Wednesday, 30 November 2011

To all the Arab Spring enthusiasts:

Screw You.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/muslim-brotherhood-takes-lead-in-egypt-vote-count-1.398753
  It was bad enough I had to listen to ridiculous talking heads prattle on about how the muslim brotherhood is a secular organisation, or that the protesters were fighting for the pursuit of happiness, but to have so many supposedly intelligent people confuse democracy with freedom really turned my stomach. So now all you supporters (and the untold millions in the 'I don't know, but I am hopeful ' group can see what democracy can lead to in an arabic country. Egypt WAS our ally (of a sort) and WAS one of only two countries in the Arab world to recognise Israel. It IS now another islamist hole, bent on it's own destruction and that of the only free nation in the Middle East.
    Take a bow.

A lesson for Goverment Spendaholics.

I hear a lot about Italy and Greece these days. One of the things we hear is that Greeks and Italians don't pay their taxes. This moral failing is oft cited as a major reason for the countries being in the state they are in. I suspect it is vice versa. If my government were as prone to giving away my money as the Greek and Italian govts. are i would cheat on my taxes too.  Think about it. Who are the people cheating on their taxes? People who make money and who have opportunities to cheat. That is: private sector employees and small businesses. Who are the folks that the government spends all their money on? Public employees, bureaucrats and the unwashed masses who, as a rule do not make enough money to owe taxes. So where is the incentive for honesty here?
   Here in Canada things are more moderate. Our government has not yet completely spent us into the poor house, public sector employees make up less than half the workforce and people generally don't try too hard to cheat the tax man. But make no mistake. every time we read about billion dollar G20 summits, or lavish Governor General expense accounts, or any other profligate waste by our government or bureaucracy it has an effect.
   People don't really understand billions and trillions of dollars. It has no real meaning. We understand wealth in terms of what we could expect to have or dream of spending. So when some government fat cat spends 100 grand renovating or travelling or partying , the average joe thinks: "shit. that's about as much as i can save up in 20 years, gone in a day".  Or when the government tells Joe's dad that they are going to have to index his pension in order to make a dent in the deficit, the old guy thinks :" how many pensions do you need to claw back to pay for Strombolopolus to throw a music awards party  at my expense? " The two men then start to see their obligations to pay their taxes in a different light.
    Faced with  morally bankrupt government spending of taxpayer money, the moral argument against cheating on ones taxes goes out the window. The more the government wastes, the less inclined we are to give them money, and the more inclined we are to break the rules in order to do so.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Punting the ball

  While a lot of folks are heralding the BC supreme courts ruling on polygamy as a major victory and an affirmation of everything from Canadian values to women's rights I beg to differ. Set aside the fact that the ruling is just a rehash of the usual fear mongering that goes with the FLDS. The fact is that this is the BC court, punting the case to the Canadian supreme court. That's where the authority is and that's where the decision will be made. I believe the BC court is playing it safe.
    Hopefully the Canadian court can see the forest for the trees, or perhaps the trees for the forest. Polygamy or polyandry is already practiced by thousands of Canadians  right now. The current law against it covers anyone involved in more than one committed relationship. It could be read to include people who are having a long term affair. Even an unenforced law should be in the interest of the public at large. This one isn't. Polygamy between consenting adults has no victims. Gay marriage not so much (ie kids ). Polygamy does not include child abuse, forced marriage or incest. Those are all crimes already and should be punished accordingly. To suggest that plural marriage necessarily leads to such behaviour because of the examples in FLDS communes is like saying the concentration of natives in small communities causes incest, alcoholism,  drug use and domestic violence just because these things are present at high levels in some of our reserves. If people can see the problems with the latter example, surely the learned judges can see the problems with polygamy example. Well, they could if they actually turned off their TVs and used their heads.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Sometimes It's Hard

to know whether to worry or not. Given our short life spans it is difficult, even for an old guy like me to get perspective. How do we know whether we need to be concerned by the 'disasters' facing us? I think it is natural to assume that things will continue on as they have been. For our parents (well my parents) the world would be a huge place, filled with the risk of tragedy and disaster forever. For my generation, 'progress' will continue unabated, as it always has. We will get richer, life will be safer, the US will be the bastion of western strength and stability, and we will retire into the world we know.
   In the long term none of this seems likely to be true. My parents left a Europe in it's typical shambles. They left a class system that kept them where they were, in a country that told them what to do. During their lives Europe's old rivalries were usurped, and a soviet spectre arose and then faded away. The expectation of war also receded.  They retired in a world completely unlike their parents' , one that follows few of their worlds rules of conduct or sensibilities. The same could be said for many generations in the last few thousand years, even for those who lived their whole lives in one place.
   So what will change in my lifetime? What already has? I was born in the cold war. My house had a bomb shelter (a nasty, dark place filled with my sister's evil dolls). Apocalyptic movies had the taste of reality and the world still held vast wild lands where white people (we still were allowed to specify color back then) had never fared. I wanted to be like my dad, and expected to live like my parents. I went to church, and believed in God as a default, then as a choice. Already I can see much of what was is no more. The cold war is gone, war has become an economic consideration and religion has become almost taboo.
    So what will change next? What is too far fetched? Global warming? It's a poor substitute for nuclear annihilation apocalypse wise. I mean 2 degrees in a hundred years? I find it hard to picture Charleton Heston on the beach, yelling 'damn you all to hell' at the people responsible for the water lapping a full 2 feet higher on the sea wall than it did in pre-industrial times. Of course if we actually try to do something about it we may succeed in lowering our kids lifestyles a little but i suppose they will still be replete with big screen TV's and even better gadgets.
    Should we worry about economic crises? Will the US fail and be replaced by China? Would we notice? The EU could fall and the US slip into depression and I suspect we could still muddle by, again with less wealth, but is it really a game changer?
    I think I will worry about cultural drift. We are losing our varied western cultures in favour of some sort of dynamic western way. This would be ok (or is ok in theory) so long as the replacement is a strong, durable culture. The problem is that I don't think it is. European cultures are the products of centuries of history, a common ethnic identity and strong religious ties. The replacement is none of these things. We are not linked by common ancestry, and we never will be. We share very little history, as most of us are first or second generation Canadians. We have pushed religion to the sidelines. Well, our traditional one anyway. I can't see anything good coming from this

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The more things change....

It's not always good to see things from the good old days. 30 odd years ago i bridled at my teachers introducing politics into their lesson plans. I argued too, and my marks suffered. Now my kids tell me about their teachers doing the same thing. Mostly it is disguised as current events but sometimes it is more blatant. Teachers prattle on about 'stupid george' (bush) because he fought a war for oil. ( I guess that's true in a way, since the americans get less oil from Iraq than they did before the war.) Or stupid 'Harper'  because he didn't ratify kyoto. This coming from a high school biology teacher in a backwaterish northern BC town. My son would love to argue but he is smarter than i was. Also, he cares more about marks. 
  It is annoying as hell. I am not all that worried  since i have always taken a keen interest in brainwashing my kids. Thus they already know how to tell sh-t from shinola before they are exposed to  educators who overstep their bounds. The same approach should be taken to protect our kids from the ridiculous lesson plans in gender, reproduction and virtually every other subject. While it is good to be exposed to new ideas and different points of view, it is essential to have had some exposure to critical thinking first.
    Parents: take responsibility and teach your kids how to think. A lesson or two on right and wrong, responsibility and self respect wouldnt hurt either.

On Faith

I recently read a blurb on Pascals Wager. If you are not familiar with it i can summarize: Pascal decided that belief in God was the safer (better) bet than unbelief. He decided this as follows: If you believe in a god and there is none, when you die you lose nothing. If there is a god then you win. If you choose not to believe then you lose if there is a god (you will be sorry) and you break even if there is no god. Wikipedia summarizes it better
 Pascal's Wager, also known as Pascal's Gambit, is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal that even if the existence of God could not be determined through reason, a rational person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.
   On the face of it this seems like the ultimate cynical attitude toward faith. At least I thought so. Now I am not so sure. But more of that later. I found what I believe to be an  even more cynical religious approach.
    Some of the blogs I visit take a more muscular view of christianity. The approach taken is to blend science and religion to arrive at a logical proof of the existence of the christian god. I got into some of the nuts and bolts of the thing after reading a guide on how to ensure your potential wife is a 'real christian'. Suffice it to say that I did not pass the test, being ignorant of almost all of the arguments involved. I am not concerned, however since I am not insecure about my being a christian ( I certainly am one) . Also i am not looking to be some guy's wife.  I do feel , however that the whole idea of proving there is a god through science (or conversely disproving scientific theories which cast doubt on god's existence) is wrong headed. The flaw relates to security of position. Scientific fact is fleeting, religious belief , if it is to be worth it's salt, is unchanging.  Science is a two handed sword that way. Just as buddhists could claim that the old theory of an expanding and contracting universe supports their cyclical existence beliefs, the recent evidence that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate could be used to prove that they are wrong (as one blogger has suggested). If one or two major scientific break throughs can disprove your god and abolish your faith then you are on shaky ground religion wise.
  Science is, of course a kind of gnosticism. It's acolytes believe that everything can be explained and thus that we will someday know it all. It is a good working premise and it has the ring of intellectualism but it sucks as a religion. While people who 'believe' in science get intellectual entertainment and a feeling of superiority, they derive no comfort. There is a void there. Science can perhaps explain how everything works. It can not explain why anything is. I think human beings need to know that there is a why out there, even if they will never know what that why is. Who better to know why everything is than god, it's creator? Thus our belief in god gives us comfort. The fact that this is so is probably the strongest evidence of god that there is.
   Which brings us back to belief and Pascal's wager. The reason that the wager is more than an exercise in cynical self preservation lies in the nature of belief itself. Belief is a choice. How we make that choice is immaterial. What matters is whether we believe or not. To suggest that one needs proof in order to believe is a non sequiteur. If you have proof then you don't need to believe, you know.  One believes because one is willing to accept, on faith the existence of something or someone far greater than oneself. Your god is that someone. In the case of the christian god that belief includes the trust in god's wisdom, and benevolence. Religious belief by definition needs no supporting rational. One can chose to believe 'just because'. However, it is not possible to fake it. One cannot actually choose to believe without following through.  I believe therefor that Pascal's wager has little to offer people who do not already believe. Of course it is a pretty good way to antagonize atheists and shut agnostics up.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The power to protect (yourself)

So I was reading this story in the Telegraph. It was about some contributor who was mugged by black dudes during the London riots ( they took his bike the big bullies!) On his way home in a cab he reflected on ho w helpless he was in the face of the rioters. In the end he muses that the citizens of england, cowering in their homes, are at the mercy of violent men, who can come at any time , and do what they like. In the comments there are a few smart asses suggesting that the English ought to adopt american gun laws. Predictably (esp. in the Telegraph) this is met with smug ridicule and ersatz gun crime stats.
  The fact is, this column written by a beaten man in england is the best argument for gun ownership I have ever seen, even though the writer never mentions guns. Ownership of a gun means you are no longer defenseless. You are not at the mercy of a mob, nor are you cowering in your homes, hoping the bad men will pass you by (and victimize the little old white lady next door). You can stand up against bigger, meaner, more abundant people than yourself. You can protect your possessions and your loved ones, rather than having to make a panicked phone call to big brother for help.
   This alone is worth the price (if any) we pay for gun ownership in this country. Wanna set my house on fire? Wanna attack my family? Come and get some.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Too Stupid to Remain Uncommented Upon

So yesterday i read that the UN wants to start committing 'green helmets' as on the ground forces to help people being threatened by global warming climate change  anthropogenic-global-local-climate- weather weirding phenomenon. Today I read where Somalia, in the grips of a massive impending famine has not been receiving aid from the UN for some time (Unicef got in yesterday i think). The reason why the UN could not do anything earlier is that big scary Al Shaabob (numb nutted muslim rebels) was harassing them. My question is this: If the UN cannot even deal with third rate terrorist organizations in order to help people starving to death, what the hell are they playing at planning new forces to help as yet unrealized climate related issues?
   To the UN: You people have your heads way up your collective ass. If you were not playing with my money I would find you funny. As it is, I think you folks are an obscenity. I say this with no fear of reprisal since you have proven many times (Rwanda for example) that you are the most feckless twerps the world has ever seen.

Friday, 17 June 2011

A Riddle Solved

Ever wonder why so many pathetic little third world countries have so little respect for Western nations? I mean , we could wipe them all off the face of the planet in a very short time. Well, here is an example of where that comes from. The UN was created by us, is financed by us and is run by the same type of people it was created to fight.


(CNS News) — The U.N. General Assembly is set to pass a resolution on Friday afternoon that will retain Israel as the only country out of 192 member-states to be the target of a dedicated permanent item on the agenda of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
The move comes two days after an Obama administration official gave a speech saying that its deeper engagement with the United Nations has helped to counter the body’s anti-Israel bias.
The General Assembly vote will ensure that, as the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC) approaches its sixth year, its disproportionate focus on Israel will remain. The resolution adopts the outcome of a five-year review which the U.S. and other mostly Western democracies had hoped would improve the council by removing some of the identified faults.
However, two of the most glaring flaws — the skewed attention paid to Israel and the absence of enforceable criteria for HRC membership — will remain unchanged.
The HRC has ten permanent items on its agenda, ranging from “organizational and procedural matters” (item one) to “technical assistance and capacity-building” (item ten).
Only two of the 10 items deal with specific human rights situations. One, item four, is entitled “Human rights situations that require the council’s attention,” potentially covering situation across the entire globe.
The other, item seven, deals with the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”
The resolution to be voted on in New York on Friday maintains that anomaly.
During the debate, Israel repeatedly was condemned by Arab and Islamic states and their allies — which continue to dominate the council — including some countries which themselves face charges of responding violently to dissent.
Syrian ambassador Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui accused Israel of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” and “state terrorism. Iran drew attention to the “Zionist regime’s” policies regarding detention and imprisonment of “political prisoners.” Bahrain alleged “deliberate killings” of unarmed Palestinians.
(unabashedly copied from weasel zippers)
 If you find the bottom paragraph funny, neither do I. If you dont know why it is farcical, then go back to sleep. Of course, it isnt really your fault. If you are generally informed by Yahoo! or the main stream media you wouldnt have  heard of any of this anyway.
  

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Yes!

From Field and Stream:







February 04, 2009
Petzal: The Rules of Gunfighting
Normally, this blog is dedicated to peaceful pursuits. However, SFC Frick speaks much wisdom. I am giving him a meritorious promotion to Command Sergeant Major (E-9).
(For more on this subject, visit our list of the five best gunfights of all time).
Drill Sergeant Joe B. Fricks Rules For A Gunfight
1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap - life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap - funerals are expensive

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell "Fire!" Why "Fire"? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause then to lose concentration and will.... and who is going to summon help if you yell "Intruder," "Glock" or "Winchester?"

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Stretch the rules. Always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work. "No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy."

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That's how you live if hit in your "good" side.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don't (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".

25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket." At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.

26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.

27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.

28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, "He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm very upset now. I can't say anything more. Please speak with my attorney."

Finally, Drill Sergeant Frick's Rules For Un-armed Combat.

1. Never be unarmed.

Friday, 3 June 2011

So much to do, so much to say....

There has been so much in the news of late, good and bad. Of course the best being a guy named Wiener getting into a pickle involving a wiener. Amidst the hundreds of puns, it is still easy to see the humour. Also on the good side, it looks like the gun registry is on the way out. I am happy about that, and as soon as it is gone i will be me a gun or two, off the registry, just because. I am also happy to hear the govt exploring senate reform. It is a little annoying to read conservative bloggers complain that Harper isn't doing enough. I think an elected senate and the elimination of the long gun registry is definitely a lot of progress. Add to this the fact that Canada wagged the dog regarding Israel (the rest of the G8 being the dog in question) and that 2 more countries have joined us in rejecting Kyoto (yay) AND the fact that the US has followed our lead (again) in boycotting the UN clown show: Durban III and i think we can conclude we are doing well. IF (and it is a big if) we actually do get a balance budget within the conservatives mandate we can all count ourselves damn fortunate.
    Like others, i have a list of stuff i would like to see done, but unlike them i am willing to settle for a change in general direction. If we can change course and then maintain it, eventually i will get what i want, or at least what i need.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Take no sides..

  A number of imbeciles , determined to display their liberalness, and at the same time stick another fork into the countries and societies that raised them have begun to wail about poor Osama Bin Laden' lost rights. Apparently, this guy deserved a trial, ostensibly under some international jurisdiction (which doesn't exist). Yeah sure. Before i even listen to such folks i would have to ask who they think this guy actually was. Was he a soldier? If so, of what country? Was he a criminal? In which case could he have simply fled to any country which had no extradition treaty and thus escaped justice? Either way, there is a logical base for their musings but not a moral or ethical one. It is not moral high ground to make it virtually impossible for terrorists to meet justice, it contrarianism. It is not ethical to obstruct justice. While Plato's Republic may have laid justice at the feet of the victor, it is the system of ethics we live by in our daily lives. It has to apply to the big things as well.
   For the record, there was no need for a trial in order to mete justice. Osama represents no nation or army. Osama admitted to his leadership role in 9-11. He repeatedly stated his intention to do as much future harm as he deemed necessary. He posed a continued threat to our safety and society. There isn't any wriggle room here. He killed, maimed and threatened people of the United States. He thus deserved to be killed. There would never be any rehabilitation because rehab is impossible if the subject truly believes he is in the right.
    At the same time, a good many Christians and others are being killed on the basis of religion. More specifically Christians and certain Muslim sects are being persecuted to the point of murder. For some reason, this does not elicit any response from the low lifes (chomsky, moore, siddiqui, mulcair) other than a watery: I find ANY religious persecution to be unacceptable (hey, i could write for trudeau). Did you get that? Just like Obama hinted, 'any' persecution, including all that nasty islamophobic stuff that isn't happening. This lack of outrage regarding the murder of Christians and others by muslim idiots is easy to explain: It doesn't fit the narrative.
  The story is that Muslims are peaceful and just like us. The extremists that kill innocent children were driven to this by their political/economic/historical circumstances, which are so severe that acting out with the occasional intricately planned mass murder of innocent people (especially children) is not only understandable, but maybe even justified. Besides, there are so few extremist Muslims that it shouldn't even be pointed out that they all follow the same faith, and that their faith told them to kill some kids. Given that narrative, there isn't much interest in reporting or commenting on widespread religious persecution in places like Nigeria, never mind the hopey changey capital of the world: Egypt.
   The Arab spring is a beacon of hope for all the hopey changey genius' because they want the whole middle east problem to go away. They also don't want to be proven wrong over and over again regarding the whole cultural equivalence thing. Honestly, unless you are george galloway you have to admit that most Muslim countries are places you would not want to emigrate to (especially if you have daughters). Moreover, the reason for this decision are usually based on facets of islamic law esconced in the countries culture/criminal code.   So what to do? You can't blame the Jews for everything. Well, if the various rotten states of the Middle East were to turn into functioning western style democracies, that would end the argument once and for all. They would be just like us right?  Wrong. A cursory look at incidents in the area will show you that average folks in places like Egypt are much more excitable than you or I.  Churches burning, people killed in sectarian violence....all that kind of thing. But the churches burned are Coptic (Christian) churches and the people killed are Coptic people. They are killed by large numbers of Muslims. The average folk of Egypt rose up and overthrew the government, then the average Muslim folk in Egypt decided to start killing Christians. Kind of hard to make the 'they are just like us' argument there, no?
    The perpetrators will not meet justice, as no investigations are truly being made. And none of the aforementioned wags, so upset by the death during capture of the mass murderer Osama, are making any noise about justice and process of law. Instead they are muttering about 'sectarian' violence, and reminding us that Zionists, poverty, and American imperialism have left these people with no other choice than to kill people of other religions than their own.  In the end, there will be no mortal justice for the victims of Islamic murder and oppression, at least not if we rely on the liberal left to make the case.

Friday, 6 May 2011

An Idiots Guide to Global Warming.

  So, to be fair, i checked out a global warming site and read through an article on 'one line responses to denier arguments'. It wasn't even interesting. To me, most if not all of the suggestions involved saying : no it isn't!   For example, if you said : there isn't a consensus, they suggest saying: yes there is, 95 percent of climate scientists agree.... Or if you said: there is an urban heat effect, they suggest responding with: that doesn't matter, it's warming up in rural areas just as much. The problem, as i see it is that this isn't an argument at all. The rebuttals are just repetitions of dogma. Both of the rebuttals suggested above have been disproved by other parties, but it isn't likely that either party in the argument is aware of this.
   The amount of research and knowledge required to actually argue the merits or global warming theory is huge. The ability of most people to access actual data and unbiased facts is severely limited. Fortunately one doesn't need to be an expert to form an opinion.
   It seems to me that since the AGW debate ought to follow the same rules we use for other debates involving issues of such importance.
  For one, is the information we are receiving reliable? Without a background in statistics, access to the original data and the ability to repeat the experiment there is no possibility of assessing reliability. This leads to some of the problems with AGW in that the main studies have been notoriously resistant to freedom of information requests. Scientists have resisted the release of their data, their protocols and have even 'misplaced' original data, leaving only the modified set. This stinks, and any unbiased observer with half a brain would smell it. In order to remove the bias in ones brain, imagine if the RCMP refused to release tapes of a crime scene, or a politician declared that sensitive original documents had been lost, leaving only edited ones for the public to see.  Would people smell a rat?
    The issue of trust is also an important one. Without a doubt, scientists have enjoyed a high degree of public regard. We think of them as honest, ethical folks, driven by a desire for the truth and dedicated to following the principals of the scientific method.  This naive notion has not been applied to any other field for quite some time, with the possible exception of fire fighters. Obviously scientist are human and should be treated as such. Any doubt that this is true was removed by the Climategate emails, and by the behaviour of the scientists themselves. Of course, actual evidence should not have been required. The number of scientists who are in the pay of industry or are members of activist groups (all the way to the executive level) should  give a reasonable person cause to suspect some degree of bias. Is David Suzuki an impartial scientist? Is any member of an advocacy group such as Greenpeace likely to be an objective observer? If you answered 'yes' two either of those questions then A: give your head a good shake and B: Try finding a single paper by Mr Suzuki or any other sell sword which does not agree with the narrative of their cause. Suspicious, no?
    The fact is that there is no room for activism in science. You can do one or the other. They are mutually exclusive. So is there any reason to be a little sceptical when the IPCC, the driving force behind the whole global warming movement has senior executives from Greenpeace, the world wildlife fund and other eco advocacy groups employed as senior editors and reviewers for their report on global warming? Only if you were born some time prior to yesterday afternoon. We scream about the RCMP judging the merits of complaints against the police, but we figure it is OK if greenpeace advocates assess the role of man in global warming? I am pretty sure that I can predict the outcome of the next IPCC report with far more accuracy that the climate models have been able to predict the last few years climate.
   That brings us to models. All hard science aside. all of the predictions of future warming and the effect of human produced CO2 emissions are based on a number of models. In order to create these models scientists take all the relevant variables (that they are aware of) that have been measured in the past and try to create a series of mathematical equations that can explain the variations in climate that have been observed. There are a lot of problems associated with this of course, like which variables are at play, how they interact, how well they were measured in the past, whether we even know what the temperature used to be, etc. etc. These problems are up to the scientists to work on. As long as the process is open to scrutiny, it's all good.
   Fortunately for us common folk, assessment of the quality of a model isn't all that hard. While it is possible to create a model to predict events that happened in the past with complete certainty, the real test of a model is how well it predicts the future. Anyone can assess this, with or without a science degree. How well are the models doing in this regard?  Well ask the scientists who made them. The line from the climategate emails that i remember best was that the models 'can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't '. So the model didn't predict the present accurately but it is still being used to predict the future. Would you invest all your savings with a broker who had a bad record of predicting market trends?  So why are we still taking the conclusions of the climate models as gospel? By the way, the aforementioned web site suggested i be rebutted with a line on how models HAD predicted SOME things accurately (emphasis mine). Don't ask me what exactly they predicted. Apparently it wasn't global warming.
    All of this has arisen in my mind as a consequence of a single assertion. When i first heard the term: "the science is settled" I bridled. I am a scientist, if only a little one. However, any scientist, no matter how small, knows that the science is never settled. Thus any scientist who signs onto such a statement is no scientist at all. Are you listening David?  Of course, this settled science argument was based on the equally unscientific principle of 'science by consensus'. There is no such thing. Letting consensus determine the truth is anti science. True science seeks the truth, not consensus. It is open to debate and examination, rather than seeking to close debate and punish argument with a nearly religious zeal. It isn't really science anymore when the scientist involved spend most of their time trying to get governments to act on their theories.
   Theory. That's a word we don't hear much in this debate. the fact is that the the whole global warming idea is a scientific theory. If you think otherwise, you are not a scientist (signed documents and funny hat notwithstanding). To put things into perspective, it is still the theory of evolution and the theory of relativity.
     It seems to me that most of the science involved with AGW involves just too much politics. This isn't esoteric, theoretical stuff. This is applied science which is being used to drive a major effort to change the world. All such efforts have winners, losers, and ulterior motives. Anyone who isn't at least skeptical in such times is a zealot or a fool.

Monday, 2 May 2011

A Good Day For Canada!

  Anyway I look at it, today was a good day. Harper's big win is definitely the highlight. If there is a sour note it is the rather shameless bias of the CBC and some others. Lets get this straight: Harper won because Canadians voted for him. We voted for him because he did a good job. He deserves the credit. If you are too petty to give him any credit then shut up and we will see you in 4 more years. If there is an embarrassment here it is the number of people who voted for the NDP based on 'the need for change'. Like the richest, fairest and best nation on earth needs change so bad we will take it without even knowing what is involved.  For those of you who voted that way: grow up! Like the man said: you gotta be rich in the first place to think like that.
   By the way, vancouver center: I hate you! Surely even heroin addicts, pimps, hoes and drug dealers can tell that Hedi Frye is the worst MP in the history of the parliamentary system. If you dont believe me, i have a load of barely burned crosses top sell you.

Osama Bin Ladin : Rest in Pieces!

I don't care if it is likely to weaken his terrorist network or not, I am glad he is dead. I don't think he should have received a decent burial though. Hopefully the words spoken over him were more of a curse than a blessing.

Friday, 29 April 2011

I've Seen Things You People Would Not Believe

It's a line from Blade Runner. Rutger Hauer follows it with some babble about ships afire and such. But after a little while on the internet i can say the same thing. Unlike Rutger's character, however, my experience has all the scarring and none of the cool factor.
  Until now i had never seen anyone die, or be tortured, or severely beaten, or set afire (repeatedly). I hadn't seen mass insanity, or mindless violence or parents murdering their children in cold blood. Now I have. I didn't go looking for this stuff, i was directed to it by other bloggers. They didn't send me there for a thrill, they sent me to educate me that such things exist in this world. It is a lesson i needed but one which i resent.
  I don't know what the point is in complaining here, maybe i thought i would sum it up in some one line lesson. I got nuthin'.  I wont link any of these sites, though God knows i should. It brings home the fact that we are probably the most sheltered society the world has ever known. Maybe that realization is the message i wanted to relate.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Monday, 25 April 2011

Stupid theories of the week.

I notice that more and more blogs are not allowing comments. While i can understand the motivation, it is a little frustrating when one cannot comment on fellow bloggers' (a liberty, i know) stupidity. So I will have to put it in here, in list form to make me feel better:
      1. The liberals and Bloc are tanking, the NDP are taking up the slack. It's all good. The problem i have is with those who are now trying to explain how the liberals are losing because, well, there is no place for them anymore. They have become irrelevant, they have no platform, etc. etc. I am, admittedly no expert on party policies, but even i can tell you there is a world of difference between the liberals and the conservatives, and an even bigger planet's worth between the libs and the NDP. Read their platforms, listen to their statements and play back their actions over the last 10 years. If you still don't see where the liberals fit in, stop blogging about it. you are just too damn dumb.
      2. I read today (again) some little tirade about welfare abuse by polygamists. Are people stupid or just ignorant? Is it really a polygamy issue? There are a lot of polygamist relationships out there, secular ones too. The parties in such relationships are entitled to welfare, in all its splendorous incarnations because they have no other means of support which are legally recognized. This is not an outrage, nor is there any reason to start pulling ones forelock over the fact that many of these unrecognized 3rd parties collect welfare by not declaring that they actually can and do receive financial support from their husband. True, its welfare fraud. However, it is also true that as crimes go, welfare fraud has got to be second only to speeding when it comes to offenses we tend to wink at. For example, as a landlord (for more than 20 years) i can attest that more than 75 percent of my tenants who collected welfare did so while living with a working partner. Had i reported them, what would have happened? How would it have been proved? If found guilty, how would the offender have been punished? Does the expression "blood from a stone" mean anything to you? 
   If you are worried about polygamist welfare fraud, then lift the law against polygamy, institute a system of taxation and inheritance for such marriages and thus remove welfare from the equation, just like we do with regular marriage. It is just plain stupid to pretend that polygamy is the problem here.
      3. Is it our very nature as canucks that we can't admit when one of our own does a good job? I should say : when one of our POLITICIANS does a good job (we go out of our way to praise our artists or writers regardless of actual merit).  Stephen Harper has led the country with a minority. He did so through a global financial crisis. He is still well regarded as a leader (see the polls on that one). However, the consensus in the press seems to be that he has only prospered in the absence of any real opposition. Sigh. Perhaps that's not stupidity, but it is a hell of a lot of cynicism.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

You gotta have kids to understand this one, or still be one.

The last one pretty much describes my home life for several years in the early days of child rearing.
http://lolsnaps.com/news/3928/0/



I could cry.

Friday, 15 April 2011

How I Found Out I Am A Racist.

When they first declared their intention to let native bands use sentencing circles on native law breakers i was pretty upset. A s if the Canadian legal system wasn't lenient enough. Of course when i found out that the native justice would only be used for native on native crime i was appeased.  That's it. That's all the evidence required.  For all you folks who support this piece of segregationist nonsense, ask yourself why. Do you support it as some sort of recognition that native criminals will be better served by native judges juries and sentencing protocols (which would make you a racist), or do you just not care because its what they want and you think appeasing them appeals to your white guilt without threatening your own safety (which makes you an idiot)?
    Face it folks, almost all of us are racists. There is a lot to be said about semantics here. As an exercise, try substituting the words 'race' or 'racial' for 'culture' or 'cultural' in any discussion  and see what i mean.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Dear America: We Suck. Love Nato

Sorry but i really do think a few nations ought to be more than a little ashamed. If you can't kick Libya's ass, what the hell did you spend your military budget on?

Can You See Where This is Going?

I recently read a story about how a couple ( from Norway or Sweden i think) could no longer foster children because they were serious Christians, and therefor would not approve of homosexuality. The child involved was not gay, and the couple had fostered a number of children before, quite successfully. At first glance i thought, hmmm well i suppose. On further reflection I have my doubts. For one thing, i thought we were supposed to tolerate gay behaviour, not accept or promote it necessarily.  Quite aside from that there is the question of where this sort of regulation could go.
   It isn't like our own little racism regarding fostering children. Here in Canada we try to foster certain kids according to race, on the assumption that... actually i can't even explain the logic other than : we are racist when it comes to natives. I think folks figure it isn't racism if you call it culture rather than race.
  No, the problem here is religious indoctrination, or as parents and sane people would call it: teaching our children. If the state wont lend a practicing Christian or Muslim a kid or two to foster because it doesn't like their beliefs that's one thing. One thing does lead to another however, and i wonder what 'another' might entail. Are we talking about  a future where the state prohibits parents from indoctrinating their kids into their religion?  Nah, that could never happen, except it already does in some places, like the USA for example. Of course we are talking about non traditional religions in the US case (wicca ) but I can certainly see the danger here. If a supposedly enlightened western state sees fit to regulate the beliefs of those people who care for wards of the state, it is only a matter of time before someone asks whether the same should not be done for all kids.

Why The Seat Belt Law Was a Bad Idea.

  I don't think the seat belt law was a good idea. I really don't. I am not saying this because i don't believe it saves lives , I am aware that it does. Or at least seat belts do.  The law, well it's hard to say. It is easy to say with certainty that that one little law has lead to a lot of other curtailments on the rights and freedoms of folks in general. It is a wonder what precedents will do.
  I came to BC riding on a couch in the back of an international travelall. I shared it with a bunch of other stuff we were bringing from winterpeg. I am not saying it was the smartest thing for my folks to do, but it wasn't against the law either. We used a couch as a back seat for a while. We also rode in the back of our pickup truck. Neither practice was all that safe, but the latter was a joy I will not forget. Sometimes I think many of my childhood memories were made special by the fact that I was doing things I can no longer do, rather than my age. Still, I am not advocating such devil may care vehicular adventures. My problem with the seat belt law has more to it than the dent it made in my enjoyment of life.
    Legislating personal safety is an infringement on personal rights, period. It doesn't matter if one feels it is a reasonable law, or whether it saves lives. How reasonable a law is is a completely subjective. I for one see no reason why bungi jumping, karaoke and jazz music should not reasonably be prohibited. Banning skate boarding, motorcycles, snowmobiles and swimming would save a lot of lives. Of course, seat belt laws don't proscribe an activity, they just require safe behaviour. That's the real problem though, the regulation of behaviour.
   Any idiot can, and will tell you that there is no such thing as absolute freedom, that there are laws against rape and murder and so on and so forth. They are idiots for pointing out the obvious, and the obviously inapplicable.  Law regulating behaviour were created in order to prevent us victimizing each other. If there were no victim, there should be no law. I don't have a problem with that sort of law. It's when the state starts forcing safe behaviour on me that i bridle. I have a right to live and die, so long as I don't harm others doing so, or at least I should have. If I want to be fat, or drive off a cliff, or sky dive it is my life, and only mine. I DO NOT consider the 'your behaviour costs others money treating your injuries' to be a legitimate justification. Besides being incredibly petty, it doesn't make sense considering it is the governments fault that I am on public health care is it not. First you force me to buy medicare, then you begrudge my use of it.
   For the record, I generally do wear my seat belt. I do so because I was convinced that it is the smart thing to do, not because I thing the cops will catch me (public education rather than legislation should have been the approach). SO whats the big deal? One word: precedent. Whenever someone wants to promote a law against some victimless activity there is the ready made precedent , ready to be trotted out the moment someone suggests that 'you can't regulate personal safety'. The old 'what about the seat belt law' argument rears its ugly head. It has been enough to see through a motorcycle helmet law, a bicycle helmet law, a motorboat operators course, rules against keeping exotic pets,  and who knows? maybe a toboggan helmet law, a smoking ban, a law against obesity (or at least supersizing those fries), a snowmobiling course, and perhaps even a playground helmet law. In every case the logic is the same. A: it save public money, and therefor can be demanded by the general public (whom the actual law will generally not affect) B: It will save lives (who can argue with that) and C: we have done it before with the seat belt law .
    The inability of most people to separate the good idea (wearing seat belts) from the bad idea (making it a law) has started us down the trail towards a society where the human right to be stupid can be restricted based on nothing more than the possibility that it might cost money.  If you think this is a good idea then I would remind you that 'stupid' is a very subjective term. I would also advise you to enjoy your freedom while you still can.
   

Monday, 11 April 2011

Hear Hear!

"When some new constraint is scrawled onto the blank page of freedom, it must be justified. The onus is on the person who wants to enforce that constraint to justify the need for it, rather than on those who must suffer its effects to explain why they should be spared. Just as a person is innocent until proved guilty, and the burden of proof is always on the True Believer, so the defenders of freedom should not really have to defend their position."
Tayles, commenter on Andrew Dellingpole's blog.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

"The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations"

I heard that that was a George Bush Quote. Never the less, does it not apply to most liberal and NDP ideas on leveling the playing field for Aboriginals?

Friday, 8 April 2011

When Are We Even Going To Talk About This?


hat tip Marginalized action dinosaur

Nah, contempt of parliament is a more important issue to Canadians....

We need a majority government. One with guts and a mandate. No Russian nobs to be considered.


RELATED:
  I read today about a trial of some folks for shooting wild horses in Alberta. Apparently, the crime was aggravated by the fact that the horse which was shot was pregnant. Soooo, it is more of a crime if a horse fetus is involved, but not a crime at all to kill a human fetus (as long as you own it).  Does that make sense to you?

The War we are not going to fight.

Since i was little i have lived with the notion that 'the big one' was on it's way. In some undefined manner, a massive, civilization ending war was inevitable. My house having a bomb shelter was probably contributory. As a kid and a young adult I managed to absorb enough apocalyptic movies, books and punditry (they called it news back then) to convince me that it was only a matter of time. The source of this conflict varied slightly but mostly it involved the Middle East.
   The years have passed, the wall came down and, though it might sound funny given the last decade or so`s hostilities, the middle east has become pretty unlikely as a source of world conflict. Or at least it HAD. I have to wonder if the new non-war in Libya is going to push us back into troubled times  in a big way. With the new declaration that U.S. ground troops may be used to support the rebels ( meaning fight the war for them) it has to be apparent to all observers that the limits to Western involvement in that civil war are along the lines of: it depends on what is needed to get the job done.  I am no big fan of Qaddafi, but as an arab dictator he is hardly alone. Other dictators in the area must see, as i do, that they too are in danger of being bombed and invaded should the opportunity arise. I have to wonder what would do in their place. Obtaining a nuke or two would work (Iran, anybody?) No? Well then how about obtaining a big brother who already has one? It worked for Egypt, back in the day when after a failed attempt to eradicate Israel, Cairo was in danger of being overrun. That time only the presence of Russian (sorry soviet) personnel in the line of fire prevented Israel from kicking Egyptian ass all the way up the Nile. Well, that and a threat of WW III from the Russians to the U.S., properly relayed to Israel  by the U.S. in the form of a cease and desist order.  Option two sounds good two me.
    If I were, say the dictator of, say Saudi Arabia, and I was a little worried about current events in Egypt, Yemen and most disturbingly Libya, I might want to explore the idea of more formal ties to a world power to protect my interests. One which did not participate in the Libyan invasion. One which is unlikely to jump into my living room in the interests of establishing democracy and freedom and the pursuit of happiness`. One which has not, in the last 20 years, participated or initiated 4 wars in and around the middle east. In other words, one which isn't the USA.
    Coincidentally, Saudi Arabia has declared an interest in exploring relations with the Russians or the Chinese. Any such arrangement would undoubtedly come at the expense of current one with the U.S. I doubt such an deal would do much to increase stability in the region. I also doubt that it would do much to deter arab anti Israel sentiments. It would , in my view increase the likelihood of a expanded war should war with Israel break out.
    I wonder whether there are any bomb shelter contractors in town?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Good Side of the Web:

Priceless!
 J.R.R. Tolkien sings Old Troll Sat On a Stone Alone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K9WmxwgW2J0

Man Food

I aeriously think that women with pink assault rifles are hot!

Why,Why,Why?

There are so many wonderful things about the internet that it seems a pity to harp on the down side. However ... One of the more debatable virtues of the 'net is the ability of anyone to express themselves and potentially reach a large audience. While it sounds like a good idea, there is also the fact that most of us have very little to say. As a long term veteran or the internet I can appreciate the downsides of widespread authorship. Remember web pages? Millions of personal sites, filled with keywords and little else, cluttering up searches for pretty well everything. Nowadays we have blogs, millions and millions of blogs, including this one. Everyone can have a blog, whether they merit one or not. There is a very well worn adage about how everyone has one good novel in them. Personally i feel that is nonsense. As evidence i would submit that most people don't even have a good blog in them.
   So what the hell am I writing a blog for? I know for a fact that i don't have anything close to a novel in me. As well, i am not under the illusion (delusion) that i have anything original to add to the millions of amateur editorials out there. I lack the wit of Mark Steyn (who can make me laugh and cry at the same time) or the dedication of  Ezra Levant  (you magnificent bastard, I read your book!) or the fellow behind Blazing Cat Fur ( does he ever take a break?) or the spirit of kathy Shaidle (more on her later) or Ann Barnhardt (she's my new hero).  I am not an activist, a zealot or even all that savvy about politics.
   So why the heck am I cluttering up the net?  While it may be vanity (or is it hubris) I do feel like i sometimes have a thought or two worth relating to the world. In order to do so i have a limited number of venues.
  I can continue to rant at my family. As good an (captive) audience as they are, it is rather unsatisfying preaching to the choir, since i have long ago impressed upon them that i, as their father am always right. Besides, i am beginning to suspect that some of my favourite themes are less than popular with today's youth (ie they are bored).
   I can continue to contribute to the various comments sections of the sites i regularly read. While I found this to be fun (at first) it was never satisfying. It is very difficult to present a complete argument in the space provided. As well, my contributions were always lost in the stream or comments, usually without even elicited any response from the author of the article, or even the other (crazy-ass) commenters. Also, comment wars are really lame, digressing as they tend to do into ad hominem attacks or debates on semantics. Also, i can never remember where i have posted stuff, so i can't even check back on them.
    I could engage my friends in debates or otherwise 'treat' them to my views on things. I have found that this approach happens to shrink ones friend pool. People tend to associate with folks who share their views for a reason after all. It doesn't help to shoot holes in their pet theories at get togethers or to point out how stupid their last status on facebook (or 'liked' site for that matter). It is perhaps a subject for a whole other post but how exactly are you supposed to stay friends with someone when they support something you think is evil incarnate?
   I could write a book.  HAHAHAHAHAHAH!  How likely is that from a guy whose brain can't sit still long enough to READ a book more than a two chapters at a time?
    Soooo, its the blog. After all, it has all the advantages:
                                                                               I can say what i want.
                                                                              No one is going to read it (hence no death threats).
                                                                              No one is going to read it (hence no CHRC complaints).
                                                                               I can delete posts from people whom i hate.
                                                                               I can write as much or as little as i want.
     And only one disadvantage :
                                           It does contribute to the overall clutter of the blogosphere (but i                                           I am selfish and thus unconcerned about this one).
So if you happen to be one of the (very) few, the proud who read this blog, welcome to my exercise is self absorption.  And, if i should learn to express myself coherently, and maybe some spelling, so much the better!

Monday, 28 March 2011

" I am now going to flee the scene before the authorities arrive because that was a big, f**king explosion"

This is why i want to move to Russia now: http://www.youtube.com/user/FPSRussia#p/u/23/YXONItsEU7E
The land of the free indeed! Bring it on! Oh, and as always, have a nice day!

Gun Envy


Along the lines of gun worshipping posts at Five Feet of Fury and such, here's the one I want :  http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-big-boy.cfm

A Kinetic Lie.

As a rule i don't like any foreign leader who's name i cannot spell. I am thus no fan of Ghadaffi. However, i dislike bullshit even more. Can someone tell me how a 'no fly zone' involves blowing up the presidents house or otherwise designates him as a legitimate target?  Even if you are a hawk you have to admit this is pretty far out there. Hats off to the intrepid reporters who at least tried to ask how no fly zones compare to air support for the rebels.
    On the other hand, given that Khadaffi has always maintained control over his populace via torture murder and intimidation, and has thumbed his nose at us for decades, how come he only now warrants an ass kicking? This latest military adventure (my suggestion as a substitute for 'kinetic military masturbatory exercise ') has the smell of a pack of dogs about it. When a dog get injured or trapped or otherwise panics,  it is instinctual for the dogs nearby to run to his aid  run up and kick his ass. Enter the Arab League.
  Related : Barack Obama on his way to S America to coordinate the kinetic military action:

"And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost.  It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.  And we will accomplish that in a relatively short period of time."(emphasis added)
  
I think it is time for the people of the United States to stand up and accept the fact that while this guy is in power they can no longer, in good conscience , make fun of our politicians (except maybe The Count.....or Libby Davies....or ....

A Good Time For A First Blog

If ever there was a time for a first blog this is it. If for no other reason than to ask whether ANYONE in Canada is in doubt about the whole coalition thing. Ignatief can't win, the NDP are not likely to gain seats and yet, they are all lathered up about an election. Why?    Moreover, how are they going to sell the idea to us prols? While we might buy the idea of a coalition, we are talking about one involving the leading party, not the two or three parties on the bottom end. It is almost worth getting Macleans again just to hear the regular contributors pontificate. Is Mark Steyn back yet i wonder?