Friday, May 30, 2008

Is climate change designed to manufacture global consent?

Abandoned Stuff story: Climate Change = Loss of Liberty

The following is an excerpt of the comments from that story.
Please note I am unaffiliated with respect to climate change. I wish merely to engage in a healthy dialog about the issue.


Whooee! Interesting stuff, suspect as it is. Any crisis can be used by authoritarians and dictators to curtail rights. Even a trumped up terrorist threat can create an atmosphere where basic human rights like habeas corpus and free speech are denied. I don’t doubt that power freaks could capitalize on the climate crisis and usurp extraordinary powers.

So far, however, we’re seeing very little sign of that. The most authoritarian among us have been the same ones who pooh-pooh the climate as a serious issue. The most authoritarian regime in US history has done all it can to erase the words “global warming” and climate change” from the public lexicon.

Those who have been sounding the alarm on climate change are not your typical authoritarians. Despite paranoid delusions of some Luddites, no one was out taking names of the power hogs who turned on every light for Earth Hour. No eco-wacko-treehuger gestapo has materialized to stomp on the rights of energy wasters and AGW deniers.

Commonsense and anecdotal observation tells the sentient among us that we have a problem with climate. That problem is backed up by the vast majority of international scientists. A wide majority of Canadians, North Americans and Europeans accept the fact that there is a crisis developing. Yet, we are not seeing any evidence that concern for the future existence of the planet or of the human race has triggered any jack-booted responses.

Good work on exposing the background of this alarmist, Sasky.


Ashley Johnston:

Very nice observations. I will try to deal with them as best I can.

“doubt that power freaks could capitalize on the climate crisis and usurp extraordinary powers”
A. Jones suggests that the ‘carbon tax’ is part of just such a plan.

“The most authoritarian among us have been the same ones who pooh-pooh the climate as a serious issue.”
Most authoritarians support initiatives that (seemingly) help themselves, rather than the authorities. And there are multiple authorities, government, corporate, financial, pushing different initiatives.

“Those who have been sounding the alarm on climate change are not your typical authoritarians.”
These are the ‘do gooders’ in Friedman’s ‘unholy alliance’.(See video link.) In the words of Bush’s favourite philosopher, ‘They know not what they do.’

“[Global warming] is backed up by the vast majority of international scientists.”
That is not the way science is supposed to work. The beauty of science is that it doesn’t depend authority. I am supposed to be convinced by the validity of the experiment. I don’t know anything about these experiments that predict climate change, other than they run on supercomputers that I will never have access to.

We are back to Democritus saying that matter is discontinuous because his mind works better than those who say otherwise. Only now it is about how many megaflops your computer can churn out. Whoever has the best computer gets to dictate the global consciousness.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Minority Governments

Angus Reid Story: Tories Lead by Seven, Bloc Gains in Canada

I remember somebody once telling me that a minority government was a once in a generation occurrence. Perhaps at one time it was. Perhaps we should start getting used to it. They very well might be the product of electronic information, and that isn't going anywhere.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Election of the School Trustees

It's that time again... the election of the school trustees. For all who are not tuned in the to Elections PEI RSS feed, there will be an election on May 26, 2008.

You can find your school district zone and polling station here, and you can go here to find out more about serving as a school trustee. After all, education is everybody's business.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Would losing the White House be enough? Story: Obama would ask his AG to "immediately review" potential of crimes in Bush White House
April 14, 2008

With an approval rating that is hovering around the high twenties, Bush has few allies left in the American public. Only 34% of Americans support torture in interrogations, and what might be even more surprising is that there is an even smaller contingent, only 16%, that believes the 9/11 Commission Report version of the attacks.

While it is certain the Bush Administration will leave the White House with reputations in shambles a question remains: Is it enough to keep another administration from doing the same? Huge amounts of money changed hands, kings were made, and others taken down. These initiatives may be enough to justify to elite insiders that the administration was a success, despite the reputations, popularity polls or the state of the union. If there are those that know the details and consider the Bush Presidency a success on these terms such a presidency will happen again.

In an interview with Will Bunch, Barack Obama suggested a Bush impeachment would be an unlikely course of action but a criminal investigation could be a viable option. However, Obama says,
"I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."
I ask, is it worth healing the country's economy, international reputation and national psyche when they are still vulnerable to being sacrificed for the agendas of future presidents? I agree there are many fires burning that demand attention, but what is the point of fighting fires while the gas is still flowing.

The prosecution of a president is an unfortunately partisan issue. If Obama can take the White House and get the nation healed in his first term, a prosecution may be a good project for a second.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wage subsidies, finally!

CBC Story: Wage subsidies announced for rural P.E.I. jobs

As I wrote in a previous post I supported the Ghiz government in his decision to discontinue the propping up of agriculture. Now the Ghiz government says he has a plan for those workers. He is going to help create jobs for them with wage subsidies in rural areas. Programs like this are making me more and more a fan of the Ghiz government.

What I really like about this program is that it can lead to so much more. As I have written elsewhere I have issues with minimum wage. I tend to think the solution is in wage subsidies rather than minimum wage. An obvious question is 'How does the government pay for it?' If companies are paying less in wages then they can pay more in taxes. There will, however, be companies with highly paid employees that will save nothing in wages but pay more in taxes. This is true and that is the trade off. But it is a trade off that is long over due.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Magic of RSS

I don't surf the web much these days. I have somebody do it for me. And not so much somebody, but I let RSS surf the web for me. I have little pieces of the web that tell me when something I want has just been published.

This includes new stories, my friends' blogs, specific Facebook updates, job postings, video presentations, documentaries, magazine articles, even updates of the progress of legislation through the Canadian Parliament.

Here is a 4 minute video that shows you how:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wubi shows vision for Linux, but documentation is still lacking

I've been looking to make a meaningful leap to Linux for quite a while now. It wasn't far into the oughts that I tried my first Linux installation. I traded my keyboard to get a friend to setup the networking on it. Well versed in most things Linux he still had to do a fair bit of trial and error to get things going.

Now enter Wubi 7 years later. The good news is that the installation is now a breeze. It is quite simply idiot proof. If you can install a program, you can get Wubi to work for you. I downloaded an installer and 4 hours later--even with a high speed connection--I had Ubuntu Linux installed on my computer right beside Windows.

Please be warned there are stories of the Wubi installer corrupting Windows installations. So be sure to back up before you use it.

Now a word about my computing habits. I spend about 90% of my computer time on Firefox. There is some other reading, media use and troubleshooting. So all I really want to have a good go with Linux is reliable networking. And I didn't get it.

First off, when I first booted to Linux my wifi card didn't have a driver. I have been around computers for a while and don't mind getting my hands dirty. I can harness the power of a command line and pour through forums looking for solutions to my issues.

I tried a few strategies to get my network connected and everyone of them threw an error before completion. There is documentation out there for Ubuntu Linux, and even some for Wubi, but not enough to make it worthwhile installing without your own personal Linux guru.

The installation is now super simple but you will likely not get much beyond that unless you are that super savvy tech guy. And if you are that guy then the installation probably didn't give you much trouble anyhow.

Wubi is a step in the right direction. It shows a vision to make Linux accessible to the Windows user, but there is a ways to go.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Farmers and Politicians

or Why not helping is helping

CBC Story: Farm crisis message 'not getting through:' NDP

I had a friend who was getting close to a new level of desperation with her finances. In her rental agreement she was responsible for the oil but not the electricity. So she turned off the furnace and bought an electric space heater.

Of course heating the apartment this way cost MUCH more than by oil, but that wasn't her problem. She paid for the oil not the electricity. She saved money.

A moral hazard has to do with who bares the consequences. The person who causes the problem is not the person who has to solve it.

This is now the matter as PEI farmers look for another bailout. The NDP is asking the government to guarantee loans to farmers. What is the effect of such a system? Where is the incentive for a farmer to produce? There is no incentive to produce, only to look like you are trying to produce. This is the moral hazard: farmers are not responsible for their low productivity.

Granted it isn't the farmer's fault that a government policy removed incentives to produce. But nor is it the government's responsibility to maintain it. Making the farmers responsible for their own production again cannot be anything but a painful process.

Ideally there could have been a middle ground struck, perhaps guaranteeing 50% of the loans, with eventual progress toward no guarantee. That could have made the transition slightly less jarring if there were no impediments to a middle ground.