Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mid-Week Post

The molten core of the week.

Last night's debate allowed two candidates to point out McGuinty's crappy record:

On all three counts, Mr. Hudak, the Progressive Conservative leader, and Ms. Horwath, the NDP leader, outscored Dalton McGuinty.

If there was a dominant theme, it was, inevitably, the McGuinty government's track record and the opposition leaders' demands for change.

Predictably, Mr. McGuinty spent much of his time defending his policies.

The problem with that is that when you're explaining, you're losing, and the Premier spent far too much of the debate trapped on the defence to have had any hope of coming out ahead.

Hudak came out stronger which is not hard to do against a known liar.

Why not attach the record of the student's lying and stealing to his or her academic record? Try worming out of that.

Yes, Section 13 should be gotten rid of because it allows certain parties to ruin those with whom they find fault and with the backing of the Crown to do it, it limits free expression and speech, and because hate laws are fluid and not clearly or fairly defined or applied:

A Tory MP plans to introduce legislation as early as Friday calling for the repeal of a section in the federal human rights code banning hate speech over the Internet.

Despite being a backbencher, Brian Storseth is convinced the bill will succeed because nearly every Tory MP opposes Section 13, and he believes the Harper government wants to see it repealed.

"Section 13 suppresses the basic right to freedom of speech in our society that is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights & Freedoms," said Mr. Storseth, who represents the Alberta riding of Westlock-St. Paul.

Hate speech that is truly capable of bringing harm to an identifiable group or individual is already dealt with in the Criminal Code, he said. In those cases, police investigate and the Attorney General has to lay the complaint to ensure the allegation is not frivolous.

"We need to have some reasonable tests of harm in our society and I believe the Criminal Code looks after that and ensures that Canadians aren't targeted by hatred," he said.

"But the difference is that in a court there is the openness and transparency, which you don't have through the human rights tribunal. In a tribunal, a person can lay a complaint, but doesn't have to have their name attached to it. There's no cost or expense to the person putting the complaint forward, no matter how frivolous that complaint might be. And it violates the fundamental right of an accused to face his accuser.

"At the end of the day, all the onus and costs are put on the defendant and this should not be the basis of our justice system."

Suppressing free speech can help drive abhorrent views underground, allowing them to fester and grow, he adds.

"We need to have liberty of free speech and it's ultimately freedom of speech that looks after these issues by allowing the light of day to destroy hateful propaganda."

The bill is expected to come to a first vote in early November, about a month before the constitutionality of Section 13 will be reviewed by a federal court.

Conservative MP Brad Tost is intent on locking horns with Harper. And well he should. Harper should develop a spine and stop funding genocide in other countries.

A Conservative MP has publicly blasted his government’s decision to grant $6-million in new funding to an organization that supports abortion in developing countries.

“People have asked how funding (the International Planned Parenthood Federation) squares with the repeated statement that Canada will not fund abortion internationally,” Saskatoon-area MP Brad Trost said in a statement released on his website on Wednesday. “The PMO attempts to square this circle by only permitting IPPF funding to go into countries that ban abortion.

“Considering that promoting abortion internationally is central to the identity of IPPF, this sort of political hairsplitting only seems to make sense in the Ottawa bubble. This is a position I totally reject.”

Saudi Arabia exports anti-Christian/anti-Jewish textbooks. What a surprise:

Textbooks used in Saudi Arabia’s schools contain virulent forms of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry that continue to fuel intolerance and violence around the globe, says a new report.

The problem is far greater than the five million students in Saudi Arabia who use these texts every day, said Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

Because of the Saudis’ great oil wealth, it is able to disseminate its textbooks far and wide,” she wrote in the report, Ten Years On.

“[These textbooks] are posted on the Saudi Education Ministry’s website and are shipped and distributed free by a vast Saudi-sponsored Sunni infrastructure to many Muslim schools, mosques and libraries throughout the world.

“This is not just hate mongering, it’s promoting violence,” she said in an interview. It is exporting terrorism through textbooks.

Christians are referred to as “swine” and Jews as “apes,” while being blamed for much of the world’s ills.

She notes in the report that since the Saudis control Islam’s holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina, they can “disseminate its religious materials among the millions of Muslims making the Hajj each year. Hence, these teachings can have a wide and deep influence.”

It was not a coincidence that 15 of the 19 attackers on 9/11 were Saudis, she added.

You know, ethical oil from Canada would put a dent in this sort of thing. Just saying.

Related: Saudi Arabia flogs a woman for driving.

Women aren't flogged in Canada for driving. Just saying.

China is a pit of pollution (as we all know):

A combination of an infrastructure building spree and the ramping up of carbon-intensive industries after the 2008 financial crisis means China is now being catapulted into the ranks of developed world countries when it comes to per person carbon dioxide emissions.

China already emits more carbon per person than France and Spain and on current trends will surpass the United States as early as 2017, according to the report conducted by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment agency and sponsored by the European Commission.

"Due to its rapid economic development, per capita emissions in China are quickly approaching levels common in the industrialized countries," wrote the authors of the report, Long-Term Trend in Global CO2 Emissions.

The reports says, "If the current trends in emissions by China and the industrialized countries including the U.S. would continue for another seven years, China will overtake the U.S. by 2017 as highest per capita emitter among the 25 largest emitting countries."...

"China doesn't want to acknowledge that it's no longer 'just another developing country,' but as its total and per capita emissions rise, it's inevitable that China will have to take a greater degree of responsibility both domestically and in the international arena," he said.

Don't take on the mighty Thor, hippies:

So the politically correct British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has decided to rid itself of the terms BC and AD - given those terms' strong links to the life of Jesus Christ. Yet the network, or the equally socio-culturally correct academia, have not started a move to banish the words "Sunday" and "Monday" (with astrological links to the "sun and "moon") or the words "July" and "August" (with their reference to the dictatorial Julius and Augustus Caesar). These terms, by the same reasoning, bring supposed approval to astrology and tyranny.
If the BBC wants to get rid of BC and AD, it should go all the way.

The Mighty Thor doesn't take kindly to intellectual weakness.

If you're going to talk the Stone Age talk, don't use the Digital Age walk to screw over someone who called you out on your obvious exhibitionism:

THE assumed right of unfettered freedom of speech was trumped by laws protecting against racial vilification this morning after the Federal Court delivered its decision on the controversial "white Aborigines" case of Pat Eatock v Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. 
Justice Mordy Bromberg found Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times contravened the Racial Discrimination Act by publishing two articles on racial identity which contained "errors in fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language".

Speaking outside court, Bolt said it was "a terrible day for free speech in this country".

"It is particularly a restriction on the freedom of all Australians to discusss multiculturalism and how people identify themselves," Bolt said....

In the articles, on April 15 and August 21, 2009, Bolt wrote that some fair-skinned Aboriginal people, whom he called "political Aborigines'', had received prominence or indigenous awards because they chose to identify with their Aboriginality.

The Eatock action claimed Bolt's articles - which appeared under the headlines "It's so hip to be black'' and "White fellas in the black'' - had "offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated'' them and were a breach of racial vilification laws.

In court during hearings in April, Neil Young, QC, for Bolt, had argued that freedom of speech "trumped" other rights and was a cornerstone of democracy.

"Everything that's said, even if it's expressed colourfully, is rationally related to a thesis that's a matter of public interest,'' Mr Young had said.

He argued the legal test for racial vilification was how an informed person would interpret the views expressed in Bolt's articles.

But Ron Merkel, QC, for the complainants, said there was no attempt by Ms Eatock or other members of the group to shut down freedom of speech or debate about racial identitity issues.

Mr Merkel said Bolt was free to express his views on the subject but should not have chosen to attack the nine individuals he named in his columns and blog.

In the sometimes heated court exchanges, Bolt took exception to Mr Merkel's comparison of the debate and Bolt's views to Nazi race laws, the Holocaust and eugenics.

Bolt argued those who chose to identify with only one part of their background over another were contributing to racism and came at the cost of less focus on the important issues of education, housing, health and poverty.

The parties were asked by Justice Bromberg to meet and discuss what orders the court should make.

And now, some Sicilian fried food.

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