Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Friday, June 18, 2010

Roundup: Shriveling Weeds and Catching Horses

What we do not want to have happened, didn't happen.

And that includes Churchill's cigars.

As long as we have the airbrush.


Annoying as it must be to such cigaraphobes, in Canada things like being a tobacco addict is a prohibited ground of discrimination and, were the HRC consistent which helpfully it never is, anti-tobacco rhetoric (and air-brushing) would be in trouble for marginalizing disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals. I mean really, if someone had in a fit of anti-disability fervor airbrushed out FDR's wheelchair on a schoolbook in order to make the case that disabled people can't do anything worth while, would that be acceptable? So why can we air-brush tobacco products out of famous pictures in schoolbooks (another case not Churchill)? You are discriminating against a disability in each case!

Why I object to rights inflation.

And this assumes that cigaraphobia is not also a protected disability.

Silly assumptions.

Speaking of silly and assumptions and silly assumptions and assumptions that aren't silly but are nonetheless rather hysterical...

"Fox News North" has generated its fair share of all of the above. Don Newman who some time ago "impolitely told him (Teneycke) what he could do with the idea" is of the opinion that Sun News is a very, very bad idea. In an article that rather ADDishly is about the NDP/Lib merger rumours and Sun News, and tries to bring it together by talking about how much Teneycke must love the merger talk, he asserts, more or less, that Fox News (US) is :
  1. Polarizing
  2. Drive-by attacker
  3. Liars
  4. Orwellian
  5. Propaganda
  6. Dangerous
  7. And "The parts that aren't wrong are, in some ways, just as dangerous, since they tend to make people comfortable in their prejudices."

Such a pity when reality is dangerous. It might confirm people in the belief that liberals can't handle the opposite point of view having a voice, or that they object to writing the truth if it might be "misinterpreted" by conservatives.

Ezra Levant has a round up of reactions. From those worried about competition to those who find it frightening to those who welcome the new voice to those who think it should be illegal. P.S. to my Winnipeg readers, Pat Martin probably finds you frightening and creepy, maybe you should return the favour.

As for me, I am updating my resume today on the one in ten million chance that they want someone with no experience. I know, but delusions are fun. Anyway, everyone needs an intern, right? Right?

In other news, or actually not "news" per say but a rather clever piece of satire masquerading as news, Paul McCartney apologizes for the "pro-American lyrics and compulsive right-wing behavior" demonstrated by his song "Freedom" written after the 9/11 attacks in which he says "I/We will fight, For the right, To live in freedom" The People's Cube "story" also "reported" his to have said that
"I have disgraced myself with that song and have taken necessary steps to ensure my return to conformity," McCartney said, announcing that he is embarking on an "ongoing self-criticism program" to battle his relapsed jingoism and wants to meet with community leaders to help him "discern the appropriate path for healing."

"I am in the process of understanding where those freedom-loving words came from, and I am asking the progressive community, whom I have personally offended with my pro-Americanism, to help me on my journey through recovery,"
Also from the People's Cube:

Albert Mohler discusses Steve Jobs sensationally (for the computer/internet industry) stance on porn which may be summed up in one word, no. No porn apps on iPhones and Pads. This stance may have something to do with parenthood, Steve Jobs' in particular and parents in general who will feel safer letting their kids use the app store if it doesn't allow pornography. Although for the record, judging from what I see flipping through the app store titles, there is some pretty racy stuff up as of now. I don't know if it will be coming down or if the stuff they are banning is so much worse (hair-raising idea).

David Warren, who I am sure would celebrate Jobs' decision, does advocate letting kids do dangerous things, have adventures, and act like Abigail Sunderland.

Your book recommendation for the week is "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough". While on the face of it the book is something of a female self-help dating book, it is in many ways a cultural critique and deals with some difficult issues. Lori Gottlieb the author became a single mother through a donor because she didn't want to settle for "Mr. Good Enough" as a husband. She wrote a positive article called "The XY Files" in The Atlantic about that experience, but now feels that the joke is on her. "Marry Him" is a call to women to become less picky and more realistic when it comes to picking men because the alternative, living as a lonely single, is no fun. Neither is trying to survive daily life and find a date as a 41 year old single mom. The XY Files (caution slightly graphic at parts)

Related a new study has come out suggesting that children of sperm donors are more likely to have issues and are quite likely to have concerns related to their conception.
Nearly half are disturbed that money was involved in their conception. More than half say that when they see someone who resembles them, they wonder if they are related. About two-thirds affirm the right of donor offspring to know the truth about their origins....As a group, the donor offspring in our study are suffering more than those who were adopted: hurting more, feeling more confused, and feeling more isolated from their families. (And our study found that the adoptees on average are struggling more than those raised by their biological parents.) Slate

Donor offspring with single mothers also are much less likely to report that they can rely on their family. Fifty-six percent of these offspring said they depend more on friends than on family, compared to just 29% of young adults born to two biological parents.

Such a sense of loss may help explain why the study found that adult offspring of single-mothers-by-choice were 177% more likely to report having had trouble with drugs and alcohol than children born to two biological parents. Perhaps in part because they did not enjoy the love, discipline and example of a flesh-and-blood father, young adults conceived through donor insemination to a single mother were also 146% more likely to report having been "in trouble with the law" before age 25. WSJ

44 percent agree, “It is wrong to deliberately conceive a fatherless child;” and 48 percent agree, “When I see friends with their biological fathers and mothers, it makes me feel sad.” AJC
It seems that Canadians are potentially supportive of the G8/G20 summits despite the cost.
Three-quarters of respondents to The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll said this week's G8 and G20 summits in Ontario are important and worth the expense of their country hosting.
Although it is worth noting that:
Of those polled who expressed awareness of the summits, 61 per cent said they were "too expensive to be worth it," while 32 per cent said the summits' costs were justified. TELUS
I predict that once they start Canadians will forget the cost and will focus on the prestige and fun of having all those world leaders in our country. It will probably be a lot like the Olympics, dogged with controversy and unpopularity before, then turning into an incredible moment of Canucki pride and national bonding. Well, alright, the summits aren't likely to be as popular as the Olympics (unless they start handing out best ballroom dancer, biggest eater, most annoying self-righteous hypocrite awards to all the world leaders) but I'm willing to bet the same principle will apply. H/T Tory Dr. Roy

Speaking of Olympics, thankfully we didn't realize that cheering for Canada was racist unlike... Three guesses first two don't count. Oh yeah, England. Who'd a thought.

In better new from England, a church vicar revived an old law that allowed the vicar to call all the men in the village for archery practice. Now that sounds like my kind of law.

If some people have their way there will be no people to call for archery practice soon enough. Peter Singer (who else) has an article where he talks about the possibility that there is nothing as cruel as having children and that the ideology of mass sterilization so that we can all party ourselves into oblivion in one generation without having to worry about the environment is an idea to be thoughtfully discussed. Thankfully he comes down, at last, on the side of having a next generation. Whew, close call there.

Turns out, the means to the end of not having babies might be running into some trouble. Women are suing a birth control pill manufacturer for downplaying the risks and side effects. This is probably only the tip of the iceberg. H/T Socon or Bust

Blazing CatFur and Mark Steyn report on the troubles and travails of Jennifer Lynch head of the the CHRC who is not appreciating the misinformation being spread around by bloggers. According to BCF she is very sad about all of this
Jennifer Lynch is very sad that virtually every media outlet in the country has spoken against this evil law and the Kangaroo Kourt she ran to administer it. She's sad that a parliamentary enquiry, a senate enquiry, and a private members bill were launched to either investigate or repeal section 13 (1). She's sad that civil liberties associations have spoken against her vile playtoy. She's sad that NGO's as diverse as Gay's and Catholics have spoken against this anti-democratic monstrosity.
I want it down for the record that I am not completely ignorant when it comes to human rights cases. To say that I have read dozens of tribunal cases on everything from physical and mental disability to race, pregnancy, and hate speech would be an understatement. It will probably top hundreds in the not too distant future if it hasn't already. The vast majority are some variation of angry employees who are upset because they got fired and want a little extra money or good old fashioned revenge. It would surprise me if one case in a hundred awards over a few thousand in damages and an enormous majority award nothing and find in favour of the defendants. So their social good may be somewhat questionable. Especially since nearly the entire job could be done by Labour Relations or Landlord and Tenant Boards since the latest Supreme Court decision that such boards can rule on human rights issues.

You know what really annoys me more than anything? When people sue charities and non-profits for discrimination that turns out to be bogus. That is really irritating because you are taking money out of the pockets of those who are providing for vulnerable or needy people. In many cases the alleged discrimination (eg. mental health) is charged against an organization that specializes in helping people with that condition.

Why do you need a government grant of $10,000 to fly paper airplanes in a library where for the time cost of setting up a facebook event you could get a flash mob to do it for free. Oh, let me guess, flash mobs aren't art.

In sober news, most Christians don't have a clue why Christianity is like, you know, true. Josh McDowell, a well known apologist, says that he asked over 4,000 parents, pastors, and leaders why they believed the Bible. "A mere six “came close to giving an intelligent answer,”". Not encouraging. No wonder Christianity is having problems.

Now, as SDA would say, is the time when we juxtapose.

"Is journalism 100 unpaid bloggers all talking and yattering at once, or a city filled with amateur citizen journalists uncoordinated in all their efforts? Those bloggers and citizen reporters are as close to real reporters as karaoke is to Frank Sinatra live and in person." Michael Cooke, editor of the Toronto Star


Prior to Britain's Got Talent, her (Susan Boyle's) main experience had come from singing in her local Catholic church, Our Lady of Lourdes, in local choirs, and in karaoke performances at pubs in and around her village.
Just trying to speculate as to why bloggers keep getting scoops that newspapers ignore.

It seems that if you ask Lesbian mothers if their children are all above average, they are. Cool.

Tea Parties = Social Justice Movement?

Deborah Gyapong with pictures and videos from the National Forgiven Summit

Friday, June 4, 2010

On Eywa, Libertarians, and No Niqabs in Court

I would love to live in a world where being really, really bad at something means that you win. Like what couldn't I do? Win a multi-million dollar grant for software programming research? Get paid to develop a cure for cancer? Win an Olympic medal? Positively critique post-modern environmental feminist literature?

Actually maybe I could do that last one, "She eviscerates my soul with a heart wrenching drama exploring and extrapolating the contours of the female personification of divine uncertainty. Only in suffering this loss. By understanding not with the feeble flutterings of the mind but with the typhoon of truth that lies, swelling but stifled in the breast of every daughter of Eywa as they suffer the torture of conformity to a world determined to destroy their fabric of being. To destroy it so that they, the oppressors, can latter satiate their greed for destruction, while the guardians of the earth, those who were born of our Mother to protect her, the sisterhood of priestesses, stands by with silent, bowed heads. They are empty....." Did I do well? Alright you can all stop laughing. Some people make real money spouting that stuff, which is more than I do.

Speaking of which the people who said that Avatar was Dances with Wolves meets Pocahontas were right. They forgot to add the bit about "...meets Michael Moore". As far as I can see the movie was a call for Greenpeace to buddy up with the Taliban (and the pantheists, what do we call God now, Allah-Leaf? Or is that the drugs that are apparently bankrolling the terrorists. Hm, I get it! The sacred tree is really an opium poppy and the sacred floating milkweed...okay skip it) So therefore the movie was a call for Greenpeace to buddy up with the Taliban and the Mafia to wage armed war for the purpose of destroying the western, Christian, environment-raping, anti-science, war-mongering, capitalist people who want to fight "terror with terror" since we all know that the "terrorists" are gorgeous, peaceful, in tune with nature, good guys. The "baddies" and "goodies" in this movie have seldom been more predictable since nursery fairy tales. They couldn't even vary the stranger meets daughter of chief and falls in love thing. Don't strangers ever meet the daughter of the garbageman and fall in love? For the record, if there was any amazing twist at the end of the movie I missed it. I had a headache and didn't think that watching a bunch of aliens attack heavily armored spacecraft with bows and arrows, and win, was going to help.

But can I have a personal flying bird-thing and a glowing forest? That was cool.

Now if you really want to see a good movie, watch The Book of Eli. That was cool and thoughtful. Well alright, way more thoughtful than cool unless you enjoy post-apocalyptic scenes shot in one colour, gray, with lots of grime, violence, and chronic poverty. I don't. So I'll erase the cool bit and just call it thoughtful. Mentally cool. Christian movies as they should be. Also R rated.

Also on my list of cool things, the Binks. Master compiler, fashion expert (he noticed my hat, what can I say), encourager of little blogs, resource extraordinaire, etcetera ad infantum has another post up. Shove along and read it. You can find some juicy stuff on Gaza peace activist knives, Ayn Rand the Big Sister, oil in the gulf, and the Toronto Police tricycle brigade. Do go read up.

I am a conservative, not a libertarian. Indeed I believe that libertarianism has some fundamental flaws. (this should provoke some unprintable stuff in my comment section. The fact that it is true nothwithstanding. For the record, I even met one card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party of Ontario who freely admitted to me that many of his fellow party members should be in jail. His name shall not be released. The fact that I don't know it is a complete aside.) As Chesterton said,
"Modern masters of science are much impressed with the need of beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite equally impressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin—a fact as practical as potatoes. Whether or no man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. But certain religious leaders in London, not mere materialists, have begun in our day not to deny the highly disputable water, but to deny the indisputable dirt. Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. Some followers of the Reverend R. J. Campbell, in their almost too fastidious spirituality, admit divine sinlessness, which they cannot see even in their dreams. But they essentially deny human sin, which they can see in the street. The strongest saints and the strongest sceptics alike took positive evil as the starting-point of their argument. If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat." (Orthodoxy)
That is really the fundamental flaw with radical Libertarianism. They deny the cat. That said, libertarians have a tendency to make some remarkably good points on a not infrequent basis. I think slimming down the government is a very good idea. Step one, defund any and all interest groups and subsidies to private businesses and corporations. That should go a long, long way. I promise that I will actually dialogue with any comments this time, I know I have been bad for that in the past. P.S. I am not a libertarian, keep the comments clean. I censor.

David Warren for a good read on Tea Parties and coming problems (and why we need a balance to the "ornery know-nothing libertarians" without capitulating to the "pointy-headed intellectual control-freaks").

Speaking of doing what you want to do, no you can't wear a niqab when you are testifying in court. Yes, it may be painful and difficult to take it off. If it comes to that retelling the story of an assault or abuse may be very painful and difficult, but we don't put people in jail for years without hearing the evidence and testimony against them. Likewise, we want to see your face when you are giving testimony, it is important in deciding whether or not you are telling the truth. And no, we don't have some stereotype that we have to get over about women in niqabs being likely to lie. We have this belief that everyone in court is a potential liar. That's why we have things like cross-examination for instance.

Speaking of which, the article I wish I wrote on the Israeli raid on the "humanitarian" ships written, once again, by our own dear D. Warren. Of course it was nothing but a publicity stunt of the more hypocritical and nasty type. Look, if even I knew that the ships were going to sail before they sailed, it was not a covert attempt. It was provocation.