Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The future is hammering on the door again.

Saw this little announcement today.

Update, April 1st 2015:  http://www.zdnet.com/article/intel-claims-quantum-leap-in-fibre-optic-detectors/

Intel has developed silicon-based photoelectric detectors that could cut the cost of fiber-optic communications to a fraction of their current value.

That's nice I thought, and almost skipped on.  But then I saw this part:

"Just to put it into context, a commercial [photodetector] that is used in telecoms typically sells for $200 to $300," Paniccia said. "We're talking devices that are probably an order or two in magnitude lower in cost." This prediction makes Intel's devices between 10 and 100 times cheaper than current photodetectors.

This means fiber optic to your house, which is already a paradigm changing event and already happening.  But it gets better.  These guys are talking about 40 to 200 gigabit per second speeds. For peanuts.  
A DVD movie with all the trailers and special features is about 7 gigabytes, 56 gigabits.  We're talking the downloading of a whole DVD movie in under two seconds.Your hard drive isn't nearly that fast, not even close.

This means a couple of things.  First, bandwidth will soon be just amazingly cheaper.  Fiber optic cable is -way- cheaper than coaxial cable or twisted pair copper, its just glass.  The thing that's been holding back optical cable is the expense of these photodetectors.  Intel can replace a $300 part with a $3.00 part, there's going to be optical cable getting laid down frickin' everywhere.   That will mean your local cable company, local phone company etc. will be running optical to your house, and you'll probably be running optical -in- the house instead of CAT5 Ethernet or wireless.  Sending really enormous amounts of data will be extremely cheap.

Second, cheap data means more data.  The limiting step won't be transmission any more, it will be storage.  You'll be able to have hi-def quality video in the security cameras at the bank machine.  Count the pores on your nose quality.  Live, real time, all the time.  Youtube won't be shaky little squares on your screen anymore, it will be broadcast quality. On-line video games will be faster than lan-party, and the graphics will be Hollywood movie good.

Third, all this is going to crash together with the wireless boom going on right now and something will emerge that I can't even imagine.  What could you do with every cell phone/Blackberry in the city having hi-def video and stereo sound recording and playback, plus GPS, plus as much on-board processing as a desk-top PC does today?  Plus desk tops with 20 CPU cores, 200 gigs of RAM and multi-terabyte storage?  Hooked to a  200 gb/sec  fiber backbone?

This is going to be a Big Fricking Deal my friends, and it will be coming down the pipe to your house in under ten years.  The internet, turbo-nitrous version.

Buy Cisco.  They'll be selling some servers, I bet.  Corning is going to sell some glass, too.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Will you be protected from a hate crime?

On the subject of hate crimes and police protection, we have this week the example of the Bombay terror attacks. 10 men apparently were able to kill 300 people (so far, anyway) using rifles and grenades. No fancy gas or suicide bombing, just plain ol' blast away. In a modern city (which Bombay most certainly is) how is such a thing possible?

Eye witness tells all.

But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back."

As the gunmen fired at policemen taking cover across the street, Mr D'Souza realised a train was pulling into the station unaware of the horror within. "I couldn't believe it. We rushed to the platform and told everyone to head towards the back of the station. Those who were older and couldn't run, we told them to stay put."

The militants returned inside the station and headed towards a rear exit towards Chowpatty Beach. Mr D'Souza added: "I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."

You hear that a lot in eye witness accounts of attacks like this.

There is the example of the Luby's Cafeteria atrocity in Killeen Texas. Suzanna Hupp famously testified to Congress that she would have been able to end that massacre before it started, but for the law that required her to leave her gun in her car. That's where it was when she watched the man kill her parents, nice and safe in the glove compartment... and completely useless.

At the Columbine high school massacre, the two killers started shooting at 11:19 am, police entered the building at 1:09pm. They had free rein for two hours.

There are many more examples. "Call 911 and die" is a famous saying for a reason. Cops are not motivated to take a bullet for you. The pay is good, but not that good.

Let us take Paladiea's posting in hand now. The Toronto Star report on the assault states a man started punching out two gay women in the school parking lot, and that this man had threatened them before. The only reason he didn't put them both in the hospital (or kill them) was other people in the parking lot stopped him. Those two women got lucky, in other words. Good Samaritans were on hand to save their asses.

Point being, the two women were not in a position to save themselves from one unarmed asshole who decided to beat them up on the spur of the moment. They were prevented, by law, from having weapons that would equalize their ability to fight with the much larger and stronger man who attacked them, a person who had threatened them before. Just as the photographer and Suzanna Hupp were prevented.

If I were the type of person who despised gays and wanted to hurt them, I'd find this legal regime entirely to my liking. Same deal if I were a terrorist. Lots of nice fat targets waiting unarmed, like sheep in the fold.

Paladiea's response to the incident is interesting. She seems much less interested in empowering women, visible minorities and other target groups (like Christians) to protect themselves from attack than she does in using government to preemptively punish groups she feels are responsible for the attacks. Primarily men, from her comments.

This leads me to think perhaps she may not be interested in in preventing hate crimes at all, but rather in taking revenge after the fact. This is not a wholesome attitude.

For myself, it is my firm conviction that justice is best served by the intended victim upon the attacker, during the attack. Call me crazy, but two short, weak little chicks sticking guns in the big, strong man's face seems a better impulse control lesson for him than fines and sensitivity training.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Regarding hate crimes, and their prevention

The other day I casually commented on a post by Paladiea over at Stormy Days of March, and got a response I really didn't expect.

Her post was this. which I reproduce here for easy reading.

Take a Stand Against Hate Crimes!

In support of the two women who got assaulted in front of their children for being homosexual;

There is going to be a rally in front of Oshawa City Hall this Friday at 7:30pm to 8:15 pm. The rally will be on the north side of City Hall (King at Centre). Speakers will include: Community Development Council, PFLAG Canada, Egale, AIDS Committee of Durham Region. Other potential speakers include: Dr. Brent Hawkes (MCC Toronto) and the Mayor of Oshawa. The City of Oshawa is working to help set up the rally.

Please attend if you can make it!

Well, a rally isn't going to do much is it?  My comment was that I've been teaching martial arts and shooting to anybody who will sit still for it since the 1980's, and women are going to keep getting attacked until they get back their right to defend themselves with a weapon.

Pal's response kind of made my hair stand on end..

Anyhow, that's a fair trade Phantom, more shooting deaths for the "safety" of minorities. Or is it only women who would get to shoot people on sight? What about a gay woman? Does being a person of colour afford you a free shoot to kill card too?

What idiocy…

Over the next couple of days I'm going to have a go at this comment, because it shows a very common, mainstream Toronto belief.  A belief which is quite frankly getting people killed.  I shall produce the evidence which disproves the idea, then I will have a look at who is pushing the idea and why.

But first I must move about 2 tons of flooring into the basement.  The snow has stopped here at Chez Phantom, so I better get to it.

I'll leave you with this thought.  Heinlein said in one of his books, "If you can't measure it, it ain't science."  If Paladiea is correct and allowing "the masses" to have firearms results in more shooting deaths, you should be able to measure that.  How would one go about making such a measurement?  Has it been done, and how did it turn out?

The Measuring Phantom

Sunday, November 23, 2008

See? Told ya!

Evidence du jour supporting my Official Phantom Prophecy of the immanent demise of Greenie Weenie causes in the political realm:  NBC jettisons Weather Network Environazi Unit.
NBC Universal made the first of potentially several rounds of staffing cuts at The Weather Channel (TWC) on Wednesday, axing the entire staff of the "Forecast Earth" environmental program during the middle of NBC's "Green Week," as well as several on-camera meteorologists.
And the money quote:
Forecast Earth was hosted by former CNN anchor Natalie Allen, with contributions from climate expert Heidi Cullen. It was the sole program on TWC that focused on global climate change, which raises the question of whether the station will still report on the subject. Cullen's future role at the network is not known.

There was a bunch of bafflegab at the end from NBC "explaining" why they shit canned 80 people and a whole global warming scare show, which boiled down to its essence translates to "This greenie propaganda isn't selling, advertisers are fleeing and we are losing our shirts here, so we are cutting our losses."

Hasta la vista, environazi programming.  Pretty soon you're not going to see the words "green" or "environment" anywhere in the media.  Its over.

The Crystal Ball Gazing Phantom

Monday, November 17, 2008

The nature of freedom's enemy.

I read today a nice little spark of insight from Five Feet of Fury:"Because Harry Potter is not a documentary".

Here in Soviet Canuckistan as y'all know (because I never shut up about it!) we have the Canadian Human Rights Commission and its various provincial versions acting as judge, jury and executioner in various cases where a person has posted something on the Internet that proved to be "unacceptable".  Or refused to print something, in one case. 

Anyway, there is in fact a little industry at the HRC of government employees beavering away all day posting really objectionable things at blogs and message boards, trolling for agreement or just trying to see if their filth gets left on the board for a while.  Then a different person files a complaint, and in 100% of the cases (so far) the target is found guilty and fined.

There are those in Canadian public life who have said out loud and in print that this is A Good Thing, and the HRCs should keep doing this and probably do it more.  Regarding these worthies, The Furious One says:

Remember: our fight is only 50% ideology, if that.

<cowardly Phantom snippage of naming names, I don't have a legal defense fund>
This fight is really about class, social standing, prestige. Who has it, who doesn't, and how that status quo can be maintained, by using the powers of the State to break the law, if necessary.

I would venture that this is more about -money-.   Prestige don't pay off the car loan, know what I mean?

Maybe not a buttload of money, but they are paying the bills and the work is pretty easy.  If anything the small sums involved make these individuals go all the harder.  They're trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table by hunting "bad guys", so "bad guys" is what they will come up with.   Even if they have to manufacture them.  If in the process they manage to destroy MY freedom to say what I want, well that's just too bad.  Business is business.

As an employment model I'd rather shovel shit from one place to another myself, but then I'm the "bad guy" here.  By insisting that the government has no business censoring speech in a free country, they say I'm "enabling" eeeevile  racist/bigot/homophobes to damage our society.  I should just shut up and let the Big Brains get things done, because I'm stupid and must be controlled for my own good.

Well no, actually I'm screwing with these Nazi hunter's paycheck and benefits package, which makes them frantic.  Double that for the global warming and gun control crowds, they are watching their golden geese shrivel and die already.

Read the whole Furious piece, its a giggle.

The Phantom Nazi-Hunter Hunter

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I may have to barf. Or break something. I can't decide.

Noah Richler's piece in the National Post today has flipped my biscuit, I must say.  Entitled "Our Obama Will Be Native" he says:

In all of this lie intimations of our own possible destiny. If Canada is to experience its own extraordinary, galvanizing political progression, it will not be because it has elected a black to high office. That would be pleasing enough, not least because slavery was also practised here, though it would be misrepresenting history to pretend that the issue is as profoundly troubling here as in the United States. But no, our own Obama moment will occur when Canada upholds a candidate from the First Nations as prime minister. Then we shall have confronted our own national shame. Then we shall have surmounted our own historical disgrace.

Will the race huckstering never cease?  Will the bleeding hearts bleating for "social justice" never be silent?  Will the accusations of bigotry continue forever?

You want national shame Noah?  You want historical disgrace? 

How about $14 billion a year, every year, spent to keep Indians rotting in starving, alcohol soaked, drug addled penury on reservations across the country?  How about the two-tier Ontario justice that allows a glorified biker gang to hold both the Six Nations reserve and the entire town of Caledonia hostage for three years now?  How about an infant mortality rate in northern reserves which approaches that of the Congo ?  How about an old boy network in the mythical First Nations governance that ensures nothing changes on these reserves, and the same people keep soaking up all the money?  How about a White socialist generated culture war that has Indians across the country repudiating Canada and pretending to be separate countries, as if that was a good thing?

Canada is absolutely the most tolerant nation in the world, to the point where we tolerate things that harm us all for fear of appearing judgmental.  There are no "victim groups" in this country, no sex or race or religion which is singled out for organized oppression by the general public.  There is only misguided, destructive government policy generated by IDIOTS the like of Mr. Richler, who seek to feather their own nests by keeping the Indians as clients of their oh so generous hand-out machine. The faster we dump this kind of thinking the sooner the suffering on the reserves will cease.

Should an Indian man become Prime Minister, I would hope that unlike Mr. Obama it is because he earned it with his abilities, hard work and honorable behavior.  You know, the way the rest of us do things.

The Phantom

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Governator terminates Kalifornia!

The tax hikes continue!
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed $4.4 billion in tax increases and billions more in spending cuts to close California's worsening budget deficit, declaring: "We must stop the bleeding."

Schwarzenegger on Thursday called for a special session of the state Legislature to address a deficit that has grown to $11.2 billion just six weeks after he signed the budget for the current fiscal year.

There you go kids, New York City and California first out the gate with tax hike proposals. More soon to follow, no doubt.

I don't know where the hell they think people are going to get the money, nobody is going to have a frickin' job. The Big Three car company CEOs are in Washington tonight begging Nancy Pelosi for money. If they go under, it will be some pretty serious shit. Not only will Big Three employees be out on the bricks, so will all the guys who work for the hundreds and HUNDREDS of little companies who make stuff for the Big Three. That's a lot of guys.

Washington may actually have to cut its spending. By which I mean not reduce the rate of spending increase, but actually spend -less- money. Watch what the government unions do. ~:D

The Amazing Bloomberg will now make NYC vanish!

Yes friends, the Amazing Bloomberg will astound you with his feats of prestidigitation, as he causes the entire working population of New York City to disappear in a puff of smoke!
The mayor proposed raising the income tax by either 7.5 percent or 15 percent.
Oh, and budget cuts too! Yep, the Amazing Bloomberg will be slicing off 1000 cops from the NYPD. But don't worry friends, he's going to add 200 new Green Hornets to hand out traffic and parking tickets.

What do the DemocRats say? Wait for it, this is just too juicy:
"I think the people of the city are going to be enraged," City Councilman Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn, said."
Funny stuff, Councilman!

The Phantom

Sunday, November 02, 2008

How to tell bad policy.

This is rich. Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry is a little book by two avowed Marxists. Which is funny as hell, because the "Aboriginal Industry" is pretty much a creation of Marxists from the 1970's. Its created a situation so heinously bad even fellow travelers can't stomach it.

"These revelations came to them when the two worked advising the Northwest Territories government in the 1990s. The territory had incorporated into official policy something called "traditional knowledge," requiring departments to include the spiritual folklore of Inuit and First Nations culture in decision-making about resource management - say, approving mines or setting hunting quotas."

Religion in government?! This cannot BE!

So they wrote a little book. You can tell something is really, really not working when it won't stand up to a functional analysis done by actual Marxists. I mean, 14 billion a year and people are still starving/freezing to death? Even a Commie can tell that ain't right.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Will Dems seek to censor the Right?

Is the Pope a Catholic?

From the NY Post today, the magic question:  What would Obama do?

SHOULD Barack Obama win the presidency and Democrats take full control of Congress, next year will see a real legislative attempt to bring back the Fairness Doctrine - and to diminish conservatives' influence on broadcast radio, the one medium they dominate.

Yes, the Obama campaign said some months back that the candidate doesn't seek to re-impose this regulation, which, until Ronald Reagan's FCC phased it out in the 1980s, required TV and radio broadcasters to give balanced airtime to opposing viewpoints or face steep fines or even loss of license. But most Democrats - including party elders Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Al Gore - strongly support the idea of mandating "fairness."

Would a President Obama veto a new Fairness Doctrine if Congress enacted one? It's doubtful.

I ask a slightly different question.  Would a guy who already says he wants to "spread the wealth around" shrink from telling y'all to shut up about it? Would he buck the people who moved heaven and earth to get him in to office just to protect the God given right to free speech?  Of his opposition?

I agree with The Post. It's doubtful. 

Instead, I think its likely a Department of Fairness will be created.  Kind of like the Ministry of Truth, but more folksy and American.  A whole new bureaucracy of bright eyed recent college graduates (English majors, of course) run by wily old Dem ward heelers.  Their job it will be to sift the Internet, print and broadcast media for "unfairness".  Which will of course be subject to interpretation.

So, all you Americans, bear that in mind when you vote.  Its going to affect you rather directly, particularly if you blog on the web or even comment on other people's blogs.

Still, the silver lining is it will be a major boon to "off-shore" web hosting should it come to pass.  Canada is pretty off-shore.  Maybe I'll buy a couple server racks and take the Phantom Soapbox international.  Seeing as how there's a butt-load of Blogger accounts going to go dark real soon, them being "unfair" to DemocRats and all.  No reason a good conservative shouldn't make some money fighting  DemocRat censorship, eh?

The Phantom

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Orwell had no idea.

The Labour government has announced a bill which, if passed, will create a centralized database which stores every e-mail, web page visit, text message, fax and phone call in the country.

Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as "Orwellian".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology.

And she promised that the content of conversations would not be stored, just times and dates of messages and calls.

Not because she doesn't want to store all that content, but because there's not enough drive space in the entire world to do it.  They're working on that part

. Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.

The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request - but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.

Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "The government's Orwellian plans for a vast database of our private communications are deeply worrying.

"I hope that this consultation is not just a sham exercise to soft-soap an unsuspecting public."

He said the government had repeatedly shown it could not be trusted with sensitive data, adding: "There is little reason to think ministers will be any less slapdash with our phone and internet records.

"Ministers claim the database will only be used in terrorist cases, but there is now a long list of cases, from the arrest of Walter Wolfgang for heckling at a Labour conference to the freezing of Icelandic assets, where anti-terrorism law has been used for purposes for which it was not intended."

"Our experience of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act suggests these powers will soon be used to spy on people's children, pets and bins.

"These proposals are incompatible with a free country and a free people."

Well, Britain hasn't been a free country for quite a while.  It stopped being free when guns became illegal.  No surprise that they've kept on turning the screw.  They can do any damn thing they want, who's going to tell them no? 

Pretty soon they'll have a global warming tax that charges you a couple quid every time you fart outside an approved Air Quality Protection Zone.  Your government issued "phone" will be keeping track.  Don't try to get it off friends, you get a nasty shock if you cut the strap, and they cut your food ration too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More gun "science"

Wow, anybody would think there's an election on or something.  Check it:

The number of justifiable homicides committed by police and private citizens has been rising in the past two years to their highest levels in more than a decade, reflecting a shoot-first philosophy in dealing with crime, say law enforcement analysts.

Yep, a new and uuuugly "shoot first philosophy" is what we are instructed this means by our noble, unbiased media.  Damn those red state rednecks and their damn guns anyway.

Northeastern University criminal justice professor James Alan Fox describes an emerging "shoot-first" mentality by police and private citizens. For several years, police departments have armed their officers with higher-powered weapons to keep pace with criminal gangs. "Clearly there is a message out there that citizens may be able to defend themselves" as well, he says.

 Big Brained Dr. Fox is attributing the increasing numbers of justifiable homicides to "higher-powered weapons" and more armed citizens.  Bigger, badder guns and more of them.

Alfred Blumstein, a Carnegie Mellon University criminologist, says the gun "legalization movement" also may have helped create a "greater willingness" among citizens to act in self-defense.

Big brained Dr. Blumstein thinks there's more trigger happy rednecks feeling their oats thanks to those bastards at the NRA.

Predictably, I think something different. 

If you look at the chart that goes with the article, you see that the lines for both cops and "citizens" decline from 1994 to 2000, then climb from 2000 to the present. One would have to go elsewhere for this data, but I'm confident you'll find that the total number of homicides (as in from all causes) generally follow a reverse curve, rising through the 1990's and declining in the 2000's.  I know from having lived in the US from 1994 to 2002 that the number of guns available to citizens, and the "power" of them did not decrease during that time. The police were not issued wildly more deadly firearms either.  I also know that in ALL states which switched to a "shall issue"gun license, self defense shootings did not increase remarkably, while over all homicide rates decreased by double digits in those states.  No "blood in the streets", remember?

So, we know that since 2000 police weapons did not become more fatal, and we know that even though there were more people licensed for concealed carry they did not shoot more bad guys.  Well, what changed then?
The FBI says a homicide committed by a private citizen is justified when a person is slain during the commission of a felony, such as a burglary or robbery. Police are justified, the FBI says, when felons are killed while the officer is acting in the line of duty. Rulings on these deaths are usually made by the local police agencies involved.

Local police agency policy on self defense is what changed.  We're not counting convicted murders, we're counting cases that were declared self defense.  You change the policy for making the declaration, you get a different number.  Under Clinton, everything is a homicide.  Under Bush, its possible to have a righteous shooting without video and the Pope for a witness.  Simple, yes?

Think they're going to put that in the USA Today?  Not a chance. They're going to find two Democrat eggheads in the country venal enough to lie about something so obvious. That's why we have the Phantom Soapbox.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Greenies, who they really are is uuuugly.

You know how we call the Greenies EnviroNazis?  If you ever thought that was unduly harsh, check this out:

"People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns. The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates."

Voluntarily, by an enlightened populace?  Hell no!

"Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."

 There will be concentration camps, mark my words.  Think upon this before you vote for Elizabeth May and her happy band of Green Party watermelons.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another mystery solved, why vegans are weird.

Ever wonder why the most ardent supporters of crazy environazism and general left wing moon-battery are invariably ardent vegetarians as well?

Mystery solved!
MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.
Brain shrinkage.  BWAHAHA!!

Kidding aside, its been known since ancient times that a 100% vegetarian diet is bad for you (ask any kung fu guy, even Buddhists get to eat shellfish), and its been known for a long time that B12 deficiency causes all manner of brain-related problems.  Probably half the diagnosed depression in the Western world these days is actually B12 and D deficiency.  So if you feel like crap, bang down some vitamins.

The Supplementary Phantom

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The New York Times discovers the obvious!

Here's something I've been saying for decades now, finally discovered by the main stream press.  Wind farms suck
Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions.
In other words, all them gigantic bird choppers you see out there?  Even the ones that are actually turning STILL aren't making power anyone can use a lot of the time, because the grid can't take the extra variation in input.  A little too much and pop goes a circuit breaker.  A little too little, and you get a voltage drop which has to be made up by a gas turbine, then the wind picks up again and pop goes another breaker.
Today, New York State has about 1,500 megawatts of wind capacity. A megawatt is an instantaneous measure of power. A large Wal-Mart draws about one megawatt. The state is planning for an additional 8,000 megawatts of capacity.

But those turbines will need to go in remote, windy areas that are far off the beaten path, electrically speaking, and it is not clear enough transmission capacity will be developed. Save for two underwater connections to Long Island, New York State has not built a major new power line in 20 years.

New York State lawmakers (DemocRats, obviously) have already built 1,500 megawatts worth of windmill generators, KNOWING THEY COULDN'T DELIVER THE POWER. These machines are good for about 5 megawatts each, so the jackasses in Albany have already built 400 of them, which are uselessly beating the air and delivering the square root of fuck-all electricity to your New York homes, kids.  The project was so incredibly successful they've decided to erect 1,600 more of 'em to deliver even more no-power.

Ontario has done likewise.  The LIEberals know a good scam when they see one.

What does this tell us?  Two things.  First, that the Mob has moved into the windmill business.  Second, that scumbag DemocRat and LIEberal politicians are happy to ride the wave of enviro-nutbar hysteria to fame and fortune, by paying their scuzzy friends to build large yet ever so ugly non-functional wind turbines with your money.  Lots and lots of your money dudes, those friggin' things are expensive.

No wonder they love gun control so much, eh?

The Phantom

Monday, August 18, 2008

So what's all this got to do with human rights?

Now, finally we come to it.  Perfect example has come to my hands from Lorne Gunter at the National Post.

In our previous examples, we have seen some interesting stuff.  Starting waaaay back here, we have seen that many Canadians, as exemplified in this case by Jason Cherniak, believe there are some things you should not be allowed to say, and that government is the tool of choice to be used for making sure you don't say it.
Here, we saw that restricting the use of force against criminals to government agents results in increased criminality, even given ubiquitous surveillance unprecedented in human history.  They ain't gettin' it done.
Here we saw how amazingly radical it seems when official sanction to use force is distributed rather than restricted.  Armed teachers?  What if one of 'em shoots somebody?!  Holy crap, man, that's nuts!
The tale of the five toilets shows us what happens when people keep restricting the use of force to police, even when they know its a stupid idea.  Armed business owners chucking small time hookers and hoods out of their own store bathrooms, without calling the cops?  Insanity!  You can't trust those guys to do that!  Not even if the cops are not getting it done, and it just cost the city five million smackers for hood&hooker vandalized super-shitters.

Right on.  You can't trust teachers or store owners with guns, they aren't government.  They aren't qualified, specialized, screened, trained, tested and watched.  They'll surely screw up.

Ok, well then lets ask, who can we trust?

How about doctors?  Could we trust doctors to be able to do the right thing?  Your doctor is probably the most highly qualified, most stringently screened and tested, most fiercely trained individual you know.  He or she is the end product of the toughest education process we've got, and is highly motivated to do what's right by their patients.  Not what is expedient, or what is least expensive, or politically correct, or easiest for the doctor and staff of the hospital.  What's right.  Given what they go through to get that MD license, if they don't know what's right nobody does.

Enter the CPSO.  Check this out:
If the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) gets its way, Ontario's doctors will soon be stripped of their right to follow their moral convictions or religious beliefs when treating patients. In other words, doctors will risk losing their licenses if they run afoul of Ontario's human rights police.

The key passage in the CPSO's seven-page proposal states that a "physician's responsibility is to place the needs of the patient first, [so] there will be times when it may be necessary for physicians to set aside their personal beliefs in order to ensure that patients or potential patients are provided with the medical services they require."

Not just actual, real patients mind you.  Potential patients.  Hypothetical patients.  People who do not in fact exist, but might someday.  Maybe.

So the answer to the question "Can you trust doctors?" is NO.  You can't.  They might decide to do something other than what has been deemed acceptable by certain minions of government this week.  The details of what they might decide are irrelevant, what matters is that they are not trusted to decide.  They cannot be allowed the freedom to decide. 

This is the end-game of Progressive thought as currently formulated.  There is no one who is trusted other than government employees to decide or to do anything of any importance without strict supervision.  People are stupid and must be controlled by duly constituted authority.  No matter how expensive it is, no matter how futile it is, no matter if it is counter productive to the desired goal, no matter if people die of it. Central control must be maintained or chaos and destruction will result.

And that, my friends, is what Human Rights Commissions in this country are all about.  They decide what you will be allowed to say in public, because YOU, bumpkin that you are, might decide incorrectly.  Even doctors ate too immoral, venal, deluded, brainwashed, stupid, all of the above to get it right, what possible hope could there be that you will?  You morons!

Is there any faint chance that this belief system will turn out well for Canada?  Going by the historical record, no.  All centrally planned, centrally controlled societies have ended badly to date.  Even large companies have a habit of ending badly when they have too much centralization, too much bureaucracy and micro-management.

There is even evidence that what we see from history is something approaching a mathematical certainty.  Complex systems in manufacturing have a tendency to go out of time and devolve into chaotic uproar no matter how stringent the timing and control of each individual part is.  This Aug 9th-15th New Scientist has an article (Law and Disorder by Mark Buchanan, pg 30) on precisely this type of problem.  One example used was painting robots at GM.  When managers tried to schedule to robots the result was inefficient and costly.  When the robots were set up to schedule themselves using a simple algorithm running on each machine, the line schedule could not be predicted.  But GM saved a million bucks in paint alone that year.  Freedom to make decisions, when distributed among nodes, increases efficiency.

That's in dumb robots.  Ants don't have any central control at all, just basic programing to respond to pheromones and the rest is adaptive neurology.  Ants do pretty well, they've been around in their present form for a couple million years.

What chance is there that humans are going to respond well to rigid central controls?

And that is why I disagree with Mr. Cherniak on human rights commissions.  People can't be controlled.  Its impossible.

The Phantom

The Tale of Five Toilets.

Once upon a time there were five toilets.
March 2, 2004

The doors open and close like those on an elevator. You step in. They softly seal shut behind you.

"Welcome to Seattle's public toilet," says the kind of voice you might hear as you board a space ride at Disneyland.

The self-cleaning cylindrical bathrooms include a toilet, wastepaper basket, and sink with a dispenser that dribbles out soap. They are wheelchair-accessible.

They were wonderful toilets put up by wonderful people for wonderful reasons.

Made in Germany, and leased by the city, the public restrooms are expected to cost a total of about $600,000 a year. They will be paid for through sewer revenues. Since the 1980s, Seattle business owners have said the lack of public restrooms was the top issue facing downtown.

Business owners across the city have been forced to figure out ways to keep drug users and others out of their bathrooms while keeping the toilets open to customers.

See?  Wonderful!  Here's how it turned out:
August 16, 2008

Seattle has officially washed its hands of the five self-cleaning toilets.

The toilets cost the city $5 million. They sold on eBay Thursday evening for $12,549.

All five were sold to Racecar Supply, of Rochester, in Thurston County, with winning bids ranging from $1,625 to $4,899 per commode, said Pat Miller, spokesman for Seattle's Fleets and Facilities Department. "What a buy," said Racecar Supply owner Butch Behn. "Wouldn't you think it's a really good deal, considering what they paid for them? It was a gift."

At least Butch Behn is happy, eh?  But it was all so wonderful!  What happened?!
The high-tech public toilets, with sanitizing water jets and automatic doors, were installed in 2004 to accommodate tourists and transients in Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, the central waterfront, Pike Place Market and the Chinatown International District. But the city canceled its contract this spring after the commodes became filthy hide-outs for drug use and prostitution.
When the problem is pushers, pimps, prostitutes and their clientèle mangling the toilets of private businesses, the solution is not a self cleaning public toilet.  The astute reader will note that the newspaper is ever so carefully not laying any blame here for the flushing of five million tax dollars in this affair.  They liked the idea, they are surprised and disappointed it didn't work.  They think it should have worked.

What would have been the solution?  Empowering the private businessmen to forcibly eject pushers, pimps, prostitutes and etc. from their premises, one would think.  (In some circles this is called "freedom".)  Why is this obvious, free and effective solution unacceptable to the Seattle brain trust?  Because it sends authority to make decisions and use force out to the general population at the expense of the central government control.  They don't want to give up the power to make sure everything is being done properly.

Now we begin to understand the problem.

Continue thinking!

The Phantom

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Complete insanity reigns in Texas!

Further to our present conversation, we have an interesting reverse example to that of Britain's ubiquitous surveillance system.

The current official wisdom with regard to security is centralization and specialization.  In Britain we have a blanket ban on the possession of any weapon or weapon-like object in a public place.  A table leg wrapped in a plastic bag has been known to get people arrested in London.  The British answer to increased threat from terrorism and criminality has been a vast network of CCTV and laws requiring private companies to turn over pretty much any information they have on anybody upon request.

Here in Canada and in the USA and Britain, the answer to security threats to schools, both external threats and those from violent students, has been to put uniformed police officers in the schools.  Teachers cannot touch unruly students, they must call a cop, who will then follow the official SOP to subdue, restrain or otherwise deal with the kid(s).  The result over the last 20-30 years has been an ever increasing police presence in schools, and an ever increasing amount of criminality to go with that presence.  Oh, and huge cost increases, as they pay cops to cool their heels in schools all friggin' day.

Bucking the official wisdom is this bunch of crazy people in Texas.
A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.

Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.

The head looney had this to say:

Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," Thweatt said in Friday's online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.

"The naysayers think (a shooting) won't happen here. If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them," Thweatt said.

Here's a guy who has considered what's being done everywhere else, seen that it isn't working no matter how much money they throw at it, and decided to do something different.  He's said, well, we already have teachers at the school whom we have already certified as trustworthy, upstanding and proper individuals, who are trusted to look after these kids.  Is there some reason they can't be armed to protect the kids?  Do we have to pay men to do nothing other than wear a gun all day, while these teachers are probably better motivated to look after the kids?  If you can't trust the teacher to be with the kids armed, can you trust them when they are not armed?  Does the gun make the teacher into a security threat?  Are teachers too stupid to learn safe gun handling?  Are cops some kind of übermenchen, only they can safely carry a gun?

No.  So arm the teachers on the off chance some freak decides to do something nasty at the school.  Case closed, on to the next problem.

Radical, isn't it?  He's distributing the power and authority outward.  Everybody else is trying to hoard it inward. 

Continue thinking, my friends.

The Phantom

Ubiquitous surveilance: Why isn't this working?

Here's an interesting thing about the capability of government to Get Things Done.  Whenever government decides to Do Something About Crime, we see lots of tire smoke and hear plenty of noise, but no forward motion.  Usually they go backwards.

Britain being a perfect petri dish example with their Big Eye ubiquitous surveillance system.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has now uncovered just how much personal data is being collected about individuals by the Government, law enforcement agencies and private companies each day.

In one week, the average person living in Britain has 3,254 pieces of personal information stored about him or her, most of which is kept in databases for years and in some cases indefinitely.

The data include details about shopping habits, mobile phone use, emails, locations during the day, journeys and internet searches.

In many cases this information is kept by companies such as banks and shops, but in certain circumstances they can be asked to hand it over to a range of legal authorities.

In Britain the average schlub shows up on video 300 times a day.  Average, mind you.  Meaning in high surveillance areas like London people's every movement is recorded.  You pick your nose, 5 cameras see it.  Every time you swipe a card, make a phone call or use the Web, it gets recorded.  The recording system pretty much tracks you all day, every day.  They Know Where You Are.

Yet Britain is in the middle of an historic crime wave.  London is presently more dangerous than the mean streets of New York City, which is saying something.  NYC doesn't have no-sparrow-shall-fall surveillance.  Odd, yes?

Counter intuitive though it may be, Constable Plod being able to know whodunnit seems to have no effect on stopping them doing it.  How can this be?  I mean, you can blame the catch-and-release system of bleeding heart Liberalism, but there's just so much data available on so many petty thugs one would think the authorities would be able to bust these jerks every time they take a leak in public, which they appear to do hourly.  Wouldn't the petty criminal get tired of spending all his time going through catch and release all day, every day?

Apparently, even given Godlike knowledge there is a limit to what The System can get done.  That limit appears to fall far, far short of what is needed to deter petty criminals.  We're talking deterring street drunks here, and small time drug users with maybe five working brain cells. Not even organized crime, much less religious fanatics with a hate on for the whole world.

Bottom line, plenty of action but no traction.  The result, regardless of intent, is MORE crime and terrorism, not less.


There's a reason of course.  We just need to know what it is and act accordingly.  Maybe large populations can't be controlled?  Now that's a thought worth examining I'd say, because history seems to support it.  Let's all think about that a little bit.  More later!

The Phantom

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ruminations on the Aug. 14th Coren Show

I caught the Michael Coren show last night at 8pm.  That'd be the Aug. 14th show.  Guests were Kathy ShaidleBob Tarantino, Jason Cherniak and Nickolas Packwood.

First off, Congrats to Kathy Shaidle for not biting Jason Cherniak on TV, even though she clearly wanted too.  Pretty good self control for a Hamilton chick!
Congrats to Jason Cherniak for showing up to face off with all those scary conservatives and risking getting bit.  See? She can behave if she really wants to.  For short periods anyway.  ~:D

The large issue of the day was censorship in Canada and the behavior of the various Human Rights Commissions/Tribunals these last few years.  One very telling exchange was regarding the hate speech laws.  I'm going to paraphrase rather broadly here, so let's not have any lawsuits shall we?  Everybody did a great job, this is deep concept time here.

The issue was Holocaust denial, Cherniak basically said he was quite satisfied to live in a country with laws making that illegal, and that there are some things you shouldn't be able to say.  The rest of them didn't think this was such a good idea, mostly because the list of things you can't say changes over time and gets longer too.  Tarantino mentioned that up until fairly recently there were blasphemy laws in Canada and they were used to persecute groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses for slagging the Catholic Church.  There have always been things you can't say, and that the only thing different these days is the particulars of the subject matter.  These days the Catholic Church can't slag homosexuality.  Same manure, different pile.

I got thinking about that a little bit.  Cherniak's attitude is quite common, I hear it all the time.  It is that government can and should punish people for saying things that are "wrong".  There's some stuff curled up in this assumption I want to pull out.
First, there are some things you should be punished for saying.
Second, government can identify these things accurately and deal with them justly.  As in, government as a thing, system, concept, is capable of doing that job.
Third, and this is the big one, our Canadian government can be trusted to do this.
Fourth, this is a good idea for Canada.

I don't have time to get into this today in any great depth, but I think the conversation has cut down to some core, basic beliefs that differentiate political thought in Canada.  There are those who believe as Jason Cherniack does, that the answer to those four issues is yes.  There are those who believe the answer to at least one of those is no.  Then there are nutcases like myself and Kathy Shaidle who say NO! to all four.  Not just no but HELL NO! and bang on the table really freaking hard.

My reasoning starts from the fact that "government" is basically a tool we humans use to do things.  There are some jobs it can do, and some jobs it can't do.  Controlling speech justly is in the can't-do category right next to alcohol prohibition.  Even trying to do it with the best possible intentions leads inevitably to a situation much worse than letting the bad people say the bad things whenever they want.  I'll add that the HRCs are NOT proceeding from the best possible intentions, to put it ridiculously mildly.

More upon this later, my friends.

The Busy Phantom

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How does a Brontosaurus know when its been shot in the ass?

In Media Dinosaur news today, Paramount Pictures has lost its funding deal with Deutche Bank.  Or walked away, depending who you talk to.  Oddly, the people saying "walked away" all seem to work for Paramount.

Opinions on the cause may vary, but the bottom line is nobody wants to lend Paramount half a billion dollars ($450 mill, close enough eh?) to make movies this year.  Last year they were lining up with cash in duffel bags, this year not so much.  As Deadline Hollywood notes:  "After all, if it hadn't been for DreamWorks, DreamWorks Animation, and now Marvel, and also Steven Spielberg, the Paramount balance sheet over the past 2 1/2 years would be a total disaster area." 

From the horse's mouth to the Phantom's ear.

The Phantom Dinosaur Hunter

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Segregation BAD... except when its GOOD.

More evidence the people who run the BC Human Rights Tribunal/Commission
are batshit crazy:
> The B.C. Hu-man Rights Tribunal has dismissed a complaint by two
> members of the Indo-Canadian community who were denied membership in a
> Burnaby Sikh temple because of their social ranking in India's caste
> system.
> Gurshinder Sahota and Sohan Shergill said they were discriminated
> against by the Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Temple because they belong to
> a higher caste in the traditional system of social ranking than do
> temple members.
So my friends, it is now ok to discriminate against people based on
caste in Canada. One very important thing to know about in this case is
that _/*SIKHISM DOES NOT RECOGNIZE CASTE*/_. One of the reasons the
Sikh religion was founded in the first place was to get rid of the Hindu
caste system. Another big reason was to fight off the Muslims, but I

Getting back to the BCHRC decision,
> The tribunal dismissed the complaint for two reasons: First, it found
> it does not have jurisdiction over temple membership; and, second,
> citing a prior decision regarding the United Native Nations, it agreed
> that the temple should be allowed to restrict membership to a minority
> group in order to promote the group's welfare.
So just to be clear:
-it is NOT ok to have a men-only social club, because that's sexist.
Complaining about women-only clubs is also sexist.
-It is NOT ok to have a White's only or Christians only golf club,
because that's racist. Jews-only golf clubs are not racist, unless
Israel is in the news that day.
-It is NOT ok for the Catholic Church (or any Christian church) to
refuse to conduct weddings for same sex couples because that is
homophobic. Don't even think of complaining about other religions
refusing, because that's racist!
-It is NOT ok to mock Islam, even though it IS ok to mock Christianity,
because...well just because the BCHRC said so, damnit, so suck it up.
-It IS ok for Dalits to refuse to admit Jats into their Gurdwara, even
though Sikhism itself forbids this, even though it is unfairly
discriminatory against Jats, and even though the caste system itself is
inarguably evil and has caused a thousand years of misery in India and
all those Indian guys came here to Canada to get away from it.

Everybody got that? Me neither.

The Phantom

Friday, July 11, 2008

Britian: Land of the Insane.

Ye Olde England, land of gun bans, where the top judge in the land was recently heard to say that maybe Sharia law should be above British law sometimes, has proven today to be populated by insane idiots.  All the other evidence is as nothing compared to this.

Yes friends, in a country where you can't look out your kitchen window without being imaged in real-time by a police camera, people are freaking out about Google StreetView.  Google is employing "spy cars" no less, to take pictures of streets in England, just like they did in the USA already to absolutely no ill effect anyone can see.  The USA being that country where the cops do NOT have fricking CCD spy cameras every 30 feet in every city, town, village and fricking cross road in the country, and where Constable Plod does NOT scold you from a loudspeaker for dropping a gum wrapper or taking an emergency piss in a secluded corner.

Without even a shred of irony, the Daily Mail titles their article

Big Brother: The Google cars that will photograph EVERY front door in Britain

Holy crap, a private company is going to take a picture of your house, once

The internet giant's StreetView website will allow anyone in the world to type in a UK address or postcode and instantly see a 360-degree picture of the street.

It will include close-ups of buildings, cars and people. Critics say the site is a 'burglar's charter' that makes it easy for criminals to check out potential victims.

The pictures also show people leaving and entering hospitals, health clinics, adult shops and hotels. Although their faces are deliberately blurred, many could still be recognised by their clothing and hair colour.

Wow, its the end of the friggin' world, innit?  I mean, somebody might <gasp!> SEE me!  In public!!! Aieee!

Look, there's a picture of some guy wearing a jacket that looks kinda like mine, walking out of Dirty Joe's Porno Emporium and Dry Cleaner's Shop.  AIEEEE!!!!

Robbers will be able to go online and see exactly what they would be able to see driving by on the street!  Except by the time they see it on-line I may have moved, or gotten a different car, or painted the house, or...  AIEEEEEEE!!!!!

Or my absolute favorite Really Bad Thing, "The site has even been used by teenagers arranging unauthorised (sic) swimming parties in unoccupied homes."  Oh gawd not SWIMMING PARTIES, we're all gonna DIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

They are all insane.  Gibbering, slobbering, incontinent lunatics.

The Phantom

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A worthy consideration.

Just read an article that was featured at Five Feet of Fury, which has crystallized some thoughts about our society I've been having of late.  It is a posting by Diana West regarding her book, "The Death Of The Grown-up".  Her contention is that our "war on terror" is just a misstatement of the facts.  She contends we are at war with Islam itself.
I have come to believe that the Western way of life — which I’ll define in brief as life lived according to Judeo-Christian-evolved morality and liberty — is imperiled by the demographic spread and influence of Islamic ideology and laws. Notice I didn’t say the spread of “Islamism.” Or “Islamist-ism.” Or “Islamofascism.” Or just “Wahhabism.” Or “fundamentalist militant extremism.” Over the years, I have used most of these “ists” and “isms” in my column, trying them out one by one until I got to the point where I realized they were serving as a distraction, a form of verbal camouflage that turns our attention away from the ideology and laws of Islam itself. In the cause of not-giving-offense — the highest cause of Westerners-turned-multiculturalists—we have prevented ourselves from undertaking a hard-eyed appraisal of Islamic ideology as a whole, jihadism included, and engaging in a serious discussion of how to contain it.
This is of course a very radical statement.  Being at war with the entire nature of Islam, not just the violent elements of it, wowser.  That would imply there's a <gasp!> value judgment to be made that Western Civilization is <double gasp!> better than Islam!  In fact, better enough that its worth fighting, maybe even dying for.  Holy crap, Batman!

Well, yeah.  I agree with that.  And I agree with Ms. West that we are in a war.  But I don't think Islam is who the war is against. 

Consider the Sikhs, just for a bit of real world contrast.  They basically live in a constant state of war with Islam.  Their whole religion is designed with that in mind, and it has worked really well since they've successfully resisted wave after wave of jihadi invasions for 500 years.  The Punjab is not Muslim, even though some new Muslim instigated outrage is seen once or twice a year.  Non-Muslims dragged from their houses and killed in retribution for the outrage of the week, mosques burned as payback for that, what have you.  The war continues, the Sikhs keep being Sikhs.

We are not at war with Islam.  They may think they are at war with us, and in fact there's some justification for them thinking that.  Women's rights and the sovereignty of the individual are reason enough for them to think that.  As Ms. West says,
Consider the overarching conception of “freedom” itself. The entry on freedom, or hurriyya, in the Encyclopedia of Islam describes a state of divine enthrallment that bears no resemblance to current Western understandings of freedom as predicated on the workings of the individual conscience. But multicultural “we,” rigorously trained to see all peoples and all cultures and all religions as ultimately wired in precisely the same way, persist in overlooking such distinctions. We instead regard our kind of “freedom” as being one-size-fits-all “universal” freedom — universally valued and universally desired. Then we scratch our heads when large swaths of the monocultural Muslim world regard it as an ineluctably Western (if not infidel) threat to Islam. Frankly, I don’t think that convincing Islam otherwise is where our security interests will be met, or even can be met.
If we were at war with Islam the way the Sikhs are, even just since 2001, it'd be over by now. Europe and N. America  vs. the rag-tag "armies" of the Middle East?  Fighting like we mean it?  No PC rules of engagement, just full-on if it moves shoot it, if its not moving blow it up real friggin' war?  Over already.  Ask Saddam, he knows.

So who are we at war with, really?  Diane West explains it well.
Recall the academic “culture wars” of the 1980s and 1990s — a struggle that was, in large part, a war over cultural identity. Were we going to remain heirs to the Western canon, or become children of a multicultural world? Because that question was asked of a post-grown-up society exhibiting classic symptoms of “identity crisis,” the winning answer came decisively from the multicultural Left.

I didn’t realize the full extent of that victory until much later, beginning on 9/11, when the Multicultural States of America—a nation that had taught itself to believe, for example, that the complete works of Alice Walker and William Shakespeare were interchangeable, offering equal enlightenment and meriting equal study (giving Shakespeare the benefit of the doubt) — came under cataclysmic attack. Was it a real war, this time, not a culture war … or was it a real culture war?
I submit, now its a real war.  Islam can't possibly win unless WE LET THEM.  The only reason we might even think of letting them is multi-culti socialism.  That's who we're really at war with.  You can tell because the bad guys have started doing things like the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the gun registry (and gun control generally), and this gem of gems from England yesterday, which I can't freakin' believe: Britain's top judge says Sharia law should be allowed in Britain.

I'd prefer to win this war in the propaganda stage and defeat these CRETINS at the ballot box, before the shooting starts.  Shooting is for the range.  Shooting downtown, that's not good.

The Phantom

Friday, June 27, 2008

A truly RADICAL solution.

Centrally funded, centrally planned, centrally managed, the Canadian medical system is the epitome of the Socialist Way. Its alpha and omega, if you like.  No sparrow shall fall.  Sadly, the system is profoundly broken. Never a day goes by that you don't hear of some new outrage.

Enter Claude Castonguay.  Who, you may well ask, is this guy?  Well, he's the guy who thought this whole thing up.  He's the Father of Canadian Medicare.  Good ol' Claude figured back in the 1960's that if we could just get the filthy profit motive out of medicine, everything would be awesome and cool, like peace man.  Capitalism bad, only government can set you free, etc.

Back in the 1960s, Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: "the father of Quebec medicare." Even this title seems modest; Castonguay's work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in "crisis."

Actually, in my humble yet quite well informed opinion, we've been in "crisis" around here since the early 1990's.  In 2008 we've moved beyond crisis and are well into meltdown, we've burned through the emergency containment building and we're heading for the water table and a really big freakin' explosion.  But, I digress.

So Claude started this whole debacle with his radical theories back in the days of Flower Power, what's he learned in 40 years?  What radical rabbit is he going to pull out of his progressively pink hat to save us all from ourselves?

"We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."

Ok, so I bolded that part.  Sue me.  But advocating freedom of choice?!  That's some radical stuff!  What kinda shit you been smokin' Claude?

Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.

Yes friends, no less a man than the very Father of Canadian Medicare has admitted that he fucked up big time, and wants to put things back pretty much the way they were back in the 1960's before he stuck his big monkey wrench in the gears.  As the author notes, that's a hell of an admission from a hard core socialist.
In America, these ideas may not sound shocking. But in Canada, where the private sector has been shunned for decades, these are extraordinary views, especially coming from Castonguay. It's as if John Maynard Keynes, resting on his British death bed in 1946, had declared that his faith in government interventionism was misplaced.
An admission of such magnitude makes one wax philosophical, and to reflect upon the arrogance of man.  Here we have Claude, biiiig intellectual, well educated in the history of medicine and economics as well.  He knew at the time that left to themselves, human beings self assemble into a kind of small time capitalism.  Value for value is the rule of life.  But he thought he was smarter than history, so he went with the exact opposite.  Value given  for no value received, aka "free" medical care for all.  Keynesian socialism writ large, since we mentioned big JM there.

In less exalted circles this is called "pissing into the wind". You have to be an intellectual to think you can do that and not get any on you.

The Phantom

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wow! They CAN read!

Todays important and stunning news, the Supreme Court of the USA can read and understand English!

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks.

Amazing!  Most of them read "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." and understood it.

However, some did not:

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Meaning that Justice John Paul Stevens has missed the entire point of the American Revolution.  Given the decisions coming out of that court the last 40 years, this is not surprising.

The Phantom

Friday, May 30, 2008

crazy mechanical watches

For you wrist watch lovers out there (and you know who you are!) I couldn't pass up this article on insanely complicated, obscenely expensive watches.  Just think of wearing a Ferrari on your wrist, you'll be pretty close.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How sloppy journalism hurts society.

Technology BAD!  Nature Gooooood.
This is the extent of cranial processing I see these days in a lot of science reporting.  No matter the subject, if us eeeevile Humans would just leave things alone and go back to the horse and buggy, everything would be perfect and beautiful. Little fairies would flit from flower to flower scattering fairy dust on us all, as we recline in the bosom of Gaia and smoke dope together in harmonious wonderfulness.  sigh.

Case in point.

How buckyballs hurt cells

Yep, that's the title of the press release on Eurekalert today. 

First sentence:
A new study into the potential health hazards of the revolutionary nano-sized particles known as ‘buckyballs’ predicts that the molecules are easily absorbed into animal cells, providing a possible explanation for how the molecules could be toxic to humans and other organisms.

Seeing that, you'd think the guys were biochemists who had done a breakthrough study in toxicology, showing that

A) buckyballs are toxic, and
B) how they are toxic.

But, you'd be wrong!  Because they didn't observe "that the molecules are easily absorbed into animal cells".  They modeled it.  On a computer.  Its a simulation.

The LAST sentence in the article finally quotes the guy.
“Buckyballs commonly form into clumps that could easily be inhaled by a person as dust particles,” Tieleman said. “How they enter cells and cause damage is still poorly understood but our model shows a possible mechanism for how this might occur.
So what we have is a computer simulation of a hypothesis, not an observation of an actual occurrence.  AKA, its a movie.  It might be true, it might not.  We don't even know IF they enter cells, because the toxicity mentioned in the article has to do with Fullerenes as a class including nanotubes, not buckeyballs as in C-60 which as I understand it is damn near completely inert chemically.

A little more than half way down the article the idiot journalist mentions that C-60 occurs naturally "from lightning strikes", to which I'll add it occurs profusely in SOOT, particularly from carbon arc lamps such as are used in movie projectors, spot lights, plus anywhere else a carbon electrode is used.  Oh, plus welding soot from torches, they get hot too.  There's been no plague of projectionists and welders dropping dead these last hundred or so years, so you know what?  It can't be that bad.  Maybe you might not want to eat it by the handful. Snorting lines of it like coke could be contra-indicated as well

But what do I get from reading the article?  This super duper high tech stuff which irresponsible bastards are building into products I use every day is gonna hurt my cells.  Nanotechnology is gonna give me BRAIN CANCER!!!  AIEEEEE!!!!  Kill the scientists!

That's not journalism, that's Big Lie disinformation.  Just thought y'all should know.

The Disinformed Phantom

Oh, so THAT'S why. No wonder!

Ever notice how hard it is to save money?  Almost impossible, right?  Ever wonder why that is?

To be precise, for an average two-person family earning $83,700, income tax in 2007 accounted for more than a third of all taxation. (Those in lower income groups paid a smaller share.)

But the bigger surprise comes when all forms of taxation are taken into account. And boy, taxation can take a whole lot of forms.

The same average family paid -- get ready for it -- 46.5 per cent of its income in taxes.

Now, this calculation is for two wage-slaves making a measly $42k each.  Should you be one of the fortunate "wealthy", who make some REAL dough, you don't pay no steeenkin' 46%, no sir!

Your damage is probably up north of 50%, heading for 60%.

So the next time you look at your bank account and wonder where the hell that raise you just got has vanished to, you can stop wondering.  The government TOOK IT FROM YOU.  And you voted for those sons of bitches, you idiot.

What you should start wondering about is how to defeat them and vote in somebody who will stop stealing all your damn money.  Start small, maybe with the city.  Tax cuts at the city level, there's a concept for you eh?

The Phantom

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This is SO clever!

I just love these kinds of brilliant things, they're so ingenious!
As microchips shrink, even tiny defects in the lines, dots and other shapes etched on them become major barriers to performance. Princeton engineers have now found a way to literally melt away such defects, using a process that could dramatically improve chip quality without increasing fabrication cost.
In the most basic terms, they put a quartz crystal plate over the chip and blast it with a laser. The metal lines on the chip melt and flow a little, which fixes any breaks or jagged edges. How fricking simple is that?
Chou's method, termed Self-Perfection by Liquefaction, achieves this by melting the structures on a chip momentarily, and guiding the resulting flow of liquid so that it re-solidifies into the desired shapes. This is possible because natural forces acting on the molten structures, such as surface tension -- the force that allows some insects to walk on water -- smooth the structures into geometrically more accurate shapes. Lines, for instance, become straighter, and dots become rounder.
Here's a picture of how well it works.

Now that's impressive!

The Phantom

Monday, April 28, 2008

Possible transuranic element discovered!

Big, BIG news in the fancy chemistry biz today, via Slashdot we have this paper which claims discovery of a new stable element up in the atomic number 120, 122 range. Slightly less sciency is the blog here.

From the paper:
In summary, mass spectral evidence has been obtained for the existence of a long-lived
superheavy isotope with an atomic mass number of 292 and t1/2 ³108 y. Based on predicted
chemical properties of element 122, it is probable that the isotope is 292122, but a somewhat
higher Z cannot absolutely be excluded. Because of its long lifetime, it is deduced that a longlived
isomeric state rather than the normal g.s. was observed at A=292. The hypothesis that it
is a high spin SD or HD isomeric state is discussed.
They found the new material in samples of naturally occurring thorium (Th90), and estimate its half life in the 100 million year (10^8) range. The usual half life of elements higher up the periodic table than plutonium is measured in nanoseconds. Meaning this stuff sticks around long enough for us to be able to do things with it.
This is confirmation of a long held but unproved theory, that there are stable super-heavy nuclear states waaaay up the periodic table from the stuff we make in atom smashers. Awesome.

The Superheavy Phantom

Monday, April 07, 2008

Olympic wrestling event starts early.

Well, between London and Paris we've had a great bunch of Olympic wrestling events to watch.

Some highlights of the action!

From Paris, we have this awesome combination wrist lock/shoulder dislocation move by Black Jacques Shelac of the Paris Gendarmerie on... hey, is she in Jacques' weight class? Possible foul there, we'll have to wait for the judges decision on this one.

Ah, this is more like it. Bobbie "The Crusher" Creel displays beauty form with this throw-down on Jimmie Protester, while the Chinese "Olympic" security officer in the blue and white track suit pretends he's not reaching for his pistol.Here's Jimmie going for the torch, just before Bobbie gets a hold of him. That's Bobbie's arm there, reaching into the scrum of Chinese "security" who are pretending not to be armed just as hard as they can.

From London again, this SWEET flying tackle by Bobbie "The Crusher" in a bout with Fu "The Boot" Man Shoe, as Bobbie takes Fu down off his bike.

BEAUTY take down by the Paris team, note the arm twisted up behind the head and shoulder under the arm pit. That's going to hurt when Jean Le Protesteur meets the pavement! Only fair, he's trying to swipe a lit torch from the one-legged girlie in the wheelchair. Naughty Jean!

Some on-the-floor moves from London, looks like Bobbie is going for a choke-out. Lots of blue suited Chinese "security" here, looks like the boys have successfully suppressed that reach-for-the-gun reflex in this picture. (Are chokes allowed in Olympic wrestling?)

Check out this great set up as Bobbie goes for the pin in London. There's that weight-class mismatch again though, the judges are going to have trouble on this one.

Finally the triumph in London, The entire Greater London Police force AND the Chicom "Security" team took on all comers, and between them managed to get The Torch through town. And that's what's important, the torch.

Here they are, shoulder to shoulder and looking good. Kinda brings a tear to your eye, don't it?

Leni Reifenstahl's not dead folks. Her spirit lives on in the Olympic Movement!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How to tell who you're messing with.

Kate over at Small Dead Animals has posted a shot of some Lefty bloggers. I never heard of most of them, frankly. But the interesting thing is this could be any office party. Couple girls, bunch of guys, no distinguishing characteristics that would make you think "Lefties!!!!" Not even a Che t-shirt.

For that I think you'd have to go around the front of the house and see what they drove up in.
Couple of these:http://www.smart.com/is-bin/intershop.static/WFS/root/-/-/smart/images/carconfigurator/imagedb/2007-v2/ca/def/mcc/assets/model_small_1.jpg

Couple of those:

Couple of these:

Couple of those:

You get the idea.

This here's the kind thing that shows up in front of a Conservative picnic.

Or possibly:

It's not a value judgment, I'm just sayin'. ~:D

Friday, March 28, 2008

Faster, please!

According to new data released by the Newspaper Association of America, total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006 -- the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950.

The drop-off points to an economic slowdown on top of the secular challenges faced by the industry. The second worst decline in advertising revenue occurred in 2001 when it fell 9.0%.

Total advertising revenue in 2007 -- including online revenue -- decreased 7.9% to $45.3 billion compared to the prior year.
Hope y'all took my advice and unloaded those MSM stocks kids.

The Phantom