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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bernard Lewis at 100: An Appreciation

National Review asked friends and admirers of Bernard Lewis to say some words about the man and his achievements to mark the occasion of his 100th birthday today...

Chris Selley: Umm, Toronto Star? By my count roughly 99.999992 per cent of Canadian kids are not murdered

...The study, by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, concerns abduction and murder by strangers, which is the No. 1 risk North American society has mismanaged for four decades. It is a tiny subsidiary risk of an already tiny one: by my count roughly 99.999992 per cent of Canadian children are not murdered.

Yet the Star provided no data whatsoever on how stranger abductions fit into any bigger picture. Between 2000 and 2012, the biggest cause by far of death among children under 15 was accidents (29 per cent). Next came cancer (16 per cent); genetic conditions (nine per cent); suicide (four per cent); heart disease (3.4 per cent); and then homicide (3.1 per cent).

Over 41 years, the study identifies 155 victims under age 17 of a “stranger or acquaintance” murder. That’s an average of 3.8 victims a year. Over that time, the population of Canadian children has remained steady at around 6.5 million. Anyone can do that math, surely...

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Massive pot raid makes life in Toronto more dangerous

...Those 90 people arrested — who Saunders seemed to emphasize were not dangerous criminals in any conventional sense, by pointing out how the raids had been designed specifically so they were quickly processed and released — will now face the trauma of arrest, the expense of defending themselves, and will have criminal arrest (and possibly conviction) records that they carry with them as they try to get jobs, cross borders, and so on. Life is suddenly more dangerous and more difficult for most everyone involved.
To deal with a few points far too quickly: the war on drugs, on the whole, is an epic disaster and threat to public safety, and should be abandoned; the legal situation of marijuana dispensing is far from as clear-cut as we’re being told, because courts have consistently ruled that “the government cannot prevent reasonable access to medical marijuana,” as lawyer Dan Stein pointed out in a blog post; and, notwithstanding those rulings, the dispensaries involved were well aware they were operating in a potentially dangerous legal grey area, outside existing regulations and licensing requirements.
In fact, one gets the impression that last point is one reason such large numbers had sprung up so quickly. As the government prepares to bring in a new regime for how legal marijuana is regulated, pot store owners want to stake their claim to a business model to ensure they have a chance of being part of the new regime.
Such a “disruptive” business approach carries risks, and warnings from city hall this week that they should shut down should have made those risks clear.
But it’s also true that the last company to take such an approach in the face of licensing requirements they didn’t like was Uber, who, rather than having its owners and drivers raided and arrested on a large scale, was rewarded with rule changes allowing the service to operate legally.
In a city where routine petty law-breaking that actually endangers people (parking in bike lanes, say) is routinely ignored by police, and where distressing levels of serious law-breaking at the other end of the spectrum (the rate of gun violence this year, for instance) is so far not being contained by police, the question is: Why did the police department and the city decide that these were the infractions they wanted to target with a massive crackdown operation? What the hell is this really all about?...

Krauthammer Blasts Obama's Naive, Idiotic Apology in Hiroshima

See also: The Hiroshima Bombing Was Right and Necessary

Today, the president of the United States spoke at Hiroshima, Japan — the site of the first of two American atomic-bomb attacks on Imperial Japan — and served up a heaping helping of moral equivalence and maudlin sentimentality. To Obama, the real lesson of Hiroshima is that it exposes humanity’s “core contradiction.” I am not making this up: 
Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.
No, Mr. President, in the image of the mushroom cloud, were are starkly reminded of the horrific evil of Imperial Japan and the ingenuity and resolve of the American people to defeat one of the most genocidal forces the world has ever seen. 

Americans have short memories, and to the extent they think about World War II, they tend to think of Hitler and the Holocaust — and justifiably so. His attempt to exterminate an entire race of people was among the worst crimes in world history. But in remembering Hitler, we cannot forget Japan. It killed an estimated 14 million Chinese citizens in its invasion of China. And during the course of that invasion, its forces acted much like Hitler’s SS, conducting mass-scale rapes, grotesque human experimentation, and enslaving countless men, women, and children...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Reprehensible activists plan to harass children and the elderly at a Toronto charity walk

One of Toronto's most notable, lovable characters, Kensington Market haberdasher Tom Mihalik, has a regular commercial segment in the mornings on Classical 96.3 FM. It's an unusual minute where Mihalik, who has been keeping Tom's Place running as a thriving enterprise for decades on Baldwin Street in the heart of the Market, goes on a kind of free-thought ramble until morning host Mike Duncan steers the talk back to the subject of selling suits.

With his upbeat enthusiasm and heavy Hungarian accent, Tom sounds reminiscent of a stock comedy actor from a 1940's movie. His monologues vary from subjects as diverse as fan-talk about the Toronto Raptors, to his experiences growing up in the Market, to his celebrity encounters at local galas, to boostering the domestic economy.

The other day, Tom talked about making a generous donation to the upcoming annual charity Walk for Israel.

Tom said a long-time employee of his, an octogenarian, looked forward all year to the walk, which is an expression of support for the Jewish State. The walk, according to Tom, is one of the things that keeps the geriatric gentleman going.

The modern State of Israel, born in 1948 out of the ashes of the Holocaust and the cauldron of turmoil that is middle east geopolitics, was a symbol of renewal and hope. But Israel has faced relentless efforts by the surrounding Muslim countries to exterminate it since its birth. Enduring war, terrorism, and economic pressure from its neighbors as well as unfair criticism from western nations anxious to curry favor with the oil-rich Arabs, it is a miracle that Israel has managed to survive.

Yet this beacon of hope in a region of barbarism has survived as the only pluralistic, liberal democracy in the middle east. Though its survival comes at a great cost. Israel had an occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza forced on them when a combined Arab effort to wipe out Israel in 1967 failed. Despite claims of anti-Israel activists, Israel is not occupying a Palestinian state. From Israel's independence in 1948 until 1967, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, and Gaza was Egyptian territory. There has never been an independent Palestine. It was land controlled by the British after World War 1, the Turks before then, and prior to that, a series of conquerors kept it as vassal territory. The only time there has been an independent country in what came to be called Palestine was when it was Israel in the time before the Greek and Roman Empires came into being.

Israeli efforts to make peace with the Palestinian leadership has only been met with intransigence. US President Bill Clinton talked about how Yasser Arafat turned down an offer that would have created a Palestinian state on 98 percent of the territory the Palestinian Authority President asked for. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza as an experiment to see if the Palestinians would focus on nation-building and peace, the result was more Palestinian terrorism and incessant rocket fire from Gaza aimed at Israeli civilians.

Yet Israel survives. And the gentle old man who still works for Tom Mihalik, and many like him, along with schoolchildren and families, will turn out on Sunday May 29 to walk and raise money to support Israeli charities to maintain that survival.

However some people will be attending the Walk for Israel, not with optimism and philanthropy in their hearts, but with the malicious intent of harassing Jews and proclaiming their desire for the destruction of the Jewish State.

There are places and situations where discussion and criticism of Israeli policies are appropriate. But the Walk for Israel is a charitable, not a political event. It is not a place where expressions of hatred and calls for harm against anyone takes place, except by those who come to protest against it. That makes it distinctly different than the demented, Khomeinist al Quds Day rallies where terrorism is extolled and calls for the murder of Jews ring out.

What kind of malevolent people would chose a charity walk to vent their bile at children and the elderly?

They are vicious, stupid people, some of whom are Islamists, some are Marxists, and some are members of a vile group of depraved Munchausen Jews calling themselves Independent Jewish Voices.

They want a boycott of Israel and anything that expresses support for Israel's right to exist. It is a movement made up of sadists and masochists, some of whom are gays and lesbians whose depravity extends to expressing support for Islamic terrorists who would kill them for their sexual orientation, while trying to extinguish the only country in the middle east where gay rights are enshrined in law.

These are despicable, sick people whose activism is a form of narcissistic attention-seeking. There are only a handful of them, but if you examine the names of those who have committed to attend to persecute the Jews, they are fixtures on the comment sections of newspapers where they post anti-Israel comments so frequently and exclusively that it is readily apparent that the destruction of the Jewish State has become their raison d'etre.

If you look at them, it's not coincidental that they are all physically repulsive. Their activism is their social life. On their facebook group page, they acknowledge they will be ridiculed by the people they have come to offend and degrade.  Given the anti-Israel fanatics' degenerate nature, they probably welcome that. Whatever tremble of excitement they get from being insulted is probably a substitute for the sex lives those miserable, rancid gargoyles are missing.

One is tempted to say to such people who come to harass the Walk for Israel to "get a life." But that would do no good, since they obviously have as little an idea of what life is about as they do of human decency.

UPDATE: The activist cretins posted pictures of themselves harassing the Walk for Israel on facebook.

There were a dozen in all. If you think I was exaggerating about how repugnant they are, look for yourself. They included a hideous, wizened, one-armed woman who scoured at passersby. Another was a sickly-looking loser with a sculpted beard that makes him look like a parody of a satanic cult leader,  and who apparently thinks it's a fashion statement to wear socks with sandals on a sweltering day. Acting as if being repellent somehow makes them a cause celebre, they featured a dumpy, hirsute woman in shorts and a lattice-laced top whose mustache makes Tom Selleck's look like a thin wisp of lip fuzz. One of them is an ever-present barnacle at anti-Israel protests, an ugly stump of a female who is a picture of what you'd expect would come out of a garbage compressor if you put a hippopotamus wearing a bicycle helmet into one. And as usual, they brandished a couple of pathetic, exploited souls who bear the physical symptoms of people born with Trisomy 21.

via facebook
via facebook
via facebook

via facebook

The Monty Pythonesque Munchausen Jews of "The United Jewish People's Order" showed up too! All 3 of them!

Friday, May 27, 2016

State Department’s Office of Inspector General report shreds Clinton’s secret server defence

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General has released its report about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Though the report uncovers no smoking guns — no records of Clinton saying “Heh, heh, heh, they’ll never FOIA my emails NOW!!!!” — what it does lay out is deeply troubling, even though her supporters have already begun the proclamations of “nothing to see here, move along.”

It lays to rest the longtime Clinton defense that this use of a private server was somehow normal and allowed by government rules: It was not normal, and was not allowed by the government rules in place at the time. “The Department’s current policy, implemented in 2005, is that normal day-to-day operations should be conducted on an authorized Automated Information System (AIS), which “has the proper level of security control to … ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the resident information.”

It also shreds the defense that “Well, Colin Powell did it too” into very fine dust, and then neatly disposes of the dust. As the report makes very clear, there are substantial differences between what the two secretaries of State did...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When TVO says "I'm Right and You're an Idiot," they really mean, "I'm Left and You're an Idiot"

An interesting discussion recently took place between TVO's Steve Paikin and PR consultant James Hoggan, the author of "I'm Right and You're an Idiot," about the toxic state of public discourse. (Video at end of article.)

The problem with the interview on Ontario's public educational broadcaster is that essentially, these two people are engaging in the practice they're condemning.

They make assertions without actual evidence and presume that anyone who doesn't agree with their highly disputed positions must be wrong, duped, or a victim of propaganda.

So their conversation, if in any way enlightening, is mainly so as a window into the minds of people who generate leftist propaganda.

If what they say were true, then oil produced in Canada is not more ethically sourced than oil from Saudi Arabia or Iran. It means that all of David Suzuki's climate change allegations must be accurate even though his "climate experts" can't explain what percentage of it is caused by human activity or why all of their prediction models have proved to be wrong.

It also means that it's not nice to call genital mutilation a "barbaric cultural practice," although I suspect these two white, liberal Canadian men might have an entirely different opinion if they were women whose clitorises had been forcibly sliced off.

These are important subjects where there can be intelligent divergences of opinion. But the way Paikin and Hobban frame it, if you disagree with them, you're wrong and are impervious to facts. Which is ironic, since everything they assert as fact is only opinion.

The media is a huge part of the toxic state of affairs in public discourse. They promote the dishonesty of morons in the way the Toronto Star uncritically gives publicity to false allegations by the emotionally disturbed, Munchausen Jews of "Independent Jewish Voices," a group founded by 9-11 conspiracy weirdo, Diana Ralph.

It works in the way Canada's publicly-funded CBC gives airtime to radical leftist flakes like Scaachi Koul, presenting them as "mainstream."

And it's present on TVO, when Paikin does an interview with Avi Lewis, which he allows to become a 20 minute commercial for Naomi Klein's husband's airheaded, neo-Marxist Leap Manifesto. Paikin didn't ask his friend Lewis a single critical question about that document's extremist, historically-unsuccessful proposals, though every serious economist who has read it considers it preposterous.

Paikin and Hobban are right that people are becoming more tribal and impervious to facts. In order to correct that, people have to take it upon themselves to discover the facts from as many sources as possible. It also means that you can't believe something, just because someone says it in the news or on TV.  Even if the news is on TVO.

The Ontario Liberals are doing every possible thing wrong with their climate plan

Here’s an interesting problem in applied economics: If you’re a provincial bureaucrat running a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions, should you also do things like ban the use of natural gas for heating new housing and subsidize electric vehicles?

The question is not academic. Ontario is on track for a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions starting Jan. 1. But, according to leaked planning documents, it also intends, among many other things, to induce or compel a significant part of the population to switch to electric cars by 2024 and ban the use of natural gas in new houses by 2030.

So what’s the right answer? You might think: “Sure, why not? The more carbon reduction the better.” You would be wrong. If you’re a savvy bureaucrat, avoiding command-and-control measures like banning things is the very reason you go for cap and trade. Moreover, adding command-and-control to your policy mix can defeat the purpose of cap and trade...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

'Martyr': Palestinian media praise killer of US tourist in Israel

The Palestinian attacker who unleashed a stabbing spree in Israel nearly three months ago, killing an American tourist and wounding 11 others before police killed him, was a "martyr" in the eyes of Palestinian media.
The Palestinian Authority's official TV network reported Saturday the attacker, Bashar Masalha, received a burial described as "a large national wedding befitting of martyrs" -- a reference to the Islamic teaching that a martyr would marry 72 virgins in the afterlife.
The March 8 stabbing rampage in Tel Aviv killed Taylor Force, a 28-year-old West Point grad and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who was studying abroad in pursuit of his MBA...

Leftist student fascists at DePaul University storm Milo Yiannopoulos event, assault attendees

Milo Yiannopoulos’ event at DePaul University had to be cut short Tuesday night after protesters stormed the stage, blew whistles, grabbed the microphone out of the interviewer’s hand, and threatened to punch Yiannopoulos in the face...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More Larry David as Comrade Bernie

How Obama and Ben Rhodes played America for suckers on the Iran Deal

A network of advocates, experts and messaging specialists the White House says helped it sell the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 actually began to campaign for such an accord four years earlier, before the real negotiations started.

Last week I was leaked e-mails and documents from an internal listserv operated by the arms control nonprofit Ploughshares Fund. That foundation has come under scrutiny after the New York Times Magazine quoted top White House foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes boasting how the foundation amplified the White House message in 2015 on the Iran deal. Rhodes told the magazine that supporters of the deal comprised an "echo chamber," suggesting the independent experts were tools of a White House media campaign.

But the messaging work from Ploughshares on Iran began long before there was any Iran deal and long before Rhodes convened his regular meetings with progressive groups on shaping the Iran narrative.

Beginning in August 2011, Ploughshares and its grantees formed the Iran Strategy Group. Over time this group created a sophisticated campaign to reshape the national narrative on Iran. That campaign sought to portray skeptics of diplomacy as "pro-war," and to play down the dangers of the Iranian nuclear program before formal negotiations started in 2013 only to emphasize those dangers after there was an agreement in 2015...

Student fascists at UC Irvine and Cal State shut down talks by speakers of whom they disapprove

Young America’s Foundation on Thursday filed a lawsuit against California State University Los Angeles, accusing the public university of censoring a conservative speaker’s guest lecture there by not stopping raucous and aggressive students from blocking the entrances into the theater, effectively shutting down the event...


A pro-Israel movie screening at UC Irvine on Wednesday night prompted a massive protest by Students for Justice in Palestine, who blocked the exit paths, chanted “Long live the intifada,” and prompted attendees to fear for their safety and call campus police for assistance.

The event included a screening of “Beneath The Helmet,” a documentary about members of the Israel Defense Forces, as well as a panel session with Israelis who served. It was hosted by Students Supporting Israel at UCI as part of a weeklong series of Peace Week events.

But the disruptive protest at the screening was touted by Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Irvine as a victory.

“So we shut down IsraelFest #UCIntifada,” declared one tweet...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nick Cohen: Radical tourists have been deluded pimps for Venezuela

Radical tourism is no different from sex tourism. In both the political and the coital, the inhabitants of the rich world go to the poor to find the thrills no one will give them at home.

Western men and women with nothing to recommend them except their wealth escape their sexless lives and buy prostitutes, who are not like those indifferent boys and girls who pass them in the street. They will play their part and pretend for a few hours or days to find the westerners sexually desirable. Sex tourist guides, in print and online, feed visitors’ illusions. In the Caribbean, readers are told that prostitutes aren’t prostitutes, just “nice” girls looking for a good time. In Thailand, bar girls aren’t exploited but engaged in a “fair trade”.

Pleasures sated, the tourists fly away from the poverty and the corruption. The lies they have lived and paid others to live on their behalf don’t bother them. They never noticed human trafficking in Thailand or chronic poverty in the Dominican Republic.

For their part, political tourists are stuck in a sexless marriage to a Britain that offers them no excitement. The proletariat has refused their entreaties to revolt. Their radical fantasies are never fulfilled. So they, too, scour the world. For years, the top radical tourist destination, the political equivalent of the Pattaya Beach brothel, has been Chavista Venezuela. Hollywood stars, the leaders of the British Labour party and Spanish “popular resistance”, and every half-baked pseudo-left intellectual from Noam Chomsky to John Pilger has engaged in a left orientalism as they wallowed in “the other’s” exotic delights.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

National polling average has Trump ahead of Clinton

It's early days, and it's only a 0.2% margin, but Trump is ahead of Clinton in national polling averages based on yesterday's results published by Real Clear Politics.

73% of Canadians want national referendum on electoral reform, poll suggests

As Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government took its first step in overhauling the country’s electoral system, a new poll suggests nearly three-quarters of Canadians say any changes should be put to a national referendum.
The poll, conducted exclusively for Global News by Ipsos Public Affairs, found 73 per cent of respondents “agree” (37 per cent strongly/36 per cent somewhat) that the Liberals shouldn’t make any changes to the country’s voting system without a national referendum first...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Photo memories from 2010

Occasionally, I go out and take some photos for the blog. I went back and looked at some from 2010...

These were some flowers at my house:

The late Rob Ford gave me an exclusive interview while he was running for mayor:

In the wee hours on night, I happened upon a murder scene in the Annex.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans

When you elect a spoiled infant as Prime Minister, this is what you get

...“The Conservatives on their worst days never tried to stifle democracy the way the Liberals are doing it today,” NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said during Question Period...

...0:33 – We are now 33 seconds into this drama and it is at this point the prime minister makes his move. His seat is on our left as we look at this view, on the right of the Speaker. Trudeau gets up from his seat and moves toward this group of NDP MPs. Ramsay would later say that, at about this point, Trudeau tells these MPs to “Get the f*** out of the way.” Again: The voting procedure has been delayed by, to be charitable, less than a minute when the PM decides to take this action.
0:40 – Trudeau grabs Brown’s right elbow. As he turns Brown forward, he elbows NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau. The tape clearly shows her in some anguish after she is struck.

...It was a disgraceful display. A low point in recent Canadian political memory. I accept that the elbow to Ms. Brosseau’s chest was accidental — people bump in a crowd. But why was the Prime Minister in the crowd in the first place? Why did he storm across the House to grab Mr. Brown and drag him bodily forward? How did the leader of our national government get it into his head that that was a good idea, and why did his caucus applaud when he did it?

We’ve heard some explanations. The Prime Minister himself said, during an apology to the House shortly after the incident, that he thought Mr. Brown was “impeded” and wanted to help him along. To call that explanation pathetic is to give it too much credit — Mr. Brown was delayed by less than a minute, the crowd wasn’t blocking his way (he could have walked down the other side of the aisle, which was wide open), and the vote didn’t even require Mr. Brown to take his seat. So scratch the Prime Minister’s explanation...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

As Venezuela goes, so would Canada if the Leap Manifesto extremists get their way

The radicals who crafted the Leap Manifesto, a muddle-headed proposal for wealth redistribution, taxes on financial transactions and elimination of Canada's fossil fuel industry, are admirers of Hugo Chavez and his achievements in Venezuela. Chavez's achievements included destroying the national economy, suppressing press freedoms, and imprisoning and persecuting his political opponents.

Some of the Leap Manifesto authors and supporters have admitted their real motive is to smash capitalism. Nothing would destroy our economy more effectively than taking economic advice from the likes of Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and Linda McQuaig.

From Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal:
Noah, my 10-year-old son, was reading over my shoulder a powerful story about the state of medicine in Venezuela by Nick Casey in Sunday’s New York Times. We scrolled through images of filthy operating rooms, broken incubators and desperate patients lying in pools of blood, dying for lack of such basics as antibiotics.

“Dad, why are the hospitals like this?”


“What’s socialism?”

I told him it’s an economic system in which the government seizes and runs industries, sets prices for goods, and otherwise dictates what you can and cannot do with your money, and therefore your life. He received my answer with the abstracted interest you’d expect if I had been describing atmospheric conditions on Uranus.

Here’s what I wish I had said: Socialism is a mental poison that leads to human misery of the sort you see in these wrenching pictures.

The lesson seems all the more necessary when discredited ideologies are finding new champions in high places. When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died in 2013, an obscure U.K. parliamentarian tweeted, “Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world.”

The parliamentarian was Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labour Party.

Let’s not stop with Mr. Corbyn. In its day, Chavismo found champions, apologists and useful idiots among influential political figures and supposed thought leaders...

What’s behind Wynne’s plans to alter Ontario's energy system

See also:

Ross McKitrick: Climate crazy Ontari-ari-ario’s no place to grow, but to get the hell out of

The latest news out of Queen’s Park is that Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals plan to deindustrialize Ontario. Of course they don’t call it that; they prefer the term “decarbonize.” But for an industrial economy, the government’s new climate action plan, leaked to reporters this week, amounts to the same thing.

The proposed scheme beggars belief. Having phased out coal-fired power, the province now plans to phase out natural gas, the only reliable alternative for non-baseload generation. Despite electric cars being extremely costly and unpopular, more than one in 10 new car sales will need to be electric, and every two-car household will have to own at least one electric car. All homes listed for sale will require a costly energy audit. Home renovations will have to be geared around energy efficiency as the government defines it, not what the homeowner wants.

Around the time that today’s high-school students are readying to buy their first home, it will be illegal for builders to install heating systems that use fossil fuels, in particular natural gas. Having already tripled the price of power, Queen’s Park will make it all but mandatory to rely on electricity for heating...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The crazy, violent supporters of a US presidential candidate belong to Bernie Sanders

Thrown chairs. Leaked cellphone numbers. Death threats spewed across the Internet.
No, this is not the work of Donald J. Trump supporters, some of whom have harassed critics of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It was angry supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders who were directing their ire at the Nevada Democratic Party — and its chairwoman, Roberta Lange — over a state convention on Saturday that they think was emblematic of a rigged political system.
“It’s been vile,” said Ms. Lange, who riled Sanders supporters by refusing their requests for rule changes at the event in Las Vegas. “It’s been threatening messages, threatening my family, threatening my life, threatening my grandchild.”
The vicious response has come as millions of new voters, many of whom felt excluded by establishment politicians, have flocked to the insurgent campaigns of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has all but locked up the nomination, but many backers of Mr. Sanders remain enraged as his hopes of being the Democratic candidate dwindle...

Ontario’s big, green assisted economic suicide plan

Ontario's government has plans to quadruple energy costs by forcing people to shift to electric heating, even though many Ontario cities suffer brownouts because the current infrastructure can't support current electrical needs.

This and other plans show Ontario's government doesn't care about the province's citizens:
...Perhaps the Wynne government thinks it can pile on rigid bans and crushing carbon taxes on households and businesses both, and still somehow permanently keep people and investment in the province. Or maybe, the government has accepted that Ontario’s fate means sacrificing the latter. Statistics Canada’s Capital and Repair Expenditures Survey last week showed investment in manufacturing and finance in the province at half its pre-2008 recession levels. With Ontario’s economic demise now “reasonably foreseeable,” the Wynne government may have come to terms with the inevitable, and is ready to embrace an extreme green plan to hasten its own economic suicide...

Brace yourselves: Trump is going to win

Canadians and our media have watched U.S. primary season with a mixture of incredulity, disbelief, horror and smugness. The conventional wisdom here, as well as among most American pundits, is that Donald Trump doesn’t stand a chance of winning the presidency and that the Democrats will retake the White House under Hillary Clinton.

The problem is that the conventional wisdom has been consistently wrong since last June. Many thought Mr. Trump would implode during the Republican primary. He didn’t. Many thought his reality-TV-show persona and foul-mouthed campaign style would eventually wear thin with voters. It hasn’t. Many thought – and still do – that his lack of policy substance and multiple about-faces – if not downright contradictions – on hot-button issues like abortion, Muslims and Mexican migrants would doom his campaign with Americans, who generally tend to have a strong sense of fair play and public decorum. That, too, hasn’t happened. Meanwhile the FBI investigation of Ms. Clinton’s personal e-mail accounts is ongoing and Vice-President Joe Biden is back on TV stating that he would be the best candidate.

What many fail to recognize is that Donald Trump is rewriting the rules of American politics with his take-no-prisoners, earned-rather-than-paid media campaign for the U.S. presidency. He is riding a tidal wave of profound dissatisfaction among ordinary American voters (and not just aging, white, middle-aged males, for that matter) that is driven by a volatile mix of xenophobic nationalism, falling wages and living standards for the middle and lower classes, a yawning and ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and an acute sense that America under President Barack Obama has taken a backseat role in world affairs, has mismanaged major issues and is no longer the leading great power it once was...

See also:

Hillary Clinton Holds Slim National Lead Over Donald Trump: Poll

Because everything's better with John Williams music and light sabers

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bill Clinton: 'I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state'

...“They were human beings in Gaza,” the audience member said.

“Yes, they were,” (Bill) Clinton said. “And Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart.”

The line prompted applause, and he continued: “They said they try to put the Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They’re good at it. They’re smart. They’ve been doing this a long time.”

“I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza," Clinton said...

Coren talks about his new book "Epiphany"

My old pal Michael Coren talks about his change of heart that led him to support gay marriage:

Part of Michael's change came about after his very reasonable, seemingly uncontroversial support for former Foreign Minister John Baird's condemnation of horrible persecution of gay people abroad elicited some very extreme reactions.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The best option for Canadian electoral reform is separating the Executive and Legislative branches of government

Parliamentary majorities have been called "democratic dictatorships" for good reason.

The party in power controls both the executive and legislative branched of government until the next scheduled election, so they can do whatever they want short of a successful court challenge.

The only reason they may temper any abuses is because they fear a public opinion backlash.

But the public has a short memory and the average voter is not exceptionally well informed, so even thoroughly corrupt, incompetent governments can be reelected to majorities given the right circumstances.

For some, that is an argument for changing Canada's electoral system from a first-past-the-post to proportional representation.

Yet, for all our system's flaws, Canada has been the best governed country in the world for at least two decades.

A change to proportional representation would be to a system even less democratic than the one currently in place. It would allow political parties the ability to decide who sits in Parliament, including people who couldn't even muster a plurality of votes in a single riding.

It would mean that fringe parties like fascists and communists would get seats in Parliament by getting fewer votes than  there are people with severe mental illness in Canada. Those extremist fringe parties would be able to extract concessions from larger parties seeking to form coalition governments. That sort of thing happens all the time in Europe, and it leads to governance far worse than Canada has enjoyed since Confederation.

If we're really seeking to make improvements to Canada's democracy, then keeping first-past-the-post is essential.

But to make the system better, we should separate the Executive and Legislative branches of government, as they have in the United States and France.

A legislative branch distinct from the executive would have members who understood that they were responsible to the voters and not to their party hierarchy. It would mean that you could chose your local representative without having to tie that vote to a party leader you abhor, and vice versa.

Separation of the legislative and executive branches would mean that your local representative could stand up to the Prime Minister without having to fear being ejected from caucus and the ability to stand for election for the party in future.

Having the legislative and executive branches as distinct entities means that there is another layer of safety preventing either from abusing their authority.

It keeps the best parts of our existing, successful democracy and gives us the benefit of being able to chose both who we want to be Prime Minster and our local MP without having to use one vote for those two choices and often face the ugly compromise that goes with that choice.

Having the ability to make specific, democratic choices is the best option for electoral reform in Canada. Whether the Liberal Party of Canada is truly interested in giving Canadians more democracy and such choices through a referendum is something for which we can only hope.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Astounding stupidity from Liberal Minister Maryam Monsef should make Canadians fear for their democracy

The Minister for Democratic Institutions is a dolt who is rejecting a referendum on democratic reform  because she claims voting doesn't "marginalized" communities.

She goes on to claim that twitter hashtags are the way to gauge public will on democratic reform.

The video below suggests the Liberals are slime trying to rig the democratic process.

Ms Monsef's idiotic obfuscations show that the Liberals don't trust Canadian voters enough to give them the opportunity to vote on democratic reform. Here's an idea you won't likely see the Liberals ever allow Canadians to choose.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sign Jason Kenney's petition demanding a referendum on electoral reform in Canada to challenge undemocratic changes

Proportionate Representation isn't nearly as democratic as its advocates would have you believe.

It's the electoral system for sore losers who can't manage to field a candidates who can win even a plurality in a riding election.

With our current system, the representative in Parliament was chosen by a plurality of a riding's voters.

With Proportionate Representation, political parties chose who gets to be in Parliament, not the voters. Even with so called Mixed Member Proportional Representation, we'll get political hacks unable to win a local plurality in stuffed into Parliament by their party organizations.

With the lower barrier for entry, Canada will see what Europe is getting with its Proportional Representation - legislatures with fascist and communist parties devoted to crippling individual rights rather than expanding them.

When Canadians have been offered the choice of Proportional Representation in British Columbia, PEI, and Ontario in referendums there, the voters resoundingly rejected it.

If the Liberals are planning to ram major electoral changes through without giving Canadians a choice, it shows that improving democracy is not really part of their agenda.

Calgary Midnapore MP Jason Kenney has created a petition demanding that the government give Canadians an opportunity to vote on changes to the way our democracy has functioned since Confederation.

You can sign HERE.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton gets the worst endorsement ever from P.J. O'Rourke

I endorse Hillary Clinton for president. She is the second-worst thing that could happen to America.

I endorse her. And all her pomps. And all her empty promises.

Better the devil you know than the Lord of the Flies on his own 757. Flying to and fro in the earth, with gold-plated seatbelt buckles, talking nativist, isolationist, mercantilist, bigoted, rude, and vulgar crap. ...

...Hillary, I endorse you although you don’t belong in power—you picture of self-satisfaction out of doors. Count me the Iago of your supporters, you ding-dong bell in your West Wing, wild-cat in your can’t-stand-the-heat-get-out-of-the-kitchen, plaster saint in your injuries, player in your housewifery, and housewife in your bed. (Sorry, my mistake, that’s somebody else’s wife in bed with your husband.)

You’re a smug one, Hillary,  
You really are a snoot, 
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as a newt, 
Hillary,You’re a bad banana in a garish and expensive power suit!

You’re a limousine liberal, Hillary, 
Your heart’s an empty hole, 
Your brain is full of Sidney Blumenthal, you have boiled kale in your soul, 
Hillary, I endorse you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!...