Friday, August 31, 2007

Political energies

Release of the Ontario Power Authority's new 20-year energy plan was met with criticism from opposition parties and environmentalists that it is "unrealistic," "expensive" and does not do enough "to highlight energy conservation and renewable energy sources."

Of course, the sorts of official criticism levelled at government programs that are typically received and broadcast by the media are as fruitless and uninformative as they are routine and trite because they expressly divert attention away from the plan's real flaw, which is that energy in Ontario is planned in a government program in the first place.

Whether drafted by impartial experts or by indifferent bureaucrats, the objectives of government plans are motivated and directed primarily by political agendas rather than a practical interest in innovation and efficiency, as demonstrated by the emphasis on economic albatrosses like wind, solar and nuclear power sources in the $60 billion plus energy plan. That it also depends so heavily on "conservation" shows as clearly as any measure that the Ontario Power Authority is less interested in delivering commodities to consumers than it is in delivering consent to its political masters. How else would anyone have the audacity to make a 20-year plan in the first place?

By evading any substantial disagreement with the principle and conduct of central planning for energy, opposition parties and environmentalists are in effect acceding to every article except for their share in the planning. Unfortunately, the only protests that seem worth noting by the media are the ones meant for the political store window.

Update: In the midst of an election campaign, there's no point treating this as anything other than an electoral advertising campaign. At least we'll only have to wait four more years for the next 20-year plan.

Terence Corcoran writing in the Financial Post:

There's a lot of craziness in all this, in the United States and Canada, but especially in Ontario, home of a 20-year, $60-billion integrated power plan. A new version this week reveals a patchwork of unstable assumptions and arbitrary directives from the Premier. The province faces a 24% increase in energy demand over the next 20 years, and a 30% increase in required power capacity. Under the plan, half of the capacity need will be met, under government directive, by "conservation." In other words, the rising demand for power will be covered by forcing consumers not to demand it.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Little Green Lies

The Catholic church has joined the green movement, which seems entirely appropriate, as proponents of man-made global warming or global cooling or climate change have long treated the subject as if it is a religion, despite a lack of scientific consensus on the subject. Attendees of the Waveney Greenpeace festival in Suffolk England will have an opportunity to confess their eco-sins this upcoming weekend from a man wearing a green garment made from recycled curtains.

Dom Anthony Sutch, the Benedictine monk who resigned as head of Downside School to become a parish priest in Suffolk, will be at the county’s Waveney Greenpeace festival this weekend to hear eco-confessions in what is thought to be the first dedicated confessional booth of its kind.

Vested in a green chasuble-style garment made from recycled curtains, and in a booth constructed of recycled doors, he will hear the sins of of those who have not recycled the things they ought to have done and who have consumed the things they ought not to have done.

[..] Father Sutch tries to practise what he preaches but has turned the heating down so low at his church of St Benet’s that at least one parishioner has fled to the warmer care of a neighbouring priest for winter services.

He told The Times: “It is not, I hope, blasphemous to do this. I do not think it is. It is just an attempt to make people conscious of the way they live. The Church is aware of green issues and of how aware we have to be of how we treat the environment.

“I know the Pope has now set up his own airline, but I am told the Vatican will be planting trees every time it flies. I do think the way we treat our environment is important.

“There is a huge amount of greed in the West. We have to be aware of the consequences of how we live.”
See Copious Dissent for more on The New Religion.
...if the environmental movement is now an agent of the Catholic Church, couldn’t one make the argument that tax dollars going to prevent global warming is a government endorsement of religion prohibited by the 1st Amendment.
cp: The Broom

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The world needs its straight talking curmudgeons to counterbalance its young bluenoses*.

* (Overthrowing capitalism and ushering in the egalitarian caliphate will certainly involve exposure to harsh language, much of it scatologically or sexually derived. Be warned! But don't worry, there is all the time in the world to back out and get a job.)

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Encountering Opposing Viewpoints Makes It Harder To Have Faith

HT Relapsed Catholic. There must be some way for the dying, outmoded newspaper industry to make itself even less appealing to its customers. Although the trend is encouraging, newspapers are still apparently being published. It seems that a dwindling though non-zero number of subscriptions still remain uncancelled.

I bet any strategy to completely make newspapers a thing of the past would have to involve the words "proactive", "environment", "climate" and "advocacy". Those words have the power of making the most sublime expressions trite and insulting to the intelligence.

For maximum effect, newspaper typists should also persist in the ludicrous idea that their customers come to them to for behaviour modification and beliefs engineering under the direction of uneducated and otherwise unemployable journalists.

Oh, look! Editor and Publisher has a whole bunch of ideas on how to put the final nails in the newspaper industry.

Develop a Behavior-Change Campaign That Encourages Action.
Many newspapers as well as other types of news organizations have embarked on climate-change special series, but most tend to focus on in-depth reporting of the issue. I can't fault most papers from covering the issue intensely; there's some excellent reporting being done by environmental-beat reporters. But most of these special efforts don't include much in the way of calls for action -- an advocacy component. What's missing is for newspaper coverage of the issue to be pro-active in encouraging behavior change...

Advocacy has gotten a bad name in modern news media. I would argue that climate change is too important of an issue squander the power of the news media. Newspapers can and should not only educate people about what they can do, but pro-actively lead and encourage behavior change. That will mean setting aside a time-honored journalistic practice -- for this one vital issue.
Lots more great ideas at the link.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Failure is not an option

A university bound beauty pageant contestant, described as a "well-rounded" student, attempts to redeem herself after the fact. Will she seek re-exams after she fails?

"I would love to re-answer that question," Upton said. "Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't. And if the statistics are correct, I believe there should be more emphasis on geography."

[..] "Everything did come at me at once. I was overwhelmed and I made a mistake. Everybody makes a mistake. I'm human," she said Tuesday. "I seriously think I only heard about one or two words of the actual question."
Her original response has been captured on YouTube:

When a passing grade is awarded to one of the lazier members of our race, we can only rejoice.

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Supply-side politics

Theodore Dalrymple on The Dianafication of Modern Life:

In the orgy of demonstrative pseudo-grief that followed [Diana's] death, Mr Blair said that the people had found a new way of being British. Indeed so: they had become emotionally incontinent and inclined to blubber in public when not being menacingly discourteous.
…as prescribed and sanctified by politicians and the media, who are galvanized by popular vulnerability. Heck, even the Church of England is hip to the marketing plan.

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Take my mayor… please!

London's tiny perfect teenage mayor

With apologies to Morris Lamont of the London Free Press, in anticipation that no apologies will be forthcoming from him.

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Ahmadinejad Eats Out

Iranian tyrant Ahmadinejad exposes his sensitive side. If only the cogs in the wheel functioned according to plan, he'd have more time to exercise his culinary talents.

Better known for his defiance on Iran's nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday revealed he was a handy cook who prepares "delicious" food and regrets not spending more time at home.

[..] "Before (I became president) I used to do the grocery shopping. Now sometimes I help in the kitchen and I know how to make all the Iranian food," Ahmadinejad said.

Pressed by the interviewer for more details, Ahmadinejad continued in typically defiant fashion.

"Of course what I make is delicious -- ask everyone who has eaten it! I can make all the different kinds of soups and Iranian stews," said the president.
Those that fail to praise Ahmadinejad's culinary talents are nowhere to be found. I don't currently have an Iranian category for Lisa's Kitchen, and if Ahmadinejad would focus on nourishment rather than impoverishment, I'd consider inviting him as a guest blogger at Lisa's Kitchen.

cp: The Broom

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Brother, can you spare an electron?

Environmentally Friendly Sick Day

Reader Paul Merrifield from London, Ontario submits a free verse and a sing-along contribution so that the London Fog can conserve our precious neuron resources to help save the planet (cartoon via groovygreen).
      Just look at that gorgeous glistening full moon glowing through our rapidly dissolving ozone layer and yet,
      The sunset with its gleaming colors waits yet another year to show the full and deadly greenhouse effect.
      Come on global warming I know you will show up some day, I just know you will
      Because only then will I see a decrease in my annual heating bill.
      The romantic breeze that blows through the tropical Florida palms sways to and fro
      As I sit back and wonder who back home in Detroit is shoveling my snow.
      Heat waves are now called summer, rainstorms are floods and the sun is nothing but cancer and more
      We thank ye god for providing such wonder, with fear, terror and misery from good old Al Gore.

Al Gore Hates Life:

He hates the CO2 breath from a baby’s lungs.
He hates the sun and uses it’s rays as liberal guns.

He hates different ideas, and loves only Al Gore’s.
He hates anyone who isn't obediently down on all fours.

He hates nature, saying it is delicate and frail.
He hates the possibility that the earth could be as tough as a steel nail.

He hates the blue sky and calls it brown.
He hates others who don’t walk about with a frown.

He hates a god given planet full of life. He only sees suffering, toil and strife.

He hates the unborn and allows same sexes to wed.
He hates the incandescent light bulb beside my bed.

Good liberals back in the sixties used to question, challenge and doubt.
Now they bow, obey and pout.
Paul Merrifield signs off his email with "Doctor David Nutzuki Quote #420," which is a minor variation on the first 419:

"How many times do I have to tell everyone? Read my furry lips: THERE IS NO DEBATE ON CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!!!!! Now shut the &%$# up, all of you!"

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If You Believe In Global Warming


you can sacrifice to any old god,
bet your thirst on a divining rod,
cones and crystals and UFOs,
stuff the man doesn't want you to know
you can dig into what masons do
and figure out their plan for you
yeah, we don't know what the ancients knew
so who am i to make fun of you?

you can cast a chart with those planets on
i could be right i could be wrong
it's kind of hard to believe that shit
but it's totally cool if you're into it
Con tact the dead with your ouija board
i think when they're dead you should cut t he cord
but i'm not gonna sit with you and judge
and it's even ok if you give it a nudge

as you can see i'm a tolerant guy
i think that beauty's in the eye
but it pounds in my head like a big bass drum:
believing in global warming is fuckin' dumb
Warning, alleged song consists of little more than gratuitous swearing, counterproductive, unsubstantiated invective, and childish taunts. Do not listen to song.

Also posted at Mitchieville.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Not so long ago in a country very much like ours

Since it appears that between each generation, and too often within generations, a reminder is needed of the stark failure and depression that Socialism produces in a nation, then that's what history is for.

Ergo, David Thompson has one such relevant history in video. As he relates in an email, Thatcherism was a reaction against "the creeping Socialist nightmare":

Overseas readers may not realise just how Socialist the UK was in the late 70s, with open talk of “class warfare” and ossified nationalised industries – state monopolies – billions in debt.

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Yet another dangerous cartoon

An "emotional" response to a recent Opus cartoon plotline has the editors of major newspapers normally printing the strip holding the presses. Cartoons are a serious business that might "cause" religious zealots and other offended and oppressed groups to incite violence in response to hurt feelings.

The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday's installment of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus," in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist.

[..] Sources told that the strips were shown to Muslim staffers at The Washington Post to gauge their reaction, and they responded "emotionally" to the depiction of a woman dressed in traditional Muslim garb and espousing conservative Islamic views.
Read the first Opus segment here.

cp: Dust My Broom

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Polls of the Sphinx

A typical London Free Press poll, like the one above, elicits a meaningless response by posing an indigestible and ambiguous question.

Does the paltry 8% support for the proposal that the City of London pay for downtown renewal indicate a proper and sensible disinclination among the public to squander even more of their taxes into bureaucratic schemes for renewal, as has been the City's failed strategy for the past decade?

Or, does positing "Developers" as the only alternative invite respondents instead to the punitive prospect of gassing someone else, especially an apparently monolithic cabal of "others" whose interests, in the popular myth of the Free Press and some politicians, are in opposition to the City's? It's easy to see how the City of London can be soaked for downtown renewal, but if we're going to soak the Developers instead, how are we going to do it and whose renewal will it be?

Does the option of "Both" allow respondents to park vague, muddled or uncertain feelings as something to be taken as an opinion?

Of course, every answer can only affirm the premises of the question, which is that downtown renewal is some sort of bill of goods that can be drawn up and invoiced to someone, and that the problems of what to draw up and who to present the invoice can and must only be decided democratically, which is to say politically. Well, of course it cannot renew itself!

If the city were to resign its self-appointed mission of engineering miniature Shangri-Las, and failing miserably in the process, a corresponding reduction in taxes and abolition of burdensome regulation would allow the downtown to actually thrive in some form or fashion… it just wouldn't necessarily be in the way of the rosy vision of bygone days to which the city's fathers would have everyone be sold on. And what's wrong with that? Times change, whatever the appeal of retrograde civic puritanism to that minority of constituents who actually vote. It's not your father's downtown anymore, and it never will be again. At least let it be something else…
See also: City core worth leaving alone

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It could be worse

I'm certain the President of is a Graduate of the Fenris Badwulf School of Telemarketing Excellence. Excellent!

HT: Basil of London Fog.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Hurt feelings are trump cards in the contemporary campus culture"

Courtesy of City Journal, a must read article that could just as aptly be entitled Freedom for me, but not for thee:

Confusing speech and action has a long pedigree on the PC campus. At the time of the first wave of speech codes 20 years ago, Kenneth Lasson, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, argued that “racial defamation does not merely ‘preach hate’; it is the practice of hatred by the speaker”—and is thus punishable as a form of assault. Indeed, the Left has evolved a whole new vocabulary to blur the line between acts and speech: “verbal conduct” and “expressive behavior” (speech), “non-traditional violence” (Lani Guinier’s term for strong criticism), and “anti-feminist intellectual harassment” (rolling one’s eyeballs over feminist dogma).

In their 1993 book, The Shadow University, Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate turned some of the early speech codes into national laughingstocks. Among the banned comments and action they listed: “intentionally producing psychological discomfort” (University of North Dakota), “insensitivity to the experience of women” (University of Minnesota), and “inconsiderate jokes” (University of Connecticut). Serious nonverbal offenses included “inappropriate laughter” (Sarah Lawrence College), “eye contact or the lack of it” (Michigan State University), and “subtle discrimination,” such as “licking lips or teeth; holding food provocatively” (University of Maryland). Later gems, added well after the courts struck down campus codes as overly broad, included bans on “inappropriate non-verbals” (Macalaster College), “communication with sexual overtones” (Lincoln University), and “discussing sexual activities” (State University of New York–Brockport). Other codes bar any comment or gesture that “annoys,” “offends,” or otherwise makes someone feel bad. Tufts ruled that attributing harassment complaints to the “hypersensitivity of others who feel hurt” is itself harassment.

[..] The language of many policies would require a Democratic club to accept a Republican president, a Jewish group to allow a Holocaust-denying member, or a Muslim organization to accept a leader who practices voodoo.
HT: Bloc Quebecois

cp: Dust My Broom, because this really is a must read.

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Glowball Warming... as bad as it seems?

Bjorn Lomborg has a new book out. Cool It looks at GW from a few diferent angles. Lomborg does believe in GW and he does think that we are responsible, but he takes a remarkably different stand than most in the GW camp. He makes some interesting points about the effects of extreme temperature events, pointing out that we hear lots about a few thousand deaths from heat and nothing about the tens of thousands of people who die from exposure to cold. Europe experienced about 35,000 deaths during the 2003 heat wave, that's a large number. But compare it to 25,000 to 50,000 deaths per year in one country, Great Britain. Why do we hear nothing about these deaths? I guess if you die from the cold you aren't a statistic, only when you die from the heat is there any news to report.

In Europe, on an annual basis, about 200,000 people die from excesive heat, 1.5 million die from the cold. If there is continued global warming, many of those lives would be saved. Of course it could be argued that more people will die in the summer. In England, it has been estimated, 2,000 more people would die from the heat if the average temperature rose by 3 degrees F. But 20,000 fewer people would die from the cold. Not a bad bargain, unless you are one of the dead people in either case. Lomborg believes that we can adapt to the heat much more readily than the cold. So is GW all that bad?

Elsewhere in the news, Discover Magazine has proposed that jellyfish are taking over the oceans because of global warming. It couldn't have anything to do with our habit of strip mining the oceans could it? Oh, I forgot, everything is caused by glowball warming. Sorry.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Suicide Of Reason

Dennis Prager interviews Lee Harris (MP3) -- not the drummer from Talk Talk, but the author of the new book Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat To The West.

Prager: ...The Achilles' heel of modern liberalism is the incapacity to recognize and confront genuine evil.

Harris: Liberalism depends on an anthropology that depends on man as fundamentally decent, kind hearted, willing to cooperate, willing to compromise. And unfortunately, as I argued in my first book, this is a product of the fact that we have forgotten how Man in his normal state is -- that we are the exception, we are not the rule. If you go through the annals of history -- you don't have to go very far back -- you find the most horrible bloodshed. Massacre after massacre, you find despots rising to power through ruthless means. You find predatory gangs seizing what they want from peasants who are trying to just take care of their own lives. And this is really the course of human history. We are this oasis that is unlike any other period in mankind's past, and our tragedy is that we don't recognize that fact....

The irony of the book and the hardest thing for me to deal with psychologically in writing it is the fact that it may be our virtues that do us in, and not our vices.

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Cat Fight

Should we ban the methane polluting moose and incur the wrath of PETA, or should the moose be sacrificed for the sake of the planet just because?

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An innocent abroad in London

A weary Paul Tuns returns home…

I just got back from London, Ontario. It's been a long day that began at 5 am. If I had the energy, I would blog about:

1) There is a great line by Baylis in Homicide about train stations being depressing places. So are trains.

2) I've noted before that London (Ontario) is the armpit of Canada. Sadly, the VIA Rail station is the least depressing part of the downtown.
… because it's the embarkation point for the shortest way out of the downtown?

See also: Another claim to fame for London, in which Publius from Gods of the Copybook Headings is seen to remark,
The more I learn about London, from those who have lived in and visited the city, the more I am convinced that the city's destruction would be for the benefit not only of the residents, who would be dispersed and integrated into the rest of Canadian society, but for civilization as such.

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Mine Your Own Business

"Mine Your Own Business exposes the dark side of environmentalism."

From the director:

"Once, according to our religious leaders, it was our sins that were leading us to damnation. Now, according to our environmental leaders, it is polluting actions of man that will lead to our damnation.

"How little we have all progressed and how we still love to listen to harbingers of doom would be mildly amusing if it were not for the pernicious effects of such beliefs on the poorest people in some of the poorest countries in the world."

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Slime had they for mortar

You could say this jihadi was a bad shot, but he left us a legacy of comedy that will never die.

H to the T to DustMyBroom!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Constitutional government's last stand

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.

— Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (PDF)
There's a reason why you no longer hear politicians pledging to subordinate themselves to articles of government that preclude sentimental maundering and flippantly simple make-it-up-as-you-go interpretation: "Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are."

[Quote sourced from Samizdata]

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Global Warming Update

Stephen Schwartz is a pretty mainstream climate scientist. Yet along with dozens of other studies in the scientific literature, his new study belies Al Gore’s claim that there is no legitimate scholarly alternative to climate catastrophism.

Indeed, if Schwartz’s results are correct, that alone would be enough to overturn in one fell swoop the IPCC’s scientific “consensus”, the environmentalists’ climate hysteria, and the political pretext for the energy-restriction policies that have become so popular with the world’s environmental regulators, elected officials, and corporations. The question is, will anyone in the mainstream media notice?


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More Tolerance And Understanding Required

From LGF, a Londonistani deep-thinker enjoying the welfare payments and the tolerance of the British people, meets a sane person.

"What has become of Kemal Ataturk's (secular) Turkey? Go to Europe and you will see. Most of the Turks here are drug dealers, outcasts. Moreover, the English here have a custom. On Christmas they eat what they call 'turkey'. Imagine, they call it 'turkey', and they serve it as food at the table. This shows the kind of hatred that is deeply rooted in the West."

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

And so, of course, I wept

Fenris Badwulf informs me that I have failed a recent exam I wrote for my New Left Logic course. While I correctly deduced Ontario's new laws regarding street racing are all about other's people's money, I got the statements of the New Left Logic all mixed up, thereby missing the positive message. So I am told:

The victims of the oppression of Street Racing are heteronormative males. Males with jobs so they can afford to own a car. Males with careers who cannot afford to lose their cars because they want to keep their jobs. Heteronormative because having a car is a great way to pick up chicks. And, as any telemarketer knows, anyone with a job has money. So, let us turn these heteronormative males into a revenue stream.

[..] Note also the level playing field of multi-culturalism. When gangbangers shoot Jane Creba in the head, the politically correct thing is to hire more social workers, give the gunslingers a free breakfast in high school, lower academic standards, and put up a community center. Street Racers kill people, too. So where are the racetracks built at taxpayers expense?

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Aug 19, 1942

The Dieppe Raid.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

How do grassroots make a professional appearance?

Easy… have the professionals make a grassroots appearance.

We are a group of Canadians dedicated to tougher gun controls in Canada.
Well, the very least you could say is that it's a "group of Canadians" (link via Small Dead Animals).

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A Lesson in Authoritarianism

Never mind the growing health care wait times, increased gun fire, nor the rising prices of virtually all necessary commodities. There are more pressing issues to concern yourselves with presently, like street racing and speeding. According to revered government officials in Ontario, there have been 39 recorded related deaths due to speed racing since 1999. In McGuinty and Fantino speak, that does not generate enough revenue, which might help to explain why speeders in Ontario will soon be subject to fines of up to $10,000 for exceeding "acceptable" speed limits.

Lead-foot drivers beware: if you're caught in Ontario driving 50 kilometres per hour or more above the speed limit, you will soon be treated like a street racer.

That means police can issue roadside seven-day licence suspensions and impound vehicles for a week. If convicted, you could face fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

[..] "The fact is, one death on our roads is one too many," said McGuinty.

Meanwhile, three constables will be added to OPP traffic management teams across the province. Queen's Park will also provide the OPP with $2 million for an aircraft that they will use to catch excessive speeders.
Russians, take note. You're fines are not high enough:
Drivers who go 20 kilometres per hour over the speed limit will pay a ¤10 ($14.50) speeding ticket, while those speeding more than 60 km/h over the limit will have their licence suspended for six months or fined ¤80 (up from ¤3). [About $166 if the math is consistent]

c/p: Dust My Broom

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President For Life

It's been a while since I've seen that title...

Hugo Chavez to make himself president for life

The Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has anointed himself president for life by proposing sweeping changes to the country's constitution.

Setting out his plans for completing his socialist revolution in the oil-rich Latin American nation, he proposing radical constitutional reform which has at its centre indefinite re-election for himself
One of the problems with being President for Life is that your opponents can only gain power by ending your life. Of course, it is hard to know how committed Chavez is to the life component of his presidency, he may well take exile over life if the question is posed.

In the interim, the NDP are cheering like crazy for this latest development in the democratic values that they hold so close. Remember that these are the guys who want proportional representation so they will always have a say in the government without having to win anything.... similar to the values of Chavez.

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Good work if you can get it

What does it benefit a Toronto city councillor to go on a $5,000 trip to Budapest, Hungary to "attend workshops on the global amphibian crisis, flight restraint in birds, and marine mammal standards" at the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums conference?

Wait, that's a stupid question. Here's a better one: what does it benefit the city's taxpayers to pay for the trip?

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The business of government is politics

With a provincial election coming up on October 10, the governing Liberals say that the spate of recent funding announcements is just "government business as usual."

And quite right, too — the business of government these days is precisely to buy the privilege of conducting the business of government. Nothing to see here…

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

An evening in the Castle of Peace Studies

… or, How I learned to stop defending myself and love the enemy. Introduced by David Thompson.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How to stop a junket, Free Press style

… just don't call it a junket!

Of course, everyone at the water cooler has heard the one about how many minutes it takes to read the London Free Press.

But not everyone at the cooler has heard this one: London city staff are building a playground for children in the Kipps Lane area and another for kids in Honduras.

The kicker? Sit down, now. It's for the children! Warm, fuzzy glow stuff, and all that. We don't need to tell you that the city is setting aside $25,000 of taxpayer dollars to cover any fundraising shortfalls for sending staff to Honduras, so we're not going to.

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Compassionate Conservatism Is Dead, Everything Is Permitted

Fenris has seen the future and it works. I wish it didn't. Do not follow that link.

Who do you want to occupy your town? Why not you, yourself? I like the idea. They cannot stop you. They cannot stop anything. If Toronto cannot stop gangbangers with an IQ of 60, what about you, who can read and balance a cheque book? If you move their feed dish, they will starve. So, take a deep breath, and think about The Newer World Order. You know the buttons to push, so push them.

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"This is a health and safety issue"

If you are a clown in Britain, you may want to consider leaving the country, along with approximately 4000 other citizens seeking to leave the Nanny State capital every week.

Barney Baloney said he was told by bosses at a supermarket where he was booked to appear that he should leave his balloons at home because of the potential for allergic reactions.

The 47-year-old entertainer, also known as Tony Turner, has previously had to ditch his bubble-making machine because he could not get public liability insurance as companies assessed that youngsters might slip and hurt themselves.

He said he was also told by one venue he could not twist balloons into the shape of guns for fear of encouraging youngsters to commit violence, although swords were deemed acceptable.
If Mr. Turner is unable to leave the country, I would suggest he contact Fenris Badwulf at his earliest convenience. For a fee, Fenris can help this oppressed member of the clown guild seek reparations for loss of livelihood and emotional pain and suffering.

Also appearing at Mitchieville, because the sooner Barney Baloney stops crying, the better.

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I was only following orders

Jean Chretien is ordering out his RCMP hit squad as I write. Guite is getting ready to rat:

In his response to the $30-million suit, Guite alleges that even when he questioned or recommended that certain contracts not be awarded, he was told "it is the prime minister's budget and we decide on the events, how much to allocate in funds and what agency will manage the event.

"In many cases," the statement says, "sponsorships were refused at the bureaucratic level but reversed at the political level."

Guite lays the blame for the scandal directly on his higher-ups -- former minister of public works Alfonso Gagliano and former prime minister Jean Chretien. He says the suit against him should be dropped and those in power at the time should be sued instead.
Of course Mr Guite could join Chretien and Gagliano to the suit if he feels so strongly and he must certainly regret his decision not to cut a deal and roll on his political masters back in the time of Gomery.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

City staff Honduras junket update

Re: Board of Control's recommendation that the city set aside $25,000 from its Neighbourhood Parks Capital Budget account to "offset any potential shortfalls" in fundraising for a project to send city staff to Honduras in early 2008 to install playground equipment, apparently a task that's too sophisticated for Hondurans and requiring the expertise of union executives from London, Ontario.

Alt-London reports that Board of Control has deleted its recommendation to have city administration "report on potential ways to support fundraising 'including the possibility of providing matching funding for the amounts raised by staff,'" as indicated in the 22nd Report of the Board of Control, clause 18 (b) (PDF). The Board's recommendation to allocate $25,000 in reserve to the junket, as Alt-London describes it, apparently remains.

See: Taxes are playgrounds for some.

As always, email addresses for councillors who may or may not be aware of are available here. Consider also emailing Ian Hill, whose charitable organization The Changing Point is organizing this otherwise worthy Let Them Be Kids project, to let him know that his organization's fundraising could go a lot further if it weren't flying off some little municipality's staff to do a job that any local handymen could do… unless, of course, that's the secret to raising funds from taxpayers these days.

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Setting the conditions for a bailout

The cutbacks to ordinary services enjoyed by average Torontonians are not the result of a $575 million operating budget shortfall and the uncertain prospect of another bailout from the province. They are simply the continuation of the politics-as-usual in David Miller's City Hall that precipitate budget shortfalls in the first place to deliberately provoke the demand for bailouts, as Terence Corcoran illustrates in today's National Post: City kowtowing causes fiscal woe.

Whatever losses in quality of life Torontonians endure as a result of the $83-million in annual cuts to snow removal, tree plantings, road work and swimming pool hours, nothing, it seems, is going to diminish the quality of life for Toronto's film industry.

Nor is anything going to diminish the quality of life of city employees. A few hours less work here and there, but the basic infrastructure of benefits and wages remains untouched.
As Corcoran notes, the last thing in the world Miller and the city's political establishment is going to tackle is the "grand operating culture at City Hall, the great control apparatus" that causes Toronto's annual fiscal crisis. But provincial bailouts, which will unquestionably appear in due time and in some form and amount, only perpetuate the culture of self-serving politics that defines operations in municipal governments like Toronto's and, at a smaller scale, London's.

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Words can be harmful to your health when entitlements get in the way

Some people believe in the power of labels rather than the signals of their bodies. The government's answer is to ban those words/labels that may encourage the folly of individuals unwilling to heed the ides of reality. Everyone is to blame except yourself, according to official mandates.

Ottawa wants to ban cigarette companies from using the words "light" and "mild" on their products, Health Minister Tony Clement said in a statement.

"Research has shown that many smokers incorrectly believe that smoking 'light and mild' cigarettes is less harmful to their health," he said.

"These proposed regulations would put in place a mandatory -- and permanent -- ban on these deceptive terms."

[..] Clement said more than half of all current smokers say they smoke products labelled "light," "mild," or "ultralight."

He said those words prevent some smokers from quitting because they don't think the light or mild cigarettes are as harmful as others.
In other smoking related news, the Federal government is targeting entrepreneurs currently enjoying a black market created by a government imposed monopoly on cigarette sales. Additional exemptions and entitlements only complicate the game further:
The federal government is ordering high-security tax stamps for cigarette packages and planning stepped-up audits of tobacco factories and farms in a new campaign against the increasing number of contraband cigarettes flooding the Canadian market.

The stamps, to include holograms or other features typically used on paper money, are designed to prevent counterfeiting, and experts say they could help ensure tax-free cigarettes meant for First Nations communities are not sold to outsiders.

The initiative comes as police, industry and anti-smoking advocates warn of a rampant black market in tobacco, which has made unlikely allies of groups normally at each others' throats. The underground products -- mostly coming from native reserves in the United States or Ontario -- rob the legitimate industry and government of revenue, shrink the high prices that are considered a key deterrent to potential smokers and allegedly fuel organized crime.
Cross stamped at Dust My Broom

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Never Trust The State

When the police or the government are talking about expanding powers to stop terrorism, gangs, guns or other hot button issues you should get worried. Eventually the law will be used for purposes that some cop or politician assured us it never would. Check out the Patriot Act's latest foray into the Appalachians:

Originally touted as a tool in the struggle against terrorism, the Patriot Act now was being used in the hills of East Tennessee as part of a shadowy war that had been going on for decades, a struggle that pitted the federal
government against a homespun Appalachian culture that had churned out generation after generation of proud outlaws.
What's so bad? Apparently illegal gambling on the cockfights. Read the rest.

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Too hot to handle?

Its amazing what happens when you take a couple of weeks off to move after a lengthly contract in another province.

Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit is destroyed by DOS attacks after noting that Hansen's temperature data has majors flaws, Anthony Watts is pilloried for his pagan belief that people should be shown the deplorable condition of climate data gathering sites.

And here I thought that the whole mess had cooled off somewhat. Little did I know.

I have been following the sun spots though. Very low activity on old Sol these days and an increase in clouds in western Canada. Alberta appears to have had a very cold start to August, we'll see if things warm up in the latter half. Coastal BC has also had a cool summer, probably just an anomaly, or local cooling at best, so no need to worry about warming.

Arctic ice is apparently at an all time low, if you take the last 30 years as all of time. Just think what our ancenstors would have made of that, there really is a Northwest Passage!

Hansen now claims that 1934 was warmer than 1998, at least in the US.

See what happens when you're not looking?

Cross posted at Blue Marble Climate

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Monday, August 13, 2007

I Don't Recycle No More


i don't recycle no more
don't know what they need it for
give all my trash to the poor
or to the lawn next door
when i'm done i don't want it no more
i gave up on that chore
and i don't recycle no more.

there's people who say i should
but the reasons they give me aren't any good
and if i cared i know i could
but i don't recycle no more.

i don't recycle no more
when i get home from the store
garbage can is on the floor
not gonna gild the apple core
count your tears as they pour
and i leave my butts at your door
and i don't recycle no more.

it takes time to separate
if you want my time you'll have to wait.
if you're into it then that's great
but i don't recycle no more.

Also posted at Mitchieville.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taxes are playgrounds for some

In the minutes of Board of Control's last meeting on Wednesday (PDF), it's reported that London's Board of Control acceded to Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Fielding recommendation (PDF) that the city set aside $25,000 from the Neighbourhood Parks Capital Budget account to "offset any potential shortfalls" in fundraising for the "Let Them Be Kids" project.

In addition to building a playground in north London, the project plans to send city staff, including union executives from both Local 101 and 107, to Honduras early in 2008 (read "winter") to install used playground equipment donated by the city of Sacramento in California.

As Alt-London notes in breaking the story, it sounds like an "honest-to-goodness, proud to be an Oakie from Muskogie, touchy-feely happy happy happy made-in-Melonville tear jerker" to which no one with a humanitarian bone in their body could possibly object, and the kind that is regularly taken to be proof of the good intentions of politicians and bureaucrats. But,

Couldn't you just send the playground equipment down there with a set of instructions and a screw driver or two?

Surely this couldn't be a good-ol fashioned junket disguised as a mission for God?
Board of Control also recommended that administration report on potential ways to support fundraising "including the possibility of providing matching funding for the amounts raised by staff." It's not clear whether staff will be on paid-time while in Honduras.

It's not so much as it would appear that politicians and bureaucrats have contempt for taxpayers. It's just that they are closeted in a managerial society in which actions and thoughts are scrutinized and approved almost entirely by peers with which they share similar codes and purposes, and only rarely by taxpayers. Much like children who are only infrequently attended and then usually from a distance, their domain is a playground, and taxes are the equipment.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

How long until the bailout?

It's because politicians can get away with defending policy with such meaningless and immaterial ersatz sentimentality as this…

"In a diverse city, with a significant population of newcomers, our libraries and community centres are where people become Torontonians."
… that they get away with running their jurisdictions in such inept and ineffectual fashions.

That's a quote from Toronto mayor David Miller as he proceeded to announce cuts to services in libraries and community centres in the face of a projected $575 million operating budget shortfall for next year. An inexcusable figure, but one for which he has shown himself willing to discomfort ordinary Torontonians, more than his labour and progressive constituents, in a bid to make them feel the counterfeit sense of tragedy he is trying to manufacture. A sentiment that he hopes will grow into political support for his attempts to extort ever greater funding from non-Torontonians. The labour and progressive constituency in Toronto will have somewhat less to fear from his cuts, since they are already on-board with the strategy of vicarious taxation, but it won't hurt to cajole them either.

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Is it hot in here, or am I just sitting too close to the computer?

Via a post on Free Dominion regarding a recent revision of temperature data, some images of the temperature sensors NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) uses to compile its data:

For more details about the adjustment that now ranks 1934 as the warmest year on record, go here.

cp: Dust My Broom

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Single-Use Activism

Maybe this is old news, but I didn't know about it till I read a web page at LC.

On April 2, 2007, Leaf Rapids became the first municipality in North America to introduce By-Law legislation banning single-use plastic shopping bags. After April 2nd, cloth shopping bags will be the order of the day. Retailers who contravene the By-Law by giving away or selling single-use plastic shopping bags could be liable to a fine of up to $1000.00.
Here is an interesting detail:
The town banned the bags after a Canadian company that makes reusable bags approached the town with an offer to supply reusable bags for the town.
Hmm. If computers haven't yet been banned in Leaf Rapids for causing global warming, then the single-use cavalry of capitalism is on its way with one quick transaction: Uline to the rescue! They'll fit in any pocket on the way to the grocery store.

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Windsor's Rich Canvas Of Diverse Military Strongmen

Windsor Star via LGF:

"That organization is banned in Canada," said Harvey Kessler, executive director of the Windsor Jewish Community Centre. "How can that billboard be up in Windsor when it represents a terrorist organization which is banned under the laws of Canada?"

Located at the southwest corner of Marion Avenue and Wyandotte Street East, the billboard does not mention Hezbollah by name, but features a central image of Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the controversial political and military group that represents Lebanese Shia Muslims and has clashed with Israeli troops for more than 20 years.
An outrage. The graphic design is lacking. Where are the clenched fists with the AK47s? None appear, not even in a stylized fashion. It's like Star Wars without lightsabers. I don't even know who those guys are in the background, and without the AK47 to pique my interest, I'm just not going to spend the time to dig deeper and maybe give them a chance and find out what their product is all about. Sorry.

I don't care how many billboards they raise, I'm not joining if there aren't AK47s in it for my group of Dieppe-Canadians.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

The Motion Picture Event of the Decade

via Hot Air

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Free Dominion Complaint Dropped

It's old news, now, after my little break -- but for closure's sake: public disobedience, mockery, and over-the-top flouting is what works against the likes of Human Rights Commissions and those who would sneak around at night to use such illiberal star chambers against a free people.

The human rights complaint that accused the Canadian conservative web forum Free Dominion of "hate speech" has been dropped, Free Dominion co-founder and administrator Connie Fournier told today.
The candy-coloured clowns they call conservatives at Blogging Tories lived up to the name.
Please do not repost material from FreeDominion that is the subject of the CHRC complaint. Doing so exposes us, and this warning serves as clear notice that we will pursue civil action against anyone that in turn exposes us to CHRC action related to this complaint against FreeDominion.
Keep on voting, folks -- if these are just the grass roots, imagine all the principled, courageous rule of law conservatism those lawyers with the big "C" logo are just waiting to unleash on us, if you'll only give them a majority. The logo is a pretty blue!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007


As the municipal monopoly on garbage gains momentum and the number of receptacles increases, the not so gentle readers who haunt these realms may wish to consider further the human costs of recycling. Thanks to Little Tobacco, I am reminded of the 8 great myths of recycling. Like Little Tobacco, "Recycling is not the religion I practice." A sample from the list:

Recycling is a manufacturing process with environmental impacts. Viewed across a wide spectrum of goods, recycling sometimes cuts pollution, but not always. The EPA has examined both virgin paper processing and recycled paper processing for toxic substances and found that toxins often are more prevalent in the recycling processes.

Often the pollution associated with recycling shows up in unexpected ways. Curbside recycling, for example, requires that more trucks be used to collect the same amount of waste materials. Thus, Los Angeles has 800 rubbish trucks rather than 400, because of its curb-side recycling. This means more iron ore and coal mining, steel and rubber manufacturing, petroleum extraction and refining-and of course extra air pollution in the Los Angeles basin.

It is widely claimed that recycling "saves resources." Proponents usually focus on savings of a specific resource, or they single out particularly successful examples such as the recycling of aluminum cans.

But using less of one resource generally means using more of other resources. Franklin Associates, a firm that consults on behalf of the EPA, has compared the costs per ton of handling rubbish through three methods: disposal into landfills (but with a voluntary drop-off or buy-back recycling program), a baseline curbside recycling program, and an extensive curbside recycling program.

On average, extensive recycling is 35 percent more costly than conventional disposal, and basic curbside recycling is 55 percent more costly than conventional disposal. That is, curbside recycling uses far more resources. As one expert puts it, adding curbside recycling is "like moving from once-a-week garbage collection to twice a week".

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"Arctic Sprawl"

From today's Financial Post, Terence Corcoran takes a closer look at Canada's claims over the Arctic:

Geopolitical strategy aside, there's the economic agenda and the strange vision of adult governments fighting over the spoils of climate change. Thanks to global warming allegedly caused by carbon emissions, the North is supposedly melting away and could free the Northwest Passage of ice within a decade. Shipping lanes will open up, as will easier access to vast resources of minerals and fossil fuels.

As has been repeated many times in recent reports, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic seabeds may hold up to 25% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas. That may or may not be a good estimate. But it does highlight the obvious absurdity: Governments that have signed a UN climate convention to curb carbon emissions are battling to use a UN law of the sea convention to get control over oil and gas that could massively expand carbon emissions.

Such contradictions are unlikely to influence the strategic battle over control of the Arctic. The Arctic, mostly ignored by all players in the past, now looks like the next big resource rush. As the Russians, Danes, Americans and Canadians jockey for legal and political power over the Arctic, about the only certainty is that they are unlikely to get it right.
Read more here.

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Alan Watts meets South Park

Alan Watts Theater: Animated original audio from Alan Watts produced by Trey Parker, Matt Stone & friends.

HT: Cyberian

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Ask your local MPP

We suggested earlier that it might be interesting to ask London-Fanshawe MPP Khalil Ramal about his role as Parliamentary Assistant to Mike Colle, the former Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration who resigned after his ministry was caught awarding $32.5 million in grants to various ethnic and cultural associations in a process that Auditor General Jim McCarter found "was not open, transparent or accountable."

Well, John Wilson did just that on his Focus 980 radio program last Friday:

… Ramal admitted he had himself directed grants to organizations. When pressed on where the money came from for such obviously non-critical projects, he said it was "extra" money, "left over" from other departments.

Under Wilson’s prodding he went on to confess the funds were so poorly managed because his department was new to the grant process and "we didn’t know how to spend the money".
But no politician or bureaucrat will ever let ignorance get in the way of their obligation to spend the money, come paltry excuse or high water! Besides, knowing how to spend it is purely a secondary consideration after knowing how to get it.

Via Jim Chapman's August Newsletter

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Postmodern Age

The burning question is, what will people call their female dogs in New York City if the b-word follows the fate of the n-word?
The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch.

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.
Is it okay for a woman to say: Darlene Mealy, you are a bitch. I suspect bitches such as Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn would like to make the utterance of certain words found in the Oxford dictionary hate crimes, but the rappers of the world would likely cry racism if their rather limited lexicon was singled out, resulting in a tribunal stalemate.
While the bill also bans the slang word “ho,” the b-word appears to have acquired more shades of meaning among various groups, ranging from a term of camaraderie to, in a gerund form, an expression of emphatic approval. Ms. Mealy acknowledged that the measure was unenforceable, but she argued that it would carry symbolic power against the pejorative uses of the word. Even so, a number of New Yorkers said they were taken aback by the idea of prohibiting a term that they not only use, but do so with relish and affection.

“Half my conversation would be gone,” said Michael Musto, the Village Voice columnist, whom a reporter encountered on his bicycle on Sunday night on the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Christopher Street. Mr. Musto, widely known for his coverage of celebrity gossip, dismissed the idea as absurd.

“On the downtown club scene,” he said, munching on an apple, the two terms are often used as terms of endearment. “We divest any negative implication from the word and toss it around with love.”

Darris James, 31, an architect from Brooklyn who was outside the Duplex, a piano bar in the West Village, on Sunday night was similarly opposed. “Hell, if I can’t say bitch, I wouldn’t be able to call half my friends.”
The key to understanding lies with The Postmodern Generator. Hit refresh for an endless discourse on what communication means to self-proclaimed victims of society.

Also appearing at Dust My Broom.

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Monday, August 6, 2007

"Piece of Art or Piece of Communist Trash?"

Communist art has ever been derivative and infantile, dedicated as it must be to the destruction of everything from which it had the infantile misfortune to derive. But it's breathtakingly obscene to witness the execution of communist art coincide so neatly with its objective as in this piece of vandalism that Lisa noticed at Mitchieville.

From Alastair's Heart Monitor:

The cave-painting of the crucifixion on Davaar Island, Campbeltown [off the east coast of Kintyre in Scotland] is world famous. It was originally painted by Archibald McKinnon in 1887.

This photo shows the damage to the cave painting that was carried out on 27th July 2006 by person or persons as yet unknown. For some reason this person has spray painted an image of Che Guevara over the top of the Crucifixion.
Even communist religious fervour must steal from what precedes it!

Fortunately, the cave painting has since been restored. The images below, taken from the Historic Kintyre pictorial record, show the painting before the vandalism (left) and after its restoration (right) — click on the images to show them in full size.

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The World's Five Greatest Statists

There is a serious competition going at Mitchieville and I'm honoured to be appointed as one of the judges:
Submissions wanted.

To nominate your favourite Statist, send the Mayor a short e-mail of 200 words expressing why your choice should be included in the Top Five.

Submissions deadline is Labor Day, 2007.

Names and biographies are tabulated and posted for The People to vote upon, giving us the Top Five Statists.

If your selection is in the Top Five, you receive a thousand dollars in Future Value Carbon Credits.

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Exercise is bad for the environment

Concerned about the environment? This week's advice from central planners, take the car and stick to the couch:
Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated.

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance. The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. Provided, of course, they remembered to switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby.

The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production. “Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.

[..] Catching a diesel train is now twice as polluting as travelling by car for an average family, the Rail Safety and Standards Board admitted recently. Paper bags are worse for the environment than plastic because of the extra energy needed to manufacture and transport them, the Government says.
No, this article is not from the Onion. If you don't believe me, follow the link to TimesOnline. Really, I can only hope that these climate change activists keep contradicting themselves and each other - maybe people will finally realize that rain dancing is more reliable than climate change science.

HT: Blog Quebcois and cross posted at The Broom.

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Just Plain MADD

Me, back in November of 2006, concerning MADD's lobbying efforts to bring back prohibition with the aid of mandatory alcohol detection devices installed in every vehicle:

Collective "rights" and "protections" are prior to the rights of individuals. There is nothing obtrusive about forcing global warming contributors to blow into a tube before they are permitted to start their vehicle as we are each and everyone responsible to everyone. I can only imagine that these devices will always function perfectly and never malfunction because the State is always perfectly efficient and wise. This is a great advance for the socialist utopia envisioned by Karl Marx. I look forward to the day when motor vehicles will come equipped with a smog advisory device designed to prevent polluting vehicles from starting should the global warming risk prove higher than normal.
The agenda that activists perceive as progressive just got more progressive should Nissan secure a government contract. Why should passengers get a free ride?
Alcohol Odor Sensors

1. A hi-sensitivity alcohol odor sensor is built into the transmission shift knob, which is able to detect the presence of alcohol in the perspiration of the driver's palm as he or she attempts to start driving. When the alcohol-level detected is above the pre-determined threshold, the system automatically locks the transmission, immobilizing the car. A “drunk driving” voice alert is also issued via the car navigation system.

2. Additional alcohol odor sensors are also incorporated into the driver’s and passenger seats to detect the presence of alcohol in the air inside the vehicle cabin. When alcohol is detected, the system issues both a voice alert and a message alert on the navigation system monitor.

Facial Recognition System

A camera is mounted on the instrument cluster facing the driver to monitor the driver’s face. The system is calibrated to monitor the driver's state of consciousness through the blinking of the eyes. When the system detects signs of drowsiness, a voice and message alert is triggered via the navigation system. Additionally, a seat-belt mechanism is activated which tightens around the driver to gain his or her immediate attention.

Driving Behavior

By constantly monitoring the operational behavior of the vehicle (e.g. sensing if the vehicle is veering out of its driving lane), the system can identify signs of inattentiveness or distraction in the driver. When the system detects such behavior, voice and message alerts are issued via the navigation system. The seat-belt alert mechanism is also activated, tightening around the driver to gain immediate attention.
Be sure to check out Classical Values for the heteronormative take on the story. HT: The Agitator.

Failure to deter crime by imposing mandatory checks and balances will soon be a greater aggrievance than taking care of your own selfish destiny.

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Finally, A Free Press Poll that asks a Good Question

Seems the majority of Londoners are on Tom Gosnell's side.

Update: Anatomy of a Free Press online poll surge

It's not much of a surge, of course, it being London and on a long hot holiday weekend at that, but somebody out there figured it wouldn't be good optics for London's socialist cabal to appear to be thought of as a socialist cabal — or something like that, I can only imagine — and enlisted a few troops for a little blitz during the course of the poll's second day. It's a frequent enough occurrence for Free Press polls that throw into relief the divides between left and right, or progressive and conservative, opinion that one wonders why anyone bothers at all with online polls or their results.

[Estimated time of screen capture at left, and final result of the poll at bottom.]

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Friday, August 3, 2007

This year's competitors

In the Upper Class Twit of the Year:

Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith has an O-level in chemo-hygiene. Simon-Zinc-Trumpet-Harris, married to a very attractive table lamp. Nigel Incubator-Jones, his best friend is a tree, and in his spare time he's a stockbroker. Gervaise Brook-Hampster is in the Guards, and his father uses him as a wastepaper basket. Oliver St John-Mollusc, Harrow and the Guards. And finally David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, thought by many to be this year's outstanding twit.

Picture via Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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Fiscal gap a myth

Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever on the myth of the fiscal gap

See also McKeever's Financial Post article from January 2006, Consumption tax cure for revenue ‘gap’

And from the Fiscal Imbalance archives of the London Fog:

      · Fiscal imbalance: the great game
      · Londoners have opinion on fiscal imbalance… no reason cited
      · "The compulsory deficit"
      · Fiscal stupidity

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another Celebrity Looking to Save the World

Enter oldster Elton John. Perhaps in an attempt to boost his failing record sales, he's again making outrageous comments concerning other people's preferences. Last time I remember reading about him, he was calling for an end to organized religion, claiming "religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people". This time around, he's blaming the internet for 'bad art':

He claims it is destroying good music, saying: “The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.

“Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision.

“It’s just a means to an end.

“We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.

[..] “Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.

“I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.

“There’s too much technology available.
The article goes on to say that Sir Elton, who has likened himself to the Queen Mother, can only compose his songs in front of the piano. Will he take to the streets with his piano in tow to spread the word, or will the laptops of the world drown him out?

cp: The Broom

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Spurious use of quotation marks in headline

London Free Press:  Socialist council members hit back

According to the Free Press, London's Killer B's are upset that they're being called socialists after opposing the development of an industrial park because it would fall outside the planning committee's artificial growth boundary.

Would calling them central planners for the command economy make it all better, then?

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