Archive for March, 2011

If you don’t want a political criticism of your father, don’t politicize your father

Sounds reasonable, don’t it?

Apparently not reasonable enough for Michael Ignatieff,  who is in all a tizzy over the Tory attack ads.

Ezra, as he often does, has the best take on the situation:

Why is Ignatieff trying to revise his family’s history to make them sound like poor working class shlubs?Why did he say his dad came herewith nothing — when in fact his family were the equivalent of multi-millionaires?

Because, of course, it’s fashionable to play up the immigrant angle in a land of immigrants.

But, also of course, it only works if his story is more pathetic than that of countless (pun not intended) other immigrants.

Like, say, the story of my own family, as told my my dad’s Uncle Eddie.

My mother’s family even had it worse off. She was part of a family of, what, 12 kids? who lived in a dirt-poor farm in dirt-poor Saskatchewan. They never had it easy, though they struggled and got through the tough times. They knew hardships, you’d better believe, and, certainly, not one of them attended any prestigious boarding schools in their youth.

What’s ironic for me is that both sides of my family were part of the Germans in Russia who left during the reign of Nicholas II, most likely because of increased hosility toward foreigners which began under the watch of one Count Pavel Ignatieff, the Russian interior minister for Alexander III.

I am not trying to play up my own family’s history, or blame Ignatieff for instigating my family’s move to a better land, but Iggy needs to realize that if he starts hamming up his supposed hardships, he’s not going to garner a lot of sympathy from those who experienced true hardships.

Especially if he uses his own dead father as a campaign prop.

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Election defection

I received my very first federal election paraphernalia in the mailia today. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a candidate for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, which is my own riding, but of Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, the border of which is several blocks to the south.

The NDP’s Nettie Wiebe wants my support.

Sorry, no-can-doosville, babydoll, but your mailer has compelled me to do some campaigning this spring — for the Conservative’s Kelly Block, as it were.

So thanks for the reminder, Nettie.

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Blowing it

Paul Hanley, the StarPhoenix‘s answer to David Suzuki without the charm, pens what is probably his most cogent, the most useful, the most reasonable column yet.

I must fisk it.

It pays to leave Sask.’s uranium in the ground

By Paul Hanley, Special to The StarPheonix [sic] March 22, 2011

First off, I know I’m just being petty, but it would be nice if Hanley or his enabling editors could properly spell the name of their own paper.

It’s too early to say how much of the uranium we have sold to Japan will be blowing back to Saskatchewan in the coming months, or what effect it will have.

I’m guessing that the blowing uranium will have absolutely zero effect, as uranium from Japan will not blow to Saskatchewan or anywhere else. Even if a complete meltdown were to occur (which it won’t) [it did but no massive release occurred–ed.], the uranium fuel will still be contained within the reactor site. Hanley is probably referring to radiation from the damaged Fukushima reactors, the significant negative impact of which to human health of the public to date has been zilch. Read the rest of this entry »

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“These people aren’t comfortable with self-criticism”

He was right, and what he said still holds true – as can be seen from the general Palestinian reaction to last Friday night’s massacre of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar, which was distinguished by the butchery of three children, ages 11, four and three months.

Jeez-uz. I never even heard about these horrible, horrible murders. I wonder why.

Read it all.

h/t Jay Currie

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Safe, clean, reliable … and now proven

James Delingpole, at his best:

One minute, the world is facing nuclear meltdown armageddon to rank with – ooh, Three Mile Island at the very least, and quite possibly Chernobyl. A few (shockingly expensive) missile strikes over Benghazi and Tripoli later, though, and the Japanese nuclear crisis has all but vanished from the face of the earth.

Maybe we should start small wars more often. Or maybe – even better – the MSM could learn to start reporting on nuclear incidents like journalists instead of activists from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

It’s a great read, full of great links. Read it all and then read them all.

Incidentally, after all I’ve heard about the Fukushima nuclear incidents — the hype, the drama, the out-and-out bullshit masquerading as technological commentary — I find myself, ironically,  more convinced in the idea that nuclear power is the best form of energy out there. This goes especially for the latest generation of reactors, if we could only get them built.

Nuclear power is safe, it is reliable, it is clean. For crying out loud, the plants were the only thing that actually survived a 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami. If it weren’t for a rotten placement of the backup generators, we wouldn’t be giving the reactors a second thought today.

Bob McDonald has more here in this must-read:

This is only the third major nuclear accident in more than 65 years of nuclear power. No lives were lost at Three Mile Island, and no nuclear fuel was released into the environment, even though that accident involved a core meltdown. The Chornobyl accident is the only one that involved loss of life, but it was caused by human error, not a flaw in the reactor.

By comparison, thousands lose their lives every year from the fossil fuel industry: coal mining, coal combustion, oil rig explosions such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico, drilling accidents, gas pipeline explosions, refinery fires, tanker accidents; not to mention the environmental impact of emissions from all those smoke stacks and tail pipes.

Yet we condemn nuclear power while accepting the much more dangerous, dirty and limited fossil fuels.

I have never been more proud to work in the nuclear industry.

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The morning after

Now that the curtain is being pulled back to expose who and what the wizard is, people like Sullivan are so disappointed they feel they need to point fingers at him.

However, if they had acted like journalists rather than sycophantic teenyboppers, maybe we’d have someone in the White House right now better suited to handle the many crises facing the nation.

It’s all well and good that Sullivan is realizing he was duped and is willing to admit it, but the next more important step is to apologize to the American people for being a part of the scam.


h/t Pejman Yousefzadeh

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Reynolds’ Law

Glenn Reynolds, via Philo of Alexandria:

The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

Be sure to read Philo’s excellent commentary on this.

h/t David Thompson

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