Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jackboot Justice

I'm seeing red:

Canadians who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs will face tougher consequences and will no longer be able to refuse roadside drug tests when new laws kick-in next week.

As of July 2, police officers will be able to require drivers to submit to a roadside sobriety test. As well, they can take drivers they suspect of being on drugs to a hospital for either a blood, saliva or urine test.

"More and more often individuals are refusing to give those samples and so now finally we are changing the law in this country that you will be compelled or you will be charged and I think that's a reasonable response to the problem," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Friday.
Impaired drivers claim many innocent lives, it is true, but it is also true that someone operating a motor vehicle after smoking a joint, especially an hour or two later, is likely much less impaired than someone on certain types of prescribed medications, or simply a driver suffering severe sleep deprivation. Is there a measure for the appropriate amount of sleep required before firing up the ignition? For that matter, traces of drug consumption can stay in the body for days, and sometimes even weeks afterwards. If I smoke a joint on Friday, will I be charged with impaired driving on Saturday night after getting snagged by a *RIDE* program on a drug and alcohol free night just because I look a little dopey and refuse to give up my body fluids to the police?
Representatives from MADD said the new law is a victory for the organization, because impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada.

"Those people have committed a criminal act by driving impaired, whether it's by drugs or alcohol and as far as I'm concerned they've lost their rights," said MADD Canada president Margaret Miller.
Guilty until proven innocent, but maybe just guilty. It's just like the Human Rights Commissions: The process is only the beginning of the punishment.

Cross posted at Dust My Broom and Mitchieville because it's Saturday night and I stayed home.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heckler's Rights

Did you hear the one about the Heckling-Lesbian-Canadians who took the Crassly-Responding-Comedian-Canadian to the Human Rights Tribunal?

I'm sure nobody will ever dare make fun of them ever again, now, ever.


UPDATE: Here's the story from the Comedian-Canadian community member in question. Let us hope his appearance before the tribunal makes him richer and famouser.

"If you're an asshole, should you be arrested?"

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Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008

I thought this video would be a fitting tribute to Carlin's outspoken views on environmental extremism.

Perhaps some London city councilors could learn a point or two from it.

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Another argument for driving a big, heavy gas guzzler

Good luck ramming through the lingering systematic barricades of racism in a Smart Car.

The Kelly Lake Cree Nation took down a highway blockade near the Alberta-B.C. border Saturday because of a close call with angry and dangerous drivers, band spokesman Clayton Anderson said.

Anderson said he was walking toward a vehicle at the blockade on Highway 52, about 180 kilometres southeast of Chetwynd, in northeastern B.C., when "this guy just steps on the gas and practically runs me over."

He was nicked, Anderson said, and then "these two big rigs and a pickup sped through here and literally just about running over my people."
...which seems to have done the trick! HT Colby Cosh.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How to pull pork

A motion by Coun. Roger Caranci to hear opposition to proposed by-laws regulating and limiting the construction of drive-throughs in London (PDF) drew cheers from a capacity crowd in Council Chambers last night whose own purposes as social participants contradict Coun. David Winninger's contention that drive-throughs "don't serve any useful social purpose." Apparently neither do Couns. Winninger or Judy Bryant, who responded to the applause by declaring that "we're in a dangerous situation right now" and leaving the room. Bryant also left unclear whether the danger lay in capacity numbers or in a demonstration of public opposition to the Planning Committee's agenda, but as committee chair her departure forced postponement of the meeting to a later date when, it might be hoped, the passage of time and the annoyance of repeated attendance might defer public attention.

But if public displays of opposition only delay Council's intentions, taxpayers may find it a far more useful strategy to invite politicians to a continuous series of barbeques, such as the one last Thursday that distracted a quorum of Councillors from forming at a scheduled meeting. The cost to Londoners of hosting 365 barbeques would be trivial compared to the price of letting politicians finally meet to develop the meeting's agenda of a Council strategic plan.

See also:

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Milking the taxpayer, one carbon credit at a time

As usual, Al Gore doesn't practice what he preaches, and why would he bother when someone else will pay the consequences while he reaps the benefits of the fear mongering. I have reason to believe that this man attended the Fenris Badwulf School of Telemarketing Excellence.

Via the Tennessee Center for Policy Research:
In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

“A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.”

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gore’s Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household.

[..] Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533.
ht: Drudge

cp: The Broom

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Monday, June 16, 2008

The audacity of revolutionary communism

A man who otherwise gives no meaning to his words or deeds will be known by the company he keeps… at least they have a pretty good notion of what they expect from him.

HT: SDA. See also this.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Statutory absenteeism

Less than three months after packing the public galleries of Council Chambers to warn politicians against drawing any pertinent conclusions about the work ethic of City workers in light of an average absenteeism rate of 19.4 days per employee last year, London's CUPE 101 inside workers could end up extending their own 16.9 days of absenteeism per employee into a strike after rejecting the City's offer to raise wages 2.75 per cent this year and next, and 2.5 per cent the following year. We can at least conclude that a strike of 16.9 days or less will have no impact on their workplace productivity. On the other hand, any strike duration will have no impact on their commitment to the public who pays their wages and benefits.

Although it will be lost on those politicians who apologized to City workers for any feelings anyone might ever be imagined to have held over their absenteeism, a municipal union without a contract should be regarded as an opportunity to contract without a municipal union. No services are done to the public by a union that is unwilling to renegotiate 2500 hours of paid time off for union work — a provision that must cost taxpayers over half a million dollars a year for this one local alone — or to permit an increase in the number of part-time employees. The services, it should be said instead, are for the union itself, which has tax-funded resources at its disposal to expend on political pressure to protect not only its access to those funds but to other non-negotiable privileges like, for example, fully paid Ontario Health Premiums for its workers. And few taxpayers will ever enjoy for themselves the pension and early retirement benefits that they fund for public service employees.

Already a prolonged strike by inside workers has its appeals. But the most significant advantage ought to be the opportunity to terminate the negative influence of public service unions on the efficient delivery of services and the ability of cities to manage budgets in the public interest by out-sourcing the services they are supposed to provide to the private sector which has, unlike municipal departments, a financial and not simply political incentive to reduce unnecessary costs. Most taxpayers will not find it difficult to abide a strike in which permit issues, building inspections, welfare administration and staff support for recreation, parking enforcement and financial operations are not provided — they are not likely to suffer for the time it takes to find other operators who will provide these services at a lower cost. And apart from the bromides of city and union politicians, they will be hard-pressed to find a good reason why they shouldn't.

See also:

Roll call
Overtime on the undertime
Absenteeism among the decision-makers

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fried for a cause without a purpose

What you see here are PETA aspirants on a particularly hot day protesting meat consumption, wrapped in cellophane, suffering from the heat and a stupid adherence to a cause without a just remedy. Global warming is surely next on the agenda.

HT: Billy Beck

cp: The Broom

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

London: cesspool of hate

Statistics Canada admits that differences in local police practises and policies may account for varying rates of police-reported hate crimes in a report that ranks London fourth in the country with 5.9 incidents per 100,000 population, well above the national average of 3.1.

Well, you know what they say, you can't tell a hate crime without a hate programme … which happens now to be standard issue for all police recruits in Ontario as part of their basic training. From the facts that four of the top five hate-crime reporting cities in Canada are in Ontario and that Ontario's rate of 4.1 incidents per 100,000 population dwarfs the next highest provincial rate of 2.5 in British Columbia, one may conclude that either Ontario is a seething cauldron of hate or that the province's police are uniquely qualified to prevent an offense against a member of an ethnic, sexual or religious minority from being construed as an offense against a person. In our own local hotbed of hate, the rate of incidents reported by officers of London's hate crimes unit ought to at guarantee advancement at least.

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We are not men; we are devo.

Dead Reckoning:

Can you imagine, say, in 1942, a German born Canadian bringing an action paid for and sponsored by a government agency to have negative media depictions of Hitler and the Nazi Party suppressed because it might cause Canadians to have a low opinion of Nazis? Can you imagine such an action getting a favourable result from the tribunal?

My father, a decorated WWII fighter pilot, wouldn’t recognize this country if he were still alive.
I can only imagine my own grandfather's reaction (PBUH) to the likes of Elmasry and Khurrum Awan, were he still among us. As a Black Watch commando, he was trained and trained others to engage in hurtful discriminatory practices against social activists espousing totalitarian supremacist doctrines. He landed at Dieppe as part of a systematic campaign to expose anti-free-speech, anti-semitic community organizers to nuance-free, unalloyed, kinetically expressed hatred and contempt.

As divisive as it might be to hear from someone who helped build and defend this country, I would love to be able to report verbatim a patriotic, decorated, real Canadian's opinion of the complainants, their sympathizers, and of the apparatchiki operating under colour of law as "Human Rights Commissions". But then, we might both end up before the Tribunal.

After several passes through a drastic P.C. filter, though, we might have arrived at something like Tarek Fatah's powerful piece in today's FullComment.
If free speech is such a problem for these Islamists, why don’t they find soil that is fertile to their authoritarian spirit, which it seems they miss so much.

Why can't we tell the Bin Laden fan club in Canada: "You are free to migrate to Iran or Saudi Arabia... How can we help you?

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cruel and unusual punishment

No one was harmed during the production of this blog post…

…which in Canada must be considered a point in favour of the plaintiff.

[With apologies to Small Dead Animals for use of the graphic]

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Logic of Advocacy

It's nobody's business what takes place between consenting adults, but greedy capitalist that I am, I do resist paying for the consequences of someone else's poor choices. Next stop, bondage friendly sites, complete with free leather:

TORONTO -- A woman calling herself Canada's most famous dominatrix says the best years of her life were spent spanking and tying up clients in her north Toronto bondage hotel.

Terri-Jean Bedford, whose infamous "bondage bungalow" in Thornhill was raided in 1994, laid out her life story for federal and provincial Crown attorneys Friday as an example of why prostitution should be decriminalized.

"The safest and happiest period in my life was when I was up in Thornhill, running the (bondage) service from my house," she said.

"I just want them to know that indoors is much safe from outdoors, from my own experiences.

[..] Bedford, who has hepatitis C and a deteriorating spine, hasn't been playing the domination game lately. Still, she's charging forward with the cause.

"Tax dollars should go to funding programs for people who have been affected negatively (by sex work)," she said. "Maybe I can be a role model to let them know, you can rise up above. (CTV)
Not everyone agrees, not even the Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto.

cp: Mitchieville

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Benefits of Higher Education

Overheard in the Wortley Roadhouse, a grad student and her attentive companion.

"So, my thesis is about a, like, guerilla group, they were sort of a... a social justice oriented guerilla group. They wanted to, like, make things... uh... change the power... uh, like, make things more, um, equal, for the people, more like we have here... More like... what's the government system we have here? What's that called? Yeah, like, not like Hitler. Like, totally the opposite of Hitler."

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's a human right not to be offended

As absurd as Canadian airport security rules can be regarding weapon replicas, such as this incident in BC where a woman was forced to put her necklace with a tiny pendant resembling an antique pistol in her checked luggage before boarding a plane, be thankful the hysteria level has not yet reached the heights it has in Britain.

An airline passenger claimed that a security guard threatened to arrest him because he was wearing a T-shirt showing a cartoon robot with a gun.

Brad Jayakody, 30, from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed 'offensive.'

The IT consultant was set to fly off on a business trip to Dusseldorf in Germany when he was pulled to one side.

[..] A spokesman for Heathrow operator BAA said: 'If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it, for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it.

'We are investigating what happened to see if it came under this category.

'If it's offensive, we don't want other passengers upset.' (Daily Mail)
Why stop at airports? Shirts such as the one this guy was wearing should be banned in public, period.

cp: The Broom.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Warman of the RCM(HR)P

Thank you Iowahawk. Canada is not worthy...

From the Maritimes to the Yukon, the Great White North was once a lawless land where cruel and offensive opinions roamed free - until one man stood up and brought them to justice. One mighty masked man, clad in the scarlet breechcoat of the Royal Canadian Mounted Human Rights Police, astride a golden disabled lesbian steed, with his faithful transgender Indian scout at his side. Together they rode from Yellowknife to St. John's, keeping Canadians safe from the spectre of multicultural insensitivity...

Warman and Steacy (saluting and reciting)
Neither snow nor sleet nor judicial procedure will keep me from the swift conviction of those who would test Canadian tolerance.

Gaiaspeed, Warman. But I must warn you... we believe Levant may have joined forces with Snidely Steyn.


Gadzooks! The blackhearted scourge of international hate punditry?

None other.

Then let us hie to our steeds! Mount up, Reconstructed Eagle!

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Levant, Keith Martin, and Ian Fine Debate "Human Rights"

Video of last month's forum on Human Rights Thought Crime commissions, found at SDA. Levant is inspired and inspirational, as usual. Martin is admirably forceful in a quieter way.

CrusH, cRumble, and Chomp the Human Rights Commissions.

Levant's posts chronicling today's opening session of the BC Human Rights Tribunal jihad against Macleans are gems.

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How much to keep that doggie behind the window?

Despite a memorandum of agreement signed by the Ontario and Quebec governments to set up a joint cap-and-trade carbon market, residents tempted to begin combing their attics or looking under the cushions for unused carbon quotas to sell will likely confront the problem of recognizing carbon un-emitted prior to its non-emission. Even if no one else can, however, governments are uniquely qualified by their long experience confronting imaginary problems to perceive imaginary solutions, if only through enormous investment in bureaucratic administration.

For a highly-taxed and excessively regulated province like Ontario staggering through rising input costs and deteriorating markets for its manufacturing base, the idea requires imaginary economics as well. But this is one commodity that will never be rationed by the government.

According to politicians lining up behind the idea of greening the economy, cap-and-trade markets are an ideal market-based solution to the problem of carbon emissions and, far from hindering the economy, promise economic opportunity instead by rewarding carbon efficiency with credits to sell as a sort of added value asset to a company's stock. Of course, by themselves markets would never in the first place have come up with the idea of trading something so intrinsically valueless as regulatory room for carbon outputs unless an artificial value had been forced on it through regulated scarcity, so calling it a market-based solution is a bit of corruption of idiom designed to confuse and mislead. As George Will puts in the Washington Post, the manufacture and sale of artificial scarcity, or government "allowances," creates a new right for governments to emit carbon in the place of the right of individuals where it had existed before prohibition, and "an extraordinarily lucrative right" to ration the exercise of traditional rights. As profitable to its dispensers and as effective for its supposed purpose as the sale of medieval indulgences, it might be said.

Nevertheless, market actors will naturally respond to incentives even if they are artificial and arbitrary in making, and it is this characteristic of markets that political actors hope to steer to a desired effect. One must first suppose, of course, that the politicians who hope to be in charge of the carbon market regime will be somehow more immune to corruption in the allocation of carbon caps than they are in their use of language to promote it.

But it turns out in any case that, as a proposition, economic opportunity itself is of far more interest to politicians as an abstract quality relating to vote potential than it is to businesses acting in the market. Businesses, we find out, are far more interested in financial opportunities instead. So what's the quickest and easiest path to carbon efficiency and realize the financial opportunity of marketable space under an emissions cap? As this post from last year in the National Review shows, the most efficient method is to just stop making things, or stop making things in countries that impose caps and move production to countries that don't.

Now, in Galicia, a manufacturer announced that last year it earned more from selling credits than ceramics (reminding me of an email I once got in which a French pharma company announced that selling credits was where its future lies, not pharmaceuticals).

Their statement was couched in terms of thanking the government for generously (that is, "over-") allocating ETS credits to them (for free, as industry lobbyists already demand of Congress), and noted that with the credit price having skyrocketed (before collapsing) they were able to reap a windfall by selling what the government had given them. They lamented that the price collapse, however, indicated this wasn't, er, sustainable.

Buried in this however was the phrase that, taking that price spike into account, they had decided to "equalibriate" their operations so as to maximize profits with an ideal mix of selling allocations and using them by, well, using electricity to make stuff…which is to say they also went into the business of making nothing, dedicating more of their operations to the task, which is far less labor intensive. That is, they found it more profitable to partially shut down, to idle workers.
One can see how this kind of scheme will work wonders for Ontario's economy.

But none of this needs to be taken as given from a few observations linked to in a blog post — the negative consequences of a cap-and-trade market are entirely foreseeable through common sense. Political interventions in the market are designed strictly to promote political objectives even if those objectives are commonly regarded as benevolent — it would be entirely naive to suppose that they are actively calculated with genuine understanding or regard for the market at the same time. Even if an effectively unchecked exercise of control in any aspect of the market did not result in at least some corruption counter-productive to the scheme's intent — an unlikely prospect — its exterior and pre-eminent motives will always result in perverse consequences for the market. For the prospects to global warming, these must be taken as an article of faith because they will not be discovered until long after the economic consequences are made.

In Ontario and Quebec at least, paying people to make nothing will be just the cost of doing business in the green economy. To be sure, there will be financial opportunities aplenty in this environmentalist Cockaigne, but real economics will trudge on its implacable way without it.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Human Rights Racket

In response to this coming Monday's Mark Steyn kangaroo trial in Vancouver, notorious London "power electronics" duo Finehouse sets the even more notorious Section 13 and CHRC's "Watch On Hate" to noise. I don't think this helps anything.

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