The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10 books with a positive influence
Human Events has a list of the 10 most dangerous books from the 19th and 20th century. Over at Sobering Thoughts I have my list of the 10 books that best influenced the 20th century (including my reasons). Here's the list without my reasons:
1. The Gulag Archipelago -- Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
2. The Road to Serfdom -- F.A. Hayek
3. Bureaucracy -- Ludwig von Mises
4. The Theology of the Body According to John Paul II: Human Love in the Divine Plan
5. Smoking and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General -- Surgeon General's Office
6. Mere Christianity -- C.S. Lewis
7. God and Man at Yale -- William F. Buckley
8. Capitalism and Freedom -- Milton Friedman
9. Orthodoxy -- G.K. Chesterton
10. Natural Right and History - Leo Strauss
Scott Reid appeared on Mike Duffy's Countdown this evening, defending the indefensible:
Duffy: Well, what do you say to the accusation that your group has been causing more crimes than it's been preventing?
Reid: Oh Mike, I'd be lying if I said my men weren't committing crimes.
Duffy: (pause) Mmm, touché.
Obviously, I paraphrase.
The wait is on
In Maclean's gush coverage of the Justin Trudeau wedding, there are two paragraphs on the political future of Canada's favourite son (as one daily paper recently called him). Trudeau says he is going to McGill University to begin a master's program in environmental geography and "it'll at least keep me away from politics that much longer." So we have three more years of puff pieces on Justin Trudeau until he rides a white horse into Ottawa to save the Liberal Party and ensure all that is good in Canada remains safe from the evil Conservatives.
"It's my promise to you"
Grewal Transcripts Online
Grewal tapes and transcripts
You can listen to the Grewal tapes (or at least parts of them) and read the transcripts here.
CBC is reporting Power Corp Chairman Paul Desmarais is in hospital, in stable condition, having suffered a possible stroke.
Making The Rules As They Go Along
Apparently the Liberals don't want the Conservatives messing with rules about how the Gomery Inquiry can name names and lay blame. Instead, the Liberals would like to make their own rules on how they will be held accountable for their corruption in the adscam debacle. Am I the only one that who has a problem with liars/ cheats making the rules on how they will be judged on their lying and cheating?
Look for this story to get more attention.
Comparing Gomery to Krever and Somalia
Angry In The Great White North compares the language used in the terms of reference of Krever (tainted blood) and the Somalia Inquiry, and concludes, I think rightly, that Gomery's "paragraph K" is considerably more restrictive.
Punishing The French
Jacques Chirac has named Dominique de Villepin (who is not a woman) as France's new Prime Minister. One can only conclude that the appointment of the carefully coiffed foreign minister is intended to punish the French for refusing to approve the EU Constitution.
Christophobia In Media
If these uppity evangelicals would just respect the system we have in place, they'd convert to Sikhism or Islam where their views have been declared legitimate by the Official Media Handbook On Canadian Religious Diversity, and then take their opinions on public policy to the political marketplace.
Menard criticizes Flintstones philosophy
LifeSiteNews.com reports that Real Menard, a homosexual Bloc MP, criticized religious opposition to same-sex marriage as "stone age" morality and said that the idea of linking marriage and the raising of children is an idea “from the time of the Flintstones.” Where's Warren Kinsella when you need him to explain that The Flintstones weren't real.
Watching Democracy Watch
Stephen Taylor is puzzled about the language in a Democracy Watch report on party fundraising released yesterday.
The Liberals have many more donors donating more than $1,000 than all the other parties combined. (DW suggests the max limit should be reduced to $1,000 as most Canadians cannot afford to give as much as $5,000)
Gomery has revealed that the Liberals have allegedly used undeclared corporate-bankrolled "volunteer" labour to work election campaigns in Quebec.
The Liberal Party receives four times more money from riding associations and candidates than all the other parties combined. Remember that the identity of donors who donate to a candidate or riding association and then have their donation transferred to a party are not required to be disclosed quarterly, allowing parties to hide the identity of donors for up to 18 months.
Where does Democracy Watch find fault in the Conservative Party of Canada?
In a year where a commission of inquiry hears evidence about hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing to the Liberal Party in unreported, illegal cash and in-kind contributions, allegedly in exchange for favoritism in government ad contracts, Democracy Watch is worried about $85-a-year donors corrupting the process of government in Canada.
The DW report includes valuable information, and it's damning stuff for the Liberals. The puzzling portion is that DW goes on to condemn all parties equally - an assertion that seems to have little basis in the facts or figures presented.
Tehran cracks down on political blogs. Wired reports: "[M]ore than a dozen of whom have been arrested for their politics. The crackdown has stifled Iran's exploding Web culture..."
Monday, May 30, 2005
A Proud Member of the Human Rights Commission
How serious can the United Nations be about human rights when they have countries such as Zimbabwe on the Human Rights Commission? Check out how the government of Zimbabwe, as reported by South Africa's Mail & Guardian, starts what it calls an 'urban renewal campaign'.
"Police in Zimbabwe continued demolishing thousands of shacks and vendors' kiosks in opposition strongholds on Monday, burning a 10km-long line of curio stalls along the road near Victoria Falls."
"Trudi Stevenson said in the preceding 24 hours, police had 'at gunpoint' forced 2000 more people in Hatcliffe township in northern Harare to destroy their houses and leave. On Friday and Saturday, 7000 were evicted, although they had lease agreements issued by Mugabe's government."
"Thousands of street traders have been arrested and their wares seized or destroyed since the May 19 start of the crackdown, which the government has described as an urban renewal campaign. Police using torches, sledgehammers and bulldozers have also burned and demolished the homes of the urban poor in informal settlements around the country."
The government of Zimbabwe is even arresting reporters that are trying to report the misdeeds of the government,
"In the eastern city of Mutare, police said they arrested an American, identified as Howard Smith Gilman, under media laws for allegedly covering the destruction of 9000 illegal structures there."
Burning the homes and businesses of the citizens of your country, forcing many others to leave their homes at gunpoint, and arresting journalists that are trying to cover the event, and that's just in the last week. So what would a country have to do to not be considered for a position on the Human Rights Commission, or is it even possible to be a big enough abuser of human rights that you may not even qualify? I was just wondering.
crossposted to canadiancomment
Liberals use a different dictionary
Canadian Press reports that Quebec Liberal organizer Jacques Corriveau had to amend some of his previous testimony, the big one being his description of party organizer Giuseppe Morselli as a friend. Previously Corriveau said he didn't know him well. Justice John Gomery asked: “Why is it necessary to correct your testimony? Weren't your previous answers an attempt to mislead us?” I thought for sure Corriveau was about to say "depends what the definition of 'friend' is", but instead he cleverly ignored the question.
France finally does something right...
Maybe they did it as a vote against Chirac, maybe they did it to keep eastern Europeans out of France; whatever the reasons, France finally got something right when they said no to the new European constitution. Every European country has to ratify for the constitution to pass.
And at least the French got the chance to cast a vote over there, which is more than Canadians can say these days.
Blue Man Group Addresses Union Whiners
In the Metro Newspaper this morning, I read a full page ad taken out by the infamous Blue Man Group. I have been unable to find a soft version of the ad.
Basically, what it comes down to is Blue Man trying to defend itself against critics who are complaining that the group is anti-union.
For our Toronto production, we have hired Canadian actors and musicians, a Canadian crew, as well as Canadian management and support staff. Some of these individuals are members of unions, and some are not. We respect their decisions either way. We are an equal opportunity emplyer and have always been open to all qualified personnel. It is an employee's choice to join a union - not an employer's place to require it.
Bravo. But the Globe & Mail's Kate Taylor on May 7th basically told the Group that they were in the wrong for not conforming to Canada's socialist ideals:
Blue Man Group is the New York-based theatrical company whose popular shows feature three speechless, blue-faced characters playing plastic plumbing, splattering paint on canvases and spewing balls from orifices both real and invented. This weird amalgam of clown, mime and performance art was started in 1991 as a small off-Broadway show created by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, but today, with companies also playing in Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas and Berlin, it's a 500-employee phenomenon.
In all those years, the company has not signed union contracts with its performers in the United States and believed it could operate the same way in Toronto with plans for an open-ended run at the newly renovated Panasonic Theatre (which used to be known as the New Yorker) on Yonge Street .
That's wrong, because Toronto's commercial theatre scene has been built by the members of these associations and if Blue Man Group doesn't work with them it's freeloading off that history. However you may weigh the advantages and disadvantages of unions, the fact is workers aren't going to make steel or cars for free, but people will act and play music for free. Such is the lure of the stage, you may even get somebody to set the lights for free. It is these associations that have, over the years, insisted the work be decently paid and safely executed. By establishing a permanent, professional work force, they have helped build both the commercial theatre scene in Toronto, and a non-profit scene locally and nationally.
Without these workers, the landscape would look much as did before the Second World War, with amateur theatres performing locally alongside the occasional touring company from the United States or Britain. And those who have built a theatre scene have also built the audiences: without this foundation, Blue Man might be able to drop into town for a week or two, but it could never possibly renovate a theatre and stay indefinitely.
In Canada, the situation is clearer: in almost all instances, you aren't a professional stage show unless your actors belong to Canadian Actors' Equity Association (which is not technically a union but rather a professional association).
Why is that? She doesn't say.
For example, this newspaper, never known for being particularly pro-union in its editorial stands, generally has a policy that it doesn't review non-Equity performances [ED: Because the Globe & Mail are commie sympathizers - RG]. Exceptions are occasionally made -- and no doubt one will be made when Blue Man opens -- but that has been the yardstick used for years to determine the difference between the professional and the amateur because it reflects the reality of the theatre scene.
Can audiences tell the difference? Sure they can. Again, there are exceptions, but most of the time if you want to see work that you'll feel was worthy of your $50 or $75 ticket, it is work performed by members of Equity with members of the Toronto Musicians' Association in the pit and members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees behind the scenes, because those are the people for whom this work is a career, not a hobby or a part-time job. With their cheap sets and painfully young performers, the non-union touring shows that do occasionally cross the border and stop in town for a week look like high-school performances, falling well shy of the standard routinely maintained by Toronto companies.
Ms Taylor goes on and on about how the unions have built up Toronto's theatre scene, but she doesn't actually get around to outlining how the Blue Man Group's lack of interest in union labour will cause the earth to shatter and the heavens to rain down fire upon us. She just waxes poetic about the fact that everybody else uses unions... and personally, contrary to her opinion, I can't tell the difference between a union and non-union production, so long as it's done by qualified professionals. Oh, wait. Yes I can - it's cheaper, because we're not paying union fees along with ticket price!
What Ms Taylor does find the opportunity to do is blame America and bash Blue Man Group for being part of the Evil Empire:
Goldman of Blue Man has said his motto is not "When in Rome . . ." but rather "Vive la difference." Trouble is it's his difference that he wants to impose here. He says this is no bus-and-truck show breezing into town for a few days, but a high-quality venture that means to be part of the scene for months to come. Yet, apparently, he's just another of those ignorant U.S. producers who fail to notice they crossed a border at Buffalo.
...into a socialist utopia.
Cross Posted to Girl on the Right
Globe hits a new low
The Globe and Mail has been on a tear against the Conservative Party for months (years?). And they've been on an anti-Christian jihad for much longer.
But on Friday their two campaigns for political hygiene intersected.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
...is coming to a government department near you;
On Monday, Maryantonett Flumian will take up a position as the DM responsible for Service Canada, which is a massive initiative to centralize 'customer service' functions in a single organization, while decentralizing the adminstration to various regional centers.
It is a major project, and at present no minister is directly accountable for it, because it is shared across multiple departments - as is the budget. There is no real plan, just the idea of simplifying contact for citizens. Money has been spent to build the minister's office, but no minister yet.
Now, I agree with both that idea and moving work to regional centers. But on the other hand, this is exactly how the HRDC boondoggle started - and Service Canada will handle EI, CPP, all other income security, Canada Student Loans, Social Insurance Numbers, and possibly even Passports.
That is a huge area of responsibility, and a daunting management challenge. So the bureaucrat should be about the best we have in the civil service. So who is Maryantonett Flumian?
That's right, the sharp knife that managed the gun registry. If she can screw up the gun registry that badly, think of the nightmare that she can create in something of this scale.
"Your old age pensions are being run by the people who did the gun registry"
Via an email tip.
(note to tipsters; if in question, I default to anonymity when readers send me tips. That said, I prefer to give credit where it is due.)
The Times (London) reports that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is interesting in developing his own nuclear weapons, er, I mean energy program. He recently said, "We want to initiate nuclear research and ask for help from countries like Iran." And like Iran, the oil-rich nation winks while it maintains that it is not interested in acquiring nuclear weapons and the rest of the world pretends not to notice the winking. Venezuela would become just the second nuclear power in the Americas.
I have a review of two books on Iran -- The Persian Puzzle and Atomic Iran -- in today's Halifax Herald. I wrote the reviews before last week's news that Iran may already have nuclear weapons. If Venezuela is truly interested in Iran's assistance, it is even more imperative that something be done to rid Iran of such weapons. Where is a surgical Israeli strike when you need one. (And yes, I am aware that Iran 2005 is not the same as Iraq 1981.)
Silly rumour? Who knows
In her gossipy Globe and Mail column yesterday, Jane Taber suggested that the PMO is negotiating with Independent MP Carolyn Parrish so that the Liberals won't have to face her as an independent in the next election. That's vague. Does Taber mean that Parrish will be welcomed into the Liberal fold and not run again or what? Taber says that an ambassadorship might be in the cards but certainly not one to Washington considering Parrish's past comments. But don't those same comments make her unfit for any diplomatic post?
Kofi to the non-rescue
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was in Sudan to promise (once again) the UN's aid and assistance to end the humanitarian disaster there. Reuters reports that former rebel leader John Garang complained that the promises of Olso have not been followed through: "There are people actually who have starved to death and the U.N. food pipeline is virtually empty. So we are asking the secretary-general to please do something about it," to which Annan responded, "The U.N. team is here and we will redouble our efforts..." Great. Under either commonly understood definition of the word, a redoubling of a virtually empty UN food pipeline still means a virtually empty pipeline.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
No, no, no, no, no. A thousand times no. This is not the issue.
Let me be clear: it is entirely possible that Gurmant Grewal approached the Liberals first looking for some goodies in exchange for throwing his vote. It may even be likely (though the presence of a tape recorder and his "shut up and let them do the talking" conversation style on the tape, sure makes it sound as though he was playing amateur PI).
But nowhere on the tape does Tim Murphy say, "You are sorely mistaken Mr. Grewal. This sort of dirty dealing is not what this Prime Minister's Office does. I bid you good day sir." No. What does he do? He begins feeling out Grewal to find out what his price is. He talks of Senate seats and negotiating. He even appears to intimate that he'll see about calling off the criminal investigation launched a few weeks ago by Joe Volpe.
People, this is governance 101. If Canadians don't get this, we're beyond help. When a backbench Opposition MP goes to the highest office in the land and asks to be bribed, and the Prime Minister's chief of staff responds with "How much?", the greater concern is with the prime minister's office, not the two-bit backbencher.
Sigh. Are we so far gone?
State of (the) healthcare (debate)
It's pretty bad. The Halifax Herald notes in an editorial today that any mention of healthcare is invariably accompanied by the word crisis. And yet every discussion by those in a position to do anything about it (read: governments at all levels) has as its starting and end point more state-run healthcare. Unfortunately, the provinces don't have enough cash to take care of the problems and the feds (even assuming it should dole out the money) has no inclination to solve the healthcare crisis. The Herald's editorial:
"Take Ottawa's 10-year, $41-billion health care deal reached with the provinces last fall. The federal government promised $18 billion of that over the first six years. Nova Scotia's share last fall was about $62 million, $15 million of which was earmarked for medical equipment this year. Of that, the Capital district health authority got about $5.6 million. But this week, the Capital district's CEO, Don Ford, told the province's public accounts committee that the authority needed about $150 million to replace aging equipment, repair buildings and improve information technology. That's quite a gap.
Some of that, as Education Minister Jamie Muir argued, is a matter of available funding being short of the district's 'wants.' But there's no doubt that Capital health simply does not have the resources to address what are real and pressing needs, problems that are having a measurable impact on health care delivery.
What's needed, badly, is serious structural reform, including looking to the private sector - as many European countries do - to fill some health care gaps. Unfortunately, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh continues to do his best to make any uttering of the words 'private delivery of health care' a 'crisis'."
A cynic must see the Liberals talking up the issue and not doing anything about it as a party that wants the issue more than it wants solutions. As long as healthcare "needs" more public money to operate half-decently in the future, the government can scare Canadians with visions of Conservatives bringing in a healthcare system in which only the wealthy can get vital operations, etc. What our healthcare system needs is not a defense of it as a Canadian value using the tired cliches of the Liberal government but innovation, choice and private money.
The lost Liberals
From Michael Coren's Sun Media column today:
"Whether you liked it or not, there was once in this country a party that stood for something. Liberalism held sway and the vague yet compelling notions of constant progress and social justice attracted mass support.
We could vote for or against such a party. Conservatives may not have approved of the Liberals, but they grudgingly acknowledged the greatness of the party. Canadian liberalism was a yardstick with which to measure the body politic.
The stick is now broken, the party is gone, the philosophy has evaporated. Instead of something solid and impressive, we now have mush and mess. A vehicle for power, an entity obsessed with government for its own sake, a symbol of empty boast and plastic politics."
So I have a question: where have the principled Liberals gone? Has everyone who believed in "constant progress" and "social justice" become socialist and thus NDP? Are there not small-l liberals who believe in "bettering society" but are not hostile to free enterprise? Who believe in improving the living conditions of those in the developing world but are not anti-American? Who are not hostile to religion and worry about the moral trajectory of the nation? I disagree fundamentally with what C.D. Howe and Lester Pearson did but at least they had vision and, I believe, earnestly held views. We were led to believe that Paul Martin was such a man but that is obviously not true. (And I think we would have to admit that although Pierre Trudeau veered from the Howe and Pearson path that he, too, had principles -- he wanted power to implement them, not just to hold power.)
Recently I was on television and the discussion turned to Red Tories. One of the other panelists said that the Liberal Party is the new home for Red Tories because the "extreme right-wing shift of the Conservatives." (Okaaaay.) Considering that the Red Tories don't really believe in anything except holding power, I would say that the comment is true: the Liberal Party is the home for Red Tories. But I wonder where should old-time Grits, Liberals who actually believe in something, park their votes?
Chilling Campaign Endorsement
From the "not at all helping things" department, comes a chilling political endorsement from Iran's supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei through his spokesman Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hasani.
"You need to vote for Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani," said Hasani. "This way we will finally be able to have for ourselves the atomic bomb"
Rafsanjani was previously President of Iran from 1989-1997 and was a special and trusted advisor to Ayatollah Khomeini. The influential Iranian politician served on the Revolutionary Council at the founding of the new Islamic Republic
He is considered a front-runner in the Iranian presidential election to be held on June 17th.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Does anybody say it better than Victor Davis Hanson?
Where's Team America when you need them
WorldNetDaily reports that Iran "has completed all of the elements required for an atomic bomb." It is believed that earlier this year North Korea "transferred components to Iran to assemble a plutonium-based nuclear warhead." (Wow -- what kind of intelligence did Trey Parker and Matt Stone have when making their little puppet movie?) There is a certain irony in having North Korea, which in the 1990s struck a bargain with US President Bill Clinton to stop their nuclear weapon's program, involved in the development of Iran's weapons while Tehran was humouring members of the European Union, participating in negotiations to suspend their nuclear program.
Foreign affairs in the post-modern age
Pierre Pettigrew says he'll reserve judgement on whether Hamas victories in the upcoming Palestinians elections are a good or bad thing until after he sees how they do at the polls.
Of course the Liberals would pick an election where terrorists are running for office to start acting like they give a fig about democracy.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Taxpayers Federation Blog
The Taxpayers Federation has their new blog up. Put them on your blogrolls - this one will be a great
place to steal content from source of material for others.
Every so often, someone in media exposes their cultural bigotry towards the rural west.
The likes of Rona Ambrose, Bev Oda, Mike Chong, Monte Solberg, Jim Prentice, James Rajotte, Helena Guergis and Rob Nicholson should be deployed nationwide to sell the Conservatives as mostly mainstream and not just Prairie knuckle-draggers.
Conservatives will never bring balance to the media if we continue to allow these slurs to be used against us. The terms "redneck" and "knuckledragger" are used by media and politicians alike with impunity - a classic case of dehumanizing the political opposition.
They cannot be left to stand unchallenged any longer. As I asked Mr. Martin in my own email to him;
"When writing about an immigrant politician in Toronto, would you refer to those in their community as "spearchuckers"?
Sorta like Paul Martin
Since Warren Kinsella was kind enough to plug Mark Steyn's Western Standard column on his blog (even if it was as a pretext to launch into a criticism of Canadian conservatives), I'll give him a little free publicity, too.
Scroll down to yesterday morning's entry (gosh, I wish he'd get permalinks) about his evening with Jean Chrétien:
"Charlie and I had dinner with our pal JC last night, here in TeeOh. Walking along Front with him afterwards, near the Hockey Hall of Fame, Charlie and I watched as people ran up to him for autographs, to get their pictures taken, to high-five him, to shake his hand. Not a disapproving word was spoken. It was a useful reminder that, however much lesser people like this and this try, they will never, ever break the bond of affection Canadians have for my friend."
Ever notice how when Liberals talk about "Canadians" they're using it to mean people in downtown Toronto? How much you wanna bet that Jean's reception would have been just a tad cooler had he been strolling down the main street of Rimbey, Alta. or Bourlamaque, Que.?
Words cause permanent damage
I'll be doing some Talk Radio today on Ottawa's 580 CFRA, 4:20 EST. If you're driving home anywhere in the capital region (in which case you're probably not reading this), or near an Internet connection anywhere else in the world, you can tune in. The discussion will center around the fate of Stephen Harper, and traffic updates—so one way or another you're guaranteed to come away at the end of it with some useful information.
Gurmant embraces bilingualism
Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal is not available to talk to reporters (specifically, me) today because, his office says, he is immersed in an intensive language course somewhere in Atlantic Canada. Trying to pick up a bit of French, perhaps? Nope. English!
I guess he was stung by all those criticisms that his end of the tape recording with Tim Murphy was unintelligible. Or maybe he figured that, the next time he does some horse trading with Ujjal Dosanjh, it'd be better for posterity if the two of them weren't force to speak in Punjabi.
Bob gets old
You'll need a subscription to see it, but you have my word that reading a blogger turned columnist is generally a much more pleasant experience than reading someone trying things the other way round.
They Are Not The Same
Monte Solberg reminds me of why some of us refuse to be cynical about poltiicians, to entertain the argument that "all politicians are the same". They are not.
I look forward to going to church where I wish to be chided, and made to feel very sorry and then to be forgiven.
I will also do chores, and will be happy to do as I am told. I will inspect my trees, many of which we planted.
I will entertain a recurring and dangerous fantasy that politics at bottom is about what is just. From this shaky premise I will, I am sure wrongly, conclude that justice implies the frightening idea of a moral standard.
This wild idea being firmly and I suppose errantly fixed in my brain I will, like a more ridiculous Don Quixote, retreat to my modest castle to bind up my wounds, to marshall my resources and to gird again for battle.
Winston Churchill was not the same as Neville Chamberlain. Ronald Reagan was not the same as Jimmy Carter.
Monte Solberg is not the same as Alphonso Gagliano, or Belinda Stronach, or Carolyn Parrish, or Joe "KKK" Volpe.
Some Canadians understand better than others that the premise is not only false, but dangerous. The argument that "all polititians are the same" is not only a falsehood - it is a falsehood with a hidden intent. Manufactured in an attempt to pull all those in the public service down to a lowest common denominator, it sustains the apologist's rationale to endorse "The Devil You Know". That particular devil just happens to be the soil in which corrupt governments take root.
Buying into the canard is not a product of cynicism, but an admission that one's own moral compass should be sent in for a rebuild. If we truly believes that "all politicians are the same", then we must also concede that all citizens are "the same", held to no particular standard of honesty or integrity, and that with such low expectations of government, undeserving of better.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
A very good, relatively new blog on "goofs, bias and hypocrisy in the media".
That ought to keep them busy.
Parrish the thought
News reports today make it sound like blowhard MP Carolyn Parrish is on the verge of returning to the Liberal fold.
Listening to Carolyn today on As it Happens, it sounded like anything but—she sounded perfectly pleased to be an Independent, and given the tawdry state of her former caucus, who could blame her.
As much as I disagree with her anti-American, anti-Israel and pro-dictator opinions, listening to Parrish only reminds me that there are some lefties out there that I can respect. In addition to downplaying the supposed overtures Martin had made to her to rejoin caucus, she was refreshingly candid in her assessment of Belinda Stronach's defection, making it clear she thought it was a betrayal of her constituents and that she would be rightfully punished by them for doing it. Unlike most Liberals—and partisan journalists—Parrish rightly noted that if Stronach was so repulsed at her party's politics of late, she could have voted against them in the House or, failing that, sat as an Independent.
She was also frank in her denunciation of Martin's advisors, noting that anyone who danced on the table following Thursday's vote, somehow perceiving not falling entirely by one vote as a "victory," was seriously screwed up.
I think Parrish is a woman of vile principles. But I have to admit that at least she has principles and is not ashamed of them. It's a statement on the depths to which Ottawa has sunk to say that in today's day and age: I'll take an extremist left-wing politician that's up front about her views, and lives or dies by them politically, over the gang of deceitful, conniving politicians that have taken over her former party.
Librano Sign Generator
The "Letter of the Day" in today's National Post raises an interesting question about the responsibility of editors when it comes to letters to the editor (a subscription is required, but you can see enough of the letter in question in the preview to get my point).
The writer, Eric LeGresley, claims that the "courts have spoken" and that: "Diehard opponents of homosexual marriage truly have only three
choices: change the Charter of Rights, emigrate to a less tolerant
country or accept that Canada's constitution requires equality of
treatment irrespective of sexual orientation."
Now, LeGresley is a lawyer: Legal counsel for the "non-smokers rights association" (scroll two-thirds of the way down), so he should know what the decision said and that he is spreading falsehoods. As any objective observer on either side of the same-sex debate will acknowledge, the only thing the courts "have spoken" to is that allowing same-sex marriage is not prevented by the language of the Charter of Rights—and even that was a non-binding decision. The Supremes never once said that same-sex marriage was required under the charter. In other words, opponents of homosexual marriage have an option that LeGresley conveniently omits: They can democratically decide not to legalize same-sex marriage and still be on firm constitutional ground.
Never mind that LeGresley is demonstrating himself to be either ignorant of the law, or just plain deceptive, I'm not sure the Post can be considered an entirely passive party in this misrepresentation. The editors there well know the implications of the same-sex ruling, and yet they allow a letter to be printed that contains false news—even making it their Letter of the Day. Do they not also bear some responsibility?
While we can be sure that LeGresley's foolish letter will be met with many rebuttals tomorrow, as a fellow editor (and therefore one of the few people who likely care about such things) I am not sure that that's enough to absolve the editors at the Post of their obligation to readers, who may take the letter at face value. I cannot imagine that I could ever run a letter in the magazine that made statements that I knew to be false any more than I could run a story that I knew was untrue. Yes, I am aware there is a lower standard of care owed to readers in the letters section, but I cannot imagine it is so low as to allow lies to be told.
Iraq; Credit Cards And ATM On The Way
The Trade Bank of Iraq on Tuesday issued the country's first credit and debit cards, from Visa International Inc., at a ceremony in Baghdad.
Visa cards were given to cabinet ministers, government officials and financial professionals, the bank said. Bank Chairman Hussein al-Uzri presented the first card to Adel Abdul Mehdi, one of two vice presidents and a former finance minister.
The bank said it would issue 30,000 Visa cards in Iraq by the end of the year. The company also plans to install the country's first network of automated teller machines, which would enable cardholders to withdraw Iraqi dinars or U.S. dollars from their accounts.
Cue MSM: "Not just a "quagmire", but a quagmire run on credit."
Letter To Frum
"I work with serving US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are, for the most part, wonderful human beings: bright, articulate, honest and possess a keen sense of morality, fair-play, and an unerring sense of honour and duty (one of my students was badly wounded in Iraq last year, but he's right back at soldiering again).
"Then, I compare these soldiers to the alleged political leaders of Canada - and I find it embarrassing to the point that I feel like I am going to be ill. The lying, the cheating, the swindling, and the shear gutless heap of human immorality that has ensconced itself in the role of leadership enrages me and every other patriotic Canadian I know.
Well, This Explains A Few Things
A study that will resonate with more than one blogger.
Jodie Whelan is a star student by any measure, and a handful of universities have dangled generous scholarships to woo her.
But her 99.3 per cent average, her multiple academic awards as the top student at Regina's Riffel High School and impressive list of extracurricular activities weren't enough to catch the eye of the University of Toronto panel that chooses the school's top scholarship recipients.
Nor was Whelan's resume sufficiently stellar to stand out among regional applicants for Canada's most prestigious award, the Canadian Merit Scholarship, worth up to $75,000 over four years of study in recognition of academic brilliance and civic leadership.
"I was a little bit dumbfounded that she didn't even get an interview for the Saskatchewan entries," said Jodie's father, Tim Whelan.
Contempt For Parliament
Habamus Rodentum has done something that the mainstream media couldn't be bothered with - actually read and report on the contents of the Kroll report. While CBC and CTV reported that the actual figure for Adscam was $355, it did not occur to them to report how the Liberals managed to get millions in extra funding through without the approval of parliament - which is required under the Constitution Act.
The Kroll Report (KR) has indicated that the amount of $355 million, $105 million over the Auditor General's amount, was increased because other funding was given by various departments of the Liberal government for SPS (Special Programs & Sponsorship) on top of the that given within the Public Works budget for SPS.
Any requests for money, under Treasury Board rules, were supposed to document what the money was to be used for by segregating the budget for each use. This was not done but allowed to pass through the [Treasury Board] and PMO's office for authorization to spend, bypassing Parliament.
Anything that was submitted to Parliament for SPS spending did not contain appropriate details in "Reports on Plans and Priorities" (RPP’s), "which include the individual expenditure plans for each department". Any increased spending over the budget does not have spending authority and has to go back to Parliament to be voted on.
The big story of the Kroll testimony yesterday wasn't the extra $105 million - it was the fact that parliament was misled. This wasn't the work of a few "rogue" ad executives or civil servants. The extra-parliamentary spending - or as "habamusrodentum" puts it, "a fraud against the government" - was directed by the Prime Minister, the Treasury Board and Public Works Minister.