Thursday, August 29, 2013

Attawapiskat: Everything the Left Feared Harper Would Be

So, imagine this: a people living in poverty, while a fortunate elite grows richer and richer. Police powers are used to suppress dissent, the media is strictly controlled, and elections are rigged.

This is what Canada's left has spent years insisting Canada would become under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Harper has been Prime Minister for seven years. It hasn't happened yet, no matter how hard various individuals have worked to make it seem as if it is.

But as it turns out, there is a place within Canada that fits this description perfectly. It just happens to be the First Nations reserve of Attawapiskat. And the left has had nary a word to say about it.

There's some irony in this. Not so much as a year ago, Attawapiskat's Chief, Theresa Spence, became a cause celibre for the Canadian left. She moved into a teepee on an island within sight of Parliament Hill and told anyone and everyone who would listen that she was on a hunger strike until Harper met with her. Among the dignitaries that met with her were then-Liberal leader Bob Rae, and now-Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

So far as the Canadian left was concerned, what's not to love? Spence was going to bring Harper to heel.

Of course, it became public knowledge in very short order that Spence wasn't on a hunger strike at all. She was eating fish broth at a prolific enough rate to somehow manage to not lose any weight while on hunger strike.

Then funny things began to happen. When media showed up in Attawapiskat to interview residents there about a scathing audit that found that the band couldn't account for how it was spending millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, they were escorted off-reserve by band police. The orders came from Spence, who also ordered Attawapiskat residents not to speak to the media.

Flash forward to a couple of days ago: Spence was narrowly reelected as Chief in an election in which  percent of band members -- those living off-reserve -- were denied the opportunity to cast a ballot.

Under Spence, Attawapiskat is everything the left says Canada is becoming under Harper (even though we can see it is not). Yet most of those who so vociferously applauded Theresa Spence when she was faking a hunger strike now have so little to say when she fakes an election.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Pothead's Case Against Legalization; the Libertarian's Argument For Decriminalization

If you believe pollsters -- or wingnuts like Michael Harris -- Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's sole policy proposal since becoming Liberal leader is paying dividends. Apparently, this idea of legalizing pot is a popular one.

Two million Canadians have admitted they regularly smoke marijuana, gaining Trudeau what Harris has implied is the Trudeau constituency. Perhaps it was to be expected that legalizing pot would be extremely popular amongst potheads: but only so long as they don't understand what legalization of pot would actually entail. It doesn't entail what they think it does. Not by a longshot.

While the pothead's case for legalization may seem obvious -- they like pot -- the pothead's case against legalizing pot is one that the 4/20 crowd ought to pay some attention to.

So what is the case against the legalization of marijuana? It actually happens to be closely tied to the libertarian's case for decriminalization.

First off, legalizing marijuana won't make the supply any cheaper. While it may eliminate the risk premium charged by dealers, it will undoubtedly also drastically reduce the number of producers. Reducing suppliers tends to mean reducing supply. Reducing supply inevitably increases price.

Perhaps you're the kind of user who grows their own. Certainly this won't affect you, right? Wrong.The legalization of pot would inevitably lead to the requirement that growers be licensed. The trade in seeds -- for which "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery is currently in prison -- would inevitably be the first thing cracked down on under a legalized pot regime.

Next, suppose that you enjoy pot that is stronger, with higher THC content. Well, one of the arguments in favour of legalization happens to be that legalization -- and the granted of limited and competitive monopolies in production -- will allow the government to regulate this. Better get used to weaker bud, bud.

Legalization will also affect the quantities in which you'll be able to buy your pot. Keep in mind that it's illegal to sell individual cigarettes. Expect the same with marijuana.

Last but not least, consider the core argument big-government types like Justin Trudeau use to support the idea of legalizing pot: that legalization allows it to be taxed. Consider it very carefully: it's basically campaigning for your vote on the back of a promise to tax you. Not that they'll tell it to you like this.

Now before you say anything, I know what you're thinking: Amerstam, right? Well, as it turns out Amsterdam is not a model of legalization. Pot is freely sold and consumed within the city's Red Light District, which is another way of saying "limited decriminalization."

The libertarian argument for decriminalization takes all of this off of the table, and merely suggests that the law not punish you for practicing the right to put whatever you want into your body so long as you're not harming anyone else while you're doing it. Canadian chiefs of police have come out in favour of this option, and with pretty good reason.

Sadly, this much can be said for Canada's pot smokers: to this point they haven't thought very deeply about what Trudeau has suggested. Some of them simply won't because they don't possess that kind of intellectual acumen. But for those who do, Justin Trudeau's gambit will inevitably be seen for precisely what it is: at best a Trojan Horse, and at worst a hollow promise calculated to dupe a bunch of dopes out of their votes.

Either way, don't fall for it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Grain crime no! Grass crime yes!

David Climenhaga. The name alone is enough to induce giggling among almost anyone who isn't, like Climenhaga, a complete and total hack.

There's a reason for this. And it is embodied in a recent blogpost Climenhaga published at, entitled "Grass crime no! Grain crime yes!" Wherein Climenhaga attempts to play the role of Mighty Casey, going to bat for Justin Trudeau, only to strike out. There is no joy in mudville.

In typically hackish fashion, Climenhaga attempts to shill for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, amidst the single, solitary policy point his has offered during his time as Liberal leader: the legalization of marijuana. It shouldn't be said that there isn't a case to made for this, just as it shouldn't be said that there's a case to be made against this.

But Climenhaga attempts neither case, and instead attempts to transform it into an ill-fitting microcosm of the issue that is almost certainly Climenhaga's #1 beef with the Conservative government Prime Minister Stephen Harper leads: the decline of statism under the Harper government.

As it turns out, Climenhaga is still nurturing quite the grudge over the Harper government's decision to pardon a group of Alberta farmers who had the nerve -- the utter gall! -- to sell their own grain outside of the Canadian Wheat Board's now-abolished monopoly.

"Unmentioned in the coverage of this brouhaha, however, has been Harper's inconsistency when dealing with lawbreakers whose misdemeanours involve other vegetative materials. Indeed, his hypocritical rallying cry seems to be: 'Grass crime no! Grain crime yes!'

I speak, of course, of the PM's admiration, affection and support for the 14 farmers -- one of whom is now an Alberta legislator himself -- who in 2002 openly broke the laws governing how to export wheat and barley to the United States. A dozen of them were eventually found guilty of willfully breaking several laws and served time in jail.

If you are a lawbreaker who takes a couple of tokes at home and admits it, apparently you earn a curled lip and Harper's undying contempt.

But if you are a lawbreaker who rolls past the Canada Border Services Agency's agents in a truck loaded with grain to sell illegally in the United States, and do it with sufficient defiance to calculatedly get a jail term, you earn a photo opportunity with the same prime minister, his unstinting praise, and the co-operation of Parliament to overturn the law you ignored. What's more, you get a prime ministerial pardon!

If you then decide want to run for public office yourself, you can count on the support of the prime minister's party apparatus -- as was the case with Rick Strankman, who is now the Wildrose MLA for Drumheller-Stettler.

Alert readers will recall that Strankman spent a week in jail for taking part in just such a shenanigan back in 2002 when he and a group of a dozen other market-fundamentalist farmers drove their trucks across the Canada-U.S. border at Coutts, Alta., and illegally sold grain to a US. broker to protest against the collective bargaining role that was then the responsibility of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Canadian farmers will undoubtedly suffer as a result of the eventual demise of the Wheat Board in 2011 -- indeed, it is already happening -- and taxpayers in all parts of Canada, rural and urban alike, will be asked to bail them out. But the farmers who took part in the willful violation of the Customs Act were certainly entitled to fight for their economic beliefs, however misinformed."

This is all giggle-inducing for a number of reasons.

First off, "journalism teacher" David Climenhaga apparently doesn't consider himself above using a press release from the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance to make the case that grain farmers are suffering under the open market that grain farmers themselves spent decades demanding. If Climenhaga had done any amount of independent research -- instead of simply parroting his statist bosom buddies -- he would have learned that the reduced premiums for high-protein wheat are being driven by an increase in abundance of high-protein wheat, particularly outside of Canada where the CWB has absolutely never had any say in what those prices will be.


Not to mention that the grievous crime of defying the statism that Climenhaga so cherishes pales in comparison to the kind of crime -- property crime and violent crime -- that swirls around the drug trade. Marijuana is not exempt.

Which, all things considered, is enough to demonstrate that, as far as wedge issues go, David Climenhaga could have picked a better slogan than "grain crime no! Grass crime yes!"

There is no joy in mudville.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Behold: the Yutziest, Most Narcissistic Anti-Climate Change Campaign Ever

I discovered this on Twitter today. And the more of it I see, the more amazed I am; for the wrong reasons.

Apparently, Rob Shirkey is going to change the world. I mean, the whole world. And how's he going to do it? I'm glad you asked. Apparently, the following video explains it:

Yup. Warning labels.Warning labels are going to change the world.

Apparently, if Shirkey can get a warning label put on every gas nozzle in the country -- nay, the world! -- then everyone who picks up a gas nozzle to fuel their vehicle is going to look at it and exclaim "holy shit! Climate change!"

Then they will promptly grow a beard, don skinny jeans and devote themselves to never, ever using fossil fuels again. Which means that they will promptly stop driving -- in fact, they'll cease any travel of nearly any kind -- they'll stop using electricity, and they'll stop consuming any products transported using fossil fuels. Which basically means they'll stop eating.

Their reward? Apparently, a shiny bauble that declares them to be a "climate change champion." Sure, it's a fantastic way to manipulate children, but that's just what climate change activists do.

But enough about other people. As so many left-wing activists' campaigns are now, Shirkey's campaign is basically about Shirkey. So maybe it's a good time to discuss what's in it for you.

And if you donate to the campaign, just look at some of the things you can get!

That's right. An autographed warning label! Because apparently Rob Shirkey is kind of a big deal, and despite the fact that you've never heard of him, you would want that. Apparently.

Personally, I don't know what's sadder: that Shirkey would think to offer people autographed warning labels -- apparently just presuming that people would actually want them -- or that, as of the writing of this, nine people have actually jumped at that.

But enough ridicule. Could this campaign actually work? Sure it could, in the sense that it could actually get municipal governments to pass bylaws requiring these warning labels. But will the warnings work? Probably not.

Shirkey himself notes that warning labels on tobacco packages have been shown to work. And sure they can. But, then again, no one needs to smoke. People may be addicted to nicotine, but this is not the same as needing to smoke. As a favourite LW troll realized recently, people need fossil fuels, in one way or another. People need to get around. They need to get groceries. They need to heat their homes.

Perhaps the labels could -- at best -- convince some wealthy urbanite hipster to start feeling really guilty and buy a Prius. Which still runs on fossil fuels, BTW.

Other than that, this campaign has about as much chance of stopping climate change as a Toyotra Prius does surviving a head-on collision with a semi-truck. Which almost makes me feel sorry for the yutz behind it all.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Media Coop Pays Greg Renouf a Compliment

If you were to believe the slander peddled by various far-left activists in Canada, you would think that Greg "Genuine Witty" Renouf is a dastardly man. Dangerous even.

Obviously Daniel Johnson of the Media Coop thinks so. He even wrote a recent blogpost entitled "This Man is STILL Dangerous." Based entirely on the facetious accusations of over-defensive far-left activists and the findings of what passed for a tribunal in the Occupy movement -- the orchestrators of which have openly boasted about denying Renouf an opportunity to defend himself at -- the post really one makes one thing clear: that far-left activists are increasingly unable to defend their actions with facts or logic, and so resort to character assassination. It's what they do. It's who they are.

If you read Johnson's version of the events regarding Renouf at Occupy Toronto and Occupy Vancouver, and never bothered to seek out any additional information -- otherwise known as Renouf's side of the story -- you may be at risk of taking it seriously.

Of course, if you did seek any additional information, you would discover -- as I did -- that the accusations of "sexual harassment" have been trumped up to a positively comical degree, and that the so-called "stalking" of "young female activists" was in fact challenging aspiring far-left leaders over their frequently-thuggish tactics.

This is where I actually came in. See, in 2011 I put together a YouTube video entitled "In their own words: Harsha Walia." In the video No One is Illegal's Harsha Walia expresses open support for the violent tactics of Black Bloc protesters. She even admitted to knowing who the organizers of this thuggery was. Which makes her oddly complicit in the terrorist activity of the Black Bloc.
That was Walia in her own words.

 Now, if you're the kind of person who cherishes peacefulness as a political virtue, this would be the kind of thing that would alarm you. So Renouf -- being this kind of person -- began to ask Walia questions. She declined to give any clear answers. Renouf quite rightly declined to take her dissembling for an answer.

Renouf's relentless questioning of Walia -- who aspires to a position of leadership in far-left circles, and thus is obligated to answer such questions -- set off a chain of events that led not only to the kangaroo-court-style expulsion of Renouf from Occupy Toronto, but also Renouf being repeatedly physically intimidated by Black Bloc ringleader Alex Hundert and even being assaulted.

So really, aside from aggressively seeking the truth about Walia's position on political violence, is Renouf guilty of? Well, it turns out that he's committed a cardinal sin according to Walia: publicly questioning and criticizing those who would otherwise be his compatriots. See, Walia has expressed the view that, out of solidarity, far-left activists are strictly verboten from publicly criticizing their "allies." Think of it as something of a left-wing omerta. Apparently among their other strategic uses, the Black Bloc are the de facto enforcers of this code.

 But Renouf refuses to abide by this code of silence. And so they assault him, threaten him, and slander him at every turn. You can tell the comparative courage of a far-left activist by which tactic they adopt. I say comparative courage because, in fact, none of them are ever truly courageous. Even when they come to assault him, they lack the stones to do it one-on-one, despite the fact that Renouf is not a physically imposing individual.

Yet despite having been assaulted in Kensington Market by a pack of thugs bearing a flagpole, Renouf continues. Despite being intimidated whenever he shows up to document what they do in public, Renouf continues. Despite all the slander, Renouf continues. That is true courage, and his detractors would do well to find some of their own.

As it turns out, Daniel Johnson and the Media Coop have paid Renouf the highest compliment one can be paid: to be called "dangerous" by villains. I can personally think of none higher.

BTW - If Daniel Johnson is going to blather about Greg Renouf being dangerous, the least he can do is not encourage people to tamper with rail lines. Makes sense to me, right?