The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Peter Naglik, RIP
(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).
A long-time political party activist and devout Catholic, Peter Naglik, was killed tragically in a single-vehicle accident in the early hours of Friday, September 29th 2006 in Ottawa. Graham Hughes of the Ottawa Citizen wrote this, here (by subscription):
A longtime behind-the-scenes political operative and speech writer for the Conservative party died early yesterday in a car crash near Metcalfe.
Peter Naglik, 39, of Russell, was driving his 1995 Chrysler Concorde when it went out of control . . .
Police said the car was southbound on Boundary Road at about 2:30 a.m. Marks on the road indicate he swerved onto the west shoulder, then crossed the road to the east shoulder of the road. The car flipped onto its roof and smashed into a hydro pole north of Cartwright Road. Mr. Naglik was alone in the car and was wearing his seat-belt.
I met Peter in 1995, not long after Mike Harris's landmark electoral victory, when he was working in the new Premier's Office, responsible for writing Premier Harris's correspondence. I quickly learned that Peter possessed a wicked sense of humour with a laugh to match. He could tap out a snappy turn of phrase and, if sufficiently provoked, he would mount a policy argument with verve. And while he didn't wear it on his sleeve, anyone who knew Peter for very long would discover his abiding Catholic faith that informed and fed his passion for politics as public service -- something far too uncommon in political circles.
Perhaps chief among Peter's heroes was John Paul II -- "John Paul the Great." Peter, too, was a passionate supporter of politicians who expressed and carried forward his policy commitments into the public debate and, even, into law. Peter was a partisan's partisan who rarely, if ever, saw a political battle in which he wouldn't engage.
Over the last few years, it was gratifying for his friends to watch Peter come into his own as he found love in this life and domestic happiness, as he made headway in the struggle so many of us have with our weight, and as, most recently, he took strides with his business partner in building an enterprise from the ground up.
What more can we say? Only this, as someone once wrote of others who devoted their lives in the service of God to better the human condition . . .
And the world was not worthy of them.
Requiescat in Pacem, Peter.
US Senate passed Iran Freedom Act
United States house of representatives and senate, both, passed the Iran Freedom Act and President Bush signed it today.
It's a beginning and I do appreciate the US Senate and president Bush for doing this thing. It means a lot to the Iranian people who are dead tired of the terrorist regime of Iran. It is just a matter of time to see a free and democratic Iran in the middle east which is way overdue.
France vs. Israel
Of course the UN force in Lebanon is not about disarming Hezbollah. And they're certainly not about protecting Israel from terrorist raids. As this news report demonstrates -- and this photo suggests -- the UN is there to protect the terrorists from Israel. Of course, the UN troops in question were French.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Good for Pete
Avid Western Standard reader Pete Sobot is still a student, but he's already quite an activist. A few years back he launched Kids Against Kyoto, which of course was close to my heart. Now he's got another website -- a non-partisan effort about the Burlington civic elections. I can hardly wait to see what Pete does in the years ahead -- I think politics might just be in his future.
More 2006 Endorsements
Three Senate candidates are picked, and one other race catches the eye.
Breaking News: Joe Volpe has to pay a fine of $20,000 to the Liberal Party, or he's out of the race! [updated]
The hammer has come down on Joe Volpe. Hard.
From the press release:
4. Pursuant to Regulations 16 b) and 16 c), the panel issues a public reprimand to the Leadership Campaign of Joseph Volpe and assesses a fine in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00), payable within 30 days of September 29, 2006. In default of full payment within the specified time, Mr. Volpe will be deemed to be disqualified as a leadership contestant.
Not good news for Joe Volpe ahead of delegate selection this weekend.
Update #1: Joe Volpe responds...
From: The Honourable Joseph Volpe, Member of Parliament for Eglinton – Lawrence
To: Liberal Party Executive
Update #2: Why Joe Volpe is hanging tough...
If his numbers are as high as some people think, he'll be the kingmaker. If he knows that, it might explain why he's not afraid of the Liberal Party executive.
Measuring the next Liberal leader
Here is a four page memo (1 , 2 , 3 and 4 ) that has been mentioned in the press already -- a Tory strategist's analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various Liberal leadership front-runners. It's more than just hunches -- the Tories have obviously spent some real money and effort testing public reactions to the various men.
It seems to me that there is an increasing "anybody but Ignatieff" sentiment amongst Liberals; will there also be an "anybody but Rae" movemen, too, as he gains momentum?
Perhaps the most interesting factoid was that the candidate with the highest name recognition amongst the lot is Ken Dryden.
U.S. and Canada forced to reap what Pakistan sows
Since Pakistan's peace deal with the Taliban, attacks on American, Canadian, and other NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan "have tripled."
I'd also be remiss not to give high praise to Mr. Harper for telling the rest of la Francophonie that it can't sweep Hezbollah's outrageous behavior under the rug (same link as above - second item).
The editors of the University of Victoria's student paper, the Martlett, obviously have a good nose for news, and have published a story about the Western Standard's inclusion of a UVic professor, Taiaiake Alfred, on our Nuttiest Professors list.
In other media news relating to the story, CBC Radio in Vancouver invited me to appear on its morning talk show along with one of the two University of B.C. profs that I included on the list. I gladly accepted, but the producer later told me she couldn't persuade Joel Bakaan, the (seemingly) Marxist law prof, to participate. And she was doubtful that she could land anti-everything Sunera Thobani. And that's the last I heard of it.
I wish someone would have asked those silly Arab guys why they don't object to the real sexual apartheid in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen or other Islamic states where women are treated like shit and homosexuals are sentenced to death and political prisoner are being tortured for the simple reason of speaking their minds. I wish someone would have punched them in the face and ask them why they don't just take care of their own crappy business before paying attention to others' fine business.
Israel is a democratic and civilized state and last time I checked, they don't punish people for drinking alcohol, execute homosexuals or cut hands of criminals, even terrorists get a decent trial and punishment for their bloody actions. This stupid bias towards Israel is just deeper than a simple clash of Arab-Israeli people. It has its roots in jealousy and anti-semitism. While majority of Arabs live in failed states of mideast, Israeli citizens enjoy a free and modern society which makes them target of all sorts of absurd anti-Jewish sentiments and actions.
It is really about their hatred for the Jews. Period!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
NDP Politics More Important Than Children
Two weeks ago, Saskatchewan NDP premier Lorne Calvert announced that Kevin Yates, the Corrections and Public Safety Minister had been removed from his position and replaced. Today...
"Although Calvert said the reasons are "personal," NDP sources told CBC News that Yates was dumped after questioning Calvert's leadership.
At the same time, the Oyate scandal...
"The Oyate Safe House failed to provide a safe place and necessary services for sexually exploited children, says Saskatchewan's Children's Advocate.
Among its many findings, the Advocate's report found the safe house did not provide adequate services, personnel were not capable of delivering services, the safe house did not prohibit sexual exploitation of children in its care, and DCR discontinued case planning by closing files with full knowledge the child was still being sexually exploited."
When the original auditor's report was released in June, the Opposition Saskatchewan Party called for the resignation of Community Resources Minister Buckley Belanger. When further details were released mid-September of how unsafe Oyate had become to at-risk youth, the Saskatchewan Party once again called for the resignation of Belanger.
"Bernstein stated that through his investigation, it became apparent children's interest were secondary to other agendas. He explained there was a slippage in service when it comes to aboriginal children due to heightened cultural sensitivity."
The moral of the story? If you are in charge of a ministry that allowed the sexual exploitation of children as a result of incompetence and the fact the government didn't want friction with First Nations, you keep your job.
If you criticize Lorne Calvert because you have lost confidence in his leadership, you get removed from cabinet.
The irony of this is that based on the Oyate situation and Calvert's decision to keep Belanger in cabinet, Yates has proven himself right in his criticism of Calvert's leadership abilities...
Ladies and gentlemen, these are the kind of NDP politicians we have leading the province of Saskatchewan.
God help us...
What's going on at the Globe and Mail?
It comes as no surprise that the reporters on the G&M's newsside fall for the "engagement" mantra hook, line, and sinker. However, at least one blogger provides evidence the editors don't see things the same way (seventh item).
So I ask you folks up north: Is there anything to this?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tie, Belinda and Bill Graham
Here's Liberal leader's Bill Graham's response to allegations that Tie Domi was having an affair with Belinda Stronach, as reported by Sun Media:
"Liberal Leader Bill Graham said he didn't think the allegations levelled against Stronach affect her job as a federal politician or the party's caucus.
'Unless it impinges on their public duties, it is not relevant to Canadians,' said Graham."
The Hamilton Spectator has Graham's fuller quote explaining that a politician's personal ethics/morality is irrelevant:
"Canadians are well beyond such judgments, said Bill Graham, the Liberal party interim leader. 'I think Canadians have come to a point in our national life where we recognize that private lives of people are private lives. Unless it impinges on their public duties, it is not relevant to Canadians'.'"
I read this line, "I think Canadians have come to a point in our national life where we recognize that private lives of people are private lives" to mean that Graham believes Canadians have "evolved" or "progressed" to the point where we don't expect our politicians to be ethical as long as they don't rip off taxpayers (although for 13 years Canadians seemed pretty forgiving). Of course, Bill Graham has personally benefited from this
"evolution" in the public's thinking lowering of standards.
That said, the ethical question of the Tie-Belinda affair does impinge on her public duties; really, should the chair of the Liberal Women's Caucus be bedding another woman's husband? The pain that Belinda Stronach has caused Leanne Domi by contributing to her divorce raises serious questions about her ability to speak up on behalf of women.
Do the math
StatsCan has just published its latest population estimates and, for the first time, the combined population of Alberta and B.C. is greater than that of Quebec. The New West rises.
And, remind me again, why is it that Quebec has twice as many seats in the Senate as British Alberta, and 11 more seats in the House of Commons?
I have made a post about the pro-Iranian regime activists and bloggers living among us in North America.
These people can be considered sleeper cells that are funded by the mad mullahs of Iran and they spread the propaganda of the regime here in Canada or US. We must make sure that these individuals are dealt with before we deal with their masters in Tehran since these people are spearheads of the Iranian jihadist regime in this country.
Speaking of South Asia
The U.S. Senate is dragging its feet on the U.S.-India nuclear deal; yours truly tries to light a fire under them.
Will Pakistan switch sides?
The Musharraf regime has angered the NATO allies - Canada included - so much that they nearly read him the riot act in public. Meanwhile, there is speculation Musharraf's current book tour may be a path to early retirement. Yours truly has never trusted the general, so if a new Pakistan leader chose to end the disguise and openly side with the terrorists, I wouldn't be very surprised.
I suspect I'd be in the minority, however.
It Cuts Both Ways
Now I consider myself a Christian, but this is creeping me out...
"At Kids on Fire, children learn how to be true Christian soldiers.
Instead of telling ghost stories around the campfire, children speak in tongues and bless a cutout of President Bush.
Pastor Becky Fischer, the camp's leader, says the point of the camp is to encourage attendees to "take back America for Christ."
Issues like abortion are discussed, and political protests become field trips for the campers.
"I feel like we're kind of being trained to be warriors, only in a much funner way," one camper said.
Yup, children talking about abortion around a campfire is always a hoot!
"Some less-extreme Christians, including radio talk-show host Mike Papantonio, fear the children at Kids on Fire are being used as political pawns by adults with an agenda."
If you don't like the indoctrination of Muslim kids into this kind of thing, this should make you feel uncomfortable as well, even if you are a Christian.
This isn't about Islam or Christianity. It's about adults manipulating children.
I believe that kids should be exposed to religion and faith. I think it's healthy and it helps set them on a positive path for the rest of their lives. I believe that the intent of most religions is beautiful and honorable. Unfortunately, sometimes it's ego-centric people, more interested in control of youngsters than the true messages of the holy books, that bastardize the intent of religion's messages.
This may be one of those cases.
Does He Have a Point?
"Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf lashed out at critics of his government's anti-terror credentials yesterday, noting that his army has suffered hundreds of casualties while Canadians "cry and shout" when a few of their soldiers die.
"Gen. Musharraf went on to suggest that the citizens of countries contributing troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan should not become so agitated when their soldiers die.
"When a soldier puts on a uniform and he joins the army, is this for fighting or for peacekeeping? What has he joined the army for? He's joined to fight, and when you fight, there are casualties. The nation must be prepared to suffer casualties. So if you're not prepared to suffer casualties as an army, then don't participate in any operation," he said."
Is Musharraf right?
Canada is one of the safest places in the world to live. But in Pakistan they are, dare I say, more "accustomed" to soldiers (and civilians) dying yearly in conflicts like Kashmir, terrorist attacks, natural disasters etc. They are also closer to active war zones.
Is Musharraf speaking as a general or as a member of a society vastly different (and dangerous) than ours? Discuss...
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
George Clinton Bush
In a word: maddening.
The Liberals - The Political Version of "Soap"
Is this a sitcom out of the 80's? .
"Haunted by yet another scandal, Joe Volpe said Monday that he'll continue in the Liberal leadership race despite new allegations that his camp signed up party members who were already dead."
So the allegation of signing up dead voters should be enough for one day, right?
"As he left the conference, Volpe was heckled by two protesters dressed as ghosts, one carrying a sign that read "Volpe has spirits."
OK, the news room is starting to get busy, but stop the presses ...
"While one ghost led a chase through downtown Ottawa, Volpe's 'Ghostbusters' later claimed the man was Richard Zussman, a Bob Rae supporter."
So now Bob Rae supporters are dressing up like ghosts and chasing Joe Volpe down the street in Ottawa. But Volpe has an idea of why all these bad things keep happening to him....
"Volpe suggested Monday that he was not the choice of the party "establishment.''
An Italian-Canadian, Volpe said despite having lived in Canada for "51 years," he had been warned he might be seen as an "outsider'' or "not Canadian enough.''
Now he's blaming his misfortune on the fact that he's Italian.
That's got to be in for the day, but... in the same CTV interview, former Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano (you remember him from such films as "The Sponsorship Scandal and "The Wacky Ambassador to Denmark Gets Recalled") agrees with Volpe that part of the problem is that they are Italian... (Never mind that signing up dead people in a graveyard would be something you might see on the Sopranos).
But also yesterday, Hedy Fry quits the leadership race to throw her support behind the former NDP premier of Ontario, who up until January of 2006 still gave money to the NDP, but is now considered one of the frontrunners for the leadership of the Federal Liberals.
That has got to be it for one day...
Hang on, these are the Liberals we're talking about.
"Meanwhile, a complaint was filed Monday with the Liberal party alleging that 60 members were signed up improperly by Ignatieff's camp in two Toronto-area ridings -- including one man in Ignatieff's constituency said to have died two years ago.
The complaint lists 48 members in Ignatieff's Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding who have allegedly admitted they did not sign a membership form or pay the membership fee, as required by party rules and electoral law.
It includes signed statements from three of the members who each declare that "my membership fees were kindly paid for by the Michael Ignatieff leadership campaign.''
So now Iggy is allegedly signing up dead people as well.
Cue the music..
Confused? You won't be after this week's episode of Soap
UPDATE - I forgot to mention the StopIggy.com website and who's behind it. This is so bizarre.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Former Mountie going to jail
CFRN, CTV Calgary reports today that a former Pincher Creek Mountie will be going to jail after the Crown won an appeal of his two year conditional sentence and the Alberta Court of Appeal “found the trial judge ‘erred in determining that the four-year mandatory sentence was cruel and unusual punishment’ and sentenced him to four years in prison, less time already served”. The full story can be found at http://calgary.ctv.ca/ .
Firstly I must reveal my interest in the case. The ex RCMP Officer is my niece’s husband. As such, and having got to know him very well while staying with my niece and her husband numerous times while on helicopter flying out of Peace River, I attended parts of all three trials to which he was subjected. The first two resulted in hung juries.
The bare bones circumstances of the case were that in October 1999 he was called out, while on duty alone, to the local hospital where an obstreperous drunk was causing a disturbance. This individual was there to see that his buddy, who had been beaten up in a fight, was looked after. He was also demanding that the RCMP search for and locate a van whose driver he claimed had abducted his girl friend. This was all an apparent delusion. A scuffle developed between the drunken individual and the Officer forcing him to place the man under arrest. When the officer placed the man in the back of his cruiser and went back into the hospital the individual kicked out a window of the vehicle and bent one rear door. While driving the prisoner to the hospital the Officer stated in testimony that the man stated repeatedly “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you”.
While booking the prisoner and preparing to place him in cells, the only other person present was an aging civilian guard. The guard went into the cell block, opened a cell then went back out through the cell block door. The Officer, having removed the handcuffs from the prisoner’s wrists escorted him into the open cell. According to the Officer’s testimony the prisoner then attacked him, pulling his protective vest up over his head. When the officer got a peak from underneath the bottom of the vest he saw that his pistol had been pulled virtually all the way out of it’s holster. The design of the holster is supposed to prevent this. Thinking that he was about to shot with his own weapon he focused entirely on regaining control of the weapon. His recall of exactly what happened is somewhat clouded by the stress of the moment but he assumes that he resorted to the training he had received, and fired two shots. One of these shots caused a minor wound in the side of the abdomen area and the second caused a head wound that was ultimately fatal. Unfortunately the other two prisoners in the cell were in the drunk tank and were not reliable witnesses. There was no monitor camera installed in the cellblock area.
I know of two other cases, one in Jasper, and one recently I believe in Houston BC, where a prisoner and an arresting policeman became involved in scuffles and the prisoner in each case wound up dead. No charges were laid against the policeman in either case. The charges in this case were laid approximately six months after occurrence. I have always had two suspicions, one that someone in the RCMP hierarchy had it in for this Officer and secondly that the family of the victim reached someone of influence who used that influence to insure that the family’s unrelenting campaign to avenge the death of their son, brother or in-law as the case may be. It was always clear to me that they never accepted that their lovely, innocent choirboy type angel could have in any way been the author of his own misfortune.
What next in this case that I consider a miscarriage of justice? I believe there is a chance of an appeal but that approach seems to carry little hope. Where should I and other supporters of this Officer go?
As Americans and Canadians continue to fight and die to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban, Communist China's oldest Central Asian ally makes deals with the enemy.
Global warming cannot be questioned
Climate change alarmists in Parliament would now forbid the government even to question global warming theories.
Last Wednesday in the House of Commons, Nathan Cullen, MP asked the Minister of the Environment to disown scientists who even question the theory of human-caused global warming. On Thursday, Liberal Environment critic, John Godfrey, MP called it "irresponsible" merely to question what he termed the "well established science behind global warming."
What could possibly be wrong with scientific scepticism? What could be wrong in listening to more than one side of an unresolved argument? There may indeed be a "consensus of scientists" (as I so often read) who believe global warming theory, believe it is a serious problem, and believe it is caused by humans. However, science is not an opinion poll. Consensus has little to do with it. And so, until the scientific community can offer proof of a long-term, man-made, serious warming trend -- something more than computer models or a hot July -- it is appropriate to consider all possibilities and to look with some scepticism on climate change theories.
Scepticism is especially merited given past predictions by environmental alarmists, such as:
- the 1976 theory that global cooling would cause "world famine, world chaos, and probably world war" by the year 2000;
- the 1980's prediction that the ozone layer would be depleted early in this century;
- Carl Sagan's prediction in 1991 that fires lit in Kuwaiti old fields by (former president and soon to be death-row inmate) Saddam Hussein would cause the equivalent of a regional "nuclear winter";
- the 1972 prediction that by 1990 the Earth would see the complete exhaustion of lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver;
- the prediction made at the first Earth Day observances in 1970 that four billion people worldwide (including 65 million Americans) would starve to death between 1980 and 1990.
So far, the only reliable, long-term weather predictions have been those issued by Punxatawney Phil each February. Until the environmental alarmists can match the record of that rodent, some scepticism is warranted.
In the meantime, Chicken Little parliamentarians, Mr. Godfrey and Mr. Cullen, would be better not to demonise those who simply as for some proof that the sky is falling.
Stephane Dion recycles his own speech in order to take new credit for an old idea
Stephane Dion in 2004 (paraphrased):
Keeping tracks of bad chemicals is important. Really it is. And you chemical producers have a great program for doing it. The key idea in your program is to be responsible over the whole life-cycle. A lot of other people are impressed with it, and it's been making a real difference for over 10 years now. Congratulations to you.
Stephane Dion in 2006 (paraphrased):
Keeping tracks of bad chemicals is important. Really it is. Today I'm proposing a great program for doing it. The key idea my program is that chemical producers have to be responsible over the whole life-cycle. A lot of people are going to be impressed with my idea and I'm going to make a real difference starting when I'm prime minister. Congratulations to me.
No kidding. Not only is he touting a plan that sounds suspiciously like the same plan for which he heaped so much praised on to the Canadian Chemical Producers Association two years ago, he actually uses the same paragraph to kick off both speeches -- then he veers off in two entirely different directions.
Check out the two speeches and see for yourself.
If he didn't rip off his own speeches, I might never have spotted it.
Update: The CCPA is not entirely pleased. A spokesperson says the fact that the government does not reinforce high performers undermines industry leadership.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Nothing to see here, folksJust the Religion of Peace(tm) going about its daily business.
A young Pakistani woman has been kidnapped, raped and beaten by a gang of high-caste villagers because her uncle eloped with one of their relatives. She was chosen for punishment because she had recently gained a degree and was the pride of her low-caste family.This is just Islam being Islam in its purest form, with the tribal Sharia courts deciding whose life is worth living and whose is not.
Ghazala Shaheen, 24, and her mother Mumtaz were abducted last month by men dressed in police uniforms from their home near Multan in southern Punjab.
Last week human rights campaigners said Shaheen was unlikely to see her attackers brought to justice because President Pervez Musharraf had failed in an attempt to repeal the Hudood Ordinance, which requires four male Muslim witnesses to support a rape charge. If the accused is acquitted, the victim becomes liable to prosecution for adultery.
While Musharraf was out of the country earlier this month, a committee of hardline Islamic scholars neutered his bill to protect women's rights which would have repealed the Hudood Ordinance. The scholars claimed the bill was un-Islamic because it "encouraged adultery".
The usual apologists and appeasers will cry out when I remind you that Islam is a religion of hatred, intolerance, sex and death. Women and children are nothing but sex objects and chattel to the men in pajamas who rule with their death-cult bible - the Koran. Go ahead. Scream that I am a bigot. Scream that I must be silenced. Maybe send a bunch of bearded bastards to my house to show me what the Religion of Peace(tm) does to mouthy women. I don't care at this point. All I care about is ridding the world first of its blinders that keep us bound and gagged, unable to speak out, and then ridding it of the danger that masks itself as legitimate religion.
They were moved between isolated desert houses at first. As night fell on the third day, Shaheen's mother was taken to another location and she was left alone with one of the gang members.
"This man sat next to me. A moment later he was on to me. He hit me with his gun on my back and on my body and raped me. I was crying and weeping. But he did not listen, and he repeated it," she said.
"In the morning, I was told to stand up and accompany this man. I was in pain. I could barely walk. Finally we reached a big house with Nazar Mirani (the gang leader) sitting outside. The man who had raped me told Nazar that he had done what he wanted with me and now it was his turn. They took me to a nearby cotton field and Nazar Mirani raped me."
This is Islam. This is what we're protecting every time our leaders - including the Pope - tell us how much respect they have for the Islamic faith. This is what we're encouraging when the Canadian Federation of Students launches a task force to study Islamophobia, and banish it from our Universities and Colleges. This is what we're inviting into our homes and our schools. To sit side by side with our daughters. This is what we're allowing to happen to our own countries when we create prayer rooms in call centres, but don't let the Jewish employees leave early on Fridays; when we remove the words Merry Christmas from public spaces; when we use the word "multicultural" as a euphemism for no white Christians, please.
So call me what you want. Write me up in the National Post again. Haul me in front of a kangaroo court. Hate and defile me, because its safer than seeing the truth, and directing your anger appropriately.
I was against the war before I was for it
Don’t know how this slipped by.
More juice at Prairie Wrangler
No Shame From the Left
The Left have started the attack Red Friday
"Thousands of 'demonstrators' rallied to support the war in Afghanistan. They happened to be not average, severely normal Canadians. Nope they were our armed forces personnel, their families and the military brass. They were paid civil servants released to go to the rally. And they were addressed Nuremburg Rally style by the Fuerher himself."
And then there's this....
"Red Fridays are a George Bush/US right-wing creation for purely political purposes...it is a shame that Canadians have got caught up in the "chain letter" efforts of the religious and political right efforts to help out Bush in the US."
Have these people no shame? The Left are losing the war with the average Canadian. And the more they realize it, the louder and loonier they become.
Shameless Self-Promotion: Arar Edition
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Sports and Politics Gossip:
Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach Linked
Liberal MP Belinda Stronach has been named as the other woman in a divorce application filed by Leanne Domi, the wife of former Maple Leafs tough guy Tie Domi.
For more details, see my posting at EclectEcon.
Statement from NDP Leader Jack Layton on Rosh Hashanah
It's so nice that Jack Layton is wishing Jews the best on these High Holidays.
"For all Canadians, it is a time for us to reflect on our own values and respect the values and traditions of our fellow citizens."
Jack, you first... Why don't you reflect on your values, like the one of supporting Hezbollah over Israel, which just happens to be chock full of Jews.
Then again, maybe Jack is trying to get into the spirit of day and atone for his sins...
I have my doubts...
Jonathan Wellum delivered an address last week at Toronto's Royal York Hotel for his inaugural as a Senior Fellow of the Work Research Foundation entitled, "'Short-termism' and Some Significant Challenges to the Capital Markets." Mr. Wellum is Chief Investment Officer with AIC Limited, a mutual funds company. The abstract reads:
"Short-termism" in how we manage our money, our capital markets, and social policy holds long-term consequences for the viability of the Canadian economy and for the next generation of Canadians. Jonathan Wellum offers his analysis of "short-termism" and the serious problems this approach is leading to in each of these spheres of life. Wellum proposes an alternative that he thinks will lead to growth and human flourishing over the long term.
In it Mr. Wellum particulary takes to task money managers, the markets, and decision-makers of public stock companies for their preoccupation with short-term gains and gratification at the expense of long-term, corporate investments, wealth creation, and stewardship of the next generation's wealth. He particularly singles out the derivatives market, hedge funds, and the drive to privatize the stock markets as a "casino-ization" of trading.
Wellum also takes to task a generation that puts so little emphasis on the bearing and rearing of children that several countries' birth rates are at the point of depopulation -- that Germany's birth rate, for example, could see its population reduced by one third. He singles out governments' building casinos instead of investing in the infrastructure of roads, bridges, sewers, and the grid, and for instituting social programs that discourage the incentives for work and productivity. I want to focus on this last, for it's in government that we have seen some early efforts to address "short-termism" . . .
(For more of "Short-termism," go to Burkean Canuck).
"....But the question is, 'Do we want to fight this terrorism devil, or not?'"
In the current issue of the Vancouver Courier, there's a feature about people from Afghanistan now living in Vancouver.
They emphasize in the piece that Canada and the other Western nations involved in Afghanistan must stay and build the resources that the country needs to hold down the Taliban--such as schools, hospitals and a democratic form of government.
That said, however, there's also support for Canada keeping our troops in the country as part of this process:
"I know how it feels to lose somebody from your family," [Abdul Rahim ahmad ] Parwani says of the 36 Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan. "But if we want to fight terrorism, we have to fight this war. I cannot suggest that Canadian people vote for it, I cannot suggest to vote not for it. But the question is, 'Do we want to fight this terrorism devil, or not?'"
(You may read the full article at: http://www.vancourier.com/issues06/094206/news/092206nn1.html)
Friday, September 22, 2006
Jack Layton gets snubbed and then has his petty revenge
Ezra let's us know that Afghani President Hamid Karzai decided not to meet with Jack Layton, despite multiple increasingly desperate attempts to set up a meeting, and so make the NDP appear relevant.
So what does Jack Layton do in return? He has his petty revenge by twisting Karzai's words into yet another vile lie aimed at the Canadian forces, implying our troops bomb villages. Nice piece of work, our Jack.
Welcome to the table
When the new Conservative government took power, I hoped for many things in its foreign policy; the overwhelming majority of those hopes have been fulfilled. One exception had been regarding Northeast Asia - in particular Stalinist North Korea's nuclear ambitions and Communist China's willingness to give Kim Jong-il diplomatic cover.
Well, the increasingly frsutrated U.S. invited Canada to join the discussion, and the Harper government did not disappoint (the Communists, naturally, did disappoint) - one more reason we Americans have to thank the Canadian people for their wisdom on January 23.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Taliban Jack gets snubbed
Fancy that. Afghan president Hamid Karzai didn't accept Taliban Jack Layton's invitation to meet during Karzai's visit to Ottawa.
But don't they both have better things to do? Karzai can talk with serious political leaders interested in solidifying his relatively liberal regime, and Layton can use the free time to meet with his fascist Taliban interlocutors.
My MLAs support me, Calvert says
"Premier Lorne Calvert has emerged from a cabinet retreat to say he will lead the New Democrats into the next Saskatchewan election.
Calvert wouldn't comment on the specifics of his conversation with Yates, but said Tuesday he's confident he has the support of his MLAs."
And we here on the right in Saskatchewan, couldn't be happier...
Canadian-born President of Islamic Society of North America Criticizes Muslim Fundamentalists
From the NYTimes [reg req'd]:
In a class on Islamic history at the Hartford Seminary some years back, the students were discussing a saying ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad that translates roughly as, “Whenever God wants the destruction of a people, he makes a woman their leader.”
The professor, Ingrid Mattson, suggested that the phrase should be analyzed in its historical context when Islamic societies consisted largely of tribal raiding parties. A male Saudi student contended that all such sayings were sacred and not to be challenged, the argument growing so heated that he stormed out of the classroom. Professor Mattson stood her ground, as was her style.
... Like other mainstream Muslims, she struggles with how best to convince people that the faith does not condone terrorist violence. She detects what she calls “Muslim fatigue” among North Americans weary both of the extremists who use the religion to justify their attacks and of the moderates who seem powerless to influence them.
“The sense I have from Americans is that they don’t want to hear Muslims talking about Islam anymore,” she said. “They just want us to do something to stop causing all these problems in their lives.”
I expect she is right.
A responsibility to defeat terrorism
This is Harper's address to the UN today (check against delivery), in which he vigorously makes a case for our Afghanistan mission and the fight against terror. A refreshing change to hear a Canadian leader address the UN about something a bit more meaningful than our strategies to fight climate change.
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour for me, as Prime Minister of Canada, to speak to you
today about the important issues confronting us as members of the United
The United Nations was born from a combination of the essential needs of
nations for stability and security and the higher ideals to which we all
should aspire - freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
Our responsibilities in this organization are as varied as they are
important and I cannot mention them all or do each the justice it
Nor can Canada be effective by diffusing our efforts across all of these
matters. We must focus our considerable but limited resources where we
can make a real difference.
So let me turn to one particular and key area where global interest and
higher purpose come directly together: the mission in Afghanistan.
The United Nations recognized shortly after the attacks of September
11th, 2001, that the Taliban regime, by its promotion of terrorism, was
a threat to international peace and security.
Kofi Annan, our distinguished Secretary General, whom we thank for his
ten years of loyal service, summed up in a few words the reason why we
must combat terrorism.
Terrorism, he said, "is a direct attack on the core values the United
Nations stands for: the rule of law, the protection of civilians, mutual
respect between people of different faiths and cultures, and peaceful
resolution of conflict."
That is why we in the United Nations have the responsibility to defeat
terrorism. That is why, with unity and determination, the United Nations
undertook its responsibility and its role in Afghanistan. And that is
why Canada, which lost 24 of its own citizens on 9-11, answered the
And there we are. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
is the UN's single largest special political mission.
It is also, by far, Canada's biggest and most important overseas
engagement. So the UN's mission is Canada's mission.
No fewer than 19 UN agencies are in Afghanistan. They are working
tirelessly to help the Afghan people and their national government shake
off the perpetrators of terrorism and build a democratic and secure
At the same time, approximately 20,000 troops from 37 countries -
roughly 2,500 Canadians included - are contributing to military efforts
to help stabilise Afghanistan and eliminate the remnants of the Taliban
regime once and for all.
All our actions in Afghanistan - civilian and military - are being taken
in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.
In short, we all stand together with the democratically elected
government of Afghanistan under the banner of the organization that
represents our collective will.
Let us be realistic. The challenges facing Afghanistan are enormous.
There will be no quick fixes.
Moreover, success cannot be assured by military means alone. This we all
recognize. For success also requires a strong and unwavering civilian
contribution: educators, engineers, elections advisors; direct aid and
technical assistance. The list is lengthy, but the contributions
That is why Canada is engaged in work like the rebuilding of girls'
schools, ripped down and destroyed by the Taliban in their frenzy of
That is why this spring we increased our development assistance, raising
Canada's total contribution to nearly $1 billion over 10 years, to
assist the people of Afghanistan.
These two actions - rebuilding a shattered society and providing a
stable security environment - go hand in glove.
And we are making progress - of that there is no doubt - 5 million
refugees repatriated; over 5 million children enrolled in primary
schools; 10 million Afghans registered to vote in successive democratic
More than one-quarter of the seats in Afghanistan's Legislature are now
held by women - remarkable in a nation where a few short years ago girls
could not attend school and women had no human rights of any kind.
The success of this mission, in providing both security and development,
is vital to the safety, livelihood and very future of the Afghan people
- but it is also vital to the health and future of this organization.
Let us recall that the democratically elected government of Afghanistan
- led by President Karzai - requested the assistance of the United
Nations and its member states in the struggle against terror,
intimidation, violence and oppression.
We have responded. But we haven't made Afghanistan's progress
irreversible. Not yet.
Canadian defence personnel, diplomats, and development officers are on
the front lines of the fight for the future of Afghanistan. Canadians
feel tremendous pride in the leadership role they have assumed and we
share equal grief for the casualties they have taken.
We are therefore acutely aware that the United Nations' job in
Afghanistan is not done. We have no illusions about the difficulties
that still lie before us. Difficulties don't daunt us. But lack of
common purpose and will in this body would.
After all, if we fail the Afghan people, we will be failing ourselves.
For this is the United Nations strongest mission and, therefore, our
greatest test. Our collective will and credibility are being judged. We
cannot afford to fail. We will succeed.
The United Nations is also facing other challenges.
In Haiti, for example.
Canada has played an important role in this country, dispatching troops,
police and development officers to support UN activities aimed at
restoring stability and establishing democracy. And we are offering this
country $100 million in economic development assistance.
However, we must act together to ensure that our multinational force
paves the way for stability and progress, and empowers the Government of
Haiti to help its citizens, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.
Darfur too is a significant challenge - as multinational security
efforts are transferred from the African Union to the United Nations. It
is also a test of the principle that this body endorsed last year - the
Responsibility to Protect.
The United Nations has authorized a mission there with a robust mandate.
But will the government of Sudan accept it?
In the Middle East, Canada has joined the international community in the
reconstruction of Lebanon. But will UNIFIL ensure security on Israel's
northern border and lead to progress in the Middle East Peace Process?
Nuclear proliferation threatens us all. Are we prepared to ensure that
Security Council decisions will be implemented fully? Will we act to
halt activities that have no reasonable purpose other than the
acquisition of nuclear weapons?
These are some of the tests the whole world must face. And there are
other challenges internal to this organization.
Will the new Human Rights Council become a forum where human rights are
genuinely put above political manoeuvring? Or will it emulate the fate
of its failed predecessor organization?
But I must tell you, the early signals suggest that too little has
changed, that the page has not yet been turned.
And what will be done to make progress on UN management reform?
Earlier this year, Canada's New Government was given a mandate to make
our national government more accountable, to ensure taxpayers get full
value for their money, and to pursue a clear, focussed agenda that
produces tangible results.
The United Nations should accept nothing less. This organization must
become more accountable and more effective. Management reform must
continue, and at an accelerated pace.
The taxpayers of member nations, Canadians among them, make significant
financial contributions to this organization. They have the right to
expect stronger, more independent oversight mechanisms, more robust
accountability for how funds are spent, and human resources practices
that are based on merit.
I have just described the tests by which this organization will be
Canada wants this to be a positive judgment.
We were there when the United Nations was founded. Like the other
countries, we were motivated by a pressing need to establish a new
international consensus in a world devastated by war.
And like the others, we were motivated by our own pragmatic interests
and noble aspirations for all of humanity.
More than 60 years later, the formula remains the same.
The challenge has always been to bring nations together to build a
better world by forging consensus on common purposes, and by finding the
political will to translate these into action.
When these goals have been achieved, Canada has always been with you -
through the war against fascism, the Cold War, dozens of UN-sponsored
peacekeeping missions, and more recent multinational military
engagements in the Balkans and the Persian Gulf.
Today, Afghanistan leads the list of challenges that we face
collectively - peace-building in a nation where there is not yet peace,
and where progress requires a wide range of capabilities undertaken by a
wide array of our member-states.
My earnest hope is that we will say with pride to future generations of
leaders: we, the United Nations, took up that responsibility in
Afghanistan, rose to the challenge, and met it firmly, collectively,
In this endeavour, as with the others I have outlined, Canada will be
there with you at every step along the way.
This is what passes for "analysis" in Washington, DC
Be afraid; be very afraid (Ignorant Comment of the Day).
The lack of government oversight in the securities world
At Angry in the Great White North, there is an analysis of Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB), the entitiy that sets standards for audit firms. Sounds dry, I know. But it is actually a story of how a group of quasi-governmental bodies with only the minimal oversight of the provincial governments can act with near impunity. The bodies, the provincial securities commissions, have created a cartel of sorts, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), to set these national rules. There are no legislative acts to give these new bodies, the CSA and the CPAB, the specific statutory power to do these things. All there is in Ontario, for example, is the Securities Act, which says that the Ontario Securities Commission can set the rules, and submit them to be be signed off on by the minister in charge (normally the finance minister, but because of Greg Sorbara's legal troubles with the OSC, the OSC reports to the Minister of Government Services, Gerry Phillips). The minister has 75 days to sign off on it or reject it. The rule is not presented to the legislature, not evaulated by a legislative committee, or even debated in cabinet. But it does have the force of law. If the Minister doesn't sign off, the rule becomes permanent by default.
Nice eh? Nothing like a state within a state.
Does it matter? The CPAB has ruled that Certified General Accountants cannot audit publicly traded firms. CGA-Canada is not pleased. But because this is the case of a private entity, the CPAB, setting public rules instead of a legislature body making law, CGA-Canada has to go take the CPAB court instead of working for amendments with elected parliamentarians.
Is there a better way to do this? In the US, in the aftermath of Enron and other auditing failures, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was created to set standards for audit firms. The PCAOB was the model for the CPAB, which was created a year later. The huge difference is that the PCAOB was created by an act of Congress, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
The CPAB, on the other hand, was created by rule 52-108, drafted behind closed doors by the CSA, and signed off by a minister in the privacy of his office. Instant law without all that messy debate to slow things down.
Welfare Benefits Increase the Incentive for Women To Become Single Mothers
Brian Ferguson cites an article that reports,
An increase of £13 a week in benefits may push up the rate of single motherhood by 2%, according to an EU-wide study that suggests a direct link between the welfare system and the number of lone-parent families.
We all know that people respond to incentives; the only question is how much? This report helps provide an answer.
Brian Ferguson's conclusion is,
[I]n designing policies aimed at helping single mothers we have to recognize that there will be a supply response (isn't it wonderful how economic terminology can suck all the colour out of a debate), that we have to estimate the magnitude of that response and that we have to decide whether it outweighs the benefits of the policy we have in mind. Adopting a policy on the assumption that there will be no supply response at all is to belong to the head-in-the-sand school of social policy making, and invariably results in our making bad policy decisions.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Ahmadinejad at UN
While president Bush had a very good message for the Iranian people at UN, the infamous president of Islamic regime attacked the entire civilized world and said that his regime can't care about the various UN backed resolutions on its nuke programs.
I wrote some thing on it as part of my reaction to Iammadinjihad's speech at UN general assembly. Believe it or not, Ahmadinejad and Mullahcracy of Iran are Hitlers of our time. And now imagine this rogue regime with a nuclear weapon threatening and blackmailing the world.
Islamic regime of Iran has to be stopped one way or another...
"Traditional Muslim behaviour" PersecutedSaudis are still complaining about the "intimidation and harassment" they experience in the U.S., but Homaidan Al-Turki takes his complaint a little further in this article in the Arab News:
Al-Turki, 37, said that US authorities were persecuting him for “traditional Muslim behaviors”. He blamed anti-Muslim prejudice...And what behaviour and persecution would he be talking about?
On Aug. 31, a Colorado court sentenced Al-Turki to 27 years in prison for sexually assaulting his maid, forcibly imprisoning her and not paying her wages...Oh. Of course he denies it all.
Susan Riley ends a fine column (subscribers only) about the RCMP's disgraceful handling of the Maher Arar affair with this maddening cliché:
…we have responsibility as journalists not to trade in whispers, and as citizens not to believe everything we are told. And… to let Arar know how sorry we are.
The idea that citizens should apologize or take responsibility for the incompetence of their governments is bad enough, especially considering the pains governments have taken to alienate themselves from their constituents. Now that John Q. Canadian risks prosecution by smoking in a private club or buckling his kids up without booster seats, he is less likely than ever to picture himself in the same ven diagram as his governments. I wonder how many people in line at the Passport Office or at their local Ministry of Transportation would apologize for what the RCMP did.
But worse, there's something very patronizing about the idea of seeing Arar on the street and apologizing to him: "Sorry about what Canada did to you, old boy. Chin up!" He's Canadian. In failing Maher Arar the Canadian government and the RCMP failed us all, and that's a far greater sort of kinship than could be conveyed with an insincere apology.
(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)
Discontent with Jack Layton's personality cult
Remember the New Politics Initiative, founded back in 2001?
The New Politics Initiative (or NPI) was a faction of Canada's New Democratic Party. It was generally viewed to be further left then Alexa McDonough's leadership, but not as far left as the Socialist Caucus.
The NPI folded in 2004, but not before counting such NDP luminaries as Libby Davis, Svend Robinson, and Judy Rebick as members. What of current leader, Jack Layton?
When Jack Layton won the NDP leadership in January 2003, it was taken as a victory by the NPI, with whom Jack Layton had sympathized, but never joined. Key NPI leaders such as Robinson, Davies and Rebick supported Layton's campaign for leader. During the 2004 federal election, Layton adopted unequivocally left-wing policies; accordingly, since Layton took over the reins of the party, the NPI became less vocal and formally dissolved in early 2004.
Another important NPI figure was Corvin Russell:
So what does Corvin Russell think of Jack Layton, the NPI's "victory"? Here is Russell's report from the NDP convention:
Like a jovial, latter-day Lenin, a giant Jack Layton stares at me from a banner hanging over the front doors of the Quebec City Convention Centre, where NDP activists are gathering for their convention. Layton's image and name are ubiquitous here, at the first biennial party convention in nearly four years. The cover of the convention guide features five photos: four of Layton, and one of a woman holding a “Jack Layton” sign. Above the registration desk, Layton's name dwarfs the party's.
The attempt to create a personality cult around Layton is faintly creepy and exhausting. Not least because Layton's substance and style can't support the hype. One delegate describes Layton appearing at a meeting of farmers in Saskatchewan wearing a plaid shirt and wranglers. Layton seems to want to fit in and be liked wherever he goes — a dangerous flaw in a politician. What's missing in Layton is a clear sense of where his bedrock is.
Personality cults? Comparisons to Lenin? Creepy?
Read the whole piece. It depicts a convention that was utterly devoid of grassroots democracy. Instead it was all a party show, starring Jack Layton, put on for a carefully managed press corps.
I wonder just how deep the discontent with Jack Layton runs.
One clue. This piece was published at rabble.ca, the radical website run by former leading NPI figure Judy Rebick.
[Expanded post at Angry in the Great White North]
Did Bob Rae see the light - is he now truly a power hungry globalist?
This transcript from the Bill Good Show in Vancouer, BC. You judge. And pass along to your Dipper friends:
September 18, 2006
Bill Good: We begin with Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae who’s in Vancouver today.
Bob Rae: Good morning, Bill. How are you?
Good: I’m well. How are you?
Good: Why do you want the job?
Rae: Not only because I’m a glutton for punishment but also I guess it sound corny but I really believe in the country and I believe in public service. I think the Liberal Party has got values and an overall approach to life that’s closest to where I think most people are in the country. I think I’ve got some leadership skills and abilities that will be helpful to the party, and I’m very much looking forward to the challenge.
It’s a good campaign. It’s a very open campaign. I don’t think you can take anything for granted at this point. We’re still nine candidates in the field. So we’ll just see what happens.
Good: Why the Liberal Party? Why didn’t you challenge Jack Layton and try to lead the NDP, the party you led in Ontario?
Rae: Well, because I left the NDP in the late nineties, and I concluded that it really was and is a party of protests and not a party of power, that it’s fundamentally a party that prefers to be on the margins of things. That’s where its activists are, frankly, happiest, I think.
Also, I don’t think they really understood, or they don’t get the economy. I concluded after my time in office that it was very, very tough to convince a whole section of the party that the market was a great thing and it was something to be celebrated and it was not something to run away from and that we had to recognize that the world had changed all around us and globalization was here to stay.
I find that resistance to those ideas is still pretty strong in the NDP when you actually look at it. I mean the resistance to any tax cuts, the resistance to any…the way in which they look at business with a sort of sceptical eye all the time, the assumption that business is bad and government is good and private is bad and public is good. That still lies pretty deep in a lot of sections of the NDP and I frankly just decided that I wasn’t going to spend my life inside trying to fight that — that I was really fundamentally going to be happier in another political party.
Good: In fact, wasn’t it those activists who brought you down when you tried to tackle the economy, when you understood that you had issues, that you were in a recession and that you had to challenge the unions.
Rae: There was a lot of resistance in the party to what we felt we had to do to deal with the recession and its impact on the province and on public finances in the early nineties. Sure, that’s true. And when I was in government I think there were a lot of people who came with me and there were some people who didn’t, and then when the government was defeated I think there was almost like a collective sigh of relief in the NDP in Ontario, saying: well, thank God that’s over. Now we can go back to our old ways and to opposing whatever comes along and to just sticking with our own tidy little knitting over on the left hand side of the spectrum, and that’s not really where I think a big party needs to be. A party needs to be close to the centre and try to talk to all people and that, I guess, in my case is the Liberal Party of Canada.
Our Guys vs. The Bad Guys
You want to know if our soldiers are effective? Have they got what it takes?
"The Taliban "suffered a tactical defeat in the area where they chose to stand and fight" and got "a very powerful message … that they have no chance of winning militarily," he (US Gen. James L. Jones) told reporters at the Pentagon."
NATO estimates that "somewhere in the neighbourhood of around 1,000" Taliban fighters were killed, and the number could be higher, he said. "If you said 1,500 it wouldn't surprise me."
He said he thought there were 3,000 to 4,000 regular Taliban fighters before Operation Medusa. In response to a question, he agreed that he was saying that one-third to one-half of them may have been killed.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend who didn't know why we were in Afghanistan. He was also concerned with whether or not our troops were adequately trained for this mission.
Once I explained to him that we needed to be there, and that our guys were not "peacekeepers" but soldiers and that they were some of the best in the world, he started to understand. This item in the CBC should help convince him.
The Taliban are reduced to driving bikes with bombs into crowds of children. With the support of Canadians back home, our soldiers will win this war and bring democracy to a part of the world where only criminals have reigned for so many years.
And many years from now, these Canadian soldiers will be celebrated and remembered as heroes and liberators in Afghanistan, not unlike today in Holland and other parts of Europe where our soldiers are still remembered for the sacrifices they made 60 years ago.
As always, God bless the men and women of our armed forces.
Did I miss something?
From what I can tell, any discussion of the recent New Brunswick election was focused on two things: 1) Lord lost (in seats), or 2) Lord didn't really lose (in actual votes). What I haven't seen anyone notice is that the New Brunswick Liberal party managed to defeat Lord by campaigning on lower taxes. Are Grits nationwide willing to learn the lesson from their New Brunswick cousins: namely that even in Atlantic Canada, bigger government is not a winning issue?
American weakness on Iran: word's getting around
The Washington Post - the ultimate in estbalishment MSM south of the 49th - has noticed the changing wind (fourth item).