Monthly Archives: January 2013

Matt Ridley’s 10 Questions

Go read this.

Then ask yourself whether Matt might not have a point when he concludes:

“At the moment, it seems highly likely that the cure is worse than disease.
We are taking chemotherapy for a cold.”

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Ontario Premier

Normally the leadership of the Liberal Party of Ontario and the Premiership bore me silly. However, Pupatello is the Lying Jackal’s candidate….so I’m rooting for the OISE educated lesbian.

Update: Wynne Wins…Jackal, not so much.

Wussy Brits

Worried parents will ban their children from making snowmen and having snowball fights this winter – for fear they will catch a cold, a study found.

The protective one in five mums and dads, 20 per cent, will try to stop their youngsters falling ill by keeping them wrapped up warm indoors.

Furthermore, 29 per cent say it is “too dangerous” to let them outside because they may slip on ice or be bruised by a tightly-packed snowball. the telegraph

I am just trying to imagine how you could keep a normal kid inside in a big snowfall…nope, can’t do it. Impossible.

As Silly as Occupy?

Idle No More, Chief Spence and the assorted professional Indians trying to meet with the Prime Minister are not, quite, as silly as the Occupy people. There is, underneath the appeals to feminine logic and the great God of sustainability and eco responsibility, a genuine grievance in that the whole thrust of Indian policy in Canada for the past few decades has been wrong headed and clack handed.

It is not hard to make the case that Canada’s Indians would be far better off if the Indian Act was repealed and the Department of Indian Affairs shut down. Or, at least, no worse off. Billions of dollars have been spent with less than nothing to show for it. Uneconomic reserves have acted as money magnets and, as Chief Spence’s own reserve accounts seem to show, a good deal of that money has flowed without anything like proper accountability.

More to the point, the mere fact a slogan like “Idle No More” can be adopted by the Indians without a trace of irony, tells a great deal about a culture (or, rather, cultures) in shambles.

While the media party tried to make a cause out of Chief Spence and Idle No More Harper was perfectly capable of seeing off the attack. One solid audit and an unwillingness to be bullied by the fattest hunger striker in recent memory was sufficient to rout this particular assault.

Today’s meeting with professional Indians, which may actually be derailed by amateur Indians, might be a start to a comprehensive revision of the failed Indian policy of the last few decades. But it will be a start untainted with feminine logic, sustainability, colonialist theory and all the other lunacies of the radical left which have hampered progress for both the Indians and the rest of Canadians.

You have to have a heart of stone to think that a continuation of the present failed Indian policies is either compassionate or economically sensible. Stein’s Law, “What can’t go on, won’t.” seems correct here.

The Occupy nitwits left a legacy of precisely nothing save for the certainty that they and their supporters were very dim indeed. Chief Spence, while offering plenty of scope for ridicule, may achieve a bit more than that. “Idle No More” could also represent a back channel to get around the professional Indians (though that is a faint hope given the blockade antics).
However, the last month’s activities also represent an opportunity for Harper and the CPC to look beyond the posturing and begin to propose tentative but real Indian policy. To do that they are going to have to get beyond the illusion of Indian self government, at least as that has come to be understood. And they are going to have to create the sorts of incentives which puts some meat on the bones of the “Idle No More” slogan.

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Mrs. Warman I Presume

Richard Warman, Anne Cools, CHRC, Ezra LevantOne of the enduring mysteries surrounding the assorted Richard Warman defamation cases against assorted Canadian bloggers has been the assumption by the defendants that our hero only had access to a single computer the hard drive of which has now been independently examined.

After all, the Hate Sniffer was, at the time married to Lise Warman for a couple of years. In this modern world was it not possible that Lise had a computer at home as well? Up until quite recently that was merely a pretty good hunch. But I was poking about on an entirely unrelated subject and came across Richard and Lise’s testimony in the William White case (the odious White Supremacist who was convicted, on appeal, of soliciting the murder of the Hate-Sniffer in Chief.)

Let’s go to the transcript of Lise Warman’s testimony:

Q Good afternoon, Ms. Warman. Would you introduce yourself
2 to the jurors.
3 A Certainly. My name is Lise Warman, and I am Richard
4 Warman’s spouse.
5 Q You may want to pull that microphone a bit closer so
6 everyone can hear you.
7 Where do you live?
8 A I live in Ottawa, Canada.
9 Q And you’ve been married to Richard Warman since 2001?
10 A That’s correct.
11 Q What do you do for a living?
12 A I’m a lawyer. I am an assistant Crown attorney, which is
13 equivalent of assistant district attorney for you. So I’m a
14 criminal prosecutor and I prosecute offenders.
15 Q What type of cases do you prosecute?
16 A We have a criminal code in Canada, so we prosecute
17 everything that’s a criminal code, including theft, all the
18 way up to the murder cases. We don’t do drugs or federal
19 statutes.
20 Q What do you specialize in?
21 A I specialize in Internet child exploitation, sexual
22 assault. We do everything, but those are mostly my areas
23 of —

(you can find the reference here but I can’t get the link to the transcript to work. I have it if anyone wants it.)

So, now there is more than merely a hunch – Mrs. Warman specifically prosecuted cases of Internet Child Exploitation. In other words, the nature of her job meant that she did very much the same sort of thing as her husband except, of course, she was prosecuting actual internet criminals under the Criminal Code. (And good for her say I.)

However, it does raise some interesting and, I suspect, important questions. First, did Mrs. W. have a computer at home for work or simply because she was a wired up kinda gal? Second, did the Warmans trade tips on how best to engage their respective prey? Third, why have none of the defendants in the assorted Cools related defamation cases sought to examine Mrs. W’s computer (assuming, rather plausibly, she had one) to determine if hubby might have been using it as a back up/cut out machine? I am sure more computer savvy people than I will have further questions one of which might well be whether Mrs. W’s computer shared the same IP that Bernard Klatt swore the Cools post came from?

And, while we tease out these possibilities, let’s hope Connie and FreeDominion prevail tomorrow in motions court in the Do’s matter. Apparently Connie would like a jury trial. Which would be fascinating. (Oddly, I gather that the Hate Sniffer in Chief’s counsel are not so keen on letting the hoi polloi nobble the judge with messy findings of fact.

UPDATE: Free Dominion Wins a Round:

Connie writes,

Both sides said that they did. So, she basically said that she was going to accept our amended Statement of Defence as it was written. Then, on the issue of the jury notice, she said that the other side had not provided her with any evidence that they would be prejudiced if she allowed us to file a jury notice. Since there was nothing in their evidence that showed they would be prejudiced, it was clear she was going to allow our jury notice, too.

Then, she asked the lawyers if they wanted to take half an hour to talk and see if they could come to a resolution. Once we met, the other side immediately agreed to consent to the updated Statement of Defence and to us filing a jury notice. Costs will be awarded at the end of the trial. We agreed to allow them two more hours to cross-examine me since our Statement of Defence is now considerably longer and more detailed. We responded to that by asking for two more hours to cross-examine Richard Warman. They did not consent to that, and the judge didn’t think the law allowed for it, so we let it go. It’s not like he answers questions, anyway, so it’s not a big deal.

The big deal is that we got what we wanted in the motion. Exactly what we wanted. We now have a kick-ass Statement of Defence, and this trial is going to a jury! free dominion

I can think of nothing better for Freedom of Speech in general than to have the Witch Sniffer before a jury. Arrogance and self righteousness tend to go over rather badly with juries.

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Reality Check

Terry Glavin notes the ineffectuality of the Idle No More people and the not noticeably thinner showboating chief on her little island.

Empathy, I get. If I were a 14-year-old boy living in Pikangikum with no prospect of getting out, I’d probably want to kill myself too. What is far more difficult to get one’s head around is just what possible good might come from Idle No More, the recently erupted viral craze that has attached itself to Chief Spence specifically, and to aboriginal grievances in Canada more amorphously.

So far, it’s shaping up to look a lot like last year’s Occupy Wall Street conniption, the thing the activist avant-garde insisted was going to be the great anti-corporate insurrection that counterculture icon Naomi Klein always wanted. Our very own Arab Spring! It ended up more like the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962, and so far, Idle No More appears headed in exactly the same direction. ottawa citizen

It is not difficult to note that the current situation vis a vis Canadian Indians is awful. But what to do about it is elusive. Keeping the Reserve “system” alive means that a whole bunch of awful communities with no economic justification are forced to chug along no matter how dreadful the conditions. The Indian Act, in its hundred year run, has not seemed to have helped Indians so terribly much.

For all the billions spent there is virtually nothing to show for Canada’s earnest efforts on behalf of its Indians.

My own sense is that we should get out of the Indian business altogether. Do a systematic payout over several years and wish our Indians all the luck in the world as Canadians. I very much doubt the Indians will be any worse off without the neglectful paternalism of white do-gooders.

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College

It was the law professor (and prominent internet commentator) Glenn Reynolds who first popularized the phrase “higher education bubble.” Drawing on Stein’s Law, Reynolds argued that the market for higher education, like the housing market before it, is on an unsustainable, inflationary path. “Bubbles form when too many people expect values to go up forever,” he observes. “Bubbles burst when there are no longer enough excessively optimistic and ignorant folks to fuel them. And there are signs that this is beginning to happen already where education is concerned.”

the new criterion

The New Criterion article goes on to discuss the wave of online university level course which are being offered for free. Given a choice between spending 20-60k per year in a bricks and mortar university or effectively nothing online the initial decision should be pretty straightforward.

But there are intangible social goods that four years of an undergraduate degree bring: friends, connections, romantic partners, drinking buddies and hooking up. Viewed from a purely logical perspective these things are hardly worth 20k a year; but they are not worth nothing.

So, a modest business proposition: why not set up what amount to tutorial centers? These would be very much free enterprise units where students could meet other students, create study groups, take tutorials based on online course material and, in time, write exams to test their knowledge.

Oddly, this is very much the way that the old Universities – Oxford and Cambridge – evolved: the colleges being the equivalent of tutorial centers with the added bonus of accommodation.

Of course, the major course providers such as Coursera are counting on online student interaction; but I suspect a more intense experience would be offered by local centers with loose affiliations to the course providers. We’ll see.

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The Paywall Delusion

Much of Canada’s newspaper media are going to be putting up online paywalls in 2013. It is tough to make a go of it in the newspaper biz these days and the publishers are opting for Press+ and its imitators.

What a paywall does is trade influence for revenue. Which, may or may not make sense for any given media property. But what it certainly does is create market opportunities for other information providers.

Realistically, an awful lot of newspaper content is coming off wire services these days and that means it can be accessed via Google News and a host of other aggregators. As well, public sources like the BBC and the CBC are unlikely to be paywalled. So basic news will remain free.

But what about the rest of the paper – editorial, columnists and such like? Well, I have been surviving without Mr. Simpson and Ms. Wente quite nicely. In fact, there are really very few columnists whose writing is even slightly compelling. Editorials? Mainly predictable and rarely insightful.

More importantly, if I want opinion it is all over the net.

What MSM is about to find out is that its influence depends on its traffic and, with a paywall, that traffic is going to drop. Fast.

The smarter media will take advantage of this. There are, frankly, better ways of making money online than putting up a paywall.

Happy New Year!

Mayans wrong. But a comet is coming so the crazies will have something to look forward to.

Finally, the Teens. No doubt a troublesome decade.

To my readers, let this be a grand year. Slowly, but surely, we are making progress against the Progressives. It is a long war but reality and observational data are flowing our way.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. – Julian of Norwich

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