Sunday, October 31, 2010
Members of an Edmonton constituency said right now, the laws cater to people who are easily offended and restrict what other people can say.
"I think we're all concerned with maximizing opportunities for freedom of speech. We have to balance that with people who are vulnerable," says Fred Horne, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford.
In the end, that resolution was defeated...
In Alberta, Canada's most Conservative province and home to Ezra Levant, a conservative majority government refuses to change its hate-speech legislation despite the support of every editorial page in the province. Furthermore, that government's right-wing opposition has vowed to leave section 3 (the hate speech provision in the provincial human rights law) intact. How can this be?
Imagine yourself a politician: suddenly, Ezra, Margaret Atwood (representing PEN), a fistful of Neo-Nazis, and another handful of journalists, appear in your office demanding changes to your human rights legislation. Do you a )flee through a back entrance, or b) just kill yourself now because you've probably been seen together with this crew and your political career is over.
Remember: politicians are expert at one thing, and that's counting votes. They see this gang coming, and they see votes going the other way. Ezra and crew couldn't do any worse if they hired a known cannibal as their PR guy. And I wish the journalistic community would wake up to the fact: people don't like you, and no politician is going to be caught dead supporting a radical extension of scribblers' rights.
PS. And Kinsella's right, too. Editorials and Op-Ed don't do diddley in the way of moving the voter. The great Canadian speechy conflict is proof of that.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
It's now plain for all to see, that this was contrived and planned to the smallest of detail and that is sickening. To think that these people are now running the city, based on those kind of tactics, and to what level they did deceive and manipulate, can only be symbolic of the corruption and bent ethics we can look forward to.
And a bit more here.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The Chen case is interesting only because it juxtaposes so nicely with another, similar case in Winnipeg
The shoplifter was beaten and died days after, apparently of her injuries. [BCL Note: And the shopowner was charged]
I bring this up in support of the law. I believe Mr. Chen was wrong in his actions and it is very dangerous to challenge this law. Store security people are very aware of this law and work within its confines. By changing this law as some would do, a greater ill would be released. Rather than increasing punishment on these people (and most shoplifters have problems surviving for whatever reason) we should look to help them. You only have to take a look at the statistics of who shoplifts to realize you're dealing with drug addicts, (Mr. Chen's perp) the poor and old people. I can only imagine the stupidities that will start to be reported if Mr. Chen is allowed to go entirely unpunished.
Their main conclusion was an obvious one:
"Several independent indicators show an increase in global warming from 1975 to 2003. This increase is mainly due to the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide," the academy said in conclusion to the report.
"The increase in carbon dioxide, and to a lesser degree other greenhouse gases, is unquestionably due to human activity," said the report, adopted unanimously by academy members.
But note that the report was "adopted unanimously" by members of the academy. Claude Allegre is a member of the academy, and he
...signed off on the report.
"He has the right to evolve," the academy's president Jean Salencon said. Pecresse said: "The debate is over."
Of course, Allegre disputes how much evolving he actually did, noting that the word "uncertainty" is used a number of times in the Academy's report. But when you go from saying that the causes of AGW are a mystery to putting your signature on a statement to the exact opposite effect, its quite something.
PS. This fellow suggests it was less a case of evolution than Allegre having his ass handed to him by the academy. Either way is good with me.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I'm emailing Mr. Vachon today telling him that if money is an issue for Mr. Soros, I'm willing to send $5. If anyone else wants to pitch in, send your money to me and I'll make sure it gets passed along.
The mayor-elect said he has set up a meeting with the premier to discuss the matter. If he can’t get McGuinty’s approval, or if killing the LRT means hundreds of millions in penalties and fees on contracts, the subway won’t go ahead, Ford said.
“If it’s going to cost the taxpayer an arm and leg, then obviously we can’t do it,” he said
Translation: kiss that promise good-bye.
He said he’s hopeful he can end the VRT — and possibly slash councillor expense accounts — in the first new council meeting in December.
But he repeated his concern that the city would need approval from the province to get rid of the Land Transfer Tax, which brought in $183 million to the city in 2009.
Actually, as mentioned in this story and confirmed here, he doesn't need any such approval. So, my translation: the vehicle registration tax will go, the LTT not so much. And, of course, the much railed against street-cars will stay. And there's that line again: if it costs “the taxpayers an arm and a leg, then obviously we can’t do it.” Wanna bet this replaces "stop the gravy train" as the Fordism du jour?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
And 30 seconds after we got in the door back home the Toronto Mayoral race had been called. The result didn't surprise me, though Ford thumped Smitherman more thoroughly than I had predicted.
I, of course, voted for the loser. But I know a few Rob Ford supporters. You might even say I've been doing research on them over the past ten months of municipal campaigning. Or you might just say that I've been drinking beer with them. In either case, I've made note of my results, and here they are.
Firstly, the political ignorance of Rob Ford supporters has been vastly overestimated. Or at least Jim--I will call him--who is a retired inlaw of mine, knows far, far more about what goes on in the city than (for example) I do. Every time a condo is slated to go up within a mile of him, he protests: calls his councillor, phones his MPP, and attends all the meetings with the developers. And his councillor knows Jim, too, and apparently seeks to avoid him sometimes by sneaking out of his office through the back door. That's how engaged Jim is in city politics.
And his opinion is that city politics is corrupt, and Rob Ford is the guy to clean it up.
What Jim doesn't know nor care much about is the actual mechanics of city politics: about the weak mayor system, about how the mayor has only one vote and can't really do anything if he can't put together a working coalition of councillors. And so, I'd say to him, don't you want a guy like Smitherman whose been there at the provincial level, has actually handled billions of dollars and shown that he knows how to do the necessary coalition building?
Then Jim would mention the bungle at E-Health , and that line of argument would stall out.
Nope. Rob Ford is his guy, the metaphoric grease bomb Jim wants to set alight and lob over the ramparts of city hall, working under the assumption that fire will make things right and, in any case, how can they get any worse? Send in the clown, to vary the metaphor, because they're already here.
Which I find a fairly compelling argument.
Sammy is a bit of a different story. He's a big (over six foot) Sri Lanken that runs a bar I frequent. In fact, I think Sammy lives in his bar; I'm pretty sure I've never seen him under natural light. And he recognizes a bit of himself in Rob Ford: a small businessman who works hard and follows every penny, and for the money he sends to the city gets nothing but endless construction outside of the entrance to his establishment
As for Rob Ford's unfortunate ventures into political incorrectness and racial stereotyping, they don't seem to bother Sammy. His place is in what you would probably describe as a lower-middle/working class neighborhood, and gets quite an ethnic mix. I've heard Sammy tell the ranter at the end of the bar to shut the hell up because he was making people crazy; I've heard Sammy tell a mostly black softball team that they should come by on Sundays rather than Saturdays for their after-game parties, because they'd frighten the old white guys that inhabit the place on Saturday afternoons. In other words, his approach to Toronto's ethnic bouillabaisse is, like Ford's, indelicate.
How am I supposed to tell him that he should find Rob Ford offensive?
So there you have it. Two specific instances of the Rob Ford phenomenon, and both rational men too. They're the people behind his victory, not the anonymous knuckle-draggers you keep hearing about.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
No idea if its true, but why not?
PS. This wasn't supposed to happen again.
Monday, October 25, 2010
The role of wind farms in the soaring power bills is not yet widely understood, just as the role of nuclear reactors in the rising power bills of two decades ago wasn't initially understood. As this understanding takes hold, and as wind's environmental costs become better known, the pushback will grow and wind will come to symbolize out-of-scale technology and arrogance-- the new nuclear.
Well, a year is a long time in politics, but as of last April the rebellion hadn't materialized:
Seventy-nine per cent (79%) of Scarborough residents support Toronto Hydro's plan to put a wind measuring device off the Scarborough shore, while 84 per cent of Essex County residents support plans to build wind farms there.
"What we're seeing in Essex County and Scarborough is not only strong support for the Green Energy Act, but strong support for local wind energy initiatives," said Dan Arnold of Pollara.
And since then the only real resistance I see to government efforts at making Ontario a green energy manufacturing center are from a bunch of NIMBYs with highly alleged health concerns.
Of course, Tim Hudak is looking to ride any angry populist wave he can find; so what's he going to do to stem the tide of turbines? Pretty much nothing, as it turns out. I'd bet it's because he doesn't see a wave coming from that direction.
As for the crossing over the rockies, yes the MPB [mountain pine beetle] has done so and is in Alberta. There is concern that it might begin to infect jack pine and spread therefore, all the way across Canada and into the Great Lakes and NE USA
Sunday, October 24, 2010
...especially given those Tamil radio ads. Still no idea who's behind those, although this guy ( A Ford supporter) says a "church group" has been shown to be behind the ad. haven't heard anything about that.
All this reminds me of 1996, when Lastman supporters were telling people that Barb Hall was going to bring the Gay Pride parade to North York. One reason I stay out of muni. level politics, where being an activist means getting drunk and kicking over lawn signs.
PS. One of the church groups thought to be behind the anti-gay pro-Rob Ford ads says it ain't them.
PS. A direct link to the ad is here. It isn't in English, but a translation is provided in the accompanying text:
1st Person: Mani Anna, Who you voting for in the Mayoral Election?
2nd Person: [Laughs] What kind of question is this? I am Tamil. We have a religion and culture. Take Rob Ford for an example, His wife is a women. Thats not only it, he said will reduce Land transfer taxes and other taxes.
1st Person: What about Immigration?
2nd Person: [Laughs] Thats a federal government issue. So, the white people can get our vote.
1st Person: I am also going to vote for Rob Ford.
DISCLAIMER: This is a paid Advertisement
Actually, Ford has said he will eliminate the LTT, but whatever.
PPS. Much of this appeared to break last evening around midnight. Here is a Ford campaign pollster expressing disappointment in the ad. It also looks like the CTBC has stopped running the ad.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Somewhere, a beleaguered Jean Charest is smiling.
Think of the European Union as that flat in Marseilles...
Think of France as that flat in Marseilles...
What will that flat in Marseilles be next?
Apparently, the Ontario Science Center set this piece of footage loose on youtube in the hopes of that it would go viral, so as to help promote an upcoming exhibit. Well, it has received 127,000 or so views, so I suppose that bit worked. On the other hand, you don't expect a respectable org. like the science center to be involved in a hoax, now do you? And since the center is owned by the province of Ontario (you can see that from the contact info on their news release here: email ends on.ca), I suppose that means that the Ontario Government is now playing pranks on its citizens.
As for the unicorn, well, it looks like its being towed across the screen on a set of wheels, so definitely not the real thing.
PS. I notice that the show this is an advert for--Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids--has been running since the first week of the month. I haven't heard of it, and I pay attention to such things. So maybe the viral campaign was a bit of a flop.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Gentleman, start your lawsuits...
Seriously, though, I have a thousand jokes where the punchline is "Ezra Levant". If I use three a day, I will probably be getting near the end when the whole sad Fox News North spectacle takes its final shit and dies.
And Kinsella will get clear of it somehow. That's the good news. He'll probably be loaning the other FNN crew money when the whole thing goes TU because of his generous nature. Although so far I personally have seen none of this fabled generous nature of his. Not even one beer. But whatever.
A trio of bloggers who run the site StrictlyRight.com inquired on Monday about booking a Nov. 1 speech for Mr. Steyn at the London Convention Centre. The group announced on Thursday that it had received a phone call from the centre saying it would not be allowed to make the booking. The Convention Centre said it was a business decision, but organizers of the speech said they were told otherwise.
“The reason offered by the LCC [in a Tuesday morning phone call] was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation,” wrote Strictly Right’s Andrew Lawton at the website.
The Monday they are referring to is October 18th; Tuesday is October 19th; and Thursday is the 21st.
Also, my Michael Coren debating buddy Andrew Lawton tells the Voice of Canada that Strictly Right first contacted the LCC on Thursday, Oct 14, 2010. Now, there are no posts on SR between October 14th and the 19th that mention the LCC as their new venue. In fact a post on the 18th shows an image of a Mark Steyn t-shirt with the venue still listed as the University of Western Ontario. Which makes sense, because we also know that the lads from SR only received the "client profile" document from the LCC on the evening of the 18th, and were never able to fill it out before next morning when they got word their booking had been rejected.
So how did these "local Islamic groups" noted above find out about the venue change and know who to pressure? I don't see how they could have.
And I would just point out how much difficulty Canadian Conservatives typically experience when they attempt to rent a room. It seems beyond their capabilities.
...say for example you're a member of the Karen ethnic group living in Mah Sot refugee camp, Thailand. You cannot go back to Burma because the disgusting bunch of military fetishists running the show over routinely send the army after you and friends. You are effectively stateless and cannot claim citizenship in Burma or Thailand because neither country really wants much to do with you. Canada comes along and grants you refugee status and you come here to live, leaving many of your family and friends behind. When you are processed and formally recognised as a refugee by Canada, you are granted permanent residency.
After a number of years, you can apply citizenship and thus a Canadian passport. However, before that you can do that you may apply for a Travel Document because you can't actually get a passport from your home country, or the country you fled to. This travel document legally protects you because it says to foreign governments 'I'm now under the protection of Canada, do not mess with me'. If you want to travel to see family and friends still stuck eating sandy rice in a dusty camp, this travel document allows that to happen. You are free now, and can live, play and travel with more security than you've ever had in your life.
What the Conservatives now want to do it seems is take that security away and punish refugee claimants for being refugee claimants. While your claim is being processed, they want you to effectively remain a prisoner within Canada. Don't go home, don't visit your dying mother, don't got back to celebrate the wedding of your sister. Not only that, but the Conservatives also seem to want to be able to revoke your claim should you ever leave the country.
I'd also make note of this bit of commentary from the Vancouver Sun:
David Poopalapillai, spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress, said he was particularly troubled with the provision that prevents those smuggled into the country from sponsoring family members for five years. "Once you become a landed immigrant, you've been accepted as a legitimate refugee claimant," he said. "You say to them you can't sponsor your spouse or your kids? That's inhuman. You want the family to suffer and suffer? It's not the Canadian way of doing business."
The opposition parties have promised to give the new legislation a "good, long look", and hopefully they will do that. Some aspects of it--targeting the owners of ships like the MV Sun Sea--appear salvageable, as they are aimed at the criminal activity that drives human smugglers, and not the actual smuggled refugees. Given how the committee process works in a minority parliament, there's no doubt that some kind of bill can emerge from said process that may actually do some good. The opposition parties should rework the proposed legislation so it becomes that bill, give it back to the government, and see if they'll sign.
More live Titus Andronicus. Note how Patrick Stickles smokes, drinks, sings, and plays keyboards at the same time. That's how you know he's a badass. They also sometimes get 4 guitars going at once--although not in this tune--which is one more guitar than Skynyrd.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
From the article:
[The Vampire] declined comment on his work Thursday, aside from saying it doesn't require him to knock on doors in the federal government.
Hmm. Maybe he's shovelling something. Also from the article:
The Globe and Mail has learned the Saskatchewan-born politico – who counts Premier Brad Wall as a friend – is helping BHP talk to the provincial government in Regina. He's also offering BHP communications advice.
Yeah. That will help.
PS. Title is my take on the title of E.L Doctorow's wonderful first novel. It's a Western, like Cormac MacCarthy but without all the bullshit fake biblical prose.
OTTAWA - The federal government will unveil a sweeping package of reforms Thursday aimed at cracking down on refugee fraudsters, QMI Agency has learned.
Among other things, Ottawa will make it easier to kick out bogus refugees who travel back to the country they claim they are fleeing from for vacations, and will move to restrict the health-care benefits refugees receive in Canada while they wait for their claims to be processed.
Government sources said the package of measures to be announced Thursday is partly a response to stories QMI Agency published earlier this year about abuse of Canada's immigration and refugee system.
In August, QMI Agency reported on a secret government survey that showed that many Tamils who came to Canada claiming that their lives were in danger in their native Sri Lanka subsequently returned safely to that country. They would then come back to Canada and wait out their refugee claim.
In legislation to be tabled Thursday, the government will make it easier to revoke someone's refugee status immediately if a refugee claimant heads home for holidays, birthdays or to sponsor other family members.
"It's a serious problem," said one government source.
Well,the only serious problem in this case was with QMI columnist Brian Lilley's mathematical abilities, which assigned statistical significance to a "review of files" (not a "survey") that Stats Canada insisted did not have any. Furthermore, the new legislation does not seem to mention revoking the refugee status of someone who returns home during a lull in their country's civil war; since this is apparently what most of the Tamils in the Statscan report were doing, it wouldn't likely effect them one way or another. Which is an advantage of legislation based on fake math and aimed at fixing imaginary problems: only non-existent people get hurt.
More worrisome is this provision:
CTV News reported Wednesday that the new legislation will give the federal government new powers to detain migrants and human smugglers for up to one year or until their identity and status is determined. The network also reported that bogus asylum seekers will remain behind bards until they are deported.
Maybe its just because I hate the sound of the lute, but forcing refugees to remain in proximity to travelling songsmen is akin to torture, except that when you are water-boarded at least you eventually pass out.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
And L Ian MacDonald does get about 3/4 of the conventional wisdom right: Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe, and Stephen Harper--barring an increasingly unlikely Harper majority-will be gone after the next election. What I think he gets quite wrong is:
For Michael Ignatieff, who'll be 64 next year, his first campaign as Liberal leader will be his only kick at the can. The Liberal party will not give him a second chance, and the best he can hope for is to form a minority government.
This is asserted, not argued for, and since I'm feeling a bit lazy this morning, I'll just use MacD's own words to argue against him:
The problem for the Liberals in any leadership scenario is the thinness of the field. Bob Rae would be there for one last try. For Justin Trudeau, it's way too soon, as he would be the first to acknowledge. Dominic Leblanc? Yeah, right. Denis Coderre? Yikes.
The Liberals have another problem, other than a paucity of talent and new blood on the front bench, and that's money. It has taken candidates from the 2006 leadership four years to pay off their debts. The party itself is perpetually broke, and would be hard-pressed to raise the money to stage a three-day leadership convention.
Exactly, and that's why--barring an increasingly unlikely Harper Majority--the Federal Libs will keep Iggy around for at least one more cycle. There are other reasons, too.
Assuming another minority, where an election can come at any time, swapping leaders is a perilous course. Who wants to be stuck between when the writ is dropped? This is the same unfortunate logic that originally got Iggy into the post without a contested leadership race, and like it or not, it still applies.
More importantly, dumping leaders after every unsatisfactory election result tends to suggest that, at its core, the party is merely opportunistic--we'll try some of this and, heck, if this doesn't work, we'll try some of that. Successful parties typically make an investment in their leader that extends beyond one cycle. Think Dalton McGuinty in Ontario.
So, Iggy it is, for as far as it is possible to see. Better improve the flawed leader currently in place than start all over again.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I'm betting that Paradis is eventually forced to step down, and Chris Selley steals my headline tomorrow without giving me credit.
But you walk down Spadina in summertime and can see this stuff everywhere, and you can buy it at most garden stores, where nobody seems to know that its hallucinogenic. A pet peeve of mine; its a bit like letting bad acid grow in the streets.
Oh, and as Holly notes in the comments to a previous post, I for one welcome our new Muslim overloards. I doubt, however, that I am as excited as this guy.
PS. The elected alderman for ward 14 wound-up being Peter DeMong. That's Craig Chandler's candidate (he was campaign manager). Ah well, I guess nobody loses all the time.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Except that David Green, FreeLance videographer for FNN, hasn't heard the news himself yet. He asks:
Yeah, laugh buddy, laugh. But keep enough $ to cover bus-fare back to Calgary. That's my advice. And, Yo! Kinsella! Flee, dude, get away from that lame thing!
A colleague got a voice-mail message this evening from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast). He urged my fellow Jason to vote for Ric McIver, "the real conservative."
Kenney has responded in the comments and on twitter, is interesting:
I have researched the calls that were allegedly made in my name, and have found that the concerns expressed above are unfounded, i.e. that the recorded calls did not profess to convey my views about any of the candidates in the Ward 14 race, or purport to express an endorsement on my part. If anyone would like to confirm this, I encourage them to ask the campaign in question for the relevant recording and script, as I have done.
...which is to say that there is a robocall out there that has Kenney's name in it, but the words don't...quite...constitute an endorsement of any of the candidates (and not, in particular, candidate Richard Dur, the Chairman of Policy for Jason Kenney’s Conservative Party of Canada constituency association).
If you read the comments further, particularly the one from Karol Kraychy, who once ran against Kenney federally as the PC candidate in Calgary Southeast, you will note that her opinion differs from Kenney's as to the propriety of the calls.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Good Luck Warren! May you be spared the humiliation and failure that will soon descend upon Fox News North like a dark blanket of night!
Apologists for the government's screw-up on the U.N. bid have spun this as a principled stand against the Muslim hordes, or as a principled stand against the job-killing Kyoto accord. No word from them yet on how screwing over Mexican tourists fits into this grand narrative.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
New questions are being raised about a professor with a prominent role in the global warming debate, but this time Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is noticeably quiet.
A bit more through the link. But another slow news day. What can you do?
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The Tory grassroots are a bunch of useless fuckups. Just give him the seat now.
Prostitution is not despicable because it is illegal; it is illegal because it is despicable. Prostitution is not a career choice that any parent wants for their child. The government should not be party to the exploitation of vulnerable women. The role of government is to protect the weak, not to encourage their exploitation.
...on the same day the Harper government move to help unemployed escorts. I think Mr. Trost's personal copy of the bible just combusted.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This candicacy no longer serves the city of Toronto.
Next time, run for council, Rocco. Get your hands dirty a bit first.
In his warmest endorsement of Sino-Canadian relations, Stephen Harper pitched Canada as an energy superpower capable of meeting China's insatiable need for energy.
And in a noticeable softening of his past rhetoric toward China, the Prime Minister said Canada could talk to China about human rights in a “respectful” manner that does not harm trade relations.
Bradley is now accusing Wegman of plagiarism (as you know). Bradley says in an email that he will not prosecute Wegman if Wegman removes his report [the Wegman Report] from the Congressional Archives.
More background here.
On the one hand, its good to see that Tim Hudak embraces the concept of green or "emissions free" energy and hence, at least implicitly, the science of climate change. Of course, green energy for him means hydro electricity and more nuclear. Given, however, that the history of nuclear power plant construction typically involves intense NIMBYism (and not just by local Greens), cost over-runs and ever sliding completion dates, its ridiculous to imagine that any commitment to this technology will (as Hudak claims) put a lid on the rate increases that Ontarians have been subjected to over the last few years. Furthermore, Uranium, like oil and gas, will peak--perhaps in the middle of the new reactors' operating life--and so doesn't really count as a renewable in the first place.
On the other hand, Hudak is now exposed on his right flank to kooky denialist attacks from folks The Freedom Party of Ontario, who produced the video below. A year ago I would have argued that there are no votes to be had in this approach. Since that time...
...with the rise of Wild Rose in Alberta and the madness of the Republicans down South, I'm not so sure. Of course the Freedom party are a bunch of no-hopers as far as winning seats go, but they may be strong enough to pull Hudak right towards the full denialist position. We'll see if his small gestures towards environmental policy survive in the run-up to the provincial election.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Apparently, there was a bit of a bug (one of many...) in Windows XP in terms of how it handles certain situations, and it effectively created a "virus" in that unwitting travelers around the globe are all broadcasting "Free Public WiFi" from their computers without realizing it, after they tried to connect to such a network:
When a computer running an older version of XP can't find any of its "favorite" wireless networks, it will automatically create an ad hoc network with the same name as the last one it connected to -- in this case, "Free Public WiFi." Other computers within range of that new ad hoc network can see it, luring other users to connect. And who can resist the word "free?"
Not a lot of people, judging from the spread of Free Public WiFi. Computers with the XP bug that try to connect to the Internet will remember the name, create their own ad hoc networks and entice other users wherever they go.
And so it continues to spread. No one's quite sure where it started, but somewhere way back when, someone set up such an ad hoc network in an airport (perhaps as a joke or a honeypot), and it got picked up by others... and then it just continued spreading. Eventually, it should die out as Windows XP machines finally go extinct, but for now, enjoy (but don't bother connecting) the "Free Public WiFi" found in so many airports...
Its noted in the comments that XP service pack 3 fixed the problem, indeed I haven't seen the icon on my laptop for over a year.
Monday, October 11, 2010
“An investigation is warranted if there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the alleged conduct falls within the definition of research misconduct under this policy and preliminary information-gathering and preliminary fact-finding from the inquiry indicates that the allegation may have substance,” according to the university’s misconduct policy.
Also, Eli Rabbet has more news on the possible legal action being undertaken by Academic Press, the publisher of Bradley's Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary, from which Wegman is said to have plagiarized material.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Julian Fantino is a symbol of the Race-Based Policing practices in Caledonia that saw innocent property owners victimized with illegal occupations while OPP officers stood guard for those committing the crimes. His candidacy for the Conservative Party would symbolize that the party has fully embraced racialized policing and the dangerous ideology that innocent victims should be controlled, silenced and targeted for arrest as an alternative to enforcing the law against extremist groups. Julian Fantino has shown scarcely believable bias in favour of native criminals all the while using the full weight of his office to try to intimidate peaceful, law-abiding non-natives into compliance.
The two founders of Conservatives Against Fantino are Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas. McHale especially is a rabble rouser as much as an activist--several members of the Neo-Nazi Northern Alliance appeared at one of their rallies, and his followers have occasionally described themselves as a militia. Although, that said, he has managed to win several small legal victories against the OPP.
Vandermaas writes a blog devoted the ongoing Caledonia standoff. I don't know what if any previous connection to the CPoC these two might have had before launching their website.
My opinion is that Fantino was in tough in Caledonia, and nothing he could have done would have been beyond criticism. He'll also almost certainly take the seat whatever these two guys get up to. But what the heck. My job here is to upset Conservatives.
Sun Media regrets that it is ending the daily Advice Guy column, but we’re compelled to do so after learning the columnist used material in a recent column published by another source.
Note that Sun Media is a chain of Canadian tabloids, occasionally forced to deny that they publish hate speech. But, in the end, they have standards. Tom seems to think these standards are too rigid for academe.
PS. The fellow whose column was terminated was picked in a "nationwide competition". He was the second choice, the first one apparently not working out either. Maybe this journalism thing-cranking out words day after day after day--is harder than it looks.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Wegman, who has been accused of plagiarism, on the left, and the source documents from several authors, including Wikipedia and De Nooy, Mrvar and Batagelj on social networks on the right. More here and here.
Friday, October 08, 2010
"Talk about irony.[Mr. Bradley noted] It just seems surreal (that) these authors could criticize my work when they are lifting my words."
The article suggests that Wegman has initiated legal action. Perhaps John Mashey will show up in the comments and let us know more about that, particularly if it is directed at him.
PS. John tells me that the litigation has nothing to do with him.
Like a one-man, political wrecking crew, Essex MP Jeff Watson seems determined to shape the outcome of key municipal races across Essex County, complain the candidates who don’t bask in the Tory MP’s favour.
At the same time, Watson lavished praise on Amherstburg Mayor Wayne Hurst and LaSalle Mayor Gary Baxter for their co-operation while leaving the warning that those local politicians seen to be “hostile” risked losing federal government grants for their municipalities.
Actually, an earlier story makes plain that the warning in this 2nd paragraph was pretty direct. It quotes Watson as follows: "Open hostility to the federal government can lead to missed opportunities for federal investment." And also notes some earlier shenanigans:
Watson charging a former campaign worker with death threats. The accused was acquitted, and the judge chastised those involved for using the court to play politics.
Meanwhile, construction boss Paul Sauve says something that's been on my mind for a long, long time: "The minister’s full of s---!!!”
PS. Apparently, I wrote about this death threats case back in 2007. The guy charged was Nick Kouvalis, who is now running Rob Ford's campaign. Small world.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
These questions continue to be essential for providing the information needed by governments, businesses, researchers and individual Canadians to shed light on issues of concern to all of us — employment, education, training, transportation, housing, immigration, income support, pensions for seniors, transfer payments, aboriginal issues and many more
All of the questions are designed to meet important information requirements that would be extremely difficult to satisfy efficiently from other sources. In fact, every question goes through a rigorous consultation, testing, review and approval process, including that by Cabinet
It's almost embarrassing to link to Maxime's blog post of July 23rd, when all the folks mentioned in the first paragraph have become "special interests". Its almost embarrassing to note his Radio-Canada appearance where he cavalierly states that the information requirements--which he formerly thought were so difficult to satisfy efficiently from other sources--could be created --SHAZAM!!--through research paid for by the private sector.
Overall, the weekday Star is read by more than 963,000 readers every day in the GTA, a 1.1 per cent decline from the same period last year. Weekday readership for the Post plunged 32.3 per cent, and the Globe and Mail fell 13 per cent to 354,000 during the same period. Weekday readership for the Sun was up 8.7 per cent, to about 445,000 readers.
And though the Sun seems to have staged a bit of a comeback, they still appear to be laying off staff.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
David Chen is not a criminal. He is a small-business owner and an ordinary Torontonian. He attempted to assist the police in the capture of an actual criminal who had already stolen from him and returned to do so again. Mr. Chen did what any of us would have done.
...Through my sweeping external audit of all City departments and agencies we will find the way and means to get more police on our streets. Re-building the trust between City Hall and the people of Toronto starts by restoring a sense of safety and security in our communities and that's going to take a greater police presence on our streets.
If you've read about David Chen--a Toronto shopkeep charged for arresting a shop-lifter who stole plants from his store and returned for a 2nd batch--he's an easy guy to support. And Rossi ties this into his own version of a "Law And Order" policy. Clever, that. Betcha we get similar statements out of Ford and Smitherman within 24 hours.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Progressivism is in our blood, is part of our DNA. All you need to do is persevere.
Its worth noting that oil company apologists have long seen Northern Gateway as a means of thwarting attempts to "green" the tar sands. If it makes accessible Asian markets where concerns over "dirty oil" are less of a factor, the reasoning goes, then the Americans will be afraid to demand a clean up, lest "their" supply of Canadian oil be sold overseas.
Good reason that the thing should never be built, IMHO.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Unfortunately for him, it’s not working. In Question Period he’s still as dry as toast. He still seems to be without humour, the human touch, and, by definition, humidity.
I'm surprised only Chris Selley picked up on this one, but why would anyone read a sun OpEd piece to the end if they weren't paid to?
This footage actually seems to have come out in April, but for some reason has only gone viral among jellyfish nerds recently.
But its OK; the witch hunt can be extended easily enough!
Sunday, October 03, 2010
In any case, Segal's credibility in Ottawa is now presumably fucked.
13. Openness and transparency should be the presumption. That said, there are a number of good reasons why it is not always possible or appropriate to make data available immediately or even at all. In the instance of the CRU, the scientists were not legally allowed to give out the data (although there is the question of whether they could have gone back to national meteorological societies to get permission to release data).
And another favourite bit:
The evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers.
15. We agree with the Committee’s comments on the rights of scientists to comment informally on academic papers, noting that the scientific method relies on constructive challenge. We also note that the Muir Russell Review team investigated CRU scientists’ involvements in peer review, and concluded that none of the allegations investigated represented subversion of the peer-review process, nor an unreasonable attempt to influence the editorial policy of journals.
...which kind of segues into my next topic, because the Gaurdian's Fred Pearce thinks, wrongly, that CRU was "using underhand tactics to silence their critics". He's also calling for the head of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) chairman Rajendra Pachauri. You can read his arguments through the link above. I'm more sympathetic to the position of the Friends of the Earth:
However, [the FoE] warned that there was a real danger that if Pachauri is perceived to have been forced to stand down, then climate sceptics will call for the scalp of every subsequent chair and the position will be discredited for good.
So might journalists like Fred Pearce. In fact, since journalism feeds upon conflict (or its appearance), you can bet on it.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Lets see if he wilts under the kind of attacks that will undoubtedly materialize. Hang tough, O potentially glorious Iggy!
Because it`s a perfect Liberal wedge issue! Libertarians support decrim because they're a bunch of teenage stoners! SoCons must be smoking something, but they won't support decrim in order to fuck over Libertarians (who they hate because Libertarians are goddamn ATHEISTS!).
Meanwhile, when it goes through, the rest of us can stop buying weed off our neighbour's nine year old daughter, who is a ripoff, and deal directly with Tim Horton's instead.
We have to compensate the Palestinians and help them where they are and we have to help others to come back. Years of brainwashing in Israel have made the Palestinian refugee issue a taboo. I do not fear the repatriation of refugees. We have absorbed a million Russians in the past 10 years and half of them were not even Jewish. Yet Palestinians who grew up here cannot have the same right. And not all of the five million refugees would want to come back. If we had courageous leadership or pressure from the bottom up, we could change but we don’t have that.
There's plenty more through the linked text. As you read it, you can imagine B'nai Brith's Frank Dimant spontaneously crapping himself. You can imagine the CJC's always elegant Bernie Farber gently palming his face, and sighing.