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Tuesday 30 September 2008

Owen Lippert, Harper's plagiarist, is an intellectual property expert

I wish I could take credit for finding this but considering the circumstances maybe I could pretend that I did:

Competitive strategies for the protection of intellectual property

by Owen Lippert (and others)


Copyright ©1999 by The Fraser Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief passages quoted in critical articles and reviews.

The authors of this book have worked independently and opinions expressed by them are, therefore, their own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the members or the trustees of The Fraser Institute.

Printed in Canada.

Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data

Main entry under title:
Competitive Strategies for the Protection of Intellectual Property

Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-88975-200-1

1. Intellectual property (International law). 2. Intellectual
property--Economic aspects. I. Lippert, Owen. II. Fraser
Institute (Vancouver, B.C.)

K1401.C663 1999 341.7'58 C99-911278-3

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Sunday 28 September 2008

Neo-nazi Paul Fromm a "Civil Liberty Advocate" says Global TV

Global Ontario's Friday News Hour featured a special report on Facebook hate sites which interviewed various individuals on both sides of the issue. There's certainly nothing wrong with that. The problem is that reporter Shirlee Engel ( decided to interview Paul Fromm describing him only has a "Civil Liberty" (sic) advocate. When there are numerous qualified civil libertarians and civil liberties groups out there, such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association why in the world would Global not only decide upon Fromm, a far right activist who was fired from his job as a teacher for his neo-nazi links and is widely thought to be a neo-Nazi himself? And if that's bad enough why describe him as a "civil liberty" advocate with no reference to his far right views? Fromm has links to the Ku Klux Klan, opposes immigration, human rights legislation, is a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens - a white supremacist group based in American South and made up of unreconstructed opponents of the civil rights movement in the US and proponents of segregation, he supported not only the apartheid-era white minority rule government in South Africa but the white minority rule Rhodesian Front. Calling Paul Fromm a civil rights advocate is like calling the Ronald Reagan a Communist.

Global's "Special Report" on hate on Facebook begins about 10 minutes into the newscast and Fromm's appearance is at 11:26. To see it for yourself go to click "News Hour" and then click September 26.
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Thursday 25 September 2008

Cherniak and 9/11 "truthers"

Jason Cherniak and his hangers-on have played fast and loose with the facts in order to insinuate that there are prominent NDPers who advocate wing-nut 9/11 conspiracy theories. How unfortunate that it turns out the first major party to boast a bona fide 9/11 "truther" is none other than the Liberal Party thanks to Liberal candidate Lesley Hughes who claims that Israel is behind the attacks.

German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky.

Thanks to Dawg's Blawg for doing what Cherniak only dreamed of doing - finding a major party candidate who is also a 911 truther.

Update: The Liberals have dropped Hughes as a candidate. Congratulations to Jason Cherniak for scoring on his own net. Had it not been for his logically tenuous accusations against the NDP various bloggers would not have been motivated to dig in Jason's backyard.
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Monday 22 September 2008

Theo's hope: Chris Reid

Financial manager Theo Caldwell, who moonlights as a conservative columnist for both the National Post and the Toronto Sun, recently talked up Chris Reid, the Tory candidate who had to resign this past weekend when his wingnut views became public.

Theo's point was that even though Tory candidates in Toronto had no hope of winning they can still play an effective role because can be liberating for these locals to know that they can speak their minds without endangering their Commons seat. Such candidates can be the most effective in exposing key members of the Opposition.
He went on to say:

Consider former NDP Ontario premier Bob Rae, now the Liberal MP for Toronto-Centre. There are myriad reasons why Rae deserves a public talking-to from a Conservative opponent, but Sir John A. Macdonald himself could not unseat this once and future socialist.

If Rae is soundly defeated in debates or pushed into making intemperate remarks that gain national attention, however, that could prevent him from becoming prime minister and doing the same damage to Canada that he did to this province.

If Conservative candidate Chris Reid can accomplish this, even in defeat, he will have served his country well.

Hm. So how did that work out I wonder? Reid certainly did feel liberated enough to speak his mind on gays, women, guns and bus decapitation but "exposing key members of the Opposition" or tricking Bob Rae into making "intemperate remarks"? Um, not so much. But perhaps that's what Reid was up to - making remarks that were so outrageous and beyond the pale in an attempt to provoke Bob Rae into saying something even more intermperate? Probably not but I'd hate to think Theo's trust in Chris Reid was so badly misplaced.
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Saturday 20 September 2008

Jason Cherniak gets it wrong

Jason Cherniak is a well known Liberal blogger cum pitbull. In a blogosphere of partisans Cherniak is a sectarian extraordinaire who never fails to rush to judgement in the absence of facts if he can score a few partisan posts. Recently, he has smeared a political activist named Stacy Douglas who was a provincial NDP candidate in Scarborough Agincourt in the 2003 provincial election and planned to be a federal candidate when it looked like there would be an election in 2007.

On Friday, Cherniak made a post on his blog titled NDP fired candidate who was anti-Israel which claimed in no uncertain terms that Ms Douglas was "fired" by the NDP for comments she made in support of Palestinian rights. He repeats the claim, using the phrase "getting rid of Dougls" instead of "fired" in a subsequent post. Cherniak's evidence? Well, she was the candidate at one point and is no longer and she wrote a letter to Jack Layton in March complaining about the party's decision not to back the Durban II conference on racism. In the absence of any actual factual evidence (such as a statement or news item) stating why Douglas no longer is the candidate, Cherniak assumed, in the absence of any facts, that Douglas must have been dropped as a result of the letter. After all, correlation must mean causation ergo a letter written in March and someone not being a candidate six months latter means the two events must be connected. So concludes the steel trap mind of Jason Cherniak and hey, if his finely tuned legal intellect makes a supposition it's not just an ordinary suppostion it's as good as a fact; hence Jason's assertion that his blind speculation must be true.

The problem is it isn't.

My grade 6 teacher used to say that when you assume you make an ass of u and me. In this case, Cherniak has only made an ass of himself. The fact is that Ms Douglas is not a candidate because she is in England this year pursuing her academic studies. Had there been an election in 2007 or early 2008 she would have been a candidate. Had there been an election, as scheduled, in the fall of 2009 after her year abroad was over, she also may have been a candidate but as the Prime Minister decided to break the spirit of his own law and call a snap election Ms Douglas cannot be a candidate because she is not in the country.

So here is the upshot of this. Because of Cherniak's combination of intellectual arrogance (if I thinks it it must be so) lack of due diligence (if I thinks it's a fact there's no need to verify it) and general sloppiness he's now defamed a once and possibly future poltical candidate with the claim that she was fired by her party for her criticisms of Israel, a claim which in this day and age also implies the existence of anti-Semitism.

It's one thing to criticize other political parties based on their actual deeds or misdeeds or on their policies but to engage in this sort of smear because of intellectual laziness is not acceptable. I say intellectual laziness because Cherniak is a law school graduate and should have at least a passing familiarity with the methods of critical thinking and debate. If this is an example of Cherniak's analytical mind at work then I think he's going to have a very serious problem practicing law, particularly when it comes to arguing cases in court. If he was deliberately disregarding logic and due diligence in order to score cheap points than shame on him but moreover shame on anyone who takes his blog seriously. The reason the BBC was a force to be reckoned with during World War II's propaganda wars was because they had a reputation for being factual and credible. Once you become known to invent facts for propaganda reasons you're finished and if Cherniak does not take responsibility for his mistake and apologize then I think he's finished as a serious commentator.
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Monday 15 September 2008

An exchange with Bob Rae's campaign manager

Shortly after I made my earlier blogpost on Bob Rae's shunning of St. James Town, the Liberal MP's campaign manager posted a public message to me below one of Bob Rae's Facebook notes where I had posted a link to this very blog. Here are his comments and my response.

Blake Webb writes:

I am Bob's campaign manager, and am happy to discuss your concerns.

Bob did attend an all candidates debate in St. James Town less then 6 months ago during the by-election, one of eight in total.

With a compressed campaign period - it is impossible for us to commit to another 8 debates. We have been in touch many community organizations who have agreed to work together to host joint debates throughout the riding (the St. James Town Safety Committee being one of them).

Feel free to contact me at our campaign office - 416-922-0401. Would be happy to talk to you further about it.


Blake Webb

My response:

Hi Blake,

You should probably talk to the St. James Town people rather than me. However, let me ask you this; if you are expecting all candidates meetings to be consolidated does this mean you are expecting either the Rosedale neighbourhood association to pack up their meeting and head down to St. James Town or the Cabbagetown people to pack up and do the same? No. My understanding is that you want St. James Town voters to go to someone else's neighbourhood despite the fact that St. James Town is by far the most populous neighbourhood of the three. Toronto Centre has 84,000 voters. Over 20,000 people live in St. James Town. The math is compelling.

Now ask yourself, why is the Bob Rae campaign prioritizing wealthier but less populous neighbourhoods over St. James Town? I think you'll find the answer in my blog post. That's probably also a pretty good reason why folks in SJT shouldn't be voting for Bob Rae. If they are also rans behind more prosperous neighbourhoods in Bob's book then they should give him the same lack of consideration.

As for you claim that it is impossible for Bob to commit to 8 debates because of a "compressed campaign period" I think the problem is more that Bob is spending much of the time campaigning in other ridings. That's his choice but I don't think it gives him a licence to complain or to favour wealthy neighbourhoods in his riding over poor ones.

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Bob Rae shunning the poor?

I've heard from several different sources today that Liberal MP Bob Rae is trying to give the brush off to an all-candidates meeting planned for St. Jamestown on October 8th. Rae says his schedule is too busy and his people are trying to get the St. Jamestown planning committee to go to all candidates meetings planned in upper middle class Cabbagetown or upper class Rosedale instead!

I guess I can see Bob's point. After all, the issues facing the poor and working poor living in substandard bedbug and cockroach infested housing in St. Jamestown are so much like those of the superrich in Rosedale or the white collar professionals of Cabbagetown.

St. Jamestown, with over 20,000 residents, is the most densely populated neighbourhood in Canada yet Rae obviously thinks better off neighbourhoods are more important. If signs in past elections are any indication, there is a stronger Liberal vote in St. Jamestown than in either of its neighbouring communities but they just aren't Bob's preferred class of voter.

Perhaps Rae doesn't want to explain why the Liberals never got around to implementing the housing strategy they promised in the Red Book in 1993? Perhaps he has nothing to offer working poor people in the way of fixing the EI system that Paul Martin broke, or restoring the federal transfers to provincial social programs that the Liberals cut? Rae certainly can't talk about childcare now that the Dion Liberals have abandoned the child care plan that was offered last election in favour of expanding Stephen Harper's child care rebate - which they mocked last time - and which will do nothing to actually provide quality, inexpensive, public and non-profit care.

In his recent screed against the NDP Bob complains that the NDP campaign in this past spring's by-election consisted of "class warfare and character assassination. Corporations bad, wealth creation bad, rich guys vs poor guys, "working families" vs what? Lazy families?"

The real problem is not that the NDP is preaching "class warfare" (if only) but that Bob Rae doesn't want to talk about class issues and would rather pretend they don't exist. Let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Let Canada languish with an unacceptable rate of child poverty. Let our affordable housing stock decay and public housing shrink. Sure, Rae's riding of Toronto Centre may have one of the largest populations of urban poor in Canada - but don't expect him to talk to them.

Rae doesn't have a class analysis now and he didn't have one when he claimed to be a New Democrat. Now he's showing that he has no class either.
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Sunday 14 September 2008

Election 2008

We're a week into the campaign and so far the Liberals are running an anemic effort despite the fact that Stephane Dion pledged that the party would be election ready more than a year ago. Some polls suggest the Liberals and NDP could be in a fight for second place, though this is more because of Liberal weakness than anything else as the NDP has not broken through the 20% popular vote barrier - something the party only managed to do once in federal electoral history - in 1988 when the Broadbent led party won 43 seats with 20.38% of the vote.

So far though the NDP has run a stronger campaign than the Liberals and the media is starting to take notice. The NDP ads are crisp, visually interesting and take direct aim at the Tories and are designed to position the party as the real alternative to the Tories.

The NDP are bucking a decade or so of Ontario and federal party conventional wisdom which dictated that the party should focus its efforts on the Liberals. This attempt at "triangulation" was too clever by half and actually had the effect of alienating left leaning Liberal voters. The NDP's fear has been that if they attack the Tories they will only drive their own voters to the Liberals and encourage strategic voting. However, progressive voters are first and foremost anti-Conservative and it has been pure folly for a party to try to win the progressive vote by ignoring the real enemy.
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