22 March 2008

Hey cultists: Kush mir im tokhes

Russell Wangersky will be getting e-mails. Definitely, e-mails.

Russell's bosses will be getting e-mails.

There may even be editorial comments made at another newspaper.

There will probably be a letter from Tom Hedderson - at least Tom - for publication that will claim, without a single shred of evidence, that Wangersky is in fact wrong.

The subject under discussion?  That would be the local claim that the province is being screwed out of its "fair share" of federal jobs and the overwhelming evidence that the claim is complete drek.

Yes, it's factored in a couple of elections and yes you'll hear federal candidates from all parties pledging to right the supposed wrong.

But it's still drek.

Oh yes, Hedderson will make copious references to Jim Feehan's work for the Harris Centre on this whole federal jobs thing but frankly, Feehan's work has so many conceptual holes in it, one would be surprised he still signed his name to the bottom of it. It's a pretty clear case of framing the data to support the conclusions, rather than the other way around, and it's a bit surprising to see Feehan doing it.

By the way, you'll find one post from Bond Papers with a link to the first part of the Feehan study.  Don't use that link as the folks at mun.ca decided to change it without providing a re-direct.  Here's the link to the first Feehan piece. Incidentally, the second one didn't do what they said it would do.  It came in late and merely rehashed the same stuff from the first one using the same back-formus methodology.

Take a gander at labradore and you'll see evidence - plain and simple evidence - that the claim is drek.

And that would be Wangersky's second heresy, the first being denial of a fundamental tenet of the local cultists' religion.  Russell quotes a fellow the local cultists regard as a high priest of evil, if not the federal divil hisself.

Wangersky is right:  people should present facts to back their arguments and to refute facts with other facts.  The tendency of the local cultists is to simply claim a conspiracy and proceed from there. Public policy discussion with way too many people in this province - including elected politicians, current cabinet ministers, former cabinet ministers and candidates from all parties alike - is akin to speaking with Sasquatch Hunters or the dupes at a Uri Geller spoonbending demonstration.  They spout complete nonsense as if it were real and cannot be argued off the silliness by any means. In fact, with many of the hard core cultists, the debunking efforts only reinforce their delusions:  there must be a conspiracy, otherwise you wouldn't be an agent of the satan trying to trick me into believing lies.

So here's a tip of the Easter bonnet to Russell for stating the matter plainly and to a local Jim Randi who, it should be said, does not offer a million dollar reward to people like Agnes or Myles or Sue or Danny or Tom or Tom or Bill or Siobhan or Walter or Loyola or Loyola for proof of their federal presence argument, let alone any of their other points.

He wouldn't need to actually have a million in the bank.

You see, there is no evidence.