Saturday, June 20, 2009

Revolutionary Guard Siding With the People?

Some evidence is coming in showing elements of the Revolutionary Guard of Iran standing down, or even vowing to defend the protesters.


If this is true, then Iran may have gone from mass protests to full blown revolution.

Video of Iranian Thugs Opening Fire on Crowd, and Crowd Not Backing Down

Here. Apparently from earlier today.

Obama: Not Concerned About Right and Wrong, but About "Tenor and Tone"

When you live in a world where words and words alone are the beginning, middle and end of all matters, then it is perhaps understandable that one's principal concern for a dictatorship brutally repressing a populace crying out for freedom, is the 'tenor and tone' of the dictators.

The problem, of course, is that the real world goes beyond mere words and sophistry, and into concrete actions. Out in the world beyond the academic, the literary, the poetic prose, the nuance and the tortured moral equivalence, we face concrete things such as:

- killing of the lowest order: not in the name of preserving the life and liberty of one's neighbors, as soldiers must sometimes do, but in order deny our neighbors these god given rights,

- state repression: not mere crimes committed by society's outcasts, but sanctioned wrongs which cannot elicit punishment, and

- control of thought, speech and information: not a purposeful, debated and balanced weighing of competing societal interests, but a bald control of information as a tool to retain power.

I draw on these examples because those who live in a world of nuanced moral equivalences, those who pointed to the monitoring of suspected terrorist calls, or a handful of rogue soldiers in Abu Garib, as examples of the worst kind of state repression (often for purely partisan reasons), are now befuddled and muted when confronted with the stark differences in that which they have claimed were the same.

The reason there are millions of citizens crying out in Iran, as opposed to a handful of special interest groups with a cackle of special interest media following them around, is that there is a difference between grievances we experience in the West and the horrors those from countries like Iran must endure. It is quantifiable, calculable, and morally certain. Our handful of "repressors" at Abu Garib were investigated and punished in accordance with the law. Their repressors ARE the law. There is no comparison between state repression of freedoms, and the imperfections and grievances that will always arise in a modern democracy.

An epic battle is being waged at a time and place that will no doubt shape the history of our World. In this battle there is no mushy middle. There are no nuanced qualifications or limitations. It is not about tone or tenor.

It is simply about right and wrong.

Friday, June 19, 2009

No "Hope and Change" for Iranians

Krauthammer. Read it all.

During the presidential election those who actually sought to scrutinize, rather than fawn over Obama (much of the media being in the latter category) noted his 130 "present" votes in the Illinois legislature and wondered if he would also take a pass on hard decisions as president.

As Krathammer rightly notes, what's going on in Iran may be the beginning of the end of brutal theocratic rule and a tectonic shift towards democracy in that region. Millions cry out for democracy against rulers who are avowed enemies of the U.S. and whose main export in the region is terrorism and proxy warriors.

And Obama votes "present".


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Media Bias By the Numbers

ABC News, which is hosting what is essentially an Obama infomercial on his health care plan, has its donations numbers released.

By way of background, the general public voted roughly 53% to 47 %, for Obama.

So did ABC employees donate close to 50:50? Nope.

55: 45? Keep trying.

60:40? Uh uh.

75:25? Not even close.

Try 33:1.

At that level, imagine the group think, the complete one-sidedness, the base assumptions that not only go unchecked, but where the alternative viewpoint is not even comprehended. By the way, these numbers are no aberration but are consistent with other similar studies.

There's a reason why the implicit message in every media story is "why isn't the government doing something", why conservatives' ads are viewed as abhorrent even if they're true whereas Liberal dishonest ads ("we're not making this up") are just normal politics, why the media has long since forgotten the greatest political scandal of our time which tore at the very underpinnings of government accountability - bypassing it to flog a conservative PM from two decades ago, why Harper giving a speech to Americans is viewed as the under current of U.S. manifest destiny whereas pointing out Iggy actually declared himself to be American is somehow off base, etc, etc, etc.

The media is on their team. It's as simple as that.

Did I Hear That Correctly? Iggy's Back to Blustering About Taking Down the Conservatives?

"Let me at him, just let me at him" Iggy yells to an empty school yard, an hour after he ran away from his after-school fight with the biggest kid in class he had bragged about beating to a pulp all week long.

(Translation for the french link: "Iggy's telling his troops to prepare for a November election")

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iggy: Credibility Gone

Two opposing parties agree to have a look at an issue a few months down the road - seems reasonable to me.

The problem for Iggy, is that for weeks he was promising his supporters the rumble in the jungle, the battle royal, doing the "if you don't give me what I want, I'll bring you down...just try me" bluster, when all he was ever prepared to do was have a nice little fireside chat. The NDP will be merciless at Iggy's failure to obtain anything concrete.

But the results of this fizzled melodrama are far less important than what it says about the man who wants to one day lead this great country. If his supporters can't trust him to do what he says why should the rest of us? After going so far out on a limb to show he means business, only to crater when the chips were down, how can he ever be taken seriously?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If Not Now, Then When?

The liberal media is in a foul mood. The folks at Macleans Blog are engaging is excessive apathy - trying too hard to show they're dismissive and disinterested and thus evidencing the precise opposite.

The Libloggers aren't happy campers either. They all have good reason to be disappointed. It appears the brilliant anointed one won't take down a conservative government supposedly unfit to govern, in the midst of the worst economic downturn in a generation.

Perhaps aligning with their friends in the media in a desperate and continual search for the scandal du jour to provide an instant road to power, instead of figuring out where they stand from an ideological and policy standpoint, isn't the way to go after all.

Then again, perhaps they've figured out that there's no where to go ideologically, and have decided that daily attempts to manufacture a scandal are their only chance at power.

Putting aside the long term prospects of the Liberal brand, the most pressing question Liberals everywhere must be asking themselves is: if not now, then when?

The Academic's Solution: More Questions

About what you'd expect from a man who spent his adult life in academia where there is no need for concrete solutions to concrete problems.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Of Self Importance and International Significance

It's fitting that the self indulgent melodrama concocted whole cloth out of virtually no real issue other than a steadfast academic belief in one's natural supremacy, is occurring during one of the most significant political turn of events of our time.

Some perspective appears to be in order.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Liberals' Prayers that Economic Turmoil Will Continue to Go Unanswered - Worse, Stimulus Spending to "Unwind"

It was refreshing to hear last week, a chief Liberal strategist be so open with their lament that what may be good for the Canadian people - economic recovery - will be very bad for the Liberals.

Given that the stock market is a leading indicator and unemployment is always a trailing indicator (meaning it improves last) the Liberals are right to worry. Stocks are way up from their lows early last year and now we have word that the G8 is already preparing for a worldwide economic recovery.

It's also a bad news twofer for those on the left: it portends continued conservative rule, yes, but they're also discussing unwinding the stimulus packages. For the rest of us, economic downturns are a bad thing, albeit an inevitable occurrence where the market "correct" inherent inefficiencies or problems in the economy, giving us a natural economic cycle. To those on the left, a downturn is an opportunity to remind voters that the market is imperfect, and with the help of a pro-statist media, attempt to convince the populace that the economy can be made perfect and the pain of these downturns avoided if only we had bigger government and more spending. Make no mistake about it, to those on the left, there is to be nothing temporary about "stimulus spending".

Yet just when the spending party started, Flaherty and others in the G8 are already planning the big spending "exit strategy".

Good news for us. Bad news for the left. And bad news for the Liberals.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beware of Pre-Election Polling

Polls taken beyond an election call are generally not very reliable. I seem to recall Dion neck and neck with Harper (or even in the lead) in the summer leading up to the election.

The reason is twofold.

1) Such polls test general apathy/antipathy and historical leanings, as a concrete decision is not imminent. In this instance, Iggy generally stands for some harping from the sidelines, but no real concrete alternative. In an economic downturn being on the harping side will naturally pull polling in your favour, but it should not be confused with actual intention on voting day.

2) Pollsters can afford to push poll or otherwise not be too careful in their methodology, as a true test of accuracy is so far out, there is plenty of time to become more scrupulous.

Of course, that doesn't stop the media from measuring Harper for his political coffin.

Iggy's Matrix

There's a very good chance we'll be heading to the polls for a summer election and the answer lies in the truth to those "evil" ads about Iggy:

He came here for one reason only - to lead the country. He'll hold his nose and stay in Canada for that reason, but not to languish in opposition for some indefinite period. Not with that cushy Ivy League job waiting for him on the home front.

While us Canadians savor any prospect of an improving economy, we can imagine that to Iggy such news is like the smell of "humans" to agent Smith in the Matrix - a tortuous reminder of what he has to endure to stay here.

He will only hold his nose for so long.

Update: I see a friend of Biff's Place, Joanne has a different take.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Where do the Liberals Go?

Red Tory has an interesting post up wherein he opines that Iggy doesn't appear to offer any tangible alternative to what the Harper government is doing.

I agree. But this isn't just a problem for Iggy, it's a problem for the Liberals and it's one that won't go away any time soon. It is also a problem that existed for well over a decade but was masked in the Chretien era by the fractured right. In the Chretien days, the Liberals could occupy the center-center. They didn't have to concern themselves with being in the center-right or center-left because the conservatives weren't really in the game. As long as they had policies that put them in the mushy middle they were fine. All the while the NDP carried the true "progressive" banner.

Times have changed and there is no doubt now that the right is unified and will be for some time. So who is the "party of the left"? Were the Liberals a real ideological alternative to Harper the last time around or were they a lesser of two evils - a somewhat bitter pill for progressives to swallow in an "anybody but Harper" strategy? Can a party that ostensibly appears to exist to attain power for power's sake, continue to occupy a field with two competing ideological alternatives for Canadians?

The next decade will be an interesting period in the Canadian polity. Some say that it is time for the "left to unite" with the assumption that it will be the NDP that folds into the Liberals. I'm not so sure that it won't be the other way around. Not with an explicit organized effort - but over time, with political forces naturally taking their course.

You Can Take Iggy out of Academics, But You Can't Take the Academic Out of Iggy

Across the country offices are welcoming summer students into their fold. A few minutes of introductory conversation with these wide-eyed pupils brings one back to university days, before entering the real world. Theirs is the world of "grades" not results. Not a concrete world where decisions have to be made that will inevitably have consequences, but a world within the confines of abstract words, where the only real consequence is a letter a teacher will grant at the end of the day.

We anxiously await Iggy's grade.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Media: Harper is "Embattled" the Media

Same story from yesterday about Harper desperately trying to paint a "rosy picture". But the Star decides to describe him as "embattled" in the first paragraph.

I think it's great that the media tells us how we are to interpret facts in a story, rather than just telling us the facts. For one thing, I'm not smart enough to figure these things out myself, and so there's always the danger that I might interpret Canada being among the economically best placed countries in the world, as somewhat positive. I never would have realized that this was just unnecessary "rosy[ness]" - thank goodness for my media keepers helping me how to think in the correct way.

But the best part is I don't have to wade into any opinion pieces while I read the news. They're now one and the same. A one stop shop!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Media Reports Harper to Paint a "Rosy Picture" In Economic Report

Liberal media clairvoyance.

They just know Harper won't be honest. From the bottom of their liberal hearts.

UPDATE: Interesting. Very interesting. After this post they changed the story. The original stated:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to present a rosy picture of his Conservative government’s handling of the recession Thursday in a slick made-for-TV presentation designed to forestall a quick summer election.

Now its scaled back to a "good report".

Keeping 'em honest over here at Biff's place.

UPDATE 2: Did they change it back or am I seeing things?

Goose Killing Windmills

The liberal elite media tells us that the revelation of diverting "wind money" to development of oil exploration is another blow to Harper: a conclusion we are supposed to take away from the latest "Bombshell!!" out of Private Conversation With Communications Person[gate].

Memo to liberal establishment: toying with the idea of killing the goose that laid our golden economic egg may still be good latte conversation among polite company, out here in the real world where a global economic collapse is putting us on the brink of disaster, folks are a tad more forgiving about fostering the greatest economic engine our nation has ever seen.

Raise Your Hand if You've Ever Been Deported for Being a Supporter of a Terrorist Group

Bob? Bob, I see you at the back of the class. C'mon now, put that hand up. I know its a little embarrassing being the only one, but it's time to fess up.

Iggy's Liberals: All Things to All People

With the right united, and the NDP anchoring the left, where are the Liberals to go? The Chretien era was relatively easy for the Liberals since they really had no viable opposition - the right was fractured and the NDP never had enough votes to gain power. Dion was an experimentation in bringing the party to its far left base, with an eco-carbon tax agenda that would make the Sierra Club proud.

Now Iggy's trying to bring the party back to the right and the left isn't liking it. The outcry over Iggy's support of the Tory crime bill is mounting. These are dangerous times for the Liberals. Attempts to move to the right may cause a loss of votes to the NDP, since Harper has been governing for awhile and the "anybody but scary Harper" meme that the Liberal's leveraged to gain NDP strategic voting will be far less effective. Meanwhile, right leaning voters may have already picked their horse in this race.

Iggy seems to be left with trying to be all things to all people. This may work in the very short term, but eventually people start to notice when your positions change with the days of the week and your ideology swings like a pendulum.

In the long run, trying to be all things to all people results in one being nothing to everyone.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

News Important to All Canadians

Today I got home from work, clicked on "Google News Canada" and what do I see? Wall to wall coverage of Canada's economic performance outpacing the World's. The heavy coverage is not surprising since the issue dramatically affects every man, woman and child in this country, both from an economic well being standpoint, but also as a much needed psychological break from our constant fiscal worries. The media really goes for those "human impact" stories that are important to all of us.

I'm such a kidder.

Actually, our media elites are telling us that a private conversation between a Conservative cabmin and her communications person - a story inside politicos of a left leaning persuasion are frolicking over - is also the most important news for all Canadians. Information on our economic well being? You'll have to head over to Joanne's for inconsequential stuff like that.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Scandal du Jour in "Political Firestorm!" Season

A Conservative.

Seeks to position an issue in a favorable light.

In discussions with their communications person.

In Canada.

We're not making this up.


Quebec: So European, So...Conservative?

Chantal Hebert often has insightful articles. Today she postulates that Quebec as a province is holding back the CPC from a majority, because it is largely "progressive".

Ms. Hebert should be cautious about making such generalizations. Yes there are certainly pockets in Quebec, particularly in the Montreal region, that are firmly left leaning. However, outside of Montreal there are vast swaths of area that one could describe as independent or even conservative leaning. More importantly, one must never forget that facts and events have a significant impact on who the population chooses to put into power. One need only look at the EU elections as evidence of this. If you asked me a few days ago if I considered Europe to be a mostly conservative continent it would have taken me a few moments to stop laughing to answer ""

I wouldn't be laughing at that question today.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Imagine - The Largest Political Money Laundering Scheme in the Nation's History

I think Sunday will be the day we imagine, over here at Biff's Place. Below we briefly pondered a world in which Iggy wasn't defended by the media, but rather scrutinized the same way (or even a fraction of the way) Harper was when he started out as party head.

Now let's have some real fun imagining. What if the Airbus inquiry wasn't about a $300,000 private payment, but instead involved tens of millions of dollars. And let's imagine further that the funds didn't belong to some overseas businessman but was the taxpayers' money. Heck, let's go further and add in the fact that this taxpayer money was taken under the guise that it had to be spent saving the country from break-up, but instead was funnelled back into a political party for partisan gain.

On to the juicy part: let's pretend that we know that the ill gotten booty- tens of millions of dollars worth - was apportioned to various people in a political regime, not to a defunct party from two decades ago, but involving a party last in power in 2006 and one currently trying to get in power as we speak.

And finally the kicker: let's say that we've never known who were the specific benefactors within the party, but now someone on the inside publicly declares that he will name names.

I wouldn't want to be leading that party when news got out - the grilling would be sheer madness,

I imagine.

Iggy: Hidden Agenda Free

Remember the days when Harper first came to power as head of the CPC and sought to take over the reigns of government. Liberal suggestions of a "hidden agenda" weren't chastised as being mean spirited. They were dutifully delved into.

Remember the media pouring over his past writings, his associations, his meetings? I seem to recall the slightest phrase, utterance or even the look on his face being examined (complete with the most unflattering images seeking to capture the "cold stare") in search of that nefarious unseen plot that was assumed to be lurking just around the corner. "What was that you say? A conservative candidate in one of the three hundred ridings is a devout Christian? From the Wild West no less? There it is! American style religious right wing extremism!"

Imagine the media storm if Harper had said this, at the time he was vying for the top job:

"The best possible Canada, is a Canada with Albertans in power!"

Whoa, Nelly.

New To Blogging Tories

Biff's Place just became a BT member!

I'm looking forward to contributing what I can to the conservative blogosphere, and welcome fellow BT members, pull up a chair and stay awhile.

67 MPH? Way Too Fast! 175 MPH? Sounds About Right

Another chart kept safely out of the mainstream press. It's all over the blogosphere because its so obviously informative, and so startling. Remember Bush's evil deficits and the cry's of "the children's future! Think of the children's future!"

Behold, the past and projected deficits:


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Canada Was so Last Week

You can take Iggy out of London, but you can't take the London out of Iggy.

Our international man of mystery (do we know what he stands for yet - other than a desire to rule over us, I mean) has managed to find his way back to his foreign academic roots, notwithstanding his recent blustering that Canada is in shambles, and that he's the only one who can save us.

Sorry kids, I realize the school house is burning down, and would love to help out, but I've got a book signing with a few school chums of my own in London. Tally ho!

A Chart so Telling It Can't be Told

Charts and graphs can be very powerful tools in portraying a lot of data in simple form. A picture is often worth a thousand words. Below you'll find one of the most significant and telling graphs in recent memory. There are two dramatic points of importance to this chart:

1) How definitive it is in showing Obama's stimulus plan to be a failure - not only has the stimulus failed to meet projections, it makes the case that the stimulus has made matters much, much worse; and

2) That you will not likely see this powerful chart anywhere in the mainstream media.

(Everything in blue is from Obama's numbers. Light and dark blue are projections without and with stimulus respectively, and red are the actual numbers.)

(From Powerline)

History? What History? Part II

Below, I referred to the frighteningly obtuse suggestion that it is the Israelis who must learn from the holocaust. It has been over half a century since then, and during that period we, as people from a later time, have looked back in disbelief at what mankind is capable of.

It was such a horrific act that it is hard to believe that a modern society could plan, and then carry out, the systematic murder of millions of people based on a hateful ideology. Some belief systems are so hateful, so all encompassing, and so entrenched within the powerful, that an entire country's resources can be mobilized to carry out widespread murder.

So in discussions with some of my left leaning friends who brush aside the Iranian leadership's repeated declarations of hate towards the Jews, the widespread use of sick propaganda in the region (like the Jew eating bunny for children), and the repeated and overt promises to destroy the Jewish state, as mere words, it seems clear that the suspension of belief has reached its full effect.

We say "the Iranians would never do that" as if no one would ever do that. Not even a radical hateful regime racing to build a weapon capable of carrying it out. "That could never happen".

In addition to spending the last half century in disbelief at the horrors man is capable of, we've also spent that time in disbelief that the world could stand by and let it happen.

If it seems unbelievable that the world could stand by and let a state carry out the systematic mass murder of millions, it's completely unthinkable that we could let it happen yet again to the same people just a few decades later.


Friday, June 5, 2009

History? What History?

We are witnessing in our time a country, radical in its belief systems, having at its centerpiece of foreign diplomacy a dual purpose: regional dominance and a corresponding focal point of hatred and blame towards the Jews. In this context this radical power is vowing to destroy the Jewish people while simultaneously racing to manufacture the military means to accomplish this avowed course of destruction.

So it should be expected that when Obama visits a German concentration camp - the apex of a plan to destroy the Jewish people that occurred within the past century in which millions were gathered and murdered - that we pause to learn from history and apply those lessons to today's frighteningly similar reality, right?


You Want Fire Fighters Don't You?

Our left leaning friends over at Macleans Blog, are chastising the marking of tax freedom day, by reminding us that we have firefighters and roads because of taxes.

The left's desire to shame their political opponents - not as a method of debating, but rather to shut down debate - gets more and more silly.

Insinuating that those who simply want to keep a check on the seemingly endless growth of government (and taxes) are cold-hearted, knuckle dragging thugs who'd love to watch a house burn to the ground just to save a few bucks, is a tad sanctimonious. More importantly, its dishonest.

You'd have to go pretty far down the line items in the budget before you'd get to basic services - past the funding for the artist who can't seem to market his 'pencil in urine display', and so demands "funding" from us, past the official language officer that exists in many government departments that have nothing to do with language, past the "health day" junkets designed to let the government worker experience wholeness (in addition to the four weeks paid vacation and all stat holidays) and so on and so on and so on.

Dear me, imagine how many more fire trucks we could have (in addition to reducing taxes) if we'd cut out some of that waste. How "un-progressive" to think such things.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sun Related to Earth's Temperature?

Apparently the massive fireball, thousands of times the size of Earth and the sole source of heat in the solar system, may actually affect the Earth's temperature, so says NASA's Goddard institute.

That's just crazy talk.


The double standard is to the liberal establishment, what high fructose corn syrup is to gummy bears.

The latest of an endless list of examples is the faux outrage over the "mean spirited" conservative ads about Iggy. Ezra gives the low down, on how low the liberal media is willing to go.

The ads are informative (because the media continues to give the next chosen one a pass) and they are true. So the response is a base smear: they're "anti-Semitic", for using the word "cosmopolitan" - a word that Iggy used about himself.

A base smear that lacks any factual foundation is used to attack a truthful ad, in the context of the liberals having used base smears (alleging conservatives will bring para-militaristic control to our cities "with guns...we're not making this up") as ads.

Layers of fructose on those gummy bears.

Swaddling 26 Year Olds

Iggy's response to "mega-huge-left behind document[gate]" included this:
"I don't like people blaming 26 year olds"
Really? Is it liberal policy now to raise the age of culpability all the way to...27? How progressive.

"Rocking" the Tories!!!!

It's a deep scandal, one that involves vast and deep layers of conspiracy and lies upon lies, going to the very heart of government accountability, in which the public has been defrauded by those who've been entrusted with our nation's treasure!

Actually no. A staffer forgot an isotope report on a table.

But Iggy has signaled he wants to take down the Tories, and his liberal friends in the media know it is now "gate" season: the time of year when you liberally (excuse the pun) apply the standard Nixonian suffix and gin up every every error or slip to sound like an earth shattering scandal that "rocks" the government to its core.

Last go 'round we had the nefarious "pooping puffin" that dominated headlines. And who could forget the single line of black humour that was apparently so much deeper than a one-liner uttered in a meeting. No, it represented so, so much more. In story after story, analysts and commentators delved deep into the coldness, the underlying malady that permeated the dark heart of conservatism manifested in the four second utterance.

Now, a single, inadvertently forgotten, document is the latest conservative scandal of the century.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Adscam: Corbeil May Name Names

I don't mean to interrupt the media's frenzy on a private $300,000 advance involving a PM who was in power almost two decades ago, with a scandal involving the funneling of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into the party that was last in power in 2006 - money which has never been traced to the benefactors,

but Corbeil says he will name names.

No doubt the same media frolicking over the Mulroney inquiry will declare adscam "old news."