Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty faces protests over socialized medicine failures

How well does socialized medicine work? Just ask Dalton McGuinty, the Premier (governor) of the wealthy province of Ontario. According to Yahoo News, he’s facing protests over his proposed cuts in medical service. It’s government-run health care at its finest, complete with Canada’s own version of tea parties!

(I know some of you Canadians are proud your nationalized health care, but please allow me to critique it and don’t be too upset with me).

Excerpt:

TORONTO – With a massive protest over hospital cuts planned today, Premier Dalton McGuinty says he’s not trying to dismantle local health care services.

Thousands of demonstrators are expected to descend on the front lawn of the Ontario legislature to denounce changes at six Niagara hospitals that they say are also happening in other communities.

Critics say a regional health-care agency in the Niagara-Hamilton area is planning to close ERs in smaller communities and move services elsewhere.

…The Ontario Health Coalition says about 50 busloads from communities across Ontario will take part in the protest, starting at 11:30 a.m.

They are expected to be joined at the legislature by seniors and patients to demand that McGuinty to save hospital services.

Buses were expected to arrive from such communities as Belleville, Trenton, Windsor, Leamington, Wallaceburg, Sarnia, Strathroy, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Welland, Port Colborne and Fort Erie.

Niagara-Hamilton is the region south and southwest of Toronto, which votes overwhelmingly Liberal and NDP (Socialist). It’s a union area where steel and auto manufacturing is the major industry. This is the area just northwest of Buffalo, New York.

The Conservative Party leadership race in Ontario

Right now, Ontario has kicked out their ineffective and moderate provincial leader John Tory, and they are in the process of choosing a new leader. One of our free speech heroes, Randy Hillier is in the running. The other two candidates are too far to the left, i.e. – “red tories”. Joanne from Blue Like You is also leaning towards Hudak.

Conservative MP Jason Kenney has already endorsemed Hudak:

TORONTO – Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is backing Tim Hudak in the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race – a move that could make things awkward at the federal cabinet table.

…Having the backing of an influential federal minister is a major coup for Hudak, 41, the perceived front-runner in the race to succeed John Tory.

…”He’s the bright, young, energetic, common-sense conservative that will appeal to Ontarians,” he said.

Here is an excerpt from another article about the candidates:

The Niagara-area member, who is married to Harris’s former chief of staff Deb Hutton, also has about half of the 24-member caucus in his corner.

Norm Miller – son of former premier Frank Miller – Julia Munro, Garfield Dunlop and Lisa MacLeod have all endorsed Hudak.

…Hillier, a self-described libertarian who wants to scrap the Ontario Human Rights Commission, will likely make a splash in the race, but observers say he has virtually no support among caucus members.

…Hillier has cast himself as the leader who will steer the party and the province back to true conservatism, including smaller government, fewer regulations and a more participatory democracy.

MPP Lisa Macleod and MPP Randy Hillier are free-speech champions in Ontario. Free speech is also an issue in British Columbia.

Round-up of stories about intelligent design, from the Discovery Institute

The Discovery Institute is the headquarters for ID research and advocacy in the United States. They send out a newsletter by e-mail and I though this week’s hit on all cylinders. Below are some of their stories from the newsletter. Thanks to commenter ECM for an earlier tip on the Junk DNA story.


When “Junk DNA” Isn’t Junk: Farewell to a Darwinist Standard Response

Richard Sternberg, research scientist at the Biologic Institute supported by the Center for Science and Culture, is now blogging at Evolution News & Views, weighing in on the latest research showing that so-called “Junk DNA,” which Darwinists have discounted as “rubbish,” are actually “anything but that.”

Sternberg writes:

In the Darwinist repertoire, a standard response to evidence of design in the genome is to point to the existence of “junk DNA.” What is it doing there, if purposeful design really is detectable in the history of life’s development? Of course this assumes that the “junk” really is junk. That assumption has been cast increasingly into doubt. New research just out in the journal Nature Genetics finds evidence that genetic elements previously thought of as rubbish are anything but that. The research describes tiny strands of RNA, previously thought to be junk, that now turn out to play a role in gene expression. Another finding by Dr. Geoff Faulkner shows that “retrotransposons,” a further variety of “junk” as the dogma previously taught, play a similar role.

Also at ENV, Dr. Sternberg takes a look at the old Darwinian tripe that biological systems couldn’t possibly have been designed because they exhibit “shoddy engineering”:

We often hear from Darwinians that the biological world is replete with examples of shoddy engineering, or, as they prefer to put it, bad design. One such case of really poor construction is the inverted retina of the vertebrate eye. As we all know, the retina of our eyes is configured all wrong because the cells that gather photons, the rod photoreceptors, are behind two other tissue layers. Light first strikes the ganglion cells and then passes by or through the bipolar cells before reaching the rod photoreceptors. Surely, a child could have arranged the system better — so they tell us.

The problem with this story of supposed unintelligent design is that it is long on anthropomorphisms and short on evidence. Consider nocturnal mammals. Night vision for, say, a mouse is no small feat. Light intensities during night can be a million times less than those of the day, so the rod cells must be optimized — yes, optimized — to capture even the few stray photons that strike them. Given the backwards organization of the mouse’s retina, how is this scavenging of light accomplished? Part of the solution is that the ganglion and bipolar cell layers are thinner in mammals that are nocturnal. But other optimizations must also occur. Enter the cell nucleus and “junk” DNA.

Jerry Coyne Recycles: Why Darwinism Is False

Jonathan Wells is reviewing Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True over at ENV, and already the list of problems with Coyne’s book is mounting:

On Earth Day 2009, we are reminded of the ecological importance of recycling. As a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago, Jerry A. Coyne must be keen on recycling: He even recycles worn-out arguments for Darwinism.

If “evolution” meant simply that existing species can undergo minor changes over time, or that many species alive today did not exist in the past, then evolution would undeniably be true. But “evolution” for Coyne means Darwinism — the theory that all living things are descendants of a common ancestor, modified by unguided natural processes such as DNA mutations and natural selection.

Coyne discusses the fossil record, embryos, vestigial structures, the geographic distribution of species, artificial and natural selection, and the origin of species. In the process, (1) he ignores the Cambrian explosion — which Darwin considered a “serious” problem — and he rearranges the fossil record to fit Darwin’s theory; (2) he defends Ernst Haeckel — who faked some drawings of vertebrate embryos to provide support for Darwinism — and he dredges up the doctrine that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny; (3) he claims that much human DNA is useless junk — despite abundant recent evidence that this is not true — and he relies on theological arguments that have no legitimate place in natural science; (4) he invokes “the well-known process called convergent evolution” to explain many cases of the geographic distribution of species — even though the “well-known process” is merely speculation — and he again falls back on theology to justify a supposedly scientific theory; and (5) he describes examples of natural and artificial selection — none of which show anything more than minor changes within existing species — and he misrepresents experimental evidence to make it sound as though the origin of species by natural selection has been directly observed.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Other stuff

The newsletter also discussed historian A.N. Wilson’s return to faith from atheism, which is really interesting because he seems to be well-rounded in his reasons for rejecting atheism. And the newsletter mentions that Jay Richards’ forthcoming book, “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem” is out May 6th! Jay gave a great lecture on basic economics for Christians and another great lecture on what Christians should think about global warming.

Arlen Specter’s challenger Pat Toomey panned by RINOs in the NRSC

I was just browsing over at the Maritime Sentry, and there was this interesting post about Arlen Specter’s primary challenger, Pat Toomey. Specter has been a de facto Democrat for a long time now, but for some reason the NRSC has continuously endorsed him in the primary. So what happens now? They can’t endorse Specter, he’s a Democrat. But they won’t endorse Pat Toomey.

Here is what happened with the Maritime Sentry phoned the NRSC about this:

I was shocked when I read at Hot Air today that the NRSC may not support Pat Toomey and may instead back another RINO candidate. I immediately called them and in very polite terms said I was disappointed and that I hoped they would change their mind and support Toomey; otherwise I would not support them in any way.

The guy who answered was extremely rude and hung up on me. I called back and got through to a woman this time. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she refused. She asked what my problem was. I went through the whole ordeal with her and again repeated my request to speak to a supervisor. She told me no, that she would handle it, and that my concerns were unjustified because the NRSC was supporting Toomey.

I read the quotes from Senators Hatch and Cornyn in the Hot Air article that stated otherwise. She then put me on hold, came back on, and said they have not decided who they will support, but that they needed to go with someone who could actually win.

I said something to the effect of ‘fine, if you go with a RINO I will not support the NRSC in any way…..’. She addressed me like a parent does a little child and promptly let me go. That is the legist of the call. I was raised to say sir and mam so I assure you I was polite.

Here’s a little more about it from post from NRO’s The Corner: (H/T Hot Air)

“I don’t think there is anybody in the world who believes he can get elected senator there,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, the vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Asked if the NRSC would back Toomey, Hatch said, “I don’t think so” and that the party should look for “someone who can win there.”…

Hatch later equivocated and said, “I’m not saying he can’t win – nobody gave me a chance when I ran.”…

On Wednesday, Cornyn said he didn’t know if Toomey would be the “only candidate” or the “strongest candidate” in the GOP primary.

“It’s too early to endorse,” Cornyn said.

Pat Toomey’s site is here. We can’t win the country back unless we stop being Democrat-lite and start articulating conservative principles and policies. And I do include socially conservative principles and policies as well as fiscally conservative ones.

UPDATE: Here’s an MP3 podcast featuring Pat Toomey on the Hugh Hewitt show.

A brief introduction to the blind faith religion of Marxism

The American Thinker has this post up explaining the blind faith of Marxism. (H/T Douglas Groothuis)

Marx thought that value was proportional to the labor spent in creating a product:

Marx claimed that all products contain value that is directly proportional to the amount of labor embodied within them. He was wrong. All the rest of Marxism is based entirely on this mistaken and falsifiable premise.

That’s clearly wrong. The price of products varies depending on supply and demand!

Marx thought that the free market would create monopolies:

Marxists claim that the operations of markets have a natural tendency to spawn monopolies. They call this “monopoly capitalism.” In reality, markets have a natural tendency to break up and undermine monopolies. Almost all monopolies under capitalism are those set up by governments stifling and interfering in the operations of markets.

That’s clearly wrong. Government regulation is needed to insulate monopolies from competition. And in capitalism, capitalists agree that government should take an active role in destroying monopolies and fostering competition, in order to give consumers choices. When consumers can choose, producers have to add value and reduce prices. Socialism, on the other hand, allows consumers one choice: the state-run firm.

Marx had no idea what incentives and laws were needed in order to foster conditions in which entrepreneurs would want to create wealth:

Marxists and socialists in general care a lot about the distribution of material wealth. But they have no idea how to bring about the creation of the material wealth that they wish to redistribute. They just assume it all gets produced all by itself. That is why people in communist regimes starve.

Wrong again!

Marx believed that capitalism was bad for workers.

Marxists claim that workers are oppressed in capitalist societies. Workers in communist societies always try to sneak out into capitalist societies. No one in South Korea is trying to sneak into North Korea. The Berlin Wall was not built to keep West Germans from sneaking into East Germany’s collective farms. Cubans in Florida do not steal boats to seek asylum in Cuban collective farms.

Why is it bad to encourage people to take risks, start their own companies and hire workers? Isn’t it better for for workers to have a choice of employer, so that they can leave if their working conditions or remuneration are unacceptable? How do people leave their employer in Marxism? Oh yeah – by firing squad or by jumping the wall.

But what about companies? Aren’t they all owned by greedy, colluding capitalists?

Marxists claim that capitalists do not work and that workers do not own capital. That is why they comprise “social classes.” But nearly all capitalists work, often in work days with very long hours. Meanwhile, a huge portion of capital is held by workers themselves through their pension funds and other institutional investment intermediaries.

…Marxists claim that businesses are owned by a small closed clique of capitalists. Actually, most businesses are “public,” meaning they are owned by shareholders and anyone at all can be a shareholder in them.

But isn’t capitalism opposed to democracy?

Marxists claim that capitalism cannot be democratic. But every single democratic society on earth is predominantly capitalist. Not a single communist regime was ever democratic. Communists take power via military coups and military conquest, not via elections.

But isn’t violence used against people in order to preserve capitalism?

Marxists claim that capitalists use violence to protect their perquisites and privileges. In truth, Marxists in power use violence to protect their perquisites and privileges. They use violence to suppress opposition wherever they manage to seize power, including violence against opposition groups of workers. It is conservatively estimated that 100 million people were killed by Marxism and by Marxists in the twentieth century.

But aren’t workers less well off in capitalist economies?

Marxists think that only things matter in economics, meaning tangible products, and so services do not. They believe that big products are more important than small products, big industries being more important than small industries. They also believe that consumer goods are superfluous and should not be produced much. All those ideas are why the quality of life and the standard of living are so miserable under communist regimes. In wealthy countries, small- and medium-size enterprises are the main engines for producing wealth.

But aren’t people poorer and less free in capitalist economies?

Marxists claim that under Marxism everyone receives according to his needs and contributes according to his capabilities. In reality, under Marxism everyone receives according to whatever the entrenched party apparatchiks decide their needs are, usually sub-sustenance levels of consumption, and the same people decide what are your abilities, generally assumed to be your ability to work endlessly at whatever you are told to do without getting paid much. To put this differently, in the absence of positive incentives, no one is capable of doing anything and everyone’s needs are infinite.

But isn’t a centrally-planned economy with fixed prices better than a free market capitalist economy?

Marxists think that “experts” can tell what needs to be produced. They cannot. That is why Marxist experts produce starvation. In some cases Marxist starvation has produced cannibalism. There is not a single Marxist scholar or expert on earth who could produce a pencil by himself.

But letting people earn money based on what they do leads to lower productivity, right?

Marxists believe that economic incentives do not matter. That is why they think there is no need to pay people more for working hard or exerting effort. It is enough to appeal to their “class interests.” That is why people starve under communism.

But in a Marxist economy, everyone is equal, right?

Marxists pretend to be in favor of the working class collectively owning all property. In reality Marxists always steal the property of members of the working class and turn it over to well-paid party apparatchiks.

But in capitalist economies, when two parties freely agree to exchange items of value for money, one of them is oppressing the other, right?

Marxists believe that in every voluntary transaction, one side wins and the other loses, and so it is impossible for two sides to profit from it. That is why they think you should be told what to buy and how much you should pay for it.

But capitalists go all around the world imposing their free market ideology through military force, right?

Marxists claim that capitalist countries engage in imperialism. But since World War II the largest empires of imperialist conquest were those headed by Marxist regimes.

Marxists believe that there are no real conflicts of interest between the workers living in different countries and speaking different languages or coming from different cultures. That is without a doubt the very stupidest idea of all coming from Marxism. In any case, that is why Marxism is generally spread only via military conquest.

This article is one to e-mail to all your friends who voted for the Marxist Obama. Obama’s Marxism was well known to everyone who took the time to read his books, and to read about his past actions and policies. Now we are going to be governed by someone who knows less about economics than Al Gore knows about climate science.

Maybe one day Obama will release his grades, so we can finally find out which of them is smarter.

How educrats sacrifice academic excellence for self-esteem

UPDATE: Welcome Post-Darwinist readers! Thanks for the link Denyse! For more on the failures of educrats to focus on teaching young people instead of building up their self-esteem, please see Denyse’s post on the subject.

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Blazing Cat Fur! One of my favorite Canadian blogs! Please take a look around, as I cover a number of issues of importance to Canadians, including health care, education, free trade, tax policy and of course FREE SPEECH! The Wintery Knight is a HUGE fan of PM Stephen Harper, MP Maurice Vellacott, MP Jason Kenney, Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and MPP Lisa MacLeod.

My friend Richard sent me this:


Apparently, it has come to the point where students may not be given a zero grade for handing in assignments late, or a zero for not showing up the remake test/assignment. Below is a link to a petition a HS teacher in Ottawa has set up to reassess this policy. Please sign it. The last thing we need is to raise a generation of kids that have no concept of deadlines and consequences. That would be the end of our workforce.

The petition is here.


Excerpt from the petition content:

According to the Ontario Ministry of Education policies, if a student misses a test (whether they skip class or are sick) or if they cheat then the evaluation is not valid and they must not be given a zero. The student must have an opportunity to be re-evaluated on the material. Assignments can have a due date but if the student does not hand it in on the due date a zero cannot be assigned. The student must be allowed to hand in the assignment late without being penalized.

In the past teachers would go out of their way to make sure they evaluated students, but when given an opportunity to be re-evaluated, the student had to turn up. Now you can offer the student a chance to be re-evaluated, and if they don’t turn up they still cannot get a zero. Assignments can be handed in at any time during the year. If the whole class is doing the same assignment, the teacher can receive the finished assignments any time between the due date and the end of the year. If the teacher marks the assignments as he/she gets them and returns them as they are marked, then anyone who has not handed in an assignment can, if they are so inclined, copy an assignment that has been marked and turn it in as their own work. The only way around this is not returning the assignments until all of the students have submitted their work, but this delays essential feedback to the students. Teachers have to be able to indicate to students that a zero may given on missed evaluations and give penalty marks for work not done on time.

We cannot succeed in a global economy when those in charge of educating our children fail to teach them the kinds of skills they will need to take on the demanding jobs of the future. This is just another area of life where things have gotten so politically correct that we have forgotten the purpose of school: to gain knowledge! I urge you to consider signing the petition.

UPDATE: I found this story featuring Caroline Orchard in the Ottawa Citizen. And a panel discussion transcript. MP3 audio of an interview with Caroline Orchard from 580 CFRA, the news talk radio station in Ottawa.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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