Thursday, April 11, 2013

But Wait! There's More!

If there are still voters who think the Liberal Party speaks for them and that "green" energy is sound economically and environmentally, I am pleased to disappoint you:

A deliberate attempt to obscure the cost of those decisions by releasing only partial numbers? Testimony before the justice committee this week has shown the Liberals knew the $40-million cost of the Oakville cancellation that the former energy minister had insisted was the only true cost, in fact, referred only to sunk costs, and that the final bill would actually be much higher.

A punitive impact on taxpayers? The Ontario Energy Board announced last week that electricity rates will rise again on May 1, continuing a trend in which residential rates are expected to double over a 10-year period.

And, at the root of it all is the 2009 Green Energy Act, one of the signature policies of the McGuinty government, which comes in for quite a drubbing in a study from the Fraser Institute that will be released on Thursday.

The study, Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, doesn’t contain much that is new or unexpected to anyone who had paid close attention to the subject in recent years, but it lays out some key evidence about a policy decision that was designed to improve air quality while also fostering the creation of a “green jobs” economy. Specifically, the paper argues that air quality was already on a long-term trend of improvement since the 1960s, that closing coal-fired plants would have only a negligible effect on air-quality in the province, that the coal plants could have been retrofitted at a tiny fraction of the cost of the push toward renewables and that, as more and more inefficient wind projects are added to the grid, the cost of the system will ultimately have serious negative impacts on Ontario’s manufacturing and natural-resource sectors.

Put another way, the report argues that Ontario decided to solve a problem that didn’t need solving, and at a considerable cost that will continue to grow over the long term.
If it is possible to fire both Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne out of a cannon, make it so.

This is not news:

A Pentagon spy agency has concluded with "moderate confidence" that North Korea has the ability to launch nuclear-armed ballistic missiles but the weapons would probably be unreliable, a U.S. lawmaker said on Thursday.

A Pentagon spokesman later said it was "inaccurate" to suggest North Korea had a demonstrated ability to launch a nuclear missile. That view is supported by civilian experts.

The assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was made public by Republican Representative Doug Lamborn as he questioned Pentagon officials about North Korea's nuclear weapons program during a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee in Washington.

"DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles, however the reliability will be low," Lamborn said, quoting from a DIA report entitled "Dynamic Threat Assessment 8099: North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program (March 2013)".

Effectively confirming the assessment, a U.S. official said the quotation cited by Lamborn was in a section that had been erroneously marked unclassified. The study, dated last month, appeared to be the first time the agency had reached such a conclusion.

As I said, this is not news. This has been speculated before. Why this has become such a subject of great import now more than before remains a question. The irksome and untested Kim Jong-Un will more than likely be coddled by China no matter what he does. It will be up to President Park to keep up the pressure, financial or military, should anything at all happen.

Extra security money can always be found once your pointman in a gun-running scheme is dead:

President Barack Obama included $4 billion (2.6 billion pounds) to improve security at hundreds of overseas diplomatic posts in his budget proposal on Wednesday, in the wake of the deadly September 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Of course he bragged. When your best friend is a Kenyan dictator the president of the United States, you can get away with practically anything:

Jay-Z is answering those who criticized his recent trek to Cuba in the forum he knows best.

The hip hop superstar dropped a new track today addressing those who said his wedding anniversary trip to Havana, a city under U.S. travel embargo, was either inappropriate or against the law.

The rapper name-dropped his good buddy President Barack Obama along the way, and in doing so contradicted the government line that it didn't know who was traveling as part of the Cuban trip's "educational" program.

I hope the proles who love Beyonce and Jay Z are sitting in their hovels thinking: "Wow! Having that kind of money and fame is awesome!" When the pendulum swings the other way and Jay Z's exploits, approved at the executive level, are not just frowned upon but punished, they might hang their heads and feel ashamed that they ever thought this kind of thing was laudable.

I'm pretty well convinced that Jay Z, Beyonce and Obama will feel only the pinch of their fat wallets and nothing more.

It's just a kite-flying festival:

Pakistani authorities have dropped a plan to revive the 'Basant' festival and kite-flying in the central province of Punjab in the wake of a warning issued by Jamaat-ud-Dawah, which has described the event as 'un-Islamic'.

(thank you)

Yep, this sums it up.


And now, ten of the most beautiful places in the world. Enjoy.

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