The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
New Orleans From Above
Before and after photos of New Orleans, from space.
Clark returns (Christy, not Glen!)
Christy Clark's much-ballyhooed absence from B.C. politics has ended up lasting just over three months.
The former deputy premier and high-profile B.C. Liberal cabinet minister did not run in last May's general election, citing her intention to spend more time with her family. Today, however, the charismatic Clark filed the appropriate papers with the civic Non-Partisan Association to allow her to contest the party's mayoral nomination in advance of this fall's civic election. Both Mike Harcourt and Gordon Campbell were Vancouver mayors before becoming premier.
If Clark, who is married to Paul Martin's chief B.C. organizer, wins the nomination, her only legitimate opponent will likely be the left's Jim "Mr. Downtown Eastside" Green. Until this afternoon, Green had been considered the frontrunner to replace Larry Campbell, who is hanging up his chain of office after just one term to sit in the Senate.
Jean Lapierre channels Marc Lalonde
As Ezra Levant reminded us in his Sun piece, here, Marc Lalonde instigated the National Energy Program to curb Alberta growing economic might in 1980-81. Now, former separatist and Paul Martin cabinet Minister Jean Lapierre may be advocating a similar tack. Mike Riordan writes:
This link gives you a story in the French version of the Canadian Press, here. The story contains this key shot from Jean Lapierre:
"Je pense que personne ne peut penser transformer l'économie québécoise sans l'aide des gouvernements, soutient Jean Lapierre. Je pense qu'il va falloir être un gouvernement hyperactif."
La prospérite l'Alberta pourrait même être mise Econtribution, avance le ministre.
"Le gouvernement fédéral a le devoir d'être un vrai partenaire, d'autant plus que comme gouvernement, on profite de la richesse de l'Ouest, souligne-t-il. Il faut donc qu'on ait le rôle de redistribuer la richesse. Après tout, les opportunités de l'Ouest peuvent devenir une calamitEdans l'Est. C'est pourquoi il va falloir avoir un pacte qui nous permette d'équilibrer les affaires."
This seems to translate into, more or less:
“I don’t think anyone can transform Quebec’s economy without government help, stated Jean Lapierre. “I think the government will have to be extremely active."
Alberta’s prosperity could even be called upon, suggested the minister.
“The federal government has the duty to be a real partner, especially since as a government we benefit from the West’s wealth,Ehe stressed. “So we have to redistribute the wealth. After all, the good fortune of the West could become a disaster for the East. That is why we need a pact that will allow us to even things out."
Winning The Hearts Of Saskatchewan Voters II
Could it be that things are looking a little shaky in Ralph's riding? Because, as we all know - in Saskatchewan, there's no such thing as too many civil servants.
RFK Jr: Master of the Non Sequitur
RFK Jr. writes:
As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, it’s worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.
Huh? Somebody please explain non sequitur to the man.
h/t to JJ for the link.
Update: See this for more.
"Hush money" and the CBC
I was intrigued by CharLeBois's post, here, and followed the links to a CBC striker (of course) and his blogging, here and here, against Sun founder Peter Worthington's column, here, on the CBC's anti-Canadian Armed Forces bias.
First, in response to Mr. Worthington's arguing that the CBC exhibits a pronounced anti-Forces bias, Robin Rowland pointed to occasions on which the CBC had covered the Forces. But Worthington argued at that point about bias. The CBC's airing the McKennas' anti-Forces documentary, The Valour and the Horror is representative of the CBC's general bias against the historical Canadian tradition of going to war to protect our institutions and way of life in favour of a loosy-goosy liberalism that hasn't seen a tradition it wouldn't like to demolish. And don't confuse the CBC with the facts:
The major complaints against The Valour and the Horror by historians are its lack of context, poor research, and bias which led to misinterpretation and inaccuracy (see here).
When the CBC refused to air a pro-Forces documentary funded by veterans in response to the McKenna propaganda piece, the veterans went to PBS to get an airing of the piece. The McKenna piece led historiographers Bercuson and Wise to respond (Bercuson, David J., and S.F. Wise. The Valour and the Horror Revisited. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994).
Rowland doesn't even respond to the next Worthington charge -- that the CBC cribbed U.S. footage of the Iraq war instead of relying on its own reporters. Rowland doesn't address this, acknowledges the CBC's decision not to embed with the U.S. forces, and mentions CBC reporters and cameras going into northern Iraq. Nowhere does he address what footage made it to the screen.
Rant, rant, rant, rant, rant.
As for the rest of Worthington's critique, Rowland doesn't even acknowledge it.
If this is what passes for argument and discourse at the CBC, could we keep the strike going indefinitely? I know, I know: the CBC sucks over a billion bucks out of the public treasury and the private advertising market. But is a billion bucks too much to keep the CBC quiet?
Let's just call it "hush money."
I've tried to delete what was a double post, but TypePad won't permit me.
UPDATE: Paul Martin replies to American catastrophe
Better late than never I suppose.
Canada's Achille's heelBiased labour laws are a big reason why Canada has a unionization rate twice that of the U.S., says a new report from the Fraser Institute. (I'll have to paste the link here, because the 'chain' symbol didn't appear for me this time -- http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/shared/readmore.asp?sNav=nr&id=681). It's no wonder Big Labour is taking such a concerted run at Wal-Mart in this country.
Hurricane Katrina - Canadian response
What did our federal party leaders say in response to the havoc wreaked upon New Orleans and the American Gulf coast by Hurricane Katrina?
All in all, it's just another brick in the wall.
A Product Designed with Carolyn Parrish in Mind?
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Antonia Zerbisias, over at her Toronto Star blog, mentions a "fisking" of Peter Worthington done by a locked out CBC employee.
I think that's as official as anyone can ask for. The conservative blogosphere can now claim total & final victory over Robert Fisk.
Just in time for the Emery extradition, the Drug Enforcement Agency has gotten their online gift shop up and running!
... stops by Operation Thankyou
I immediately started making calls, and shooting off emails. Ideas flew back and forth, and schedules were checked. Within hours, we had a plan: we would stage an Operation Thank You on a busy intersection in Coronado, to provide a positive contrast to the anti-Bush, anti-war protest outside the hotel. We knew the location would get high visibility, since we had used it previously; and we already had appropriate signs from previous Operations Thank You. It was a simple plan, and easy to execute. But would it work?
WITHOUT WARNING, a black SUV rounded the corner from Orange Ave. on to 4th St., slowing almost to a stop in front of our position. The rear window came down, and an elderly gentleman with gray hair, glasses, and a mischievious grin stuck his head out the window, smiled, and waved.
"Thank you!" he said to the startled group of Protest Warriors, before driving off towards San Diego.
Via James Joyner who almost spoils it by mentioning his name rhymes with 'Ronald Mumsfeld.'
Where Are Hollywood And The Live Aid People?
(At the Venice Film Festival. There's some irony in that, I suppose.)
The shameful results of a poll at CKOM radio (Saskatchewan);
Damage from Hurricane Katrina is estimated at $28 billion dollars U-S. Will you be giving a donation to help people along the U-S Gulf Coast rebuild?
Pierre Bourque reports a "joking" response from an Ontario cabinet minister he met at an Ottawa restaurant, when asked about Ontario's response. "I don't know, that's not my department, I'm on holidays".
Finally, a press release from the Canadian government.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that she has contacted U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and advised him that Canada stands ready to provide assistance if needed. In addition, the Minister of Health, Ujjal Dosanjh, has directed the Public Health Agency of Canada to contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and offer any assistance that may be helpful, such as emergency medical supplies contained in the National Emergency Stockpile System.
Michelle Malkin has a comprehensive list of links for those who wish to help. The photos she has up are gutwrenching - the descriptions of the damage are not exaggeration.
Hugh Hewitt has started the ball rolling on a Blogger Relief Day for this Thursday. Check his site for details if you want to sign up.
Oil Price Will Not Reach $100 in Next 10 Years:
The Emirates Economist, drawing on information provided by Macleans, notes that many experts estimate Alberta has oil-sand-based oil reserves vast enough that the province is likely the second-largest holder of oil reserves in the world, second only to Saudi Arabia. He also notes that recovery of the oil-sand reserves is easily economically feasible at current oil prices. He concludes:
The Emirates Economist
The Canadian tar sands are one reason I don't think oil will reach $100 per barrel in the next 10 years.Take that, Matt Simmons.
Palestinian Activism and the Immigration Board
[This is a teaser for a long post at Angry in the Great White North]
Khaled Mouammar is in the news today, filing a complaint against the York Regional Police Services Board because the Chief went on a trip to Israel to compare notes on anti-terrorist techniques.
Mouammar has a long history of fighting for the Palestinian cause. His daughters, Randa and Leila, were raised on that, and have added their own efforts to his to condemn Israel, support Syria, fight racial profiling, and of course, eliminate Canada's immigration system.
That last one is Leila's pet project, which is an interesting choice, since this family of long-time Liberal Party supporters has also worked for the federal government.
Can you guess where?
Yup. Khaled and wife Mary have both serve in Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board.
Read the whole thing.
Homo Sapiens: Fewer Genes Than Rice
And why this may limit future evolution;
Research published in the July issue of Trends in Immunology, shows how a more advanced immune system in humans could explain why the human genome may have only a slightly greater number of genes than the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and probably less than rice, Oryza sativa.
Dr Andrew George, from Imperial College London and based at the Hammersmith Hospital comments: "Although humans are normally thought to be considerably more complex than organisms, such as plants, rice, yeast and earthworms, this is not reflected in their number of genes, with humans having less genes than other supposedly less complex organisms."
Dr George suggests that the limited number of functional genes in the human genome may be a result of the presence of a more advanced immune system. The immune system is designed to protect us from disease, but it is important that the cells of the immune system do not recognise our own tissues or cells, as this would lead autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease is avoided by killing off any immune cells that recognise molecules produced by the body (self-molecules). This means that the larger the genome, the more self-molecules the immune system needs to tolerate.
As a result, the immune system has to kill more immune cells. If there are too many genes then this results in the vast majority of immune cells dying, paralysing the immune system, and leaving the body unable to fight off disease or infection.
Dr George adds: "The limited size of the human genome could make further evolution for humans difficult. Fortunately, the human genome has been able to create genes which have multiple uses, thus making the best use of a limited number of genes."
Iraqi Idol Kicks Off
Though overshadowed by media pessimism about a lack of Sunni participation in the Iraq constitution, there's another installment of under-reported good news from Iraq - and some of it involves the constitution!
The general conference of Sunnis in Iraq, which includes "the Sunni Mortmain," "the Association of Muslim Scholars," "the Iraqi Islamic Party," and a group of Sunni parties and organizations, was held in Baghdad and has urged all Arab Sunnis to participate in the coming elections.
In his speech before hundreds of attendees, Ahmed Abdel Ghafur Al Samera'i said, "Participating in the plebiscite on the constitution is a prescribed duty for all Sunnis."
And if that doesn't picque your curiosity, there's this;
In entertainment news, 2,000 hopefuls sign up for the Iraqi "American Idol":
Ordinarily, I wouldn't post a status report on my own site (smalldeadanimals.com) here, but I've been told the local radio station is receiving calls from people wondering what's happened to it, (complete with Librano conspiracy theories).
There was major network disruption over the US last night, and this has resulted in connection problems. Hosting Matters hosts a lot of blog sites (including Instapundit) and there may be other blogs experiencing problems. They're working on things, apparently.
Gomery Wants to Hear from You!
From Politics Watch:
Canadians who have followed the sponsorship scandal will now have their opportunity to participate in the public inquiry examining it.
Justice John Gomery has launched the public consultation phase of his inquiry into the sponsorship scandal and is now taking input from the public.
"Justice Gomery, in preparing his report, would welcome the views of Canadians on three themes: responsibility, accountability and transparency," the inquiry's Web site explains.
Gomery is using the web where people can fill out a questionnaire and leave comments at the inquiry's official Web site.
You can respond here
You can also send your views to Gomery by mail at P.O. Box 1388, Station "B", Ottawa ON K1P 5R4.
Hat tip: Krista
Blogs are the opposition in Egypt
AFP reports that in the bogus Egyptian elections, opposition to President Hosni Mubarek is coming from blogs. AFP reports:
"In a country where most major newspapers are state-owned or affiliated to a party, the Internet is offering an unprecedented freedom and platform for an increasingly bold opposition to the regime.
... Accustomed to an autocratic regime that has severely restricted freedom of expression in the past, many Egyptians in the street are still keeping a lid on their exasperation, but bloggers are now letting off steam on the Internet."
Most of the country's estimated 300 bloggers are anonymous, it being too dangerous to reveal their true identities. One blogger explains his reason for blogging: "so that future generations cannot accuse us of having remained silent when there was a need to speak out." Many bloggers surely understand that they will not succeed in defeating Mubarek but their goal is much more modest -- simply providing information or another point of view. In countries that are not democratic simply providing the truth or a perspective that is different from the official line is a revolutionary and heroic act of subversion.
Monday, August 29, 2005
"Traders", the tv show
Several days ago, I received an e-mail from Kip Esquire, asking about the tv show "Traders".
For less than one season several years ago, a U.S. cable channel, Lifetime, was rebroadcasting the (CBC?) show “Traders” about a small Toronto broker-dealer whose founder is indicted for securities fraud and his daughter, an economics professor, has to take over running the firm. I became addicted to it immediately, but they canceled the rebroadcast schedule in the U.S. and I’ve never been able to track down anyone who’s heard of it.
Are you familiar with it? Did it run for any length of time in Canuckia? Any chance it’s available on DVD or video? All my Internet searching has proven fruitless. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.
Who's That Guy With RightGirl??The Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival was a huge success. The three Conservative candidates: John Capobianco (Etobicoke Lakeshore), Jurij Klufas (Parkdale-High Park), and Axel Kuhn (Etobicoke Centre), signed up many new members to the party, shook a lot of hands, and generally made their presence known in the community. The high point was, of course, Stephen Harper's appearance in the parade and on the grandstand on Saturday. As you can see from the photo, the barbecue circuit has been kind to Mr. Harper. Then again, who am I to talk!??
American style gun violence
I'm sure you recall the story of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh getting stabbed to death in a Stockholm department store. At the time it seemed astounding that bystanders would stand by passively and let the perpetrator escape.
Well, recently a fellow with a long history of domestic violence and a restraining order in place tried to stab his ex-wife, except this time it happened in a Wal Mart in Albuquerque:
The victim in this case is 46-year old Joyce Cordova. She is in critical but stable condition at this time at UNM Hospital.So a 72 year old bystander comes to her aid and saves her. I can never comprehend why so many are committed to disarming the law abiding.
Albuquerque Police say Cordova had a long history of domestic violence with ex-husband Felix Vigil. A co-worker says Cordova was working in the deli was attacked by her ex-husband.
Vigil was shot to death by 72-year old Due Moore. Police won't say how many shots were fired, but some witnesses tell News 13 they heard at least three shots.
Police say Moore had a concealed carry license....
Here we go again
Here's my Sun column from today, about the prospects of a new NEP. I'd be interested in your feedback.
Photo Of The Week
"Because there is NOTHING MORE PERSONAL AND PRIVATE than a mother's grief..."
Two more Liberals to the Senate
Paul Martin took another brave and resolute step today, towards living up to his commitment to reduce the democratic deficit, by appointing his former principal secretary, Francis Fox, to the Senate. It's a wonderful reward for a man who was forced to resign from cabinet back in 1978 after helping procure an abortion for his paramour by forging her husband's name.
The PM also appointed a Quebec lawyer, Yoine Goldstein, to the Red Chamber. Like Fox, Goldstein will sit as a Liberal. Fox, too, is from Quebec.
Archbishop suffering from depression
Greater Vancouver's Catholic archbishop, Raymond Roussin, hasn't been the newsmaker that Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, for example, has been. But, especially in these days of church-vs.-state controversy, anyone in a position such as his is, by definition, a public figure.
It is significant, then, that Archbishop Roussin has just announced he is going on an extended medical leave. Also of particular note is the fact the Archbishop Roussin has made no attempt to hide the nature of the malady for which he will be receiving treatment, clinical depression. See this link for more information.
My "globaloney" has a last name
...it's A-N-N-A-N. Check out Jed Babbin in The American Spectator, UNdermining Democracy, on the proposed reforms at the United Nations put forward by General Assembly president Jean Ping of Gabon (bolding mine):
Neatly packaged by General Assembly president Jean Ping of Gabon, the agenda is old globaloney in a new package...
[U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John] Bolton's objections to the Ping package forcefully restated objections to reforms that have nothing to do with solving the U.N.'s obvious problems, and are nothing more than old U.N. frolics and detours we've already rejected enthusiastically, such as imposition of the International Criminal Court and the Kyoto "global warming" treaty. New ideas also having nothing to with reforms are included, such as Kofi's idea that every developed nation donate 0.7% of its GNP to U.N. administration of Third World "relief" and "development." For us, this would amount to about $67 billion per year, which fortuitously equals the total funds that passed through the U.N.'s seven-year oil-for-food-for-bribes-for-weapons scam. This huge tax on America would not, of course, be accompanied by any U.N. financial accounting reforms.
Track MPs through the blogosphere
I created a new tool this weekend that ranks the 302 MPs by the buzz that surrounds them in the blogosphere. Check out the results.
Who's getting the most chatter in the blogosphere?
Hurricane Katrina, Foreign Aid, and Gordon Sinclair
Michelle Malkin echoes the thoughts of many readers who wonder if foreign countries are likely to offer much in the way of help to the United States as New Orleans is lashed by Hurricane Katrina. Thirty-two years ago, the great Canadian Gordon Sinclair ranted about that point exactly in "The Americans".
I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name to me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They'll come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they're entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians.
That was back in 1973. Sadly, they don't make 'em like Sinc anymore.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
The Republic of Canada (soon, hopefully)
Both conservatives and Quebec separatists have lashed out at the appointment of Michaelle Jean for different reasons. Separatists are pointing out the vice-regal couple’s separatist sympathies to embarrass Martin and the Grits. Conservatives are rightly critical of appointing a de facto head of state who is suspected of past separatist leanings, selected using “affirmative action” criteria and one who fits into the Liberal school of thought (aside from the suspected past separatist leanings, of course).
While conservatives are correct in their criticism, most still cling to the tradition of Canada’s constitutional monarchy. The monarchy is great, you see, but we need to appoint better people – maybe a Ted Morton or a war veteran, or Don Cherry (he actually came in first on Rick Mercer’s online “Who should be the next GG?” voting poll mostly as result of conservative bloggers voting in droves.) Hey, I would take Don Cherry for GG over Michaelle Jean or Adrienne Clarkson any day but that’s not the point.
What conservatives should really be calling for is the abolishment of the monarchy in Canada and the erection of a Canadian republic. This way we can shed a symbol of Canadian statism which has now become a symbol of the left-wing elitist system of government that it naturally spawned. Canadian political theory has for decades attributed the success of neo-socialism and socialist-inspired public policy in Canada to our Loyalist roots. A left-wing state requires obedience, conformity to the government’s “vision of Canada” and frowns on individualism, self-reliance and dissent. The framework for this societal model had already been in place – the state, symbolised by the Queen and the GG, was all-powerful and knew what was good for society as opposed to the wacky individualistic and capitalist model offered by the US where people had inalienable rights. How crass! Political powers given to the unwashed masses? Not in Canada. The Conservative Party itself right up to the 1980’s advocated crown-corporations, taxes, government-subsidised arts and media, and economic protectionism as means of maintaining a strong Canada. With enemies like that, the Left didn’t need friends.
Loyalist elitism was simply replaced by Liberal elitism. Like a corporate take-over, the Trudeaupian elites replaced the Loyalists and took over the buildings and the royal facade, too. Instead of Lord so-and-so, we have Clarkson and Jean.
Thankfully, the face of Canadian conservatism has changed for the better. The new right has more in common with Newt Gingrich and his “Contract with America” than it does with Diefenbaker or Joe Clark. High taxes, economic protectionism and government over-regulation are correctly identified as problems not solutions. Canada needs more freedom; both economic and individual. The monarchy may be largely symbolic but it now symbolises the fact that those on the Left who run this country are somehow superior in their vision, intellect and their world view. They live in luxury on the working man’s dime. It’s time for change. It’s time for a Canadian republic.
How the National Energy Program created the Reform Party of Canada
Thanks to Kate McMillan, here, you can find a retrospective of the development of Alberta's oil patch and various attempts to suck petro-dollars out of Alberta into central Canada, culminating in the biggest cash grab of all, the National Energy Program (NEP).
Calgary Grit had a counter-retrospective on his blog, here, awhile ago that repeated certain myths about central Canada's relationship to Alberta.
The biggest lie of all is that central Canada helped Alberta during the dirty thirties. Ain't so. The Government of Alberta went hat in hand to central Canadian banks to restructure Alberta's debt, and they sought loan guarantees from the Government of Canada to take to the central Canadian banks. Both the central Canadian banks and the Canadian government turned Alberta down flat.
Things got so bad that by 1938, there was talk of merging Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba into one province, and the three Maritime provinces into another.
But the legend of central Canada's helping Alberta when the province was down and out is just that: a legend, a fiction that some occasionally find useful for their own purposes.
When Ernest Manning succeeded William Aberhart as Alberta's premier in 1943, he went elsewhere for financing to a consortium of New York City banks led by Chase Manhattan. Chase Manhattan was only too glad to take the risk, and Alberta proved to be good for it. Leduc No. 1 kicked off the Alberta oil industry in 1947, and Ernest Manning created a system of oil leases and royalties that is a model throughout the world, including in such far-flung oil producers as Azerbaijan.
But the Socreds can't take all the credit. The United Farmers fought hard with federal support from the Progressives to put Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and to a lesser extent, B.C., on the same footing as the other provinces. Till the 1930 constitutional amendment (Constitution Act, 1930), Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan did not control the Crown lands (public lands) inside their borders, and B.C. didn't control the Crown lands of the "Peace River Bloc" in northeastern B.C. Now they do, unlike the states of Nevada, Arizona, and others whose public lands are mostly owned and controlled by the federal U.S. government.
If you haven't read Robert Mansell's analysis of how much money -- both real and lost -- the NEP sucked out of Alberta, you should. I think the total came to something like $135 billion.
When the Mulroney Government came to power in September 1984, Albertans expected that the NEP would be rescinded immediately. But it wasn't. Not until the world market price for a barrel of oil fell below the NEP's artificially set price for a barrel of oil did the Mulroney Government rescind the NEP in 1986. That fact gave impetus for the creation of the Reform Party of Canada by a group of former Tory activists and voters led by Preston Manning, starting with the Vancouver meeting in 1986, and culminating in the creation of a new party in 1987.
I was out of the country in grad school, and didn't join till 1990 while I was still living in Illinois. When I moved back to Canada -- to Calgary -- in 1991, I got actively involved ending up working for the Reform Party on Parliament Hill from 1994 to 1999.
Those early days were heady ones for the Reform Caucus. Ask anyone who was there. But Reformers made some key strategic and tactical errors that should be avoided in the repeating. Reformers thought it was enough to be a populist movement. It wasn't. Institutions have power, and power is wielded by institutions. Reformers failed to respect the institutions of Parliament and of Canadian politics, and to use them to proper advantage. Parliament is the House of Commons and the Senate, the cabinet, the PMO and PCO (the public service), the courts, and the Queen represented by the Governor-General -- taken together. You could argue that the Press Gallery is an adjunct to Parliament. Reformers failed to use the House of Commons, had contempt for the Senate, didn't really understand how to use divisions in cabinet, said and did things that were off-putting to the public service who included a number of types who were sympathetic in principle to what Reformers were trying to do. The same was true of media relations in which they were alternately openly hostile, or treated individual members of the Press Gallery as if they were friends to whom they could speak off the record. It took at least two years before Reformers were up to speed on media relations. On the other fronts, there's some doubt they figured it out before the creation of the Alliance or, even, the merger.
There's a number of things that are at the Opposition's disposal in Parliament, but controlling the order paper is not one of them. For those who are interested as to what those things might be, I'd be happy to compare ideas with those who might be in a position to act.
I'll conclude with a note to Alberta separatists. I understand the disaffection many Albertans have with Canada. And I don't believe that our present federation is the only way that Canadians can flourish. Constitutions are not eternal. Rome rose and fell. So did Byzantium. So did western European Christendom. So did the British Empire (or, "morphed" into the Commonwealth). Canada is not eternal. I think the NEP did an injustice to Alberta. I was there. I saw the damage to people and their lives at the micro level of businesses and farms going under because of the NEP, irrespective of the macro-economic consequences. I get it. But if Alberta were to pull out, Alberta would lose access to the FTA, NAFTA, various bilateral commissions, and various other bilateral arrangements between Canada and the U.S. Further, Alberta might well lose access to the Canadian market without tariff and other trade barriers. As Preston Manning once pointed out, it took fifty years for the division of the Province of Canada into Ontario and Quebec to be completed.
Finally, I think Alberta is well-positioned to take the lead in
the Canadian Confederation for the next fifty years. But only if
Alberta stays. Alberta aspires to leadership with a national scope in
the federation. Alberta should lead the way. Alberta can lead the way,
but only as part of Canada.
(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).
With Katrina expected to hit New Orleans as a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane, The Truth Laid Bear has set up a Katrina blogging ecosystem for those who want to follow the latest news. Though, I doubt there'll be much from anyone directly in her path.
Western Alienation 101
Candace, of Waking Up On Planet X has pulled together a retrospective of news items covering the National Energy Program and the creation of Petro-Canada.
Talking a Good Game
As Greg Staples has been pointing out, the Tories are starting to do a better job of announcing policies - specifically, over the past week, criminal justice policies. As was entirely predictable, substantive news of this type is being begrudgingly reported by the media (the Globe buried its stories deep in the news section), but the changing tactics have the possibility of changing the tempo of coverage, which is what counts.
When I first read that the Tories were appointing a "task force" to study crime, my immediate reaction was frustration: more "commissions" is precisely what is not needed. But there is cunning in the decision: first, it gets the issue into the media (both the "hard" news stories mentioned above, and the sneering references from liberal pundits, like, say, John Barber), which is critical: in a sound-bite media environment, sheer repetition can be as important as substance. The "task force" concept itself is also a clever device for amplifying coverage: we'll be seeing reports when the task force meets, followed by more reports when the task force reports (scheduled for the fall), followed by more reports when Harper announces policies based on the recommendations. All of which is good. It would be nice if we could just get actual policies being announced and then campaigned on, but the current strategy can complement that.
The Harper communications shop seems to be finding its feet in other areas as well: his admonishment of the Americans on the softwood lumber dispute is note-perfect:
"I think the U.S. ambassador is way out of line," said Mr. Harper, who attended a Ukrainian Festival parade in Toronto on Saturday with Edmonton MP Peter Goldring.
"But a big part of the reason this has happened is the Liberal government has allowed communications with the Americans to break down entirely."
... "Canada has to be prepared to take a strong stand," Mr. Harper said in reference to the dispute. "But we also have to keep lines of communication open. It's very difficult to have influence when you allow a relationship to break down."
Nice. Hit the US for being stupid on the issue, and also tie it back into the current Liberal government. All of which bodes well: if they can perfect this approach during what remains lat summer's political downtime, we may be seeing a more effective Opposition after Labour Day.
[cross-posted to Let It Bleed]
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Meanwhile, At Camp PaveWalk...
"I am sleeping in here. And I am eating all my meals in here too. I have given up on makeup. I have not been outside in the sun for what seems like a long time. My family and friends can't come in here to say hello."
"Why isn't someone trying to take back the controls from a bunch of box cutter-wielding ideologues ..."
"This whole thing sucks!!! I feel drained, sad, angry, anxious. I want this to end!"
"It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride of emotions this week. Nothing like being made the unwitting martyr to some bureaucrat's apathy to shake one's confidence. I've swung from optimism, to resolve, to despair - often in the course of a single conversation."
As the new season begins, watch to find out which members of the group emerge from this challenging outdoor survival experience as mature, self-reliant individuals, with a better understanding of how others view their behavior.
The Naivety* Of Thomas Friedman
.Even three-time Pulitzer Prize winners can be whiny and foolish. Here are the first few paragraphs of the Playboy September 2005 interview with New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman:
PLAYBOY: After years of leaning left, you shocked many of your readers with your support of the war in Iraq. Are you surprised to find yourself arguing the side of the Bush administration?
FRIEDMAN: I did what I thought and still think was right. I checked my politics at the door when I decided to support this war, but I resent that Bush and his people didn’t check theirs.
FRIEDMAN: Meaning they have used the war to push their agenda and to instill fear. They have made enormous mistakes and never acknowledged them. Donald Rumsfeld has performed so incompetently for so long, and the president hasn’t fired him. It’s shameful after Abu Ghraib and the deaths of Iraqi POWs. It is a travesty. You can’t win the war of ideas in a Muslim world when you are utterly indifferent to the murder of prisoners. The Republicans went on about the right to life of Terri Schiavo, and yet they couldn’t care less about our moral responsibility for the deaths of prisoners of war. It’s as if 9/11 were a shot of novocaine into our nation’s moral nerves. It was such a shock that we still haven’t gotten over it. It has made people indifferent to things that we should be outraged about.
“I checked my politics at the door when I decided to support this war, but I resent that Bush and his people didn’t check theirs,” Friedman said. I can still scarcely believe reading those words. How could the great Thomas L. Friedman suffer from such ahistorical naivety?
So, Bush should have discarded his election promises altogether in order to curry favor with the left? Give me a break, and while you’re giving me a break, try to come up with recent examples of presidents who have done what Friedman wants.
Did LBJ give up on his War on Poverty and Great Society in order to advance the Vietnam War? Did FDR give up on his New Deal in order to advance World War Two? The list goes on and on. Liberals like Friedman would love to use the war effort as an excuse to derail our conservative president’s domestic agenda.
Let’s look at the other allegations Friedman makes.
>Rumsfeld is incompetent. Well, prove it. Nothing in war ever goes exactly according to plan. Rumsfeld is a convenient whipping-boy for Friedman and the anti-war left. They love having a scapegoat. It gives them an outlet for their anger.
>Abu Ghraib and the death of Iraqi POWs are shameful. Perhaps, but the transgressors are being dealt with according to military law. These things happen in war and cannot be compared with anything the Islamofascists have done to us.
>Bush is indifferent to the murder of prisoners. Absolutely not true. See previous comment above.
Friedman supports the war yet is squeamish about the ugly things that happen in wars. That’s not a mature perspective.
*I’m tired of spelling this time-honored word the bastardized French way --naivete or naïvete—so I won’t do so anymore.
(brought to you by vadum.blogspot.com)
MSM on SDA
How does Alberta define itself?
Almost as funny was seeing there were forty -- FORTY! -- comments on the post, here at The Shotgun. Kudos to GCH . . . and the Clast.
But . . .
Does the number of comments suggest something about some Albertans when it comes to Ontario? A bad habit of some Canadians is the tendency to define themselves as (qua) Canadians in the negative -- as in, "We're NOT Americans!" Or, "Isn't Canada great since it's not the U.S.?"
Is Alberta doing something like this, only with Ontario?
"We're NOT Ontarians!" Or, "Isn't Alberta great since it's not Ontario?"
Okay, so I live in Toronto between Yonge & Bay, south of Bloor. And I fully expect that fact may figure into "one or two" of the comments on this.
But I was born in Grande Prairie and raised on a farm about five miles out, in the Peace River Country of northwestern Alberta. My family homesteaded in southern Alberta, in the Red Deer River valley, and within two miles of the farm I grew up on. My family first moved to Alberta in 1903, and my great-grandfather's brother owned a livery and drove Prime Minister Laurier around for the inauguration of the Province of Alberta in September 1905. I'm a fourth or fifth-generation Albertan, depending on how I count. So especially to any of you Johnny-come-lately Albertans, put that in your corn-cob pipe and smoke it!
I ask again: Are Albertans defining themselves and Alberta in the negative? Doing the same thing as those anti-American types, like the Red Star and Carolyn Parrish? As in, "We're NOT Ontario!" Or, "D**m Ontarians!"
LSS Podcast - Tasha Kheiriddin
Tasha Kheiriddin discusses the infrastructure of liberty at PM Jaworski's Liberty Summer Seminar.
Turn up your computer's speakers and give this MP3 a listen!
Friday, August 26, 2005
New Motto for Ontario?
In light of Mark Steyn's disgust with the proposed motto change for New Hampshire ["You're Going to Love It Here" replaces "Live Free or Die"], Publius at The Gods of the Copybook suggests that perhaps Ontario needs a new motto.
Frankly, what kind of inspirational phrase or brief sentence could we use? Here are some ideas: "Giving the Maritimes the Shaft Since 1867." "Home of the United Empire Loyalists." "Now Bigger Than Pennsylvania." "Gateway to Detroit." "The Birthplace of Bob Rae." "The Birthplace of Margaret Atwood." "Ontario: Both Progressive and Conservative." "Toronto's Hinterland." "Yours To Be Smug About."
I have also suggested "The Great Northern Vacuum", but I suspect Western Standard readers would have many more appropriate suggestions.
But keep them short. They have to fit on a license plate.
Breaking The China At Turtle Bay
Hugh Hewitt is watching the fun;
The Annan gang hopes to kill real reform in a swamp of small stiches and minor adjustments, with the objective being the release of a statement hailing some bogus "comprehensive reform package" of more than 500 specific steps that will be implemented by 40 committees over the next 24 months, at which point a self-congratulatory release will issue noting that of the 512 specific reform proposals set forth in the fall of 2005, Secretary General Annan announced that 493 had been adopted, 8 tabled, and 11 still under review. Blah blah blah.
Ambassador Bolton --and the Bush Adminsitration-- wants a few, big, significant bright-line changes (starting with Annan's resignation, I hope) and if we can't have a real reform agenda, then we don't do the deal. No papering over the deep criminality of the organization. No cover-up for the posers.
Frustration, loss and rage
It's hard not to agree with Michael Reagan's take on Cindy Sheehan:
The more I listen to Cindy Sheehan and consider her past actions and her past words, it occurs to me she has always been a liberal, she’s always been anti-military, and she’s always been anti-Republican. It appears that she raised Casey in such an environment, yet despite that what does he do? He not only joins the military engaged in a war she bitterly opposes, but to add insult to injury when his enlistment runs out, he re-enlists although he knew that by so doing it meant he would be sent to Iraq where a war his mother despises is being fought.
Think about that. What Casey did was to reject not by words but by deeds his mother’s most closely-held beliefs.
It's worth reading the whole thing, which isn't long.
Jihadists Warn: Pope Increasingly Catholic
From the Dep't of You Can't Make This Stuff Up;
"The Vatican, which is nothing but a government placed within a building, has moved to support the Christian side of the countries in the world, and if possible, the Catholic side ...
"One doesn't give independence, one takes it"
An email originally read on the Charles Adler show on August 17th written by Bruce Vallance of Winnipeg;
I visited the site and watched the film clip. To say that I'm offended is to understate the case. The people she is cavorting, laughing and toasting with are some of the same people who tried to kill me.
During the FLQ crisis I was stationed at Canadian Forces HQ in Ottawa. The bomb they placed outside of my office window was meant to kill those in the room and I suppose make a statement.
They succeeded only too well The lady they killed was not only a co-worker, but also a friend.
After I picked myself up off the floor some thirty feet from where I was standing I saw my friend laying on the floor. I remember kneeling in a pool of her blood trying desperately to staunch the flow. Her eyes seemed to be pleading for me to help her.
This tiny middle aged French Canadian single mother of two who had been so happy. She had been talking for several days about her up coming vacation. The first in twenty years. Now she lay struggling to breath through her torn throat. Desperately I tried to staunch the flow of blood. I watched as the light in her eyes slowly dimmed and then disappeared.
Here was a grown man and soldier kneeling in the welter of her blood crying like a baby as I cradled her in my arms.
My next conscious memory was lying on an operating table as a young doctor probed my back and side for glass. He continuously apologized for the pain, but explained that he couldn't anaesthetize me because I had to be able to tell him when he pressed on a shard of glass. It took 43 stitched to close my wounds. I still occasionally have pieces of glass surface.
Am I offended? You bet I am offended. This appointment is an insult to me and to Pierre La Porte and most importantly to Jean D'Arc St Germaine.
Paul Martin has insulted all of Canada including the people of Quebec.
Via Black Rod where they provide a brief history of the carnage perpetrated by the FLQ.
One complaint against Bishop Henry dropped, one to go
Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, facing two complaints lodged with the Alberta Human Rights Commission for public statements made in opposition of same-sex marriage, has dodged one bullet. But then it turns out that person was never really aiming at the bishop. What about that second shot?
A man has dropped a human rights complaint against a Roman Catholic bishop over comments he made that condemned homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Calgary Bishop Fred Henry met with Norman Greenfield on Thursday at the request of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Greenfield was one of two people to file a complaint after Henry wrote a letter to his parishioners last spring comparing homosexuality to prostitution, adultery and pornography, and accused it of undermining "the foundations of the family."
He also urged the Alberta government to use its "coercive power" to prevent gays from marrying.
But Greenfield said that after listening to Henry's explanation, he now believes he simply misunderstood what the bishop was trying to say.
Greenfield, a member of the United Church who knew Bishop Henry when they both campaigned together against VLTs, said the complaint was really a trick of sorts:
In fact, says Greenfield, the entire AHRC exercise he's launched has a lot to do with his and similar voices lacking a pulpit on the gay rights issue in a decidedly hostile province.
"It's the only tool I could find to bring it out into the open -- the media in Calgary weren't asking the questions that should be asked," says Greenfield, 47, a thoroughly heterosexual father of one who's worked as a communications consultant.
What's more, there's no legislative body to effectively hear the concerns of Henry's opponents, he argues.
He just wants to put the bishop on the spot.
What about the other complaint? As far as I can tell, Carol Johnson, a lesbian, and the other individual complainant, has no history with Bishop Henry, no common ground, no shared values. I think there's a fair chance that Bishop Henry is still going to be hauled in front of the Commission before all this is over, and that we will have a ruling on whether a clergyman's voiced opinion constitutes an act of discrimination subject to punishment by the State.
[Extended entry at Angry in the Great White North]
Cross Country Barbecue Tour
Stephen Harper will be in Toronto, attending the Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival on Saturday August 27. He will be in the parade at 11am, and will be speaking on-stage at noon. If you are in the GTA, come out ond join us!
The festivites are taking place on Bloor Street West, between High Park and Jane streets. Please, stob by the Conservative booth, and say hi!