Archive for February, 2011

Fact vs. Opinion

Lorne Gunter:

One thing that is consistent across the varying shades of left is that its adherents are almost universally convinced they are not susceptible to misinformation. They see themselves as intellectually and morally superior to those around them. The lamp of knowledge has very clearly been given to them. If only everyone else were as enlightened as they, there would be unity and harmony and flawless policy. To that end, free speech is only okay if everyone ends up agreeing with them. What’s the point of allowing other opinions when theirs are the only ones that are right?

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Searching for Saul Alinksy

James Taranto:

It’s true that Alinsky used some of the same obnoxious tactics employed by the left today. Specifically, he sometimes organized demonstrations outside the homes of antagonists. More generally, he often sowed chaos–or threatened to sow it–as a means of winning concessions. But he was a lot more strategic about it. If today’s left appalls the country with its ugly tactics, it has failed by Alinsky’s standards.

Read on.

More Alinksy commentary here.

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Big-time plug by big-time blogger

Thanks, The Mayor!

It made my day.

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Sometimes it takes a Jimi thing

… just to keep me swinging …

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From bad to worse

I support His Worship the Mayor in most of his efforts, save for his ridiculous ideas to “solve” the “affordable” housing “problem”. But the man is a veritable Pericles when compared to the ingenious solutions dug up by the Saskatchewan NDP:

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter has pledged the party will implement rent controls if elected.

Lingenfelter said an NDP government would introduce changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to protect Saskatchewan families from unreasonable hikes in their monthly rent.

Lingenfelter said the high cost of housing and rent is a major issue that affects people throughout the province.

“Having heard the stories of families forced to choose between paying the monthly rent and buying winter boots and coats for their kids, we believe the time for action is now,” he said.

For once, I’d love to have creepy millionaire politicians actually name a person who has actually had to make the choice between paying rent and buying new coats or boots for their kids. Please, just give me one.

No doubt, there are those who merely scrape by and survive and sacrifice in times of economic booms. Being in that kind of position sucks, and I don’t wish that type of life on anyone. But these people aren’t served by pandering politicians who serve up well-worn cliches of the trials of the impoverished in our society. Life is far more complicated than having to make a figurative Sophie’s choice every month.

And even if this mythical poster boy for the poor actually did exist, he could be less served by this absolutely stupid proposal to limit rent increases by state-enforced fiat.

I’m not going into too much detail on why this is such a bad idea—this argument can be readily found all over the ether—but here‘s a cogent argument as I could find: Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad Flick

Ugh. Just watched The Chamber for the first time since I saw it in theatres back in 1996. I was a fan of John Grisham, with his naive, sincere young-lawyer-fighting-for-good-against-all-odds template that served him so well. His stories weren’t high literature, but they were entertaining, and they got me through many nights while treeplanting or serving some other banal summer job while I struggled through university.

But, boy oh boy, is this show awful. I remember Chris O’Donnell had so much promise ever since he starred in Dead Poet’s Society.

(What’s that you say? That was Ethan Hawke in DPS? Oh. Same difference.)

Not even the great Gene Hackman could prevent this boring, melodramatic, earnest, predictable story.

So … yeah. Crappy movie.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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The Jeopardinator

Been watching Ken Jennings get slammed by Deep Blue or whatever that monster IBM supercomputer is called on Jeopardy? Of course you have.

Others have too. And now the talk is all about whether computers have passed humans at that theoretical point known as “singularity”:

Is it silly to ask if Watson’s Jeopardy win is The Singularity? Maybe.

Er, no. As every Jeopardy fan will tell you, the best players aren’t always simply the most brilliant (although Jennings is pretty close to genius as one can get) but they are also the best at buzzing in.

In one episode, Jennings beat the computer to the buzzer maybe five times (probably less) and answered every question correctly. If he would have had the super-ability to react to the question as fast as the computer, there’s no question that the game would have been a lot closer. It was the buzz — not the lack of knowledge — that allowed the computer to kick nerd tail.

So, again, the answer is ‘no’. We are not close to singularity. Not yet.

Makes for entertaining TV though, don’t it?

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