of a wholly new trend - to view carbon in the retail sector as a pariah material.
HT: Jay Jardine and cross-posted at The Broom.

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Carnival Of The Politically Correct

The Mayor of Mitchieville, Canada's only satirical website, has announced a marvelous midsummer carnival, The Carnival Of The Politically Correct:

We are a politically correct website with politically correct views and politically correct readers. We always say what is right and never cross the line with nasty comments or anything that borders on unsavoury. That's why we need this blasted carnival, to show the world what kind of upstanding, righteous and sheep-like people we really are.

...I am asking you something now, I'm asking you to submit a politically correct post to The Mayor before the cut off date of July 31. You can use an old piece, a new piece, a copied and pasted piece, a borrowed piece, a blue piece, but for the love of everything righteous, just submit a piece.

I encourage all you lurking, non-commenter perverts that have a blog to submit something. You deserve a break, come out of the blogging closet and do something good. No, do something GREAT.
By the Mitchieville-Fog Pact of 2004, readers and commenters on this blog are also to be considered readers and commenters on Mitchieville. Submit to Mitchieville!

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Thursday Night Tooth'n'Claw


People do not become attracted to a religion despite the evil it perpetrates; people become attracted to religion because of the evil it perpetrates. The more diabolical the actions of a religion, the more charisma it will appear to have.
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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2007 Hurricane Season - Slow Start

The 2007 hurricane season seems to be off to a typically slow start. Most hurricanes form in August, September and October, peaking in mid September. “There’s absolutely nothing out of the ordinary,” Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said of the Atlantic season’s first two months. “It’s not slow. It’s not fast.”

Forecasters are projecting 17 Atlantic storms, with nine becoming hurricanes and five reaching intense strength - Bill Gray, Colorado State University; 13 to 17 storms, seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five intense hurricanes - NOAA; and 14.7 storms, 7.9 hurricanes and 3.5 intense hurricanes - London-based Tropical Storm Risk. Private forecaster WSI Corp. has lowered its forecast to 14 storms from 15 and to six hurricanes from eight. A betting pool may be in order.

The low estimates are a result of a slower than anticipated rise in sea surface tempertures in the Atlantic Basin. “Because the ocean temperatures have not yet rebounded from the significant drop in late spring, we have decided to reduce our forecast numbers slightly,” said Todd Crawford, a WSI seasonal forecaster.

So how does will this season stand up to historical trends?

If we look at U.S. land-falling hurricanes over time, using periods long enough to reveal long-term trends, the most recent 50-year period, 1957 to 2006, produced 83 landfalling US hurricanes, 34 of them major. In contrast, during the 50-year period from 1900 to 1949, 101 hurricanes (22% more) made U.S. landfall, including 39 (or 15% more) major hurricanes.

What does this say about climate change inducing more and stronger torms?

William Gray and colleague Phil Klotzbach say “The hypothesis that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the number of hurricanes fails by an even wider margin when we compare two other multi-decade periods: 1925-1965 and 1966-2006. In the 41 years from 1925-1965, there were 39 U.S. land-falling major hurricanes. In the 1966-2006 period there were 22 such storms — only 56% as many. Even though global mean temperatures have risen by an estimated 0.4 Celsius and CO2 by 20%, the number of major hurricanes hitting the U.S. declined.” Gray, Hurricanes and Hot Air, Wall Street Journal Online, July 26, 2007; Page A12

Cross posted at Blue Marble Climate

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If it's climate change, how do you explain the 1947 flooding?

Britain dealing with worst flooding since 1947

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is blaming the flooding on climate change caused by carbon-fuel emissions and on the country's outdated infrastructure.

"Like every advanced industrialized country, we are coming to terms with some of the issues surrounding climate change," Brown said Monday.
I ask again, how do you explain the flooding 60 years ago? I also ask, why 1947? Was there worse flooding in the early 20th century? It would certainly appear so by the date chosen.

(cross posted at Little Tobacco)

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This is hilarious - Today's Best Headline

French-bashing made easy

(crosspost LT)

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Ruxted Group on Afghanistan

The Ruxted Group:

A few days ago The Ruxted Group provided a rather bleak assessment of the likely consequences of a precipitous (early 2009) Canadian withdrawal from combat operations in Afghanistan.

Today we offer a counterpoint: a catalogue of the ‘good news’ items which, we fear, are not sufficiently ‘newsworthy’ and, therefore, fail to make it on to our TV screens and, therefore, do not ‘inform’ Canadian public opinion. It is a long list but it barely scratches the surface.
Read more.

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Human Rights Commission and FreeDominion

The word is getting out about the Human Rights Commission's foolish attack on FreeDominion. May exposure and the consequent ridicule of the Canadian Human Rights Commission continue to cross borders. Let Canadians stand together with the Commission's prey by duplicating the "offending" comments on their own blogs.


Students of history will have heard of SMERSH. It was a forerunner of the KGB, a Communist Party commissariat under Josef Stalin. SMERSH was empowered to investigate and arrest conspirators and public critics of "the Party" – people living in the former Soviet Union didn't have constitutional freedoms.

Well, Canada has its own commissariats, in the form of Human Rights Commissions.

Some people refer to them as "kangaroo courts," but that is misleading because they really are dangerous. That's why I call them Commie-Commissions, and like SMERSH, they are empowered to investigate anyone who does not abide with the current stream of political correctness.
Right now, I'm playing this fellow's July 24 interview of FreeDominion proprietor EntropySquared, on air.

Let's keep a national and international spotlight on the Human Rights Commission's mandate and methods. The more people know about this organization, the more people flout its secrecy, the harder it will become for it to intimidate Canadians.

Belmont Club:
Blasphemy, national dignity, hate speech, fairness, cultural insensitivity. They are all invoked to justify actions which are synonyms for the un-word. Censorship. Censorship of course, is a dirty old word traditionally been associated with Fascists and the perverted monks depicted in Sergei Eisenstein's closeups. Today it travels under different colors: those of progressivism.
Gates of Vienna:
The latest instance of this progressive trend (Ed: censorship) concerns the Free Dominion forum. It seems that the Powers That Be (Canadian Chapter) have discovered that Free Dominion has been posting doubleplus ungood thoughts, and must now be “investigated”...

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Conversations with municipal politicians

Paul Tuns relates an old conversation with a city councillor somewhere that recalls London's ham-handed attempts to discipline its citizenry's garbage output:

Years ago I was talking to a city councilor from another municipality about his city's onerous garbage restrictions. I said that I didn't have a problem with some of the limits the city placed on households if people had an alternative, even if it was to pay for tags so larger or more wasteful families had to cover the costs for the additional garbage they produced. The councilor said it was not enough that people pay their own way, society had to simply reduce what it consumed. I pressed on this and finally the councilor said that the ultimate goal was to "bring down the capitalist system." It is impossible to believe that garbage collection regimes can do that, but imagine the hubris of believing that they can. Never mind if they should, but actually believing that some city council could collectively destroy capitalism.

This is the mentality that explains why city governments do so much more than maintain police and fire departments and fix the potholes on the roads. The mentality is not merely socialist in that it believes that government should be doing so much more, but the mentality that city council can right all the wrongs of the world. It is a dangerous idea that leads to a lot of bad policy but it is also a pathetically sad idea that demonstrates adult city councilors live in a make-believe world.
With few exceptions, London's councillors are not so rigidly doctrinaire as to oppose capitalism — most of them have at least some inkling of which side their tax base is buttered on. Behavioural engineering is still a constant temptation for local politicians, but most often only because they are urged to and applauded for it by their own constituents. This popular encouragement and approval yields to cities much more practical power over private life and property than the legal endorsement to use it from the courts and other levels of government. Behavioural engineering by legal means may be integral to anti-capitalist design, but hard ideology is almost purely a bystander in the arena of small-town local politics where the battles are waged between sentiments instead of ideas… which is a perfectly satisfactory position for the anti-capitalist ideologue in any case, having conditioned politics as the field and sentiments as the weapons. The closest thing to ideology for most local politicians is the imperative to tailor their messages to an audience that appreciates their ability to turn sentiments into power — which is why they must be ridiculed for it at every turn.

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St. John's Mayor calls out David Suzuki

In St. John's Newfoundland, when you call the number listed in the phone book for the Mayors' Office, Mayor Andy Wells answers the phone. It's not his assistant or an automated operator, it's the Mayor himself. Never a stranger to controversy he has now made a statement, which I consider to be one his least controversial, which is apparently causing some controversy:

Andy Wells, the outspoken Mayor of St. John's, pictured, has outraged Canadian environmentalists and physicians with his comments that David Suzuki and Al Gore are "junk scientists," and that herbicides in small amounts are safe. From St. John's to Ottawa, Calgary and Burnaby, B.C., communities across the country continue to debate cosmetic pesticide and herbicide use and whether it should be allowed. But while passions often come to the fore in the arguments over whether the chemical treatments for lawn care are safe, it's unlikely that many have stated the case as bluntly as does Mr. Wells. "I think there's a lot of junk science out there that's masquerading as true science,'' the Mayor said yesterday.
Yeah, it is junk science based on nothiing. There is not a serious study to show any harmful effects but the fear mongerers continue to spread fear and line their pockets with suckers' money.

(also at Little Tobacco)

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The Burning Question

What are progressives progessing towards?

Does anyone have an answer? A guess?

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Some advice from Time Magazine

“You could make your own clothes with needle and thread using 100% organic cotton sheared from sheep you raised on a Whole Foods diet”

The Global Warming Survival Guide – Time Magazine

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It's kinda relative, but not really

Truth be told, I prefer the written word over visual mediums, but Alice points to a film review of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Academy Award–winning film The Lives of Others that raises some interesting questions regarding the value and rationality of art. Note to Mapmaster: If the perfection that is Bach is less appealing to you than the output of Trooper, does this mean you are more totalitarian than me?

Jacques Maritain writes in Art and Scholasticism that the splendor in beauty lies in its intelligibility: “If beauty delights the intellect, it is because it is essentially a certain excellence or perfection in the proportion of things to the intellect.” This doesn’t mean that beauty is ordered and logical in the way mathematics is ordered and logical—it has its own kind of order, distinct from quantitative order. But the appeal that beauty has for human beings is a reasonable appeal—human beings are rational animals, and our taste for the beautiful is not simply visceral, but rational. The contemplation of beauty is a rational endeavor that lies in the realm of knowledge—nonconceptual knowledge, but knowledge nonetheless.

[..] I doubt that reasoned and sustained argument could accomplish what beauty and pity could not. The problem is not that poetry and music are not persuasive enough, but that the totalitarian mind limits the scope of reason within itself and is not open to being persuaded by a new experience—especially the experience of the mysterious, which it quickly debunks. The greatness of The Lives of Others lies in showing us that the totalitarian mind is more vulnerable than we think, and that a single moment of beauty can pierce through decades of ideological brainwashing.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tale of Two Planets, or Three if you like

In a New York Times editorial on July 1, 2007, Al Gore said:

We — all of us — now face a universal threat. Though it is not from outside this world, it is nevertheless cosmic in scale.

Consider this tale of two planets. Earth and Venus are almost exactly the same size, and have almost exactly the same amount of carbon. The difference is that most of the carbon on Earth is in the ground — having been deposited there by various forms of life over the last 600 million years — and most of the carbon on Venus is in the atmosphere.

As a result, while the average temperature on Earth is a pleasant 59 degrees, the average temperature on Venus is 867 degrees. True, Venus is closer to the Sun than we are, but the fault is not in our star; Venus is three times hotter on average than Mercury, which is right next to the Sun. It’s the carbon dioxide.

In the Wednesday, July 18 2007 edition of the Aspen Daily News:

Gore advised the audience to compare the blue orb of the Earth to Venus, where daytime temperatures reach 867 degrees Fahrenheit and it rains sulphuric acid. The two planets have the same amount of carbon, Gore explained, but Venus’ just happens to be in the atmosphere, while most of the Earth’s is still locked underground. “The habitability of this planet for human beings really is at risk,” he said.

True Venus is very hot, (you could cook a 12 inch pizza in about 9 seconds) owing in part to a very thick atmosphere, composed mainly of CO2. And as Mr. Gore points out, Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth is. With no atmosphere, Mercury even though it is closer to the Sun, has a lower temperature. Both Venus and Earth would have much lower temperatures than Earth if they had no atmosphere. The Earth would be a cold ball of rock just a few degrees above absolute zero, Venus would likely be the same, maybe a few degrees warmer, maybe not. Actually, the Earth would be about 255K or -18C, Venus would be the same or probably warmer.

Gore says that Venus is three times hotter than Mercury. Not quite, Venus has a mean temperature of 740K (740 Celcius above absolute zero), Mercury's average temperature is 440K. For Venus to be three times hotter, it would have to be 1320K. But that's nit picking I guess, and its only math, so there's no real need for accuracy. Let's just say that Venus is really hot. The atmosphere of Venus is almost entirely CO2, the atmosphere of Earth has very little CO2, its a trace gas at about 56/100,000 of the total weight of all terrestrial atmospheric gases. Remember that CO2 is measured in parts per million here on Earth.

We should also keep in mind that the Earth has had times when CO2 levels were 10 times higher without causing a runaway greenhouse effect. Indeed, the early atmosphere of the Earth was primarily CO2 just like Venus. Perhaps owing to our distance from the sun, or to the action of microbes and formation of carbon-bearing rocks, CO2 levels fell until they were represented only as a trace. Is it possible to free enough carbon, by burning fossil fuels, to convert our atmosphere to a Venus-like state? No.

Even the normally Gore supporting realclimate.org says, "Is there a risk that anthropogenic global warming could kick the Earth into a runaway greenhouse state? Almost certainly not."
They go on to say that "The Earth may well succumb to a runaway greenhouse as the Sun continues to brighten over the next billion years or so, but the amount of CO2 we could add to the atmosphere by burning all available fossil fuel reserves would not move us significantly closer to the runaway greenhouse threshold. There are plenty of nightmares lurking in anthropogenic global warming, but the runaway greenhouse is not among them."

So, once again, Al Gore presents a picture of the future that may come true, albeit in a few billion years. So what is his reasoning behind making such outrageous claims? Just to scare people. That's the problem with AGW alarmism, people become habituated (numbed) to the tales of catastrophe, so the prophets of doom, like Mr. Gore, David Suzuki, Laurie David and others, have to present ever bigger and ever scarier stories to keep the masses interested and frightened.

Cross posted at Blue Marble Climate

Note: Thanks to eng, I stand corrected on the temperature of an airless Earth.

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UN Sustainable development through price controls & nationalization

Robert Mugabe is going to fix all of the Zimbabwe's economic ills, brought about through no fault of his own, through the strict enforcement of price controls and the nationalization of industry...which was part of the problem I thought... but what the hell..

President Robert Mugabe has said at the opening of parliament that strict price controls will continue as Zimbabwe tries to turn around an ailing economy.

The country, once the bread-basket of the region, is suffering crippling food shortages and rampant inflation.

Mr Mugabe blamed droughts and sanctions for their economic woes and said they faced continued hostility from the UK and her Western allies.

A bill to nationalise foreign firms, including banks and mines, is planned.
Well, it hasn't worked anywhere else in the world, but Zimbabwe/Mugabe are setting the world course for sustainable development so they must know something that we capitalists do not. Of course one way is to cut down on the number of poor is to have them leave the country:
Economic refugees are arriving in neighbouring states like South Africa at a rate of around 3,000 a day.
And, beyond economic controls, a political solution also appears to be in the makes:
Talks between the ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition MDC to find a political solution appear to have stalled, our reporter says.

The MDC wants a new constitution, but the only amendment on the parliamentary agenda could extend the president's term to 2010.
For those of us in Canada and the west in general who look to the UN as some sort of moral foreign policy guide, look again. The UN simply gives legitimacy and cover to tyrants and strongmen.

(Also at Little Tobacco)

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Today's Best Headline

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Always Worth A Repost

ISIL's "Philosophy of Liberty".

Youtube compression and embedding is convenient but the original Flash presentation is sharper.

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FreeDominion on Breakenridge

FreeDominion's Connie Wilkins on a few minutes ago with CHQR's Rob Breakenridge.

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Human Rights Thoughtcrime -- Revealed!

Spoiler Alert! You are about to see how the free croissants and coffee get to the Human Rights Commissars' tables. As you may know, FreeDominion is under thoughtcrime-watch by that organ of extrajudicial reprisal under colour of law known as the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

We've finally learned which words attacked the complainant. It's still not clear what terrible damage they did to the poor fragile thing, but it must have been pretty awful if it made her want to sic the Ministry of Love on people.

OK, here they come. Be warned that I can't help it if these quotes, reproduced from FreeDominion, should violently jump off the monitor at you and violate your human rights or your chi flow or your groovy mood or whatever.

03/09/06 "To see the original hitting Edmonton mailboxes tonight. (warning disturbing but necessary photo) http://takebackcanada.com/whatcott.html "

04/24/06 "I can't figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals."

03/09/06 "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada."

These she added with no accreditation, but she doesn't seem to be attributing them to Whatcott:

"How many of us pay nothing but lip service to the Muslim threat here in Canada?"
"Probably everyone want to jail a Muslim."
"I have to ask why we are importing them here?"
"Islamic fundamentalism and its threat to Canada's religious and civil liberties."
That's it?! That gets you a letter from the Human Rights Commission?! Linking is risky now?

The degree to which you may sympathize with or object to any of these sentiments is irrelevant, they are ideas, to be refuted where necessary in a spirit of tolerance and diversity. Responding to these ideas with force, instead of other ideas, is thuggery.

So, now that these forbidden sequences of words and one devil-spawn'd HREF are here, and here, and here, not to mention here and here, and hopefully on all liberty-loving Canadian blogs within the next few days -- where's our summons?

Hear Michael Coren interview FreeDominion webmaster Connie Wilkins about this increasingly ridiculous situation. The host of that MP3 is a bit dodgy, so I've rehosted BlueWave's file here.

As Kathy puts it,
One way to fight this is for all of us to post Whatcott's "offending" remarks on our blogs right now, just like I did. Do the "I'm Spartacus" thing -- they can't sue us all.
What do you think, Jeremy?

Update: Breakenridge interviewing FreeDominion's proprietor, this evening.

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Denialfest 2007 audio

Our unreliable London music correspondent has finally sent audio of that appalling Denialfest 2007, and it was even worse than we expected, even from a mass gathering of hardcore climate change nihilists.

The event was a disaster, with none of the international bands permitted to enter Canada and, as the audio reveals, with crowd favourite The Recyclenots deciding not to play.

Warning, linked audio not for human consumption.

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Global Warming is so Passé

Forget global warming and climate change. CO2 is yesterday's news.

Its time to move on to a new dire threat, bigger than terorism or global warming. That new threat is Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Polarized in the right orientation, CMEs can totally shut down power grids, destroy electrical transformers and cause havok, trapping people on escalators.

This new threat was the subject of a Discovery Channel program The Perfect Disaster Sunday night.

Now all we need is a saviour, forget it Al and Dave, to take up this important cause. Human induced CME damage is real and we need to do something about it soon, we may have only 10 years before we reach the tipping point. We have flagrantly covered the planet with electrical wires which attract the CMEs to the earth, causing billions of dollars worth of damage.

Our only hope is to reduce our dependance on electricity; remove electrical wiring or buy wiring offsets.

TIC Reporting

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Assorted links

All animals are special

What passes for public art in London

I can't beleive that someone could post such a hateful thing about somebodies ART. Did you even take into consideration the man who made these sculptures?

anonymous comment on The London Fog
The user- and funding-friendly method of eliminating hateful discrimination based on what people are is to eliminate discrimination altogether, including the altogether more useful and necessary discrimination based on what people do, by celebrating the specialness of everyone and everything. That's why hip-hop, graffiti and painted iron trees can be and are called "art."

As Roger Kimball explains in the New Criterion, it must be venerated to work: Why the art world is a disaster.

But as long as specialness is public, we can at least swing from it.

Religionormativism, maybe?

How should atheist beliefs gain authority? Easy, just the same way everyone else does it these days — by making themselves victims.

The London Fog we can handle. Toronto, on the other hand…

Gods of the Copybook Headings:
When a Liberal Finance Minister is giving you advice on spending money wisely you know you've reached a fiscal nadir.
"The farm has been overgrown by the state"

Even many city-dwellers consider their cities to be a squander of precious ecological resources. Lawrence Solomon, writing in the Financial Post, suggests that city governments, chasing after the votes of similar urban-bucolic sentiments, make it impossible not to squander.

Putting sick criminals in charge of the sick and the criminal

The Toronto Sun:
It's criminal that provincial inmates in Ontario are alloted more money a day for their jailhouse cuisine than sick patients receive in hospitals, health experts say.
It's even more criminal to leave sick patients in a health care system managed by bureaucrats and governed by politics and expect a judicious or comprehensible distribution of rations. Unless the millionth government review or report will prove otherwise…

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Eat what you're told to eat and be thankful for your ration

According to an article published in today's Toronto Sun, prisoners are better fed than their ailing counterparts who are dependent on our "free" health care system that is not quite as good as Cuba's.

Sick people need the best possible nutrition to become well, said Doris Grinspun, executive director of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.

"It's phenomenal and astounding. Everyone should be receiving the same," Grinspun said. "People in hospitals have more complex needs ... the government needs to step in.
See Dust My Broom for more detailed Sunday Propaganda entertainment.

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See Little Green Footballs.


Vision aired another lecture Saturday afternoon by Mr. Ahmad, who compares Jews to “parasites,” describes the Holocaust as “divine punishment” and calls Jews “condemned.”

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The History of Civilization

In over 43% of alternate universes, I am now a victim of homelessness owing to the time I wasted, am wasting, and will waste on this.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Raising raising awareness awareness

Five adolescent boys from the west coast go on a parent-free skateboarding, camping and surfing lark across Vancouver Island and get away with it because they were raising awareness.

A group of five teenage boys from Hope, B.C. are traveling nearly 400 km on their long boards to raise awareness for global warming and promote going green.

Cody Kipp, 16, said their goal is to inspire other kids to think green. “We all hope to be positive role models for youth of this generation and for the next generation. Global warming is affecting us all and if kids get in the habit of going green than maybe we can save things,” said Kipp.

The boys, who call themselves the Team Rioters, left Hope July 10, and after four grueling days on their boards they managed to make it to Parksville.

Chris Roberts, 15, said the group’s original goal was to long board from Hope all the way to Tofino. “We had to stop our run in Parksville after we found out from a lot of people that the highway to Tofino was too dangerous and that boarders are not aloud to ride it,” said Roberts. The boys had no other choice than to pick up their boards and take a bus the rest of the way.

Kipp said it was probably a good thing they had to take the bus because they were starting to reach the point of exhaustion.
They were not aloud to ride it… maybe next time they could raise some spelling awareness. But for anyone who hadn't know it already, awareness that teen-age boys generally need haircuts and should not be listened to might at least have been raised.
The group is currently camping out in Tofino and enjoying some surf time, but come July 20 they will be taking the bus back to Parksville and then long boarding back to Hope.

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To be an exploiter

In the late 1950s, the young Polish journalist arrives in New Delhi on his first assignment abroad.

On the opposite side of the street, on a cramped little square, rickshaw drivers had been gathering since dawn -- skinny, stooped little men with bony, sinewy legs. They must have learned that a sahib had arrived at the hotel. A sahib, by definition, must have money, so they waited patiently, ready to serve. But the very idea of sprawling comfortably in a rickshaw pulled by a hungry, weak waif of a man with one foot already in the grave filled me with the utmost revulsion, outrage, horror. To be an exploiter? A bloodsucker! Never! I had been brought up in a precisely opposite spirit, taught that even living skeletons such as these were my brothers, kindred souls, near ones, flesh of my flesh. So when the rickshaw drivers threw themselves upon me with pleading encouragement, clamoring and fighting amongst themselves for my business, I began to firmly push them away, rebuke them, protest. They were astounded -- what was I saying, what was I doing? They had been counting on me, after all. I was their only chance, their only hope -- if only for a bowl of rice. I walked on without turning my head, impassive, resolute, a little smugly proud of not having allowed myself to be manipulated into assuming the role of leech.

-R. Kapuscinski, Travels With Herodotus, p. 18-19

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Outside the Law

FreeDominion's EntropySquared (context here):

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is a perfect example of something that shouldn’t be allowed to exist in a free society. Its primary function is to provide liberals with power they cannot legitimately wield. Dressed up as a part of the legal system, the Canadian Human Rights Commission operates completely outside of natural law, yet it has the power to impose its decisions upon Canadians (as individuals and as a people) as if its decisions were legislatively empowered. Every one of their decisions effectively ‘writes law’ as potent as legitimate laws passed in the House of Commons.

It is essential that people understand that the Canadian Human Rights Commission is entirely a political instrument. Its transparent window-dressing as an arm of the law is cosmetic only.

... As with all these standoffs between the CHRC and conservatives, much of the battle will be fought behind closed doors where few normal checks and balances apply. Playing on their field by their rules is a losing proposition, so we are going to take the battle to the people of Canada and beyond.

...It is apparent from the nature of the complaint, and the CRHC’s participation in its execution, that the goal is the silencing of Free Dominion. The only thing certain in all this is that that isn’t going to happen. The reason that I can say that with such certainty is the Canadian Human Rights Commission doesn’t have the power to silence Free Dominion.

The second part of this battle is going to be waged on the internet and in other media and the real judges will be the people of Canada, and beyond, who we will treat to a grand tour of the CHRC. The CHRC wields total power behind closed doors, but they wield none in the marketplace of ideas provided by the internet, and that’s where we will fight the second war.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Making the news without news

Since the media won't pay any attention to new developments in the advocacy industry until there's a report, somebody will just have to make one up:

Global warming and the debate over whether man-made carbon gas emissions are having a detrimental influence on climate change has been ranked as the most boring topic of conversation on earth, according to a new report.

… In a key finding, the survey revealed that the amount of damaging carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of discussing the global warming issue now exceeds the greenhouse gas emissions of northern China.
Read the rest here (thanks go to reader Paul Merrifield for the tip).

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Warning: Protesting May Increase Corporate Profits

Since I first learned to read at the age of 22, I have been endlessly amazed by the worlds that the written word can open. Though it was frustrating at the time, as I look back now, I think I will be eternally grateful to the rogue social worker who forced me, phonetically, to work my way through "Anthem". Gradually, making the distinction between "p" and "q" or "b" and "d" became more than some stupid game played by eggheads staring at marks on paper for hours on end. That ability became a wondrous key to new realms of imagination and spiritual depth. No, Virginia, literacy wasn't just some passing fad promoted by the teachers' union. There were indeed good and valid reasons to have, say, both lower and upper case forms of letters. They no longer formed a barrier to understanding; instead, they became a bridge to knowledge and wisdom.

As anyone who has been fortunate enough to enjoy their hospitality would attest, the other London Fog posters have homes lined with books. Through my association with these amazingly well-read people, I have been exposed to so much book-learning that I can barely remember what life was like before the written word all those decades ago. Our marketing research shows that nearly 10% of our readers rely at least partially on friends or family members to read our posts aloud. To those of you in that position, I encourage you to take the plunge and enter the world of books.

Anyways, despite our problems with Chapters' effective Heritage Canada concession over large-scale bookselling in this country and their ripoff of Borders' format while enjoying protection from their competition, we were prompted to make some purchases this evening by the promise of pamphlet-proffering protesters pleading that passers-by pass by in place of providing Harry Potter-sized profits to power-pigs.

We stopped by Chapters and were met by a small group of impeccably polite protestors, indeed, handing out pamphlets. Once inside, we were quickly able to find a number of books we'd intended to buy but might never have gotten around to without the inspiration of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. The late Kapuscinski's last book, "Travels With Herodotus", now adorns my shelf along with several other volumes. Lisa scored Vasily Grossman's "Writer at War: Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945".

That irrepressible Christian, Mapmaster, even bought a whole tray of piping hot Starbucks coffees, enough for all the protesters on this chilly-yet-globally-warmed July evening. (In the end, his gift was politely yet firmly rejected by the protesters.)

All in all, it was a profitable evening for the Chapters corporation, thanks to the Coalition. The store was quite busy. I personally spent over $30 per protester.

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Obama Barack explains criminality to a crowd of worshipers

Next time you have reason to contemplate the "epidemic of violence" that is dividing the US, and by extension, the rest of the planet, reach deep within yourself and your wallet and ask yourself who the true victim really is. If you are self-interested and narrowminded enough to blame the perpetrator of the crime, consult Obama:

"We need to express our collective anger through collective action." He called for a ban on assault weapons and revisions to regulations which allow unscrupulous firearms dealers to fuel the flames by selling weapons to those who should not be able to purchase them. He called more public funds for after school programs offering alternatives to kids who have entered into the culture of violence that has been unleashed on our urban streets. He challenged parents to take more responsibility, along with the community, for the “at risk” children in their homes and to join together to reach out to the whole community.

[..] "There's a reason they go out and shoot each other, because they don't love themselves. And the reason they don't love themselves is because we are not loving them enough."
You may be a victim of a victimless crime. Fenris and his telemarketers are available, 24 hours a day, thanks to your generous donations to Set, The Snake God. Dial 666 to see if you qualify for benefits.

HT: The Mayor

C/P: Dust My Broom

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

A brisk swim at 90 North

As many of you know, a British adventurer, global warming advocate, etc., Lewis Gordon Pugh went swimming at the North Pole to bring to the worlds attention the open water at the pole. Sadly, for him, open water at the pole is called summer. It will freeze harder than a brick in a few months. A little pictorial evidence, (note the date):


Open water at the pole is a regular occurance, so much so that it even has a name, polynya. Polynyas occur because of thermal upwelling or wind and can appear in any month, though they are more common in summer. The US Navy submariners have been taking advantage of polynyas for decades as places to surface. Bears, seals, walruses, and whales all take advantage of polynyas for air and hual-out to rest (not the whales, that would be news.)

CAPT Alfred S. McLaren, USN (Ret.), said, "On the 25th of August 1960, the nuclear attack submarine, USS Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaced in an open lake of water or "polynya" very near the North Pole. We were the fourth submarine in history to have reached the top of the world!"

So Puge swan at the north pole, does it prove anything, other than he is really desperate to get into the news? Is this a sign of global warming? Well, considering that the water was -1.8 degrees C and the air temperature was below freezing, I think you would be hard pressed to prove that point. Water at the North Pole, and in the Arctic in general, is called summer. Remember, the Inuit invented the kayak, a particularly useless tool for snow travel.

Thanks to Bishop Hill for the picture.

Note: A friend of mine who has spent time in the Arctic said that the picture of the subs was more likely taken in July or August, he's probably right, but the picture has to stand on its own. Regardless of the month, the subs are there, at 90 North, but where's the barber's pole we saw in the cartoons?

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Human Rights Commission Foments Hatred Of Human Rights Commission

Once it's been on the mighty SmallDeadAnimals, it's a fairly sure bet it will reach anyone interested. But this is important enough to merit lots of duplication duplication.

Ms. Connie Wilkins
c/o Free Dominion
2033 Unity Rd.
Kingston, ON
K0H 1M0

Dear Ms. Wilkins:

I am the investigator designated under Part III of the Canadian Human Rights Act to investigate the complaint of Ms. [name omitted at this time] against Free Dominion. As the investigator, it is my responsibility to gather the evidence in relation to the complainant's allegations and, once the investigation is complete, to report on my findings to the Members of the Commission.
FreeDominion thread is here. LifeSite has a story too.

A good example of the pre-Magna Carta rules of Human Rights weasel-justice can be found here. At "Human Rights" tribunals, there are essentially no rules of evidence or proof that would be recognized outside of the works of Lewis Carroll. In such tribunals, hearsay and speculation are the equivalent of a fingerprinted bloody hammer in a real court. The principle of reasonable doubt equaling innocence is nowhere to be found. The letter FreeDominion received demanded a response without even informing them about the basis of the complaint. Looking at the CHRC mandate, it's not even obvious where it gets its authority over FreeDominion. Here, truly, social justice comes into its full meaning: making it up as you go along and taking what you want from the weak. As a result, Human Rights are used to extort from politically convenient targets, who have no recourse to the systems of logic, reason, and proportionality that protect us all in respectable courtrooms.

But in Elijah Elieff's day (see "Human Rights Fascism: A Case Study") there was no Internet to draw attention to the kangaroo court injustice against him. Today an international audience is watching and waiting for the Canadian Human Rights Commission to do something unwise, like harassing FreeDominion.

The owners haven't yet been told what wicked string of comment-characters so offended the anonymous complainant to the point of involving a human rights troika. Once the forbidden thoughts are revealed, the patriotic, Canadian response to this harassment will be for every blogger in Canada and elsewhere to replicate the offending post, verbatim, on their own blogs.

Differences of opinion, even ugly opinions, are for the people of Canada to work out, disagree with, agree with, hate or love, among themselves as a free people -- not for goons dressing up harassment in "Human Rights" garb to pick and choose among.

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The Legal Question of Our Times

Must NBC Stop Running Law & Order If Fred Thompson Announces His Candidacy or else face the obligation to give rival candidates equal time?

Apparently the answer is yes... or maybe... or who knows?

Does it also mean that the networks cannot show any of his movies including Hunt for the Red October, Cape Fear and Die Hard II unless they also show an equal amount of footage of Hillary Clinton sitting through Bill's impeachment hearings? Thompson was also on some episodes of Matlock, which seems to run on cable 24 hours a day, and he did an episode of Sex and the City.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not that there's nothing wrong with this

As if to stress the idea that it is more our representatives choosing who we are than we who are choosing our representatives, city council decided last night to fly the rainbow flag at city hall during gay pride week this summer for the first time in nine years. This year's Pride London Festival will also receive $2,500 — which is, coincidentally enough, exactly $2,500 more than The London Fog has ever received in funding from the city since our inception in 2003. Perhaps politicians don't want to represent us equally?

Postscript: Oops, is this a homophobic post? It's so hard to tell these days when so many readers (for lack of a better word) parse blog posts for whiffs of generic thought crime rather than for their sense or meaning. For the record, I have no objection to these silly pride displays except on purely aesthetic grounds. Yes, I'm alluding to their trousers, of course, but even more to the wilful disassembling of the communication between words and their meanings. What pride in one's merits or accomplishments is there for what is only a congenital disposition if, as we are to have it, people are born as homosexuals? If that the case, then "license" is perhaps a more accurate word to use than "pride." But if it is the other way around, and people are celebrating their choices or actions, then language has finally obliterated the meaning of discrimination by scrubbing out the distinctions between what people are and what people do. Well, let's just have it both ways then, I suppose.

Ah, pardon me, that too was probably all very homophobic in some public awareness campaign universe. But to return to the post itself: what is it exactly that our city council is celebrating?

Update, July 20: Now we are all represented…
Although only a handful of pride members and community supporters stood in front of city hall, D’Aguilar said it was still a good representation of the community.

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Rationing the rationed

The US federal government has proposed raising taxes on cigarettes by as much as 156% and cigars by as much as 20,000%. In the name of the children, the state seeks to profit from your pleasure, without your consent.

As part of an increase in tobacco taxes designed to pay for children's health insurance, the nickel-per-cigar tax that has ruled the industry could rise to as much as $10 per cigar.

[..] Here's the source of the controversy: The Democrat controlled Congress has sought an extra $35-billion to $50-billion for the state children's health insurance program. The program distributes payments to the states to help buy coverage for kids not poor enough for Medicaid.

[..] The Bush administration may inadvertently come to the industry's aid. The president has vowed to veto the bill, not over the cigar provision but over objections to expanding federally financed health care for the non-indigent.
More evidence that Bush is evil! A typical trait Right-wing extremists display is a blatant disregard for their suffering counterparts. Until such time as the masses are deemed indigent, Obama and Hillary will remain only a menacing nightmare.

HT: The Agitator, Radley Balko

cross plopped: The Broom

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Good news for municipalities…

…but bad news for the people who live there. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation reports that local politicians might someday have more screws in their revenue arsenal:

… a provincial report will come out in February recommending that ALL Ontario municipalities will get new taxing powers.
Like Toronto's… Ontario municipalities are fortunate to be administered under a provincial government that defers entirely to the revenue problem of taxes instead of on spending — how would London city council manage if it were in Florida?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Buy A Book At Masonville Chapters On Friday

There's a protest at Chapters Masonville on Friday! No, it's not about the effective book-selling monopoly given to these "capitalists" by Heritage Canada. It's not about the related issue of the kooky stock that assaults all who venture out of the science sections into history or politics, unleavened by a word of Hayek or von Mises.

It is, of course, all about the owners' support for everybody's least favourite free society in the Middle East.

If you're in London, be sure to come and buy a book at the Masonville Chapters during this time:

When: Friday, July 20, 2007 @ 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: In front of Chapters North on Fanshawe Park Road across from Masonville. Meet beside Jack Astor's at 6:50. A group of London citizens concerned about Israeli apartheid invites you to join us for an information picket to ask customers to boycott Chapters/Indigo and to send a clear message to majority shareholders Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz that their links to the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers - which subsidizes mercenaries from abroad that want to serve in Israel's racist military - are unacceptable! We need your support to make sure that Reisman and Schwartz hear our message!
Be sure to let the protestors know that they've inspired your purchase. Share your bill's total on the way out, so they'll know how effective they've been as free advertising for an otherwise obnoxious company. Also share your suspicion that the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid is jointly funded by Chapters, CSIS, and the Mossad to encourage sympathy with a crappy monopoly.

In the meantime, the "Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid" has inspired me to send pizza to patrolling IDF troops. Mmmm!

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That's a s#$t load of scientists

Caroline Lucas, British MP and holder of a PhD in Literature, had the following to say on BBC:

" And it worries me enormously because if we don't have a population that really understands that 99.999% of international scientists do believe that climate change is happening and do believe that it's human caused..."

99.999%? That means 1 in 100,000, given that and the number of scientists who signed to Oregon petition (about 18,000), she's saying that there are 1,800,000,000 scientists on the planet, thats 1 scientist for every 3 people. Wow.

Thanks to Climate Resistance

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"Fuck Bush! Fuck Harper! And Fuck the London Fog!!"

Our intrepid downtown correspondent made the trip to the London Indymedia Unplugged open mic contest last night at the Alex P. Keaton. There was a packed crowd when I arrived and lots of talent in a variety of genres to enjoy.

It was the live London debut of both Hippy Sympathizer and Frank le Fou, and they were welcomed with some well received hostility. HS really warmed up the crowd with "Abu Grave", "Gun Registry Officer", and nearly brought the house down on his own head with "David Suzuki is a Fascist", in his first set.

Amidst the calls for retribution Frank took the guitar from Hippy and did a quick rendition of "Pot Hole City" followed by "3% & Rising". Surprisingly, given the initial reaction, they each got to play another song in the final run off. It was difficult to follow up Hippy's rendition of "Right Wing Extremist" but Frank endured the slings and arrows of verbal abuse (or was that audience member seriously offering fellatio?) still flying after HS' last song, and played "Downtown London What a Mess".

Commenter Anthony V at London Indymedia writes

"Fuck Bush! Fuck Harper! And Fuck the London Fog!!", Testament screamed out to open his set, after sets by a couple of contributors to the London Fog right wing blog site. 'Frank' and 'the Hippie Sympathyzer' did place 9th and 10th respectfully, with such numbers as,"David Suzuki is a Fascist", and "Downtown London is a Mess".
And a great time was had by all!

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But are they anatomically correct?

Yes, I admit it, I liked playing with my sister's Barbies while growing up. While my sister enjoyed dressing Barbie up, I was all too eager to help disrobe the plastic perfumed princess. I gave up this practice in later years for the feelings of shame it produced in me; I felt Barbie was just too shallow an object of desire to be the focus of my fantasies - all looks and no personality. Now I can have my cake and eat 'cause there's a Holy Mary Messenger of Faith doll just waiting for my fumbling fingers . . .

Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of God’s Son. One day, an angel appeared and told her that she was going to have a baby named Jesus. Mary and her husband were very excited! Mary finally gave birth to baby Jesus in a town called Bethlehem. She raised baby Jesus until He grew to be a man, and she loved Him very much.
And for those of you who always wondered just what the Vatican hasn't wanted you to see beneath those rodes all these years, there's a Jesus doll too!
Wal-Mart said Tuesday it will test sales in some stores of biblical action figures whose makers say they are aimed at Christian parents who prefer their children play with Samson, David or Noah rather than with a comic book character or Bratz doll.

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Say what?

"The month-to-month variability of tropical temperatures is larger in the troposphere than at the Earth's surface. This amplification behavior is similar in a range of observations and climate model simulations, and is consistent with basic theory. On multi-decadal timescales, tropospheric amplification of surface warming is a robust feature of model simulations, but occurs in only one observational dataset. Other observations show weak or even negative amplification. These results suggest that either different physical mechanisms control amplification processes on monthly and decadal timescales, and models fail to capture such behavior, or (more plausibly) that residual errors in several observational datasets used here affect their representation of long-term trends." -Santer et al, Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere, Science, 2005

So the world is wrong, our models are right. Aren't models supposed to help us understand what we observe? What kind of logic truns that through 180 degrees?

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