The Shotgun Blog
Friday, November 30, 2007
Time To Bomb Iran
MacLeans magazine discusses the possibility of bombing the Iranian regime's nuclear facilities.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Iran's Taliban Connection
German deputy interior minister believes that the Iranian regime's talking to Taliban. And Taliban is the prime force that is responsible for killing coalition (mostly Canadian) soldiers in southern Afghanistan:
"I believe that the Iranians have an influence on the situation in Afghanistan, above all in the border regions," he said."
That's the same regime that is currently killing American, Canadian and other coalition troops in Iraq & Afghanistan and yet western countries think they could negotiate with the mullahs over almost any thing.
"Hanning said he believed the Iranians were smuggling weapons into Afghanistan, where some 3,000 German soldiers are deployed in NATO peacekeeping operations to help rebuild the country and fend off an increasingly tough Taliban insurgency."
When will the western world realize the grave danger posed by this current regime in Tehran? Tomorrow will be late...
British Teacher Gets 15 Days
Why? Because her class named a teddy bear Mohammad.
A British teacher accused of insulting Muslims after her class called a teddy bear Mohammad was found guilty and jailed for 15 days, a defence lawyer said on Thursday.
Gillian Gibbons, 54, was ordered to be deported after she had completed her sentence.
"She was found guilty of insulting religion and the sentence is 15 days (in jail) and deportation," defence lawyer Ali Ajib said after the trial in a Khartoum courtroom, which lasted less than a day.
In London, the British Foreign Office said it was "extremely disappointed" with the verdict. "The Sudanese ambassador will be called in this evening to explain this decision," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.
Robert Boulos, head of Unity high school where Gibbons worked, said: "We are happy with the verdict. It is fair. There were a lot of political pressures and attention."
He added: "We will be very sad to lose her."
Asked what he thought of the verdict, the head of Gibbons's defence team, Kamal al-Jazouli, said: "It was not bad."
Gibbons was charged on Wednesday with insulting Islam, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs because of the toy's name. Under Sudan's penal code, she could have faced 40 lashes, a fine, or up to one year in jail.
Steffi and the Fiberals... to absolutely no one's surprise... get played... yet again .
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Why is a Member of Hillary's Campaign Asking Questions at the GOP Debate?
So, the fellow who just asked the Republican candidates about Don't Ask, Don't Tell, retired Brigader General Keith Kerr, is a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Presidency.
GOP/YouTube Debate Liveblog
I'll be commenting on the CNN GOP/YouTube Debate tonight, so far as I have anything to say.
More after the jump.
Immigration has, so far, seemingly dominated the debate. This format is terrible.
Seriously, we have - unlike in the Democratic debate - some intelligent and thoughtful people here. If you put McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, and - I suppose - Huckabee into the room and let them talk for more than thirty seconds at a time...
Congressman Ron Paul? Not quite but, I suspect, close in more ways than the most obvious.
Man, I'm sick of this lunatic. (5:36PM)
You know, the problem I have with Mitt Romney is that, listening to him, I just don't really believe him. He's just kind of... Fake. He says words I agree with, but I just don't believe him (5:37PM).
Emily Ekins - a fairly cute conservative? (5:38PM)
I hate Ron Paul and his supporters. I despise them with every fibre of my being. They are the scum of the Earth.
And I love John McCain. Man, I like that guy. He just got my support. (5:42PM)
Mitt Romney's answer to the farm subsidy question is probably the stupidest of the night. Really - they need farm subsidies in order to ensure that farm production remains up? Farm subsidies, in general, keep production down and prices up. Mitt Romney is smart enough to know that.
Or, I should say - it's the most dishonest of the night. (5:48PM)
That Tancredo video was terrible. Was it made with Windows Movie Maker? (5:50PM)
Heh. Thompson decided to let is loose. To finally take it to Huckabee and Romney, the two biggest fakes in this race. (5:53PM).
Romney's abortion position is absurd. "I was fifty-something when I spontaneously became pro-life at the exact same time I decided to run for President. It was an amazing coincidence." Come on.
Huckabee's response - meh. If he wins Iowa, his fiscal record will sink him. Most Republicans aren't stupid enough to nominate a fiscal liberal who's a cipher on foreign policy just because he can quote the Bible real pretty. (5:55PM)
re: Tyler Overman - shut up and go away.
I'd add further that Mike Huckabe''s description of enacting the death penalty as the hardest thing that he ever had to do shows that he's morally unfit to be President. (6:15PM)
That Romney answer on the Bible was terrible. If I were Huckabee, I'd pull it and run it in an ad. (6:18PM).
Yasmin? In a headscarf? Screw off. I wonder if they had Hans from Dusseldorf asking questions in 1944 about how the war against Hitlerism had offendd the German people. And, seriously. She, how shall I say, doesn't look like a born Moslem.
Alas, there's no one on the stage who will tell the whole truth about what it's going to take to defeat the Islamists. (6:27PM)
Alas, here's the one thing which keeps me from being 110% in support of McCain. There's no measure against these enemies which is too severe and ought to be refrained from. If it takes torture, so be it. If we need a Hiroshima to bring these people down, Deus lo volt. (6:29PM)
McCain speaks eloquently. But he can't be unbiased on this issue, so I don't blame him.
In any case, there are a number of issues so far as torture is concerned - it's not just a matter of whether or not it gets effective information, thre's also the fact that it serves, how shall we say, as a psychological weapon against the enemy, even when it can't be used to extract anything useful (6:34PM)
Ron Paul looks like he's going to have a stroke, ranting and raving. Oh, for a just God.
I wish that all of the candidates would instruct their supporters to simply drown out Ron Paul with a sea of boos all the time. I hate that man and all of the people who support him so much. (6:37PM)
Mitt Romney: I was wrong about everything before, and I'll ask other people what to think later. (6:50PM)
Allies at work
A very interesting story for the military enthusiasts and defense observers:
"Canadian CF - 18 fighter jets helped plug a hole in U.S. air defences for almost two weeks this month after American jets were grounded as part of a crash investigation."
Political Correctness Has Replaced Common Sense
What is happening to this country? Insane decisions can be found everywhere, completely void of any common sense, and all in the name of political correctness.
Sorrill, an ordained United Church minister, has personalized licence plates that read “REV JO.” But after almost 20 years, the Ministry of Transportation is revoking them over fears they encourage dangerous driving.
“I am more than upset. I am enraged,” says the Whitby resident, who received a letter from the ministry Monday ordering her to turn the plates in. “This is political correctness to the extreme.”
Her displeasure was doubled when a ministry employee later told her on the phone that her revised idea for a plate, REVRNDJO, was also unsuitable, saying the ministry wanted to avoid any sign of bias toward Christianity over other religions.
Read the rest of the article here.
Cross-posted at www.exactlyright.ca.
The French Intifada: A Whiff of Grapeshot
Back in 2005, during the last wave of rioting in France, I predicted that although those disorders would eventually subside that without further action on the part of the government of France they would simply mark the beginning of a clear process of violence followed by concession followed by violence followed by either civil war or surrender. Those who fail to see the Jihadist element in all of this are blind. It might well be that these “Youths”, as the media insist upon calling them, are motivated by economic conditions and by the general liking of many young for mayhem. But it is equally clear that in France today, as we saw in Israel twenty years ago, there has been a clear and progressive escalation of both rhetoric and violence – a movement which, if allowed to proceed unchecked, can only lead to ultimate disaster.
Two years ago (using the pretext, as they are today, of the timely death of a pair of young criminals) the Franco-Islamic street rose in scenes reminiscent of the first stages of the Palestinian intifada nearly two decades before. Rock throwing. Vandalism. The occasional Molotov cocktail. Burned-out cars.
How did the authorities respond to this? As befits cowards, they took their knees and degraded themselves before the criminals. They offered jobs, money, aid – everything. Violence, both its actuality and the threat of greater violence, brought rewards to the budding Jihadists of Paris. Is it any surprise then that, on a similarly flimsy pretext, the violence should erupt anew?
Of course, I am heartless to suggest that the deaths of the two joy-riding criminals which sparked this (in addition to those sparks which set off the last conflagration) are a welcome event. You bleed for those people if you want – but facts are facts and criminals are criminals. Some will blame the French police for failing to aid the young scum when they struck them with their car – but to do so fails to consider the obvious fact that the officers in question were operating within what has become, in effect, a hostile state within the heart of France – and would almost certainly have been attacked and quite possibly killed had they left their car.
Now, though, it seems to be much worse than before. They’re shooting at the police this time. They’re targeting them for death. And how does the French political class respond to this outrage? The Socialists attack their own government, for failing to sufficiently prostrate themselves before the criminal element. What passes for the French “right” cowers and works hard not to offend anyone.
What would General Bonaparte think of what has become of his country?
The course of events is blazingly clear. The last time these riots came, Moslems made up roughly 10% of the French population or six million of sixty. With a low French birthrate, a high Moslem one, and continued immigration – both legal and illegal – who knows what it is now. Perhaps six and a half. Perhaps seven. And what shall it be in ten or twenty years when I, dear reader, am in early middle age and you, however old you are, are probably still here? The crisis is already here – but it is Armageddon that is drawing near.
I mentioned earlier that they are now shooting at the police. At least four police officers have actually been shot. Perhaps more by the time you read this. Over one hundred have been injured. And yet the riots go on. Troops have not been sent in to quell them. The police have not returned fire, even in self-defense.
I am certain that some – perhaps those Canadians so exercised about the recent Taser-related death of a Polish man – will be quick to praise the French police as a model of restraint. But I damn their leaders – those who send men to be injured and deny them the means of self-protection – as cowards. The know that the evil force in their midst must be resisted, but they lack the courage to do so. The enervated state of the French state precludes the use of any strong or effective measure against what, in effect, is a civic revolt.
What do you get when you have?:
1) An Islamic population which is growing, both in real terms and as a percentage of the population, each year.
2) Riots which are growing progressively more violent and beginning to take on the character of a guerrilla war.
3) A civic establishment too exhausted and too cowardly to confront the threat?
Disaster is the answer.
I cannot, at the present time, project the exact course of events. But once we have established the underlying course, we can make some reasonable assumptions.
As the violence increases – and as the French state is progressively paralyzed by this and other factors – those with talent or money will flee abroad. In my own youth, I knew a large number of white South African émigrés. In ten or twenty years, children will be growing up alongside those of many recent Western European immigrants.
Though the French state may be passive and weak in the face of this danger, the same cannot be said for all of the people of France. Some – some motivated by hatred, some by love of their country, some by some mix of each – will not yield France to their opponents. They will fight back with whatever weapons and by whatever means they can.
Neither will all elements of the French establishment yield. There is a reason why this is already the Fifth Republic. Little about French government in the last two centuries has been permanent. Perhaps, given the chance, some General will decide to make the transition from Fifth Republic to Third Empire.
Civil War? Islamic conquest? Military coup? We cannot say now what is in the future of France if events are allowed to proceed unchecked. We can only say that it will be evil that befalls that great nation if it fails to act swiftly.
Rioters do not understand words. They will respond to concessions – appeasement – with only future riots. In any case, the point for negotiations and compromise has long since passed – these rioters are irreconcilable with the West. The only thing that will wake them up is a whiff of grapeshot.
And, after that? Well, we know the answer. The world is not a single big happy place. Everyone cannot live together in peace and harmony. The West’s choice to discard integration in favour of multiculturalism must now be acknowledged for the utter disaster that it is. Those who fail to adopt Western –be they French, English, American, Canadian, Australian – norms ought to be repatriated. Voluntarily if possible – otherwise otherwise.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Another Iran Whitewash
"Iran’s supreme court has ordered a new investigation into the 2003 death of Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi, but her son and his lawyer are greeting the news with skepticism."
Who are the mullahs going to fool?
In other CBC news...
Casey and Finnegan have been spotted visiting a prominent Bay St. law firm.
Armed "youths" are waging Intifada and Jihad in the streets of Paris, France:
"More than 80 police officers were injured in pitched battles with youths - some armed with hunting rifles - as housing estates around Paris erupted into violence for a second night running."
Monday, November 26, 2007
Judicial Arrogance: Gomery Whines about Mandatory Minimums
The man who Paul Martin hand-picked to bring down his own government, Justice John Gomery, has chosen to become the voice of the Judiciary in Canada against PM Stephen Harper's new crime bill. Officially retired since August, Gomery obviously feels free to speak his mind - and, in his opinion, the mind of most of Canada's judges - regarding the increased use of mandatory minimum sentences in Conservative legislation. From Richard Foot, CanWest News Service, "Judges resent 'implied criticism' of minimum sentences: Gomery" :
"This legislation basically shows a mistrust of the judiciary to impose proper sentences when people come before them," says Gomery.
Yes, sir, that would be correct. Judges have been shown time-and-time-again to go out of their way to avoid penalizing criminals - particularly the louses involved in the despicable Restorative Justice movement.
"Judges view this kind of legislation as a slap in the face."
And a well-deserved one, at that.
Gomery, who retired from the Quebec Superior Court after wrapping up the sponsorship inquiry in 2006, says judges are unhappy about this and other legislation that suggest a failure on their part to impose proper sentences. "Judges find that it's an implied criticism when Parliament imposes mandatory sentences," Gomery says. "It leaves the impression that judges aren't using their discretion wisely or in accordance with the wishes of the legislature. And judges are resentful about that."
How, exactly, does a man with such a weak grasp of elementary logic become a respected Judge? Sir: laws are made by the legislature. Judges must implement those laws. If judges won't implement those laws by applying reasonable penalties, then they are deliberately undermining the legislature, so the legislature MUST mandate specific sentences. But wait...a speck of logic creeps in...
Gomery admits that mandatory sentences will relieve judges from what he calls the "agonizing" task of choosing an appropriate sentence. "Most judges who sit on criminal matters would say sentencing is the hardest part of their job," he says. "But if Parliament has said, 'You've got to give this guy five years,' then you shrug your shoulders and obey the law and sentence them, even if you feel it's unnecessarily harsh.
Now we've gotten somewhere. Way to go, Gomery, you're absolutely right! IT'S NOT FOR YOU TO DECIDE WHETHER A LEGISLATED PENALTY IS TOO HARSH! Congratulations, John. Uh oh...he concludes:
"Still, my own personal view is that it's a mistake to take away discretion from judges," says Gomery.
In other words: Judges know it's wrong, but they still want to retain the right to override legislation at their every whim.
Liberalism leads to poverty?!?
What's going on? All I hear here and there is that Liberals have made us poorer over the years and I'm really surprised. I basically thought Liberalism/Socialism could lead us to more prosperity and wealth. Seems those who wanted us to believe so were wrong again. A new report appeared today says that one in three Toronto families lives in poverty:
"Almost one in three families in Toronto is living in poverty, a "deeply troubling" statistic that makes the city the poverty capital of Canada, according to a new report."
Good to remember that the province of Ontario and specifically the city of Toronto have been run by the Liberals for a long long time.
This is What We Have to Deal With
From the Daily Times: Taliban burn aid agency food: officials
Local Taliban militants seized and burned thousands of kilogrammes of food destined for pregnant women from a hospital in South Waziristan, officials said on Sunday.
The food, mainly lentils and cooking oil, had been supplied by the aid charity Save the Children to feed pregnant women suffering from malnutrition.
Originally posted at Ranting Owl
What's left now?
There must be something in the air. The two previous blogs below, on the Australian election and on the failure of Canadian socialism, suggest that the political Left bears increasing scrutiny.
Coincidentally, this is exactly what my current Face to Face debate column in the Tri-City News attempts to do. Here's unrepentant leftie Mary Woo Sims' offering, and here is mine. Interestingly, we both seem to agree that the NDP can't win as true lefties. But, while Mary Woo celebrates the "third way", I advance a harsher analysis.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Canadian Socialism: Failing the Sick and Poor
"Once a proud supporter of Canada’s social safety net, Heather Cook now wouldn’t mind seeing a little more free-market competition in her country. Maybe then she wouldn’t have to wait over a year to take her son to the doctor’s office."
Australia Election: Howard Behind
The exit polls have got John Howard down. Now the results are coming in. We'll see.
For some reason, the words of Edward Gibbon come to mind:
Under a democratical government the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abused, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.
According to those same exit polls, 8% of Australians voted with "Climate Change" as the top issue. Good God almighty. For our fate to be entrusted to people such as this.
I'm going to liveblog this, at least for a few hours. Watch after the jump.
The actual numbers look slightly better than the exits. I don't know. It's worth recalling that the Coalition won with 49% of the vote in 1998. (11:55PM PST).
Right now there are eighty-one of one hundred and fifty seats with projected winners, according to ABC. To date, they're recording roughtly a 4.5% swing to Labor. They've got five projected seats swinging towards Labor, to date. They need sixteen to win. If the present trend holds, the Liberals might still have a chance. On Sky (live video here) they say that if Labor doesn't sweep New South Wales, it might come down to Western Australia. (12:14AM PST)
91 of 150 sets called so far. Labor with a pick-up of seven. They need a gain of an extra nine at this point, in the remaining fifty-nine seats (or a switch of those called). I think that it's going to be pretty close from the look of it. (12:26 PST).
It looks like it's going to come down to Queensland and Western Australia. (12:34AM)
62-44, with forty-four seats left to call. Labor needs a pick-up of at least four (and they need to keep all of their own seats) in what's left to win. (12:44AM).
Howard seems to have lost his own seat. 108 seats called. Labor with a pick-up of eleven. They need a pick-up of five in the remaining forty-two, assuming everything else holds. It's interesting because, what's left - above all else Western Australia - seems to be an Australian Alberta. If it defies the national trend...
Looking at this, it might come down to one or two seats. I don't think this is going to be decided tonight. There's still postal votes, too. One wonders what happens in a tie. (12:54AM)
Well, I'm going to bed. It doesn't look too great. A very narrow Labor win. Two or three seats, would be my guess. Depending, I suppose, upon the post vote.
Though, Howard seems to be closing.
Damnit. Man, I hate peope. Good night. (1:15AM).
Friday, November 23, 2007
Schreiber requests a few days to get his story straight . . .
. . . sources have told The Canadian Press that Mr. Schreiber has asked for two or three days to review documents he has tucked away at his Ottawa home.
Mr. Schreiber is currently in detention at a Toronto jail as he awaits possible extradition to Germany, where he faces bribery, fraud and tax-evasion charges.
Mr. Schreiber's lawyer Edward Greenspan has also requested information on the hearings, said Liberal MP Paul Szabo, chairman of the ethics committee.
“I did get a faxed letter from Mr. Greenspan asking a couple of questions,” he said.
Granting Mr. Schreiber time to review his papers is not outside the realm of possibilities, said Mr. Szabo.
“That's not an unreasonable request that he have the time,” he said.
--Canadian Press, at the Globe and Mail's website
Lawyer Steven Skurka just observed on "Mike Duffy Live" that we do not have a tradition in Canada of allowing witnesses to dictate the terms of their testimony. (Replay at 8:00 Eastern Time)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
If this is a priority for the Dion liberals...
I'd hate to see the stuff at the bottom of their list.
-- OTTAWA -- Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has written to the governor of Montana asking him to commute the death sentence of a convicted murderer from Canada.
"Afghanistan effectively snubbed Canada in United Nations votes affecting a Canadian-led censure of Iran's human rights record."
Should we be surprised?
My favourite socialist
I disagree with most things Ujjal Dosanjh has to say. The former NDP premier of British Columbia, now Liberal critic for Public Safety, is on the far-left side of his party.
But every time I see Dosanjh, a Sikh himself, speak up against Sikh extremism, as he did again this week, I am deeply impressed. Grateful, actually. In 1985, he was nearly beaten to death for his opposition to Sikh violence, but continues to speak out, despite ongoing threats against him. Too many other politicians, especially non-Sikhs, turn a blind eye to this extremism in their hunt for votes. Here's Terry Milewski's outstanding report on the subject, perhaps the bravest act by a Canadian journalist this year.
I wish that more of Canada's Muslim leaders, including Muslim MPs, would take a similarly courageous stand against violent and extremist segments of their community. As Dosanjh shows, a moderate Sikh can be politically successful in Canada.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Equalization on Steroids!
Canadian big city mayors like David Miller and Hazel McCallion are united in their cries to grab a piece of the federal GST. They see an opportunity to receive more cash for local needs, while not having to personally endure the political fallout from raising local taxes or trimming their wasteful spending.
For now, the mayors appear united in solidarity in their quest for more cash, trying to sound like crusaders standing up for local residents. They’re motivated by the greed to get more money, and by the desire to look like local heroes standing up for their city, going into battle with those ‘evil Conservatives’ in Ottawa. Unfortunately, it’s those same motives that will create a very different picture if the cities are successful in taking a share of the federal GST.
Now let’s just suppose for a moment that the federal government eventually agreed to offer the 1% share that mayors are asking for. How will that money be allocated to the cities? There are perhaps as many different ideas for allocation methods, as there are Canadian cities to receive the cash.
Do you recall the drama of our 13 Premiers, a group who can’t seem to agree on what to have for lunch, bickering like little children over Provincial equalization formulas? The arguments have gone on for decades. The players have changed over the years, but through it all, nobody is ever happy, and they’re all very vocal about it.
Well… You ain’t heard nothin’ yet, folks!
Once the money has been set aside for the cities, the mayoral gloves will come off. Suddenly, it will be each city mayor trying to get the most for themselves.
Mayors of the larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver will go it alone against Ottawa. But there will be strategic alliances formed. Smaller towns and cities will realize they need to band together to boost their bargaining power to get their messages heard. However, those bargaining alliances certainly won’t prevent fighting from within over the allocation between the local towns.
One faction will say the money should be allocated based on population. Another will argue for a share of the GST collected from commerce within the city. Another will say the money should be distributed based on need and the so-called ‘infrastructure deficit’. Toronto may even argue that they’re ‘special’, and should therefore receive an additional share because of what they do for Canada!
Large cities may argue that rural areas don’t need a share because they don’t have much infrastructure to finance. Rural areas will argue they need the money more than cities, because they don’t have a large a population base to pay for the services they already provide.
It doesn’t matter what system is proposed, the complaints will be loud and constant. If you thought provincial equalization was an ugly mess with only 13 bickering children, just imagine what municipal equalization discussions can do. I get a headache just thinking about it, and so will any federal finance minister who attempts it!
Cross-posted at www.exactlyright.ca.
Iranian regime is mad at Canada
A Canadian led UN panel on human rights condemned the Islamic Republic of Iran for its terrible rights records. And the crazy mullahs are very mad at Canada and I was told that the Islamic regime has put up an aggressive anti-Canadian propaganda campaign inside of Iran. I think Canadian government must better look out and I am hoping that Iranian regime doesn't inflict any serious harm upon the Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan
MSM Can't Hide It
Biased BBC News can't hide the good news from Iraq any more:
"An estimated 1,000 people a day are returning across Iraq's borders having previously moving abroad to escape the violence, Iraqi authorities say."
Iraq is a better place now thanks to the blood and sweat shed by the brave American soldiers. This is good news and the defeatists of the world can't spin or hide the facts now.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A Pixelated Lynching
The absurdity of much of the media and the general public’s response to the Robert Dziekanski affair defines reasoned explanation. One Facebook group calling for action to be taken against the RCMP members involved in the death has close to eight thousand members. The incident – more than a month old now –has been on the front page of virtually every paper every single day since the video of the incident was released. On Saturday, the National Post devoted fully ten – count them, ten – pages of coverage to it. Rather, I should say, at least ten. I stopped counting at that point. For all I know, there could have been a whole supplemental section devoted to the matter. The Globe and Mail went so far as to describe the death as an “execution” - a judgement which has been echoed in print and pixels across the land. Has everyone lost their minds?
It is often repeated that this death raises “troubling questions.” And so it does. However, I put it to you that the questions which should be asked are not those which are being asked – or are those which are likely to be asked by any wastefully expensive public inquiry into the matter.
An inquiry seems likely to focus upon the Taser itself and, more broadly, to lambast the RCMP for its glaring failure to greet a violently out-of-control man who they were summoned to subdue with milk and cookies. It appears appalling possible to me that the RCMP members involved might well, either by their superiors or by senior politicians, be thrown under the bus to satisfy public bloodlust on some pathetic technicality.
That’s a serious possibility here. It’s worth recalling, to pick one example, that when Sergeant Ken Deane, responding to a violent Indian protest at Ipperwash in Ontario, shot and killed a man who he believed to be carrying a rifle – a necessary and entirely defensible act – his superiors and the government of Ontario shamefully allowed him to be tried and convicted for criminal negligence causing death. Similarly, we should also remember that in the case of Rodney King – another case where video distorted the public mind – the officers involved were not only disgracefully put on trial for subduing a violent criminal who was high on drugs but then, when a jury correctly acquitted them, were further victimized by a vindictive Federal prosecution whose sole purpose was to satiate the appetites of the unwashed and illiterate masses.
It’s easy to see how these events will play out. The force members involved are marked. The only way to satisfy public anger will be to find something to stick against them. It won’t be murder or manslaughter. Instead, someone will find some minor charge to throw at them or some of them in order to satisfy the public. And that’s a travesty.
So far as the RCMP members are concerned, what happened here?
We know the sequence of events. This man was, for whatever reason, obviously unstable and violently out of control. Airport security declined to deal with him an instead the RCMP were summoned to the scene. When the RCMP arrived, their job wasn’t to attempt to talk sense into a deranged man who they knew not to speak English. Their job was to subdue him. When he resisted their lawful efforts to do so and reached for a weapon – a blunt object which, if used to strike could well have killed or injured one of the force members involved – they used what force they had at hand to subdue him and end the threat he posed. I fail to see what exactly they are supposed to have done wrong here.
The police aren’t social workers. They aren’t there to talk out-of-control people into being nice. When the police are called and a person is violently out of control, it is the job of the police to bring that person under control. Nothing more and nothing less. They did that job and, unfortunately, Mr. Dziekanski died as a result. Yes, it’s sad that a human life was lost – but the blame for that rests upon the person whose violent and dangerous actions forced the RCMP to use force against him. If I go running through the streets with a replica rifle shouting threats at the general public, the RCMP would shoot me – and rightly so. Their job is to, within a split second, respond to threats – not to wait until harm comes to themselves or others and then act.
The RCMP members involved in this incident were doing their jobs. They were defending the public. I don’t believe they deserve to be condemned for that. I will have no part in an ill-informed pixelated lynching of the sort we now see taking place before us.
Yet still, some troubling questions do linger – and ought to be addressed.
Primarily: why was someone with the background and skills of Mr. Dziekanski being allowed into Canada in the first place? How exactly did we come to have an immigration policy wherein we would allow an unemployed (and quite possibly close to unemployable) man in his early forties – a man who didn’t speak a word of English and had a criminal record – come to Canada to live with his sixty-something mother? That’s an outrage worth holding an inquiry over. No wonder my taxes are so high.
Second: I, for one, would like to know what kind of airport security we have in place if this deranged man was allowed to roam about for eight hours unnoticed and unmolested by police or security? The last time I came across the border I was harassed and aggressively bothered by the border services agency over my iPhone. How did a man who didn’t speak a word of English and was apparently in a highly agitated state for some period of time manage to clear customs and then fail to attract the attention of anyone in a position of authority for such a prolonged period of time?
Third: is the horrible abuse suffered by the RCMP members involved – and the police as a whole –as a result of inflammatory media coverage of this incident likely to make the police less aggressive and therefore less able to defend myself and the rest of the general public?
Those are some questions worth asking – but which, regrettably, will be ignored and swept aside in the rush to find someone for the public to blame.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Canada's Beijing diplomats do their best State Department impersonation
Those of us who live and vote south of the 49th parallel are quite familiar with our diplomats deliberately undermining the policies of the president elected by the American people. It appears such betrayal is alive and well north of the border, too (read more here).
“Why Sangisar?”, Major Moffet said. “It was a node for the Taliban."
Hungry for solutions
We're a long way from solving the world-hunger problem, and even the most perceptive analyst will have difficulty providing solutions in a 375-word column.
Neverthess, my regular debating partner, Mary Woo Sims, and I tackled the world-hunger issue in our latest Face to Face column in the Tri-City News. Mary Woo's take on the issue seems to centre on her belief that some sort of massive pan-governmental mobilization needs to take place to solve the problem. My analysis, on the other hand, sees government policy as the problem (from starvation caused by collectivism to trade barriers enacted by protectionist leaders).
Significantly, though, neither of us advances the deep-green, Malthusian idea that the world is over-populated and is incapable of producing enough food for all humanity.
Jean Landry, the In-and-Out Scandal, and Payback Time
The In-and-Out Scandal that was the focus of Liberal Party hysterics prior to the Karlheinz Schreiber nonsense basically had the Liberals claiming that the Conservatives had deliberately committed violations of the Elections Canada Act with regards to spending limits. The Conservatives did this by transfering money from the federal party to the local riding associations. The riding association would use that money to buy an ad from the party (the money goes in and the money goes out), the ad being essentially a national ad with the name of the local MP attached to the end. The ad spend was declared on the candidate's local return to Elections Canada, where a large portion of that cost is rebated.
Elections Canada called foul, saying the ads don't constitute "local" advertising.
I've already detailed how this seems to be a special rule for the Conservatives, since Liberal and NDP ad spends were conducted exactly in this way.
But one element to the story is the role of angry Conservative candidates. Jean Landry in particular is a Conservative candidate who did not win in 2006. Elections Canada later called Landry to inquire about the ad spend. Landry angrily talked about how he did not know what was going on, how the money just went in and out, and so forth. The media has reported that it was his reaction that got Elections Canada interested in all this.
Indeed, the press also reports the Landry has ceased to be a member of the Conservative Party and that he is willing to testify against the Conservatives.
Here's what is not being reported in the press. Despite the implication, Landry did not quit the Conservatives in disgust over questionable ad practises. That makes for a great sideline to the main story, but in fact, Landry fell victim to a party rule that says that a candidate who runs twice and loses twice can't run again (Landry also ran in the 2004 election and lost then too). Frustrated, Landry quits the party (rumour is that he is joining the Green Party, having already run in elections for the Bloc Quebecois, the Progressive Conservatives, and as an independent, in addition to his two election attempts for the Conservative Party). Elections Canada calls and Landry vents loudly and angrily. But in a letter to the Conservatives in which Landry asks for the documentation requested by Elections Canada, he mentions that he entered into the ad campaign "in good faith", suggesting that he knew what was going on and how it was organized, and that he certainly didn't have any misgivings at the time.
How much of the In-and-Out Scandal is really the by-product of a frustrated and angry perennial election candidate dishing out payback after being told that if he wants to continue with his hobby of running in elections, he would have to do it with a different party?
And shouldn't we know a bit about the potential motivations of the accusers?
You can read the letter (in French) and my translation of it, as well as some of the history of Jean Landry, at Angry in the Great White North. Hey, maybe you'll be able to read it in the main stream media too...eventually.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
So, President Bush is my Cousin...
Seriously. Well, probably.
So, I used my day off today to plug the already fairly-detailed family history that I have into Ancestry.com.
Continued after the fold, for those who find geneology mildly interesting.
Now, some of this may be off - but, really, it's not that many generations ago. And, of course, there's the question of legitimacy, but...
I'm Adam Yoshida. Hi. My mother is June Yoshida (nee McKinnon). Her father was Hector Walter McKinnnon. His mother was Gertrude McKinnon (nee Barkley). Her mother was Maria Elizabeth Forester.
The first set are well known. I knew my Grandfather. My mother knew her Grandmother.
There are census records which show that Maria Barkley was Gertude Barkley's mother and that Maria Forester married Phillip Ellijah Barkley.
Now, Maria Forester's mother was Lurenia Cowdrey. That - and her father being Daniel Forester - is reflected on Maria Barkley's death cerificate from 1933.
Now, the rest I don't have records for. But, on the other hand, it's all been entered into the database and, based on the specific nature of the dates, places, marriages - it all seems to match.
Lurenia Cowdrey's father was named George Washington Cowdrey. He was born on February 10th, 1785 in Vermont. His father was Samuel Cowdrey, who was born on May 25th, 1766. In turn, his father was Thomas Cowdrey - who was born on September 14th, 1729 in Reading, Massachusetts. In turn, Thomas Cowdrey's mother was Mehitabel Damon, who was born on November 9th 1699. He mother was Lucy Ann Emerson, who was born on October 2nd 1667. He mother was Elizabeth Bulkeley, who was born in 1638 in Massacusetts.
In turn, the father of Elizabeth Bulkeley was Edward Bulkeley, who was born in Bedfordshire, England in 1614.
In turn, Edward Bulkey's father was the Rev. Peter Bulkeley, who was born in 1583 in England.
I realize that this is getting to sound a little like one of the more-boring sections of the Bible... So, the upshot of all of this is that President George Walker Bush in my 10th Cousin, 1 times removed and President George Herbert Walker Bush is my 9th Cousin, 2 times removed.
Also, through the same connection:
1) John Hancock is my third cousin, eight times removed.
2) Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden is my eighth cousin, five times removed.
Through other family relationships - though ones I'm less certian of than the one that I've outlined above:
1) Revolutionary War hero John Parker is my second cousin (eight times removed).
2) President Taft is my sixth cousin, four times removed.
3) So is President Garfield.
4) President Fillmore is my sixth cousin, five times removed.
I'm also related to two First Ladies:
1) Frances Folsom Cleveland.
2) Grace Coolidge.
Also of note, I seem to have some poetic relations:
1) Ralph Waldo Emerson is my fourth cousin, six times removed.
2) Emily Dickinson is my seventh cousin, four times removed.
3) T.S. Eliot is my ninth cousin, two times removed.
4) Jack London is my tenth cousin, three times removed.
In the technical field, I'm distantly related to Samuel Morse, Robert H. Goddard, and Ferdinand von Zepplin. That last part might explain some stuff.
Alas, no royal bloodlines - beyond the fact that the MacKinnons (the name was changed by my Great-Great Grandfather for reasons which are lost to history) claim descent from the historical King MacBeth (alas, not much like Shakespeare's - that I could really dig).
Friday, November 16, 2007
France to step up Afghan commitment
France is going to increase its military commitments in Afghanistan.
France has around 2000 troops in Afghanistan but most of them are located in safer areas of the country near Kabul. Canada, US and UK should ask other NATO partners to agree to a rotation system through out Afghanistan.
Mounties in ruin
Maclean's magazine's excellent new cover story, "What's really killing the Mounties," makes a strong case to support the proposition that the RCMP is in ruins
Although the story seems to have been written before the Dziekanski case blew up this week (and, moreover, makes no mention of the airport Tasering death), it nevertheless serves to place into a broader context the airport Mounties' questionable actions, and in so doing helps me, at least, understand how the four officers in question could be so bereft of professionalism and humanity.
As I noted in a response to Yoshi's entry, below, writer Paul Palango told CBC radio today that he considers the RCMP to be the worst-trained police force in the country, and that the worst of the worst are routinely stationed in airport detachments.
With all this in mind, it's a wonder the RCMP didn't Taser videographer Paul Pritchard as well.
Here is a link to a cover story, on possible corruption problems within the RCMP, that I wrote in June 2005 for the Western Standard .
That's why they call it war...
And not... "Circle of Friends"
For all anyone knows, these guys are simply probing to see how close an actual bomber can get. Anybody who ignores the warnings and breaches a safety perimeter... they're dogmeat... and rightly so.
Robert Dziekanski and the RCMP
Once again, of course, we see in the case of the RCMP and Robert Dziekanski an example of how, when taken out of context, a short video can have a galvanizing effect upon public opinion. I’m not a law enforcement officers – nor have I received law enforcement training. But I do have common sense and, unlike many people, I believe that I have the ability to separate logic from emotion.
Is it a tragedy that Robert Dziekanski died? Of course it is. Should we blame the RCMP members in question for what happened? I believe that we should not.
Watch the whole YouTube video – not the short bits that have been played elsewhere. In this case, a clip without context – and without careful viewing – is meaningless.
In this case, the facts are these: the RCMP was called to respond to a case of a man who appeared to be dangerously out of control. Again, watch the whole video. The man is behaving in an extremely erratic fashion, waving what appears to be a table around and throwing items – presumably other people’s property, I might add – to the ground.
Airport security is called to respond. They quickly conclude that the situation is beyond their pay grade and call for further help.
The RCMP members arrive at the scene. They are confronted by a violent and obviously out-of-control man. When confronted by them, he remains confrontational. According to the RCMP – and there seems to be no reason to disbelieve them on this point – he initially responded and the grabbed a stapler. That’s consistent with what is seen on the video.
At that point – in that split second – the police officers made the decision to use their Tasers. Some question that decision, which is their right. But I think that, frankly, it is simply beyond dispute that – at the point the RCMP arrived and confronted the man – that the use of force to subdue him was necessary.
Now, of course, some might ask why actual physical force was not used. And, within the context of this discussion, two words should obviously be called to mind: Rodney King. The police are, quite understandably, hesitant to use their batons to administer beatings to people – even abundantly necessary beatings – for the obvious reason that someone may be filming and that fifteen out-of-context seconds might then be endlessly replayed on the news. Of course, the risk to the members involved might also be added to that mix – but I personally have little doubt that the move towards the extensive use of Tasers, pepper spray, and so forth by law enforcement is directly related to the desire to avoid the highly unphotogenic results of the traditional beating.
And anyways, based upon his actions, there is little reason to believe that a single blow would have been enough to subdue this man. Based on what I’ve seen, the only way to subdue him through the route described would have been either to wrestle him to the ground and hold him there – something which could have been equally fatal and potentially injurious to the RCMP members – or to beat him unconscious. Or perhaps both.
I’m no shill for the police. Anyone who knows me knows that. I’m not blind. I know that those who enforce the laws are merely human. As it happens, I disagree with a great number of the laws of the land and, in general, feel that the police would be better off finding other things to do than much of what they do on a day-to-day basis (I’m talking, mostly, about various forms of annoying traffic enforcement here and the like).
But, at the same time I believe that it is vitally necessary for us to defend the guardians of society when they require it. These RCMP members responded appropriately to a split-second problem that confronted them. They did their jobs. To demand that they be punished now, to salve the public conscience, is frankly obscene.
No, what blame there is to be laid here must be apportioned elsewhere.
Perhaps some rests with Customs. Maybe some with the airport. Though, I might add, that those whose knees might jerk at the airport for not being able to instantly translate this fellow’s words ought to contemplate the cost of keeping translators for every conceivable language on staff.
While we’re at it, we might also ask some other hard questions. For example – I would be curious to know why, exactly, a forty year-old man who didn’t speak a single word of English was immigrating to Canada to live with his mother. While Mr. Dziekanski may well have been a kind and good man, he doesn’t exactly seem to fit the profile of someone who would be high up the list of people this country’s economy required. Perhaps it might be that some special circumstances underlay his arrival here. But I have no knowledge of any.
I would also add that, as hard as it is for some to hear, a great deal of the blame for what happened must fall upon Mr. Dziekanski. It is taking multicultural naiveté to the absolute extreme to argue that, simply because this man found himself in a foreign airport in a frustrating situation, he was thereby excused from all norms of civilized behaviour.
We have reason to be sad when someone dies in circumstances such as these. But we should not rush to judgement against the police nor should we take leave of our own senses in an orgy of compassion.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The B.C. government announced today that it is naming the entrance to a new emergency ward and urgent care facility in Surrey in honour of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak. The door will be called the Guru Nanak Emergency Services Front Entrance.
Interesting. I wonder if we can now expect similar naming practices for other new provincial facilities located in areas of political import and ethno-religious concentrations.
One project immediately spring to mind: the Golden Ears Bridge, now being built in the Fraser Valley, which is known as the Bible Belt of B.C. Might not the bridge now more appropriately be called the Jesus Christ Crossing?
Or how about the Canada Line, which is being built under Cambie Street and, thus, runs through the heart of Vancouver's small Jewish community. Would it be too much to ask that at least one of the stations be named after the Prophet Abraham?
No Refugee Status for Deserters
As it should be. Are these men fleeing persecution? Are they afraid the government will burst into their homes and torture or summarily execute them? Will they be imprisoned for their beliefs? Is there war in their homeland? Will they be persecuted for their religious beliefs? No, they're Americans, who joined an all volunteer military. They aren't conscripts, like in Vietnam, they joined of their own free will. Like I say, if you join the military thinking you won't get sent into a conflict, you're a fool. Sounds harsh but it's true.
What Kind of War Are We Fighting, and Can We Win It?
What Kind of War Are We Fighting, and Can We Win It?
Thoughtful, provocative and intellectual answers from the Commentary Magazine editors and contributors. Highly Recommended!
L. Ron Paul's Supporters Raided by FBI
Apparently the FBI and Secret Service has raided the offices of a company which has been selling "Liberty Dollars" and, more recently, "Ron Paul Dollars" allegedly backed by (or minted in) Gold and Silver.
Why? Well, this company was minting coins and issuing paper notes claiming to be "dollars" and which, at least in the case of the coins, might easily have been taken by individuals for notes and coins issued by the Mint or the Federal Reserve.
Of course, some will claim that these actions are no different than a company issuing gift cards or the like - as has already been attempted. This is utter nonsense. Companies which issue gift cards and the like don't specifically market them as a replacement for the U.S. dollar.
Neither do they, for that matter, sell them at a discount on a dollar-for-dollar basis and encourage people to make money by putting them into circulation.
Perhaps even more hillariously, given the intended market for these things, it appears that the minted gold, silver, and bronze coins were being told at markups of between 25% and 400% on the actual value of the precious metals contained therein. The only thing worse than a Goldbug is a stupid Goldbug and, apparently, these people were that in droves.
Now, Ron Paul's smarter supporters will attempt to distance themselves from such a disreputable operation. They can try and do that, of course - but, frankly, it will be difficult to with fifty pages of teeth gnashing from L. Ron's supporters about the raid. Moreover, any claim that Ron Paul didn't approve of or support this ought to be viewed skeptically in view of the fact that these people have been marketing these coins using his name and likeness since July at the very earliest.
The Absurd Mulroney Affair
Can someone explain to me, other than the obvious animus felt by the media for Brian Mulroney, why it is necessary to hold an expensive and extended public inquiry to examine the almost certianly unverifiable (and, in any case, a decade and a half old) allegations of a man about to be deported from the country to face charges of fraud?
These accusations are absurd on their face. What kind of kickback gets paid out in multiple installments FIVE years later? The entire public interest in this - that is to say the only part of this affair which might concievably not be considered the private business of Brian Mulroney and the other individuals involved - is the claim that the money paid to Mulroney in 1993 and 1994 was, in some fashion, related to the Airbus sales completed in 1988. Frankly, the allegation seems absurd to me.
I fully understand why, with the Globe and Mail running the story above the fold practically every day (one might recall also their treatment of Conrad Black - this isn't a paper that is shy about abusing its front pages to attack those it sees as enemies) Brian Mulroney would want an inquiry to clear his name. But, frankly, I'm at a loss for why I ought to be on the hook to pay for a pointless judicial circus which, given what we know -and extensive prior investigations - is fairly likely to conclude that the whole matter is inconclusive.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Robert Dziekanski's last moments
In the weeks since Robert Dziekanski died after being Tasered by RCMP officers at the Vancouver International Airport, the press and the public have been asking many important questions about the incident. These include:
Why was the obviously distraught Pole, who spoke no English, allowed to flounder for hour after hour, growing everymore distraught, in areas which are closely monitored by authorities? And why didn't the Mounties simply tackle the weaponless Dziekanski or knock him on the head with a billyclub, instead of using a Taser, which has been linked to a dozen and a half deaths in Canada alone?
Now that the video of the encounter has been made public, another important question has been raised: did the knee of one of the Mounties, which was pressed against Dziekanski's neck, contribute to his death?
Finally, having just watched the video myself, I have one more question, one which has yet to be raised in the msm: why didn't at least one of the four officers surrounding Dziekanski's prone body attempt to administer some sort of basic CPR? The video shows that absolutely no attempt was made to resuscitate Dziekanski. I'm appalled.
Liberal and NDP In-and-Out Funding Games
Though overshadowed now by the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, the Liberals are still trying to convince Canadians that the Conservatives entered into some sort of shady money laundering scheme to evade election spending limits:
The Liberal Opposition has written to the Commissioner of Canada Elections requesting that he look into an additional nine campaigns that may have participated in the Conservatives’ apparent scheme to violate election spending limits, Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc said today.
“The list of people implicated in this “in and out” scheme appears to be growing longer with each passing day,” said Mr. LeBlanc. “If Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not come clean about how deep this scandal goes in the Conservative Party, then we are calling on Elections Canada to get to the bottom of it.”
The Conservative Party is currently under investigation by Elections Canada for allegedly funnelling over $1.2 million in national advertising costs to regional candidates during the 2006 federal election in order to circumvent federal election spending limits.
The Conservatives claim that there is nothing illegal in what they were doing, and that critics in the Liberal Party are hypocrites, since they do the same thing.
Defensive bluster? Apparently not. In a post too long to summarize here, I go through emails, faxes, cancelled cheques, and return statements for six campaigns, three Liberal and three NDP, and show how the Liberals and the NDP repeatedly moved money from the headquarters to the riding associations so that the riding association could buy ads created by the party centre, how the ads are national in content except for a mention of one or more ridings at the end, and how party headquarters would remind the local ridings of the importance of filing this ad spend in the local candidates' returns in order to be eligible for the Elections Canada rebate.
In other words, everything that is being cast as near-criminal activities by the Conservatives is being done by the Liberals and the NDP.
More on the Mulroney inquiry
The latest news from the PMO on the Mulroney inquiry: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT ADVISOR
The latest news from the PMO on the Mulroney inquiry:
PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT
OF INDEPENDENT ADVISOR
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today the appointment of Professor David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo, as Independent Advisor to conduct an impartial review of allegations respecting the financial dealings between Mr. Karlheinz Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, in order to make recommendations for an appropriate mandate for a public inquiry. This appointment is effective immediately.
Professor Johnston will provide his final report to the Prime Minister, in both official languages, by January 11, 2008.
“I am confident that Professor Johnston will carry out his duties with diligence and rigour”, said Prime Minister Harper. ”As an independent and impartial third party advisor, Professor Johnston will provide the government with the parameters for the public inquiry as well as any other course of action that may be required.”
An eminent lawyer with a distinguished academic career, Professor Johnston was Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario from 1974 to 1979, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University from 1979 to 1994 and has served as President of the University of Waterloo since June 1999. Professor Johnston has served on numerous provincial and federal task forces and committees. Recognized for his considerable legal experience and expertise, Professor Johnston is ideally suited to conduct this review and provide independent advice to the government on these allegations and the way forward...
continue reading to see the full terms of reference...
TERMS OF REFERENCE
Whereas Mr. Karlheinz Schreiber has made various allegations with respect to his financial dealings with the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, P.C., that go beyond the private interests of the parties, including in an affidavit sworn on November 7, 2007; and
Whereas the allegations with respect to the Right Honourable Mulroney’s time as Prime Minister, although unproven and in part conflicting with other available information, raise questions respecting the integrity of an important office of the Government of Canada;
Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, pursuant to paragraph 127.1(1)(c) of the Public Service Employment Act, hereby appoints to the position of special adviser to the Prime Minister, David Johnston of St. Clements, Ontario, as Independent Advisor, to hold office during pleasure, for a term ending on January 11, 2008; and
(a) specifies the duties of the Independent Advisor as to conduct an independent review of those allegations respecting financial dealings between Mr. Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, P.C., and to submit to the Prime Minister by January 11, 2008
January 11, 2008
(i) make recommendations as to the appropriate mandate for a public inquiry into those allegations, including the specific issues that warrant examination, under the Inquiries Act,
(ii) state whether the Independent Advisor, in the course of his review, has determined that there is any prima facie evidence of criminal action; in that case, the report shall make recommendations as to how this determination should be dealt with, and what should be the appropriate mandate and timing for a formal public inquiry in those circumstances, and
(iii) make recommendations as to whether any additional course of action may be appropriate;
(b) authorizes the Independent Advisor to adopt procedures for the expedient and proper conduct of the independent review, including reviewing relevant records and documents and consulting as appropriate;
(c) fixes his remuneration as set out in the attached schedule, which per diem is within the range ($1,200 - $1,400); and
(d) authorizes the payment, in accordance with Treasury Board policies, of the following expenses incurred in the course of his duties:
(i) travel and living expenses while in travel status in Canada
(ii) expert staff, as required, and
(iii) any other reasonable expenses as necessary to conduct the independent review.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Harper opens door to a full Mulroney inquiry
Fresh news from the PMO:
Date: November 13, 2007
For release: Immediate
STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER
“On Friday I announced that I would be appointing an independent and impartial third party to review what course of actions may be appropriate given Mr. Schreiber’s new sworn allegations. These allegations remain unproven and untested in a court of law and arose in a private lawsuit. There are however now issues that go beyond the private interests of the parties in the lawsuit.Many have called for a public inquiry, including most recently Mr. Mulroney.
"Given the conflicting information and allegations (including what appears to be some conflicting information under oath) and the extended time period over which the events referred to in various documents and allegations surrounding this matter have occurred, I have decided to ask the third party to advise the government on appropriate terms of reference for a public inquiry. If in reviewing material, the independent party finds any prima facie evidence of criminal action he or she will identify this and advise how this should be handled and what impact, if any, it should have on the nature and timing of the inquiry.
"A public inquiry is a major step and one that should only be taken when it addresses Canadians’ interest, not those of the various parties, whether Mr. Schreiber, Mr. Mulroney or political parties. That is why it is important that we engage the necessary independent expertise and take the time to ensure that the terms of reference meet that test.”
All Negative, All the Time
It appears the Toronto Star editors can’t make up their mind on where they stand (much like their Liberal Party bosses), causing them to flip-flop on their positions. Or perhaps they just like to take the negative side on every issue? Maybe it’s a bit of both?
Last week, the Canadian Dollar was finishing a rapid rise in value relative to every major currency around the world. Any economist will tell you that there are both good and bad sides to this story.
To tell us all about the negative side, the Toronto Star issued an editorial entitled “Bank’s job to cool overheated dollar”.
… [Bank of Canada governor David Dodge] has watched as tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost, as company profits began to drop and as consumer unrest over the continuing huge price gap on goods in Canada versus the U.S. started to boil over.
The dollar is now up more than 25 per cent against the U.S. currency since January. What that means to a Canadian company exporting to the United States is that the price paid by American buyers for its product has shot up by 25 per cent, or that its revenues from U.S. sales have plummeted by 25 per cent. Either way it spells deep trouble.
After months of articles and opinion pieces telling how the rising loonie will cripple the Canadian economy, and calls for the Harper government and the Bank of Canada to do something to slow the rise of the dollar, the opinion of editors at The Star seems pretty clear–they think the dollar’s rise is bad news.
But wait! In the past 2 days, the Canadian dollar has given back some of those gains! Today, The Star gives us a different story.
So why the negative tone and pessimistic words? Given the past columns and editorials out of the pages of The Star, shouldn’t this be good news? Where is all the flowery positive language to tell us this is what they’ve been asking for? Shouldn’t the editors be reporting the drop as the best thing to happen to the Canadian economy since Paul Martin?
Of course not! The Toronto Star: Always Negative, All the Time.
Cross-posted at www.exactlyright.ca.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Yes, Mary Woo, there can be just wars
C'mon people, now/smile on your brother,/ev'ry-body get together,/try to love one another right now.
Remember the above lyrics? They're from the song "Get Together," and represent the naive ideology that permeated the hippie movement of the 1960s. But while the sentiments embodied in the lyrics may have given the hippie generation a flimsy, self-serving rational for living in their free-love communes, they're hardly fit for the real world of domestic and international affairs.
Sadly, however, we still see some opinion leaders trapped in the utopian mindset reflected by the lyrics of "Get Together." One such person is my Tri-City News debating partner, Mary Woo Sims, who displays her "group hugs will save the world" mindset in our latest Face to Face debate.
Here's Mary Woo's take on the question of just wars, Afghanistan and Remembrance Day, and here's mine, which I believe is both more pragmatic and, ulimately, in more secure possession of the moral high ground.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Lest We Forget
I remember Edward Albert Dowe, the great uncle I never knew. He was born in 1923 in Toronto Ontario, the youngest brother of my Grandad. Like my Grandad, Edward joined up to fight in the Second World War. Unlike my Grandad, Edward chose to join the RCAF and not the Army.
On February 20th 1944, Pilot Officer Edward Albert Dowe was killed in action in Germany, most likely when his plane was shot down. He is buried in Eindhoven General Cemetery.
Originally posted @ Ranting Owl
Friday, November 09, 2007
Isn't this a huge hypocritical issue for someone whose party's policies have made Canadians poorer through the past few years? And survival of his party is based on the poor. Because Liberals want the poor to be out there so they can manipulate them. Use them as welfare-slaves and blackmail the poor during the elections.
By the way, those 3.4 milion people living in poverty Mr. Dion would like to help if elected PM are not the direct result of more than a decade long Liberal leadership in this great country? At least, I can ask that question.
I am kinda surprised! Are you not?!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Sarkozy in America
Surprising allies in the move to limit abortions
JohnOnLife writes, "There are a surprising number of people who label themselves as pro-choice who are arguing either for fuller information for women, greater emphasis on alternatives to abortion, or for significant restrictions on access to abortion that the majority of Canadian parliamentarians and much of the Canadian media reject at this time."
Who exactly are the public figures in this "surprising number"? Read JohnOnLife's full posting here to find out.