Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kai Nagata, The Tyee & the Far-left's Ethical Oil Strawman

There was once a time when the left despised McCarthyism.

But as I consider the left's most recent anti-oilsands talking point -- raising the spectre of Chinese communism vis a vis Sinopec's interests in the Alberta oil sands -- it becomes impossible to believe that's still true.

It seems that the left actually loves McCarthyism -- when it's baselessly turned against their opponents.

In a recent YouTube video, produced by far-left propaganda rag The Tyee and uploaded to YouTube by none other than Kai Nagata -- who left a cushy job at CTV because it simply wasn't left-wing enough for him -- two Muppet-esque puppets, K Mart and Ezy E, rap about their dedication to the oilsands.

The video is actually everything you've come to expect from the far-left, a near-three minute mashup of ad hominem attacks on Ezra Levant and Kathryn Marshall. But it concludes with what is actually the most intellectually dishonest argument anti-oilsands argument the left has offered yet: that anyone supporting the oilsands and the Keystone XL pipeline have become handpuppets for Mao Zedong.

Ignore the obvious (that Zedong has been dead since 1976) and the even more obvious (that China is no longer actually a communist state in anything but name) and perhaps this seems like a devastating argument. But considering that the logical and factual shortcomings of the argument are so purely evident, and that individuals like Kagata continue to use it, and a simple, undeniable fact emerges:

These are people who just don't respect the intelligence of Canadians.

Even if China were a communist state, this would also a drastic about-face on the approach the left demanded be taken toward communist states since the 1960s, when the left insisted that the way to approach communist states was to engage with them, not attempt to isolate them. Isolating communist countries, they insisted, would only cause them to re-trench.

Not to mention a policy of isolation is just exceedingly poor geo-politics.

Simply put, China is not a country that will simply consent to being isolated, politically or economically. An inability to import oil from the oilsands won't reduce the Chinese economy's demand for oil one iota. Instead, China will seek to satisfy that demand by purchasing even more oil from places like Saudia Arabia, Iran, and the Sudan.

Whether Nagata and the rest of the far-left like this fact or not, that one's inescapable.

So it's a very simple question of whether these people think Chinese funds would be better spent purchasing the most ethical oil on the planet from Canada, or purchasing conflict oil from the Sudan, or oppression oil from Saudi Arabia or Iran.

Regardless of how they may try to squirm out of answering this question, it's predicated on an inescapable fact: China will import oil. Knowing that, it's a question of where they will import that oil from.

And where has their inability to answer this very simple question taken them? Into the dark realm of McCarthyism. One they used to hate, but now they indulge themselves in.

All the ad hominem attacks and McCarthyite strawmen in the world will not change this one inescapable fact, and it will not make this one inescapable question go away.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Left's Smoking Gun on Robocalls... No Smoke, No Gun. Well Done.

This story isn't what the left thinks it is... not even remotely

As much as I want to take the Robocalls "scandal" seriously -- I've tried, really I have -- there are people who are making it exceedingly difficult.

For the most part, these are the individuals who insist that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party are to blame for concocting a scheme to "steal" the 2011 election. They have absolutely no evidence of this whatsoever, and for their own purposes, no evidence is necessary. In fact, like any conspiracy theorist, they treat the lack of evidence as, itself, evidence.

Likewise, organizations such as leadnow have been doing everything within their power to... actually make sure that it's as hard as possible for Elections Canada to get to the bottom of this affair. Comically, all while demanding a judicial inquiry all the while... a judicial inquiry which they would certainly seek to similarly exploit for their own partisan ends.

It's just the way they do things.

Now, with their 31,000 contacts with Elections Canada having been revealed to have yielded only 700 complaints with even the faintest pretenses of legitimacy.

Now they're trying to pass off objections raised by former MP Inky Mark -- who objected to the creation of the Constituency Information Management System -- as if it were a smoking gun in the robocalls affair. Except that it isn't.

Mark notes that he objected to the creation of CIMS because it could be used to undermine the autonomy and independence of local candidates. “If they get mad at you and don't want you to access your own data, you're done,” Mark said. “I figured that out right off the bat and said I don't want to be under their control, so I just quit basically.”

“I always have thought independently, even with [election] signage at home,” he continued. “I always knew that I had to do my own thing, because ... they can control you 100 per cent, and that's exactly what happened with CIMS.”

Is this actually evidence that the Conservative Party had anything to do with the fraudulent calls reported during the 2011 election? Absolutely not. Anyone who thinks it is is simply allowing their imagination to run away with them.

Interestingly enough, Mark's complaint -- that it gives the party too much power -- isn't even one restricted to the Conservative Party. The Green Party -- and its leader, Elizabeth May -- has been haunted by complaints, by potential challengers to May for various nominations, that they, too, were denied information by the party.

In fact, May has been accused of using internal Green Party information to her own benefit, and denying it to her opponents.

No one would take that as evidence that Elizabeth May is involved in any fraudulent election calls, and with good reason... because it isn't. Yet there are those who are so desperate to use Inky Mark's comments on the Tories' CIMS as just this kind of evidence -- which, again, it isn't -- not realizing that they're basically making these kinds of implications by extension.

That's just how sad the Robocalls affair has become. There is a story here, hopefully Elections Canada will get to the bottom of it, but those who claim to be the most alarmed about it are doing nearly everything they can to make sure this never happens.

There's a reason for this: as long as Elections Canada has never gotten to the bottom of this, and never cleared the Conservative Party of involvement, they'll be able to continue deceiving Canadians by implying the Tories are behind it all.

To that end, they can't afford the truth to ever be uncovered. And so, they misdirect Canadians with a procession of false smoking guns.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What Bill C-10 and the Summit Series Have in Common

Today, the Canadian left and their handmaidens in the consensus media are apoplectic over the passage of Bill C-10.

Now you can expect that those determined to fight the changes to Canada's criminal code will be gnashing their teeth and searching for any number of end-runs around the political process. Maybe they'll even write the Queen again!

Or not.

Perhaps nobody has captured the hysteria of the left as succinctly as Vancouver East MP Libby Davies:
That's been the standard response of the opposition to Bill C-10. At every turn, they've marched out any number of reports from the consensus academia, and the consensus media, basically insisting that Canada's approach to criminal justice had perfected the art, and that it could never be any better.

Those who have been paying attention know better. That Canada's continually-declining official crime rate has been offset by an also continually-increasing rate of unreported crime -- as detected by self-report surveys -- merely obfuscates the detail that Canada's criminal justice institutions have become moribund institutions.

We've seen this kind of media- and officialdom-fuelled complacency before.

In 1972, Canada's professional hockey players were expected to absolutely crush the Soviet Union's national team in an eight game series. In fact, they were expected to sweep them in eight straight games.

It didn't happen. Canadian hockey players were still the most passionate hockey players to be found anywhere, but the Soviet Union had shown the world a new vision for what hockey could be, and within twenty years North American hockey would look an awful lot more like the hockey played by the Soviet nationals than the hockey played by the NHL of the day.

In other words, the hockey world compared two distinct styles of play, and by combining the best elements of the two, was able to create something new, and something better.

This almost didn't happen. When it finally did, it only happened because of people who were brave enough to challenge those who still insisted that hockey just couldn't be played any better than the NHL was playing it.

Today, the issue isn't hockey, but crime. But all the same, there are a deafening number of voices who are insisting that change to the criminal justice system cannot be tolerated, because it just can't be done any better.

They've seized on almost any point they can to try to make this point. They point to the number of individuals imprisoned in the United States, and to Republican politicians who say that mandatory minimum sentencing is a failure, but they never bother to mention that a great deal of this is because of three-strikes legislation on simple possession of recreational drugs -- particularly marijuana -- and that this is something that is not on the table in Canada.

In the end, they'll wind up eating the same crow that was eaten in 1972. And they won't like it one bit more.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sorry, Lorrie, This Just Doesn't Wash

Far too many questions about Robocalls to dismiss the whole of it as innocent

A column by Lorrie Goldstein on the "robocalls" investigation raises some interesting questions about some of the specific complaints at the heart of the affair. Unfortunately, it just doesn't answer some of the most troubling questions.

Goldstein raises the spectre of Conservative voters directed to the wrong polling stations by individuals calling on the part of the Conservative Party. He attributes this to polling stations being relocated by Elections Canada, and so far as this much goes, he's almost certainly correct.

Many more of the calls can likely be explained by simple human error -- call centre volunteers getting scripts mixed up -- In fact, this particular complaint could be explained just that simply. But the explanation about Tory volunteers "shortening" their scripts to say they're from Elections Canada, instead of from the Conservative Party of Canada, simply doesn't pass the smell test.

It doesn't even begin to explain calls such as this one, reported by the CBC as being linked back to Rack9.

Likewise, there's little question that the opposition, and their proxies at groups such as Leadnow, are throwing "everything but the kitchen sink" complaints into this affair. They're actually doing Canadians a very deep disservice, because it means that a lot of complaints with simple and innocent explanations will divert resources that should be devoted to investigating the actual vote-suppressing calls.

But that doesn't erase the very serious nature of the robocalls affair. At this point it's undeniable and cannot be ignored that someone has done something very wrong. Conservative Canadians have every bit as much an interest in this as anyone else. We're all in this together now... us versus the guilty people.