Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kyoto Dog Blog Deathwatch

An already intensely unfunny blog actually deteriorates in quality! Today's installment is only the third and its author has already run out of stupid canine puns:

Poor Stéphane, he’s been having a rough go of it lately. First, he gets blown off by his own Senators over Senate terms limits. And yesterday afternoon he got booed off the stage by the very unionists for whom he was proclaiming support. Ouch! It’s a good thing he didn’t get onto the topic of how much C-288 would cost their industry. He’d be signing soprano for a week!

I give it a week and then Dog Blog disappears into the ether. Meanwhile, the writer does not include this bit of work experience on his resume.

New Footage Of Nessie!

From the Yorkshire Post:

A SCIENCE enthusiast from Yorkshire is making waves in Scotland after capturing video footage of what he believes could be the Loch Ness Monster.

Gordon Holmes, from Shipley, travelled to the Scottish Highlands to use new hydrophone equipment in an attempt to eavesdrop on Nessie in the water.

But after spending a day trying to get a sound recording of the monster, the 55-year-old believes he has gone one step further by capturing the creature on camera.

Eugene Plawiuk, who occasionally writes on cryptozoological matters, ought to love this, especially since some people have claimed to see a "fin" in the footage (I haven't). Another sturgeon, Eugene?

Actually, this links to a version of this video without the annoying "flip4mac" thing in the middle of the screen.

Note also that the original is supposed to be two minutes long. Hopefully the raw footage turns up before too long.

Dion Burnishes His Centrist Credentials

Nothing demonstrates that you occupy the broad middle in Canadian politics like being abused by a mob of beer-swilling unionists. My advice to Stephane: Take names, and later kick ass. For example, as your first act as PM, propose some kind of anti-union legislation like taking away their right to slam a six-pack out in the parking lot during coffee-break.

The NDP has always been a coalition of blue-collar union workers and urban environmentalists slash intellectuals. Typically, the latter portion of this coalition sat around and watched while the former supped at the government tittie, and basically tolerated it because of romantic, pot filled memories of reading Althusser back in the 60s and early 1970s. Recently, however, the rise of the Green Party, and the greening of the Liberal Party, has given these people other places to park their support. In the future, therefore, the folks at the CLA might just find themselves left to the tender mercies of the Free Market if they don't show a little more couth.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Former Green Party Campaign Manager Adds Michael Geist To The List, Is Now Suing Entire Internet

Wayne Crookes is a former organizer for the Green Party of Canada, and so litigious he makes Warren Kinsella look unflappable. Michael Geist is one of Canada's foremost experts on all things Internet (and an excellent speaker). Crookes suit against Geist, according to the latter, concerns: allegedly defamatory third party comment on my site that I took down and for writing about, and linking to,, which in turn linked to another site that allegedly contained a defamatory posting. In other words, I'm reportedly being sued for maintaining a blogroll that links to a site that links to a site that contains some allegedly defamatory third party comments.

I am frankly at a loss for words. Some things are so stupid as to be beyond even my ability to ridicule them

Parliament Must Be Winding Down

Because Stockwell Day's column for Penticton Western News has switched back to weekly from bi-weekly. Not much to tell this time out, however, other than that Stockwell appears to have a body-building fetish, and there is a pronounced hint of homo-eroticism in the way he seems to be working out before "wide open sliding glass doors" so as to be seen by the muscly young German sniper (who Stockwell refers to as "buddy", no less).

Somebody Kill That Dog

The Tories Not a Leader Web Site, features, among other things, a blog allegedly hosted by Stephane Dion's dog Kyoto. A couple of observations:

1) I think we've found the Liberal mole. A good pet never talks behind its master's back. Sell the damn thing to Mr. Pong and it can end its life as chow-mein.

2) More seriously, are they paying somebody to write this stuff?

Stéphane was very upset when he came home from the Hill today.

It’s those new Tory ads about the Liberal Senate blowing him off on term limits. He was whining like a homeless mutt. "This is unfair!"; "You don’t know what you speak about"; "Harper is a bully."

I could eat a bowl of beans and fart better lines than these! You want to absolutely kill Tory fundraising? Link to this and show their supporters where the money is going.

PS. I give this site a month before somebody inside the Tory brain trust realizes its crap and pulls it. As for the author, they're almost unfunny enough to work for CBC.

Will Gift Cards Save Dalton McGuinty?

In the legislative wasteland that is the McGuinty government's first term, there has been the occasional embarrassing reversal (the "slush fund"), and the occasional substantive triumph (Ontario's Greenbelt legislation). But mostly, there has been a whole lot of Nothing: the province has existed in the relatively pleasant state of being "not in the hands of Mike Harris". And while its too late in the game to expect a burst of real political activity (as opposed to the fake, election inspired stuff), this bit of law-making should be hailed for making life a little bit easier on Ontario consumers:

Expiry dates on cash gift certificates will soon be a thing of the past in Ontario after the government announced a plan to ban time limits on the cards.

"Cash equivalent gift cards sold on or after Oct. 1, 2007 will never expire," Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips said on Tuesday.

Personally, I have to make a real effort these days to make sure I buy at least one physical object for a Xmas gift, just so there is something to put under the tree. Otherwise its nothing beyond these slick little cards. But it would be nice to be able to save them up for one big blow-out--I always ask for stuff from Eddie Bauer, for example--rather than being forced to piddle it all away on socks and underwear because of expiry dates.

So, hardly something that will pave McGuinty's way to a second term, but a good move nevertheless.

Meanwhile, for a minimalist Liberal government, a fairly minimal lead in the latest polls:

TORONTO - Ontario's Oct. 10 election is up for grabs, as a minority government appears a distinct possibility, according to a new poll for CanWest News Service that describes a "fickle" electorate.

The latest Ipsos Reid survey shows the provincial Liberals with 41-per cent-support among respondents, the Conservatives with 37-per-cent support, the NDP with 15 and the Green party with six per cent.

I don't think that Dalton really deserves more than a minority government, given his performance in the past four years. And you can ask what he needs a majority for in the first place if he plans to govern as a caretaker. On the other hand, I think John Tory needs another four years to rid himself of the crazies and ideologues in his party and convince people he's the centrist he claims to be before the Ontario Conservatives can make a real claim to be ready to govern Ontario again.

So, from my perspective, things are unfolding as they ought.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Many Faces Of David Maclean

As most progbloggers know by now, GPM scored himself a heap of blogging glory yesterday when he discovered that several of his trolls were all none other than David MacLean, the CTA's Saskatchewan representative. I asked if GPM could provide me with a list of David's pseudonyms, so I might see if he had ever written nasty comments on BCLSB using one of them, and GPM was kind enough to comply in a comment to one of my earlier posts. Because he hasn't published this list on his own blog, I will do so here. David MacLean writes as:

100% Known

David MacLean
Tommy Douglas
The artist formerly known as...

95% certain

Farmer joe
r.s. porter
(These might also be ran by other Taxpayer Federation people sometimes/always)

Unfortunately, I have had no luck in my search, but others might be interested in trying something similar.

Also, I notice that GPM's efforts have landed him a spot on nationalnewswatch, the most popular Canadian news aggregator. Because people have wondered, and I have never seen it written anywhere, here is the deal with NNW. While the person behind it seems to have a strong Tory slant, what they are really interested in (they claim) is material that has not appeared in the MSM. So if you, like GPM, unearth new facts, even if the issue is fairly small bore, NNW may well link to you. If you retail stuff that has already appeared in print/on-line, they will usually just link directly to the original URL, although if the source is obscure enough you may get an H/T. Stories can be submitted to the email given at the site, so you don't have to wait to be "discovered".

Warming On Mars, Redux: It Ain't The Damn Sun!

Rather, the one degree temperature increase seen on the surface of Mars over the past 30 years can be attributed to a change in the planet's albedo (ability to reflect sunlight):

Research indicates that as the dark areas on Mars [blue in the map above] expand and darken over time, its albedo decreases, and its surface air temperature rise. Large surface areas, some almost twice the size of the continent of Africa (over 34 million square miles), have been observed to darken or brighten by 10 percent or more, which speaks to the magnitude of these global surface changes.

And if your local Denier keeps nattering on about warming on Neptune, or on the moons of Saturn, or wherever, tell them that you have it on good authority that it's getting colder on Yer-Anus.

My God, They're Everywhere!

In the wake of the Polish government's probe of allegedly Gay hijinks's in the world of the Teletubbies, cartoon characters worldwide are beginning to feel the chill. Some fear a witch-hunt, a return to the Bad Old Days. In England:

One radio station asked its listeners to vote for the most suspicious children's show. Some e-mailed in, saying that Winnie the Pooh had only male friends.

Listen to this statement from a tearful Popeye, who for years nursed a dangerous secret:

Popeye the Sailor Man, the animated embodiment of testosterone, lived in terror of being outed, as it would have ended his lucrative career. "Bluto threatened me with that a couple of times," he confesses. "

Other characters who might soon be hearing the knock of the Polish Inquisition include:

Bugs Bunny:

Evidence: Often stands with hand on hip. Plays a hairdresser in one episode. Frequently dresses in drag. Loves to throw on a top hat and tails and belt out Broadway show-tunes with his buddy Daffy -- who, it's worth noting, has a lisp.

Batman and Robin

Evidence: Robin's nickname: Boy Wonder. Batman's real name: Bruce. Both wear tights. They're in great shape. They like to show each other their "grappling hooks."

Waylon Smithers

Has repeatedly declared his love for Mr. Burns.

Ernie and Bert

Falwell was on to these two years ago.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Falwell Reaches Out From Beyond Grave, Makes Poles Dumber

From Reuters:

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's conservative government took its drive to curb what it sees as homosexual propaganda to the small screen on Monday, taking aim at Tinky Winky and the other Teletubbies.


In comments reminiscent of criticism by the late U.S. evangelist Jerry Falwell, she was quoted as saying: "I noticed (Tinky Winky) has a lady's purse, but I didn't realize he's a boy."

"At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone."

Apparently, the Polish government is launching a "probe" to determine if Tinky-Winky is indeed Gay. It doesn't say what portion of Tinky-Winky's body the probe will be aimed at, although come to think of it I've always found The Teletubbies such a totally loathsome pile of crap that I wouldn't mind seeing medical instruments driven straight up all their asses.

And here's a heart-felt apology by Michael Colton, who accidentally launched the whole "Tinky-Winky is gay" controversy in the pages of Salon Magazine during the late 1990s.

Incidentally, the Polish Government also outlaws "homo-agitation" in schools. The jokes almost write themselves, although I think the term "homogitation" would have been far more giggle-worthy.

Bend Over, Freak: You're
Being investigated

Shiraz Dossa, In His Own Words

In December 2006, Shiraz Dossa, a tenured professor at Nova Scotia's St. Francis Xavier University, turned up at what was widely labelled a Holocaust-denial conference in Tehran, and caught shit for it from varius media pundits, including John Ibbitson and Rex Murphy, with Mr. Ibbitson demanding that Mr. Dossa be fired. Now Mr. Dossa has responded to his critics with a rather convincing piece in the Literary Review Of Canada. He defends both his trip to Tehran and his specialty, the study of how the Holocaust functions within Israeli and Western propooganda. My favorite bit:

"It was followed by a declaration of war on me by its “pundits” John Ibbitson and Rex Murphy, dilettantes extraordinaire on the Holocaust and the Middle East. Neither of these journalists has credibility in either field. Ibbitson hectored me in his usual CNN mode, got most things wrong and casually libelled me in the process.4 Since 9/11, he hasn’t let up on Islam or Muslims. Murphy, in his column “Eichmann in Tehran,” displayed his cerebral deficits and his ignorance of Islam, Iran and Hannah Arendt with enviable facility.5 Like Ibbitson, Murphy impresses those intellectually just a cut above the Trailer Park Boys. It is worth noting that these Christian boys have unlimited latitude in The Globe and Mail to trash Muslims even as they defend “civilization,” Israel and Jews."

Actually, I think this libels the Trailer Park Boys. After all, Julian and Ricky speak in clear, simple English, where it probably takes Rex Murphy forty five minutes to order a cheese-burger at MacDonalds.

Psst! Wanna Buy A Raygun?

...or, to use the proper technical term, an Aether Oscillator. New Zealand special effects house Weta, who designed props and miniatures for King Kong and the Lord of the Rings, have recently created a line of toy rayguns. For example: the F.M.O.M Industries Wave Disrupter Gun modelled here by the lovely Miss Leila Phantom. Created from drawings by Greg Broadmore, and then cast in steel, these $690 (!!) laser pistols are made to look like something from an old Flash Gordon movie.

For the high-maintenance nerd in your life.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tim Ball Jumps The Shark

Canadian Uber Denier Tim Ball (and his consort in Denial, Tom Harris) have truly hit rock bottom. Not even the Natty Post is printing their crap anymore, and they're stuck publishing in on-line, way past fringy publications like The Canadian Free Press.

And no wonder! They've joined the "climate audit" bandwagon. Inspired by Uber auditor, Steve McIntyre (the man who boasts that he "broke" the hockey stick), their goal is to demand reams of information on the "life cycle analysis" behind any attempt at environmental legislation, and on various other topics they only half understand, and then sit around making silly remarks about this information on a blog somewhere.

But Jesus you think they'd pick a better target than the Ontario Government's decision to ban burning used motor oil in space heaters!

So used oil heating is being sacrificed to the god of climate change. Does it really matter?

It certainly does to hundreds of small businesses in Ontario - car dealerships, bus fleets, farm equipment dealers, etc. -- who for many years now have successfully burned used oil from various sources to reduce space heating costs. Strict emission regulations apply to these heaters and we know of no evidence that these regulations are not being adhered to. Yet Broten decided to ban the heaters in favour of the complex process of collecting and re-refining the used oil so that a portion of it may be re-used.

Holy Fucking Shit! What a disastrous abridgment of Natural Human Freedoms! Literally dozens Ontarians might be mildly inconvenienced by this legisation, might have to buy a extra pair of cheap socks so as to keep their toes warm in winter while they sit around the used car lot eating stale donuts and waiting on the next sucker! To the battlements, my brothers! Commie-nism is once again on the march!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Welcome To The Crystal Eye of Nunavit

This is what this story is about. From 25 miles up, via Google Earth:

"[Pingualuit Crater is] like a huge rainwater collector set out in the tundra, catching rainwater for 1.3 million years," said Prof. Pienitz, whose expedition was funded by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. "This lake is really special."

Working with Inuit from the nearby community of Kangiqsujuaq, Prof. Pienitz's team travelled in freezing temperatures by snowmobile to the edge of the crater rim. They then slid down the rim and trekked to the centre of its ice-covered surface. They travelled on foot because the crater, located in a new provincial park, is subject to stringent conditions that ban fuel-powered vehicles.

The team then drilled a hole through the ice to open a window into natural history.

Lowering their equipment through the ice, scientists reached into the extreme depths of the lake bottom to extract a nine-metre sediment core. A scientific time capsule, it's filled with fossils of pollen, algae and tiny insect larvae that researchers hope will yield clues about climate change dating to the last interglacial period 120,000 years ago.

PS. Saw my pair of Northern Mockingbirds again today, out by Markham and Steeles. According to the Toronto Xmas Bird Count, two of 34 observed in and around the GTA. I didn't bring my camera however, but am going back again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can get a couple of good stills (they don't seem to be afraid of people at all).

Toronto Votes To Buy Land Around Remains Of Old Indian Village

From The Star:

Toronto councillors have voted to drain the city's entire land acquisition fund to buy a 7-hectare tract of parkland in northeast Scarborough from a developer for $17 million.

I wrote about this site here and I am glad to say that the councillors have done the right thing. Artifacts in the area date back about 700 years, and it serves as a an important piece in the wildlife corridor running in and out of the Rouge River Valley. Better that these features should be preserved than another developer be allowed to slap up yet another sub-division.

Friday, May 25, 2007

If Environmentalists Drive Smart Cars

...what do Conservatives like Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht drive?

News You Can Abuse

Look out Natty Post; look out, Mop and Pail. Your competition has arrived. There's a new national (on-line newspaper) in town. It's called The Canadian and it boasts of being both "socially progressive" and "cross cultural".

This week's lead story is "Roman Catholic Church Vatican Insider leaks Information about an Extraterrestrial Presence", which details

... inside information about a clandestine meeting in 1954 at California’s Muroc Air Force Base (later named Edwards AFB) involving President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Los Angeles Bishop James Francis McIntyre and an extraterrestrial delegation.

Other ground-breaking stories include "Ancient Gnostic disciples of Jesus reveal reasons for Extraterrestrial Denial in Western society", an analysis of why mainstream science continues to deny "the historical and on-going existence of Extraterrestrial contact with human beings on Earth"; a discussion of the NDP's capitulation to "transnational union interests"; news of a software program that helps you to seduce women (I've already ordered my copy); a profile of
U.F.O expert and once-Deputy Prime Minister Paul Hellyer (do you see a theme emerging?); an item on how the Tory spin machine has played the PM's Afghanistan visit; predictions of global climate catastrophe by a guy who submitted his dissertation to Tony Blair (Tony Blair liked it!); and "Home buying tips for homebuyers".

This is surely the news as BigCityLib would tell it, and The Canadian will definitely become one of the regular stops on my daily walk through the on-line media world. In fact, I'm not sure it will be necessary to read another newspaper, ever again.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

B.C. Boobies, Redux

As I wrote about here, after years of complaints from First Nation leaders, four murals in the B.C. legislature, including one portraying several Indian women in states of partial undress, are coming down because, it is argued, natives are portrayed in them "as a conquered and subservient people".

Recently, a number of West Coast writers have lamented the imminent disappearance of these murals. For example, Terry O'Neill writes that:

Notwithstanding the debate over the murals’ artistic and historical significance, or over the artist's intentions when he created the works, for me the issue comes down to one thing, respect: respect for our ancestors who built this province, launched our treasured form of government, and commissioned and approved those murals in the first place.

This does not necessarily mean any disrespect to the aboriginal people who now find the murals offensive; rather, as Premier Campbell has often suggested of late, it is assuming they are our equals. As such, they should be judicious enough to respect the heritage of non-aboriginals, just as they are quite rightly asking us to respect their heritage. It should work both ways.

Unfortunately, as a non-aboriginal ex-B.C. native I find it difficult to put aside the question of artistic merit. Because in fact the B.C. Legislature murals share a feature of much government sponsored art: they are boring (despite the nudity!). It has often been written that being chosen a nation's poet laureate is good for the poet's wallet but bad for their poetry, and perhaps something similar applies to visual artists as well. In any case, I am personally unable to see how my White heritage is going to be threatened by removing a couple of bad paintings (especially as they will live on as reproductions), and I will not feel "disrespected" if they disappear.

Another bad idea, it seems to me, is propounded by a Mary Woo Sims, who suggests that:

One of the five options was to leave the murals as they are and add some explanatory material. I believe this option merited more discussion and expansion. Why not talk about the fact that the murals perpetuated colonial attitudes and negative stereotypes of Aboriginal people, and the implications of such a depiction being in a legislative building? How about a more interactive educational discussion in front of the murals?

For one thing, adding explanatory material to a painting that people find offensive will not necessarily do anything to render that painting any less offensive to those people, so it does not solve the problem at issue. For another, it strikes me that this response really does smack of Political Correctness: the murals are allowed to stay on the condition that they serve as the topic for some kind of lecture. They are made examples of, in other words. Which seems a fate worse than destruction, frankly.

No. The decision that has already been made is the best one possible under the circumstances. Take 'em down and put 'em in storage, replace 'em with pictures of a water-fall or ducks or something.

h/t the Shotgun Blog.

Stockwell Day to Constituents: How Do We Kill Our Own Green Legislation?

It's hard to imagine anyone buying Stockwell Day's quicky history of Bill-C30:

...Even though the Conservatives have more members than any one opposition party, all the opposition parties’ MPs can gang up together on a vote and outnumber the governing party members.

That means the opposition can totally change a piece of legislation at the committee stage of a bill.

And that’s exactly what has happened with our environment legislation on greenhouse gas and pollution control, known as Bill C-30.

For instance, our intention is that all industries in Canada must reduce their emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2020.

The opposition MPs have voted in a way that will make that impossible to enforce. They want to create back-door mechanisms to allow businesses of their choosing to be exempt from meeting those deadlines.

We don’t believe that MPs should be allowed to give exemptions to their friends on environmental rules.

They also want emission levels for some companies to be uncapped so that they can go on polluting. Added to that, they voted together on committee to knock out our list of standards on a number of other pollutants which clog up our air and our lungs.


We can’t support the way our standards are being altered and reduced and are at risk when this amended legislation comes back to Parliament for a final vote (third reading).

We may be forced with the dilemma of having a piece of legislation, that we will have to vote against but which may become law if all opposition MPs support it.

But I guess that's the government line and they're going to stick to it (Baird gave a similar spiel on CBC radio about a month ago). And since Stockwell is asking his readers for advice as to how the Tories should "work through" this situation, let me offer some: look at where you were the day before your government unveiled its green regulations (on the cusp of a Majority at around 40%) and look where you are now (about 33%). What do you think caused the precipitous decline in public support? Shane Doan, or your crap green plan?

Allow C-30 to pass and you will have taken a small step in restoring the trust of the Canadian people and positioned the CPC as legitimate custodians of the nation's environment. Let it die on the order paper and you will always be seen as a regional party upholding Alberta interests.

The choice is yours.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spot The Difference! The Christian/Muslim Equivalence Edition

Sheikh Mubarik Ali Hasmi Shah Gilani: Blamed 9-11 on the Jews

Jerry Falwell: Blamed 9-11 on the Lesbians

Shock Poll: U.S. Muslims More Loyal To America Than Evangelical Christians

A number of headlines re. this story emphasize the fact that about about 13% of U.S. Muslims support suicide bombings. However, to me the most shocking finding is:

The survey shows that 47% of Muslims consider themselves Muslim first and Americans second.... Among white evangelicals, 62% say they identify themselves first as Christians.

So its the Vangees who are most willing to put their fictitious Deity before the nation! No wonder they're so predisposed to law-breaking activities! For example, this guy from Falwell's Liberty college, who was wanting to pack some home-made napalm with him to Jerry's funeral because he was "upset about an anti-gay fringe group that protested at the funeral".

Hmmm! The threat of white on white violence! Who in the Christian community dares speak out against it?

The Shame Of Victoria, British Columbia

From the Vancouver Province this morning:

VICTORIA -- Federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion said Victoria can be an example of responsible water and waste management when the 2010 Olympics put B.C. in the international spotlight.

Victoria B.C., the jewel of the Canadian West Coast (though its been getting a bit seedy in the past couple of years), treats the Strait of Juan de Fuca as its own municipal toilet, pumping raw sewage into the ocean. They've been doing it for decades, and every few years the fact makes news and people are briefly appalled. Between times, residents have consistently rejected any taxation measures to pay for a treatment plant.

I remember an old college buddy who lived right on the shores of Oak Bay coming down with jaundice; the doctors told him it was almost certainly due to his exposure to human feces blown inland from the area around the sewage pipe.

So, in this case, when the yankees across the strait in places like Port Townsend, Sequim, and Port Angeles accuse Canadians of being smug with respect to environmental issues, they have a point.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Plethora Of Hockey Sticks

In any debate over Global Warming, Michael Mann and his "hockey stick" graph come up. This is of course the graph that shows a reconstruction of global temperatures from about 1,000 AD to the mid 1990s. You occasionally hear, from GW skeptics, that the graph has been "refuted" by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, although the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded last year that:

The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence...

What's more interesting to me, however, is the additional claim, which many climate scientists have made, to the effect that any methodological short-comings in Mann's work are irrelevant, because his main findings have been replicated by alternative methods.

Which brings us to the graph top-left. It provides 500 years worth of average temperatures in the Ottawa, Ontario region and has been produced using one of these alternative methods. Specifically, it has been produced by dropping thermometers down pre-dug boreholes and recording the temperature change that occurs as this measuring device plunges deeper into the Earth. How the results are calculated from data-points gathered in this way, and some of the drawbacks to the method, can be found in this terrific (and only somewhat technical) post at Open Mind.
The original data can be found here.
Note the important thing: the graph pretty much replicates Mann's result.

Mac's: Your Soul For A Froster

After their ad campaign tempting today's youth with crude language and implied bestiality ran afoul with Social Conservatives, Mac's has decided to try a new approach:

Police in Scarborough are on the lookout for youths, hoping to catch them committing acts of kindness. The crime prevention initiative, a partnership between Mac's Convenience Stores and Toronto Crime Stoppers, was launched at the Malvern Town Centre yesterday.

Operation Freeze rewards youths with a coupon for a free Froster, a semi-frozen carbonated drink, when police see them doing something good.

Quid pro quo, the kids are expected to rat out their fellows. Sean Sportun, security manager at Mac's and Toronto Crime Stoppers vice-chairman, says:

Hopefully the kids will appreciate getting a free Froster and call in with information and essentially make the community a better place.

Police are reporting a measure of success, with this young fellow already turned into a mind controlled zombie:

"It feels good to get a positive ticket from police. I'm going to enjoy the drink," said J____ P_____, 17, after being given one of the coupons while working on a school project at the mall.

"This will make youth trust police more."

And all for a cupful of melting ice-cream.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Conservatives Demand That Biologists Stop Discovering New Facts

Writers at The Wall Street Journal and Economist have opened another front in the Conservative War on Science, claiming that biologists are "inflating" subspecies into full-fledged species so as to increase:

...the number of rare species increases, boosting animal-conservation claims. At the same time, having a greater number of species boosts the chances that a habitat can pursue a legal designation as a protected area.

I'm still a bit too relaxed from vacationing to write about this issue with the necessary rigor, but Cryptomundo's Lauren Coleman gives what I think is a terrific response. Here is the whole thing, and here is a taste of it:

What is occurring is a classic theoretical battle between lumpers and splitters, not a fight of conservationists vs non-conservationists, not a war of Greens vs non-Greens, although “Species Inflation May Infect Over-Eager Conservationists” appears eager to convince you of that. The splitters are making their points lately, with more scientific evidence for a diversity of species.

The advent of DNA technology has produced enormous advancements in genetic level analysis of subspecies into species, because the markers are being newly discovered and becoming clearer every day. On a simplistic plane, this conservative media attack sounds like the typical “everything new is bad” argument.

Be sure to read the comments.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Andrew Coyne Mangles Another Metaphor

From his May 16th column:

[Duceppe's] toast, of course.... Trailing blood....

...which just goes to show that Canada's premiere Conservative commentator--"the Conservative with math skills", as we Liberals call him--still has difficulty distinguishing between animal, vegetable, and mineral.

(note: technically bread is made from dough and dough is made from grains and grains are a type of fruit and fruits are a type of vegetable)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chantal Hebert: Then And Now

Chantel Hebert is the most political of political commentators, in that she simply changes her analysis when her previous analysis proves false without ever even acknowledging her previous analysis. I give you:

Chantel Hebert then:

Over a period of little less than three months, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has turned his green armour into a straitjacket.

Chantel Hebert Now:

[Harper's] Liberal opponent owns global warming, the biggest issue in sight these days. And the Prime Minister has, so far, failed to identify another major challenge he can call his own.

Same thing with the Quebec election; Charest was going to triumph, according to Chantal, right up until the moment when he wasn't, and then he wasn't, according to Chantal.

By the way, where are all those Liberals who felt Dion should bail on the environment as an issue? HALLOO? HALLOO? I don't hear you.

(No Ottawa pics until I get home. Forgot the digicams connecting cable)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hey! Everyone Speaks English!

So far Ottawa is great, just like Canada! They use loonies and twonies and everyone drives on the right side of the road and there's even a mall! The only weird thing is the way they name the streets: "Road Nicholas" (or "Rue", as the natives call it) instead of Nicholas Road, and so forth.

(And the hotel has wireless, although you have to use a foot-pump to keep it powered up)

If the rest of the weekend goes as well, I might just dub Ottawa as being in the general vicinity of the Center of the Universe!

Still In Favour Of Proportional Representation

...after you read this from Family Coalition Party leader Giuseppe Gori?

The probability of pro-family, pro-life views to be heard in Ontario has become much higher yesterday, as a report from the Citizens Assembly, an independent group of citizens, has recommended a new electoral system for Ontario.


The Family Coalition Party ran 76 candidates and achieved over five percent of the popular vote in 1990, when people were hopeful that a party based on Christian moral principles could elect representatives, but its hopes were greatly reduced after that election, when people realized that with the current electoral system it would be very difficult to elect even one representative in Parliament.

Actually, I still am in favour, mostly because it gives these guys a chance at representation, but its important to understand that PR has the potential to make the Ontario Legislature more "diverse" in all sorts of unexpected ways.

h/t to Her Who Must Be Obeyed!

Meanwhile SoCon bloggers are still flogging their youtube videos as proof the crowd at this year's March For Life exceeded the paltry few dozen reported in the mainstream press. News to the SoCons: doesn't matter if you video the same fat guy nine times from different angles, they still only count as one person.

PS. Am off to Ottawa for the long weekend, so there probably won't be much in the way of writing. Does anyone know what the exchange rate is, and do they speak English in Ottawa?

PPS. And good used bookstores. Are there any in Ottawa?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Canada Free Press: Maurice Strong Dying As Part of EnviroNazi Propaganda Effort

News on the perhaps imminent demise of Canadian Environmentalist Maurice Strong, with this little bit thrown in towards the end:

The rumours of Strong's failing health seem to fit the script in the push over recent months to make global warming or climate change the number one topic of the day.

...just so you can never forget that Judi McCleod is crazy.

Terrible news, if true, for both sides of the debate. Strong's death would mean the Deniers are stuck with Suzuki to demonize.

March For Life Organizer Elaborates On Scandal: If I'd Known What Wordmark Represented, I'd Have Desecrated It

Jim Hughes, President of the Campaign Life Coalition, digs himself a deeper hole:

Hughes, however, says that CLC is more than happy to remove the [illegally used Canada] wordmark from [CLC] banners, and will do so immediately.

“If I’d known that there was a logo representing the federal government on the signs,” said Hughes, “I would have had it ripped off because of the continuous support by the federal government for the killing of two million children in this country.” "

Wilfully destroying national symbols to score cheap political points, an act Mr. Hughes contemplates in the above-passage, is a distasteful feature of modern democratic discourse, but one we must necessarily defend in the name of free thought and free speech.

That said, Mr. Hughes really ought to be grateful that fellow Conservatives like Mark Warawa have never gained the upper-hand in this country.

Stockwell Day Mangles A Few Metaphors

From his Penticton Western column, in which Stockwell waxes eloquent over the fate of criminal turned professor Tom Allen (NOT the guy from the Santa Clause movies):

Every person has a God-given spark deep inside which, if it receives the oxygen of hope and encouragement, will become the candle, and for some a flame, that will light their way through the sometimes dark moments of life.

Just as it doesn’t take much to fan that spark, it doesn’t take much to extinguish it.

For Tom, at 18, it seemed like the light of hope had gone out.

Wait a minute. First Hope was the Oxygen feeding the flame. Now its the flame itself... and its apparently almost gone out. So I'm confused, because that Stockwell seems to be saying that if the God given spark (which is, please note, a Flame, albeit a small Flame) receives Hope, which is a Flame, it may become a Flame. But that's a logical tautology because the spark is already a Flame, and by receiving more Flame, it is just becomes a bigger Flame. It does not change its essential character.

So what is Stockwell trying to convey here: that More Fire is Good? I wouldn't argue, but is this really a healthy sentiment to be emanating from Canada's Minister of Public Safety.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

But Where Shall They Strip Now?

So far the Tories next set of priorities include:

1) Eradicating foreign strippers.
2) Protecting homegrown Bigfoots.
3) Making it harder for teenagers to have buttsex.

That's all I can think of. Canada's Rapidly Aging Government: on vacation without ever leaving the office.

Sarkozy Continues To Disappoint Conservatives

Apparently its true: even French righties are lefties. French President Nicolas Sarkozy used his inaugural address today to reaffirm his commitment to human rights and Global Warming. Missing from his address were pledges to personally beat the shit out of any Muslim woman caught wearing a hijab and to aid the Bush administration if and when it decides to invade Bolivia.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, this guy and this guy wept quietly.

(Note: And interesting that doesn't mention these issues at all in its story on Nics inauguration)

March For Life Scandal Erupts; Campaign Life Organizers Respond

But not to the major newspapers, at least as far as I can tell, because the folks at the Edmonton Sun say:

Rally organizers, the Campaign Life Coalition, could not be reached for comment.

Instead, my favorite SoCon Suzanne at Big Blue Wave (whose Youttube video of the march launched the whole controversy) pulls the scoop from 570 News:

However, Jim Hughes, head of Campaign Life Coalition, said the annual protest against abortion has never received federal funding and that the government was in no way involved in this year's event.

Hughes couldn't say how the Canada logo made its way onto the banner, likely created by a volunteer. But he said the banner has been used for the past five years without a problem.

...which last statement causes Suzanne to write:

Only now, with a Conservative government in power, did someone notice. What a coinkedink.

That last word is not a typo. I am assuming it is some kind of SoCon approved foul-language substitute. In any case, Suzanne, the fact that problems arose now is probably more a result of the fact that march attendees were encouraged to post youtube videos of their experience. Also, five years seems a long time for organizers to remain ignorant of what seems a pretty basic feature of Canadian copyright law.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hughes seems to have been partaking of the holy vodka bottle, because his estimates of the crowd size at last Thursday's March For Life are about double those of anyone else at the event. While Mr. Hughes produced a figure of 7,000, one police officer put the number at about half that, and CBC National News estimated a crowd of 1,500.

1,500? That means March for Life drew fewer souls than the "Save the Slime-Mold" protest I once attended, or the "Hop of the One-Legged Lesbians".

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Antarctica Finally Starting To Melt

One of the thorns in the side of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming has been Antarctica, which has given conflicting signals over the past few decades. In fact, one previous study:

...even suggested that parts of Antarctica were cooling in recent decades while the rest of the globe was warming.

However, the results of the most recent surveys are unequivocal:

Warm temperatures melted an area of western Antarctica that adds up to the size of California in January 2005, scientists report [see yellow and orange area in above figure].

Satellite data collected by the scientists between July 1999 and July 2005 showed clear signs that melting had occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland and at high latitudes and elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely.

One by one the deniers counter-arguments are being answered.

24 Sussex "Bomber" Brought Soap, Deoderant For PM

From the Ottawa Sun:

No charges are anticipated in connection with the bomb scare at the prime minister's residence Sunday, RCMP say.

Police found the man they believe was responsible for throwing a black gym bag onto the 24 Sussex Dr. property late in the afternoon.


The bag contained personal hygiene products.

Police questioned the man, who has no fixed address and was located in Ottawa.

So, a homeless man feels compelled to donate a care package of "personal hygiene products" to the Prime Minister of Canada? I guess everyone thinks they're an image consultant these days. But what exactly what are we paying Michelle Muntean for, anyway?

Al Gore's Canadian Censor A Christian Radical

Heather Stilwell is a school trustee in Surrey, British Columbia. She also co-founded the Christian Heritage Party of Canada , and is considered so far-right that the Conservative Party of Canada has smothered all of her attempts to run under the party banner.

Now Heather is trying to have Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" banned in in Surrey:

Stilwell said if the documentary is shown to kids in Surrey classrooms, then teachers should provide alternative theories on climate change.

Provide "Alternative theories"? Boy, does that phrase take me back-- to Darwin vs. the Intelligent Designers! And of course Wiki lists Ms. Stilwell as a prominent Canadian member of the Christian Right, who advocate "the teaching of teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public schools as opposed to evolution."

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Best Seniors Residences...

...are those that allow older persons to have sexual relations.

The BQ's Nicole Demers talks sexuality as Bill C-22 nears passage. From Hansard, May 3rd:

In this regard, I remind the House that we must be very careful not to fall into any traps. Indeed, as we see in the United States, the people who are the most conservative are quite often those who are the most guilty of excesses. We see this presently with Mrs. D.C, with a committee chairman and with some political figures who are being forced to resign from their positions. We saw a little earlier that another member of the Republican Party also had to resign because he was making overtures to young pages who were working for him. I do not see anyone doing this here, although our pages are quite good-looking. I am very happy that our young pages, who work so hard and so well to make our task easier, do not have to suffer such affronts.


I should point out that young people do not really like washing themselves.

Tell me about it. Don't get me started on the Youth of Today.

Anyway, a mixture of the profound with the ridiculous, leaning somewhat more towards the ridiculous. Things must really be winding down in Ottawa.

March For Life Not Sponsored By Harper Tories

From the Free Dominion site, a completely unofficial list of MPs attending last Thursday's March for Life:

Bev Shipley (ON)
Cheryl Gallant (ON)
David Anderson (SK)
Dean Del Mastro (ON)
Harold Albrecht (ON)
James Lunney (BC)
Jeff Watson (ON)
Mark Warawa (BC)
Maurice Vellacott (SK)
Myron Thompson (AB)
Pierre Lemieux (ON)
Rod Bruinooge (MB)

Paul Steckle (ON)
Paul Szabo (ON)


Bloc Quebecois

Tom Wappel (ON) and Andrew Scheer (SK) were stuck in Parliament at the time and intended to go.

Any others there? One interesting thing is no MP east of Ontario was there...

Also, there has been some controversy over the Canada word-mark that appears in the youtube video below. Is it evidence of official Canadian government support?

Suzanne of Big Blue Wave says no (and I believe her):

...the government did not give one cent to the March for Life. How do I know? Because I attend Campaign Life meetings, and never is there any mention in financial reports of any government money. All efforts are paid for by the donations and fundraising activities of pro-life supporters.


All it is was someone made a banner and overlooked any copyright or trademark rules-- as many people are wont to do-- and put a Canada wordmark on the banner, probably for reasons of patriotism.

Is patriotism still legal? I thought we'd banished that in Canada. Anyway, as I wrote about here, a week previous the Global Marijuana March drew crowds double the size of the March For Life, and they were all out there protesting for the right to blow ganja in public.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Something You Already Knew

The Tory Green Plan has "oil and gas lobby" fingerprints all over it. Most obvious quotation in Hill-Times story, from Liberal l MP John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Ont.) :

"I think industry's challenge was to not look too happy with it, so that it wouldn't look as though they'd won," he said. "In the whole question of the gamesmanship of these things it would be very hard to know what their actual reaction to this is and what they could have really tolerated in tougher regulations, because it's not in their interest to say that."

All of which I predicted here.

Probably Not Blogging Much Today

And this is a blog post to say as much. Consider it an open thread.

A question, however: I have found a number of interesting quotes relating to Tim Ball and Global Warming in .pdf format from old TO G&M articles. However, they will only save as image files when I drop them into Word and will not copy into posts. I've searched adobe documents and Word help etc and still haven't been able to find out how, with no special software, I can somehow post them as pictures to the blog or at least copy and paste the text (rather than retype everything). Any ideas?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Will Conservative MP Mike Lake Denounce Bigfoot Porn Flick?

What next for poor Mike Lake, Conservative MP for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont? First, his "Save Bigfoot" petition blew up in his face, and now the very creature he sacrificed his credibility to rescue has been caught doing porno. Witness "The Geek", a fifteen minute short featuring three hikers (two guys and a gal) and a randy Sasquatch. Is this what Mr Lake and the Conservative Party of Canada are wasting the nation's time over? Perhaps we should leave Bigfoot's preservation up to the private sector!

Although alanborky at Cryptomundo said something that really made me think:

[Movie description:]one of the hiker guys grabs one of his lady friends by the hand and pulls her toward Bigfoot. He coaxes her into making contact with the beast. Demurely, she approaches and holds out her delicate hand. Bigfoot sniffs her politely, then…

... this might be me being a bit too clever, but the above snippet of scene description immediately brought to my mind that part of the Ancient Sumerian Gilgamesh epic where Gilgamesh arranges for his potential adversary the wild man Enkidu to lose his innocence by being seduced by a temple courtesan.

You could argue, then, that ‘porno’ and ‘Bigfoot’ have been connected right from the dawn of civilisation.

Frankly, I don't see how you could argue against it.

Art For A Creationist Museum

A message from artist Mel Grant arrived via the Dinosaur Mailing List this morning:

If you believe with all your fiber that dinosaurs co-existed with humans, you can purchase and donate a striking piece of art to hang on the wall of your creationist museum of choice. Prices vary from $30 to $450.
Note: Mr. Grant's website also features paintings with aliens and sword wielding chicks that are nekkid.

Anti-Abortion Militants Vs. Warriers For Weed

The Lifesite:

OTTAWA, May 11, 2007 ( - This year's March for Life, the 10th annual march organized yearly by Campaign Life Coalition drew a record 7,000 participants and was populated mainly with youth, estimated at around 75% of the crowd.



Adding to the frustration of trying to get around town this weekend with the DVP closed until Monday, more than 12,000 people took part in the ninth annual Global Marijuana March on Saturday.

Not even close, and I'd wager the stoners were alot better behaved! Certainly, they were listening to better music.

Gawd I love this country!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mike Lake Distances Himself From Bigfoot Petition!

Edmonton 's Conservative MP Mike Lake is distancing himself from the Bigfoot petition he presented to the HOC! His office has been in touch with Cryptomundo's Craig Woolheater:

The press release [issued May 3rd] is the only statement that Mr. Lake will be making. He is not responding to any media requests in the hope that this issue will go away. Mr. Lake does not believe in Bigfoot!

Meanwhile, abandoned by his erstwhile champion, a saddened Bigfoot marches dejectedly away from Edmonton.

h/t to Cryptomundo, without which this blog could not exist.

Randy Hillier Goes Down Under A Rain Of Punches

Yeah I know it's not the same guy. Nevertheless, it makes me happy.

OHMYGAWD! Deniers Make Sense!

When the NRSP (The Natural Resources Stewardship Project), a front group for the oil-patch designed to spread confusion over the issue of Global warming, launched its "Science AuditCentre" in April, I have to admit I rolled my eyes until they hurt. And reading Uber denier Tim Ball claim that

Tax dollars must not be squandered on feel-good 'green' plans that have little basis in real science. This approach only hurts the economy by diverting tax dollars away from important environmental issues where attention is needed.

...was almost enough to induce vomiting.

However, like a stopped clock that is nevertheless right twice a day, I find that their recent letter to John Baird, questioning his decision to ban incandescent bulbs (link to it from here), makes a certain amount of sense:

Earlier today, I sent you an e-mail, a copy of which is attached to this cover letter. I am forwarding that communication to you today via courier to ensure that it is not lost in the large volume of e-mail submissions you undoubtedly receive.

As part of our newly launched "Science Audit Centre" campaign, the Natural Resources Stewardship Project certainly look forward to hearing back from you concerning the process that was employed to come to the decision to ban incandescent light bulbs. As explained in my e-mail, NRSP believes that a major government intervention into the lives of Canadians such as that represented by the incandescent light bulb ban should have a clear and demonstrable environmental benefit; otherwise it is not worth the financial cost and inconvenience. That is why we would like to learn about the full life cycle assessment process that was employed in this case.

In principle I favour such a ban, and in practice have replaced about half my home lighting with compact fluorescents. However, the swiftness with which so many governments have embraced the move away from incandescent bulbs reminds me too much of the move to replace gasoline with Ethanol, which for example the Bush administration has embraced as part of its own green thinking, even though the net savings in emissions is minimal to non-existant once life-cycle costs have been taken into consideration. So I too would like to see an analysis of the GHG emissions involved in producing CFs. And I would be surprised, no shocked, if anything like this was done when Mr. Baird was formulating his plan.

Furthermore, since compacts do contain a (tiny) amount of mercury, there are disposal issues to look at which are nowhere considered in the government's plan. And while some of the outlets selling compacts apparently have functioning take-back plans, my local hardware store is telling people to pitch the dead ones into the trash.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Trouble For Defence Minister O'Connor the form of a key player in O'Connor's riding association quitting amid allegations of "corruption". Party organizer J.P. Dorion claims:

...he witnessed earlier this year that one of O' Connor's constituency employees, Glenn Trebble, had been using office computers to do party taxes and fulfil Elections Canada reporting requirements.


Dorion raised red flags with the riding president Steve Liakos, but ultimately was unhappy with the response. The riding association had written a cheque to the government for $9 to defray the costs of printing the paperwork.

"This is corruption from the bottom," Dorion said in an interview. "We brought it up with Mr. O'Connor last month, he said he would look into it, and he didn't."

It took the Liberals 13 years to achieve a level of decadence the Tories are already approaching after...what?...13 months in power.

Women's Clinic Bombing Suspect Attempts Suicide

Just a quick update. Failed women's clinic bomber Paul Ross Evans has made an attempt at suicide. Apparently, he can't do anything right.

Still no word on his possible affiliations with right-wing extremist groups.

Mac's Flicks Up

Shades of the Flick Off campaign.

Attempts by Mac's Convenience Stores to flog its frosted carbonated drink (or froster) with the advert left has enraged SoCons. Apparently, they're upset at the employment of the phrase "WTF", which the company rather lamely insists stands for "What the Flavour".

Apparently, they're NOT upset at the very strong suggestion of nun-on-sheep action in the poster. Note that the sheep seems well pleased, and the nun's gesture seems to be indicating something at least 18 inches in length. WTF Indeed!

If you feel inclined to add your voice to the chorus of outrage, The Lifesite (without which this blog could not exist) has been kind enough to provide an email for Mac's customer service department (

And, if you do write, please mention the nun/sheep thing.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

$17,000,000 Well Spent

From the Scarborough Mirror:

Toronto councillors will finally have their say May 10 on whether or not the city will spend $17 million to purchase a 700-year-old First Nations village in Scarborough.

City staff are recommending council go ahead with a deal to purchase the land on the edge of the Rouge Park from Village Securities Ltd. The land is in two parcels totalling 6.87 hectares between Morningside Creek and the Rouge River, just north of Finch Avenue.

Seven hundred years ago, the land was home to a 300-person First Nations village, and archaeologists believe the site is rife with artifacts and possibly human remains. Village Securities has approval to redevelop the land, but have given the city until July 1 to purchase the land.

The picture at top is a Google Earth shot of the area (the village is beneath the circular thingie and above the streets near the bottom), and here is the City of Toronto report related to it.

As the Rouge River runs down from Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario, it served as a kind of highway for the Iroquoians (Huron, Petun, Nuetral) that lived on its banks. Any site with, possibly, human remains is definitely worth preserving.

A Decisive Blo In The Culture Wars

Under pressure from The Natty's Post John Turley-Ewart, and finally caving to the foamy outrage of Judi McLeod from the CFP, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's online shop has renamed its popular "Castro Cap" a "Ranger Cap" so as not to associate itself with the vastly bearded Cuban dictator. John and Judi's next trick? Repeal the metric system by means of indignation and harsh rhetoric.

Of course they probably don't realize that when you get the cap home you're still allowed to call it a "Castro cap". In fact, since that is generally what they're called, you'd be weird if you didn't.

Now THERE'S Some Liberal Media Bias

From the Vancouver Sun's Barbara Yaffe:

May has put Peter MacKay on notice: She's aiming in the next election to take his Nova Scotia seat out from under him.

The high-profile foreign affairs minister, a bachelor who repeatedly gets voted sexist man in the Commons, doesn't look worried. Nor should he be. The decision on May's part is folly.

h/t anchorlink.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Feel Like A Pirate

From CTV:

In a move to curb what the Hollywood studios are claiming is a primary source of the illegal pirating and bootlegging of their movies on the Internet, Warner Brothers announced Monday it is cancelling all preview screenings of its summer blockbusters in Canada.

I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm going to wander down Spadina Avenue with my stop-watch and see how long it takes before the bootleg copies show up. Usually, they arrive about two hours before the real movie hits the big screen. With these new measures in place, I imagine the time will be more like 1 hr 47 min.

And, oh yeah, that guy that takes your DVD order at the local bar, and shows up next day with your copies? He'll probably be miffed. Might take him an extra day, and he might charge you $1 more.

Who The Heck Is Reid Bryson?

For a short time during the 1970s, a number of climatologists theorized that the Earth was heading towards an ice-age. Leading this group was Reid Bryson, whose work was the primary inspiration for a number of CIA reports and the book The Weather Conspiracy. At one point, Mr. Bryson wrote that:

“There is very important climatic change going on right now, and it’s not
merely something of academic interest.” Bryson warned, “It is something that, if it continues, will affect the whole human occupation of the earth – like a billion people starving. The effects are already showing up in a rather drastic way.”

However, this theory was soon abandoned. Bryson recanted his earlier warnings and eventually retired (in 1986, by my calculations). Meanwhile, the above quote became fodder for a million GW Denier websites, evidence that scientists "can’t decide whether we face an ice age or warming".

And then, just last week, Reid Bryson pops up in the "Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News" , the magazine of the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative, an association of Wisconsin energy producers. In "The Faithful Heretic", he spends a several pages trash-talking the science behind anthropogenic Global Warming, employing most of the standard skeptical talking points.

And suddenly, the guy once ridiculed for being wrong about Global Cooling has become a prophet for GW Deniers everywhere! Oh how the worm turns!

(Actually, it is a little bit unfair to Bryson to say that he "retired" two decades ago. He has still continued to publish occasionally, and was calling James Hansen's concerns re. Global Warming a "snow job" back in the early 1990s. So he is not a recent "convert" to the ranks of GW skepticism, as some have contended.)

Pro-Life Groups Fall Banished To YouTube

From The Lifesite, a story on how the Natty Post alone among Canadian newspapers is willing to pander to the last fading embers of the Pro-Life movement. In the face of this massive indifference, pro-lifers are going to try their hand at amateur film-making: blogger, John Pacheco is suggesting a by-pass on the mainstream media by "youtube-ing" the March for Life. "Bring your video cameras and video everything and anything about the March. Record the speakers. Record the crowd . . . get a good shot of the crowd. Interview the marchers. Have some questions prepared. Interview the media people there. Swarm the reporters and ask them why they refuse to cover abortion in Canada," suggests Pacheco.

More information on the March for Life can be found here.

My prediction: these are going to suck worse than Cherniak! And some advice to pro-lifers: you want anyone to watch these things? Leave Creed off the sound-track!

Monday, May 07, 2007

French Right Winger Throws Left Hook

More than a few fawning Conservatives will swallow their dentures over this. French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy's first public statement after his resounding election victory was to urge tough action on Global Warming. He even chided the Bush administration, albeit gently:

...a great nation like the United States has the duty to not create obstacles in the struggle against global warming."

"Quite the contrary, it should take the lead in this battle because what is at stake is all of humanity," said the rightwinger, who won 53 percent of the vote, according to projections.

"France will make this battle it's first battle," he said.

Not cutting taxes? Not bashing Muslims? D'oh!!

One Mom Good, Two Moms Better: Did Stephen Harper Suppress Politically Incorrect Research?

In 2003, at the behest of the Liberal government, Concordia University's Paul Hasting conducted research in which he discovered that:

Parenting by same-sex families is just as good -- if not slightly advantageous -- for children when compared to heterosexual families...

However Mr. Hasting's study has just now seen the light of day, and only because Mr. Hastings himself obtained a copy of it through the Access to Information Act.

Mr. Hastings said it is only speculation but he believes the study was being held back from being published by the Justice Department once Stephen Harper's Conservative government came into power in 2006. The Conservatives upheld their election promise to review the issue of same-sex marriage when a government motion on the question of revisiting the definition of marriage was defeated in the House of Commons in December.

The psychology professor pointed out that a government-commissioned study that suggests same-sex parents may even be advantageous to children would probably not be appreciated by the federal Tories.

This would not be the first time Canada's newish government has been caught suppressing scientific research that its political base wouldn't like. What do you see when you click on the link to the Government of Canada Climate Change website? Nothing, and its been that way since July 2006.