October 21, 2006

Oct. 21, 2006: Various

The cube: scroll down for more from peoplescube.

The Mounties and the media , National Post, October 21, 2006


The January, 2004 RCMP raid on the home of Juliet O'Neill, an Ottawa Citizen reporter, was never justified. So Thursday's ruling by Justice Lynn Ratushny of the Ontario Superior Court, ordering the Mounties to return seized notes and computer files, was welcome vindication. Judge Ratushny's ruling was also a victory for freedom of the press and the ability of journalists to keep confidential the identity of their sources. As such, it was an important defence of democracy. [....]

The Mounties say they told the government of the day about the erroneous intelligence they gave to the Americans. The three ministers in charge of the RCMP and the Arar file at the time, insist the Mounties told them nothing.

[....] Next week, the Commons national security committee plans to recall RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, and to call for the first time the Liberal ministers involved.

Foot-dragging is a tradition , Andrew Coyne, National Post, October 21, 2006

[....] Altogether, I make that two programs, four plans, a process, two strategies and a project. The result: By 2004, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions were nearly 27% above their 1990 baseline, having risen in more or less a straight line throughout this period. Ottawa alone had spent, by the federal environment commissioner's count, $6-billion on sundry climate change schemes, to no discernible effect.

[....] If it seems ludicrous for governments to be setting emissions targets for 2050, when they cannot even hit their budget targets for the current year, it is. But that simply reflects the scale of the problem. To turn around something as vast and unmanageable as global warming -- assuming we can do anything about it -- will take decades. You have first to slow the growth of emissions, then reduce them in absolute terms, before you can finally stabilize atmospheric concentrations -- the accumulated residue of all those yearly emissions -- at levels that will, even then, merely halt the increase in global temperatures, never mind actually reverse them. The critics are screaming because the Tory plan would do little to reduce emissions in the next four years. But what does it matter if the long-term target is the same? [....]
Worth reading.

Andrew Coyne on Liberals: They haven't learned a thing , Andrew Coyne, National Post, October 18, 2006

[....] Which takes us to their leaders. Is there a breakout choice, a candidate who is likely to take the country by storm? Mr. Ignatieff, with his dropped bricks and Vulcan charm? Mr. Rae? A "failed one-term premier" (I'm quoting the leader of his former party, here) from another century? Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Dion, who between them have mastered both official languages? And hovering over all of them, the awful spectre of Joe Volpe, the Trust Issue personified, who may be expected to spend the convention extorting promises from each of the candidates in return for a pledge not to endorse them. [....]

Alvaro Vargas Llosa: Lessons from the Poor , Alvaro Varga Llosa, October 18, 2006, independent.org -- or behind a firewall: Enterprise is better than aid , October 18, 2006 , Globe / workopolis.com



WASHINGTON—Nobel Peace Prizes are not supposed to go to those who believe the poor can fend for themselves.

Yet this year's worthy winner, the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, is essentially a commercial operation and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, has clearly spelled out politically incorrect views regarding poverty: “Grameen believes that charity is not an answer to poverty. ... It creates dependency. ... Unleashing of energy and creativity in each human being is the answer to poverty.” [....]

For half a century, wealthy nations—and rock stars—have focused on foreign aid as the way to spur development. Foreign aid started with President Harry Truman's “Point Four'' program at the end of the 1940s, partly to pre-empt the spread of communism. To judge by ever increasing budgets and last year’s call at the United Nations for a doubling of aid by 2015, it continues to be the fundamental focus of efforts to bring about prosperity in poor countries. No attention is paid to the fact that in sub-Saharan Africa, the region to which most of the foreign aid has gone in the last quarter-century, per capita income has dropped by 11 percent.

Numerous government programs involving handouts and training have also failed to do the trick in many countries. What the poor really want is an environment in which undertaking a profitable venture is not a nightmarish bureaucratic and legal process.

Giving the UN aid money simply keeps the bureaucracies, NGO's and the like proliferating while adding little to actually helping the poor to climb out of their poverty. What doesn't go to propping up thugs and dictators in the Third World goes to their enablers living well through the UN and their connected do-good network ... in my opinion. The figures do seem to support my view.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa -- Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Global Prosperity

The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, Alvaro Vargas Llosa -- ISBN 1-59813-005-6


Alvaro Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America’s foremost political journalist. A native of Peru, he graduated from the London School of Economics and has worked as a journalist in Latin America, Europe and the U.S. for over fifteen years. He is now a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute.

He is the author of Liberty for Latin America and co-author of Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot.

Nearly four decades after his death, the legend of Che Guevara has grown worldwide. In this new book, Alvaro Vargas Llosa separates myth from reality and shows that Che’s ideals re-hashed centralized power—long the major source of suffering and misery for the poor. With eyewitness accounts, Vargas Llosa sets the record straight regarding Che’s murderous legacy, brutally crushing any and all dissent, and concentrating wealth in the hands of an elite.

The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty further elaborates on attempts by both the left and right to suppress liberty, and examines the Latin American spirit from early indigenous trade to today’s enterprising communities overcoming government impediments. In the process, the book points to the real revolution among the poor—the liberation of individuals from the constraints of state power in all spheres.

Somali court bans women from swimming at family beach, Mohamed Sheikh Nor, The Columbus Dispatch / AP, October 21, 2006, posted by starboardside


MOGADISHU, Somalia — [....] "We stopped women from swimming because it is against the teaching of Islam for women to mingle with men, especially while they are swimming," Hussein said.

Since sweeping to power over much of southern Somalia in June, the Islamists have banned movie viewing, publicly lashed drug users and broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together. They also have introduced public executions.

Somali women usually swim fully clothed because swimsuits generally are frowned upon. Somali men, however, swim in trunks, at times bare-chested or wearing vests.

UK: Farce as convicted criminals sleep off hangovers in 'weekend' jail, James Slack, Daily Mail, updated Oct. 21, 06


[....] The revelation is the latest fiasco to hit the controversial policy, which allows convicts to live at home during the week before spending the weekend behind bars.

The "intermittent custody" sentence is supposed to punish criminals by depriving them of their leisure time.

But the Daily Mail can reveal that, under farcical Prison Service rules, they are allowed to go on drinking benders before arriving at HMP Kirkham on a Friday night.

Insiders say inmates are turning up drunk after touring pubs, or drinking on trains and buses on the way to the Lancashire prison. [....]

Do you suppose Canada's leftists could get behind this? With multiculturalism, how do differing views of punishment and incarceration get resolved?

Start with the children, according to what I have seen with the left in action; indoctrinate them in school about the "reasons" behind poverty, crime, etc. and the rest will follow. Now, the chickens have come home to roost. The above item is simply its logical extension ... in the UK ... now, but who doubts that the extremes of softer treatment of criminals will not get even more soft in Canada if the leftists return to governing? If the Conservatives' tough on crime bill fails, if the Liberals / NDP coalition of social thought and policies is returned to power, who doubts that treatment of criminals will get even softer in Canada? It will be done under the guise of "systemic racism", "root causes"--poverty--or "unfair" treatment of some group, but the effect will be the same and worse. Have you noticed crime rising or lowering in the last number of years? Are we simply more aware?

What's in the glass tells you the class , Joseph Brean, National Post, October 21, 2006

Shared values, shared kinship , David H. Wilkins, National Post, October 21, 2006


"We share values and we share ties of kinship. And when tragedy strikes, we share compassion. And perhaps it is not a bad thing that when the dark and ugly side of human behaviour is exposed that we are reminded of the good and that we are reminded that there is nothing like a friend in a time of a need."

Belinda & Puppygate -- "But as we see it, Puppygate is overblown: Even if MacKay said what he's accused of, so what?" , National Post, October 21, 2006


[....] In fact, as far as we can tell, if anyone deserves an apology, it is the dogs. They are often referred to as "man's best friend," a testament to their proverbial loyalty. This is a quality in which Ms. Stronach has been found wanting, at least as a politician. She could learn a lot from the doggy set, even if it's her ex-boyfriend who's briefly in the doghouse.

Apple Mecca: Our Open Letter to Radical Muslim Politburo, By Red Square, 10/18/2006

Dear radical Muslim comrades! While you are the best allies the Left could ever have in the great patriotic war against American Capitalism, there are limits in every relationship, even the most intimate one like ours. Thus, your latest allegation that the Apple Mecca Store in New York amounts to a deliberate insult to Islam (because it resembles your big black Ka'bah cube in Mecca) [....]

Warning: offensive to some ...


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