Monday, May 30, 2005

Secret Agenda Implementation

Canadians seem to be convinced that is not Stephen Harper's secret agenda that they fear but the secret agenda of the Conservative Party. Well, we can't let this secret agenda go to waste - we are going to have to implement it.

First, we need a majority because this agenda must so evil that none of the other parties will vote for it. So that's 60 more seats (with most 40-50 coming from Ontario and Toronto - that's the only way to win that number of seats). Of course, we'll have to brainwash the new recruits to get them to follow along!

O.k. Secret Agenda passes the commons now on to the Senate. Whoops! There seems to be a problem here. Check out those numbers! Liberal's 64/105! Rest 34/105 with 7 vacant (wonder where they'll go). And 5 about to retire this year! Now we are in trouble ... there is no way we can pass the secret agenda with those numbers!

I call on the Conservative Party to announce that following:

Yes, we have a secret agenda (it's secret so we can not tell you what it is) but we will not be able to implement it until our third consecutive term at least. So no secret agenda until at least 2018. Until then we will be going with our announced agenda!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Angry Rural Residents

Farmers in the Ottawa area are clashing with the city and the province of Ontario more and more frequently. The latest salvo is a city hall move to ban roadside stalls which local farmers currently use to sell their wares. No more going to the local farm to buy corn on the cob for the BBQ!

No wonder there is a "THIS LAND IS OUR LAND – BACK OFF GOVERNMENT” movement!!! Some are even calling for a new province for rural Ontario - like Nunavut (which was carved out of the NWT).

Now we have Alberta, Quebec, and now rural Ontario "separatist" movements! How long are people going to accept the status quo in Canada? Things are not getting better - it's better to change now and be proactive instead of waiting for the roof to cave in!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Anti-Harper Left-Overs

I was browsing the net and found a left over from the last election from the Liberals -the famous Stephen Harper Said site.

Take a look at a couple of the "scary" quotes now!

1) "There's unfortunately a view of too many people in Atlantic Canada that it's only through government favours that there's going to be economic progress" Anyone rember a recent by election in Labrador where there were promises for a military base?

"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status..." Anyone remember a New York Times article on Canada this week.

Yes. A very scary man!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Silence of the Liberals

Does the dinner between Paul Martin and Belinda Stonach not remind you of a Hannibal Lechter movie?

Lets start with the scene – an old mansion on the Ottawa River.

Next, the menu - veal medallions, toasted pecans, spring turbot, home pickled onions and young cucumbers. For dessert they had chocolate semifreddo, mango terrine, Valrhona chocolate mousse and brandy snap. It was all washed down with a respectable sauvignon blanc and a cabernet merlot.

Paul Martin sits bolt upright in his leather clad throne chair. He regards his interviewee, Belinda Stroanch, with a mixture of pity, curiosity and that perplexing dilemma of not knowing whether the meat you see in the shop window will be tender or stringy after an hour at gas mark 5.

That's all I have for now. Anyone want to continue the story in the comments or on their blog?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Peter Mackay on Sports Radio

I was listening my local sports radio station and Peter Mackay was being interviewed. He made some interesting sports analogies on the events of the past week. He compared the Stronach defection to getting ready for game seven of the Stanely Cup final and having one of your best players and assistant captain getting up after the pregame skate and walking over to the other dressing room and to join the other team.

On the Libreral market party - the radio host compared it to celebrating after game 1 of a 7 game series. Peter said that an election compaign is like the playoffs and so it was more like the Librerals were partying after a regular season win. He also mentioned that it does not look like Paul Martin will have enough steam finish a campaign.

Some humour as well - the host asked if could help broker a deal between the NHL and the NHL PA and Peter said "Don't go there!"

Overall, a great interview for Peter and the CPC's.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Complaining of sexism?

“Remember that postcard Grandpa sent us from Florida of that alligator biting that woman's bottom? That's right, we all thought it was hilarious. But it turns out we were wrong. That alligator was sexually harassing that woman.” Homer Jay Simpson.

It seems there are many complaints of sexism with regards to the words used to describe Ms. Stronach’s departure from the CPC’s for a Liberal cabinet post.

Words are used to communicate a message. Lets see what the words used actually mean! is your friend.

1. One who solicits and accepts payment for sex acts.
2. One who sells one's abilities, talent, or name for an unworthy purpose.

1. A prostitute.
2. A person considered sexually promiscuous.
3. A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.

1. A graduated rod for measuring the depth or amount of liquid in a container, as of oil in a crankcase.
2. Slang. A person regarded as foolish or contemptible.

Hmmm … most of these definitions seem to characterize many people’s opinions of the actions of Ms. Stronach actions and do not imply any kind of sexism.

It seems that they are choosing to be offended rather than to understand the message!

Remember what your parents always taught you :

Sticks and Stones may break my bones,
but names will never hurt me.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Creative Commons in the news

Creative Commons licenses are getting more and more popular as artists and authors move to exploit digital media. The content on this site is published using a creative commons license.

MSNBC has an article called "Rewriting the rules of copyright - Creative Commons is new licensing scheme" where they mention the following:

So far, more than 10 million other creations -- ranging from the movie "Outfoxed" and songs by the Beastie Boys to the British Broadcasting Corp.'s news footage and the tech support books published under the O'Reilly label -- have been distributed using these licenses. The idea has even won the support of Hilary Rosen, formerly of the Recording Industry Association of America, and Jack Valenti, the past head of the Motion Picture Association of America, who became known for their aggressive pursuit of people who share free, unauthorized copies via the Internet.

Lawrence Lessig posted this "Late last night, Yahoo! launched a Creative Commons search engine, permitting you to search the web, filtering results on the basis of Creative Commons licenses. So, as I feel like I've said 10,000 times when explaining CC on the road, "Show me pictures of the Empire State Building that I can use for noncommercial use," and this is the first of about 13,000 on the list."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Always attack - Never defend

The golden rule of blog politics seems to be the same as trolling: Always Attack - Never Defend.

Well if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right!

Some attacking techniques:

  1. Outing consists of finding personal information - name, address, etc - of a formerly anonymous poster and putting it in messages on the net.

  2. Another tactic is the creation of "conversations" where the provocateur is both members of the conversation. Either agreeing or disagreeing but pushing their agenda by making the "opposing" side look weaker. Other tactics include the provocateur responding incoherently to his own posts to make the other side look weak and foolish.

  3. Try to discredit people's ideas by referring to defects in their character. It's most often used when provocateurs have no way of rebutting claims made by someone. For example, someone will say something that cannot be refuted; they then will refer to him as a slime that defaulted on his child support payments. Whatever the truth of those allegations, it can be said that this behavior has nothing to do with the truth (or lack of same).

  4. Distract them...get them OFF defending their points any way you can.

  5. If possible, turn the opposition against each other. This turns other people off, and they stop posting or reading the message board.

  6. Make board no one wants to stay or go there.
Other common attacks for trolling:

* Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
* Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
* Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
* Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
* Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
* Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.
* Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.
* Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
* Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).
* Slippery slope - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
* Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
* Suppressed evidence or half-truths.

The best defense is awareness. The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments:

* Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
* Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
* Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").
* Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
* Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
* Quantify, wherever possible.
* If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
* "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
* Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the argument and get the same result?