Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa exposé continued

Big City Liberal has uncovered some shocking details from Santa's past. Now, at over at Bumblepigs there are pictures about what Santa is up to now, including stealing your beer:

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pretty neat, eh?

An amazing visualization of the world's economic progress over the last two centuries:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wind-power take-down

Over at The Disaffected Lib you can find a first rate take-down of wind-power opponents, including Progressive Blogger's own Wind-Concern Ontario. The problem, as Disaffected points out, is the single-mindedness and ill-informedness of the opposition: a bird being killed by a turbine's rotor is somehow seen as a serious problem, but the thousands of people whom epidemiologists estimate are killed by the emissions of coal-fired power-plants can be ignored.

Disaffected's criticisms hold for wind-opponents in general, but the Wind-Concern group seems to me to present its own problems. Wind-Concern claims to be a coalition of 40-some anti-wind groups. If you start to look, however, it is often difficult to determine who the people are involved. The whole operation has an odour of astro-turf about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How does that prorogation look now?

In light of the recent news that the enough NDP MPs will be voting against the Conservative attempt to end the gun registry, I wonder how Harper feels about his last prorogation. Instead of allowing the government to recalibrate and regroup, it seems to have allowed the opposition to do so.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Apology for Richard Warman

Over at Free Dominion -- which puts the 'dumb' back in Dominion -- there's another apology for Richard Warman. More to come in due course, I'd guess.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bad dawg!

I was the lucky recipient of Dr. Dawg's hospitality last night -- great food (the Dawg's skills in the kitchen are truly amazing), stimulating conversation with Dawg and his co-blogger, Marie Eve, and five bottles of wine (or was it six?).

Needless to say Buckets is feeling a little under the weather this morning, and I hold Dawg responsible!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Robbery, armed robbery, and the gun registry

There's been some discussion over at BCL about the Firearms Registry and its effectiveness. Just to add some hard data to the debate, there's this statscan chart. (I've marked the date of the Firearms Act.)

For discussion, try at BCL.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heritage Front redux

The last few days has seen some discussion about the now-defunct Heritage Front, its associates, and its character.

It started with the latest instalment in a series about Marc Lemire by the ARC Collective (the earlier installments are: part 1, part 2, and part 3). The smoking-gun, as Dawg has called it, is a transcript of a relay chat that took place in Sept. 2001 between James Scott Richardson (who had the handle WPCANADA, presumably for "White Power Canada") and Lemire (who has chosen the handle "FdaJEWS" for "F*** the Jews").

Freedominion, too, has chipped in. Connie dismisses this all out of hand (here):
but recycling the same old lies doesn't get you any closer to proving Lemire somehow wrested control of the Heritage Front from CSIS when he was barely out of his teens.
This is a little confused. CSIS control of Heritage Front? Apparently the reference is to the CSIS infiltration of Heritage Front by Grant Bristow. Bristow, however, was exposed and went into hiding in 1994, seven years before the exchange in question. But by then Lemire could hardly be described, as Connie puts it, as "barely out of his teens". According to this Lemire was born in 1975, which will have placed him in his mid-twenties in Sept. 2001 when he called himself "FdaJEWS".

Nor was this the end of Lemire's association with Heritage Front. In June, 2002, Heritage Front's magazine, Upfront (archived here), profiled the activities of its Hamilton chapter, which had distributed 6000 copies of an anti-immigrant pamphlet. The profile included the following picture of Lemire holding the pamphlet in front of Hamilton's Henderson hospital. (Just in case you can't make out that logo see the blow-up on the right -- yes, this is Heritage Front literature.)

Here we have what Connie wants to deny: a fully-adult Lemire presenting himself as the face of a post-Bristow Heritage Front.

Nor is it hard to find other examples of this from these years. In May 2001, for example, Marc Lemire wrote an open-letter to the German-Canadian Congress in support of Helmut Oberlander. His letter was also published at the Heritage Front website (archived here) as a "Letter from the Heritage Front". Again, a fully-adult Lemire presents himself as speaking for Heritage Front.

Was he the leader of the HF? That's less clear, though some within the movement clearly thought so. But regardless of that it is clear that he belonged to the HF and was involved in its leadership.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My guess?

My guess?

Fingerprints on the baggy.

(It's as good as any, isn't it?)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Rahim Jaffer Conservative error

As Big City has pointed out, Rahim Jaffer's webpage has been up and down a lot. The problem now, apparently, is removing that pesky Conservative logo. Next step? Take the whole thing down. Or maybe not (screen-shot as of 5 minutes ago):

On charting priestly child abuse

Apologies to for my slow blogging, but I've been travelling. Now that I'm back home from out east, I want to expand on a point that made in the comments at John Pacheco's place.

The point at discussion was the interpretation of a graph found in study of the scope of priestly abuse commissioned by the United States Conference of Bishops in 2002. The study itself was undertaken by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Here is the graph:

Pacheco's point is that the scandal is "is long past" and he is sharply critical of those who "drudge up decades-old garbage which has largely been dealt with".

The idea that these details are decades old should probably not go unchallenged. Below is the graph from chapter 5.2 of the same study as to when these allegations were made by year:
As you can see, the vast majority of the allegations themselves were made just a year or two before the study. Presumably these are adults coming forward to share details of the abuse that happened decades ago, as is in any case implied by this chart of the year of the start of abuse for the single year 2002, when there appears to be something of a spike:

And this one, which reports time between the incident and the report:

This last one especially should give pause for those who think that this problem is completely behind us. To judge from this, 10% of allegations of abuse are reported right away and another 10% within a decade of the abuse. Most allegations, however, wait until the victim decides to come forward in what seems to be their 30s and 40s and 50s.

This may mean that huge bump in the middle of the graph is largely a function of the age of the abusees (on average 12, according to this study) and the delay in reporting. The 12 year-olds being abused in 1982 (which seems to be the peak) are now 40. As subsequent cohorts mature, the shape of this graph will resolve. But we really won't know whether the number of 12-years abused this year is less than those abused twenty years ago for another few decades.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter

(For the t/s)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Keeping those numbers in perspective

Lifesite News (and one of the usual suspects) want us to keep the numbers of allegations of priestly abuse in perspective:
In the last several weeks such a quantity of ink has been spilled in newspapers across the globe about the priestly sex abuse scandals, that a casual reader might be forgiven for thinking that Catholic priests are the worst and most common perpetrators of child sex abuse.

But according to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."
100 times more abuse by teachers than priests? Worth remembering.

But keeping things in perspective may not in fact help their argument much. There are 6.8 million teachers in the US (see here), which is about 164 times the number of priests ( 41,406 according to wikipedia).

An under-appreciated point on the abuse of Roman Catholic priests

Michael Wolff makes an important point about the recent controversy about the Catholic Church and its handling of the recent scandals involving sexual and physical abuse committed by priests.
The issue in the Church’s almost decade-long sexual abuse scandal is less about priests and boys, and more substantially about its long, defining battle with secular authority.

That’s the message that comes through the clearest: The Church didn’t want to notify the police about the criminal activity of its priests and didn’t believe it had to. And, having enormous sway in US police departments—policing being, peculiarly, an Irish and, hence, Roman Catholic profession—and within governments in Europe, the Church was pretty much free to make that decision on its own.
As many have pointed out, the Church is not the only institution that has had to face this problem. There have been abusive Boy Scout leaders and public school teachers. But in such cases, accusations have been turned over to the police, and failure to report allegations is itself a serious enough offence that (say) a school principal would be dismissed for ignoring them. The Church seems, uniquely, to regard itself outside the law in these matters.

h/t Andrew Sullivan.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jay Currie, Richard Warman's computers, and the Cools post

As many readers know, a nasty racist screed was made about Anne Cools in September 2003 on Marc Lemire's Freedomsite. During a hearing before the CHRT, Bernard Klatt argued that the author of that post was probably Richard Warman, who denied it under oath. The allegation that was subsequently repeated by a number of other bloggers whom Warman sued. The matter is now slowly working its way through the courts.

I have discussed the evidence extensively on this blog and came to the conclusion that:

  1. there is no evidence that Warman is the author of the Cools post
  2. Warman's computer could not be the source of the Cools post
  3. Bernard Klatt's testimony before the CHRT was seriously deficient.

A recent news article discussing the case (here) was noticed by long-time blogger (and talented photographer) Jay Currie (here). Someone cited several of my postings on the subject, to which Jay responded (here):
I am aware of Buckets work, Harry, as you will see from the comments on those articles – however this was not “an investigation” nor were these “findings”. And, probably most to the point, virtually all of buckets work relies on the assumption that Lucy only had one computer. Now, he has entered a computer in evidence – though he won’t let the defence actually look at it – and it is a laptop computer. What are the chances that a super, duper, whooper secret internet hate buster like Lucy would only have one computer? And his wife? Perhaps she has a computer? And perhaps he has a computer from the CHRC or DOD. buckets is interesting but not at all depositive.
I am, of course, happy to learn that Jay finds me interesting. In saying that my work assumes that Warman had only one computer, however, he rather misses the point, since the one-computer thesis is not mine, but Klatt's.

If we ignore trivialities like the fact that Warman had a yahoo email and the Cools' poster had one from hotmail, Klatt's argument is twofold (see Klatt's affidavit, §§ 22-41):
  1. that Warman's visits the site in October and November were made through the Rogers IP, the same IP as the Cools poster had used (see esp. §35)
  2. that Warman's computer and computer of the Cools poster were configured identically and were therefore the same computer (see esp. § 36)
I have demonstrated that neither point helps identify the Cools poster:
Now Jay proposes a second computer. Does this help? Not really. Klatt's argument is that the IP was the same and the computer was the same. If the computer was not the same, all that's left is the IP, which was shared with millions.

(Comments welcome.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Deep thought

Are there no Tim Horton's in Ottawa?

Monday, February 08, 2010

If a correction falls in the forest…

Big City Liberal recently expressed surprise that he'd missed that Ezra Levant had posted a minor correction related to his Giacomo Vigna defamation case. (Vigna, in case you forgot, is suing Ezra for suggesting that he'd faked an illness before a Human Rights Tribunal.)

How is it that the ever-vigilant BCL has missed this? The reason becomes clear if you look at the dates. The post in question presently looks like this (apart from the red arrow, pointing at the date):

The blog aggegrator Silobreaker, however, didn't get Ezra's post until a week later (again, note the red arrow):

This can only mean, I think, that Ezra's correction was not originally published on January 18, as it claims, but on the 23rd. As confirmation one might note that the first comment to the post was also made on the 23rd (as noted by me and others here). (Those comments have subsequently disappeared.)

Now, there has been some discussion over at BCL (here, in comments, and here) about what this means. Clearly the post has been "back-dated". (Blogging software allows bloggers to override the dates of their posts, making things appear to have have published either earlier or later than they were written.) Why? Such back-dating has the effect of burying it below other blog posts, with the result that it receives less attention than it otherwise might. Whether that was the purpose here is for others to judge.


When did Ezra really publish his 'correction'? His post was picked up by the aggregator as its item 229754183:

The posts are apparently numbered in sequence:
Since Ezra's post is next in the numerical sequence it too must be dated to the 23rd.

Second Update.

If there is any doubt, here is Ezra's own atom feed, which dates the post to January 23rd:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Blogging uncool (but we all knew that)

A Pew study on the Internet confirms our darkest fears:
  • In December 2007, 24% of online 18-29 year olds reported blogging, compared with 7% of those thirty and older.
  • By 2009, just 15% of internet users ages 18-29 maintain a blog—a nine percentage point drop in two years. However, 11% of internet users ages thirty and older now maintain a personal blog.
The really bad thing? The only thing less cool than blogging is reading blogs. Gotcha.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

It's official -- the onion ring is king!

Some wit started a facebook group this morning: Can this Onion Ring get more fans than Stephen Harper?

Harper, you see, has 29,916 fans facebook fans.

A few minutes ago, the Onion Ring King has 29,919!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Canadians against Proroguing Parliament passes 150,000

Meanwhile, the Facebook group "Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament continues to grow. It has just passed 150,000.