Liberal Compassion

This via Alberta Advark:

At a news conference before the vote, Maureen Basnicki, (pictured with daughter, Erica) whose husband Ken was among two dozen Canadian victims of the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, urged MPs to "stop playing politics" and to "vote with their conscience and not with their party."

Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said he sympathized with terror victims but labelled their appearance during the debate as "just a sideshow," prompting an angry response from Basnicki.

"Sideshow? I was a victim of terrorism. My husband was murdered. I don't like to be a victim of politics. The issue here is the security of Canadians," Basnicki remarked.

Liberal compassion apparently is only valid when the emotion suits the agenda.

One would think true compassion would be based on sound principles of good judgment, honor, duty, and honesty.

Apparently Liberal compassion is nothing more than a "sideshow."

Truth in Tradition

Apparently Christianity is a sham. Jesus was married an had some wee lads of his own. Reality is not what it seems - history is not what we think it is:
"It's mind-boggling. It's an altered reality," Toronto documentary director Simcha Jacobovici told the Star. The burial box of Jesus and one said to belong to Mary Magdelene will be on display at a press conference in New York City this morning to announce the $4 million documentary, The Lost Tomb of Jesus. The location of the press conference is being kept secret to prevent a mob scene.
Jacobovici hits the nail on the head unknowingly about why the modern day "conspiracy theory" is so luring to most of the general population.

Inherently human beings in our post-industrial culture have bought into the "cult of the artificial." Virtual reality, virtual solutions, relativistic perspectives govern today's modern thought. Everything is about perspective we're told. It's all relative.

Unfortunately, it isn't all relative. Murder is not relative if I kill you. It's real. Life is no different. Apples when dropped fall. If I bash my head against the wall, it will never go through the wall I'll just split open my skull.

Technology that has made the artificial seem just as good as the real, has led us to question the very concept of reality itself. That reality is now considered no better than what we can produce artificially.

In such a culture, people inherently start sensing something is wrong. The world isn't the way people say it is.

As a consequence I believe, the modern day "conspiracy theory" feeds us exactly what we don't need: more lies bundled in a truth. The truth being that there is something wrong with the modern view of reality. The problem being that it aint relative at all.

Instead of confronting that fact a conspiracy theory tells all that the world really isn't as it seems, and then fabricates what the TRUE reality is.

The Davinci Code, Faked moon landing types - they all have fallen into that trap.

Jacobovici said the discovery should not shake anyone's belief in the resurrection of Jesus, saying he consulted several theologians in making the film.

"What convinced people in the New Testament of the resurrection was Jesus's appearances, not his disappearance from the tomb."

Actually, it was his physical resurrection that convinced people, his "spiritual" resurrection is a concept that should give comfort to know none. Either he was really resurrected in the flesh or it's all a sham. You can't have it both ways.

The doubting apostle Thomas refused to believe until he put his hands in Christ's side. That hardly seems like someone who was convinced merely by a spiritual phantom.

What's so sad in all of this is the complete negation of the concept of historical tradition.

Tradition contains truth. This is just something that we've completely erased from modern historical analysis.

For example, there are two traditions surrounding William Wallace. The first says he was born in one Scottish town, the other says something else. There is truth in those traditions, because those traditions represent the orally transmitted information that transversed the generations.

Now perhaps both traditions are true. Maybe Wallace was born in one and grew up in the other. We only know that he must have been born somewhere.

One would think, that if a tradition wasn't in conflict with another tradition, and that it was spoken of consistently by all who should know, then it would be a sure sign that that tradition is reality.

In the case of the man from Nazareth, it is clear that early Christians believed that he was divine, resurrected in the flesh, and was chaste going back to within 100 years of the actual events. The traditional teaching over those years and going all the way to today has not changed. In fact many other traditions exist in Christianity that no one follows today, mainly because they contradict with other traditions of the time. What most of Christianity believes in is what everyone could agree on actually happening.

So theorize all you want - until you take into account oral historical tradition you are always never going to get the full answer. There is truth in tradition. No one can change that reality.

Garth: Suck it up, Get over it

Now this is like the pot calling the kettle black:
"I think he's [Stephen Harper] evil to the extent that he's doing something without point, and it seems to be just to mess around a political opponent..." - Garth Turner's reaction to being evicted from his Tory office for joining the Liberals.
Doing something "without point" would be to join the Liberal party because you couldn't abide by the party platform you got elected on for goodness sake. Doing something "without point" would be blabbering to the media about how you will resist being evicted from an office you have no right to stay in anymore.

Garth suck it up already, and get over it. Dion's Liberals get allocated a certain number of offices for a reason. You can't blame your fellow colleagues for turfing you, when you spent all your time and effort trying to undermine them can you?

"What if?"'s

It's always fun to be a Monday morning quarterback. Especially when it comes to engineering. Ambivalent Engineer, Chair Force Engineer, and Selenian Boondocks do it in oodles this past week.

Maybe a Harry Turtledove book is in the works?

All joking aside all this "what if" business reminded me of another engineering "what if" from another industry.

In automotive one of the laments I've heard concerns Ford continuously discontinuing lines of automobiles that are otherwise successful, but at the first sign of trouble they panic, ditch and run.

The old Ford Taurus is often mentioned as an example.

Compare that to a Toyota Corolla, which is the same line of car, but it's been around so long that it's benefited from incremental advancement in efficiencies and design. You can see a pattern developing about why foreign auto makers are beating the heck out of north american manufacturers lately.

With the little engineering knowledge I have compared to the three engineers listed above, I can see the biggest problem with NASA when it comes to space vehicle development is that it abandons too quickly a design when it shouldn't, and doesn't do it quickly enough when it needs to.

NASA could have easily decided to run a downgraded Apollo program based on the same tech, and engineering. Instead they went back to the drawing board and started from scratch. Otherwise, as mentioned by Ambivalent Engineer, they could've chosen a path that would have benefited more from the expertise, engineering, and technical achievements of Apollo.

That being said, as Selenian Boondocks points out, it's precisely that line of thinking that lead NASA to want to keep as much of the original Apollo team of engineers in the first place. Because NASA wanted to do this, they ended having to make a whole bunch of technical decisions that almost eliminated the value behind keeping the original Apollo team together in the first place as I see it.

With the Space Shuttle, one wonders why the program was continued as long as it was. Perhaps it was faith that with incremental advancement the program would eventually prove viable.

In the end the decisions made, were the decisions made. It's useless to debate what could've been different if doesn't lend clarity as to what decisions we should be making today.

In short, as I see it, the effort to build a national space plane was a complete and utter failure. A system much more like Apollo would save money and be safer. NASA's current CEV program reflects that, while trying to keep as much of the original Space Shuttle engineering valuable.

Again, that's how I see it, with the limited engineering knowledge I have compared to the writers above.

The Corruption of Alt-space

With now infamously anti-NASA Burt Rutan cosing up to his arch-nemesis "Naysay", Robert Bigelow exploring co-operation with the devil in the aerospace industry, along with PlanetSpace and SpaceX all getting along with their 900 pound gorilla, I have to ask the question is the beginning of the corruption of the alt-space community?

Government money, and government mentality seemed to be the poison that killed the first space race and the companies that went with it.

This new generation of alt-spacers may be signing their future death warrants.

Mark Holland's love affair with the west

The Star reports The infamous Liberal MP Mark Holland is taking his anti-oil sands growth agenda to Alberta:
"There's clearly an effort by the petroleum industry to characterize anybody who questions the unlimited growth of the oil sands and the unlimited production of emissions . . . as having an agenda to shut them down or be against oil sands or have an agenda to destroy the Alberta economy, which is nonsense..."
It's becoming clearer and clearer everyday just how much in error Mark Holland really is.

First there was his stubborn insistence that he was somehow for capping oil sands growth while at the same time he wasn't for it.

Which isn't mentioning the Charles Adler interview that started his now infamous stature in the universe of Canuck politics by suggesting that there should be consequences if Oil companies refuse to co-operate with the Federal government. Further clarification led him to state that he wasn't insinuating oil companies would be nationalized, although that was clearly what Charles Adler was asking, but rather that "everybody has to be part of the solution here."

And now he claims all his problems are the result of a massive oil company conspiracy to "characterize" anyone like him as being against Alberta. Which is shear nonsense. Imperial Oil has better things to do then to worry about the ramblings of a nameless Liberal MP.

One must wonder if Mark Holland's infamous stature has more to do with his inability to make a decision as to just what he stands for, or perhaps his poor media relations experience, than what he really stands for. But that's another issue altogether.

Mark Holland would do best to follow some of my father's better advice: "It's better to keep your mouth shut and look like an idiot, than to open your mouth up and confirm it."

Why, after all the trouble he's caused his party, would Mr Holland even consider taking a wild ride down into Liberal wasteland Alberta to sell a message no one believes in out there?

I think the answer lies is some stubbornness on Mr Holland's part. Stubbornness can be quite the liability in politics. He'd be better to take the advice my father once gave.

In other words, for the good of your own political career Mr Holland, stop talking. There's a time to fight and a time to know when you're burying your own grave.

Liberal Kyoto Confessions

Courtesy Goldenberg:

OTTAWA–Eddie Goldenberg, one of former prime minister Jean Chrétien's top aides, says the Liberals went ahead with the Kyoto Protocol on climate change even though they knew there was a good chance Canada wouldn't meet its goals for pollution reduction.

Public opinion was behind the government when it signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and then formally ratified it after a parliamentary debate in 2002, says Goldenberg.

But he doubts Canadians were "then immediately ready for some of the concrete implementation measures that governments would have to take to address the issue of climate change.

"Nor was the government itself even ready at the time with what had to be done," he said in a speech prepared for delivery to the Canadian Club of London, Ont. "The Kyoto targets were extremely ambitious and it was very possible that short-term deadlines would at the end of the day have to be extended."

"We knew that signing and ratifying Kyoto when we did was absolutely necessary to prepare public opinion for the actions that would have to come in the future," he says.

Let's all remember that confession to the truth when 2012 comes around and everyone blames the Conservatives for failing to meet our Kyoto objectives.

The Liberal logic here is just startling. The accord was unrealistic, Canadians weren't ready for the changes it would bring, neither was the government, and the goals would not even be met - yet we sign into it anyway?

Why? Because we needed to prepare public opinion.

We Canadians need to be prepared and herded along apparently. Canucks are too STUPID to be told the truth according to the previous Liberal regime.

It's that type of logic here that I will never be able to comprehend. It's permanently going to get me labeled as a "Climate Denier" I'm sure. But I'd rather speak the truth when it comes to the fantasy that is Kyoto rather than delude myself into believing these lies.

The Forgotten Terrorism Letter

"The RCMP is planning to use these hearings in the next few months to pursue information regarding the deaths of 331 people – including 280 Canadians – murdered in the 1985 Air India bombing. If our MPs allow investigative hearings to be excised from Canadian law, these hearings will not be able to proceed. This would be the latest in a long litany of stunning legislative missteps by Parliament regarding the Air India bombing." - Open Letter from C-CAT
In all the nonsense surrounding the debate over whether or not to extend the anti-terror measures passed by the previous Liberal government one letter went completely unnoticed.

The media has ignored this letter. MP's it appears have ignored it as well.

The Canadian Coalition Against Terror, a group representing the victims of terrorism in Canada, sent a letter to members of parliament concerning the extension of the very same anti-terror measures.

I have re-produced the letter below and I will let it speak for itself:

Canadian Coalition Against Terror (C-CAT)

Representing Canadian Victims of Terror

An Open Letter from Canadian Terror Victims to
Members of Parliament – Regarding the Renewal of the ATA Provisions

February 19, 2007

To All Members of Canada’s Parliament,

We are turning to you as members of a unique Canadian constituency that represents thousands of ordinary Canadians of every background, religion and political affiliation. We are Canadians whose loved ones were victims of terrorism. Some of us lost a single relative, others lost entire families, and some of us were injured ourselves. All of us have been irrevocably changed by our experience, and any of us could have been any of you under different circumstances. And all of us are united in our determination to ensure that our fellow Canadians and all other potential victims of terror are spared the horror that we have had to endure.

We are deeply dismayed by recent reports that Canadian Members of Parliament are considering to diminish significantly Canada’s capacity for fighting terrorism by removing critical provisions from Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). These provisions enable the use of “preventive arrests” and “investigative hearings” – two invaluable investigative tools that allow law enforcement officials to take appropriate action in real time to prevent terrorism from turning people like you into victims like us.

“Preventive arrests” allow for the judicial supervision of a person when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that such conduct is necessary to prevent terrorist activity. An initial judicial hearing is held within 24 hours, and a person cannot be detained longer than 48 hours after the hearing. “Investigative hearings” permit a judge to compel a witness with information about a terrorist crime or organization to testify before a judge when a terrorist act has been committed, or when there are reasonable grounds to believe a terrorist offense will be committed. This person is a witness, not an accused. In fact, no evidence from that testimony can be used against the person in criminal proceedings, except when contradictory information has been given or there has been perjury.

Given the unprecedented security challenges presented by terrorism, as well as some of the obvious limitations of our criminal justice system in prosecuting the sponsors and perpetrators of terrorist attacks, these two provisions are sorely needed. As for the individuals who are concerned that these measures might be abused by government and law enforcement authorities, the record clearly indicates otherwise. Despite the fact that three different governments have been in power since the ATA was passed in 2001, Canadian authorities have scrupulously avoided utilizing these tools. In fact, they have never been used and have therefore never been abused. And if for some of our elected officials, the concern regarding potential abuse of these tools supersedes the concern for saving real lives from a very real threat, they should consider the following: by assisting authorities in interdicting a major terrorist incident, these rather modest provisions will have protected our justice system from the inevitability of coming under even greater
pressure – in the aftermath of an attack – to enact measures even more stringent and controversial, in order to protect Canadians from other attacks.

Although MPs will debate this in the coming days, the issues are hardly theoretical for some of our fellow Canadians. They have 331 tragic reasons to ensure that investigative hearings, in particular, are kept on the books. The RCMP is planning to use these hearings in the next few months to pursue information regarding the deaths of 331 people – including 280 Canadians – murdered in the 1985 Air India bombing. If our MPs allow investigative hearings to be excised from Canadian law, these hearings will not be able to proceed. This would be the latest in a long litany of stunning legislative missteps by Parliament regarding the Air India bombing. It took Canada 11 years to remove charitable status from Babbar Khalsa (the organization responsible for Air India bombings), 18 years to ban that same organization, and 25 years to launch an official inquiry into the bombing.

But this most recent controversy over the ATA, based on the remarkable assumption that the terrorist threat has abated, is a disturbing indication that we still have learned very little from the tragedies that gave birth to these provisions. We remain a society that has been unable to look terror in the eye even when terror is staring right at us from close range. We must face the fact that terrorism is not another form of organized criminality. Terrorism is different in its scope, intent, method and consequence. Its primary objective is not economic or personal gain in a criminal sense, but to inflict maximum damage and horror on society for generations – for military and ideological purposes. This is not a social ill in any conventional sense. However it is defined, terrorism clearly requires new technologies, policies, and legal structures to protect Canadians. The ATA was a good first step in this direction and we laud the Liberal government of 2001 and all Members of Parliament who voted for its passage.

These contested provisions, far from being a product of an overreaction to 9/11, were in fact a sober and responsible recognition of the new reality that terrorism had presented.

We implore you now to support the renewal of the “preventive arrests” and “investigative hearings” provisions in the ATA for another five years, as recommended last October by the subcommittee reviewing the Act. The Air India investigative hearings being planned by the RCMP, which may provide the only opportunity to pursue the perpetrators of the Air India bombing, demonstrate exactly why our statutes had been inadequate in terrorism cases and why these provisions are so critical in their investigation. This provision contains numerous safeguards, and was upheld as constitutionally valid by Canada’s Supreme Court in 2004.

We urge all MPs to approach this vote with the security of Canadians in mind. Canada should not be removing these tools for fighting terrorism while terrorists are busy sharpening their tools for use against Canadians and other innocent victims. The Conservative government is correct in requesting the extension of the provisions, and we hope that Liberal MPs will join fellow Liberals Marlene Jennings, Irwin Cotler, Roy Cullen, John Manley, Anne McLellan, Bob Rae and others in supporting such an extension. While these measures can always be revisited at a later date, the lives shattered by a future terrorist attack that may have been prevented by utilizing these tools cannot be reconstituted by any act of Parliament. So please – keep the ATA intact, and do not allow the sun to set on Canada’s security.


Cindy Barkway, Maureen Basnicki, Dave Hayer, Sherri Wise,

on behalf of C-CAT -- The Canadian Coalition Against Terror

Falling on your sword...

Don Martin is suggesting this morning that Harper may fall on his sword over Kyoto.

The latest poll numbers are being touted as signs that Harper will be looking for ways to go into an election as soon as possible.

It wouldn't be right if I didn't pour cold water on what is favorable interpretations of numbers that tell us absolutely nothing. Statistically speaking, the "Tory surge" shows nothing at all. The margin of error for the strategic council poll was 3%. That means the Tories, if an election call were held today could have numbers as low as 32% of the vote. The Liberals could be as high as 33%. As much as I'd like to join the "Tories are exploding" bandwagon, I would be culpable in blind partisanship if I said anything different.

The only statically significant result from this poll is that the Liberal drop was well over the margin of error. So, we can conclude that the Tories may have increased in popularity, but that for darn sure the Liberals are dropping.

That's hardly the ideal conditions for a spring election for Harper - and I have no doubt that Harper's advisers are pondering that very fact today.

Not to mention the fact that Canadians have bought wholesale into Kyoto. Harper knows this, that's why he's taken such a radically different tact towards the environment on the issue lately.

Kyoto, strategically, needs to be seen in much the same way health care is to Conservatives. It has become a cult like religion in the Great White North. Until something radically changes, or some sort of momentous event occurs - like say global cooling starts to happen - Conservatives will be fighting for parity with the Left on the issue. In other words Kyoto is not seen as our strength - just like healthcare.

And just like health care, we don't want to be falling on our weakest sword - better to fall on our one of our strongest ones - like senate reform.

Climate Change Revisionism...

This blogger has his shorts in knots about the new anti-Dion ads:
"The Conservatives continue to throw the manure around when it comes to issues like the IT scandal and Kyoto. Many of the commercials keep harping on the "13 year" inactivity theme. Canadians should learn some of the facts regarding the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, so I've thrown a few together via my friends over at Wikipedia."
Great. Finally the truth. And it's coming from a Liberal. I've been waiting for this one for a very long time... Let's see what the "facts" are:
"On December 17, 2002, Canada ratified the treaty that came into force in February 2005, requiring it to reduce emissions to 6% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012."

Gee that's interesting. Apparently Kyoto was only meant to be implemented in the 2008 to 2012 time frame. I've been living by the impression that long before 2002 the Liberals had been trying to implement Kyoto... Unfortunately that argument plain simply just doesn't match up with reality.

And that supposed "fact" is the brunt force of this Liberal blogger's argument apparently:
"The Cons would like to have Canadians thinking and believing that we sat around and didn't do squat since 1993. The FACT, the protocol wasn't even ratified until 2002, and did not dome into force until February 2005 - just months prior to an election call."
The problem is that his "facts" don't add up:
"As of 2003, the federal government claimed to have spent or committed 3.7 billion dollars on climate change programmes."
So the government had already spent 3.7 billion dollars on climate change initiates, yet they weren't planning on implementing Kyoto until 2005?

Did environmentalists live by the assumption that the targets of Kyoto were really going to be achievable in 4 years? Somehow I doubt that. Furthermore if that were true why is there so much a push to implement Kyoto NOW when by this bloggers own "facts" it wasn't intended to be implemented until 2008?

Heck, if we got 'till 2008 let's all rev up the SUV's until then n'est-ce pas?

The "fact" is that Kyoto was an issue years before the vote in the house of commons and the Liberals made half-hearted attempts to implement it before 2002. They're Kyoto implementation strategy consisted of running some ads with Rick Mercer trying to get people to take the "one tone challenge." That and they planned on getting green energy credits for the clean energy they exported to the US. In other words they planned on negotiating their way out of the problem and spending some money on Liberal comedians. The end result was they never got those green credits, Rick Mercer went from Liberal red to commie pink, and carbon emissions went up all the while.

So where does the "2008" number come from? Here's where it does:
"Kyoto sets out an agenda for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 per cent from 1990 levels (although "economies in transition," like Russia, can pick different base years). Some reports say the lower target is to be met by 2010. But that's shorthand for the actual target date, which is to achieve those emission cuts over a five-year average (2008 to 2012)."
So, it's not that the emissions cuts are to be implemented in between 2008 and 2012, but rather it's that they are to be done before in anticipation for that five year average that will judge if they met their objectives or not. It means that over those five years if the average CO2 emissions are 5.2% lower than their levels in 1990, the treaty objective has been met.

That's hardly a 2008 implementation date and that's a far cry from the "facts" the Liberal blogger describes.

Another "fact" is that other nations were making attempts to implement Kyoto long 2005. Why would they do that if the treaty wasn't meant to be implemented before 2005? Why do we have an emissions trading markets already if it wasn't meant to be implemented before 2008?

It's a ridiculous revisionism that this Liberal blogger has bought into. I'm sorry, I wish I could say something better, but that's the "facts."

But the most damning of his "facts" is the one he ignores the most:
"By 2004, CO2 emissions had risen to 27 per cent above 1990 levels (which compares unfavorably to the increase in emissions by the United States of 16 per cent by that time)."
Whoever wrote that Wikipedia must've been smoking some medicinal marijuana because how can anyone say that two values "compare favorably" when one is close to double the other?

The hard truth is that the US has shown more success in reducing it's CO2 emissions then Canada has. The question is just what is the US doing? Because we may want to think about following in the example of someone that has shown more success than we have.

So what's the moral of the story?
"The moral of the story is that Stephane Dion had 10 months to make sure, as environment minister, Canada was meeting its goals. 10 months. Not 13 years."
No the true moral of the story is that Dion was a member of a government that sat and did nothing for 13 years while it committed the country to emission reductions it did not come close to meeting and actually made things worse.

Where was Dion in this government to push for action on climate change? He was silent by all indications. And that silence is something he should have to answer to - It's something that this Liberal blogger seems unable or incapable of of doing for Dion himself.

More Asteroid Hype...

The UN is fighting a global asteroid threat the only way the UN does best: it's drafting a pointless treaty.

More study. More talk. More committees no doubt.

Scientists will push the "gravity tractor" solution to an asteroid threat. The only problem with trying to push an asteroid off a collision path with earth instead of blowing it to smithereens is that you need to do it years in advance.

Not to mention that the spacecraft that would have to be built and launched for such a mission would require expertise not even developed yet. Seeing all this we should all hope that an asteroid isn't discovered anytime to soon on a collision path with earth.

All that we could really do is pray.

I'm convinced that the only real preemptive defense against an asteroid type threat is to be a more than one world species. Space colonization ensures that not all our marbles are in one basket. It also increases our knowledge of space exploration which could aid evacuations in a time of emergency, not to mention give us the expertise aforementioned that is crucial for the "gravity tractor" scenario.

Because really if an Apophis type asteroid were ever on a collision course with earth, the chances of us getting a spacecraft built and launched early enough to "nudge" it off a collision course with earth is very unlikely.

It's "good governance"...

"Without good governance, it is difficult to envision progress in other areas or the effective use of international assistance."-Hugh Segal, Source
Hugh Segal made this comment as the chairman of a committee reviewing the Canadian International Development Agency(CIDA) in Africa.

The committee has recommended disbanding the agency for being one of the "slowest bilateral aid agencies in the world..." The "risk-adverse" nature of CIDA was also listed as a reason to put CIDA out to pasture.

Unfortunately these are all hollow reasons for disbanding CIDA. There is a very valid reason for doing away with the agency, but it isn't a reason that could very well be equally applied to any number of other government agencies in Ottawa.

The real reason why CIDA should be disbanded was slipped out by Hugh Segal. Without "good governance" the prospects of Africa being pulled out of the depths of poverty seem unlikely. In fact is not only "hard to envision" I would argue that it is non-existent. After all corrupt leaders don't tend to spend international assistance so wisely.

I'm not trying to suggest that aid to Africa is inherently wrong. But rather that aid in itself accomplishes nothing in Africa. Unless paired with diplomatic efforts and efforts aimed at political change no amount of aid will solve anything.

Anyone can spend money. As such the justification for having a huge agency responsible primarily for spending money makes little practical sense. Ministers of state can easily pick a program to fund - an entire government agency isn't inherently required to help them make that choice in my opinion.

It seems more appropriate for that money and time to be spent actually tackling the root cause of Africa's despair: corrupt leaders.

Chantal Hébert Tells It Like It Is...

Chantal gets it right on climate change:
"There is a widespread consensus – stretching way beyond Conservative ranks – that Canada cannot even come close to meeting its Kyoto greenhouse emission reduction objectives in time for the 2012 deadline without launching a major offensive against the energy industries of provinces such as Alberta, and/or inflicting a crippling hit to the already flagging auto industry in Ontario, and/or diverting a debilitating amount of federal resources to a single cause."
The point is a valid one. Dion has effectively put himself in a straight jacket when it comes to the environment. If elected he faces the challenge of fulfilling a promise he is incapable of keeping without shooting himself in the foot.

Or rather perhaps it's a question of just how much Dion is committed to Kyoto? Is he willing to put Canada into a recession? Is he willing to throw everything to wind, including for that matter rational thought, for the sake of his environmental principles? That's a question of character, which is only answered through trial and tribulation.

Regardless, Dion's predicament is aptly pointed out by Maddame Hébert.

That being said, Harper faces a tribulation of his own.

Harper, when it comes to the environment, is a victim of timing. He's the Prime Minister that's taken the reigns in the last days of "implementation" of the Kyoto accord. To many enviro-nutsos a failure to meet the commitments of Kyoto will be blamed on him.

The fact that the accord itself was unrealistic I doubt will be a conclusion for most.

If it had been a Liberal government in power until 2012 the enviro-crazies would have blamed Paul Martin Jr. The Conservatives would have seemed vindicated on their unpopular position on the Kyoto accord to many.

Fate seems to have decided that a single year extra of the Liberal Party of Canada was one year too much. And who can argue with fate?

Oh Dion... How you doth annoy me....

Dion the confused speaks!
" Dion reiterated Liberal opposition to the idea of electing senators without simultaneously opening the Constitution to reform other aspects of the upper chamber, particularly the under-representation of western provinces."
That's like saying "I oppose universal suffrage unless we abolish slavery..."

Both need to be done. Just because one is done however does not preclude the other from being done.

I can't understand the logic that Dion is using here. Either you support electing senators or you don't. The attachment of conditions is usually done as an attempt to scuttle the argument instead of trying to clearly and openly debate the issue.

Just what is Mr. Dion afraid of?

The "Competence" Standard...

Ignatieff says a mouthful with this one:

"This indicates a Prime Minister that essentially wants to use the executive authority of his office to begin to reshape the judiciary, not just in terms of personnel, but in terms of basic philosophy..."

"We have seen south of the border the negative consequences that ensue when judicial appointments are overly politicized according to an ideological litmus test. One of the things that Canada has got right has been by and large a competence standard, not an ideological standard."

So then why did 60% of judicial appointments that came out of these committees donate "exclusively" to the Liberal Party before becoming judges?

That's some "competence standard." It seems that "competence" to the Liberals means "Liberal."

But apparently some Liberal appointments to judicial committees are guilt ridden:
"For me personally, I would like to think that I've got a broad and diverse enough background to have contributed something meaningful... I know this all probably sounds incredibly self-serving, and I'm in a bit of an awkward position but ... I don't think me being a Liberal or someone else being a Tory is the stick by which to judge whether someone is competent or not competent to sit on the committee."
I believe that's what we would call "denial." Hear no evil, see no evil I suppose.

Light in the dark for Virgin Galactic...

Apparently they've made $20 mil so far just in pre-launch ticket sales:
"Wincer said the number of sold tickets is 'approaching 200,' of which at least 100 have paid the full $200,000. The remainder have paid deposits."
That's cold hard cash. Space tourism doesn't seem so nutso after all...


I woke up this morning and flooded my damned car in the middle of 2 feet of snow. Great. Forgot my cell. Great. Late for work. Great.

Then I turn on the radio only to find out that the region is in an effort to conserve salt usage on roads to prevent ground water contamination.

Salt? Ground water contamination? Are you friggin' serious?

Just what is toxic about salt? I eat it everyday. If we're using a synthetic-gonna-give-us-all-cancer salt, how 'bout we use a different brand? Unless I'm missing something salt - any salt - makes snow melt. Snow melt good. Snow melt makes driving easier. Drive easier in this crappy weather makes Blogger happy.

Now some genius is probably going to comment on some damned negative consequence of salt being in salt water... So before you do let me preemptively reply: "SALT!!!?!?!?!??!?!?!?"

End the Korean War

Pyongyang’s march towards a nuke seems to have gone in retreat. The US and the "other" Korea has made a deal.

No more nuclear production. Regular UN inspections. And the oil will start flowing again.

That was the price for a nuclear free North Korea.

If only it were that simple. When it comes to Kim Jong Il getting a nuke the question isn't "if" it's "when."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Nuclear bombs are the greatest equalizer. Small nation or large makes no difference when the country in question has the ability to launch a 20 Kiloton bomb.

Look at how a small nation like North Korea factors so large on the world's radar at the mere suggestion of it attaining nuclear status... When a tiny country grips the greatest superpower in the world over some plutonium production that's what I call an "equalizer" if there ever was one.

Thinking about this issue I was struck by how everyone goes by the prevailing assumption that a country owning a nuclear weapon is somehow immoral.

Owning a nuclear weapon is not immoral if it is only used in self defense or to deter a war in the first place. The US owns some, the French I'm pretty sure once did, and even Canada used to hold nukes on Canuck soil.

The justification for concern over North Korea attaining nuclear status lies more in it's history. No official peace treaty has ever been signed ending the Korean conflict of the late 40's back in the twentieth. Effectively both of the Koreas have been in a state of war for over 50 years only prevented from attack by an armistice signed around 1952. To this day the Korean Demilitarized zone is still defended by North Korean and South Korean troops.

If an enemy gains a nuclear bomb, I think that should be a definite concern to the party it's still at war with.

North Korea is still an enemy of the US until a formal peace treaty is signed. The issue was never resolved. That's why we should be concerned about a nuclear North Korea.

That being said, we should stop fooling ourselves that somehow we will stop the "other" Korea from getting a nuclear bomb. So long as a nuclear bomb is the greatest equalizer the motivation will always be there for countries like North Korea to build one.

What the focus really should be put on is ending the 50 year long conflict of the Korean war. Until the borders of the Koreas aren't filled with soldiers ready to strike each other we will be fighting with pointless diplomacy.

End the Korean war and the question becomes mute. This agreement is pointless.

Suck it up, Get over it...

Confessions of a Liberal Mind goes into this rant this morn' :
"Last weekend, I happened to be out canvassing with some friends in one of the by-elections. And to my horror I heard some anti-abortion ad on Edge 102.1 while driving to a poll. We were all totally shocked that they would air such a one sided anti abortion ad. These types of ads have no place on the air, especially when aimed at a teenagers. It was a very high pressure ad, and I felt totally inappropriate for children's ears during the day. Have these anti-choice people have no common sense?"
We don't live in a police state. And, although the CRTC sometimes acts like a modern thought police squad, we are still allowed to express whatever opinion we want on the air waves the last time I checked.

Now I haven't heard this ad myself. It's more than well possible that it was extreme and inappropriate. But this blogger offers no reasons why he finds the ad "inappropriate" except that it's "anti-abortion." So unless this ad called pro-choice people the demon spawn from hell, or accused people of being Nazies the problem lies with the blogger not with the ad.

Confession of a Liberal Mind, would you have the same opinion if the situation were reversed and this were a pro-choice ad? I don't know you, but somehow I think you wouldn't.

So I say this fully well knowing I hated it when other people told me this but I think you need to hear it: "Suck it up, and get over it."

You don't like the ad? So what? I don't like pro-choice ads. It doesn't give me the right to drive them off the air. I'm more than willing to hear a differing opinions. The question is are you?

Strange Lights...

Strange lights are appearing in the skies...

More UFO craziness from just about everyone. The sad part about all of this is that so many will conclude that these are "alien beings..."

Because, you know, the more boring answer that it's just some military project that no one can report on is just an impossibility. How many times have we heard that the military is years ahead of the rest of us in terms of tech?

Oh but it's just impossible for it to have been anything of the sort. Conspiracy theories are just that: theories. They can't be disproved which gives them life. It's far better in my opinion to go through life believing not in what can't be disproved, but rather, what can rationally proven.

Leaving that aside I have to say I take the alarmist side when it comes to the concept of alien beings visiting earth.

First of all we must assume that the alien life is hundreds if not thousands of years more advanced than us since they managed to traverse the great expanse of space - something us pink-skins haven't managed to do yet.

So a more advanced civilization decides to make contact with us? We're like Indians to them, while they're like the Europeans. And that tale didn't end so well did it? It would be better for them to just leave us alone.

You better hope these UFO's aren't the real deal. If they are I don't think we'll offer much of a resistance. But I've said that so much already on this blog I feel like I'm going a little bit nutso.

Talking to Liberals...

Reading the latest from Mark Holland reminds me just why I'll never be able to relate to Liberals... It's nothing personal, but all this doublespeak just smacks of relativism to me - which is something I abhor with a vengeance.

His response to the question "will did you mean you nationalize oil companies?" he said this:
"I absolutely didn't mean that, and that's a complete twist and perversion of what I said. What I said was that everybody has to be part of the solution here. And I'm talking about industry in Ontario, I'm talking about industry in Quebec, I'm talking about industry in Alberta, that we all need to be part of the solution and work collaboratively. And any attempts to mischaracterize that is crass and political."

Contrast that to his previous response to that question: "If they refuse to work with us....there will be consequences."

How excitingly vague. Just vague enough not to mean anything, just clear enough for people to ask questions.

He goes on in his most recent interview to say "...the reality is unfettered growth in the oil sands, unfettered growth of any large industry, is unacceptable."

So the reporter asks him do you want to limit growth in the oil sands only to receive this response:
"No, what I think we need to do is to take, as we've said with all large final emitters, that we need to have caps. And the Prime Minister himself has talked about this, and there hasn't been an outrageous reaction to that. That there has to be caps in terms of the degree of emissions that can be pumped into the atmosphere. And that multiplying the oil sands 4.6 times, the Finance Minister said in China, or as Gary Lunn has said, the Minister of Natural Resources, four to five times expansion, by 2015, would blast apart all of our greenhouse gas emissions."

Then logically, he must believe in caps in emissions, and by extrapolation caps in the growth of the oil sands. But he said "no" to limiting growth. How can he be for both? Only the tooth fairy knows.

So then the next fair question to ask, which was fairly done by the reporter, is do you believe in caps on the oil sands?
" No, what we're doing right now is we have the Natural Resources Committee making a series of recommendations on how to deal with the oil sands... But certainly me taking a formal position in advance of that committee having the opportunity to put forward its proposals would be premature. What I am saying is that five times expansion of the oil sands is inappropriate and would blast apart all of our emissions targets..."

So I guess what he's saying is "No", followed by "I have no formal position until the committee makes up it's mind", followed by "the oil sands are growing too fast."

Oh but it gets more confusing. The next question is whether the auto industry should be capped:
"Absolutely. I would say the same thing of the five times expansion of just about any industry, unless they were going to be willing to put technologies in place to control their emissions."

So he believes in caps only if companies put in technologies to control their emissions. And he explicitly mentions a "five times expansion of just about any industry" which further implies the oil sands.

Ok. So what do we know for sure? The only thing he hasn't contradicted so far is that he believes in emission caps for companies that refuse to implement new technologies that control their emissions. Which first of all assumes that such technologies exist in the first place, that are efficient enough to really give any results. Ignoring that though, it insinuates that the MP is confused because he believes a cap in emissions doesn't mean a cap in growth. I think that's a serious mistaken opinion far too many have conceded to.

The oil sands is the OIL sands. They make money on selling oil. Oil produces emissions. An emissions cap effectively is a growth cap.

But what further adds confusion is his insistence on mentioning the need to make sure that growth in the oil sands is "managed" and that 5 times growth is too fast. So again, if it's too fast, logic would seem to indicate that you would then want to limit it.

And just to add to the confusion the reporter asks him if he believes "growth" in the oil sands is inappropriate:
"I think that growth in the oil sands that would result in greenhouse gas emissions that would negate our ability to meet our international commitments is not acceptable."

So it's not acceptable, he doesn't believe in limiting it, but he does believe in limiting it indirectly, but that's not a formal opinion until the committee makes up it's mind.

Disclaimer: Many a Tory talks the same way. And I find myself unable to deal or comprehend them either. The unfortunate fact is though that I hear this talk a great deal more from Liberals than I do from Conservatives. Hopefully that'll never change. And to be fair, those dippers out there don't tend to talk this way much either. I guess it's a matter of fighting for principles in public office, not fighting for power.

Garth: Good Riddance

Way long ago, I figured I had found a kindred spirit in the likes of Garth Turner.

He seemed to stand for principle over convenience when it came to the Emerson affair.

Looking through blogsearch I realized my disenchantment started with his decisions to openly call for the Tories to drop a main plank of their election platform. Apparently the principle of "doing what you said you would do" is lost on Garthy.

And now he's cut loose and joined the Liberal Party. Oh so many choice jokes pop up at a moment like this... They involve "crooks" some clowns and whole helluva lot of liars...

Caution seems to have won me over for today.

So I instead of berating Mister Turner, I would like to wish him well, and many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many years in her majesty's official opposition.

Go Arrow! Go!

The Arrow is still alive after all...
"HALIFAX — NASA is acknowledging that a Canadian-designed spacecraft is a 'potentially viable idea' to carry passengers and cargo from a Cape Breton launch pad to its international space station."

"The space agency issued a release Thursday saying it has signed an agreement with PlanetSpace Inc. to share some technical information as the firm attempts to develop a rocketship in the next three years."

The funny thing is that Geoff Sheerin may have done more in the last 5 years to further develop Canadian space exploration through his Arrow/PlanetSpace initiative than the Canadian Space Agency has done... well ever.

The CSA seems to push for two things over and over when it comes to space policy: robotic exploration, and space science. The whole concept of TRUE space exploration seems laking... You know the type of space exploration that focuses on getting humans up there? Space colonies? Space vehicle research?

They should be asking themselves the question "What can we do to spur the innovation required to get private individuals into space?" Quite frankly sometimes that means they need to get out of the way of private companies.

If the Conservatives want a real space policy, they should look no further than the Canadian Arrow/Planet Space for inspiration.

Imagine if the first private company that manages to securely send space tourists into orbit is a Canadian one launching out of Novia Scotia?

Maybe it aint likely, but sure is a romantic idea...

Climate Irony...

"Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history, according to the first detailed laboratory analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks."

h/t SpaceToday

Toll this...

The irony behind all of this, is that it's probably better for people to pay for their usage of the roads through tolls instead of taxes...
"More than 75 per cent of motorists are opposed to toll roads, according to an online poll conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association for South Central Ontario."

Of course what will probably end up happening is that the gov will just continue to tax people at current levels, while charging people extra through tolls.

Taxation through another means is still taxation.


The PQ continues to delude itself...
"The PQ continues to allege that Ottawa committed fraud in the 1995 referendum, which it deemed a reason for the defeat. For instance, it contends that illegal funds were used to prop up the federalist campaign. It also contends that at least 43,000 immigrants were urgently sworn in as Canadian citizens by the federal government in the days leading up to the referendum, the vast majority of whom it is assumed voted against sovereignty."

Massive voter fraud? Please.

Suck it up, and get over it. What is it about close electoral votes that seem to bring out the conspiracy theorist in everyone?

"Bush Stole the Election!"... Ya, and pigs fly.

Of Fatties, Darth Vader and Oil Sands Attacks...

The Dion Liberals seem to want to attract controversy lately. Apparently Dion didn't see anything inappropriate about making light of the Prime Minister's weight.

"My successor, maybe Mr. Harper will have the opportunity to lose his overweight now because we have this exercise room."

Sticks and stones... Sticks and stones...

Comparisons to Harper making fun of Dion's "dog" are a farce within themselves. Dion's dog is "climate change."

And apparently anyone who questions the predominant theories on climate change for exaggerations is now a "climate denier"...

I wonder if "climate deniers" will eventually be targeted under hate crimes legislation. Horrible climate hating me.

Oh but the Dion lead Liberals had this tidbit to dish out on the oil sands possibly turning their seat count to negative territory in the Alberta heartland:
"We need to stabilize the oils sands. We are not going to allow companies to exploit that resource, to pump it out as fast as you can and give it to the Americans and blow out our emissions targets." - Ajax Pickering MP Mark Holland, Charles Adler Online

Why do Liberals always talk about the need to "stabilize"? What they really mean is they need to "control." It's all about meddling to the Liberal party of Canada, or ignoring if the case need be. I'll rejoice the day I hear a Liberal party member exclaim we need to "back off!"

But the attacks keep on rolling in, this time from the National Post to Mario Dumont:
"Is he or is he not morphing into Maurice Duplessis, Quebec's premier for much of the 1930s, '40s and '50s, in the way that Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith?"

Darth Vader? Star Wars? Wow, some reporters have absolutely nothing smart to say these days do they?