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The Great Sex Robot Debate at Ideacity

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rex Murphy: M-103 is a political billboard. Pick a side and advertise your virtues

If the Liberals changed the wording from "Islamophobia" to "anti-Muslim bigotry" and made a mention about the right to criticize all religions and ideologies, they could win over lots of people currently opposed to Motion 103. But the Liberals' plan all along was to sow discord in the country for their political ends.

...labelling something a phobia or phobic in modern political discourse is at least as often a facile attempt to suppress arguments and shut down debates, as it is an apt and faithful description of one of the parties (that they are bigots and haters) to those arguments and debates. That is to say, it is as much, or as often, a term of artful and partisan rhetoric as it is a description of a real and prejudiced state of mind.

So with the controversy over the parliamentary motion that has wound up our political class towards week’s end, perhaps some of its energies come from the unstable nature of the term which is at the centre of the debate: Islamophobia. Simply put, the term does not have a fixed and commonly shared understanding, it is variously deployed and variously understood, and it is both a term of rhetoric and a term designating real and prejudicial animosity towards Muslims.

I would suggest that in the current dustup, most but not all of the most fervent advocates of either side are choosing the side of the coin, the shades of the term, which places them on the heroic side of the contention. The pro-Motion side quickly essentializes their opponents with the schoolyard taunt of “How can you not be against hate?” For its part, the anti-motion dervishes summon the spectre of the collapse of our free speech rights and creeping sharia. Neither side wishes to make too obvious what is in fact obvious to anyone detached from the theatrical fireworks — that it is posture politics and virtue-signalling on both sides...

Friday, February 17, 2017


Donald Trump declared war on the mainstream news media, and is trying to convince the public that the media is their enemy as well.

He may be right.

Lawrence Solomon: Finally it’s safe for the whistleblowers of corrupted climate science to speak out

Whistleblowers at the U.S. government’s official keeper of the global warming stats, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), claim their agency doctored temperature data to hide the fact that global temperatures plateaued almost 20 years ago.

Can the whistleblowers be believed in this claim, originally made in 2015? And in the further claim that NOAA then rushed this doctored data into print in time for the UN’s Paris global warming summit of world leaders, to dupe any doubters that the planet was in fact overheated?

Of course the whistleblowers can be believed, and not just because NOAA repeatedly stonewalled inquiries, even failing to comply with a congressional subpoena. No one paying attention can have any doubt that the governmental global warming enterprise has been a fraud. It’s been lies from the start, starting with the very mandate of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which astonishingly ruled out factors like the sun as being worthy of investigation.

Among those astonished was the Danish delegation to the IPCC. It discovered at one of the IPCC’s early meetings a quarter-century ago that its scientists could not present their study, newly published in the prestigious journal Science, showing a remarkable correlation between global warming and solar activity. To their further astonishment, to squelch dissent the IPCC cabal set out to destroy the reputation of its chief author, falsely accusing him of fabricating data...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Matthew Lau: The Pope doesn’t understand capitalism, but he’d definitely like Adam Smith

A defining characteristic of the current papacy is the fight against poverty, but alas, were we to take economic advice from the current Pope, the world would surely be much poorer. Good intentions unaccompanied by good knowledge make for bad advice, and unfortunately, Pope Francis has spent the first part of 2017 supplying yet more evidence that he is a poor economist.

A long-time critic of capitalism, Pope Francis spoke to members of the Australia-based Global Foundation in January to call on financial and political leaders to “to control and monitor the effects of globalization” and “correct its orientation.” He noted that following the fall of communism, then pope John Paul II “warned of the risk that an ideology of capitalism would become widespread.”

Now, laments Pope Francis, “the dangers that troubled St. John Paul II have largely come to pass.” 
In another speech in February, Pope Francis said that “capitalism continues to produce discarded people” — an ill that, according to him, is thankfully curtailed by taxes which promote “solidarity” and “mutual care.” He then told the over 1,000 listening to his address that “we must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system.”

But capitalism, despite the Pope’s insistence that it must be dismantled, has served humanity spectacularly well. This rise in the quality and length of lives following the Industrial Revolution is so pronounced that even the wealthiest people a century or two ago would be considered wretchedly deprived compared to the comforts even most poor people in developed countries have today...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A leftist reporter discovers the hypocrisy of media coverage about Israel

...Writing about the attack with the detached analytical eye of a journalist, I was able to take the perspective that (I was fast learning) most news outlets wanted – that Israel was to blame for Palestinian violence. But when I learned that my friend’s friend was one of the victims, it changed my way of thinking. I felt horrible for having publicly glorified one of the murderers. The man who’d been murdered, Richard Lakin, was originally from New England, like me, and had taught English to Israeli and Palestinian children at a school in Jerusalem. He believed in making peace with the Palestinians and “never missed a peace rally,” according to his son.

By contrast, his killers ‒ who came from a middle-class neighborhood in East Jerusalem and were actually quite well-off relative to most Palestinians ‒ had been paid 20,000 shekels to storm the bus that morning with their cowardly guns. More than a year later, you can still see their faces plastered around East Jerusalem on posters hailing them as martyrs. (One of the attackers, Baha Aliyan, 22, was killed at the scene; the second, Bilal Ranem, 23, was captured alive.) 

Being personally affected by the conflict caused me to question how forgiving I’d been of Palestinian violence previously. Liberals, human-rights groups and most of the media, though, continued to blame Israel for being attacked. Ban Ki-moon, for example, who at the time was the head of the United Nations, said in January 2016 ‒ as the streets of my neighborhood were stained with the blood of innocent Israeli civilians ‒ that it was “human nature to react to occupation.” In fact, there is no justification for killing someone, no matter what the political situation may or may not be, and Ban’s statement rankled me.

SIMILARLY, THE way that international NGOs, European leaders and others criticized Israel for its “shoot to kill” policy during this wave of terrorist attacks began to annoy me more and more.

In almost any nation, when the police confront a terrorist in the act of killing people, they shoot him dead and human-rights groups don’t make a peep. This happens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh; it happens in Germany and England and France and Spain, and it sure as hell happens in the US (see San Bernardino and the Orlando nightclub massacre, the Boston Marathon bombings and others). Did Amnesty International condemn Barack Obama or Abdel Fattah al-Sisi or Angela Merkel or Fran├žois Hollande when their police forces killed a terrorist? Nope. But they made a point of condemning Israel.

What’s more, I started to notice that the media were unusually fixated on highlighting the moral shortcomings of Israel, even as other countries acted in infinitely more abominable ways. If Israel threatened to relocate a collection of Palestinian agricultural tents, as they did in the West Bank village of Sussiya in the summer of 2015, for example, the story made international headlines for weeks. The liberal outrage was endless. Yet, when Egypt’s president used bulldozers and dynamite to demolish an entire neighborhood in the Sinai Peninsula in the name of national security, people scarcely noticed.

Where do these double standards come from? ...

Rex Murphy: Exploring the new meaning of words with our post-fact, post-truth activist warriors

...Now even in a post-fact world, it’s a exertion beyond my limits to see Justin Trudeau as a “white supremacist,”  and adding “terrorist” to the chain of abuse overloads the poor neural network altogether.  Justin Trudeau — him — a white supremacist?

“There are rooms to rent in the outer planets” sang our poet Purdy, and surely BLM’s Yusra Khogali has checked into the last and farthest out if this is what she believes. If some ordinary, what I have been calling official, politician were to make Khogali’s charge in a legislature, he, she, xe or xem would be out on their various gender-various ears, offered help, and placed on a pariah list forever.

For there are some things so far from fact-based that to give mouth to them is a signal of irredeemable intellectual distress.

There is exaggeration; there is hyperbole; there is full polemic; and there is just plain bitter idiocy. If Justin Trudeau, a one-man rainbow coalition in a well-tailored suit is a “white supremacist terrorist” then Ghandi was Hitler’s illegitimate son, and Mother Theresa was an incontinent axe murderess.

The thought balloon behind Khogali’s outburst probably went something like this: I have nominated myself the voice of a minority. That offers full and unbounded validity to all of my opinions, however scantily fertilized by research or facts. I am righteous, therefore, I am free to call any and everyone else whatever I choose to call them, regardless of how ugly, harsh and ridiculous the description happens to be. I’m an activist — truth and fact be dammed. Ergo, Justin Trudeau, the living poster face of Everyone Everywhere Is My Brother can be anathematized as a white supremacist terrorist...

Secret of the Incas

This movie, starring the great Charlton Heston, was the inspiration for Raiders of the Lost Ark

See also - the real-life perils of being a treasure hunter in the jungle